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Projects Dare to Be Different - 2. The 53 Willys Wagon - Gasser Style

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Saxxon, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,824

    Saxxon
    Member

    Metal damage
    Brain damage

    Undo a couple of rust encrusted bolts and big heavy metal things fall down go boom
    Freak'n lug nuts gave me the most trouble. Thank God for professional grade impact guns strong enough to snap off a few stubborn ones. Never did get 2 off the back driver side.

    Oh by the way... those really inexpensive Dickies work gloves .... great for repelling oil and other nasty stuff ... not so great repelling sparks ... 2 seconds with a cut off wheel and the damn things melted to the back of my hand. Not impressed.
     

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  2. oldtin
    Joined: Dec 22, 2001
    Posts: 482

    oldtin
    Member

    I'm sure your aware that some of those lugs are left hand thread.
    And thanks for posting up the vintage wagon gasser pics, I had seen one black and white pic in an article on old drag coverage in Rod&Custom a few years ago, but never seen any color pics.
     
    Peanut 1959 likes this.
  3. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 37,723

    loudbang
    Member

    That melting glove on your hand must have smarted just a bit.
     
  4. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,649

    biscaynes
    Member

  5. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,824

    Saxxon
    Member

    A few dozen bolts a fork lift and some judicial use of some big pry bars and out it comes.
    Dropped it straight down. Wasn't even a large bang.

    Now that the major components are out the extent of the floor rust is apparent and the very poor repair on the driver side is worse than expected. The rot is substantial but not overwhelming. I've decided to pull the body off of the frame completely with the hoist. This should allow me to build the chassis on the floor and repair the floor boards as it sits on the hoist.

    I have the owner of a local Jeep specialty shop coming by to cart away the cast offs. That will give me a chance to clean up the work area. Nothing worse than tripping over crap when tou are trying to work

    IMG_0145.JPG
     
  6. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,824

    Saxxon
    Member

    Wagon is stripped. Time to put some cross braces in the body and separate it from the frame. Somehow we managed to get the fuel tank out with dumping the 2 gallons of varnish like fuel on ourselves. The whole thing has come apart surprisingly easy. (Touch wood)

    Now that it bare bones the rust is becoming obvious. The floor boards up front are a total loss. There are a couple of flat spots by the wheel wheels that have rotted through. The bottom edges of the body have some spots. Not terrible. Once it's all apart I can clean the filth and rot and get started putting it back to together.

    Found a 4th wasp nest and a 2nd rat / mouse nest.

    Here are the front floors
    IMG_0151.JPG IMG_0152.JPG IMG_0153.JPG
     
  7. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,824

    Saxxon
    Member

    Sorry to disappoint all the folks who have been following this thread but this project has been closed and the Wagon has moved on to a new owner. The new owner is a friend so it's sort of still in the family...

    I was really looking forward to this build and was really excited about the final vision of a Dare to be Different gasser style street / strip hot rod that could be driven anywhere with 4 friends piled in it. But in reality it was a multi -phase project that was going to cost between $20k (Phase 1 - Race car) and $30k (Final phase - Street legal). The budget for this project ended up going towards a new (to me) tow vehicle, an upgraded race trailer and a new house in the suburbs. Aside from the funds being re-allocated, the time and effort required for a build this involved is a little daunting. Of course the current state of the Canadian dollar (.74 vs. the US dollar) has a lot to do with things as well.

    Having said that I am looking at a new project that is less money and can be achieved in a quicker time frame. (A/FX Uni body truck ... maybe ... because the parts are readily available and it already has a straight axle).

    Thank you all for contributing to this thread. It's been fun
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  8. volvobrynk
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,587

    volvobrynk
    Member
    from Denmark

    Tough call, but sometimes you got to sell em!
    For good or bad reason, or just turn bad to good.

    Is there a slight chance the new guy is a HAMBer? Any chance he will keep the projekt going in the same direction? Maybe even update us?
     
  9. Saxxon
    Joined: Dec 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,824

    Saxxon
    Member

    The new guy (Mike) should be a HAMB'r - he has the right attitude. Might be a little closer tot a rat rodder than we care to accept but he's a cool guy. He currently drives a 38 International truck on an S-10 frame with a Mercedes diesel. Very cool very dependable little truck.

