Posted about the purchase of this one earlier, but now I'm getting some work done on it.
Bought for $2500 running and driving, and 3/4 original.
It was delivered to the army on 5-6-1942.
I bought it from the granddaughter of the man who brought it back home. So I'm technically the third owner.
It has had an engine swap early on to a Willys F-134, leaving the air cleaner coming through the hood. I think I can fix this by converting the intake to accept a Carter side draft carb. The body tub has been altered in the back and bondo'd on the driver's side rear quarter so a body kit replacement will be in order after the mechanicals are done (as much as I hate to replace original parts).
So far, I've replaced the burned out lights, fixed a few fuel leaks, replaced the starter solenoid, coil, and battery for lightning quick reliable starts, and replaced most of the missing original period parts (like tool mounting hardware, windshield hold-downs, side mirror, spare tire mount, reflectors, dash light pods, etc....). A re-pop spare tire and combat wheel just arrived, and all new suspension components are on their way.
In the meantime, I did a temporary repaint of the existing body.
So far it has been a fun little project, and it drives great! (Well, for a 71 year old vehicle on 50 year old polyglass tires! )
Well, the 4WD works! The new shocks and leaf springs came in, so I decided to run the jeep and the parts to the shop to be installed. We have just had a record-breaking winter storm leaving over a foot of snow and several inches of ice in many parts of the state (and temps in the single digits every night haven't helped melt it off much... Except to melt the snow into the streets to make more ice), but on my limited time from a hectic work schedule I had to go ahead and get it to the shop while I could. I back out of the garage and get it stuck in the skating rink of a driveway. The right rear ancient petrified tire just spins forward and back. Oddly, I hadn't had a chance to test the 4WD yet, so I lock the hubs, engage 4-low, and try again. It walks right down the driveway and up the snow and ice caked street like it was nothing! Keep in mind, it was just pulled out of a field recently after several decades with only a tune up, oil change, fuel lines, and new brakes installed. Sorry for the long, seemingly pointless story, but it was one of those little victories that I had to share. PS: yes I did check the antifreeze first.
Thank you guys!
I have no doubt the M151 is a ton more fun.
Okay, I said I was done for the holidays, but I got restless on this cold icy day, so I installed the new hood blocks, and rummaged around down at a local antique/junk store. I was amazed to find a period jerry can and mount, and an appropriate license plate.
Two proper wheels and tires ready to go....
It takes a little practice to work with these combat rims and get everything mounted, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.
Anxious to get the jeep back from the exhaust shop so I can bolt them up!
Nice project you have going there! I'm jealous! LOL!
I have my eyes and ears on one here locally. Was used by the military through the 70's as a Follow Me Truck at one of the local Air National Guard Bases. It's a 50's vintage so it has some of the nicer things that came to Jeeps later than yours. My problem is that my work moved me away from where this guys lives so I've lost touch. I keep hoping though.
Finally got the new front wheels/tires balanced and mounted, and the shovel mounted up as well.
Between the new exhaust system and the fresh tires, this thing drives like a totally different vehicle! Very smooth and steady up to 50mph (as much as I dared brave at the moment).
Finally got the rest of the wheels and tires assembled and mounted. Although now I'm having to put any other planned work on hold for a bit to take care of a new issue. On the new tire test drive, the tranny locked up. It was sticking in 3rd gear, and when I finally got it out of third, the whole thing froze up. It's weird, but when I put it in neutral, the jeep drives forward in 1st gear, but when I put it in the position for any of the gears, it just dies when let out the clutch. Won't budge. It's back at the shop to be looked over. May have to use some of the body-tub money to either rebuild or order a new tranny. (Oh well, it IS 72 years old! ). Updates to come.
Congrats Retroman !!! My Hat Off to you for doing such a Commendable Project !!! I do appreciate what you do for this Machine, is a piece of History, and a very important one. I hope you make it more original every day. We are all lucky this magnificent Jeep ended up in good hands, I have to thank you for pursuing returning this one to its original shape and looks. Only good things and blessings to you man for being a good person who values History.
Thank you for your kind words Johnny, much appreciated.
It's a real kick to uncover the bones of something historical when you dig into a project like this.
Thank you BM. They haven't gotten to it yet, but the mechanic suggested that a pin on which the shifter glides, and keeps the gears meshing properly (the best interpretation I got out of it anyway) had likely pulled loose and that it might be a simple repair instead of a total replace or rebuild.
Well I've had a setback in the restoration. Transmission locked up between gears driving it to the shop. When it was pulled apart and examined, I found a number of mechanical problems that need immediate attention.
Tranny and Transfer full of muddy old water, gears badly pitted, cases badly worn, and bearings fried. Both prop shafts frozen up (the rear one has been broken and welded), and flywheel cracked.
I didn't want to leave it in pieces for some future date, so I've decided to go for broke and replace all of the offending items while it's apart. Kind of like clenching your teeth and ripping the band-aid off in one yank. New seals and mounts will go on as well of course.
Fortunately, I have found a pair of rebuilt original prop shafts, and a rebuilt tranny and transfer with all the correct GPW and F markings on them.
The other parts will come from Fitzpatrick and Willys Supply.
Should be done in a couple of weeks and hopefully drive like new! Wish me luck!