View Full Version : Our Willys

06-01-15, 10:09 PM
I'm going to do this in 3 parts so please bear with me :bored:

Part 1

Well I've had the car nearly 5 years now & finally we're moving forward.

Des Taylor, Russ Marsden our Jonny & me are starting a team with the aim to be running the Willys by Easter, we're using Des' engine, trans & ignition, Russ is presently on with rebuilding the engine & it's coming on nicely.

For those that don't know the car it's an ex Street Eliminator car which has full chrome/moly frame & cage, 9" with full Strange gears & shafts. The struts on all corners are Strange double adjustables with billet Strange calipers & cost a fortune when it was built by Dale Reardon in 2003 & was tagged to 7.5's although out of tag now.
It was set up to run Twin turbo SBC by a former owner & then left after only been on the scene for a year. I got it without engine & trans but employment being as fickle as it is I couldn't afford to do anything serious with her & I wasn't going to drop just any engine in.

Anyway even longer story short, last year when we were at York with Jonnies' Camaro the option to join forces with Des & Russ came up & the deal was done, so here we are heading for Easter, I wouldn't like to predict times but well sub 10's should be achievable :happy:

Anyway enough waffle here's some pics of it in it's former life


Against Mr Webster


Mr Lazenby


& finally Mr Frost


06-01-15, 10:13 PM
Part 2

As the car has been for the last umpteen years










06-01-15, 10:39 PM
Part 3

Well started checking what needs doing to the Willys to fit Des' Big Block in, not as straight forward as I'd hoped but then nothing ever is :slap:.

The "dummy" block pictured is really tight for getting headers in around the column & master cylinder, it is a tall block so we should have slightly more room with the standard deck height block almost definitely probably possibly no problem :lol: .

The front motor plates are off the old SBC & are only being used as a guide for the moment line up nicely with the old mounts only 2" further forward.

Anyway here's some more pics.







Well it's not much but I'll post more as we go, hopefully not in another 5 years:D

:tup: Ian

09-01-15, 12:35 PM
:crazy::tup:ALL THE BEST!!!! Still looking GOOD!!!! Philip

09-01-15, 04:54 PM
Nice looking motor.
Looking forward to seeing it on the strip this year :tup:

09-01-15, 07:17 PM
Good luck with the car :tup: look forward to watching the progress

Henrys Revenge
22-03-15, 08:14 PM
Any updates?

26-03-15, 10:05 PM
OK bit of a belated update as usual but the car has progressed, been a few deviations from plan & a cock-up with a header but parts deliveries getting here on time the car should be ready for the Easter runs at York.

So here goes with plenty of pics the update will have to be in several parts.

We were originally going to go with separate front motor plate wings, so wooden templates were made.


A Dynatech header kit was ordered with 2 & 3/8" primaries into 4 & 1/2" collectors.


The original setup block was a raised deck 540 so to make things a bit more accurate we were loaned a standard block & a cylinder head.


The headers were then fit to these, tack welded together & then seam welded.



Before refitting to car to check for fit.


Des' engine arrived in the meantime from the dyno runs at EDA. 629HP & 550 torque at 6500.


Looking at the front motor plate we decided to bite the bullet & buy a full width plate, so after much cutting & shaping & Jon doing a neat little recess in the back of the plate for the water way plug in the left hand head it was fitted to the block.




End of part one.

26-03-15, 10:25 PM
After setting the exhaust manifolds up on the mock up head came to fit them on Des' engine, the first side fouled on the head bolts, thought it was because they were ARP head bolts & slightly taller than the standard bolts used on the setup head, it then it fouled on a small ridge on the head, anyway after a bit of relieving with the die grinder the first one was on.

Came to fit second side & the flange was over the spark plug holes WTF. turned out I'd welded the flange on upside down, wasn't an issue with the setup heads as they were raised port. I'd assumed the setup head was the same as Des' moral is NEVER EVER ASSUME :slap: . Only one thing for it cut the flange off & start again. That cock up cost over a day.

Anyway after re-welding header up it was finally on.


