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Author Topic: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?  (Read 1142 times)

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Offline bigtrees

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I have a 1947 Willys Jeep. Great body condition but the engine isn't very reliable. Still 6V system. Probably would need an engine overhaul. Also leaks a bunch of oil and differential fluid and would need some work there.

When I move to our tree farm, it's really big enough that I will need a vehicle for running around. The Willys Jeep would work well IF it actually started reliably, AND it didn't leak fluids.

There are a lot of stumps and debris on the property, and not many roads, so I need something with clearance. On my way home from work I passed a military convey and was eying their HUMVEEs. They have really high clearance and would work well for running around.

So, I am thinking about a HUMVEE instead. Might not cost a lot more than trying to fix up the Jeep and probably would be more reliable. They are a bit wide though.

Any thoughts?

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Those old WIllys are real easy to work on and there are a ton of aftermarket parts available. The HumVee on the other hand is gonna cost you something to get and then parts are another question. Likely, they will be a lot more expensive. Military stuff is very different from commercial and you will likely not be able to get many specific parts at your local supply. Having said that, I am thinking the bigger issue is the footprint. Those humvees are darn wide, and picking around between trees might be problematic. The humvee will have a much better weight and cargo capacity, depending on the configuration, and much more horsepower (fuel consumption too).
 I always think a bird in the hand.... If you rebuild the willys and it doesn't fit your needs, you can sell it for more than it is worth now. It should be a fun project and not too difficult. Try yanking the engine out of a humvee and making sense of it. (Unless you were a military mechanic.)
 A buddy of mine had an old Willys he used to bang around on his property and get him up to the skidder or landing. It went anywhere as long as it stayed upright. Parts were rotting off of it, he just kept it going. It didn't even have a gas tank, just a 2 gallon steel can in the back with a hose to the fuel pump.
 Just some thoughts for you to ponder.
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Offline moodnacreek

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The old jeeps are cheap to fix and very easy to get parts for.

Online btulloh

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X3 on the jeep.
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Hummer way to big. Jeep is an overgrown quad.

Jeep be better. if you want find a small V6 or a 2.5 4 cylinder from a newer jeep to swap in. You can't really lose with anything willy's.

Except you will get the jeep bug. It's all downhill from there :)

Online btulloh

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12V conversion would make life better and it’s simple and cheap to do. Even if you had to do a minor rebuild on the engine it would be worth it. Probably a new fuel pump and manifold would get you running good. Carb. Brakes. All less than the cost of a ragged out humvee.

Sounds like fun.
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Full disclosure- I have 47 CJ2a so I may be a little biased. Mine is awaiting restoration and is not currently running.
HM126

Offline Tom the Sawyer

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My vote would be for the Willys (some nostalgia since I worked on restoring one about 50 years ago), but a retired military HumVee would be a major investment.  I toured a business in NC a couple of years ago that had several of them among the company's owners and family.  Be fine if you have sufficient cash flow.  

If the Willys doesn't work out, I have had a couple of clients who resolved similar needs with small 4WD vehicles from the 90s; Suzuki Samarai, Geo Tracker, and a couple of others that escape memory.  
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Offline Raider Bill

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My vote would be for the Willys (some nostalgia since I worked on restoring one about 50 years ago), but a retired military HumVee would be a major investment.  I toured a business in NC a couple of years ago that had several of them among the company's owners and family.  Be fine if you have sufficient cash flow.  

If the Willys doesn't work out, I have had a couple of clients who resolved similar needs with small 4WD vehicles from the 90s; Suzuki Samarai, Geo Tracker, and a couple of others that escape memory.  
We love the Geo Tracker!
Another vote for the Willys.
Humvees are very costly in any direction.
The First 60 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline DbltreeBelgians

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Go for the Willy’s. When I lived in western Colorado we had a 46 CJ2A and 48 CJ3A. The 3A had a Koenig pto winch and it never failed us.
Sold the 46 when we moved to Ohio and the 48 got a full body off Resto with a 302 Ford and a top loader 4speed and Warn overdrive to ease the rpm’s from the 5.38:1 gears.
Like everyone said they are easy to wrench on and parts are plentiful.
Something about an old flat fender just works for me. I don’t think you’d regret it. JMHO

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Online lxskllr

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2019, 06:45:58 PM »
I'll also throw in with the jeep, and I like Tom's idea of an old Samurai. I'd have liked one to use at work for running on big boundaries. I wouldn't even consider a humvee unless it was pretty close to free. An older compact pickup would be better if you were gonna buy something newer.

Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2019, 06:52:23 PM »
Rtv utv or better yet an old tractor gets around good on no roads.  Tractors like used kubotas with a bed mount off hitch or pulling small trailer etc.  are affordable at this time.
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Offline bluthum

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2019, 06:56:17 PM »
Go with the jeep. Easy to fix and narrow foot print. Not to mention terminally cool.....

Online Peter Drouin

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2019, 08:08:06 PM »
Jeep
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2019, 08:32:02 PM »
For your stated needs the Jeep is the way to go. It will take time and some pesos to get it back into shape but it will be practical and fun.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Sixacresand

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2019, 09:59:05 PM »
My dad ran jeeps and we were always tinkering on them.  Love to have one now.   Love the Roxor that Mihindra sells

Online btulloh

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2019, 11:19:12 PM »
All this Jeep talk has got me thinking I should patch mine up and drive it while I’m waiting to restore it.
HM126

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2019, 08:13:06 AM »
   A buddy of mine had an old Willy's when we were in our teens and it was a great old machine but I agree with Woodpecker - get a quad or a big ATV for getting up and around in the woods. They are made for that. 
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Offline goose63

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2019, 08:19:52 AM »
Just sell me the Jeep I have some family in N.W. Montana I could stop and see when I pick up the JEEP ;D
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2019, 10:43:52 AM »
One of my departed dad's hobbies was restoring old Jeeps .He did around a dozen full body off restorations .I have the last one he ever did which is a 1965 CJ5 with a IOE 4 cylinder engine .Made from parts from 2 or 3 others plus I've got enough parts to assemble another .

Dad was over 80 when he did this one and used the o-ring valve seals which never were very good and leaked oil on the overhead intake valve stems .I've found out umbrella  seals from Ford FE model  engines should fit .Other than fouling a few spark plugs it runs just fine .Don't expect them to be speed demons because about 45 miles per hour is just about the limit .That's a low speed long stroke engine and about 4000 RPM is just about it .

Offline sawguy21

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2019, 11:32:28 AM »
With the primitive  stock brakes and steering I wouldn't want to go more than 45 in an old Willys. :D My bil has one, a real beater he uses for hunting. He took me for a ride on the bush trails, I quickly found out it had no brakes on top of that he was waiting for eye surgery. He couldn't see!
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Magicman

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2019, 12:06:05 PM »
Much depends upon your terrain and soil composition.  On my property, we tried a Jeep, Broncos, and a Suzuki Samurai.  All worked well in the Fall but as our normal rains fell, all cut deep ruts and we were forced to use the John Deere especially in January.  I have no rocks.

4-Wheelers worked very well but were not suitable for more than one person.  Enter the gas powered "Golf Car".  Great flotation and will easily carry 4 adults, even over saturated ground.  I believe that the various UTV's would also work but at a much steeper cost.

Different vehicles for different applications and locales.

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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2019, 12:34:49 PM »
Hang a snow plow on the front of an old CJ some time  Talk about hard to steer .Brakes aren't a problem,just drop the plow .If they are running correctly they have plenty of power .I think they could climb a tree if they could get traction .
We've had them in the Colorado mountains hunting deer in days I wore a younger mans clothes .Had to put two guys on the front to hold the front end down in some of those ravines .
I've seen them converted to run 289 Fords and V6 Buicks that  had a lot more power,used more gas and tore up the drive lines.They would not go any place better that old 65 HP 4 banger would.

Offline DFILER2

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2019, 01:35:51 PM »
I say go with the Humvee and sell me the Jeep:)

Offline scsmith42

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2019, 12:04:46 AM »
Side by sides (I have a Polaris Ranger) are very handy when you own land.  My Ranger is a much quicker ingress / egress than a Jeep or HMMVW would be.

The best all-around off-road Jeep that I’ve ever been in was a M151A2.  It was the last model before the HMMVW came out and is incredible off-road.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2019, 06:17:55 AM »
My dad sold a 1948 CJ2A to a guy in Colorado sight unseen .That fellow drove that thing from northwestern Ohio to Denver .1200 miles and it took him 4 days at 45 MPH .The minimum speed on the interstate highways is 40 MPH .Wise choice to only drive day light hours because the lights on those things were not very good .Not a good plan to get ran over by a semi on interstate 70 .He called dad when he got there .Said the old Jeep never missed a lick .

In those days,1980 the old Jeeps were at a premium in the mountain states .That $ 1500 he gave would have cost him twice that in Colorado.Dad took that money and bought 3 more junkers and restored two of the three .Some of those left over parts are in a big pile in my shop as I type .I think the CJ5 I have is one of them .
I might take dad a year to do a body off restore .He wasn't in a hurry as he always had one in running condition to plow snow etc .In that pile in my shop is two front drive winches ,one capstan and one cable .The rear power takeoff assembly plus a gear drive  rear winch .Plus a very  creative front drive dad made using a long shafted Ford starter with link chain reduction.Having said that I came by my junk yard dog mentality honestly--it's a family tradition. ;D

Offline gspren

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2019, 08:38:41 AM »
  All the old jeep talk has me thinking and that is dangerous. My first car was a 51 Willy's wagon and through the years I had about a dozen jeeps of various types. Now I think I want a 1951 CJ3A or military equivalent as that was undoubtedly the best year for jeeps and people, at least that's my story. ;D 
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Offline John Mc

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2019, 09:42:02 AM »
My dad ran jeeps and we were always tinkering on them.  Love to have one now.   Love the Roxor that Mihindra sells
That Mahindra Roxor does look interesting. It's basically based on the old Willy's Jeep design, but with modern upgrades. You see them all over the place in other countries. In the US, they are only legal for off-road use (some states may allow them on-road on some roads, just as some states allow the Japanese mini-trucks or UTVs on some roads). 

We have a motorcycle & ATV dealer down the road from us that sells them. I'm not sure how they are selling. If our state allowed them at least on our secondary roads (40 MPH speed limits or less), I'd bet the sales would really take off.

Back in January, I exchanged several emails with someone in the Mahindra North America facility in Michigan about future plans. They are working on a more "work-oriented" design that will have more cargo space. They are also looking at a dump bed option - EPA regs prohibit them from offering a hydraulic dump bed with their current engine configuration. EPA also limits the max they can list. When I asked "what would you list as the max. weight if there were no EPA restriction?" His answer was "4608 lbs is max possible…. so almost 1000 pounds over current allowable weight."
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2019, 10:12:13 AM »
My buddy,RIP had an old Wagoner he dropped a Ford Y block 292 engine in .In spite of much more power it would still only run about 50 MPH on the roads .V8 Ford just screaming .If that engine was still in the '56 Ford it came out of at those RPM's it would be running 100 MPH .---yes before anybody asks those old Fords would do it .

Online Crusarius

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2019, 10:16:47 AM »
its all about gearing. the reason the willy's are so good at everything is the 5.13's in the diffs. or is it 5.38's I forget but its stupid low. besides you would not want to drive one of those faster than maybe 50 mph stock.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2019, 11:46:52 AM »
The front ends get so loose they walk all over the road at 30 MPH let alone 45 .You can get every part ever made and lots of after market stuff that is better than the originals .A complete frame if you want,complete body,anything .Most people don't go into front ends unless they are so worn out it won't go any where you aim it . I get my stuff out of Florida ,Midwest Willeys-Jeep .The guy who owns it is very knowledgeable .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2019, 12:05:29 PM »
Let me interject another thought .I've turned wrenches on anything from bulldozers to chainsaws and a Jeep CJ is not the easiest thing to work on .Everything is shoe spooned into a short frame and narrow wheel spacing .Even on a drive on car hoist the wheel spacing is so narrow have to ride the rail on one side  .It might be easy if you have hands the size of a young child . It's a challenge just to get to the parts that need attention .

Then things like the rear axles are tapered  requiring a special puller to remove the hub to work on the brakes .
I've often said in the chainsaw section if you want a challenge try working a Mini Mac .On automotive stuff try a Jeep CJ .

Offline luvmexfood

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Re: 1947 Willys Jeep or 1990s era Humvee for running around the property?
« Reply #32 on: June 16, 2019, 04:08:06 PM »
I would go with something like a Polaris Ranger. Goes anywhere. Narrow to maneuver between trees and easy to get in and out of.
Give me a new saw chain and I can find you a rock in a heartbeat.


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