New forum subsection for Early Gladiator and Wagoneer

Scenic Idaho

Gear Grinder
All-Star
Sep 15, 2020
17
IDAHO
First Name
Ron
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1963
Hi all,

I'm curious if anyone here knows if lift kits for these J-Series trucks are still available, I've spent a little time looking and it looks like not much is still available for these older models pre-1973..... also has anyone here done a 4" lift and if so was there a need to change the differentials to driveshaft angles? Also it looks like a "drop pitman arm" is required also with that much lift.... any recommendations are very much welcome..

I'm just not finding much in the way of online posted web "build pages" for these old J-Series vehicles. I plan on running as tall and wide a wheel and tire that "looks good" & Safe ... in the range of 33" or 34" or maybe a 35" and just wide enough to still meet Idaho vehicle highway code with out having to add flares... most likely 11.5" to 12" wide tires...

I do plan on using Boise Spring to build my springs, they have done work for me before and do excellent work. I'm still trying to budget for my J-Series build.
 

scramboleer

Super Moderator
Staff member
All-Star
Aug 16, 2011
9,036
San Francisco, California
First Name
Dan
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1964
Hi All, I'm curious if anyone here knows if lift kits for these J-Series trucks are still available, I've spent a little time looking and it looks like
not much is still available for these older models pre-1973..... also has anyone here done a 4" lift and if so was there a need to change the differentials to driveshaft angles?
also it looks like a "drop pitman arm" is required also with that much lift.... any recommendations are very much welcome..

I'm just not finding much in the way of online posted web "build pages" for these old J-Series vehicles.
I plan on running as tall and wide a wheel and tire that "looks good" & Safe ... in the range of 33" or 34" or maybe a 35" and just wide enough to
still meet Idaho vehicle highway code with out having to add flares... most likely 11.5" to 12" wide tires....

I do plan on using Boise Spring to build my springs, they have done work for me before and do excellent work,
I'm still trying to budget for my J-Series build,
@Scenic Idaho If you haven't found them yet, BJ's Offroad is a good source of FSJ parts etc. Here are their FSJ .1634835141467.png
 

5JeepsAz

Sharpest Tool
May 10, 2021
298
Arizona
First Name
Paul
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1964
Hi all,

I'm curious if anyone here knows if lift kits for these J-Series trucks are still available, I've spent a little time looking and it looks like not much is still available for these older models pre-1973..... also has anyone here done a 4" lift and if so was there a need to change the differentials to driveshaft angles? Also it looks like a "drop pitman arm" is required also with that much lift.... any recommendations are very much welcome..

I'm just not finding much in the way of online posted web "build pages" for these old J-Series vehicles. I plan on running as tall and wide a wheel and tire that "looks good" & Safe ... in the range of 33" or 34" or maybe a 35" and just wide enough to still meet Idaho vehicle highway code with out having to add flares... most likely 11.5" to 12" wide tires...

I do plan on using Boise Spring to build my springs, they have done work for me before and do excellent work. I'm still trying to budget for my J-Series build.

Heard it is possible to 'snap on' your choice of running gear from a later J series... if you find a later rig,or parts, built like you want, maybe it is possible to swap running gear right in?

most adds are more plentiful and cheaper options from the eighties.

On mine, it seems like nothing better was built but I am keeping it stock.

When we had the discussion, one option was swap in whatever i wanted/could afford.
 

Greaser007

Precision Fit
Mar 1, 2019
814
Anderson, California
First Name
Leonard
Willys Model
  1. CJ
Willys Year:
  1. 1946
Alecia's '71 Gladiator w 350 Buick V-8 [1].JPG
above photo: 1971 Gladiator which I've driven years ago, with the 350 Buick V-8, and Arm-strong steering.
My retirement project do-over's are always mired down with life's daily interventions. _ _ and my Daughter's.
I plucked this Gladiator from my Dad's front yard around 24-years ago when he gave it to my oldest daughter as an excuse to remove it as 'yard-art' upon my mother requesting "removal," or Else.
I trailered it from the Sacramento Valley through the mountains on highway 36 to the Pacific Coast in Fortuna, Ca. in year 1999 sometime, and 6-years later, trailered it back to the valley.
Now it rests peacefully in my back-40 (a 2-acre parcel) awaiting attention.
When my dad bought it in the '80's it had a rod punched through the block. I helped him install a "good-used" engine.
I begged him to tear the engine down to inspect for concerns, but he insisted it would be fine. It Wasn't, and he parked it out in his front driveway for over a decade, irritating my mom.
Maybe some day my daughter will take an interest in giving it a refurb. I stumbled across a nice 455 Olds '71 marine short block to casually slip into this pickup to perk it up some. Yes, i bought another '71 455 Olds marine engine long block (stuck) for heads and intake and stuff. Currently, too many irons-in-the-fire, so it all rests waiting.
Some previous owner welded a stainless round bar across the Barden Bumper as a stiffener or safety chain attachment.
I thought I had more photos, but haven't found where I squirreled them away. hey hey

IMG_7166.JPG
Above photo: looking closely where the steering shaft runs over the engine mount you will notice a recess in the mount to allow proper clearance. This reminds me of Rocket's current cj5 steering, where he had to make a notch in his frame rail or engine mount for the steering shaft to pass through. _ _ _ and this is a Kaiser oem setup.
Someone in the past has Bubba'd a manual steering box which is not right, and will be one of the first items to be addressed while cleaning and servicing the running gear and chassis stuff.
Out of being superstitous, I purchased another '71 buick 350 long block, just because the heads were super clean like they had just come from the machinist, so I'm hoping if the 455 Olds doesn't get installed, between the two 350's, I may have enough good pieces to put together a nice running 350- 2bbl engine. We'll see _ _ _ _ _

IMG_6179.JPG
above photo: 1971 Buick 350 engine block casting numbers for curious eyes. LoL

IMG_6181.JPG
above photo: shows 1971 Buick 350 engine. yep, no power steering pump.
The thing actually does have a Fan Shroud. yippie.

IMG_7169.JPG
above photo: hmm, passenger side engine mount has a notch like the dirver's side.
And, i see what looks like starter wires. I'm thinking the 455 Olds has the starter on the driver's side. Hmm
This 455 Olds implant idea may not work with the buick bell housing. I may have to move forward with the 350 Buick.
 
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