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Old 09-02-2012, 10:32 AM   #26 (permalink)
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This is Mike, known as "rolloverboy" here on Pirate. His rig sported a 4.3 hooked to a T18 and a D18. It sported full floaters front and rear and Swampers in a size i can't recall.

Mike went on to build 2 Willys inspired pro-mod comp buggies and competes regularly in the RCRocks and WEROCK series.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:53 AM   #27 (permalink)
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And Eric - he is probably responsible for 80% of the good ideas and fab on my rig. A tool maker/machinist by trade, the impossible only took him 10 minutes longer than the possible. He's built countless axles, steering set up, bodies and frames for the Willys bunch up here in MA. He's since retired and moved to Florida. His rig just resurfaced last year after a few years tucked away. The new owner is very lucky.

This rig sported D44 full floaters front and rear, 4 wheel disc brakes and a 56 CJ5 frame. Being morally opposed to engine swaps, Eric stayed true with the Hurricane Four. He wanted more gearing however. We searched for a T98 for quite a while with no luck. So he adapted a SM420 to the flat head and the D18 with home made adapters. His adapter even clocked the D18 a few degrees. Cutting edge shit back then.

Here's the rig around 2000 with Eric giving a Pirate salute.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:39 AM   #28 (permalink)
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So back on track here. I guess that was a long enough journey down memory lane.

In 06, Jim (lazydog on here) and I began to plan a trip to the 07 Easter Jeep Safari. I had never been. I knew I didn't want to take my rig in it's current state. The 42's and heavy axles were not cutting it. The overall weight was 4320 pounds. I knew I needed to make some changes before I made the trip.

The rig was put on a serious diet. Gone was the 14 bolt. It was replaced by a well built Ford 9 housing from a van. All the 8 lug stuff was removed and replaced with 5 lug lighter stuff. The Hummer wheels and 42's took a hike. 39 inch Iroks on light wheels took thier place. A whole bunch of other small changes were made netting a final weight of 3380.

1st pic is the rig on it's way to the scales. The rest are how it looked on the Moab trip. The rig perfomed flawlessly out there. It was back to feeling nimble and light. The 100 inch wheelbase was pretty ideal for all but the longest climbs. I did manage to bend a rear leaf spring attempting Mikey's hot tub. That was addressed not long after.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:20 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Nice rig, and love the pics! Yeah my Willys is on the heavy side with 60/14 combo....that's why we are building my Dads Willys on the lighter side!

That's crazy you were able to drop 25% of the vehicles weight with your changes! That's got to change how it wheels big time. Have you noticed a big difference and what are they? Is there anything you don't like about the changes or is it all positive?

~Travis
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Amazing how you cut down the weight...pretty sure it feels much better now.
Really nice looking Willys.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:24 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Nice rig, and love the pics! Yeah my Willys is on the heavy side with 60/14 combo....that's why we are building my Dads Willys on the lighter side!

That's crazy you were able to drop 25% of the vehicles weight with your changes! That's got to change how it wheels big time. Have you noticed a big difference and what are they? Is there anything you don't like about the changes or is it all positive?

~Travis
The only negative I can think of is that I got a bit over zealous in removing sheet metal. I have no proper firewall behind the seats. The heat and exhaust noise have gotten to be too much. You'll see why in the next couple sets of pictures. I'll be fixing that this fall.

Positives- the biggest to me was the steering. Steering the 42s was a nightmare. I don't want to go full hydro and the ram Assist did the job. But it was slow and would fade easily. That was eliminated with smaller tires and reduced weight. Second biggest gain - climbing ability. Not having to drag the 14 bolt up and over steep climbs made all the difference in the world. I saved over 300 lbs just on the axle swap alone. Third best - power. With a small V6 lugging 4300 lbs around, it was pretty sad. Smaller tires and less weight was like adding 50 horsepower. Out west it road and drove great, even on the street. It had no trouble pulling and maintaining 60-65 mph. Overall I couldn't have been happier at this point...

Thanks for the kind words everyone. More evolution to come.

Last edited by nofender; 09-03-2012 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:25 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention I am on a similar road as you,I just sold my TJ last week to build a Willys. Just need to find a decent donor now. It's tough going around here to find anything! Cant wait for more of the evolution
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:23 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Cool man, thanks for the feed back on weight loss. Good info- I still can't believe you cut that amount of LB's that must have been some serious work! Man this really make me want to re-build mine!

Keep it com'n

~Travis
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Cool man, thanks for the feed back on weight loss. Good info- I still can't believe you cut that amount of LB's that must have been some serious work! Man this really make me want to re-build mine!

Keep it com'n

~Travis
It wasn't as hard as it sounds. The axle swap was worth 300 lbs. The tire and wheel swap was worth almost 50 lbs per corner. Right there is a good part of the weight. Then is was little things that added up. Like:

Syn winch line vs. wire
Aluminum hawse vs. steel roller
GM column vs. race car type set up
Remove rear seat and hardware
Tailgate and rear floor removed
1/2 ton brakes in front were worth 20 lbs per corner
Evaluate and consolidate tools and parts carried

There are a bunch more little things worth a few pounds each. But it all added up to almost a grand.

