Willys daily driver build! - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-11-2010, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
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Location: Anderson
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Willys Wagon daily driver build!

I've still got a long way to go on my CJ-7 but I'm already thinking about my next project. It's going to be a Willys truck or wagon and here are the proposed specs.

'50-'65 Willys truck or wagon body
'87-'91 Grand Wagoneer rolling chassis
'88 and up 4.0L, 5 or 6 speed, and NP231.

This will be a daily driver that will be equally at home on the farm or at the cruise-in. I'll be using the CJ for 'wheelin so there's little need for HD parts. I'm on the lookout for donor vehicles anywhere from Huntsville, AL to Charlotte, NC so let me know what you've got!

Last edited by lockedcj7; 01-18-2011 at 01:11 PM. Reason: more descriptive title
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-11-2010, 08:02 PM
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If I were building a daily driver willys pickup (mine is FAR from a daily. It basically just drives to shows/on nice sunny days and I even drag race it occasionally), I would swap a 5.3 vortec, 4l65e, and 4wd t case out of a doner silverado, suburban, ect. Great drive-ability, power, and reliability in a sweet little pickup. Just my $.02.

1970 J2000 Stepside- SHOW. 2007.5 Cummins- Daily Driver. 2005 TT GTO and 2006 Supercharged C6 Z06- go fast toys.
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 07:07 AM
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What are you looking to run for a tire size? IMO the 4.0 is a great engine for a daily driver, sure its not exactly the best on gas but it has plenty of power for around town. My 2 cents.

As an afterthought, 4.0's are extremely reliable and stupid simple to work on and get parts for in a pinch.

88' YJ/CJ Turbo Diesel
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
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My reasons for going with the 4.0L, 5 or 6 speed manual and 231 t-case are these:

I'm not planning on running anything taller than 31" tires. I really like the old pizza-cutter look and that's what I'll probably go with. I also wanted to "keep it Jeep" but I want a powertrain that's reliable, easy to get parts for and easy to work on. I have some experience working with both the 258 and 4.0L so I feel very comfortable with both motors. I'm not too concerned with gas mileage since I only drive around 50 mi. per day and my daily drivers now get 13 and 26 mpg respectively.

I think the I-6 will provide all the power I need and still fit very nicely in the engine bay and leave plenty of room to work. I like a manual transmission and everything I've read about the NV3550, NSG370 and AX-15 suggest that they'll be plenty strong enough for my purposes. The 231 t-case should also be fine for what I'm doing and it has the driver's side drop that will work with my chosen axles. Going with a complete native powertrain means that I won't have to spring for adapters.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-14-2010, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
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The GW parts donor has been found! A local guy had this beauty on CL so I went and snapped it up. It's an '88 with Dana 44s front and rear with 3.31 gears. Now all I've got to do is sell off the parts I don't want to keep this project on track.

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post #6 of 11 Old 01-16-2011, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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1985 CJ7 
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I finally found a wagon that I can afford and wasn't too rough. The owner had already mounted it on a shortened GW frame, welded in new body mounts, repaired most of the rusted sheet metal and set it up for a 4.0L with AX15. A ton of work has already been done and that will save me a tremendous amount of time and money. The quality of the work is quite good so I'm not too worried about P.O. gremlins though there are several things I know I'll change.

I've sold enough parts off the GW that I've actually made money on it now and I've still got some parts to sell. There are also a few parts that come with the wagon that I might be able to sell to sweeten the deal. I'll post more detailed pics when I bring it home tomorrow.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-16-2011, 05:44 PM
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Looks awesome! I've always wanted an old Willy's truck/wagon!
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-16-2011, 06:06 PM
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nice. now im thinking me thinking.
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-16-2011, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by lockedcj7 View Post
What an awesome find! I'll be following!

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Anderson
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Here are some better pics of all the work that's already been done:

The only spot of rust-through on the whole truck!

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post #11 of 11 Old 01-21-2011, 08:07 PM
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I like it, can't wait to see this thing come together. Nice choice keeping it all jeep!

'03 Rubicon - 3" BDS Lift, 33x12.5x15 Bias TSLs
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