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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #842
Spray the radiator black and will be more period correct too. I hate seeing the alloy colour as takes away from the grille too. Everything behind the grille should 'disappear' as much as possible. Not exactly a pretty thing to be looking at anyway unless you are going for a boy racer look?
I agree Gojeep! The bright background and painted logo visually distract from the slot grill. I'm trying to keep the aesthetics pretty traditional, clean, and understated, but with a little bling here and there for interest. I'm too old to be a "boy racer"!
The Al radiator tanks / assembly look nice under the hood, and it's a beautiful piece of work. I don't like the look of seeing it through the grill slots though. My wife also suggested the black paint idea - she didn't like the advertising in the middle of the grill either (other than the WILLYS logo, which is GREAT!). Paint's probably the simplest solution. I kind of wondered if paint reduces heat dissipation versus raw aluminum. Black radiates heat well, but paint generally insulates vs bare metal.

I was also thinking about making a black painted "chaff screen" in the duct space between the grill slots and radiator - like the original accessory chaff screen but behind the grill slots instead of in front. I need to make a new inlet shroud behind the grill, and was thinking of the idea in terms of radiator protection. It could also potentially tone down the aluminum brightness. Choice of screen material could impact cooling even more than paint though, so i'd have to choose carefully.

Food for thought...!
 

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My WH Grand Cherokee that I am using as my donor came with a alloy condenser painted black, but my new replacement was just raw. So I just painted a thin black coat over it. If there was a performance difference, the factory would not have painted it. Stops corrosion too.

I also have fitted a screen behind mine recently.




 

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Willys Fan
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677 Posts
Discussion Starter #844
My WH Grand Cherokee that I am using as my donor came with a alloy condenser painted black, but my new replacement was just raw. So I just painted a thin black coat over it. If there was a performance difference, the factory would not have painted it. Stops corrosion too.

I also have fitted a screen behind mine recently.




Thanks Gojeep! Great info on your factory black condenser and replacement- good to know- sounds like no issue with a light coat pf paint on the radiator. I like the tanks in natural Al, but could just paint the core fin area behind the grill. Will be giving it some thought.

Your grill screen is super! That's very similar to what I had been thinking about. I like the way you followed the pointed grill profile, and bent the edges for mounting and stiffening the screen panel. All the detail mods you made to the grill are amazing- REALLY nice work! I checked out your build site- really well put together, and a pleasure to read. I started reading about your build from the beginning, and am looking forward to reading it through- lots of great info and ideas! The little differences between Aussie and US models are pretty interesting. The merge of the Grand Cherokee subassemblies into the truck is really interesting. It's looking great! Thanks for the link!
 

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Thanks Gojeep! Great info on your factory black condenser and replacement- good to know- sounds like no issue with a light coat pf paint on the radiator. I like the tanks in natural Al, but could just paint the core fin area behind the grill. Will be giving it some thought.

Your grill screen is super! That's very similar to what I had been thinking about. I like the way you followed the pointed grill profile, and bent the edges for mounting and stiffening the screen panel. All the detail mods you made to the grill are amazing- REALLY nice work! I checked out your build site- really well put together, and a pleasure to read. I started reading about your build from the beginning, and am looking forward to reading it through- lots of great info and ideas! The little differences between Aussie and US models are pretty interesting. The merge of the Grand Cherokee subassemblies into the truck is really interesting. It's looking great! Thanks for the link!
Many thanks mate and glad you are enjoying reading the build as I have been reading yours.
 

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Willys Fan
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677 Posts
Discussion Starter #846
Many thanks mate and glad you are enjoying reading the build as I have been reading yours.
REALLY enjoying reading your build website! I’m learning a lot from it. Especially impressed by your work on restoring, merging, and modifying the truck bodies! Wow! Nice work! The roller skate wheel dolly and similar linear recessed dolly you made are really interesting techniques that I hadn’t seen before. Lots of great tips in your write up and photos. Your metal working skill and knowledge are really impressive. Thanks so much for sharing all your tips and techniques!
 