Again thanks for the kind words. I'll post up more soon.

Last edited by nofender; 09-03-2012 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:41 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention I am on a similar road as you,I just sold my TJ last week to build a Willys. Just need to find a decent donor now. It's tough going around here to find anything! Cant wait for more of the evolution
It is tough. I'm thinking of heading to Nevada where my in laws live to find a clean start. I want to do a stockish one again....
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:08 AM   #36 (permalink)
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It is tough. I'm thinking of heading to Nevada where my in laws live to find a clean start. I want to do a stockish one again....

What happened to the CJ5 retro wheeler you were building a few years ago?
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:25 AM   #37 (permalink)
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What happened to the CJ5 retro wheeler you were building a few years ago?
I ended up selling it before it was completed. Funny thing though - i have the oppurtunity to buy back the tub/body. it's in really nice shape still. I was thinking of doing a custom frame that would hold TJ suspension and axle bits. That would be kind of cool.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #38 (permalink)
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this has nothing to do with nothing - it's just damn cool.

check this gem out!

Friend Mark is restoring his grandfather's 1953 CJ3B. His grandfather purchased it new in late '53. Story is - the day he brought it home from the dealer he removed the rear seat so he could carry his junk around. He wrapped it in a canvas tarp and stored it in his barn loft. It's remained there undisturbed for 59 years. Mark just discovered it last Saturday!
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:41 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Good job on the diet. Your current weight is my target weight. I actually like the lines on your cage. The equal height a,b and c hoops make for a good looking rig.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:58 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Subscribed!....PM or txt me with your email and I think I have a few more pics for you....Ran into a guy at my $145 fuel stop in Longmeadow yesterday with a nice stock 3A. He says he is going down to the jeep rally next weekend in Ellington. And Todd has his Willys run this weekend I believe?
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Old 09-06-2012, 05:14 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Subscribed!....PM or txt me with your email and I think I have a few more pics for you....Ran into a guy at my $145 fuel stop in Longmeadow yesterday with a nice stock 3A. He says he is going down to the jeep rally next weekend in Ellington. And Todd has his Willys run this weekend I believe?
Any of you guys going to bring a rig to the rally? I am planning on going. Although at this point its looking like I will be making the trek from northern NH by myself
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:16 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Any of you guys going to bring a rig to the rally? I am planning on going. Although at this point its looking like I will be making the trek from northern NH by myself
I'd like to make the rally. But our club run is the same weekend. I'll have to make a choice here pretty quick....
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:24 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Assless for 60 years,priceless
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:31 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Out in Moab I saw 1st hand the wonders of the red label Krawler. Shortly after our return, i bought a set off Pirate as well as a set of wheels off Pirate.

The difference was incredible. That said, the rear leaves were having none of it! So we linked up the rear and suspended it with King 2.0 air shocks. we managed to lower the rig a tad with the new suspension set up. Quality BBCS shocks were added to the front and the set up was just about ideal.

The rig remained virtually unchanged until 2010. This is how it looked before the changes in 2010.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Here is the picture I took earlier this year..Man I love this Jeep. It looks great even on its side

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Old 09-08-2012, 04:52 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Best picture ever.......LOL
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:51 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Best picture ever.......LOL
Sooooooo........... Not that I really want to know but whats the guy doing with his head in your lap? I see that you have a big a$$ smile.......



Haha
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Last edited by Heimaster80; 09-08-2012 at 09:52 PM. Reason: I can't spell
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:17 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Sometimes you gotta do things you really don't want to........it was a gas can dumping gasoline all over the place.....at least my face isn't in that pic!
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Sooooooo........... Not that I really want to know but whats the guy doing with his head in your lap? I see that you have a big a$$ smile.......



Haha
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:20 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I am gonna head down with Mike Thompson and the comp buggy...tryin to decide wether or not I wanna blow the dust off my flatty or not.......
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Any of you guys going to bring a rig to the rally? I am planning on going. Although at this point its looking like I will be making the trek from northern NH by myself
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:41 AM   #50 (permalink)
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2010 saw my rig out at KOH. We ran support for 019 Clayton Walters as well as some general wheeling. Just prior to the trip I swapped in a TH350. We put just under 500 miles of pre-running and wheeling on the rigs that week in the desert! It was an amazing trip.

couple things I learned out there:

V6 power just doesn't cut it any longer. Although I did manage a blazing 57 miles per hour across the lakebed . The stall speed was way too low. Being my 1st automatic, I figured there were some adjustments that would need to be made. Lastly, the air shocks just weren't going to cut it it i were to ever haul this kind of weight again. The fuel, spare, tools etc quickly overwhelmed the 2.0's.

If I were to ever go back to KOH, there would have to be some changes.

Here's a few shots of the rig in "support" mode.
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