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Restoration of my 1942 Ford GPW Jeep


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Zeph,

 

Sorry to hear about your windshield latches. I'm hoping I won't have to do the same, but more than likely that's the route I'll be going too. I wanted to let you know that I did find the "S" markings after all, so she was a Suppressed jeep. As I was pulling things apart, I found grounding strap after grounding strap and things started to make sense. A little wet sanding on the tub and the S popped right out.

 

I pulled the thermostat apart today too. It's dated 4-42. Guess it was sitting around for a few months before it got put into a jeep. Pretty cool. I'm gonna be pulling my tub off tomorrow. Freed up the gas pedal today and did a bunch of little things to prep the tub for removal. It's ready to go, just need to pull the steering wheel. Then I can pop the last 2 bolts on the block and get into the guts of it....

 

Jon

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

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I just read the whole of this thread, and agree with everyone else watching it. It is absolutely fascinating and mesmerising, can't wait to see the end result of all your hard work and perseverance. I think this is most peoples dream to restore a jeep, and you are doing it, and a damn good job of it too.

The humble jeep is mass produced beauty at its best, all the parts marked with the Ford logo, just fantastic.

 

Keep up the good work!

 

AG

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My real job has been cutting into my project time, so very little action as of late.

 

Another view of the lack of floor structure:

 

Don't you hate it when life gets in the way of fun! :crying:

 

What I love the most about this thread is seeing the "before and after" pictures. You take a piece of rusted hunk of metal and turn it into a work of art!

 

Thanks for the updates.....Kat

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My real job has been cutting into my project time, so very little action as of late......

 

 

Aaarrrggghhhh!!!

I am addicted to this thread and can barely wait to see the end result!

What a fantastic job you are doing, Zeph. And thanks for sharing all your pictures and stories with us.

- Sjef -

By God, I think the Devil s#!+$ Dutchmen. [sir W. Batten, 1667]

Actively seeking: WWII USAAF, ETO and PTO bomber crew related items.

 

My collection

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Thanks, everyone! I am happy my updates are appreciated. It helps motivate me to get out there and accomplish some tasks when I document and post photo updates. It really amazes me as well at the progress that has been made when I look back at the threads. Who did that! :lol:

 

This is my busy season at work, so project time has been severely restricted. :( But I am getting a few minutes here and there.

 

Thanks again, Zeph

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Thanks for all the great comments! It means a lot to me to get the feedback. As it is the dog days of summer, any encouragement is appreciated. And cjohns, you had me choking on my coffee this morning. That’s funny! :lol:

Since my last post, my GPW and I had our one year anniversary together. :love: Of course, my GPW is probably wondering what it got itself into! :think:

I also ended up adding a WC-13 and a WC-21, both Dodge 1/2 ton open cab pickups, to my collection since my last post. I believe that the two will make one really nice truck. I’m really pleased to have scored these pieces of history right in my own backyard. Evidently, only around 4,000 WC-13's were produced.

Anyway, I worked a few hours yesterday removing my rear floor pan. It is slow going separating the spot welds. I had picked up a plasma cutter quite a while ago when Eastwood had a promo, and I was finally able to use it to cut the bulk of the floor panel out. It took me a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but once I did it worked great.

I first had to drill out a bunch of rivets that the PO used to place down some sheet metal over the original floor. The original floor was pretty rugged. This is what was under the sheet metal:

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Here is the plasma cutter doing its thing. Pretty impressive. One can just make out the arc blasting through the metal:

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First piece out:

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A good view of the cut. Well, it isn’t pretty as it was my first attempt:

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The main portions removed:

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Now I am trying to defeat the spot welds. I don’t know what the best method is to do this. I’m experimenting now. I used my 7” angle grinder and ground down
the spot welded areas of the panel’s remaining strip of metal. I then used the air chisel to separate. It’s a little iffy. The problem is that I can’t get the grinder into a lot of the areas. I was able to remove both sides of the remaining panel strips along the fenders before I ran out of gas. It’s been well over 100 degrees every day for the past few weeks. 114 degrees one day which has slowed me down a little. Looking forward to football season and cooler weather!

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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I have been anxiously awaiting your updates! I am sure it is hot using the plasma cutter in 100+ degree weather. You did a great job for your first time using the cutter.

 

I just noticed that the footnote on your post says "Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria". You need to change it to say something like "Out in my shop restoring my jeep".

 

....Kat

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I have been anxiously awaiting your updates! I am sure it is hot using the plasma cutter in 100+ degree weather. You did a great job for your first time using the cutter.

