The Willys is finished and on the road. Almost a thousand miles on it this summer, with the usual problems and fixes associated with a new build. It took a long time, but the effort was well worth the final product.
We did most of the work ourselves, but for the things that we couldn't do we would like to thank Posies Rods and Customs, Tim Leiphart Hot Rods and Restoration, Bux Customs, and all of our family and hot rodding friends that gave their help and support.
Most importantly, I could not have done this without the full support, encouragement and help from my wife and partner. This project would not have been possible without her, and we are both enjoying the Willys immensely.
The bottom edge of the radiator support is actually a little lower than the bottom lip of the body, and would be the first thing to hit or scrape on a driveway apron or similar obstruction, so I decided to make up a set of skid plates that would prevent any damage to either the body or the radiator support.
The first photo shows a side view of the bottom of the radiator support and tilt front shell. The nuts on the bottom of the support are about 1/2 inch below the body lip. I mocked up a skid plate design on paper first to see how things would fit up. Earlier in the build I had welded a stiffening plate to each frame horn and drilled and tapped two holes in each plate for these skid plates. Actually, the thought was to make up some tow hooks that could be bolted or unbolted as needed to the frame, but after everything was installed, it was decided that a permanent skid plate setup would be better.
The third and fourth photos show the final design cut out of 1/4 inch plate and welded up. The actual skid portion of the plates are replaceable pieces of UHMW polyethylene that are screwed to the steel portion of the plates.
The last two photos show a side and front view of the installed skid plates. Holes were also drilled in the plates for attachment of a tow hook or clevis if necessary. For the time being, the plates are painted, but they will be powder coated for a better look and finish.
A little side project not related to final assembly but still important. I wanted to get an idea of what the Willys weighs, so I tried the method of weighing each wheel using the bathroom scale method. There is one pivot point one foot to the right of the wheel centerline resting on the floor, and another pivot point four feet to the left of the wheel centerline resting on a bathroom scale. I cut some vee grooves in a 2x6 plank and centered a dowel in each vee for a true point support. My first attempt with the 2x6 didn't work too well, the plank cracked.....A second try was made using a 4x4 which was able to take the weight. The jack was let down and the full weight of the wheel was now supported by both the floor and the scale. The distance between the two support points is five feet, with the scale supporting 1/5th of the weight, and the floor supporting 4/5ths of the weight.
The scale reading was about 173 pounds, so 173 times 5 equaled about 865 pounds. This was just a ballpark estimate, as the bathroom scale was not that accurate, but it gave me an idea. I repeated the procedure with the back wheels, and the Willys has about 900 pounds on each front wheel and about 800 pounds on each rear wheel for a total of around 3400 pounds.
Some of the larger NSRA and Goodguys shows have vendors with wheel scales, and then I'll be able to get a more accurate measurement.
These photos show the throttle linkage that was fabricated for the Hilborn injection. I wanted to have some type of progressive linkage that would allow me to gently roll into the throttle for better street drivability, especially with the four throttle blades all opening at the same time.
It took a lot of searching around, but I finally found the answer on the Kinsler Fuel Injection website. They had what was described as an uneven four bar linkage. Using this type of linkage, the first 30 degrees of pedal travel only moves the plates about 15 degrees. The more the pedal travel, the faster the blades open, giving a non-linear opening action.
The first photo shows a small jackshaft assembly that was fabricated and attached to the right side of the throttle body. This shaft would be the anchor point for the driver arm of the linkage. The driver arm is attached via hex link to the driven arm attached to the throttle shaft. The difference in arm lengths between the driver and driven arms is what makes the throttle opening action non-linear.
The second and third photos show the linkage in both closed and fully open throttle positions. The throttle cable can be seen attached to the longer driver arm with the hex link attached to the shorter driven arm.
The fourth photo shows the Lokar throttle cable coming from the left side of the engine and mounted to the blower case with a small bracket.
The fifth photo shows the dual return springs attached to the driver arm for a positive return. The lower mounting tab for the springs can be rotated down for more spring tension if needed.
The last photo shows the completed assembly with the blower scoop installed. It is a tight fit, but everything clears and the linkage is smooth with no binding.
Here are a few photos of the Hilborn electronic fuel injection unit being installed. A screened gasket is first located on top of the blower, and then the injector body bolts directly to the blower. This unit has four injectors mounted on a fuel rail and is supplied by a -6AN fuel line from the fuel pressure regulator mounted on the firewall. The assembly on the rear of the throttle body is the throttle position sensor. This injector unit has 2 3/8 inch bores.
The fourth photo shows the left side of the injector body with the -8AN hose connection for the remote mounted Idle Air Controller.
The last photo shows the finished injector installation, including the Hilborn scoop.