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1949 2WD Willys Pickup - Wicked Willys: Part 4

Posted in Project Vehicles on December 15, 2014
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Last time, in Wicked Willys world, we told you that the project was slightly stalled and our plan was to keep tinkering away. Setting up the blocks of the next step and knocking them down to get further down the road to a driving and wheeling rig. Well, as much as we would like to tell you that things are going perfectly, we can’t without stretching the truth. Don’t worry, the project is still a go, and by dog, we will finish it! It’s just things are not coming together quite as quickly and as seamlessly as we would have liked. Such is life.

We will forge ahead and keep on Jeeping. This time in Part 4 of Wicked Willys, we add a few parts from our friends over at Dave’s Customs Unlimited. These parts will help us safely carry fuel for our big Willys with a sexy fuel cell and help get the rear suspension closer to being done with a set of both upper and lower coil spring mounts. We also added a Warn winch mount intended for a TJ so we can add the Warn 8274-50 that used to have a home on our ’56 Willys Project Ground Up. We also tinkered a bit more with the rollcage trimming and fitting our Willys original patina’d dash to the ’cage. This is so we can easily get under the cowl when it comes time to add wiring, steering, and pedals. Check it out as our big Jeep gets even closer despite the snags.

One nice thing about building a Willys on a modified TJ frame is that some aftermarket parts fit right on the Jeep - with a little tiny massaging. Knowing it would be darn close, we called up Warn for one if the company's winch mounting plates for TJ (PN 38671, $250.99). Once the part arrived, we had to notch the back to clear our rotated steering box. One nice thing about building a Willys on a modified TJ frame is that some aftermarket parts fit right on the Jeep - with a little tiny massaging. Knowing it would be darn close, we called up Warn for one if the company's winch mounting plates for TJ (PN 38671, $250.99). Once the part arrived, we had to notch the back to clear our rotated steering box.
We also had to, ahem, adjust the location of two of the grille slats on our Willys truck. At first, we were thinking we would grind a notch into the slat to clear the winch motor, but instead, we massaged the slats with a ball-peen hammer. Butch—just like the truck is going to be. We also had to, ahem, adjust the location of two of the grille slats on our Willys truck. At first, we were thinking we would grind a notch into the slat to clear the winch motor, but instead, we massaged the slats with a ball-peen hammer. Butch—just like the truck is going to be.
When all the parts were massaged accordingly to fit our very-custom Willys on a TJ frame, the winch fit like it was designed to from the factory. Plus, it’s a totally badass winch, fast as hell, and tough too. If the winch looks familiar, that’s because this Warn M8274-50 is the same one that sat on the front bumper of project Ground Up. If you buy a quality winch like this, it will last for several projects to come. When all the parts were massaged accordingly to fit our very-custom Willys on a TJ frame, the winch fit like it was designed to from the factory. Plus, it’s a totally badass winch, fast as hell, and tough too. If the winch looks familiar, that’s because this Warn M8274-50 is the same one that sat on the front bumper of project Ground Up. If you buy a quality winch like this, it will last for several projects to come.
In Part 3, we told you that we cut the factory dash out of the Willys cab. We did this for a few reasons, but we always wanted to retain the look and functionality of the stock dash. Our plan all along was to add tabs, trim the stock dash, and then mount the dash to the ’cage. That way, we can easily pull the dash and get at wiring, the pedal assembly, and steering column. Having the dash removable will also allow us to tie the ’cage A-pillars to the radiator support and engine cage. The final product turned out way nicer than we expected. The dash fits the cage like it was meant to be mounted this way. In Part 3, we told you that we cut the factory dash out of the Willys cab. We did this for a few reasons, but we always wanted to retain the look and functionality of the stock dash. Our plan all along was to add tabs, trim the stock dash, and then mount the dash to the ’cage. That way, we can easily pull the dash and get at wiring, the pedal assembly, and steering column. Having the dash removable will also allow us to tie the ’cage A-pillars to the radiator support and engine cage. The final product turned out way nicer than we expected. The dash fits the cage like it was meant to be mounted this way.
In Part 3, we told you that we cut the factory dash out of the Willys cab. We did this for a few reasons, but we always wanted to retain the look and functionality of the stock dash. Our plan all along was to add tabs, trim the stock dash, and then mount the dash to the ’cage. That way, we can easily pull the dash and get at wiring, the pedal assembly, and steering column. Having the dash removable will also allow us to tie the ’cage A-pillars to the radiator support and engine cage. The final product turned out way nicer than we expected. The dash fits the cage like it was meant to be mounted this way. In Part 3, we told you that we cut the factory dash out of the Willys cab. We did this for a few reasons, but we always wanted to retain the look and functionality of the stock dash. Our plan all along was to add tabs, trim the stock dash, and then mount the dash to the ’cage. That way, we can easily pull the dash and get at wiring, the pedal assembly, and steering column. Having the dash removable will also allow us to tie the ’cage A-pillars to the radiator support and engine cage. The final product turned out way nicer than we expected. The dash fits the cage like it was meant to be mounted this way.
