Busted my wipers, got my oil changed, went for a drive


Staff member
Sep 17, 2009
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Yesterday I went out and fired up my wagon to drive my son to school. I whittled the ice off of the windshield and got the wiper blades free. There was still some frost shavings on the glass, so I switched on my electric wipers to clear it off. They hesitated for a moment, and then a clunk, and then the passenger wiper went up while the drivers wiper stayed put... :(

Apparently there was some ice in the arm/shaft, and it wouldn't turn. I figured I had busted the transmission piece that the cables go into to turn the shaft. I looked under the dash, and the cables were still attached to the center fitting on the firewall that is connected to the motor, but there was a bunch of slack in the cables. I couldn't see much without a flashlight though, so we went on our way and I left it alone. I was thinking to myself, damn just in time for a big storm on Saturday...

Later on I crawled under the dash with a light to see what went wrong. Turned out that the motor had enough torque to muscle the tension adjuster to the loosest position, and then pulled the cable off of the pulleys. There wasn't anything wrong with the transmission/shaft piece... :thumbupleft:

I was worried that I would have to try and find another part to replace a busted one, but instead it took five minutes to put the cables back on the pulleys and adjust the tension. Good as new! Let it snow!

After I got the wipers working again, I decided it was just too damn cold to do an oil change at home. So I drove down to the local quick lube. I've known these guys for a long time, and they were happy to see something roll in that had grease zerks on it....

The oil in the engine was black as tar. The filter isn't doing anything because one of the hard lines that the PO replaced with a rubber line is installed twisted into an knot. I don't think there is any way for the oil to get through. Because I haven't had a chance to fix this, I had them leave the old filter in place (they didn't have one anyway...) and just change the oil. I'll change it again as soon as I can get the filter fixed.

While they were at it, I had them check and top off the transmission, T-case, and change the front differential fluid. They checked the rear diff, and said it was very dirty... I changed it about 150 miles ago, but the rear axle tubes are full of sand, dirt, grit, etc from the farmer welder burning a hole in the tube. I decided to leave it because I'm going to replace the rear end anyway. The front fluid was so thick and black that it wouldn't even drain. They pulled the plug, and a few drips came out at first, and then it slowly started to run like a string of liquid plastic. It was so thick that it piled up in the drain pan about an inch tall... They finally got out a heat gun and put it on the case to try and get it to drain. They flushed it with oil once the bad stuff was out, and filled it back up with new gear oil. Took about 20 minutes to change the front...

Greased everything up and I was out the door for a spin.


always like your videos they are really cool actually they are kinda of cold :D
burr gives me the chills :lol: anyway not to jinks ya but you know whats going to happen next with all that fresh good oil-- lots of leaks seems thats what always happens to me on the old girls anyway good luck on that. :beer:
Wow what a day! Glad you were able to get it fixed. Do you think the dif. fluid is thick like tar because of the cold temps or is it because the flluid is old? I know when I lived in Alaska we used special lubes that were designed for extreme cold temps.

Before I bought my Wagon I called the guys at Willys America to find out more about Willys in general to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. One of the things he told me to do first was take the axles apart to clean them and put new seals in them because the Dana 25's were inherent for sucking up dirt and grime. Im sure you probly know this, but I thought it was strange mayby cuz I'm new to 4WD's.

Enjoyed your video, perhaps I should stop working on mine and just ride with you... in the fast lane too! You might consider getting a part-time job with the Chamber of Commerce.
dirtbuggy said:
...they are kinda of cold :D

Damn cold today... about 8 degrees. I drove the wagon to my office this morning at sun up and about froze to death. My heater doesn't do much... it's on the list of fixes.

burrrr I can almost relate I dont really remember what its like though I was raised on a farm in kansas and being a dum farm kid all I owned back then was a old jeep cj2a and a harley so guess what i took to town with no heater been in and around phoenix arizona for the last 30 years or so and kinda for got about all that there cold stuff and although I do like snow I sure dont miss the cold at all. :D
Pete,nice looking town you got there.Looks like the roads have some deicing chemicals on them? I won't drive my old stuff on the roads here when wet in the winter because of the deicing salt.But when the roads are dry in the winter,not often, I'll take a ride.
How fast where you going?
Truckedup said:
Pete,nice looking town you got there.Looks like the roads have some deicing chemicals on them? I won't drive my old stuff on the roads here when wet in the winter because of the deicing salt.But when the roads are dry in the winter,not often, I'll take a ride.
How fast where you going?

The town in the clip is Ketchum, Idaho. The mountain in the background at the 1:30 mark is Bald Mountain, world famous for it's skiing and Sun Valley Resort. Another side note, Ernest Hemingway is buried on the left at 2:32 in the Ketchum Cemetery.

Here's a pic I took yesterday at the Warm Springs base lodge picking up my kids-

Luckily de-icing chemicals aren't used on any of the streets here other than the state highway. And they only use it there three or four times a season. I stay off the highway when it is wet. The rest of the streets tend to melt off in the sun, which we get lots of...

My wagon will run about 50mph, that's the fastest I've taken it.

I am in Twin actually.

I grew up around Willy's pickups, and have been searching for one for a few years ( Restored a 69' Cj5 last year, and current DD is a 78 Cherokee Chief). Glad to have found this forum!
SmokinIdahoan said:
I am in Twin actually.... ...Glad to have found this forum!
Glad to have you... I'm in Hailey, drove through Twin about 2 hours ago on my way home from Vegas. Look me up if you get up this way.