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Old 03-02-2010, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Flatty Build

Finally sorted out my pictures so I can start a build thread. What i'm building started as a 48 CJ2a. Aparantly building these into trail rigs has become pretty popular lately...who knew? What this one is NOT going to be a 30k tube chassis at 120 inch wheel base sitting on Roc's Jeep on steroids. It's going to be a short wheelbase, trail rig that i can wheel on the weekend and be reliable enough that I'm not working on it all the time. So...if that's not "hardcore" enough for you , there are a ton of threads on that subject. Otherwise keep reading and take away some ideas and feel free to point and laugh if I'm doing something stupid...I won't start crying.

OK...here is what it is, I started collecting parts in mid July 2009 and have collected the following
1. 1951-1952 M38A1 frame
2. 1948 CJ2a body tub, front clip and an MB windshield
3. 305 SBC motor and a TBI system from a 91 Camaro wired up with a Painless wiring harness
4. TH350 automatic transmission
5. D44 Front from a 78 Wagoneer and D44 rear from a 69 Scout 800a
6. D300 T-case from an 80 CJ5.
7. Rubicon Express 4.5" lift YJ springs (yep...spring under)
8. Recentered double bead-lock Hummer wheels from 406YJ

As of today I have a rolling chassis. I've boxed the frame and stretched it 4 inches in the back and 2 in the front, putting me at 89". The stock Willys was 80". One Lesson learned already...DON'T BE A PUSSY...BUILD YOUR OWN FRAME!! I have an ass load of time in this frame and its still not done.

Here's some pics. Last one is of the rolling chassis, more to come. Got a ton of pictures.







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Old 03-02-2010, 10:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice. Cant wait to see more. I love seeing the old willys build ups hardcore or not!
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wish I could get someone to move my damn thread to hardcore. Lookin good! Much farther along than I am!
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wish I could get someone to move my damn thread to hardcore. Lookin good! Much farther along than I am!
Don't worry, I've got you listed in the Willys: all things relevant thread
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Cool build, although somewhere down the road you are going to kick yourself for not stretching the wheelbase over 100". You'll find 89" is still pretty short for any sort of ledge, hill climb and for rear driveshaft angle.

I thought about doing your type of build before I cut my flatty in half and made it 108" wheelbase.

I think you should add a bit more tech as to how your built your frame as far as:
a) Thickness
b) Gusseting
c) Dimensions

I think that's important since that is a topic that gets covered a lot.


Otherwise this looks like the start to a cool build.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cool build, although somewhere down the road you are going to kick yourself for not stretching the wheelbase over 100". You'll find 89" is still pretty short for any sort of ledge, hill climb and for rear driveshaft angle.

I thought about doing your type of build before I cut my flatty in half and made it 108" wheelbase.

I think you should add a bit more tech as to how your built your frame as far as:
a) Thickness
b) Gusseting
c) Dimensions

I think that's important since that is a topic that gets covered a lot.


Otherwise this looks like the start to a cool build.
Agree...guess if your foundation isn't solid you are hosed from the beginning.

Been a while since I boxed the frame, so i can't remeber the exact thickness of the material I used but believe it was 3/16". I do know that I went to great lengths to find the same thickness as the frame was made from. No reason to go thicker because bigger than the base frame is not better...just harder to work with. Might as well make your life easier. I removed the stock front cross member because it was right where i wanted to mount the radiator and rose above the frame rails... I used some 3/8" wall 2x2 box to make a new one that dropped to allow for a taller radiator. I ran it all the way to the inside of the verticle web of the original frame...welded it there, then boxed around it. This cross member served as a radiator mount and the main front lateral support. Also added a cross member all the way forward. It's only 1/8" wall. Basically there to stiffen up the frame horns and for a place to mount the wench. Strengthened the front horns since I'm hanging heavier axles under it and adding a power steering box.





The rear, I used the same 1/8" wall 2x4 box to do the stretch. I gusseted and straped the top and bottom and replaced the badly beaten original rear cross member. Sorry, don't have a pic of the final product, but i just mirrored the lower and filled in between. Need to cut the ends off sometime but wasn't sure how much i needed for spare tire mount, fuel can, etc... I'll cut it down later.