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Willys Fan
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677 Posts
Discussion Starter #847
Column Floor Mount Fix:
After connecting the steering column, shaft, and box, I gave it a workout and noticed a clicking sound that bugged me. It was coming from the column floor mount. The clicking was due to the clearance I made to allow the lower column bearing flange to pass through the mount. The flange is a little larger diameter than the column tube itself. Creating enough clearance for it to slide through resulted in enough slop in the fit of the column tube to allow it to wiggle and click with steering direction reversal. It seemed pretty tight, but I should have known better and either press fit the mount on the column tube and then inserted the bearing once in place, or made the mount firmly clamp the tube...

I fixed the problem by modifying the mount to clamp the tube. It worked out well enough that I can pretend that I planned it that way :rolleyes:.

I made a boss from round 304 stainless, threaded for a 1/4 - 20 screw on one half the length , and clearance bored on the other half. Then filed a radius on one side to fit across the column mount tube. This was welded to the bottom side of the tube. Clamping it to tack weld was a little puzzle, and I ended up using a v-block vice jaw I had. The "Panavise" was also handy for positioning the part for final welding:
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After welding the boss around all sides, the boss and tube were split with a hand hack saw to finish the clamp feature.
The hole at the bottom of the cut was already there for the original 10-32 set screw, and keeps the slit from propagating into a crack. I left the hole threads intact and used the set screw, in addition to the clamp. The set screw inserts into a hole in the column tube, and I like the positive location reference it provides so the column and u-joint joint positions are set at the same depth whenever reassembled. Here's the finished fix. No more clicking!:)

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Willys Fan
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677 Posts
Discussion Starter #848
I got a little diverted onto a minor cosmetic item for the steering system since I was working in that area.
I didn't think that the standard Volante S9 horn button I was using fit that well with the aesthetic I'm going for, They make a couple metal ones that are nice, but I also have admired the Willys truck/wagon horn button with the W-O logo. I had been mulling around whether I could adapt a black Willys button to fit, and had found a used one for half the price of a new repro. Since I was messing around with the steering, I decided to give the adaptation a try. Here's before and after pics:

Before:
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After:
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I think the gloss black, domed shape, and logo work better with the wheel and overall look.

Here's some details:

The Volante assembly has a base (right) that fits into a recess in the wheel hub with a spring that applies a sideways force to keep it in place, and has electrical contacts riveted in place. The button part has a spring and cup shaped electrical contact, and has three legs that snap into the base.

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The Willys button looks like this:
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The OD is too small to cover the screws attaching the wheel, but larger than the outer dimensions of the Volante button assembly. The back side has an attachment structure that's close to the size of the Volante contact button cup, which looked promising for merging the parts.

I modified the Willys button to merge it with the Volante assembly. First, the button was chucked in my lathe using the center hub, and the OD was turned down to match the outer diameter of the wheel mounting hub and Volante horn assembly. This lost the outer chrome band of the button, but the stainless wheel provides a similar visual surround. The plastic is brittle and so I went real slow on cutting it down. The face and edges were polished with some rubbing compound while spinning it on the lathe. I then cut the hub height down so that it would fit in the Volante contact cup at a height to position it above the wheel hub with some clearance for pushing the button to make electrical contact to engage the horn. I made the cut with a hack saw with the hub held in the lathe chuck. Would have liked to make this cut by turning it on the lathe with the outer edges of the horn button held in the chuck, but it was too large to fit my dinky lathe chuck. After cutting the plastic hub to rough height, the three original "bumps" on the hub were removed and the hub OD was reduced to fit inside the Volante contact cup. This was done using sandpaper inside a piece of tubing as a sanding block. Checked the diameter with calipers as it progressed.
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The hub hack saw cut needed to be fine tuned for height and finished off and painted. The finish of the cut is visible from the front through the clear plastic. I couldn't do it on the lathe, so used a sanding pad chucked in a drill press, and held the part by hand. Quick little touches worked best, since the plastic likes to gum up and smear if you sand very long. After this, the modified areas were touched up with some black paint on the back side.

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To fit the pieces together, a hole was cut in the Volante horn button that allowed the Willys button hub to pass through it into the contact cup. This would allow all the pieces to be assembled together with epoxy at the cup and outer perimeter. The assembly then snap fits into the base.

