1961 Full Size Willys Firetruck ratio troubles

pivo

Gear Grinder
Mar 23, 2018
7
Netherlands
First Name
René
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
[FONT=&amp]Hello,


I am René from the Netherlands.

I hope you understand the crappy English i use, as i am Dutch.

Me and my son Chevy have bougt a full size 1961 Willys little firetruck, Chassis code 5516823312, wide track and 118 inch wheelbase. (Picture below, the foodtruck stickers are from formal owners. We still haven't found the right and correct factory type-name of this really full size FireTruck, being not a pick-up, wich in all means is bigger than the Willys Stationwagon!)

We like Firetrucks because they often look good, are taken care for and often have very useful, versatyle body's, but in Europe 90% off the firetrucks are way to big for city use, exept this very rare Willys truck.

This one has a wheelbase of 118" inch, or close by, and has a rare handmade closed 8-door steel body.
Originally, i believe, it had a 3.7 L 6-226 super Hurricane F-head 2 and a 3-speed BW T 90.
But, regretfully it is not original. Someone put a large lump IH International 345 V8 from IH Scout II (80's era?) together with its 4-speed BW T19.
It stil has his original ofset diff rear axle Dana 53 with 538 ratio, front-wheel drive has been removed and it has no transfer case any more.
The drive shaft now comes central from the T19 gear box, diagonal to the original off-set diff of the Dana 53.
I know this is not ideal but in the Netherlands we have, and we know so little about these old big Willys, that one has not been able to finnish the engine-swap in a decent, correct way.
The firetruck is fun, BUT the engine revvs way to high, at tops 45 to 50 Mls/h, and that is no fun.
We do not use it off-road, but more as little camper-truck. It being a nutered 4WD, now a 2WD, is not an issue. (would be cool to build it back to 100% original, with a better ratio, but i can not see that happening over here.)

With this set-up we are aiming for a rear axle ratio of 3.00 to 4.00 max. (We are not affraid to swap ratio ring and pinion, but the org. Dana 53 has no better ratio than 538;1)

Me and my son are figuring out how we can alter drive-train ratio's. Remember there is little knowlidge and the right Willys parts (wide track!)are rare.

We have been puzzeling a lot with options available locally.
-We found a Dana 44 from a 2001 Dodge Ram Van 1500 with drumbrakes and right Wms to Wms. The ratio shall be correct for our highway use, because its a passenger van, and it has no off-set diff.
-We foud Dana 20 transfer case but no one knows if it will fit the BW T19 (something with in/out going shaft differences, may be). A transfer case would be cool because maybe one can add a 75% overdrive to the transfer case.
-We foud no matching Jeep axle, nor transfer case nor did we find a suiteable transfer case. The hunt for alternative or original parts is made difficult because this Willys is larger and wider than a common full-Size jeep of any kind, as far as we found out.
- We have been looking at the In the Netherlands no one even knows that there are different sizes wms-to-wms on Jeeps CJ and even Wagoneers, not even specialists. Specialists over here just order everything as new and very expensive matching sets. That is way to expensive, we have a budget of about 1000.00 bucks, but more for the right pieces.
Any help appreciated. I will post this on an appropriate thread when i got used to and find my way within this forum.

Any ideas deeply appreciated.
[/FONT]



[FONT=&amp]Grtsz, René and son Chevy, Netherlands[/FONT] [FONT=&amp]
[/FONT]

P1010927.jpg
 
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pivo

Gear Grinder
Mar 23, 2018
7
Netherlands
First Name
René
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Or should we do a 70's/ 80's chassis swap (Chev suburban, Ford f150, ((grand)-wagoneer wil be to narrow, to short wb).

Not original, but very atractive usable chassis, disk- brakes, IFS/IRS, better steering/handling ?

Or is does that involve way to much work and puzzling?
 

