This website details my work on a 1951 Willys Pickup Truck project. A lot of these pages have information and pictures from other people's projects from the Internet. As I finish these parts on my Willys, I will update pictures and information on my actual vehicle.
Beginnings of the Project
I wanted to get an older pickup for a project vehicle. I had a few goals:
I did some research and decided that a Willys Pickup from the 1947-1962 years looked attractive. During these years, the body and drive train layout did not change very much. Basically there were 6 volt and 12 volt systems, and in-line 4 and 6 cylinder engines.
I decided that I was not going to restore the truck. I felt that I would "re-power" or "resto-mod" the truck. Resto-mod is generally considered to be where the outside of the vehicle is kept relatively stock, and the drive train and possibly the interior is updated. I read a few books and joined the WillysTech mailing list to learn more.
I wanted to update several things:
I ended up getting a 1951 Willys pickup truck on eBay. I picked it up and brought it home on a trailer. It had been converted to 12 volts, and it had a 225 Buick/Jeep Dauntless V6 engine already installed. The truck was advertised as "Everything Works", but after picking it up, it was obvious that the truck needed a lot of work to be a daily driver.
None of the tires held air very well, and at the tire shop, it was obvious that the wheels were so rusty inside that I would need new ones.
On a closer inspection at home, I saw that the "motor mounts" were fabricated from several pieces of angle iron. There were no rubber bushings, and the welded mounts looked very fragile.
There were other problems. Every piece of window glass had a crack or was delaminating. All the dash switches were unscrewed from the dash and hanging down by their wires. The knob for the windshield wiper switch came off when you pulled it. The transfer case was in 2 wheel high, but the shift levers were rusted in place. And the list went on...