My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...

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Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,961
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
My wagon has finally arrived in Idaho after nearly two months of trying to get it shipped from Arkansas.

I bought this wagon sight unseen, from a slew of pictures and phone conversations with the seller. I felt pretty good about it, it seemed like it was just what I was looking for- A decent driver that needed some weekend tinkering and new interior.

The wagon arrived at my place at 4am on Friday morning, while I was away on a ten day trip. My wife got the job of crawling out of bed to pay Marcy the driver and get the wagon into the driveway.

I got home late Saturday night from my trip through Glacier Nat'l Park with my nine year old son, and couldn't wait to crawl over the wagon and see what I'd done to myself... :shock:

My first reaction was... :roll: and oh sh!t, this thing is a pile, not at all what I wanted it to be.

I didn't want a project, I wanted a driver. This wagon is somewhere in-between. It runs and drives, but it has a hundred little things that need to be addressed before I hit the road with it.

The Good-

It's here. It's mine. I have something I can work with. The body seems to be relatively un-rusty. The rear wheel openings and tail-gate don't look too bad. It is fairly clean inside and out, and hasn't been molested with holes everywhere or doo-dads added here and there. It looks pretty good sitting on the street.



The tires have decent tread on them, but they have lots of dry-cracking. They will do for now.

Looks like it has a new fab'd gas tank. New wiring, decent mirrors, some new rubber on the windows, etc.

The engine starts and runs ok, doesn't seem to smoke.



Transmission, clutch, and transfer case seem to shift and work fine.

Not too many leaks, mostly just the transfer case.

The floor repairs that were done aren't the best, but will do just fine until I can clean them up.


The Bad-

The engine runs ok, but it doesn't sound that good in the bottom end to my ear. It has a "box of hammers" sound when it revs or when letting off the gas... It was rebuilt in '94, from what I can tell it had new pistons/rings bored .030 over, and new bearings.

It has both a mechanical and electric fuel pump, the electric pump sounds like a Cessna ready for take-off. Don't know if the other pump works or not.

I checked the oil in the engine and it was about two quarts low, and black as tar....



There's a bunch of little stuff missing, like the complete ebrake system, the hood safety latch bolt, the complete windshield wiper system, etc.

The wiring is all new, but isn't as clean as I'd have done it. Some stuff not done like heater wiring, dome light is a stupid RV unit, a couple of unknown toggle switches in odd places, passenger tail light is wired backwards (brake and tail reversed).

The stainless trim is completely matt with no shine. Some of it is barely hanging on with bad clips. Some of it is dented here and there. I can polish the stainless, so no worries there, but the dents will have to stay. The chromed pot metal bits are pitted and or cracked/broken in some places. Small stuff, but stuff that I'll want to fix over time.

The upholstery is a redneck hunter's wet dream... CAMO, Baby! The seats are hard as a rock, like the springs were removed and replaced with some kind of hard stuffing.

The Ugly-

One of my goals was to find a wagon that needed little or no bodywork (I know, I know, dreaming...) I wanted something that had a decent enough paint job to last for five or six years at least, until I have the cash to redo it if needed. This wagon, from the pics and descriptions from the seller, seemed to fit the bill....

What I found however, bummed me out a bit. The roof appears to have had a tree land across it, running from front to back on the passenger side, and there is an oil canning area on the drivers side. It clearly was pushed up and out by one of the previous owners, probably why the headliner was removed. The apparent tree damage wasn't visible in any of the photos I got from the seller, but in one of the inside shots he sent I could see what looked like a deformation in the roof. I asked him if it had a dent in the roof, and he said no... If I had seen this, I wouldn't have bought it, I had already passed on several other wagons that had roof damage that I didn't want to deal with.

The passenger side rear quarter has also been repaired, and not too gracefully. There is visible bondo between the door and the rear wheel opening. It is passable for now, but there all the same.









There are other dings and blemishes here and there, which I expected and can live with.

The rear axle is offset to the passenger side an inch or two, and the tire rubs on the wheel opening as the suspension moves up and down. I can't put my finger in-between the tire and the body. I crawled under, and it looks like maybe the rear axle has been replaced with one from something else, and the spring perches weren't fully welded to the axle. The axle and spring perches have slid over to one side. It looks like the axle has SOA spring perches too that weren't removed, unless they are factory bump-stops?









So, that's what I've got. I have only spent about an hour looking it over, and I drove it around the block. At first, I thought I'd put it up for sale and start over, but I'm over that. I feel like I paid too much, and the shipping was a complete pain in the a$$. I've bought three rigs now sight unseen. The first time I did it, I said "never again". The second time I said "NEVER again". I'll damn sure say "NEVER again" next time. That is, until I get the next wild hair to buy something :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

My boys are excited about digging into a project.

