I received this truck from my father for $100.00 and his best wishes. Originally he traded it to a neighbor's brother for a '57 Chevrolet Pick-Up that he had fixed up but was in need of a paint job. The neighbor's brother had pulled the F4-134 Hurricane out and put a Cady V-8 in it, and then put the L6-226 Super Hurricane in it when he traded it to my father. But when he got it in '82, the truck was not running, but was in nearly working order. Like most everybody who ever owns a Willys vehicle, dad had the "Willys Disease" and was in complete love with the truck. After a little bit of tinkering her had it up and running. Unfortunately about a year later he pulled into the driveway and shut it off for about and hour, only to find it not start when he jumped back into it to leave the house.
He was unable to find anything wrong with it and towed it down to a few of the local mechanics' shops. But due to the inexperience of the L6-226 engine, they wanted to tear it down a work from the ground up, but as with all endeavors that would have cost more than was acceptable at the time and my father put it to the side for a later project.
Over the years he started to work on it, but with three boys who were extremely active, finding the opportunity and then the money to undertake such a task was difficult at best. He started working on it a number of time over the years but due to the afore mentioned reasons (not me, I was a good boy), or something altogether different, he was unable to complete the task.
So fifteen years after it stopped running, I was an adult, part of the United States Air Force, and just returning from a year in Korea. I asked my father if I could buy the truck off him, and take the Willys as my project. He was willing to part with it, and had always dreamed that I would relieve him of it and complete something he had started years before. So here I was at my parents home with nothing but time on my hands and a Willys project in my hands.
For a month and a half I worked daily under the carport at the side of the house pulling everything apart and reassembling it with new grease and oils after a thorough inspection. At one point I gutted the entire cab and amazingly enough, I only found one coin, a penny, so I therefore named her "Penny" for that one coin. I ran into problems and took many trips out to the local Jeep wrecking yard outside Sacramento Ca. J & W Auto Wreckers helped me complete a number of tasks. Unfortunately I was unable to complete the rebuild on the engine by the time I needed to report to my new base.
After doing some more rebuilding I tried to start "Penny" and the engine wouldn't rotate. After looking into it a little more I found that the new rings were a close match, but not what I needed, and were too tight within the cylinder walls. When I did find out that the rings were too tight it was after taking it to a auto shop and they informed me that my block was cracked and could not be repaired. Disheartened I let her sit for about 6 more months with little maintenance being preformed, and I was beginning to wonder if I would fall into the same hole as my father had been in.
By now it was close to a deployment with my present, at the time, unit to the middle east for Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the "No Fly" zone over Iraq. For another 3 months my truck sat at home weathering the elements while I was in temperatures over 100 degrees, and sometimes below 80 at night. When I returned it was the beginning of winter and I was not able to spend time outside working on my truck. She sat for another spring outside while I got married, but was given a boost to priority when I was given a new engine as a wedding gift. It had come out of a '56 Pick-Up that had gotten an engine swap when there was noise coming from the oil pan.
I stripped the new engine down to the cast iron block and learned that the shelf in the oil pan had broken free and had caused four of the six pistons to become worthless. Since that time I have replaced the items that were damaged or used parts from my first engine. Presently I have repainted the block and all exterior parts in a red color with touches of black. The next step is to finish the valve seats and reassemble everything, hopefully I will not run across any other large problems.