I just noticed that the footnote on your post says "Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria". You need to change it to say something like "Out in my shop restoring my jeep".

....Kat

Will I do slip out once in awhile on the hunt for USAAF militaria. I have read that some Dodge 1/2 ton open cabs may have served on some airfields in England, so I couldn't pass Harriet up. I haven't confirmed that yet, but at least she won't be left to rot out in the elements any longer. One can just make out her name on the left side of the bed. By the time I'm done, I should have a complete compliment of period vehicles to service my own WWII airfield...likely all in the 91st BG markings:

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If anyone has a photo of an open cab in England during the war, please post it here. When I finish my GPW, I think Harriet will be up next. Of course, my plans are always way ahead of what I can accomplish! :lol: :pinch:

Regards,

Zeph

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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I am volunteer to accomodate Harriet. :D

Looks like a really nice restauration project too.

I keep following your and Cobrahistorian's topic on the jeep restaurations.

Really interesting and you both are doing a mighty fine job.

 

Erwin

704th Tank Destroyer Battalion

 

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I am volunteer to accomodate Harriet. :D

Looks like a really nice restauration project too.

I keep following your and Cobrahistorian's topic on the jeep restaurations.

Really interesting and you both are doing a mighty fine job.

 

Erwin

 

Thanks, Erwin. Yes, Cobrahistorian is breathing down my neck as his GPW project is looking great. I really need to get on the ball! ;)

 

Looks like a camper with that house on the back :think:

That's funny. Now that you mention it, it does look like a camper.

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m continuing on the dreaded floor panel replacement project that I started weekend, and I spent some more time on it today. Some of these photos are from last weekend. Anyway, I picked up a spot weld remover, and I must admit that that thing is awesome! It has a spring loaded drill bit that recesses as you one pushes down, and the cutter works great. Here is a sample:

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I used it on the front floor panel spot welds where the panel met the cross member of the rear panel. I wanted to leave the front floor panel to see where the new panel would line up:

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The panel is outta there:

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First test fitting:

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The new rear panel barely makes it to the original front floor panel. Hmmm…if I really knew what I was doing, I would probably make an adjustment here. It meets the rear panel fairly well:

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I then sandblasted all the areas that will meet and be welded. I found some weld through primer to use on all the areas to be welded. It is 3M copper type primer:
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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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My understanding, which is limited here, is that the weld through primer will add some protection from rust between the welded seams. It is not intended to be used as a regular primer as it has lousy adhesion capabilities. This is why I decided to sandblast the seams, use the weld through primer, and then have the entire tub sandblasted after I am done. That way I can get a good coat good primer on the whole tub. Here are some shots of the weld through primer:

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Here is the rear panel with the hole drilled for welding once I get everything in shape:

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The driver’s side wheel well was rusted out a bit. It was actually even below my standards, so I used a piece of the front panel where I had drilled out some spot welds to replace where it is welded to the rear panel cross member. One can see it looks pretty rugged here:

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Here is the replacement piece welded in place. It already had the holes in it, so that worked out well. There are other issues with the driver’s side panel as well. I’m not sure what to do for that yet:

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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This is what I did today with the rear floor panel. It didn’t quite fit as well as I would have liked. I doubt if it is the panel vs. the tub’s overall condition. The more I look at the tube up close and personal, the more I realize that there are dents in every square centimeter. It will not be a looker for sure. If I patch any body panels, I will need to make sure I put the sheet metal in the gravel driveway and drive over it about four or five times. That way it will match the rest of the sheet metal more closely upon installation. At least I won’t need to worry about warping the metal while welding.

On to the rear panel. After getting it in there, messaging the metal…grinding here and there, the panel still didn’t fit well. The panel needed to go forward about 3/8 of an inch on the passenger side, but was good on the driver’s side. What to do? Using the porta power, I was able to get the passenger side up to where it needed to be. This made the front fit well, but the rear did not. It now didn’t reach the tail panel on the driver’s side, and it was stuck out pas the tool box panel into the tail panel too far. After more work, I was finally able to get it close, but not perfect. I think the tub is just too tweaked from 70 years of wear and tear.