Before I can drive it, I will need to fix the rear axle and get the brakes bled and up to speed. I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions as I go, more to come...

Time for a few cold ones and to start the list of to-do items to get this thing road worthy. :cheers:

Pete




 

mladen.caver

Bigger Hammer
Feb 9, 2010
182
Knjazevac, Serbia
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

I don't know how much you invested into this Sergio Lione wagon :lol: (as you phrased it above), but to me it looks pretty decent, and then some.
Wish you all the best with the project.

edit: what tires?
 

mikec4193

Precision Fit
Jan 18, 2010
863
Mechanicville ny
First Name
Mike
Willys Model
  1. Other
Willys Year:
  1. Other
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Hey Pete

I am so glad you finally got the ole girl (maybe a boy) home. I had my share of internet dealings and there is nothing like standing, squating, and crawling under a possible new toy. It doesnt look that bad from here picture wise at least. I would say the ole wagon needs some TLC yes but it is after all a very old wagon. I think the springs in the rear (from what I could see from the pics) are toast, get with Carl Walck and order rear springs with new greasable pins and and U-bolts too. That might help with the whole shifted rear end thing going on. Looks like to me someone stuffed another rearend in it from the looks of the spring mounts. Speedway motors sells generic spring mounts that weld onto the rearend (just a thought) The springs I just put on my 60 Willys truck were not cheap but I took my time and tried to do it right. My old truck sits fairly straight(for a 50 year old truck) now.
You might have payed more than it was worth and it does have issues (change that nasty oil in it first) like the roof and the patching on the rear quarter. Keep the wagon moveable and do little things as you can. I have way over spent on my truck but the way I look at it is; they are money pits but they keep us all sane (sometimes).
Keep your chin up, the money is all spent, just think if it was from upstate NY, there would be nothing left of it and it would be getting ready for a trip to the crusher.

Keep us in the loop, thanks for all the pics (for those of us that cant read, LOL)

Congrats again. Our fearless leader is drivin an awesome old smelly Willys wagon. :cheers:
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Pete,
It's nice to see you finally have it, no matter what. You know that you will find another that looks like a better buy later on and kick yourself in the arse, but hey...that's the way it is with anything. Grab the cooler and pull up a lawn chair. Let the pondering begin. That's the process. I'm sure you are well aware of it through your past vehicle interests. You'll get the bugs worked out and be a happy camper after it's done. Most of all - have fun with it and the kids.

I'm past the due date for getting my engine to the rebuild shop. Everything seems to take priority. At least you can fix something and run it. :)
Pics as you go please!! :)
Steve
 

pavel6

Well Oiled
Sep 27, 2009
1,731
Vancouver, BC
First Name
Pavel
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1965
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Pete:
your wagon has a very pleasing appearance/nice colour and will give you lots of pleasure as you and your 'next generation' bring it up to standard. The roof problems are almost identical to ours. I will eventually install a sliding fabric sunroof which will be the time to straighten the roof (I will probably install supports under the roof at the same time and roof mounts for a permanent strong roof rack).

Get her roadworthy and have fun!

Congrats on your purchase!

Pavel
 

73fj

Precision Fit
Oct 6, 2009
553
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

I think you got a pretty good wagon there, I mean compared with what I started with......hey at least you can drive it. That rear axle issue is odd, hopefully it was just a poor install by whoever did it, anyway nothing you mentioned is an impossible task as far as fixing, enjoy your new toy! :thumbup:
 

Truckedup

Sharpest Tool
Jul 11, 2010
289
Western NY state 315 er
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Hey,I'm not the only guy it seems who buys vehicles unseen in person. :D And the seller's descriptions always exceeds the buyer's expectations.But the wagon appears to be solid and it looks nice in the photos and you can drive it while dealing with the ugly and bad.
 

62 OlllO

Well Oiled
Oct 19, 2009
1,821
Georgia
First Name
Kevin
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

I if any of us, I personally know the pain you are going thru...buying sight un-seen, listening to shippers excuses and waiting for delivery. I too, after receiving my Willys Wagon, said OH SHOOT, what did I buy? The immediate love for the wagon I bought wasn't there....I kept thinking of selling. The fellow members here on the forum told me to start working on my "newly purchased wagon" and the love will come...and they where right. First I started just seeing her, then dating, then after a three month engagement - I'm married to my Plantation White Wagon...."Ms. Skittles". I think your wagon looks great and the things you have mentioned give you something to do to make it really yours! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

Imposter71

Sharpest Tool
Sep 23, 2009
233
NC Coast
First Name
Tom
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1963
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

I agree with the others. It looks good from here. I think we all probably have passed through that "buyers remorse" stage with ours. I have had mine a yr now and still not driving it. Many times I have questioned if I got in over my head, and the answer is YES!
But - Take your time, get her driveable so you can get a few places in it with the family, and before you know it things will be getting done and she will be getting better all the time. I have had a few old car projects and the smiles, questions and conversations from people everytime you go someplace are awesome. My wife says it is like being in a parade everytime we leave the house.
Keep your spirits up and congrats on getting her home. From the pics it looks pretty darn good. :cheers:
 

Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,961
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

62 OlllO said:
I if any of us, I personally know the pain you are going thru...buying sight un-seen, listening to shippers excuses and waiting for delivery.

