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1950 Willys Overland
Jeepster
The Last American Phaeton

161 c.i. 6-cylinder/3 speed w/OD

Jeepster Photos

Jeepster Technical Info

July 8, 2008 - A postscript on the Jeepster - someone in the Jeepster User's Group gave me a head's up that it sold yesterday on eBay for $9500!  Looking at the seller's info and history, it seems he buys and sells a lot of stuff - no skin off my nose.  In a lot of ways, I am relieved - I hated selling the car to someone who hadn't actually inspected it, and since he got a good return on his investment, we are both happy.  Hope the car goes to a good home - heck, the new owner may find this web site if he or she starts looking for 50 Jeepster stuff!. 
June 9, 2008 - AND AWAY SHE GOES!  The Jeepster is on her way to Ohio - number one on the trailer.  The driver winched her up to prevent straining the clutch.  I was able to get a spare key made just in time - only had the one, which could be bad.  I'm sure other Jeepster stuff will surface as I move layers of junk in the garage, but all the important stuff should be behind the back seat.  Anyway, I am no longer a Jeepster owner.
June 8, 2008 - The Jeepster gets picked up tomorrow morning, so I was able to spend a little more time on her.  Got over to Wal-Mart and had the correct spare mounted on the freshly-painted wheel - the tire still has the paint strips and part of the label on  the tread.  Found a new gas cap I'd forgotten to install and put that on, did a tune-up,   It's 100+ today with 60 percent humidity, so I pretty much had to settle for packing her up and a final wash.  On the bright side, the Model A gets to sleep inside for the first time since I bought it.  I sorta hate to send the Jeepster on her way - it's a rare car t6hat's fun to drive.  But until I win the lottery, there's a limit to the number of cars I can have.  Poor me, only 8 vehicles...  well, 9 if you count the Centaur.  Maybe I'd better not look for sympathy here.  In any case, I'm hoping that she'll bring a lot of pleasure to her new owner.
May 26, 2008 - My last full day to work on the Jeepster and I made it count - I think she got mad at me for selling her, and has been giving me a small fit.  I got the new battery installed - there was corrosion on the terminals and hold down, so I had to clean and repaint, and then installed anti-corrosion pads.  Then, after I got her running, I noticed that one of the heater hoses was leaking. - one of the projects I had meant to get done long before I decided to sell, but today, she got new heater hoses and clamps.  And new fuel filters and a fresh oil change.  The carburetor gave me some trouble, but I think I have that sorted out.  Finally, I got to the real project - reupholstering the driver's seat.  The Jeepster's seats were jury-rigged with plywood and foam, but I had bought good correct seats.  The cotton batten was bad, but the springs were fine, so I replaced the padding with memory foam.  Worked great and is comfortable to sit on.  I still have some small stuff I want to get done, plus I have to paint the correct spare wheel and get the tire mounted - the one on the car is incorrect on both counts!  And of course, I have to sort, list, and package the spare parts.  Whew!  Gonna be a busy few nights ahead!
May 24, 2008 - OHIO BOUND! - I am finally getting back to tinkering with the Jeepster - to get her ready for her new owner.  Ironically, though I advertised the car only in the local Craig's List and on our local car web site because I did not want to sell to someone who couldn't inspect the car, all three folks who had interest were from out of town.  The closest did come visit and made an offer that I COULD refuse, and the other two were from Washington State and Ohio.  Ohio called way back when I first put the ad in, and Washington called a few weeks after.  I ended up selling the car to Ohio, and then had Washington call to buy it a few weeks later.  It's a good buy, but I am nervous about selling anything to someone based on my description.  Naturally, when I went out to start the Jeepster the battery was dead.  I charged it up, then got busy this week, and found the battery low again today.  So I bit the bullet and bought a new battery - she'll get a tuneup, oil change, and hopefully new front seat covers before she leaves in about 2 weeks.  This weekend is pretty much it, as I will be out of town next weekend. 
May 4, 2008 - Hanlon did a good job on the dash bezel - it will look really nice, especially with the new gauges.  Don't know if I will be the one to put them in though.  I put the Jeepster up for sale - I need room and funds for the Model A, and the TD is my favorite convertible.  Can't keep 'em all!
February 16, 2008 - No real progress, but I dropped the dash gauge bezel off for replating yesterday.  That will let me redo the dash with all new gauges that I've had ready for months. I need to get busy on all the cars.
December 7, 2007 - The Jeepster has been sitting all summer and fall - between other projects, especially the house, and travel, there just hasn't been time to mess with it at all.  However, I did score a big win on eBay recently - the rear-mount fog accessory fog lights that mount to the front fenders.  I found one of these rear-mount units at Hershey for $125, and passed.  This pair is nearly perfect and were mine for $39.73! 
September 8, 2007 - I lied in the last update - I only put ONE clutch pedal in then.  I installed the OTHER pedal tonight.  Woo-hoo!  Also started the car for the first time in a month and got the carb adjusted.  I'm really hoping to do better on projects - had a wildly busy summer, but there's always a few minutes here and there if I work at it.
August 7, 2007 - The summer seems to be rushing by WAY too fast.  No real progress on the Jeepster, though i have made strides with other cars.  I got some NOS pedal pads off eBay that came today.  All you can get these days is slip on rubber pads that also slip off, if they fit at all.  These were advertised for a Studebaker, but they looked correct for the Jeepster and were cheap.  Anyway, I HAVE a Studebaker.  Happily, the pedals fit the Jeepster perfectly.  On the seats, I decided the tired seat foam wasn't going to work, but didn't want to spend a fortune since all I needed to replace was the cotton batten   I think I found the perfect solution at Target - a full-sized memory foam mattress pad.  Inch and a half  thick foam that will mould to the seat shape easily, and plenty of it for $20! 
June 17, 2007 - I always show pictures of the cars, but never any of the house.  In case you were wondering what the home of Caroholic looks like, it's just like the one shown in the picture.  I mean, it has walls, doors, windows, and a roof, right?  Actually, this particular home was the site of car club picnic yesterday that I drove the Jeepster to.  Mine is just a tad smaller - than the attached garage.  The Jeepster looks rather spiffy though.  I'm feeling more comfortable with it now - a fairly warm day with no cooling or other issues.  The car rides and drives really well, and got quite a few 'thumbs up' from other drivers on the way over.  I need to get the rest of the upholstery done, and install the new wiring harness.  Plus the new gauges, and...  well, there's still lots to do but she's a fun ride!
June 12, 2007 - Despite the lack of updates, there has not been a lack of progress.  I started reupholstery of the Jeepster only to find that the front seat cushions were home-made plywood and foam - and the wrong shape for the new seat covers!  I was able to get a passenger seat off eBay with the original cushions and got that one re-padded and finished up.  That still left the larger driver's side.  I was very happy to find a complete driver's seat at a big flea market this past Saturday for $10!  And another vendor had the correct type wheel trim rings.  Obviously, I need to repad the cushions, but they are actually in pretty good shape.  I can reuse the foam from the homemade set.  I've done some more driving with it recently, and had no issues with the tires or front end.  And a hard starting issue I had thought might be a bad starter turned out to be linkage issues.  She cranks over at a  touch now.  She should be a great summer car!
May 4, 2007 - The Jeepster lives!  I got home and cleared the path to get her off the jack stands. After some quick shots with a grease gun, I  rolled her outside for the first time since the steering knuckle broke on February 24th.  She fired up with a little gas in the carb, and smoothed out quickly.  Then it was off for a test run.  I was understandably cautious considering the last experience, and ran around the neighborhood (and a few good dips) before trying her on the interstate for a short distance.  Happily, she runs straight and true, with no wobbles or pulling.  It's great to have the car roadable again - it drives very nicely.  Now I need to get busy with the new upholstery.  You'd think I'd have found time in the past two months to get it installed, but other projects, like the Crosley, interfered.   Speaking of which, here's a shot of the Jeepster and the Crosley together for some perspective.  No, the Jeepster isn't that big - the Crosley is that small.
May 2, 2007 - Here's a shot of new steering knuckle assembly in position with the original A-arm.  It's pretty easy to spot the problem where the A-arm is supposed to be lined up with the leaf spring.  Walk's 4WD came through as always, providing a good used part before the week was out.  However, I ended up helping a friend move over the weekend, so attacking the Jeepster waited until last night and tonight. 

I got the right side put back together with repacked wheel bearings and new grease seals that also came from Walck's last night.  And tonight the left side made it back together.  It started raining while I was finishing up, so I left the car on jack stands and will get her out for a test drive later this week. 

The weather is supposed to be cooler, but turn sunny this weekend.  I still need to install the new upholstery, which is waiting for me to get new seat foam.  Anyway, unless something unexpected crops up, the Jeepster should be back on the road this weekend.

April 23, 2007 - Nothing found for the Jeepster at Charlotte, but the steering knuckle was finished up this past Friday.  Friend Charlie Woolford came over in need of a 'grease fix,' yesterday, and we decided to attack the car.  We got the suspension mostly together with the new bushings, only to find that the A-arm had been bent.  I could have tried bending it back, but after one failed suspension component I am not taking any chances.  I ordered a replacement A-arm today, and am hoping it will be in before the end of the week.  Walck's has been really good so far.  Anyway, the Jeepster may be back on the road this weekend
April 9, 2007 - The replacement steering knuckle turned out to be a bit wallowed out and is now being worked on by two different machine shops.  One is doing the buildup and reaming of the king pin bore and the other will press the new king pin and bushings into place.  Once that is done. I can put the front end back together.  I'm heading down to Charlotte for the big Auto Fair at Lowe's Motor Speedway this weekend - maybe I will find some good parts!
February 27, 2007 - A phone call to Walck's 4-Wheel Drive netted me a replacement steering knuckle plus everything I need to totally rebuild the front end.  Kits for the king pins and upper and lower control arms are on the way.  Close to $400 all in all, but I might as well get it all fixed up while I have the front end apart on the one side.  Not to mention wanting to check EVERYTHING out on the suspension with a microscope!  The parts Jeepster didn't work out, as Doug decided to fix it up instead.  However, he did come up with the fifth Jeepster wheel I need to finish off the set.  I'm planning to get the seat covers installed while I am getting the front end done.
February 24, 2007 - Good News, Bad News - I had the 7.50x15 tires mounted on the new rims - it was very cheap and I had one done first to make sure they would fit.  Although considerably larger than the 6.00x15s on the Jeepster, they looked great and rode well.  Right up to the point that the left front suspension snapped!  I was actually VERY lucky.  The steering knuckle broke just as I was making a slow U-turn to get back on the Interstate I had just been doing 60 on.   There was no other damage, and a friend had a tow truck at home that was able to pick up the Jeepster and deposit it in the garage at no charge!  While the large tires may have aggravated the problem, you can see that the knuckle had been cracked halfway a long time.
January 28, 2007 - I made the most of a freaky 'winter day' yesterday - it was sunny and warm enough to run the Jeepster top-down with a t-shirt!  Also discovered that the stuck parking brake cable must have been keeping the rear brakes slightly dragging.  The Jeepster is noticeably peppier.  The parts car is still on hold - the new owner still hasn't closed the deal on the Jeepster Doug has for sale, and I need to wait until that is all done before I can see what other parts he may have available.  Perhaps the fifth wheel I need as a spare.  As you can see, Mike did a nice job on the ones I have.  By the time I get the trim rings on, hardly anything will show of the wheel itself.  I had troubles with a slow starter yesterday - probably needs a rebuild.  I am looking at a couple on eBay to pick up as spares. 
January 24, 2007 - Things have gotten a little hectic at work again, and winter finally arrived.  Mike did a great job on painting the wheels.  They were a little rough, but he did some filling and sanding before giving them a glossy coat of black paint.  I had been considering getting new, larger tires for the Jeepster as the 600x15 seems too small.  As it turns out, they are only a little too small.  The car originally came with 6.40x15 tires, and the difference is minimal.  In contrast, a G78-15 like what I have on the Studebaker would be much bigger than stock.  So I'll plan on swapping out the current tires to the new rims sometime soon.
January 12, 2007 - Finally got the new parking brake cable installed tonight - works fine.  While the brakes are good on the Jeepster, I've been a little nervous not having that backup available.  Also painted the turn signal assembly for the steering column - hope to get that in this weekend.  The wheels arrived and look good - they are over at Mike's waiting for a coat of black paint.  I'm still trying to catch up to Doug, the guy with the parts Jeepster.  I've picked up a few items on eBay the past couple of weeks as well - A new clutch cover plate, the official Borg Warner Overdrive manual (also good for the Studebaker), and the wheels which were mentioned earlier.
January 6, 2007 - Went over to visit Wes Neal, the other Jeepster owner in the club.  We took his 1948 Jeepster out for a run, and I diddled with the carb a little to smooth things out.  Wes presented me with a very nice set of gauges for my Jeepster!  He had gotten them for his, but they aren't correct.  I'll get the bezel replated and install these gauges in place of my faded and partly nonfunctional set.  I held off installing the parking brake cable until I called Jeepster Man - they know it's not the right part.  They suggested putting the cast handle end in a vise and squeezing until the cable end stays put.  Riiiight.  Buyer beware, I guess.
December 31, 2006 - The new parking brake cable is incorrect - the retaining lug that fits in the handle is too small and the wrong shape.  I was able to split a heavy washer and slip it over the cable to make a stop that keeps it inside the handle.  Should be able to finish installation tomorrow.  The wheels were shipped Friday.
