Willy's Scout Project

zlucky_13z

Bigger Hammer
Mar 2, 2011
108
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Hello all. Been a long time member, and I'm finally at the point that I'm ready to start building my project. I've had my 48/53 Willy's Wagon (Registered as a '53 and I'm assuming it has a '53 chassis, but it has the '48 body with the rounded rear wheel wells.) for about 3-4 years now, and have done nothing with it as I've been trying to decide what route to take. In my attempt to decide what to do I bought a 1983 FSJ Cherokee, only to find out that I hadn't done enough research as it had the vacuum actuated hubs that nobody wants. I sold it about a year later for a slight profit. I then decided I just wanted to take out the the f4-134, and replace it with an L6-226. I traded a saddle I had for one that I found on craigslist, and figured out that I really wanted to be able to drive it on the freeway, and that it wasn't going to be as easy as just swapping out the motor. I sold it about 6 months later to a gentleman that has a tractor that uses the same engine. Now at the present time, I was able to purchase a 1979 Scout II for $1200. It runs, it drives (doesn't stop, but it drives.). It has all the components I need to get my Willy's on the road (Intl. 304 V8, I believe a T-18, Dana 20, and Dana 44's front and rear with disc brakes up front.). However, I did more research only to find that the willy's america catalog left out the part about the castor not being sufficient, which I don't really understand what it is but it sounds like it's beyond my skill set. My original plan was to stretch the frame on the scout and swap bodies, but the guy I found to do it said it would actually be easier to take the components I need from the scout and put it into the Willy's. Either way I chose, he'd be willing to do the work, and it would cost about $2400 dollars IF him and his guys can get it done in 40 hours. So after reading Midnights post on someone else's Scout II Dana 44 issues, I'd like to ask everyone (and especially Midnight) what the best way to go is? Should I swap bodies, or should I replace components? The big dilemma is that, as Midnight put it, everything on the scout was engineered to work flawlessly together, but when you take a part of it away to use on something else, it's not going to work without some more work...essentially. Or does the castor problem even come into play when you're using everything from the scout just on a different frame? Anyway... Here are a few pictures of the two vehicles to get this thing started. Thanks for the input in advance.
 

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johnrb3b

No such thing as too many Jeeps
May 19, 2011
1,308
west suburbs of Chicago
First Name
John
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
Wikipedia has an article on Caster Angle.
The wording makes it sound more complicated than it is.

On a solid axle front end, Caster is adjusted with a wedge-shaped shim between each spring and its spring perch on the axle.
It's not a big deal. Guys putting lifts on their Jeeps do it all the time.
Do it right and it's great.
Do it wrong (as many DiYers do) and you'll have issues like Death Wobble.
A good 4WD shop should be able to do it right.
 
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Gojeep

Well Oiled
Jan 10, 2010
3,725
Victoria Australia
First Name
Marcus
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1948
The problem can be that as you set your caster, you are also tilting your pinion which can give you drive shaft vibration when it no longer matchs the angle of the one at the transfercase.
 

johnrb3b

No such thing as too many Jeeps
May 19, 2011
1,308
west suburbs of Chicago
First Name
John
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1957
True, I should have mentioned that as well.

When you change caster angle (usually an increase), you are actually rotating the axle which raises the back end of the differential housing and thus the end of the pinion shaft. This will change the angle on the drive shaft.

Normally you're only changing caster angle a couple or three degrees. This would result in a pretty small change in drive shaft angle, depending on how long the pinion tail is on the differential housing. It may be small enough you won't have a problem. But you need to be aware of the issue and watch for how much you change the drive shaft angle.

The rear axle on later 4WD Wagons was a center differential, thus causing the drive shaft to run at an angle of a few degrees from the transfer case to the differential at all times. I've not heard that caused any long term issues.

Anybody know of a history of differential joint failures because of the drive shaft angle?
 

germain

Precision Fit
Nov 30, 2009
586
Bartonville, TX
First Name
Gary
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1961
You can always address the issue with CV or even double CV joint driveshafts. The front shaft on non full time 4x vehicles is not usually subjected to high speed driving, and the stress caused by larger driveline angles is less of a concern.

Gary
 

Gojeep

Well Oiled
Jan 10, 2010
3,725
Victoria Australia
First Name
Marcus
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1948
Increasing caster lowers your pinion making the angle of the uni joint steeper. When using a double cardon joint, you need to point the pinion up to point at the transfer case which is in the opposite direction to when increasing caster.
 

cnsay

Well Oiled
Jun 20, 2010
1,482
North Idaho
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Which ever way you go I would think it would take more than 40 hours to swap an entire drive train, or stretch a frame and swap the body. It will take time to remove components from each vehicle and both are older and will have rusted and damaged fasteners and all kinds of other little hang up's.
 

Midnightburn

Precision Fit
Sep 18, 2009
655
Idaho
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Feel free to give me a call anytime and I will gladly do whatever I can to help you accomplish your project goals. And I will help you avoid the pitfalls that have ruined many projects. A Scout Dana 44 can be used. But, how it's used depends on the answers to some important questions.

MB
(208) 863-1718

If it goes to voicemail, I will call you right back.
 

AustinJpGuy

Sharpest Tool
Oct 12, 2012
395
Potomac, MD
First Name
Austin
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1955
Unless im not seeing all the bondo, that is a clean scout. Why not fix up both!


