My 1957 L6-226 Wagon Build.

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Last year shortly after Thanksgiving I had the wild idea to buy a Willys Wagon. From the ebay add I was looking at my future wagon was in Sheridan, WY. Here is a photo from the original listing and a wide variety of web listings.
e940d94a4bdae66d34b120075f0bbb12.jpg


My Dad and I loaded up about a week before christmas to go and get it. We had to drive from southwest KC to Sheridan, WY. We would follow the Oregon trail up to get it in one day, the. Take two days to get home.

2421eed674c37d54f8d04a3405c8f215.jpg


As we were getting ready to leave a large snowstorm was moving east, it made for a scenic drive. That is Chimney Rock in western Nebraska. Into Wyoming we found a ground blizzard from Casper on north almost to Sheridan. Progress was slow and the Mercury was falling fast. We arrived in sheridan around 11pm if I recall with temperatures around 10F. Brrr.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
The next morning we got up and headed over to find the place with the Wagon. The sellers were out of town but their mechanic was there to let us in and help us load it up.
869dd619c62be0c3935676d359eddd3b.jpg


It was around 5F that morning with a decent breeze. The transplanted chevy 235 shoe horned into the wagon ran like crap, it sounded like it was missing all of its piston rings and smoked like it too. The exhaust header puked sludge oil as it ran. We had a project on our hands......

ab7539c0a90cb4f3fa3ce79e18020636.jpg


4ac1651050c4dfdacf5918bdb8760187.jpg


Loaded up we headed for home and decided to go east to Gillette and then South past the family homestead and then take the Oregon trail back home. Going was slow as we got everything settled in and we didn't want to sacrifice safety for speed.

2a9daac23aa16b4edcc11aa6dbc8a2a0.jpg


At least we had some scenery to look at.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
We cruised on back to my house where we unloaded it into my garage. A small shoe horn and we were unpacked.
8e0c9bef1ef64820b2a64536360b2e73.jpg


Here is the 235 wedged in the engine compartment. Fortunatley the body wasn't cut to install it, however the chassis was. I set about tuning the 235 to see what it could do. While I got it to run pretty well the oil spray form of Montezuma's revenge and the smoke was not a good sign. Plus it had about 2 psi of oil pressure.

https://vimeo.com/189250146

About this time my wife and visiting mother in law had had enough of the smoke treatment. Would a person break wind 1000 miles away they would turn up there noses in disgust. So the wagon had to move to the my barn where the other goodies live.

13cfa9220abb960b46a1ba06827248aa.jpg


Unloaded in my normal workshop the mayhem could really begin.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
20c95d06ced4e581b4ea0150b67c9a61.jpg


Having decided the engine was shot I made the executive decision that a Super Hurricane needed to once again grace the engine room of my fine wagon. In the documented 19,235 miles of my wagon something so horrendous had happened that the original Katrina (Super Hurricane) was removed and the Chevy installed. It was also around this time that I found the owners manuals, how to drive 4wd manual, tire and battery receipts, insurance cards dealership delivery paperwork, and Montana registration in the glove box. - I hadn't thought to look yet! The original owner had died in the late 80's in Lincoln, MT where all my paperwork pointed. The studded tires on the wagon had a matching receipt in the glove box. 18,700ish miles on the clock in 1979. The 500 or so miles since the receipt matched what was worn on the tires, too bad about the dry rot... did I mention they are studded.....
297b304be5693410e71ea61fbf9a684a.jpg


The tailgate and the driver's rear fender hold the worst rust. I figured while working to find a Super Hurricane I would het the old engine oit and get the tailgate fixed up. The hinge was siezed after 35 years of sitting and the dealer I bought it from had made sure to can opener the bottom of the tailgate by opening and closing it a lot. I order a new hinge and set about straightening everything out. I got the old hinge off and the new hinge on. I had to torch the tailgate to aid in reshaping.

299552b293829b9e8b6cc2023b15aad3.jpg


Plus I got the chevy engine out. It was a challenge.

270e8c16bbedd492ed50b149526f3fba.jpg


Also around this time I found a Super Hurricane that forced me to keep it sith its rolling chassis. Can you say spare parts? Just a short trip to Detroit and back. Up and back in two days with my Dad.

