1943 GPW 108175

If you have an unrestored WWII jeep, we would like to see pictures, and hear your comments. NO EBAY or COMMERCIAL SALES.
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twinflyer17
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1943 GPW 108175

Post by twinflyer17 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:12 am

Hi All,

I'm technically supposed to be working right now, but things in the office are slow and Jeeps are on my mind! :lol: Figured I would give this a shot and post a few pics of my '43 GPW restoration. At this point, I'm about 95% done. She's mostly wired up, running, and pretty much all together. Still have to get the blackout lights, front and rear, wired up, and also need to quadruple check the wiring of my main push/pull switch, as I'm not sure everything is in the right place :o Besides those things, it's just a matter of going through PA's DOT to transfer an old VA GPW title I have and I should hopefully have her on the road this winter! (though truly enjoying it this spring when the weather warms up :D ).

Just a disclaimer, I'm not a mechanic and this is my first project of this level. Most guys on the GEE are good about recognizing this, but others can be awfully critical, without being constructive! I do appreciate opinions, though, so don't hesitate to throw them my way, as long as they will help me learn more about these old jeeps! I've tried to do the best I could at keeping things as original as possible. The frame, body, fenders, hood, windshield, and combat rims are all original, as well as a fair amount of additional items I salvaged or scrounged online. The electrical system is 12v, with a generator, so I tried to keep it looking 6v without spending the money to convert it back 8). I also bought a T-84 to replace the T-90 that was in it and had it rebuilt. The engine is an early CJ block with a GPW head, so cleaned up and painted gray make it look original.

Honestly, I couldn't have don't 1/4 of this work without having the resources on this site. Talk about useful!!!

Here's what I started with:
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Unfortunately, the original body was way too far gone for me to restore. That said, I was fortunate enough to find a guy in southern PA who was willing to take it off my hands.
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After I sandblasted the frame it was on to fixing Bubba’s front bumper. This GPW was used for plowing snow at some point, so the front horns were pretty mangled and a thick piece of C channel was pathetically welded in place of the original bumper. :roll: Fortunately, it wasn’t too difficult to cut the mangled pieces off just before the front cross member and weld new horns (thanks to Ron) in place.
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I do still have the original springs, which I plan to restore at some point and put back on later down the road, but for the sake of moving along in the restoration, I opted to put replacement springs on for the time being.
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I replaced all four wheel cylinders and brake shoes and also rebuilt the steering box.
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Transmission and transfer case were rebuilt by Daryl Bensinger (of DL Bensinger). Fortunately, I keep the GPW at my parent’s house outside of Lancaster, PA, which is only about 10 miles from Daryl’s shop. For anyone else in this part of the country, definitely take advantage of Daryl's knowledge. He's a great resource and great guy to work with.
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Freshly restored original combats with new Firestones.
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Chassis ready for the body!
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Body installed! This was last January, 2015.
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Fender brackets were shot, so I replaced those and patched the rusted metal around them.
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Once nice weather came back around last spring, I knew it was time to jump into body work. Not having the luxury of my own house/garage, I’m stuck respecting the space allocated to my project…a single garage bay. :cry: That said, I thought it was best to install the body on the chassis first so I would have the flexibility to wheel the chassis outside and back inside on my own. I purchased an original “restored” body from a contact in GA. Unfortunately, when I got the body home I began to notice a bunch of Bondo related cracks. :evil: I spent much of my weekends late summer/early fall grinding all of the filler out of the body, only to realize there was a TON of really straight and solid metal underneath. There was even a lot of original OD still showing! :D What are people thinking when the “restore” these types of things?! I can definitely say I got lucky, though!
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Once bodywork was completed, it was on to paint. Unfortunately, again, I did not have access to a compressor large enough to use air when painting, so I was forced to resort to spray cans. Besides spending more on paint than I originally wanted, the overall result was much better than I thought it would be.
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Finally, this past Thanksgiving and Christmas I had much more time to work on really completing all the little components in an attempt to finalize the resto. I was able to get the seats in (repros – I have two original front seats in really rough condition which I also plan to tackle later down the road) and the top bow mounted, as well as the half door snaps, handles, bumperettes, etc.
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Then on to wiring...just make sure before you hook the battery up and pull the switch for the first time you don't have a short! :o :lol:
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I was lucky and only melted two wires which were both easy to fix...after replacing them, it was great to see the lights work and to finally push the starter switch to get it running! :D
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Overall this has been a 2.5+ year project, with plenty of headaches along the way. I’m completely excited for this spring and summer, though. It’s an amazing feeling to bring history back to life! Again, I couldn’t have done it without the G as a resource, so thanks to all of you!
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Last edited by twinflyer17 on Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Sean

GPW 108175 viewtopic.php?t=267732
DOD 4/14/43 Louisville, KY USA20371070

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GP1942
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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by GP1942 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:20 pm

Very nice job !!! :wink:
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Ran504
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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by Ran504 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:21 pm

Well done mate looks good.
Regards Randall
GPW143639, DOD 9/6/43, Willys MB Body ACME1 84406, Engine # N531423P.

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twinflyer17
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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by twinflyer17 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:35 pm

Thanks guys!!
Sean

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S McIlwaine
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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by S McIlwaine » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:32 pm

Great work another old soldier brought back in from pastures green :D

I like to see an original tub over a "too straight" repo you did very well in a short time mine's taking considerably longer. What's the story with the trailer in the first pictures is it your next project?
Those shorted wires make me cringe :shock: :shock: hope I don't have similar when I connect the battery on mine think after seeing that ill be spending a few more hours upside down checking my under dash.
Just another UK jeep lover


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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by Randy R. » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:02 am

Looks great Sean! Bring it to the Churchtown Memorial Day parade with the Bensinger crew.
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sutts
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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by sutts » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:43 am

Lovely looking oil filter Sean. What paint did you use please?

Thanks,

Dave
GPW 68744 29-Sep-42
GPW 123050 01-Jun-43
MB 210793 11-Feb-43

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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by spyder » Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:33 am

Looking nice. Some really good work there

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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by twinflyer17 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:42 am

[/quote]
S McIlwaine wrote:Great work another old soldier brought back in from pastures green :D

I like to see an original tub over a "too straight" repo you did very well in a short time mine's taking considerably longer. What's the story with the trailer in the first pictures is it your next project?
Those shorted wires make me cringe :shock: :shock: hope I don't have similar when I connect the battery on mine think after seeing that ill be spending a few more hours upside down checking my under dash.
Thanks, S McIlwaine! I'm actually lucky with the tub. I found someone in Atlanta, GA who had an original with 3/4 of the body work already completed. I ended up making a 1600 mile round trip in two days to pick it up, which was exhausting, but it saved me a considerable amount of time in the long run when it came to completing it and it still allowed me to keep it original! I love the "just off the battlefield" look, too, where the body clearly still shows its 70+ years of age :lol: In regards to the trailer in the first couple of pictures, that unfortunately was taken at the house of the guy I bought the GPW from. At the time I didn't have the means to make him an offer on the trailer and the jeep together, but hopefully down the road I'll be able to pick an old Bantam trailer up to add to the collection. Also, I ended up stripping the threads of one terminal of my firewall junction block and replaced the original screw with one a bit larger...That one was a hair larger and longer and ended up touching the firewall without me knowing, leading of the short :oops: it really only burned up two wires, so I didn't mess up too much of the wiring harness and it was an easy fix. Just make sure you can quickly turn power off if you do see smoke! :D
Randy R. wrote:Looks great Sean! Bring it to the Churchtown Memorial Day parade with the Bensinger crew.
Randy - Daryl and I have already spoke about attending Churchtown this year. I guess it's a larger celebration, too? Somehting like 150th anniversary I believe. Either way, I will be there!
sutts wrote:Lovely looking oil filter Sean. What paint did you use please?

