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1948 Jeep Willys Pickup Truck - Project Murderous Overkill, Part 1

Front Driver Side Loaded Onto Trailer
Christian Hazel
| Brand Manager, Four Wheeler
Posted October 4, 2005
Photographers: Des Wytmans

The 12-step program for Junk Jeeps Anonymous.

Project Murderous Overkill, Part 1
Project Murderous Overkill, Part 1 - Web Extras
Project Murderous Overkill, Part 2
Project Murderous Overkill, Part 3

We promised you more on the purchase of our new project vehicle in the November 2005 issue of Jp, so here it is:

After checking out the photos of my wife's cousin, Joe sent me via e-mail, I agreed to swap him my old Ramsey Patriot 9500 winch from the front of my Dodge for the Willys. I felt a little guilty about getting so much for so little, so I also threw in a set of off-road lights. The lights helped, but I still felt a little guilty, so I threw in some Jp Magazine stickers. However, not even the stickers totally cleared my conscience, so I just decided to accept the fact that I was a bad person and envisioned kicking his dog, trampling his rose bushes, and peeling out over his lawn after stealing the Jeep from him.

I loaded up my F-250 and trailer and drove up to Cappa's shack on a dirt lot to pick him up. Cousin Joe had been nice enough to bring the Willys to his residence in San Luis Obispo from Los Gatos, saving me hours of driving and lots of gas money. I should have refused his kind offer, but I'm a dog-kicking, rose killing evil person, so I let him.

We arrived at the Wytmans estate and quickly used the winch I was trading to cousin Joe to load the '48 onto my trailer. Hey, if nothing else it showed him the darn thing worked.

After loading the truck, making payment in swag, and signing all the papers, Cappa and I hightailed it to the nearest restaurant parking lot to really survey my steal.

The Good:
Although it was covererd in algae and had a few wasps nests in the crevices, the truck was relatively clean. The Ramsey PTO and winch are really cool and may find a home on the Hatari CJ-6, but don't hold your breath for an install story. Most of the sheetmetal is solid and straight. There's a Ford Pickup rear axle with big bearing ends, a Nodular iron 3rd member, 31-spline shafts, and 3.50 gears. The brakes work really well.

The Bad:
The bald, dry-rotted 14-15 tires are about a 36x15.50 equivalent and will be the first thing to hit the dumpster. The previous owner (the dude before cousin Joe) swapped in a I-6 Chevy engine in front of the stock T-90 and Spicer 18 t-case, but cut the front crossmember out in order to move the stock radiator forward. The stock steering was held together with bent nails and it's nearly impossible to turn the wheels with those big, dumb tires on it.

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