December 27, 2006 - The new upholstery set arrived - if it fits anywhere near as good as it looks, I will be very happy.  I chose to go upscale with the pleated seats and red piping.  All available on the 1950 Jeepster, and much nicer than the plain black I have in it now.  The new armrest covers are made to match with the same piping, and the front seat backs are sleeve type so they will have a finished appearance.  Still trying to get hold of Doug on the parts car.  I should have the wheels sometime in the next couple of weeks.
December 16, 2006 - Got a new hood safety catch today that I got on eBay.  The original part was twisted and had a stress crack at the pivot that didn't inspire confidence.  The new part is NOS and fit perfect.  Also, I called the man who was supposed to sell me the wheels and found out he had changed his mind.  Happily, I have already found and bought another set from an eBay seller I've gotten other parts from.  Should have them in a couple of weeks.  I plan to visit the local guy anyway - he has a really rough 1949 Jeepster for parts that might be good to get and strip.  The chassis, main body, and drive train from the bellhousing back is the same as mine.  Given the rareness of the cars, spending $200 on spare parts would be a wise investment.
December 6, 2006 - Had nice, if not unexpected, surprise today - After reading the letter from AACA that let me know the Centaur scooter won a national award, I opened the local chapter newsletter and saw the Jeepster in color on the cover.  They used an I had written article on the Jeepster as the feature for this month's issue. 
December 5, 2006 - I made a fairly big order from Jeepster Man yesterday - just over $400 worth, including new channel-pleated seat covers in black with red piping AND matching covers for the rear armrests, which I somehow hadn't noticed before.  Luckily the lady at Jeepster Man told me to look.  Also have an illustrated parts book and new hand brake cable coming.  The only drawback to dealing with Jeepster Man is they only take check or money order - no credit cards.  So anything you want in a hurry you need to order elsewhere.  I went ahead and got a money order sent out today so I don't have to wait for the check to clear before the parts get sent.
December 3, 2006 - The Jeepster has been sitting outside, which hasn't been good for the white top even with a car cover.  So I juggled vehicles around and now have her inside, which also will make working on the car easier as winter moves into the area.  Yesterday's parade ended up conflicting with a really nice holiday party I had promised to attend, so I didn't go.  However, I did give the Jeepster a good bath and scrubbed the top white again.  She looks very good!  Also, I figured out that the non-functional parking brake was due to a front cable that was rusted-solid.  Need to order a new one.  I got the parts list from Jeepster Man yesterday and they do have the seat covers available in black with red piping, and provide plain or the channel pleated vinyl facing.  Nice thing about a 1950 is that almost anything goes - she can have plain or pleated seats, so I decided to go with the upgraded look. 
November 30, 2006 - When I ordered new generator brushes for the Studebaker, I went ahead and added in a distributor cap and rotor for the Jeepster.  The parts came in today, and I just got the new cap and rotor in the Jeepster.  She fired right up as usual - the old parts are still OK, but showing wear.  They'll make good spares.  Tomorrow (Friday) is supposed to be pretty ugly - rainy and cooler.  Figured I'd get something done while it was still nice out.  If it clears up, I am hoping to use the car in a Christmas parade Saturday.
November 27, 2006 - The new carpet looked so nice, I decided to take the Jeepster over for pricing on seat covers.  I figured it would be fairly cheap, since they are just plain panels over foam, stapled to plywood bases.  The first place wanted $450 for the job, the second wanted $650!  No pleats, no shaping, just plain rectangles in black vinyl.  I checked the Jeepster Man's web site and he lists full seat cover sets for $265.  I'll have to call and see what they include.  I want black with red piping.  If he doesn't have that, I'll probably bite the bullet and get it done locally.  The car is running really well - no problems with stumbling or heating.  I need to get the parking brake working, though. 
November 26, 2006 - I adjusted the carburetor this morning, and seem to have the hard starting and stumbling licked.  She fired up fine, and I took her out for a long run.  No stumbling, and no problems with heating up either.  When I got back, I pulled the seats and installed the new carpet.  The old red indoor-outdoor stuff just wasn't quite right.  I was very pleased with the fit and finish.  I had to loosen the heater and make one small cut to get around the heater tubing, but since that was an option in 1950, they made the carpet for cars without it.  In any case, it looks much better now.  Definitely worth the $210 it cost.
November 25, 2006 - I fixed the seat back with some tape for now and put the passenger seat back in.  The Jeepster is hard to start all of a sudden - not sure why.  I know the carburetor is in need of rebuilding.  New plugs didn't help, so it could be the points aren't quite right.  The cooling system still seems good - one less worry.  The speedometer and drive shaft arrived today - both look good.  I may try installing the speedometer and making a new cable tomorrow.
November 22, 2006 - Drove the Jeepster into work Monday, and she did great.  Running nice and cool, and no problems with anything.  Weather turned bad Tuesday, and today we have a full-fledged Nor'Easter in progress.  However, I got off work at noon, and took advantage of a lull in the storm to pull the broken seat frame and drop it off at Gerloff Welding.  The good news is they got it done in just over an hour.  The bad news is the welder let the seat fold up before the metal had cooled, and burned a hole in the upholstery!  Oh, well.  Nothing critical.  I planned to have the seats redone anyway, and I can hide most of the damage with some black vinyl paint.  Also won a rebuilt speedometer on eBay this morning.
