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Hot Rods New Project: 1954 Willys Station Wagon

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Danimal, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    Not a gasser Willys but will be a cool parts chaser. Was a Wyoming DNR truck brought to MI and parked. Excellent body, little rot, a few tree rash marks. I understand there is like 5.37 gears, though. I think that will change! Thinking about putting a truck axle under the front and running at as a 2wd. Got to measure one of my S10 rear ends to see what fits. I've got a 4.3L that might end up in it. I'd love to make it a mileage queen.

    Need a few parts like a door handle for the driver's door (the latch trigger is missing) and the back hatch handle. Probably more as I come along. Thanks to TERPU for some ideas and offer for help already!:D

    Click on the right one for the album. I'll update with more shots when she comes home.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Ford52PU
    Joined: Jan 31, 2007
    Posts: 449

    Ford52PU
    Member
    from PA

    nice different vehicle, like the way the radio is where the speedometer should be? Is that original?
     
  3. These are great vehicles that are rarely seen as hot rods. Fatman Fab makes a nice front end to get rid of the front solid or 4wd axle.

    I purchased a pair of 55 Willy's wagons several years ago & made enough money on the unneeded parts to fund the rest or the build. My vehicle always drew lots of questions from people.

    You'll have plenty of room for any any engine as the original 226 flathead six or sometimes a OHC 230 Tornado were fairly long. Some people have even put a Ford 300 in these.

    Hope to see lots of pictures!! Have fun
     
  4. ratpak
    Joined: Oct 21, 2008
    Posts: 85

    ratpak
    Member
    from Onsted, Mi

    Never saw one before but sure does look interesting. Im sure you thought you didnt have enough projeccts.... It never ends does it??? We always have to have one more its great!!! The best part is my wife thinks the same way. NOT......
     
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  5. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    Dustin, you've never seen one before? I bought it in ONSTED!! Loch Erin. You couldn't see it from the road. It was right at the end of Stephenson. You working Friday? You can see it LIVE!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I've always wanted one. Not sure what method to take with it but I've got a 235 that may end up in it with a T5 and S10 rear.

    Not sure what went where the radio is but the gauge cluser on a jeep has always been in the middle. Maybe to commonize for LHD and RHD? Not sure. That radio will be one of the first things to get tossed! Right after the boat anchor flat 4 under the hood.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  6. I had one in the 60s, had a Studebaker V8. Other than the vacuum cable pull wipers it was a good all around utility vehicle. I remember I could put 2 dirt bikes in the back.
     
  7. Scott K
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 826

    Scott K
    Member

    Dan,
    Give you $40.00 for it:D:D. You were supposed to drop that off when you picked up the minibike.

    I've been looking for a good one around here...all I've found is rust....I think I hate you now:p.

    I'm gonna have to come and take some measurements....I've got a late model wrangler chassis that I've been saving for the Willys Wagon that I'm going to own someday. Want to see what does or doesn't fit.

    Scott.
     
  8. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008

    FiddyFour
    Member

    jeep rods suck anus...

    wait... they rule, yea, thats right. :D

    anyhow, i dig it dude... PM me, i have a spare handle here... not a locking one, but its a handle at any rate.

    radio went where the glove box door opening lookin thing on the driver side is... and yea, you can shoehorn a lot of motor in these... i got 455 inches of buick in my 52 and its the exact engine bay as yours
     
  9. dixiedog
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,205

    dixiedog
    Member

    Should have a early dana 44 or 35 rear with tapered axle shafts in the rear, I exploded the spider gears in one years ago, definitely swap out the axle double check the width, so you dont get that wide stance. Bronco 9" is a good swap if you can find one and uses the 5.5 pattern, the front is a decent puller if its 4wd (think I see the twin stick on the floor)
    The supertraction spare rocks - don't need a radio with those beauties singing down the road.
    The 4wd's bring good money if restored decent and this is a good canidate, ospho will be your friend esp at floor line.
    If you do go modern up grade the steering if it is draglink
     
  10. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    Scott, $40 is in your paint cabinent in an orange lid. I left Denise a message about it.

    As for the Willys, $40 won't get it to your house, sorry. You don't have room!

    Fiddy, I'll PM when I get a minute. That'd be coolio on the door handle. 455. Sounds like fun!
     
  11. Inter scout diff are just about the right width if you are going to stay 4x4 and will handle a v8 with no problems (dana 44 front and rear) and if you use the t90 gear box from a 6 cyl willys truck there is an adapters available to ford or chev smallblocks
     
  12. My dad had one back in the 60's, I liked it. I remember that the metal floor would get hot but that was okay in a Minnesota winter. It would look really cool done up as a surf woody!!!!
     
  13. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    I remembered last night that I've got a neighbor with the perfect donor Willys pickup that runs but rotted out from being in MI.

    I'm thinking the 2 tone burgandy and cream color.
     
  14. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    tommy
    Member Emeritus

    I built the same truck only it was a P/U. I checked on the 1970s prices for new gears and threw in the towel.

