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atomicjoe23 08-21-2009 02:07 PM

'49 Jeep Willy's Pick-up Truck Build Thread
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Guys my GF and I just picked up a '49 Jeep Willy's 4WD Pick-Up Truck for our new project.

It came with a 350 SBC/TH350 out of a '77 Chevy pick-up as well as the stock D18 twin stick transfer case and the stock front and rear axles (Timken rear/D28 front).

Our plans our to build this thing up into a WWII themed hot-rod (but off-road) Willy's.

I should have taken some more pic's before I started the tear down, but I have one decent shot of the Willy's prior to starting to remove bodywork yesterday.

This week I scored a set of 40x13.50x17 BFG MTR's mounted on Hummer H2 wheels and this weekend I will be picking up a matched set 14-bolt rear/D60 front axles (with brakes and hardware) out of a '73 Chevy pick-up.

We're gonna build it big and it will have a lot of cool WWII stuff on it including some pin-up art.

atomicjoe23 08-21-2009 03:23 PM

Deconstruction Day 1
Yesterday I pulled the bed off of the frame (a little harder than it should have been since a previous owner decided that welding the bed to the frame in a couple of spots was a good idea???), pulled the hood, front fenders, and grill shell off of the front end as well.

I dropped the gas tank and removed the fuel lines as the truck has been sitting for 10 years and although I could get it to start using starting fluid at the carb it wasn't drawing any fuel so I'm gonna replace the whole fuel system. . .while I'm talking about it here's the fuel system plan. I'm gonna convert a stainless steel beer keg into a bed mounted gas tank and use -6 braided line and fittings for the entire fuel system. I have found some vintage looking aluminum finned fuel filters and coolers that I'm going to use as well. I haven't fully made up my mind about the fuel pump yet, whether I'm gonna stay with a block mounted mechanical pump or go with a frame rail mounted electric pump.

Then I got out the angle grinder and wire wheel attachment (too bad I don't have my own sandblaster/air compressor) and I got rid of all the surface rust on the outside of the frame (not inside the C-frame yet) from the back to the cab. I'm gonna pressure wash it to get rid of as much of the junk out of the inside of the frame rails and then coat it Eastwood's Rust Converter followed by Eastwood's Rust Encapsulator and then follow that up with OD green.

Not bad for one days work all by myself!

It's not allowing me to post pic's at the moment, but I will as sson as I figure out what the problem is.

jpdocdave 08-21-2009 04:17 PM

pretty cool, you got some big plans for it.

i think if i scored that sweet truck i'd restore it original though, why not bastardize a bronco or a k5? just me though, i do wanna see how it comes out cuz it will look good i'm sure.

atomicjoe23 08-21-2009 05:08 PM

Like I said. . .it didn't come with the original drivetrain. . .that stuff is LONG gone, so I'm not bastardizing it. . .we got it post-bastardization.

I'm definitely not going to spend the time and effort to try to find an original engine/tranny for a 4-cylinder that had problems and a weak tranny either. . .the only drivetrain parts that were original were the T-case (which might not be original looking at it. . .looks too new, but is the same as what it would have come with) and the front/rear axles which won't hold up to much of anything either.

I'd rather drive it and enjoy it than sit and look at it. . .but that's me. . .I'm not a purist, I modify all of my vehicles to the way that I enjoy them.

On the plus side we will not be going through with the original plans for the truck. . .to chop the top and slam it hot-rod style. . .it turned out to be way too clean and have solid bodywork to do that to it. Originally we thought that it was gonna be in WAY worse shape and really wouldn't be worth anything except for maybe parts or to sell to the salvage yard, but we lucked out.

We won't be cutting the body up and we won't be tearing the frame up either. . .so if we were to ever sell this then someone else would be able to restore it if they so chose. . .really only thing we're doing is axles swap, bigger wheels/tires, and some paint/interior stuff. . .

