Willys Jeep: Porkchop Suspension and Trailer (pictorial)

I’ve been falling behind in my reports of progress. The good news is that instead of writing about working on the Jeeps, I’ve actually been working on the Jeeps. Here is a pictorial of some of the progress that I’ve made most recently (given the lack of updates, some additional progress may be visible in the photos).

Less commentary, more pictures!

Porkchop Suspension Work

The last of the suspension to be replaced. On the previous leaf spring swap-out, I started doing some cleanup work on the frame and undercarriage of the Jeep. I figured that “while I’m here, I might as well get this taken care of – I don’t plan on removing the leaf spring again so it’s now or never.”

After seeing the results, I’m really, really regretting not taking advantage of having the front leaf springs off and taking the time to clean up the front half. Oh well.

 

The "Before" picture

The “Before” picture

 

Yeah, that's gotta go

Yeah, that’s gotta go

 

And this is *after* it was pressure washed!

And this is *after* it was pressure washed!

 

Inspires confidence, no?

Inspires confidence, no?

 

Under the wheel well didn’t look any better, I’m afraid. I spent a great deal of time pressure-washing and cleaning the inside, and the dirt and muck that came out was… well… impressive. At least it left me with a good surface to work from.

 

Doesn't look good, but the metal is still solid

Doesn’t look good, but the metal is still solid

 

Need to grind down a little of that Bondo

Need to grind down a little of that Bondo

 

Even primed, it's looking better

Even primed, it’s looking better

 

Even the well cleans up pretty nice

Even the well cleans up pretty nice

 

Painting is done!

Painting is done!

 

Reassembled it looks almost brand new

Reassembled it looks almost brand new

 

Feeling much more confident now

Feeling much more confident now

And by way of comparison, here was the original again:

The "Before" picture

The “Before” picture

The brake drum is going to be replaced anyway, so that’s why I didn’t really worry about it as far as the “makeover” goes.

Trailer Cleanup

When I got the trailer I knew that I was going to have to do some cleanup work. It’s a little over 20 years old, and while it’s solid it is definitely showing it’s age. When I got it I immediately began to de-rust and POR 15 the metal, as well as start sanding down the deck and re-staining it. Key phrase – started to do it. As you can see, there’s still quite a bit more to get done.

Why didn’t I just suck it up and do the whole thing at once? For one, lack of materials. For another, lack of time. It turns out that it takes a long, long time to prepare and clean metal for preservation, and the sanding of the deck was no picnic. Thing is, you need an entire weekend for only a few of the slats, because the sanding takes that long and you need to get the staining done immediately afterwards. Much of this is about timing.

I haven’t manned-up enough to finish the deck yet, but I did spend a couple weekends recently to continue working on the frame, under the wheel wells, and refurbish the wheels (on both sides). It’s looking pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Wheel Well

Starbord Side, original

Starbord Side, original

 

Rear of the Wheel Well

More rust

More rust

 

POR 15 to the rescue

POR 15 to the rescue

Front of the Wheel Well

Wheel well, front view (original)

Wheel well, front view (original)

 

Being cleaned

Being cleaned

 

Success

Success

Inside the Bed

Wheel well, original

Wheel well, original

 

The wheel well and deck finished

The wheel well finished

 

 Wheel Well (wide view)

In progress

In progress

 

Time to clean the inside

Time to clean the inside

 

All that's left are the wheels

All that’s left are the wheels

Wheels

Lots of elbow grease had to go into these

Lots of elbow grease had to go into these

 

At least they match now

At least they match now

 

Re-assembled

Re-assembled

 

View from the front

View from the front

Once again, what it looked like when I bought it:

You've come a long way, baby!

You’ve come a long way, baby!

I think you’ve got the idea, but just to show that I did the other side as well…

Starbord Side

I think this side was even uglier to start with

I think this side was even uglier to start with

 

Cleaning it up

Cleaning it up

 

 

Everything cleaned, painted, and re-assembled

Everything cleaned, painted, and re-assembled

(Obviously the time of day that I took this last photo doesn’t really do it justice, but I’ll go back and take another one at some point where there aren’t harsh shadows)

By way of comparison (because I love these kind of makeover shots), here is what it looked like when I bought it:

Original, rusted version

Original, rusted version

Hmmmm…. it’s really not as dramatic as it should be in the pics. I really do need to take a better “after” picture. Oh well.

Shovel

One of the things that I’ve been on the lookout for is a shovel that goes underneath the hood of the M38A1. I managed to find an original shovel from a seller specifically for Porkchop, and cleaned it up. Turns out the Olive Drab paint that the previous owner gave me was too old to be effective, so it’ll have to be re-sanded and re-sprayed again. However, I think it looks much better than when I got it.

Now I just have to find an axe.

Original Shovel

Original Shovel

 

Rusty.

Rusty.

 

After using Rust Dissolver

After using Rust Dissolver

 

Back of the shovel face is looking much nicer

Back of the shovel face is looking much nicer

 

Painting in progress

Painting in progress

 

Time to do the polyeurethane the wood

Time to do the polyeurethane the wood

 

Mounted in Porkchop

Mounted in Porkchop

 

Finally, back in its proper place

Finally, back in its proper place

Next stop for Porkchop is to get the brakework and steering finished. To do that I need to buy new tires, however, and since I’m going to do that I might as well finish up the rims. No rest!

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