Supplying fuel to a custom project like our Willys can sometimes be a difficult proposition. In our case, using the stock gas tank was out of the question since the tank would need to be mounted in a place that doesn’t exist with our new frame. Enter Dave’s Customs Unlimited and its 15-gallon fuel cell (PN DCU-FUELCELL, $400.00). The first step in mounting our fuel cell is to cut a hole in the floor of the bed for the tank to clear the angled fuel pickup on the bottom of the tank. Supplying fuel to a custom project like our Willys can sometimes be a difficult proposition. In our case, using the stock gas tank was out of the question since the tank would need to be mounted in a place that doesn’t exist with our new frame. Enter Dave’s Customs Unlimited and its 15-gallon fuel cell (PN DCU-FUELCELL, $400.00). The first step in mounting our fuel cell is to cut a hole in the floor of the bed for the tank to clear the angled fuel pickup on the bottom of the tank.
The Dave’s Customs Unlimited fuel cell is manufactured right here in the good ol’ US of A. TIG welded out of 1⁄8-inch-thick aluminum, the fuel cell is mounted with these killer steel fuel-cell brackets (PN: DCU-FCELLMNT, $92.50). Once we mount the bed to the truck, we will drill the holes for the brackets to firmly hold the cell in place. Yeah, the bed-mounted fuel cell will take up space, but it’s not like we are planning on hauling much lumber in this truck—unless we need some lumber at the end of a gnarly trail. The Dave’s Customs Unlimited fuel cell is manufactured right here in the good ol’ US of A. TIG welded out of 1⁄8-inch-thick aluminum, the fuel cell is mounted with these killer steel fuel-cell brackets (PN: DCU-FCELLMNT, $92.50). Once we mount the bed to the truck, we will drill the holes for the brackets to firmly hold the cell in place. Yeah, the bed-mounted fuel cell will take up space, but it’s not like we are planning on hauling much lumber in this truck—unless we need some lumber at the end of a gnarly trail.
Next, we opened up the radius of a pair of Dave’s Customs Unlimited Universal Lower Coil Spring Mounts (PN DCUCSLB, $75.00) so that they would fit our GM 14-bolt axle. Then, after taking several measurements and using our plum bob, we were able to locate the lower spring mounts so eventually we can add some TJ rear coils. Next, we opened up the radius of a pair of Dave’s Customs Unlimited Universal Lower Coil Spring Mounts (PN DCUCSLB, $75.00) so that they would fit our GM 14-bolt axle. Then, after taking several measurements and using our plum bob, we were able to locate the lower spring mounts so eventually we can add some TJ rear coils.
The Dave’s Customs Unlimited Universal Upper Coil Spring Mounts (PN DCUCSUB, $86.90) are intended to work with the radius of a stock YJ or TJ rear frame. We trimmed the radiused part of our TJ frame off some time back, so we had to modify these parts to work with our flat rear framerails. Also, check out that sexy TIG welding on the parts. Nice! The Dave’s Customs Unlimited Universal Upper Coil Spring Mounts (PN DCUCSUB, $86.90) are intended to work with the radius of a stock YJ or TJ rear frame. We trimmed the radiused part of our TJ frame off some time back, so we had to modify these parts to work with our flat rear framerails. Also, check out that sexy TIG welding on the parts. Nice!
The Dave’s Customs Unlimited Universal Upper Coil Spring Mounts (PN DCUCSUB, $86.90) are intended to work with the radius of a stock YJ or TJ rear frame. We trimmed the radiused part of our TJ frame off some time back, so we had to modify these parts to work with our flat rear framerails. Also, check out that sexy TIG welding on the parts. Nice! The Dave’s Customs Unlimited Universal Upper Coil Spring Mounts (PN DCUCSUB, $86.90) are intended to work with the radius of a stock YJ or TJ rear frame. We trimmed the radiused part of our TJ frame off some time back, so we had to modify these parts to work with our flat rear framerails. Also, check out that sexy TIG welding on the parts. Nice!
With a few more measurements, we were able to locate the proper placement for the upper coil mounts. We will be using TJ or ZJ rear coils on this Jeep, and we are keeping the upper and lower mounts roughly parallel, unlike on a lifted TJ where these pads can be at angles to one another. Keeping the mounts parallel helps prevent damage to the coils and ends up giving just a touch more lift without changing the coils. With a few more measurements, we were able to locate the proper placement for the upper coil mounts. We will be using TJ or ZJ rear coils on this Jeep, and we are keeping the upper and lower mounts roughly parallel, unlike on a lifted TJ where these pads can be at angles to one another. Keeping the mounts parallel helps prevent damage to the coils and ends up giving just a touch more lift without changing the coils.
See the nice coil-spring retaining plates. These keep the coil from popping out when unloaded when the Jeep is all flexed out on the trail. We will still have to figure out some rear bumpstops when we get the bed all mounted up and the tires on wheels. We may make them mount on top of these coil retainer plates or build them outside the rear coils. See the nice coil-spring retaining plates. These keep the coil from popping out when unloaded when the Jeep is all flexed out on the trail. We will still have to figure out some rear bumpstops when we get the bed all mounted up and the tires on wheels. We may make them mount on top of these coil retainer plates or build them outside the rear coils.
We also finally added a gusset to the area where we spliced the straight frame pieces on to the cut-down TJ frame. To do this, we first bent our gusset a few degrees in our Swag Off Road break. We also finally added a gusset to the area where we spliced the straight frame pieces on to the cut-down TJ frame. To do this, we first bent our gusset a few degrees in our Swag Off Road break.
Once welded in place on the lower part of the frame, we pounded the gusset down flat on the higher part of the framerail. Then, we were able to finish welding the gusset to the frame. Once welded in place on the lower part of the frame, we pounded the gusset down flat on the higher part of the framerail. Then, we were able to finish welding the gusset to the frame.

Sources

Dave's Customs Unlimited
Wittmann, AZ 85361
602-639-1213
www.davescustomsunlimited.com
Warn Industries
Clackamas, OR 97015
800-543-9276
www.warn.com

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