    He's also a bit of a hoarder. He might have bought the wagon simply because he thought it was cool and wants to have it. That means it might sit at his farm with the 15 other "thought it was cool" stuff...so no promises
     
  10. INJUNTOM
    Joined: Jun 11, 2006
    Posts: 548

    INJUNTOM
    Member

    Thread tagged. Reminds me of my Dad's Willys that I plan to some day gasser up. Have a 389 Pontiac with some very rare vintage speed parts for it along with some other stuff. I'm visualizing some mean zoomie type exhaust coming out from under the flat fenders, etc.
     

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    volvobrynk likes this.
  11. jack_pine
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 352

    jack_pine
    Member
    from Motor City

    Getting mine home. 392 Hemi at the machine shop
     

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    chryslerfan55 and volvobrynk like this.
  12. Old thread, but here's my bros '51 that was made into a gasser in the early 70's. He lost storage so out it came. 425 olds, muncie 4 spd, ford 9"(spider gears welded up). He's supposedly going to start working on it since he recently retired. Gonna need ALOT of work!! He's also from South St. Paul, hometown of the "Overland Express".
     

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    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  13. shop teacher
    Joined: Jun 23, 2007
    Posts: 225

    shop teacher
    Member

    Hey -must be something in the water in So. St. Paul. We got Willys on the brain! . I have the Mortel Bros 1951 Willys wagon that was raced by them in 60's and 70's/ It is green & ivory with a SBC and fender well headers. I am retired also so would like to see your bros Willys wagon. I also know a guy who has the Mortels purple 33 Willys pick up.
     
  14. Cool! We just pulled it out of storage yesterday, it was in a small shed/garage for about 20 years...he hadn't even seen it in ten years! We moved it to a storage facility in old Hudson, WI, but he just read the facility clause sayin you can't work on vehicles there.....so....it might be coming out again soon. He's had it since '76 when he turned 18 and hasn't done a thing to it since. A buddy of his sold it to him because the guy had an 'unbalanced'
    girlfriend that dumped sugar in the tank and intake, but it was never cleaned out...he was worried that she would take a baseball bat to it so it sat for another day...fast forward 44 years and I think he's finally gonna clean the sugar out!! LOL!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  15. shop teacher
    Joined: Jun 23, 2007
    Posts: 225

    shop teacher
    Member

    I was teaching at SSP High around 76. I taught auto shop at Simley 1979-86 and Bloomington Kennedy 1981-2014. I also worked at Southview Chevy 1974-1990. I also have a 74 Nova that has a tunnel ram 2-4's until 79 when it was painted candy apple brandywine. My name is Bill Johnson.
     
    primeisnotacrime likes this.
  16. I went to Henry Sibley, he went to Humboldt, he's got almost 20 years on me. I also worked briefly at Southview when Hecker owned it. I also worked at Stillwater Cadillac/GMC and Hudson Buick/Pont/GMC when Hecker owned those as well. I'm friends with the Rabanus' who taught auto at Rosemount HS.
     
  17. shop teacher
    Joined: Jun 23, 2007
    Posts: 225

    shop teacher
    Member

    I went to UTI in Phoenix with the younger Rabanus on a fully paid teacher tour. Does your brother know John and Joe Simon from WSP ?
     
  18. He might, I'd have to check with him. Do you know any of the Illetschko's? Steve, Rob, Billy, Jaimie, Jerel ? They were all attending Simley around the time you taught there.
     
  19. Oh yeah, Ian.
     
  20. shop teacher
    Joined: Jun 23, 2007
    Posts: 225

    shop teacher
    Member

    Yes - I had the Illetschko 's in class. Great kids. Facebook friends . We actually worked on my 51 Willys in class 1985-86. Took the body off the frame , painted the frame , new mounts , firewall and engine & trans.
     
    primeisnotacrime likes this.
  21. They are my first cousins. They come from a car culture family as well. Steve and Rob's late father owned a '69 chevelle and raced it regularly.
     
  22. When I was a kid I rode back and forth to grimmer school in a jeep Wagoner very similar to the one you have, our neighbor was a teacher and carried her son and I to school in the jeep, it was loud and noisy but I loved it.

    It stayed in the family and her son ended up putting HD suspension and big tires on it and diving it daily, he still has it sitting in the barn, he has talked about making a drag car out of it. HRP
     
    primeisnotacrime likes this.

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