November 19, 2006 - I decided it was time to give the Jeepster a real shakedown cruise - With the driveshaft rebuilt and the cooling system gone through, she was about as ready as I was gonna get her.  Plus we had a 58 degree sunny day today, with expectations of cold and wet from now through who knows?  So I put the top down and rolled out to a friend's horse farm about 45 miles away.  The car ran cool and smooth, staying between 160 and 180 degrees  even on the interstate.  No signs of leaks or smoke, and she rode and drove fine.  Then it was off to Mom and Dad's for Sunday dinner, and finally back to the house.  I put over a hundred miles on the Jeepster all-in-all, and feel a lot more confident in her.  I did start installing the new carpet - the passenger seat frame base has broken and needs to be replaced or re-welded.  I'm going to check with the guy who has a parts Jeepster nearby - if he doesn't have it, I'll take the seat to a local welder and have it reinforced.  The car got a lot of attention today - easily more than anything else I have ever owned.  Most people have never seen one before.  In any case, I had a great time, and the car did great!
November 18, 2006 - Though I have a lot of mechanical things to do, I had to try some of the shiny bits on.  The Jeepster's door handles needed replacement - the driver's door had the wrong handle (top left), and the passenger side (bottom left) was pitted.  For $26 each, I got new handles that are correct and very pretty (right pictures).  I also got stainless screws to replace the rusty ones holding them on.  The jury-rigged driver handle left a mark in the paint, but it's not obvious.
Next came the driveshaft - which turned out to be a lot more work than expected.  Isn't most EVERY job on old cars like that, though?  The shaft came out very easily - four bolts on either end.  The rubber U-joint boots were long gone (far right), and I was a little concerned about the condition of the rollers inside.  Happily, they were in great shape.  Unhappily, you have to have the cross-tee pressed out at a machine shop to change the boots!  This being Saturday, and no machine shops open, I opted to split the boots and clamp them in place with some thin sheet plastic under the seam.  I also added a CV-joint band clamp in the middle to keep everything closed up.   You can see the silver bands on the boots in the bottom picture.  The boots appear to be fitting together well, with the only gaps being on the wide ends, and the plastic underneath keeps dust out there.  The seal isn't waterproof, but should keep the newly repacked bearings clean. They actually looked good before I cleaned and repacked them.  A quick paint job spiffed things up,  and then I got it back in before dark.  While I was underneath, I checked the rear axle - full of new-looking hypoid oil.   That pretty much has the Jeepster ready to drive.  I hope to take it to my parents' tomorrow.  It's supposed to be a nice day.  Sorta cool tonight, about 45, but the Jeepster fired right up and ran great.
November 17, 2006 - It's Xmas!  Well, at least for the Jeepster.  I have been spending money like the proverbial drunken sailor this week, both in new parts order and eBay purchases.  Walck's 4WD came through like a champ, getting the order I made Tuesday here in time for lots of weekend tinkering.  The wiring harness and carpet look fantastic - as do the reproduction top latches and door handles.  All I REALLY needed was the two rubber boots to seal up the driveshaft U-joints, but what the heck?  Also arriving today was a complete Owner's Documentation set won on eBay, including the Willys Owner's Card, Autolight Owner's card, Overdrive instructions, and envelope.  eBay has been good to me this week - I got an original optional horn ring and NOS horn button, plus a complete spare driveshaft.   Plenty to keep me busy on the car for a while - though all I really need to do is repack the universals and install the boots to get her safely on the road.  I want to check fluid levels in the gearbox and rear end, and also see if the overdrive is actually the same as in the Studebaker.  If it is, I should have all the parts I need to fix the overdrive properly. 
November 11, 2006 - Cool car, I hope - Got the correct radiator on Monday.  It was in great shape, but I took it to the radiator shop I've used all my life to get it cleaned just to be safe -  only to find it had gone out of business!  However, Jerry, who sold me the radiator, emailed he'd had it serviced just a year before he pulled it.  So I gave it a paint job and stuck it in, along with new radiator hoses, radiator cap, and thermostat.  As you can probably tell, the new radiator (right) is at least an inch thicker.  Finding the cap and thermostat took some research and legwork, but both ended up coming from Advance Auto (I have part numbers on the Jeepster Info page).  I let the car idle a while, drove it around the block a few times, then let it sit and build pressure.  So far, she runs a steady 165-170, and no leaks!
November 7, 2006 - I got in the 1950 Jeepster sales folder today - looks great!  I also won a complete, original owner's manual package on eBay that has the Willys and Autolite owner's cards, Overdrive operating instructions, and envelope, as well as the owner's manual.  Unfortunately, the Mazda truck had a blowout sitting in the driveway.  The tire still have a lot of tread left, but apparently the casing have deteriorated a lot in 5 years.  I'm not happy, especially since having to buy new tires will delay a big order from Walck's.
November 1, 2006 - Located a possible source for correct Jeepster wheels tonight - a friend in the car club introduced me to a neighbor who has TWO 1948 Jeepsters plus a 1948 parts car.  The parts car is pretty sad, but has some usable parts, and he has a set of wheels he is having blasted and primed - should get them next week.  Also won a 1950 Jeepster sales folder on eBay tonight.
October 30, 2006 - LIGHTS! - It's been over a week since I even took the cover off the Jeepster - 12-hour shifts at work and then a 3-day Equine Extravaganza (horse show) that I took part in this past weekend kept me from turning any wrenches.  So I decided to attack the lights tonight.  I knew something was shorting out in the light circuit.  But when I finally got under there tonight I discovered that I was lucky the whole Jeepster hadn't caught fire!  If you look at the photo below, you'll notice a lot of loose wires.  They were all hanging like that under the dash.  Also note the lack of insulation on the primary power feed wire.  There were also two hot leads hanging loose in the engine bay - one must have fed an electric fuel pump, the other was probably an accessory horn.

