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Improving the Repli-Tub

1954 CJ-3B, Frank Porfidio, Massapequa Park NY


 

Frank (left)When Frank Porfidio decided to replace the rusty body tub on his 1954 "OB" Jeep (S.N. CJ3BOB5412314) he used the Repli-Tub from Willys-Overland in Toledo, Ohio.

The Repli-Tub is an imported repro tub to which W-O says the following improvements have been made at their shop in Toledo:

Frank sent along some comments on the process of installing his CJ-3B Repli-Tub, saying "I figure after three years of learning stuff from CJ3B.info, it's time for me to contribute something!"

Frank is seen on the left in this photo, pleased with his finished Repli-Tub which is painted in the original Glenwood Green. Below are some more of his photos and comments.
 

Before
"This is why I needed a new tub! The original is rusted to hell and it's still cooler than a Bronco or a Nissan! Note the steering column (110K JPEG) attaches to an angle under the dash."

New dash
"Drilling out gauge holes with a hole saw. The new dash under the steering wheel was flat, not angled. This throws off the steering wheel column. We had to heat and bend to get the angle on the dash (100K JPEG)."

Carl
"This is Carl Sr. The man is amazing at leading in things. By the way -- this was ridiculous -- the tranny cover hole for the shifter was off by about three inches. It had to be filled and re-cut. We added the brackets for the gas tank strap (100K JPEG). A few cage nuts (100K JPEG) were missing also."

For brake handle
"The parking brake indent on the dash wasn't there. We had to cut out and lead in the old section. We also re-used the old support bracket (110K JPEG)."

For parking brake spring
"No bracket for parking brake spring on the bottom of the tub. See the spring holder complete after painting (100K JPEG). And the tub had no radiator stay bracket. You have to weld the old one on."

Firewall
"The firewall (100K JPEG) showing the added bracket for the radiator stay (top of photo). Notice no brackets for the oil bath filter!"

Sanding
A lot of filling and sanding was done to prep the new tub for paint. See also sandblasting the original grille.

Tub bottom
Ready for masking and painting (100K JPEG). The painted tub was then lowered onto the frame (120K JPEG).

Testing
"We test fit the top and windshield. The soft top channel on the windshield should be screwed, not welded, because if you're using a hardtop (100K JPEG) you will need to lower it. We didn't really figure this out until the Jeep was already painted! Notice all the weld spots (90K JPEG)."

Aligning hood
"More fun aligning hood and grille. And I did go back to 7.50x16 tires. These tires rip the hell out of your steering bell crank."

Assembly
"Reinstalling Advance Adaptors chain clutch system (see top left of photo of bellhousing and transfer case, 120K JPEG). I've had it for about ten years now -- works great! See also tightening steering box to frame (180K JPEG).

Tub to fender
"Anti-squeak pad on tub to fender joint should be rubber so as not to retain water. Could use caulk strip also."

Frank's comments are echoed by past postings made on the CJ-3B Bulletin Board:

Andy Balistreri: "I purchased a Repli-Tub from Willys-Overland. They will sell you a tub but if you want it to fit perfectly they charge you to relocate the holes if they're off. They will also emboss the Willys logo on the hood and tailgate. My tub fit great but it did need some body work since they come very wavy. I filled all the spot weld marks and just went all out. It all depends how much patience you have, and time."

Glenn Smith: "After talking to W-O I had intended to go with the Repli-Tub, but when it came time to order it they were out of bodies and it would have taken a couple of months minimum. The Willys stampings were what I was sold on, and to me were worth the money. Personally I think they charge too much for just drilling the holes in the correct place. They install crush sleeves also, but I'm not sure it's worth the cost. Since the 3B had 2 different dashes the buyer still has to fix that. Anyway, I called Walck's and Omix-Ada had one in stock so I had it in 2 days. Plus Carl had a Willys-stamped tailgate so at least I got that part. I cut out the section of dash with the e-brake, speedo, choke, throttle and steering mount from the old dash, used it as a template to cut out the same section from the new dash, and welded it in place. Of course, if you don't have the old dash to use, that's a bummer. What I'm getting at is the old section has the studs for mounting the speedo, the recess formed for the e-brake, and the proper bend and angle at the bottom for the steering column support bracket. Anyway, with any body kit for the 3B there's still work ahead on the dash..."


Thanks to Frank for the photos. -- Derek Redmond


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Last updated 31 October 2006 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
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