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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Yesterday 12:18 PM
jlcoble As always great work looks amazing
05-24-2020 07:58 AM
GrandWillys Project

Itís amazing how such a subtle change can have such a big visual impact. That looks very good - much less semi-truck looking.
05-24-2020 02:17 AM

Haven't quite finished putting it all back together but wanted to show the mesh installed with the radiator behind. Gives more security this way too as no way to release the bonnet catch except by the release lever inside the cab.
05-23-2020 05:39 PM
Originally Posted by JoonHoss View Post
Any concern of not being able to get paint in between the mesh and the back of the grill slots, and having debris work it's way in between the contact points and casing corrosion/ rust?

This just unbolts when it comes time for painting. I made it also sit hard against the bottom of the slots and will know at time of strip down if anything has collected during its bare metal period on the road.
05-23-2020 09:02 AM
JoonHoss Any concern of not being able to get paint in between the mesh and the back of the grill slots, and having debris work it's way in between the contact points and casing corrosion/ rust?

05-23-2020 05:35 AM
I'd been thinking of ways to attach the mesh while keeping it taut. Was not sure if just using tabs welded to the back of grille bars would keep the top and bottom tightly in place. So looking at doing it this way.

The mesh I ended up using was branded SAAS and sold through Autobarn and others.
I prefer this style of tin snips when you need to cut further into a sheet. These are made by WISS and they work like a throatless shear.

I thought it would look more professional if I curved the mesh to follow the back of the bars without gaps.

The mesh was not wide enough for my grille with the extra two slots. I had also ordered one that was, but it had a bit bigger diamond pattern that was less obvious. This one also has a twist so you must flip one side to keep it looking the same when run vertically. Viewed this way gives the most 'screening'.

To make the bends I put some tape down along the edge of the bench to save marking it. Then holding the ruler down, just bent it down using my hands. For the bigger radius curve, I bent it over some pipe.

I made sure the join was behind one of the grille bars. The pieces nest really well and could be held in place with the biggest rivet I could fit through the mesh holes.

I couldn't attach it directly below the grille slots as it would show through the front of the grille. By having it fold at the top and bottom, the fasteners will be less obvious.

I drilled and tapped some 3mm-1/8" aluminium sheet with the holes matching the ones in the mesh. Stainless steel button head screws then screw into these putting tension on the mesh. Worked so well that no additional fixing behind the grille bars was needed.

I ended up flipping the mesh so that the twist in it matched the angle of the grille so there was little obstruction when viewed head on. Also, the airflow now has a straight path. When viewed in front of the radiator it makes a bigger difference and makes it look less vacant. Will make more sense once I get shots of it all back together.
05-22-2020 06:23 AM
daddyjeep87 It definitely looks more balanced now with the same area above and below the slots.
05-21-2020 07:08 PM
Gojeep I'm putting up now what I did a month and a half ago before all the panel treatment and coil covers were done. Just waited until I could complete the write up once the mesh came in. Due to COVID-19, things that used to take 2 days, now take 2 weeks. Things that were 2 weeks, now take 2 months. Let alone anything from China that used to take 2 months!

Let the cutting begin! As I was not happy with the length of the slots, I am shortening them 50mm-2" back to the stock length. I am leaving the rest of the grille longer as need that to fit my radiator size.

Gives you an idea how the sectioning is going to work. I cut along the splice lines of the original extension that I had done.

I would have preferred to section the bead along with the grille slots, but the grille mounting bracket on the back gets in the way of doing it. So cut a slot up the middle of the bead, flattened it, and then rounded the end again with a sectioned piece of pipe.

Filler piece tacked in ready for welding.

As usual I checked to make sure each part of the grille was flat after welding. Can just see it drip down a fraction at the ends of this grille bar.

Made up a dolly from some bar stock and hammered down onto the table to stretch it out.

Now nice and flat again. All of them were checked of coarse.

From the factory, one side of each grille bar is longer than the other making it flat across the back to compensate for the grille angle. As I planned to fit some mesh behind the grille, I need to take care of the fact that the factory didn't press the last bar at each end this way as well. The reason is they needed the material on the opposite side of the slot to mount the radiator cowling. Rather than just adding a thin strip, it is better to add a wide piece, fully weld it, then cut it back to the right width. This controls the welding distortion far better.

The distance above and below the slots is close to the same now, 5mm-3/16" more on the bottom. Not the look I intend to keep though.

I can now adjust the height of the gravel tray until I like the proportions.

