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'56 willys truck


Red Skull Member
May 20, 2020
Member Number
Omaha, NE
jumping ship from what used to be pirate...

this thread is a bit jumbled--from post #1 to #28(page 2) is current works going on and then I throw in a some posts and pics from when I started back in 2017, but page 3 has a couple of posts and pics about current status and then it's back to old build posts and pics and then on page 6 it will go back to current hacking....hope that makes sense

56 willys truck that is under grinder and welder remodel with the following stuff going in:

1992 5.7 with FAST fuel injection--spun bearing, so now it will get a 6.0LS gen lll, bored .30 with M122 supercharger
1992 4L80E with Jake's Performance manual shift thingy-- now it will get a 2004 rebuilt 4L80e for the LS
Holley 550-917 harness
NWF eco box with 2.72 reduction--changed to Offroad Design Magnum 205 kit
NP205 twin sticked
Winters shifter
1979 Ford dana 60 with 5.38 & grizzly locker
GM 14 bolt with 5.38 & grizzly locker
16" coilovers(front 225/225 & rear 250/300--may need to change these out)
3 link front
4 link rear
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roof body armor under way--roof has holes, dents and an old sun roof hole

56 willys roof armor2.jpg
rear roof corner armor welded and close to being ready for paint, but paint is a long ways off, as i still need to finish weld & grind this side and then attack the other side, front, rear and top

56 willys rear roof corner.jpg
front and rear cab corners---front cab corner hasn't been worked out totally yet. I have a pre-lim idea, but I need to make a corner piece to see what I think may look good or makes sense at the A pillar as it transitions at the bottom of the windshield. Do I stop it at the bottom of the windshield or continue down to the bottom of the cab. Transitioning to the bottom of the cab is winning in my head right now. I may do something on the doors too, but I've not given it a ton of thought, but the drivers side is crunched at the top and bottom is pretty rusty, so something has to happen at these areas anyway. Right now I need to get the roof done, so that I can move on to more important things, like wiring, fuel system, brake lines, driveshafts, etc.....
Upper door jamb was crunched by a previous owner, so I welded in a patch.. Still need to work on the gutter, but that will happen when the roof armor is all complete.

56 willys door jamb crunch1.jpg

56 willys door jamb crunch.jpg

56 willys door jamb repaired.jpg
I finally got the pieces I need and got the outside of the cab wrapped with the 3/16" plate and the hole fixed in the center, now it's just to patch in the pieces between the center patch and outside wrap. I'm a bit hung up what to do about the drip rail, but I'll either just weld it all up solid or maybe wrap a 3/8" round bar around it, we shall see. Next up either cab corners or attack the back of the cab and back frame rail paint, so that I can finally mount the bed. We shall see, it's getting to hot to do much in the sun, so progress is going to slow down I fear.
roof is all patched in with the armor plate and I'm now working on the drip rail and the seams to pretty them up a bit---I decided to just weld up the drip rail and grind it into shape instead of adding some metal to re-shape it--progress is slow due to the weather being blistering hot or it rains when it's cooler.....
my new plan of attack is to finish the rear cab corners--then attack the rear of the cab where the bed meets the cab--clean up the rear frame area and underside of the bed & front of bed where it meets the cab--mount bed--then fix rockers--fix door rust and door crunch at driver's door top--install door glass---then in no particular order: wiring, fuel system(tank, pump, lines), brake lines, hydro-boost install, tranny coolant lines and cooler install, LED lights and continue with the 100 other little items that will need attention and things I want/need to do.......seems the more things I knock off ends up causing more things that need to be done and that takes me further from getting the thing running!!!!
I got the passenger side all pre-welded in, now I'll do the driver's side(tonight hopefully) and after that I have a ton of blend welding to do on both passenger and driver's side. As most know, welding to 64yr old metal is challenging.
still not sure how I'll handle the ribs, but that can be done later on if I decide to do something ...not sure why the pic is turned, but at least it's a pic......

got minimal time on the willys this weekend, cuz I bought another one--2 whl drive--but here's part of the weld blending on the corners--just 3 hrs to get the upper section to this point and it's still not ready.....pics show the difference between what the bottom section looks like before the blending....

willys rear cab mod.jpg

willys rear cab mod1.jpg
Very cool project. What kind of steering column did you use? Can you take pics of the steering gear box connected to the column? I'm currently working on my 52 Willys and I haven't decided what steering column to use.
It's a chevy style steering column, which I believe was about 38" long--it came with the jeep. I had another steering column out of '92 chevy 3/4 ton that I shortened, but it ended up being more of hassle to get the shafts to line up so I put the longer one in. I used a splined to D coupler at the steering box. I'll have to take pics to show what I did, but give me a couple of days to get them. I did have to modify the column mount at the dash and to cut the column shroud to get it to fit in and give belly to steering wheel clearance.

steering column stock length 38 inches.jpg

shortened steering column with D shaft vs stock column with splined shaft.jpg

steering column mount 2.jpg
So the pic showing the two columns side by side you can see on the shortened one I had to cut the shroud down, but the longer one doesn't show it being cut, but I'm pretty sure I hacked it too, but I'll double check later to see if I did for sure..




in pic # 3 vs pic #4 I had to notch the crossmember for draglink/pitman arm bolt and then later I had to take a notch out of the frame too as the bolt was hitting the frame
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some pics of steering set up pulled from my thread from the site not to be named...I had to mod this bracket a couple of times to make it work. the first time was for the shortened column and then when I ditched it I had to mod it again for the longer column...
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