Willys Hotchkiss Jeeps
Willys Hotchkiss JeepsWillys Hotchkiss Jeeps

Hotchkiss rebuild - test drive

Blog 4

After the deep clean the vehicle had two new batteries fitted and the fuel system cleaned out and new petrol put in the gas tank.  There were unbelievable deposits of dirt inside the fuel system and I even found an ear of wheat in the fuel filter bowl.

The engine turned over easily and caught nearly immediately.  I let it idle for at least 30 minutes without issue - to see how the temperature went.  It did get very hot and from feeling the rad (hot at top cold at bottom,) I could see the thermostat wasn't functioning correctly.  The old ones are made of a wax filled brass vessle - and these stop working after a while.

I got in the vehicle to try and drive forward and the garage filled with a dense white almost sweet smelling smoke.. didn't take the brain of a scientist to work out there was something wrong with the cooling system that was sucking water (and antifreeze) into one of the cylinders.

I removed the spark plugs and found cylinder two steaming through the plug aperature - it seemed to me to be a head gasket issue.

I took the head off and sure enough there was water in cylinder 2, due to a ruptured head gasket.

I casually looked into the other cylinders and this is when I discovered more problems!

The cylinders 3 and 4 had big chips out the tops of the pistons!

Luckily the bores weren't scored.. but it now seemed the engine needed t o come out completely and be rebuilt.

Off came the bumper, rad and front grille and after undoing the bell housing bolts/ taken off engine mounts - the engine came out easily with one tug.

The engine was taken to 'my man' for him to work his magic - while this gave me a chance to examine the engine bay.

As you can see from the picture - it had been leaking old oil into the bell housing as well.  This is now an excellent chance to replace all the seals in the engine as well as the pistons and all bearings.

At under 200 pounds for four cylinders and all rings (thanks jeep parts)- I dont think the price is too bad and a total rebuild by 'my man' shouldn't be too pricey if I supply all the parts.

Whilst the engine was off at the machine shop I was able to commence replacing the rotten top hat sections under the passenger floor - pictures to the right...

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