My '48 Station Wagon

Willy48

Sharpest Tool
Aug 10, 2010
389
Manchester, CT
First Name
Lee
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Hi everyone, I'm a newbie here, so thought I'd introduce my Willys. Just purchased it from California (I live in Connecticut), so there is very little rust , a rarity in New England. It's a 2wd wagon that has been "upgraded" at some point in it's life, with a 231 Buick engine/350 trans. and a GM rear(2:41 gears)



I'll be asking lots of questions, over time, so please be patient with me. I've built several rods in my life, so I'm not new at putting things together. I'm also a certified Toyota/GM technician, so I know my way around the tool box

Later...

Lee
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Welcome to the forum Lee. Right off the bat I'm thinkin' you gotta ditch the single pipe and throw a set of zoomies under there. :D Looks pretty clean. Have fun with it.
Steve
 

TinkerToyII

Well Oiled
Aug 16, 2010
1,333
Grand Junction, Colorado - Ivins ,Utah
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1956
Lee, I am also new this month, so it seems wierd to say welcome, so will just tell you you have a good looking rig and bet that there are not alot of them running the street out there so you will have a bunch of rubber necking as you go down the street. Will this be a daily driver?
 

Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,726
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Welcome to the forum, Lee. Happy to have you and your wagon here.

Pete
 

mikec4193

Precision Fit
Jan 18, 2010
863
Mechanicville ny
First Name
Mike
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. Other
WOW
Now thats one cool looking Willys Wagon, I dont think I have ever seen one with those type of wheel covers before. Almost makes me wanna get white walls and a dropped axle too. Lower the rearend down too.
I am liking the shape of it for sure. Wont take much to get up and running.
Good luck and welcome aboard, great knowledgable bunch of guys/gals on here.

mikec
 

Willy48

Sharpest Tool
Aug 10, 2010
389
Manchester, CT
First Name
Lee
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Thanks for the welcome, Gents. I'm not a purist, so the Willys will be more of a hotrod than restoration. It's still gonna look like a Willys, though. It has a style and character all its' own, and no, I ain't gonna see another one coming at me while out cruisin', and I do plan a lot of that. The 231 may get swapped for a 4.3 Chev but not sure just yet. The trans will be replaced with a 200R4 from Gearstar, and most likely the rear will be replaced with a Ford 8" with either 3:55 or 3:80 gears (hence the overdrive trans.)As soon as I can get another set of front spindles, they're gonna be sent to BrakeTech Solutions to have a set of disc brakes made up. I really don't want to put in a Mustang II front end in the Willys. And therein lies the rub! What to do about the steering!! I got excited when I saw someone putting a Unisteer r&p in a Jeep but then realized that Jeep and Willys are two distinct animals, so when I crawled under mine, I came to the conclusion that a draglink type of steering must be used in the Jeep, 'cause, if I'm not mistaken, the Unisteer is a push-pull type arrangement on the pass. side steering arm. S o o o o... what to do?? has anyone tried adapting a Vega style steering box to the stock Planar front end? I don't think the Willys should weigh too much more than a Model A sedan, and if I could find a way to merge the Vega and Willys pitman arms I might give it a try. Anyone have any thoughts on this, or is there another proven steering swap for the 2wd Willys's?

BTW, here's a pic of the Willys coming off the transport;



If you folks don't mind the pic's, I'll add some more from time to time

Later...

Lee
 

62 OlllO

Well Oiled
Oct 19, 2009
1,821
Georgia
First Name
Kevin
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
I had a '51 2 WD some years back and I put a Mustang II front end under it with a small block chevy. It drove like a go-kart and was a blast! Post your pic's because some of us can't read and enjoy drueling over pictures.
 

lordy611

Bigger Hammer
Jul 26, 2010
89
Maryland
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Very nice! Glad to see other rods coming into the fold. Mine came with a 327, 2x4bbl on a tunnel ram, built internals, yada yada. But it was stuck so I pulled it, sold it off, and am in the process of refitting a Buick 350 and TH350. Good therapy for me.
I found two wagons for sale in Kansas, and contacted one outfit for a quote on bringing them to Maryland. They wanted $2200 ! Pretty sure I could have rented a whole truck for less than half of that. Anyway, they got sold so I didnt have to find someone else, but am curious what you paid for transport coast to coast, and who it was?
 