Blindmelon

Well Oiled
All-Star
Aug 10, 2014
2,582
Agua Dulce, CA
First Name
Larry
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1950
Gear Sets for a Dana 53 should be available from the US in 4.11 or 3.90 ratio's... Or, swap in an entire rear axle from an old Scout...
Shipping will be expensive but....Contact Digger here on this forum....Digger has lots of stuff that might help.
 

pivo

Gear Grinder
Mar 23, 2018
7
Netherlands
First Name
René
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
the complete chassis / drivetrain from an excelent 1999 Dodge Durango 5.9 magnum SRT 4WD ( minor dents, nice car , 120k miles, saved from owner who wanted to bring is to scrappyard.
Wheelbase and trackwidth are nearly same. Foud some oldschool steel pressed wheels wich came stock from Nissan Navarra/Pathfinder.
They look the period.
Now to find out the new bodymouts for the Willy body. The Willys Truck already bene to officials for having alternative V8 drivetrain.
Titled as 1961 Willys truck special build (1/5) from Swiss , v8 .
 

pivo

Gear Grinder
Mar 23, 2018
7
Netherlands
First Name
René
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
2 years and not one response.
not a very lively forum, is it ?
will check again in to years, i guess...
All the best
 

Fred46

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Oct 5, 2020
350
Alliance, OH
First Name
Fred
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
  2. Pickup
  3. Jeepster
  4. CJ
Willys Year:
  1. 1946
  2. 1948
  3. 1950
  4. 1955
  5. 1961
You have a very unique truck there Rene. And a complicated situation for modification. If it were me I’d keep it as original as possible. Back in the day they weren’t meant to be high speed vehicles.
Your windshield and body box is tall and definately a custom 4 door aftermarket professional build. Willys did offer chassis only versions that allowed custom bodies from the cowl/dash up and back.
Your reviving of your origional post brings it to the top of the ‘What’s New’ list. I saw it. But I don’t modify drive trains or chassis. Someone with modification knowledge will see it and hopefully give some advice. The folks on this forum are very knowledgeable.
You can find replacement higher ratio ring/pinion sets for your front/rear axle.
Best to you.
 

pivo

Gear Grinder
Mar 23, 2018
7
Netherlands
First Name
René
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Well, as i live in one of the most crowded countrys in the world, were selfbraking, abs, traction control, you name it.
I want to use my cars eventhough on daily base. I drove a 1949 battered Rolls Wraith (same as pre-war model.) with towbar, daily for years , but it had magnificent braking capability and superior handing, it was 100% original. I drove the Willys Truck as it was , for a wile, sweat on my forehead and hart-attacks from stuped people with totaly (self) automatic driving, selfthinking cars, (these drivers dont have to think anymore because their car does it all for you. That means that they have no need paying attention (wich is ideal for the mayority of people in Netherlands who can't drive and who shouldn't drive, are scared drivers, so most by selfthinking cars, who somtimes wake up wilst driving and hitting the brakepedal as hard as they can, becouse there Ai-Car solves every problem.)
Ill keep the original chassis/drivetrain, but i dont think anyone in Europe cares about it, only me and my son.
I am no racer, but 50 miles an hour, with an immense noise wil give you al lot of stress on Dutch highways or citytraffic, full of non thinking, like idiot-braking morons.
Could keep it 100% oringinal, witch will ending up it being rarely driven again.
None of the original parts / chassis / drivetrain will be trashed or destroyed.
Gonna be a FestivalCamper with all the Willys en Firetruck appearence it had, but then included a period wooden kitche/folding bed etc.
Is it such a bad idea to alter this Willys technicaly in such a way it still has the looks, but is in every way daily usable and Brake-safe ?
If i could, if i had the unlimmeted affordable space, i would have kept 80% of the 70 roadworthy pre -70s domn to 40s totaly original.
I am getting older , traffick is getting more crowded and agressive, je yust want it to brake and handle in a usable way.
Does anyone has a better idee than use the durango chassis ?
BTW ; the instument cowl, firewall, other dimensions, seem to fit nicely, measurements of most dimensions suggests it will work.
Sorry for my abominal, mediate Englisch.
 

timd32

Well Oiled
All-Star
Jan 4, 2020
2,622
NJ
First Name
Tim
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1950
I joined well after this post so don't know how active it was back then.

I think now is a good time and there are lots of active users that might be able to help.