Thanks,

Dave
Dave - Thanks! I ended up just using a can of black Rustoleum wood/plastic/metal paint I had laying around. I was skepitcal, but it ended up turing out better than I would have thought!
Sean

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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by 70th Division » Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:03 pm

Sean,

What a great restoration and done fairly quick too !!
Your jeep looks really nice and original as well.
I hope you have endless enjoyment with it over the years to come
and get some young kids seeing it driving around
interested in American History !!!
Do give the kids rides, as they will then have a desire to carry on with jeeps long into the future !!

Raymond

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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by twinflyer17 » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:43 am

70th Division wrote:Sean,

What a great restoration and done fairly quick too !!
Your jeep looks really nice and original as well.
I hope you have endless enjoyment with it over the years to come
and get some young kids seeing it driving around
interested in American History !!!
Do give the kids rides, as they will then have a desire to carry on with jeeps long into the future !!

Raymond
Thanks, Raymond! I completely agree about exposing young kids to american history...part of the reason I got into old jeeps was my exposure to WWII history at the Reading, PA WWII Weekend as a kid. Seeing the vehicles, reenactors, and aircraft stuck with me for a long time and definitely sparked my interest in history! I can't wait to pass that feeling on!
Sean

GPW 108175 viewtopic.php?t=267732
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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by Oilleaker1 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:10 am

Way to go! By now you have been baptised into the Jeep world and have great respect like I do for craftsman who can do welding, mechanics, bodywork, painting, wiring etc. and make it look easy. Guys that decide to make their own tops, hot rivit their own gussets, make things just like the very first makers did, from scratch. I have great respect for them. They usually share their knowledge freely. What a great hobby. Now you will iron out the bugs and go do the final reward your Jeep provides! You get to get in it and drive. Building model airplanes and cars is fun, but why not build one you can get into and go? You did it! Congratulations. Thanks for sharing! John
Automotive Archeology

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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by twinflyer17 » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:07 pm

Oilleaker1 wrote:Way to go! By now you have been baptised into the Jeep world and have great respect like I do for craftsman who can do welding, mechanics, bodywork, painting, wiring etc. and make it look easy. Guys that decide to make their own tops, hot rivit their own gussets, make things just like the very first makers did, from scratch. I have great respect for them. They usually share their knowledge freely. What a great hobby. Now you will iron out the bugs and go do the final reward your Jeep provides! You get to get in it and drive. Building model airplanes and cars is fun, but why not build one you can get into and go? You did it! Congratulations. Thanks for sharing! John
John, I couldn't agree with you more!! Completing a project like this has truly taught me how to be patient and how to respect expert craftsman! I've been lucky throughout my resto, though...only a few miles away from where I keep my GPW I have an ex-mechanic/current restorer grandfather who helps to teach me new tricks and methods, not to mention an engineer father who's garage I currently occupy :lol: Not sure I could have done this (or at least in the same amount of time) without having someone like both of them to bounce questions off of, show and help me with actual work, and let me borrow specialty tools! It's going to be a mild 41 degrees this Saturday, so I'm hoping that this is the weekend where I can actually hop in and take it for an actual spin around the block :D
Sean

GPW 108175 viewtopic.php?t=267732
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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by Chuck Lutz » Sun Jan 17, 2016 10:57 am

Sean....nice going there!

Just a heads up....it appears that the arms on the windshield have been bent BACK over the years. If you buy a canvas top it will fit too LOOSE if that is the case. If you don't plan on canvas anytime soon, no matter then.

If you are interested, I think the WeeBee Webbing website has some simple measurements you can make to see if the windshield is where it should be when in the UP position and the dash clamps are fixed.

If you choose to fix that it can be done easily enough with a MAPP gas torch, a length of 2" galv pipe, a flat surface and a couple beefy guys to assist you.
Chuck Lutz

GPW 17963 4/24/42 Chester, PA. USA 20113473 (USA est./Tom W.)
Bantam T3-C 1947

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Re: 1943 GPW 108175

Post by twinflyer17 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:37 am

Thanks, Chuck! I had a feeling that my windshield was bent a bit...I appreciate you confirming, though! I'm in the market for a canvas top at some point, so I will certainly be convincing a few guys to come over (with pizza and beer, of course :lol: ) to give me a hand with bending it back to spec.
Sean

GPW 108175 viewtopic.php?t=267732
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