Starting restoration on Michael's ’43 GPW.

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ILikePlanesToo
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Starting restoration on Michael's ’43 GPW.

Post by ILikePlanesToo » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:25 pm

Hi everyone,
I have visited this forum many times in the past, but I just joined a few weeks ago.

I picked up this nice project 1943 GPW in December, and I’m now looking over it carefully to start my restoration. I have a lot to learn, but I’m excited to get into it. I have never restored a military vehicle before, but I’m a mechanical engineer, a machinist, and I have a lot of hands on aircraft fabrication experience. Hopefully this isn’t too big a project for me :|

This is what I got:

Data plate: GPW115329
Frame: GPW115329
Engine: MB475893
Hood: 20385939
Delivery: 6/9/43

Vehicle History:
This GPW was used by the US Army Corps of Engineers in Los Alamos, NM during The War on the Manhattan Project. I don’t know what it was actually used for, but the previous owner thought it might have been used as a security patrol “jeep”. I have the names of all the civilian owners (I am the third civilian owner).

Vehicle Condition:
I have driven it once around the block. It starts right up and seems to run pretty smooth. The floor is rusted out under the passenger seat. The passenger side rear corner is messed up with some Bubba body work, and the frame needs a lot of work around the front and rear bumpers (nasty steel channel bumpers complete with Bubba welds, rust, and cracks). The electrical is a bit of a mess and is 12V. It has a Solex carburetor and a modern oil filter.

I’ll probably be on the forum a lot in the future, but I wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on this vehicle or had any words of wisdom to share as a start into it.

Have a good evening,
Michael
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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by USAFpj » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:33 pm

:shock: Great shop, and absolutely stunning G503! Almost brings a tear when I see them in this unrestored condition :wink: Take one of your fenders and spray/wipe WD40 over it, and I bet a lot of that OD paint will come right on out. As a machinist and fab guy, you'll have the skills that a majority of us here don't, so be patient, don't throw anything away, invest in Ziplock brand baggies with a marker, and take pics before you start tearing down. I'll be watching eagerly of your progress.

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by 1943gpw wc53 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:23 pm

I am very glad you were able to buy this jeep. If you don't mind me asking where do you live?? I was trying so hard to get this jeep but did not have the money when the guy was trying to sell it. We almost made a deal by trading my 67 mustang for it but he wanted to clean up his yard I guess :lol: anyway very happy you joined the g503 and will be watching this restoration very closely. Take your time and have fun, they are a blast to work on :D also we love pictures so post some more if you can 8)

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by hell-fire » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:05 pm

Very nice Jeep, Ron the owner of this site will have all you need to get it back & looking good.

The Tombstone light guard is handy trading material as well,
John
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1942 Willys MB-BRT 135673 D.O.D. 4-16-42 Now 97% finished
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ILikePlanesToo
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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by ILikePlanesToo » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:44 pm

1943gpw wc53 wrote:I am very glad you were able to buy this jeep. If you don't mind me asking where do you live?? I was trying so hard to get this jeep but did not have the money when the guy was trying to sell it. We almost made a deal by trading my 67 mustang for it but he wanted to clean up his yard I guess :lol: anyway very happy you joined the g503 and will be watching this restoration very closely. Take your time and have fun, they are a blast to work on :D also we love pictures so post some more if you can 8)
I understand that there were a few other people seriously interested in it. I think you are right, the man I got it from had just retired and wanted to clear out an area for other projects. I'm originally from Los Alamos, so it has some sentimental value for me in addition to just being a nice GPW. I have it in California now.

I'm quite pleased with it as a project. It needs a good bit of work, but I think it has a lot of potential.


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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by ILikePlanesToo » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:49 pm

hell-fire wrote:Very nice Jeep, Ron the owner of this site will have all you need to get it back & looking good.

The Tombstone light guard is handy trading material as well,

Is the Tombstone light guard original? I know the light is not original. I have not seen a light guard like it. I thought it was a something that one of the civilian owners made for it. It sure doesn't look like any of the other light guard I have seen on other GPWs.
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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by hell-fire » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:11 am

Now I can see a close up it is not a Tombstone light guardm someone has made it & the shape is identical, You GPW would have had the standard blackout light guard with a F script, Ron Fitzpatrick will have a correct reproduction as originals are hard to find.

FYI The Tombstone guard was a retrofit to early Jeeps as at the time they didn't have the guard factory fitted. Ford GTB's also had a Tombstone shaped guard.

Good luck with the Jeep.
John
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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by Halsey » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:51 am

Congrats on a great looking jeep, and a wonderful project!!

I too have a 43 Ford so welcome to the club!! :D

Looks like it has most of the small bits that are usually missing too, so that is an added bonus!!!

Very very cool!!

Good luck!!!

Chris
43 GPW 122779 7/15/43
43 GPW 105097 3/25/43 Matching numbers.
51 CJ3A
51 M38
55 M38A1

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by 1943gpw wc53 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:06 am

That blackout light guard looks to be off a ww2 dodge maybe?? or is it just a home made job?

