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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This project is about combining a 2008 WH/WK Grand Cherokee 5.7 HEMI with a 1948 Willys Pickup.

I have had a thread on other forums going for the last 6 years and have been often asked to post it here as well. As I just got my own domain and server space, I have to repost every picture I had so seems a good time to post it here as well.
Hope those that have followed it elsewhere don't mind but have found site activity or some of the other forums it is on has dropped off a lot in the last couple of years. This one being for more than one model looks far more active. :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This project has been brewing in my head for many years and been slowing gather parts and building a workshop and sheds to be able to do it.

The plan is to build a bit of a hotrod from using all the running gear, wiring, instruments, seats etc for one donor vehicle as much as possible.


Back in December 2007 I bought a Willys Pickup off eBay but it was a year before I got it home as had nowhere to store it. After much jumping through hoops with the council I built my workshop to house it.



After much looking and watching insurance auctions I was finally able to get a donor for the project. Ended up with a 2008 WH/WK Grand Cherokee with a 5.7 Hemi. It was first registered in 2009 and 12 months later T boned by a Harley rider doing a 100 mph! Hit it so hard that the foot well locked the throttle and he steered off the road into a paddock until he hit a tree.


One day these two will become one.


Getting the Grand into the workshop.


The Grand is in place ready for lots of measurements and then the strip down can begin!


Got a start on the project this week. Started by taking every measurement I could think of so I can setup all the suspension under the Willys when it gets transferred across. Also been labeling every wiring plug that I have found so far. Done the whole engine bay and have it all disconnected ready for removing once I can get to the others ends of the harness under the dash. Also unbolted every panel that can come off and removed the seats.


Being careful not to damage any of the trim when taking it apart in case I can sell any that I don't use.


Still go a few more things like the chrome roof bars, rear bumper and tail-lights to go outside.


Airbag under the dash cover was quite fiddly to get out.


What it looks like under the dash with the top cover off. Going to be fun getting all that into my Willys Pickup later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Got the steering column out today along with the centre console and shifter. Just untangling the dash harness and labeling it all.


Got my first chunk of wiring harness out.
This is just part of the under dash section!


The is the main dash member that just unbolts. It supports the steering column and all the heater/AC parts as well as the radio/navigation and heater controls etc.
Planning to install the whole thing into the Willys so I can bolt everything to it like it was in the Grand.


Starting to look a lot less in there now.


Got all the lining off the sides and seats belts etc out today plus the carpet. More time labeling everything as well. Still have the roof console and lining left to do up top and the HVAC system before I can remove more wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mock up time.
This is as low as I can get the front down and the upper wishbone not hit the underside of the front guard and with shorter springs on the struts ( technically coil overs as it has upper and lower wishbones for location ) and still have a decent ride. That is 2.5" lower than stock. I have just placed the Grand's wheels on there hoping the 30" tall tyres would fill the guards enough but not sure they have? Also working out the placement of the front wheel.


This is 1" further back than stock.


Front wheel in stock location


Front wheel 1" forward of stock location


Close up of wheel 1" back from stock.


Close up of wheel stock in stock location


Close up of wheel 1" forward from stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Few more mock up photos






This is with my trailer wheel and tyres fitted. They are a 235x80x17 ( 31.8") instead of the Grand's in 245x65x17 (29.5") in the other photos before this.


This is the stock axle location as well.




Think the tall skinny look works well with the old truck and hotrod look I am going for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Had a go with Photoshop for the first time to see how the things I have planned for the body will look on an image I found on the net.

Here is the original photo untouched of a stock Willys apart from the wider tyres.


Here I have widened the cab 6" and added an extra pair of lights in the grille.
One set will be for parkers and the other indicators.
I already have the lights to fit and are LED and look clear until powered up.

Here I have pancaked the roof or flattened it. The stock roof height looks a little bulbous to me.


Checking out what it looks like with a roof chop and the roof pancaked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

The last of the interior wiring finally out. :) I have filled a whole 55 litre tub with just the interior wiring alone and have none of the under bonnet and floor stuff yet. And that does not include another tub I have been filling with the different ECU's, modules etc.


This is the whole heater, A/C unit as well. Hoping to re-use that as is.


Just a shell now. Only a bit is some firewall insulation left which will come out once I unbolt the brake pedal which has the booster and master cylinder on the other side. Hand brake will come out once I loosen off the cable inside the rear rotors as no adjustment anywhere else.


Got the rear frame unbolted. Might think about using it in the Willys as it is also the mount for the panhard bar, tow bar, two exhaust hangers and the charcoal canister. The spare wheel also sit inside it.


Got the rear bumper off too as well as the chrome roof rails and petrol filler. Everything is ready for it to sit up high on stands so the drive train strip can begin. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The strip continues.


Stainless 2.75" exhaust and fuel tank is out.
Huge muffler makes it way too quiet so won't be using it.


Cut the windscreen out. Then cut it up with my 9" grinder with a diamond blade. Next time though I will wear more than just shorts and sandals as was picking out the glass splinters from under my toes!


Like the arms on the rear axle. Nice and strong with decent sized bushes. Glad the arms are not the pressed tin ones.


Back end is clear of everything now. I can pick the whole rear up quite easily with all the weight of the engine forward of the front stands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Got the coilovers out tonight.


The radiator is pretty big and planning on using it. The AC/ core also has the trans cooler in the top half and the power steering cooler sits in front of that again. The fan is run off the steering pump with electric control by the ECU.
Pretty deep though all up at around 9"


With the radiator out can finally see the Hemi!


Most of this will be hidden under the engine cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

There was no way it was coming out through the top with the engine, tans and transfercase still all attached. Also wanted to leave it attached to the sub frame that holds the engine mounts, steering rack, lower suspension arms and front diff.


So up up and away. Lisa is manning (should that be womanning?), the engine crane. :)


Just look at the size of it all against the big grand for reference! How am I going to fit all that under the little light weight Willys??


Was hoping to be able to keep everything attached to the sub frame and go up under the Willys as is. Only problem is that the grille is 8-9" closer to the front axle centre line in the Willys than the Grand. The wheels would end up against the firewall. Actual engine bay length is pretty similar ( Willys 3" shorter but there was a couple of inches between the fan and the front of the engine), so that is good. :)


Looks good with that cover on. :)


Cover is actually a bit short to clear the forward upper cowl area of the Grand. Wonder if the cover from a 300C, Challenger or Dodge truck are longer that these engines also come in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

I was lucky enough that someone gave me a photo of their hotrod with red steelies on at a similar angle to mine, I was able to crop the wheels out and add them to my 32" trailer tyres. Think it looks pretty good.
Now as I am going to widen the whole cab 7" to match the width of the rear and cover the new front end, I want to stretch the cab length ways also to keep the proportions and get more leg room. So this is at stock length.


This shot shows the cab lengthened 3.5", or half the 7" I am widening the cab.
The bed is shortened 3.5" to keep the overall length the same.


Here I have stretched the cab 5.5" which is the same percentage as the cab will be widened, (13.5%). I took the cab length to be from rear of cab to the base of the windscreen.
The bed has been shortened 5.5" as well in front of the rear guard leaving the wheelbase the same as stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Got the coilover and upper wishbone mounts off and will use them on the Willys frame once it gets spread to the same outer width as the Grand. Also got the mounts out from inside the frame for the front of the sub frame. Was a pain as lots of spot welds and stitch welding on the outside.


Decided to remove the rear quarters as hoping to be able to sell them to the Jeep wrecker as nothing wrong with them.
Driver side off.


Passenger side quarter panel off too.


One 1/4 panel. Hopefully can sell it off one day.


Got the firewall on this side mostly unpicked.


The damaged side on the right will be harder to remove as all squashed together. Will need quite a bit of straightening before I can use it, but will be much easier once the kick panel area is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Not much progress to show worth posting about but still forging ahead between other things that get in the way of the project like normal. I made a quick rotisserie out of two Aldi engine stands that cost me less than $100 for both of them. Can't buy the casters for that let alone the thick plate the pivot is on and other steel used in the stands etc.


Lifting up what is left so I can attached it to some raised engine stands I made up to make this next job easier and safer.


Stands are higher than needed for this part of the job but I will use them also for rotating the Willys cab as well.
Had to use the old Pythagoras rule for working out length of the hypotenuse, so I can know how high the pivot point needs to be. Squared the height of the cab, then added the squared width and then square rooted the result. A2+B2=C2 Halved the answer to get where the pivot point should sit and still be able to do a full rotation without hitting the floor. Just as well I paid some attention at school as never know when you may need that knowledge. ;)
Decent sized rails underneath with over 300 spot welds holding just the forward section of the floor I need on. Door sills were very robust as well and a double section. Much drilling to go and then can start drilling out all the suspension brackets and coil and panhard mounts etc too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

As I will be using the firewall and floor, I had to repair the damage from the Harley that hit the side at 100 mph according to police estimates.
Thought it would be easier while still up on the rotisserie for a good working height. Also much easier to flip it up either way depending on which side I am working on.
The ruler gives you an idea how much it needs to be straightened.