Here's the parts ready to be glued:

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While the original Volante button fit inside the base, the new assembly fits with the Willys button extending over the base. To get the whole button and base to sit close to the wheel, the outer rim of the base needed to be reduced in OD and height to fit under the Willys button. To do this, the pop rivets were removed, and a screw and big fender washers were used to chuck the base in the lathe to trim the rim:

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The electrical contacts were reinstalled in the base with pop rivets, and the whole thing was then assembled together and installed in the wheel hub:

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I think it's a nice improvement aesthetically. It works pretty well, but could be improved. I'm not quite happy with the actuation, as it isn't uniformly crisp and positive when pressed at all positions. It actuates, but some areas actuate easier than others. Puzzling this out, it appears to be due to variation in the mounted OD of the rim of the base plastic piece. The lateral springs that hold it the assembly in place in the wheel hub tend to distort the plastic base shape including the rim OD, especially now that the rim is shaved down and not as strong. With the Willys button overlapping the plastic base rim, the distortion of the rim can interfere a little. Making it even smaller for more clearance would make it even weaker. It would be better made of metal rather than plastic so the rim could be smaller and not distort from the springs. I may make a new one, or buy and modify the more deluxe version of the Volante S9 button that's made from Aluminum. Overall I'm happy with the aesthetics, and it works fine, but I think I can make it a little better at some point.
 

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Willys Fan
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677 Posts
Discussion Starter #850
Looks way better. I have always liked the Willys Truck horn buttons.
Thanks! I've always liked the Truck wheel and button too. I thought about using the wheel and column assembly from a truck, but wanted the column shaft to have a splined output for the u-joint, and also needed a longer column given my firewall footwell change and moving the seat back vs. stock. Decided on the Limeworks column and wheel as I think they fit nicely on size and aesthetics.
 

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Willys Fan
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677 Posts
Discussion Starter #851
Made some progress on adding floor panels and other detail stuff to the removable center cross member/battery box assembly. First, I made this bracket to tie the cross member to the rear frame "V" triangulation. It's 0.120" 1018. The first pic is the part upside down- the plate on top forms a gusset on the bottom of the part when it's positioned on the cross member. The two large holes are for bolts that thread into bosses at the front of the frame "V". The little hole between them is for the hand brake cable- it will pass through the center of the V member. The second pic is with the part bolted in place.

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After welding the bracket in place, I then added some floor panel parts. I originally thought I would make an18g panel that would spot weld or adhesive bond to the top surface of the cross member, and that would overlap on the frame rail to seal. However, I went with heavier 12g panels that stitch weld into the cross member spaces. I plan to seal between the stitch welds with seam sealer. I decided on the sturdier panels for several reasons:
-The flanges that seal to the top of the frame will be stiffer.
-I think it will be easier to weld on a variety of attachment points and panels for stuff in this area: mounts for the hand brake lever, battery cut-off switches, some electrical switches on a small console. plus fully enclose the battery box section, and add the center seat and seat belt mounts. (I don't plan a separate cage cross bar below the back of the seats because the frame structure extends outward to the rock sliders so the seats will mount to the frame and the center cross member).
I'm a little nervous about whether seam sealer will be sufficient to seal the panel / cross member tube joints. Time will tell if it works OK.
The downside of the 12g panels is that the removable assembly is getting heavier...

Here's the first panels welded in place. The narrow sections extending out the frame outriggers will tie into the rear floor step panel.



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The rear floor step is made in two sections- so I could fit the halves in my shop press to bend a curve with a 3" diameter heavy wall tube. The sections were then welded together, along with a short filler section at the center. This was fit to the cross member assembly, and end caps were added near the sway bars. The first pic shows the step sections welded together, and with the end caps tacked. The end caps will have some further flanges added to them later to mount to the front edge of wheel tubs - once those are made.

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Rear floor step tacked in place: The whole cross member assembly drops in from the top, so the flange at the back edge of the floor step will sit on top of the rear floor panel.

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Underside of floor step showing clearance of sway bar. (The bar can be removed, sliding it past the end cap panel, and out the wheel well).

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Final welded. Full welds around end caps and flange areas, stitch welds along the back edge of the cross member tubes, as in the other panels.

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Next up will be to add the top section of the battery box, with removable cover on the drivers side, and mounts for stuff. Hopefully I'll still ba able to lift it when it's done...
 

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Willys Fan
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Discussion Starter #853
The thought going into each piece is impressive. Lots of inspiration in this thread!
Thank you kindly nofender! This area of the build is kind of busy with several details to deal with to fit the stuff I want to fit and be serviceable, so I'm trying to think ahead enough that I don't "box myself into a corner"!
 
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