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Old 09-03-2019, 09:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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War Pig’s ‘51 Wagon build

I’ve been building this truck in my mind for many years. It’s always been a Willys pickup until now. With 4 kids I felt the need to build something I can haul most of them around in. I’ve been building scale RC trucks for over 14 years, and I plan to use my metal fab skills here in a different and larger scale. I found my project vehicle about 6 minutes away and it’s perfect. A ‘51 Willys wagon with a good frame and pretty solid body. The front floors were cut out, but that’s an easy fix.

My plan:

•Keep the stock frame, box it in.
•Fairly stock appearing body.
•5.3 or 6.0 LS swap
•Turbo 400
•NP241 w/SYE
•Dana 60 ball joint front
•14 bolt rear
•4 link rear
•3 link front w/panhard
•ORI STX struts
•Pitbull Rocker 37” tires
•Raceline beadlocks
•Highline fenders F/R

My plan is to build a capable, but low wagon that is fun to drive and reliable. I’ll drive it around town, to car shows, and to do some local wheeling. It’ll be trailered to Moab, KOH, Rubicon etc.

Pictures to come.....

Last edited by War Pig; 09-03-2019 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Pictures of the rig. First order of business is picking the body off the frame so I can see what I have to work with. Paid $2000 for everything and sold all the stuff I didn’t need for $1000. Removed all the brackets and mounts on the frame that I wasn’t going to use and off to the sandblaster. Cleaned it up once the frame was stripped, welded up the body mounts, cleaned up a few sketchy welds and shot a coat of gray epoxy primer to protect it while I worked on it.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Plan to do dual triangulated rear 4-link so a strong crossmember is in order. Had some 3/8” plate laser cut to 5.120” wide to box in the flat part of the frame rails. Cut some 1.5” long spacers to bolt between the frame rails and 3/8” plate. There will be (4) 1/2” through bolts that hold the crossmember to the frame on each side.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I’ve also been collecting parts for the build. Also made a template for the front portion of the frame, cut it out on my bandsaw and tacked it in. Want to get the motor/trans/case in so I can figure out my transmission mount and crossmember.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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One more for today. Got the motor in and it looks like everything is going to fit nice. Last picture is the front part of the crossmember that the t-case adapter will mount to.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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looking forward to the build...
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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looking forward to the build...
Thanks!

I needed a low profile transfer case adapter mount. Designed this and fabbed it up the other day.
Also built a lifting apparatus to move the body around.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes!! A new build! Great start! Looking forward to this one.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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good project
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Got the body set on the chassis the other day. Everything clears! I’m going to machine some 3/4” aluminum body lift pucks to give myself a bit more clearance underneath. Crossmembers get welded up this weekend and then it’s time for lower links. I’ve bought (8) 1.25” Currie Johnnie Joints so far.....they are HUGE! Also have a bunch of 2” by .25 DOM tube for the lowers.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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got to love the 1.25 joints....... they bring the win! build looks awesome, keep up the good work
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Got the crossmember welded up today. Going to cut all the brackets and tabs off the axles this week and hopefully fabricate some tabs and get the lower links installed next weekend.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Been working on this rig every Sunday. Finished the crossmember and tacked the lower link mounts on. Removed the tabs and brackets on the rear 14 bolt. Also found some cheap wheels and 37” tires to mock it up. Think I’m ready to build some lower links this Sunday.
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I’m assuming that’s you driving the forklift. You look young for having 4 kids.




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Old 09-20-2019, 07:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I’m assuming that’s you driving the forklift. You look young for having 4 kids.
Ha! I wish that was me. That’s my 15 year old son that REALLY wants to drive the forklift whenever possible. I just turned 50
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:36 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Got the rear lower links in today. Also got a chance to see what it’ll look like with 37’s on it. This will be the approximate ride height. New upper crossmember with upper link mounts and truss are next.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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More work on the rear links. Figured out the style of truss I’m building. 1/2” x 3 1/2” flatbar for truss. There will be a piece of 3/8” plate tying the Pinion guard to the truss, and here are the link mounts I’ve been working on.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Not a huge amount done in the last week or so. Got the rear axle truss welded up, upper links cut and tacked together. Pics.....
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Slow week at work. Got my rig in it’s new home for the winter. Got the front axle wrestled under it. Fabbed up the upper link mounts on the frame end.
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Old 10-09-2019, 09:59 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Nice Willys. I've had a forklift for about 12 years now, don't know how I managed before. They sure save your back and time.
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Old Yesterday, 07:01 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Nice Willys. I've had a forklift for about 12 years now, don't know how I managed before. They sure save your back and time.
Thanks! I tried doing this at home with an engine hoist and it wasn’t happening. The forklift is so nice!

Got the front axle brackets stripped and am going to start on link mounts this weekend.
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