    I bought a rusty low mileage Suburban 4X4 and swapped frames. I had to shorten the frame 11" and move the engine and trans forward some in the frame to get the Chevy engine where it needed to be. I did it all with the frame still on it's tires. I had nearly zero money in it. The Suburban was 3/4 ton so it was a real rough riding sumbitch. The short wheel base made it a great tow vehicle. I could put a trailer anywhere. It would go anywhere but drinking my morning coffee was a challenge.:D

    I always wanted one because lots of gas stations in the early 50s had one with a plow in the winter time. A real "manly machine".
     
  15. Used to have a nice 57 willys wagon...used it like you want to as a parts chaser/swap meet hauler...had a 327 mated to the t90 with adaptor...did just fine...put some dynamatt or other insulation in there and it really makes a difference with all the rattles and noise...gives ya back some sanity when driving on rougher roads...
     
  16. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    I picked up the Willys today. It was a treat. The guy's brother tried to give it a lift by cobbling up the front axle and making it under the springs. Of course loading it, the driveshaft slid out and jammed onto the transmission! He 'compensated' the lift by angling the axle at like a 15 or 20 degree angle. Of course the steering was stupid. None the less, loaded and home. Clutch worked so used it as a brake. Motor was tied up anyway!

    Pics uploading now...
     
  17. DRUGASM
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,712

    DRUGASM
    Member

    cool project. the 4.3l isnt a bad idea if you have had some experience with them. i had one i did the tune on for a daily and it made some good power (headers, cam, intake, throttle body spacer, chipped, shift kitted trans). however...i think you could get better, more reliable power outta that 235 with just a mild build.

    and it would sound way cooler too.
     
  18. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    OK. I've got a neighbor who is a hot rodder. I left the Willys in the yard and I figured he'd drive by sooner or later. He did. He's decided that the pickup he's got should become a rod and that I should help him. He has a running 50s Willys truck and a running donor El Camino. He wants to pull the drivetrain out of the Elky and drop it in the Willys. He told me I could have the entire running Willys drivetrain.

    Looks like I've got a line on a stocker for now. Definitely have to change the gearing! I've been having dreams of a Packard/Stude 289 in the future...
     
  19. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    DRUGASM, that 235 with a split exhaust and dual intake is the bomb. I ran into a 38 Chevy at Ididit's show last fall and loved the pop. We're doing that for Eli's '52 Chevy truck fo sho.
     
  20. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    [​IMG]


    All new photos taken by Eli Bowles. Age 13. He's getting better!
     
  21. Nice score Dan!I remember a guy had the Jeepster version in the town I grew up in.2WD and a convertible top and had stuffed in a 50 Olds engine with Hydra-Matic.A little nose heavy but still a nice machine.
    The only thing I don't like about them(and all short wheelbase vehicles)is that at certain highway speeds(usually where you like to drive at)on Michigan roads that have expansion joints they have a tendency to "leapfrog"(a longitudinal pitching that can be very annoying and dangerous).My Mini Cooper used to do it and it drove me crazy.The trick is finding a speed that it doesn't happen.
    The gearing is really steep in the 4WD models and with a little practice you can probably teach it to climb trees and such.:D.They also made a panel delivery version as well as the pickup and Jeepster.
     
  22. There was one of those under construction at So-Cal's open house last week....

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Cool! Looks like a fun project.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129

    Danimal
    Member

    Still need to upload the pictures but we took the gasser look out today. Put the front end back above the springs so that she'll sit right. Power washed the interior and about 10 pounds of rat turds came out. Took out all of the engine parts that were in the rear end and then washed it. Got one side window to open even. The boys are having fun and so am I. Just need to start forming a plan. I don't like the gearing either and will start to watch for something a little more highway friendly. I've got a LOT to learn about these.

    Matt, you found the one I love. Just make her green and cream.
     
  25. shaunh82
    Joined: Oct 9, 2009
    Posts: 4

    shaunh82
    Member

    Sorry to bring up an old post, but have you put any thought into what truck axle may fit the wagon to make it 2wd? I have 2 wagons, but the 2wd frame is toast, thinking about using the 4x4 frame and bringing it down to a 2wd height
     
  26. blueskies
    Joined: Jan 22, 2003
    Posts: 546

    blueskies
    Member
    from Idaho

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
  27. goshawks00
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 94

    goshawks00
    Member
    from Saline, Mi

    Guys right up tye road from you in Tecumseh... got two Willys a PU and a wagon...
    Barry

    [​IMG]
     
  28. Scott K
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 826

    Scott K
    Member

    Very nice truck.....now how 'bout showing that wagon??
     
  29. goshawks00
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 94

    goshawks00
    Member
    from Saline, Mi

    Not finished yet but here it is as is...

    [​IMG]
     
  30. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,238

    George
    Member

    We had a '59 wagon in the family from new untill about 15 yrs ago, suffered from spending its 1st year in Vt. A guy in Bay St. Louis had a nice 1, think it was destroyed in Katrina. The "Trucks" TV Show did 1 a number of years ago.
     

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