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Old 04-15-2010, 07:42 AM   #726 (permalink)
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Hi rckjeep! It's great to see another Willys rising from the ashes. The gray cab looks to be in pretty good condition as long as it's not bondo'd up to cover decades of sins.

It's tough for me to recall exactly, but I believe I extended the frame about 6". And I am running YJ springs in front approximately 43" depending on which brand you go with and what lift . Pins are centered.

Call anytime if you want to chat about options.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:50 AM   #727 (permalink)
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Hi rckjeep! It's great to see another Willys rising from the ashes. The gray cab looks to be in pretty good condition as long as it's not bondo'd up to cover decades of sins.

It's tough for me to recall exactly, but I believe I extended the frame about 6". And I am running YJ springs in front approximately 43" depending on which brand you go with and what lift . Pins are centered.

Call anytime if you want to chat about options.
I appreciate that. I may jusy take you up on that. I was thinking about 6" as well. I'm hoping a section of 2x4 box will slide over a slightly modified frame rail to give it some strength to the joint. I don't want to just butt weld the extension on. Then I'll box the inside of the frame from end to end. I used to work at Pacific Fabrication so hopefully they'll help out to CNC plasma the box plates. I'm thinking 1/8" plate or should I go 3/16"? 1/4" would be way overkill wouldn't it?
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:05 PM   #728 (permalink)
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I went out and measured the distance from the center grill mount hole to the front of the frame and it is 15.5".

I went with 3/16" and it worked very well. I would not use 1/8". It's too thin and it can tear very easily.

The method that I used to extend my frame may work for you. I have done many Willys wagon and pickup frames using this method and it always turns out very strong and clean.
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:15 AM   #729 (permalink)
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Good to see the build continue - awesome dash! 35's to 42's.... then 496 cu in..... then dana 70.... then bigger front.... I can see it coming ( been there - 327 - 350 - 496 - 502, dana 41, 60, 70, 80 - haha ) All good though - my 42's were great on the highway but my 44's are better in the snow. 42's with a small block 60/70 is a great combo. Looking forward to seeing the dash finished - powdercoat ? Anodized ?

Took my 51 Willys PU on a 10 hour round trip to the Oregon Dunes over spring break as my tow rig for the quads. At age 53 I'm starting to feel the freeway drone of those 44" boggers more than I used to. Wish I had Goodyear 42s and a 4l85 tranny for that trip.

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Old 04-16-2010, 08:57 AM   #730 (permalink)
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Yea, I have the sickness. No matter how much I tried to stick with a middle of the road daily driver build-up, I just couldn't do it. I know myself and I know I always fall victim to bigger and better. But hey, it's what we do right? It's part of the journey. Actually though, if I can get the 4L60E working correctly, I will stick with the 5.7 and transmission combo I have. I really like it. It's smooth, it gets great mileage, and with the overdrive, it's quiet cruising down the highway. Boggers would kill me! Irok radials are really quiet on the road.

I think Dana 60's with 300M and chromo shafts will last the rest of my life. No matter what changes I make to this build, I will never be taking it on the extreme rock crawling trails I did with my Commando/CJ7 and others. I won't allow myself to risk damaging this pristine Willys wagon body. It's just not worth it. I am modifying it to go with bigger tread because it just looks better. 35's looked so wimpy...

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Old 04-16-2010, 10:26 AM   #731 (permalink)
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I went out and measured the distance from the center grill mount hole to the front of the frame and it is 15.5".

I went with 3/16" and it worked very well. I would not use 1/8". It's too thin and it can tear very easily.

The method that I used to extend my frame may work for you. I have done many Willys wagon and pickup frames using this method and it always turns out very strong and clean.
I looked thru most of this thread but can't find exactly what you did to extend the frame. Have any pics or even just a good discription?
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Old 04-16-2010, 12:52 PM   #732 (permalink)
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Yea, somehow I left some photos out. Here you go. The important part of this extension is to do it before removing the original crossmember. It keeps the frame straight and true.

Cardboard template that matches the shape of the frame.


Outer frame support tack welded in place on both sides. Align with the top of the frame rather than the bottom.


Tack welded 2" x 3" x .250 wall tubing for new crossmember.


Tack weld 2" x 3/16" flat bar on top.


Then you will notice that the bottom part of the frame hangs below the new material. Cut it off back where it meets up with the bottom of the outer plates. Then weld in 2" x 3/16" flat bar just like the top.

Once everything is in place, weld it up permanently.









Then grind down the welds and smooth them out.



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Old 04-16-2010, 12:56 PM   #733 (permalink)
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Then fill the voids and paint. I used POR15 and their filler. It is really nice material.









Hope this helps.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:43 PM   #734 (permalink)
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wow, nice fabwork
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:39 PM   #735 (permalink)
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you guys sure are making your pigs...I mean rigs heavy. Looking good though.

I cant wait too see your rig in Moab. May 15 is just around the corner!

Some news on mine, It runs and drives and is super smooth and has alot more torque than the 4 bangers I'm used to. all my rubber and many other small parts have been ordered.

http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2415963
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:46 PM   #736 (permalink)
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Then fill the voids and paint. I used POR15 and their filler. It is really nice material.


Hope this helps.
done deal. that helps a ton thanks. So far the frame looks in fine shape but I should hold off till I inspect the rest for unrepairable damage. Though, being a california truck I doubt that very much. Thanks again. I'll post up in my thread when I get to that part.
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:13 PM   #737 (permalink)
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First off what a great build. Love how it went form a mild build with 35's to a mild build with 42's. Awesome. I'm disassembling my 53ish pickup currently. I've got the front axle off and am trying to figure out, springs and frame mods. I may have missed it but I'm wondering how long is your front frame extension? which springs did you use up front? what's the center pin offset? if any.

Not to hi-jack but I noticed others posting theirs. Here's what I'm starting with


I"ll be swapping this cab for obivous reasons
what are you going to do with the other cab??? I could use another project
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:17 PM   #738 (permalink)
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damn fine job

MB I have got to say you have done an amazing job not only on this wagon but inspiring so many others as well I have got a 62 wagon as well it was my dads first car I got a lot of time into but nothing like yours...Just bought my wife a 52 wagon and picked up a 48 p/u also have a 50' 2wd that is bone stock...all I can say is great job
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:19 PM   #739 (permalink)
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First off what a great build. Love how it went form a mild build with 35's to a mild build with 42's. Awesome. I'm disassembling my 53ish pickup currently. I've got the front axle off and am trying to figure out, springs and frame mods. I may have missed it but I'm wondering how long is your front frame extension? which springs did you use up front? what's the center pin offset? if any.

Not to hi-jack but I noticed others posting theirs. Here's what I'm starting with


I"ll be swapping this cab for obivous reasons
If I had those 2 cabs I'd be building a 4 door. Seriously.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:39 PM   #740 (permalink)
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If I had those 2 cabs I'd be building a 4 door. Seriously.
I thought about it. But I want it to fit in the garage and would then only have a 3-4ft. bed, you never know a wild hair may spring me into sawzall mode and then once the cabs are cut there's no turning back. A frame off build is quite a step for me. I don't think it's out of my league but pushing it for sure. I have faith though, it'll get done the way I want, as long as I can keep the wife from wanting more kids.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:46 AM   #741 (permalink)
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I thought about it. But I want it to fit in the garage and would then only have a 3-4ft. bed, you never know a wild hair may spring me into sawzall mode and then once the cabs are cut there's no turning back. A frame off build is quite a step for me. I don't think it's out of my league but pushing it for sure. I have faith though, it'll get done the way I want, as long as I can keep the wife from wanting more kids.
Same here! Most intensive automotive project i've taken on so far was a motor rebuild on my old jeep, and a long arm install in my driveway for my LJ. I was really worred at first, but making a list of all tasks that needed to be complete, parts to buy and just taking my time to knock out each one, it was turning out way easier than I thought it would be.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:28 PM   #742 (permalink)
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Radiator?

