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Unread 03-29-2010, 09:16 AM   #1
Gigeroff
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Posts: 45
1949 Willys pickup build

Howdy,
I think this is the third or fourth '49 Jeep truck build I've seen here recently. Gaining popularity perhaps?

Anyways, I was bored, so I thought I'd share my experiences with this truck.

I bought it Oct. 29th 2009 in Springfield, New Brunswick, about an hour from my house. It's a rust bucket with potential. My grandfather did all the driving to and from and also quite a bit later on. I don't have my license yet (I'm 16).
Brought it back to my place via flatbed, later moved it into my grandfather's garage and tore-it down.




The teardown took awhile ('till around a few weeks ago), but was complete (bare frame, bare cab, engine and tranny taken apart etc.) Would have left the wheels and suspension on the frame if the front brakes weren't so seized up.

My frame was totally junk anywhere the box was. The box is long since gone. My cab floor is also junk, and my roof has big rust holes in it. My fenders weren't great either.

Note that when I bought the truck, it only turned over. We fiddled with it for days and only got coughing. I kinda sorta had it running for about 10 or 15 seconds before I took it all apart. Figured, since I had little compression (20-30lbs), lots of dirt and rust on the motor, I was gonna need to take the truck apart anyways, so having it running wasn't really worth all the time.

Getting the cab off wasn't easy. It took me days to get the cab bolts off with a grinder, bolt cutter and cold-chisels. I also needed to remove the steering column. I had a little puller that I tried to get the wheel off with, but no luck. I was kinda stuck...but what I ended up doing was dragging the steering gear box up through the cab, thus no need to remove the wheel.
Since the steering gear is longer than the pedal/column hole in the cab floor, there was only one angle to get it out. It took awhile and I was just about to give up when I finally found the right way and it came up no problem. My steering worked fine so I'm just leaving it as it is, with a paint-job. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as my grampy tells me.

We built a hoist with 4x4s, 2x6s and 2x4s using a 2-ton come-along as a puller, to remove the engine and transmission. Worked like a charm. Getting the tranny off the engine was a chore as they were seized together pretty good. Once I got them apart (took about 6 cold-chisels, 4 wedges, 2 screwdrivers and a hammer going at the same time to brake the tranny free...) it took around a day and a half to take the motor apart (note that I removed all the stuff from around the engine earlier: generator, starter, water pump, carb, manifolds etc. So I just had a short block to take apart).
Here's the engine on the table:



Grampy and I threw the frame on his utility trailer, along with my Timken axle which had seized drums. We took that down to a welding outfit in Saint John and the guy there had it done in like, two days, with a completely new rear frame section. I painted the frame with a good coat of POR-15 (still have a little more to do). Man is that stuff durable! Haven't gotten a photo of the finished frame yet. Here's the trailer load:


That day I also dropped off my engine block at an engine shop. They will re-bore my cylinders, do a total valve-job (everything new from the tappets up), grind my crankshaft, and give it a good cleaning. Also I will get new bearings, pistons and rings. I will put it back together. Picking it up tomorrow, hopefully.

I've finished about 3/4 of the suspension (need some new parts), I would like to buy new springs but I can't afford it as of now. Gotta focus on more demanding things first.

As for body-work, I love it. I don't know why. Perhaps it's because I don't really care too much about how the truck looks. Basically, as long as the holes are patched, I just throw some bondo at it with a quickie coat of rust-paint. Works for me and passes a 20 or 30 foot test.
D-side door, before:

After:

And here's my grille, looking purdy, to me at least. The colour is International Red, BTW.


Got the fenders done in the loosest sense of the word (I'll get new ones one day, hopefully), and the hood. Haven't done much with the cab yet. Needs a floor and some other patches. I don't know how to weld yet, but I hope to learn one day. Maybe I'll weld-up my cab floor.

This is my first time working around cars. My grandfather owns a '29 Olds which I've helped out a tiny bit with. I don't know why I'm interested, but I am! This is, obviously, my first vehicle. A bit of a step of from my bike...

My truck details:
1949 Willys Jeep truck, 1-ton 2wd (you rarely see the 2wd versions). L4-134 engine, T90E-1, Timken 51540 w/ 5.38 gears, basically everything is original but in rough shape (was repaired many, many times by the old farmer who had it.) I think that 4 out of my 5 tires are original, though I'm not positive. Tires do last a long time here in our humid climate, but man is the humidity ever hard on metal...

I would love, one day, to convert it to 4x4. For this, I'd need a front axle and driveshafts. I already have the tranny and transfer case (got one cheap). I'd really like to hook up a PTO for a front winch, and maybe even do a rear dump bed. For now I'll just do a simple flatbed. I think, for the 4x4 thing, I might be able to use my old DS with a little modification. But I'll probably do that down the road. Does anybody have a front driveshaft they're looking to get rid of?

I'll update as the project comes along. I've got one badly stuck brake drum (got 3 of 4 off). The stupid thing won't come off. Gotta get me an oxy-acetylene torch methinks, lol.

Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. I don't really know my mechanicals that well so bear with me.

Anyways, that's my story for now. This will be my driver. I'm keeping it mostly original but I would like to do a 12v upgrade w/alternator, get one of them fancy hi-torque starters and put in a Solex carb. Would also like to get a high-compression head for a bit more power. All to come.

Kier

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Unread 03-29-2010, 09:30 AM   #2
CopperCJ7
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That'll probably look great when you're done and all your friends will either be jealous or make fun of you for driving something so old. Personally, I'd be jealous of a cool old truck.

Might I suggest that you buy some plastic or get a bunch of cardboard when you paint? That way, your over-spray won't get on cool old sheds/barns or anything else. Also, you should remove everything (like door handles) when you paint or at least tape them up.

Good luck with her and I hope you enjoy the experience of not only working on an old truck but spending time with your grandfather. Take lots of pictures along the way.


P.S. I tried to send you a private message but your mailbox is full.
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Last edited by CopperCJ7; 03-29-2010 at 09:46 AM..
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Unread 03-29-2010, 10:07 AM   #3
Gigeroff
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Hey,
Yeah I should probably do that. That old barn is actually my house, and I needed to put a coat of white paint on there anyways -- but I felt really dumb when I forgot to tape the handle (actually, I was really dumb -- more than just feeling dumb). I don't know why I forgot, just too excited to get it painted I guess.

I just cleared out my inbox -- if you wouldn't mind sending me your message again.

Cheers,
Kier
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Unread 03-29-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
Lifesgoodhere
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looks good. If you caught my about 2 days ago. I wouldn't have scrapped my 6 front axles that could be used to make it 4wd. I would have given them to you. (only got $150 bucks for all of them).

I still got boxes of old parts you can use. You pay shipping. Not in it for profit, trying to clear house and gear up for school in the fall.

PM ME.
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Unread 03-31-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
Gigeroff
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Update

Picked up my engine yesterday from the machine shop in Saint John. They bored the block .040 over (was standard before with 90'000 miles on it), reground the valve seats, new valve guides, reground valve tappets, new valves and springs, reground crankshaft, new bearings, pistons etc. etc.

I cleaned it up and started on it today. Put down a coat of paint on the block and head (went for Chev blue on the block and Ford red for the head -- which turned out to be kind of bright orange -- I hate it.) Put the camshaft in after it dried.

PICS





Valve comparison, new vs. old...

And springs:


Old piston with obvious blow-by


Reground crank


Freshened block


Before/after


Underside


Camshaft and valve tappets installed


Coat of paint. Going to change the head colour. Too red for that blue methinks...what do you think?


Threw a coat of primer at the cab. Still need to do some bodywork.
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Unread 03-31-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
GP_Pete
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Just a thought - build this

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Unread 03-31-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
Trapshooter
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You are a brave young man....keep up the great work. Keep those pics coming. Its great to see the progress you have already made.

One other suggestion, get yourself a box of nitril gloves to protect your hands from all the dirt, oils and grease while working on your build. Your girlfriend will appreciate it!! Its just a good habit to have, even for a 50's something guy like me.