Jon then made 2 spacers to extend the mounting points to suit the big block.
These were 2mm plate with crush tubes welded in.


& then they were all boxed in again using 2mm plate, a small recess was put in one to aid with header clearance on the drivers side mount.


Paul Dixon Grainger rang & offered to have a quick look at our trans, so we shot over to see him, first time I've seen inside a trans,
even then Paul's hands were just a blur, good news all is good internally with good quality bits.
Bad news is bell housing had been cut to fit in another car so decision made to go Ultrabell, Paul kindly loaned us one to use as a guide to get a head start before ours gets delivered.
It was out with the jig saw, angle grinder, hacksaws, files & die grinder :crazy:

We made a plywood blank to represent the pump & give us a datum to work from so after about 4 hours & making up loads of new swear words & seeing how far you could throw stuff we got the job done.



New bits ordered Ultrbell, Trans-shield & hardened TH400 input shaft.


These were then fitted to our trans



Paul finished the trans, complete with UltraBell, hardened TH400 input shaft & Trans shield, he did a superb job & also did some tweeks inside the trans to beef it up a bit more. Anyway trans is now fitted but is quite tight on the new floor with the trans shield fitted.


End of part two

26-03-15, 10:53 PM
The seat position need modifying slightly to optimize driving position so again spacer blocks were made & installed behind & under the seat.

It was decided to replace the old small throttle pedal pad, we fabbed up a new pad & put an over the foot bar on it in case the throttle jams open you can just lift your foot & release the throttle.


Because the bulkhead has been altered even a spacer bracket had to be made to mount the wiper motor, Jon produced another nice little simple bracket.


The fuel pressure gauge isolator ( to allow the use of an in cockpit gauge)& fire extinguisher nozzles have also been fitted to the firewall.


The fuel tank, pump & plumbing are all now fitted up to the engine bay & all the rear electrics are sorted. MSD unit & 2 step limiters fitted. Still the main bulk of wiring to sort through.




The passenger door wouldn't open from inside the car so the 27 door panel rivets had to be drilled out, luckily it was just part of the linkage that needed adjusting, it's the little jobs that soak up time.

Some surplus ally closing panels had been removed from the chassis in the engine bay causing damage to the painted rails, these have now been given a quick tidy up & sprayed to match the rest of the rails.

The fire extinguisher system has been serviced & refilled.

One of the jobs that was worrying me the most was were the alternator was going to mount, because of the extra length of the big block it would have fouled the radiator & bottom hose.
It was decided to mount it on the opposite side & reverse it, just need to locate the right size belt, 610-620mm so some standard ones out there that size.


A different oil breather catch tank has been fitted to the firewall & connected to the breathers with silicon hoses, I know it's chavvy but we're trying to appeal to all tastes :incheek: :lol:


I think that about sums it up, there has been a lot more work done that I've not posted but it's enough to get the gist.

I'll add a few of the car from earlier progress.




Thanks to anyone who actually reads through all my meanderings.

:tup: Ian

PS we're sweating top line at he moment waiting for the delivery of 1/4" torque converter spacers
we're also waiting for delivery of new slicks for Des' wheels & a set of wheelie bars, we can do without the last two items but we desperately need the spacers or we're not going anywhere.

26-03-15, 11:30 PM
Great work guys.....:tup::tup::tup:

27-03-15, 08:11 PM
Its coming on a treat. Well done. :)

30-03-15, 10:26 AM
:tup: Visited yesterday, lots of progress and the food is great!!!! Philip

Henrys Revenge
01-04-15, 06:57 PM
Great progress Keep it comin:tup:

15-04-15, 06:18 PM
Final updates on this build, the car was finished for the Easter weekend meet at York, I'm really quite happy with the way the car performed but unfortunately Des & me just can't work together & I pulled the engine last week & Des & Russ picked it up Saturday.

I wish Des & Russ well in whatever they decide to do the rest of the season.

