Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

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Gojeep
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 14th, 2016, 4:57 pm

I don't know if there is any interest to this but thought I might show what I am currently working on. I bought an Australian No.4 Army Trailer, though they were used by all our armed forces. Originally bought to just use the tub as a bed for my Grand Willys project, but it would need too many modifications in resizing to be practical for that. So going to do a partial restoration on it to make it structurally sound so it can be sold off. I don't want to put too much time and money into it and not recoup my investment.

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Though similar in dimension to the Willys trailer used in the USA, these Australian ones had different stampings on the ends, guards, and other details. Notice the Willys or Bantam trailer behind it to compare.

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It looked really good in the eBay ad shown in the first picture, but what I got was not what I expected. They also took the springs, axle, wheels and tyres by the time I picked it up a few days after the auction had ended! They swapped back the original ones that the trailer was supposed to have thinking they were doing a favour from a restoration point of view. Guess if a restorer wants a period correct one, it might add value to it. I took it home just flipped over on my dads 6x4 trailer.

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Stripped the wheels, axle, suspension and the whole A frame off before even un-strapping it. Must have taken half the weight off doing that. The axle is particularly heavy being full floating.

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The A frame was in really great nick and just unbolts. Has the original drop down support leg and pintle hook which are quite valuable.

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Here is my tag. 2WH means 2 wheels. 8 CWT is 8 Hundred Weight, ( 8x112 = 896 lbs), just over 400 kg. Made in 1945. FMC shows it was made by the Ford Manufacturing Company in Geelong. They were also made by GMH in Adelaide. More information of them here. http://jeepdraw.com/TRAILER-AUSSIE.html

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Found these original army specs for my trailer online on the G503 site. My exact trailer was actually pictured on there too as an example. Couldn't believe it when the serial numbers matched!

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Thought I would start the trailer repairs on fixing this impact spot.

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Looks like most of the damage is centred around the one area.

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Welded on a piece from my slide hammer kit.

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It is a pretty big one and just started sliding the weight towards me to pull the bend out.

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Came up pretty well. Went right around all the sides and was able to straighten the rest with just careful massaging with a lead filled rubber mallet.
Last edited by Gojeep on February 25th, 2016, 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Marcus

Gojeep
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 14th, 2016, 4:59 pm

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The rails will have to have sections completely replaced.

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Next up was folding up a piece to replace the worse effected part of the rusted out frame. Used the same gauge as stock.

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Pretty good match.

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Cut away the rusted out section.

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Can see it was pretty bad. The drain hole must have gotten plugged with mud.

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Inside the frame was a reinforcement piece of channel that strengthened where the A frame bosses are and extended up to the front leaf spring mounts. I coated everything in weld through zinc primer.

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Welded the channel in place and made up new bosses for where the A frame bolts in. Didn't have any pipe the right size so drilled out some solid bar to match. Thicker wall than standard but don't think anyone will complain about that.

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The front spring hanger was originally rivetted on. I wanted to match that look if I could in case a restorer bought the trailer. I rounded the bottom of the bolt heads before bolting it down while it is easier to do.

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The bolt head where then finished off with a die grinder. Rounding the bottom of the bolts worked well as stopped any gouging of the bracket. The nuts on the inside were welded to the frame and then the bolts tacked to the nut so it can't ever come loose.

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The frame welded back in ready to get the floor section afterwards. I will only be repairing the floor that is over the frame rails to make it sound. Too risky to buy replacement floor and weld it in and not get enough resale for it.

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The floor section will be plug welded where the spot welds once were on both the bottom and sides. All welds will be ground and sanded smooth to blend in.
Last edited by Gojeep on February 27th, 2016, 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Marcus

WomblingFree
Been here a while
Posts: 160
Joined: November 1st, 2012, 6:56 am

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by WomblingFree » February 17th, 2016, 6:03 am

Good work.
Pity you don't think you'll get your money back but maybe you wont want to sell it anyway once you are done :)

Gojeep
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Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 17th, 2016, 9:01 am

I'm looking at it as more of a learning experience to my skill set. If I break even on just costs, then I have still gained in what I learned. :)
Cheers, Marcus

BigDutchy
Need to get out more
Posts: 5023
Joined: November 6th, 2009, 6:58 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by BigDutchy » February 17th, 2016, 3:44 pm

Not the Jeep fix I was hoping for but, Okay this is pretty cool too.

Gojeep
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 17th, 2016, 4:53 pm

Ha ha, will be back to normal programming as soon as I am done with this. ;)
Cheers, Marcus

BigDutchy
Need to get out more
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Joined: November 6th, 2009, 6:58 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by BigDutchy » February 17th, 2016, 5:58 pm

See, now we are talking!!

Gojeep
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 23rd, 2016, 10:22 am

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Floor repair section cut out, folded and zinc coated where it can't be reached later.

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Nice tight fit ready for welding.

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Side has tight gaps too.

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Did the plug welds first so it can't move out of position.

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Bottom been plug welded and fully welded to the floor.

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Side now done too.

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I used one of the stake dollies I had made as a heavy weight to hammer against to stretch the weld shrink out to straighten the side. I hammered from the bottom up as the weld had pulled it downwards.