I went under the dash and started removing the hanging stuff, or taping off loose ends.  Both dash light wires were grounding to the socket bases, and the insulation on the main power feed wires crumbled away when I touched it.  I had picked up a couple of NOS Ford wire harnesses when I was at Carpenter Restoration in Charlottes back in September for $1 each.  I cut one up for the wire pieces I needed to repair the Jeepster.

It's a temporary fix, but at least the wire is the correct gauge and type.  I used crimp connectors and cut out all the bad insulation.  The result isn't pretty, but it is safe.  And more importantly, the lights came on without sparks or blowing fuses when I was done.  Looks like another big order from Walck's coming up.  They have the complete wiring harness for $210, done in the correct fabric harness with soldered connectors.  By the time I add the carpet kit, top latches, and some other stuff I know I need to get, I'll be over $500 again.  Oh, well.  The step plate and the fuel pump I won on eBay came in this weekend and both look good.  The fuel pump is new - though it's likely to need a rebuild due to dried-out diaphragms.  And I finally got the money order to send out for the correct radiator.  However, the biggest news is the Jeepster is drivable again!
October 21, 2006 - Got home in time to take the Jeepster to Doumar's our local old-fashioned drive-in, for the car club get together.  As you can see, the new plates came in yesterday and I got them on last night.  The brake parts arrived from Willys America today - mailed Thursday when I ordered them Monday.  Looks like it is back to Walcks 4WD for future parts orders.  I was able to adjust the brakes anyway, and it made a real difference.  However, in the tradition of old cars, the lights went out as I pulled out of Doumars' parking lot to head home.  Blown fuse with something shorting out the circuit.  So friends escorted me home - I'll check out the wiring tomorrow.

