Willys PU Idles fine then under load runs strange


Knuckle Buster
Jun 20, 2010
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Just purchased a 1959 Willys PU - Superhurricane Flat six. :D

It starts right up and idles perfectly ... but when when the accelator is pressed down or goes under load when driving it starts to loose power.

Almost like the carb is straving for fuel or the air - fuel mixture goes south?

Also have noticed something strange about the distributor? Is it normal for the distributor to wobble a bit back and forth?? It does not rotate just wobbles a bit from side to side :shock:

Have not yet replaced the spark plugs or the points / condensor or the spark plug wires or rebuilt the carb.

Want to get past the wobbley distributor first.

Any advice?

What about going to a solid state distributor?

The carb most likely needs to be rebuilt and adjusted, sounds like the accelerator pump is not working. Also check the fuel pump pressure. The distributor wobble could be due to the hold down tab being bent upwards slightly, take a look at it. The stock distributor works very well if it is in good condition, but does require interval maintenance whereas the solid state conversion will not. A Willys service manual is invaluable to get the engine in good tune.
DITTO. Check that distributor tab. It could be cracked. A very common thing.
Wish my distributor was "wobbley"! It 's stuck and has defied all attempts at removing/turning it in our '65 Tornado-engined wagon. I finally gave up not wanting to risk cracking the engine face plate. Went with a Ford EDIS electronic system (no distributor) which works beautifully - system is controlled by a MegaJolt Lite Junior unit from Brent Picasso in Washington State - it is a bit of work to install.
Here is my unfinished write-up on the install:

Does your distributor have a vacuum hookup - if so is it working properly?
Pete: you are a kind man... but the truth is that I'm a lunatic!

Cheers and may your points not degrade...

Thank-you all :cheers:

Am looking forward to visiting Willys America this weekend. Actually convinced the wife to go as it is close to Napa, CA and all the wineries ;)

Will be sure to pick up a manual and let you all know how things progess.

Thank-you again.
I had a simular problem and after going through the point's, timing, vacuum advance, carb rebuild, I changed out the AC plugs I had installed to what they should be, Champion J-8's. they're in the lawnmower section at Wal-Mart. The 6-226 is a wonderful engine and normally preformes as designed. I was driving my wagon to work one snowy morning and it begain to cough and buck but it did get me to work. I took the distributor cap off and found the rotor button was broke in half. I have no idea how it continued to run but she didn't let me down. Tom
Hello again ... Had the opportunity to visit Willys America. This is a Willys lovers dream come true.

Had the chance to install new champion spark plugs and rebuild the Carter YF carb. Also installed a new fuel filter. The clear type that I can see how clean or dirty the fuel is. Man what a difference :D

Am looking forward to installing new spark plug wires, points and cond. Also the new rotor cap.

Can now drive around the neighborhood without stalling :thumbup:

Thank you to all that responded. Your comments were very much appreciated :cheers: