Willys Utility Wagon is home!

So, last weekend i finally brought the new Willys home… A Utility wagon…Now i’ve had one of these before years ago with a 289 ford V8 but this one is stock except for a really nicely installed Ramsey PTO winch. It has the Smooth running 226 Super Hurricane six cylinder engine originally designed by Continental industrial engine corp. You can occasionally see one of these old motors still doing hard labor in forklifts and other industrious type scenarios. Built to be a relatively slow turning high torque industrial engine, Willys unfortunately had to team these up with some incredibly deep gearing because of the 3 speed transmissions relatively tall first gear at 2.79- 1. 4.88 and 4.27- 1 gears were common with 5.38 available as an option. These engines therefore are spinning pretty fast on today’s roads which does nothing for mileage or longevety. So i’m gonna put in some 3.73 gears i think and a more modern 4 speed transmission in the form of a Borg Warner T18. Yep, i’m gonna figure out how to do this….will also use a Dana 20 transfercase and to retain the PTO capability I still have a pretty rare Dana 20 bottom cover PTO unit sitting on the shelf that i can put to good use. Gearing a Dana 44 to 3.73 is easy enough but the front Dana 25 is a bit of a problem….I don’t believe 3.73 gears were ever made for a Dana 25… So to retain the draglink steering arm that bolts to the bottom of the steering knuckle i need to stay closed knuckle or upgrade to a modern steering box and crossover steering…. Or.. use a ’60s Wagoneer Dana 27. These commonly had 3.73 gears and look identical to a 25. I think they are the same width but i’m gonna have to have to measure one and see… I want to keep this thing vintage lookin with a few modern touches to make it more fun to drive and take on trips to the mountains… On the inside, I need to upgrade the seating to something more agreeable to my picky back…. on the last Willys  Wagon I had I installed some Ford Taurus leather electric seats with adjustable lumbar cushion….they were nice…except…they don’t fold forward to allow access to the back seat…..so the kid and dog had to crawl over the seat backs to get in….not ideal.. Need to upgrade the 50 year old seatbelts…..they cant possibly be worthwhile anymore….and…I want shoulder belts too… I bet some cherokee ones would do nicely… I will try to keep updates on the fun projects around here going on but I don’t always have the time to type this stuff…..but i’ll try….


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