New member here and glad to have found this thread, BM! I learned to drive on a WWII relic that my father brought home from the war (there were thousands of them in the Philippines). I joined this forum precisely to find out if I can restore one and go back in time. Your work gives me hope.
"I shall return!!!"
I'm having a blast
Hope to have pics soon of the various parts I've been installing while waiting on my wiring harness.
I was hoping to get to this point earlier in the week but every day something came up to cut my working time short. It's starting to look like a Jeep.
I've started piecing everything together.
I've bolted on handles and installed the gas tank. I set the gauges and controls in place to make sure I had all the right holes so they are. I found out I needed to fix a holt for the choke cable that had been enlarged by a PO but besides that, everything looks good. I know some things are crooked and it's okay since I'll be removing each one for the final install of the wires when they arrive.
I also mounted the soft top bows and transmission cover plate for a photo op and to make sure the brackets were in the right places.
Some of the parts were different shades of green and I still need to do some final body work but all that will be covered up when I do the final paint job.
Looking great! I'm jealous of the condition of your tub. Even though yours needed some work, mine is going to have to be a complete replacement.
Lots of nice progress coming from you and Firepainter. Again, jealous!
At the moment I'm still stick in third gear, both literally and figuratively.
It's my third week of the jeep sitting in the shop waiting on the parts and available time for the tranny rebuild.
Until then, I'll live vicariously through you guys! LOL!
Hi Guys, this is a long post but hey, I got nothing better to do.
I'm still waiting on my wiring harness so I've been doing little things like getting the tub ready for the mate and wiring my turn signals, etc. I'm having a little frustration on this harness and thought this would be a good time to provide feedback on lessons learned on buying parts for WWII Jeeps (aka G503 vehicles).
Disclaimer: First, I'm not doing any bashing of vendors and second, these are just my observations based on my experiences with each. I am in no way endorsing a particular vendor nor am I trying to keep anyone from buying from another.
I got off the line with Ron Fitzpatric of Ron Fitzpatric Jeep parts today. He's by far the best vendor of G503 parts I have dealt with. Well, 5 weeks ago I ordered my wiring harness and was originally quoted it would be a 3-week turn around. I was told it would be another 3 weeks! Okay, this kind of highlights some of the frustration people can go through on ordering G503 parts. You see, even though this was an unexpected delay, I can see the reasons and it highlights the problems someone can encounter. Three things come into play with this order: 1. I'm trying to get a wiring harness for a 70 year old vehicle and want it to be an accurate reproduction. 2. I wanted to have them modified so I run 2 brake lights (it originally had only one) and 3. (the biggest reason) These particular harnesses are made in Australia and they decided to send them by boat.
He said he had stock harness on the shelf and can ship one tomorrow so I told him I'd make the mods myself. Except for a back seat that I can't afford yet, I should have my final parts in a week.
The biggest things I have learned when ordering G503 parts are:
1. Know your vehicle. A Willys is different than a Ford and a 1942 model is different than one from 1944.
2. It is hard (and expensive) to get genuine parts. You can find genuine parts as well as NOS (New, Old Stock) that will fit but you will pay for it.
3. There are several of places that make reproduction parts that are cheaper but they may need some modifications to make them fit. For example there is a place in the Philippines called MD Juan that makes allot of G503 parts but many of them, don't . . . quite . . . .fit.
4. Lastly, and most importantly. 99% of the places that sell parts for WWII Jeeps are "Mom and Pop" shops. Sure, you have places like Morris 4X4 and Quadratec that sell parts but you will be paying much more (if they even have what you are looking for). There is one place in Texas where the guy answers the phone, does the ordering and sends the shipments all by himself.
Good information to know since I need to order a bunch of parts including a wiring harness.
I was going to post up my experiences with various vendors but figured that wouldn't be cool to do on the open forum. If you like I can PM you my thoughts on any one in particular.
I think these are all the places I've ordered from (in no particular order):
Brent Mullens Jeep Parts (aka on e-bay as Armytankguy)
Ron Fitzpatric Jeep Parts (aka G503 vintage Jeep parts)
Army Jeep Parts
D&L Besinger LLC
Midwest Jeep Parts
Summit Racing (for my Coker Firestone military tires)
Peter DeBella Jeep Parts
And just as an FYI, the G503 Jeep parts you get from Amix-Ada are from the Phillipines and I believe they are MD Juan products. These are just about the only people making replacement body parts for WWII Jeeps.
My tub was pretty banged up and I decided to keep it all original. I could have easily replaced 75% of the tub but I thought that since it wasn't a show car from the factory and it did go through a war and almost 70 years before I got it that it only made sense to take care of any rust and keep it as close to original as possible. I plan on driving it and enjoying it as much as possible. As to only trailing it to car shows. My goal is to keep as many as the f stamps and factory spot welds as possible.
Well, I'm experimenting right now, my plan is to wire turn signals into the front and rear blackout lights. For the turn signal, I bought one on E-bay and wired it up to a junction box and flasher unit. It will clamp onto the regular steering column. Total price, including lever, wiring, block, flasher and shrink sleeving; $65 - $70. You can get one already made up for $175 on E-bay (that's where I got my idea)
I've already gutted the front light, taken the black out lens and painted the inside silver, a normal bulb should fit into the socket.
The rear lights are trickier but I'm trying to do the same to them. I know the MBs and GPWs of that era only had one brake light but instead of the blackout brake light on the right, I'm putting a left side tail light. The standard tail lights you can pick up at most auto parts stores will fit but the ones I bought are 12 volt and should look better.
That's a great way to go. My tub was so mangled up by a PO I had no choice but to replace it. With the exception of the safety items (seat belts and turn signals) I'm trying to keep it as original as possible too.
Yes, this is my problem as well. Wanted to keep the original tub, but there's not much choice.
But it's still better to preserve much of it than junk all of it IMHO.
Alright, I hope to get my rig running this weekend. I mated the tub and chassis and am in the process of hooking everything up. I don't want to show my messy garage so I'll pull it out and snap some pics Sunday.
Just decided to check out your build today and you're going to get it out this weekend? Sweet! It's like going on Netflix and watching a series after it's all done. No waiting for the conclusion.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for what you have done here. Amazing job!
Love this thread, ive read every bit of it and wanted to say that you have done great work, always loved the old military jeeps not many around anymore and the ones that are around are rotting away in a field somewhere my neighbor has two that are trapped in a collapsed barn its sad but he has no interest in them I tried buying both but he didn't want to sell but yet he has nothing to do with them so they are going to waste, but im excited to see what the end result is on yours keep up the great work!
There are many obstacles that life throws at you, but you gotta make like a jeep and crawl over them and continue on.
Okay, I wasn't able to get as far as I planned, but then again I never do.
Things are progressing nicely but there have been a few speed bumps. Finding out that mating a 71 year old frame to a 71 year old tub that weren't originally together, is quite a task. The frame had been modified and patched up somewhere in the past so things (bolt holes, etc.) are just slightly off and need some "coaxing" to align.
The windshield is out getting new glass and I have to finish wiring the lights, but things are coming along.
I wasn't able to get to the point where I could take it out of the garage so here are some teaser pics. I threw the tools on the side and did a quick stencil job on the stars for some eye candy.