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While I had the grille out, I stripped the rest of the front clip apart as well so I could come up with a better way of preserving the bare metal. The lanolin I have been using was good enough for storage, but not if I want to run for a few months on the road.


Doing some research I saw that many were using phosphoric acid to de-rust, clean and preserve bare steel. I'm using Ranex Rustbuster by Bondall which I picked up at Bunnings. This also is phosphoric acid based.


This is what it looks like after first spraying it on and keeping a thin coat wet for 20 minutes before wiping it off with a dry cloth.


I had some consistency problems and got a chalky appearance in places. It does take some technique to keep a thin even coat. Leaving it too thick left it feeling like sandpaper. Re-wetting it with more acid and using steel wool and then wiping with a cloth got rid of any build-up, especially if there was a run and it dried, it would be black and sticky. Some just apply it using a cloth soaked with the acid and have good results. It shows all the weld lines up too. Not sure why the weld has reacted differently to the acid etch?


I actually tried some lanolin over it and it looked far more even after applying it.


This was my test piece and shows how it cleans and turns the rust black as it turns it into iron phosphate. Using steel wool while wet really helps clean it even more so.


This is my outside workbench I have topped with ceramic tiles. Discoloured over the years with grinding dust that has rusted onto the surface. It would not clean off with scrubbing, but where some of the acid has spilt, you can see the clean grey tiles underneath again. I cleaned the whole bench with it after this as it was listed as one of its uses. Bondall Ranex Rustbuster


To give an extra protection layer, and make the finish after acid treatment better, I am using Ankor Wax which is very popular with the patina crowd. I bought it directly from the importers. Bus n Bug - Specialist VW Trimmers


I tried a different way of applying it to normal. I wanted to use a foam brush but was out of them. So used a normal paintbrush but then made the coat even by running over it with a dry foam roller. Just kept working it until it was clear and even. The left side is just after applying it and the right side after running the roller over it straight away to remove the brush marks. I'm leaving it like this and left it to dry for 3-4 days. Normally they recommend buffing it to get a satin or even a gloss finish from it. Water will bead on it and can be removed before painting just using kerosene. Re-apply when the water stops beading, just like a polish. In storage, up to 2 years before needing to reapply.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,204

My plan has always been these old HEMI covers painted black and painting the intake manifold a aluminium colour for contrast. So I have arrowed all the bits moulded on the stock intake, plus some on the other side you can't see, that I want to remove.


I started just with a cutoff wheel in the Dremel.


The switched to a grinding stone.


Even a tiny sanding disc.


Then the hand sanding going up through the grades. Starting at 180, and you can see the third runner from the left is up to 600.


Even used some 1200. Further than needs to go for painting, but not sure when that will be yet.


Even used some cutting compound by hand and then some headlight restorer. Just cleans it all up a bit.
 

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I'm putting up now what I did a month and a half ago before all the panel treatment and coil covers were done. Just waited until I could complete the write up once the mesh came in. Due to COVID-19, things that used to take 2 days, now take 2 weeks. Things that were 2 weeks, now take 2 months. Let alone anything from China that used to take 2 months!


Let the cutting begin! As I was not happy with the length of the slots, I am shortening them 50mm-2" back to the stock length. I am leaving the rest of the grille longer as need that to fit my radiator size.


Gives you an idea how the sectioning is going to work. I cut along the splice lines of the original extension that I had done.


I would have preferred to section the bead along with the grille slots, but the grille mounting bracket on the back gets in the way of doing it. So cut a slot up the middle of the bead, flattened it, and then rounded the end again with a sectioned piece of pipe.


Filler piece tacked in ready for welding.


As usual I checked to make sure each part of the grille was flat after welding. Can just see it drip down a fraction at the ends of this grille bar.


Made up a dolly from some bar stock and hammered down onto the table to stretch it out.


Now nice and flat again. All of them were checked of coarse.


From the factory, one side of each grille bar is longer than the other making it flat across the back to compensate for the grille angle. As I planned to fit some mesh behind the grille, I need to take care of the fact that the factory didn't press the last bar at each end this way as well. The reason is they needed the material on the opposite side of the slot to mount the radiator cowling. Rather than just adding a thin strip, it is better to add a wide piece, fully weld it, then cut it back to the right width. This controls the welding distortion far better.


The distance above and below the slots is close to the same now, 5mm-3/16" more on the bottom. Not the look I intend to keep though.


I can now adjust the height of the gravel tray until I like the proportions.


Think it is looking closer to the 48 grille above it rather than the 58 grille it started out as, which is what I wanted. Remember it is 2" taller and 9" wider overall with 2 extra slots added to make it the same number as the 48 grille.


A shot showing the various Jeep grille proportions through the years. Think I am closer now with the modifications but wont know until I have the Willys back together again.
 

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I'd been thinking of ways to attach the mesh while keeping it taut. Was not sure if just using tabs welded to the back of grille bars would keep the top and bottom tightly in place. So looking at doing it this way.


