It Goes! It Stops! Surf-Dog wagon comes home!


Sharpest Tool
Sep 23, 2009
NC Coast
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1963
So, after a VERY lengthy stay at a local shop. The word is I get the wagon back this weekend. Stopped by there today and they were fine tuning the brake conversion and said that it was running smooth. So we will see. I am excited about getting it back and had to tell somebody - and I figure that you folks on here are probably some of the few that can appreciate enthusiasm over a vehicle that's almost 50yrs old.

For anyone that is interested, since we have had so many join the forum since my wagon went in to be worked on, here is quick summary......

Had a r u u u u s t y, 71 jeepster that I was using as a beach buggy. Too far gone for my skills ( or lack of skills ) so I sold it to a neighbor and the hunt was on to find a replacement. Had seen this 63 wagon on a NC 4wd forum and coudn't stop thinking about it. Figured that it would make an awesome surfing and dog carrying vehicle for my 11yr old son and I. Thanks to a bit of cash and a very understanding wife it became mine.

First thing I did was clean the critter nests out of it and try to prioritize the to do list. The pics in my gallery are all "before" taken by the PO when I was trying to purchase it. That is except for the 1 clean looking intererior pic which was thanks to my wonderful bride. After a heavy dose of HGTV she went in and pulled all the old interior out and put down some paint and varnished the wood rails to help freshen it up a bit. Made a huge difference. Top of the mechanical list was to have it go and stop safely. Since I am limited on time and skills I figured I would let a professional handle the disc brake conversion and dual master install. They have now finished that and did a quick tune to get it running smooth(er).

Now the fun begins! I am sure I will have plently of questions and a lot to work on but hopefully by this weekend I will at least be able to run errands and do small around town trips as I get the rest of the bugs worked out and learn about this cool old vehicle.

I'll post up pics when I get it back and as I start working on it and learning.
Sounds like you are bringing home a new puppy..... Atleast the excitement of it.
Good luck and lets see the pics......
thanks! Trying to figure out how to get the small pics inserted within my post. I'll have to play with it tonight when I get home and see if I can't get a few up.
open picture in the edit function.
goto skew/stretch setting
resize down from 100% to 50% on both lines
save again.

I have a file set aside for resized pics that I then save em too for easy tracking.

That's the quick tutorial on resizing pics. Pete has a link in the board for more techy stuff if it helps.
I select the pic and push edit, then resize so it's smaller than 600 x 400 pix's ( what ever that is ) then post. I can imagine the excitement you have to get your Willys back home...enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...oh what a feeling!
Well, did get my wagon home the other day. I actually drove it home from the shop about 5 miles. Starts right up but ran poorly . I am glad to have it back but a little discouraged as it didn't run as good as I had hoped. I don't blame the shop for that because I had told them not to redo the tank or fuel lines so I expected some issues. Pulled the tank over the wknd and boy is it in bad shape. It's a wonder it ran as good as it did. I hooked up a small boat tank to it with fresh , clean gas and started it. Ran and idled smooth.

I guess my first order of business is new tank and lines. My fuel line ran down the driver side frame rail then crossed over at the front of the wagon to the passenger side. Don't know if they did that stock or if some PO did it when they put the V8 in. Seems like if they went to all the trouble to swap the motor they would have just rerun the lines though...........
Pulled and tossed the old smelly, rusty, sludge filled tank and all the old fuel lines. Hooked up a small can of clean gas and it started right up and idled smooth. Ordered the new(poly- bolt in) tank from Walcks, as well as a new sender - came in in this week.

Going to try to find some lines and get all that in this wknd. Then we can pick the next battle....

Created a photobucket with most of my pics from when I bought it. I'll try to link it here in case anyone is interested. ... agon%20B4/
Sweet, you'll have to let us know how the poly tank does. That would be a great upgrade if your tank is shot. Don't feel bad, I don't know how long I was running mine off the lawn mower gas tank the previous owner had strapped onto the front of the grill.
silicond17 said:
Sweet, you'll have to let us know how the poly tank does. That would be a great upgrade if your tank is shot. Don't feel bad, I don't know how long I was running mine off the lawn mower gas tank the previous owner had strapped onto the front of the grill.
Got me off my b..t to take a photo of the Ranchero on the driveway :oops: :oops: :oops:


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Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have at the time to get the job done! I had a 57 chevy trk set up like that for a while to get it around the yard.

Ranchero looks good! :thumbupleft: So does the back of whatever is in the garage. Friend of mine in High School used to drive a nice Ranchero sometime that belonged to his dad. Think it had a 302 in it......This was in the 80's so you didn't see them too often then either.

You guys think I would have any issues if I temporarily ran a rubber fuel line from my new tank to the fuel pump? I'm not sure what size hard line I am going to need and Advance is limited on what they have anyway. Think they only have 3/8.... Just trying to get this thing running consistant enough to get around a little and identify all the bugs. Did a search on what fuel line size to use and am getting 3/8 and 5/16 as answers. Does it matter?

283 chevy w/ rochester 2 jet carb........Gonna be at least another week before I have time to mess with it again anyway.
Yes, that Ranchero looks very sharp.

I'd run a rubber line like that for the time being, but that's just me. My current fuel line is rusting apart and leaking at one spot, but I'm running it for now until I get it replaced. I don't run it much anyways.
Took out my new tank, sender, and gasket last night to put them together and the new sending unit is sticking/binding on what should be the "empty" position. It moves if you push it a little, then travels freely through the rest of the range to full. Just afraid that the float won't have the force to get it past that initial binding point. Don't want to put a new piece in only to find it won't work and then have to pull it all back out. Going to check and see what I can do about that. That tank strapped to the front bumper is looking more likely if I want to get it in the garage to work on it for now.......
I just replaced the fuel pump on my daily driver and ran into the same issue. My solution was to rock the rear of my car once I got home after filling up, and the float will free and show full. :oops: I've found a lot of these modern replacement sending units are just pieces of junk.
Surf-Dog wagon update

Just a quick update. I had bought the tank and sender from Walcks. Contacted them to let them know the sender was sticking. They immediatley sent me another no charge. I am very pleased with them and their service so far. Got the tank, sender, new (temp) lines and fuel filter in but it wont idle consistantly. Has a rochester 2 jet. Could be I pulled more goo in to the carb B4 I changed the tank b/c I did bring it back form the shop with the old tanks and all on there. Throttle linkage is a bit questionable as well but it still seems like it should idle.

In a nutshell - still not driving and summer is coming fast. Sure wish some of you experienced folks lived closer! Can't afford to pay people all the time and I could sure use a hand. It'll get there though, just may take a while. I should at least be able to clean the carb up without messing stuff up. I'm going to try that before I take
it anywhere.
tank pics

pics of the tank in case anyone is interested. Not sure how to get nice neat little pics in here yet...........
just the tank

bolted in. Wires are for sender. Have to figure out where the one is that comes from the gauge......