Looking to buy my first Willys project

1941 - 1945, Willys MB & Ford GPW jeeps, NO EBAY, Craigslist or COMMERCIAL SALES.
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Mad Brit
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Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Mad Brit » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:46 pm

I am looking to buy a 1945 Willys Mb located near me and reasonably priced (I think). I sure would appreciate some helpful, constructive opinions on this vehicle. I have read every piece of literature I can find on the subject and have been looking for several years. The photos are all I have to go on until I take a personal look and test drive this week. I am told engine and frame numbers match but body is a repro from Ron Fitzpatrick. Frame was sandblasted and repainted back in 1998-1999. Original data plates shows April 4th 1945. Carb, head and trans are rebuilt, is doesn't leak or jump out of gear. The owner for the last 18 years describes it as a "Beautifully restored & maintained military Jeep"

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Your helpful, construction opinions and input would be much appreciated for this first time buyer.

Adam
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Adam » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:32 am

Im sure you could pick out a lot on this jeep. My main issue is Willys MB engine and Frame numbers NEVER matched from the factory. Whats "rebuilt" on the head?? Post war carb, No paint on Engine, NOt Beautifully restored, How much? First thing people look at with the hood closed are the data plates, Love those wrong screws, and flatwashers?? Totally wrong Hood numbers,... you can go on and on and on.

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JIMN
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by JIMN » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:58 am

If you are looking for a jeep that you can tinker with and get correct on your own while still driving it, then that could be your jeep.
if you want something correct now, them move on.
You would probably enjoy searching for the parts to complete it, but it just depends on what you want... i would get the engine block serial number.

JeepdaddyRC
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by JeepdaddyRC » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:45 am

I looked at that Jeep and discussed my findings with MB veterans. I will share what I've learned. Price point sounded reasonable - until seeing it and driving it. Obviously the cosmetics are all wrong (paint and numbers, etc), but those are minor. It's a replica, with all reproduction sheet metal and post-war components including a red painted civilian replacement engine, post-war fuel pump, gauges etc. Note the non- war time engine PCV routing and later civilian heater fitting on rear of head (which is leaking). No Willys MB123456 serial number stamped into correct raised boss on right front of block. This is not "matching numbers", and that is a red flag statement from any Willys MB owner.

While once popular in hot rods 40 years ago, it has incorrect copper fuel lines which will work harden, rub through easily and are unsafe under the hood - that’s why they stopped using them. It also has copper brake lines, which are even more dangerous. They are not DOT approved copper/nickle (Itested them).

Owner indicated a recent transmission rebuild because it constantly jumped out of gear while driving. If so, the "rebuild" was not done correctly - blocking rings bad or more likely tolerances incorrect. Note extremely tight shift and the hesitation/grinding between 2nd and 3rd. Starter ready to fail - note hesitation. Parking brake unusable - oil saturated from leaks, owner doesn't have it hooked up. Significant frame warp - look at rear left. The attention to detail by previous restorer is sub-standard. Check body grab handle installation on the replica body -passenger side rear, not correct height or aligned w/front. Tire DOT date stamp is old style 3 digit - minimum of 20 years old, could be 30 or 40 (449). Need 5 new tires before driving safely.

I hope this helps. All these could be fixed at additional expense if you want a replica. Buyer beware. Just be sure you know what you are getting. Happy to answer further questions.
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Mad Brit
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Mad Brit » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:54 am

Wow!!! Great answers and help, thanks guys, I really appreciate the input. I am amazed at the number of items JeepdaddyRC found wrong with the Willys. I thank you for helping me dodge that bullet.

So now it's back to the drawing board and the search continues. FYI - I am looking for a close to restored or a restored Willys or GPW for less than $20,000 hopefully within 400 miles of Chicago. So if anyone knows of one please give me a shout.

Thanks again all for your input.

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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Hammerhead » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:08 pm

JeepdaddyRC did you a great service! RUN from this Jeep and seller!!
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Bart1015
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Bart1015 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:34 am

PM sent
1942 VEP GPW, J-2 winch, BC-659, 1919a4
1945 GPW, 1943 MBT
Sold - 1967 M151a1, 1943 MB, M416
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Michael O.
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Michael O. » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:52 pm

If you want an MB to fully restore I’m in the process of rescuing a ‘44 MB from being parted out and/or scrapped. It needs a full restoration but mostly there, including engine, transmission and transfer case. I already have two 1944 MB’s and really don’t have room for one more vehicle right now but I thought this one nedded to be saved.
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1941 WC-4 8668603
1942 MB 111414
1942 GPW 2647
1942 GPW 66380
1943 GPW 104111
1943 GPW 108552 (w/matching motor)
1944 MB 369488
1944 MB 379204 (w/correct SN range motor
1945 MB 422759 (w/factory installed motor)

Mad Brit
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Mad Brit » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:12 am

Thanks for the offer but I'm really liking for a complete vehicle that is up and running or a restored MB or GPW

bazza46
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by bazza46 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:42 pm

Another good reason why you should NEVER buy an expensive motor vehicle from photographs on the net. You (or a very trusted agent) should be there and examine it in person.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt"..Bertrand Russell

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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Bart1015 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:05 pm

Bazza46 is totally correct.

I have looked at several jeeps for other members. I have also had members look at jeeps for me.

I always pay the person inspecting the vehicle for me. It makes it a job, not a favor, and the person doing the examination gets something either way.


Brett
1942 VEP GPW, J-2 winch, BC-659, 1919a4
1945 GPW, 1943 MBT
Sold - 1967 M151a1, 1943 MB, M416
www.ToThePointPolygraph.com

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Michael O.
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Michael O. » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:37 pm

I’ll have one of my ‘44 MB’s restored probably early next year. I guarantee it will win at least Gold in Restored Class. You might be able to talk me out of it if the offer is high enough.
Michael O’Connell
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Legacy member of g503.com since 1998 (which means I didn’t fall off the back of the deuce-and-a-half yesterday).

1941 WC-4 8668603
1942 MB 111414
1942 GPW 2647
1942 GPW 66380
1943 GPW 104111
1943 GPW 108552 (w/matching motor)
1944 MB 369488
1944 MB 379204 (w/correct SN range motor
1945 MB 422759 (w/factory installed motor)

AZ Jeff
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by AZ Jeff » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:53 am

My advice, don't let the fever that comes from location and (seemingly finished) condition cloud your judgment. Take your time and do your homework. Better to spend more and/or wait longer for a better -- more correct, more original, safer -- example.

/s/Spent $10k on a $4k "restored" '45 MB... and another 10 YEARS and ??? dollars to make it right. Lesson learned.

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Old Pal
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by Old Pal » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:43 pm

Find the most complete one you can. You'll save a load of cash in the long run. Just look at the prices parts are going for on the auction site. I wouldn't let location be a determining factor. A flight for a couple hundred bucks and $500-700 for vehicle shipping would be a drop in the bucket if you find the right jeep. Good luck on your hunt!
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Looking for 4 - 3/8" x 1" NF "F" bolts

johnnykick
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Re: Looking to buy my first Willys project

Post by johnnykick » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:53 pm

How much you want for the rescue?

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