Great eBay day today - won the correct fuel pump (rebuilt) for $24, and got a note from someone who has the step plate I need - got it as well!

October 19, 2006 - Well, weather, work, and other activities have conspired to limit my contact with the Jeepster this week.  I ordered the brake parts on Monday from Willys America and got in touch with Walcks to let them know about the missing accelerator spring.  Also on Monday, it was announced we were going to be on 12-hour shifts through next week to handle a scheduling emergency (translates to gross mismanagement, but that's another story), so progress has been a bit limited.  I located an original correct radiator and have a line on a correct fuel pump - got in the accelerator spring tonight and installed it, and scraped off the old NC inspection sticker Tuesday. night.  I plan to make another big parts order next week after I have time to go over the car and make a list.  The rear universal needs a dust boot, and I'm considering a carpet kit.  That will be decided by success (or lack of) this weekend with the brakes.
October 15, 2006 - Well, the picture is actually from yesterday - as you can see, Wes Neal's 1949 is a VERY sharp car.  This view highlights the major differences in the early and late Jeepsters - the front end.  Wes was a huge help, and also gave me a catalog/restoration guide from Willys America.  After the recent problems with Walcks 4WD, I think I'll check out some other suppliers.  My dad had an accident last night, and I spent today getting his van sorted out.  Happily, the damage was minor (someone dropped a large table on the interstate in front of him!) and a little pulling on the fender and a new tire got the van back on the road.  However, in keeping with my vow to do SOMETHING on the cars every day, I installed the new battery hold down bracket on the Jeepster tonight!
October 14, 2006 - I actually drove the Jeepster to a car event today.  Got the brake light problem sorted out.  The new part was bad!  However, a quick trip back to Advance and I had everything ready.  Took the Interstate.  She did very well, and the Overdrive works fine using the manual kick-in switch someone added.  I'll sort out the control box later.  However, I noted that the brakes are dragging.  Probably another reason she has trouble on initial acceleration.  Unfortunately, when I tried adjusting them tonight, I found that the tight wheel (right rear) has both adjusters broken off.  Looks like another parts order.  Still, had fun driving the car.  Put the top down and got lots of looks.  Oh, and there was a 1948 Jeepster at the event!
October 13, 2006 -  I think I understand why changing gears was such an adventure - that's an old and new bushing (bad picture).  The gear lever feels pretty good now.  Also redid the fuel lines and installed the new brake light switch - which doesn't work.  I think there may be an air bubble to work out of the system.  The latest order from Walck's 4WD proved that you can't assume you'll get the right stuff  even from a 'specialist'.  They sent a generic gas cap and incorrect brake light switch - ironically, the correct one was a block away on the Advance Auto Parts shelf.  Guess I have to start asking questions when I order.
October 12, 2006 - Got the horn retainer base in, and was able to install the new horn button tonight.  Not as easy as it sounds, and in truth, the job isn't done yet.  The center contact and wire has to be installed, and the passage is blocked.  Gonna have to find a way to rod out whatever is clogging the tube.  Still, it looks nice.  The fuel filter is full now - looks clean and stays full, though the engine still stumbles at acceleration.  The carb is the next stop - a rebuild kit is on the way, and hopefully will arrive tomorrow from Walck's.  I need to replace the shifter bushings and the stop light switch before I take the car out of the neighborhood, and it would be nice to cure the hesitation.  Looks like a great weekend for beating on cars, though.
October 11, 2006 - OK, I didn't want to bust the non-stop streak.  Even though it was almost 10 PM when I got home, I HAD to do something on the Jeepster.  The new side mirrors came in today, so I installed them.  Also started the car up - she fired on the second revolution.  Ordered more parts from Walcks - mostly minor mechanical stuff like the carb kit and brake light switch.
October 10, 2006 - No, I didn't completely skip yesterday, but all I did was wash the Jeepster and paint the gas tank.  Had to wait 72 hours for the tank sealant to cure completely.  However, tonight I got the gas tank installed and drove the car around the block.  The accelerator pump is bad - she stumbles, but once past that initial point she accelerates very well.  The overdrive isn't working, but that isn't a big surprise.  I need to check out the wiring and then troubleshoot.  All the parts are available, so it should be fixable without too much grief.  I was pleased by the acceleration - the car won't win any drag races, but she feels rather peppy.  Got the next bunch of parts in from Walck's 4WD - the horn button hardware, pedal pad rubber, and new grommets for the shift linkage.  Looks like a busy weekend ahead.  I have a meeting tomorrow night, so I'll probably actually have one night with no progress.. 
October 8, 2006 - I don't know how the Jeepster started and ran yesterday.  The fuel pickup tube in the gas tank was completely and solidly plugged with rust.  I took it over to TRAACA buddy Ken Talley to try his commercial-size compressor to no avail.  However, Ken whipped out his soldering iron and some tubing and in less than an hour, the tank had a new pickup tube nicely soldered in place!  He even fabricated a screen for the end to prevent future troubles.  I'll get the tank installed tomorrow night - that should have the Jeepster ready to drive!
October 7, 2006 - Despite dire predictions of heavy rain and 45 mph winds, today had been fairly decent.  A little rain every now and then, but I actually got a lot done.  Started off installing the new fuel pump, which worked great.  The engine cranked and fired immediately.  However, the fuel filter didn't fill, and it is still stumbling bad on acceleration. 

