by Barry Ogletree
In Part 1 Barry described the cutting and splicing to add 40 inches in length to a 1964 CJ-3B. Now it's time for the painting and detailing. -- Derek Redmond
The best preparation for painting is taking an absolutely clean Willys to the Paint Shop. This may seem a small item, but nobody sees your Willys as you do. Starting with a clean vehicle tells the whole shop crew that you are very serious about your vehicle.
Also, taking the time to detail with the shop manager and body crew exactly what you want and are going to do with your Willys. Example -- a Willys for hunting is a lot different from a Willys for shows. If they understand that thousands of people are going to see the Willys, it is human nature to try harder. I ask for a whole box of business cards to hand out at shows, and do. Shops always appreciate that small favor.
The hoods have that tendency to dish. I have some nice Hood Fixes including an aluminium stiffener, with a tube to prop the hood open. And spacers to stop the hood rubbing on the cowl.
Also a tip: after opening the hood latches, turn the T-handle 180 degrees around. Hook away from the hood, and lean the damn thing back away from the hood. This stops the scratches that you always see under the hood catches.
The paint time depends on how backed up the shop is, before they can get to you. If no back up, a shop can knock one out in 4 days. This includes all prep, sanding, primer, any body filler, resanding, more priming, wet hand sand, tape, paper, and base coat then clearcoat, then pulling tape and paper.
Sprayed in Flame Red. I find that base coat/clear coat is best for my vehicles. There is also always the old standard "tractor" enamel -- industrial enamel. That is the closest to the original type of paint. There are some really great industrial paints out there now. Maybe for an authentic look the industrial would be the way to go. At their best, the Willys had a poor paint job. Matter of fact there has never been even a good factory paint job on any Willys or Jeep.
Never ever use any lacquer. Also, do not ever use any German brand paints. They use chemicals that look fine in the natural light, but take a photo of them, and Stone White may be beige, Fire Red may be brown red. I could write a book on German paints. And one of the hardest things in our custom business was to get the new paint sections to match the factory paint sections.
Loading up at Extreme Collision to go back to my mechanic's shop for bedlining. He has a homemade paint booth, and being retired, I can come and go to fit his schedule. I just sold my big shop to a company next door -- they had to have it for expansion of their business. I have leased a 2000 sq. ft. shop until I can either find or build another.
The bed is scuffed and the paint gets tape and paper prior to bedlining. Note black sealant in all seams.
The first base coat of the two-part polyurethane bedliner is rolled on.
Then comes the texture, after the base has "flashed," meaning it is just dry to the touch, and before it has time to "wax". There is a carrier in the poly that will come to the surface when it sets. If it waxes, you need to go in and spray it with Simple Green to remove the wax. Makes the adhesion much better.
The roll bar is cleaned with lacquer thinner before rolling on the first coat. It seems to stick better, and is a lot less wasteful. Then we'll spray the next coat for texture.
Second gas tank -- both tanks have an on/off valve in the tank fitting. A T under the forward tank valve, and an L under the rear tank valve. Simple gas line connections. Although it will work, I do not put gas into the rear tank. I have no trouble letting the gas in one tank get old. So, if I have two I would then have double old gas. Of course, I could just open the valve and suck off of both, but if one pulls a little easier than the other tank, you have the possibility of sucking air into the carb, even though there is a little gas left in one of the tanks. (Rare but could happen.)
You could put a dual tank valve up thru the floor in front of the forward gas tank, but the Willys has such tight footroom, I would rather have the open floor room.
The seats are upholstered with diamond pattern vinyl top material. The grey is a tweed pattern top material.
The rear fenders are bolted on with six 3/16" plated bolts, washers and nylock nuts. The seam between the body and the fenders did not need it, but I wanted it to have an authentic look, so I had our upholstery guy sew the extra vinyl roof material into a really nice welting, which can stop squeaks and hide misfit body panels.
