Monday, April 16, 2012



Having found another Willys Jeep Pickup while casually browsing an online classified site, I got to thinking, “Yes, it’s time for another project.” I spent the winter going stir crazy wanting to get my hands dirty again and tuck into something that needed a bit of automotive salvation. With that in mind, I set up a time to view what would become my next project.

The Basics:
- 1960(ish) Willys Pickup. (late 1960 saw the intro of the 1-piece windshield)
-  Original Willys Super Hurricane Flathead 6, producing 105HP and around 195lbft of torque, when new
- Original Borg Warner T-90 toploader 3-speed transmission, mated to a Spicer 18 transfer case.
- Original bed, albeit very rough and rusted, rare to find a truck so unmolested.
- Original Interior components (where surviving). Pedals, shifter knobs, dash knobs all still intact. Looks like some door components are missing – probably have been for ages – will need to find new ones.
- Meyers SP78 added at some point in the past. This was done in a more “professional” manner using bolts and standard hardware, rather than welding it to the frame as I would expect on a truck of this age. Since I already have a plow on the other Willys up north, I figure having 2 is likely overkill. This one is closer to resto than the ’51, so I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
- All glass, surprisingly uncracked. The passenger window is missing however, but should be an easy replace by templating the driver’s side and getting one made up (will make a temp Plexiglas one).
- This truck has rust in most of the usual spots. The bed is really now just fenders and a top rail, the floor/mounts of the cab are basically non-existent, and the frame needs some patching on a cross member. This means welding, lots of welding, and a lot of good old fashioned fabricating. This is exactly what I wanted.
- Extra goodies included the aforementioned plow, and a set of 4 spare tires all on matching rims (3 of these tires nearly match the spare on the truck). I am well cared for in the Willys tire department.

The plan in general with this truck takes a different approach to the Wagoneer I spent 4 years rebuilding. On the Wagoneer, it wasn’t really worth the investment to make it sparkling new, since it was just so beat up. This vehicle is made mostly of flat steel, so my plan is to reproduce the pickup bed in CAD and get the shearing work done at the same place that made my bumper, then weld it all together myself at home. It will be slightly more expensive than doing it yourself, but very pro and a lot faster than messing about in my garage with massive pieces of steel. With this reproduction I should be able to visibly duplicate the factory bed, while making some much needed structural improvements.

The bottom of the cab will receive a similar treatment to the bed, with most of the underside forming work being done by a manufacturer. 14 gauge sheet steel is not wildly expensive or hard to work with, so it shouldn’t break the bank at all.

First steps with this truck will be to get it running so I can move it around the driveway. I need to patch a brake line that sprung a leak when I pushed the pedal… should be relatively easy to fix. Also going to try boiling the carb and fuel pump to get them all limbered up and ready for service, a trick I learned from a classmate in college.

The only non-original pieces, these vintage WW2 blackout lights can be cleaned up and used as tail lights

Here sits the beast with the pro plow mount removed. Thanks to whoever bolted it on, it came off like a dream in a couple minutes.

Spartan interior. Lots to love here. Need to try my hand at upholstery once I get some different seating

Otherwise I spent my time browsing the interior, marveling that although not 100% complete, it is remarkably unchanged and original. The cardboard glove-box is still intact and housing old bits and pieces, and the cable driven vacuum wipers are still in place. This level of completeness demands only one thing; RESTORATION

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