Another Willys Crawler build


Well first of all, I'm brand new to this forum and brand new to the willys jeeps. I've always been into xjs and zjs. I decided I was ready to build something with a frame for once and a willys mb crawler has been my dream jeep for a while, so I sold my xj and started acquiring parts.

I found a guy selling a reproduction tub that seems to be a mixture of a mb and a m38. He also had a cj2a windshield frame, mb fenders and grill, and a m38 hood. 20180824_180135.jpg

As far as the drivetrain goes, it will have a 4.0 with an aw4 trans and np231 tcase. Hp30 in front and Chrysler 8.25 out back. At some point down the line it will get better axles. I have a complete 1998 jeep cherokee to use as a donor so I'm going to use every bit that I can as this is not going to be a high dollar build by any means. 20180818_115407.jpg

As of now I still have to pull the axles and steering box out if the xj then I can start cutting into the tub. I'm planning to stretch it around 5 inches in the door opening. I'm 6'2 and this little jeep just isnt going to work without a stretch. That and my drivetrain is really long so every little bit of length I can get will help.

I'm looking forward to this build and I appreciate comments, questions and advise from those of you that have done this kind of stuff before.



Awesome, I'm glad you started a build thread! Any idea how much you're going to stretch it?
I'm thinking 4 or 5 inches. I'm probably going to copy the way you cut your tub. The passenger side has the indents for the shovel and axe like a m38 sp I'm gunna have to get creative with how I cut that side.


Scope Creep
I'm thinking 4 or 5 inches. I'm probably going to copy the way you cut your tub. The passenger side has the indents for the shovel and axe like a m38 sp I'm gunna have to get creative with how I cut that side.

Yeah, the indentations will make it harder to work with, but 4-5" should help a lot and not be as noticeable as my 8" stretch.

Looking forward to seeing this progress.


I've spent the last few days stripping down my donor cherokee. Pedal assemblies, a huge mess of wiring and control modules, brake booster/master cylinder, steering box. The only thing left on the xj is the axles which will be coming out soon.

Tonight I decided I wanted my tub to look more like a mb than a m38 since it already has the mb dash. I'm not digging the mixture of features, so I cut the tool indentations out of the passenger side and welded them into the drivers side. Let me just say I hate welding sheet metal. Too damn tedious. 20180831_163819.jpg
I'll try to get some pictures of the finished panels tomorrow if I've got time.


Over all I'm very happy with how they turned out. I ended up with a little bit of warping between the old gas filler and the shovel indent because I got impatient with my tacks... but I still have to cut to stretch the tub and patch the filler neck hole so I can fix that later.


I got a decent amount done on the tub today. Theres no turning back now... 20180902_184932.jpg20180902_184944.jpg
I decided to do a 6" stretch. I still have some patch panels to make but so far I think this will be just enough leg room and a little added length for my drivetrain.
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So I got the driver side patch panels tacked up and they turned out awesome. It was a really awkward hole to patch. 20180905_164002.jpg

Then I started on the passenger side and ended up losing a fight with a piece of sheet metal. 20180905_193122.jpg

11 stitches. Damnit. I've always said that it's not really your jeep until it makes you bleed... well this jeep is officially mine I guess....


Well-Known Member
Where do you live? I think you need to block Carl "I Lean" because he had a flattie sitting in his garage for too long and sold it before finishing. :)

Looks good. I've always wanted a Flat Fender and also suffer with height so a stretch would also be needed.