Jon & me were working on the car the week before York I'd taken the week off & put a few 16 hour plus days in on the car. Infact Jon & me were working on the car till 1am on Friday & midnight Saturday, we had a burnt out alternator which caused the isolator switch to smoke at the back end even when off.
Apparently the FIA isolators have an alternator protection circuit to stop it being killed when the isolator is switched off, trouble is this becomes live when the alternator rectifiers fail :confused:
Andy Outhwaite met us at the strip on Saturday & loaned us his, he then checked the wiring for me on Sunday morning, top guy :tup:

Back to the build.

Unfortunately I didn't get many pics of the finishing off as there wasn't time to think.

The torque converter spacers arrived just in time, while we had the trans out Jonnie got to work with the body hammers & did a neat job of relieving the floor around the trans shield.
When the trans was refitted we found we couldn't get all the gears, either 1st to reverse or 2nd to park. The modified bracket with our trans was just too short so using trigonometry for the first time since I'd left school I worked out the new length for the lever and decided I had to make a bracket with a dogleg to get the right throw




It was held in with a bolt & 2 lock nuts at the top & had a captive nut welded to the original bracket this was done to clear the trans sump rail & give a straighter pull with the cable. I was gob-smacked it worked first time :beuj::lol:

Jon finalizing the radiator fit



Most of the rest of the work was tracing wiring & mounting various small components, the fire extinguisher was serviced & refilled, I can recommend Wolley's in Middlesbrough, they serviced & refilled both the car extinguisher & a 2kg CO2 for 41.
I made a heat shield to go between the drivers side exhaust manifold & the brake master cylinder (no pics).

The fuel regulator & coil were mounted


To be cont'd

15-04-15, 08:11 PM
Des had organized for the car to be stickered up, so first job was to remove the old Street Eliminator numbers :sniff:




James from Aura Print did a fantastic job of applying the graphics. After some prior discussion we settled on a name for the car Berserker.



The work continued the Saturday with us welding some extra box section & plate to Des' trailer so the rear wheels had something to sit on while a couple of our neighbors helped by repairing the wiring & helping Jon & me get the car loaded.


Finally made it to York & the car more than proved itself with Des driving 7 runs in total all launched off the footbrake rather than the Transbrake, with times from a shut-off 10.5 down to 10.15 @ speeds between 136-138mph, we'd dropped the rev limiter by 500 rpm as it was the engines first time out as well as the cars, so it could possibly of being pushing 145 & high 9's.
We made no changes to the suspension or 4 link apart from raising the front suspension 10mm from minimum. The car launched as if it were on a Sunday drive but consistently drove towards the left of the lane, I think this is more to do with steering alignment than pre-load etc as we didn't have time to have the steering aligned properly before we left.
We only had minor-ish teething problems all weekend; alternator, charging problems, loose bolt on front caliper & a separated throttle linkage.
The car made it to the final in Pro-ET Des dialled in a 10.2 against Mark Manning (10.4) in his 34, unfortunately with Des trying to get used to how the car reacted at the hit left slightly early & got a cherry but all in all a successful debut for the car & I'm now confident that the car will take anything I can throw at it.

Again unfortunately due to being involved with running the Willys & Jon running his Camaro in Super Stock & a flat phone I never got many pics of the weekend although I have seen plenty of others on the interweb :D


So all the best everyone & thanks for taking the time to read this & hopefully the car may be out this season soon with a new combination.

:tup: Ian

15-04-15, 08:16 PM
Ian, sincerely hope the fact that you and Des can't work together doesn't end your project (still want a go in it hehe), but from the position you are in now it would appear that just an engine is all that is required, you have done the hardest part, getting it back out there, I know some years ago you were looking at a monster motor that costs loads but would a less tuned bb not be the way forward and develope that and thereby keeping the interest for you and jon and keep the car moving along?
well impressed it got sorted in time.

15-04-15, 08:35 PM
Thanks, if anything it's spurred me on to get the car done, there are a couple of irons in the fire for secondhand engines over here, I'm supposed to be getting signed up for a permanent position at work sometime soon so we're even considering the possibility of brining in a "smaller" motor from the States, only time will tell, I've been in this situation before :crazy:

With the right gear; motor, correct converter, ignition & fuel reg, I have left the car so it could be up & running in less than a day. The new slicks & wheelie bars are still in transit, so I could do with a narrower set of rear wheels to fit the slicks as my wheels are too wide for them.

