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Thread: Willys? Engine Number starting with the letter "U" 20353 After that

  1. #1

    Willys? Engine Number starting with the letter "U" 20353 After that

    Guys: I just brought home an early 1950 Willys Wagon that I hope to bring back to life. The engine is out and I was given two engines for the project. The first engine I think I found it beginnings. It is complete and has the engine number stamped on the passenger side up front and has the number 441-71367. From what I have found that number corresponds to a 1941 Americar engine. It has no maker markings on the head and two bolt thermostat cover and no PVC valve. The one in question is incomplete and has the engine number above the water pump and the number starts with the letter "U" followed with 20353. It has the Willys and Jeep markings on the head, three bolt thermostat cover, and the PVC valve. I was hoping someone could help me identify the year and vehicle this engine was for. Thanks.

    1950 Willys Wagon.jpg

  2. #2
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The U stood for Utility, and was originally in a wagon. Willys did a very poor job of record keeping, and the engines were mass produced and only designated at the point of installation. This is where the rub comes into full effect. There wasn't a record to what went where, and the serial numbers are mere numbers stamped in for an act of looking like they knew what they were doing. The casting numbers on the side do give a glimpse at to when the block was cast, but those records are spotty at best. This is yet another reason why you'll never see a concourse restoration of a Willys at Pebble Beach.

    https://www.oldwillysforum.com/forum...numbers.11061/

  3. #3
    Thanks, that makes sense.

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    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    As gm is alluding too, 1950 was a change over year, in a bad financial time for Willys. A lot of parts were "used up" from vehicles that were not moving out of the plant. Parts left over from prior year models were "re-worked" into the newer model years. You could find a lot of combinations in all Willys vehicles in 1950. The dealers also did a lot of "Factory like" installations. Especially the Toledo dealerships.

    Here's a great deal from an old 1950 paper! Check out the dealer installed window package.
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    Last edited by bmorgil; 07-27-2022 at 08:19 AM.

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    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    I'll chime in and second everything BMorgil and GMWillys said. Willys-Overland did things that would get people thrown in jail now. If a dealer had unsold stock, they could send paperwork back to Toledo and have the model year changed. A 1948 could become a 1949 with the strike of a typewriter. This caused a number of confusing overlaps - an early 1950 wagon with the flat grill and fenders could become a 1951 that should have had the pointed grill with peaked fenders. That sort of change would be obvious after a little searching, but when you get into 51's changing to 52's where there were very few design differences - what you see is what you have.

    It gets even more confusing when you look at engines. According to some sources, a 1950 wagon could have had a L-134 Go-Devil , an L-148 Lightning or an F-134 Hurricane. And, since just about any Jeep engine would fit into another Jeep product, engines went back and forth interchangeably.

    The flat 9-slot grill on your wagon does make it no later than an early 1950 - but it could be earlier depending on who changed what papers at the dealer. Do you have a vehicle serial number plate- that could have interesting information. Do you have the square instrument cluster (early 1950) or the clock and bar cluster (late 1950)?

    Just little details ... we're curious.

  6. #6
    Thanks all for the information. To answer the last question about the instrument cluster, this one has the square (rectangular) instrument cluster with the aluminum face with the side whiskers and it has the oval ash tray on the top of the dash. It also has the "4" on the grill and the word "Willys" on the rear bumper. All these thigs tell me it is an early 1950. The VIN plate is attached and has the number 4-63 106574. This number according to the books I have should make it a late 1949 model year. It is in pretty good condition except for the fact that the motor is out. The odometer reads 23803.

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    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Nice dg! Definitely has the early grill. That wagon is in pretty good shape.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    Yep - you're in the strange world of WO. The serial number says 1949, but the legend says 1950. On my truck the serial said '49, but the physical facts say '48.

    You have an alternate world dash configuration as well. The '48 truck (which to all outward appearances looks like a short wagon) has the square cluster, but the "ash receiver" is a square box just above the cluster and the wiper knob is located where the "ash receiver" is on your truck.

    The dash gives you a hint as to the original color - either Manila Red or Tunisian Red. Manila Red was a bit lighter, Tunisian was a darker, deeper red. The trim around the windshield is ivory - much like the trim on my '48 - this was a fairly common paint and trim pairing. I do not know if the wagons and the trucks were the same, but in the '48 trucks, the headliner was a woven material (flat strands) that was closer to a straw material than a fabric. In '49 the headliner changed to a cardboard insert - one of the tells that says my truck is a '48, regardless of the VIN sequence. The '48 trucks also had the split front seat (wide side driver, short side passenger) that could be reversed for right hand/left hand drive.

    And I'll assume you have the push button doors - they amaze my grandkids - as do the roll up and roll down windows.

    The vehicle could have been built as a right hand drive vehicle (if you look you will probably see clutch and brake hangers on the passenger side of the frame.). If the steering wheel was on the right side, the blank hole at the lower right of the cluster would have been the ignition key and the hole with the heater control (ivory knob "H") would have been the choke. You have a very nice "deluxe" front bumper with the top bar and vertical supports.

    There are pieces and parts to do just about anything you want to do with it. I favor keeping old vehicles like this as close to stock as possible, but there is a WILD wagon build being done right now by another forum member.

    Let us know what's happening - send more pictures
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    Last edited by LarrBeard; 07-28-2022 at 07:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Great comments. One point I think you missed is that the Ivory knob with the "H" is actually a hood latch release cable, the heater control is under the dash. Also, this one has the windshield wiper option, see attached, and the driver's side door and rear hatch are keyed the same. Yes with the inside push button door release. Thanks for the information.
    Willys Wagon Windshield Washer.JPG

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