1950 Willys Truck re-rebuild by 50wllystrk

By diyauto
( 4 )

1950 Willys Truck re-rebuild 

Compliments of 50wllystrk @ jeepforum.com


Short history. This truck I bought in 1985, minus bed, powertrain, most of the interior, ect.
The idea was to have something to beat at the local mud hole. Then after installing a drivetrain I built the bed. Standing back looking at it I thought it would make a great truck for the street. Since then it's been hauling fire wood, driven through every winter including salt covered roads, riden in parades, hauled dirt bikes, and atv's. Basically, it's been a good ole truck.

Here we are 26 years later, it's time to redo much of truck again.

First I started with a custom bumper using a torchmate cnc machine. It's because the bumper looked so good it prompted me to start the restoration.

It'll be done in sections while still maintaining some drivability at times.


I should have taken more of the bumper build. Here is one of the bumper mounting, After this there as a mounting brace on both outer edges of the bumper and more gusseting of the mounting tabs also.

Last couple pics of what we're working with. On the outside it looks ok. but under the skin we've got a rusty frame issue and 61 year old rear leaf springs.


Thanks for the compliments all. Know this... dial up sucks, it takes some 15 to 20 minutes to get pics uploaded and on to the forum. Hang in there, i'll keep uploading.
Picture... now I got a top view of the weakening frame.


Bed's off now, and we get a top view of the situation. We're looking at a gas tank from a early 70's GM car. The original tank was not usable so I formed some 1/8 inch steel to support the tank. It fit great, I did have to shorten the inlet neck about 4 inches so the gas cap was about flush with the back of the frame. I think it gave me about 8 more gallons than the original also.

Here's the ugly, anywhere there was a cross frame or a brace is where the problems are. Mud, salt and sand ect. sat and ate away at the frame. These are the issues that has to be either taken care of or let it just rust away. Quite frankly, after 26 years it's now family and we will bring it back to being strong again.


Here we are looking at the frame over the axle on the passenger side, not as bad as the drivers side, but we will cut into and replace the bracing that is here.

OUCH!!! farther forward on the frame where a main crossbrace connects to the main frame rails just after the cab. Oh boy, I don't like the looks of this.


Lol. As a matter of fact I just called them around 2:00 pm today. They have been very helpful, as a matter of fact, I found them about a month ago. I've ordered chome emblems, rear leaf springs, glove box liner, door bottoms, ect. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be a enthusiastic about doing this rebuild, I hate searching for parts, they made it much easier.

Back to the drivers side just behind the cab, no better that the passenger side. This is gonna suck trying to repair the main frame with the crossframe riveted in place, do I hear a drill and grinder in the near future??

Eearlier I mentioned the gas tank, this ones out a 72 Monte Carlo and you'll notice the neck shortened. I know anyone redoing a Willys truck probably has a gas tank issue, here's one possible way to solve your problem. It took alittle bending and shaping of 1/8 steel. Once the bottom straps were holding the tank right where I wanted, the tops were easier to shape. Remember, I'm flashing back 26 years here......


I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm, I'll keep posting as the project moves forward.

Question...What does it mean to crawl a thread? I'm good at metalfabrication, but this computer stuff, I'm lacking at times.

I've got one more in the gas tank area. This one is showing the hand fabricated straps. For most viewing this, it doesn't mean much. For those looking for an alternative to the original... here we go.


Thank you jeepinvader, I made it...I how cool is that.

Looking through some past photos I saw this one. reminds me of the times my dog killed something and was so proud that it posed by it to show it's accomplishment. Same here, this is the life of the ole' truck, "that's a good girl, hauling all that firewood". I just want to walk up and rub the top of it's fender.

Ok, let's get back to the build. Looking at this pic tells a couple stories. 1) The problem with this area on the lower part of the frame where the original rubber axle stopper was bolted to the frame. Once again, it captured and held all the corrosive crud. 2) Notice a piece of flat welded to the bottom of this area, years ago someone saw the weak area and welded that flat there to at least add some strength. (raising my hand). 3) look at the vertical frame, the rust has eaten it's way into the frame and some pinholes are starting to come through the other side. Very thin in this area. 4) Look to the left of the pic. Rust plays no favorites, it even ate it's way into the shock mounting bracket.


I hope everyone had a nice weekend... pretty darn hot in this part of the country.
Let's dig into some more nastiness shall we. Pictures pretty well explain themselves. Here's a closer look into a crossframe to main frameconnection.

Finally we're starting to grind and drill out those 61 year old rivets. Question...If I take out the cross brace will it go back in again. How did the factory do it? We'll deal with that later, for now we just need to keep moving forward.


It's cool to see all who like the looks of this truck, you see what I saw 26 years ago. And yes, it is the lift and tires that really sets it apart. As every year passes by it becomes more of a moving piece of american history.

I got the rivets drilled out, and it looks like with a little beating this cross frame will be able to be repaired and fit back into place. That's good news I was afraid the main frame would have to be spread apart to get it back in place again.

Wow, another flashback.... Your right iDriveYJ, it does have a look to it.
My flashback is refering to when I got the truck someone before me ripped out all the original wiper linkage.
If anyone out there has a truck around the same year I ask, does the factory use a vacuum wiper motor and was the original using cables to run the wipers or did they use actual linkage to operate the wipers?

Back to my flashback.. I used a Chevy Nova electric motor to run the wipes. I mounted the motor under the dash. I remember I hooked up (temporarily) the wipers and linkage to the motor. Of course there was cutting and adapting going on. Anyway, I turned the wipers on the first time, oops, one wiper did great, it wiped the window perfect. The other went down and wiper the sheet metal below the window. Back to the drawing board.

Under the dash i didn't have the space to run the linkage to get the wipersas the factory did.

But..If I moved the pivot point of the passenger side it would be that both blades would be down facing to the right and raise at the same time.

Good eye iDriveYJ.

Cross frame is out, now I can get right to the individual areas that need attention.

In this pic of the drivers side I still need to get rid of the web like bracing and we'll be down to just the main frame also. Then it's time to start cutting away the rusted through sections of the frame.

Thanks GotJeeps, I thought I saw where they have come up with an electric replacement for the original vacuum motor, good invention.

Ok, finally were gonna see some real metal removal. This first picture is a hunk I cut out of the passenger side just behind the cab. Looking at the old hunk of metal here you can see where I realized 26 years ago that there was a frame issue. I welded a patch right over the rusted through area. Hmmmmm, cosmetically apealing, nope, but it did serve the purpose of keeping the frame from twisting out of shape.

Next picture, cardboard, whats with the cardboard. As I mentioned in the beginning we're gonna utilize Torchmate plasma cutting table. By using the cardboard and a sharpie marker I'll trace the exact image on cardboard. Once I draw the image I'll scan the image to torchmate and it'll cut the replacement frame section for me.


Later I've got some pics of the Torchmate. For now we'll look at one of its cuttings. Like I mentioned earlier, once i grinded clean the area that I need to replace the bad section I traced it on to cardboard and created cutpath. Without being able to trace, scan, and cut it would be difficult to create such odd shapes with the cad system. Here's one pic, I'll try to get more uploaded later.

By the way, thanks for all the encouragement.


94yjstocklook, I'm glad you like the progress. Trust me, I've done my share of metal work, but to hack up a frame does make me a little nervous, on the other hand, if I don't take care of the issues, it'll be worse later.
If you all are like me, I am always looking to find other peoples home fabrication work. I hope you enjoy.
Here I've got different angles at the same repair.


Ok, good deal, we're starting to get some fabriction input. Absolutly, if there is someone with technical information on this type of fab work, I'm all for it. My pride doesn't step in front of my ability to learn something new.

To get back and to clarify my goal is to simply get rid of the badly weakened areas. Now, at the same time I don't want to see evidence of any fabrication when I'm done. Within the next couple nights I should post pics of these patches fully welded and finished to a point where the new and old metals show no welds between them. It'll be a seemless repair.

A fish plate, I'm not familiar with the term. This doesn't mean it's not the right term, just means I'm just a backyard guy who likes to fabricate metal. I do however have an idea of what your thinking. The idea that when two flats are butt welded, you would have a seperate plate that would span across both pieces being welded together and by welding this plate in place it serves to add to the strength of the butt weld and eliminate any flexing in the area.

As for a vertical weld, welding up and down, I can imagine it would create a weak spot in a area that will carry large amounts of weight. I could see a better design would be a the two pieces attached at more of an angle, it would spread the direct weight load over a larger area.

I'm mearly opening a discussion here.

Tonight we've got the same area, just more cut away. Looking closely at previous pics of this area you can see where the frame rails have become literally paper thin. Hang in there, the next pics will show these repairswelded and dressed where these will be seamless repairs.


No problem herbiehind, I'm simply glad to have you aboard and following along. I don't get to watch tv at the time Speedvision or Spike shows the powerblock or the other car related rebuild shows. But...on the rare occasion I am home and the tv goes to any of these programs, I'm in. Like I said, I'm always up for good learning or discussing different avenues of fabrication.

Tonight we're looking at the strength of rust growing between two inmovable objects. The upward bump in the frame here is from rust that grew between the spring perch and the frame itself.


Thanks Muckaneer, It's encouraging when people check in.

So far we've focused on the vertical parts of the frame and replacing the rusted sections. Here we're gonna focus on the lower/horizontal edges of the frame. Actually this lower section will tie all the sections together.

Since the passenger side lower frame was the better side I was careful to use a cutting wheel on a 4 1/2" grinder. I wanted it to retain it's shape, slight bend and width.

I made a cardboard templet and scanned it. I did add to a couple areas of the new cut so I had material to work with, but otherwise I let the Torchmate do the cutting to match the original piece.

Actually the bolt holes before and after and the two near there on the vertical part is where the spring perch was riveted to the frame. In the area where it wrinkled the frame in these pics is where the spring perch had a 90 degree bend. Oh how a bend in metal can raise it's refusal to lose it's shape. So the frame being flat in this area had little resistance to the force being applied here and had to give.

Yeaaaa, it finally happened, the boxed frame question....

I'm just mess'n with ya 94yjstocklook, I did put some thought into it and I know it would be a lot stronger.

The benefit I have with this build is the many past years of owning and using this truck. Along with seeing the slow destruction that time has done to it, and although it does get more use and abuse here in Missouri than it got in Illinois, it was still doing it's job even with how bad it was.

I'm gonna stick with keeping it stock looking and hopefully if all turns out ok when done, I'll be happy with it for many years to come.

Thanks for asking, I know others have probably thought the same question.

Here's one of the bottom frame pieces. By keeping one of the original frame sections exactly as it was I had a piece of which I could form the new one to. Now being confident of it's form, I'll be able to grind the bottom of the patches I've already tacked into place to match the shape of the original upswing of the frame. This up swing has to be very close to the original since the front spring perch is gonna bolt to the new frame sections. I'd like to maintain the same height and angles as original.


Oh the truck, that's right......

Two pictures, pretty well self explanitory. The first one is the seemless repair. The second is all cleaned up where the repair is like it never happened. It'll all get a sand blasting before paint and that seals the deal, pretty much all machine mark will be gone after that. Plus the sand blasting creates a great texture for primer and paint to grip real strong.

Thanks for the compliments both of ya...

Yes, as you saw from some of the pics, I cut out the bad, drew a templet from cardboard. Now I used a Torchmate to do the cutting to create the patch. My old way, same as most. would be to transfer the templet to a flat plate and gas torch or plasma cut the patch. I do very much taper the edges of the old frame and the new patch, so much so that the weld wants to burn through to the back side. Main thing then is to focus the weld to the thicker metals and sweep across the thin metal in the middle.

Then doing the opposite side goes easier since you now have more material to absorb the heat.

I grind the weld with a 4 1/2 inch grinder. Grind till the weld is still slightly higher than the frame metal. Then identify any low spots in the weld seem. Now focus on the low spots with a pass of the Mig welder. This filling and grinding may take a few repeats. Once the whole weld is just slightly higher than the frame, get a brand new 40 grit flap disc. The grinder spins at some 20.000 rpm, with little or no pressure focus on the weld, you will see the weld smoothly decrease right to the height of the frame, keeping the grinder moving back and forth at all times.

The key... NEW flap discs, it has to be new, if it aint new for this final grind, you will have to put pressure on the grinder which then the flap disc will try to follow the shape of the weld instead of the weld giving into the grinder. Yes, you will change the flap disc rather quickly, it only works when the disc is like new. BUT, the disc is not wasted, it'll still work perfect for all you other needs so you still get a full life out of it.

Who remembers the butt ugly ends of the main cross frame. The last we saw them they were badly rusted and weak. With a quick sandblasting we can now make out what is salvagable and what needs repair.

Thanks again for the compliment, is just a matter of practice, practice, practice.

We'll finish this particular part of the frame with an inside of the frame picture.
Once I get alittle farther this all will be sandblasted also, everything should blend together. I can't wait.....


Jeff88, you pose a good question about strength. I personally have no way to test the overall strength of the repair. I am posting a previous picture. In this original picture you'll see a web like brace that goes from top to bottom of the inside of the frame. I will be cutting a new replacement for this web soon. It'll add a good brace to elliminate flexing that could lead to frame cracking.

Also the main cross brace does a real good job of tying the top frame, side frame and bottom frame together also. It uses 6 bolts on each end that bolts to the top, side and bottom of the frame also

Also, the front spring perches are bolted to the frame with four bolts, two on the side frame and two that bolt to the bottom of the frame.

Then we get down to final judgement.....It's gotta be better that it was.

Yes, when it's done I'll be taking a look at the repairs as I use the truck, especially after heavy loads.

Since we've touched on the main cross brace I just got the pics loaded. A couple posts back I posted them after sandblasting. They were in need. After a little bending, shaping, grinding and welding I've brought them back to a usable condition again.
Hope you like.....

You definetly are opening up quite a subject. I mean this in a positive view.

I say this because about the time I built this truck back in 1985 I started building all sorts of stuff from steel. Things from off road go-karts, converting motocycles to 4 wheelers ect. The key thing is trying to build someting strong YET, not any heavier than needed.

Now comes the stuff many people overlook. When a car, truck, atv, motorcycle is built there are a ton of decisions, for instance. Look at 4-wheelers, Polaris vs most other atvs. Things I notice is the use of angle iron vs round tubing. First polaris I saw was the lack round tubing. Not that there is anything wrong, it was the first thing I noticed. Most notice the cosmetics, I went for the structure.

I guess what I'm saying is yes, you do develope an eye for welds and fabrication over time. Not that I'm patting my own back here, I've had to redue many projects in the past. Remember, it's not always the end result, it's the journey and what you learned along the way. That's what builds character.

Back to your comment about looking at a weld or fabrication, when you've done it for years you do become aware of strengths and weaknesses.

But remember.... one doesn't know the strength of fabrication til it accually breaks, ouch. Let's hope it doesn't come to that on this truck.

Pretty well finished the main cross frame. I just have it in place to get a look at the fit and finish. Just a couple more holes to drill and I'm happy with it. This has to be finished and set before I cut and weld in the frame webbing that goes in front of it. Once the webbing brace is welded in, this cross brace is in for good.


GEaviation, I don't think many knew what a beast the old Willys truck can look like. I see many redone and transformed Willys, just not many go this far, and many don't make it to the road for everyone to see them. Thanks for you input.

DutchJPR, I've gone back and forth on this decision, but, I'd like to get a protective coating where they both bolt together to lessen the chance of this getting out of hand later. You have a good question there. Thanks for your input.

herbiehind, I have done my share of muscle car restorations. I do however try to stay away from them. Often times the customer is excited at the beginning, then comes the reality of the depth of work needed to get the under structure back in shape before the outside can be looking good. Then the check book seems to get a very strong lock on it. I just get tired of dealing with the financial part, I just want to build. I thank you also for your input.

I do have a 57 chevy truck restoration in the background of some of these pics. My project though, now I have to pry my own check book open.

Wow kabowabo, stuck inside, what a bummer. No wait, you got a/c going? I gotta be outside in this 100 degree heat most the day. Maybe not such a bummer afterall, hang in there.

Since we're in the area of frame bracing we'll focus in that area. I need to recreate the inner web bracing to match the original. I've put 4 items in a row in the first picture to save picture space.
Far left is the old original piece, I knew I was place gonna replace it so I was carefull not to destroy it during removal. Second item, cardboard tracing using a sharpie marker. I had to cut it since it was too big for the scanner. Then after scanning, you put the two halves together in the C.A.D. system. Third item, before acually cutting into the metal I print out the exact cut on paper to check the fit. Fourth, I approve the fit, I then make the cut out of metal.

This is the image that the Torchmate follows as it cuts.

Alrighty, here's where the Torchmate takes over and I just sit back for a moment. Looks like a good time to take a picture....

And the finished product. Looks just like the original without the holes, layers off rust, missing sections that fell away, ect...


herbiehind, Your question about getting it exact is correct. The tracing with the sharpie is pretty much the exact size of the original. Now, since it took grinding to remove it I have to figure for material loss right there. Also, my recreation of the bottom part of the frame can deviate slightly from the original frame. When I scan the card board image, the scanner picks up every single little edge and imperfection on the cardboard. So, instead of going in and editing every little imperfection on the scanned image, I simply use the cad system and follow the outline of the image. Then discard the scanned image and send the nice smooth image I've created along with adding slight bits of material in areas, in this case the top and bottom, to the cutter. Now I've got the new brace along with enough material to grind to the perfect fit. You hit it right on the head.

Thanks again for the restoration compliments, I've got a long ways to go before I get involved in the technical work they do for those cars. I kinda perfer tinkering with no time restraints also.

You both are right, I know there's money to be made if one has the talent and time, yet, I do know one rule of thumb, and it was mentioned.

I do this as a hobby, I know if it was my way of putting food on the table it would become "work". As it is now it is a labor of love. I don't count the dollars, I don't count the hours.

What I do search for on the web is peoples projects that detail the work thay have done. Not just the beginning and the end but the middle as well.

I wasn't looking for projects that are bolts ons, I wanted pictures that detailed the heart of the issue, where the grinder meets the metal, where the welder melts the steel.

Not finding much to fulfill my craving, I started my own, and here it is. I'm sure you can tell, I'm in no hurry, but still moving forward. The rust got uglier as I dove in, but yet I never quivered. I still have further to go, but I know I'll grow to the challenge.

This my friends is my view on my projects. Although the time factor pops into my head, I have to push it out. When focussed on time, it becomes a job, yuck.

I also want to thank everyone. I knew that by showing the detail I have shown to everyone that I'd be bearing my soul. I would be open to anyones opinion as to how I have gone about correcting my rust issues. Everybody has been supportive and curious, thanks again.

I would have not have stood my ground if I did get negative feedback, I'd have simply kept on working and I'd change the title of the thread to "How not to re-restore a 50 Willys truck".

Ok. with that said... I'd like you all to look at my rear end. (I'm joking)

Since the leaf spring desperatly need to be changed, I'm getting the rear axle out and ready for inspection. It's a common performance axle, Dana 60. Yes, before we are done with this project we all will see the inside of it. Not just opening the cover but removing all gears and bearings. Luckly I stopped driving just in time, with no load on the wheels when I spin the front yoke it has a bit of movement from side to side, bad pinion bearing. Here we are, I didn't know the depth of need, it doesn't matter, I can rebuild it, this truck will be better than it was. Somehow for you older folks, do you get the image of the bionic man, Steve Austin???

Looking down this axle tube I see a bunch of brackets and hardware, it's all coming off. We're gonna also make new spring perches with the Torchmate machine also. These old ones look terrible.

Oops, sorry bout that, I'm sticking with the original leaf spring set-up.
Here's the new ones vs. old ones.


One of you Jeepster83, mentioned something I tell people also. This is a piece of american history. It was created way before the wind tunnels came into designing vehicles. So yes, everytime I take it to work or to play, I know I've either sparked someones past, or kicked in someones imagination. It is alot of fun.

On the frame strength, thanks for your input balzer, it was good reading, it brought up some different thought angles.

aus101010, I've had old men and young kids run up and ask questions and tell stories about their history concerning these old trucks. You know, after 26 years, I still still enjoy talking to people about it.

Well I spent my 15 to 20 minutes uploading pics to photobucket. (dial up, grr). As mentioned before, I cut off all the clutter on the axle tubes. We're gonna rebuild and replace the spring perches first. One again, I thank the Torchmate cad system, this time there were no drawings to scan. The image starts as a square on the screen and you start manipulating the lines till you have the shape you want, then cut it out.

Here are the individual pieces required to create the new perches. Then weld and grind.

BLacher, it's good to have you aboard. Sounds like you have the same craving as I, hand crafted fabrication.

Cowboyup94, Once I get the rear frame and axle back together I have some work for it to do. Once done with the work I'll probably go through the engine bay and I'd like to make a better transmission crossmember. Then I have to build a frame crossmember under the engine. Then comes the body work. I'm leaning towards a dark silver metalic with some light silver accents such as wheels and front grill cross bars. For now though, let's get this frame in semi-gloss black, I'll feel so much better looking under this truck again.

Since we've seen sections of the frame have a seamless repair we'll try it on something a little smaller. Here's a crossframe that goes just above the rear axle. It's 1/8 inch and has a couple oval holes. I'm looking to mount the rear shocks to this crossframe. As it is, I fear over time it will fatigue and bend, I want to fill these holes, then perhaps add some braces to add strength where the shocks mounts will be.


Flcoqui, Depending on your skills, or shall I say, how far you want to push your skills, rebuilding an old truck is very satifiying. It will always be unique.

DeliriumTrigger, Isuzu, I didn't know what I was getting into when I started this thread, I will say it's been alot of fun getting people's input.

Jtrux, I don't know your age or experiences in fabrication. Here's what cool about this rebuild... It's not often when someone such as I, get a chance to rebuild something that you built 20 some years later. It's fun picking apart the previous work that was done, which was me.

What I'm saying is, You can see I've evolved over the years, we all have a starting point, doesn't matter where you start, what does matter is that you finish. Push yourself do do your best, but don't let someone elses opinion allow you to bury yourslf. Stay within your abilities, there's nothing that builds confidence and desire than riding what you have built.

Tonight we've got more of the main cross frame. What is neat is the 3'' hole in this frame. I'm not old enough to remember back then but I believe they would have an extra output shaft to run a PTO out the back of the truck. I think this hole is where a bearing mounted to support this shaft. As for my purpose, I see this hole as a flex point in this frame so I shall fill it in.


Now that the spring perches are made and the old ones are cut off I can measure three times, (most people say measure 2 times, then cut. I say if your welding, measure 3 times then weld) and I've got the holes redrilled for where the front spring perches mount to the new frame pieces. I can now do a temporary assemble of the new springs, perches and I can slide the axle back under the truck. Know this...lets say for example the spring perches. You can measure over and over but there aint no better way to align everything than assembling, then measuring. If the axle perches are off so much as an 1/8 inch, the springs can be off way beyond that when you try to get the spring into it's frame perch you'd have to force the spring into place later. Plus, when welding stuff there is a heat/magnetiic pull going on. If what your welding isn't clamp on, or in this case the weight of the truck is holding the perches in place, or tack welded in 3 to 4 places before the main welding, the opposite side you are welding will shift around in some way.

In the pics below, everything is assembled for their best fit. I measure between the frame and wheels over and over. We also need to consider the pinion angle. Most vehicles have the pinion flange almost straight forward, they don't have a driveshaft angle issue. Here we raised the truck, so the rear driveshaft angle is a concern. I have tilted the pinion yoke upward some to help correct the issue. But you still want the yoke and driveshaft at a slight angle, the u-joint does better when there is an angle to contend with. Someone reading this may have technical knowledge of all this, feel free to jump in. I believe also that the ring gear flings the gear oil to the front pinion bearing, at too much upward angle the front bearing may starve of lubrication.

Good question and yes I have thought about it. Now on the front spring mounts the crossmember bolts right to the spring mounts so I'm confident of it's strength there.
The rear mounts do have small plates that transfer the weight load to the top frame rail along with the bottom rail where the spring is in contact there.

The boxing situation has been on my mind for years actually.

My only concern with boxing now or changing the original design now is if I'm in a real frame twisting situation, I assume that in the design it has now the whole frame has a certain amount of give from back to front.

If I don't go 100 % box, and I do box some areas, there may be sections that still want to twist as usual. Now the boxed areas will want to stay firm. Will there be a structural stress where the regular frame meets the boxed frame?

I've gone back and forth for a long time on the boxing idea. I probably would, had I not had the history with this truck. But in the condition it was in with the totally rusted through areas of the frame and still performing it's duties I decided to stay all original.

Yea, I love how the sandblasting cleans up the metal, it truely removes all machine markings and it's down to pure clean metal. Perfect for metal priming and onto paint.

Bed wise, if I change anything it would be a new home built bed. Kinda the same design only a few changes. 1) the top of the bed sides need rails that angle outward like the originals did. 2) You all know how I like to pick on my work.....Dah. When I made this bed I made it 47 1/2 inches wide inside. Any time I wanted to get a sheet of plywood of instance, I had to use a couple 2x4 to prop up the sheet, other wise it got wedged in to the bed.

Oh well, live and learn....

Pmoreau, and to all who want to weld. I seriously didn't start this thread to show or to show off my welding. Although, I do thank you all for the compliments.

I will say absolutly go to a welding class if you desire to become good and technically aware of the different rods, metals, gases. Then comes the techniques of stainless, aluminum and steel for doing Tig welding.

I'm self taught and forced the issue upon my self over the years because I enjoy working with metal. Often times I know I'd advance quicker had I taken a class years ago.

Tonight we're gonna get away from metal work and focus a bit on the rear axle issue. The first picture is the pinion yoke. For those of you who alreary know rear axle work, this'll be boring, for those who don't, the more you know about the technical aspects of the drive train, the less you'll be afraid to dive into one if you have an issue down the road. Back to the pinion yoke, once I removed the driveshft and the rear wheels were off the ground, I spun it by hand. First I felt alittle side to side play, not good. By turning it I felt the gears making contact as if there was interference, this is the reason for complete disassembly.

Inside we find the carrier. this is what the ring gear bolts to. This particular carrier has a factory posi-traction inside. This style uses friction discs inside the carrier that allows enough slip between the two axle to go around corners when the to rear wheels need to turn at different speeds. But once one tire begins to spin, the friction between the clutch plates builds and starts to lock both wheels together for maximum traction.

In order for the carrier to come out of the housing, the axles that go out to the rear wheels have to be pulled out far enough to not get in the way of the carrier. This axle is 3/4 ton, all I have to do is remove 8 bolts and the axles slip right out. The truck still sits on the wheels. Lighter duty rear ends require the rear wheels removed and then the axles can be slid out.


With the axles slid out far enough to allow the carrier to come out the back of the housing, you can pull out the carrier, but WAIT!!!

First... the caps that hold the side bearings in place have to be removed, but WAIT!!!! again.

Before you remove the two bolts that hold these caps in place, they have to be marked in someway. The housing and caps were machined together and need to stay together. Look closely at the top of the caps, you'll see each one has an oval shape stamped into them, one oval is horizontal, and the other is vertical. Although were looking at a picture, you can see matching ovals stamped into the housing. These were done at the factory and I will put it back together with these markings.

If you do not see them on your axle when rebuilding, get a pointed punch and mark one cap with one dot, and the housing with one dot. Do the same to the other side only with two dots.

Here we are all empty. Do pay attention during disassembly, you'll notice laying in the housing are shims laying in there yet. These are very important. Take these out and keep them marked to go back to the same side they came out of. These setup the clearance between ring and pinion and also set the preload on the carrier bearings when done. By keeping them to their respectable side it gives you a starting point for reassembly.

Here is the trouble maker. This is the pinion bearing race closest to the ring gear. This bearing race is about 40 years old. The bearing shows it's wear and tear also.


Wildspear, I'm glad you like this and are learning something here. I've got a couple more pics tonight.

Horst, Oh yea, a good workshop. I've waited years to finally get just what I've dreamed of. I hope the best for you. Being single my house situation is a little different, hmm, here in my living room to my left, new set of leaf springs, transmission parts for another project. Seriously, enjoy you new workshop.

Here's a pic of the pinion out of the rear end. This is what the driveshaft is bolted to and turns the ring gear. This is where one of the bearings went bad. If anyone reading this has heard the terms like... 4.10 or 3.73 or like in this case 4.56. These numbers refer to the ratio of the amount of ring gear teeth to the pinion teeth. In this case looking close at the numbers printed on this pinion shaft you'll see 41-9. This is 41 teeth on the ring gear, 9 teeth on the pinion, 41 divided by 9 = 4.56.

Since I am planning on reusing the pinion shaft I had to remove the bearing that is pressed on to it. Using a bearing remover along with a press it comes off nice and neat. I don't want to make any marks or dings while removing the bearing, this worked great.

With all the parts stores to get replacement parts I perfer a package deal. This kit from Randy's ring and pinion is perfect. One kit and you get all parts needed.

Quick picture of the frame braces. The original ones had 3/4 inch edges that fit into the frame. I don't have a way to bend back the edges of the braces to create the 3/4 inch edges. I had to made some flat strips and shape them, them weld them to the top and bottom of the braces.


Now that we've looked at the pinion lets look at the ring gear and the carrier. This carrier is unique, being a posi-traction it is more complicated than most. Also being unique is the design, most do not have sections held together with bolts. Most are one solid unit, they do have gears called spider gears. Yet they have a way of turning the gears internally and the come out of openings in the casting of the carrier. Back to mine, this top view shows the bolts that hold the unit together.

Side view. Not so much for the machining, but for reassembly purposes, I used a punch to mark the two halves, two dots on top, two dots on bottom. Never chance reassembly, always mark your pieces. The disassembly is as important as assembly. Take your time, understand why it is the way it is, try to understand the function of the part you're working on.

This isn't something you want to take a chance on. Remove pieces in subassemblies when possible. Mark their location, inside, outside, top or bottom. Don't be affraid of taking pictures during dissassembly, as you can see, pics can show good detail.


 CHEATER!!!! You've seen this movie before. You're outta here, go on, shoe, scram.

Just kidding.... yes, for sure, I got a glimpse of the clutches last night but I didn't get a picture. I've seen lots of posi clutches before, but these are bad. I can clearly recall in the past few winters I thought the posi wasn't hooking up like it should, I saw why. I'll try to get the pictures up tonight of worn clutches. In the mean time, I am prepared for with new ones.


Let's get deeper into this posi unit. Once again, most axles don't have this, so the work is less than you see here.
Two pics here. The first picture is the new clutch discs. Clearly you can see the friction/fiber material on the new ones. Looking at the second picture you can see there is no friction/fiber material left on these discs. This is gonna be great having the axle in full working order again.

I placed the ring and pinion together as they would be in the axle.

Now to remove the carrier side bearings. I always thought there had to be a better way. Anyway, a two jaw puller fits into cut out areas to grab the back side off the bearing. The vise grip tool latched on to the arms of the puller keep the arms from popping off the bearing under pressure.


We'll touch back on the frame work. Just another shot of the inner frame braces, I'm just so darn proud of them.

I have been dealing with an issue that was also a issue 26 years ago. There just isn't a good opening in the crossframes to allow a 3/8 fuel line to be run along the inside of the frame. Years ago I simply took the cutting torch and opened up some holes. This way will not be allowed this time. Executive decision time. I decided now is the best time to handle this problem, so I doubled up the metal on the outer edges a hole sawed the openings. Now I have enough room for either a rubber grommet to fit in and give a nice safe opening or, take a piece of fuel line, slice it down the middle a make a nice safe rubber guard. Either way, it's alot better that the cuttin torch.


Yeah the six million dollar man. I only remember one time they didn't slow down the film so we could see how fast he could acually run, and boy I'll tell ya he was flat out flying. And then Lindsay wagner showed up. I better be quiet, she might hear me.

vertekal, I have to admit, I wasn't at all a technical guy. But after the Torchmate showed up...... well, I'm getting there. I was totally lost on the cad stuff, but now the more I learn the more I want to learn.

Here we got the outer bearing off. Looks like there are shims behind the bearing. The rebuild kit does come with new shims, I'll measure the old shims and use new ones behind the new bearing and the same with the other side of the carrier.

If your anything like me, if there's a small clip or small spring involved, sure enough I'm gonna drop that son of a mother henner. I find it better to get a big piece of card board, disassemble pieces on it. It's easier to mark items where they are on cardboard also. One train of thought here, things that wear together, stay together.


While I'm dealing with the differential, I'm still trying to move forward on other odds and ends. We've taken a look at the holes for the fuel line and wiring to pass through. Here's the finished product.


Lets focus on the carrier side bearings. When I removed the bearings from the carrier I also had shims behind the bearings. Since there is no adjustment in the axle housing to apply a pre-load on the bearings, such as lets say front wheel bearings on a rear wheel drive car. You pack the bearings, put them in the hub, install the seal, and slide the whole thing on the spindle, first the washer then the nut. Tighten the nut, then back it off just a bit, and install the cotter pin, done. The tightening of the nut and leaving it there would be too much pre-load, so we back it off just a bit. But we don't loosen it up too much, then the bearing is sloppy and doesn't fit into the outer race correctly, we shorten the life of the bearing.
Here in the axle housing we have a fixed space to fit the carrier into, no adjustment. We have to use shims to either space the bearings out farther (tighter fit) or remove shims to bring the bearing inward (looser fit). Once again, just as the front wheel, we want a fit tight enough that the bearing and race make full contact, but not so tight that they bind up on each other, create heat and friction and destroy each other.
Not too loose either, or once again, sloppy fit. Also. we are trying to get the ring and pinion to be within 10 thousands of an inch, and stay there. If we have a sloppy fit, this clearance will change while in use.
This picture shows the measurement of the original shims on one side. I will replace these shims with new ones. Fortunate for me I'm using the same carrier, I have something to start with. If use use a new carrier, you start from scratch. Mind you, I do have new bearings and races, this can fluctuate slightly from originals.

I stuck with the same thickness of new shims. Here I'm pressing on the new bearing. Notice shims in place already. Important... try to place the thickest shim to the bottom. Chances are you will pull these bearings off a few times to recalculate your spacing (shims). The puller jaws will damage the thinner shims easier that the thick ones. Important... when possible support the item you are pressing the bearing onto as close to or right underneath where the bearing is being pressed. You'll notice a large socket in this picture supporting the hub. We're dealing within the thousands of an inch here, we don't want to distort the hub by the pressure of installing the bearing.

Pmoreau, I got the camera out tonight, then I waited an exaustingly long time for dial-up to download some pics, so here it is, the welded then cleaned up opening. I know this seems like a large hole just for a fuel line, it will also have two battery cables going through there also. I mounted the battery under the bed and the cables will pass through here also.
For welding something small like this and I don't want a large build up of welding material so I used a Tig welder. You can control the heat and the amount of welding rod much more than with a wire feed (Mig) welder.


School's back in session. We're gonna take a look at the pinion shaft and all that's involved with it.
Here's the main transfer of power from the driveshaft to the ring gear. On the right hand side there would be a yoke that the driveshaft bolts to. Just left of that is a bearing, then the outer bearing race, then shims, then further down another set of shims, outer bearing race, bearing, then the teeth that mesh with the ring gear.
Imagine between the two sets of shims is the cast iron of the differential. The left, or the larger set of shims will set the depth of the pinion, how far it will set into the pumkin area. The second set, small shims will be what is used to set the pre-load on the bearings.

Know that the two outer races are firmly in place in the housing. It's easy to imagine that more shims on the big side will force the pinion gears farther into the housing. Now try to imagine that the more shims on the smaller side will push the smaller bearing further from the outer race in the housing. More and more shims and you would push the bearing right off the shaft. Obviously you wouldn't go that far, I just wanted to create an image in your mind to help you understand.

Too few of shims on the small side would allow the smaller bearing to be closer to the gear side of the shaft. But before it got too far, the smaller bearing would run into the outer race. Now if too few of shims are used, and we install the yoke, washer and nut. Then torque it down we'd be crushing the bearing into it's outer race. We need to install just the perfect amount of shims so that the time the bearing makes contact with the shims, the bearing is also making contact with the outer race. We have a small window of happiness here. Once again, we want to have a very slight pre-load now of the bearings meeting the races. Many manuals will give an inch pound reading of how much drag you should have when you turn the pinion shaft.

The lift was easy... On these trucks originally the leaf springs went under the axles. I didn't use the original axles so I had to weld on the spring perches so I welded them on top of the axles so now the springs are over the axles. No blocks, no extended shackles, no special arch to the springs.

I still see these trucks popping up in ads once in a while. I suppose the biggest decision would be how much work you want put into it.

The bed has a diamond plate floor and most of the bed is made from galvanized metal, rust up there hasn't been much of an issue. BUT... I'd like to put some kind of a liner on the inside of the frame rails when I'm done. I want to leave the exposed rails nicely painted.


Ahh, you all are too kind.

If this thread inspires, if this thread drives, if this thread teaches, if this thread breaks down some mysteries, if this thread introduces or opens new thoughts, if this thread opens doors. Give yourselves a pat on the back, for none of this would happen if you didn't have an open mind to learn and move forward.  

The body work is indeed in need of repair. There are areas that, just like the frame, have to be addressed before they get out of hand. There might be a pause in progress in a month or so. It has some duties before winter. But if all goes according to plan, over the winter the engine, transmission, and body will be filling this thread. With the enthusiasm I have had on this build so far, I'll try to maintain the detail that I have so far.

One thing I didn't plan on was working 6 days a week, it has slowed the progress, but even at 1 or 2 hours a night, I'll keep moving forward.

Going back to the first post about the axle work I mentioned the pinion having a loose feel to it. I've posted the bearing race and how it had deteriated with age and use.
One advantage about this axle rebuild is retaining the old ring and pinion. In most cases I've been able to measure the old shims and replace them with new ones of the same size, EXCEPT... the ones that determine the pre-load on the pinion bearings, as this picture shows.

Even trying to determine the original size didn't work either. The broken ones had taken a beating to where they were not evenly sized anymore. I got close but I still had to shim, check, remove, shim, check, remove and reshim again. I did this 5 times til I got exactly the fit I was looking for. My point.. don't be in a hurry, don't set an alarm clock.
I ended up measuring each shim and marking their sizes and placed them accordingly. It seems each time you want to add or subtract a few thousands, you start all over with a different batch to get the thickness you're looking for.


Pmoreau hit it once again. This project is all about preservation. I'd rather be working on the 57 Chevy you see in the background, but this Willys , once it became structurally weak, I had to bring it back from disaster.

I was concerned about the frame twisting out of shape and becoming worthless and where do you find a replacement frame?

As for the finished product, body wise, which may be a while yet, will be finished with a high gloss clear coat finish.

The frame will be in a satin black, same as I painted the front bumper.

Here's a different picture before I built the bumper. You can see the rust coming through the paint in dirfferent areas. Most of the floor is still in good shape but there is a couple small areas where the rear of the cab meets the floor.

The radiator is 26 years old, I rebuilt the engine and transmission 26 years ago. These all need to be gone through if I expect another 20 years out it.


Finally after years of looking at all the extra crap hanging off the axle I finally get to cut off the excess. Now in real time, I've got the ring and pinion and the carrier and all bearings and shims where I want, it's time to disassemble and get this housing sand blasted. One thing I do still have to take care of is the location of rear shocks on the frame and the rear axle. This working 6 days a week doesn't leave much time for parts searching.


Nothing big here but needs to be addressed. After removing one of the brackets off the axle somehow one of the facftory welds didn't go as planned. It burned away/melted the axle tube at the weld spot but didn't fill the weld spot. I ended up with a pretty good missing chunnk of metalhere.
Once again. being able to weld, for all you concidering to learn to do so, is a great idea. To correct this issue is a 5 minute fix. Clean, weld, grind, like it never happened. As many can tell, often times for me, I see welding as a liquid metal filler.

Are you going to powder-coat the axle?
In my personal opinion you have to be careful when repainting a classic with the gloss. To much fleck and dimension and what not makes the vehicle look a bit off. Its a bit disconnected. Unless thats what you like.
Looks like a nice shop you've got to work in there .[/QUOTE

Now on the body I'll be going with the clear coat, but on the underside and axle work I'll be going with semi/flat black. I have a long ways to drive to have powder coating done. That's the problem with living away from the bigger cities.

I'm probably gonna treat this truck the same way I have for years now. If it snows hard, it's my transportation. If I got to drive through cow pooh, that's where I'm going. I have to drive down gravel roads, here I go. Gotta get through trees and have branches drag down the side of the truck, I'm not happy, but there I'll go.

I'm not gonna take any time to clean the undercarriage other than an occasional pressure wash at the car wash.

No prima-donna here. This is the core of this redue. This is to secure another 20 years of service, and to turn heads while doing it's job of being a truck.
While we're here, one part of the rear axle we hear about, but hasn't brought into focus on the rebuilt so far is the spider gears. Although over looked, they play an absolute necessity part of the power transfer to the rear wheels.
Without them we would have major issues just turning the vehicle around corners.
They allow one tire to rotate at a different speed than the other. Just as what happens when one goes around corners.

During the cleanup of parts during reassembly of the differential, once I got all the old crud cleaned off the yoke I noticed a spot that shows where a u-joint failed years ago. Looks like another call to Randy's ring and pinion. I never had a u-joint go bad so it happened before I got the axle. Yes, it lasted this long without fail but we're gonna replace it.


Progress check...
Now that the spring perches are fully welded, the leaf springs are in place, and after all the frame welding it's always a good thing to reassemble all pieces a couple times through out the process. If there's gonna be any issues, now is when you want to find them, not after the painting process.
The one thing I am noticing is how much higher the rear is getting. Looks like the old springs were sagging more than I thought. I put a jack under the front bumper and it looks like the front needs to got up about an inch and a half.
Today I ordered the new yoke from Randys ring and pinion, and I googled monroe shocks and found the size and dimentions page to find the shocks that'll fit where I want to mount the shocks. The parts store in town had them in stock so I should be able to begin making the mounts for them this week.

Thanks for the support everyone. I wasn't getting much feedback lately, I appreciate it.

Wacki33, it seems like there's always that one thread that say's you just got to get involved, I know what you mean.

mudcrawler90, I look forward to seeing the video, I did right when I saw it posted, I clicked on it. my computor laughed at me. I waited about 4 minutes then it said "error in download, try again later". Oh the dial up, ya gotta love it. I will try again, I do want to watch it.

The teaching part... I've reached an age to where I feel the need to teach all I can, if I can. I've heard other people make the statement "I won't teach you all I know so you won't be smarter than me" or simply "I'm not gonna teach you everything". I just don't live by that philosophy. There's no comfort in that for me.

I see teaching as a ripple effect. If I teach a trade or skill, and that person perfects it, that's double satisfaction for me, and so on and so on. So I'll keep dropping stones in the pond, and watch the ripples grow outward.

Hey MikeC, I've known for some time those rear springs were looking bad. My problem was exactly the parts you mentioned along with the springs. I was googling willys parts and I found the willys kaiser parts place. Then I hoped there were a real place doing real business. I called and they had all i needed for the rears and recently the fronts.

The 57 in the background has a sad story behind it, my dad passed away last year as we were building it for him. I'll finish it as a memorial. The one good thing was that because of it, we spent alot of hours together that we wouldn't have otherwise.


mudcrawler90, there is no way that words could describe the workings of the spider gears as well as the you tube video you provided. I give you a thumbs up for your assistance.

SuperRliBerty, it will stay as it has been, a 4.56. If the ring and pinion was damaged with the bearing issue I would have changed to a 4.11. In which case I'd have to change the front also. So I left it as it was.

Inspiration, a word I've heard a couple times now. If this project has inspired anyone to try or attempt something new, then I've accomplished my mission.

We're finally gonna bring the rear axle rebuild to an end. I mentioned in an earlier post about 3/4 ton axle vs 1/2 ton or lighter duty axles. The idea was that the light duty axles have the axle shaft come out from the differential where they are meshed with the spider gears. Once they get to the end of the axle tube the axle shaft has a roller bearing then beyond that is the flange that the wheel bolts to. So in this case, all the weight and power is riding on the alxe shaft itself, then transfered through a single roller bearing.

Heavy duty axles do transfer the power through the axle shaft, but the weight of the vehicle is not carried by the axle shaft as it is on light duty axles. 

The heavier axles have a hub with two bearings within. This hub is what the wheel is bolted to, so all the weight is carried by the hub directly to the housing, then to the springs.

The power transfer is sent through 8 bolts that bolt the axle shaft to the hub. Now all the axle shaft is responsible for it transfering the power from the differential to the hub it bolts to.

We covered earlier also the numeric system of 4.56, 4.11, 3.73 ect. One other numeric value you will come across is how many splines it has. This is simply counting the splines on the end of the axle shaft, this rear end is a 30 spline. 


So far we've tackled the frame issues where the front of the rear spring perches attach to the frame. Now to the rear of the rear spring perches. Not nearly as bad as the fronts were, but a decision has to made on how to correct the rusting problem here also. One difference is that the perches are not only riveted but also welded in place. Lets get some pics here and dwell on this for a day.


Showtime, thanks for your 2 cents. I appreciate your participation. Are you suggesting cutting into a 61 year old fram? I'm kidding . 

Your idea is definetly a strong solution to the problem. The inside L bracket is a fail safe way to go.

I stood and studied this area for quite some time. I just didn't want to cut into the frame again. Once I get to cutting I have to get the spring mount back to the exact spot again or I chance a dog tracking situation.

I decided to let the welder do the work. I mentioned earlier that with the wire feed welder we can turn the wire into liquid metal. So with some careful work I'll lay some beads to build the rusted away area til it is flat and level again. Of course, the 4 1/2 in grinder is gonna play a big part in this refilling.
One key tool is the use of a sandblaster, I couldn't do without it. It'll clean out all the pits, and all the deep crevaces of any rust. If I tried to clean the area with the grinder I'd be removing alot of material just trying to get to the bottom of the rust pits.

The first picture is where I got all the old metal removed.

Same spot just sandblasted.

Before any beads can be layed and done with enough heat to penetrate the existing frame I had to weld fill the small rust through area first.


Well how cool is this, I do what I enjoy, I post the pics, and others enjoy what I do. Yes, absolutly, this frame will be wayyyy better than 26 years ago. I did what my abilities allowed back then, a meer patching over the bad areas.

I gotta figure some are wondering, why the detail when it's just a frame? I'm refering to the near perfect grinding, trying to recreate the frame braces like the original, ect. My thought, I try to imagine this has to be close to cosmetically perfect, does it have to be? nope. But, lets say I do a project that is needed to be cosmetically close to perfect. There is no better time to practice a skill than now, as opposed to when I need it to be near perfect.

In the last set of pics I ended with weld filling the rusted through smallhole in the frame. Be forewarned... the hole was about a 1/4 inch in diameter, but, as you try to weld it shut the material surrounding the hole can be very thin itself. This is when things can suck, this is the nicest word I can say online.
I didn't take a class, maybe there is a term for it, but I call it a chaser weld. This is where you try to weld the edge of the hole, and the hole gets bigger. Grrrrrr, patience my friend, keep trying, sooner or later you should get to some material thick enough to start a weld build, then you can fill back to where you started and close the hole.
Does the idea of putting copper or brass up against the back side of the hole? oh yeah. Just too many times its not an option due to no spacebehind the weld area to do this.
Here's the weld cleaned up, now I have a good clean base to start adding liquid metal.(weld beads).


Getting back to this rust repair over the rear spring mount. This way of filling is a different way of cutting and replacing the bad section. Yes it took some extra wire feed to fill, but in the long run I didn't have to remove the spring mounts, then measure and reattach them.
The one thing I will advise is, if you are considering repairing a rusted away area as I have in this section, don't be afraid to fill and try to be as level as possible.
Fill as much as possible, so you don't have to refill and fill some more.
Be as level as possible when filling to minimize the amount of grinding later to level things out.
Notice I didn't fill the main area length wise, I did shorter weld beads. With shorter beads it's easier to control the amout of melt into the frame that the weld is gonna do. This way the build stays about the same across the fill process.
This first pic is a long weld but I did it as a stitch, you can see it is actually many short welds. If this was a long continuous weld by time I got across the whole 6 inches the weld, do to the heat build up would start to melt deeper into the frame metal and wouldn't benefit as a build/filler.

Finally a look at the finished product. I'm very pleased, it was difficult to get the grinder to fit deep to the back of the frame. I did have to change to a new grinding disc a couple times so I wouldn't have to apply pressure to get it to cut. By applying pressure I lose control of exactly where I was grinding, by using brand new flap discs I could light apply pressure and I removed material exactly where I wanted to. This pic is after sandblasting.

Now the final touch. The best part is after how much material the rust removed, now after refilling there is very little gap along the bottom of the brace. Now weld this piece in place and we're good to go.


John, Showtime did a great explanation. If you get into welding or anything having to do with great amounts of heat and metal, you do change the properties. Once again, I didn't take no classes, and I'm sure they get into these subjects, but....

By past experiences, I know there are different types of hardenings of metals. I'm familiar with case hardenings also.

Here's speaking from experiences. I know if i take a piece of 3/16 flat steel. Let's say I just want to hacksaw through it, put it in the vise and hack away.

Now let's say it's a piece of 3/16 that I took a cutting torch to previously and now I want to hacksaw it. Quite frankly, I aint going there. From the heat of the torch I have case hardened the plate where it was cut with extreme heat. There is now an outer shell of hardened steel that will make the hacksaw feel like it's teeth are about half gone. Now if I cut with a cut off wheel, no problem, or, if I take a grinder and remove the outer layer, perhaps 1/32 of material, now I can hacksaw again.

Point is, yes the material properties do change. As you work with matals over time you become aware of what you're working on, and the next steps in the process, now you consider the tool you're gonna use to make the next step easier on yourself and your tools.

As for the frame and its strength in areas. I have considered the changes being made in it's structure, as for this fix to refill the rusted away material, I feel confident. This area is fairly stable area with braces above and below, not much flexing.

As for the area forward where I grafted in new plates, these are pretty extreme patches in flexing areas. Much of those welds had a considerable amount of grinding which removed the hard outer shell of the welds. Also there was alot of contour to the welds which doesn't give a perfered spot to begin a cracking problem. Now this doesn't mean I'm not gonna be checking the frame occasionally after I'm done and using the truck again.

I'm also pushing the boundries by not putting a reinforcement plate that overlaps the old and new parts of the frame. If I do have problems this will be the cure later. For now, since the area is very visable I'll know if there is an issue with this procedure.

No problem John, made me do a little soul searching to try to cover all angles of the project so far.

Tonight I got so far as cutting into the other side to see how much material has rusted away on it. Not nearly as bad, good deal, I should get it taken care of in the next couple nights.

Since I had the sand blaster out the other night I knocked off some of the surface rust and old undercoating on the drivers side frame rail. I'll hit it one more time with the sand blaster then start the metal prep, priming and painting.


It's about time I get the shock situation figured out. As I mentioned before, I didn't like the way they were mounted to the frame before. There was a stud that came inward from the frame. In one picture I posted a while back, you can see how the bracket captured the dirt, sand and salt and created a rusting problem. Also the shock simply slid over the non threaded stud and was held in place by a cotter pin. I perfer a bolt on mount and we're gonna mount the shock brackets to the cross brace instead of directly to the frame.
First picture is just an idea of the location.

Nothing fancy here either. I'll make 4 plates like the cardboard piece here. These will mount the bottom of the shocks to the axle.

Next to be made is replacing these top plates with some new ones. These are stretched and rounded in the wrong places.


I'm still short on time, yet I gotta get something done every night. I got the card board piece and scanned it in. Then went out to the shop and cut 4 shock mounting plates.

I could have had the plasma cutter cut the holes for the shock bolts. Problem is... I wasn't exactly sure where I wanted them to be. I was able to take the plate, lay it on the shock and mark the best place for the bolt hole, then drill.
Going back a few posts, a man named John asked about metal and its strengths. I mentioned the difficulty of sawing a piece of metal that had been cut with extreme heat. I also mentioned to consider your next steps of each project as to making things as easy as possible. Well here we are. I know the plasma cutter won't make as clean a cut as a drill. So if I had the plasma cutter cut the holes, I'd want to clean the hole. Now I've created a hardened surface with the plasma cutter, now I've created more work in the long run. So drilling afterwards is the better choice for me.
Ok, I want all four plates to be the same. I'm gonna drill, I need 1/2 inch holes. Personally, I stack the plates, I first drill with a 3/16 all plates at once. Now I could run a 1/2 drill through all the plates, but I'm not. Usually if I run a 1/2 inch drill now, the drilled material will get caught between the plates and start to catch on the drill bit and make a mess. For me, I remove the plates, I already have a pilot hole through each one, so just drill each one individually to the 1/2 inch size.

At this point stack'em all together and grind all the edges at the same time. It is a great idea to put a bolt through all the plates and tighten them all together, the holes are now the central immovable attachment. Sounds like a lot of hoopla for shock mounts, but if the distance from the bolt hole to the axle housing is off, you'll see the inaccuracy later when you look down from the top. I recommend also to create one plate exactly how you want them to be, then mark it with a sharpie. Always but always use this one that you compare with the others while shaping them. If you use the second plate and it's off just a bit anywhere, this inaccuracy will mulitiply itself by time you get to the fourth plate.


Ok, I'm the one learning now...axiom... that was good. I had to look that one up in the dictionary. Basically an unquestionable statement of fact. I like that one.

This is good, it as basic, yet for anyone getting into metal fabrication we need to get back to basics. My lesson was once again, many years ago. I had to make matching plates. I made the first plate, then the second off the first, then the third off the second and the fourth off the third. WOW, what a mess at the end, a little here, a little there. It took some grinding to bring them all back to the first, but what a lessson.
While we're on the subject. I can't tell how many times I've scrapped an idea half way through a process do to a better idea all of a sudden. I have no problem starting all over again for a better product.
Going Back quite a few posts I mentioned not keeping time on a "hobby". With this in mind, tossing aside an idea doesn't hurt so bad.

Tonight the lower shock mounts are pretty well finished. Looking at them on the work bench they just don't look like much. Once I put 2 of them on the shock, I thought they were looking better. Then I temporarily put the assembly up against the axle, I'm very pleased. 

Thought...I notice most trucks on the road have the lower shock mounting brackets hanging well below the axle tube. I question the reason for this.

My only thought is the farther the distance from the bottom mount to the top mount requires a longer shock. I suppose with the longer shock it has a longer distance of travel. Just a thought. 

I'm not fond of the idea of having the shocks hanging down. With the large diameter tires my axle clearance greater than most. Also with the axle below the springs I already have a built in long distance from bottom mounts to top mounts. So my length of travel will be plenty, so my bottom mounts are gonna be close to the bottom of the axle tube, and no lower. 

Lets get to the pictures.


Articulates, now there's a word to dive into. I looked it up in the dictionary but didn't find any description that attached itself as closely to the subject matter. This doesn't mean we won't go there. I got through the fish plate term earlier, we'll get through this one.

Trying to find words to use to describe stuff on the computer is tricky. Photo's and video is what has been used to help. Such as the video describing the inventon and need for spider gears, that was fantastic.

Ok back to the articulation. The rear end in this case is attached to the frame by leaf springs. Although it provides good up and down motion there are just as many times that one wheel will go over an object and not the other. This creates a situation where the suspension has to give to the up and down motion and at the same time the axle will become at quite and angle with one tire up and the other still sitting on the level surface. I'm gonna lean towards this being the articulation, the idea of the axle being not only up and down but also the arc at which the axle has to move as it goes up and over the object.

This is best displayed when some of the pictures you see on this forum of a jeep with one tire about 3 foot off the ground and the other still on the ground, which I think is absolutly awesome, there is a whopping amout of articulation involved. And the building of such suspension puts alot of side force on an ordinary shock mounted in a way that it allows for up and down motion with out any consideration for side to side angles it will encounter.

Not only moving the shock inward but angling the mount can be a factor. With the standard mount the shock often at a 90 degrees to the main frame. Now any articulation has to be absorbed by the rubber bushings at each end of the shock. If we slightly change the top mount inward and at a slight angle we allow more movement before we max out the rubber bushings and have a binding problem.

Next train of thought. If the shock is say 15 inches extended vs a shock that is 22 inches extended, we have more allowability for articulation before binding occurs. The shorter shock will reach a point of too much angle for the bushings to handle and bind before the shock that is 22 inches.

Now the truck at hand. With all the work I've dove I've tried to retain a near original suspension and frame structure as I can. Why have I done this, if it aint broke, don't fix it. It lasted 61 years. My frame work has been to try to rebuild the frame as to where it can not be noticed it ever had issues. This is a personal quest of my own, can it be done? There have been so many places I could have cut out and overlapped the old with the new, but it didn't have the challenge that I have now. I love a repair that you show/point to a repair and you have to convince someone that you did the repair and they argue back that the can't see the fix. With that said, I'm sticking to the original top mount configuation. My travel will be stock original, but one benifit I do have is my shocks will be longer than original, which will give me more articulation before binding.

In conclusion, Jeepster83, is correct, articulation is often overlooked by many doing lifts and suspension work. When you buy a package deal, the company has most likely pre-figured articulation into the equation. Some people can't afford the package deal and do homemade lifts then perhaps have to deal with broken shocks and such.

Plus and minus here. Buy the package, done deal, install and go. Do it on your own, prerhaps break a shock. In the long run though I say the do it yourselfer will learn the technical aspect of the inner workings of the suspension which is a plus if they get it figured out for future projects.

No I'm not saying everyone should be a do it yourselfer. Not everyone has it in their heart to dive into the inner workings of all the mechanicls. But I know they love the off-road adventure and that's what matters.

Welcome aboard Geo-Nemesis.

The original top shock mount as I mentioned before was a stud that came inward from the top of the main frame rail. It also caused the shock to be extremely close to the leaf springs, I just didn't like it.

I decided to mount the top mount to a frame cross brace. It allowed me to mount the shocks inward about three inches, this makes me happy.

One issue with the cross brace is it is 1/8 inch thick. Plenty strong perhaps, but over many years fatigue could set in. I wanted to find a way to strengthen and spread the force over a larger area.

I could do the weld another plate on top of the original as I did before, but I decided to complicate the process.

I figured if I had to make the plates for the top mounts, I'll use those as the mounts and what will also add strength to the area.

Were these easy to make, no, acually they were a pain, but they look cool. How great it is that they'll be in an area that no one will see when it's done.

They still need a little touch up, but when done, this will be another step to getting this truck back in working order again. I got firewood to gather, and some tree stumps to drag to the fire pit.


Pretty, did you say pretty..... I'd use the word sexy, nicest legs I've ever seen on shock mounts.

Ok guys I will agree on the cross strap, I will probably put on the lower area. Now consider also that the shock has a metal sleeve pressed into the rubber bushing. Once it's together the 1/2 inch bolt and washers along with the inner sleeve will also serve as a inner support to combat the issue of these shock mounts being twisted in way to bust the welds holding them to the

But, I have a very strong theory as I fabricate, never, but never weld yourself into a corner.
Never fully weld if it's not necessary anything until all parts associated with that area of the build is fitted with all ajoining pieces.

Let's bring in pic #1 I'm really pleased with the top mounts, they serve multiple purposes, this I like. But... just below where the bolt goes through the shock you can see how close the shock comes to the mounting bracket. I want more space, perhaps just another 1/4 inch. I don't want to remove any more material from the mounting brackets, this grinding is not an option for me. Although the space in the picture looks fine, this pic is the shock at max extention. Once the suspension compresses this gap will close as the suspension moves upward. Since the pivoting spring shackle is in the rear, the movement of the axle not only moves upward but also has a slight backwards movement also. This is why I would like more space.

Now lets go back to the bottom mounts, pic#2. I created these mounts, they look great, but the distance from the axle housing does give me an option. I can move the bottom of the shock closer to the housing. Now by moving the bottom of the shock closer to the axle housing about 5/8 of an inch I will gain the space I need at the top of the shock. Two choices, 1) I can use the bottom mounts I already made, and start cutting and gringing. or 2) go back into the computer and with a click of the mouse I can redesign the axle part of the mounts and remake new ones. The new ones will remove the 5/8 of an inch from the new mounts. Number 2 is what I'm gonna do. Going back few pages I think I mentioned the idea of scrapping pieces to upgrade to better. Here is one example. After grinding and drilling, I'll scrap'em. There's no time clock running, be proud of the finished work you do. Don't build in excuses. Here's the amount of space I have to work with.


Got out to the shop tonight, I recut the bottom mounts. These will move the bottom of the shocks closer to the axle housing which in turn will create a little more space between the top of the shock and the shock mounting brackets.
These pics are of the mock up, just a pre assembly to check the fit of all the pieces. Once I'm convinced that none of the new brackets will get in the way of running the brake line or fuel line I'll do the final welding.
This pic is the new one laid on the old one. Another choice would have been to use the old ones and redrill the hole forward. Then I would have to regrind the outer shape and blah, blah, blah. For my tooling, recutting new ones was much quicker.

This pic shows how much closer the shock is as compared to a pic I posted a couple nights ago.


Simple picture toinght, I got the fit I wanted.
Nothing fancy, just a little change from the factory.


Nah, we never got into primers and paint. Maybe I'm old school, maybe I just have some materials left over from other projects but I'm gonna use a acid etch primer. After this primer dries about to the touch I spray a primer filler on top. This primer filler uses a hardener that once is dries it does not shrink which is great because you can spray a couple coats at a time and it will fill deep grinding scratches. Once the primer filler is done, 3 coats of Eastwood poly urathane satin black. Yes, I know they have the chassisblack with ceramic particles ect. Anyway, this should hold off the rusting issue for years to come.

Let's go back a few pages in this thread. I mentioned one problem with welding is while you're welding and if the piece you are welding is not well supported, clamped, or mutiple tack welds it will have the tendency to shift or move slightly, this sucks. Try this, take piece of metal, put it on another piece of metal in a 90 degree arrangement. Don't clamp, don't tack, hold it there with good gloves and weld a bead. You will feel the pull towards the bead side as you are welding, then as you stop the welding you can feel the piece in your hand retract back to where it was when you started. Problem is, it never goes back to exactly where it was when you started. Now, double the problem, to axle tabs to weld to the axle. Two times now of the tabs gonna move as I weld. I'm alittle fussy, you can tell that already, I want the tabs to stay perfectly aligned, and I want them to be about 1 45/64" apart. The shock mounts themselves are 1 11/16", 1 44/64", I don't want to weld, then take a hammer and bend them back the desired fit.
The hunk of metal (spacer) in the first picture between the mounting tabs solves most of the problems. It is 1 45/64", it has a accuratly drilled hole, it'll hold the mounting tabs parrellel to each other, I can hold everything in place and chech for level. Now I can tack weld both the tops and bottoms of both tabs, recheck my measurements one last time, then weld with confidence. Now remove the bolts, remove the spacer, slip the shock in there with a speck of clearance, done. Don't worry, later I'll roll the axle back out, flip it upside down and I'll weld a cross strap across the two tabs.

Now I can say "welded" with confidence.

I was going through some hunks of metal, I found this one. This will be a part of the truck, and another one just like it. Any idea where this and it's near twin will be? Hint, page one of this thread has a bunch of w"s there now.


94yjstocklook, I want to thank you for participating. You're on the right track thinking about bumpers though. When I built the front bumper it was an open book, I knew the basic design I wanted, but I had alot of space I could leave alone or, make something of it. Then I didn't like the idea of being stuck forever with the same look. Sooooo, I made replaceable sections. Where you see 5 W's or teeth on each side of the bumper, they are removable. The picture below shows allen head bolts around the w's/teeth. This is just plate with this cut. When I want to change the attitude of the front bumper/truck I can put in something like the picture you tried to guess. When cleaned up and painted, the one you guessed at is an eyeball. So now any image I can cut into a plate to fit, is the new attitude.:cool:

Hmmm, it's hard to explain. The outer ring you see with the bolts going through it is just a outer parimeter ring, it adds strength to the opening in the bumper. Then the bumper itself which has an opening cut into it. Then a plate with the outer parimeter as the "eye". Instead of the eye, I cut w's into the plate, then behind it is a clear coated aluminum plate. All sandwiched together. The posted picture does'nt do it justice. They look like painted W's, it's not the case.

The eye will replace the "W" plate and a plate painted white, maybe with blood shot red marks added will be the backer plate behind the eye.

Once I get back to it I'll post a pic showing the stack of plates. Just think of the possibilities.

This is where we check off another piece of the project, once it's welded it's a done deal. We also say "thank you" to who ever invented the wire feed welder (MIG).
These top brackets as I mentioned before were a pain. Dealing with the top angles, bottom angles, the distance between the two plates of which were different than each other and on top of it all, having the mounting bolt level from mount to mount.
With as much as we like to have the perfect fit we have to be reasonable, we still deal with hand fabrication.
Here's where the MIG welder comes into play. Ideally a small gap is perfered, the wire can really get between the two pieces being welded and get a great penetration. It's not a perfect world so we deal with what we have.

In the first picture before the weld, we go from total contact to a gap of 1/8 to 3/16. We have about 8 inches of weld to do. I don't know what the experts advise but on a vertical weld I always go from top to bottom, it might be just how I learned. Starting from the top it's a sharp edge, too much heat and you'll burn right through. I'll start with a couple stitch welds to begin a slight material build up, then I can hold the trigger and weld downward. UNTILLLLLL the I get to the gap, if I continue I'll burn right through. without pause I have to start a fill process. This will be back to stitch welds in an upward arch from side to side. I can control the fill and control the heat and work this all the way down and around the corner.
Oh, and there's that spacer I used on the bottom mounts.

Here's the end result. You can see the switch from one type of weld to another. This is the great thing of the MIG welder, so fast, so clean, so adaptable.


Mazdarx, thanks for taking the time to go through the whole build so far. The spring work that is being done is just to replace the old 61 year old springs. I've been running a spring over axle system for years, so the height won't change much.
When I did a mock up with the new springs, the rear did sit higher than with the old ones. I still have to put the bed back on, I hope the weight of the bed will settle the rear down a bit. I do have a set of new springs ready for the front. They are 10 leafs where the old one in there now are 6 leafs. Once the rear is settled I'll work with the fronts to get the truck sitting how I want.

Tire wise, the size is about the same. Like I mentioned previously they don't make the Ground Hawgs anymore. They were 40" tall. The closest I found was 39 1/2". It almost seems that even 39 1/2" tires are getting hard to find so I got them as soon as I could.
If I went any taller I'd have problems with full turns, the tires would contact the front fenders right behind the tires.


Now I'm gonna move on to the plates that hold the leaf springs to the axle. The ones I've been using are the originals. Over the years the have been stressed by rust growing between the springs and the plates. One problem I had about 5 years ago was these old plates became so deformed that they started to bend around the sides of the leafs and put stress on the u-bolts and broke one. Now when you see the u-bolts and they don't look like 26 years old, it's because I replaced them all when the one broke. So, it's time to upgrade. I've got a plan for new ones, follow along and we'll work with 1/4 flat steel. We'll learn how to put a 45 degree bend 4" long without a hammer or using a torch to heat the metal red hot. Ok. let's get started....
Two pictures here, lets see what we're trying to get rid of.

Everybody likes lightweight repairs, so here's pretty and lightweight.


hallsofstone, Thanks for the feedback. I was just messing with you all. You are sooo correct. The upward bend at each end of the plate plays a very significant roll in keeping the plate from warping over the edges of the leaf springs. I'm not exactly sure as to why my old ones just lost their strength. Age? Rust? Fatigue? My issue is that I don't want to deal with it again. I'm planning on this truck doing it's chores for and other 20 years if possible. I want the same plate system, I need the rolled up edges for the strength you speak of. I considered larger washers under the u-bolt nuts so the load would be spread across a larger area of the plate, but it just seems shy of what I was looking for, sooooo. On to the torchmate I went. I'll post the process of the new idea, the mini plate you see in the pic is part of the finished product. Once again I'll walk through the drilling, cutting, welding process. I hope this is helpful for future projects for some of you.

Close up of the old, the weak and the ugly. (Reminds me of a movie.)

You've all seen the torchmate in action already. Here are the two plates I cut. By this pic you probably already can tell somewhat how this is gonna fit together.


It's time to start some fabrication. The torchmate did it's job, now it's time to drill. cut, shape and weld these pieces. By the first pic you can see I've decided how the top plate will be reinforced. There were many ways to go about making the reinforcement plate. I didn't want to just double up the material, the challenge was to build something that would be strong and also be appealing to the eye. The larger piece in the picture is gonna be smaller when finished, at least length wise. One rule of thumb when you are building and fabricating is to be material safe. When possible cut the piece larger that you need, then grind and cut down to size.

First off I'm gonna drill the necessary holes in the clover. The center hole is drilled to it's correct size 5/8". I don't know about any of you all, but when I have to drill the other 4 holes I can measure and mark and measure and mark then center punch and drill. Sure enough I'm gonna be off just a slight bit. Now I'm ovalling a hole to get the fit I need, grrrr.. The only remedy I have in most situations is to drill to a slightly smaller drill size than the final hole size. For instance, I need a 1/2 " hole so I'll drill to a 7/16. This will give me a good idea of how close I am. If one hole is off a bit I will now either file or use a small cutter in a drill to oval the hole closer to the final fit. Now I'll run the 1/2" drill through the holes. The one that was off will now be rounded to the 1/2" size. I also like it when the drilled material comes out as one long piece.


Your thinking is exactly where I am, I do have the extra threading on the u-bolts so the fit is perfect. My main concern is the tabs/holes bending again after years of service as the old ones did. The clovers will spread the load of the clamping force across a much larger area and should solve the problem for years to come.

The bottom plate is the next set of pictures. Now that the first clover is drilled exactly how I want I am gonna use it to align the next 3 sets of holes I need to drill and figure a nice smooth way to create the kick-ups at the ends of the bottom plates. Follow along, I think I'll present an alternative to how most would bend up the edges.

Alright, alright, a simple request, I will honor it. Let's kill the suspence and I'll work backwards then. Two pictures of the final product. I gotta tell ya, I find then to be very appealing to the eye, and you get the feeling of the strength the clover will provide. Hmmmm, clover, never thought I'd use the name in building suspension parts.. Nobody get excited about the u-bolt not being straight up in the second picture, I was just going for the picture, I didn't slide it up against the spring perch.
I kinda see 1/8, 3/16, and 1/4 inch and beyond in different classes to work with. 1/8 inch... pretty manipulative, with no heat it's fairly cooperative to bend and shape. 3/16, you can work with it but you'll need heat sometimes to reshape it. 1/4 inch, big hammer, torch, leverage, ect. I'll bend the 1/4 without hammer, torch or leverage.
Also, I've taken a couple pics of the tools to work these pieces. I talked to a fellow in town the other day about some welding and grinding on his bumper. I found that I took for granted that he would know the tools and grinding discs, but he looked a little puzzled. So during the fabrication on these plates I took a couple pics of some tools also. Ok, finished product, no more suspence.


Ok, first I say thanks to all. Know this also, I try not to be too proud, I figure you all have learned this by now. Once again, If I inspire anyone to jump into a project, that's great.

J-Quad you had a couple questions about assembly. The nuts are the standard ones that came with the u-bolts. In the end I will use grade 8 flat washers and on the u-bolts and shock mounting bolts I like to use nylon insert nuts, they lock well and never back off later until you want to remove them, also since the nylon part of the nut fits tightly around the threads it helps seal out moisture later. As for never sieze...I didn't think anyone would ask but yes, for any project I will keep for years, for sure I will use it. I've done so much atv and motocycle work especially where a steel bolt is threaded into aluminum, it becomes a habit. Yes, I have to remove the axle again so once it's out I'll weld a strap on the bottom of the mounts. It'll be more convienient then.

Last night I mentioned showing some of the tools. Bennettj13 mentioned earlier that many of the tools are hand tools, nothing special. It does take a while to aquire a large inventory, even of hand tools. One thing I've learned is once you buy a tool you tap into a new world of projects, then the next tool, another world of projects.
First pic is the tool that used for opening the one hole that was off a bit. I've used files and grinding stones but these kick butt. Rotary burr is one name for them and there are many different sizes and shapes.

Once I drilled the first clover to the exact fit I was looking for I declared it my pattern to reference the rest of the drilling of the other plates. In the past u've seen me use vise grips, bench vise and clamps to hold the control pattern to the piece to match it. With this project I needed a more immovable way to keep them together. I tack welded four corners together. Take note...if at all possible if you're gonna do this try to tack weld on rounded edges as I did here or, weld on outer corners. When you are done with the drilling and you cut the tack welds there will be tack weld residue to grind off. With the welds on rounds and corners it's easier to remove the residue vs grinding on a flat area.

Once the plates are tack welded together I used a 1/2 inch bit which is the size of the outer holes. The clover aligned the bit and I got a centering point for every hole. Same goes for the 5/8 hole in the center. I'm one for predrilling a pilot hole with a smaller bit so the centering points give the perfect starting points. Once the pilot holes are drilled then the larger holes are drilled. Everything a perfect match.

Once the two plates are drilled give a quick check on the springs and u-bolts. Looks good, now for the other clover and the other top plate. ALWAYS using the original clover as my pattern to drill from.


Thanks for checking in Ray. Hours hmmm, no idea. I can say though, for all who is reading...I really only get about an hour a night on it. Progress is super slow. I put in around 55 hours a week at work, I'm blessed for this yet I have no free time. Here's the point. I'd love to have 3 to 4 hours a night, someday this will happen, but for now I only have an hour so I use it. Imagine what I've gotten done over the last few months, you've seen the progress. Now had I said every night, oh pittifull me, I don't have enough time, I'd get nothing done and when I get the 3 to 4 hours back I'd be way behind where I am now. There's the lesson for the day.
Next.. welding, I know I've done alot but mostly what I'm trying to emphasize in these posts is the fabrication aspect. You can put a tool in anyone's hands but they have to know the limitations of the tool get create art. My purpose is how far can we push the limitations of the welder also. I've used the term liqiud metal, that's what we have in a Mig welder, a 10 pound spool of liguid metal, it is so adaptable.
With that said, showing close-ups of the welds. If I have close-ups, don't pick, like I said, I'm self taught because I had to. I've seen many professional welders that have a consistancy in their welds, time after time, that just blows me away. I do believe the next couple pics will get to some more welds.
I just got in from the shop, the welder I use is a Millermatic 210. With most all my welds I use a .030 wire.

Last time we did a pre-assemble of the clover and the top plate together. We need to pop these tack welds apart. I'm gonna want to cut the welds without getting into the plates themselves. For me I'm gonna use the 3" air grinder. It has a nice narrow cut and I can focus exactly where I want the cut to be. It also has variable speed to control the cut. Looking closely at the tack welds in this picture I already ground into the tack welds, now smack it a few times and they'll pop apart. Them a little touch up with the 4"1/2 grinder and it's like it was never welded.

Ok, now I'm getting to the area many have been waiting for, we have to bend this 1/4 inch plate and it has to look good when done!!! Using the clover on the plate I marked the far outer tabs of the clover and used a straight edge and marked a line across the plate. Then decided how much space I wanted between the clover edge and the upward bend of the top plate and drew another line. This second line represents where a cut is gonna be made across the top plate. Repeat the process for the other side of the plate also and check your measurements at least 3 to 4 times before the cut. A cut you say?? Yup, we'll bend this baby by hand by time we're done. :2 thumbsup:. Some of you I'm sure have figured out the plan by the picture below. Once again simple tools to the rescue. I'm gonna use the 3" air grinder again. I'm gonna use the line that represents the space between the clover and the bend, I'm very carfully gonna grind a line following the sharpie line. Then I'm gonna follow this line over and over till I've ground into the plate 3/4 of the way through the plate, then stop. On the plate in the picture I do not have the first line marked so don't be confused, I marked the other side of the plate with the line representing the outer clover edge then marked this side with the cut line.


Ok, ok I know I didn't really bend 1/4 inch plate, but it is 1/4 inch plate that I bent. Here's the best part about this procedure. If I put it in a vise and heated it red hot, then beat it with a hammer I probably wouldn't have such a clean looking bend, I'd mave hammer beat marks and the bend wouldn't be true all the way across the plate. The best part doing it this way is even if my pre-grinding wasn't perfectly straight all the way across, it's only desire is to bend perfectly straight so the plate will give in certain areas to create a straight bend for you. I used the old plate to figure what angle I wanted when bending this new plate. When I reached the angle I wanted I used an angle thingy to record the angle, then used it to match all the bends. Two reasons where it helps to have the extra material at the ends of the plate. One is it gave me a good hunk to clamp in the vice when I bend the plate by hand. Two, the longer the material to check for my final angle, the better I feel about my accuaracy, the angle thingy tells a better story when it makes more contact with what you're checking.

I can check boths sides and know they will be a match when done.

Alrighty then, shall we get back to the build. After I bent back the outer portions of the plate to the angle of my desire it's time to weld, great, I love this part. I've got a pretty large gap to fill here, it's gonna take two passes to fill the gap. This first pic is of the first pass with the welder. It filled about half the gap.

On this second pass of which I did immediatly after the first pass I had quite a gap from side to side to fill. When doing a weld/fill such as this I had to move the tip of the welder back and forth about 3/8 of an inch to reach both sides of the gap. There's gonna be some grinding to do after the welding, perferably I want as smooth as possible weld which will cut down the amount of grinding to smooth the whole edge. Let's say I didn't fill all the gap, I left a couple small indentations in the finish, simply identify them, and fill them with more weld, and regrind. In this situation while grinding an outside edge, grinding is much easier than having to grind smooth a flat area such as I had on the sides of the frame.

This second pic is the second plate and the first pic is the first plate. I forgot to take a picture of the first weld on the first plate, so I took it while doing the second plate to tell the full story.


Finally, getting close to the end of the leaf spring plates. I've mentioned the term flap discs before. They're a great alternative to using regular grinding discs. These discs combined with the high speed of a 4 1/2 grinder offers a wide range of possibillities as you all have seen so far. As with most tools there is a place were they come up short once in a while. The idea behind the flap disc is as the grits wear out, the paper backing will slowly dissolve exposing the next layer of grit. Ok, here's the problem. When grinding something with an edge, or around corners these are great. When grinding something flat and smooth the grits will wear away but without an edge the paper doesn't dissolve and expose next layer of grit. Now instead of griding away material, it will start to polish it with the paper that hasn't dissolved yet. With that said..... I couldn't live without them. they work fantastic in so many situations. Here's a good picture of grinder and disc.

Here is the final grind on the plate after the weld filling, it looks great. Using the grinder to get really nice results like this does take time to learn how to hold and apply the grinding. Like anything else, practice, practice.


You guys are great, the feedback is great. At my age I've reached a point to where I am happy to teach. My ideas and interests, I'm happy to pass them on and I'm sure you all will take something away from this thread and put it to use.
I'm getting close to finishing most of the metal work, well maybe a couple more weeks anyway, then I'll prep, clean, and begin prime and paint. Alot of the priming and painting is the same as working with a car body that has been stripped to metal. I'll keep the pics coming as I'm moving along.

Class is back in session..... get out the notepads, wipe your eyes and let's move forward. Ahhh this thread is getting some characters.
Last picture showed the grinding of the outer edges but before I'm finished I have to cut off the extra inch or so I left on both ends of the plate. So many choices, I can use a torch, plasma, hacksaw, 3" inch air grinder or 4 1/2" grinder with a cut off wheel. I'm going with the 4 1/2". Picture here has the cut off wheel attached.

The shapie marks the line to cut. I figured about an 1/8" extra material for grinding and shaping later.

Cutting is done. Be carefull when using the 4 1/2" grinder for cutting thicker materal as with 1/4" plate. The first couple passes are no problem, but the deeper you go you have to concentrate on keeping the cut off wheel straight and true, other wise the sides of the wheel will grab the sides of the plate in the cut zone and the grinder has the torque to jerk the grinder around unexpectantly.


Yes Endimar the flap discs are gonna clean up the grinding marks and smooth and shape the ends. This will be the last pic focused on the top plates. Let's think back a week or so..........they're leaf spring top plates........have you ever thought top plates would be something to wait in anticipation to see how they're made and the finished product? No, I didn't think so. I like to think it's the product made by two hands, something we've lost touch with in a world of quick fixes and mail order products. You all are further ahead than I, you can see what can be done with a little imagination, you've seen indetail just a few tactics on how to manipulate metal. I'm so pleased to read where some have mentioned that you're motivated to buy some welding tools and go at it. The best part of welding and fabrication is that it is an art, it is a skill, and it is practical, when finished you get a rush out of something you built. Here's a before and after pic.

Suspension along with shocks and mounts are pretty well set, they just need some final welding and grinding before primer and paint. I have to get back to finishing some of the areas that the rust ate into. I still have the rust pockets that formed behind the original shock brackets. Here's a close-up reminder of what needs filling yet. I did the same with these as I did with the rusted away spot above the rear spring mount. Start welding to fill and grind flat. What sucks here is the enclosed area to work in. With a top and bottom frame rail so close it's gonna take careful grinding of I'll start grinding somewhere I don't want to.


Endimar, it must be true....love hurts. Seriously though, lots of grinding usually has a touch of flesh sacrifice mixed in. I can remember many times of the friction scratch and I felt that if I didn't look, it wouldn't be too bad. Then a minute or two later a bit of red shows up on the tool I'm holding, grrrr I hate when that happens.

I did take a closer pic of the weld to no where, it is pleasant to look at.

I mentioned that now the shocks and plates are pretty well settled I've got to get back to the rusted out areas. It's back to filling the rusted away material. I begin the fill.


I did sandblast the welded area.
I can't think of a way to clean the metal and get right down to the bottom of any pits as well as sand blasting. We've talked about alot of tactics along this thread and I'm surprised no one has mentioned paint over rust products. The idea of spraying a liquid over rust and it will convert rust into a paintable surface.
I haven't expressed any opinion either way on the product. I have seen a couple threads where guys have used it. Just like any any other spray on product I'm sure preperation is a huge factor determining the outcome of the products ability to do what is advertised.
As for me, I'm a bare metal and start over guy and nothing gets me there better than sandblasting.
Now that we're here look also at the same pic. Looking closely you'll notice the new metal that I welded in has a black or darkened apperance. That area has to either be sandblasted or surface ground til the darkened area is removed. When you buy metal in large sheets there is a very thin left over layer of something from the making of the sheet. This layer, although it is well attached, will not stay after sometime. If in the future it decides to lift off, so will the primer and paint you sprayed on it. So before I'm ready to spray, I'll give one more blasting to ensure I've removed enough of it so I won't think about it later.
Now that we're here again.. I have seen, and many of you also I'm sure have seen where someone puts many hours, days, weeks, months into a project. Then finish the project only to find something fails way sooner than they thought. Sometimes the project is a huge experiment, trying something new, a new design, ect. I applaud that person for stepping out of the box. Now there's the other person who puts their heart and soul into a project of restoring. Everything is done right for the first part, then a bell rings in their head that it's taking too much time, we've all been there. Now it's a battle, do I keep on as I was or do I cut corners. Everytime I've cut corners in the back of my mind I'm thinking and watching the areas I cut corners. I now don't have the piece of mind in the end result that I wanted and why I started the restoration in the first place and that is to drive it with no worries.


Endimar the sandblasting equipment will be a big help. Note to all... having sandblasting equipment is good but it has not power behind it if the air compressor can't keep up. Sandblasting has one of the largest consumption of air so if your air supply isn't up to the task all you'll do is push sand out of a hose without results.
Going back to the shock mounts to the cross frame for a bit. I always think things look better when corners and edges are rounded off, it gives a finished look to the project. Here's a pic of the bottom of the shock mounts. I still need to finish the welding here. I'm gonna finish the weld before I round off the edges. If I rounded the edges first I'd be removing material that can help absorb the heat of the weld and possibly do more burning away of material than welding. Here's the cross frame flipped over, still needing welding and grinding round.

Now the welding is done around the outer edge of the shock mounts. I can take the 4 1/2 ' grinder and round the edges. Nothing fancy on the welding I know, these will never be seen later.

Now the finished product.

Once again I have to reassemble to check the fit of all the pieces so far, plus it lets you know the project is moving forward. After so many weeks you have to do what ever it takes to find motivation. My dry time is about the time I've done the diassasembly and been working on the repairs for a couple weeks, after a while it gets a little tiring. Point is, I know there are thousands of started projects that never get done, gotta keep moving forward. Here's a shot of the pieces in place.

Back to progress. I already showed the pic. This will be the next focus of fabrication. I've mentioned the process of filling and grinding and refilling. I tried to get a better pictorial display of the process. Here we go.

It is alot of filling. The tough part is working within the frame rails. This next pic is the first grinding.


Last picture showed the first grinding after the first fill. The picture showed a pretty good fill yet there were a few pits still remaining. This next pic is one that shows I got ahead of myself, oops. I filled the pits and started to grind then I stopped and said "I forgot to take a pic" soooo I took one and here is the result.

After the grinding I filled again, this time I remembered to take a picture. As mentioned before, this is a repeat process, fill and grind, fill and grind. This picture is the third fill. I already seen the end of this fix, it's gonna look great.


I've got a couple days off work so I'm finally making some progress.
Let's finish this rusty frame section with the fillin and grinding. The picture says it all, it looks great.

Next on the menu is this hole, or what ever it is. I've looked at it for years now, it's time to do a dissapearing act. Lesson time...It looks butt ugly, I don't even know how it got there. Sometimes to our eye something can look confusing as this hole is. We have to simplify the mess so we can construct a plan on how to fix it. Here's the hole.

Now to simplify the hole in the frame. Just simply square it up. I've got to make a filler piece so squared up is an easy way to go.

A piece of 3/16 close to the size of the hole. I'm thinking there's gonna be some grinding soon.

spyder6, if it's a heart thing, something that never leaves your desire. With all the temptations and stuff to redirect your attention and you always fall back to working in the shop, invest in your shop. God gave you a talent, if you know it, fulfill it. I craved working in the shop as a teenager, then life happened, I got missdirected, wasted time chasing quickies and short pleasures. I probably lost about 10 to 15 years, aaarghhhh. Now, obviously, I'm back in the saddle again, a few things have tried to redirect my focus lately, but my past helps me see the red flags real quick and I'm back to my passion, the workshop.
I'm gonna finish the "hole" real quick tonight. I have one metal working lesson to pass on. This first picture is the lesson. This filler piece is 3/16 thick, it takes some grinding to remove the amount of material to get to the sharpie mark. Always try to grind at an angle, the cut will be more agressive. For example, the grind in the pic is working with an angle. There is a second benifit also. Take the angle down to the sparpie mark, this way when you grind the rest of the material you grind the srurface flat and your done.

This next pic is the piece made to fit and the surround is "v" cut and ready for welding. The clamp you see next to the hole is holding a small steel plate that is covering the back side of the hole. This way the new filler piece has to stay flush with the rest of the frame.

And the weld. We've seen enough of the grinding, so after this we move to the back of the frame, got a couple uglies there also.


Been focusing on all the welding and grinding, let's move to something new. Before I can declare the frame ready to prime and paint I have to settle the springs and their mounts on the frame. Since I had to replace the frame sections where the front mounts bolt to the frame I have to be sure when the painting is done I don't have a missalignment situation. Always, always, check your fits before paint, nothing worse than having to force partstogether later, this pre-check will save time and headaches in the long run. As compared to todays suspensions where we have rubber bushings that have some miss-alignment forgiveness, these old Willys use solid bronze bushings, not much give if things are off from spring mount to spring mount. Picture shows how close the frame is to looking done and clean. Also it's the first time I had all the bushings pressed into the springs and rear shackles. Before this I haven't had the bushings pressed into the suspensionyet. This gave me the freedom of assembly and disassembly without abusing the new bushings yet, but now it's time. The next set of pics will go though the removal, lathe work, pressing, and reaming of the new bushings.

These shackles really show their age. A couple places has new ones in their catalogs but none in stock. I have no choice, gotta use the old ones. This pic shows one old bushing removed, it's shackle cleaned up a little bit. The opening where the bushing fits in is badly eaten away. I have no choice, I have to fill and grind. (and I thought I was gonna get away from welding and grinding, ha) and the one I have'nt touched yet.

Here's the filling process. I can't do one continuous weld, I have to do short stitches. If I did one continuous weld I'd start to burn into the material too much and distort the hole. After this I used the, yup you guessed it, 4 1/2 inch grinder. Using a caliper and checking the measurement continuously I got a pretty accuate resurface. Here's the fill.

I did the fill in the last set of pics, here I've cleaned up the weld. The purpose of the side of this shackle is to maintain the shackle in the center of it's mount. Perfection is not necessary, but it's good to have it close.

The bushings that came in the kit were the right size on the inside but too big on the outside. Kinda dissapointing, this wasn't mentioned when I bought the bushing and bolt kit. Anyway, over to the lathe, it's older that dirt but it has saved me more times than I can think of. Don't laugh at the mounting of the bushing. When it comes to mounting stuff in the lathe sometimes you have to Mcgyver. Yup, they're lug nuts, they had the perfect taper for the bushings.

With the deteriation of the shackles I wasn't sure of the strength. I was also leary of the way the sides were pressed onto the bushing tube in the center. So I fab'ed up a piece that ties all three sections together.


I this pic I pressed the bushing into the shackle. I'm not a machinest by no means but when I cut the outside diameter of the bushing I figured about 4 thousands of an inch press fit into the shackle. Being it is a soft material I knew it would give a bit if necessary.
I use the term "press" I know not everybody has a "press" but they are not that expensive. There are times I don't use mine for months but when I do I'm so happy it's there. Countless times I've used a hammer to install bushings, countless times I've rolled the edges of bushings during installation.
The press makes a nice smooth non-impact way of doing so much work. Earlier I used in on the bearing insallation on the rear end rebuild, I had to re-install during the shimming process and never once did I damage the bearings.
I also knew I was going to use a reamer to recut the inside diameter, so when the bushing compressed itself to fit the shackle, I'd recut the inside back to 3/4" again. Which is the perfect fit for the special bolts used.

And here we have the shackle, bushing insalled, shackle reinforced, and the new bolt inplace. Although the shackle is pitted, the main pressure is placed on the bottom side of the bushing when in service. I figure by reinforcing between the two arms and the bottom of the bushing I should cover the main stress areas.

Along with me, I just turned 50, this Internet and how it brings people together is a learning in it's own right.
Posting my progress is fun for those following and for me, it's encouraging to teach as well as watching my own progess, and recording it. I have no idea at what age we should stop learning new stuff, at 70 it sounds like you are inspired to dig into a deeper learning of the automotive field. When I finish this frame repair I'll be doing body work, engine rebuild of a 350 chevy and turbo 350 automatic transmission. If you don't take a class, you'll at least be knowledgeable of the inner workings to what may be a mystery to you now, just as we tore into a rear axle earlier in this build.
Your farm and ranch work does at least give you the very basics of many mechanical aspects that that many city folks never get to see.

This having time is great. I'm trying to design something on the torchmate so while I'm designing I'm downloading pics. Here is the next set.
In my time I've had to knock out many a bushing. Problem is I don't see a good punch for knocking them out and not damaging the item they are pressed into. The pic here is the bushing being rolled inward almost ready to use a large punch to knock it out all the way.

What I find that works best is to take a medium sized round punch, turn on the bench grinder, with the edge of the stone wheel create a counter sunk groove at the end of the punch. The outside of the punch is round to match the outer parimeter of the old bushing, and the counter sunk groove helps to get behind the bushing and curl it inwards so you can use the larger punch to knock it out.


Getting the rear leaf springs ready was no problem. The bushings that came in the kit were the perfect fit. No machine work. just press them in.
Since I'm a one man shop I had to suppport the far side of the leaf spring during pressing. I have enough problems getting these things to cooperate, they like to flop the wrong direction when I work with them.. I used a ladder and stacked wood on one step til the leaf spring was supported level with the press surface, then pressed the bushings in.

Black and bronze always looks good together.

Once the bushing is pressed in I clamped the spring in the vise and ran the 3/4" reamer through the bushing...done.

It's lunchtime and the dial-up is working pretty cooperatively. I started at the frame just behind the cab, I've slowly worked my way to the back. I'm about 3" from the very back of the frame, the end must be getting close.
Years ago when I made the bed I welded square plates in the corners to support the bed, don't laugh they worked and that's what matters.Obviously these need an update, so here goes.
Originally they used 1/4" angle iron to drop from the frame to support the rear bumper. The best I can tell, they allowed the angle iron to be about 3/8" higher than the top of the frame. I can only assume that this extra material gave them plenty of material to allow them to lay a heavy weld bead for strength.
Personally I don't like the extra height of this angle iron, so my update will allow me to grind down the extra material yet, still maintain a strong attachment from angle iron to the frame.
Here is the ugly that needs to be updated.

Here I've cut out the square away from the angle iron and ground down the angle iron closer to the height of the top of the frame rails. Somewhat also started pre-grinding the frame where the new welding will be done.

Here's the new corner piece. It will span the corner to create a new mounting tab for the bed, and it will be a perfect gusset for the whole corner. The loss of original weld and material is now gonna be supported from frame rail to frame rail. Is it just me? I have a desire to say... Na na na na na na na, batman. wham. slam. boom. smash, crash. You all gotta know the 60"s and 70's to remember..

Harold_Ray, it's a matter of technology. Most of my ideas start with thought, then a piece of card board, or in this case, a cereal box from cinnamin toast crunch, gotta love those tasty squares. Oops, back to the build... I draw the idea, scan it to Thorchmate. It creates a cut path and it's cut with a plasma cutter.
Here's the paper idea.

In this next pic you can see how the new corner piece draws the corners together with the 1/4 angle iron caught in the middle. Beautiful fit.

Once I ground down the original piece of angle iron I went through much of the original weld on the opposite side of the angle iron. I used the 3" air grinder w/ cut off wheel and "v" cut into the old weld and layed down new weld to firmly reattach the angle iron to frame on the backside.


Let's look at a technique for filling holes with the Mig welder. I see so many times people talk about using copper or brass as a backer while filling holes but I never get to see the results. So, let's just clamp a piece of brass to the backside of some holes in the frame shall we.....

I had a 1/8" piece about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. I clamped it in place.

I filled a bunch of holes. Here is the backside...or brassside of a set of them. The nice part of using the brass backer is I only used a wire brush to clean the born residue. With these being between frame rails, no grinding is needed.

And here is the front side, looks the same as usual.

Ray, thanks for the reply. hmmm high school in the 50's, I bet that was a great time to be in High School, it was a very optomistic time. I do sence a desire to do some rebuilding in your future yet though.

Exactly Jeff88, If you try to weld to brass or copper the weld just spits and sputters. When I filled these holes I had to aim towards the side and not directly at the brass itself. The only thing I see that might be a negative is if you look closely at the backside/brassside of the weld it doesn't look like there was a deep penetration around the edge of the hole. Although I know towards the front side of the weld it did melt in good. Since these are merely a cosmetic weld and strength is not a major issue, all is good.


The gas I use is a 75% argon, 25% carbon dioxide. I know a large factor in a weld is the pre-cleaning around the area. Although the Mig can burn through alot of crud, it still perfers clean metal to work with.

On the build I've had an issue in the back of my mind. In the beginning of this thread I mentioned using a gas tank other than original. The tank had about a 10 inch neck on it originally. Back then I bought a new tank, I cut the neck and rewelded it together only shorter. I may weld alot, but I'm not a used gas tank welder.
Ok, here's my issue, or shall I say issues. 1) I don't like the neck sticking out in the open as you see in this picture. 2) I don't like using a license light that sticks out like the one in this pic. By the way, I think its the third or forth one, I end up breaking them all. 3) I've always had a flat 4 prong trailer connector hanging from the back, very unprofessional.
With one contraption I will solve all 3 issues and gain a benefit when done.

Ok, no suspence, here it is. License light to the left, trailer connector fits in the right side, the whole thing covers the gas tank cap, and when done I'll attach diamond plate on the top and it will serve as a step.

Here's the great part of this thread, step by step fabrication. It starts as a card board template. This not only gives me size and dimentions it helps give an idea of the visual concept before cutting metal. To me it looks like it sticks out quite a bit in this picture. But refer to the picture above. With the rear bumper in place it sticks out about the same so it blends better with the rest of the lines of the back of the truck.


After the cardboard template was made I removed the tape and had the sections in front of me. Most all the pieces were straight lines so I merely measured and put the measurments into the computer and here is the result.

Time to put two angles into the center section. First I want a crisp clean edge at both angles. Second, know this... if the bend is off, even the smallest bit at either one of the two bends the amount I am off will be mutiplied at 9 inches further away from the bend. This bend can not be forced, it has to be a easy to bend situation. If you haven't guessed yet, it's back to the ole' grind with the cut off wheel about 3/4 of the way through and gently bend back the two sections.

I always pondered if I could make my own emblems. The Torchmate uses a plasma cutter to do the cutting. It creates an arc that melts the metal and at the same time it blows air to blow away the melted metal. Although it is rather accurate, for small cuts such as this emblem it requires a little filing and grinding to clean up all the edges. Otherwise, it is a doable thing to do.


I'd stick with the chrome for this one for one reason. I've already purchased new emblems for the rest of the truck, they are a beatiful chrome finish and they would all match.

I have seen the nickel plated stuff. Actually on a truck that is to represent the idea of big and tough, nickel would look good on this old truck.

My next issue, down here in Missouri I don't know of anyone near that does this plating, I probably have to send stuff out to be done. Anybody here have any plating done personally? and where do you send yours?


I have no idea why but the Photobucket thingy is not uploading right now, so I have to take the pic right from the computer, it's huge. I believe you can click on the image for a small, more resonable picture.
Some have shown excitement about the Willys emblem I made. Quite frankly, so am I. Yes, I used the torchmate. I still had to clean up the edges by hand. Once I was happy with the emblem I had to have a way to mount it, 3 screws would be fine.
At the most central areas of the emblem I drilled 3, 3/16 holes. Then got 3, 3/16 screws then cut the heads off the screws. Threading to nuts on the headless screws. I put the thread with the nuts in the vice being careful to keep them facing straight up. I can still spin the thread in the nuts so I made it so the thread was sticking out the top. then layed the emblem over this threaded piece. The threaded piece came about 3/4 into the emblem. Then using the Tig welder, not the Mig this time, I melted the thread and the emblem material together, once melted I dabbed a little welding rod in to bring this weld area flush with the emblem.
Hopefully Photobucket, will be working again soon.


Yes, that red one is an eye grabber. I like roller top edges and the fendersare like original Willys truck.

Photobucket is up and working again, we're back in the saddle.

This first pic is the gas cap cover again. I just wanted to cover the means of opening it up to get to the gas cap. There are 4 bolts on the outer parimeter of the square where the Willys emblem is. Acually they're fake. I thought I'd add them to break up the area, visually speaking. They're just bolt heads welded on.

There is one thing I give vehicle manufactures credit for. It's one thing to create a car, it's another to figure how to mount and bolt all the pieces together. Especially on body panels where the fasteners have to be hid. On the other hand, sometimes manufacturers piss me off with how they fasten things together. I wanted to hide the mounting bolts for this cover piece. Problem was, the gas cap and neck are in the way on one side, and the gas tank is in the way on the other side. This I enjoy doing, assemble the pieces, then weld the head of the bolts to the frame. This takes care of the gas tank side. For the front I had to make 4 notches that allow me to use a flexible socket and extention, now I can install the nuts on this side.Done deal.

Here's a tool trick. I had to notch, if I knew this to begin with I'd have the Torchmate make the notches, too late now. Ok, mark you notches, and cut. I used the 3" air cutoff wheel. First I cut to the depth. Now the cut from side to side is tricky. It's easy if you don't mind a mess but I don't want a mess this will be seen later. I used a 1/8" drill bit, a nice sharp one, then drill close holes from side to side, then with pliers, break off the tab. Now a little filing or ginding and you got a clean opening. This procedure works great whenever you have tricky cuts to make.

I just might follow the link, I'd enjoy going through someones build that has alot of Fabrication work. Thanks oldtime_ironman.

Since the Photobucket is working right now, let's keep on rolling along.
I'm gonna take care of the welds and cleaning them up with the same technique as the seemless welds I've done so far.

Although it does seem like alot of time to weld this way, if you want a seemless weld this will save time in the long run. These are stitches backed up on top of the one before it. When I put the three pieces together that made up this cover, I did so in a way that they all touched inner edges so they would create a "v" that is perfect for welding with good penetration. I have already done 1 to 1 1/2 inch welds on the inside of the cover to hold everything securely. Each one of these mini beads has good adhesion, but you have to stop the weld just before the weld really melts in, I need the build/fill. Also, if I penetrate too much I am likely to undercut the material where the weld meets it, then I'd have to go back a fill the undercuts. Plus now all the grinding is on the corners, as I mentioned before, corners are way easier to smooth seemless, than a flat area.

I think I already posted this one but here is the end result. To have this primed and painted should require next to nothing to get it smoothed out and looking good.


Alrighty then, let's crack this thing open...
In the last picture you will a hole along with the circle and the four notches you'll see a 7/16" hole. With the gas cap cover plate, in the same location, I drilled a hole. Then took a 7/16" bolt I cut the head off it, and just as I did with the emblem and it's attaching studs, I welded the 7/16" threads to the gas cap cover plate. Now get some plastic washers, in his case I used oil drain plug gaskets, and put one on the cover stud, put the cover in place and put another plastic washer on the threaded stud. Then install a 7/16" flat metal washer, this metal washer distributes the pressure on the plastic washer evenly. Then the key is to use a nylon lock nut, with this type of nut you adjust the tension to determine the amount of drag when opening the cover and it won't back off over time. Then weld a small tab on the main gas cap cover that mounts to the truck. Locate this tab so it will be a stopper so when the cover plate is in the closed position, it stops where it is supposed to and doesn't go beyond this point.
Here's the cap cover with it's washers and nut. Note... the nut shown is a standard one for fabrication, the nylon lock nut has like a crown on top that holds the nylon lock piece.

Here's the unit with the license and the trailer connector in place.

Fill'er up with ethyl please. You younger fellows wouldn't remember ethyl. She was a premium gas back in the days of gas wars.


Well, aint we all having fun. This is great.

Tonight I'll start with an old design, vs a new design. Nothing fancy.

Gas tank mounting straps. The top strap on the right has about 3 inches clearance between the end of the strap to the cross frame it mounts to.

Now the left side strap is within 3/8" clearance, as a matter of fact you'll see a 1/4" thick washer between the strap and the cross frame.

The old way was more of a pressure fit. I had a piece of threaded rod reach from the frame to the strap. Then with a couple nuts located on the threaded rod I held the treaded ro tight to the frame then higher up a couple nuts locked on to the strap. Yup, it held the tank in place, but I wanted to upgrade while Im here.

The new fit will be a solid lock to the frame itself. I simply added a couple inches to the end of the strap, while shaping it downward. Since I don't want later to assemble every thing and for some reason there is space between the strap and the tank, and the tank isn't secure yet. I fabbed this whole situation with the 1/4 '' washer on the frame the whole time. This way I know I've built in some flexability for later. Now if the strap gets too tight before it reaches the frame, I'll simply put in a couple shims/spacers and all will be secure and tight. You'll also notice the extra material on the bottom straps, don't worry, they're shortened, and fully sandblasted at the moment waiting for primer.

By some of the replies I just read, I know some have recently read the 28 pages of this thread. Some where during the first 10 pages there was conversation of "fish plates". With my dial up it takes forever to find the page again, but to who brought up the subject, I took it to heart.

As this work on the frame is nearing the painting process I really start to reconsider all the possiblities since I'm here right now. The plates I put in the sides of the frame I feel confidet with. Once the x braces are welded in they will support the frame as to where there will be minimal flexing. Plus the side ones are well enclosed.

It's the bottom pieces I welded in. Those plates are about 2 inche wide and simply welded end to end, and there will be alot of flexing at these points. Plus, the rear part of these plates end almost right where the weight of the truck, plus anything I load into the bed transfer to the frame. Sooooo, I fish plated, With this picture you can see the front fish plate, it over laps the old and new frame about 1 1/2 " each. Should add alot of strength.

The rear one I could have done the same but I had an opportunity to go one step further. By stretching the length of the fish plate I not only welded the fish plate in, I also brought it far enough forward to bolt the spring mount directly to it for a double plus.


Last week was time to decide I've done enough welding on the frame. I see some of the pics from the start, shooooey. This has certainly been a project of patience and fabrictaion. Some times you just have to jump in to a project. You don't always know where it's gonna take you, but there's nothing more uplifting than going through a photo album and seeing what was, and now, what is.

For most of the sanblasting I was able to roll the truck backwards till the rear frame stuck out far enough. This time I wanted to the areas that the spring mounts bolt to the frame. Sooo, it's down to a completely naked frame, including the cross frame sections too. I'd wager to say this is about as clean as a 61 year old frame can get. Well, the rear section anyway.

For those who recently went through all 28 pages you may remember me being curious if the main cross frame will fit when it's back in good shape again. Well, once everything got fitted and strong again it became aware that I would have to beat the front cross frame back into place. The rear one where the shocks are gonna mount now is no problem, but for the front one I ended up using a 4x4 post wedged between the frame rails to gain some room to reinstall the crossframe. Also looking closely at this next picture, you notice a copper color every where pieces are either weld or bolted together. This is a weldable primer. I use it whenever I weld body panels together on cars. Usually after welding rear quarter panels on, you can't spray anything on the weld later to prohibit the weld area from rusting. With this spray, it stays where you spray it so there is protection from rust later. Now I hope this will slow the rust issue in hidden areas here also.


I also hate sandblasting, yuck, sand gets everywhere, it always finds a way to get to bare skin, the face sheild turns to a blur too fast, the sand always gets under the head cover, yuck.

On the other hand the finished product is great, perfectly clean metal, so I bear with it for the results.

The black beauty blasting media is a pain, it does have small specks that are large enough to clog the tip, this sucks, you have to dissasemble and clear it out.

When using the fine silica sand, it's issue is the smallest amount of moisture in the air line causes the sand to glump up in the tank, then it doesn't flow out the tank valve as it should.

In this , while blasting, usually you can reach over and close the valve that deals with the air flow. Not the main inlet valve, not the sand regulating valve but the other one. By closing it off and on real quick the pressure in the tank raises for a second and will force the moist glump to push through the system. It like kitty litter and moisture, it glumps.

It'll shoot a large amount of sand through the hose for a second, then you'll gat a clean shot again. But atleast you don't actually have to stop. It takes just a few seconds.

Hope this helps

No, you are correct, the bottom is the sand regulating valve. What I am saying is...

I know the bottom one likes to clog, so the path of least resistance is for all the air pressure go through the air valve outside and around the tank. So sometimes instead of messing with the bottom valve, real quickly turn off and back on the air valve. This will not allow the air to go the path of least resistance and you'll force the tank pressure to rise for a second, then the sand in the tank has to go through it's valve when the tank pressure rises for this quick second, usually clearing the clog. The hose will spit a couple strong shots of sand and be back in working order in no time.

Otherwise I found messing with the bottom valve it takes more time, I lose more sand, and I have to reset the sand flow setting again.

Good luck


Phase 2 of fulfilling requests pertaining to recommendations of fabrication. My, such big words.

I've taken care of the fishplate additions, now a simple picture of adding a small bracing across the shock mounts on the axle.

Here's a fun picture. Although I try to keep the shop somewhat clean. As I've cleaned up through out this project. I've kept a few pieces that I have'nt thrown away. So I gathered up the pieces and took a picture. The picture in itself tells a story. For me there's alot of flashbacks over the last couple months.


UltimatE, I'm glad you're enjoying the work so far. These Mig welders are very universal, I hope you take what you've seen so far and can add your own twists and do even more.

hallsofstone, when you mention the situation of the boxed area holding salt and crud being held and causing a major corrosion problem. This was my concern when the idea of boxing my frame came up. I also will be driving this truck in salt and road sludge. I was afraid it would build up in hidden areas and I'd be back to a rusty frame issue again.

I picked up a piece of diamond plateand cut it to fit. It was a little rusty so I gave it a quick shot with the sandblaster. Fortunatly, when I cut the plate, the low spots/flats of the plate centered to where I could drill the mounting holes evenly. I think it adds nicely to the gas cap cover.

Something I didn't talk about with the making of the cover that the willys emblem mounted on was the effort made to get the emblem mounted without interference when rotating the cover upwards.

If I did nothing I would have to space the cover about 1/4 inch away so the emblem studs wouldn't scrape the main body of the gas cap cover. I had to counter sink where the nuts holding the emblem on could do their job yet not stick out too far. It's a 1/8 inch plate so I got them counter sunk alittle more than a 1/16 inch. Just enough no keep the nuts from making trouble.

Here is the plate and the simple tools. I drilled the 3/16 inch holes for the studs. Them used a Black and Decker bullet drill bit. It has a nice flat cutting edge for the larger size. Be careful, it wants to drill right through the plate. The diameter is perfect to fit the nut into the countersunk hole, but. There's no room for a socket to tighten the nut. So, by using the rotary brrrrr with the flat bottom I very carfully trimmed the hole larger to allow a socket to fit also.


I have to do some uploading of pictures, but here is one that is recent.

We've seen this angle before, once totally rusty and crusty, then another with repairs done and doing a mock assembly to check fits.
This one shows the bolts on place that will replace the old rivets. The copper spray that will help contol the rust between where metel meets metal, and the inner brace clamped in place to be welded in. This is looking good.

Yeah, I know, it's just a frame. But if there's one thing I've learned over the years. Now I'm not a super fussy person when it comes to keeping my vehicles spotless. For this reason I'll take extra time now trying to prepare for the best finish I can get, this way in my neglect later it'll hold up well and for a long time into the future.


That's it guys, I want the both of you to write " I will not pick on dial-up anymore" 500 times on paper, and put your papers on my desk tomorrow. Otherwise there'll be no pudding for you!

So far I've used a spray product that is weldable and will help stop corrosion between to layers of metal.
Now for another. This is a very common product that the car manufacures use alot of, it's simply a body sealant. Just open your car or jeep or truckdoors and you'll see it spread up and down the body weld seams. It holds to metal excellent, yet it still has a slight flexability to give with the body if necessary.

So I sealed everywhere I didn't want moisture to get to. Also, when you paint a frame or anything with many angles and hidden areas, this way the hidden areas are already filled so now the paint/primer coverage is easier.

Talk about primer, I've begun the process. This is a metal etching primer. My goal here is to cover every bit of metal. I want a medium to wet coat. I want wetness, I believe the longer it is wet, the longer it can eat deeper into the metal. Of course, wet, but just before it starts to run.
Painting and priming is not all about the glory. What mean is.... the vehicle is sitting there, clean and ready. The gun is full of primer, yahoo, this is gonna be great. STOP!!! The first places to start is all the places that bring no glory.
Start at all the places that are a pain to paint. In this case I started by crawling into the frame right behind the cab and worked the inside frame back to the rear.
Next, while spraying and you see a spot and you think you'll spray it later from a different angle, STOP!! spray it now, or you'll over look it later until all the spraying is done, then it's too late. Patience is the key.

Next, the primer application is very direction sensative. Lets take a 3/8 hole, if you spray straight on, none of the inside of the hole will get coverage. Such as when you spray the full length of a frame rail, straight on and no inside hole coverage. Go around as you see in this picture. Spray a full circle to get the inner diameter of the hole, all of them.... boring.
Another plus with this routine. If you wait to spray these small areas just before you do the overall spray down the frame rail, your chance of runs is very high. If you spray the holes well before the overall spray, less chance of runs around these spots, the primer has a chance to set and dry for a couple minutes before the main spraying. At this time of taking care of the small spots, I'm down around 20 pounds of pressure at the gun. This makes it very manageable to spray and not end up with runs.
You'll notice the drop light on the floor. During most of my spraying, if I don't have a perfect light to give me a reflective beam so I can see the exact texture of the primer while spraying, I hold the light directly opposed to where I'm spraying, I know exactly what's going on during the application. The bulb is not a regular bulb, I use one of the new halogen flood light bulbs. The beam is spread out, and the bulb never gets too hot.

Hey guys, no harm done. I know it's all in fun.
I'm the first to say it's a pain. But we have to give it credit, without it we wouldn't be teaching and learning. This doesn't mean you're gettin out of your homework.

94yjstocklook brought the idea behind this build to the forefront. I get alot of feedback as you can read on this thread. I've gotten thumbs up messages,(which took me forever to figure out). I've gotten some PM messages. This has also been linked to another site.

In all, the best comments are the ones that people say they've learned from this thread.

If all I wanted was the glory of the craftmanship, I'd just post before and after pics.

It's taken alot of patience to show step by step. But uploading and waiting for dial-up is well worth it as long as there's some learning going on here.


Now in this picture I've got an excellent base for a primer/filler, could also be called a primer/surfacer.

The label on the metal etching primer reads to wait approx. 30 minutes before applying the next primer. When priming or painting we're gonna be dealing with mainly 3 different concepts of adhesion. 1) a etch/acid grip. the idea that it will eat into the metal and create a microscopic fish hook effect to lock on to the metal. 2) a mechanical grip, the idea that the surface has been sanded or sandblasted to create a rough texture to grab onto. 3) a solvent grip, the idea of when the top coat is sprayed on to a surface and the new/ wet solvents loosen the suface and the solvents basically melt together.

The etching primer has etched it's way into the metal. Now before it dries and gets a hard skin, I'll spray the primer/ filler, the two will now have a solvent adhesion.

Note, the instructions allow this to happen. Not all products work this way. Some are required to dry first before the next application. There is also what is called the "window". This is the case of the etching primer. My window was between 30 minutes to around an hour and 1/2. If I go beyond this window I would have to allow a dry time then scuff the etching primer before spraying on top of it. Know your product, read the label, this stuff aint cheap.....

Now I've got the primer/filler applied. This is a good time, I finally feel like I'm getting near completion.

Now I have to decide how fussy I want to get before painting. I've done a ton of welding and fabrication. With no paint, the fabrication looks perfect to the eye. Now with the primer, the fabrication work looks perfect. But if I take a 4" piece of paint stick and wrap it with 100 grit sandpaper and sand across the frame, now the high spots and the low spots stand out.

The highs and the lows will show in the final painting. Not only the highs and the lows but also any pits in the metal will show also. It's decision time.

Here's the good part. With the primer/filler I used I covered the whole frame. Then being aware of the places that may need extra filling I applied an extra layer of primer/filler. Now with the stick wrapped with sandpaper I keep sanding the spots that need attention. By time I remove most of the primer/filler, without sanding into the etcing primer, I've pretty well leveled the surface to where most all the pits and most the low spots are filled.

Before I get much futher in explanation, lets look at the primer/filler application. Notice the rack in this picture. Get as many of the odds and ends ready for primer. Do as much as you can in one session. Everytime you spray you will waste primer material during gun clean up. This stuff is expensive, spray all you can at once.


Yeah, the truck has to be happy, I know the owner is. I've purposly kept from looking under the truck for years. Now I'm looking forward to sliding under it once in while and remembering the work I put into it.

hallsofstone, you know the reason I mentioned it, been there done that.It really requires a plan of attack when painting. One thing I didn't mention is to know which way the air is going to flow through the shop if using any kind of exhaust fan. Try to start closest to where the air comes across the vehicle first. This way it will lessen the amout of overspray getting on panels you already painted.

herbiehind, it's the kind of shop you don't mind spending some time in. Thanks.

The rest of the truck will get body work and paint. The cab will come off the frame too. But all this will be sometime next year. Right now it's just a matter of saving what I have before the frame gets twisted out of shape.

RCB, thanks for checking in.

Couple pics of the wheels off this truck. I had the rear tires removed from the rims while the priming is going on. Planning on perhaps a charcoal metallic finish. So the rims are gonna be painted silver.

The timing is perfect to display the need for a commonly over looked step in painting. The etching primer of which I just used on the frame.

I had the front and rear rims made special for this truck. Once done they sprayed a nice coating of primer on them, probably for shipping reasons, but they sure looked good with the primer.

Well I knew better, I knew even back then that I should sandblast and etch prime, but the primer looked sooooo good.

So I simply scuffed the surface and sprayed on the light blue. It didn't take long I noticed a bit of lifting of the paint. A loosening from the surface actually.

I did a quick sandblasting on sunday, just enough to remove the paint but not clean down to the metal. You can see without a primer that bites into the metal the rust can grow and spread under the paint as what happened here.

Then here is where I love the sandblaster. It's like starting all over again with brand new rims. And a look at what was....


Yes, you can still use an etching primer, at least with ones I've used.
Caution to always read the directions on labels.

Good for you to cover all the priming bases. Before you can spray paintyou do need to spray a primer surfacer before painting. This is a good thing anyway because in most cases you will want to block sand to fill any low spots.

Most the etching primers I use, and have used, mentions usage on bare metal and bare aluminum. When it comes to applying over painted surface it reads that when applying on a painted area "sand the finish to a feather edge".

Fether edge is merely sanding the existing paint around the repair back away from the repair in a fashion that the paint is sanded so that you cannot feel an edge where the bare metal meets the paint. Usually this procedure, where the bare metal is, to where you stop the feather edge is about an inch of sanding back away from the metal.

The etching quality in the primer is not like the acid bite in battery acid or if you've ever seen what DOT 3 brake fuid will do to paint, It's just enough to latch onto the metal. Now, remember, we use aluminum paint guns, so clean the gun immediatly when done.

Ok, there is another common product for bare metals. This product is epoxy primers. I've read a few product write ups, but I'd like to see and hear from someone who has used it. I'd be curious of it's sandability, does it work on repair work, and what's it's dry time.

I do have a fiberglass car to work on in the future, I believe at that time I will have no choice but to use epoxy on it. I do look forward to giving it a try at that time.

Got a couple pics tonight. Two sections of the frame. The first is a picture of the pits from age. Although I sprayed extra primer in some of the areas I knew would need extra fill to smooth the pits. There's just too many to smooth them with out 2 or three more coats of primer, then block sanding.

Our next choice is the use of a glazing/spot putty. This is my choice, I can save time and money by simply spreading a layer over the needed areas, sand, then reprime. If you go looking for a glazing/ spot putty you'll find two main kinds. One, just squeeze it out of the tube and apply. The other, squeeze it out of a tube, mix a hardner, then apply to the project.

Do not, I repeat, do not use the first one. Only use the second one, the one that requires a hardner. The first one dries by air, not good, once the outer layer dries, the middle of the fill takes forever to dry. Then when it does dry, it will shrink over time and show the repair area later.

These areas are real noticable since I've run sandpaper over the area.

Not only do we have mother nature eating in, and we have to smooth those areas, all the welds and grindings will need attention also. Here is one of the large plates I welded in. Know this, while doing the welding and grinding, always try to go slightly lower than the actual suface. It's easier to fill a small low spot than to have to go back now and start grinding and removing metal.


Been a few days, let's get back to business.

Right now on the build I'm at a pivotal point. This is where decisions have to be made about cosmetics. The structural decisions have been made and I acted on my decisions. The decisions of fish plates, gussets on shock mounts, the type of shock mounts, where I'd remove and replace framesections vs filling and grinding frame sections, ect.

The last couple pics showed pits and low spots. Know this... only because I'm a little picky is the reason I would do some block sanding to find the pits and low spots. Other wise I'd have gone right to the painting stage.

It's a frame, I know, but when done I'm still gonna crawl under neath and reflect on the finished work. There is a term I really try to stay away from,
"Oh it's good enough", this usually means you "settled" instead of "accomplished".

Once you use the term "oh it's good enough", by the end of the project you usually end up saying " I wish I would have". Meaning, I wish I'd have taken the time to detail a certain area.

Here's a learning I got about 25 years ago. I bought a drag car frame. It was to be an open body altered. The guy who sold it to me gave up on it, so I got a good deal. The guy who sold it to me followed the project as I built it. We had to different mindsets. Mine was to build into the car, the means to go as fast as possible, no excuses. His was to build a car that had speed errors into it. One for example, use smaller, harder compound slicks, this way he could blame the tires and the lack of traction, for his lack of speed. I learned alot from this experience. Point is, we have decisions, I realize money, tools, experience pays a big part, but when we do have choices, don't purposely build in excuses.

I'm back to the rear axle. It too is gonna be painted but I see way too much pitting from age in the axle tubes. If you all have followed old vehicle rebuilds, you've seen where the items being painted are badly pitted. They may be sandblasted and clean, but the paint followed the curvature of the pits. With all paint work, the finish is often determinted on how light reflects back to you. With painting over pits, sometime the eye can't determinte if the reflection is a pit, (concave) or a piece of rust scale, (convex).

My truck sits high and has an exposed rear axle, these pits are not allowable. So for cosmetic reasons I'm gonna smooth the pits with body filler. Little bit of extra work but when done, I won't purposely look away from the finished product and say "I wish I would have".

And here is the progress of the filling.

From the axle, back to the frame.

You may notice I've filled pits two different ways. One), I primed, then filled. Two), I filled, then I'm gonna prime.

Time was the deciding factor here. I've been working 6 days a week and the sun is going down sooner. I knew I'd need a 4 hour working window to apply the etching primer and the primer filler. I used last sunday as my window of opportunity to prime. Then the week nights to fill with the spot putty. Knowing I'd have this sunday and monday off I'd have another widow of opportunity to paint the frame.

If I filled the pits with body filler, I'd be priming this weekend and still need a window to paint. Also the weather man said this weekend would be perfect for paint, he was right. Once again, plan ahead when possible.

As for the axle and accessories, painting time isn't as critical, so my options are greater for night time painting.

Lets's see how the progress has moved forward. There was an area in the frame I didn't post much at all. It's a section on the drivers side, just above the rear axle. The frame had a rubber bump stop bolted to the frame. Perfect spot for rust to gather and destroy, which it did.

I talked and showed the frame imperfections after the first coat of primer. The pits and low spots had to go. Here's the application of the spot putty. There is one benefit of the spot putty vs body filler. The spot putty is made of a much finer filler base, this allows you to sand down to a very fine feather edge, when done sanding it's edge flows smoothly into the base it is applied on. Regular body filler often leaves a bit of an edge. Nothing a little primer and block sanding doesn't take care of though.

This is today. Sixty one year old frame, welding and patching, grinding and filling. Now, smoooooth. I just kept walking around it today after it dried for a couple hours. During those couple hours I stopped in the house and turned on the computer. I went back about 3 months and looked over the couple hundred pictures I've taken, ouch, I sure am glad I'm not there anymore. The camera doesn't do the frame justice, it looks like it stacked the pixels in the picture.


Ok, that's 2 for giving epoxy primer a try. Now I also have to follow my own advise and read the label too.

There's nothing like a before and after picture to tell you how much crap you took care of during the build.

During the manufacturing of this truck, the best I can figure is the rivet machine must have had a problem. The rear spring brackets I believe were supposed to be riveted in place. Mine had rivets, then some where during the assembly welding entered the process. I don't know why but the mounting ears had to be welded in place. After a quick shot of sandblasting I uncovered this mess.

For those of you just getting into welding there is one thing that will ruin a weld real quick, paint, undercoating, oils, ect that like to come out of crevices when things get hot during the welding. This frame had a coating that was a pain. It was like a asphault undercoating and it was in all the crevices.

After another sandblasting and some grinding I "v" grooved into the old weld and did my own welding and grinding.

Now after a new weld and grinding.


Good advice from both who answered. Grinding is a fast way to clean metal. I like the torch and burning away crud, been there done that.

The mention about many years ago and what they breathed in back then. It's not til many years later that we know we breated in poisons, then it's too late. Case in point.. all the talk about esbestos these days.

Your concern is very legit. For example, the spring mounting bracket still oozed sizzling undercoating when I welded it. The smoke that came out of there, I have no idea of the toxics that could have been expelled.

This topic is also being covered in the fabrication section of this forum. The topic is that of using brake cleaner to clean the existing oils and grease before welding.

I am very familiar to the odor of brake cleaner burning, it has a strange vegetable smell to it. I recently cleaned the inner rear axle tubes with a rag wetted down with brake cleaner, then with a rod I pushed the rag through tube to remove any crud. Then I sandblasted the outside of the axle housing. After sandblasting I welded the small braces on the shock mounts.

The heat from the welding sunk through the tube, and heated the brakecleaner residue. Although the brake cleaner was dry and gone, it still left a deposit that I could smell as I welded. The odor traveled down the tube then escaped out the end and drifted my direction. I used the tig welder which is slower than mig so the was more heat generated.

My solution to not breathing in welding fumes... I just set up a simple household box fan to blow the air away from my direction. Not enough to mess with the tip of the welder, but enough to give me fresh air to breath.

I'm gonna run through a few before and after pics. After this much work it's fun to sit back a enjoy the view for a while.

Here's a before pic. All those holes in the rear frame piece. All that rust yet to deal with.

Just as I spot painted to be sure I filled all the holes and difficult areas with primer, I do the same with paint. Kinda gives the frame a zebra effect. lol

And the finished product... Notice the 4 ft flouresent light fixture on the ground. In my past I've noticed bad paint, runs, dry spots, sags, ect are due to poor lighting. I need to see the exact texture and wetness of the application while painting. This light gave me an opportunity to have a perfect reflection while painting the botton of the frame.


Harold_Ray, Yes, absolutly, the salt that is put on the roads during the winter is a killer in the north. Here in Missouri, it's not so bad. But this truck spent over 50 years in the north. I like the fact that not only you, but others are finding an interest in these old trucks. They just get more unique every year.

hallsofstone, yes it sounds like you missed a couple classes while you were gone. Go check with angie in the second row, she has good handwriting and she takes well organized notes. That will help get you caught up with the rest of the class. But there will be none of this->

Jeff88, you keep making comments like that and I'll have to sell my truck. The cab on these Willys trucks are quite small, my head won't fit. Just kidding with ya. thanks...

I'm still new at this forum stuff, when someone subscribes do they get a message when a new post is posted?

Let's look at a before pic. To be honest with you all, I had no idea where I was going when I look back at pictures like this. I just knew I had to disassemble and start making sense of the situation in front of me. One thing that I do keep in the back of my mind when I disassemble a vehicle. For years I've seen cars and trucks get torn apart to never be put together again. For me I vow to stay with the project til I get it back in working order again, I don't want to be a statistic of what percentage never gets back on the road again. Hmmmmm, (rubbing my chin) maybe that's why I'm single.

This next pic is the after. I wasn't so concerned about cosmetically perfection. I wanted no rust and good paint. Next I'm gonna spray with a good undercoating so everything will be covered soon. The couple holes not filled with bolts are the ones that hold the spring perch to the frame. Once I paint the rear shackles, I'll assemble the rear suspension, and install these bolts and undercoat the new bolts and everything will be coated.

How about one more picture. This one doesn't need a before, I'm sure all will remember this plate being installed. I remember the responce I got once I finished the welding and grinding to a no seam repair.


Don't worry guys, the paint on the frame stays just as it is. I've never been much for satin black finishes, but this is such a nice rich black.
A couple more before a afters. Getting the frame painted is just the beginning of the end. In the shop I've been priming and painting the rear rims. In all honesty, rim painting sucks. Too much of a dish shape and it's hard to get a light to see what's going on. Plus I want the back side of the rim to have a good finish just as the front side. I still have to finish smoothing the axle, and so on and on and on.

On the frame I must have welded 30 or 40 holes in the frame. In this picture you'll see it's not all pretty stuff. Sometimes it's how you finish and dress the welds that matters the most.
The top of this frame rail not only had holes to fill, but also rust tracks from the original shock mounting bracket that was attached across the top of the frame.

Now the after picture. Same frame rail, just a different angle. Yup, gotta love that black.


You're right mikewheels, value wise these old willys don't rank too high in the price catagory. Good thing about that is, they're more affordable to build something unique.

Let's step back to the paint and preparation for a bit. So far there has been good conversation regarding metal primer and primer surfacer/primer fillers.

A very common item used in body work it body filler. Some times called bondo, or evercoat or mud and probably others also. Basically it's a putty that requires a hardener, activator. The labels always give you a mix ratio of mixing the both of them. Honestly though, squeezing out of a tube doesn't allow you to keep a perfect reference of how much hardner you're using exactly. So keep the ratio as close to the instructions as possible, and buyan extra tube of hardner, they're cheap and it sucks to run out.

Along with the body filler you'll need spreaders. Simply plastic non handled putty knives, they come in different sizes to meet your needs. They're firm enough to spread the thick putty, yet flexable enough shape it with your hand to comform to different angles.

If you've never used it yet, focus on one thing when you apply it to the car, the smoother you apply it, the less sanding you'll do to get the results you're looking for. Now when sanding, first focus on the outer edges, try to get the feather edge, that's when the filler blends right to the metal with no bump where the filler meets the metal. Now you can focus from the center out to the feather edged areas. In most cases it is best to wrap the sandpaper around a paint stick or something similar. Often times I'll tape two paint sticks together. This will be strong enough to where it will only sand off the high spots and not flex and try to follow into the low spots. If you do a search you'll find rubber blocks, and many other items that replace the paint stick idea.... your choice and preferance here.

You'll have multiple choices on the sandaper grit. This is totally personal preference, but ... on large repairs where you don't want any waves when done, I start with as coarse as 40 grit. This agressive paper will knock the high spots down quicker without much pressure. The idea of staying away from unnecessary pressure is to keep the sandpaper from shaping to the filler vs the filler shaping to match the paper. Once you've reached a straight fill now go to an 80 grit, then perhaps a 220 grit. You don't want to leave the 40 grit paper scratchings then primer over it. It's not such an issue with good primer surfacers, they'll fill those scratches and be ok. Many primer surfacers will fill the scratches but over time they will shrink and these scratches will haunt you later, the paint will settle down into the scratch groove and you will see the body work under certain lighting. So, sand it down smooth, no issues.

Once the body filler is done, and you primer to a primer surfacer, it's block or usually known as wet sanding. Spraying the primer surfacer is merely a sandable coating over the car body, or as you saw in my case, over the frame. In this process we want a block, or the paint sticks, ect, with paper that is created to be used with water. Simply working the sandpaper back and forth, usually starting around 220 grit, following the curves of the body panel with medium pressure have a bucket with water. Now when sanding, use a sponge or clean rag an slowly dribble water exactly where you are sanding. This process allows the paper to maintain a good cut without clogging the paper with primer powder. Most paints want a sanded finish arount a 400 grit before applying paint. As I mentioned leaving 40 grit scratches before priming in bad, same with much coarser paper before painting will also produce an issue where the scratches will show through once the paint dries.

An expection... I dry sanded the frame. The frame has many hidden areas that the water can run into. Now once the water dries it will leave a powder residue. If I don't get in to the crevices with a pre paint cleaner, the paint will not stick later. So by dry sanding I saved myself from a hassle later.

I'm trying to condence this, ha, I'm not doing very good.

Lets bring in a picture. I mentioned mixing the body filler with a hardner. In this picture I have a plastic flat plate. Years ago I used cardboard to mix on, not good. As soon as the filler gets put on the cardboard the solvents get absorbed into the cardboard, now we loose some of the fillers ability to stay workable for the right amout of time. I've had this plate plate for years, use it and clean it with thinner, and you're good to go.

The cup is a must anymore. Most all the primers and paints now require mixing activators or hardners with the product. I get these from Eastwood products it has many different scales showing many different ratios. If you plan on using a HVLP gun, you have to mix your stuff in a seperate container anyways, these are and good way to go.

If you are looking for a paint gun probably the old saying of "you get what you pay for" is pretty accurate. But you need to know how technical you need to have before you buy. My stuff is usually middle to upper grade. One thing I will say is... buy a gun that is a name brand if possible. Why, the gun doesn't really wear out, it's a couple gaskets, and couple seals, and the main needle that wears out. With a name brand these parts can usually be purchased seperatly and your gun has a long life. Next, clean the gun so you can never tell what colors you've sprayed, clean, clean, clean. One other thing with a good gun is you can purchase different tips/ nozzles. In this picture is a 1.2 tip used for paints and clears. The larger one is for real thick fluids such as primer surfacers it is a 1.8. Good guns will give options to order different tips.

More info in the paint area but if I continue I'll probably loose my dial-up and loose all this writing.


Not too much going on in the shop for a couple days. It turned cold overnight so I fired up the heater and it worked the first time. Then the second start-up had a bad rattling sound, then no sound, this can't be good.
It ended up being the fan that crates a fan forced exhaust, it rusted so bad it broke apart. Got a new "power exhaust assembly" and installed it tonight. The new one works and the shop is ready for cold weather.

A little while back I posted the rims, they had a bad rust issue that was crawling under the paint. Nothing the sand blaster couldn't handle. Since then I did the metal etching primer and a couple coats of primer surfacer.

With the color of the truck being a dark blue I painted the rims light blue last time. I"m working on the idea of going to a charcoal metalic this time. I figured silver metalic would be good for the rims this time.

One issue with painting rims is painting them completely without having marks where they made contact with the floor, workbench or however you're holding them in place while painting them. The other issue for me is there are
three sides to paint, the front face, the rear facing and the outer portion which is cover by the tire once installed. I want all sides to be painted at one time, no marks and no dry spots from over spray that didn't melt in with paint that was sprayed in one of the other 2 sides.

Let me say.....I hate painting rims, the deeper the rim, the worse it is. These rims are 10 inchs wide so the suck 10 times worse. I need a good reflective light beam so I can see the exact amount of paint I'm spraying, rims just don't allow it.

Ok, my idea for holding the rim, and not leaving marks where is made contact to anything is to support the rim by the lug nut holes. The lug nuts will cover any marks left behind so it's perfect.

Once again you need a plan. I start with the rim mounted back side up, then spray. Then grab the outer portion with both hands, lift, rotate and put it back down with the front face up. Spray the front face, then area where the tire beads meet the rims, but not all the center where the tire covers.

Let the paint dry til finger slick. Meaning you can very lightly touch the paint while moving you finger from side to side. Now flip the rim, paint the second coat on the back side, flip the rim, spray a light coat on the center portion, then go to the front facing, now back to the center portion with a light coat.

Now in most cases 2 coats of a good acrylic enamel will cover good. If a third coat is needed, hold off doing the center portion til you do the third coat.

I also opted to do 2 clear coats also, this really adds shine, and the strength to the finish.

Here is one rim with the acrylic enamel without clear.


