First photo shows suspension work completed and the exhaust system installed. Front coil springs were originally chrome, but I had them powder coated to match the rear springs and add a little contrast to the assembly. Sway bar is also black powder coated. Exhaust system is stainless steel that is internally Jet-Hot coated to keep down radiant heat. Next photo shows oil cooler installed along with oil supply and return lines. Also seen are the e-brake cables routed along the frame and going forward through the frame cross member. The third photo shows the oil thermostat installed and also the bracket for the dual oil filter adapter. Bolt holes in top of frame are the anchor points for the seats. I also had the headers Jet-Hot coated inside and out with a satin black finish for a little contrast. Exhaust gaskets are solid copper.
Since the mufflers and exhaust piping are mounted inside the frame rails, heat shielding was made to keep the heat down inside the car. I made up some shields from thin gauge aluminum sheet and DEI-brand floor and tunnel shield. The aluminized and quilted shield has a self-stick backing, but just to play it safe, I pop-riveted it to the aluminum sheet. Finished shields are held in place with small machine screws.
While the body was still in the paint shop, and the frame was back from powder coating, I was able to start re-assembling the rolling chassis. I started out by installing the Heidt's front suspension and steering rack and set it up for preliminary wheel alignment. The lower A-arms were positioned parallel to the floor and preliminary caster and camber were set using a gauge bolted to the spindle. Reference centerlines were drawn on paper taped to the floor. The rear end was then installed, guided by centerlines on the floor for correct wheelbase. Measurements were taken to ensure that rear axle centerline was parallel to front spindles and perpendicular to chassis centerline. Exhaust pipes were placed back into frame before rear was bolted up.
After the exterior color was finished, the body was masked off, and the underside was sprayed with Gravitex stone and chip guard. I originally thought of using a bed-liner type product, but this seems to be a better choice. Last three photos show some of the other body parts painted and buffed.
These six photos are some shots of the Willys body just as it was clear coated, and under the fluorescent lights the color looks more like root beer than burgundy. But once out in the sun the real color comes out. The clear was then sanded and buffed in a multi-stage process. By the way, the color is deep burgundy pearl, not red. I don't like red cars....