. . .there will definitely be some character to this thing and a bunch of cool, small detail touches as well, but we are by no means destroying the Willy's or making it any more difficult for someone to come along behind us and restore it than it would be the way it came to us. . .at least this way you'll see it rolling down the road (or dirt, or mud. . .).

atomicjoe23 08-21-2009 05:09 PM

Deconstruction Day 2
Today I pulled the radiator today (it's an aluminum one. . .so I'm gonna spray it flat black with Eastwood's Radiator paint) and re-wire the fans to be pullers instead of pushers the way the previous owner had it set-up. I also pulled the wiring harness (an EZ-Wiring 18 circuit aftermarket universal harness the previous owner had started) after labeling all the terminals that were already hooked up (wasn't much. . .starter, alternator, water temp sensor/gauge, pusher fans, and the ignition. . .just enough to get it running) and I pulled the cab body mount hardware. All of this in preparation to pull the cab off the frame so I can finish getting rid of the surface rust and prep it for paint.

Next up, pull the drivetrain so that I can start cleaning that up as well. . .but first I need a bunch friends to come over and help pull the cab. . .it's heavier than the bed and I nearly busted a gut getting that off all by myself. . .definitely not gonna try removing the cab alone!!!

I'll post more pic's once the administrator fixes my settings. . .

atomicjoe23 08-23-2009 02:37 AM

Found something funny out today. . .went to go pull the wheels/tires off to get ready for the axle swap (picking up the Dana 60 front/14-bolt rear tomorrow. . .guess that's today now). . .turns out on these crazy Jeep axles the driver's side lug nuts and wheel studs are REVERSE FREAKING THREADED!!! I have NEVER seen or heard of that before. . .the passenger side are normal and the driver's side are reverse thread. . .go figure!

atomicjoe23 08-23-2009 10:10 PM

Today we got the cab off of the frame. . .that took quite a while considering we're working out of a car port and a garden shed type garage!!!

We also got the engine/tranny/transfer case pulled. . .and we picked up a D60 front/14-bolt rear axle set, the guy also threw in a 5-spd. manual trans. and an NP-205 transfer case. . .all for $250! What a STEAL!!!

Tomorrow's plans are to remove the current "wimpy" axles from the frame and get the frame on jackstands. . .remove all the surface rust from the frame and get it ready for paint. We'll also be separating the engine/tranny/transfer case to clean and prep for paint!

I'm gonna try to also get all the pictures uploaded to Photobucket so that we can post up the progress picks so far. . .this project is really flying along at the moment. . .we're hoping to have it back together and driving by the end of September!

atomicjoe23 08-24-2009 12:37 AM

One thing I noticed while tearing it down (and I'm fairly new to 4WD's so bear with me), but the D18 twin-stick t-case front driveshaft output (front driveshaft wasn't installed when we bought it) appears to route the front driveshaft to interfere with the TH350 oil pan???

Has anyone run this combination before??? I'm gonna check Advance Adapters website in the morning to see if they offer anything to fix the problem. . .initially I just figured I would get a clocking ring (I figure with 40-42" tires and the purpose of the vehicle a little bit of ground clearance sacrifice isn't a huge deal. . .I'm building a custom crossmember for the tranny/t-case already that even if I clock the t-case would leave me with the same amount of ground clearance I already have. . .not including the additional clearance I'm gonna gain with the 40's), but then I stopped and thought about the shift levers. . .right now the go through the floor pan just fine and I can use them, but if I clock the t-case it's gonna change the orientation of the shift levers. . .getting them through the floorboards would be the least of my concerns. . .I'm much more worried about being able to actually use the T-case than cutting a hole or enlarging a pre-existing hole in the floors.

I would post a pic, but the Willy's is already stripped to a bare frame and I figured that I could figure the t-case problem out as I'm cleaning/stripping/painting everything else for re-assembly. . .

Thanks for any and all help!

atomicjoe23 08-24-2009 12:54 AM

One thing to keep in mind is that I have two NP205 t-case's sitting in the garage. . .if you guys think that would be better. . .let me know. Like I said I'm new(er) to the off-road side of things so I'm still learning the strengths and weaknesses of different parts and pieces!

atomicjoe23 08-24-2009 08:01 PM

Today we got the front and rear axles out from under the frame and finished getting rid of all the surface rust. . .plan for tomorrow is to flip the frame so that we can get rid of the rust on the bottom of the frame. Then we're gonna give it a high-pressure bath to clean out the inside of the frame rails and degrease the frame to get it ready for the Rust Converter, Rust Encapsulator and OD Green paint.