Alright hallsofstone, as long as you're caught back up with the class, you and the boyfriend will have to deal with your issues off the school property.

mikec4193, absolutly I'm gonna keep this build posted. The build is gonna have stages. Hopefully within the next week or two I'm hoping to have the suspension and rear axle bolted in. Winter is getting close, I have firewood still to gather. But there will many more pics to post.

There is one very good thing I appreciate about the car rebuilding reality shows such as American Chopper, American Hot Rod, ect. For years I've battled small issues such as leaks, or ticks, or paint issues, ect. It's so easy to want to just walk away sometimes and say "screw this". But after watching the reality shows,, they have the same problems too. Not that I'm happy they have problems, but now I feel better knowing even the pros have issues.

What I have come to realize is the fact that I am out in the shop pushing my limits of my abilities, and the fact that I am out pushing my abilities I will come up against the good and the bad. I will learn new ways of getting the results I'm looking for. Now if I sat in the house and never pushed my abilities I'd not have any problems. But that's not me, now, although I still hate problems I know it's because I refuse to just settle and do nothing.

Case in point. I hate painting rims, but I have no choice. The rims were looking good while painting but I just had to push the limit. Next thing I knew, I had a sag. Grrrrrrrr. Even with the catalist added to the acrylic enamel there is still a time required before the paint is cured enough to reapply paint over the sags. One tool I use the heck out of is a heat gun. To ensure the paint is cured as soon as possible and it has dried well enough to sand, I heat the rim over and over with the heat gun.  

While the bad paint is curing I still have the other rim to paint. Learning from the sagging paint, I am more careful. The next one came out good. After painting a couple coats, I left it sit til the next day and spray 2 coats of clear directly over the paint. It worked great, the finish has very glossy finish, and will stay glossy for many years.

Ok, here's the sag. yuck.

The saggy paint rim is all sanded and painted and cleared. I can't tell which rim is the one had the sags now. This next pic is the metal etching primer on the rear axle. The work of simply filling the pits with body filler was worth the effort. The axle tubes show no pits at all. After this primer coat, I did the primer surfacer which allowed me to final sand the surface to prepare for paint. I did not clean and prime the rear cover. I bought a new cover by Body Armor. It is very heavy duty but I also liked the look. Since the axle is very exposed on this truck I figured I'd give it the finishing touch.


Over the time of this rebuild the rear axle housing has made it's apearances. Tonight it's back again.

A while back I showed a pic where the rust had it's way with the axle tubes, I declared that the pits would ruin the paint work, they were unacceptable.

Short there after was a picture where I was filling the pits in the tubes with body filler. This procedure may have seemed a little extreme to some, but for a couple hours of work the tubes look like brand new.

I also mentioned that the rear axle is exposed when everything is all back together, so I felt a different cover would add the the tuff look of the truck. I looked around and settled with a cast iron cover by Body Armor. This thing is a beast, heavy and strong. I think it is good addition to this project.

These pics should show how the axles turned out after paint and how the rear cover changes the attitude of the axle.

The cover came with the paint finish that is on it right now. I'm probably gonna give it a quick sanding and spray it with the black that I've been using. Dang those tubes look sweet............


Shall we talk about brakes for a moment. With disc brakes being the way to go in the high performance, aftermarket and even from the factory, we can't forget about drum brakes. They are still very much in use.

At first glance they can make one stumble with the springs and levers ect. If your gonna do your first drum brake job I recommend getting a digital camera, take some pictures, and load the pics on the computer. This way you have the perfect resource on how it all goes back together later.

Fortunatly most of the drum brake work you'll do is on a newer vehicle that rust and time has'nt eaten into the backing plates. I however do have the rust and time issue. So...... here we go again.

Years ago when I put this all together the plan was to run this truck in the local mud holes. Back then I drilled three holes that I could run water into the brakes to flush out the mud that seeped into the brakes. Now I am welding shut the holes, this accounts for three of the welds in this next picture.

There was a opening where a parking brake cable went through this backing plate along with 2 threaded holes to hold the cable in place, this accounts for three other welds.

Now for the often over looked spots on the backing plates. Along the outer parimeter there are 6 flat spots that the brake shoes actually rest up against. Three rest spots for the front shoe and three for the rear shoe. There is a constant spring pressure holding these shoes tightly to the backing plate. Now along with the rusting issue and the spring pressure we also have the back and forth movement when we apply the brakes. With all this force and movement the metal frame work of the shoe grinds it's way into the rest spots of the backing plate. This grinding eats away and leaves grooves in the backing plate and the shoes no longer have smooth surface to rest and move back and forth on.

These grooves will cause the shoes to always want to return back to the same spot, even after the shoes wear, they still want to settle in the old grooves. These grooves also fight the natural movement of the brake shoes when applying the brakes.

This first pic is the many welds required to fill and patch the backing plate.

This next picture is after the grinding. I placed the old shoe on the plate to show the three spots where the brake shoes rest.

Every once in a while there are steps along the process that are very up lifting.

I'll get back to the brake work again, but this picture has to be posted.

After the rim hassle, the rear axle work, the rust and scale on everything. The old springs, the shock mounts that I didn't like. This is where the project is heading now.


Ok, let's get caught up here.

Tubes, I said tubes, the tubes are sweet.

As for disc brakes, yes they are superior in most situations. I could probably find an aftermarket conversion kit. But for the most part, this truck has always been a work horse more than a running horse. Only once in a while it sees much extreem hill climbing or high speed stopping to require more than I have now.

I do have to chuckle now that I reflect on it's past. When I say extreem usage, when I compare it to a stock truck, it does do extreem work at times. I take for granted where I've gone in this truck knowing a stock one would be hung up and high centered. I think I'll go out and give it a petting on it's hood when I get back to the shop.

As for the tires, 40's, yes, well 39.5''. Strange thing is, the Ground Hawgs advertised 40", the Super Swampers advertised 39.5". I knew I was gonna loose a couple inches on width, that is ok with me, I go into the woods alot and I could use a couple inches of clearance. But the Super Swampers turned out to be about 1 1/2 " taller than the 40 " Ground Hawgs, hmmmm go figure. Anyway, I like the slightly larger diameter, and the narrower tire, all is good.

This thread will continue to the front section. Only after I use it through the winter, it has winter time chores to do.

And thanks for the compliments also.

Back to the backing plates for the brakes. Last time I covered the need to weld and fill the 6 wear points where the shoes rest up against the plate. There is one other area that very rarely needs work, but mine did. Hmmmmm imagine that.

In the last set of pictures you can see how the shoe meets this pin.

There is a pin at the top where the shoes stop when the brakes are released. The return springs always pull the shoes back to this resting spot. Over the years once again rust, and vibration has caused this pin to be eaten away over time. Now the shoes, when returned to their resting spot actually come closer together. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is. If the top of the shoes come closer together, that means the shoes are also pushing the wheel cylinder pistons deeper into the cylinder, which means it takes more fluid to get the shoes out to make contact with the brake drum. Yes, there is an adjuster at the bottom of the shoes, but this doesn't make up the difference at the top of the shoes.

You've seen me use the words "liquid Metal", when using the mig, here I go again. I want to fill the worn away areas, but being very careful not to distort the original sizing of the pin. Of couse I got out the 4 1/2" grinder and had to do some hand filing also.

And the other side when finished.

And for desert, another look at the beast.


I'm still working on priming and painting all the small odds and ends, sometimes in seems to go on and on. I do know it's the patience at this time where I want to just start bolting everything together, but I have to STOP!, I know I have to maintain the details to the end.

The paint has had a couple weeks to dry so I taped off the areas I want to keep painted and smooth and sprayed undercoated the inner frame areas to keep the rain, salt and crud from rusting the frame again.

If there is one thing I hate doing, it's trying to pour from a full gallon into a quart size container. In my case I'm trying to pour into a plastic measuring container which is worse yet since in has no weight to stay in place when I pour into it. So I started this trick many years ago. Grab the roll of duct tape and create a funnel thingy.


It's this time when the paint is near perfect, and everything shows great detail that you just have to stop and stare at your work once in a while.

Often times during a project like this your focused on the frame issues but out of the corner of your eye you see the bigger picture. Items such as wheels and tires, brakes and I knew I had to deal with rear bumper mounting.

I knew with the cas cap cover that I would want to space the bumper out another inch, so it and the gas cap cover are flush. I also knew the mounting system for it was not acceptable.

It's 5 inch channel. To just drill holes and tighten it to the frame would not be strong, that is close to how it was before. Since there would be a cavity when you tighten the bolts, the bumper itself would give or compress as you tighten the bolts. Obviously if I used very large diameter flat washers I would spread the force of tightening across a larger area and this would help, but it's not the answer. I also hang a couple large tow hooks from the bottom of the bumper. When the tow hooks are used, and used to the max it's as if I'm tighening the bolts, I'm once again putting all the stress on the strenght of the facing of the bumper. If I yank hard enough, the bumper where the bolts go through can give a bit and now the bumper can accually feel loose and I'd have to retighten the bolts to take up the slack.

Ok, I want to space the bumper out about 3 inches, I want an absolute non-compressionable mounting and I want a pad to bolt my tow hooks to. No suspence.... here is my answer.

A picture of what I'm starting with. I only sandblasted the main working areas so far. You can see where the holes are drilled in the bumper. Imagine running a bolt through them and tightening the bolt, the more you tighten, the more you'd bend inward where the bolt is. Not good.

Here are the items used to get the spacing I'm looking for. A couple square tubes, 2x2, 1/8 " wall. Clamp together and tack weld. At times like this you'd be tempted to just lay a weld the hole lenght of the tubes. STOP!!! (I just like saying that) Never full weld till all pieces are cut and fitted. There will be time for that later.

Thanks SaharryMoe, right now I'm just trying to get through the rear half of this truck. My problem is I just have a problem leaving something untouched when doing a project, but it makes for good reading though.Thanks for checking in.

Now I've pretty well established the spacing I want to use to get the bumper where I want it to be. This picture shows the spacer and how it shows past the bumper.

I'm in a tricky spot here. The original holes drilled in the bumper are not exactly centered, plus, being this is channel iron it narrows on the inside width from side to side. For what I'm planning on doing here I need a near perfect fit from the start when drilling this spacer.

On the 1/8 inch plate that was tack welded to the two 2" square tubes I measured and marked the center length wise. I placed the marked spacer under the bumper and measured and centered the spacer along with keeping the marked line visually centered through the holes. This mark can be seen through the holes already drilled in the bumper in this picture. Once centered in all directions I sharpie marked the a circle through the drilled holes. Now I have a nearly perfect point to center punch for drilling the spacer.

Now to the drill press. Drill press, if you're looking to spend couple hundred dollars on a shop tool, a drill press I recommend. Anything I drill over 1/4 to 5/16, I looking to the drill press. It places an even amount of pressure during the whole drilling process the drill bits last longer. It's easy to use a hole saw, ect. As for a stand up unit or bench mount, I went with a bench mount, then made a cart for it to mount on with shelves underneath. Then a set of wheels, total drilling and portable.

Ok, where was I........ yes, over to the drill press. The bolts I'm using are 9/16 but I'm using a 7/8 hole saw. Pretty sloppy fit I'd say, why did I want near perfect drillings if I'm gonna have so much slop? Some can tell by the finished product picture a couple posts ago. I'll get to that tommorow.


Showtime, here we go, drooling on my computer again. It's the greatest compliment.

01zerone, your first post I see. I'm glad you're enjoying.

2006LJ. I thank you for giving it a try.. I'm sure your answer is the most common answer, I high five you for posting.
Many years ago, yes, the extra large holes would be to allow for forgiveness while assembly. What I've learned is if I leave the extra space I have more of a compression fit, and not so much a mechanical fit.

For instance. by leaving some"wiggle room", the ability of this bumper to stay in place is the clamping force of the bolts. As I mentioned, if when bolting the bumper to the frame the clamping force of the bolts will slightly collapse the facing of the bumper and now we have a case of the bumper never truely staying tight. Now if I hook up to a heavy item, and I pull sideways, the bumper can move from side to side.

I use the term "mechanical fit". I'm reffering to the idea that once the bumper does move from side to side, it will stop it's movement once the holes make contact with the shank of the bolts. This is the result of two hard items coming together. My intention is to get rid of the collapsing of the bumper and have this mechanical fit immediatly.

The next picture here shows the drilled holes in the spacer and I enlarged the holes in the bumper to match the ones in the spacer. Hmmmm, why is the round tubing in this picture?

Here we see the difference in size between the bolts and the holes drilled.

Here we go, tubes. Yes, here is the answer. These tubes fill the difference between the drilled holes and the bolts. These tubes, between the bolt heads and the truck frame will create a non-compressable, tight fit when the bumper is mounted to the truck.


Here is a picture of the main pieces to create the mounting system.

Here are the pieces all together. Oh how I'd like to grab the welder and start welding these all together. STOP!!! What a mess I'd have if I did.

It's all together nearly 4 inches from the bumper to the end of the spacer. If I weld now, even if I try to measure the distance from the drilled holes in the bumper, to the drilled holes in the end of the spacer, Then about 4 foot from one spacer to the other. The try to get the spacers level with each other. then blah, blah blah.

Then we have the issue of as I mentioned before, when you weld there is gonna be a pull while welding also which will cause a slight shifting.

Here is the answer. Carefully assemble all the pieces and bolt it all to the truck. I don't have to measure nothing. I don't have to worry about level between the spacers. I did place about 4 layers of masking tape where the bumper meets the painted frame, no need for accidental scratches yet.

A big plus is when I have the bumper in place with all the pieces together I tighened the 4 mounting bolts medium tightly. This pulled all the pieces together. Now I can weld 4 welds on each spacer to the bumper, one good tack weld on each corner. This way when I remove the bumper to do the final welding I don't have to worry about the spacers shifting during the welding process.

Why the big deal for accuracy?? If I didn't have tubes inside the spacers and I was off a bit, I could simply file the spacer holes to fit the frame holes. BUT, with the tubes I don't have the choice to file larger. If I was to file anything now it would have to be the frame holes, and I don't want to go there. A little extra effort saves alot of effort later.

Hi Midnightburn, I think I've seen your work over on old willys truckforum. Some very nice work you've got there.

Actually the large angle iron and the large gusset piece that is attached to it are factory attachments. I used those when I put the truck together back in 1985.

Bumper height has been more of an issue with me than with the two states I've had this truck in. First was Illinois, they seemed more concerned with the frame height under the truck. But in my case since there wasn't truck inspection, I never got checked. And yes, when I crossed by a police car I always checked my mirror, no brake lights....

In Missouri there is an inspection. Since the truck is so old there doesn't seem to be a standard written height. The secondary rule referred to where the original bumper would be located on the frame, since the rear bumper is well below the frame there's no questions there.

As for a benifit where it's at now is I tow a trailer once in a while. The trailer hitch drops over a foot as it is.

I do pay attention to pictures of Willys rear ends. hehe. I mean, I notice there are alot of different bumpers available for these old Willys, I wonder if the choices are do to some trucks being built for different purposes back then?

As for my original I have no idea, I would have liked to see the original, I may have tried to recreate it.

Thanks for checking in Midnightburn.

Good catch on the year 1885 I mistakenably posed.
Ha ha ha, I'm laughing in my chair. Hmmm, let' see how I can make this 126 year built sound legit.

Ok, here we go. Way back in 1985 I was working on my truck. (oh, your gonna like this one) outside my shop a Delorean (spelling) showed up. I looked outside because I heard a car hit my mail box. When the dooropened it has Marty Mcfly. I had just gotten the truck running so I hooked up to him with a chain and pulled him up to 88 miles an hour. When his flux capacitor kicked in it transfered me through time also. He mistakenly had the year set to 1885. Being that the chain has made of metal it transfered me and my truck also.

So now I can declare 1885 my original start date.

I'm gonna fix my error in the original post, but your's should show the original date error.


Now we're getting close to the end of the rear bumper attachment. This episode of bumper attachment wasn't so much to show how to mount a bumper as it was to make one think of when we assemble something on a vehicle that we try to consider all the forces and extremes that will be placed on that vehicle over time.

The simple piece of angle iron in this next picture has been drilled and I also welded the nuts in place. Once this piece is welded solid to the rest of bumper mount, the nuts will be enclosed, so welding them in place is the answer. I'm not pleased with the focus of the picture, but it gives the idea what I'm doing here.

Here are all the pieces in place.

As for the tubes that fit the length of the bumper mount, They were welded to the face of the bumper and to the other end of the bumper mount. I most cases I use the Mig welder, but there has been a couple times I've used the Tig welder. In the case of welding the tubes in place I did'nt want much fill, so the Tig welder is my choice. With the Tig welder I can heat the bumper metal and the tube metal and begin a puddle of liquid metal before I start adding welding rod as a filler. Plus I can control the weld in tighter tolerances so the weld doesn't start to fill where I don't want it to go. As I've said before, I'm not the best at Tig welding, but this will give you an idea of how the tubes are in place. After this, I did grind the weld flush with the bumper.

And once again, the end result.


The rear bumper has made it's way to the primer and paint zone. I did the same with the bumper as I did with the frame. I finished the sandblasting, the metal prep. then the primer surfacer. Then I sanded the bumper to expose the pits and low spots. I then filled the pits and reprimed. Black paint is next for the bumper. I'll get those pics downloaded soon.

I took the old front tires and wheels to the tire shop and had them dismounted, sandblasted, primed, painted, and tomorrow I should spray the clear in the rims. By friday I should have the front end back on it's wheels again.

So far this project has taken 750 pounds of sand. Good thing I have a gravel driveway, the sand will slowly settle into the driveway. It's worth it though, I have extreme confidence with all the steps I've taken that the rust won't be a problem for many years.

Otherwise, concerning the areas that were a problem with collecting all the crud such as where the crossframe met the mainframe, here is how all the sealant did to protect that area. I still have one more spring mount bolt to install so don't worry about the bolt hole. Also I'm gonna apply another coat of undercoating so the bolts will the coated when this is done also.

And for the other crossframe it wasn't quite the problem as the other one but I still wanted it sealed.

And one more of the after pics. I'm not sure of the color of the shocks. Some say to paint them the silver color of the rims. I do want to paint them. The paint on them now never lasts very long, it's just a simple coating of paint. If I don't paint them now I never will.


Yeah. the more I look at the truck, the more I'm ok with the yellow.

Viper723, I have a couple things I've done with the hammered look. It certainly has it's place. I like how it adds a little character to the finish.

I'm pretty well done with the finishing touches on the rear gas cover. First I knew I wanted the fake bolts to look they were real, and they would stand out to breakup the view of the gas cover. When I was painting the rims silver I quickly taped around the bolt heads and with a model brush I dabbed the silver on the bolts heads.

I also had an issue with the swing up of the cover lid. I still worried about the possbility of the nuts on the backside scraping the paint when opening and closing it. I found some plastic push rivets at the NAPA store that when in place the cover lid can slide on these plastic rivet heads instead of touching the painted suface. I also welded a small tab where the cover lid will stop when closed. Problem solved.


By now I'm sure everyone knows painting rims is not my favorite thing to do.
Jim1611 suggested the idea of mounting the rims at an angle and if possible create a way to spin the rim at the same time.

I still had the front rims to paint and I knew the fronts would be more difficult than the rears were. Why? Because all the rims are 10 inches wide, it is the depth or the dish effect, it's the painting into a tunnel and the light reflection that I have issues with.

When I had the rims built many years ago I had the fronts offset more than the rears and that makes the issue even greater. So to try something different is worth it.

At first I thought of a complicated process of the new mounting system, but that wasn't necessary, just some tubing from an old swingset and a piece of angle iron did the job.

I already cut the bolt pattern plate with the Torchmate and tack welded it to a tube with the inside diameter about the same as the outside diameter as a piece I attached the stand.

Thanks for the suggestion Jim1611.

I believe it's electrostatic painting. The idea of grounding the item being painted and giving a positive charge to the paint, they are drawn together. It cuts down greatly when it coes to over spray as herbiehind mentioned.

Where my issue is.... I'm sure many of you have noticed this situation if you look beyond the shine of a paint job to see the actual texture of the finish.

If you look at a car outside with the sunshine beaming down on the car, the light source is coming from such a large encompassing light. With the light filling all the hills and valley's in the finish, it looks perfect.

Now take the same car and roll it into a garage with only a flouresent light on. Now the high spots in the finish stand out more and the valley's become more shadowed, now the "orange peel" effect stands out.

Same while painting. If the light source comes one direction, say from behind me, as long as the color is uniform, it all looks good. But in fact there can be some very dry spots that won't show but in fact the texture itself is terrible. In the situation of painting deep dish rims, I can't get the angle I need to read the texture of the paint while spraying.

Usually when I paint I hold the light almost at arms length, somewhere in this distance I can find the perfect reflection that tells the story of exactly how heavy the paint is being applied. Going back a few pages in the post where I posted the picture of the section of the frame that I blended the patch in. The picture i took was not straight on, I set up a drop light so the reflection while taking the picture would show the texture of the paint. A straight on picture would have only shown the color but not the texture.

Ok, enough of painting rims.....I'm done. The tires are being mounted as I'm writing this and I pick them up tomorrow. I'm looking forward to putting all the wheels on and seeing this truck with the new tiresand the silver rims. Here's the last pictures of the rim painting.


There is a difference between the two. Electrostatic can perhaps be explained by this illustration.

Ever taken a piece of plastic and rubbed it with a cloth, then when done it seems that the hairs an your arm when close to what you rubbed, where magnetically drawn to it. I know this is static electricity but, it is the same concept in electrostatic paint, it's another way of creating a static electricity effect to drawn to items together. As in the idea of painting, the paint is drawn to the item being painted in a static electricity manner.

Powder coating, although looks like paint when done is considerably different. As to where paint is a liguid sprayed from a gun, powder coating starts out as a powder. It is a very fine plastic powder that comes in a large variety of colors. It is applied through a gun designed to spray a fine mist of powder onto the item being coated. (I'm not sure however if they use the electrostatic means of application with this though.) Once the powder has been applied onto the item it is placed into an oven, it requires high heat to melt the powder to a liquid. Once the melting occurs all the powder becomes as one seamless coating now. Depending on the amount of time in the oven you can have a semi-gloss to gloss finished when done. You now have a strong durable thin plastic coating.

Powder coating can be industrial or a home garge product, it all depends on the size of oven. If you want small brackets and such powder coated, you can get a kitchen oven. But for large stuff they have simailar to paintbooth sized ovens to heat the powder.

Just a couple pics of the braking. This backing plate, although it should last for many years without rusting now, does show why I fill the pits in most stuff that will be seen later.

Let's take the mystery out of what's inside the wheel cylinder while we're at it. This is a brand new one, I want to spray a couple coats of spray can black on it just to help it live a little longer so it's easier to disassemble and tape a bit then paint.

I laid the parts out in order. In the center is a spring, very little tension, just there to keep the internals snuggly together and in alignment. The two rubber cup like seals. Notice they have a lip facing towards the center. The brake fluid will come in from behind these rubber seals. At the same time the fluid will push these seals outward, the fluid will push the lips tighter to the steel wall of the cylinder for an even better fit when under pressure. Then the metal pistons. They are gonna be the mechanical force being pushed outward by the seals behind them. Then the outer dust boots. They have a dual purpose, one is to keep the outside dust from contaminating the inside of the cylinder. Two, there are short rods that go between the brake shoes and the metal pistons. These rods tightly fit into a hole in the outer boot. The boot keeps these rods in place.

Otherwise there is a bleeder screw, and a threaded area in the back where the brake line transfers the fluid into the cylinder.


Sorry for the suspence, I'll get more pics tomorrow eve. (Monday).

I had a dog go through a situation, turned my life sideways for the last week. She's doing better now. 

Cowboyup94 asked about the engine and transmission. We've covered it before but I understand with all these pages it's alot to go through, I don't mind answering.

Back in 1985 I put a Chevy 350 with a turbo 350 transmission. The engine has lasted fine, I rebuilt it before I put it in this truck. It's basically a stock assembly with an aluminum intake. When the day comes I'll retain the 350 engine, perhaps have it bored to freshen the cylinders. Since I did a valve job back then, I'm sure the guides are beyond a simple knurling to bring them back to spec. Then I'm sure they'd need surfacing. Then valve grinding, then ect, ect, ect.

Anymore the cost of the labor for machine work on a stock set of heads isn't worth the effort or cost.

I see Jegs has a head and intake kit, very resonable cost.

So, when the day comes, the bottom end stays reletively stock, with new style cast iron heads.

Transmission stays the same also. In 1998 it gave out on me, I tore it apart and found a break in the case casting. I have some spare parts so I put together another transmission and been good since then. I'll just freshen it up for another 20 years I hope.

This project so far is just to rebuild all that time and rust has done to this truck. It's been a pleasure posting my progress and showing different ways of tackling many of the problems we will face as we try to restore and rebuild.

For me, I've also enjoyed tearing apart that of which I assembled years ago. I recall many of the stumbling blocks that I got tripped up on last time, and now conquering that of which I couldn't do before.

Thanks for all your support and encouragment.


Jim1611, yes, mans best friend. I notice you have an occassional reference to being a believer. Whether yes or no, the dog is living by the Grace of God. It actually died on Wed. by all reasons. No heart beat, no breathing, her skin turned color with no heart beat, the heart monitor flat lined. I was called and informed, tear time. I made my prayer, about 15 minutes later, I was called and and when the vet. went to do an autopsy, the dog took a deep breath and her heart started again.

God tells me, NOTHING IS DONE TIL I SAY IT'S DONE. Praise the Lord.

She's been home since saturday, and doing great.

In my prayer I mentioned I'd give Him public acknowledgement, there you go.

Ok, I've got my mind back to the project again. It might be me but I can't focus well on a project if I've got stress or issues cluttering my mind.

A couple months ago many of you will recall I went through the bearings, shims and gaskets in the rear axle. Once I got everything shimmed to the tolerances I wanted I removed everything I wrapped the parts in a bed sheet and put it all aside. Then I went about sandblasting, welding and painting the rear axle. Now that the axle housing is done and installed I get to reinstall the pinion and carrier back in the housing.

Before I can assemble I have to clean, clean, clean. Thers's been alot of sand flying around and I want ever grain out of there. So after a couple cans of brake cleaner and the air hose I feel confident I've cleaned it all out. I've greased the bearing races with a grease I use when assembling and engine. It stays where you put it, but once the oil, or in this case, the gear oil warms the grease it dissolves and is flushed out by the long term lubricant.

The pinion bearing are extremely important to lubricate before assembly. Imagine this.... The only way the front pinion bearing gets lubricant is when the vehicle is moving forward. The larger gear, (ring gear), slings the gear oil up to the front while moving. If you know gear oil, it's thick, it doesn't have much slingage, or slingablity.

And here the pieces ready to be assembled. All pieces cleaned and lubed.

Everything fitted and tightened. Since I put new posi clutches in the carrier and I know they are sensitive to the type of lubricant used and I know the white grease may change the characteristics of the gear oil, I will remove much of the excess white grease on the ring gear before putting the cover on.

Note.... The side bearings of the carrier have outer races that are held in place by the caps and two bolts. Although the races hold their shape even after tightening the caps it is very important to use a torque wrench. Not so much for an even tightness but also for the bolts to stay in place.

In most situations we use lock washers or lock nuts, or locktight, or a matal tag bent over to hold the bolt in place. In this situation we just have a bolt. How does the bolt stay in place?? It is the stretch of the bolt. There is a certain amout of stretch that every bolts has built into it. It is this elastisity that keeps the bolt head tight against the surface. Every bolts size and hardness requires a different torque specification to use this stretch factor when assembling. I haven't used the emotioncon lately, so here goes.. Refer to the manual for the proper torque for what you're working on.

Here we are, final assembly.


94yjstocklook. cherish the time you have with your dad, especially if you have similar interests. My dad had a passion for cars and trucks as I grew up, til I was able to start working beside him, then his job situation moved him away. We didn't work together too much, but he did put a never give up attitude spirit in me.

A saying I'll never forget is "can't, never did nothing". After hearing that every time I hear someone say "can't , I jump attention.

One step at a time the truck is coming together, it's a great feeling. I'm gonna finish up the brakes tonight. There are a couple technicalities that may enlighten.

Lets's get the picture to look at.

First... notice the rear shoe has more friction material attached to it. This has nothing to do with aerodynamics.

The brake system pictured is what was called a "duo servo" brake design.

Often times before this "duo servo" design with one wheel cylinder they used 2 cylinders. One cylinder on the top and one on the bottom. Each cylinder only had one piston though. So each shoe was pushed outward by it's own cylinder on one end and had a fixed anchor or the back side of the other cylinder on the other end. In this style both shoes had the same amount of friction material attached to them. Also in this old system was a manual adjuster that had to be adjusted by hand when the friction material wore down. Rather simple design.

Now the "duo servo" in the picture. We have one wheel cylinder with 2 shoes. At the bottom between the shoes is not a fixed anchor like the old design. We now have a screw type adjuster between the shoes.

Imagine rolling forward, then applying the brakes. Now when the brakes make contact with the spinning drum the friction will try to rotate the shoes with the drum. Now what happens is the drag from the front shoe is transfered into the rear shoe, and since the rear shoe is up against an solid anchor the rear shoe has to handle the two forces against it. 1) The force of the wheel cylinder pushing it outward to the brake drum. 2) The transfer of friction from the front shoe to the rear shoe. Hence, the term "duo servo. We now have a hydraulic force, combined with a wedging effect.

This system also created the ability for a "self adjusting" brake system.

Looking at the adjuster at the bottom, between the two shoes, it is a threaded screw with outer cogs (or a star wheel) around the outside. Notice the black arm that is resting just above this star wheel. Now, when you go backwards, and apply the brakes, the shoes now try to rotate the direction of the drum, counter clockwise. This movement will cause the rear shoe to shift counter clockwise, which if you follow the arm above the star wheel, it pivots at a point on the shoe. Now from there you'll follow a thinner rod up to the top. This thinner rod is solidly wrapped around the top anchor.

Ok, now in reverse, and applying the brakes, the rear shoe will move away from the top anchor, which in turn the thin rod, and the arm reaching to the top of the star wheel, will cause the star wheel to be turned by this movement. The star wheel is attached to a threaded internal screw, this rotating of screw will expand the adjuster, which will spread the bottom of the brakes apart. Now we have self adjusted brakes.

Ok, class is over. Now for a front picture of the truck so far, with the new tires. Honestly, I liked the width of the old Ground Hawgs, but I think these will do the job just fine though. With the lift that the new rear suspensiongave me, I definetly have to lift the front a bit. I am prepared, I have the new front springs sitting in the living room.


Educational and entertaining....I would have done alot better in school if they'd have combined these two more often.

I'm starting to get a little excited here. Finally I'm putting the pieces back together. Now that the brakes are together I have to run the brake fluid lines along the axle and the frame. In this case I'm running 1/4 inch lines. With this size line you can bend by hand, but get too sharp a bend and you may kink it. There are many different benders to help make the bends with out kinking the line, you just have to decide which works best for you.

Another tool to get familiar with is the flaring tool, this allows you to cut the line to length and re flare the end.

Here is where decisions have to be made also. The decision of where you want to run the lines. In this case I have a solid mount in the center area. Keeping the line above the axle keeps it out of harms way. Once I dropped the line down under the springs I did clamp the line to the axle, then up to the wheel cylinder.

Along with the metal lines we have to deal with the flexible lines. These have different ends so the mounting on the ends will differ with each line design. In my case the original Willys design wont work for me. It's nice to have a cooperative parts store that will alllow you to look through the illustration book for what will best fit your project.

Another trick I do when I fear the line may rub against an object. In this case, if the flexline moves toward the frame when the suspension travels up and down. I'll put zip ties around the line in that area. I put enough to cover the area, but not too close together that I take away it's flexability.


I've gotten used to the yellow shocks now.

For those who have followed this build, you'll remember I made some pretty bid holes in the cross frame for the fuel line, brake line and wiring. One problem with running tubing and wiring along the frame is the rubbing that the vibration of driving is gonna due to these items.

This first picture is what I was talking about when I made the holes. Perhaps there are grommets made for this size but I didn't want to look for them. Just a piece of 1/4 inch gas line cut length wise works great.

In these next picture I had the same issue, years ago I used a cutting torch for the space to run the lines and wiring. The jagged edges are trouble over time. By using the 1/8 drill bit I am able to create the cut I'm looking for, then break away the weak piece. Then use the round rotary brrr to smooth the edges. Now a piece of vacuum hose cut length wise and we have a save, non-jagged edge to work with. Note.... I'm not happy about removing the material from the cross brace here, but I'll deal with that later.


While we're doing brake lines and fuel lines a necessary tool will be the double flaring tool.

Double flare, hmmm, difference between that and a single flare? Yes, we'll cover that tonight.

We'll start with the cut brake line clamped into the holding fixture. Clean the end of the line of internal brrrrs with a tapered cleaner. Many line cutter have these attached on the the cutter. The leftover brrrs will mess with the accuracy of the flare.

Here is one of the brake lines that followed across the rear axle. The bends have been made and now it's time to cut and flare it to length.

NOTE... It is nearly impossible to create a flare as accurate as the factory flares that come on the line when new. So, always use the factory flares in the hard to get to areas, such as the wheel cylinders in this case. There is very little space between the leaf springs and the wheel cylinders. If I have to struggle with a flare that doesn't want to seat and seal right away I don't want it to be in a difficult area. I am flaring the end that is out in the open.

In a double flare I will put this black adapter into the end of the line. Then I'll put over it a clamp that will force this adapter onto the line. This will cause the line material to start to roll inward.

In a single flare this adapter would not be used, I'd use the clamp with a tapered head and flare the line outward right away. There would then be just a single wall of material creating the flare.

This adpater will create a double wall flare when done.

In this second picture I've used this clamp to force the adapter to make a inward roll of the material. Now imagine I use this clamp with it's tapered face and press into the line. With the rolled inward material, it'll be pressed down to meet the outward roll of the rest of the line. As in this next picture.

Now there's a nice looking flare.
Remember to have the nut in place before flaring, otherwise you have to cut the flare and start over again.
Also, when you make your final bends leave enough material length so the nut and the amount of line needed to fit it the clamping fixture is there.


calcium chloride spray, they really don't like ice up there. The unions would be nice to get away from occacionally also.

There was one thing I noticed also towards the spring of last year. I noticed a slight odor of gas, ususally around the gas tank area. Once I removed the tank I noticed where the metal line is soldered/attached to the mounting plate when it goes into the gas tank, it was loose.

The original attchment had come loose after the 40 years. This tank is from a 1972 Monte Carlo. It would be a simple fix, just change the sending unit. But it's not gonna be that easy.

Back in 1985 I installed Stewart warner gauges in the truck, the Stewart warner gauge does not work with the GM sending unit in tank. Back then I bought the Stewart warner sening unit, grrrrr, it's mounting is different that the GM tank. Now I had to cut the GM sending unit off it's mounting fixture, and cut the sending unit off the Stewart warner bracket and reattach the Stewart warner to the GM mounting bracket.

Now, I have to cut the GM sending unit off the new mounting bracketry, then remove the Stewart warner one off the GM bracket I attached 26 years ago.

Why all the work?..... All sending units are not created equal. As the gas raises and lowers in the tank, the float raises and lowers with it. When the float raises and lowers there is an electrical devise on the other end of the float. I believe it's called a reostat(?). Let's compare this to a radio that has the old style turn knob for the volume. When you turn the knob, there are two electrical contacts, as you turn the knob you are changing the resistance which inturn allows more or less current to flow to change the volume.

Same with the sending unit, as it raises and lowers, there are two electrcal contacts which alter the resistance flowing through it. The guage is actually a meter that shows the amount of current flowing through the sending unit. They just attach an empty and full instead of a meter guage. The meter would acually be called an ohm meter, the fuel guage is like an ohm meter.

My issue is the GM vs Sterwart warner work off a totally different resistance range. They are all callibrated to work with each other. I'll make the swith, and I"ll be good to go.

Here is the switch, old electrical sending unit welded on the the new bracketry, and the new sending unit removed, and no good to me.

Since we're on gas tank stuff, one other thing I see people do is attach a metal tank with metal straps. As for me I like to see a cushion between the two to eliminate what vibration over time can do. They sell insulation kits, but I wasn't sure of the exact width of what they sell. So I just get a heavy duty gasket material and use a emblem adhesive to hold it in place.

J-Quad, if you aint full of ideas....and good ones at that too.

How about we flash back for a monent. I think this was taken in early june.

I backed the truck out the other day to drive to another building where the bed was removed. Before I put the bed on I thought I remembered taking a before picture which is above. Now the after pic.

Ok, no suspence. Mind you, the body and bed are in need of attention also. But for now at least I have a foundation to build upon. We can see how it is all fitting together now.

I have no idea if all technical talk and pictures lately has taught anybody anything. But I will warn you all..... you can look at this truck, admire this truck, drool over this truck, but remember, it's just sitting still. Anybody can build a truck for just sitting around. But if it doesn't go, or if you doubt it's ability to go confidently, there is absolutly no fun in driving the truck. Your knowledge is gonna be the only way to make it road worthy, or better yet, off road worthy. Like I said, the schooling maybe boring, but without it, your truck would be boring.


03GreenGiant, the biggest decision on your uncles Willys will be how concerned about keeping it stock/original. Check into the site called oldwillysforum. They cover alot of Willys truck builds. I think there are more links from there to find parts, old and new.

One place I've used for suspension and body parts is KaiserWillys.com. They have a growing inventory.

Cowboyup94, There are a couple different brake line styles, you are correct.
Are you questioning the outside cleaning of the tank, if so, it was pretty dusty and dirty, so for cleaning I just used some brake cleaner with scotch brite pads. It'll be dirty again in a month or so.

I'll try to get some before and after pics soon.

Otherwise, I still have to change the front leaf springs, should be doing that within the next week. It's just nice having it back together again.


In real time, like over the last couple days, I've gone the next step in securing the life of the painted rear frame. I took 150 grit sandpaper and scuffed the beautiful stain black finish.

With the brake lines, the fuel lines, and putting the bed back on the truck, I noticed a huge difference in the abuse that the inside frame where I sprayed a couple coats of undercoating versus the outside frame where is was just paint, could take without chipping. Hmmmmm.

My temptation to spray the outside of the frame with the undercoating was there, but I was concerened about it's ability to withstand long term UV rays from the sun.

Earlier in this build I was questioned if I was gonna use and bed liner coating. My first impression was that I wasn't gonna do the bed, dahhh.I'm sure the question was perhaps pertaining to using it on the frame.

As I was in the NAPA store the other day I saw some on the shelf, I thought, hmmm, a spray, I thought I'd have to roll it on. I bought the spray can, scuffed a hidden area, and applied it. Surprisingly, the black finish is almost exact to the black paint. I spent a couple hours scuffing the rest of the outer frame and sprayed the frame with it. It's the douplicolor brand, I'm sure it's not the best stuff, but it has added alot of resistance to chipping I've noticed already, so I'm quite pleased with it.

I found a before and after shot to upload, so let's take a look.

They're not exact shots, but you get the idea.


Ok 94yjstocklook, I've got some pics uploaded.

Jim1611, I've never used the bedliner spray before. I'm suprised how nicely it layed flat. I notice where the paint would be too brittle and chip, where the bed liner coating will accually flex before it chips.

It takes two people to remove the bed and when I decided to spray the outer frame with the bed liner I had to improvise. I was able to use the engine hoist to get it high enough to place wood blocks to get the bed up off the frame.

Here I got a of coats of bed liner on the frame.

I haven't focused much on the home made bed. To tell you truth, I forgot about it's issues that the bed has til I but it back on the truck. As I've mentioned during this rebuild, it's been fun to see where my abilities have grown over the many years. I wasn't too concerned with closing all the openings of some of the square tubing that made the frame work for the bed frame. I'm paying the price now. Water, mud, salt and dust and dirt ect. has been slung off the tires and got trapped into the open tubes and rusted from the inside out.

This pic it one tube I changed. The new tube is welded in place. I placed the old one in the picture to show the rust out.

I don't want to do more than make the bed presentable right now. I'd like to build a new one someday.


A little more on the old bed work. On the old platform I had some plates painted the light blue color. Now that I have some left over diamond plate material from the rear step, I'll cut and install some here also.

With the new tube welded in, here's how the plate will look when in place.

Now the passenger side. That looks terrible. Where the down tube meets the step tubing you can see a opening in the end towards the wheel. Here's where the problem starts. The wheel was able to fling everything right into this opening and most of the rust began from the inside. It's a stange rusting effect. You can tell that the moisture trapped inside the tube expanded from freezing and distorted the square tubing. Oh well, lesson learned.


"a flood", surely we can't allow that, good thing I got tall tires on the Willys.

I'm still taking care of the bed decay. I can't tell you how temping it is now that I've replaced the bad sections of the bed, to just go ahead and sand the rest of it and paint it right now.

More important right now is to get the front leaf springs changed. Like I said before, the new suspension in the rear raised the back end about an inch to an inch an a half. Even before the change in the rear I thought the front needed a little lift anyway, so it is next to be updated.

Right now we'll take a look at the passenger side bed repair. It's coming along quite nicely. Simple cut and replace 1" tubing, then sand down the surface rust, and I'm spraying it all with the black bedliner. I'm really happy with the bedliner spray. It dries within an hour, and holds great.... I'm sold.

This first picture shows the new tubing welded in, I just need to sand off the surface rust, then spray it black. As I was grinding the down tube closest in the picture, I noticed it also had a internal rust problem. When I put this together years ago, I also left a small opening where water, salt, and dirt got in the tube and destroyed it from the inside out. You can see in the picture where I blended a new tube with the old.

And here's an idea of how the new diamond plate looks with the bed linerspray on it. 


Tonight is the last picture of the bed work. I'd like to do more with it, but it's just not the right time.

I sanded and sprayed the bed liner black on the repaired areas, it looks better than it has in years.

Now to the front suspension. History..... back in '85 I put the front springs in. Back then I added a leaf to make up for the extra weight of the 8 cylinder and the heavier transmission and transfer case. It was needed, even with the extra leaf it sat a little lower than I perfered.

Next update is the spring perches themselves. Somehow the ones I made back then has lasted this long, but they are weak, definetly need to be changed. As I move along I have a couple of issues I will have to overcome to do what I want to do.

A look at the old spring vs new spring.


Let's look forward to the front suspension.
Through the build so far there has been talk about "spring over axle" design. This truck originally had the spring going under the axles. Now with the springs over the axle it gives a 4 to 5 inck lift without blocks or longer shackles or re arched leaf springs.

In most cases it's just a matter of reattaching the spring perches on the top side of the axles and the suspension is lifted. Just as I did with the rear axle.

The front however has an issue. Where the carrier section is on the front axle it's off center. Plus it is designed and casted to have the leafs going under the axle. I did however get past these issues last time, but not with the professionalism I'd perfer. Lets see what we're looking at.

In the picture below, you can see the casting underneath where the leaf spring originally attached. Then you can see the adapter welded in place above where the spring is now. We'll get deeper into this later....

This next picture is the drivers side. Usually it wouldn't be any problem but, now that I am much more fussy, and with some measuring, I find that this perch is actually 7/16" lower than the other one. Soooo, in this re-do I have to either lower the passenger side perch, or raise the driver side perch, or try to find a happy in between where they both will match.


94yjstocklook, I'm workin on keepin the distractions commin.
Pmoreau, dukie564 did a good explanation. My original rears had this same design, but the after market replacement didn't. Now the aftermarket fronts do have this design. Actually this design did do it's job, one of my old rear springs did break at the mounting bolt eyelet.
Dual stabilizers yes, and still working good. just for the sake of age I'll probably replace them.
The last 2 pics posted were during an experimental time. Look closely you'll notice a old leaf mixed in with the new ones. I've assembled and disassembled the front suspension about 4 or 5 times now. I will not be settled til I have the exact height I'm looking for. Patience.........
As I mentioned, last time I added a leaf. Now, even with more leafs in the new set, I still don't have the stance I'm looking for.
Here is a pic of the old spring drivers side.

And a pic of old spring passenger side.

In order to get the stance I'm looking for I removed the added leaf from the old set. These assemblies have the metal clamps holding things together so a little bending is necessary. And removing the spring center bolt.

With the new spring assemblies I needed more strength and they also had the metal clamps. I started to bend them back, then I noticed the clamps had some extra space. Hmmmm, if I remove the center bolt, might I be able to slide an added leaf to the assembly... oh yeah. Took some tapping, like happy gilmore. Just tap, tap taparoo. Before this is all done I will slide the added leaf back out and paint it to match the rest of the leafs.

Finally I have the set up I'm looking for. The springs compress pretty good under weight, yet they still have a little arc to them. The old ones were almost flat with the weight on them.
Now that I have the springs set the way I want, I now have to build the perches. I can make these any height off the axle I want, but once again, the passenger side with the carrier section creating an issue, I'm gonna have to force the issue to grind it down to where I need it to be.


I'm sure most of you read the comments between Jim1611 and myself about grind away at the casting on the passenger side to get more flat area exposed.

Before I did the grinding I had to find the spring rate that held the truck the way I liked. Also, I wanted to take a well thought out guess as to what the height will be when I was done grinding. This guess would be the height of a perch I would make for the drivers side. I wanted to make the drivers side and install it before grinding the passenger side. By installation I mean just a couple of tack welds. By having the drivers side close to where I want it, when I check for level while grinding the passenger side, I will get a close reading.

Next..... I've driven this for 26 years and never had a front u-joint problem. So my goal is to maintain the same pinion angle which has everything to do with the life of u-joints. By installing and tack welding the perch in place, I can mess with the axle all I want, and maintain the same angles.

Next... The are terms used in wheel alignment. We have toe-in, toe-out, caster and camber. By rotating the front axle I will be messing with the caster.

So far in this thread I've gone into detail explaining stuff. I figure toe-in and toe-out are pretty well self explanitory. If someone wants to go into caster and camber, and how they change drivability, let me know and I'll get deper into it.

I've cut with the torchmate, the three main sections to a spring perch. As I've mentioned many times before.....when possible always clamp the pieces on to a brace. This will keep the welding process from distorting the angles where the pieces meet together. This picture doesn't show it, but I also clamped the top piece on the the brace before the welding.

Here is the perch that I made an educated guess about what it's height will be. Once I made this perch, even it is the right height, I wouldn't use it. As I did with the shock mounting brakets on the rear axle, I'm not happy with it's design, it will be tossed. Don't get emotionally attached to something that doesn't fit the build. What I dont' like about this perch is I want more contact where it meets the axle. I've already made a new one and it has nearly a 1/2 inch more contact on each end. That's nearly another inch of weld per side.


Well look at the two of you stepping up and designing gusseting.

You're on the right track. Lets think of the weakness of something built. Let's take the spring perch in the picture. Imagine it was welded in place already and there were no more pieces added to it right now.

With a hammer you wanted to try to break it off the axle. If you hammer upwards at the front, you'd be fighting against the full welds on both sides. Same with the rear, still fighting the full welds.

Now try from a side hit, since most of the welds are on the outside of the perch sides, the only weakness is the side that is opposite of the hit. And the same with hitting from the other side. The weld zone is weakest when you try to roll the material over the top of the weld.

In the case of breaking the welds, I would cut down the center of the perch and hit each side from the center, rolling each side over it's weld.

Ok. so the idea is to build a product that under stress, will not create a situation that will allow itself to roll over it's own weld.

With this concept, you guys are very correct in your idea. When you weld a brace that goes from one side to the other you eliminate the possibility of the perch twisting and rolling over it's welds.

I will weld in a cross brace when done, but I will go from the center-up. In this way I will tie both sides and the top all together to eliminate the twisting effect.

Yes, partially due to trapping and containing crud and having a rusting issue.

It is pleasing to have you guys get involved, I appreciate it.

I mentioned I have made a new perch with more weldable surface, here is the new and old design.

I still have many more pics of suspension work, but I just assembled enough to at least get a look at the stance with the new perches in place. Figured I show the final stance.


J-Quad, ouch, that had to hurt. I can imagine once the launch failed, then came the time of looking underneath to check out the damage.

FinnXJ, thanks for the compliment. It means alot that people have been learning from this thread. I'm no pro at this metal work, but I'm happy to pass on what I can to the younger generation. America was build on what is now the lost art of hand crafted work and fabrication, hopefully I've put the concept back in the forefront of some people's minds.

I'm still dealing with getting the passenger side perch set-up, without getting the passenger side taken care of I don't have the measurement height to build the drivers side to match.

Sooooooo, I'm back to cardboard again. Once I ground down the roundness to a flatness I started cutting cardboard to create a mock-up perch. Once I made the perch in cardboard I scanned the three pieces, 2 sides and the top, to the torchmate and cut the pieces in metal.
Here is the cardboard mock-up.

Now the pieces after being cut. There is a difference in the design of the perches from how I've built the other ones to how I've built this one. This one I had to weld the side plates to the axle first, then weld the top plate to the sides plates. This way I could get the welding done, otherwise there's no space to weld to the axle after the top plate is welded on.

Another difference is; usually I place the top plate on top of the side plates. This way the weight of the vehicle to transfered from the top to the sides, then right to the axle. If I were to have it where the top plate fit between the side plates, the weight would transfer from the top plate, then through the weld, then to the side plates, then to the axle. The welds would be the weak link.

Ok, look closely at the metal perch pieces, the top plate is now between the side plates. Normally as I mentioned above, in this design there would be a weak link. But in this case the weak link eliminated. Although the top plate is between the side plates, most of the weight will not transfer through a weld, the weak link. The top plate actually sits directly on the flat that I created with grinding. The side plates now just stabilize the top plate, not to carry the load of the vehicle.


Showtime3492...."Truck has an awesome stance!! Lookin forward to seeing some more.
Too elaborate on the spring perchs i once was asked to build a set out of 3/8 Hardened steel and they were Fully "boxed" to the axle... "

I'm finding that rising the front about 1 1/4" really brings a little more aggresive look. Before, the front squatted more, it gave the look of a weaker attitude.

3/8" and fully boxed spring perches........someone is expecting to do some beating on their vehicle.

I mention the bit about the top plate either being on top of the side plates, or between the side plates. This picture will show how the weight is going to transfer directly to the axle. The far plate is 3/16" above the flat, this will match the height of the top plate when it is in place. Now I just have to gring back the edges where everything meets and start welding.

And merry christmas to me.


Thanks for the support Midnightburn. I didn't start this thread to teach. I've never hardly posted pictures before, and I didn't know what responce I was gonna get.

Once I started it became apparent this thread was a good way not to just show off your stuff, which them I reap the glory, but I found more pleasure in the teaching aspect where we all share in the project and eveybody wins.

Your comment about the caster, the angle of the drive shaft and tilting the axle in a way to eliminate driveshaft angle is a consideration. The upper ball joint is slightly ahead of the bottom one in this situation, meaning I do not have the ideal caster built into the steering system. The caster and camber issues and how they work, I didn't get into as deep as I wanted to. It is a good learning for everybody, and like you say, it could save someone head aches in the future.

As for mine, although not perfect, I've kept it the way it has been. I've concidered making changes..... but I've been ok with it for years. As I've been replacing these perches, I've kept one attached to the axle so when I replace one side, the still atttached one will maintain the previous angles. Mine having 2 steeing stabilizers may be what helps reduce some steeringissues while going down the road.

I just finished the perch for the drivers side. I took a pic of using a level to get the height of the passenger side so I will know the height for the drivers side. The drivers side is higher than most. Internally, since it will have more leverage working against it, I did put a inner brace to eliminate it's possibility of trying to roll over sideways. I'll have the pics in a day or so.

Thanks for the input, I'm sure what you've written will also elighten many reading this thread.

Now for those starting to use, or are gonna use the flap discs..... They have a good agressive life when gringing on edges and corners. It you use them on flats, they are great till the fresh grit wears off the surface of the discs, then after that, they do more polishing than grinding. I still love the great job they do on flats when they are new. In short, they need the metal edge to tear away the layer of paper to get to the grit underneath.

Midnightburn, for some reason I kept looking at my rear bumper location tonight.... stop it. I may have to raise it now. lol.

thomask, I went through quite a few pages a week ago. I know you did alot of reading, glad to hear you enjoyed it.

I don't have time tonight to fully explain about caster and camber, but is is something that will benefit most everyone at one time or another. Especially for those looking to build either a solid axle or independent front suspenson.

Midnightburn and I had a conversation about driveline angle (the angle of which the drive shaft u-joint has to endure). Next, the term caster and the term camber.

I'll post a pic of my driveshaft to the pinion yoke. Obviously I could tip the axle so the pinion yoke is more in an upward angle, thus eliminating the angle in which the u-joint has to work through.

On the rear axle this would be an idea. But even in the rear, I believe the rule of thumb is to try to keep the angle coming out of the transfer case the same as the angle of the driveshaft bolting to the pinion yoke. Keeping these two angles the same will help eliminate the chance of vibration.

On the front, I'd like to angle the pinion more upwards. Although the u-joint would be happy, the steering system would suffer, so I've tried to find a happy in between.

When we mention caster, we are refering to the angle at which the top ball joint is located as compared to the location of the bottom ball joint. Here again there are limitaions as to how far to have these settings.

Ok. driveshaft. You can see the angle between the driveshaft to the pinion yoke.

This next picture will give an idea of the caster on this truck. This shows the upper ball joint slightly ahead of the bottom ball joint. This is not the perfered setting. If you've ever driven a vehicle with this set up, the first thing you will notice is the vehicle is either very slow to have the steering wheel to come back to center after a turn, or it won't return at all, you have to turn the steering wheel to get it to return back to center.

Also with this setting, where you may have a little slop in the steering, the vehicle will constantly try to wander, and you constantly have to correct. If the caster is proper, even with sloppy steering linkage, the vehicle will still try to go staight without fighting the steering wheel.

One comparison, think of anytime you've seen a dragster going slow and turning. This vehicle is made for straight forward driving, they build a lot of caster into the steering, notice how the front wheels almost lay over side ways when turning. This may seem like a way to go, but in it's extreme, for anything other than drag racing, this would create a condition called "pushing" while cornering. The vehicle isn't turning on the ball of the tire, it's turning on the heel of the tire.

We still have camber, we'll get to that later.

Here is the pic of the ball joint set-up on my truck. As was noticed earlier, I am running 2 stabilizers, something you not find on most vehicles. Just today I drove the truck down the driveway, I noticed immediatly that I didn't have the stabilizers bolted on. The steering was much easier to turn. These stabilizers help stabilize the wandering effect that I've mentioned.


Let's get get caught up here...

lclark2074, I'd like to see the front look as good as the back also. Basically what I'm doing here in the front is getting the front mechanicals up to standard. I do need to fabricate a new cross frame section under the engine, from frame to frame. Once I remove the engine and this crossframe is fabricated, I'll get to the detail work. I do look forward to the day the detail work gets done, I've looked forward to it for many years now. Also, I know snow is on the way, I have to keep it driveable for a while now. Thanks for checking in.

oldtime_ironman, glad to see your still checking in. Sounds like your hot rodding years taught you well. I learned the hard way about caster and camber. I built a homemade off-road buggy, the first turn under power told the story that I had to go back to the drawing board. Caster and camber school started that night in my shop. Good to hear from you again.

ApolloXIII, inspiration.... great, I know over the years I've ventured into many a project due to an inspiration. Hope we've got you thinking.

I'll finish the caster camber tonight. Last couple thoughts on the caster issue. On this project we are looking at a solid axle, fixed ball joint location. I'd like to give the engineers of cars and trucks credit if I may. If we get away from the solid axle we move to independent front suspension. Then we get to unequal length control arms, ect. The whole motion of the wheels ability to maintain the proper contact to earth is the ball joint alignment.

Camber, a liitle easier to understand, and can be seen with the naked eye. Standing infront of the car/truck and looking a the tire. If the top of the tire is tipped inward or outward is a camber situation. Notice I said situation and not problem. There are many different suspension systems that purposely tilt the wheels one way or another.

Not to change the subject, but the old ford trucks with the twin I-beam suspension, holy cow, those things had no camber stability with the way they worked, I'm so amazed the tires wore evenly at all.

Often times when a vehicle pulls to one direction it's a case of camber on one wheel being off set. When the wheel is tipped one way or the other it will be like a motorcycle, lean the wheel and thats the direction it wants to go. Same with a tire that is leaning on a car/truck, it'll pull one way or the other.

Ok. there is also toe in and toe out but I think those are self explanitory.

This isn't enough to answer all possible guestions, but I hope it introduces those who haven't been introduced to front end alignment and what to watch for when setting up your vehicle.

For a while now I've been getting the passenger side perch put together. This side had restictions that had to be worked around. Now that it's done I can take a measurement of it's height and build the drivers side to match it's height.

I simply had to make sure the axle itself is level, then take the level and come off the perch over the axle tube. Now measure the space between the bottom of the level to the axle tube. In this case, 1 1/4 inch.

Now make the side plates that measure 3/16" under 1 1/4". This way when I weld the top plate on the side plates, I'll have my matching 1 1/4" height.

A perch that is that high off the tube is not ordinary. My concern, as we've touched on earlier, is the idea of it collapsing sideways, due to it's height. I can pretty well eliminate the collapsing issue by welding the side to side plates to the top plate. This picture shows the internal brace to eliminate the weakness of the height.


Alright you guys, you're drooling on my keyboard again.....that's great!!!

Let's get this spring perch assembled tonight.

So for I've got the height, the width and a brace to help keep it from wanting to roll or twist.

Time to finish the front a rear ends. I want to keep the shape of the side plates the best I can. They drop down about a 1/4" then have a sweeping roll downwards. I cut a piece of flat steel the width and the length needed. Then I did the same thing I did with the top plates for the rear springs. Marked a line and with the 3" air grinder, I cut a line not quite all the way through, then bent it back to follow contour of the side plates. Then mounted it in the vise and with a hammer and dull chisel, bent the roundness into the rest of it.

I made the width just right so all I had to do was put it in place and squeeze the side plates with the vise to hold the front plate in place.

I ground away alot of material where the pieces come together. I created a "V" between the pieces so I had a good weld depth when done. I had the choice of the Mig/Wire feed, or the Tig welder. When it comes to smallwelds like this. Plus the fact that the material is thick and will require high heat to penetrate for good adhesion. I choose the Tig, I can heat and melt before adding filler rod. One of my objectives here is to fill, fill, fill. I can always grind and shape the material when done. Hmmmmm, grinding, flap discs, 4 1/2" grinder, it's gonna be a good day.

Yup, there's no beauty in the above welding, but I did fill, fill, fill, now I can shape the perch how I want to. Here's the beauty, a work of art, I think I"ll save this one and use it as a paper weight. It can hold down these papers I keep pointing at.


I've stopped by a couple times to check out your build. I haven't for the last week or so, so I'm not sure of your progress or your plans with your truck.

Mine on the other hand is a mixed patch of parts I gathered many years ago. Even my rims have different bolts patterns from the front to the rear.

I do believe however that the originals were 5 lugs on a 5 1/2" circle, you have to check, but I think jeeps used that for many years.

Lockout gears, do you mean the outer hubs where you can manually engage the front wheels for 4 wheel drive? I'm thinking "locking hubs", but you may be refering to something all together different. I don't want to misslead you, so I'll hold off on an answer.

Since most of my truck is changed in one way or another, I don't have alot to offer in a stock truck conversation. I do however know the guys over at Oldwillysforum.com gets deeper into stock/original drivetrain information. They may have better info. in the original equipment stuff for ya.

Hope this helps....


In the last pictures of the new leaf springs I had put one more leaf into the pack to get the height I was looking for.

At that time I was more concerned about ride height that the rusty appearance of the added leaf. Now that the perches are set, and I'm happy with the ride height, it's time to sandblast and paint the added leaf.

Before I can sandblast and paint the leaf, I have to disassemble the pack. I was able to lightly hammer the leaf into the pack with out much disassembly, not so with trying to get it back out. I had to bend back the metal straps and I got the leaf back out.

After sandblasting, I hung them on the rack. I used the bed liner spray, I really like this stuff. It lays smooth and has a nice satin black finish. I had to lightly hammer the leaf back into the pack, it held very well with the hammering.

The ride height looked good in the work shop, but you have to take it outside to really tell. I'm very happy with the stance. Of course I kneeled down to take the picture, it makes th truck look bigger. I spend some time looking at stock Willys trucks, amazing what they look like raised and wth larger tires.


I'm glad you like....

I don't want to be missinterpeted. The stock Willys truck is a good looking truck, yet, it's awesome the transfiguration and the attitude change it goes through when lifted.

When remaking the spring perches I had to slightly relocate them. In doing so I had to cut off the mounting bracket that held the steering stabilizers to the axle. Looking closely at the last picture of the truck out side, you can see the stabilizers not attached to the axle.

The perch relocation situation will be covered in the next conversation.

The stabilizer bracket that will be welded to the axle isn't anything special, but I'll cover it anyway. It does require a bit of fabrication.

I started with a piece of angle iron. Now I'm not big on angle iron, but when used as a starting base for something else....I'm good with that.

Why I'm not big on angle iron? I don't know why, I still use it, it just looks like a quick fix.

Not to get off subject, but it's my thread. I like to build and fabricate in a triangular fashion. How can I explain.....hmmmmm.

Ok, lets take a piece of square tubing, now weld the bottom of this square to a solid base. Now apply pressure to the side and top of the square. The weak point, or shall I say, points of this square will be the four corners. There is no gusseting strength, the corners will give, and the square will collapse.

Now let's create a triangle. Weld the bottom to a solid base, now apply pressure to the side and top of this triange. Now the actual side plates become a gusset and transfers the pressure directly to the base. The corners are no longer taking all the force as did the square.

Back to the stabilizer bracket. I drew on a piece of angle iron how I wanted to cut so the stabilizer can mount to it without interference. Oops, I cut into the mount too deep.

Remember, I have liquid metal. (Mig welder)

The angle iron has the two sides, I want three. I'm gonna add the third side. I piece of 1/8" x 1/2" will do. Grind away the edges and mount both pieces into a angle support. Once welded and the grinding is done, you'll never know it wasn't one piece to begin with.

Good questions mike, sleep, not as much as I should. That's me yawning/

Your thoughts are valid though. I also said to myself a few weeks ago, "this truck has gone through alot of changes and updates, really 6 months isn't too bad a time frame". Since most of the work was hand fabrication, yes, I'm pleased with the progress, and that I tried not to cut corners is a plus.

Another thing...... The term inspiration has been used to describe the work I've done. I also will use the same word to describe what I've gotten on this end. At any time, when someone posts that I've opened a thought, or a new way of doing something, or someone has been encouraged by this thread, I feel the enthusiasm on this end and want to keep moving forward. We definetly have a two way street going here.

I have to admit, I've never checked the milage. But it's not because of the truck, I've got 2 other vehicles I drive and I've never checked them either. Probably because I don't want to know the truth.

I'm very lucky to live 4 miles from work, I fill my main daily driver about once a month, very lucky.

Thanks for checking in, good to hear from you again.


You guys are quite correct, the bed will be on the priority list someday. I see on another site they also are comparing the reproduction chevy truck bedto a willys bed. Might be a real time saver to go this route when the time comes.

The bed I have now, other than the couple of frame tubes, but I changed them, is actually made from 16 guage galvanized sheet metal. The galvanized sheet metal is tough to have primer and paint to hold to, but for almost 30 years now, the paint has held good. It is around the edges that the paint is popping off a bit. Good thing is; the galvanizing under the paint still keeps the sheet metal from rusting, so strength wise it's still very usable.

I do have some issues under the cab that require attention that I haven't posted pics of yet. Nothing major, but they are structural issues and these are my first concern.

Finishing the steering stabilizer tonight I'll finish the third side, and weld it to the axle tube. Last picture I clamped the pieces into a 90 degree fixture, I then tack welded a couple areas, then took it off the fixture and completed the welding. Still working on my tig welding, I was doing good then my hand shifted a bit and the weld also shifted a bit. None the less the weld is still strong and when done the grinding will make it look near perfect when done.

Now securely welded to the axle tube I can reattach the stabilizers and my steering is back in shape again. I had to cut the old bracket off because it fits between the two u-bolts holding the leaf springs in place. I relocated the drivers side spring perch 3/8" closer to the end of the axle, so the old stabizer bracket location interfered with the new location of the u-bolts.

When I made the new perch I was also concerned about the stabilizer mounting bolt interfering it. That's why I made the underside of the perch arc backwards as soon as I could.

Next on the project list is making the new top plates. We've been through this a couple months ago with the rear ones. I'll follow the same cutting and bending procedure. For those who haven't gone through all the pages of this thread, I'll show the fabrication of the 1/4 " plates. Once again I created them on the computer, then printed them on paper so I can get a physical image before cutting the 1/4" plate.


"Leaps and bounds", I like that. I'll be like the easter bunny.

As I mentioned, it's time to make the top plates for the front leaf springs. The procedure is the same as the rear ones so I'll get through it quick. I had to endure making them, so you all have to endure the making of them.

First the plate cut by the torchmate, then marking all the main reference points for where the five holes will be drilled.

After the holes are drilled, making a cut to be able to bend back the ends for the rolled up edge.

Then after bending back the ends, fill the open bends with welding and grind to a smooth edge. Done, nice looking plate, now one more to make.


Now for the u-bolts. The ones on the drivers side should be easy.... ha.

I needed 2 3/4" inside and approx 8 1/2" long. Seemed simple to me, but nope, seemed they had every size but the one I needed, aint that the way it goes.

Ok, I'll settle for the right length, and 3/8" wider. Now I have to reshape the u-bolt down to the proper width to fit around the axle tube properly.

Yes I could use the torch and heat the u-bolt and reshape it. In this case I perfer to use the press.

In this first picture I have layed the newly shaped u-bolt over top of the original shape that it was.

In this second picture you can see how the threaded part of the reshaped u-bolt fits, and the original sized one does not fit the holes in the top plate.

Now how to get it into shape. The block of wood is the width needed when finished. It keeps the u-bolt from becoming deformed when pressed. Apply a little pressure on one side, then flip and press the other side. By going back and forth it keeps the sides uniform. It still needs a small amout of adjusting when the pressing is done, but it still looks like it came right out of the box when done.

MAJOR CAUTION..... The bottom part of the u-bolt stays securly in the "V" fixture on the bottom side. The top could use a "V" cut also to keep the u-bolt from popping out under pressure. I've had it pop out before, be careful!


We'll stop here for a little before and after picture showing.

Most certainly an upgrade from what was to what is. I've mentioned a few times during this build, it's interesting to flashback 26 years when I put this together. The lack of tools, the lack of knowledge, but I had an abundance of enthusiasm.

I've looked at the old top plates, some of the holes were cut with a cutting torch, I don't think I had a 1/2" drill, so the torch was my only choice. Some of the parts were cut with the cutting torch and assembled. Some things didn't get the final grinding to clean up the edges before assembly.

Anyway, it's been fun. But I'm really enjoying getting stuff changed and stronger.

The old set up.

The new set up. Oh, looky there, I didn't forget the upper clover plate. The pieces still need the final grinding around the edges, but the hard part is done.


Let's dive into the dual stabilizer situation if I may.

But first, let's focus on the last portion of the above statement.

" so much knowledge of proper mechanics". I certainly appreciate the compliment. Although, I do not hold my knowledge above anybody else.

Example, oldtime ironman had a good statement concerning metal and it's characteristics.

Midnightburn had some very good points on spring perches and started the caster camber subject.

We had a great video on spider gears and their function that was posted by another.

All in all, I am open to the idea of learning just as much as I am of teaching.

If I may copy and post again. " so much knowledge of proper mechanics".

Perhaps I am great at fooling everyone with my knowledge of proper mechanics since it is I who has been in control of the topics, I can choose only those of which I have knowledge in, which in the readers mind, if I have so much knowledge in these specific areas, I must have great knowledge in many more areas of vehicles.

Is it then that I have fooled the readers, or, is it simply that the readers have built an assumption on what has not been covered yet?

The future of this project will uncover more of my knowledge, of which I do not boast of, I always know there will be others who have more knowledge or perhaps experience is specific areas and functions of vehicles.

Of which now leads us to the beginning of the statement above.

"please stop running dual stabilizers"

My knowledge of them is limited, but my experience with them is huge.

I now step aside and give the thread to your knowledge of steeringstabilizers.

Ok, back to the fabrication, welding and grinding.

With a truck that is over 60 years old and in service for much of that time, there is gonna be strange wear spots along the way. I either have a choice to ignore the strange wear spots, or try to fill and repair.

The situation is tricky, and whaaaa, I can't use the 4 1/2" grinder. I needed the grinding disc to reach further than a 4 1/2" will reach, I needed the reach of a 7" grinder. oldtime_ironman, I'm reaching for the 7" air grinder, haven't used it for years.

If I ignore this worn spot and tighten the bolt and bracket up against the leaf spring, I will apply pressure perhaps the side of the spring instead of the bushing itself. Either way, it's best to take care of it now while I'm here.

I lightly touched the area with the grinder, then used a small rotary brrr to remove the left over rust residue. Then brought in the mig welder, filled and with the 7" grinder, got it back to like new condition.

Honestly, I just want to assemble, and start driving this thing, but with old age comes patience. One thing I've learned is if I'm planning on painting this truck someday, absolutly everything I get finished now when it comes to the driving reliability, is all the more I don't have to deal with after the painting is done. After painting, I don't want to assemble and disassemble drivetrain parts later.

The spring mounting bracket in need of filling.

The bracket after welding and grinding.


Jeff88, ohhh patience is such a huge subject. We can talk and teach how things work, we can talk about installation, we can teach fabrication, but one thing that can't be taught is patience. It's huge.

This is a mental, personal struggle. It is for me the decision of the life of the project at hand. Today, the mindset is quick satisfaction, we want it yesterday attitude, and yes, I to am in this world, I to struggle with the patience issue at times.

When it comes to this truck project, since you've followed along for months now, you can see how getting into one issue I have uncovered another issue. At times this is very overwhelming considering I figured this would be a 2 or 3 month project.

Where a large project becomes overwhelming is when I step into the shop, and I start adding all the work yet to do before I can drive it again. Right there, I'm down for the count. The heart rate goes up, where do I go now, how do I keep a positive attitude?

For me the idea is to realize what I just thought, there is so much to do....

For me it was rusty frame, it was suspension, it was shock mounts, it was paint the rims, it was rebuilding the rear axle, it was figuring out how to make all the bushings fit the leaf springs, ect.

I have to catagorize the projects into sub-projects. The frame rust is not directly attached to the leaf springs, the rear end is not directly attached to the leaf springs. The idea is to put the frame as the only project in your mind. Push the other items aside, focus and conquer only the frame. Once you conquer the frame, celebrate big time. Go release energy somewhere else. Mine is to go for a exhausting atv ride til my muscles ache.

Now I feel an accomplishment, I will get a positive push from it and move to the next sub-catagory. I tire of grinding, welding, and fabricating so I moved to the axle rebuild. The change from fabrication to mechanicals is a great diversion once in a while.

Sorry for the long write up, but this is a subject that causes many projects to never get finished. If anyone else has ideas to get through long term projects I'd like to hear them.


Hi all, let's get back to business here.

Huge statement here, I shall paste. thomask wrote.

"50wllystrk is becoming a mentor to many here with his patient and humble way."

Thank you thomask, there is alot in the above sentence, I will do my best to explain.

"Humble" is the key word. Basically the opposite meaning of "pride". Pride has it's benifits when managed correctly.

Yes, I do have pride as I finish a project and I sit back and reflect on what I've created. To create something means that something had to give into my will. I have pride in my ability to create, and I enjoy the support from others who show their respect of what has been created. But I/we must never let this pride override our ability to be humble.

We all crave wisdom, wisdom is like water, we want it to flow in, but we don't always know when or how to operate the valves. Pride is the valve that stops wisdom from flowing in. We need to learn how to shut off the pride valve and open the humble valve so we can be ready when wisdom is ready to flow.  

Just something to think about.


94yjstocklook wrote,"hope your having a merry christmas". Thank you for the blessing.

I'm gonna cover this as fast as I can.

Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. To tell you thr truth, I went 45 years without a clue of what it meant. My fault maybe, I totally ignored the whole idea of the Jesus thing. With santa, happy holidays, gifts, giving, spending money, snowman, ect. ect. The whole thing is covered by glitter.

God knocked on my heart 5 years ago, I answered. As you can tell I'm not some religious robot, that's not what God wants. He simply wants a relationship with you. That's why we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ.

Ok, real quick... 10 commandments, we've all heard of them. They had a large part of bringing brought God's wrath upon mankind. They were to bring mankind to thier knees by realizing that they could not live perfect according to God's Holiness, a "humbling" if you may. Instead, mankind tried to live up to God's holiness and this only created "pride" in trying to live up to the expectations of the 10 commandments.

Do you see how the first part of this post is fitting with this second part, "pride" and "humble". You two posted the perfect posts and the right time.

Basically, the very first commandment, "have no gods before Me" is the first one broken by every person, boom, your hell bound, done deal. It reads "if one commadment is broken the penalty is the same as if you have broken all the commandments".

Here is why we acknowledge the birth of Christ. He is our redeemer, through His birth, life, beatings, and death and ressuretion we can escape the final judgement and wrath that awaits us. He has paid the price for our failures.

He has brought Grace to the forefront. Grace is a gift that is the unmerrited favor of God. You don't work, or pay for it, it requires a heart felt belief that you have fallen short of God's Holiness and you need a savior, and His name is Jesus Christ. We the believers basically get to take part of Jesus Christ perfection to escape the punishment due to us.

I could go on, but hopefully this will be start a thought wave, and from this thoughtwave don't be surprised if your heart suddenly has a need to be fulfilled, a need that only the Holy Spirit can fulfill.

Almighty then, errr I mean, Alrighty then, let's do some fabrication.

My truck is so far from an ordinary Willys. What I mean is.... it's been so butchered over the years that seldom can I just order Willys truck parts and install. I usually have to modify parts to fit.

Case in point... Body mounts. There was an original cross frame that was cut off before I got the truck. This cross brace had a support that the front nose mounted to. I had to make my own supports to hold up the nose.

With all the changes I've made over the last couple months I need to raise the nose about 3/4 " to get the bed and cab to align better. I already have a 1" rubber bushing between the nose and the support, I don't want more rubber. My plan is to remove a section of the monting tabs I made years ago and weld the leftover pieces back together. Now I can still use 1" rubber bushings and still get the lift I want.

There are two support tabs, I've got one original here and one that I cut the center out of. Since I removed about 3/4" inch out of the center, the left over two pieces don't exactly match anymore. I simply raised the nose to where I wanted it, put the rubber bushing in place and bolted it's tab in place. Then bolted the other part of the tab to the frame and with the mig welder, stretched 2 beads across the gap. This way, when I finish welding the pieces back together, I don't have to quess or bend or shape or drill, it's a perfect fit for distance and height.

This pic shows the space that had to be filled. Remember.... liquid

Sure I could have started with a new piece and drilled and bent to shape. But in the end, I'm sure you can see I saved time, and got the same result.
The round flat washer welded in place will be covered in the next post.


In the last posting I mentioned using rubber bushings. These bushings are very universal. I get them from the NAPA store. They're about 1" tall but when I need them narrower simply put one in the vise so half of it is sticking up out of the vise and cut with a hacksaw, then rotate the bushing in the vise til you've cut all the way around and through the bushing.

In this next picture you can see the outcome of a bushing that wasn't properly supported. It is the neglect of 26 years and just started to split around the parimeter. The lower bushing lasted as many years but you can see it had better support and didn't split like the other one. True, the stress on different bushings perhaps wasn't the same, but certainly the more the load is dispersed on a larger area of the bushing, the longer it will last.

Next in the top middle is a washer that fits the outer parimeter pretty good and the lower middle item is the same washer with a larger center hole.

To the right is the nose mounting bracket we saw in the last pics.

Where the fabrication comes in is making the washers. In previous posts I've mentioned the usage of a drill press, this is a key time to have one.

I'm using some 1/8" scrap piece of metal, perfect for what I need to do. I get a holesaw of the righ diameter that once I cut a hole, the piece that gets cut out and stuck inside the holesaw is the diameter I want for the washers.

The holesaw uses a 1/4" drill to center is when cutting. I need a 7/16" center hole so now just drill the center hole and I got my washer. 

You can cut these using a 1/2" drill, not as convienent, but it does work.

One benifit by having a drill press is the drill is a solid mounted unit. The metal is also on a solid mount. Having both pieces mounted solidly, you can remove the 1/4" centering drill bit. Now if you need a solid round disc, you can use the holesaw without the bit and get the solid disc without the hole in the center.


Thanks for checking in 94yjstocklook, it's good to hear from you.

You are always honest, I appreciate that.

There may be others thinking the same thing.

I used the term washers only for the fact that they resemble washers by appearance.

It's not so much the end result/product that is the main focus of this last post. Just as I've taken the Mig welder and gone way beyond it's normal use of just attaching to pieces of metal together. I've taken it to to doing nice long welds to using it like liqiud metal, ect.

Now I've taken the hole saw and drill press and what we would have just used to drill a hole with, we now use the refuge/waste of drilling the hole and turning it into a usable item. In this case, a hmmmmmm, not a washer, but a rubber bushing load dispersing apparatus. Yes, that's it, we'll call it a RBLDA.

Also the plus side of this RBLDA is you can create the exact outside diameter and control the inside diameter as you need it to be.

For example, if I need a RBLDA with a 1 1/2" outide diameter, and if I go to the hardware store, I can get a washer with the outside diameter, but, the inside is gonna be 3/4" to 1" diameter. In this case I'd have to down size stack about 3 washers to satisfy my inside diameter of 7/16" to fit the much smaller bolt head. Now I have a sloppy fit, or I have to weld all the washers together so they won't shift around during use.

Another huge plus is I do control the thickness of the washer I'm making. Recently I restored a camaro where the door striker post had started to break the metal around it. The owner took the car to have someone weld the post and the fatigued metal aound it. Sounds like a quick fix, but there is a washer that is also painted between the metal and the post. Little did they know, it's aluminum from the factory. When they started to weld, the aluminum washer made a terrible mess. And the washer was destroyed.

I had to replace the washer, no problem, I had a hole saw to create the same size washer in aluminum. Here's the best part..... The original was about an 1/8" thick. The door post is to be shimmed for the correct adjustment, now I have to add shims. Or..... I can cut a washer that is 3/16" thick and get a cleaner look without any more shims. It worked great. I also noticed from the other side that they bend the washer in a way that it has a slight wave to it. This wave, when it is installed, it creates a pressure so it won't loosen over time. With the press I also created this wave before installing it.

So the idea of this post topic is once again, where we may have settled for a quick fix fit before, we now take a tool that is sitting next to us and creating the perfect fit.

As many of you grow and become more able to create your own fixes in tricky areas you'll see other people projects. You'll be reminded as you see the quick fixes you used to do when you see their projects, you'll reflect on where you've come from, it's a great feeling. Now I'm not mocking others work here, we all start somwhere, as you've all seen, I've done the comparing here in this thread, on my own past building.

spyder6, thanks a ton for replying. I seriously appreciate it.

Your responce and answer is dead on.

Yes, if my suspension and geometry is all correct the need for stabilizers is virtually eliminated. But we do have the situation of stock/factory trucks that originally have steering stabilizers.

For instance, before the Willys I had a 76 chevy 3/4 ton. After a few years I noticed the ball joints were getting sloppy and the top of the front wheels were tipping inward. Ahhhh, no problem, it still rides fine, I'll get to them when ever.

The truck had a steering stabilizer I don't remember if it was factory or add on, but it had also started to leak, it wasn't up to the task anymore. Now, even though the truck had an original geometry set-up, things did get sloppy, alignment went out of whack.

I clearly rememeber a certain bridge in town, it had an edge to it, when I drove over it, I got the dreaded death wobble. Oh, my, that sucked big time. Nothing like feeling you've lost all control.

Anyway, point is, once the stabilizer gave out, I felt the bad alignment creep up and bite me. I soon learned how to change ball joints and also the stabilizer. Never had the wobble again.

Point is. as you mentioned, if the ball joints had stayed like new, and alignment had stayed the same, not even one stabilizer might not have been

Ok. as I mentioned, my caster is not at the perfect setting, yet, I haven't experienced any drawbacks in 26 years. I'm on the edge and I know it, but still have a secure feeling when driving.

Now, would one stabilizer help eliminate any possible wander I may have with my caster being off, absolutly, I did drive with one for about 6 months. But now comes personal preference.

It is the feel of the steering wheel. Example, all my vehicles are 30 years and older, nothing has a rack and pinion steering set-up. Now, when I do occasionally do drive a newer rack and pinion car I love the feel of the slight resistance of the steering wheel. You feel as if you have complete control from the steering wheel to the front wheels. And with this total control feel, you get very little bump steer. Meaning, as the wheel encounters pot holes, and edges in the pavement, there is no wander or action sent back to the steering wheel. (spyder6, I know you already know the meaning of bump steer, others may not).

Ok, with my truck, I am wayyyyyyyyyy far away from rack and pinion steering. And even though the second stabilizer is not needed to drive the truck, there is something about the resistance the second one offers that very slightly resembles the resistance of having a rack and pinion steeringfeel.

Let's reflect, even before the topic of two stabilizers became a conversation, I took a picture of the truck in my driveway. In my write up I mentioned the fact that the stabilizers mounting bracket wasn't welded on yet, and I noticed the steering was much easier. Being easier didn't mean easier was good in this situation, being easier and noticing it immediatly meant I wanted it back to the feel I had before, the same resistance it had before I disassembled it.

You are correct, with proper set-up, one is sufficient, but now personal preference steps up. Personal preference will quite often throw a twist into logic.

hallsofstone, just think about it, all we've done here is post pictures and write words. Really not much different than what school does. So I have to ask, why can't school be just as interesting?

We're moving onto the old fan shoud. I'm trying to recall, but I know the radiator and the mounting of the radiator is all from a '72 Chevy Nova. As for the fan shrod itself I believe it was from around a 1967 chevelle. I think I liked the older shroud because it is metal vs. a plastic one. I could cut and modify it to fit my needs.

To put everything together, the motor sits slightly lower in reference to the radiator location. Now with this in mind the fan blade is slightly exposed lower than the radiator. My fan shroud serves two purposes. One, is to pull the air through the radiator. Two, serve as a splash guard so the fan doesn't get water and mud splashed up into it from underneath.

Before I go any farther, I'm sure many are thinking, just install a electric fan. Today, this is a very good way to go. I can open up any performance catalog and pick the one I need. Twenty six years ago, it wasn't gonna happen. The best you could do was go to the junk yard and maybe find one on a car.

Right now I'm sticking with the same old set-up. I really don't even want to get involved with anything in the engine bay right now, but since it's in the shop, I'm gonna take care of some odds and ends. I also figure we have snow sometime in the future and I want to keep it close to usable condition.

I want to redue the splash guard on the shroud. It's location isn't exactly where I want it, in two different ways.

Here's what I'm working with. The flat shield is gonna be cut off and changed. The black mark is the height on the left side that I need to get to.

Not only do I want to alter the shield according to the rotation location, I also want to space the splash shield forward about an inch. This next picture shows the old piece removed, then the two pieces that will replace the old shield.

I cut these pieces with a hand shear from 16 guage sheet metal. Rather thick for sheet metal, but holds it's shape quite well. If anyone's gonna do much sheet metal work, these will save alot of time without taking up much roomin the shop. Usually these are mounted to a bench top, but I just made a mount so I could clamp it in the vise when needed.


I just wanted to go back a couple posts. I know this is a Jeep based forum, but we are also into fabrication.

A couple posts back I mentioned someone's effort to weld a door post stiker and the surrounding metal. I mentioned what a mess it turned into. Sometimes words don't give the picture very well so I thought I bring up the picture of the mess.

I'm not trying to pick on the effort made to fix the problem. I didn't figure there'd be an aluminum washer hidden in there either. It wasn't til I took things apart that I noticed the aluminum and understood where the welding problem started.

Oh, this is BAD.

Here you can see that I really didn't have to cut to remove, it pretty well fell apart with a little twist.

The only thing I could do was cut away til I got to good material then make a patch that fit well. The tricky part was figuring exactly where the hole for the stricker was gonna be. In this pic I still have to trim for the vent cover to fit.

Posting two times in one night, with pictures with dial-up. hahahaha.

Back to the truck.....

Not that there's much too exciting going on here. I suppose the point is... restoration is not all about excitment during the build, there are long enduring times that you just have to inch your way through. snoring.

Let's get the inch spacer attached to the fan shroud. Then I can put the new splash shield in place. Start by tack welding to get the fit I'm looking for.

Once it's tacked in place now I can full weld it in place.

Now I can weld the splash shield in place.


Last couple pics of the fan shroud situation. Just another small project, yet, if anyone decides to create a vehicle out of what other wise is a pile of car parts at a junk yard. you better be prepared to have many small fitment issues.

I've picked on my past work a few times during this re-build. In reality, most of what i've picked on has been cosmetic touches, meaning, not cleaning up welds, square edges on brackets, ect.

On the other hand, I did do well on creating a truck that has lasted a long time and has been quite dependable.

Other than cosmetics, I'm real happy with the driving endurance of the truck. I used this truck for 21 years, then I moved 450 miles. This truck drove the 450 miles in about 9 hours without a problem what so ever. Was I nervous......oh yeah.

My point.... Sure, it's easy to build something that has a short lifespan. Here's where the tricky part is. It takes a different attitude to build for long life. This is where fatique, vibrations, wear and tear sets in.

I'm talking about a small spot of a fan shroud that is too close to the radiator, for a short time, no problem, for a long time, big problem.

Perhaps there is a brake line or a wire that is rubbing on a part of the frame. Short time, no problem, long time, big problem.

Just a thought for those who are building a project.

It's a little cold for any real painting right now so I finished the fan shroud and just sprayed it with a spray can.

I myself have a heated shop, but I have no desire to run the paint fumes through the heater, so I'll wait til spring to do anymore painting with the paint gun.

On the new splash shield I could have just left the top of it flat. But the piece will be much stronger with a rolled or bend edge.


Now looking at the top of the grill and radiator. Once again, I really don't want to get into the engine bay, but there is one more item I'd like to take care of. Being impatient in my youth, I never put the struts/braces that go from the firewall to the front grill.

Problem being, a good place to attach to the grill was removed before I got the truck. In this picture you can see the "V" design of the grill. Someone cut the whole section that spanned the area that filled this "V". Originally there would be a hood latch and the mounts for the braces. Since I've had the truck I've used the spring latches like on a Jeep on each side of the hood to hold it down.

In this pic I've got the braces bolted to the top of the radiator support. Tricky part here is the rusty plate on top is a thin piece of shaped metal that reaches over the top of the radiator to hold the radiator down. This, just as the rear bumper was a compressable item and I had to create a way to mount it without a chance of it compressing and becoming loose. The same problem here, if I drill and bolt though this top plate it'll compress and distort.

Below this thin plate is a 1/4"thick plate that I'd like to bolt to. Once again, the thinner plate on top is in the way.

I don't want to hack into the top plate, it needs to retain it's strength. I've decided to drill two 3/4" holes through the top plate, then build some risers to bolt to the 1/4" plate then come up high enough to weld the bracing bars to. Here's kinda the end result without paint.

Measure 3 times and drill. I marked the top plate, took it off, then drilled it to 3/4", then put the top plate back in place. I want a near perfect fit, so I used the holes in the top plate and used it as a fixture so I can now use the same 3/4" drill bit to center mark the 1/4" plate below. Then with these center marks, I drilled 5/16 holes in the 1/4 plate. I should be in near perfect alignment now.

I'm using 3/4" round bar for my risers. This picture should give a good idea of how the top plate and the risers are gonna work together. With this height I have enough material of the riser to weld the bars that will go back to the firewall.


Here's a view from the top showing the risers coming out the top of the top radiator support plate.

The next tool to intruduce is a 14" chop saw, I've had this one since, well, about the time I put the truck together. It is also a major time saver, you can adjust the holding support for different angles for cutting. You can cut flat, round, square, and angle with it.

Once the piece is cut close to the proper length I put it in the lathe and first drilled a 5/16" hole through the center. Once the center hole is drilled then bring in the cutting bit and now I can clean up one end, then mark the other end at where I want the overall length to be, then cut back to the mark. Done, I have the length and the now I can use a 5/16" bolt to mount it to the radiator support.


As for the rest of you, thanks for checking in, once again, your enthusiam helps keep me going.

Dial-up, I think we say it's done pretty good. I think we're up to around 250 pictures. Ha, I don't want to think of the time I've waited for the up-loads.It's been worth it.

Ahh, and there's that "inspiration word"

Test drive, ohhhh yeah, the posting is about a week behind progress. I took my first test drive on the first day of the year. I took it to work today, funpart was showing off the gas cap cover. The parking lot is open where I work, as I finished my route I pulled the postal vehicle back into the parking lot, I noticed a white car pulling in behind me. I looked back to see the white car stopped in front of my Willys and took pictures, how cool.

Alrighty, back to the build. Now welding the brace arm to the riser. I'm still practicing with the Tig welder. The Tig is the absolute perfect welder for this. First, the riser is gonna take way more heat to penetrate for a strong weld. With the Tig I can apply heat directly to the thicker riser til I start a puddle of liquid metal, once I have this I can drift to the thinner metal of the brace arm and begin the weld and add welding rod. Second, I don't want to grind the weld afterwards, so with the Tig weld, if done right, the weld will look ok as is without grinding later.