Think it is looking closer to the 48 grille above it rather than the 58 grille it started out as, which is what I wanted. Remember it is 2" taller and 9" wider overall with 2 extra slots added to make it the same number as the 48 grille.

A shot showing the various Jeep grille proportions through the years. Think I am closer now with the modifications but wont know until I have the Willys back together again.
05-19-2020 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by NashvilleTJ View Post
Marcus - with all the metal working you do, how do you keep your hands looking so soft and smooth?


Nice work on the intake - makes a world of difference.
Ha ha, just trailing a new cream for one hand only. Seems to have shrunk the hand as well!
05-19-2020 07:27 AM
NashvilleTJ Marcus - with all the metal working you do, how do you keep your hands looking so soft and smooth?


Nice work on the intake - makes a world of difference.
05-19-2020 04:45 AM
My plan has always been these old HEMI covers painted black and painting the intake manifold a aluminium colour for contrast. So I have arrowed all the bits moulded on the stock intake, plus some on the other side you can't see, that I want to remove.

I started just with a cutoff wheel in the Dremel.

The switched to a grinding stone.

Even a tiny sanding disc.

Then the hand sanding going up through the grades. Starting at 180, and you can see the third runner from the left is up to 600.

Even used some 1200. Further than needs to go for painting, but not sure when that will be yet.

Even used some cutting compound by hand and then some headlight restorer. Just cleans it all up a bit.
05-14-2020 08:08 PM
While I had the grille out, I stripped the rest of the front clip apart as well so I could come up with a better way of preserving the bare metal. The lanolin I have been using was good enough for storage, but not if I want to run for a few months on the road.

Doing some research I saw that many were using phosphoric acid to de-rust, clean and preserve bare steel. I'm using Ranex Rustbuster by Bondall which I picked up at Bunnings. This also is phosphoric acid based.

This is what it looks like after first spraying it on and keeping a thin coat wet for 20 minutes before wiping it off with a dry cloth.

I had some consistency problems and got a chalky appearance in places. It does take some technique to keep a thin even coat. Leaving it too thick left it feeling like sandpaper. Re-wetting it with more acid and using steel wool and then wiping with a cloth got rid of any build-up, especially if there was a run and it dried, it would be black and sticky. Some just apply it using a cloth soaked with the acid and have good results. It shows all the weld lines up too. Not sure why the weld has reacted differently to the acid etch?

I actually tried some lanolin over it and it looked far more even after applying it.

This was my test piece and shows how it cleans and turns the rust black as it turns it into iron phosphate. Using steel wool while wet really helps clean it even more so.

This is my outside workbench I have topped with ceramic tiles. Discoloured over the years with grinding dust that has rusted onto the surface. It would not clean off with scrubbing, but where some of the acid has spilt, you can see the clean grey tiles underneath again. I cleaned the whole bench with it after this as it was listed as one of its uses.

To give an extra protection layer, and make the finish after acid treatment better, I am using Ankor Wax which is very popular with the patina crowd. I bought it directly from the importers.

I tried a different way of applying it to normal. I wanted to use a foam brush but was out of them. So used a normal paintbrush but then made the coat even by running over it with a dry foam roller. Just kept working it until it was clear and even. The left side is just after applying it and the right side after running the roller over it straight away to remove the brush marks. I'm leaving it like this and left it to dry for 3-4 days. Normally they recommend buffing it to get a satin or even a gloss finish from it. Water will bead on it and can be removed before painting just using kerosene. Re-apply when the water stops beading, just like a polish. In storage, up to 2 years before needing to reapply.
05-14-2020 08:02 PM
jlcoble I you were over here in the states you would have no problem getting in a magazine custom 4x4 are popular and sema does a big 4x4 show every year. When you get done you should send pictures to 4x4 or four wheeler magazines. Practice makes perfect but you're metal working and fab skills are amazing keep up the great work. I wish I had your skills
05-14-2020 05:51 PM
Gojeep Many thanks guys for the comments.
I never set out to build this for show points, would have built it completely different if I was. No OEM brackets and bottles etc. I am just trying to learn how to improve my metalworking skills as have always enjoyed working with metal.
If I wanted to do well in shows and magazines it would have to be a red 32 Ford! But I like being different to everyone.
When I planned this build I thought it was highly likely that I was the only one that liked it, and I was ok with that.
05-13-2020 06:49 AM
daddyjeep87 There have been plenty of AWD hot rods built through the years. I can't imaging excluding such a beautiful vehicle from anything just because it has a front diff. I am sure that you aren't building it for accolades and publicity. We can all see you are building this simply for your passion for your craft.
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