One things for sure. . .I'm not gonna do a project like this again without a sandblaster. . .they are so much faster and do a way better job with so much less effort, although it's a little hotter being in a blast suit/hood than just a pair of gloves and safety glasses!

atomicjoe23 08-25-2009 07:43 PM

Interior Pic's
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OK. . .I uploaded all of the pic's from my computer to Photobucket and hopefully they will load now.

These are pic's of the interior as it showed up to us (minus all my tools anyway). . .

atomicjoe23 08-25-2009 07:45 PM

Deconstruction Day 1
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Here's pic's of the first day of deconstruction. . .when I removed the truck bed, hood, fenders, and grill shell.

atomicjoe23 08-25-2009 07:46 PM

Deconstruction Day 1
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Here's another shot of the truck bed from the side.

atomicjoe23 08-25-2009 07:50 PM

Deconstruction Day 1
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And finally here are pic's of the 350SBC installed in the engine bay. . .I'm including a shot of the EZ Wiring 18 circuit wiring harness that came partially installed when we bought the Willy's and a pic of the electric fans installed as pushers.

. . .I have to upload the rest of the pic's from the last 3 days work from the camera. . .hopefully I'll have them posted up first thing tomorrow and then I'll be posting pic's as I make the progress.

atomicjoe23 08-26-2009 12:19 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here's a couple of miscellaneous pic's as I try to get this thread caught up on pic's.

Here's the GM Dana 60 front axle, the 14-bolt rear axle, the GM NP205 (10 spline shaft), and the 5-spd. manual transmission we picked up the other day.

Also a pic of the 18-circuit aftermarket wiring harness from EZ-Wiring pulled from the engine/chassis to get ready to clean up the frame and the 90's Jeep YJ Wrangler transmission/transfer case crossmember/skidplate that came with the Willy's to be used as it's tranny/t-case crossmember. I had to modify it to fit the TH350 and the Willy's frame.

atomicjoe23 08-26-2009 12:49 PM

Deconstruction Day 2 Pic's
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Here are the pic's of the second day of deconstruction. . .this is the day that we pulled the cab off the frame.

atomicjoe23 08-26-2009 12:52 PM

Deconstruction Day 2 Pic's. . .Drivetrain
We pulled the engine/tranny/t-case the second day as well.

BestopTeam@Bestop 08-26-2009 01:07 PM

Looks like a lot of fun times ahead.

Did you see this write up in Fourwheeler magazine?

atomicjoe23 08-26-2009 01:16 PM

Deconstruction Day 3 Pic's
Here's pic's from the third day of stripping the Willy's down. We removed the front and rear axles & leaf springs this day and got the frome up on jack stands to start getting rid of the surface rust.

atomicjoe23 08-26-2009 01:53 PM

Frame and Cab Damage to be repaired
Here's a couple of pic's of the damage to the frame and cab that I found.

I found a small crack in the frame. . .it's on the underside of the passenger side frame rail between the two leaf spring hangers. It goes all the way across the bottom of the rail and approximately an 1/8" into the side of the frame rail. I have already beveled the area with an angle grinder to get it ready to be welded up. I will be boxing this section of the frame on both sides and I will be adding some diamond reinforcement plates here as well.

The grill shell mounting tab has several cracks in it and the old-school hammered rivets used to hole it in place have stretched so it has quite a bit of play in it which I'm sure is why it developed the cracks. Plan here is to weld the mounting tab to the frame and then to hammer & dolly the split in the side straight and weld it up. . .then I'll weld up the spider cracks around both of the rivets.

There are only two areas that I found that need addressed on the cab. The first is the cutout in the cab where the brake and gas pedals go through. . .it appears that it was a little out of adjustment and the cab sheetmetal got pushed out repeatedly by the brake pedal lever until it split. I will be hammer & dollying that back straight and then welding it up and grinding it smooth.

The second are to repair on the cab is the driver's side rear quarter has a dent in the bottom of it. . .just have to straighten that out.

Really pretty lucky. . .there's some surface rust on the bottom of the cab, but nothing appears to be major. No major pin-holing or rotting out, so no need to weld in patch panels anywhere. . .just get rid of the surface rust and seal it up with some Rust Converter, Rust Encapsulator and then some rubberized undercoating to help with the sound deadening and minimize dents/dings from road & trail debris

atomicjoe23 08-26-2009 01:56 PM

OK. . .now that the build thread is up to date with pic's I can get back to work on the Willy's!!!