Willy48

Sharpest Tool
Aug 10, 2010
389
Manchester, CT
First Name
Lee
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
A few more pic's of the Willys;











Opened the garage door one afternoon and found that the grandson had been busy. When asked what he was doing, his answer was "Packing for a vacation in Poppa's truck"



Lordy, my transport fee from Costa Mesa, California, to Manchester,CT was $2400, less than a buck a mile. From time of pick-up to delivery was 6 days. The tandom truck had all the vehicles under cover. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased. I used DAS shipping]

Later...

Lee
 

Willys1018

Gear Grinder
Aug 16, 2010
8
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Nice ride, I am going to go out into the shop and throw rocks at mine. I have a 58 Willys wagon with Mustang II. I can stand outside of the vehicle and turn the steering wheel lock to lock with one arm. It is a manual rack on slick concrete but I have never been able to do that with the factory steering set up. I live in Texas and am cutting up an early frame with the Planar suspension. If interested shoot me an e-mail.
Willys1018@hotmail.com. I check my e-mails a couple of times a month so don't be offended if you do not receive a quick response.
 

Willy48

Sharpest Tool
Aug 10, 2010
389
Manchester, CT
First Name
Lee
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Paul, did you install the MustangII front suspension? I've been toying with the idea of doing that mainly as a cost-efficiency thing, once I started to realize the cost of rebuilding/modifying the original suspension and still ending up with a late 40's buckboard front end. Seeing as how my Willys is not a restored original to begin with, I won't have to listen to the Purists crying "FOUL". Even so, that's what earplugs are for. I don't want to butcher the Willys either! Just make it a nice resto-mod that's a pleasure to drive.

Anyone else, here, do an MII suspension swap? I'm open for suggestions, please

Later...

Lee
 

Willy48

Sharpest Tool
Aug 10, 2010
389
Manchester, CT
First Name
Lee
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Thanks Marcus, I dropped Helix a line to inquire about the set-up. Seems to be the most reasonably priced unit I've seen, so far. Gonna check with WillysAmerica. They claim to have a system created for the early 2wd Willys, but they could be cost prohibitive. We'll see

Later...

Lee
 

usmced

Bigger Hammer
Sep 13, 2010
29
Willys Model
Willys Year:
So you're the lucky winner of that baby. Was following it on Ebay. Nice!! I too am new to the Willys scene. In fact mine is being delivered tonight. Picked it up on Ebay, 49 2wd 4cyl, all original.
 

Willy48

Sharpest Tool
Aug 10, 2010
389
Manchester, CT
First Name
Lee
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Hey Ed, were you bidding on it too? How's about a pic or two when you get yours. I've already started to "collect" things to make "Nelson" my ride and not just a "hand-me-down" from the previous owners. I know I'm just a "Keeper-of-the-keys" for my remaining years, and "Nelson" will move on, but for now, it's my toy, and I'm gonna play :thumbup:

Later...

Lee
 

usmced

Bigger Hammer
Sep 13, 2010
29
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Delivered on Monday... the fun begins.

I was watching the auction but not bidding.
 

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Willy48

Sharpest Tool
Aug 10, 2010
389
Manchester, CT
First Name
Lee
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Nce lookin' Wagon, you got there, Ed. Getting one that's complete is a bonus, too! Have you tried contacting Montana Overland for any parts yet? They may be able to help with your 1/4 panel repair. I've gotten parts from them, already, and they are very helpful and the service is quick. They are one of the sponsors here.

Got any immediate plans for your Buggie? Sometimes I'm just content going out to the garage and look/dream at my Willys. The grandson has already staked his claim on it!! Just stay focused and you'll get'er done. I've seen too many guys try to do too much at once on their hot rods, loose interest, and sell the project. Another thing, keep a list of what you do, for the "little lady", 'cause if something were to happen to you, she's not gonna know what to do with the car. My wife asked me this very question with my last hot rod and it made me painfully aware that there are few of us Gearheads left and I wouldn't know who could maintain the car for her! Just a point to ponder...

Have fun with your new toy

Lee
 
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