Hey Midnight - where did you get the radiator? I'm starting my search for an upgrade and have begun to realize that the space up there is sorta oddball. Might end up just going with a Ron Davis custom....

btw - ever get those pics on doing the power windows?
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Old 06-12-2010, 07:23 PM   #743 (permalink)
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Hey Midnight - where did you get the radiator? I'm starting my search for an upgrade and have begun to realize that the space up there is sorta oddball. Might end up just going with a Ron Davis custom....

btw - ever get those pics on doing the power windows?
I looked at a WW the other day with the OEM Jeep 4.0L radiator from a TJ along with the AC setup...About as OEM looking and fitting as you could get. I might have a pic of it somewhere, sure I took one as I plan on using a TJ radiator same same in my WW.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #744 (permalink)
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Man, I am seriously impressed with your rig. The cool factor of it is off the scale. I have read the thread here about 4 times through now. I play around on a few different truck boards, and this is by far my favorite build.

I have been wanting to get a CJ7 really bad, but now I'm seriously thinking about building a Willys Wagon.

Lookin at yours I can see how it would be a lot more practical than a CJ, especially with your back hatch mod. Something I have been really worried about is the cargo capacity of the CJ because I like to bring my best buddy with me..







I have been trying to figure out how to get enough room for him to ride, and to carry the gear I want to bring with me. I could see a wagon giving me room for the dog, tools and a good sized cooler.

I have a Built big block an NV4500 and a 205 and a pair of 8 lug 60's

I have a few questions for you.

1. Hows the wagons road manners?

2. How do you think the wagon would do pulling a small camper, like a 16'er?

3. based on what it took to get your 350 in there, you think a 454 would be too much motor?

Again, man I am pretty inspired by your rig, how did the meet up in Moab go?
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:46 PM   #745 (permalink)
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1. Hows the wagons road manners?

2. How do you think the wagon would do pulling a small camper, like a 16'er?

3. based on what it took to get your 350 in there, you think a 454 would be too much motor?

Again, man I am pretty inspired by your rig, how did the meet up in Moab go?
I am going to make some suggestions, but not sure they are answers. Midnight and Dimwatt have answers and at best I am only an amateur compared to these guys. But I am going thru a build very similar to theirs and have given much thought to the process and some of your questions.

My approach in context of your questions is to view the Willy's as no more than a body, everything else is 'modern' vintage. My fame/transfer case is a TJ Rubicon, engine/trans a SBC/GM auto and the axle set is Dyantrac ProRock 60's.

Whether or not you can shoehorn a BBC in there, dunno, but there is a solution. I am going with a SBC 350 stroker 383 cu in. GM has a crate that will dyno at 340 hp and 405 lbs of torque with over 300 lbs of it just off idle and burns regular gas. Want more? Grab a 'Bow-tie' block and 600 hp + is there for the building, all avail from GM parts bin: https://store.gmperformanceparts.com

As for towing 16k, dunno, but most modern farmes from trucks etc might be able to handle it. You real strength comes from the axles, especially the rear axle. Depending upon what frame you chose you might need to do some beefing up.

NOTE: The Ford 250 - 450 all use the same frame but towing is determined by the axle ability.

That is my approach as this is to be a DD and off road rig.

I am tapped out on knowledge and thoughts at this point, but the aforementioned folks can enlighten you beyond your wildest imagination..
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Old 06-20-2010, 02:55 PM   #746 (permalink)
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I am going to make some suggestions, but not sure they are answers. Midnight and Dimwatt have answers and at best I am only an amateur compared to these guys. But I am going thru a build very similar to theirs and have given much thought to the process and some of your questions.

My approach in context of your questions is to view the Willy's as no more than a body, everything else is 'modern' vintage. My fame/transfer case is a TJ Rubicon, engine/trans a SBC/GM auto and the axle set is Dyantrac ProRock 60's.