Is the 304 an AMC motor? I know they used 401's in the Internationals.
 

beewhisper1

Precision Fit
Jan 29, 2012
500
Voluntown Ct
First Name
Chet
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1962
Feel free to give me a call anytime and I will gladly do whatever I can to help you accomplish your project goals. And I will help you avoid the pitfalls that have ruined many projects. A Scout Dana 44 can be used. But, how it's used depends on the answers to some important questions.

MB
(208) 863-1718

If it goes to voicemail, I will call you right back.

Midnight, I'm thinking of using the Scout axel's as well. For sure the front axel since I have a 96 8.8 limited slip disc brake beauty I've got for the rear axel. I'm thinking of a daily driver final build, want to be able to deal with Ct. snow and haul my bee's occasionally. Are there better front axel's for this in your opinion?
Take care
Chet
 

zlucky_13z

Bigger Hammer
Mar 2, 2011
108
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Unless im not seeing all the bondo, that is a clean scout. Why not fix up both!


Is the 304 an AMC motor? I know they used 401's in the Internationals.

Yes it is very clean, and I hate to do that to the scout. However, in California if its not 1975 or earlier you have to smog it, and I'm not sure of its history and how much work it will need to get it to pass smog. I'm assuming that the smog issue is why it hasn't been registered since 2004.

As for the engine, I'm not sure if its amc or not. I have heard that it is but the valve covers do say international.
 

KellyH

Bigger Hammer
Jan 13, 2011
42
Pleasant Hill, IA
First Name
Kelly
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1947
Which ever way you go I would think it would take more than 40 hours to swap an entire drive train, or stretch a frame and swap the body. It will take time to remove components from each vehicle and both are older and will have rusted and damaged fasteners and all kinds of other little hang up's.

I would 2nd that! 40 hours is not a lot of time to do this swap. Both vehicles will have rusted fasteners and some will probably snap off. There are also a few challenges to overcome either way you go.

I'm in the process of doing this same basic swap with a 47 Willys pickup and a 78 Scout Traveler. I opted to put the truck body on the Scout frame as my truck frame was not in great shape and the Scout frame is fully boxed and very stout. I also didn't care for the steering setup on the Willys.

Some of the things I have learned so far:
Just because the wheelbase is close (or the same in my case - 118") doesn't mean the body will drop right on and everything lines up. Where the axles are positioned on the frame makes a difference as well. You can line the body up but the motor may not set in the engine bay properly or at all. I know this seems obvious now but some of us have to learn the hard way.

Making new body mounts is not a big deal but moving them a couple of times is. I originally located the cab based on the Scout dimension of the firewall to the front of the frame. When I set everything in place, the front fenders were way to close to the tires and motor. I then put the motor in and moved the cab back a little to fit. Now I'm a little cramped on space for the radiator. I did all this because I wanted to keep the motor in the stock position so my drivetrain stayed intact - even the driveshafts would work. After all this, I still felt the wheels would get into the fenders so I ended up moving the front axle forward 4".

In retrospect, I could have done the whole thing differently by locating the body on the frame, without the motor installed. Then placed the motor/trans according to the body and making new mounts and driveshafts. I don't know if this would have given me any better of a final result. I could have still run into issues such as oil pan to driveline interference.

There is still a whole lotta work to do just to make the different motor work - heating, cooling, shifting, electrical, etc.

My thoughts on the caster issue: while 0 caster is not great, it may not be a problem either and the scout chassis will most likely perform better than the original Willys. A few options for correcting the problem are: find a front axle from a 1980 (has 2 degrees already) or you can buy castor correctors from Super Scout Specialists.

I'm not sure it would be any easier to swap the drivetrain to your frame and body. Similar issues and the frame is not as stout.
 
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zlucky_13z

Bigger Hammer
Mar 2, 2011
108
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Well. It's been a long time since I posted. I still haven't done anything with the willys scout project mainly because of lack of time, lack of funding, and I don't think I have the skill set to accomplish this goal on my own. However, since I finally came to this realization that this project probably isn't going to happen, I found a new willys to tinker on. One that I can handle. It has a lot of little things that need to be done to it (I.e. Steering needs to be tightened up, leaf springs need to be replaced, windshield wipers need to be fixed(assuming they just need a new motor at this point), dyna-mat it, carpet and headliner, try to seal the cab up a little better so that I'm not inundated with exhaust fumes, new fuel tank sending unit or gauge, new speedo cable or try to get it to read the right mph (was going about 60-65 but it was reading 45), etc. etc. etc. The list goes on, but it's all stuff I think I can handle... Mostly just remove and replace. It already has a small block Chevy, power steering, heater, warn overdrive, and aftermarket seats (enough to handle the whole family). Everything else is original. I'm assuming I have A Dana 27 up front, because it has a tag on it that says 4.27 and I don't think that gear ratio came in the Dana 25. I still have to spin test and make sure the gearing matches between front and rear. It's titled as a 1956, but according to the serial number I think it's a 1959 per Rick Grover's site. Pictures to come in the next post.
 
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zlucky_13z

Bigger Hammer
Mar 2, 2011
108
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Pictures

Without further ado:
 

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zlucky_13z

Bigger Hammer
Mar 2, 2011
108
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Thanks Gojeep. It seems to be and I'm pretty excited about it. I crawled under the dash last night to see what I needed for the wipers. I need the entire system, cables and motor. The only things that are there are the wipers themselves and the pulleys. Oh well. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.
 

zlucky_13z

Bigger Hammer
Mar 2, 2011
108
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I have a complete cable system from under the dash if you want it.... no motor pay the freight and smile...

Sure. I'd love to take them off your hands. Thank you. Is there a better option that you guys are doing to your wipers, or do you just have a spare set?
 
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