I agree with the custom build it's a pretty awesome rig you have.

I have not seen the Durango swap, but @POPS52 has done quite a few Dakoda swaps they have all looked very nicely done.

Is the Durango based on the Dakoda?

If so if you look thru his build thread or possibly send him a PM maybe he has some basic info. His build thread is very detailed.



Have you checked out Novak for tips on conversions?



Also advanced adapters.


I've looked at a few rear end choices and the smaller Ford Ranger or Chevy pickups are sometimes a close match.

Looking at the version of Ford Ranger in Netherlands on line have you looked at the

Ford Ranger III 2.2 TDCi (150 Hp) 4x4 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Specs

There are wheelbases close to the truck frames, and with is also pretty close.

Do you have a truck frame or wagon? My guess is truck? But the Wagon is 104" WB and the Truck is longer at 118".

There is a 3000mm WB Ranger that is almost an exact match but placement of the wheels would need to be looked at.

There is alot of info available here to get some basic stuff as well. This gives you axles and TC options over the years.


This is a great project hope you can get things sorted so you can enjoy.
 

scramboleer

Super Moderator
Staff member
All-Star
Aug 16, 2011
10,187
San Francisco, California
First Name
Dan
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1964
How about some of the vehicles more common in Europe like an older Nissan Navara (as you mentioned), a Toyota Hi-Lux, or a Mitsubishi pickup?

My frame of reference is Germany where I lived for five years. There weren’t many American-style pickups; most workers used a van or a cab over truck.
 

rocket

Well Oiled
Sep 3, 2015
6,067
Sierra Mtns
First Name
Rodney
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1963
Welcome Back!

Sorry you got missed for two years. Like Tim said, there are a lot of active members here now. Some are hard core "Leave It Stock" minded and others have gone from mild modifications to wild modification.

My 63 Wagon has Land Rover Discovery 2 Disc Brake Axles, drive shafts and a Rover LT230 transfer case with a Ford 302 and F150 5 Speed transmission. All on a modified stock frame with the Land Rover front coil springs.

My 56 CJ5 has Land Rover Discovery 1 Axles which are 100mm narrower than the Disco 2 with Rover coil springs and disc brakes on all 4 wheels.
 
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Trlaketige

Sharpest Tool
All-Star
Oct 25, 2015
419
Mo
First Name
Jim
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
What a great truck! Sorry your post was overlooked. Hard to give opinions when many of us have no idea on availability of donor vehicles in the Netherlands. I think Rocket may be on the right track with the Discovery parts. All the best luck with your build and please start a build thread with lots of pictures so we can follow along.

Jim
 

two-bit

Precision Fit
Apr 11, 2016
593
West Ishpeming MI
First Name
Tony
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
In your original post you talked about keeping 2wd, using it for camping trips, and the occasional run around.
I agree with others about sourcing parts that are local to you. The HiLux, or Rover seem like good candidates. What about some of the smaller delivery trucks ? i know Benz makes one, i am sure others do also.
When i was in Europe a few years back i noticed quite a few smaller chassis box style trucks on the rather narrow and windy roads.
Would one of those chassis, (newer steering, brake systems, suspension and rear axle ratios) be a good choice for a chassis swap ? Maybe buy one of those wrecked, and use the drive train also ? (Not sure if you can buy a wrecked vehicle to strip and reuse where you are ?)
Just throwing out ideas with limited knowledge of what is available. Good luck.
 

pivo

Gear Grinder
Mar 23, 2018
7
Netherlands
First Name
René
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Thanks for all the reactions, very interesting.

We have been through all options from axles, drive-trains, (disk)brakes Novak adapters etc. Finding such special parts would take long time from Holland, not mentioned the outrageous shipping costs from the US of A etc. This kind of stuff is very hard to find in our regions. The 1999 Durango 5.9 Magnum 4WD still is our best option. I guess.

Sure, will not do destructive works on the original BIG! Willys TRUCK- chassis etc, and will keep chassis and stuff for future, or for anyone interested.
I am not very often on line, so forgive me for my late responses.

grtsz, thanks,


René and Chevy from Holland.
 
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