Willys Hotchkiss Jeeps
Willys Hotchkiss JeepsWillys Hotchkiss Jeeps

Hotchkiss M201 rebuild blog 2

The strip down continues at pace.

Firstly all the exterior handles and brackets come off easily, and stored away for later refurbishment.

Then the windscreen comes off easily, followed by the front grille (with 11 captive nuts and bolts) then the wings and radiator.

All pretty straight-forward stuff.  The only thing worth noting is not to mix up/ loose any of the bolts that hold the wings on to the chassis.  They have a very different thread from anything else on the jeep.

The engine was then pulled out -  which is much more easier with the wings and grille removed.  Here again you must note / keep seperate the bottom bolts that hold the flywheel housing to the main body of the engine.  These are special 'dowl' or size bolts.  Failure to reuse these in the right place when refitting the engine may end up with the engine and gearbox not correctly aligned.  This can cause the jeep to jump out of gear when driving.

The bottom retention 'strap' and the accelerator must also be disconnected, this can catch the novice out as its all undone, but nothing seems to be moving apart freely!

After this the engine lifts up and free quite easily. I have taken to cutting off the exhaust pipe and dealing with its removal when the engine is out the vehicle.  This way you can remove with a good deal of leverage space and easy access should you need to use heat.  The captive stud that holds the front down pipe in place can be very tricky, and if this snaps (which they do!) it can be quite a challenge to get the old one out and a new stud introduced!

Once the engine is safely out the way - its the body removal.

I find taking the steering coloumn out makes removal very easy indeed as its more just a straight lift then an angled one. Do remember to disconnect the speedo and hand brake cables, as well as the earth strap from the body to the gearbox, otherwise these snag and the body will not come away.

Also you need remove the gearbox cover lid, steering wheel and electrics to the wings, brake cylinder and horn!

Its 14 bolts underneath (most I cut off as I will be using new bolts when I reassemble anyway,) and with the use of an engine crane lifting from the two internal foot bars in the rear of the tub, the body lifts away easily.

The body is turned over 180 degrees and enables me to work on the top hat sections underneath.   To be on the safe side I removed the entire out riggers including the floor of the tub to ensure there are no lurking rust 'nasties' to come back and haunt me another day.

You can see in the final picture how the rust has been fully removed and a new top hat section (filled this time with treated hardwood  reenforcing) is seam welded back in place.  When completed this will be better than when it left the factory as everything will be seam welded and dressed! Muc h stronger than the original spot welded finish.

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