I got the new steering wheel in - the old one practically fell out.  Still need the horn button retainer parts, but it still looks better.  That left the gas tank - I discovered it was only held in by 3 bolts, and got that off easily.  I pressure washed the inside and cleaned it with murric acid.  Bennie Howard, a friend in the car club, helped me find the local PORS distributor, and I picked up some tank sealant.  Unfortunately, when I went to blow out the pickup tube to make sure it didn't have sealer in it, it was already clogged.  From rust and trash, not sealant - the reason the fuel filter won't fill and the engine is starved for fuel. 

It can pull enough through the blockage to start and idle, but not do anything under load.  I tried air pressure, pushing a coat hanger through the tube, then a length of old speedometer cable with a drill, but nothing worked.  I'll take it to a radiator shop Monday and get the tube professionally done - that should solve the drivability issues. 

Oh, got a new parking brake cable in off of eBay.  The parking brake isn't working, and it looked like the issue was the front cable, which is what I got.  Guess I'll find out!

October 6, 2006 - Went to DMV and got the Jeepster titled and tagged, and also called and got the insurance set up.  After the disaster with the Packard, I don't delay on titles any more.  Virginia allows antique tags to be personalized, so I got '50JPSTR'.  Picked up the fuel pump today - looks like it is the right one.  I transferred the fittings from the old pump, which is full of rust particles from the tank.  I'll drop the tank as soon as the weather allows - pouring rain and high winds tonight and most of tomorrow.  I also got in a Jeepster nameplate normally used on the hood of 1948-49 models.  The 50 has two holes in the back deck that are probably from a long-departed dealer logo.  I ground off two of the three locator pins on the nameplate and thinned the last one down to fit one of the existing holes. 
Also painted the all-chrome plate so that the background is flat black - makes the lettering stand out a lot better.  (The lettering is chrome, not black)  I'll attach it with double-sided trim tape.  Not accurate, but it looks better than holes.  For some reason, Willys deleted the Jeepster badging completely in 1950.
October 5, 2006 - Boy, it's amazing how often I post when I first buy something!  Anyway, I called Walck's today and found out a few things - for one, my Jeepster has the wrong wheels.  It is supposed to have clips, not formed lugs, which explains the problems fitting the new caps.  However, I can fix the problem by splitting some small diameter rubber hose section and using them where the lugs meet the hub caps.  Also, the radiator on the car is incorrect - the inlet pipe at the top should be on the driver's side, not the passenger side.  What the heck - the Jeepster is 56 years old.  I'm sure I'll find other surprises - like my steering wheel missing a critical horn button retainer plate.  Lucky for me, there were two on eBay, including one that I won tonight.  Even luckier, I pulled the fuel pump and discovered that it is off a 1968-71 CJ-5.  Advance was able to order one that will be in tomorrow morning.  That's a big improvement over the correct pump, which no one has and lists around $145 plus core even when it is listed.  I ordered more parts from Walcks - new shifter linkage bushings, pedal pads, and the horn button parts.  Should put me over $600 in parts from them so far!  Oh, well.  The weather looks bad for the next three days - a Northeaster coming in with rain through Sunday.  I may not get anything else done until Sunday.
October 4, 2006 - More progress, of sorts.  The parts I ordered from Walcks 4WD arrived today - a pleasant surprise.  Unfortunately, there were some problems.  The radiator hoses are wrong, the hubcaps don't fit, and the steering wheel and horn ring don't quite match up to the old.  The hoses may be a radiator issue - could be I have a later radiator in mine, or something else was changed.  The hubcaps are loose, though.  Made in China reproduction parts - I had similar issues with the Studebaker's 'Land Cruiser' nameplates.  The steering wheel may just need some extra hardware that is not in mine - I'll call tomorrow.  On the plus side, the new hood ornament (below) fit OK and looks great!
The order included an owner's manual and shop manual - I'll be using both quite a bit.  I went ahead and put the top down tonight (above) - it folds easily and stows nicely.  The top boot fit well, and the Jeepster looks very snazzy.  However, though she started and idled great, a test drive with my neighbor ended up with the Jeepster stalled a block form the house.  The fuel line is clogged again. I blew it out with compressed air but the electric pump wouldn't pull gas back so we ended up pushing the car home.  Rather inglorious end to a nice ride, but that's part of old cars.   Looks like I have to drop the gas tank after all!

