Willys Hotchkiss Jeeps
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Hotchkiss rebuild - the good the bad and the ugly..

Blog 3.

Oh dear...

Not totally surprising, the jeep has a few issues.  That's the problem with buying at the same time as viewing.  You can get carried away and its difficult to turn around and travel back after you have commited to a signifigant financial outlay..

The rust is worse than expected.  After poking around it seems the vehicle had been 'restored' before.  Not wishing to upset our european comrades, but they do like to bodge!!

All top hat sections were filled with polybond and then sprayed over. There were also holes in the fuel tank recess, both footwells and under where the axe hangs.  All issues were due to water ingress and being held there by dirt.

Dirt... that's an understatement.  I think some of the german tank wrecks being pulled out of russian bogs have less mud in them!

It felt like the jeep had been fully submerged at somepoint (say for a month?-joke) as there was dirt in every part of the chassis, covering the engine, gearbox and it packed the fuel tank tight in its recess ! (hence causing the rust issues). 

In total I pulled out over 5kg of soil from round the axles, gearbox and engine!.

I powerwashed the jeep three times - each time covering my drive with lakes of mud!

To get the vehicle totally clean it meant removing the entire interior, the skid pan,engine ancilleries, wheels and exhaust. It seemed the logical way to get the vehicle totally clean before working on it - I hate working on filthy cars!

After the deep clean there was some good news - the engine (externally ) came clean very easily and it seems it had ben sprayed in a red wax - as had all the ancilleries. Therefore a possibly low mileage unit..

Also the body wasn't in that bad condition in the end.. the rear lockers were in good condition, all the edges were crisp and very clean under the mud.  The front wings, bonnet, windscreen and grille were immaculate. The gearbox and transferr box cleaned up like new and as way of a bonus ; the brakes have all been replaced - the master cylinder is still covered in paint (they usually rust very quickly) perhaps the mud may have helped preserve the jeep in some way - like an ancient peat bog mummy!!

Next blog the test drive in the uk on a tarmac (private) road..

(pictures will follow soon)

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Click to enlarge