I thought alot about your purchase and delivery while waiting for mine to show up... I feel your pain :lol:

I moved the wagon into my garage last night, got it situated for surgery.

First order of business is to get the rear axle sorted out.

The wagon looks great in the pictures... And overall it is a solid rig. Didn't mean to sound like a whiner, but what I'm pissed off about is being led to believe it was something more than it is. I have no problem fixing the issues it has, I just didn't want to have to fix them... I'm at a point where I have zero money and even less time for a project. It will be a long haul to get this wagon up to my standard of "daily driver", just because I don't have any time to spend on it. My hope was to have something I could run around the hills with this weekend, not next summer. But I'm over that already, and looking forward to getting after it. I'm just going to have to work less and enjoy the wagon more :mrgreen: :beer: :beer: :beer:

Here's a bunch more pics for kicks.

Pete


























 

Truckedup

Sharpest Tool
Jul 11, 2010
289
Western NY state 315 er
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Pete,I see what you see from the latest series of photos.A million little uglies scattered all over the place when you thought you were buying a truck that didn't have those flaws.................No choice,gotta make it work,right?
 

Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,961
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Truckedup said:
...No choice,gotta make it work,right?

Yup... I'm committed at this point. Or maybe should BE committed... :lol:

Good thing my wife loves me.

Pete
 

Old Willy

Bigger Hammer
Jan 1, 2010
170
Wi.
First Name
Bill
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1954
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Pete,

I feel your pain but if I can enlighten you, I'm in the same boat with a couple of my old cars and---if it makes you feel any better---you enlightened me because now I know I'm not the only one who falls into this category.

I've been working on a '46 Ford for about 4 years now that I bought with my heart and not my head. I grew up with those cars so when I saw this one and heard that flathead rumble I was hooked!! Traded a restored '34 Plymouth Coupe for the '46 and a '41 Ford parts car. Got the car home (drove it) and found bad brakes, rotten wiring, burnt valve, trans jumped out of second gear, and lots of other things. The more I took apart, the worse it got!!! If I add up what I paid for the Plymouth and all the money I've spent on the Ford so far, I have over twice what it's worth invested in it and it still isn't ready to drive!!!

Next bad deal: I had to raise a part of my yard to stop a flooding situation. I live a mile from a gravel pit and about 3 miles from a place that sells pulverized black dirt and mulch. I calculated hauling costs and decided to buy my own dump truck. Gonna save a bundle, right??? Bought a '71 International for $700.00. Drove it home. Found lights that didn't work due to lots of burnt wires behind the dash. Put on all new brakes and lines. Truck was all over the road so I had to replace the drag link and rebuild the steering box. Had to buy 6 wheels and used tires. Another $800.00 in repairs and I was ready to go. Figured I'd do the fill and dirt in my yard then hire out to haul for friends and neighbors to pay off the truck. Well, I got my yard done and the rear main seal blew. Can't haul to other people's yards and oil down their lawns and driveways!! It's a one piece seal so the engine has to come out!!!

Did I learn yet------NO!!! Last month I traded a '57 Volvo I have owned for 34 years and restored twice to the SAME GUY I got the '46 from for a '56 Studebaker Power Hawk and some cash. Car has a nice body and great interior but ran a "little rough". Like you, I thought a good tune up maybe a carb overhaul and I would have a driver. Drove the car about 6 miles home and the miss got worse, the car overheated and the oil pressure went to zero!! Pulled the heads, found a stuck valve that kissed a piston and signs of water in the engine. The gas tank has nothing but crud in it and the radiator leaks. Right now the heads are in one town near here, the radiator at another and the gas tank in another town. This car is all over the place!! If I can get it to run, then it needs brakes, the steering repaired and a hole in the floor patched.

And besides all that---I took my Willys to a 4th of July parade this year. The clutch is weak and I had intended on fixing it this Spring, but the work on the dump truck cancelled that. Well it was 90 degrees and a slow parade so the clutch cashed in, the engine got hot and the overdrive quit. I drove it home with a slipping clutch, fixed the overdrive and put it back in storage. Maybe next year!!

So, Pete, sorry to be so long winded, but I want you to know you're not alone!! Will I fix all these cars----YES!! Your Wagon looks like it's got "good bones" and although it's a real bummer to find things worse than you thought, we'll both plug away and get it done. So have a laugh at my expense and go out and enjoy your Wagon.

Luck,
Old Willy
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Does your engine noise go away once it's warmed up? Mine has either a sticky wrist pen or one of my cylinders is slapping the walls a bit until it warms up. Then the noise goes away once it heats up and expands a bit. Sure as hell not worth tearing into it to fix in my opinion, as it doesn't burn any oil and has strong compression in all cylinders.

I feel for you. It aggravates me when I buy things sight unseen and people misrepresent what they're selling. I always try and go out of my way to show the flaws in things when I sell things to other people that either have a long way to drive to me or if I'm shipping it to them. I just know how it feels to be on the other end I guess.

Is that a fuel line wrapped around your exhaust manifold?

All in all, I know it's not perfect, but it's a complete wagon. Even if it isn't perfect at least you can drive it and use it. That's the point. At times I wished I would have left mine the way it was and gone through it mechanically and just drove it as it was. But the perfectionist in me just couldn't do it. That, and I really wanted it back to its original paint color.

If you have an overdrive, be careful about letting the transfer case gear oil get low, as it uses this oil for lubrication. Mine was leaking out of the output yoke because a PO had pulled it and reinstalled it without a gasket (surprise!). It was a bear to get that nut off, but with new seals now it doesn't leak.

Good luck, and have fun!
 

Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,961
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

silicond17 said:
Does your engine noise go away once it's warmed up?

I haven't run it long enough to know for sure...

I always try and go out of my way to show the flaws in things when I sell things

I'm the same way, I took a photo of every rock chip and ding when I sold my Plymouth... no surprises when I hand off the car.

Is that a fuel line wrapped around your exhaust manifold?
I think that is a vacuum line, but not sure why it is like that. One of the mystery redneck details...

If you have an overdrive, be careful about letting the transfer case gear oil get low, as it uses this oil for lubrication.

No OD, but it does have a PTO. Does the PTO get lubed from the T-case like the OD? The engine oil was just about empty, wouldn't be surprised if the other fluids are gone too.

Pete
 

Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,961
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Old Willy said:
So, Pete, sorry to be so long winded, but I want you to know you're not alone!! Will I fix all these cars----YES!! Your Wagon looks like it's got "good bones" and although it's a real bummer to find things worse than you thought, we'll both plug away and get it done. So have a laugh at my expense and go out and enjoy your Wagon.

Luck,
Old Willy

I hear you, I spent ten years getting my Plymouth done... http://www.50plymouth.com I am an obsessive compulsive perfectionist at times... I've always lived by the motto "if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right". It's hard for me to take something apart without cleaning, polishing, painting, etc before I put it back together.

Luckily, I've got a fridge full of beer parked right next to the wagon in the garage, it's gonna take more than a 12 pack to get the wagon up to speed... Beers are on me for anyone who wants to come by for a garage session... :D

Pete
 
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73fj

Precision Fit
Oct 6, 2009
553
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

I bet that line around the exhaust manifold is for the windshield washer. If I lived closer I would help you drink some beer.......I still think you got a very nice project truck, man check out that oak on the back floor...
 

silicond17

Precision Fit
Nov 18, 2009
692
Clearwater, FL
First Name
Garrett
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

I'm not sure on the PTO lube. It's mounted where the overdrive is on the center rear PTO output, so it may. Someone else may have to chime in here as I don't have any experience with PTO units on these.
 

Montanagirl

Bigger Hammer
Nov 6, 2009
93
Kalispell, Montana
First Name
Laurie
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Great reading the "rest of the story" after following your shipping post . . . I purchaesd both my 02' Wrangler and my '62 Truck off of ebay--a definate leap of faith buying sight un-seen.

It looks like a nice ride! And thanks for spending some of your hard earned $$ in GNP (my neck of the woods!) :thumbupleft: FYI they had snow up there last night! Summer is going by waay tooo fast!
 

Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,961
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1960
Re: My wagon has arrived- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly..

Montanagirl said:
Great reading the "rest of the story" after following your shipping post . . . I purchaesd both my 02' Wrangler and my '62 Truck off of ebay--a definate leap of faith buying sight un-seen.

It looks like a nice ride! And thanks for spending some of your hard earned $$ in GNP (my neck of the woods!) :thumbupleft: FYI they had snow up there last night! Summer is going by waay tooo fast!

Hey Montanagirl... Good to see you post again on the forum... Drove right through Kalispell. GNP is a fav, amazing country. Happy I missed the snow... Summer didn't start here until mid July, and it's getting cold again already. Gotta get my new wagon on the road at least once before we are buried in snow.

Pete
 
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