47 Willys Pickup on Scout II Chassis


Bigger Hammer
Jan 13, 2011
Pleasant Hill, IA
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1947
I posted this on another site and then found this one. There are some great builds here!

Here's my project. It is a 1947 pickup that was a 4x4. I bought it with basically just the running gear (no engine), cab, and front sheet metal. My intentions are to make it into a strong work truck that I can use and abuse, off-road occasionally, and not worry about ruining my daily driver. The first two pictures show it how I bought it.[attachment=2:1i6qif43]DSCF0726sm.jpg[/attachment:1i6qif43][attachment=3:1i6qif43]DSCF0728sm.jpg[/attachment:1i6qif43]

I originally just planned to throw a set of Scout D44 axles under it and started out cleaning the frame up. After putting some time into the frame, I considered boxing it in but thought it would be quite a bit of work. I also wasn't real sure about the stock steering setup on these old Willys. After looking around for a Scout axle donor, I discovered that a Scout Traveler has the same 118” wheelbase as the Willys pickup (not that it matters now as I plan to make my own box). Scouts also have fully boxed and very stout frames. I put a wanted ad up on Craigslist and amazingly found a 78 Scout Traveler for $300. I brought it home, sawzall’ed the rusty Scout body off of the frame and then proceeded to sell off the Scout parts I didn't want.

I cleaned the Scout frame up and painted it with Rustoleum satin black paint. Then I set the Willys cab on and fabbed up mounts for it. I’m still in the process of making mounts for the fenders, grille, and radiator support. The last two pictures show it in a semi-current state.[attachment=1:1i6qif43]DSCF1892sm.jpg[/attachment:1i6qif43][attachment=0:1i6qif43]DSCF1894sm.jpg[/attachment:1i6qif43]

Other progress includes purchasing a very rusty donor Wagonneer and stripping it down for the running 401 AMC motor. I am currently working on bolting it together with a 727 trans and dana 20 that I removed from a different AMC 6 powered Scout. Once they are bolted together, I’ll set them in place and make mounts for them. You can see in the pictures the firewall was previously hacked up so it shouldn’t get int the way of anything.

I've made a bit more progress since the pictures so I'll post more when I get a chance. Thanks for reading! Kelly


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Welcome to the forum Kelly...

Here's a few more pictures of the build. These are of the Scout as I was cutting the body off.

Here's the 401 after I cleaned it up and painted it.


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Looking Good! its gonna be a mean truck with that 401 :)
From the pics of the scout it almost looks like you plan on using its firewall, are you?
I saved the firewall and the tunnel. I'm not sure about using the firewall but definitely plan to use the tunnel. My truck floor is pretty rusty and I'm thinking about cutting it all out, including the seat storage area. I really like the underseat storage but my glovebox doors are rusted partially open and I need to get all the rust out.

The Scout axles are only 3.07s and I won't be able to regear any time soon so I'm planning to go with 33" tires for now. The rear has a factory detroit locker in it, at least according to the option sheet I found when tearing the Scout down.
Project looking good. That 401 looks great. Welcome to the forums.
I am looking at using my donor firewall and floor as well as makes bolting in its seats, brake pedals etc easier too.
Hi Kelly. Modding a truck or wagon that has already been hacked on...Now that's the way to mod! Save the intact Willys is my motto. Your stuff is looking pretty good with just the little that you've done. That 401 should be quite the beast under there. You may need a snorkel hood to clear that oil fill tube though. :lol: I'm likin' it. I'll be watching this one. :thumbup:

Is that a Javelin in the background??
I like starting with something hacked up that way I don't feel bad modding it for my purposes. Although it would have been a lot easier had a found something with a little less rust.

That is a 70 Javelin in the background. I'm a big AMC nut and that's why I'm putting a 401 in the Willys. They all have a pretty tall filler neck but it looks taller in the picture than it actually is. It won't stick up any higher than the carb.

Build progress update: I bought a set of 33x13.5x15 Super Swampers last weekend and got them mounted up. No pictures yet but maybe this weekend.

Hi Kelly. Welcome to the Forum. You're project is shaping up great! Yell if you have any questions as there's a lot of good guys and gals on here that have lots of knowledge on Saving Old Willys trucks. I'm currently working on a 57 Willys Pickup/Chevy Chassis Conversion project. Check it out. http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3805815/1 ... lys-pickup Good luck with your project.
Who would ever thought it could get to 70 degrees in the middle of February in central Iowa? It was so nice today I pulled the Willys outside to work on it. The best part was it still fits through the garage door. I figured with the new wheels and tires, I would have to let some air out of the tires just to get it out.

I have a tow bar setup so I can drag it around with my cherokee.

The front wheels are a bit close to the front fenders and will probably grab at full lock. Since my fenders are pretty rusty anyway, I've been debating on making tube fenders and cutting the cab back a bit.

Here's some pic's with the new wheels and tires.
I had the pressure washer out and ended up stripping some paint off of the cab with it. Too bad I couldn't get all the paint off this way.

I also removed the factory gauges and will probably end up selling them. I'm planning to update the gauges and put the speedo and a tach by the steering wheel.


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Welcome KellyH!

You picked an excellent frame for your build. Being boxed from the factory from front to back, they work great. And the suspensions aren't too bad either. Plus they come with nice power steering, which is a big winner. Even though the pitman arm points forward and the box mounts on the outside of the frame, it makes it easy to attach the linkage from the column to the box with just a few mods. Especially, if you kept the stock column from the Traveller. They are stout and the longer pitman arms are nice too. I run them on all my conversions. I have one on my wagon and TJ. I won't use anything else. The other cool thing is that the frames are parallel from front to back, which is so cool because you can run the stock width rear Dana 44 or lots of other options without the typical issues that the 49" wide rear part of the stock Willys pickup frame causes. Which by the way, the stock rear Dana 44 wouldn't have worked with the stock Willys frame without something like 2"-3" spacers. That would have sucked to find out after a bunch of work. Did you notice the little sleeve in the middle of the frame that they used to lengthen the frame from the Scout II 100" to 118". Simple and clean solution. And cheaper for IH at the time I bet.

Yea, it looks like you will definitely have to move the cab back or redrill the center hole on the front main leaf 1 or 2" further forward and adjust the other leaves forward and reinstall the center pin. As long as the drag link and tie rod clear, which I think they will. I think the drag link gets quite a bit further from the tie rod as it moves toward the pitman arm. Weird how small the drag links are on Scouts, but I think they are made from solid material and are plenty strong. Or you could just do the easiest and most right thing and move the cab back and save yourself a ton of problems down the road.

I will be watching this build. Very cool. Looks like a clean Willys cab. How are the floors? That 401 will kick butt as you know in that light truck. SWEET! Can't wait to see more!
Midnightburn, you definitely know your Scouts! You are right on with your assessment of them. They are well made and very stout. I did see the frame extension sleeve you are talking about.

I am debating on moving the cab back versus making tube fenders for the front. When I tore the Scout down, I measured the distance from the front of the frame to the firewall. I then used that distance to set the Willys cab on the frame. I figured that would be a pretty good starting point but it's looking like I need to move the cab back. I haven't actually set the motor in yet so I need to do that before I get much farther. Then I can see where the motor fits in relation to the cab. I really want to keep the axles/drivetrain in the same place since I have drive shafts already. It just makes it easier and simpler.

Here's my first feeble attempt at making a tube fender.

I'm also going to need to widen the rear axle. I'm going to try 2" spacers on each side to begin with. I technically don't have to widen it, but I want the box to be 48 1/2" wide on the inside and that makes my tires too close. I just think it would be nice to be able to fit a sheet of plywood inside the box when I need to.


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Go to Randys Ring and Pinion web site, there is a calculator there to figure out RPM with any combo of tranny, gear ratio and tire heigth...I have 3.07's as well and plan on re-gearing...at 70 mph I will be turning 1,850 RPM and I'm affraid with a head wind I'd go backwards....700R4 with 28" tire.
Plus I inherited the front axel pinion-castor problem...'76 Intl. Scout II axels...zero castor and pinion pointed down....this sport isn't for the weak pocket book....ouch!
Since my kids are on spring break, I've taken some time off and am making a little progress. With my dad's help, we bolted the motor, tranny, and transfer case together. Found out that AMC's that come with a turbo 400 behind them have a small bushing set in the crank that the torque converter slides into. Tried to slide on my 727 torque converter and no go. We cut the bushing out and it fit right in.

Once we got it bolted together and new rubber motor mounts attached, we set the motor in and blocked it up.

The motor is pretty snug to the firewall but not too bad. I haven't decided if I will move the cab back yet or not.

One thing I am debating is whether to level the motor along the valve cover or if I should level the motor at the carb flange on the intake? The motor sets pretty low when leveled along the valve covers. I checked the level of the tranny pan and it ran uphill towards the back.

When I level the motor along the carb flange, the tranny sits level too, but when I measure the carb flange height from front to back, it is a 1/4" higher in the back along the intake. Not sure if this is normal or if it's an Edelbrock Performer thing.

Anyone have an idea of the correct way?


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Normally you level by the carb base and works out to be a 3 degree slope downwards towards the back. Buy yourself a roofers angle gauge, is the easiest way the check.
Thanks GoJeep, that's what I ended up doing. It is level across the carb flange front to back and side to side. After another days work, it is now solidly bolted in place.

Here's a shot of one of the motor mounts I built (they are pretty much identical side to side).

Another showing the motor in:

I will definitely move the cab back at least 2"-3". Unfortunately, I'll have to cut off the mounts I already built for it. Oh well, at least I'm experienced at it now. I do feel like things are coming together better now. I am pretty mechanical so knowing how to do this isn't an issue, it is more what are the right steps. I am sure I'll have to redo more than a couple things along the way.


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Welcome to the forum...you have an interesting project. Keep posting progress and I'll keep watch'en. Stay Safe.