Vintage Jeep/Willys Question

alexfm

Explorer
Hi All,

I'm thinking about trying to pick up an early CJ or possibly an MB as a project/wheeler/secondary DD and was wondering what I should look for in terms of common issues, things to avoid, decent price ranges, etc.

I'm not afraid to turn a wrench myself, and don't mind fixing stuff, and I'm fairly mechanically inclined, so I can probably fix anything that might be wrong with it.

Thanks,

Alex.
 

1966CJ5V6

New member
I have to say I like my 66 CJ5 with the stock V6 etc. Depending on if you are looking into CJ5's look for the ACDelco ignitions as they tend to be better than Prestolite. Clutches etc are easy to do. Having driven my dad's 44 GPW both on and off road I would lean toward the CJ5 platform vs a flatfender just out of comfort. Also keep in mind the small drum brakes the earlier Jeeps come with if you're looking to run large tires/lifts etc. Hope this helps.
 

shortbus4x4

Expedition Leader
My personal favorite is a flatfender but they can be kind of cramped. For a daily driver the newer the better. For a fun wheeler the older the better. If you could find a CJ6 with a 225 V6 that would be the sweet one. Look for cracks in the frame, rust in the body, and hack repairs or mods done by previous owners. The Jeep I bought last year is a 1952 M-38 with a Ford 260 V8, Warn OD, and a PTO winch, paid $2000 cash plus some work on a car. Needs some work but is in pretty good shape. I have seen flattys go for $1500 and up here on the west coast.
 

jeepdreamer

Expedition Leader
It all kind f depends on what you want to do with it. Personally, I would look for one that has the best body and handle the mechanicals myself. I'm no body man. :)
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
If you aren't going to keep just about EVERYTHING stock I would just buy a brand new tub ( steel or aluminum ) and build a new boxed frame. Then fill it with whatever stuff you want.....

A stock flat fender is as cool as cool gets, but unless your going to be a purest and keep it restored, I would just build a new one and have exactly what you want. The original flat fenders are cool, but not really THAT 'good'......low power engines, 3spd transmissions, weak axles, etc.

It all depends what you want in the end, but think LONG AND HARD about just building one from scratch.....
 

Quill

Adventurer
Just find one you like. If you have a title, you can buy replacement parts for everything else. There are plenty of good ones out there for sale. Obviously the frame needs to be good. That said remember the original engines where not power houses and their brakes where not the quality of modern ones.
 

BIGdaddy

Expedition Leader
I think a resto-mod flattie with a roll cage/bar masked by a soft top, with a custom boxed frame to match the stock one, cj, fj, or maybe even samurai axles would be SO cool.

Stick with a stock tire size, put in some heated, stock looking seats, and have a blast. Might want to look up a flattie called "the pope" pictured here...

http://www.4wheeloffroad.com/cheaptruck/131_0507_ctc/photo_09.html


One day this '42 Ford GPW showed up at our office and Pw freaked out (not uncommon when he sees a flatty he hasn't seen before). It turned out that Rifle Shooter had recently hired Richard Venola as its new editor and Richard showed up in Los Angeles with this flatfender commonly referred to as the Pope. The Pope was found in a field in Michigan 13 years ago, and Richard stretched the frame and body 6 inches and dropped in most of the drivetrain from an S-10 Blazer and a '73 CJ-5 to make it a reliable daily driver. Yes, rain or shine, this is Richard's only ride--no top, no cage, never been towed. How cool is that?
 

gpwpat

Adventurer
I have restored many Willys MB/ Ford Gpw. I love them. and I love them stock. There is just somwthing about the smell of the canvas, the whine of the engine and tranny. The fact that you go 50 max makes you take your time to think and look around. Since I don't drive freeways I get to find backroads and see parts of the country I wouldn't get to see otherwise. Not only that the WWII jeeps hold their value if not go up in value over time. as there are less and less in origional configuration every day.

if looking for a jeep to restore. Look for as many origional parts as possible. little things add up real quick. Frames can be repaired. But side handles, seat frames, gas tanks, top bows, jarry can brakets, spair tire brackets. all the small origional parts under the hood add up really quick.

Here are some pictures from a 200 mi run. It was a great day. we ended up getting stuck because the weight of the trailer that was with us was too much for the cobblesone riverbed at a steep slope. a jeep by itself was fine. but as soon as you hooked the trailer on. no go. in the end we had to tie 3 jeeps together to recover the trailer.

the GPW with the tandem tow bar is mine. nothing on it is post 1945.

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alexfm

Explorer
If you aren't going to keep just about EVERYTHING stock I would just buy a brand new tub ( steel or aluminum ) and build a new boxed frame. Then fill it with whatever stuff you want.....

A stock flat fender is as cool as cool gets, but unless your going to be a purest and keep it restored, I would just build a new one and have exactly what you want. The original flat fenders are cool, but not really THAT 'good'......low power engines, 3spd transmissions, weak axles, etc.

It all depends what you want in the end, but think LONG AND HARD about just building one from scratch.....
I'd love to do that, but I definitely can't afford that. I don't even know that I'll be able to afford what I mentioned above. I'd love to just go to town with a new tub and custom chassis though. Actually, your flatfender was a good chunk of inspiration for me, and thats pretty much the direction I'd go in when I get to buying and building one.

I'd love to keep it original as possible, but I kinda want a resto-modded deal. Something that still has the classic flavor, but with a modern-ish twist.
 
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