Let me know if you guys wanna see pictures of anything in particular and I will be happy to take them and post them in the thread. . .if you have any questions about what I've got planned or how I'm gonna do anything, ask away.

Hope you guys enjoy the project. . .Project Warthog!

atomicjoe23 08-26-2009 05:13 PM

Separated the engine and tranny today and installed the block off plates to get the engine ready for cleaning/degreasing so that it can be painted. . .

. . .something funny I hadn't even noticed before is that this engine had two differenct exhaust manifolds on it, a ram's horn style on one side and a log style on the other.

On the subject of engines. . .which port style is this, round or D-port? They look square to me. . .and I see square port exhaust gaskets in the Jeg's catalog, but the choices in size are either 1.50", 1.63", or 1.94" for the round port and 1.45 x 1.48, 1.45 x 1.55, 1.38 x 1.38, or 1.88 x 1.88 for the square port. I stuck a tape measure up to my ports and they measure roughly 1.25" x 1.25". . I'm getting my parts together and I wanna make sure that I get the right port style exhaust headers and gaskets

jgano23 08-26-2009 05:16 PM

looks like a great build. it seem to be coming along nicely.

atomicjoe23 08-27-2009 12:36 AM

Got the leaf springs and old shocks pulled off the original axles today to get them cleaned up and ready to swap the leafs to the new axles. . .I'm gonna have to disassemble the leaf spring packs first to clean them up, paint them, and put spring liners between the leafs so they aren't trying to flex all rusty. . .

. . .anybody know where to get the leaf spring pack retainer bands? I know I've seen them somewhere, but now I can't remember where.

distortedtj 08-27-2009 12:42 AM

I've picked them up from Atlas spring and axle for a couple bucks. Don't know if you have a place around you like that. But any suspension/repair shop should be able to get them.

atomicjoe23 08-27-2009 08:58 PM

Progress was a little slow today. . .unfortunately.

All I got done was the stock front/rear leaf springs/shocks stripped from the pre-existing (stock?) axles. . .looks like the shock mounting studs on the rear spring plates are gonna have to be replaced because they were pretty severely bent! I didn't take pictures of the bent studs and I don't feel like doing it now, but I will tomorrow.

Here's pic's of the leaf springs though. . .I took close ups of the rear leaf spring eyes because they had worn not only through the bushing but also through the leaf spring eye. . .at first I thought I was just gonna be able to replace the bushings, but I think I'm gonna have to get new rear leafs. . .won't know for sure until I get all the grease out of the way and can check the wear on the leaf spring eyes better.

Front leaf spring

Rear leaf spring

Wear on the Rear leaf spring eyes

I also got the back of the truck unloaded. . .which took quite a while!!! The 14-bolt rear and Dana 60 front axles are HEAVY!!! and I had to get them out of the back of the truck all by myself. . .along with the GM NP205 transfer case and GM manual tranny!

I got the tires mounted on the axles (still have to get more lug nuts) so that I could actually move the axles around once I got them out of the truck and that was a chore in itself as well. . .not only are the axles heavy, but the tires are HEAVY too!!! I need to invest in a few more sets of jack stands. . .I've never needed more than 4, but I think I could use about 4 more!

Axles & Tires/Wheels

Front Dana 60

Rear 14-bolt

I was gonna clean the engine, tranny, and t-case today and get them prepped for paint, but I need to go buy some new fasteners for the block off plates first. . .the stock engine fasteners are too long and the ones that my GF brought home were too long as well and I don't want to blast water insided the engine! She's gonna grab some more tomorrow that will definitely be short enough. . .so should have the engine cleaned by Saturday.

We're still waiting on the Rust Converter and Encapsulator to show up from Eastwood. . .I think I'm gonna have to order 2 cans of Rust Encapsulator in aeresol form as well to get into the tight places. . .so that might slow us down some as well. I ordered a body hammer/dolly set so that I can straighten the sheetmetal in the brake pedal cutout on the cab and the grill shell mount on the frame so that I can get those places welded up as well. . .then it will be time to paint the frame. . .I'm gonna work on cleaning the Dana 60 front and 14-bolt rear to get them ready for paint in the meantime. . .I'm also gonna pull the covers to check out the gears and drain the oil.