Good Luck..............
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My 401 build: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/trapshooters-401-build-1338277/[/url]
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:06 AM   #8
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You're doing a great job! Keep up the good work and be sure to keep us posted. You will be proud of it when you're finished. Did you name it yet??
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Unread 04-01-2010, 06:51 AM   #9
Gigeroff
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Thanks guys. That diesel up there is quite the truck, eh? I think it's a Cummins from a Dodge...?

I have used gloves before, but I find that the often tear and I don't notice (lots of old rusty chunks sticking out to catch on), so my hands get dirty anyways. I don't remember the last time my fingernails were clean...and I don't have a girlfriend at the moment -- so nobody cares! I'm enjoying being free while it lasts...

No I haven't given her a name yet. She's gonna need one I think. "Red" is a little too common. Maybe Frankenstein would be more appropriate??

Today I'm going to see about putting the crankshaft back in. I hope it'll go in as easily as it came out. If I can do that, maybe I'll put the new pistons in, too. Might be able to turn it over before you know it!

I'm going to get working on the cab floor one of these days. Haven't decided if I'm going to steal my Grampy's welder and do it (haven't welded before), or just use screws. I'll be cobbling the floor together from scraps around here. Otherwise the cab should be really easy since I don't care if you can see the bondo...lol
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Unread 04-01-2010, 08:44 AM   #10
Felonious_monk
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Thats a pretty sweet project you have going there! And its coming along nicely.

You might need a hub puller to get that brake drum off. I'm doing brakes on my 1953 CJ3B, and I had the same issue...... I got the proper hub puller, and pulled the hub and drum at the same time. Then I just had the hub and drum pressed apart.


One other thing.

For future reference, you should ALWAYS store a crankshaft on the flywheel mounting flange. As in standing up. Laying it down can possibly warp/bend the crank.


Anyway, sweet jeep truck. If your going for a flatbed look, you should use some real nice wood back there.

Good Luck
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Unread 04-01-2010, 11:56 AM   #11
CopperCJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felonious_monk View Post

Anyway, sweet jeep truck. If your going for a flatbed look, you should use some real nice wood back there.
Or use what Jeff Scherb used on his Retro Wrangler and CJ9 pickups.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
What CJ owner doesn't want to hack up his harness for the next owner to have fun with?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
The thread will derail quicker than a walrus on a Crisco-soaked Slip 'n' Slide.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 03:52 PM   #12
Gigeroff
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Hey,
Thanks for that crankshaft tip. I installed it today with no problems -- turns like new. I did have a problem though with my piston rings. I took them out of the package to see which was which (they came in two bundles), and they look identical. I couldn't figure out which groove they go into. Upon further investigation, I noticed there are tags in the box saying which is which. However, when I took the bundles out, I got them switched and I don't know which is which! I measured them to the best of my ability and looked at them with a magnifying glass and they look the same. Note that I'm talking about the compression rings only. Any help??? Will post photos later.

For the flatbed it's going to look like the ones in the original adverts. I will probably use Oak or Elm, painted. Should look good, but more importantly be very durable. That hardwood is tough!
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Unread 04-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #13
Lifesgoodhere
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the top groove on the piston isn't used on these 134ci engines.

groove

thin ring

slightly thicker ring

the ziz-zag type ring thats sandwiched in between 2 thin rings

NOTE: stagger the groove in the rings when installing them for correct compression.

I hope I simplified it enough. I have rebuilt 3 of these kinds of engines before....doing another one now...
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Unread 04-01-2010, 08:10 PM   #14
Gigeroff
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My confusion is with the compression rings...how much thicker is the slightly thicker ring? Honestly, after staring at these things and measuring them for quite awhile I couldn't see any difference. Maybe I need some precision measuring equipment. I would have thought the difference would be more obvious (both have an upper facing bevel on the inside of the ring, same design).

I really think they're the same. Is this possible? The rings that were on the old pistons, square upper ring and beveled lower (compression rings).

Thanks for the help.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #15
Lifesgoodhere
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they might be...I usually use Sealed Power rings when doing my engines...I will check my box when the new ones come in. They come with instructions, just to double check.
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