I’m doing absolutely fantastic and having a lot of fun showing off my Willys build. I wish I had done this stuff on so many other projects…. Here’s what I did yesterday. I built a transfercase shifter out of the shorter of the two originally used on a Spicer 18 ‘case. There’s a 7/16″ threaded hole on the driver side of the AX-15 trans near the transfercase flange. The hole in the lever was 1/2″ so I had to make a little bushing on the lathe to make it fit nice. Welded a piece of flatstrap to the end of the shifter that originally shifted the 18. Drilled a hole in it and fabbed a short link to the lever on the 231. Need to find a boot to cover the hole that’s about 6″ long. No worries. The Shifter for the AX-15 was much simpler. I had a AX-15 shifter that the top part had come off of leaving just a 4″ long stub. I simply welded an old T-90 shifter onto it and bolted it down. Now I needed some tinwork. Here is what I came up with:
This is some aluminum sign material from a old carwash I demoed it out of. The stuff is strong tho and takes a bit of work to bend. I clamp a piece of pipe in my vise and form it over that. Otherwise, I just use compound aviation snips to cut the shape out. A hole saw started the shifter hole and I enlarged it from there to a good fit.
That’s how it’s looking for now. I need to do something with the E brake handle. that’s what is lying on the driver floor. It needs a new cable and a e-brake sure is nice to have. The seat BTW is a Jeep Comanche unit and sits in there nicely…. Next up? A Dana 44 front axle!
The clutch linkage on this project was certainly an interesting one to build. I wanted it to be mechanical, in part because I wished to keep the pedals under the floor as they are stock. Having a NP231 style T-case complicates this a bit as the front driveshaft needs to go through this area as well.
This piece of 3/4 bar stock was machined on the ends for 1/2″ threads then notched and bent for front driveshaft clearance. It’s pivoting on a couple of 1/2 Heim joints bolted through the factory Willys Crossmember. I know, that diff in the background is on the wrong side….It’ll get swapped for a Ford High Pinion unit at some point.
This mess of goodies is part of what I was selecting stuff from. I’m trying to use only stuff I already have here in my workshop.
Made this neeto piece on the Bridgeport mill. the 3/4 cutout on the end will get welded to the 3/4″ Z bar. I made lots of holes in this for several reasons. One, I’m not sure just what the ratio is going to be for this clutch setup and secondly, as my projects evolve, other setups may be used. This just covers a bunch of possibilities. I expect to be about in the middle of these possibilities. 3/8 holes at a spacing of .500.
Here it is Just before welding. When I welded it I got it aligned so its in the same plane and angle as the clutch pedal.
Here is the other side of the setup. Unlike most clutch setups in these old Willys, I needed a push type setup here to replace the slave cylinder that once lived here. I was surprised that the linkage doesn’t center in the slave cylinder hole to line up to the release fork for the throwout bearing. Not sure why. I got a few adjustments made and it works awesome! I am going to add a factory cable type motion limiter to keep the motor from moving forward under hard stops. (Radiator preservation) The factory mount is still on the crossmember and I think that It’ll go thru the bottom left bellhousing bolt hole just like one did from the factory. Next up? Shifters for the T-case and the transmission!