Randy's 1950 Wagon Project

RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
I bought a '50 1/2 wagon about 4 months ago, and I plan to rebuild it more as a street rod than stock. When I bought it, the engine had been replaced with a '60s 225 V6 Buick motor with a Turbo 350 trans and the front suspension had been removed and a Mustang II front clip installed. I removed the V6, and am in the process of replacing it with a 6.2L LS3 GM motor with 6 speed automatic transmission. I plan on using a Ford 9 inch rear end with the parallel leaf springs. I have spent a lot of time doing some rust repair and still have a lot of body work to do, but lately I have been concentrating on getting the engine, firewall, and steering column installed.

Below is a picture of what it looked like when I bought it.


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RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160425_185502.jpgInside stripped out and starting to see what I have.20160425_185502.jpg
 
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RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
Both the driver's side and passenger side floors were in bad shape and had to be replaced.
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RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
Both doors were rusted out along the bottom, and had been repaired with fiberglass and looked like this.
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RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160527_123900.jpg
Rebuilt the inside of the doors with some 16 gauge metal bent in a metal brake and replaced the bottom of the outside with replacement panels.

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RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160626_173510.jpg
The tailgate is a mess. It had been previously repaired with some sheet metal brazed in and a lot of Bondo to cover the mess. I cut off the bottom portion and welded in a replacement panel, but it still needs a lot of work to make it right. The bottom right third had been screwed together, ruining the body lines, and reshaped with the Bondo. I may have to buy another patch panel to weld in to get the lines right. Not sure...

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RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160721_153049.jpgI got tired of the body work and switched over to getting the engine installed. At first, I thought that I could install the motor without having to cut the firewall, but once I placed the radiator and fan in front of the engine, there just wasn't enough room without moving the engine back, resulting in cutting a large hole in the firewall. The original exhaust manifolds with rear exit were just too wide and hit the frame on the passenger side. Also, the A/C compressor on this engine is mounted low on the passenger side. It was really close to the frame and upper A frame, so I moved the engine a little to the drivers side to make room and ordered some Sanderson LS block hugging headers.
 

RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160801_184707.jpg20160801_193357.jpg

With the engine in this location, it provides enough clearance for the headers, A/C compressor, and steering linkage.
 

RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160818_173505.jpgFor the motor mounts, I wanted the mounting surface of the frame to be square, and since my frame is one of the sheet metal type square tubing frame, I cut some 1/4" metal plates to both square and reinforce the frame for the motor mounts. I ordered a motor mount kit that had to be welded together, and it is way more beefy that I expected. The steering column is a Ididit 30" tilt model. The manual rack and pinion has been replaced with a power unit from a T bird.
 
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RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160820_180044.jpg
I bent some sheet metal and welded up a recessed shape that would clear the engine. The intake extends back pretty far, so it had to be taller than first thought. I could not make it look right with the original firewall so I added some panels under the hood area.
 

RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160820_180058.jpg

This took a lot of time fitting and trying to figure out how best to recess the firewall.
 

RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
20160823_161550.jpg

This is what I ended up with. This motor has a drive by wire throttle and the area around the gas pedal may have to be revised in order to provide adequate room for the electronic throttle unit. It's backordered and I'll have to wait until I get all the parts to see what needs to be done.
 

RandyP

Sharpest Tool
Aug 30, 2016
382
Central Texas
First Name
Randy
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
1950
View attachment 31024
With the fenders in place, it looks like there will be plenty of room for everything. May have to change out the thermostat housing so the radiator hose won't hit the passenger fender.
 
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