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Thread: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

  1. #1
    Precision-Fit Sparky Powers's Avatar
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    Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    I finally have time in my life to work on a project because "I want to" and not "have to". I've wanted a Willys Wagon for years so I looked on Craigslist and sure enough there she was, $500 and a two hour drive. Best of all... I got the OK from my wife.

    I decided to post the build of my '56 Wagon for a couple of reasons. First and most important reason is I am new to Willys and also to 4WD. Secondly this will be my first build that will require a large amount of fabrication. I hope that with the collective knowledge and talent of this forum I will produce a finshed project that I will be proud of and that will be safe. I openly want opinions and criticism through out the course of this build. Thx in advance.

    Ultimately I want to retain the stock look while updating the drivetrain so I will be able to use it as a daily driver and also do some moderate trail work. After reading thru many different build threads, web sites and books I decided to find a late 70's Wagoneer as a donor vehicle. Back to Craigslist I went and found a '79 Wagoneer Chief for $500. Thx to my dad who stripped it down and brought the parts I needed down to me.

    Upgrades will include, (but subject to change):
    2005 GM 5.3L V8
    *T-18 4 speed Wide Ratio Transmission
    *Dana 20 Transfer Case
    *Dana 44 axles with Disc Brakes in the front
    *Power Brakes
    *Saginaw Powers Steering
    *GM Steering Column
    Completely new wiring.
    Roof Rack
    Winch
    Hurculine floor
    Larger Fuel Tank
    (* came out of the Wagoneer)

    The Find

    Bringing it home 006 by Sparky Powers, on Flickr
    Not too bad after sitting in the desert for more than 15 years.


    Bringing it home 002 by Sparky Powers, on Flickr
    Loaded up and heading home.


    Bringing it home 003 by Sparky Powers, on Flickr
    PO decided to throw in an engine. Ran the #'s..... '69 Corvette 350 with 202 fueler heads. Free's always a good price.


    Bringing it home 004 by Sparky Powers, on Flickr
    PO tried to repair the rotted out floors. :shock:


    Bringing it home 79 jeep 007 by Sparky Powers, on Flickr
    "$500 and it runs and drives?"... I'll take it!


    Dana 20 w trans by Sparky Powers, on Flickr
    Got lucky, it is a Wide Ratio trans.


    More to come.
    Last edited by Sparky Powers; 01-07-2013 at 12:43 AM.
    Please come join us for the 8th annual Willys Moab Rally. www.willysrally.com Subscribe to email (copy paste to browser) : http://www.willysrally.com/subscribe/subscribe.html

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  3. #2
    Precision-Fit
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    looks like the makings of a good start best of luck with your build looks like the body is in pretty good shape always a good way to start for me not being a body man. :lol:

  4. #3
    Sharpest-Tool
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    Tom
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    Cool. The doner looks pretty good as well, I'd be tempted to keep the Cherokee and fix it up too! Good luck with the build.
    1963 Wagon 4x4, 283 V8

  5. #4
    Sharpest-Tool
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    Jim
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    Very cool,wagon looks in great shape and a good donor too,good luck with your build.....Jim

  6. #5
    Sharpest-Tool
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    Nick
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    Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    Good luck on the project. I agree that the Cherokee is almost too nice to chop up. Had one of those in college and loved it. But, sometimes sacrifices must be made.
    1961 Traveler 4x4- Mostly done?
    1989 Jeep Wrangler Laredo
    2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport
    2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    Past Jeeps;
    1977 CJ-7 Renegade
    1979 Cherokee Chief...regret the sale of this.
    2000 Cherokee Classic (recently sold)

  7. #6
    Precision-Fit Sparky Powers's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    It's a good thing that this isn't a FSJ Forum, they'd have me by a rope. What you can't see is that the Wagoneer has a bad case of cancer, all thru out it's body along with Flintstone Syndrome. I see it as I have prolonged it's life. It now lives vicariously thru my Wagon and a friends who got the engine for his rig.

    Im looking forward to hearing from everyone with comments and concern.

    thx,
    Steve
    Please come join us for the 8th annual Willys Moab Rally. www.willysrally.com Subscribe to email (copy paste to browser) : http://www.willysrally.com/subscribe/subscribe.html

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  9. #7
    Bigger Hammer
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    abcd

  10. #8
    Precision-Fit Sparky Powers's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    Willysworker, I read thru your build thread a couple months ago and it helped me make my decision of what route I wanted to take with my rig. I didn't think my skill level was strong enough to do a frame swap, frame shortening so Im just doing an axle swap.

    Thx
    Steve
    Please come join us for the 8th annual Willys Moab Rally. www.willysrally.com Subscribe to email (copy paste to browser) : http://www.willysrally.com/subscribe/subscribe.html

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  12. #9
    Precision-Fit Sparky Powers's Avatar
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build

    I couldn't stand looking at my Wagon and not working on it. So I bailed on the house work and decided to pulled the body off of the frame. I couldn't believe how easy it came off. I will be removing the Dana 25 axles and springs soon, so if someone is interested let me know. The rear axle had some serious force on it in the past. The drivers side spring is "wrapped" and the pinion spins freely.

    More to come.

    [galleryimage:12r1pp9k]939[/galleryimage:12r1pp9k]
    [galleryimage:12r1pp9k]940[/galleryimage:12r1pp9k]
    Please come join us for the 8th annual Willys Moab Rally. www.willysrally.com Subscribe to email (copy paste to browser) : http://www.willysrally.com/subscribe/subscribe.html

  13. #10
    Sharpest-Tool
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    Re: Sparky's '56 Wagon Build



    Is that emblem specific to a year? Gonna look thru Kaiser catalog and see what it is.

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