Pirate 4x4 banner

21 - 40 of 1256 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Nice work!

I have been working on my 54 Wagon for coming up on 6 years.

Mine is sitting on a shortened J20 chassis and getting a Cummins 4BT transplant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
nice build, makes it easy when you have a good donor truck
I don't know if I would say it makes it easy. There is nothing easy about a project like this. It's nice to have most of the parts come from one vehicle, but still every single thing has to be designed and built from scratch.

It is surprising how many parts from the Tahoe are going to work well in the Willys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
I got the exhaust 90% done. All except for 2 straight 4' pieces I will need to buy. I studied the new exhaust that I recently had custom made for my CJ and I was able to cut everything apart and reuse 2 identical pieces for tailpipes. Then I welded 2 other pieces to the original Tahoe manifold flanges. It worked out very nice. The rear spring pack is missing some leaves intentionally. They will be going back in soon. The left over 4 link center truss will be removed from the 9" axle housing too.





I studied the heat/air conditioning unit from the Tahoe and I believe I have a solid plan for getting it installed. Pretty interesting what I have to do to make it work, but it should be awesome. Mostly, I just have to remove all the unnecessary bulky plastic plenums and reposition some of the components.

The main unit fits under the dash nicely now. But, there definitely won't be room for a glove box. :D I am planning to make a completely custom dash anyway. The original dashes are pretty cool, but quite useless for anything other than the stock components.



The main plenum fits nice and high under the dash. I get giddy just thinking about having AC in this Jeep. :blob:



I removed the fan from the right hand side of the main unit. It will now have to be mounted on the engine side of the firewall.



Nice heat and AC switch panel. It's flat and will be easy to mount in the dash.



I also mounted the AGR power steering box. This task is about as easy as it gets. 2 holes through the frame with tube spacers and a plate for the bottom 2 holes. I merged the Borgensen steering shaft with part of the original shaft from the Tahoe. It really went together nicely and it is still collapsible in case of an accident. Although the steering box is already tapped for the ram lines, I think I am going to leave them capped for a while. I doubt I will need the ram with 35's on a daily driver.



Here is the Tahoe steering column. Very nice indeed. Everything will be used except the airbag components.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,571 Posts
Interisted to see how the heater/A/C unit works for you. As the owner of a FSJ I have been looking for a better soloution over the stock with out having to go after market
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
Progress from today.

I made some changes. I discovered that the engine location interferred too much with the firewall, heater/air conditioning unit, steering column, and fuel pedal. So, I had to move it forward and more to the passenger side.

I originally placed it as far left as it could go without the exhaust manifold hitting the frame. This was necessary to keep the front driveline from hitting the transmission pan.

But with the engine back that far, the section of the firewall surrounding the valve covers and distributor had to be 4 1/2" deep for adequate clearance. But the heater/air conditioning unit was only 4" deep.

The steering column and fuel pedal had issues as well.

So....

First thing this morning I cut the motor mounts out and made new ones that would center the engine in the frame and move it 2" further forward. The only way to make this work is to go with an after market air conditioning condenser that fits within the grill opening, allowing me to move the radiator 2" further forward.

I am very happy with the results. I still have a decision to make regarding front driveline clearance. I can either go with a 2 piece driveline or have the Dana 60 retubed (again) and move the pumpkin 2" to the passenger side. I think a 2 piece driveline will be the best option.

After I got the engine placement completed, I spent the rest of the day making cardboard templates of the floor, kick panels, and firewall. It turned out very nice and will be easy to build. I will go have the pieces sheared then weld them all together. Here are the photos of how it worked out.







I decided to rebuild the original floor design with the tool box under the seats. But I may use it for batteries and speaker mounts. Not quite sure yet.





It took quite a bit of work to cut out the original floor, firewall, and kick panels. Now I am basically ready to get the entire tub blasted. I hope to get that done in the next month or so. It is very tricky. I have to have good weather with extremely low humidity. Even with that, I will end up with flash rust on the drive home, but I can easily remove any that develops. I am about to get up close and personal with body work and that means a ton of sanding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
I tinkered around and figured out how to use the original Willys horn button with my Grant steering wheel and still have a horn. Interesting how they go together so well. The colors even match.





Here's a picture of my little helper. Jasper, the friendly mocha ghost... Looking more like Santa these days.



I also cut out the original dash. I am working on a design for the new one. I got bored with seeing every Willys out there having the same old dash set up. And because they come welded in place, it doesn't leave many options. I will make it fit nicely with the new steering column, my Auto Meter gauges and all the Tahoe dash components. Photos of that process will be coming soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
It's always fun to hear what other people do with their builds. We all learn so much from it. There always seems to be an infinite supply of ingenuity and incredible skill out there.

I have learned so much from studying what other people have designed and built, so I am not offended from your input.

I do have many years of experience with building daily drivers, trail rigs, and rock crawlers. It is my passion and I have had the privilege of building over 20 rigs in all since I started at age 18. Not to mention all the dozens of rigs I have modified and worked on for customers and friends. I'm now 42. Believe me, when I start a vehicle with this level of involvement, I think about everything. I consider to ridiculous levels how one part I build will affect or be affected by the other parts on the vehicle. My wife can attest to the burning of midnight oil and all the formulas written on everything in sight. I turn into a machine when I am building something. Sleep becomes a disappointing interruption to progress. Drives me nuts to get tired and have to go lay in bed when a perfectly good project is underway. :shaking: If it wasn't for her coming out to the garage with food on a regular basis, I would probably pass out and crack my skull.

I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I build successful rigs because I consider dozens of little things that can become big things. That's the exciting journey of the design/build process, right? Anybody can slap a few parts together and make something go down the road. But it takes time, patience, and dedication to learning and implementing very difficult things to build something that will work like we all dream it will. I never stop learning from others. It's one of the best parts of engineering. So much talent and extremely smart people all around us.

Back to the build details...

The steering is not going to be a problem. I originally built this HP 60 for my rock crawler CJ7/Commando. But I got bored with it and parted out what I didn't want and transfered the good stuff over to this build. This wagon will never see the kind of extreme off-road articulation that the Commando saw, but interference has been accounted for.

Some of my friends have wondered what the hell!!! A perfectly good crawler and you tore it apart!!?? Yea, yea, I know, but I am planning to build a full tube buggy next time. How many CJ's, YJ's, and TJ's, do you see out there? Too friggin' many!! After a while they all start looking the same to me. It's totally unique buggy time.

The floor will be braced properly. No worries there.

More progress coming soon.
 
21 - 40 of 1256 Posts
Top