Something to think about here.... Let's say you wanted a cleaner look when finished. When drilling the riser, don't drill all the way through as I did with the 5/16" drill, the same size of the bolt. Drill with a smaller bit, a bit that is the right size to tap and thread the hole to a 5/16". Stop when you get about a inch deep, just not all the way through. This way, you won't have a bolt head sticking out the top, just a clean round riser where the securing bolt attaches from the bottom. Actually, with the lathe, you could cut a design into the top of the riser for personalization.

Now for the other end. I just need a simple bolt hole to attach to a flange on the firewall. There's many different ways of attaching a flat to the bracing rod. I choose to grind a groove, slide a flat in there and weld.

After welding and grinding.....


Now for the end of the grill braces. They really worked well, the front grill absolutly stays put with no moving. Looking closely at the left of the picture below, you can see how many years of not being securely braced has created a fracture in the top of the grill. This is evidence of what I mentioned earlier, if this truck hadn't been used for the long time that it has, this insecure grill wouldn't be an issue, but if your gonna keep something for a long time, wehave to rethink things as we assemble.

Now for the hidden radiator support that we've been bolting the grill supports to. I am proud of the location/fit. It is very sensative as to it's height and location. The top plate that reaches from this support to over the top of the radiator has to be specially located, this support is exactly where I want it.

What I don't like is the lack of gussets fitted where you can see a piece of angle iron cut and bent into a 90 degree angle. Plus the over all length of the 1/4 plate is a little too long, cosmetically spaeaking. Plus, I was just learning how to use an arc welder back then, so I'm gonna redue some of the old welds.

And here is it removed, it just doesn't meet my standards as for cosmetics and finalization, but instead of trashing it and starting all over, and since it is a very good fit, I'll gusset, weld and grind.


I suppose this is where we split the idea of funtion and form. This radiatorsupport piece has been just fine and served it's purpose well, I guess we can this the funtion.

Visually speaking, it's lacking. As I mentioned before, I like to build and gusset in a trangular shape. My plan is to clean up the sharp edges and add a gusset at the 90 degree bends. Once done, I'll have the form taken care of.

Here's the beginning showing the rough edges.

After a couple hours of welding and grinding it's much stronger and everything flows together better.

After some sandblasting and spray can of black paint, now I've got something more presentable. Hmmmm. if I keep this up, I'm gonna restore the whole truck.


Let's get these pieces back in place. With this truck there are not very many parts that are factory pieces. Then in the places where there some pieces that are factory pieces they are attached to hand fabricated pieces.

Because of all the gathered stuff that makes this truck a running, driving vehicle is the reason to always keep an eye out when you walk through a junk yard, or look under the hood of another vehicle to get ideas. If your gonna build, you have to be very adaptable.

Ok. under the hood.

Now from the side. The radiator has lasted the 26, now 27 years without much problem. Towards the last couple years the top inlet started to leak. I have already purchased a new radiator, once I get the odds and ends done around the radiator I'll change to the new one.


RikRotorhead, Thanks for checking in also. Good to have more fellow Willys guys stepping up. From the sounds of things, with the enthusiasm from others, we may have more future Willys guys also.

As for the "V" shape front end, hmmmm, I'm not a real historian on these Willys in that department. I have been led to believe that the '48 and '49 where the flat nosed, then the '50 went to the "V" shape.

I don't know if perhaps since '49 to '50 there may have been a time during the change over that some of the '50's in the very early going had the old style before completly switching over.

Of coarse, this is purely my own guessing.

In either case of you build, going street rod or rolling on 40" tires, they both will require alot of modifications. It does sound like you already have a good customization started.

In the case of going big with the 40"s. The rear wheel well openings on the wagon may need to be reshaped to fit the diameter of the larger tire. In the front, as well as the rear, the springs may need to on top of the axles.

I say "may need" for the idea that if you can modify as much as you have, I don't want to place a limitation on your abilities.

Good luck on your wagon, and I know if you do start a build thread, many here, including me, would like to see what you've got going.

Viper723, look at you go, getting your truck posted. That had to be exciting.

RikRotorhead, that pic with the red and black Willys, very nice. Man they sure do stand out.


RikRotorhead, you have a point with the idea of a Willys section.

Before I started my thread here I looked for a section that the Willys truckwould fit, but there wasn't one.

It was tricky also when registering. There were choices to click, but none were for the Willys truck either. Perhaps with the responce and entusiasm we've generated, maybe?

Either way, I'd like to thank Jeep forums for providing a means to show and tell, and bring us all together with one interest, the old Willys trucks and wagons.

As I mentioned, I took my first official test drive to town on the first of the year. It did well, yet I wasn't pleased with the braking performance. The pedal went down too far for my liking. This has somewhat been an issue before, but now that I'm here I want to get as many bugs worked out as possible.

Of course I checked the shoes for adjustment, I bled and bled the brakes. Now that I've eliminated those, I'm moving to the master cylinder. Ok, here's where it gets tricky. The cylinder seemed fine, I actually changed it about a year and half ago, along with the power brake booster. This rebuilt cylinder began to leak past the rear seal in the cylinder and wouldn't hold pressure as it should. As a side note... as I've mentioned before, it's a truck from a pile of used car and truck parts. The master cylinder and booster is from a '69 Impala. This time I bought a brand new cylinder and I'm now very happy with the brakes.

I tell ya, I know I've spent alot of time discussing theory and the mechanicals behind the parts, without this knowledge you would be either paying someone else, or buying alot of unnecessary parts.

Just one pic tonight, but it says alot. Six or seven months ago I started this frame repair, it was bad. It's come a long way, and it's been alot of funshowing and teaching and learning. It's great to start using it again. This is a driver, and worker, this is the first trip for it's first load of firewood. I'll get more pics later with it with a load of wood.

Wow, we've definetly got Willys showing up now.

Alright guys, I have to tell you all, each one of you have your own obsticles ahead of you. Just as I had to conquer my issues 27 years ago, you have the same task ahead of you.  

One thing you have going for you is now available the sheet metal, weather stripping, chrome parts, ect. The aftermarket has grown quite a bit since I did mine.

I can say however, it is worth the effort, done right and you can have a good reliable truck for many years to come. The best part about restoring an old truck is unlike a new truck that loses it's luster over a couple years, an old one becomes more special as every year goes by.

I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating. If this is your first restoration, have an idea of what your end result is gonna be. The project will cost time and money, you have to commit. It will be a mental game at times, you have to stick with the project at times, even when doing nothing sounds better. Through much of the time I've been filling this thread, I've been working 6 days a week, quite frankly, I really didn't feel like working on the truck, that's where I would just do an hour at a time, those hours do add up to getting stuff done.

Here's a biggy, beware, at times you want to take a break from the project, not a bad idea once in a while. What often happens next is one day turns to one week, one week turns to one month and well, you get the idea. It takes a lot of dissapline to take it to the end.

Mine is back to work again. I'm gathering firewood for next year and the truck is doing great. It may be 62 years old now, but it's been given a new life now.

With a load of wood, this is what worried me before. Making a turn while climbing a hill. With the frame a weak as it was I always worried about it twisting too far out of shape. Not now though.

The new rear springs are getting their first workout and doing just fine.


RikRotorhead, your honesty will give you a free conscience.

This is the wisdom of an old man. I did write that to go right to your heart. I sensed you were looking for something to take you over the wall and start seeing the project as something fulfill a desire than a hunk of iron sitting there and you're not sure where to start to get back to it.

For the rest of you, and anyone with a similar situation like RikRotorhead, it was a aftwarning, looking back at what could have been, or should have been.

For those like Viper723, just starting a project, it's a forewarning. There will be walls and barriers that you will hit, it's a struggle to get past some of them, but don't think you're alone, I've hit my fair share of walls also. Even repairing the frame on this truck I had walls. It's not til you broke a wall down that you become stronger and learn how to mentally handle these walls.

In no way am I saying to leave family and other priorities aside, it's those times where the lazy boy really looks comfortable that will lengthen the time it takes to finish the project.

Thanks again for sharing guys.


AngryTJ, I do plan on painting someday, it'll be a whille yet. The cab also needs some underside work too. As for now, I want to keep the truck ready for any bad weather that comes up. Any time I hear there is a big snow storm on it's way, I always feel confident. I am gonna take care of a few more odds and ends for now.

98GP, I'm glad you like. I knew all along the future of this truck is to be a truck. In between times of driving around and turning heads, it'll be workin for a living.

There is one part on this truck that has been butt-ugly since day one. In most cases this part would be hidden since it's on the bottom side of the truck. In this case, it's very noticeable. With how high it sits, it takes no effort to take a look at the transmission crossmember.

I've been trying to decide just what I want to replace it with. I could go get another hunk of channel iron similar to what is on there now, and do a much better job of fabrication. I also wanted to do a box design, something with four sides all fitted and welded.

If any of you have followed this thread, you know one of my goals is show the process of creating, not just show the created. This crossmember is gonna push my abilities and my patience but if it turns out how I want, it should look nice.

Here's the ugly... ha, not the first time I've said that during this build.

I started with alot of measurements then to the computer. Once I measured 3 times and checked my drawing on the computer, I crossed my fingers and made a big cut with the torchmate plasma cutting system.

With the box design, there will be the two sides and the top and the bottom. Yes, I'm biting off quite a project here, but if I conquer it, it's one more process of fabrication I'll have under my belt.

In this pic I've got my two sides cut. I've got the old one off, and layed them together. The old crossmember has the drop where the front driveshaft needs space. The new crossmember has this drop built into it also. The new one also has a second drop. This second drop is allowing space for a part of the transfercase housing. Originally I had to off set the crossmamber forward a bit to clear the transfercase housing. This way I can center the crossmember with this second drop.


You are correct Mike, no plow. There's just something about having one of the more capable vehicles to handle the deep snow. Things have to get really bad to stop the ole' Willys.

I mentioned building the crossmember in a box design would be a test of my patience. It has tested that and has raised the bar as to when I say it's too technical. The easy part was creating the full length side walls, just a matter of using the cad system on the computer letting it do the cutting.

As I was creating the side walls of the crossmember one thought that kept coming forward was that every bump and curve in the side walls is every bump and curve I'd have to put into the top and bottom flat that will enclose the entire crossmember.

With that said, I need to first place spacers between the two side walls. These pieces of 3" square tube will be perfect. Notice they are thin wall. Where I placed the clamps is directly where the strength of these 3" tubes is the best.

Once I clamped the side walls with the spacers together I can take an exact measurement of the width of the top and bottom plate. This fit in the next picture is exactly what I'm looking for. The weld will penetrate into the "V" perfectly. My hat goes off to the designers of the Torchmate. I wanted 4' of flat plate that was 3.150" wide for this fit, my plate is within a couple thousands of that, awesome.

Now's when I get nervous. The flat plate is 4' long. I don't want to cut it, I want to go from one side all the way to the other side. I can only describe the bottom plate as a cradle. This bottom plate will play a big roll in the strength and flex of this crossmember. If I didn't care about the strength I could simply cut pieces to cover the flat straight areas then fill the tricky areas with short pieces.

Ok, here is a picture of the beginning of shaping the flat for the curved area. This is not a fast process, but trust me, this is gonna look absolutly fantastic when done. By the way.... any body want to guess how I got the nice smooth bend into the flat plate? No heat used either.


So far so good, I think I've got this crossmember fabrication figured out. I was a little nervous for a bit, but it's coming together nicely.

In the last pic I figured out how to shape the flat into the rounded drop. The next issue was switching from shaping the round and following the flat area of the side walls.

The picture is self-explanitory...

Here I've got it shaped to the follow the rounded drops. Patience, patience.

The plate that I cut the flats from is 4' by 4', this picture shows how far I got with a 48" piece. This is fine with me. Once this is all welded together at least it extends to the outer ends of the crossmember, my desire to maintain the strongest possible way to create this is satisfied.


I'm glad this project of making the crossmember is capturing everybody's curiosity. During this whole thread one of my goals is to literally shake people back to the idea of being creative and inventive. By showing how to use tools in many different ways is the beginning.

Jeff88, to be honest, I like looking at the pictures too....

Superman, ha, you guys are creative.

94yjstocklook, ahhhh, thinking back to past projects, I like that, you get a star for trying, thank you. No relieve cuts though. The answer will be a simple one, it was very pressing to come up with the idea in the first place.

Deuskid, thanks, Only a couple hours down 44.....maybe.

I started with the bottom side of the crossmember for one good reason. I'm working with a 4' piece of flat, if I started on the top side I'm stuck between the kick-ups on each end. I figured if I started on the bottom side I'd be starting without the confinements of the kick-ups. I was already knowing that if I messed up a bend I'd have to scrap the plate and start all over again.Not working within the confines of the kick-ups eliminated some of the stress.

Ok, so here I am, working on the top side, my confidence is up, and things are starting to come together very nice. Sorry, but I'll have to make two of these crossmembers, one to hang on the wall, and one to install under the truck.

Once again, just showing the steps of getting the bends to follow the contour.

And one more bend.

I think you are bending these the same way I have to carefully fab sheet aluminum to make odd shaped and curved fascia for houses. Sometimes there's not enough room to simply fasten and bend with the curve as you go, so you have to pre-fab a bit before you install. The sharpie lines give it away but since I can't mark up the white surface, I keep those to the brown side and make sure I'm in no hurry. The thinner the material, the easier it is to get yourself in trouble with a crease instead of a fine presentable curve. With heavier material it's nearly a different ball game and it will be harder to keep proper leverage the shorter the final product is. Leaving it long will increase your mechanical advantage and using a flat edge like an I-beam to brace the metal will keep the flat sections true and flat. Of course you can always torch the excess off later. I'll keep my yap shut though and let you do the rest of the explaining. Great progress!

In case I'm wayyy off track, I'll stand ready to eat my words.

hallsofstone, you also get a star. Altough I have used a different method, yours can not be counted out. There have been many times I have used that method to get a final shape on sheet metal when installing quarter panelsand such. As long as the curve is close you can weld, but just before the next weld you can keep tapping the edge of the metal to the desired fit.

Being this is much thicker and wider also I'd have quite a battle trying to manage a 4' piece also. I spoke to another fellow yesterday, he used a method I was hoping to stay away from, but I would have done if all else failed. The idea is like hallsofstone mentioned, but adding the heat of a torch to make the metal easier to work with. I've been down the heat and beat method before and I always feel like I'm in a rush to work the metal before it cools, no fun for me...

The way I'm bending is simply using the press with a home fabricated bender.
The sharpie marks do three things for me.
1) In most of the markings you see, there is one that has cross hatches. These cross hatches represent the focus point of the curve.
2) The ones before and after give me a reference point as to how far I'm spacing the press points so I can keep a consistant force all around the curve to maintain a good roundness.
3) This one is huge!!!! The extra cross marks allow me to always press at a 90 degree angle to the flat. If at any point I begin to press at a slight angle I will no longer have a consistantly straight piece when done. When the flat is 4' long, the non-perfect bend I put in the metal will be multiplied from end to end.

We've seen the press before. First when I installed the carrier bearings in the rear end and again when I pressed the bushings into the leaf springs. This is another tool that's not much more that a couple hundred bucks. I can honestly say there's been times I won't use it for months at a time, but when I do need it, it's so worth while to have.

When I kept writing patience, patience, this is the time. To create the smooth round bends it was a matter of just touching the flat with pressure then moving about a 1/4" and press again. Then after the rounds I had to flip the metal and press again to get it back the the flat again.

There we go. Yet another tool adapted to perform multiple tasks. My dad had a saying, it took a few years to get a real grasp of the meaning, but here goes....."Can't never did nothing." Thanks pa.

 I give a big wave to all for all the compliments.

This next pic will show where I was a little nervous, there's alot of bends between the two outer risers. It was a good feeling to finally get this plate all fitted and in place.

Another pic of the plate tack welded in place. Tack welding is necessary because once the pieces are all shaped to fit, I'm gonna disassemble so I can drill the outer crossmember to frame mounting holes. Also, just as I did with the rear bumper, I have to fit small tubes into the mounting holes to keep compression from happening when I tighten the mounting bolts.

The two long plates I shaped came up short to wrap all the way to the top. Since there is a very tight bend to get around the top, I had to do this in two pieces. I'll grind a "V" where the pieces meet and weld all the pieces together when I reassemble.


lclark2074, the male part is angle iron. The original intention was just to shape plastic panels and sheet metal. Then I did 3/16" flats and 1/8" flats. Then I bent 1/2" rebar and kinda abused it abit. Next time I build another brake for the press, I'll have a better idea of what I'm going for.

For the rest of ya... Thanks for the compliments, I just hope some of what is being taught will be used in somebody's shop some day.

Finally I've got all the pieces fabricated and tack welded, I'm very pleased with the assembly.

As I mentioned earlier, I cut all the tack welds and disassembled all the pieces.

The main reason for the disassembly was to drill the mounting holes. I could have drilled these before I did all the bending and shaping, but I didn't really know what I was gonna end up with, so I went right to the bending process. Also, drilling the 3 1/4" distance from side to side was too far for my drill to reach.

On another note... I could have done 1 mounting bolt on each end. I opted to use 2 bolts per side. I figure along with supporting the transmission/transfercase, if I used 2 bolts per side, it could add a little strength to the frame at the same time. One bolt per side would act as a pivot, but two bolts per side acts as a stabilizer and keeps the frame from twisting in this mounting location.


Wildspear, I'm very happy with the progress. Much of what I'm doing has been on my mind for many years. It's not easy to say "ok, the truck has to come apart for a while". I still have many more items to redue, but those will be at another time.

94yjstocklook, your at a time in your life where it's an open book. Soon you'll have to make decisions to either chase childhood dreams, or make decisions stepping into adulthood. I grew into adulthood, then finally decided to go back to what made me happy when young, building and fabricating. It made my to decision to build my dream shop easier.

I've mentioned installing tubes in the area where you'll be mounting the crossmember. This idea is necessary for anything you build that is a box design. Without these tubes from side to side, the side walls could compress as you tighten the bolts. These tubes create a solid situation to tighten the bolts as you need to.

Finally I got all the welding done, I think it was nearly 18' of welding. Then came all the grinding. I think what looks the best is it looks like a solid chunk of steel. I used 4 or 5 flap discs, but they do a great job.

Here's an idea of how the bolts go and an idea of how most of the grinding turned out.

Finally I get to check the fit.


Showtime3492, long time, good to see you're still out there. Slow and steady was the key to this shaping.

GotJeeps, you are very correct, I stumbled upon that brand a couple years ago, I believe they were orange in color. Yes, they were the best balanced flap discs I ever used also. The place I got them from stopped carrying them. I've tried about 4 different brands and settled on the Grizzley ones. On this crossmember, I just had a ton of grinding to do.

94yjstocklook I'm cutting the mounts tonight as a mater of fact.

Harold_Ray, because you asked, I will show. Keep in mind we all have different priorities. As I was finishing this, people wanted me to use the roll up air hose reel that hangs on the ceiling. They wanted to see hanging cabinets. They wanted to see pegboard. Nope, it wasn't gonna happen, all that stuff does 2 things. 1) Collects dust. 2) Spiderwebs. 3) Bunch of visual clutter. Ok, 3 things.....

Bright and clean, that's what I wanted. Notice instead of cabinets, I 45 degreed the corners. That's all shelving space. No 90 degree corners, less spiderwebs. The nearly 30 feet of counter top has nearly 30 feet of space for storage underneath. The doors roll from side to side to expose storage space and also roll out shelving units. AC in the window, heater on ceiling, ceiling fans also. The work bench on the left is my main welding zone. I used the same outside metal building siding on the wall to deflect sparks as I used to make all the doors under the counter top.

Back wall, same welding bench, lathe (its old but does the job). Press, torchmate table. The door to the right of the lathe goes to a 10' x 10' room. In this room is all the welders, torch, air compressor, couple cabinets, drill press, ect. Good storage area, yet clean, dust free, and out of sight. Most everything I could I put on wheels, I roll out what I need. The torchmate table is also on wheels.

Front wall, garage doors, front door, glass bead cabinet. On the last wall, it is a straight wall, 45 degree corners. One corner is all shelved storage behind a door. The other corner is 45 degree but no storage. It does have a door. When you open the door there are 2 air filters, the cavity that the 45 degree makes actually directs air that is being pulled by an exhaust fan up and outside. The fan is not seen, nor is it barely heard, but it works great. The nice thing also is I don't have a big round hole in the wall with dirty fan blades. I run the fan, then shut it off and close the door. Everybody always thinks its another storage unit.

Thanks willysworker, I'm glad you like. Altough it was alot of work on the frame, it was a personal quest to see how well I could do to take something so rusted and repair it to a condition that no one could tell it was repaired. So far most everyone who has seen it can't tell, and at this point I'm tired of trying to convince them of the work that was done. Lol, I guess mission accomplished.

By the way, I love it when the drilling removes material as in the picture.

TSCHNEIDER, you must not be on dial-up. I am, and I tried to skim through the pages..... took forever......

It looked so good, yet I just had to hack into it. There is an angle that I just couldn't plan into the design. The Willys frame makes quite an angle as it passes under the cab. Even If I tried it into the design, I'd have problems shaping all the flats to fit. After a test fit and measurments, I put the metal cutting disc into the 4 1/2" grinder and removed a chunk. 

In this pic I've made the cut and ready to shape a new piece into the opening. 

With this next pic you can imagine how this crossmember will fit the angle of the frame now.

Both sides are done now. With the crossmember fitted to the frame, I have now started cutting the bracket that will attach it to the frame. Should have pics of it in the next day or two.


Dial-up, aaarrgh. Since the Flintstones were a modern stone age family, do you suppose they used dial-up?

Since I forgot to take a picture of the individual pieces before I started assembly, the best I could do it take a picture of where they came from.

I mentioned part of the idea of the crossmember will help aid in the stability of the frame under the cab. I figure if I bolt the mounting plate to the frame with the bolts far apart from top to bottom, this will give the best way to achieve what I'm trying to do.

With that in mind I cut the plate to reach from top to bottom, and I made the plates so I'd have an area in each corner to drill for the mounting bolts.

As a side note.....I could just weld the mounting brackets that bolt to the crossmember to the frame and eliminate the mounting plate. I can't emphisize enough the idea of trying to think a couple steps ahead when building a project. I know when I get to doing engine work I'm gonna want to slightly readjust the way the engine sits right now. If I weld the brackets to the frame I'd just have to cut them off later. By bolting the plates to the frame I can simply unbolt and readjust the crossmember at that time.

And a side view of how it'll attach to the crossmember. In this case I used two bolts vs one bolt on each end. Using the two bolt method will provide a solid lock to the brackets, then to the frame. One bolt would have created the possibility of it being a pivot, vs two bolts that will be a solid lock.

In this last picture you will notice a piece of sheet metal sticking out. Hmmmmm? Going back to when I made and welded the shock brackets I spaced the sandwiching brackets apart about 40 thousands of an inch. This way when I install the shocks I don't have to deal with a too tight of a fit. Same here. I simply stuck a piece of sheet metal between one of the sideplates and the crossmember. Now when the welding is done I'll have just enough space to easily slide the crossmember into place.


Thanks Harold_Ray, I'm glad you like. Bright was my first priority. I had just finished a restoration of the Camaro in the back ground of the pictures. The walls do get dirty with all the welding, grinding and sanding. I have to cleanafter big projects, but it's worth it.

Wildspear, these ideas of stuff like the small piece of sheet metal, is from years of "Grrrrrrrr".

Thanks for checking in LA-Sahara, When I started this thread I had no idea of how many would be following it.

Since we've touched on the idea of putting the piece of sheet metal between the crossmember and the side plates, I had a picture that shows the process. Keep in mind, metal such as these side plates, do return to their original starting point when bent to tighten against the crossmember after removing the bolts. With this gap the paint won't be scraped off when I reassemble after painting. Much more gap and the metal would bend and hold it's shape, we just have to stay within this margin and the metal will work with us.

I'm finally starting to drill and attach the hangers. Since in real time I'm a little further into the project I can fortell that there will be slight changes to these hangers, but nothing dealing with the mounting of them, so this picture is true.

There is one aspect of fabrication that can not really be taught, it is making the decision of what metal thickness to use when creating something. For instance, the crossmember, if I was going to build a crossmember that is just going to go from side frame to side frame, 1/8" metal in a box design would be fine. In my case I knew I'd be supporting the weight of the transmissionand transfercase, so I used 3/16" on the vertical sidewalls.

Sounds simple, yet we have another factor to throw into the mix. I had to decide the actual height of the side walls. I know that if make the sidewalls on the crossmember 2" vs 1" tall, it will be much stronger. So not so much the thickness but the cut/load bearing height of the wall is also a consideration.

I'm not done yet...... I had a choice when I cut the sidewalls of the crossmember. I absolutly needed the two drops in the upper part of the crossmember. I did not however need the drops to show in the bottom of the crossmember, I could have simply gone straight across and saved alot of fabrication. Just as a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, this crossmember would be only as strong as the two narrow wall areas if I'd have gone straight across the bottom.

Last but not least, it just looks darn good with the drops in the bottom.

I started the thickness conversation because I could have used 3/16" vs the 1/8" that I used to build these hangers. In this case I knew I was gonna have all the pieces welded close together. Meaning I'd have 90 degree angles close to the mounting bolts. With these welds running close to the outer parimeter The structure would be strong in itself.

With the upper cap welded on here, you can see how it's all tied together now.


BomberJeep, thanks, I was just thinking today how lucky this 62 year old truck is to be the test vehicle for my ideas of fabrication.

Back to a comparison picture. I knew the old one was rather primitive, but it worked. I don't know if the new one is way advanced, or the old one is extremely un-advanced, but I really like how the new one is coming together. This has been another project that I had to really step up my abilities, I was a little hesitant at first, but I'm glad I took on the challenge.

I did drive the truck to town today. I have to laugh, never in my life was a crossmember a subject of conversation. One question I got..."is that a soild hunk of metal"? Once again, mission accomplished.

Ok, lets compare in a picture.

And one with the mountings in the focus.

Something I haven't shown yet is the bolts and bushings holding the transfer case to the crossmember. For these bolt holes I also had to drill and install anti-compression tubes. These tubes serve another purpose. All the weight will be supported on the top of the crossmember, the tubes are welded to the top plate and to the bottom plate. These tubes will transfer the weight to the bottom plate as well and keep everything equal.


A couple pages back,(I tried to go back and find the page, but my dial-up was taking way too long) I showed using the drill press to make oversized washers. I ended up calling them....RPBA, or something like that.(if I could go back to the page I'd know for sure, dial-up.)

Anyway, the idea was to apply pressure, or weight evenly to a rubber bushing. One step I didn't show was forming the metal washer into a cup that will help encapsure the rubber bushing. Since I'm using these to mount the transfercase to the crossmember, I took some pictures.

This time I didn't use the drill press. I had the torchmate ready to go so I made the round discs with the torchmate. The drill press works fine, but I could cut out 4 discs in a minute or two with the torchmate.

The disc on the on the left is the end result on a bushing, the next to the right is the finished disc before drilling, next is disc after grinding off plasma slag, and the far right is just after the cut.

How to cup the disc.... one large socket with a smaller one pressed into it with a metal disc in between. To center the hole that I will drill through these discs I will put them into the lathe, spin them and bring a drill in and drill the perfect center.

Back to the crossmember progress.... There is a term I stick to when building most anything, I believe it's called "material safe". Anytime I can I will cut with extra material left to work with. That's where I am with the crossmember hanger. Looking back at the last set of pictures you'll notice the two bolt holes where the crossmember fits the hanger, the bottom hole is close to the bottom of the hanger side plate.

With a whole different set up of crossmemberage, I didn't have an exact measurement for the fit of the new one. So I built in extra material in the hanger sideplates.

Now that all the pieces are cut and built I can now get exact sizes. In this picture you can see the mock-up holes, and now the final assembly holes. The extra holes are no problem, they will be welded shut and ground smooth and the extra material hanging down will be removed and cleaned up also. I gotta tell ya....I really like these hangers.


Ok, that's 3 for nice work. Thank you all.

Finally I'm about to bring this crossmember to a close. Funny, it's been the items that are usually overlooked that have been the most adventurous to make. Let's see, we had the upper spring plates and the clover plates, we had the rear shock mounting brackets, then the rear bumper mounts, and now a crossmember. Things we take for granted, yet, I can complicate the heck out of them all. Oh well, it's certainly given us all chance to step out of the box and do a little fabricating and that's what it's all about.

While I'm at it. One other bit of advise I can give that doesn't pertain to fabrication, so much as "showing" fabrication. I wander through some of the other build projects and I need to give advise. As you all can tell, I can write all I want but it's not til the picture is presented that the words really can be applied. I send all my pics through photobucket, then attach them here. It seems photobucket resizes them to the perfect size for this forum.

The pictures I post on here are not the only pictures I take though. I figure I've posted close to 300 by now, but I've actually have taken over 500. The only cost is a couple more batteries, the digital pics otherwise are free.

Why am I writing this????? Many of the pics I take are slightly out of focus, the flash reflected and was too bright, the picture is too dark, I found a better angle that told a story instead of just an image. ect.... If anyone is working a thread, or starting one, don't just take one pic and be done, take a couple and at different angles, you'll have a better set of choices to post later.

I mentioned the idea of being "material safe", in this picture I'm done with being material safe, I know exactly how I want the final fit. You can see I've welded shut the extra holes in the side plates, and ground them smooth. I also cut off the excess hanging side plate material and rounded off the bottoms. Everything has now come together.

Happy with the creation, everything went outside for sandblasting. The crossmember, the hangers, the bushing washer thingys, and the long bolts. Why the bolts?? I had to make one, so instead of it rusting, I'll blast and paint them also. Talk about taking multiple pictures, I took 4 pics of just these sitting outside like this. The winter sun is at such an angle, the shadow on the crossmember gave a different image. So take many pictures and delete the ones that you don't need.

Here we are. I used the bedliner black spray. Within 2 to 3 hours these were dry enough to assemble. I took two pictures of these. The first picture had the shop door in the background and altered the image I wanted. This second picture is the one I posted, then deleted the other one.

Occasionally when building or fabricating, you'll need a bolt of the size you just don't have around. Over the years of metal working there are 2 items that are needed sooner or later. 1) Threaded rod. 2) Round bar, non-threaded rod.

In no way am I endorsing the use of a "home made bolt", but I am endorsing the idea of building one to use when all else fails. Shall I say "Mcguyver". (spelling?)

In my situation I needed a 1/2" bolt, 5 1/2" long. I had a 5" but it was too short.

I'll leave this bolt in place, but only because it really has no torque applied to it. The only pull against it is mainly the resistance of rubber bushings.

There, now that I've put to rest the people who want to declare how unsafe this bolt is, I'll continue.

In the case of this bolt I used a 1/2" die and threaded a piece of solid round bar about 1 1/2" long of threads.

With the bar being about 6" long I threaded the other end about 1/2" down. Then run a nut down these short threads til it stopped. Then tig weld the top of the nut to the short stub of rod sticking out past the nut. The other side of the nut can be welded to the rod also, but you pretty well have to use a tig welder here. You can use a mig welder on the top side, but the mig will build up too much weld on the bottom side and when you tighten the bolt, the excess weld will get in the way.

Once again, it's not like a grade 5 bolt which is the least required hardness in most applications. But this is an option when you're in a bad spot.


Cowboyup94, I'm glad you like this method. I do have to ask, what is the other way that you are familiar with? I don't mean to put you on the spot, you don't have to answer if you don't want to.

LA-Sahara, without any pictures, I hope I explaned well enough.

Now for the painted/bed linered crossmember and hangers. Yes, I made a mark in it during assembly. 

I took a long time fitting all these pieces together when building them. The biggest pain was the way the frame tapers wider from the front to the back of the truck. Working with this was tough, no matter what I did I always had to compensate for the angle. Once again, what I figured would take a couple nights, ended up being a little over a week. Just another lesson, if it's something you've never built before, how can you put a time limit of completion? You gotta stick with it til it's done.

Anyway. as I started to say, when it came to final assembly, it all fit together like a well made crossmember kit.

I like this front picture of the crossmember. One issue I have to settle is the engine location. This will all be taken care of probably in spring time. Other wise, when I lowered the weight onto the crossmember, it didn't flex at all. This is me high fiveing myself in the mirror. Ha ha, I crack myself up.

One more from the other side.

Ok, I don't know the absolute rules of the forums. For the next month or two I'm gonna tinker with a couple other projects. We've seen the '57 Chevy truck in the background. I had just dropped a big block Chevy in the enginebay just before my dad passed away. I need to get it in primer and take care of a few odds and ends. In the next picture is another hobby is just building stuff. This started out as a seat on the floor then I drew with chaulk the outline of the frame, and built from there. Behind it, under the car cover is a '65 corvette. I've got sme odds and ends to tinker with on it.

My point is, This thread has turned into more of a fabrication thread than a 1950 Willys rebuild. Even if I fabricate stuff for something other than a Jeep product, is that allowed?

hallsofstone, since it is your question that brings up the idea of stuff other than Jeep stuff, I will continue to post. There is alot more to learn in toolusage and fabrication.


hallsofstone, You are correct, if while doing other projects I do fabricate or rebuild an engine, carb or transmission, this knowledge will still be very applicable to building or restoring Jeep projects.

The reason I have to stop working on the Willys is there is still the possibility of getting some bad weather and anything else I do to it is gonna make it unusable if we get a large snowfall.

One project with the Willys is I do not have a strong crossmember that goes under the engine. The original one was cut out before I bought the truck and I never put a strong one back in. Since the engine has to come out to build a crossmember, I'll wait til spring.

On the '57, the frame is in great shape already. Around 20 years ago before my dad bought it someone swapped the old front straight axle suspension for a elcamino front frame. Whoever did the swap, did a nice job, I have no problem working with it just the way it is.

For the last 20 years he didn't get to enjoy the truck. It had a bad hestitation, the charging system didn't work right, the 327 ended up having a crack in the block, and a few other issues that never provided him with a confidence inspiring drive. This takes us back to when I mentioned the need to know how all the parts on a vehicle work, without this knowledge you'll never feel confident to really enjoy driving something old and classic.

We started from scratch with the body to the powertrain. I had a 396 Chevy so we bored and rebuild it for the truck. I figured I'd fulfill his need for power and there's something about opening a hood and seeing a big block sitting there. So his visual would also be fulfilled.

Of course it is a tight fit, and I took my time fitting it in. My priority was that there had to be space all around the engine to be able to work on it later.

Here is a picture of the engine sitting in place. I was just doing a mock-up so some of the parts are there just for size and dimentions.


Just did a couple odds and ends on the Willys this weekend. Metal working wise I decided it was time for a Willys key chain. Cut out of 1/8" stainless steel I downsized the emblem image to a key chain size that I used when I made the Willys emblem on the gas cap cover.

Know this, once the plasma cutter is done there is a slight slaggy mess that I have to file and clean before it looks this good, but it's worth the effort.

Only problem is the W's have sharp edges. Be careful when in the front pockets.


On the key rings, I'm gonna see if I make some more in the next couple days. Like I mentioned, after the plasma cutting is done I still have a fair amount of work to do to get it looking like this. In the past I have made key chains. The ones I have made were for commercial use. Basically the vehicle had a single diget number so I cut out the number that represented the vehicle. These are used 6 days a week and still look like the day I made them.

What I'm saying is, being stainless steel they look great, and stay looking great. If I'm gonna sell any of these they're gonna cost around $30.00 a piece with shipping. If your still interested let me know.

oldtime_ironman, glad to make your day. Since the engine is the focus for a moment, and I figure many here haven't seen much of the insides of an engine, we'll crack it open and take a look see.

Basically the bottom side of a big block Chevy. One thing we can settle for many is the term "4 bolt main block". This particular engine is a two bolt main. Simply put, you can see the crankshaft in place. Not looking at the very front and the very rear of the crankshaft, but at the center 3 journals where you see a stud pointing upward you see one stud on each side of the crankshaft, this is a two bolt main. If at these center three journals you see two studs perside this would be a "4 bolt main".

I have installed studs vs using bolts. The factory used bolts that's why it's called "4 bolt main". There are kits to where if one feels it is necessary to have 4 bolts/studs you can purchase aftermarket caps with the 4 bolts then you have to drill and thread the block and take it to a machine shop and have machine work done to match the new caps to the block.

Who here has heard of a plastiguage and didn't have a clue as to what they were talking about???

Much simpler than one may think. The clearance between a rod or main bearing to the crankshaft if very, very critical. There is only a couple thousands of an inch that is allowed during assembly. Problem is, once the parts are assembld, there is no way to see the clearance.

This is where a plastiguage comes into play. Plastiguage is nothing more than a string, a little larger in diameter that heavy duty fishing line. This is made from a soft plastic. The way you use it is to assemble the bearings and the crankshaft as usual, put before you put the main and rod bearing caps in place you put a piece of the string between the bearing and the crankshaft. Now tighten and torque to spec. Now untighten and remove the cap. What you will find is that the soft plastic string will be crushed. The more clearance, the less crush. The less clearance, more crush will happen.

There is a proper spec for every engine. This engine I'm working with is a tight cleance motor. In the above picture look close to the cap and bearing and you'll see a green mark going across the bearing surface. Ok, now using the scale that I have placed by the green mark you'll see the width of the smashed green mark will be close to one of the widths of the scale. In this case the clearance of this bearing to crankshaft is between .0015 to .002 on the scale. Now I know the clearance I have for oil to be able to lubricate the bearing. I also know that the clearance isn't too great of which will cause a knocking sound and also cause a low oil pressure situation.

And one of the engine coming together.


Hey guys, everything's ok. I've been catching up on odds and ends.

I got to put the Willys to work last night. We got about 5 or 6 inches of snow yesterday. On my way home my neighbor slid off the road and got stuck. Hooked up the Willys, yes, using the hooks that I covered when I showed making the bumper mounts. He liked the convience of the hooks ready for service. Minutes later, he was unstuck and I was heading home, the old truck,62 years old and still yanking vehicles out of the ditch, how cool.

Had another neighbor who brought me a plastic side vent cover off a Bobcat. The cover is close to the track and a branch got stck between the track and the vent cover. He asked if rather than going to Bobcat for a new one, if I could make one. I still need to drill a couple holes and paint, here it is with a slight change. He already has seen it and I got a thumps up.

For reasons just as the snow we just got, I don't want to get deeper into the Willys, so it will sit ready for service for a while yet.
Now the Willys sits where the '57 Chevy was and the '57 Chevy sits where the Willys was. They both look good sitting in the shop.
Although the '57 has a fair amount of body filler, most is just a skin coat to smooth the metal. The nice thing about this Chevy is the body is nearly rust free, this is great! The truck spent most of it's life on a farm in Texas so it had it's share of small dents a dings. I perfer this rather than rust holes and rotted sections to replace. Once the weather turns warm I'll get the base primer on the truck and it should look good.

Til then I want to get the 396 fitted in place. I'm happy with the motor location, I got that settled about a year ago. Now I'm dealing with all the front pulleys. I want to keep the pulleys as close to the block as I can, there's not alot of space between the engine and the radiator. I am using a dual electric fan, the idea being... with one fan blade, the electric motor is in the center, right where the water pump hub is. By using 2 electric fan blades, the center is more open for the water pump hub to have plenty of space.

Next up is exhaust headers. No problem on the passenger side. The drivers side needs the header moved out from the engine about 3/16". It's a long story but the outlet is too close to the oil filter. Soooo, I made 1/8" stainless steel spacers. These along with one more gasket will give me the spacing I need. Here are the spacers.

oldtime_ironman, the engine you describe in your last post sounds very close to mine. I did have it bored to a 402, and I do have the oval port heads. I worked the intake ports just before the valve seats to help the flow before they were assembled. I also have the high rise intake and HEI ignition. I used a comp cams 282 camshaft, should have a nice sound at idle which will require a stall speed converter, but I'm looking for the aggressive sound. I can't wait to hear it run.

For the rest of you, buying me a lifetime membership, wow. I suppose I have no idea of who or how many have kept up with this thread. I'm hoping it's been entertaining as well as a good learning. I've down or up loaded a few pics of the '57 issues, including rotating the back of the very commom GM alternator. Guaranteed if you're gonna do a build, this is the first choice alternator and to know something about it will help.


I mentioned the usage of the Gm/Delco alternator. I doesn't much matter what your building, this is the design that will come into the equation sooner or later.

Go to Jegs or Summit racing and you'll find this alternator as a 100 amp output availability with only one wire attached to it. There is no need for an external regulator since it is also inclosed inside the alternator.

It has a couple different chioces for the pulley. There are single groove and double groove, both with different diameters.

There is one thing that does occasionally need changing and that is the location of the wire hookup.

There are 4 different locations available but the case has to be split to rotate the back to achieve the 4 locations. As with anything you disassemble the first time, the fear of what might spring apart as you disassemble becomes forefront.

The reason for the rotation is there may be a time that the wire outlets run directly into a valve cover, a bracket, or just to be able to hide the wiring for a nice clean look when done.

Also, there may some who are reading this knowing you can rotate the back by removing the case bolts and very causiously rotating the back without disturbing the brushes. Yes, in the right situation you can, but there'd be no learning.

For the mock-up of this '57 Chevy I'm using an old alternator from my inventory, no sense using new parts for mock-up.

When I mount this alternator the extra bolt hole in very back is right against the valve cover, and I want the wiring to face a different direction.

In this second picture the back has been rotated to where I need it to be. One arrow is pointing to the bolt hole that was up against the valve cover.

The second arrow pointing towards the center of the alternator, if you look closely, you'll see a heavy piece of wire sticking out. When you split the case, yes, there is a set of spring loaded brushes that pop out of their holder. It is designed that you can compress the springs and brushes back into their holder. Once compressed, slide a piece of wire through a couple holes, then assemble the alternator. Once reassembled, pull this wire out and the brushes snap back into place.

I hope to get some internal pics in the next day or two.

Happy learning.....


Your concern is exactly what my concern is. I went back and forth deciding whether to use aluminum or stainless, I decided on stainless for it's facial strength.

What I mean is.... if there is shrinkage, then there will be vibration. If there is vibration, I figure the aluminum will be more sensative to having material rubbed away making the situation worse.

I tried to make the spacers in a way that they will have as much surface contact to spread the pressure around evenly.

Yup, this is one of those situations where you're down to your last resort, make your best judgement call and move forward.

I'll be the first to admit I hate breakdowns and failures. But I'll also be the first to admit, if I didn't take a chance, or step out of the box once in a while, I'd never advance in my fabrications.

Just be prepared to learn from a failure, it's easier to get back on the horse and move forward.

Let's crack this alternator open. Since there are 4 positions available during reassembly it is best to mark the two halves to either get it back as it was if you're rebuilding it, or a reference if you're rotating the back to a different position. Then remove the 4 bolts that hold the 2 halves together.

Between the 2 halves you see a darker colored center section, I have to go back to my school days but I believe it's called the stator, the stationary set of windings. When you split the 2 halves this darker center has to go with the back half. Ok, yes, the back can be rotated by removing the bolts and very, very carefully twisting the 2 halves, keeping the center section with the back half. Only problem.. if the alternator is old, due to corrosion the center section won't co-operate with the twist. So disassemble is the best way in this situation.

Being this far apart you can see the 2 halves, deeper inside you can see the 2 copper rings that the brushes ride against. It is these brushes that we can't see yet, that will pop out of their holder, these brushes and the springs are the only issue when do this rotation. I'll show resettting the brushes next


Now that the case is split open and the brushes have popped out of their holder, the brushes have to be put back into their holder before the case halves are put back together again.

Before reassembly I recommend getting some brake cleaner or electric motor cleaner and at least cheaning the brushes. Why?? Looking at the last picture of splitting the case where the two copper rings are located, just after those is the main shaft that goes into the rear bearing. When the brushes leave the copper rings during disassembly they slide across this rear shaft, chances are, the brushes may have gotten grease on them.

Ok, a look at the brushes that are out of the holder.

Down inside there is the voltage regulator, it is located below the brush holder. Later I will show a way to check the regulator with a small screwdriver.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. You'll notice the plastic holder has a hole in it. This it the hole that a heavy piece of wire will go through. After cleaning the brushes, fit the top brush with it's spring into the holder. Depress the brush and spring far enough so you can slide the wire through the hole and in front of the first brush. Now repeat the process for the second brush, sliding the wire infront of the second brush and through the hole in the other end of the holder. Make sure the wire is long enough to extend far enough to go through the hole in the back of the alternator case. Be sure to leave only about a 1/4" wire yet on the top side of the brush holder. If too much wire is on the top side, it will make contact with the spinning part of the alternator when reassembled. I'd have to check but I believe the spinning part is called the armature.

Fuzzy picture, but it will show the end result of the brushes back in place.

With the brushes inplace, put the case sections back together, make sure the alignment is where you want the wire connections to be, now install the four bolts.