The mesh I ended up using was branded SAAS and sold through Autobarn and others. SAAS Body Kit Mesh Black 1200 X 280MM
I prefer this style of tin snips when you need to cut further into a sheet. These are made by WISS and they work like a throatless shear.


I thought it would look more professional if I curved the mesh to follow the back of the bars without gaps.


The mesh was not wide enough for my grille with the extra two slots. I had also ordered one that was, but it had a bit bigger diamond pattern that was less obvious. This one also has a twist so you must flip one side to keep it looking the same when run vertically. Viewed this way gives the most 'screening'.


To make the bends I put some tape down along the edge of the bench to save marking it. Then holding the ruler down, just bent it down using my hands. For the bigger radius curve, I bent it over some pipe.


I made sure the join was behind one of the grille bars. The pieces nest really well and could be held in place with the biggest rivet I could fit through the mesh holes.


I couldn't attach it directly below the grille slots as it would show through the front of the grille. By having it fold at the top and bottom, the fasteners will be less obvious.


I drilled and tapped some 3mm-1/8" aluminium sheet with the holes matching the ones in the mesh. Stainless steel button head screws then screw into these putting tension on the mesh. Worked so well that no additional fixing behind the grille bars was needed.


I ended up flipping the mesh so that the twist in it matched the angle of the grille so there was little obstruction when viewed head on. Also, the airflow now has a straight path. When viewed in front of the radiator it makes a bigger difference and makes it look less vacant. Will make more sense once I get shots of it all back together.
 

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Haven't quite finished putting it all back together but wanted to show the mesh installed with the radiator behind. Gives more security this way too as no way to release the bonnet catch except by the release lever inside the cab.
 

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I'd been thinking of ways to attach the mesh while keeping it taut. Was not sure if just using tabs welded to the back of grille bars would keep the top and bottom tightly in place. So looking at doing it this way.


The mesh I ended up using was branded SAAS and sold through Autobarn and others. SAAS Body Kit Mesh Black 1200 X 280MM
I prefer this style of tin snips when you need to cut further into a sheet. These are made by WISS and they work like a throatless shear.


I thought it would look more professional if I curved the mesh to follow the back of the bars without gaps.


The mesh was not wide enough for my grille with the extra two slots. I had also ordered one that was, but it had a bit bigger diamond pattern that was less obvious. This one also has a twist so you must flip one side to keep it looking the same when run vertically. Viewed this way gives the most 'screening'.


To make the bends I put some tape down along the edge of the bench to save marking it. Then holding the ruler down, just bent it down using my hands. For the bigger radius curve, I bent it over some pipe.


I made sure the join was behind one of the grille bars. The pieces nest really well and could be held in place with the biggest rivet I could fit through the mesh holes.


I couldn't attach it directly below the grille slots as it would show through the front of the grille. By having it fold at the top and bottom, the fasteners will be less obvious.


I drilled and tapped some 3mm-1/8" aluminium sheet with the holes matching the ones in the mesh. Stainless steel button head screws then screw into these putting tension on the mesh. Worked so well that no additional fixing behind the grille bars was needed.


I ended up flipping the mesh so that the twist in it matched the angle of the grille so there was little obstruction when viewed head on. Also, the airflow now has a straight path. When viewed in front of the radiator it makes a bigger difference and makes it look less vacant. Will make more sense once I get shots of it all back together.

Haven't quite finished putting it all back together but wanted to show the mesh installed with the radiator behind. Gives more security this way too as no way to release the bonnet catch except by the release lever inside the cab.
@Gojeep
That looks excellent, finally coming to completion. Great work. That 345 cu.in."Hemi" that you're putting in there is going to sing!
 

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I tried the gravel tray at many different heights until I was happy. This is the position I have decided on. It is sitting 19mm-3/4" higher in front of the grille than before, but still leaving more distance from the bottom of the slots to tray.


Bumper back on to finally see if it was worth it or not. The distance from the slots to the top of the tray is now half that of slots to the top of the grille. This is the same proportions as the stock 48 flat nose grille which is different to the 58 pointy nose grille.


Ok, just put together a before and after. About 20 shots it took to get it as close as I could, even brought the dog in! So left the overall height of the grille the same, but shortened the slots by 50mm-2". Then raised the stone tray 19mm-3/4". Also the grille mesh has been added which helps more in the flesh than it does in these photos. I think it doesn't need the horizontal grilles bars to be added as well anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,212

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This is my actual license plate that I will be running on the Willys. I ordered these 2 days after I won the auction to buy the first Willys Truck back in 2007! Was a couple of months before I even got to see the Truck in the flesh for the first time, and 12 months before I brought it home. I wanted WILLYS but that was already taken, so we decided on WLLYS as was the closest. WILYS was also available, but thought people might think it was someone's name. I'd rather run no front plate but unfortunately have to. Which position do people prefer as we cannot decide?
 
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