I wanted to go with something different for the tail lights. The stock Willys lights are rather small. I wanted something that could also be easily seen, so my thoughts were for some LED lights.
I had seen ads for a company called Lambert Enterprises in Tennessee. They make a whole assortment of LED lights to choose from, and also will make up custom units. I met up with them at Louisville, and we talked about a set of custom lights. My idea was to use the Willys "WO" logo as a light. Lambert told me what they needed in the form of artwork, and after a few different trials, I came up with the design.
Lambert fabricated these custom LED lights for me that are a flush mount design. Amazing workmanship.
At first, I was going to tackle this job myself. The instructions that Lambert included with their lights were clear and concise, but after careful consideration, I decided to have these installed by Posies.
The is what Lambert provided: The LED "card", all wired up, the red lens that gets flush mounted to the body, and a diffuser panel mounted between the LED's and the lens.
Another thing I had done was to open up the rear fenders. Most Willys that I seen have the stock openings which in my opinion just don't look right. Usually the fender lip completely hides the top of the tire, and is just about even with the top of the wheel. A radius line was made on the fender with the center of the radius being the centerline of the tire/wheel/axle. Now it all looks concentric. Much better.
There's also plenty of room between the outside edge of the tire and the inside fender lip. Great job done by Posies, and definitely beyond my bodyworking skills.
The first pic shows the main hoop connections to the frame. Also integral with the hoop bracket is the outer seat belt anchor. The inner seat belt anchor is also shown. It too is bolted to the frame.
The second picture shows the layout of the front brace. It doesn't rise above the height of the seat, so it won't be hard to enter or exit the vehicle.
The third pic is taken looking forward from the trunk area. It shows the rear braces positioned inboard of the wheel tubs enough for the interior work to be done, and also the shoulder belt anchor plates. Right now, I'm planning on having the rear bulkhead mounted directly in back of the rear brace anchor points.
Well, it's been a while since I last posted, (10 months!) so I have a lot to catch up on.
After finishing up the steering, I sent the Willys off to the street rod shop (Posies Rods and Customs) for the rollbar fabrication and installation and some body work.
First, they fabricated the rollbar based upon my mock-up and their judgement on the best way to do it.
The first picture shows the finished rollbar as seen from the front. It consists of a main hoop that sits behind the seats, and a crossbar just above seat height. There's enough space that the rear window is not obstructed, and that there's enough room for the interior panels.
The second and third pics shows the bracing from the crossbar down to the frame in the rear. Also seen is a secondary horizontal brace that will be used for mounting the seat belt retractors. More on the seat belts later...Also shown is the forward brace. All connecting points of the rollbar are bolted directly to the frame. The rollbar was actually fabricated in pieces so that it can be removed. It will be a big help when it comes time to paint and do the interior.
The first picture shows the entire steering linkage from the connection to the steering column on the right to the connection to the rack on the left. All of the joints are in phase and ready to be installed.
The second picture shows finished installation.