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Old 03-02-2010, 01:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you ask me, I would stretch the WB at least up to 95", thinking on handling/stability and the lenght of the rear driveshaft.
The WB on my MB is exactly 89", with the same drivetrain, and my rear driveshaft is only 17" long.
I also like the "stock body" apereance, but adding 10" at the middle ("door openings") even looks better. Also is nice to have more space for the seat.
My 2 cents.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you ask me, I would stretch the WB at least up to 95", thinking on handling/stability and the lenght of the rear driveshaft.
The WB on my MB is exactly 89", with the same drivetrain, and my rear driveshaft is only 17" long.
I also like the "stock body" apereance, but adding 10" at the middle ("door openings") even looks better. Also is nice to have more space for the seat.
My 2 cents.
Agree on the handling/stability...longer would be better. I also hear the short wheelbase makes them a bit light in the nose when going up steep slopes. A lot of the places I go have really tight switch backs so at least the short wheel base will be nice for that. Version 2.0 i'll probably link it and make it longer.

I also like the stock stubby body, plus I want to put a soft top on it, so i don't want to cut the body. I did stretched the fenders/hood 3.5 inches though. Made the longer V8 fit better and since I pushed the front axle forward the fenders actually cover the wheels (sorta). I'll cut the wheel houses to gain some leg room.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I also like the stock stubby body, plus I want to put a soft top on it, so i don't want to cut the body. I did stretched the fenders/hood 3.5 inches though. Made the longer V8 fit better and since I pushed the front axle forward the fenders actually cover the wheels (sorta). I'll cut the wheel houses to gain some leg room.
Sound exactly to what I did on my flatty.
The soft top was THE thing that stoped me to stretch the tub.
Keep the info and pics coming.
Nice to see more flatties being built
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Old 03-02-2010, 02:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i want to stretch mine about 24" over all 8" in the front like you guys did add 8 in the doors and 8 to the rear wheels to make room for some 40's and run about 100" wheel base. So it’s nice to see these things i can what to get mine started.

cant wait to see your done

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wish I could get someone to move my damn thread to hardcore. Lookin good! Much farther along than I am!
It's in Hardcore now....
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Pirate, please make a Willys section....... c'mon I said please. YAY!

Now with FJ 45 flavor!

Willys wagon build thread
/forum/jeep-willys/817672-59-willys-circle-wagons.html
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Concurrent with modifying the frame I got my TH350 to D300 adaptor figured out. The original plan was to buy one of the expensive adaptors from Novak or AA but discovered a cheap alternative searching through Pirate. I picked up a 700r4 to NP241c adaptor from a salvage yard for $15 out of a 1991 Chevy truck. The 700r4 and the TH350 have the same rear case where either an adaptor for a transfer case goes or a tail shaft housing attaches for a 2wd version. Meaning the lip where the o-ring goes and the 4-bolt pattern is the same for the 2 transmissions. For some reason the stars aligned or the wheelin' gods got together and decided to make the circular bolt pattern for the NP241, NP208 and others nearly the same as the D300. By nearly I mean all but 1 hole lines up perfectly. The lower left is off by 1/4" and is easily reemed out. This is a cast iron adaptor and is hell-for-stout plus has a mounting foot on it. AA's adaptor housing is 3.5" long and this adaptor is 3.5" long so...add a spud shaft from AA (p/n 52-6302) to adapt the TH350 4wd output to the D300 input and you are set. This adaptor clocks the D300 pretty close to flat. The only draw back is you don't have the multiple clocking options.

Here's a link to a pretty good thread on the subject:
/forum/general-4x4-discussion/670942-j-yard-t350-d300-adapter.html





There is a pic of the assembly together in an earlier post. I didn't take a picture of the spud shaft installed, but it sticks past the adapter about 1/8".

Since the D300 is clocked so flat there are issues with some rigs that use this having the front shaft interfere with the trans pan. Knowing this and to gain some room I moved everything to the left 1.5". By doing this and having a wider Waggy D44 front axle a 2" drive shaft appears to clear in all positions. I haven't got it cut to length yet to see for sure though. The only time it could be an issue is a drivers side front up. It gets REALLY close because the front axle shifts to the left. If I must I can clearance the lip of the TH350 pan some or change the angle of the drive train so the t-case is down a little more. If that doesn't work, I can get a clocking ring.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Looks good! My flatty is at 89" also. I was able to get all the drivetrain and shafts to fit fine.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Looks good! My flatty is at 89" also. I was able to get all the drivetrain and shafts to fit fine.
Nice rig WildWilly...about to start putting new floors in mine and I think i'm going to steal your support idea. Can get 1x2 box hella cheap.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:29 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Engine placement bunch of pics this time. Couple goals,
1. The M38a1 frame is longer than the stock 2a frame and i moved the front axle forward and the rear back i wanted to balance the body so it didn't look like it was out of place on the bigger frame.
2. Leave enough room behind the motor that I could pull the distributer with the body on and not have to notch the firewall.