I took some photos, but the corners actually look good in these. Maybe I’m trying to be too perfect. I don’t know. Here’s the driver’s side rear corner. The tail panel is to the right and the tool box at the bottom:

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Passenger side. Tail panel to the right in photo:

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With the porta power’s assistance, the front is lined up fairly well now. One can see that the panel now sits close to where the original was. I still think it is a tad short. I really hope there is enough front panel to make the connection here:

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Passenger side fit check at the front of the tool box. I installed the foot rests to make sure they lined up. They both seem to fit well:

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I hadn’t noticed earlier that the hat channel has wood like the originals:

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Calling all clamps! I had to dig deep to find all my clamps. I think I am now ready to start the welding process tomorrow. And if that goes well, I will start removing the front panel:

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Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Back to the grind on the floor panels. I welded in the rear floor panel and cut out the front floor panel. I have never been a very good sheet metal welder, so I wasn’t really looking forward to it. My worry was unfounded, however. It actually went well. Plus this really gave me a lot of practice as there was a lot of welding to be completed.

I used the little vise grips to really get a tight fit before I made each weld. It seemed to work well for me. Here is a hole ready to be filled:

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Here it is after the weld:

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A view of the alignment of the panels while welding:

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A view of one side with all the welding completed. I think I’m a little heavy handed on the spot welds, but I really want to make sure they hold and don’t come apart the first time I romp on the accelerator:

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This is a view of the front of the tool box after welding it to the cross member on the new panel:

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Once I was done there, I pulled out my front replacement panel and checked it out. It looks pretty decent. There are a couple of holes in it where the factory made some welds on the hump. Quality control must have taken the day off that day. Other than that it looks pretty good:

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I also found the fuel tank. I was happy to find that it has the small opening like a ’42 GPW would have had. The tank fit into the sump on the new floor, so that’s a good sign. I also looked inside the tank and there was no rust which is good:

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Here’s a photo of the front floor work. There are a lot more spot welds and interesting obstacles to work on and around:

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Ahh, Labor Day weekend. Now, this is the kind of labor I love! :thumbsup:

Zeph

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Zeph,

 

Looks like we both had busy GPW weekends! I'm taking notes on your tub rebuilding (as with everything else) and planning out my course of action. In the meantime, I've got a question for you. We should probably chat offline, but I'm wondering if you'd be interested (and have time) to give me hand with fabricating an insert for the left side of my frame? Spent 3 hours chipping 1/4" thick rust scale out of it today and it is UGLY.

 

Keep up the awesome work!

 

Jon

In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Looking for ETO/MTO P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Curator of Arms & Armor at the National Museum of the Marine Corps

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Thanks, Jon. Shoot me a PM of what you are looking at on your frame. I would be happy to assist in any way I can. And remember, I'm an accountant by trade, so I only know enough to be dangerous! :w00t: :lol:

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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All in all, a good Labor Day weekend of work on the project. I removed all of the original front floor panel metal. Lots of spot welds, welds and angles to deal with. It feels good to have all of the old section out. I fitted in the front panel to see what would look like. I discovered that the front gussets are like a puzzle and will need to be engineered a bit. I also got a good look at the side panels. If I am to do any work there, now would be the time. They look really bad and it would be nice to have decent looking ones. I will ponder that decision this week. I have also notice all kinds of areas that need attention such as patching and welding. Most notably, the tool box and glove box areas.

A view with the metal removed and ready for prep work. I will sand blast the weld areas on both the tub and floor panel and then hit it with the weld through primer:

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Here is what I had to deal with on the floor. Not one, not two, but three layers of metal to get out of there in some areas:

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Best $90 I have spent on this project was for the components to make the rotisserie. I don’t know what I would do without it. It is extremely handy and allows me to do all this work myself. Here is the front floor sitting near where it will go:

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Here is the view of the front gussets. The floor panel actually goes inside here. Hmmm…how does one do that and get the gussets on the outside into the engine compartment. I think I will need to bend the fire wall metal to get it to slide in between and then hammer it back to its original spot:

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Here is a view from the inside. Man, I wish it was complete, but still a lot of work to do:

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Here is the driver’s side panel near. This looks really bad. I don’t know if it shows up in the photos, but it is rather hideous:

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What to do, what to do. I will be thinking about this all week while at work!

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Thanks for the updates! It is really starting to look great! I look forward to your pictures.

 

....Kat

Well, there was a frenzy of photo taking this weekend. :lol: My goal was to get all of the floor sections completely out. Mission accomplished! Lots of hours of work, however. I just took my time and powered through. Overall, it was a nice stress reliever from work which is fitting since it was the Labor Day weekend. :rolleyes:;)

 

Thanks,

 

Zeph

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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Don't you think about this 24 hours a day? :lol:

 

....Kat

Well, once in awhile I have to think about my real job... :pinch: :lol:

Collecting WWII USAAF Militaria and a Few WWII Vehicles Along the Way


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