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1945 Willys MB. Part 5, Actually doing things

Low slung big tired Willys Mb

TreeFarm

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TreeFarm submitted a new Build:

1945 Willys MB. Part 4, Its time to get my life together build

This is the story of my first 4x4. A 1945 Willys MB SN 428411 born on March 23 1945

Read more about this build here...

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Parts numbers so I don't forget them
  • Engine 1998 4.3 V6 Vin# 1gccs19x5w8252219
  • Radiator 1967-70 ford mustang
  • Lower Radiator hose Napa7236 Gates20412 1960 ford fairlane
  • power steering pump 1997 jeep wrangler
  • steering box 1989-1995 Toyota IFS
  • Axles, 1979 Jeep Wagoneer
  • Springs, stock Jeep YJ
  • 1985 hyd SM465 to novak Dana 18 adapter
  • Dana 18 in Dana 20 case.
 
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TreeFarm

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Ive been using this thing as a shelf for a few years now and its finally time for me to get my life back in order and focus on whats important. Things will be out of order while I catch everyone up

This is a 1945 Willys MB S.N. 428411 born on March 23 1945. It was given to my by my grandfather when I was 8 or 9. It had been in my family for years before it. I learned to drive stick and drive period in this rig as a small child on our ranch. I 8 years old wheeling this thing through our pastures and creek beds. We actually had two of these on the ranch. one got sold off years before I was able to drive it.

The thing was all original short of the rust holes and super rare factory Willys-Overland CJ2A half cab that was welded on to the tub. Some interesting facts about this particular war machine. It had the factory cross country package, which means it had an under hood air compressor for airing up the tires after shooting Nazis as well as oversized tires. it got 7.0s rather than 6.0s for higher highway speeds. I was never able to track down any history on where it came from. The hood numbers were layered and didn't lead anywhere in my research. Unfortunately the rust had consumed this thing even being in California. It must have come from somewhere bad because nothing else on the ranch looked like this thing. I knew I wasn't going to be restoring it using this tub, and the tub is what mattered to me. So I figured why not build the ultimate Willys.

First things first was getting it out of the barn and back to my place in vegas. That involved storing it at a friends house for a few months where he was constantly bombarded with people trying to buy it. I finally found a cheap shipper who picked it up and brought it home

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TreeFarm

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Once I got it home it was one of those "Ran when parked" stories, only I was the one that parked it. Dumped some fuel in the carb and she fired right up. I knew I needed to rewire the thing before I could drive it so that was step two, Step one was sending my paperwork off to Vermont to get it registered and in my name. Titles unfortunately have a way of getting lost when everyone who would know anything about it is dead. Once the plates came in I tossed on some used tires off my XJ and started driving it around while I decided what to do with it.

It wasnt long before I decided on YJ leafs and Wagoneer D44s. I knew I was keeping the Dana 18 so offset axles were a must. I struggled a bit with the engine. I was originally going to go with a Kubota v2203 diesel but talked myself out of it for the more common 4.3L v6. Looking back now I kick myself for not going with the diesel. Oh well, next engine will be a kubota or r2.8. The transmission was originally going to be a T90 that I picked up with a D18. 2 years ago I came into a SM465. I had bought a SBC for my 66 C10 and the trans came with it. So that made my upgrade easy.

There are 3 basic versions of the dana 18 out there. The original WW2 model. It had a small input bore and 3/4" intermediate shaft. The Early civilian case, it had a small input bore and a 1-1/8" intermediate shaft. Finally Late civilian, it has a Large input bore and 1-1/4" intermediate shaft. This late civilian case damn rare as the 18 was being phased out. The case itself is almost identical to the Dana 20 case. The d18 intermediate shaft is always under load because of the offset front and rear outputs, so this makes the bearings critical to the life of the case. the larger 1-1/4" shaft uses considerably more smaller diameter roller bearings than the 1-1/8" shaft. So in comes the "Hybrid" You take a Dana 20 case and fill it full of Dana 18 guts. This gives you the best bearings possible while keeping the offset outputs and the ability to run an overdrive. The large input bore case is also slightly bigger allowing for Tera Low gears in the future.


Current drive-train is a 4.3V6, sm465, D18/20 hybrid, and d44s. It got put in at an angle to allow the front drive shaft to clear the bell housing/starter. have room for a battery, exhaust, my feet, and a bunch of other stuff.

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TreeFarm

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Suspension is worn out old stock YJ springs. Out boarded in the front. Wheel base got stretched 3" in the front and 2" in the rear to reach a whopping 95" total. the frame has been fully boxed. The front rebuilt to hold the steering box. I never intended for the factory frame to last. I pictured it as a test platform to see how I like everything before I build a 2x4 frame. Steering is handled with a Toyota IFS steering box., Saginaw TC style pump, and a cheep surplus center ram. For pedals, I cut out the firewall, reinforced it, and mounted up a slightly modified jeep XJ pedal box. Using Wilwood master cylinders for brakes and clutch. Knuckles got cut and turned. I'm runnign 9" travel shocks all around. Ride height is only 6 or so inches above factory, with a 2 inch suspension drop. It doesnt flex half bad.

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TreeFarm

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Body mods were kept simple. Rust repairs mainly. The whole floor and supports got replaced. I also "high lined" the front fenders. I just slid them up the tub and drilled new holes. I had to re make the front area where they mount to the grille, extend the back where they bolt to the side steps, and cut the hood to fit them. All in all pretty easy but super useful. Not only did it raise the fenders but it pushed the grille forward a little over an inch giving me room for a fan on my mustang radiator. The rear wheel tubs got cut back a bit to allow me to move my seats back. Every inch counts in this thing. I can only get in and out with the steering wheel removed. I doubt anyone bigger than me could drive this thing at all.

Fun fact, Almost all of the sheet metal I have used on this build came from a pile in @muddysub yard. Here 4 or 5 years later I still haven't used it all

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TreeFarm

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That pretty much brings me to where I am no. I have done a few things not pictured like make my anti wrap bar. I have a pile of fuel system parts that need to go in. brake lines need to be plumbed. It needs to be wired. Lots of little things that make up the home stretch.

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Kay86K5

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What size are those pitbulls?

I love it! We have a 1947 Willys CJ2A in our family too. Has a moderate 4" lift with 34" LTB's on it and a SBC in it. It's at my brothers house in pieces right now as it needs to be completely gone through. The end goal is very similar to your build. I've always loved Willys builds :saweet:
 

Truckman4life

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I saw a sweet looking little flatty once out in Lake Point that had a cool desert camo realtree looking wrap on it. Was on some baby swampers.
 

CUCV2

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That's some great family history with this Willys. I think any Grandpa would be proud of what you've done with this so far. Keep up the good work! But why the VT plates? No title?

Gratuitous pic of the Willys I built. It had a Buick 4.1L/TH350/D18 with Waggy 44s (4.88s/Detroits) on YJ springs.

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78K30

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Looking forward to seeing more of this build. Gonna send it to my friend that's gathering parts got a 2A build, so well both be following along :popcorn:
 

max 02

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Ever time see a Flat fender I’m always amazed at how small they are.

Love this build...it just looks Right. :waytogo:
 

frankin5

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Brings back old memories of 1968 CJ5 with factory Buick odd fire V6, Muncie M22 adapted to t18, warn overdrive, 4:88 rear and 4:89 front and 33" tires. It was a wicked little street racer.
 
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