I was totally stunned how the car handled the extra weight of Des' iron headed big block it launched totally flat & it's increased my confidence no end in the quality of Dale's original build.

I must say I owe everything to my youngest lad Jon because without his input with both work & helping financially the car definitely would not have been ready.

When I'm driving there's an open invitation for anyone to have a ride in the car, hopefully there's an outside chance we'll still make it to Dragstalgia & be road legal :giggle:

16-04-15, 11:19 AM
Enjoyed this build up,lovely looking car. Hope everything comes together for you.

16-04-15, 09:37 PM
Stunning job so far

Whatever the next move it's like waiting for Christmas, you know opening that present that you can't guess what it is but you know it's going to be good

As for engine, just throw any old thing in it and have some fun

19-04-15, 10:17 AM
:tup:Hope the contract arrives and is to your liking!!!! Then I want to see You, Ang, Jon and Matthew at the Diner with the Willys, the Camaro and the Lil Red Express Truck!!!! Magic!!!! Philip

07-09-16, 05:59 PM





08-09-16, 06:26 AM
Spot on mate.:tup:

What's in it..?

08-09-16, 11:33 AM
:tup::tup::tup::tup:Heard this thing start up!!!! WOW!!!!!!!

Shook dust from the girders in the roof and frightened neighbours!!!!

Well done!!!! Philip

10-09-16, 08:16 PM
Hi Liam, I'm tempted to use a quote from that film and say "Stock Evinrude", coz it is out of a boat :incheek:

I still need to order a few small bits. Paul Grainger and Daz Chandler loaned me the water neck till ours arrives.

The radiator & waterpump are just cobbled together at the moment to allow the car to fire and run to temp, I'm going to increase the hose sizes from AN-10 to -16, so'll need the rad fittings altering.



The engine was bought ex off shore power boat racer (non-salt water cooled) and then left with Paul Marston to build, Paul brought the engine up and stayed a couple of days while we fitted it for the first fire up. No exaggeration after the initial turning over to get oil pressure and prime the fuel she fired first hit on the ignition.
It's a tall deck Dart Big M Pro block with Fully forged internals JE pistons 572 cu in, CR 9.82:1
Dart Pro 1 345's cnc'd heads, Pacs valve springs Weiand Team G inlet, 1150cfm Dominator.
Comp cams 0.726/0.714 lift, solid lifters, Scorpion 1.7 roller rockers, stud girdle.
Canton 10 quart sump, MSD crank trigger, 5000 Stall converter, etc.

All this exits via the headers we built last year, when Phil heard it we had open headers. It was a little loud :lol:. Jonny stuck his head in the cab to look at fuel pressure just as I blipped it and said he couldn't see to read the dial :crazy:

At least the exhaust are now on so the car is in stealth mode, you'd think it was a Prius :incheek:

Theoretically the engine should be able to pull 7200rpm and have 800+hp and be able to take agood shot of nitrous but I'll be happy with mid 700's and foot brake launches

You can see from one of the pics there's a lot of paint missing from the doors, this is where we removed the graphics fitted last year.

Shame we didn't manage to get her out this season but at least I've got the winter months to get the paint sorted, going to try to get as close to the original clour as possible.

Roll on next year :woohoo:

:tup: Ian

10-09-16, 08:34 PM
I saw the top hose and thought that's a bit skinny. Hope you manage to keep this one a bit longer than the last engine:incheek: As for the doors, new paint would be good but if not enough time maybe some decals of a similar size to the last ones to hide it, only if time gets short, I know how quickly time flies and before you know it the new season is already here.

Hope to get to see it in the flesh at some point.

12-09-16, 01:11 PM
:tup::tup::tup::tup:Saw this yesterday running around the compound with all panels on!!!! SUPERB!!!!

Very quiet and sedate, just like a Prius? MY ARSE!!!! Philip