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by ILikePlanesToo » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:31 am

I pulled the blackout light guard off to get a better look at it. It's definitely home made. It's been on there for a long time though.

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by zepher11 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:03 pm

Very nice GPW you have there. Looks like you have a lot of the orignal parts on it as well. That's great. I see you said it was 12 volt. I'm working on a '42 GPW that is now 12 volt and I want to convert it back to the original 6 volt configuration. I still have a ways to to before I get to work on the electrical, but it stresses me out just thinking about it. Primarily because I don't know a lot about vehicle electrics. Sounds like your background as a machinist will come in very handy.

I also live in CA. If you are interested, you may know about the big MV meet at Tower Park near Stockton in April. I thought I would mention it just in case you didn't. It is a great place to look at other MV's, get ideas, and score parts for your project. I have been to the Fall event, but I understand the Spring event is supersized...

Looking forward to watching your '43 GPW project progress.
Zeph

'42 Script GPW Restoration Thread: CLICK HERE!

'41 Dodge WC16 Restoration Thread: CLICK HERE!

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by ILikePlanesToo » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:06 pm

Hey Zeph,
I just checked out your project progress. Outstanding work and great to see a preview of what I'm about to get into. Your GPW looks like it started in about the condition of the one I got. I've started to clean up a few little bits. It's exiting to get into it.

I keep going back and forth on 6V or 12V. I'd really like to put if back to 6V, but I don't even have cores of the 6V hardware..... I think it was changed over to 12V only like ten years ago. Bummer. I wish it was still 6V.

I did hear some casual mention of the MV meet at Tower Park. Thanks of the heads up on that. I'm down in SoCal, so it would be a bit of a drive. My wife and I love to camp though, so heading up there for a long weekend might be pretty sweet if the April weather is nice.

I have a general forum etiquette question:
Where is the best place on the G for me to continually upload progress on my project? Is it ok to just keep adding to this thread under "Original Unrestored WWII Jeeps"?

Thanks!
Michael

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by zepher11 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:00 am

ILikePlanesToo wrote:Hey Zeph,
I just checked out your project progress. Outstanding work and great to see a preview of what I'm about to get into. Your GPW looks like it started in about the condition of the one I got. I've started to clean up a few little bits. It's exiting to get into it.

I keep going back and forth on 6V or 12V. I'd really like to put if back to 6V, but I don't even have cores of the 6V hardware..... I think it was changed over to 12V only like ten years ago. Bummer. I wish it was still 6V.

I did hear some casual mention of the MV meet at Tower Park. Thanks of the heads up on that. I'm down in SoCal, so it would be a bit of a drive. My wife and I love to camp though, so heading up there for a long weekend might be pretty sweet if the April weather is nice.

I have a general forum etiquette question:
Where is the best place on the G for me to continually upload progress on my project? Is it ok to just keep adding to this thread under "Original Unrestored WWII Jeeps"?

Thanks!
Michael
Hi Michael,

Thanks for the compliment. On the 6 volt change, I went back and forth on the 6v vs. 12v issue as well, but finally settled on 6 volt when I came into possession of some 6 volt regulators,lights and gauges. So, for the moment I am headed toward 6 volt. I still don't know enough to know what else I need at this point, but I think I have the bulk of what I need now.

On the matter of where to post, that is debatable, and there has been talk of having a separate area for restoration projects. I chose to post here and just changed the title of my original thread when I started my restoration. If a section is added for restoration threads in the future, I'm sure we would have our threads moved to that area, so I would recommend remaining here until that happens. Just my opinion.

Talk at you later,

Zeph
Zeph

'42 Script GPW Restoration Thread: CLICK HERE!

'41 Dodge WC16 Restoration Thread: CLICK HERE!

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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by thidisbogus » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:04 pm

Michael,

Welcome to the G! I look forward to watching your progress. You have a great looking jeep with a lot of the parts that are usually missing, and with a very interesting history to boot. I also am restoring a 1943 model. I also inherited a 12v system and struggled with the idea of which to go with. Like Zeph, I settled on 6v. Here is my thread: http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=185626" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Zeph, what is funny is you are intmidated by the electrical, and I cannot wait to get to the electrical! I am so uncomfortable with all this welding and fabricating steel parts and stuff. I cannot wait until I can get to something I am comfortable with (I am in the technology industry and have been for years).

Michael, if you wind up moving your thread please post here so we know where to pick it up at.
Rodney

1943 GPW 124269
Estimated DoD 07-12-43
Motorpool Restoration
Project Thread: http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=185626"

1952 M100 Trailer--MCI / M100 CDN / 0150
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Re: Starting restoration on ’43 GPW.

Post by ILikePlanesToo » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:42 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. I think I’ll post project progress hear for now.

I’ve been making a little progress. I have been carefully taking small parts off, inspecting each part, and refurbishing them as they are removed. That’s the plan for now anyway. I figured it was a good way to get going in an organized way without getting overwhelmed. The parts seem to be cleaning up nice.

I also soda blasted the fuel tank to get a better feel for the extent of the rust. I think it is salvageable.

Michael
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