2007 All Breed Jeep Show - Coverage by Offroaders.com - Jeep Show Presented by PA Jeeps

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Dave Leasure's
Twisted Willys

As we watched this beast crawl up the RTI Ramp and observed the pivot point just behind the cab of the truck work it's extra flex into a great score for a 117 inch wheelbase vehicle, we knew we would have to do a page on this beast.   We were able to contact Dave after the Jeep Show and didn't have to twist his arm too much to get him to throw us some details about Twisted Willys.  Below is from Dave himself.

First some Specs:

1950 Willys Pickup

283 cid / Propane Powered T-90 Transmission
HEI Ignition System Spicer 18 Transfer Case
36" Super swamper TSL Chicago Electric 8000lb Winch
Massey Ferguson Power Steering Full Exocage
Bucket Seats Onboard Air
Dana 44 Front Axle Snorkel
GM 12 Bolt Rear Axle, Mini Spool DIfferential Guards
5.13:1 Gears Off-Road Lighting
Dual gel-cells Batteries  tools, safety equipment,CB, etc
Hinged Frame - Wheel bearing assemble from a 15 ton JD manure spreader, rollback frame rails for cross members

Dave's comments on his project: ...

If there is one thing I like to do, it's talk about my Jeep.

I purchased the jeep in pretty rough condition. (see before pics) Working 3 jobs to support the family I don't remember my father much from my younger years, however I remember perfectly the sound of his old Willys truck going out the driveway to bring home the bacon. Needless to say when I saw this old heap I knew I had to have it.

The Ideas started flowin' before I made it made it home. The propane was a given due to the fact I couldn't afford EFI and didn't want the wires and computer to mess with on the trail, and carbs just dont work well on the inclines. The propane needed a hotter spark so I installed the HEI ignition system I had layin' around. The exocage was due to the fact it seemed more convenient for the space inside.( and it looks cool to) Then I went tire shopping. The 36/12.50 Super Swampers just seemed to be the biggest bang for the buck. Mileage wasn't a concern since it's a trail rig.

At that point I realized the suspension geometry was way off, leading to some decisions. 4-link,ladder bars, 3-link, rework existing? Nope, all allot of money. That's not my style. If axles just pivot in the middle, why not the whole truck? That's my style! Just a little different. Off to the salvage yard. After about an hour I settled on a wheel bearing assemble from a 15 ton JD manure spreader. That works. Lube-able replaceable and strong. I welded in some old rollback frame rails for cross members, dropped in the bearing and sliced it up. No problem all for about $150.00. Buy a 4-link kit for that price! Worked better than I thought. It will articulate 85dg before anything binds. Then my tire showed up. OOPS, no turning radius. P/S box outside frame is in the way. Back to the salvage yard.

Found a Massey Ferguson combine with all the hydraulic fixin's. Ripped out the old, put in the new, there ya go. Full hydro-steer! Decided to install a spool in the rear and added 5.13:1 gearing while I was there. D44 front, GM12bolt in rear.

So far, so good. Time for some accessories: onboard air, winch, dual gel-cells, tools, safety equipment ,CB, off road lighting, diff guards made from re-bar and ballistic steel, underbelly guard (also ballistic steel) (unbreakable, don't ask where it comes from), snorkel, exhaust stacks, 300 dollar Chicago Electric 8000 Winch from Harbor freight (believe it or not)and some more I'm forgetting. All of this took about 7 months.

As far as money, approx. $7000.00 at last count start to finish. Man hours, wow, more than anyone should ever use in 7mths.Approx. value? I listed it on eBay figuring that's the best appraisal one can get. Highest bid was $15,000. Maybe I should have taken it but I hadn't had my fun yet. Where do I wheel at? Well, local farms, (with permission) Paragon so far. Haven't had it to Rausch Creek yet. Started out as a streetable vehicle and exploded into this so I'm still working on the tow rig. Just purchased a trailer so that's a step closer. Tow vehicle almost done. I've been to Rausch Creek in my last Jeep and cant wait to take this one. So far it seems to laugh at anything I put in front of it. The only Mods left that I want to do are high steer arms, front locker, and finish up the hydraulics for the hinged area so I can max out the 85dg. Keep in mind the 85dg is with out the spring flex, so it's actually more than that. Can a 4 or 3 link do that for $150.00?(HE,HE,HE) One of the coolest things about it is that I have next to no fab. tools, and the same amount of experience! This was the learning project. I cant wait to see what I do if I would sell this and build another!

