When I was a kid my father had a Jeep that he would snow plow with but sold it long before I was able to drive. When I was ready to buy my first Jeep of course I looked for one just like it. I think it was 1989 when I found one in the newspaper for sale minus the V8 engine swap my father had done. I bought it sight unseen over the phone. When we got it home my father and I did whatever needed done mechanically and then he painted it lemon ice yellow. I looked like a bumble bee driving down the road but loved it. In 1995 I took it off the road where it sat until 2 years ago when I finally got it in my garage under the relentless requests of my oldest daughter. With the help of my kids and the understanding of my wife I slowly started to strip it down so it could be brought back to a safe usable Jeep.
My fathers knowledge was indispensable during the entire process. Before I did anything though I put some oil in the cylinders to soak and a few days later when I turned the crank the old army surplus engine my father and I put in turned freely. With a little gas in the carb and a borrowed battery from my daily driver the engine started after its long hibernation of over 25 years. Gotta love the F4-134. For the most part the Jeep remains stock but I have done a few safety/convenience upgrades. I got tired of having to change the clutch linkage rods on the side of the road when they would break so I installed a Advanced Adapters clutch chain drive. They said it can’t be used on 4 cylinder engines but I made a new shaft for my pedals to attach to that gave me the correct alignment for a direct pull on the clutch.
I now have disc brakes on all 4 corners powered by a Wilwood master cylinder and remote fluid reservoir. The electronic ignition I purchased from you makes for easy starts and smooth running. I also added a Lokar parking brake that I never had before. After making a lot of patches and panels I welded, filled, primed and painted it a metallic green that shines in the sun but still gives me that old school look with bedliner for the interior. My tail lights were rotted out so I opted for some bright LED trail ones.
Even though not 100 percent complete yet I took my father for a ride the other day and it was almost 30 years ago all over agin. With the plates on it now my oldest has since acquired my spare key and has learned to handle the T90 transmission rather quickly. Seems like it wasn’t just me she was thinking about when she talked me into bringing it home but who can blame her. I look forward to making memories with my kids like my father did with me. Maybe one day I can pass on everything I learned when it’s their turn to restore it with my grand kids. Below you will see my father and I from 1989 and a picture now.
Kaiser Willys Jeep Life – Nick Ferraro
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