Also, the shift linkage is really sloppy.  I suspect the bushing are shot or missing.  Still, she seems to run and drive fine.  Again, lots of tinkering issues, but all the major items are looking good.

October 3, 2006 - Good news on the Jeepster front!  I had noted low oil pressure last night - these engines typically run very low, but it was barely registering at idle.  Tonight I got the electric fuel pump installed properly and changed the oil.  Turns out the old oil was very thin due to the bad gas pump - fresh oil brought the pressure up to new levels.  It appears that the engine has been recently worked on - possibly rebuilt.  It is very smooth and tight, and the paint is good all over.  However, the head gasket looks new and is unpainted.  The 161 is correct, but the cylinder head says 'Kaiser Supersonic', which is likely a replacement head or perhaps a replacement engine.  The same engine was used in the Henry J and in some Kaiser cars.  Anyway, once I got the battery in and the fuel pump on, I took her out for a drive.  The brakes are smooth, the suspension and steering feel tight, and the drive train seems very good.  The engine stumbles on acceleration - may be a vacuum leak.  The speedometer doesn't work - no biggie.  The important thing is all major systems are go and the rest is little stuff.
October 2, 2006 - Got new points, condenser, and coil for the car today at A&B.  Nice healthy spark, but still wouldn't do more than stumble.  So I blew out the fuel line - no blockage there.  That indicated a fuel pump issues, and I remembered (and actually found!) an electric 6-volt pump in the garage. 

After a bit of jury-rigging, the Jeepster fired up and ran great!  Very smooth, no noise or vibration.  I let it run until it was thoroughly warmed up.  Some initial smoking cleared pretty quickly.  Not surprising since it's been 2 years since it was run .  Also, the battery is going to need replacement. 

On the plus side, the generator is very strong, and the lights are bright.  I ordered a bunch of parts today from Walcks 4WD in Pennsylvania.  Mostly 'pretty stuff' - a new hood ornament, steering wheel, correct wheel covers, manuals, hoses and clamps, etc.  I'll go ahead and install the electric pump properly with a kill switch and fuse, and pick up a new battery.  Looks like she will be ready for the car club's Chili Cookoff next weekend.
October 1, 2006 - I said no more cars until I got the Packard and the MGB-GT going.  Well, maybe I said 'projects'.  Yeah!  I said no more big projects!  So that's why a 1950 Willys Overland Jeepster is parked in my driveway tonight.  It's been a long weekend, so I'll just put in a little info.  I heard about the Jeepster through friends in the antique car club.  It was located down in Stantonsburg, NC, about a 3-hour drive.  I've always liked the Jeepster - it was a very unusual car, and is somewhat rare.  This one was supposed to be in good shape, and was priced well below market value.  A 1950 VJ series, this Jeepster is one of about 6,000 total production of Jeepsters for that yeat, with only 1,900 having the six-cylinder engine like this one.  The 3-speed/Overdrive tranny combination makes it very roadable.  I was happy with the car's overall condition.  One big issue was inability to get it started.  The fuel system has issues, and the 6-volt system is not very conducive to hard cranking.  The car has been sitting for 2 years, so the gas was bad - I got rid of that before I did anything else.  There is no sign of rust, the the Jeepster is cosmetically very good.  Even though I hadn't heard it run, the owner and I came to an agreement on price and I used a tow-dolly to bring her hoe behind the Mazda P/U. Only problem with the trip was the guy in the red Jeep who tailgated me the whole way...

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