DougTimme 08-28-2009 08:53 AM

Very cool! I am looking forward to your progress.


atomicjoe23 08-28-2009 03:13 PM

I got the coil spring mounting plates removed from the 14-bolt axle today and ground the leftover weld material smooth with the rest of the axle tube. . .so that is taken care of now and just that little bit definitely de-cluttered the rear axle a LOT!!!

I'm definitely making sure things line up before painting. . .test fitting and then painting. I have quite a bit of welding to do before I paint as well. . .right now I was just holding off on the welding until the body hammer/dolly set shows up so that I can knock all the welding out in one day, dragging the welder around all over the place is a PITA. . .I'm gonna have to get some pneumatic casters for my welding cart to make it easier to roll around. I already had plans to box and triangulate the frame as well. . .I will be boxing the entire frame, but there will be "small" sections of the frame that are open but those will basicall be access ports for things like brake and fuel line and the electrical harness. I'm gonna have the frame boxed in these locations, but I will be cutting holes in that section of the boxing plate to facilitate running the lines and electrical. I think between the boxing and the triangulation that the frame should be plenty strong. . .plus I can run it in ProEngineer if I think I need to to get a stress analysis of the frame and check for any weak points.

I also checked the width of the shackle hangers on the frame and I set the leaf springs up on the 14-bolt and checked the width there. . .the frame shackle hangers are 5.5" wider than the 14-bolt spring perches. I measured 2 1/4" out from the current location and I can set the spring perches up there and have tire clearance, but not much. . .I measured 1 1/2" of clearance between the outside of the leafsprings and the widest point on the sidewall of the tire (front and back).

How much clearance between the leaf spring and the tire sidewall would you guys consider acceptable as a bare minimum?

I also checked the front shackle hangers vs. the Dana 60 and the front shackle hangers are 31 1/2" apart, the rear shackle hangers are 32 1/2" apart. . .so I split the difference and call the centerline of the leaf spring to be 32" apart. The spring perches on the Dana 60 are 37 1/2" apart. . .so I've got a 5 1/2" difference there as well, but in the opposite direction.

I can't move the spring perch on the passenger side of the Dana 60 since it is part of the differential casting. Soooooo. . .here's what I was thinking to address the differences in width (and please let me know if this is bad idea, or even a not so good idea) and also deal with the inability to move the Dana 60 passenger side perch and the 14-bolt leaf spring to sidewall clearance issue. Since I'm gonna be boxing and triangulating the frame I will mount the rear shackle hangers inboard and I will run the front shackle hangers outboard of the frame. . .I have already made sure there won't be any interference with the sheetmetal or body mount points.

Here's a pic of a shackle hanger mounted outboard on a desert racing truck (which is what I'm big into). . .make sure you notice that the shackle hanger is mounted in double shear thanks to an outrigger welded to the frame, this will prevent the shackle hangers from bending. . .I will have an outrigger to either the front or back like you see in the pick, plus one to the side coming from the side of the frame rail down to the top of the shackle hanger for the front hangers. . .and for the rear I could simply run an extra crossmember across the frame directly above the axle to mount the rear shackle hangers to. . .then I don't have to worry about moving the spring perches on the axles, my axles will be centered and I will be strengthening the frame all at the same time.

Granted these shackle hangers are inverted, but it would be the same basic concept only drop shackle hangers instead of inverted shackle hangers.

Let me know what you think. . .Thanks!

atomicjoe23 08-28-2009 03:53 PM

I double checked on the tranny that came with the axles. . .and i's an SM465 4-spd. with the 10-spline output, not a 5-spd as I was told.

Previously I was just going off what the guy who gave it to me said it was. . .I wasn't too worried about it because it was free and I had no plans to use it. . .I can hold onto it and use it in something later or I can sell it and recoup some of the money I spent on the axles.

I also double checked the NP205 that I got for free and it is indeed an NP205 with the 10-spline input shaft and a 1.96:1 gear reduction. . .turns out the Ford transfer case that I thought was an NP205 is actually an NP203, also with a 1.96:1 reduction ratio. . .also not too worried about that because it came as a freebie in the back of the '79 F-150 4x4 when we bought it. . .makes me wanna crawl under the Ford and see what t-case and tranny are actually under there, I was under the impression it had an NP205 and a C6 backing the 351M.

atomicjoe23 08-28-2009 04:10 PM

Turns out the Ford does have a C6 but it's an NP203 not an NP205. . .

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