494acf383b3288f2e40d7cf10c91e59d.jpg




Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
When we got home the Super Hurricane (I love that name) went off to the machine shop for machining and overhaul. As I had been pulling it apart I broke the exhaust manifold (talk about sucking!!!) and two cylinders had become fish tanks.

d9942f5605bd78a1cb8c20fbe289c699.jpg


6268f05247d004d4b0de021c2d248b16.jpg


Apparently the carb cover had become a rain funnel and filled up the two cylinders with open intake valves. I finished stripping the engine down and hauled it to the shop.

About that time work kind of stopped on the wagon for a summer trip with my folks. Since my wife and boys were visiting her family in Europe I was left to my vices and a trip to Yellowstone in a 1955 MB 220A sounded like something to do.

5335cb548f8979ec53045c50bda41aec.jpg


That is us on the Eastern shore of Yellowstone Lake. My Dad and I and a shop had worked to restore that MB to like factory new. We used correct MB paint, parts etc. We spent a lot of time with the fenders and the hood and hammers and dollies. I still have nightmares.

51befc6590ea40b24269528235c920da.jpg


It was a good trip, but it was time to get the wagon ready for the new Super Hurricane.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
When we got home I began work on cutting out the modified engine mounting points that had been butchered into the frame for the Chevy 235. My wagon started life on the chassis and it is going to finish it's life on that chassis.

8b6d6475e46bcaf3bf02f2225e742222.jpg


05a74567a99fedaa4ebf4a0b4d855cdd.jpg


You can see how the original mounts were clipped and the cross member torched out. It took quite a few cutoff wheels to get it all out.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Just a few weeks ago I ordered loads of parts from Walck's and Kaiser Willys. All new suspension, all new brakes (everything!), and a whole bunch of other stuff. I figured that will keep me busy this winter. I plan to try and spread my project purchases around most of the parts houses so next up is Willy's America and so more stuff from Walck's. Around that time the engine was finished by the machine shop (meaning the work they were going to do to it.) I plan to finish it myself.

38c7d9f69b1600d7485c5a164025af08.jpg



5a4dc4cce7a7c72291a9bfba57dd31e4.jpg



Some of my pictures maybe blurry or out of focus. Just pretend they look great. More to come in the many months it will take to finish this. I just wanted to catch you up since I just joined the forum.

Ben

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Oh I forgot to mention that I was able to get some proper motor mounts on ebay that had been cut from a donor chassis. They will be trimmed down and spliced to what is left of the original motor mounts. The cross member is going to be patched up.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

buxman66

Precision Fit
Feb 13, 2016
989
SW Ohio
First Name
Thad
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
The fun stuff is about to happen! All those new parts, ready to be in their new home. I love the big Brown truck of love! Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Auggie

Well Oiled
Jul 3, 2012
2,363
Gardner Kansas
First Name
Bryce
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
if you are ordering a bunch of parts you should become and all star and you will receive discounts at most of the major suppliers. I order all my parts before i knew about this place. i obviously have not done it yet but will once we start my dads 3b. thanks for catching us up. looks like it is going good.
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Auggie, do you know the guy that used to have the Willy's trucks out northwest of Gardner on Edgerton rd? Or is that you?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
10/29 update: a long day wrenching and decisions.

So today I headed to the barn to do some bodywork on the wagon and shoot some test paint to narrow down colors. I started at 830am and realized I left my sheet metal snips 30 minutes away at home. Well maybe I will start looking at my motormounts and frame repair that needs to be done.

3be2600cd39c093ee9d625fc6520d7b7.jpg


That 235 made its mark in this frame with all the cutting to make it fit. Thank got the body wasn't touched.

Now after previously stating that I wanted to keep the wagon on its original frame I made the flip flop decision to move the wagon to the new frame. When all is said and done I want to find a nice not hacked up and repaired frame under my Willys for years to come. And with that it was time to swap rear axles and replace the suspension on the new frame (from a 1960 wagon.)

f9fe908695066938b3298d9386544da7.jpg


Out with the 1960 rear axle - the axle housing is damaged at the end that holds the bearing. The bearing was held tight with a beer can shim around the diameter of the bearing race.

