I traded a 1950 Chevy P.U. for this Jeepster about 2 years ago – it was in nice condition… I pulled the engine (an L-134) so I could reseal it, (it leaked oil bad). It had a broken valve spring, so off with the head…AFTER 2 broken head bolts. I am very glad I had an engine lathe. I drilled out one broken head bolt with a 1/4 drill, then put the bolt back in the head and drilled out the broken bolts. I kept drilling out the broken bolt on the lathe several times until I got it to the right size. Then I used a SMALL punch and SMALL hammer to remove a few of the threads so I could start the 7/16 tape. All went very well, then with the head off, one piston was broken, you could see the top ring!!! So 4 new pistons and a ring set are next… Then there were these 3 VERY bad valve seats and guides…so off to the machine shop the block went! Out of the 8 compression rings 1 (ONE) was NOT broken, 7 were broken… All of this just for an oil leak!!!!!
This L-134 engine ran very well for all of the bad things in it. No wonder they call them “bullet proof”!!! So while the block was at the shop, I decided to paint the engine bay and everything that was close to it and in it. I put the engine back in and it looked so good, I decided to repaint the Jeepster – inside and out!
There was NO rust anywhere! VERY LIGHT service rust only. (That’s what you get when you live in Fla. and the Jeepster is from Fla.) Floorboards are perfect; no patches, frame, fenders, inner fenders, all NO RUST or previous bondo!
I replaced the white old top with a new black one complete with side curtains, new and correct steering wheel, the new pistons, rings, head studs, gaskets, King pins in the front end, new correct hub caps, headlight rings, new complete wiring, 4 new side steps, complete clutch kit, U-joints, and many more things I can’t think of for now. I did everything myself except for the King Pins…The first Mopar show I went to after the rebuild of the Jeepster, I got a 2 foot trophy!
I love this Jeepster – it was more fun working on it. Took about a month from start to finish.
I got all my parts from KaiserWillys, except the top. You are great people to work with. NEVER any problems. Since I am done with this Jeepster, our “love” relationship will have to end for now, but it’s not really over as I am looking for another Jeepster or a Jeep Pickup, then this fun starts all over again… Thanks Mike at KaiserWillys, you’re the MAN!
Kaiser Willys Jeep Blog Story – Will Matevich
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