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Advice for a Willys Jeep restoration project


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I hope Ive come to the right forum with my question. I am looking at the possibility of getting a WW2 Willys Jeep up and running.


I will give you a brief history as far as I can remember and from what Ive been told.


My late grandad bought the jeep at the end of world war 2 over in italy and used it when he had a farm, Since he died over 20 years ago the jeep had stood still and I've been told wont start as so parts have been removed from the motor.


I have no mechanical or engineering experience whatsoever but I would dearly like to get the jeep to drive again. Not have it restored but just so it can be driven safely.


What sort of things would I need to do as a priority I'm guessing the engine will probably have ceased up and the brakes steering and gears will need looking at and maybe the wheels will need changing the electrics too will need attention as it has a 6 volt battery.


I have a print out of a 1/4 TON 4x4 TRUCK WILLYS-OVERLAND MODELMB and FORD MODEL GPW technical manual so look through.


I appreciate any advice on things I will need to do to it but if anyone can let me have more details about the jeep from the photos I'd be grateful


Thanks for your time









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Hi John,


that looks like a great project. Judging from your pics you do still have a lot of original parts, and that will save you a good amount of money.


Except from the great knowledge present on this forum I strongly suggest you also join the forum on http://www.g503.com/ .


Good luck and have fun!


Greetz :-)



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Hi Cardo,

check with local vehicle (military ) clubs in your area, depending on what has been removed from the engine (it appears to be all there), first of all do the basics, battery (can remain 6 volt) fuel, spark will engine fire up ?

Timing to check, check fuel lines for debris check all oil levels in engine,gearbox,transferbox, axels.(the area of the manuel that explains on using the vehicle for the first time)

If successfull and engine runs....... bleed brakes drive it (on private land)


There have been some post war modifications (indicators) when reading the manuel look for the data plates (glove box) chassis rails to assertain the age of the vehicle, engine and chassis numbers.


This looks like a great vehicle good luck with it and enjoy.



Edited by ashley
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you need to start with the basics- first, is the clutch free, sit in and depress the clutch and see if you can engage any gear, or see if you can find neutral. If you find neutral, fine. Next the engine, is it free. Remove all plugs and put spanner on the starting handle nut and try turning it. If turning, fine. Go to Halfords and buy a compression tester, contact jeep parts sellers and buy a starting handle, makes life much easier for cranking round the engine.


If it was my Jeep and it had been standing for a long time then the only correct way to recommision it would be to remove engine , strip it and check all the innards. Its no good worring about fuel lines, electrics or anything else at the beginning. If you need to clarify anything contact me. John.

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You need to start with the 'Big Three'


Is the engine shot? Cracked blocks can be pinned, but a crack in the crankshaft is a bigger problem. A rebuild engine (less accessories) is $2000-$2500 US. Rust in cylinders, worn valvetrain parts etc can quickly eat any budget.


Is the driveline serviceable? Jeeps are subject to certain cracks and wear that make them to expensive to recondition. A cracked block is somewhat common, but wear in the bearing/shaft retainers is much more common and can stop a project cold.


Is the body rust free? A new floor is almost always called for, and MD Juan parts are spotty with respect to fit.


I would not turn of fiddle with anything. There is probably water in every sump and turning things over with rusty bits on them will just make it more costly to repair.


Start by taking out the engine and have it looked over. If the engine is shot then you need to buy/rebuild, or start with the other bits till you have enough to get a proper engine rebuild done.

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