Wagon to PU chassis differences

Gojeep

Well Oiled
Jan 10, 2010
3,476
Victoria Australia
First Name
Marcus
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
I am looking at fitting the wagon Planar independent front suspension under a Pickup that will one day be a hotrod. I presume the chassis width is the same between them in the engine compartment? I noticed from photos it looks as though as the wagon frame is fully boxed at least from the firewall forward too? Are all the wagons like that or only the ones with the Planar front? Also how far does this boxing run?
Does the cross member with the traverse leaf spring unbolt or is it welded or riveted in?

Cheers
 

jnichols

Sharpest Tool
Oct 23, 2009
257
Puyallup Wa.
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Gojeep said:
I am looking at fitting the wagon Planar independent front suspension under a Pickup that will one day be a hotrod. I presume the chassis width is the same between them in the engine compartment? I noticed from photos it looks as though as the wagon frame is fully boxed at least from the firewall forward too? Are all the wagons like that or only the ones with the Planar front? Also how far does this boxing run?
Does the cross member with the traverse leaf spring unbolt or is it welded or riveted in?

Cheers
The planar front suspended wagons and jeepsters had a fully boxed"hat" frame that is stamped from little more than sheet metal and not as strong as the C channel frame. The crossmember is riveted and bolted in.
 

53Willys

Bigger Hammer
Oct 6, 2009
50
Willys Model
Willys Year:
The wagon and truck are different wheel bases also.. The Planar front suspension is not the greatest choice to use when hot roding its a little too weak. If your truck has a stock frame a MII kit would be much better Or find a solid axle from a newer 2 wheel drive wagon.
 

Gojeep

Well Oiled
Jan 10, 2010
3,476
Victoria Australia
First Name
Marcus
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
I was aware of the wheel base differences but not that they were so much lighter in the chassis construction. Was hoping that it would handle a later model V8 power being already fully boxed? The Jeepster has a great looking centre cross member like a 34 Ford from memory. Pity I have never seen one here in Oz in the flesh let alone get a spare frame. I have to say a big Thanks to Bill from IN for sending me a pdf of pictures of the different types used too.
As for the front end I wanted a early unclutted looking one that still gave a good ride and suit the old body. Shame to hear the Planar is considered too weak for the job then? :( Would have thought a modern V8 would be not much different in weight and even lighter than the 6, but maybe they were never offered with that front end?
Might have to go the 2wd I beam one then. Will have to sort a change of wheel stud pattern and disc brakes to suit too no matter which one I use. At the moment I might be using a WG/WJ 2002/2004 Grand Cherokee as a donor for the whole drivetrain and converting it to 2wd as really dont need another 4wd Jeep and would save around 200 kg in weight. The rear axle is WMS to WMS is 63.5" which I believe is the same as stock?
 

jnichols

Sharpest Tool
Oct 23, 2009
257
Puyallup Wa.
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Last night I measured the thickness of the metal that the frame is stamped out of on my wifes 2wd wagon, it is only 0.07" thick! Thankfully it only has 65 hp.
 

Gojeep

Well Oiled
Jan 10, 2010
3,476
Victoria Australia
First Name
Marcus
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
jnichols said:
Last night I measured the thickness of the metal that the frame is stamped out of on my wifes 2wd wagon, it is only 0.07" thick! Thankfully it only has 65 hp.
Wow, no wonder it needs full boxing then.
Thanks for checking that out for me.
 

Gojeep

Well Oiled
Jan 10, 2010
3,476
Victoria Australia
First Name
Marcus
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
Just to clarify, the weakness is in the chassis they use and not necessarily the upper wishbones and hub/king pin arrangement?
Seen you can get rebuild kits for them so would be doing that. Love to be able to buy it along just the section of chassis and cross member where it attaches too.
Anyone out there have a planar setup I could buy?
 

jnichols

Sharpest Tool
Oct 23, 2009
257
Puyallup Wa.
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I am keeping ours stock for authenticity but would not use it on anything that you would be putting a lot of stress on. At this time our '49 is tying up my lift as we wait for a new knuckle to arrive. It cracked and the steering arm on one side is hanging on by one bolt. The parts are light duty and not up to a v8 taking hard corners. Also the transverse leaf spring is also the lower control arms, without any additional support to keep it from flexing to much. This results in squirrely handling at modern speeds. Thats why they sell so many mustang II conversions kits to replace them. Willys also gave up on both the hat frame and the planadyne suspension and when back to the proven tougher straight axle and C channel frame.
 

Gojeep

Well Oiled
Jan 10, 2010
3,476
Victoria Australia
First Name
Marcus
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1948
Thankyou so much for your insight. It has helped a lot with my decision. I saw the Mustang II front end kit being sold on eBay this week, but not setup for right hand drive and were never sold here either. Depends if another rack fitted over here or not.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/46-54L-W ... ccessories

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/46-54-Wi ... ccessories

I am starting to lean more and more to getting a WJ Overlander Grand Cherokee and maybe just use the whole 4wd system. So long as I can get it low enough to handle but should be able to with the right frame mods to allow enough up travel.
 
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