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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!

I couldn't edit the initial note, so here's some basic details. The project is a repower/renovation so it is a little more involved. Pretty much everything but the body is being replaced.

The frame is from a 1980 J20 (3/4-ton full size Jeep truck) shortened 25 inches to match the wagon wheelbase.
1992 Cummins 4BT
Aftercooler from an Isuzu NPR.
A518 (aka 46RH) automatic transmission from a 1992 Dodge 1st gen.
 

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Looks great. Way to take on a HUGE project. I know how you feel.
 

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Looking good. I am doing a similar project on a 1956 willys. I was wandering what are you using for your drivetrain, i.e. axels (front and rear). I am looking at using a munssy 4 speed with an atlas II transfer case. Let me know what you think. If it helps i am planing on running 35in tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I think we are finally going to be able to get on the project after almost a year of interruptions. We have 4 other 4x4s that occassionally need work. And house projects that couldn't be delayed any longer.

I am using an A518 (46RH) auto transmission from a 1993 1st gen and a 3.0 Atlas transfer case. A manual transmission would have been great, but my left knee just can't take it! :(

The Wagon is sitting on a modified 3/4-ton truck frame from a 1980 Jeep J20. The frame matched dimensionally, but had to be shortened 25 inches to fit the wheelbase. It came with a D60 rear and D44 front (left drop) which what what I was looking for. This makes it easier to route the exhaust. Later on it will probably get a D60/70 axle set from a newer Dodge truck.

I am also running 35" tires, but we haven't done any axle upgrades yet. I think right now it has 3.73s or whatever the J20 came with. We'll get to that when we get it running.

Right now we are still working installing a new windshield wiper system (that's where we left off), rebuilding the doors, and getting the rest of the crud scraped off the body so sound dampening material (Quiet Car or maybe Lizard Skin) will stick to it.

The two major items left are getting the transmission rebuilt and upgraded, and working out the brake system.
 

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I also have a Willys wagon that I'd like to put a diesel in. The Cummins seems like the ultimate engine, if it's practical in this application. The consensus (at least among those who havn't tried) seems to be that its too heavy for the suspension and too powerful for the drivetrain. Is that why you used the Gladiator chassis? Has anyone done it using the original chassis? Any other chassis that work well?
If I have to change the chassis, I'd like to use a Scout II/Traveller. It has the same track as the Willys. The wheelbase should be adjusted, but I've heard of people doing it with a stock Scout II chassis even though it's 4" too short. The Scout even has the right wheel stud pattern. Most important, I already have several Scouts and none of the bodies are worth restoring.
On the other hand, are there any engines other than the Cummins that work with the original chassis? Everything I have lying around is either too big (Mercedes om352, Detroit 4-53) or probably too small ( Mazda, Mercedes om636)
I'd like to hear from anyone who's done any variation on the diesel-into-Willys wagon theme.
 

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Keep us posted on the progress!

I've got a buddy of mine who's got a 55 Willys, and I'm trying hard to convince him to do the swap!
 

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I also have a Willys wagon that I'd like to put a diesel in. The Cummins seems like the ultimate engine, if it's practical in this application. The consensus (at least among those who havn't tried) seems to be that its too heavy for the suspension and too powerful for the drivetrain. Is that why you used the Gladiator chassis? Has anyone done it using the original chassis? Any other chassis that work well?
If I have to change the chassis, I'd like to use a Scout II/Traveller. It has the same track as the Willys. The wheelbase should be adjusted, but I've heard of people doing it with a stock Scout II chassis even though it's 4" too short. The Scout even has the right wheel stud pattern. Most important, I already have several Scouts and none of the bodies are worth restoring.
On the other hand, are there any engines other than the Cummins that work with the original chassis? Everything I have lying around is either too big (Mercedes om352, Detroit 4-53) or probably too small ( Mazda, Mercedes om636)
I'd like to hear from anyone who's done any variation on the diesel-into-Willys wagon theme.
I have a 61 wagon that I put on 77 waggy frame. Wheel base is close, the waggy is 1.5" longer if I remember right. The rear track width is the same, but the front waggy axle is a little wider, but still a lot better than full size truck. I centered the rear axle in the rear wheelwell and it ran the front of the frame out about 2" longer than the stock frame. Waggy frame is lon in the rear, I cut down to fit inside body. Next time I would remove panel below tailgate so frame was not disturbed, and aftermarket fsj parts could be used. The waggy frame has a saddle tank on the inboard drivers side of the frame, the body has a body mounted tank, easy dual tank set up. Keep in mind the locations of the diffs, waggys came with left and right drop in front, and center or right in the rear.

Pros; p/s, disc brakes way stronger frame, D44's,

Cons;
 

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I also have a Willys wagon that I'd like to put a diesel in. The Cummins seems like the ultimate engine, if it's practical in this application. The consensus (at least among those who havn't tried) seems to be that its too heavy for the suspension and too powerful for the drivetrain. Is that why you used the Gladiator chassis? Has anyone done it using the original chassis?

I've had 6 Willys wagon at one time or another and installed 250 chevy , 350 chevy, 351 cleveland (wifes car), 460 lincoln and 454 big blocks in them for people. Once above the 350 range I would box the frame with 3/16 th steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
There was a short write-up in January 2000 Four-Wheeler magazine on a Cummins repower of a 1957 Willys Wagon. That's what got my interest up. It took me two-and-a-half years to find a wagon that looked like a good repower candidate.

The wagon I bought came with a frame that was 'modified' by the PO when he repowered the Willys with a 50s Ford 223-6. All of his work was OA welding and brazing. Let me tell you, that brazing material is tough! After spending some time looking at it we decided to look for a replacement frame instead.

That's where the J20 came in. There were several things that got me interested in looking at a 3/4-ton FS Jeep Chassis.

(1) I found a site that detailed a J20 chassis swap on a Jeep Scrambler and thought that looked like a good idea especially since the 4BT is a tall engine.
(2) the 1980+ FS trucks and Wagoneers have left-drop front differentials and centered rears. This makes it easier to route the 4BT exhaust
(3) The frame is almost identical dimensionally to the Willys except 25" longer.
(4) The frame gave the engine an "instant lift" being almost 2x as tall as the Willys Wagon frame. That comes in handy with a tall engine. Otherwise you are doing an SOA or a suspension lift to keep the engine oil pan off the axle.
(5) The chassis made it easier to set up power steering and the suspension geometry that it would have been on the Willys frame. Yes, I did an SOA, but it was to provide room for 35" tires. In retrospect, keeping it SUA would have been okay too.

Hope that helps!
 

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p14175,

I have looked at your photo galleries, nice buildups, good info on fab work. I like the way you think! Have you made any progress on the wagon lately?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We are finally back at it.

Summer in Central Az is a good time to work on projects since it is pretty hot and doing anything outside isn't much fun. We just finished a week of close to 110F days and now it looks like the monsoon season (or the more PC: "Summer Thunderstorm Season") is on its way. Night temps are up around 85F. The temperature in the barn with the swamp on (evaporative cooler) is staying around 70-80F during the day so it isn't too bad.

Anyway, we started routing the brake lines. It's time to decide whether to keep the 46RH or find a 47RH from a '94 Dodge Cummins to take its place. We got a HX35W turbocharger that needs to be installed. And I need to start looking at door latches, getting the OEM gages working with 12V and other items not power train related.

Oh, we got the new windshield wiper motor and cable installed (Specialty Power Windows). I should have pictures posted of the install pretty soon. It's not directly related to the 4BT repower, but the Willys came with vacuum driven windshield wipers and I didn't want to install a vacuum pump on the 4BT (off the alternator) to keep using them.
 

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Someone I used to know took one of these wagons and put it on a Nissan pick-up frame. This was about 1989 or 1990, and he told me he used the "new Hardbody Nissan truck". Anyway, I never got to see it going together, but after it was done it looked like a perfect fit. It was a 2wd with the extended cab, V6, automatic, and all the goodies. When it was done it was a great cruiser. Then his Dad (who financed the project) decided to pull rank and stuffed a 350 in it, despite all our pleas that it would ruin a great truck.

Three weeks later dad scattered the rear end out front of the house, and I moved away about that time. Never knew what happened after that. But it's a near perfect match from what I saw. Only had to make body mounts as I recall. Just thought I'd post that up for others out there that might be considering a frame swap for theirs. :grinpimp:
 

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1989 Jeep Wagoneer, 360v8, 727, stock for now,
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The Willys takes a turn for the better,

My wife (p14175) was looking in the Phoenix Craigslist and found not one but 6 4BT's for sale. So bought the cheapest one.
Turned out to be out of a Frightliner MT35, 130 hp, P pump, HX30. Couldn't say no.

Yes I know it's been 6 years but we have been working on the Willys, a little. Now that we have a good running motor, the one I bought years ago, that turned out to be an expensive core will be set aside to be rebuilt at some later time.

So after I finish the ebay he221 on my Scout, it's Willys time.
 

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1989 Jeep Wagoneer, 360v8, 727, stock for now,
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This engine had been steam cleaned and there were still tell tale signs that this engine was leaking a lot of oil. I though it might a oil leak from head gasket, it wasn't. Every gasket I looked at on the engine had been reused and resealed with RTV. The push rod cover gasket was rock hard and had been torched when the engine was cut out of the frame and the bolt seals weren't there, just some flat washers.
Ended up removing the cam to replace the gear housing gasket and every other gasket except the head. When removing the IP found that the IP support was missing the bolt supporting the IP, Luckily it didn't crack the gearing hosing. The crank endplay was at .010", crank bearing and rod bearings were in good condition.
Mechanically the engine is in excellent shape. In hindsight I should have bought a complete engine gasket set instead of buying piecemeal. And I would have a spare head gasket!

The one item I would say that made this work easy was the rotating engine stand with gear reduction! Did I tell you how much I love my rotating engine stand! For a few $$ you can add gear reduction to any stand.
 

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