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A bit of a clean up.
Last edited by Gojeep on February 28th, 2016, 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Marcus

Gojeep
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 23rd, 2016, 10:34 am

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The other corner was no where near as bad and just cut out the area effected.

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Welded in a new floor section first and sprayed zinc primer down inside the frame rail ready for the new section.

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New piece welded in.

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New end caps to be made. Internal dimensions plus flange depth minus material thickness on each side. Then the corners cut out.

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Used my new folding pliers that I picked up while in England a few months ago. Makes for a quick fold.

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The last short section was too small so used good old pliers that have the ends ground flat and did it in sections. Takes longer but still works.

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After spraying the zinc coating on it, it is ready to tap into place.

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Fully welded in and the drain hole drilled back in the stock spot.
Last edited by Gojeep on February 28th, 2016, 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers, Marcus

BigDutchy
Need to get out more
Posts: 5023
Joined: November 6th, 2009, 6:58 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by BigDutchy » February 24th, 2016, 9:51 am

Great job as usual!

I am looking for a trailer and would love to have your trailer as I would know that it was built properly.
You are just so far away....

Cheers

Gojeep
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Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 24th, 2016, 11:26 am

Might be cheap to freight as could put it on a pallet with the A frame, suspension, wheels and tyres inside the tub.
Cheers, Marcus

Gojeep
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Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » February 27th, 2016, 8:04 pm

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The other side has these two main areas to fix.

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Was going to repair just end and the right side of the mount. But then I noticed a bit of rust at the edge of the bracket.

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So I thought I might as well remove the whole section.

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Repaired the floor as had pitting along the edge.

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Halfway through welding the patch in.

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New piece welded in.

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Zinc coated ready for the rail.

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Rail in place.

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Inside new reinforcement channel was added along with new anti crush tubes for where the A frame bolts in.
Cheers, Marcus

Gojeep
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » March 5th, 2016, 10:01 pm

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Had a closer look at the section left on the first side and wasn't happy about it.

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Only had a few pin holes but cut it all out and will replace the whole section of rail so no old parts left on this side. Floor sections that have pitting under the rail will get replaced as well. Just makes me feel better knowing it will be more sound that way.

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Replaced sections that had some pitting.

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The reinforcement channel for the shackle mount was thicker than the front spring mount, so I made sure I matched the guage. Probably because there is only two rivets holding it instead of four for the front mount spread over a larger area.

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I clean a small area where the plug welds are to get the best penetration.

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Started using this right angle grinder I picked up in England for a souvenir to knock down the welds to almost flush. Believe it or not but the discs I use on it were once 9" cut off wheels! Once they wear down to 5" I use them in my smaller 5" grinder until 3" in size, then on this. Fortunately I had saved all these small ones over the years to use one day.

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So one whole frame rail completely replaced and half of the other. The remaining original rail is in good condition. Notice the rust holes in the floor though.

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I was going to leave the floor for whoever bought it to replace as didn't know if it was going to a restorer or someone who wanted a cool looking camper trailer. Well it just got sold and they want me to replace the floor for them.

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I cut it out along with the floor braces even though they were still in very good condition. They didn't however fit the new floor profile planned as they were pressed to support the ribs.

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My old Jeep gets pressed into service to pickup a brand new checker plate floor guillotined to my specifications.

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Even though brand new, any loose scale needs to be removed for the paint to stick well. It killed my wire wheel though and I looked like a echidna with steel spikes implanted into my overalls everywhere!

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Out comes the bigger one and nearly finished doing both sides.

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Underside gets a coat of zinc so areas over the floor braces etc get protected.
Cheers, Marcus

Gojeep
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1403
Joined: September 11th, 2003, 6:35 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by Gojeep » March 12th, 2016, 8:22 pm

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The bottom of the front wall needs to be replaced.

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I cut the rusty bottom out and replaced it with some steel tubing I had. It will be stronger than the channel that was there before.

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Cut out and then folded up some replacement floor supports.

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I noticed it was a little out of square so pulled it into alignment with a 4 ton ratchet strap. You have to go a bit over square to account for the spring back when the pressure is off.

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The sides bowed out some so left the clamp in place while I measured and then fitted the supports. I am welding them directly to the old ends so its keeps the factory setup. The longer front ones are because the inner reinforcement pieces were left full length so as not to weaken them.

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All new supports welded in.

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Everything zinc coated before the floor goes in.

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Floor fitted perfectly first go! Now to weld it in which will be only done from the underside. Some 250 plug welds!

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I tacked in the floor from underneath in a few places before flipping it over some steel trestles. I drilled through the plug holes I had prepared to clean the coating off ready for welding. Then vacuumed all the swarf up so none was left between the supports and the floor.

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I moved the trestles around under where I was welding so I could press down on the support pushing the floor hard against them. Started in the centre and worked my way outwards from there. Never work from the edge to the middle as can end up with excess metal and a bow. Just got the very front joint to fully weld now to finish off the floor.
Cheers, Marcus

BigDutchy
Need to get out more
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Joined: November 6th, 2009, 6:58 pm

Re: Australian Army Willys/Jeep Trailer

Unread post by BigDutchy » March 12th, 2016, 8:30 pm

Hi Marcus

Not sure about the age of the trailer and your Jeep you are building but would it not make a great combo. The trailer and your car in the same style?

I see you collect some number plates. Want one from the Netherlands?

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