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Mustang Front End on a Willys Pickup

Paint For Frame

Frame Numbers-48 PU




Richard Grover wrote: I have met two guys with Mustang front ends under their Willys, one was a 56 pickup, the other a delivery wagon. They were both happy, but I don't know how much work was involved.

Jerry Stoper wrote: My plan is to find a Mustang II and cut off the frame about a foot behind the front suspension. This should give me all the parts I need. I believe this will give me what the ads show for $2,000. I'll need to check the condition of all parts and replace anything that's work. Then I'll need to cut off (sorry restorers) the front part of my Willys frame and weld on the Mustang frame. I'll have to adjust the width of the Mustang frame to fit. This sounds fairly simple and maybe I'm too optimistic but this is my game plan. The other member of this Willys list will let me know quickly if I'm wrong.

Jeff Gent wrote: I believe that my father-in-law did this to his '53 Pontiac Chieftain and was very pleased with the results. I'll try to remember to confirm it this weekend and can plug him for details if you wish. As I understand it this is a fairly standard mod in the street rod crowd. He paid someone else to do the work but the description sounds pretty familiar (cut and weld to match). He did have some issues in fitting the new front end around his 455 but I'd expect that anything along these lines would require some head scratching to get everything put together cleanly.

In the event you haven't picked up on it yet, I seem to remember seeing Mustang II stuff in Jegs/Summit aimed at those doing this mod. I don't have a catalog at work to confirm so I may be full of it on this score.

Rick Stivers wrote: I've seen this done on old Chevy and Ford Pickups using 70s model Chevels. They all looked good from above but I never saw one that looked worth a dime from below. They also had some serious difficulty getting them aligned.

Jerry Stoper wrote: Rick I hadn't thought about alignment and how the match-up would look. I guess I'll have to give this more thought. Jerry

Jerry Stoper wrote: Jeff Thanks for the info. I need all the help I can get. Yes Mustang II front ends are available in many catalogs but they run $2,000-$4,000. Of course they are all new parts. That's way above my budget. Please send me any information you can gather from your father in law. Jerry

Jeff Gent wrote: I asked my father in-law about putting the Mustang II setup in his old Pontiac. It sounds to me like they kept the Pontiac frame and added just the control arms, etc which were pulled off a junker. The frame was boxed in and the cross-member was moved (due to the motor I think). This sounds to me like it would be easier to do than getting all the body mounts etc. to work with the Mustang frame.

Mitch Utsey wrote: Well, I have seen both sub-frame swaps and just the suspension swap you describe. The sub-frame swap can save a lot of weight and still add strength to a street rod, and has the added benefit of allowing the front end height to be changed according to how the sub-frames are mated. If you have a frame that you are happy with, and the skill with fabrication and welding (which you BETTER have for either of these) then just go for the partial.

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Merl wrote: Over the weekend I painted my nice/black/smooth/glossy Por-15 coated frame with the Por-15 tie-coat primer in preparation for the olive drab top coat. While the Por-15 itself goes on glossy and smooth with a brush, the tie-coat primer is rough and shows brush strokes. So if you're going to use this anywhere that it shows, spray it on or be prepared to sand it smooth afterwards. Worst of all... IT'S BABY BLUE! My M38A1 frame just sat there offending me for the whole 24 hours that it remained that color. I rectified the situation with OD topcoat as soon as the tie-coat's directions said it was ok to do so. Baby blue. Yuck.

William T Wilson wrote: Don't feel bad. My engine is baby blue. The intent was to get a paint that would match the green exterior (it's metallic green after I repainted it - looks much better), unfortunately I didn't do a very good job matching paint, and what LOOKED green in the store, looks much less green on the engine. :} The firewall is also painted a totally different shade of green. I have the world's ugliest engine compartment. Kind of a shame, really; it's such a happy little engine. :}

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Matt Phillimore wrote: Can someone who has actually found the numbers on their pickup frame describe to me exactly where you found them? I've got the whole front of this new truck taken off and sandblasted the top of the frame from front axle to the front. Nothing. Am I looking in the wrong place? Is there anywhere else that I can possibly find the number on this thing? They won't let me get a title for it without the number. And they'll just assign it another number anyway. Go figure.

Scott Little wrote: Matt - they do the same thing here is Arizona, then the new number goes inside the door frame on the drivers side. My pickup is a '55 so YMMV, my serial numbers were on top of the frame BEHIND the front axle, once the frame was completely sandblasted I found it was stamped a second time towards the rear axle on top, both of these were on the passenger side. Some of the numbers were almost unreadable, a few more sandblastings and they might be gone. Good luck.

Matt Phillimore wrote: How far behind the front axle, approximately? Was it stamped parallel to the frame or across it? Just trying to figure out what to look for.

Scott Little wrote: I believe it was between the mount for the front of the cab and the axle. Parallel as below:




The numbers were fairly large, almost as tall as the frame is wide.


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This page last updated 18 September, 2000

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