So...put the body tub on it and some 33's i had. Knew I was getting 35's for it eventually and sat the tub so that I could cut the rear wheel opening back to clear the tires. Thought I might have to comp cut it at this point.



Got everything set level and hung the motor from the hoist to position it. Put the right fender on it to make sure it would clear everything since I moved the engine to the right 1.5 inches.



sat the engine so i have enough firewall clearance



a little too close here, ended up cutting that cross member out and making a new one. Worked out better anyway since I was able to lower it and use it for the radiator mount.



Used AA's CJ GM motor mounts. Was going to make them but said screw it and ordered them. Sat the motor as low as it would go and the motor mounts would clear the frame.



put the hood and grill on, measured to make sure the air cleaner would clear and pushed the grill forward enough to clear the radiator. Turns out I'd need to stretch the front 3.5 inches.





Next will be installing the radiator
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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yup, that front crossmember has to go and the firewall needs some massaging. You can fit all in there properly without the need for extending the front any.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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You know you don't "have" to stretch it right? If you swap the HEI distributer for a smaller one without a built in coil, and swap the waterpump for a short style one you will be good to go on clearance. Unless you want to stretch it?
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:24 AM   #18 (permalink)
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yup, that front crossmember has to go and the firewall needs some massaging. You can fit all in there properly without the need for extending the front any.
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You know you don't "have" to stretch it right? If you swap the HEI distributer for a smaller one without a built in coil, and swap the waterpump for a short style one you will be good to go on clearance. Unless you want to stretch it?
Thanks for the suggestions I went back and forth for a month trying to decide what to do. I could have made it work without stretching the front, but i'm on a longer frame. The M38a1 frame is the same length as a CJ5 frame. It's 4" longer in the rear plus I stretched the rear of the frame another 4". I either have to comp cut the rear or stretch it somewhere. Trying to avoid the comp cut and don't want to stretch the tub. I did get a short water pump and the smaller distributer though. Otherwise I'd have to go even more.

I've stretched the fenders already. had a pair of old fenders so i cut a section out of them.





put the windshield on and sat the grill and a stretched fender in place to see what it would look like. Think it looks pretty killer now. Fenders cover the wheels a bit more.

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Old 03-05-2010, 09:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Lookin' good! All these re-powerd and beefed flatty builds on pirate are starting make me wish I'd gone that route instead of the super-stocker flavor on my flatty...

Something SVARAS did that I'd never really thought of before is he did the stretch behind the front fender. If you think you need a few more inches to get the rear wheel well lined up, you might consider it, so you only have to stretch the hood once. It might make it look like it has a long nose (like a '73+ CJ-5) but it would let you keep a stock soft top and would be easier than stretching the body.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
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WOW, its looking NICE.
Yes, what I did what jalbrecht42 described, stretched behind the fenders.
Can you show a pic of the front driveshaft/TH350 pan clearance, now that is everything bolted ??
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:22 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I like what I see!! Coming out super nice man!
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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WOW, its looking NICE.
Yes, what I did what jalbrecht42 described, stretched behind the fenders.
Can you show a pic of the front driveshaft/TH350 pan clearance, now that is everything bolted ??
Here is what I got for driveshaft/TH350 clearance pics. This is not my final setup. The driveshaft in these pictures is a 2.5", I will be running a 2" but it needs to be lengthened. This one happened to be close enough for mock-up purposes. I will probably drop the rear of the drive train a couple more degrees. Its hard to see in these pics but it is really close to missing the bottom of the pan completely and I think a few degrees would get it. Might need to clock the D300 too. Remember that my adaptor sets the D300 really flat.

This pic is of the RIGHT side front wheel up



This one is of the LEFT side front up and the 2.5" shaft is touching the pan.


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Old 03-06-2010, 06:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
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get a 2-pc driveshaft with a carrier bearing. Then you'll never have to worry about it hitting anything. Costs a little more but piece of mind is worth it!
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:46 AM   #24 (permalink)
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get a 2-pc driveshaft with a carrier bearing. Then you'll never have to worry about it hitting anything. Costs a little more but piece of mind is worth it!
Been thinking about that...anyone have pics of a 2 piece? Any bad experiences with a 2 piece?
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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looking good so far.
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