After getting the vinyl top on, we took Fred to a car show: 2 hours down, cold rain-out, 2 hours back. The flood waters were only a couple of feet below the Sabine River bridge we used. Did not even unload him, but about 2-300 people circled him on the trailer. Typical 1000 questions -- he does draw a crowd.
Karen is very supportive of these projects, and can drive the heck out of any Jeep.
Great way to be able to finally tighten a top so tight, that it won't flop. Custom made top has 1" tie-down straps at the rear. Two mid-line tighteners run all the way from the windshield to the middle and rear roll bar tubes. Far superior to anything on the market, and highest grade of marine vinyl.
The crossbar actually reinforces the seat backs. The rear fenders do the second row. Lots of hand holds for rough going, and getting in or out easily.
I have two TJ wedge speakers on each roll bar. I promise, that is all anyone needs. I was thinking six, but after testing, four are plenty. Also keeps the clean dash look on Fred. Spud is a different story, as I wanted a lot of gauges in a sportier CJ-3B.
I may add a small amplifier and two more speakers hidden completely under the dash. To not have to cut the dash.
Bluetooth player. This thing has solved so many of my music problems. I have never been a fan of the old radio-in-the-dash thing. This unit is on the firewall. Looks intimidating at first, as it has a lot of places to connect wires, plugs, etc. -- but the unit will do anything you need. Connect a radio unit, no problem, connect an amp, no problem.
The way it works is simple -- the music plays from my smart phone. When I get into Fred, I turn the key on and there is a small toggle switch almost hidden by the steering wheel tube. I flip it to on, and the Bluetooth starts looking for my phone to pair with it. If I get a call, the music goes silent.
I have added a Weber 2-barrel conversion, and an electronic distributor. Redirected the PVC hoses into the 2-barrel base plate. Runs perfectly, easy to install. What comes in the kit is complete for the conversion. I had just done a valve adjustment on the engine, and did not want to remove the valve cover again, so I figured out a way to mount the carb without having to remove the valve cover. It works well, but is not worth the construction time to build it. It is a plate with a 1-5/8" hole (110K JPEG), 2 threaded opposite holes and 2 unthreaded holes. I cut the ears off the carb base, bolted the plate to the engine manifold, sat the carb onto the plate, and used the threaded holes to hold it down. I am also planning a conversion back to the original air cleaner with my filter element in it.
I have improved the fold-down spare tire carrier since the version we put on Spud. It utilizes the standard four bolt holes on the rear frame member, and the original tire standoff box, which most people would already have. See the complete plans for this easy and cheap project.
Curious about the winch? (340K JPEG) It is an original Golds. It was way before PTO and electric. This one you crank by hand. That is the way I remember the first CJ's that we owned.
Karen and I just got in from a car show in Cleveland, Texas. It was a pretty tough show with a LOT of competition. Long story short... Fred won the Peoples Choice Award! He swept the field. They had a rule about not winning in two or more categories, so we got the better trophy of Peoples Choice! To say that everyone went crazy over Fred would be an understatement. It seems that everyone has childhood memories of CJ2s and 3s. I have never heard so many people wanting to tell their Willys stories.
I have hit a good nerve with the Willys. It is humbling to see peoples faces and eyes when they connect with Fred. After the awards, dozens of people came up and just wanted to talk and hang around Fred (and us). There is something there in their memories and hearts. Some had tears, that part was tough on us. I think they were so happy they had tears. I have been doing this for years, but never ever with a response like this.
Most of the cars were hands off -- do not touch. Not us. We would let kids and even adults sit in him. They did not have to ride, as their memories did the job for that. Maybe next time, we will give some rides around the show lots. As far as touching, the bed liner was touched a thousand times. Even the non directional tires were a touch thing, why, I do not know. Just different I suppose. What a wonderful day for us and Fred. We got by far the most applause at the trophy presentation!
Thanks to Barry Ogletree for the story and photos. See also his CJ-3B Named Spud. -- Derek Redmond
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Last updated 20 January 2017 by Derek Redmond
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond