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Building a Willys MB Jeep from Scratch

Discussion in 'Military Vehicle Restoration' started by George Patton, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Yes. I'm going to paint everything in one shot (including the stars, unit markings, serial numbers and labels). I already ordered the 'invasion star' stencil for the hood, and I have a set of letter stencils kicking around somewhere. As for the mud, I don't plan on taking this offroad for obvious reasons, but I'll see what I come across next time I'm driving around.
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well, I guess it will do okay as a garrison jeep. It sleeps indoors, I will obviously assume.
     
  3. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Yes it does.

    I picked up an original shovel today, but (obviously) the indentation in the reproduction tub isn't deep enough for it. I might try to bend the metal on the thing, or soak the wood in water for a few days and try to bend the wooden shaft.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I've been having Internet troubles the last few days. I just stumbled on this yesterday and lost my connection before I could comment. Anyway - great job!

    I'm with Slipdigit - I think a 30th ID designation would be pretty cool!
     
  5. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Thanks KB, but I think I've decided on the 37th TB of the 4th Armored for the markings.

    I won't be painting anything for a few weeks, but I'll post pictures when I do.
     
  6. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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  7. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Thanks Ruud.

    That jeep you posted is a 'slat grill' MB. That particular type was the first production version of the MB, and there were only about 25,000 of them built. They command a premium over the more common 'stamped' grill like mine. A warning on that one, though: people often use floor mats to hide rust or repairs done to the floorboards. That price actually isn't bad assuming everything is running (I assume it works fine, because it looks like a recent restoration). The going rate for a good MB (no mechanical issues, body with no rust) over here is between $20,000 and $25,000.
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Alan,

    Did you consider putting a cable cutter on the front?
     
  9. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I did, and I decided against it for the time being. To do it properly (judging from most of the period photos I've seen) involves welding some angle-iron on the bumper, and two braces to the frame. This is something that I don't really want to do.

    I have two other bumpers in my shop right now, one was the heavily modified one from the original frame that I didn't touch. Since its already trashed anyway (weld marks all over it, edges bent, brackets for tow hooks of the sides) I have considered drilling it so that a wire cutter on a plate can be mounted like this photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ford_GPW_%281942%29_owned_by_Paul_Bater_pic1.JPG

    Removing the bumper is a simple matter since there are only 8 bolts, so I could easily swap bumpers depending on the occasion.
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    That s ounds like a good plan. When you bolt the other on, please post some pics.
     
  11. Ruud

    Ruud Member

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    Thanks for this information. So this is a real collectors item and the restoration looks good. If i only had the money....
     
  12. GPW1944

    GPW1944 recruit

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    Great job on your jeep, did ya give it a name? Its gotta have a name, when I was putting mine together (which took about the same amount as yours, and there never done) I thought and thought and finally decided on Traveler. Anyway your jeep looks great, maybe even better than mine I must admit. Noted that you indicated you had trouble getting those fenders on. Funny thing I had the same issue on the passenger side, but that fender was a little out of wack as it was.
    Best Regards
    Jim
     
  13. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Its been about a year, so I might as well provide an update. I've had to adjust the valves last October, and replace one of the brake lines this spring. Besides that there's been no major issues. I've put about 1000 miles on it so far this summer. I've done some light offroading through fields and have even done a speed test -- it maxes out around 53 MPH. As much as you freeze your ass off in the fall and winter, its an ideal vehicle for warm summer days.

    I've been contemplating throwing a M1919A4 on the back, but haven't come to a decision yet.

    As an aside, I found out that Thompson magazine bags are the perfect size for a wrench set. $5 dollar purchase at one of the gun shows around here and it makes for a "historically accurate" way to carry your tools in your jeep if you don't want to fork out the money for a proper WW2 tool kit...

    I still haven't gotten around to painting the stars and registration numbers (lack of time, and I have no painting skills what-so-ever so I'm worried about screwing it up), but I did decide on a unit for it to "belong to" and painted the bumpers appropriately -- 37th Tank Battalion of the 4th Armored Division. The company and vehicle number choice was arbitrary, but in this case its marked as HQ company, 2nd vehicle.

    There's a military vehicles show in Milton (about a 15 minute drive from me) during the last weekend of August. If I'm not traveling, I'll be there with the jeep, a Stalwart and a Pinzgauer. I'll definitely break out the spray paint and paint up the jeep properly beforehand!

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    " finally decided on Traveler. "

    Nice. blues TRAVELER :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ousaiByU1ko
     
  15. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the comments.

    I missed your message back in March so am reading it for the first time today. I haven't decided on a name and so far have decided against it. As I said I'd like to stick to my original plan of marking it up like a jeep in a WW2 photo but I haven't found much from the 37th TB. If I find a good photo and the jeep has a name, I'll follow suit!
     
  16. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    As yet another aside, I was shocked to see that this thread has been viewed nearly 8500 times, so I did some Google detective work and turned up this: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.553984471383704.1073741854.523482247767260&type=3

    I have a mind to email these guys and blast them for stealing my photos and using them to advertise their business (which I've never heard of, let alone have done business with).

    EDIT: I'm not in a good mood tonight, so I just sent an email. I would have left it but the fact that they stole and watermarked my photos really burned me. I'll see what happens but I'm not expecting much.
     
  17. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Just saw this! Great work GP, must've been a lot of fun!

    Hope those thieves get what's coming.
     
  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WWII Veteran Patron  

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  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Let me know the response. I am certain the good people here can make the life of that dilettante miserable.
     
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Some possible accessories for your jeep.

    [​IMG]
     

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