Ongoing Blog: 1959 Willys Wagon, stock resuscitation

Jeep School

Bigger Hammer
Mar 19, 2010
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I have a 1959 Willys Wagon that I found in a field. Great title history, all original, all there. My 1-2 year plan is just to get her back to running and driving condition, keeping her as stock as possible. After that, she may get either a full frame off restoration, OR become a rock-rod for show. We'll see, but for now, anyone with time on their hands or an excuse note from their psychologist is welcome to follow the nitty-gritty details of my experience with this particular project. I will include what I hope are helpful rebuild tidbits, useful parts sources, and just the fun of owning and working on a Willys:
It's in reverse chronological order, so the most recent post is on top.
Looks like a great project there Nena - could we have a few pictures of the complete truck?

Concerning the "fluids" or material that once was fluid... once you get the engine running, change the oil and filter several times within a few hours of running. Just imagine the unspeakable muck that is in there. Same with the transmission and differential oils. If you seriously flush the coolant system, expect major leaks. Some old mechanics steer clear of rad flush prefering to use lakes of good old water. Don't forget the steering box which might be completely dry. If you have any trouble with the fuel system, expect to replace the fuel pump and if you have a outboard motor plastic gastank it can be hooked up temporarily. You will then also get a clear idea of fuel economy (if you can accuse these vehicles of having any economy).

If you are interested in what we started with, go to:

Cheers and best of luck bringing your Willys back from oblivion.

Looks nifty. If you need any 226 parts let me know, I have plenty of 226 stuff now. Good luck with yours, I'm sort of following along the same lines with mine, but converting a few things here and there to make it more drivable, all the while keeping the original parts in case it ever should be converted back.
IT IS ALIVE!! or direct to the video at:

Thanks for the tips! I have been so focused on getting it running, I wasn't prepared for it to run so smoothly right away. Instead of messing more with the engine/carb etc., I now have to move further down the drivetrain to transfer case, tranny, steering, brakes (which do NOT work, by the way!), etc. Today we cleared a major hurdle and it feels GREAT!
Jeep School said:

That's awesome Nena, I love the first startup...

Looking forward to the first drive clips!

So, we know she RUNS great, but now she stops, too! Thanks to Kaiser Willys for all the necessary parts to restore the brake system. So here is the first test drive:

If you watch it through to the end, you can see some of the other girls in the stable, including the 42 GPW--Too much fun!
Keep it just the way it is....that is one awesome Willys wagon. Wish we had stuff half as nice up in the greater Northeastern US (upstate NY). That is about as cool a car/wagon/truck as you can get....that paint job could only have been done none other than mother nature. She makes everything look better.
Didnt Willys make original SUV and you are drivin one:))))
Do you have a name for your wagon yet???
Nice project! I love the sound the engines make, it kinda says "I'm not in a hurry, but I keep running" Keep us posted on your project, I'm always interested in seeing pictures of members Willy's. I happy for ya!
wow I just found your thread here Nena I follow it over on our other club vjcaz or whatever the letters are I,m dirtbuggy over there also see ya on the trails :D
Just went and watched your first drive haven't seen that one yet cool vid love that sign in the window :cheers: I know this is a old thread but what the hey will keep it alive
Hey Nina, curious what is happening with your wagon... hope she is getting some tlc.... :cheers: