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Thread: 41 Willys Gasser project
          
   
   

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  1. #1
    roadster32's Avatar
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    41 Willys Gasser project

     



    I hope this of some interest. It will be a 60's style Gasser

    Due to the high cost of Willys replacement parts I will be using a mesh grill which will save me a bundle and i will fabricate expensive items like the door handles etc myself.

    I recently finally got my first body out of my 1941 Willys moulds, Its taken 2 years to finally be able to produce a first class body, the moulds were taken off an american body but that wasn't completely right so a lot of work has gone into the mould to correct what was wrong.

    The doors and trunklid are made as seperate panels as its much easier to hinge and latch the inner skin and add the window winder mechanisms and then bond the out skin in place when all is done


    Here's the first body out




































    I needed to have a rolling body and frame for display at next years shows so this was just the excuse i needed to start putting something together


    Parts list so far is

    GRP 41 Willys bodyshell
    1948-58 FX3 Taxi chassis
    Cadillac 500ci engine/TH400 auto
    9" Ford axle
    4.5" original Ansen slot mags (front) 5 x 4.75" pattern
    8.5" original Ansen slot mags (rear) 5 x 4.75" pattern


    I will be starting with an 1948-1958 Austin FX3 Taxi chassis, its pretty much perfect except for one small mod to the wheelbase which currently is 110" and will be shortened to 102" by sectioning the frame in the centre, I went with the FX3 frame as it came up at the right time and the right price, is already boxed, and is actually quite old looking and quite pleasing to the eye, It will also save me a lot of time

    The chassis is currently being media blasted and i hope to get it back in a few days when i will get it on the chassis table and check for squareness.

    Heres a couple of small pics









    I will be using the front I beam axle and springs but not the steering box as this will be LHD , A Land Rover RHD box looks like it will do the job nicely or maybe Vega cross steering.
    The rear axle is not being used either so will be using a narrowed 9". The Taxi axle actually looked like a Westminster axle although i can't be sure.

    The front beam is forged and doesn't look unlike the original Willys axle to honest, Its quite a nice looking thing with just a few lumps and bumps that can be ground off. I will also be drilling it.
    The front semi elliptics should cope with the added weight of the V8 Cadillac 500 i'm using as its a little further back than the 2.5 oil burner, If its a problem its easy to add leaves or get the springs uprated.

    Frontend width appears to be ideal at 57-59" measured from centre of tyre to centre of the other tyre, this one is 58.5", this puts the tyre on my 4.5" Ansens in the centre of the crown of the front fender.










    I'm gonna deal with the front axle first, This is a near perfect width at 50" between the kingpins, The stock rod operated brake obviously had to go along with the spindles, the spindles could be modified to accept other brakes/hubs but i found with a simple mod and spacer 37-41 early Ford spindles will fit a treat and allow the fitting of either 40 Ford or F100 drum brakes or if you wish a 11" GM brake kit.

    The main mod is with the kingpins, on the FX3 axle the kingpins measure 0.875" the Early ford measure 0.811", The mod will be to drill out the axle boss to 1" and then ream to accept a sleeve to take it down to the ford kingpin size.











    There is also a difference in the axle boss thickness, The FX3 is 2.152" whereas the Ford spindles are 2.914", A spacer approx .250" will take up the extra space and if fitted below the axle boss will give a little extra lift to the frontend











    The kingpin angle is the same on both so we got pretty lucky there








    .
    Last edited by roadster32; 03-20-2011 at 09:51 AM.
    ManMadeLegends likes this.
    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

  2. #2
    HOTRODPAINT's Avatar
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    Looks great!

    I gave away a set of molds years ago. I had picked them up to make some fenders, to repair a wrecked Super Gas car.

    Kinda wish I had them back, but had no place to keep them, and did not want to be in the 'glass biz full time. :-(

    Keep the pictures coming! :-)

  3. #3
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    Good go Steve, looks like a decent start. That taxi chassis has the right sense about it, and that axle is going to look very good when cleaned up in your normal style. I'm expecting full metal polish.....

    Only one counter comment.............................................'40 GRILLE!!!!
    ('41-2's are okay, but the '40 has more character, even in mesh)
    Your Uncle Bob, Senior Geezer Curmudgeon

    It's much easier to promise someone a "free" ride on the wagon than to urge them to pull it.

    Luck occurs when preparation and opportunity converge.

  4. #4
    roadster32's Avatar
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    Cheers Bob, the axle is gonna get drilled and chromed, can't have a gasser without a chrome axle & springs


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Parmenter View Post
    Good go Steve, looks like a decent start. That taxi chassis has the right sense about it, and that axle is going to look very good when cleaned up in your normal style. I'm expecting full metal polish.....

    Only one counter comment.............................................'40 GRILLE!!!!
    ('41-2's are okay, but the '40 has more character, even in mesh)
    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

  5. #5
    Stu Cool's Avatar
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    Great project already, I'll be following.

    Pat
    Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!

  6. #6
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Looks like a really clean set of molds, Steve! Know what ya mean on tuning up the molds, got a set of Merc molds that need a complete overhaul--but that's a long ugly story that I won't even get into here!!!!
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
    Carroll Shelby

    Learning must be difficult for those who already know it all!!!!

  7. #7
    roadster32's Avatar
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    Dave i was lucky as the laminator that made the moulds did all the work, He did a very good job.
    I've actually sold 3 bodies now so have my initial investment back at last.
    hotrodders are funny people as i had a couple of people call to see what the price was, and when i told them the said they wouldn't bother coming to see as they was too cheap


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Severson View Post
    Looks like a really clean set of molds, Steve! Know what ya mean on tuning up the molds, got a set of Merc molds that need a complete overhaul--but that's a long ugly story that I won't even get into here!!!!
    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

  8. #8
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    This is going to be GOOD!! As you have seen from the interest Dave's 57 gasser has generated, everyone loves gassers..........and I am right at the top of the list. This thread and Dave's gasser thread will be the first things I will be looking for when I log on.

    But there MUST be more than one Steve in England..........no one man can have this many projects going at one time and be running a business building cars too. Have they perfected cloning over there?

    Don

  9. #9
    roadster32's Avatar
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    I wish the could clone me Don, then i could get more done !!!

    The Willys has to be a rolling advert by March as our biggest swapmeet of the year is on, I've never traded at any shows before as i like my weekends to myself but this year i have a good mate thats offered to man the stall for me for free !!! to good an offer to pass up

    This project may be slow as i need to finish up my 26T before i can get serious with the Willys.



    Quote Originally Posted by Itoldyouso View Post
    This is going to be GOOD!! As you have seen from the interest Dave's 57 gasser has generated, everyone loves gassers..........and I am right at the top of the list. This thread and Dave's gasser thread will be the first things I will be looking for when I log on.

    But there MUST be more than one Steve in England..........no one man can have this many projects going at one time and be running a business building cars too. Have they perfected cloning over there?

    Don
    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

  10. #10
    roadster32's Avatar
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    Got the chassis back blasted and took it to my mates workshop who stores my chassis jig for me (its to huge for my shop), The bugger had a half built frame on it so will have to wait

    Seeing as i was somewhat stumped on the frame i decided to sort the various bits out on the front axle, The shock mount holes are tapered 3 degrees.








    I turned up some tapered bungs with 1/2" holes to suit the shocks i have already.








    These are pressed into the tapered holes and are really tight so don't need anything else.











    There are some eared brackets cast in the axle for some sort of jacking system so were not needed, I will keep the upper ear as i may fit an anti roll bar and they are just in the right place.









    Next i dealt with the kingpin size difference, The existing holes were bored out to 1" and a sleeve spun in the lathe with a 1" OD and 13/16" ID, These were then linished to be a press fit into the axle and then the holes was reamed to 0.815.












    While the pillar drill was warm i decided to drill a few lightening holes in the axle, First i had to make a simple jig to hold the axle as the I beam sides are different widths so the axle won't lay flat on the table.








    The jig was clamped to the table and a steel block wedge was put under the other side to keep it steady.

    All had gone well with drilling the holes until i got up to the 1/2" drill, then the steel became incredibly hard and was taking the edge of the drills in seconds, after sharpening the bits several times i resorted to using carbide drills and these chewed through it much better, I don't know why it suddenly got so hard, anyone know ???

    The holes were taken out to 3/4"




    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

  11. #11
    Itoldyouso's Avatar
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    Hey Mate, no stealing parts from the 26 for this project.........put those backing plates back!!!!! Looks like you've already removed a lot of the extras from the axle and it's starting to look very nice.

    This is going to be a very good, informative thread. Thanks for doing it.

    Don

  12. #12
    roadster32's Avatar
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    Don its surprising how much its like the Willys axle, Even the same width but more robust !!!




    Quote Originally Posted by Itoldyouso View Post
    Hey Mate, no stealing parts from the 26 for this project.........put those backing plates back!!!!! Looks like you've already removed a lot of the extras from the axle and it's starting to look very nice.

    This is going to be a very good, informative thread. Thanks for doing it.

    Don
    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

  13. #13
    roadster32's Avatar
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    Just to let you know that i'm still on this project but have been real busy so not had time for my own stuff, On the upside although i didn't get the rolling frame done for the swapmeet i did take the body, got some really positive comments on the quality and took 2 deposits for bodies, we are now in profit just

    Found a few spare hours yesterday so welded the various chassis bits back together as the original owner had cut it into several pieces to make it easier to store I've kept the original front crossmember as its a nice looking piece, someone had been at it with a gas axe so there were a few holes to repair.
    Once the frame was back together i noticed the front fixed shackle brackets were missing so had to make a pair, made them a little longer to get some lift on the front, I'm reusing the front shackles as they are nice pieces.

    The FX3 was originally 112" wheelbase so 10" of the frame has been removed to bring it down to 102"











    Here's the frame so far, It needed a lot of welding as the cuts wern't that neat, strong now though. Next job is to fit rear crossmember.
    I'm going to get the front axle and rear axle in and then hopefully the engine.











    .
    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

  14. #14
    Dave Severson is offline CHR Member/Contributor Visit my Photo Gallery
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    Lookin' good Steve!!! Sure does slow a project down when you have to interrupt it to do customer work.... Same thing is going to be happening here this week......Bummer
    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, Live for Today!
    Carroll Shelby

    Learning must be difficult for those who already know it all!!!!

  15. #15
    roadster32's Avatar
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    Yes Dave but i have to eat The best laid plans never seem to work out right


    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Severson View Post
    Lookin' good Steve!!! Sure does slow a project down when you have to interrupt it to do customer work.... Same thing is going to be happening here this week......Bummer
    rifleman65 likes this.
    Its aweful lonesome in the saddle since my horse died.

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