 This may have been too much detail, but like I said "I like to talk about my Jeep". 


David Leasure




The Before Pics...


Dave is a member of the Maryland Rock Raiders.   Check them out and maybe hit the trails with them if you're in the area.


About the Willys Jeep Truck

The Willys Jeep Pickup was similar to the Willys Jeep Wagon and the VJ-2 and VJ-3 Willys Jeepster. It was introduced in 1947, with model designations of 2T and 4T. These trucks were equipped with the 134 cubic inch "Go-Devil" engine and the three-speed Borg-Warner T-90 transmission from the CJ-2A. The truck received a facelift in 1950 and became the 473, with the new "Hurricane" four-cylinder engine as an option. This model introduced the v-shaped front end with five horizontal bars, as well as an updated gauge cluster. The steps on the side of the pickup box were deleted. After 1950, the two-wheel drive model was discontinued. In 1953, the model designation became 475 and the grille bars were reduced to three. A six-cylinder 6-226 model was introduced in 1954, and sales of 475 models dropped considerably. The 226 was dropped in 1962 in favor of the new 6-230 Tornado OHC engine.


1947-1950, 1956 - 134 in³ (2.2 L) L4-134 Go-Devil I4
1950-1965 - 134 in³ (2.2 L) F4-134 Hurricane I4
1954-1962 - 226 in³ (3.7 L) 6-226 Super Hurricane I6
1962-1965 - 230 in³ (3.8 L) 6-230 Tornado I6

Transmission, Transfercase, Axles

The Willys Pickup was available with only one transmission, the Borg-Warner T-90 three-speed manual. A Spicer 18 transfer case was used on 4WD models. The Timken 51540 was an early rear axle option, otherwise the Dana 53 was standard. The front axle was a Dana 25. A 5.38:1 differential ratio was standard.

Over 200,000 of these trucks were manufactured.

Willys Jeep Truck
Manufacturer Willys
Production 1947–1965
Successor Jeep Gladiator
Class Full-size Pickup
Body styles 2-door pickup truck
2-door cab-chassis
2-door stake bed
Wheelbase 118 in
Length 183.75 in
Width 73 in
Height 74.4 in
Curb weight 3100 lb to 3300 lb
Related Willys Jeep Wagon
Willys Jeepster
Designer Brooks Stevens


More Jeep Show Coverage:

2006 All Breeds Jeep Show - One of our favorite events of the year is the PA Jeeps All-Breeds Jeep Show.  In it's 11th year, the show proved to be bigger and better than ever with hundreds of Jeeps on display in the infield as well as on display across the obstacle course. We meet Bree from JP Magazine and the Quadratec catalog.

2005 All Breeds Jeep Show Coverage - The 10 Annual PA Jeeps Jeep Show in York PA is something for the Jeep Fan to See.  A Jeep Exclusive Show-n-Shine/Trail Readiness Event.
2002 All Breeds Jeep Show Coverage - The 7th Annual PA Jeeps Jeep Show in York PA.  Show and Shine, Obstacle Course
2001 All Breeds Jeep Show Coverage - The 6th Annual PA Jeeps Jeep Show in York PA.  Show and Shine, Obstacle Course
Jeff Daniel's Jeep Show - What better way to cap off a great summer, than with a Jeep show.  Jeff Daniel's held their annual all Jeep show at their facility in Harleysville PA. on Sept. 30th 2006 and other than a few showers now and then it turned out to be a great show with loads of fun and great Jeeps everywhere!
The Great American Jeep Rally - The 5th Annual Great American Jeep Rally was held at the Four Town Fairgrounds located in Somers Connecticut.




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