New Member, No Willys yet but I got a Kaiser

DaveFL

Knuckle Buster
Feb 16, 2010
3
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Hello everyone,

New member here hoping to find the info im gonna need if I end up purchasing a wagon I found this weekend.

Wagon I will be looking at is a 51 4wd model little else known as I havent seen pics or, it. Supposedly the Hurricane has a fresh rebuild with rebuilt carb and tons of extra parts, guy has it tagged and drives it but Im in the Southeast (Florida), and most old vehicles in the south east are rust buckets:)

I will do some searching on the board but if anyone has the immediate knowledge I would appreciate some info on drivetrain/engine swaps.

First off A bit about myself, Jeep owner and lover for over 20 years. Owned a few CJ7's, Restored and older CJ 5 and a new CJ 5, built a 2003 Rubicon up for serious off road fun and my latest project is 90% finished.








It's a 1970 Kaiser Jeepster Commando, right before AMC bought them early 70 model pre marker lights. The Buick Oddfire 225 has beed bored 50 over, ported and polished running a Comp Cam offey Intake and Edelbrok 4bbl. Also converted to an Electronic ignition (HEI) 7 Inch power brake booster running Disk in the front and finishing the Disk conversion for the rear on another axle. Interior was comepletly redone, back to stock except for gauges and panels which where modified to accept Stewart Warner Wings classic style gauges. Complete rewire of the entire project as well.

One of the question I had about the 51 Wagons since I am having trouble find tech on them is Axles and Drive train. What I understannd so far is ford powered, What Tranny was usually in these? its a 3 spd? I think the Dana 18 was the T case? and Lastly Axles? What I think I have found was a Dana 25 up Front? and a 44 in the rear? and if this is the case anyone know the WMS of these axles?

The goal with the Waggy is a comfortable cruiser wagon, so engine swap will be a must power steering and brakes and some minor interior updates with the gauges etc. Would also like to "Woody" it if there is a Woody package for these someplace.

Well thats about it.

Wish me luck on the Wagon, Im hoping its in as good of shape as the owner says it is, Ive run down too many Jeeps when I hear "great shape etc" only to find them a rusted bag of bones.

I've got a lot of knowledge building to do:) Since more than likely this will be a resto Mod simalar to my Kaiser.

Thanks

Dave
 

Pete

Founder/Owner
Staff member
Administrator
Sep 17, 2009
6,496
Hailey, Idaho
First Name
Pete
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1960
Welcome to the forum Dave-

Great Commando... I grew up with these rigs, my dad had a series of them when I was a kid.

Best of luck with your wagon purchase-

Pete
 

Imposter71

Sharpest Tool
Sep 23, 2009
233
NC Coast
First Name
Tom
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1963
welcome to the forum! The Kaiser looks great. I had a 71 that I sold about a year ago because it was so rusty I didn't feel safe carrying my son around in it. Then I bought my wagon to replace it. Good luck with the wagon purchase, after seeing what you did with the Commando I can't wait to see what you do with a wagon!
 

Glenn

Bigger Hammer
Sep 20, 2009
40
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Welcome Dave. Should be a T-90, Dana 18 and model 25 and 44 axles in the 4 wheel drive ones. I'm near Orlando, how about you? See you're a Gator fan. Jeepster looks fantastic!
 

rcshook696

Bigger Hammer
Oct 27, 2009
157
Jacksonville, Florida
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Welcome Dave from Jacksonville. Go GATORS!!! Daughter is a senior at UF. What city are you from? I know all about the rust buckets. Mine is a 57 Wagon with extensive rust as you can see some of it in my gallery. It is coming off frame, chassis modifications with ps, pb with sbc power. Alot of info is available here is. All you have to do is ask. Chuck
 

DaveFL

Knuckle Buster
Feb 16, 2010
3
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Thanks guys,

As in for location, Im in Gainesville and yes BIG gator fan and booster.

My wife is on my but about buying this wagon if it turns out decent but, I've always wanted one and I am really hoping this ones in good shape for the price I should be able to get it for.

If I end up with the wagon, I will probably bring the Jeepster up to a more trail worthy vehilce since I have all the set up for Highsteer and WT axles, gearing and lockers siiting in my garage. I doubt I will make it a serious trail machine, but the Jeepster as nice as it is needs just a little bit of a lift.

If the Wagon pans out, Plans are no lift. But a powertrain swap as well as some more modern comforts like I did in the Jeepster.

I do want to add Woody Panels to it, if they are not reproduced anywhere my freind introduced me to a wood worker old school craftsman, hes from Germany and basically he can do anything with wood, we had talked about my gauge panels and a few other parts in the Jeepster being done with maple but I didnt feel it fit the Jeepster in the end.

But all of this is talk and speculation now. Need to see if I end up buying the Wagon or not and will go from there.

Dave
 

DaveFL

Knuckle Buster
Feb 16, 2010
3
Willys Model
Willys Year:
rcshook696 said:
Dave, check out this link for your woody. http://www.tavishighlander.com/willys.htm I've talked to Tavis about his ride and he is very helpful. power brakes, power steering from a S10 Blazer. Chuck
Yea I checked out his site before, He grafted the entire fron frame section to the Willys frame for an IFS fron set up.

I have not had a chance to explore the engine bay of a Wagon, I have seen the route of the Steering, and it's simalar to a Ross set up on the eraly CJ's and no PS Kaiser Jeepsters.

Im thinking most likely it will be a SBC swap, and then use a Saiganaw type pump, maybe graft something over from an mid to early Waggy when they had Drivers side Drop axles. Those axles are about 1" wider I think than the stock axles on the Wagon. Might need to outboard the springs again havent had my hands on one to check it out. Then theres the j10 Axles as well, I would assume they would work but I think J10/J20 are over 60 WMS (66? maybe).

Best thing about Jeep to Jeep axles is what I understand is the Willys used the same castor as most Jeeps do 7*. No need to worry about turning C's

There's also the possibility of 2 different engines that would work but are not v8, Gen2 231 out of a Regal (which I happen to have one) which is basically the Buick Dauntless 225 bored 50 over and turned into an Even fire motor with electronic ignition. Or I got a friend that has a Buick Grand National Turbo 231 that he's willing to sell me, I had looked at putting this motor into my Jeepster but not enough room with the Turbo, the Wagon may offer more room.

It's easy to mate a t-18/T-14 or a Th350/Th400 up to the 231 as long as its Buick bolt pattern and the Dana 20 is exactly the same case as the Dana 18 just stronger and they are plentiful as well.

Wheel base on the Wagon I think is right along with the Jeepster or maybe the Commando Bullnose 101-104"?

Bah I can think and plan all I want but until I physically get my hands on one no idea what I would do.

Dave
 
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