In goes the new springs and bushings from Willys America. Note - the kit didn't include the rear leaf spring front pivot pin nuts. The originals were reused.

8164a79005c28e54fbdd61e4e57121ef.jpg


I know I will need to drop the back end when the axle goes it but this way if it falls the springs hold it off the ground.

Out comes the original rear axle from my wagon for transplant:

d45b5110f70d79548c76fa3bc791c9b5.jpg


And off come its old springs and bits.

The wagon looks like it is floating!

d8cdebce498557aebd824b76b0ae9d8c.jpg


The green test paint looks good.

d5338c8972f3ee557f968e13e3aea662.jpg


Next time the axles go in the opposite places and I start on the front springs and move the parking brake frame member over.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Thanks. I figured out what the 44 in Dana 44 means. 44lbs per square inch. Those things are heavy to pick up and move around.

Fyi: I decided to use the 1960 frame front axle because the pivot balls are still shiny and smooth where the original front axle on the wagon are rusted and a little rough.

1957
7516ad741f893e52cd865ac565bce8ff.jpg


1960
5e055799e751cddc4cdd94de29f03fe9.jpg


Ben

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

wunderwillys

Well Oiled
Apr 20, 2013
1,125
Cincinnati
First Name
Scott
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1953
10/29 update: a long day wrenching and decisions.

So today I headed to the barn to do some bodywork on the wagon and shoot some test paint to narrow down colors. I started at 830am and realized I left my sheet metal snips 30 minutes away at home. Well maybe I will start looking at my motormounts and frame repair that needs to be done.

3be2600cd39c093ee9d625fc6520d7b7.jpg


That 235 made its mark in this frame with all the cutting to make it fit. Thank got the body wasn't touched.

Now after previously stating that I wanted to keep the wagon on its original frame I made the flip flop decision to move the wagon to the new frame. When all is said and done I want to find a nice not hacked up and repaired frame under my Willys for years to come. And with that it was time to swap rear axles and replace the suspension on the new frame (from a 1960 wagon.)

f9fe908695066938b3298d9386544da7.jpg


Out with the 1960 rear axle - the axle housing is damaged at the end that holds the bearing. The bearing was held tight with a beer can shim around the diameter of the bearing race.

In goes the new springs and bushings from Willys America. Note - the kit didn't include the rear leaf spring front pivot pin nuts. The originals were reused.

8164a79005c28e54fbdd61e4e57121ef.jpg


I know I will need to drop the back end when the axle goes it but this way if it falls the springs hold it off the ground.

Out comes the original rear axle from my wagon for transplant:

d45b5110f70d79548c76fa3bc791c9b5.jpg


And off come its old springs and bits.

The wagon looks like it is floating!

d8cdebce498557aebd824b76b0ae9d8c.jpg


The green test paint looks good.

d5338c8972f3ee557f968e13e3aea662.jpg


Next time the axles go in the opposite places and I start on the front springs and move the parking brake frame member over.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk

Nice color
a7962791353425fcfba4dab69add6f78.jpg



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Thanks Wunderwillys, could you share some pics of the other sides and inside of (yours?) I need some inspirational photos.

Edit - I found your build thread - nevermind.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

Auggie

Well Oiled
Jul 3, 2012
2,363
Gardner Kansas
First Name
Bryce
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1958
Auggie, do you know the guy that used to have the Willy's trucks out northwest of Gardner on Edgerton rd? Or is that you?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk

not me. i live on the wrong side of the tracks just off moonlight. i was not aware of any other willys in town. i somewhat remember my uncle saying something about a willys in edgerton or wellsville. but i have never seen any.
 

Flinthillsben

Well Oiled
All-Star
Oct 26, 2016
1,617
Overland Park, Kansas
First Name
Ben
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
not me. i live on the wrong side of the tracks just off moonlight. i was not aware of any other willys in town. i somewhat remember my uncle saying something about a willys in edgerton or wellsville. but i have never seen any.

Gotcha - The crossing re-opened today, that had to be nice. I know there is a willys wagon or truck for sale at the old car dealership in Olathe on Santa Fe with the big red and white arrows. You can only see the front of it from the road.
 
Top