Now turn to the back of the alternator, you'll see the piece of wire you put there holding the brushes. Slowly pull it out of the alternator, you'll notice one brush, then the second brush snap back in place. And your done.


Earlier I mentioned an easy way to test the voltage regulator that is inside this alternator. I also mentioned all you would need is a small screwdriver.

The designers of this alternator did a great job of creating a way to test this alternator. I once again am sorry for the miserable picture.

Ok, the vehicle is running, and you have a way to get to the back of the alternator with a small screwdriver. Look closely at the miserable picture I have provided. You'll see an arrow to the right pointing to a half moon hole. Just inside the half moon hole is a metal tab. The idea is when the vehicle is running you put the screwdriver into the half moon hole just enough to touch the screwdriver to the metal tab then at the same time touch the side of the screwdriver to the aluminum case.

It is designed that when you ground this tab while it's running, it will put the alternator into full charge. Since the alternator will draw close to 4 horse power when at full charge you will immediatly know if it is charging or not.


hallsofstone, I figure most haven't had to deal with alternator stuff.....yet.but someday, or perhaps in the past, someone turned away from a project due to lack of knowledge. Your knowledge will carry your confidence.

Thanks for checking in.

While working on this '57 I'm not doing any major body modifications. One modification that was done before I ever started on it was the removal of hood and fender emblems. To be honest, sure, it smooths the look, but I still like the look of the old style truck too.

Soooo, I am looking at the original side fender emblems. They were long and oval and had the writing of "Chevrolet 3100" or "Apache 3100". Neither of these did anything for me, so I gonna step out of the box and try my hand at making my own.

I stuck with the same basic size and I wanted to put the size of the 396 engine in there also.

Once again I started with a paper tracing to get a feel of the size on the fender. Once I liked that I cut the main pieces.

I then cut the base plate that it'll all attach to and I thought the opening that the 396 aren't in needed something so I cut a filler piece for it also.

Once all the pieces are assembled, here is the look. I figure I'll drill holes in the backing plate that I'll be able to spot weld the pieces in place from the back side. I'd like to send them off for chrome plating, then I'd like to have the low spots painted to match the color of the truck perhaps.


I think nickel does look good, I've seen it used. My only problem is I'd have a mixed batch of chrome and nickel. If I get around to the Willys paintwork it would look good there, but I have the same issue, I've collected some brand new chrome emblems already.

On the '57, I'm still focused on getting the engine bay odds and ends taken care of. One thing I've learned over the years is if at all possible, get the odds and ends taken care of, then disassemble and bag, tag and box everything. Assembly after the paint work is so rewarding without scratching the paint.

As I mentioned a little while back, I had to add a spacer to the header to get the clearance by the oil filter. The spacer looks like it solved my problem.
Only problem is.... now I have a gasket, spacer, gasket, then header flange. Also the header flange is 3/8 thick, I like the thickness, but before they ceramic coated it, they didn't grind smooth the edge so you can see the cut along the visable edge.

One other issue with the big block chevy is there is about 1 1/2" space between the bottom edge of the valve cover to the header flange. This space usually gets pretty hot and discolors the paint, or burns it off.

I also have an issue with after market spark plug wire holder/separators, they just seem to generic to me.

With one shot I hope to take care of all these issues.

This picture is the first design layout. It is a paper print of a polished stainless steel cover that will support the plug wires perfectly for each cylinder and cover the gasket, spacer, gasket look on the driverside and, cover the area that the paint looks bad after a while.

This paper cutout is to ensure I have all the valve cover holes and the plug wire grips in the right places before the stainless cut.

I trimmed down from the paper cutout on the computer and made the cut with 1/16" stainless. Rather dull at the moment, and the rust spot is just a stain from something else resting on the plate of stainless.

Here it is once I drilled the mounting holes, and no polishing yet. To me it looks a little large, it just covers too much space, but, This surface is going to have the plug wires running down the length of it. Once the plug wires are properly attached, it doesn't look so large and overwelming.


I've been through this spark plug holder issue in the past.

I have a car with a small block chevy. I'm using tight tuck headers. Basically a set of tubes that go right to the center and drop down into a collector. This set-up creates a plug wire issue. There isn't much room or variances for the wires, if they move, they'll probably touch a header tube and burn.

I'm using a homemade holder similar to what I'm making here. My first holder was for just the two center cylinders, then I changed my mind and created some that held all four cylinders on each side.

My first design is the top one in this picture. Then the one I'm making for this big block project. Then an aftermarket holder. One thing I don't like about some aftermarket products is there nuts, bolts, and brackets to assemble. I have no problem with the assembling process, what I don't like is a couple years down the road, the odds and ends aren't available seperatly, so you got to start all over with a new holder if a piece is missing, or broke.

I got the first stage of polishing done, and the grommets fits the holes great.

Just to get an idea of how the wires are gonna look I did a preassembly. Ok, ok, I complained about aftermarket stuff.. But I did order some simple wire separators from Jegs. They are gonna be 4, 3, 2, 1 wire holders with a screw through them. I'll be able to attach all the wires to my holder in perfect alignment all the way down to the single front wire.
Here it is so far.


Your question is quite proper. I wondered if anyone would ask.

The headers are the ceramic coated headers which is the only reason I don't mind buying headers now a days. I can't stand how non ceramic coated headers look after a while, all rusted and burnt. I'd have to mess up the ceramic coating to either cut and weld, or to heat the tubes and force, bend them.

These headers are the shorties, I got these because they stop right at the bottom of the oil pan. With this truck and it's frame being altered, I didn't want to get the long tube headers. The long tube headers would be calling the shot as to how to fabricate the crossmember. With these short ones, I could fabricate the pipes to work better with the crossmember.

The oil filter issue is because the block is from 1966. Many of the older fellows will remember the canister type oil filter. It had a canister with a long bolt you had to remove, then change a filter inside the canister.

Inorder to go to a spin on filter you have to first bolt on an adapter that now allows a spin on to work. It is the extra space that this adapter, only about an 1 1/4", that has lowered the filter just enough to tangle with the collector flange as you remove it.

It would seem I come across this goofy stuff all the time. I suppose if I didn't have these situations, I wouldn't have to dig deeper to solve problems and better my ability to fabricate and adapt.


oldtime_ironman, I knew you were a Q-jet guy.. I do still have a Q-jet on one vehicle, the Willys, after 27 years, still working just fine.

If I had a Holley on it, I'm sure I'd be rebuilding it a couple times by now. Not that the Holley isn't a long time carb, it just has alot of gasket material doused in gasoline, the older gasket material just broke down over time.

Comparison wise. With the much smaller primarys, the throttle responce on the Q-jet is more precise. On the vehicle I'm gonna work on had a Q-jet for a couple years then I went to a vacuum secondary Holley. It also had an automatic transmission. The change from the Q-jet to the Holley's off the line responce was very noticable. The Q-jet was the winner.

Then I went to a tremac 5 speed manual transmission. Now with the clutch I can control the take off RPM, the off idle responce wasn't as important, so I kept the vacuum secondary Holley. But with the 5 speed, it geared my 1 gear to being like a 4.56 ratio, in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds I was at 5000 RPM. The vacuum secondary Holley couldn't respond fast enough to keep up with the sudden RPM change. I changed the vacuum diaphram spring to open the secondarys faster, but you can only open them so fast before you get a hesitation. As would be the same with the Q-jet, since it also opens it's secondarys off the vacuum/air flow.

Then I went to a machanical secondary, double pumper 750 HP series Holley. Absolutly fantastic. Did it work great right out of the box?? Heck no. Jet changes, primary and secondary accelerator pump changes, squirter nozzles had to be changed, squirter nozzle screws changed, accelerator cam changed, power valve changed.

Listen up everybody... oldtime_ironman likes his Q-jets, I also use and will for some time yet. If I put the mechanical secondary double pumper on my car with the automatic transmission, it would not have worked as well as the vacuum secondary Holley carb. As with all aftermarket products, bigger is not always better. What works great on a high performance street car, will not bolt onto an off road truck, and give the same results.

One thing about the Holley is... Just as I listed about 6 or 7 changes, there are many changes within the changes. For instance, jets, yikes, they have a bunch to choose from. The Holley is soooo adaptable, but you first have to have the right one to begin with, then start to fine tune it.

As for the remote oil filter, great idea, there is no reason not to use it, just a path I did'nt go down.

Back to the '57 for a minute. Back in the late 60's - early 70's chevy changed the depth of the water pump flange. They moved it forward around 3/4". This allowed them to mount the alternator more infront of the engine vs having the alternator way off to the side. Good thing is, when building a hot rod, the pulleys are still fairly interchangeable, just sometimes you still have to modify.

In this picture, I'm happy with the power steering pully in the far image. The crank pulley at the bottom was a three groove, I cut off the third groove, now I'm happy with it. My issue is the water pump pulley. I need a two groove, one pulley is perfect, but I need two grooves. I've checked around, maybe not in the right catalogs, but I can't find a two groove shallow, they all want the second groove deeper. Grrrrrr. Figures.....

Now if I stack a second same pulley I get what I want, but I can't bolt it up this way. I have no choice, over to the lathe. With two identical pulleys, there will be a point of interference that will make contact when I stack the two pulleys if I do this right. The pictures will explain...

Here's the two water pump pulleys, and the line up with the others. The interference is noticable. The space between the two water pump pulleys will be eliminated once I'm done.

The lathe work. I figure if I cut this one and leave just a little bit of the flat of the hub, this will interfere with the other pulley. Why do I want interferece?? One) I will use the press to joint them together, nice tight self aligning fit. Two) having them press fitted I eliminate some possiblity of them moving while welding them together.

Being older and a fabricator, I knew to keep a water pump shaft and hub around for just this reason, it creates a perfect mounting for water pumphubs in the lathe. Here is the pulley cut in two pieces, and the non-cut pulley. Imagine placing the cut one on to the front of the non-cut one, looks like a fit to me.


Getting this water pump pulley assembled and ready for duty.

Here is the two main pieces pressed together. The fit of the two pressed together really fit well and the edges of pulleys came right together nicely.

Welding the two together. Yeah, I know, my tig welding need practice. I keep doing the welding with tig for a weld that I know the penetration from start to finish . Once again, the mig is a great welder, I just know with the tig where I can quarantee a good deep weld is reassuring on something like this pulley.

No more looking trough a catalog for the pulley I need. Two pulleys turned into the exact one I need.

I got the wire holders from Jegs. I was looking for a way to separate and at the same time, hold the wires to the stainless steel covers I made.

During this time I did one more buffing to the stainless and I still will buff and polish at least one more time. I like the stainless over chrome if I can, it simply lasts longer.

The wires I'm using are just some I've had laying around and they have some prebends in them so they don't settle as straight as I'd like for them to, but the overall look is evident.

I also like this set up because it leaves the top of the engine without the extra clutter of the wires hanging over the valve covers. They'll drop behind the valve covers then down the side. When I do buy the wires set I will buy the ones that do not have both ends already attached, this way I can cut them to the length I want.

I took two pictures, one with no flash, and one with the flash. I kinda like the no flash better, I suppose it's because there's no refection from the flash to distort the image.

No flash.

Yes flash.

Other than the pulleys being in alignment I had an issue with the bottom power steering bracket. This bracket is a main structural bracket but it didn't hold the pump just right to center well with the other pulleys.

Thank God I take to time to deal with this now other than doing it after paint. I want to paint, assemble, smile then drive.

I found that by placing one washer behind the upper mount, and two washers behind the bottom mount I get a perfect alignment. Do I want to remember this set-up later? No, I just want to assemble. I will simply tack weld the washers in place, then paint, then assemble as if they are a part of the bracket. There is gonna be enough odds and ends to deal with later, try to eliminate what you can now.

You'll notice a different vise, yes the old one did it's job, and it was like a movie star with all the pictures that were taken of it, but it had its issues. I found this one sold by Rigid, what a beast. The jaw width is 6", but it opens to just over 9', wow. Very, very solid feel to it.


I've mentioned before about not getting emotionally attached to your fabricated pieces. I have to listen to my own advice. I've drilled holes into the stainless cover, now I will toss it and make a new one with no holes.

In the last pics I showed the plug wires attached to the stainless cover. There was just something that didn't settle with me, there wasn't a 3D look to it. Hmmm, how can I explain.....I'm not sure I can., although they are secure, I'm not getting the visual pleasure that I want.

During fabrication there are different needs we have to fill.
1) The first is function, does the fabrication serve the purpose that is butilt to do?
2) Visually, is it pleasing to the eye?

For the Willys I was more concerned about function, then if I could blend the visual along with the function, then it was a plus.

For the engine compartment on the "57 I want both, function and visual, in most that I create. My problem is I can visualize before I create, but come up short of the complete 3D image. So I build, I look, I think, then finally, I come up with what I'm looking for.

I realized I wanted the wires raised above the stainless cover. With the stainless polished, it is aching to reflect an image. If I have the wires raised above the covers there will be more reflective imaging going on.

I made some brackets that will bolt to the valve cover bolts and will rise 3/4" then provide a mounting tab for the wire seperators to bolt to.
I haven't finished the trimming and final grinding, but I'm much happier with the look already.

I'm nearing the carburetor work. Hmmm, only 2 guys are interested in learning about carburators. Thanks for your honesty guys.

I did take a picture of the carb that's gonna be worked on. It's a close-up picture. With this picture we can tell some characteristics of this carb.

Is this a vacuum secondary or mechanical?

Is it a double pumper?

Does it have a choke?

Scooter402, you are not allowed to participate as a student.

You have to move to the front of the class and act as a teachers assistant.

When you get a chance try to skim through the thread from the start. What has happened along the way, and this is for anyone jumping onto the tailend of this thread, I started this thread about an old Willys truck with much needed frame, suspension, rear axle, ect,ect. 

I've never started anything like posting pictures or a build thread, but I had a calling to do so. You'll find as you read through the posts in december and Christmas I got slightly into my belief in Jesus, and have tried to provide a teaching thread as I feel I'm being lead to do. So to speak, I'm trying to maintain an extremely humbled composure while building, fabricating and teaching.

So far we've cover a great many projects that one will encounter while rebuilding/restoring/or building from scratch. Usually as I have been working in the shop, I grab the camera and allowed everyone to follow along. It's been a pleasure having comments and questions along the way.

Although I've been somewhat a teacher, I am more of a "jack of all trades" vs a "master of one". With this in mind, any subject we have tackled along the way, when someone has an education or knowledge in a subject, I welcome the assistance and their input. Your Holley knowledge is welcome, feel free to fill in the blanks as we go through this subject.

Your answers were right on in your reply. The wires are for a Nitrous plate system, and the missing metering block screw hole isn't open, it's the secondary metering block with no opening. Otherwise, you know your 


On this subject I'm starting next with the difference between the spreadboreand the squarebore, then settle the missunderstanding of the double pumper, since many think that the double fuel lines means double bumper carb. 

Wildspear and The1AndOnlyBug, looks like your in the right mindset for a teaching.

Jeff88, good guess, you're right with 2 out of 3. It is what's called a HP series. Holley got rid of the whole choke tower for a much smoother flow of air entering the carb. You did great.

Deuskid, you and your verses, you always hit the right one at the right time.

axxxgijoexxxa, first post I see. welcome. All the way from Canada?

We'll start with a simple visual identification of a couple Holley's. I've been in both sets of shoes over the years. I've stood there next to someones car or truck as they describe the carburation nodding my my head as I had no idea what was being said, but I looked like I knew...... I nodded my head, I looked confident.

I perfer now a days, I listen with knowledge, I stand confident, I stand with my mouth closed, a slight shmirk on my face, occasionally nodding. If I catch incorrect/mismatched desciption of the carburation, I judge the pride of the person speaking. If the pride is overflowing, and I need boots, I appreciate the passion of the owner, but I offer no teaching.

On the other hand, I find the owner humbled and open, I know it's gonna be a good time, I gonna watch the light bulbs turn on in his head as the pieces now start to fit together.

Let's move forward on this carburator learning and see if we can dismiss some myths, some exagerations, some blaming of parts in a carb that aren't the problem at all.

Spreadbore and squarebore. Very easy to identify. The spread bore is the one on the left in the picture below. It has small primary barrels/venturies, and large secondary barrels.

The term primaries and secondaries refers to the idea that from idle to around 1/2 throttle, only the primaries operate. Once the throttle is opened beyond 1/2 throttle, the secondaries begin to open. The linkage has a ratio that although the secondaries begin to open at half throttle, they open at a faster ratio to catch up with the primaries by time the throttle is open fully.

Going back a few posts Oldtime ironman and I discussed the Quadrajet. It is clearly a favorite of his. The carb on the left is a Q-jet, you can clearly see the design of the spreadbore. A benefit I like on the Q-jet is the small primaries. To me this provides a more defined mixture of fuel and air off idle to cruising speed, the smaller the passage the air goes through, the better we can manage the atomization of the fuel into the air.

I could write for another hour, but let's get a visual of the difference between the two. Spreadbore left, Squarebore right.

Now the second quick easy identifier of two carburators. I'm talking of Holleys now, not Q-jets. The Holleys have a vacuum secondary style and a mechanical secondary.

What's the difference?? The mechanical secondary has a piece of linkage that once the primaries open around half throttle, the linkage acually pulls the secondaries open.

The vacuum secondaries also has a piece of linkage that goes from the primaries to the secondaries, BUT, the linkage DOES NOT pull the secondaries open, in this case the movement of the linkage only ALLOWS the secondaries to open. The secondaries are opened by a rubber diagram on the passengerside of the carb. This diaphram has a vacuum that is being drawn from the primary side. As the air is drawn through the primaries, the rubber diaphram is being pulled by vacuum. Once the linkage is moved it allows the diaphram to be pulled upward by the vacuum, which in turn can now pull the secondaries open. If the linkage is moved just a little bit, that's all the diapham can open the secondaries. Like I said, the likage from the primaries doesn't open the secondaries, it only ALLOWS the secondaries to be opened by the diaphram.

Once again, I could write for an hour. Later I'll get picks of the parts that will help but the words to a visual image.

A vacuum secondary carb. Notice the canister on the side of the carb with the cap and the screws on top. Notice the rod that comes out the bottom that connects to the secondary shaft. This canister/vacuum diaphram is the only true piece that acually opens the secondaries.

Now once again, my mechanical secondary carb, no canister, no rubber diaphram. The secondary shaft has nothing attached to it other than stuff going to the rear of the carb and we'll get to that later.

Ok, Spreadbore and Squarebore carbs identified.....

Ok, Vacuum secondaries carb vs Mechanical secondaries carb identified.....

It is the identifiying of these carbs that tells you other items go with each carb. It is when I listen to people talk and they overlap the items that I know their knowledge.

No, this is not a laughing matter to me, I once was a not knowing person also, I will not mock another, but I do look forward to enlightening them.


Good questions. especially the one concerning what size carb for the motor.

I could yack and yack, but do what I did. Go to Holley.com. There will be a size topic to click. It will run you through a bunch of questions concerning weight, transmission, engine size, rpm range, and I think gear ratio. At the end it will recommend a size. I think there is also a chart that goes by engine size and rpm that gets you close also. The right size carb is the first place to start. Trying to dial in a wrong size carb never gets the most out of your vehicle.

I'm gonna stick with the vacuum secondary carb for now. Last post I tried to be very clear that the linkage on this carb only allows the secondaries to be opened by the vacuum diapham, the linkage itself does not do the opening.

In the next picture I have the carb in the idle position. Follow a piece of linkage that goes from the primary to the secondaries. This linkage hooks into a slot, and not a hole.

In this next picture, the carb is in the full throttle position. Notice the linkage has moved forward in the slot, but has not moved the shaft one bit. With this linkage moved forward, it now allows the vacuum diaphram to turn the secondary shaft from the other side. If I had the throttle at half throttle, the linkage would have moved less, thus limiting how far open the diaphram could open the secondaries. If there was a vacuum source going to the vacuum diaphram, it would be able to open the secondaries to the point where the slot would touch the linkage.

Why use a vacuum diaphram instead of just locking the linkage to the secondary shaft?

This type of carb is built to be sensative to the needs of the engine at any given time. The vacuum diaphram gets it's vacuum source from the amount of air passing through the primaries. Once the demand of the engine requires and is capable to handle the extra air/fuel into the cylinders, then and only then does the secondaries open.

I can compare the concept to a 3000 pound drag car vs a 5000 pound truck hauling a 2000 pound trailer. Both have a 4 barrel carb, but the demand is extremely different.

Open the truck throttle wide open and if the secondaries opened immediatly, the truck would have less power. The opening of all 4 barrels open would drop the intake vacuum and disturb the whole fuel/ air mixture.

On a drag car, it's gonna be at 5 or 6 thousand rpm in a second or two, the fuel/ air demand is immedate, the intake vacuum raises as fast as the rpm so 4 barrels open immediatly in needed. This is where the mechanical secondaries are needed.

Instead of talking about a "hot rod" fix, I'm gonna post a picture. Do not do this, I repeat, do not do this. This is something that is done, but accually creates more problems. This is only for demonstration, not for usage.

Notice the screw, and yes, if I opened the throttle, the secondaries will open. This is similar to how mechanical secondaries work, the linkage doesn't allow the secondaries to open, it forces the secondaries open.

Other than the possibility of this screw causing the linkage to bind, there is another issue that it creates when doing this to a vacuum secondary carb. Not so much a safety issue, but a performance issue.

Scooter402, if you know the answer, go ahead and answer. If anyone else has an idea, post it, if your thinking it, someone else might be thinking the same thing.


Scooter402 has done a fantastic job of answering today, that's it, I'm calling in sick tomorrow.

Honestly, he did great. The information he gave answering about the accelerator pump only being on the primary side is spot on, exact. The teaching next is going to lead us to the need of the accelerator pump on a carburetor and his answer was perfect as to what would happen on the vaccum secondary carb with the screw stuck into the slot, forcing the secondaries open would cause a terrible hesitation when the secondaries are forced open.

He was right on with the altitude issue. Altough the vacuum secondary carb does work with the demand of the engine, it cannot alter the mixture of fuel to air which is at it's optimum around 14 parts air to 1 part fuel. The air is thinner, thus we need to thin out the fuel entering into the air. The only way we could do that would be to downsize the jets before hand. The jets regulate the amount of fuel being released into the air stream. The air has changed but the fuel hasn't with the setting still at sea level.

We will cover jets later also. When we're done, these will no longer be a mystery either.

This is all taken care of in fuel injection. The oxygen sensor reads the excess fuel to air ratio and cuts back on the fuel being released by the injectors as the altitude changes. I have to admit, technology has it's advantages.

Later I have the vacuum secondary canister, the rubber diaphram and spring that is changable to match your vehicle's needs, broken down in pictures. It will give a view inside so the words will have a visual meaning.

Are we having fun yet??

Hold on to your metering block pics. There will be a individual study done on metering plates and metering blocks, yours, being fabricated, most certainly has a place on this thread and I look forward to seeing what you've got going on there.

It took a couple hours but I down loaded enough pics to see and know about the vacuum secondary canister and how to modify/adjust it to meet your needs.

First, a close up of the canister in the relaxed position. This is at idle and just going down the road.

Now a close up of the canister in the full throttle position. I know I've mentioned this before, but here goes, the only way this can pull open the secondaries is because the primaries are wide open, and the linkage has been moved forward on the slot we saw in the previous pictures. The linkage has allowed this to happen.

Here it is removed from the carb. You can see the top and the screws that hold the top in place.

Now disassembled. We have the canister, we have the rubber diaphram and a spring.

Here is the side that mounts to the side of the carb. Notice the o-ring hole. To be honest, the original Holley uses a small cork like gasket instead of a rubber o ring, I just didn't have the original gasket last time I had this apart. This hole is the passage that once bolted to the carb it has a direct opening to the primary venturies located above the throttle plates. This means that the vacuum supply is called a "port" vacuum source. If the vacuum source is located below the throttle plates, it would be called a "manifold" vacuum source. Notice the hole for the vacuum to work through.

The difference being, a port vacuum only comes into play once the primary throttle plates are opened up. This is perfect for the secondary vacuum canister. It reads the amount of air passing through the primaries. Once there is the right amount of air passing through, there is enough pull/draw to now pull the diaphram upwards. The draw has to be strong enough to depress the spring you see in the picture above.

The more air passing through the primaries, the more vacuum is created, the more vacuum created, the higher the rubber diaphram raises in the canister, the higher the rod raises that is connected to the rubber diaphram, the higher the rod is raised that is connected to the secondary shaft, the more the secondary shaft is rotated, the more the secondary shaft is rotated the more the secondary throttle plates are opened, the more the secondary throttle plates are opened, the more we
hear......whhhhhhhoooooooooaaaaa. That great 4 barrel sound we all love to hear.

Earlier I mentioned the truck vs race car carb needs and how they are different. I used the two different carbs, vacuum and mechanical types to create an illustration.

This time I'm gonna use a truck with no trailer vs a street performance car. Both with a 350 engine, turbo 350 automatic transmission with no high stall speed converter and no higher than a 3.73 rear gear.

Both vehicles are perfect for a vacuum secondary carb. Both vehicles will allow you to put your foot to the floor from standing start to 100 miles an hour.

Ok. lets watch the tachometer on both vehicles, the car is going to rev much quicker to 5000 rpm than the truck. The car is going to require the secondaries to open at a quicker rate than the truck for optimum performance.

We've already established that if the secondaries open immediatly as if the screw was in the slot, we would have a major hesitation, there is no accellerator pump for a shot of fuel on the vacuum carb. We want the secondaries to open as soon as possible without the hesitation, but not open so slow that we are waiting for the seconaries to open.

The answer is to change the spring in the vacuum canister holding the rubber diaphram in place. Order the Holley vacuum secondary spring kit, you'll get about 6 different springs. You also get a chart showing the tension of all the springs.

Now, remove the canister, remove the top, compare the spring in the canister to the ones in the kit. Find yours on the chart provided. Now install the spring with one step less tension than the one already in the canister, go for a test drive.

The goal is to work your way to the point that the car hesitates when the secondaries open, then install the spring that is one step up from that spring. This should give you the soonest possible secondary opening without hestation. This may take a few trial runs, but you be one step better than the guy who doesn't do this. This is one of many steps that's gonna get the most out of your carb.

The same process goes for the truck, find the earliest opening without hesitation.

Not to change the subject, but a thought came to mind when Scooter402 mentioned he had gotten to page 20ish.

I wondered, hmmmm, with all the different projects on this build, I don't recall what I was doing on page 20.

Then I thought, out of all the projects, does anybody have any favorite parts that stand out the most for you.

I'll start.... My favorite project, the one that when I look through the pages that makes me sit back and say, now that's sweet, wow, it would be the building of the crossmember. I still look under the truck, even tonight, and say, wow, that is awesume.

Anybody else got one?


Thanks for checking guys, I forgot about the upper shock mounting tabs, they were a pain to get to match since I was working on a up hill, horizontal and vertical fit. They took a while, but it was worth it.

The crossmember, the torchmate did great on the sides of the crossmember, but I can't describe the patience of shaping the tops and bottoms. I was extemely set on not using any heat to shape those. By using the heat, sooner or later I'd use a hammer to pound things to fit, it just wasn't gonna happen, I didn't want and hammer marks when done.

Now the frame sections. When I started this thread, I figured everyone assumed it would be some overlapping patches to repair the bad spots. I recall the responce once I posted the finished welding and grinding. I knew with the responces there would be new interest in welding.

It's been 8 months now we've been going at it, and it's been an absolute pleasure.

Quick review so far. Hopefully these things I post next have stuck with everybody so far.

Squarebore and spreadbore carbs. By the way, when I showed the spreadbore, it was of a Quadrajet carb. Holley also makes spreadbore carbs.

Vacuum operated secondary carbs. They open by the demand of the engine. They can be adapted by the springs to meet the needs of different engines and applications.

If we force the secondaries open on a vacuum operated carb we get a hesitation. The secondaries do not have an accelerator pump for the immediate opening of the secondaries.

Port vacuum and manifold vacuum. The port vacuum is above the throttle plates, there is virtually no vacuum at idle since there isn't much air flow yet. Once you open the throttle plates, the air flow create a vacuum. To operate the secondaries, this is the perfect situation. The vacuum canister gets it supply by bolting to the side of the carb. But look closely, you'll usually find a hose nipple sticking out the front or side of a carb that is located about midway up the carb. This is usaually a port vacuum hook up.

Manifold vacuum, great vacuum at idle. The engine is running, the cylinders are sucking air but the throttle plates are almost fully closed. These hose nipples are usually right at the base plate of the carb.

We have distributor advance, transmission vacuum modualtors, brake boosters, emission control, even shaker hood shops, ect. All these work off the vacuum. There are parts inside and outside of carbs that deal with vacuum also, understanding these parts and their operation will be a great benefit someday if you build a hot rod or do any modifications.

The accelerator pump has come up a few times, it's time to go there.

First thing I have to say about the Holley accelerator pump system, even for those who have messed with Holleys, there is a boat load of settings you may not be familiar with. And nobody likes a hesitation, an inproperly set accelerator pump is usaually the problem. Oh boy, where to start......

First let's look close up at the carb at idle, no pushing of the acceleratorpump yet. In the picture below, there are at least 3 changes or settings possible, yes, this might take a while.

I won't write much here so the pics stay close together. This is the carb in full open position. Notice the changes from above.

Ok, first, the throttle shaft rotated. You can see the arm that touches the throttle shaft has raised, which in turn. due to a pivot point, is gonna push downward on the lever that is at a 90 degree angle to it. Then the lever at the 90 degree angle has it's pivot, which in turn ends up pushing upwards into a rubber diaphram that has a pool of gasoline ready to be pushed into the carb.

Going back the the lever touching the throttle shaft. Obviously we have an eccentric, something than is now round but has a high spot built into it. Once rotated, it rose upward and pushed the lever upwards.

This is the first place for adjustment, most don't even know about this adjustment. There is a plastic piece that is held in place by a screw. Go back to previous pics, in post number "852" you'll see the screw and how the first lever is being pushed upward by the plastic cam. You'll also see a hole marked "2". You will have multiple choices to change these plastic "cams" and at the same time, use different holes also. Oh my head hurts just thinking of the possibilities.

Once again, Holley has a kit. You'll notice different cuts on these cams. They all change how much, and at what rate the fuel will be shot into the intake. You'll also notice the 2 holes in most of them, these add to the variables when setting up your carb. Depending on which hole in the cam, and which of the two holes you use on the throttle shaft, wow, the adjustablility is endless.


Let's take a look at the heart of the accelerator pump. In this next picture I've got the pump itself apart. in some way it's similar to the vacuum secondary rubber diaphram, it just doesn't work off a vacuum supply. This one works off a mechanical force coming through the lever.

Here is the carb upside down. Near where I wrote "front" is the accelerator pump. Looking to the other end you can see where Holley does build the casting for an accelerator pump on the other float bowl. If this was a mechanical secondary carb, we would see an accelerator pump there also.

Since we are under the carb right now, it is a good time to verify the "manifold vacuum hose outlets. The small and the large hose outlets are directly a part of the base plate, drawing their vacuum from under the throttle plates.

With the pump removed we can see the inlet and the outlet ports. The inlet is the one with the steel ball being held in place. Right now with the carb upside down, the ball is resting against the hole where the fuel from the float bowl would drain into the pump area. If the carb was right side up, the ball would be away from the hole and fuel can drain into the pump area.

The purpose of this ball is to act as a one way check valve. Fuel drains down past it, but once the accelerator pump is activated, the pressure forces the ball upwards so the fuel cannot go back to the float bowl.

Since the fuel has to go somewhere it is forced out the small hole you see on the outer parimeter of the pump casting.


Hi Scooter402, This is a somewhat older one. I'm gonna date myseilf here, I bought it new back around 1978.

This aftenoon I'm gonna replace the power valve in my newer carb. I'm gonna get some pictures of the accelerator pump on it for a comparison of the stock one vs the 50cc unit. Mainly to show one more choice in dialing in a Holley carb.

Without getting too far ahead of this teaching. I notice you mentioned the steel ball in the picture. Are you refering to the alternative check valve that Holley used that was a rubber design? or are you refering to the steel ball they use just before the squirter?

And yes, there will be a study on the squirters coming up soon also.

I do appreciate any comments along this teaching, I may assume everyone knows about certain parts but may not. If you're anything like me, if I get stopped by not know how something works, I'm a mess the rest of the way.

If someone doesn't want to publically write something, I do answer PM's also.

I'm still on the accelerator pump learning and we're gonna be here for a couple more posts.

Today I want to tap into the idea of figuring how something works and not just to change the part.

If I spell this right, I'm talking about being a diagnostition, vs being a partschanger.

Had I wanted everyone to be a parts changer, I'd have shown a parts illustration and not tried to break down the what fors and whys.

I get the feeling I have a group who desires to be diagnostitions, people who understand not only where the part goes, but why it is there and perhaps why it was made the way it is instead of a different way.

Ok, that's where I'm heading with this next post. I'm gonna show yet another choice that Holley has in the way of adjusting the system to fit your needs.

I've shown a standard sized fuel pump diaphram earlier. This next picture has the standard size and a 50cc high volume replacement.

I worked on my high performance carb today. While I had it off I figured I'd take a couple pics for comparison, and learning.

Along with the much larger rubber diaphram, in the kit you get a larger canister, spring, and the pivoting linkage that rides on the plastic cam on the throttle shaft.

Obviously there is quite a difference, that 50cc one is gonna push alot of fuel. Now considering the fact that gas in the carb is a liguid, and liguid is not compressable.

Anyone know where I'm heading yet?

Imagine, we sit with the engine running at the start line at a drag race, the tree flashes down to green. Once it turns green, our foot is gonna go to the floor. All the fuel that goes into the engine is gonna be drawn by vacuum except the shot of fuel by the accelerator pump.

The outlets that the fuels comes out of are only 30 to 40 thousands of an inch in diameter. Now especially with the high volume rubber diaphram, were gonna try to force fuel to the outlets faster than the fuel can get through the outlets.

We have to have a way to absorb the force going from the cam to the rubber diaphram or we could burst the diaphram.

I have to figure the rubber diaphram will expand under pressure, but at what point would it burst. There is another item that absorbs some of this sudden pressure.

Any idea how some of the action is absorbed, and then dispersed within a couple seconds later?

It is looking at the parts and figuring why, that I enjoy mechanics. My hat goes off to the many engineers that figure this stuff from scratch.

Ok, I get the impression carbs are the focus at the moment.

Scooter402 brought up a good point. The steel ball check valve I pictured is old school, although I'm not sure what year the went to a rubber check valve.

The rubber one basically snaps into place. It has just enough give and flex that when the accelerator pump is pushed back into place by the spring, the negative pressure pulls fuel past this rubber valve.
A picture of it.

This picture really focused good. Now we're inside the float bowl. Look closely, we'll cover the insides later but for now we can see the red rubber valve sticking up. In the same picture I put an arrow showing a hole. This is where the accelerator pump fuel passes through on it's way to the main center section of the carb.


I appreciate the idea of stepping aside and letting me carry on. But that is not what keeps me going. I need the input from people like yourself.

I already know this stuff, it becomes to easy to rise above the situation if I don't get feeback to keep me focused on the basics.

Ok. life lesson.....

I'm not so closed minded that I can't remember my past and remember times that I didn't raise my hand in question.

I'm not so closed minded that I can't remember times that I had an opportunity to learn more but my pride caused me to shut my mouth.

I'm not too old to remember the feeling of finally understanding most of the intricrate details of the workings of a Hollley carburetor, or the workings and how to's that I have shown so far.

I'm not too prideful now that I can't still feel the lostness of trying to diagnose a problem under the hood.

The bottom line, if we all keep this frame of mind, if I was you all, with an apppetite to learn, I'd want someone to share their knowledge with me.

Taken from a PM I got. He knows who he is.
"what a time we live in that someone like myself can learn from someone like you, thousands of miles away-never meeting face to face nor even sharing a conversation."

I'll never take credit personally for what I've taught here, just knowing I changed a life for the better, that's good enough.

We started the accelerator pump write up with seperating the vacuum secondary carb from the mechanical secondary carb.

In both carburetors the initial pump process starts with the plastic cam. Now the take a look at where it ends, where the pump fuel enters the airsteam.

First the fuel has to travel through the metering block. First the fuel enters the metering block from the other side and leaves from the small hole just above the large hole on the center.

This metering block plays a big role in the funtion of the carburetor. I wish I had taken a picture of the other side. On the other side are the jets, and the large threaded open hole is where the power valve is located. The metering block also transfers all the fuel through the proper circuits to the main center section of the carb.

It also has two screws, one located on both sides of the metering block. These screws have tapered ends, they adjust the idle circuit in a way that by turning them in or out you can change the air to fuel ratio at idle.

Now the accelerator pump fuel enters the main center through the hole I marked with a black sharpie.

This is great, we're gonna bring an end to the pump circuit.

Now the business end. This picture is of a double pumper carb. I have removed the "squirter" from the primary side and left the "squirter" in on the secondary side for a visual. Look closely to the primary side where I removed the squirter. Down in the hole you will see a shiney silver item. This is also a check valve. Flip the carb upside down and it will fall out. The idea od this check valve is once a shot of fuel enters the airstream and the pump diaphram returns back to it's neutral position, it will draw fuel from the float bowl, instead of drawing air back in through the squirter.

Now for the squirter. Little do many know, the squirter has many variables that can be purchased.

Let's start with the different sizes. They have two holes that ranges from around 30 to 45 thousands. Imagine using the smaller ones that will restrict the flow, yet will have a longer squirt. A larger one will dump the fuel faster.

The squirters are easy to identify, they have the size stamped into the side of them.

You will also notice one design has small tubes, and the other one doesn't. I believe this is personal preference, perhaps someone has an opinion between the two? I've used both, I didn't notice a difference.

Next..... This is important if you go to a 40 thousands'ish squirter or larger, the volume that the squirter can flow is greater than the stock screw that holds it in place can handle. The fuel flows around the outside of the screw to get to the squirter. Notice the screw on the right, it has a hole on the side and in the center. This screw allows more fuel to pass by so it can satisfy the needs of the larger squirter. The hole provides another way for fuel to pass by quicker.

Shooooeyyyy, now when dealing with a Holley carb, you all can look at it with couriosity instead of discouragment. At least the accelerator pump circuit so far.


Yes, there is a direct connection. When you pump the pedal a couple times you are using the accelerator pump to put a solid stream of gas into the intake with every pump of the pedal. When starting a cold engine with a caruretor, there is usually a choke, this choke is exactly what the name applies.

The choke, or choke plate of which you do not see on the high performance carb pictures does not have a choke, so don't be fooled. On most every other engine there is a choke plate that automatically, and sometimes by a cable, that nearly shuts off all the air going through the carb. By shutting off the air supply there is a strong draw interanally that pulls the fuel from the carb to the intake manifold. This extremely rich mixture is necessary to start a cold engine.

When you tap or pump the gas pedal, you trip a mechanism that closes the choke plate, at the same time, you pump fuel into the intake with the accelerator pump. When you pump the gas pedal the first time, you set the choke and a shot of gas, when you pump more times after that, you are simply pumping more gas into the intake manifold.

I believe the older the engine, the less efficient the compression is, with a more tired engine, it sometimes takes a couple extra pumps to get it going when cold.

Once the engine warms up the choke plate automatically opens so the air can enter the engine as it should.

Good question, I never applied the cold start benefit of the acceleratorpump in my write up, glad you asked.

Holley has had a carb on many OEM stuff over the years. These 4 barrel carbs were on GM muscle cars back in the 60's.

They had a lot of 2 barrel carbs on alot of heavy duty trucks and buses too.

They've covered alot of territory over the years.

Time to break down another circuit of the carburetor. I'm posting a picture of the metering block on the primary side. I define the side I'm posting because in some carbs there are metering blocks in the secondaries also, we'll get to those a little later.

In the picture above you can see the two jets, lower and center with the slots in them for a blade screwdriver to fit them.

Just above and between the jets is the power valve. Hmmm. that's quite a name, power valve.

The jets are rather simple so I'll start with these first. Personally, I think the name is missleading, jets, sounds high tech to me, ha.

Let's see, flow restrictor, orfice, ahhhhh, ok, jets will work.

Basically anytime over the rpm of idle, the jets play a part. When Scooter402 and I mentioned the ideal air to fuel ratio being 14 to 1, the jets are where we go to obtain this ratio.

I've used 3 jets for the benefit of see all angles of them. Look closely to the center one. The jets will have a number stamped on them, in this case I believe it has "74" stamped on it. This is were we start when tuning a carb to match the needs of the engine.

Going to a higher number will richen the mixture, and a lower number leans out the mixture. Tuning the engine for most of us is a matter of installing a different set, then going by the seat of our pants feel. Then we also drive at highway speeds and pull some plugs. We're going for the tanned look on the porcelin in the spark plug.

There is a huge range of jets available, just have to know what size you need.

Now a picture of the power valve.

Once again, three of them to see all sides. These also have a number stamped on them, but, you really have to look. On the right one you see black dots. These show where the numbers are. In this case the power valve is a 6.5. The numbers are not together, the 6 is by the top dot, and the 5 is by the bottom dot.

The power valve is operated by manifold vacuum. Once again, this is the vacuum in the intake manifold, below the throttle plates.

I have to download some pics, so tomorrow we'll get deeper into the power valve operation.


Now that we have a visual idea of the power valve, of which most illustrations will do, let's see if we can understand this power valve.

In the Holley carb like this one, there are 3 or 4 fuel circuits. They all have to work in harmony and at just the right time to create a power band without hesitation from idle to wide open throttle.

The vehicle, at idle, is pulling fuel through very small slots right where the trottle plates almost touch the throttle bore. As we covered already, the accelerator pump gives us a shot of fuel so we can transfer from the idle to open throttle happens. Now is when we need the power valve. Once the accelerator pump shot runs out, the main jets still need a helper since the throttle plates are open and the vehicle is accelerating.

This is where the power valve comes in, it fills a void between the accelerator pump and normal driving.

By the previous post, take a look at the center one. The end with the spring is where the gas enters the valve. Looking closer inside the spring you can see a tapered end, this male taper fits a female taper, thous creating a shut off valve.

Since there is no vacuum draw on the other end of the valve and the valve is open in this picture, we can assume that gas flows through this valve when there is little or no vacuum.

I mention the vacuum idea, vacuum is once again used to open and close something to work with the fuel flow. Looking at the valve at the right, you can see yet another rubber diaphram behind the metal shield.

Here's the lowdown, the spring/valve side is in the float bowl resting in gas. The other side is in a chamber that is constantly at the same vacuum as the intake manifold.

In a situation where you've got the throttle open, and the engine is trying to catch up with your demand of picking up speed, there is less vacuum in the intake manifold. This lesser vacuum in the intake, is represented in the chamber where the power valve sits. Once the vacuum becomes low enough, the spring on the power valve now overtakes the vacuum and begins to open the power valve and gas now enters the power valve. This extra gas mixes with and travels with the gas already flowing from the main jets. The two mixed together enters the intake manifold as a richer mixture.

Once the engine catches up with the demand, the vacuum in the power valve vacuum chamber raises and pulls against the power valve spring to close the power valve. Now the vehicle runs on the main jets again, til the next time you open the throttle, then the whole thing starts again.

Vacuum, and you thought it was just for the carpet.

Here is the chamber that the vacuum side sits in. I put a piece of welding rod through the hole so you can see how the vacuum of the intake manifold gets to work the power valve.

This next picture is to show the path the gas follows from the float bowl then through the power valve.

With no power valve in place, you can see two small holes inside the larger hole where the power valve fits.

The gas goes in the tapered end of the power valve, goes through the threaded part of the power valve. then before it gets to the rubber diaghram, it exits the two slots between the threads and the rubber diaphram bulge.

The gas leaves the power valve and enters the two small holes. Then travels upward, mixing with the gas from the main jets. The gas then exits the metering block where I circled the two spots on the metering block.

Now going back to the upper picture showing the main carb body, I marked two holes with arrows. These are where the fuel enters from the metering block and heads to the airstream then down the intake manifold.

Did someone ask about adjustablity???? Oh yeah, These power valves have a wide range of choices. The main question is, what is the vacuum that your engine idles at. You obviously don't want the power valve opening at idle or too close to just off idle. So the power valve's spring can not override the vacuum supply at idle.

There are also times where you may lug the engine and the intake manifold vaccum will drop also. Once again, the vacuum has to remain strong enough the over ride the spring tension also, or there could be a rich mixture at the wrong time.

One more situation, an engine with a big long duration cam. These have terrible vacuum at idle, so the valve will have a lower vacuum rating before the spring can open the valve.

I'm gonna stop here. Scooter402 is aching to join in on the conversation. I freely give him his input. Getting someone else's point of view is good to expand the situations we all might get into someday.

Scooter402, if you want, lets talk about the metering block also, it's about time to show the secondary's metering block and the metering plate they use some times also.


