The fuel tank for the Willys is a total of 19 gallons, with an internal mounted fuel pump and filter. Aside from the bottom sump area for the fuel pickup, there is no baffling inside the tank. I decided to add fuel cell safety foam to the inside of the tank, not only to avoid a lot of sloshing around, but also to keep the fuel sender float steadier. The foam was an easier alternative than fabricating some sheet metal style baffles that would be difficult to install/remove in case the fuel pump had to come out, or more likely the fuel filter needing to be serviced. I gave a call to the fuel cell foam manufacturer just to verify that I would have no problem with any decomposition of the foam with E10 pump gas. I also verified with the fuel injector manufacturer to make sure that the foam would not give the injectors any problems. After making sure that the foam was okay to use, I purchased a universal kit that came with a few different sized foam blocks that would be cut to shape to fit the tank.
I also wanted a way of making sure that the foam wouldn't move around inside the tank, especially around the fuel sender float. I had some aluminum brackets left over from another project that fit perfectly onto the same mounting studs for the fuel pump. I added a few horizontal aluminum bars to the vertical brackets, and then measured and the cut the foam blocks to fit. Cutouts were made in each block as necessary to provide clearance around the rollover vent valve, the fuel sender float, and the fuel pump suction and discharge tubing. The foam compressed easily enough to fit through the tank opening, and once all of the foam was situated correctly, the brackets and bars were bolted in place. The foam supposedly takes up less than 4% of the total tank volume, so I'm not losing out on very much fuel capacity at all.
The first two photos show the brackets mounted on the fuel pump and filter studs. The pump is just about in the center of the tank, so I was able to get a good sized block to fit on either side of the pump. The third and fourth photos show the completed blocks of foam after ''carving''. The last two photos show the installed foam and arms to keep everything in place.
The quality of work that Bux is doing is exceeding our expectations. Here are a few in-progress photos of the interior work so far.
The first two photos show the trunk just about finished, with a little more carpet work yet to do. The third photo shows a completed door panel. We chose black leather for most of the interior trim, with burgundy distressed leather for some accent pieces. We let Bux come up with the design elements, and we're very happy with the results. The last two photos show the passenger compartment work in progress, with the window trim installed and the headliner finished. Still to come are the remaining interior panels, seat upholstery and console work.
It was time to load the Willys up one more time for the trip to the Interior trim shop. It was late March here in the northeast, and we still had snow. We're getting better at the loading/tying-down/unloading routine.
The Interior shop we chose was Chris McClintock's Bux Customs in Pottstown, PA. We did a lot of searching and met with more than a few interior guys before we settled on Bux. He was on the same page with us from the start, and understood what we were looking for in the interior design. We had previously been out to his shop to discuss the project and had already picked out the coverings and carpet. We got the Willys into Chris' new shop and left there confident in our choices.
The tilt shell reinforcing ribs were installed for the final time. When the ribs were first installed and adjusted, alignment holes were drilled through the ribs and mounting tabs. For the final assembly, the ribs were bolted up loose and drill bits were used to align the ribs to the correct location. Once the ribs were located correctly, the grille was installed via tabs bolted to the ribs.
The last two photos show both the finished interior and exterior of the tilt shell with the ribs, grille and headlights installed.
With the rest of the Willys in the interior shop, I focused on doing the finish work on the tilt front end. The first thing to do was to install the headlights, which consisted of a rear-mounted plastic bucket and mount ring. These aftermarket assemblies were updated to include a parking/turn light socket. The ring was painted a flat trim black, and the bucket exterior was painted with Gravitex chip guard, which matched the interior finish of the tilt shell. The buckets bolt through the fiberglass shell and are sealed with some 3M rope caulk. On the outside, the headlight assembly consists of a high intensity PIAA H4 bulb, and a super bright amber LED parking light bulb. Two layers of foam weather-strip were applied to a channel in the mounting ring to provide a seal against the headlight bezel and lens assembly.