Whether or not you can shoehorn a BBC in there, dunno, but there is a solution. I am going with a SBC 350 stroker 383 cu in. GM has a crate that will dyno at 340 hp and 405 lbs of torque with over 300 lbs of it just off idle and burns regular gas. Want more? Grab a 'Bow-tie' block and 600 hp + is there for the building, all avail from GM parts bin: https://store.gmperformanceparts.com

As for towing 16k, dunno, but most modern farmes from trucks etc might be able to handle it. You real strength comes from the axles, especially the rear axle. Depending upon what frame you chose you might need to do some beefing up.

NOTE: The Ford 250 - 450 all use the same frame but towing is determined by the axle ability.

That is my approach as this is to be a DD and off road rig.

I am tapped out on knowledge and thoughts at this point, but the aforementioned folks can enlighten you beyond your wildest imagination..
Don, I aprricate the insight, if I build a Willys I will use 2x6 and 2x4" 3/16" wall box tubing to build a new frame that will be far superior to the stock frame.

As far as the trailer I meant a 16' trailer, not a 16K

I am looking at either a 16' or maybe a 22' Airstream if it does really well towing.





The 16 has a 3500 LB GVWR rating, and the 22 is 4500 GVWR. Not terribly heavy.

I am just a bit worried because the Willy's isn't the biggest rig around, before when I was planning on building a CJ I was planning on running a smaller expo trailer, but traveling with my girlfriend and the dogs would mean things being really cramped, and I really want to take a trip from Texas to Alaska with my rig when its built, so if I can tow a bigger camper it will make the trip a lot more doable.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:11 PM   #747 (permalink)
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Beast, I got ya and building your own frame out of 3/16th is not impossible in fact probably easier than me trying to fab my TJ frame onto my wills body.

You are going to have a wb at 104 in, maybe a few inches more if you choose. That put you in LJ space (in fact the Willy's and LJ share the same wb at 104").

With 3500 GW I see no need to go BB...that said you appear to have one sitting around. I have a SBC in my Willys now and its my bet that getting a BB in there would not be much more difficult. You would need to address, exhaust, steering and cooling and I think the rest would fit if you run a tight serpentine belt setup.

Speaking of Texas to Alaska...I am going to assume you live in the promised land and if the wife and I can get our place fixed up by spring and get it sold then the 'cowboy' is heading home...to San Antonio where I grew up.

We have a Ford F 350 + a Arctic Fox 1150 truck camper and Alaska is on our radar...not sure when but in a couple of years I am thinking.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:17 PM   #748 (permalink)
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Beast, I got ya and building your own frame out of 3/16th is not impossible in fact probably easier than me trying to fab my TJ frame onto my wills body.

You are going to have a wb at 104 in, maybe a few inches more if you choose. That put you in LJ space (in fact the Willy's and LJ share the same wb at 104").

With 3500 GW I see no need to go BB...that said you appear to have one sitting around. I have a SBC in my Willys now and its my bet that getting a BB in there would not be much more difficult. You would need to address, exhaust, steering and cooling and I think the rest would fit if you run a tight serpentine belt setup.

Speaking of Texas to Alaska...I am going to assume you live in the promised land and if the wife and I can get our place fixed up by spring and get it sold then the 'cowboy' is heading home...to San Antonio where I grew up.

We have a Ford F 350 + a Arctic Fox 1150 truck camper and Alaska is on our radar...not sure when but in a couple of years I am thinking.
I am wanting to make the Alaska trip within the next couple of years.

Thread here.

I grew up in Montana, moved to Texas a couple of years ago.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:14 PM   #749 (permalink)
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I just spent hours looking at the 31 pages of this build....AWESOME.

Thanks for taking the time to document this build!

I am also starting a 56 Willys Pick Up Daily Driver project.
I will be running a 1999 Escalade 5.7vortec and AutoTrac drivetrain/frame.

heres a quick shot:


Someday, I hope to have 31 pages of my build!
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:32 AM   #750 (permalink)
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I like this. Is that a Grant steering wheel? If so, do you have any detailed pics of how you got the stock horn button to fit the Grant wheel?
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