This crease is pretty sharp. This photo shows how much the force moved it. You are looking at the firewall upside down and this is where it goes from vertical to curving into the floor section.


Looking a lot straighter now. Need to work the upper section some more but will do that later once off the frame as some buckling still under that section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Still busy drilling out all the spot welds to remove the floor from the uni-body frame


I have ground the drill bit into what called a pilot point. These only work once a pilot hole has been drilled first. Then the centre part of the drill sits in this to locate the bit and then the cutting edges are almost flat to give a very shallow cut. The angle is less than what shows on this angle of shot.


You can see that all the drill holes on the lower part of the picture is what is left after only drilling the large hole through the top layer of the spot welded metal only. Much easier to just weld the small pilot hole up then the whole spot weld size.


But as you can see there is an awful lot of them to be done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Finally after 400 odd spot welds drilled out, the floor and firewall is separated from the uni-frame.
Quite substantial as 4" deep and further reinforced with another hat section inside of that as well.
Good to see how well all the galvanized steel is coated through and through. Was even between each layer of steel also.


Will be leaving the floor stiffener in place as it is the rear mount for the seats and seat belts.
I did quite well on drilling out all the spot welds too with one or two one breaking right through the floor panel that I wanted left undrilled apart from the pilot hole. There was a few others when a bracket had to be removed from the top side as well so had to be drilled from both sides, but not bad going when you have to stop the drill bit each time only 1.2mm short of drilling through. Learnt a trick right near the end of tapping in a cold chisel into the joint and then you would here a crack just as the spot weld broke from the floor. Of coarse only discovered this with less than a dozen to go!


Not sure if I can keep where the cowl juts out or not. It was for the air intake for the heater and A/C and where the wiper motor and linkages sit. Not useful for either as they are needed under the cowl in the Willys and not the bonnet where this sits in the Grand.


Still undecided on how to best use the rear suspension mounts. At the width it sits, the rails with upper and lower control arm and coil mounts would nearly fit between the Willys chassis whole. So could leave them mounted to the rails and weld this to the inside of the Willys chassis.
I will keep this section as one piece until I know how to use it best. Want to use the mounts either way and they are made from HSLC ( High Strength Low Carbon ) steel and is 30-40% stronger than normal steel and has a higher corrosion resistance as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

The poor little shed is busting at the seams! Managed to fit nearly the whole Grand in there apart the rear quarters, roof and rear floor plus the front sub assembly. Cant wait to start taking things back out of there as means I am actually putting things back together or sold some parts I don't need. :)


Been a while since there has been a clear floor.


Willys going into the workshop. This is why I made my benches fold down easily. Tight, but it fits.


Hard to believe that that engine will one day sit in the Willys.


Ready to be set at the height where I will take the measurements I need before pulling it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Got the fun of trying to think of every thing needed before strip down begins. Takes a lot of time with nothing to see for it, but essential all the same.


I was able to have the radiator nearly 3" closer than what it was in the Grand. Will still leave me enough room to change a belt. I was careful when removing the drivetrain to keep it at the angle it will remain at once installed. The radiator has also been set to the finished angle to get a better idea of working room behind it.


Another problem I ran into was that because I have to move the axle, steering and suspension etc forward 6" to centre the wheels under the front guards, the oil filter will end up on top of the steering rack. Not a problem for a LHD, but it is for me. But it looks like I can just remove the whole angled filter mount and spin the filter directly onto the block instead and have it vertical.


If I want to mount the Grands firewall in the stock Willys location, I will have to come up with a different power steering and hydraulic fan cooler. Would save loosing interior space, even if it is only a 1.5", but am extending the cab anyway around 6" so not that much of a concern. If I do move the firewall back that far though, I can use the Grands stock aluminium rear drive shaft.
Also moving it back will give me a bit more depth in the dash in front of the windscreen to mount my instruments that in the Grand sat in a leather clad pod into the top of the dash. Will also compare door opening to firewall depths between the two vehicles. The other thing is the cowl vent might end up partially over the firewall so has to be checked as well.
Fun and games. :)
 
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