We'll get a little farther on the Holley, the only picture I have ready is one of the needle and seat.

To understand the function of the needle and seat is a female taper and a male taper that fits together to allow fuel to enter the float bowl and to shut off the fuel entering the float bowl.

Simply put, the float will rise as the fuel enters the float bowl. Once the fuel raises to a predetermined level, the float pushes up on the needle til it is against the female taper. These two have a precision fit and once they come together the fuel can not pass by any more.

In this picture I have two needle and seat assemblies. One is in the open position where fuel can flow through. The other one is in the closed position, no fuel can flow through.

Looking into the openings on the side, you can see the tapers and which is open and which is closed.

The key to the needle and seat is in the set-up. Although Holley has a fairly easy method of setting the float height. We'll go through it in the next night or two.

In the mean time, anybody wants to get a up close idea of how a float and needle and seat work, we all have one in the bathroom. Pull the top off the toilet. First thing you see is the float, it has a rod that goes to the needle and seat. Although the toilet usually has a small screw to turn to set the level of the water, sometimes it's possible to bend the rod to adjust the height of the water level.

Getting into carburetors is the same. The Holley uses a threaded needle and seat assembly to adjust the fuel level. Some other carburetors require you to bend a tab on the float to set the fuel height.


The stock Holley parts in these pictures are very similar to high performance parts. The biggest difference in the stock main body vs. the aftermarket HP main body is the lack of a choke horn and the venturis being smoothly blended.

With metering blocks, on the other hand, there are quite a few differences. Looking at stock metering blocks, however, will help ease the understanding of their inner workings before diving face-first into an aftermarket set, and trying to tune them.

Have a look again at the main body picture -- the arrows are pointing to where the fuel enters the main body while at cruise and WOT (wide open throttle). The fuel enters here, and goes through the boosters. The holes on either side of the boosters are passages that lead to the idle air bleeds (outside of the booster passages) and the high-speed air bleeds (inside of the booster passages, next to the bowl vent).

The idle air bleeds and high speed air bleeds are tuneable, but more easily done with aftermarket metering blocks that are drilled and tapped for interchangable jets...once one modifies a stock metering block, it's kind of hard to fill that hole back in if it's drilled out too large. These air bleeds work opposite of fuel jets -- fuel jets give more fuel when a larger size is used. With the air bleeds, a larger size would give more air, or a leaner mixture. These air bleeds are a good way to fine-tune the mixtures when jetting or idle air screws just don't quite do anything to help at WOT or idle.

Now, take a look again at the metering blocks -- both primary and secondary metering blocks are very similar, especially in the performance world. I don't have a metering plate available for pictures, so I cannot help there unless I steal one from Google. On the metering block shown, there are two slots, or passages on each side. These slots have holes drilled into them that lead to the fuel wells. We'll start with the main wells, or the two dog-leg shaped slots with 4 or 5 total holes (that I can count from here, anyway). The hole all the way at the bottom with the notch above it is the idle feed restrictor. This controls how much fuel the engine gets at idle (obviously, by the name of the restrictor ). Holleys notoriously run rich at idle, and this one is the culprit. There is a simple fix for this that I unfortunately cannot illustrate without my pictures...Or a carb taken apart for that matter. I'm really no help here, am I?

This simple fix, and 50wllystrk probably knows what it is, includes a very fine piece of wire folded into a V-shape with wings at the ends, kind of like this: -v-. Insert that piece of wire into the hole, and it will restrict the restrictor, making idle clean and lean.

Next, in the dog-leg slot, there are two holes, one above the other on each side. These are emulsion bleeds. What these do is emulsify air into the fuel. These holes allow an advanced tuner to dial in exactly the fuel mix he wants throughout the entire power curve. This tuning is best done on a dyno, but obviously can be done with the seat-of-the-pants dyno, too. Stock metering blocks always have two emulsion bleeds, performance metering blocks have 4 to 5 of them. Generally, they have smaller bleeds at the top and larger ones at the bottom. Some tuners take a couple of the bleeds out and plug them, depending on the performance of the vehicle.

Next in the dog-leg is a very small hole (right below the circled one) -- the siphon break. This hole prevents fuel from being siphoned over into the boosters while idling, or when the engine is shut off. If your carb drips fuel from the boosters while idling, it's one of two things usually -- the float level is too high, or the siphon break is too small.

Finally, all the way at the top is the passage that connects through to the high speed air bleed.

Now, back to the adjustability of the power valve -- just to elaborate on what 50wllystrk was saying. The selection of power valves out there have only to do with vacuum readings. They are operated by engine vacuum. The correct way to select your power valve is to measure your engine vacuum at idle, after you have the correct timing advance and idle fuel mix. You want a power valve with a number that is 2-3 digits lower than what your idle vacuum reading is. Say, for instance, if you have an idle vacuum reading of 10 Hg, select a 7.5 or 8.5 power valve. The most common one to come with rebuild kits is 6.5. Now, this will work, but it won't be the best for your engine. It will only open when the engine is under a pretty heavy load.

50wllystrk mentioned that radical cams have very poor idle vacuum. Well, mine is one of those cases. I only get about 6-8 inches of vacuum at idle. I have a 4.5 power valve in mine. Just to show off, here's my CJ with the radical idle:

There is also one more adjustment with the power valve circuit -- the size of the PVCR. 50wllystrk had already mentioned this, has arrows pointing to them on the metering block. These are usually big enough, but sometimes not for radical engines. These, when modified, are usually made bigger. I will caution, however, that if one does go and modify these, to be very conservative with changes. Maybe even only do one change at a time.

If I ever get ahold of my pictures, I may do a detailed "mod" thread for a Holley. I built the carb on the engine I posted in the vid above from eBayparts. I had to do a lot of tweaking and tuning, but it runs wonderfully now.

When drilling these passages in the metering blocks or the air bleeds in the main body, an index drill, or finger drill, works best at it. Don't go reaching for your DeWalt 1/2" drive power drill, now! Like I said, use caution and be conservative when modifying these carbs...it's very easy to turn one into junk if one goes too far!


Scooter 402, your write up is well taken. Thanks for taking the time. If you're anything like me, it takes time to find the right words when describing and explaining. There were many alterations that I had never gotten into. I will refer back to this later as I keep building projects.

Everybody else, the Holley float, needle and seat is coming. I have a very bad problem of getting obsessed with something I'm wanting to create.

A month or so ago I decided I wanted to make my own side emblems for the 57 Chevy truck. I did cut my first idea but it just didn't fully satisfy what I was looking for. I posted a picture of my first idea a while back.

Finally today I designed and cut the emblem I was looking for. When I take pictures of more carburetor work, I'll take some of the emblem. My goal was to maintain the original idea from 1957, along with adding "396" for the engine size.

Thanks for your support everyone.


redneck_vb, nice to have you following along. I see you're just an hour and a half away.
No relations here in Salem. Matter of fact, I knew nobody here. I started all over when I moved here 6 years ago. Kinda cool, fresh start on life.

Scooter402, I forgot to mention. I listened to the video. You have no idea how I enjoy listening to a V8 with a big cam at idle, or even just above idle. The sound is soooo sweet.

I have 383 chevy, with a rough idle cam. I have a little walk to get to my mailbox. When I get home, the car stays at idle as I walk to the box and back. If someone would just record an hour of that sound on cd, I'd buy it in a second.

Back to the Holley rebuild project.

Holley has about the simplest way to deal with the needle and seatadjustment. Not only that, about the simplest way to remove, clean, and replace it also.

Lets first check the amount of fuel in the float bowl. Just as in the toilet, of which I hope everybody did their homework. There is a level that the float raises to, as the fuel enters the bowl, the float pushes up against the needle til it closes off the opening in the seat. Many carburetors require you to dissassemble the carb to use a measuring device to set the float setting.

With the Holley, the float setting is done by removing the plug on the side of the float bowl with a blade screwdriver. Don't pay attention to the screw on the top of the float bowl, only notice the one on the side of the float bowl.

Place a rag under the plug and with the engine running you can remove the plug and see the level. I mention the rag because if the setting is too high, the fuel will run out of the hole. Of course, remove the plug slowly. If you want to do a quick check to see if it is close, you can remove the plug and at least check the level without the engine running.

Looking at the needle and seat adjuster, you can not see how and what parts do what til we take it apart, piece by piece.

A view of which we all are familiar with.

First, the screw has to be loosened to adjust the height. I will remove it so we can see under it.

Know this...... the screw does not adjust the height of fuel in the carb. The screw only creates a sandwich effect that once tightened, it seals the adjuster assembly from leaking. Looking at the hex nut, you can see a gasket on top of it. There is also a gasket under it, these are what the screw will tighten down on to seal the assembly.

More to follow.


I took a look. Now that would be one to keep as a factory original restoration rebuild. Looked very clean. The "very reasonable price" thing, hmmmm, we all have our price. I have to figure these old Willys trucks are gonna start going up soon, I notice more enthusiasm and interest in these over the last couple years.

As I'm sure you all can tell, until I removed the screw, it seemed like it might have something to do with adjusting the needle and seat, but like I said, it only has to do with sealing the top of the needle and seat.

Next is the hex nut under the screw. Once again, it's function is different than what it apears from the outside. By turning this nut, which you have to loosen the screw first, it does raise and lower the needle and seatassembly. Interestingly though, it isn't actually attached to the needle and seat assembly.

It fits "around" the needle and seat, and when turned, the two flats contact the the flats on the needle and seat. This allows the needle and seat to raise and lower, yet the nut still stays in contact with the float bowl.

Now, as I mentioned, unlike most other carbs, by turning the nut, we can remove the assembly. The needle and seat will keep raising til it is removed from the carb. Inside the float bowl, while turning the needle and seat counter clock wise, we are raising the float level.

Just the opposite if we turn it clock wise, we would be lowering the float level. A neat design that while lower and raising the needle and seat, the nut stays in contact with the casting of the float bowl. The only time the nut does not touch the float bowl casting is when turning counter clock wise, the needle and seat becomes high enough and at this point it ready to be fully removed.

Here are all the pieces removed for a visual.

More to follow. I hope this is uncovering the mystery inside the Holley so far.


Now that we've seen the needle and seat, and we've removed it from the carb and along the way we've learned how to adjust it up and down. Now let's look at the float that will be affected by what we do with the needle and seat.

Here is a picture looking into the float bowl. The float in clear view. Look to the right side and the plug to remove to check the fuel level is there also.

By removing the two screws in the back, the float assembly and it's pivot is removed. If I took a good picture, you can see where the float mounting tab makes contact with the needle.

By seeing the mark on the float mounting tab, you can see where the float, once the fuel enter the bowl, raises and pushes the needle upwards to the seat to shut off the fuel entering the bowl.

This next picture should put the hole thing together. Here is the needle and seat just waiting to be pushed up and down by the float.

Over the years I've seen guys get a speck of dirt caught in the needle and seat and have fuel come out the top of the carb. I've had this many times, it's just a part of working on cars and trucks. Over and over I've watched them dissassemble the carb to get to the jets, remove them to clean or replace them.

The jets have nothing to do with the amount of fuel in the float bowl. They have alot to do with the amount of fuel getting from the float bowl to the intake manifold.

I hope by now you all are nodding your heads saying, yeah, that makes sense.

So far the focus has been on the Holley, it's a common carb, so to understand it is a good thing. This hasn't been just to learn the Holley carb so much as a lesson on how all carbs work. Yes, all carbs. They all have a float and needle and seat. They have jets. If they are 4 barrel carbs, they have secondaries that have their ways of opening. They have accelerator pumps, the Holley uses a diaphram, others may use plungers.

As long as the knowledge of how and why a carb works is learned, you'd be amazed at what you can do to get yourself out of a bad situation either in the middle of the woods or in the middle of a traffic jam.

There's still a couple of items to cover on carbs so hang in there.


Next up we're gonna get to the secondaries side of the Holley again.

Going back to the vacuum operated secondary carb, where we have the vacuum canister attached to the side of the carb. Remembering that this design does not have an accelerator pump. Also knowing that the secondaries do not use a power valve, all that we need is to regulate the amount of fuel being allowed into the intake manifold.

What we are talking about is getting rid of the usage of the whole metering block that we had on the primary side. We've seen this metering block, it had a passage for the accelerater pump shot of fuel to pass through, the power valve screwed into it, the screws that adjust the idle fuel mixture are on the sides of it and the two brass jets are screwed into it also.

The next picture will introduce the metering plate. It is a simplified plate that replaces the block. Remember, it has far less to do.

Block on the left, plate on the right.

Talk about simple.... The block is actually sandwiched between the float bowl and the main center section of the carb. The plate however, is attached directly to the main center section and the float bowl does not touch this plate.

As we can see by the next picture.

In the previous two pictures it looks like an aluminum plate, in the next picture the fuel passages are exposed.

(Note) This carb is from the late seventies, I don't know it you all will ever see the screw heads you see in this picture. If you do, the screws are called a "clutch" head screw. They hold well, just not always easy to find the screwdriver thatfits them.

Looking at the picture below, look closely at the bottom of the plate. I put two sharpie marks that represent the fuel entering this plate, then getting to the passage grooves.

This plate, just like so many of the parts of the Holley carb, are replaceable where the two holes at the bottom have different sizes to meet your needs.

Can the plate that is shown be replaced by a metering block? Yes, go to Jegs or Summit racing catalogs and you'll find kits to upgrade to a block design.

You'll learn this the first time you by the chrome fuel line that splits into two lines to feed the float bowls. I believe there is a 4150 and 4160 series carbs. The one with the block on the secondary side requires a longer fuel line than the carb using a metering block.

Next up I think we might look at the choke system.....


I want to get more pictures of the choke system on most all carbureted engines.

On this particular carb, it uses a cable to set the choke, simply pull a lever and the choke plate closes. There is one other thing that happens when you pull the lever, it's called "high idle". When the choke plate is closed, at the same time there is a wedge/cam that raises the idle speed.

A look at the choke plate open.

Now a look at the choke plate closed.

You can see the plate blocks the air supply very well. This produces a very rich mixture which is needed to start a cold engine

As you can tell, if that choke plate doesn't get opened just a little bit, it will flood the engine if it doesn't get air soon after start up. When this engine starts to run rough soon after starting, push the choke lever in a little bit to allow air into the engine, but not so much that you fully open the choke plate, it still needs to warm up.

This is a manual choke carb, by hand, all this happens.

Now, anybody want to venture as to how an automatic choke sets the choke plate closed?

Then after the vehicle starts, how does the choke plate open to allow some air to enter so the vehicle doesn't flood out from too much fuel?

Remember, with the automatic choke, you have no cable to control the operation


cooter402.....It's good to hear from you again.

As I grew up in the '70s, working on cars and trucks, and now that I flash back to that time I remember removing the automatic choke on projects. Yup, it was the cool thing to do, remove that crap, it's just in the way.

Ha,ha, truth was, we didn't know the function and the workings of the automatic choke, so the tough guy thing to do was to remove it. Truth was, I lived up north where it was much colder, I can't count the days that I had to play with the throttle for the first couple minutes to keep the enginerunning.

If I knew what I was doing, I would have set up the automatic choke and started the vehicle and ran back inside where it was nice and warm til the vehicle warmed up.

I have to gather some pics and we'll get into the automatic choke. In the meantime, Read the enthusiasm that Scooter402 displayed in his reply above.

Once your knowledge grows in all these areas we've covered in this thread, it's like I've mentioned before, you look forward to reading and being involved in the theory and the inner workings of stuff, instead of backing away and being a shadow in the distance.


Thanks for catching up, as you can see, we've gotten off the beaten path a little bit. Kinda left the jeep stuff behind for a bit and focused on how the jeep stuff runs.

You are quite correct, when properly tuned and adjusted, the automaticchoke does make life easier.

I only have two pictures so far. I took more but the camera didn't focus as well as I'd like.

The two pictures that I do have are of the part that is the heart of the automatic choke.

I hear it called a "choke thermostat" and "choke spring". Either way, it is made up of a flat wound coil. The wound coil is made by using two different metalic substances. The two metalic substances is called " bi-metallic", referrring to the two metallic parts.

The "bi-metalic" materials react at a different rate when exposed to heat and cold. With the two materials reacting different, there is a expansion/ contraction action that occurs.

The pictures will demonstrate better than words.

Here is the choke thermostat at room temperature. As far as the engine is concerened, this is at a cold temperature. The engine considers 180 to 200 degrees as room temperature.

Notice the loop at the end of the wound coil. This loop is where a piece of linkage will fit into when intalled on the engine. From this loop, the linkage will go upwards to connect to the choke mechanism on the carb.

This next picture is what happened when I warmed up the wound coil with a lighter. As soon as I applied the heat, the loop started to raise upward.

Ok, that's the idea. When the engine was cool, the wound spring contracted, when it contracted, it pulled a piece of linkage downward. The linkage then pulled downward on the choke mechanism, which closed the choke plate, shutting off the air going through the carb.

The choke thermostat is located on the intake manifold where there is a hot air passage that heats the wound coil spring. Once the wound coil spring becomes warmed, it expands. When the coil spring expands, it raises the linkage, which pushes upwards on the choke mechanism that will open the choke plate, allowing the air to flow through the carb again.

This one item replaces a manual choke cable.

My next pictures will show this process in action.

I've done enough writing tonight, but before the next write up, there is homework.

Just try to think back where you've seen carburetors with a round, black, plastic looking cup in the side of a carb. The diameter is around 2''. Any idea what is hiding behind the black cup?


Scooter, I can tell you're just aching to raise your hand with the answer/Knowledge is power, and you can feel it.

Let's get past the next couple pictures, then we'll answer the "black plastic cap" question...

First let's look at the choke thermostat in the "cold" condition. I made a quick piece of linkage to hook the thermostat to the choke mechanism on the carb. Notice the choke plate is in the closed position on the carb. This is the cold start position.

When the idea of adjusting the automatic choke has been mentioned, here is the first step of adjustment. The linkage I made that connects the choke thermostat to the carburetor has a purpose built shape to it. I could have made a straight linkage, but, just as the factory used, I put a couple bends into it. By either bending the linkage more, or, straightening it out, I can adjust the time it will take to begin opening the choke plate on warm up.

A simple form of adjustment, just easily overlooked if one doesn't understand the concept.

In this next picture, I did nothing to the carb or to the linkage. By using the lighter I heated the choke thermostat. As it heated up, the linkage slowly rose upwards and opened the choke plate to normal engine operating temperature. How cool,, all this happens everyday, everytime we start the vehicle.

Note.... on the engine, the aluminum base of the choke thermostat absorbs the heat and transfers it the the wound flat coil. There is a shield that snaps over the top to keep the heat within. If there was no cover, the wind from the fan blade would cool the choke thermostat and it wouldn't open the choke plate properly.

Note... I colored one piece of linkage black and another one I colored red. The black represents more choke linkage. The black one hooks to a vacuum diaphram canister. This canister leads to the next picture having to do with the "choke pull off". This is the item that will open the choke plate enough to allow the engine to get air at cold start. Study the last couple pics and see if you can tell how it opens the choke plate at start up.

Note... I mentioned the purpose of the black linkage, but didn't mention the purpose of the red linkage...and ideas?

I hated homework in school, yuck! But I know now that it was a way to demonstrate that I had a grasp of the theory I was to absorb in school. The red linkage has everything to do with the Holley carb we already covered.

In the real world you're gonna come across different ways of accomplishing the same function. If you understand the theory, the different design won't bother you. If you don't understand the theory, forget it. you could be there for a while.

Scooter402, this is the perfect time, having to do with different designsaccomplishing the same function. Want to answer the black plastic cap thingy?


Moving forward on the choke "pull off". The choke pull off is a vacuum diaphram that is hooked up to the choke linkage.

Imagine the choke plate fully closed at cold start, no air going through the carb.

Once the engine starts, it's gonna need some air to continue running or it will flood out, due to too much fuel vs air.

I don't have a vacuum pump or I would have used it to retract the vacuum diaphram arm. For demonstration I pushed the arm to retract it. Then used my finger to block the vacuum hose so I could get a picture of how it works with the linkage.

The vacuum diaphram (choke pull off) you see in the picture, has a vaccum line that goes to intake manifold vacuum. Immediatly as the engine starts, the choke pull off is gonna start to retract the arm comming out of it. It will retract to the point to where it makes contact with the black linkage connected to it in the slot. Once the slotted arm runs out of slot, it will pull on the black liknkage. The black linkage will now work against the spring pressure from the choke thermostat.

The end result is...the choke pull off will open the choke plate around a 1/4" of an inch so the engine can now get enough air to run til the choke thermostat gets warmed up enough to expand the windings. The choke thermostat will now hold the choke plate open from this point on. Til the engine gets cold again and it starts all over again.

Notice the black linkage also has a bend to it. This is also adjustable by either bending it more, or straightening it out. You can set how much air you need to get through the carb while on choke by adjusting the black linkage.

We still have the red linkage hooked to the choke pull off. It is playing a dual purpose. That'll be the next fosus.

On the other hand, the 57 is comming along, slowly, but it's getting there.

I mentioned using a dual electric fan assembly because it moved the fan motors away from the center. This next picture will show what I meant.

The water pump pulley has a pocket into now. Everything has fit just as I wanted. I have just enough room to work on everything.


You have done well Scooter402.

The black round plastic cap on the side of many carbs is a choke thermostat. Very similar to the one I have pictured on this thread. The difference being it is mounted on the side of the carburetor.

With this design mounted on the carburetor, some of the linkage is eliminated. The design also cleans up the intake manifold by getting rid of something bolted to it.

The method of adjustment is as Scooter402 mentioned. By rotating the black plastic cap on it's mount, you can adjust how it reacts to different temperatures, just as the bent linkage was the way to adjust with the other design.

Many of the old black plastic cap designs had a metal 1/4" tube that went to an exhaust manifold to draw heat up to the black plastic cap. This heat is what caused the spring to expand and contract to open and close the choke plate.

Next is the black plastic cap that is seen more often these days. It has the expanding spring in the cap, yet along with the spring is a heating element. Very similar the the cigarette lighter, once 12 volts is provided, the heating element warms the spring, thus opening the choke plate.

This last design with the electric choke setup is the favored design. The whole thing is one contained unit, and very adjustable.


Yes, mine is ot of a International scout. It's a dana 44 from a 1972 model. It does have drum brakes right now, but perhaps by the end of this year I will replace the drums with a disc brake kit. With the large diameter tire, a good brake system would be nice.

When we do the SOA (spring over axle) conversion, the main streering arm does become an issue, especially with the lift, we create quite an angle from the steering box to the steering knuckle on the passenger side. With this angle the bottom of the passenger side leaf spring wants to interfere with the steering arm passing underneath of it. ( I know you know this, but I always explain for those who have not encountered this problem yet.)

The steering arm (sometimes called a draglink) is a home fabricated and bent arm I made 27 years ago. Once I made it, I was curious of how strong it was so I tried to stress it in situations. I quickly learned it had more flex than I liked so that is the reason for the extra gusseting that is welded to the bent area.

If I redue this arm again, I will use the same idea. One thing I will do is bend a slight drop where it passes under the leaf spring, otherwise, the same basic shape with perhaps slighly different gusseting.

Now..... If I built a long travel/very flexing suspension system, I would go with a high steer and go over the leaf spring if possible. At the suspensionflex I deal with right now, mine seems quite adequate.

As for driveability, this truck goes down the road very well. I just drove a 70 mile round trip on monday, I drove around 55 to 60 mph the whole way with no issues, no white knuckles, I'm very pleased with it's driveability.

The only time I notice the large tires is pushing on tight turns over 25 or 30 miles an hour. I have to realize the amount of rubber between the rim and the pavement, and the tires will flex when pushed into hard corners.

Hope this helps...


CrawlerSaurus, there's a couple of technicalities I want to cover with your build. First I want to bring the carb conversation to a close.

I'm bringing a picture back that we've seen before. In the last conversation having to do with this picture I focused on how the vacuum pull off opened the choke plate slightly to allow enough air to keep the engine running when cold.

Then I mentioned the linkage that I marked with a red marker. This red linkage does not have anything to do with the choke. It actually has to do with the secondaries on the quadrajet.

Using the knowledge that we need to operate the opening of the secondaries by demand of the engine using the vacuum of the engine to define the demand.

I want to keep the explanation as simple as possible. The first point to make is... this carb uses vacuum to operate the secondaries, but it does it in an opposite way that the Holley does.

The picture for reference.

If we have a grasp how the vacuum above the throttle plates, differs from the vacuum under the throttle plates, we can understand the function.

Where the Holley used the vacuum to pull the secondaries open, the quadrajet uses the lack of vacuum to allow the secondaries to open.

The vacuum pull off you see is depressed at normal driving and idle. Since it gets it's vacuum below the throttle plates, when you open the accelerator, there is a drop in vacuum. This drop in vacuum causes the vacuum pull off to extend itself.

It extends itself slowly, this slow release allows the red linkage to move, this movement allows the large butterfly plate covering the opening to the secondaries to open.

There is more to be said about the quadrajet carb, if anyone is interested, let me know. Otherwise, I hope this tutorial on carbs has been helpful.

Once again, I tip my hat to the engineers who figured the idea of using one vacuum canister to perform two jobs.

In the shop I had an issue with a lawn mower, then my heart had an issue, (getting old sucks), nothing major... thank God.

I finally finished the plug wire holders on the 57 Chevy. They turned out better than I hoped.

Very good questions, I know there are alot of pages to this thread, but I want to have you go back to page 41ish. I posted the work done to get the spring over axle change on this truck.

Yes, by using the original springs I was able to center the axle. The scout used a wider leaf spring, but with the grinding and fitting, the perch you make will fit the Willys narrower leaf. I had to set the passenger side leaf close to the front differential. In the pictures I show how I did the grinding and made the perches that I welded to the axle to support the leaf spring. The drivers side was easier, I just had to match the height of the passenger side, and check to be sure it was centered where I needed it to be.

The springs I used is a 10 leaf pack for the truck, I added a leaf to achieve the exact ride height I was looking for.

Ok, now the technical. To get the pinion angle and tipping the axle forward to get the space needed to get the draglink we talked about yesterday to fit with clearance, you lose some of the camber that is desired. Follow the build around page 42 and 45ish, there was a good conversation covering the need for proper camber.

My camber is not textbook perfect, but I have used this truck for 27 years now without any issues. As I mentioned, it rolls at 60 mph very confidently.

Hmmmm.... Missouri to Australia, how cool is this. Good luck.


Wow, 9 months is right, time does fly. Sitting back in my chair, rubbing my chin, hmmmmm. we've covered alot of stuff too.

Still working on the 57 Chevy truck, I've made some progress.

One item that my dad wanted on this truck is what's called "exhaust cut outs". Personally, I never considered them, but I believe they were a big thing many years ago.

Exhaust cut outs are a "y" shaped pipe addition that is between the engine and mufflers. One of the outlets on the "y" goes to the muffler, the other outlet has a flange welded to it. There would be a cap bolted to the flange. Once you get to the race track, unbolt the cap and you have an open exhaust system.

I've decided to follow through on his idea and add 2 exhaust cut outs. Of course, I have to complicate the system and add a few things to enhance the finished project.

First, there are three choices of how to open the cut out. First is as I mentioned, unbolt the cap and remove it. Second, they make a cable operated valve inside a "y". Third, an electric motor unit that operates a valve assembly that bolts to the flange on the "y" pipe.

I'm planning on making my own "y" pipe, and using the electric motor valve.

Next, I will have four out lets all together. Two will be the tail pipes after the mufflers. Two will be for the straight pipes that will exit just in front of the rear wheels.

Now for personal preference.... I'm not too big on having two tailpipes pointing in different directions, say..... like the exhaust outlets just infront of the rear wheels.

Here, let me explain.... If I have an 8 cylinder, I basically have two, 4 cylinder exhaust systems. If they both exit near each other, the vehicle sounds like an 8 cylinder, the pulses mix together.

With the two tailpipes exiting on opposite sides of the vehicle, I don't get the blend of all 8 cylinders, it sounds like two 4 cylinders. The pulses don't mix together.

This is the reason for the extra work I'm doing, I will build an "x" pipe to blend the two banks of cylinders together. Hopefully now when I open the exhaust cut outs to open pipes, I will have the sound of all 8 cylinders coming out both sides of the truck.

Now for a picture of what's going on. I myself do not have an exhaust pipe bender. I basically form an idea and have a local shop bend some pipe. Then I get to cutting, grinding, and welding.

If I was doing a simple dual exhaust sytem, this would be a breeze. Ha, I just can't keep it simple.

With this next picture the system is coming together. I have all 8 cylinders mixing in the "x". I have a little finalizing to do on these pipes, but I have the fit I'm looking for.

After this point I have to figure for the "y" pipe that will send the exhaust to the sides. After the "y" I just have to install mufflers and tailpipes to the rear bumper area.


Imped, thanks, glad you like.

Jeff88, ahhh, so you're familiar with the exhaust cut outs. I looked and thought about how I wanted the outlets to be on the open pipes. On the muffled exhaust I'll run it to the back and hide the tail pipes.

I concidered the idea of doing the same thing as you did and running to the front of the rear wheels and having turn downs. My problem is the truck has a step side bed. The step in front of the tires blocks my ability to run pipes the way I'd like to.

Here's the best part.... Sometimes when we run into problems, we are forced to be more creative. I have come up with an even better way of finishing the open pipe outlets. It's a matter of personal preference when we modify cars and trucks, but I think my idea will work and look great when finished.

The truck should have a dual personality when done.

Now for a bit of fabrication. As I mentioned, I don't have a pipe bender, but there are times when I need to make slight adjustments, adjustments that are so minor that it's not worth having bent, but needed to get the fit I need.

In this case the drivers side header flange is lower than the passenger side by aboout 1 1/4". I need the pipes to level before they get to the "x", otherwise things won't match.

To raise the pipe on the drivers side I need two cuts. The first cut will be where the pipe will go upwards. The second cut will get the pipe level again.

Here's the two cuts.

I marked the cut locations, then used the 4 1/2" grinder with a cut off disc. I cut about 80 percent of the pipe. Then cut a wedge design out of the cut. Now I can bend the pipe together and check my angle. If I need more angle, I keep removing a bit of pipe and keep bending the pipe till I have my desired angle.

Here is the fit when I bent the pipe together.

Here it is bolted in place. I got my raise in height. I can easily pop the spot weld and adjust if I need to.


In the past I've done the suspence game and held off to the end to show the result I was working for.

Then there were other times I showed the end result, I think I'll show the result, I'm pleased with the result.

As I mentioned, I don't have the choice to run a down tube to the front of the rear wheel for the open header sound. I layed on the creeper for a while just thinking and thinking. Then as I was laying there I remembered in the Jegs catalog there were angle cut stainless steel exhaust tips. I opened the catalog and yes, there was my answer. They are rather expensive, but there are times when you feel something will seriously add to the project and you do what is necessary.

Ok. the idea is to have fairly quiet exhaust going all the way to the rear bumper. Then hide the tail pipes and this is the regular driving situation.

Then by the flick of a switch, these outlets which with the "x" pipe, will be like having open headers, having all 8 cylinders barking out both sides of the truck. Then, flick of a switch, and it's back to quiet time.

Now back to how I go to this point.....

To make the "x" pipe I had to cut into one of the pipes.

After cleaning up the edges with a rotary brrrr.

After I cut the second hole for the outlet of the "x", I got a good look at how the first pipe fit into the hole I cut.


Yup, the 57 Chevy is for pa. He passed away over a year ago. Doing this Chevy together was something I was looking forward to, especially doing these neat little tricks and additions. Everytime I finish another part of it's build I imagine the grin on his face as he would have seen it.

pure82cj, the entire thread, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I get a little nervous cutting into good sheet metal, but it has to be done. Here's the first step of installing the exhaust tips into the steps.

Back to building the trick exhaust. I need at least 4 flanges that fit 2 1/2" pipe. By using a gasket of the right size I used the torchmate to copy the design, then cut the flanges. I drilled the bolt holes using the drill press into one flange. Once I had the holes where I wanted them, I still had 3 flanges to go. The inside diameter mating and matching all the flanges is important. By fitting a 2 1/2 pipe through all of them, then welding them together, I can drill them all at the same time and they will match on assembly. After the welding I removed the pipe and drilled.

All four ready for service.


The1AndOnlyBug, no problem, once I switched project vehicles on this thread I know it through a couple people off track.

Something I have to laugh about.... When you mentioned helping on the projects, there's been a couple of the readers of this thread who have mentioned the same thing.

Honestly, it'd be great to do some hands on training, I know the pictures can only teach so much. By many of the responces on this thread I know some of you would cherish the opportunity to spend some time learning first hand.

What I chuckle about is during the time I've been working and posting here, I've had 2 guys who started coming out from town to get some hands on training. They both ended up getting involved with girls and now are locked into relationships with the girls, if you know what I mean.

I won't say whether or not they are happy with their decisions, but they missed out on a great opportuity to learn some skills.

On to the build.
The exhaust tip is made of polisshed stainless steel so I wrapped it with tape while I'm working with it so I won't scratch it.
Once I cut the opening in the step for the exhaust to fit through I knew it needed something to enhance the opening. I figured a piece of moulding would look good.

I almost started shaping a piece of round rod, then I decided to use the torchmate to cut the design for the moulding. This picture shows the moulding and how it fits around the exhaust tip.

I'll show how I shaped the moulding to fit the contour of the step tomorrow, here is the end result after shaping it.


Very well put. Know your passion and stick with it. If you bury your passion for something else, it will keep knocking til you open the door and let it be a part of you again. I speak from experience.

To shape the edging, once again I didn't want to use heat. Also I knew it was gonna to near impossible to bend and shape it as one piece. As you can tell by the next picture, I cut it in half.

Nothing fancy to bend the edging, nothing more that my bench vise and a hammer. Once I shaped the two halves, I used the grinder to bring the edges where the two halves meet to pointed edges. Then it was a matter of welding the two halves back together again.

Now the edging in place. It's the little details that make a difference. If I left it as cut sheet metal, it wouldn't look detailed once done.


Here's the time I get a little nervous, it's commitment time, time to do the full welds. I need the lead pipes to be fully welded so I can move onto the rest of the system after the "x".

Once I've checked and rechecked the fit, I welded everything together.

Just for an idea of what a monster I'm getting into, here's a picture of one side becoming a split. One outlet will have a muffler directly off the split. The other outlet will have a flange welded to it. Once the flange is welded in place, the cut out valve will be sandwiched between it and another flange and a pipe that will carry the open exhaust to the side outlets.

Don't worry, I'll have more pictures later showing more of the system.


If anyone has noticed, the exhaust system doesn't have any humps where the pipes have to go over a crossmember.

Where most build the crossmember, then build the exhaust around or over it, I built the exhaust, then built the crossmember over or around the exhaust.

We've already been down the "crossmember build" road a couple months ago so I'll keep it short on this one.

Starting with the front and back sections after I had the torchmate do the cutting.

The tricky part here is getting the two lined up near perfect. If the two are not lined up properly, the whole thing is gonna be a twisted mess.

The square tubing between the plates is 1 1/2", I wanted the crossmember to be 1 3/4" wide when done. With the 1 1/2" spacer and the 1/8" side plates, I got my 1 3/4" width.

Back to using the press again, I slowly shaped the top and bottom plates to match the contour of the side plates.

In this picture the crossmember is upside down. Flipped over, you can imagine how the crossmember touches the frame on both outer ends, then raises up over the exhaust, then drops between the pipes to support the transmission in the center.


I still have to make the ends that will be welded to the crossmember that'll attach it to the frame. For right now I'm happy to see it'll fit and clear the exhaust and the transmission tailshaft.

I also have to make the support plate that'll reach from the crossmember to the bottom of the trans mount. For now, it's good to see how the fit is here also.

And the other side.

Tonight in the shop I'm almost done cutting and fitting the pipes to finish the exhaust. I think I've broken most every rule when it comes to the technical aspect of managing the flow of exhaust. It is the least normal exhaust I've encountered, pics in a couple days.


It was a very productive evening, everything fit together.

I got the pictures of the exhaust for the 57 Chevy truck.

I mentioned an idea, then another idea, then another idea. Dad wanted the exhaust cut outs. I then wanted to fulfill the idea. I had the idea of putting the exhaust tips coming out the bed steps. I was gonna use the step side exhaust tips for the open exhaust through the cut outs, while running mufflers with tail pipes to the rear of the truck.

Then I had the idea....try to use the side step outlets for both the open exhaust and the muffled exhaust, now that would be way cool.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm sure I have broken many a rule of exhaust technology in the creating of this system. I'm not building a race truck though, I'm building a hot rod, a rolling expression of ones abilities to fabricate.

Now a view from the front....

In the picture above you can see the electric cut out valves. With the valves closed, the exhaust is forced to go through the mufflers. When the valves are opened, the exhaust will free flow and bypass the mufflers to the rear.

View from the rear....

The exhaust tips are wrapped in tape so the scratch the finish. In front of the exhaust tips are flex joints. Since the engine will rock under load, and the frame will twist slightly going down the road, I needed something that will permit the exhaust to flex as the rest of the truck does, these flex joints are perfect.

And a view from the side....

By tipping the mufflers as I did, I made it easier to bring the bypass pipes out and around the mufflers, if I wasn't working on a truck I probably couldn't do this, the floor would be in the way.

One other thing I really like about this system is that it barely hangs below the rocker panels of the cab. It stays tucked up within the frame rails pretty good.

Now I can't wait to get the rest of the engine work done so I can see and hear how this system sounds.


timmytimm3, I'd gladly like to see some pics of your family's project. I haven't gotten to my e-mail in months. It would be nice to compare projects, a couple of pics pertaining to the engine compartment and perhaps some fabrication would be nice to see here if you don't mind everyone else seeing also.

Jeff88, you are sooo correct, I didn't take the easy way out. At first, the most I wanted to do was put in a crosspipe and create a "H" pipe situation. Then I just couldn't see it creating the sound I was looking for. So then the "X" pipe had to be made. By time I finished, this is the result.

Rumor has it high speed internet is working it's way down to my area.

Getting the exhaust assembled has got me excited about getting the truck running also. I can't wait either.

bradw76, I've never seen anything like either. I've done a shallow check on the internet to find similar systems that I made, but none like it.

It's interesting how we can work ourselves into a corner while building a project. We either have to rise to the occasion, or back out and try a different way of getting past the issue.

Example, the crossmember for the Willys truck. That was the first time I attempted to build a crossmember from scratch. My patience was certainly tested. Now tonight I've nearly finished the one for the 57 Chevy truck. Had I not challenged myself to build the first one, my confidence wouldn't be what it is now while building the second one.

Interesting how a little adversity can build character in ourselves.


Scooter, I've seen so many vehicles rot away out in fields, makes me sick. I understand the emotional tie she has with the old truck, but to let it rot away... bummer.

I had a picture of halfway through the assembly. It gives an idea of how it fit under the truck.

With all the talk about exhaust cut outs, I figure a picture is due. There are different versions. I'm using this design because I could sandwich it between two flanges easily.

Here's the cut out in the closed position.


Lol, I know, I got started, then I just couldn't stop.

As I've done before, I don't like to give the impression that this fabrication stuff is easy.

Building the exhaust took alot of time a patience. One thing I hate to do is over cut material. Such as fitting all the pipes together. All the grinding and "fish mouthing" the pipes to fit together was enough work. Before the grinding and fitting was cutting the pipes to length. This next picture gives an idea of the cut and checking that took place.

Some of the left over pieces, just a small cut at a time.

I finished making the crossmember. This is a picture of it shaped, welded and cleaned up. After this point I still have to build the ends that will bolt to the frame and the plate that will reach forward to bolt to the transmissiom rubber mount.


In the last picture I had the main section of the crossmember built. I still had to create a way to mount it to the frame on both ends and bolt it to the transmission.

The transmission mount needed a flat plate and the frame mounts just needed flat plates to bolt to the frame. In each case the flat plates had to have webbing or gussets to either support or distribute the weight from the crossmember to the plates. I suppose this is where we get to be individuals and decide how to go about this.

Here's how I finished mine.


 Thanks little_Jeep, Ok, how 'bout this... It's art sitting on the table, but under the truck I'll call it a crossmember, as in these next pictures.

Just to sum up the 57 Chevy truck so far.... As I recall, I dealt with lining up the front pulleys and had to make one pulley from two pulleys.

Then made the plug wire holders, of which I didn't like my first design. Then made a second design I really liked.

Had to make header spacers to make room for the oil filter.

Reset the alternator back to get the wires where I needed them to be.

Then the exhaust system.

Then the crossmember.

Along the way I had to make the motor mounts that went to the frame. Make the bracketry to hold the dual electric fan set-up.

Just trying to make the point that if I had put a time schedule on this project I would become frustrated. During this Chevy project, with a time limit, I'd have settled with ideas that just weren't my best. I'm not a fast worker, but I keep walking into the shop and slowly make a difference when I can.


You guys are giving me flashbacks of many years ago.

Back in the '80s and "90s I was spending most of my time in the shop. My creative thoughts were very active back then. I had a yellow chair, don't ask where it came from, but I spent alot of time sitting in it just trying to picture my next move on a project. As a matter of fact, the Willys was built through images captured while sitting on the chair.

People who came to visit understood the chair, the chair became a standing joke. If time passed between their visits and I did some good work, the comment always refered to "looks like Jim spent some time in the chair again."

This time, I layed on the creeper and looked up at the exhaust for a while, so yes, I'm with you guys, sit (lay) back and enjoy your work, absolutely.

On the project now I'm at a standstill for a couple days. I've been waiting for the copper gaskets that go between the cut out flanges to come in, they finally made it. I held off welding the completed exhaust until I could put them inplace so everything was as it will be when done.

I had a mild cam in the engine, but decided to go with a new grind by comp cams. Now that I'm the primary owner/driver, I want a more agressive sound. Comp cams has a new series called "thumper" that is focused on having a rough agressive idle, yet good streetability caracteristics, I look forward to hearing this thing run even more now.

Otherwise, I have a couple yard projects to take care of also. Hang in there, I'll be back with updates as soon as possible.

Thanks everybody for your enthusiasm.


Two weeks, wow how time flies. Sorry for the wait.

Yard work..... I got a bunch of white pine trees planted, cleaned up some rough edges and yanked out some old fencing that had been eaten up by the ground. The old Willys has been working earning it's keep.

I've been asked to enter it into the 4th of July parade, guess I'll have to keep it driveable at least til then. We'll see how it works out.

Of course I got to roll a couple dirt hills and obsticles while working.

As for the 57 Chevy... I'm at the point were I'm showing my age and experience. Although I've got the exhaust pretty well set, I still have hangers and the final mounting to finish. Years ago I'd get to this point and start slapping things together. Not any more, I want many years of usage, so I'll take the time to get the mounts right.

In meant time I have removed the system and dissassembled it so I can fullly weld all the pieces together.

I took this picture, I thought it looked awesome, kinda like I ordered a "dual exhaust with "x" pipe splitting into 4, with two mufflers and two exhaust cut outs, converging back together after the mufflers, with the tailpipes exiting through the bed steps exhaust system"  exhaust kit for a 57 Chevy truck.:2

I realize there are many choices of mufflers to go with anymore. I chose turbo mufflers because they flow pretty good and the have a fairly quiet sound to them. With the exhaust exiting right behind the cab, I don't want to listen to barking mufflers while driving down the highway.


Jeff88, the parade, if I do it will be interesting. I'm not not much for decorating, if there will be any, I'll leave it up to who ever organizes the float build. I'll be at the mercy of whoever decorates the truck.

mudcrawler90, then it's a good thing we took a couple weeks off from posting, less pages you have to catch up on. Also.... thanks for the compliment on my work. Part of my goal here is not only to show what a little patience can produce, but also to instill a mindset of what happens when you put your heart into what you're trying to build.

Another picture of the Willys doing it's work. Nothing special, just draging about 100 feet of fencing that became entangled in weeds and the ground. I suppose I just get excited about a 62 year old truck still doing work in the fields, then taking me to work nearly everday, hauling scrap iron to the recycling place, ect.

Over on the other side is the 57 Chevy truck. I've had to change my way of how I finish the exhaust outlets. Originally I tack welded the flex joints to the oval tips. What I am concerened with is how close this was putting the flex joints to the bottom of the step. Heat is my concern....I don't want over heat the paint on the step. I already plan on using a heat deflector on the bottom side of the step, and I'd like some space in this area.

So... I cut the welds holding the flex joint to the exhaust tips. Now I moved the flex joint back about 4 or 5 inches. With this spacing I have plenty of room to install a heat deflector under the step.

Moral of the story, always tack weld while building projects, it allows you to achieve your best outcome.

Part 2: https://www.diyauto.com/manufacturers/chevy/generations/task-force/builds/part-2-by-50wllystrk


Gotta love the Willys! Good job...great build!

Posted by Diggymart on 12/10/18 @ 8:34:21 PM