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  • 64J200

    Hi guys,

    I am new to this site. Not new to Jeeps. 25 years of building just about every kind of Jeep. They are my world. And the Gladiator is one of my all time favorites.

    I recently bought a 64 J200 Willys (just yesterday). The glory story is that it was tucked away in a storage unit for 27 years with only 12,000 miles on it. The original owner just stopped paying on the storage unit and they never heard from him again. So they auctioned off the unit. The guy I bought it from won the auction and found this inside. He stored it in his garage and tinkered very little on it for 7 years. It was supposed to be a father son project, but soon after he got it his son got married and moved away. All they really did was put in a fresh 292 Chevy (apparently the 230 Tornado had a huge hole in the block with a rod sticking out) and connected it up to the stock 3 on the tree T90/Dana 20 combo. It also has a closed knuckle, drum braked Dana 44 front with another tapered axle Dana 44 in back. Except for the motor, it has all the original components throughout.

    The body is very nice from what I can tell. But I have a little voice in the back of my mind whispering something about dirty little hidden secrets that are about to reveal themselves. We'll see.

    Here are some photos of it right after I got it home.

    All of the original and not so original drivetrain will be coming out immediately. It will now receive my H.O. 400hp/475tq Gen III 6.0L Chevy engine with OBX headers, Denali engine covers, a Summit crossflow aluminum radiator, a high performance 4L60e 4 speed automatic, and a 241 transfer case with a JB Conversions Super Short slip yoke eliminator (SYE) kit that removes 9" off the length of the transfer case and adds a CV yoke.

    My friends will be doing 90% of the work and it can be done in about 2-3 months if I don't find many issues and don't make too many modifications. I have all the parts and they are right next to the J200. I have literally everything to build this truck.

    I have a 2" die for my tubing bender and 20' of 2" x .120 tubing that will be used for custom dual exhaust. It will run through 2 Flow Master Hush Power mufflers.

    Years ago, I slightly narrowed a Ford F350 high pinion Dana 60 (for my Jeepster Commando) that will now go in the front. It has 35 spline chromoly inner and outer Superior Evolution axles, Yukon Super Joints, Ballistic Fab high steer arms, a Detroit locker and Warn locking hubs. I also installed my own custom designed caliper brackets that hold 1/2 or 3/4 ton gm caliper calipers, 77 F150 rotors, stock knuckles and spindles with all new bearings, king pin parts, and seals. It is bullet proof. I also built an older Ford rear full float Dana 60 that I narrowed by cutting off the spindles and tubes to the length I wanted. And I designed custom collars that press over the tubes and weld on. They are made to bolt to my custom 1/2 or 3/4 ton gm caliper brackets and calipers and it uses front Dana 60 spindles and hubs. I had custom 300m dual splined 1 1/2" axles made for it. It also has a Detroit Locker and Warn locking hubs just like the front.

    On both the front and rear I had the 8 lug wheel hubs machined down to the Jeep 5 on 5 1/2" lug pattern so I could run the same 77 F150 Ford rotors, which allows me to stay with the stock Willys lug pattern. Not that stock is an issue at this point. I just did it to see if I could do it and it turned out awesome.

    Brakes will be controlled from a 1 ton hydroboost set up and Corvette disc/disc master cylinder with no proportioning valve. Pressure is provided by an AGR power steering pump that controls the brakes and a Rock Ram System. The ram is connected to a custom 1 1/2" x .50 wall tie rod. And I built the same size drag link with QA1 rod ends.

    It will ride on Mickey Thompson Classic II polished aluminum wheels and 41" Irok radials. I bought brand new 6-way power leather seats and a center console that was originally built for a custom show car. A Vintage Air air conditioning & heat system will be installed as well.

    It will be fully insulated and have delay wipers. I have a tilt 4 speed auto steering column from a 97 Chevy truck that will go in as well. It has controls for cruise, hi and low beam, and delay wipers.

    It will have the original overhead courtesy light in the top of the cab, but I will add 2 that shine from under the dash and 4 large rubber-backed lights that mount under the cab and shine on the ground when the doors are opened, so I can get out safely at night without stepping wrong and falling. I don't need that. All the courtesy lights will run through a high amp 0-60 second manual dimmer/on/off switch after the doors are closed.

    I will carry a Ready Welder II, O2 tank air supply, dual Optima batteries (1 yellow top and 1 blue top marine), and an iPOD stereo, amp, and awesome speakers. But I will not cut the dash. I have the OEM cover for the stereo holes. I will also buy new weather stripping and window channel for the doors. The windshield and rubber are brand new, but the rear window needs new rubber.

    I have custom long travel drive lines with CV's at the t-case. I have a new Howell Engine Developments engine/transmission harness, modified computer and an inline fuel pump, return line regulator and filter. The frame will be sent to Epsco to be sand blasted and powder coated.

    The springs will be moved under the frame on both front and rear for a 6-8" lift and shackle reversal. It will have my custom designed and BMW-made shackles and 28 gallon stainless steel fuel tank with a JAZ fuel sending unit. The tank that's in it right now may stay and I may install a dual tank switch. Not sure on that yet. I have Ultra Lite Auto Meter gauges, but I love the original gauges and dash, so that remains to be decided. I only bought this truck yesterday.

    I have an 8274-50 Warn winch with synthetic line and wireless remote controller. Once it's painted, the bed will be sprayed with Vortex. I will probably have the underside of the body and fender wells sprayed with Vortex as well. The reason for all of this is that the J200 body is ready for paint right now. And I love these Willys trucks just about as much as the earlier body styles. And I will have an amazing truck in no time at all. Not to mention that the design of the doors and windows are far superior to the older Willys.

    Just to see what it looks like with bigger tires, the guys jacked it up and put my 41's in the fender wells. If they were bolted on, they would go in another 4" or so, but it still looks cool. It does to me anyway. But I am a big tire kind of guy. Some of you aren't I know. But that's ok.

    Last edited by BigJ200; 02-16-2012, 07:33 AM.
    Build Thread:
    64 J200 Gladiator Build

  • #2
    I have a question or 2.

    I was attempting to buy new window and door rubber and weatherstripping today from BJ's. But they don't carry the door rubber until 66. What is the difference between the doors on say a 79 Cherokee Chief and this J200. My friend owns a Chief and came by today and we compared the 2 right next to each other and we could not see any difference.

    I need some insight here. I was counting on being able to buy all of this stuff.

    I ran into the same issue with the door scuff plates and vent window seal kit. Everything looks the same between the two rigs. But BJ's said they are different and will not fit. Please help.

    Also, does anyone have the original color chart for the J200. The AutoColor Library that is online does not show it. I use that site for everything, but it doesn't go back to 64. Any input is very much appreciated.
    Build Thread:
    64 J200 Gladiator Build


    • #3
      Here's the tank:

      I had him angle the back lower part of the tank for a nicer look.

      I bought a new 11" tube-style 0-90 ohm fuel sending unit that matches my Auto Meter gauge.

      These more common senders work fine, but I just prefer the tube-style:

      I also ordered the engine oil cooler block off plate.
      Build Thread:
      64 J200 Gladiator Build


      • #4
        Here are some photos of the 6.0 engine with the new covers.

        New OBX headers ready to be installed as well...

        I really think they make the engine look sharp though. And it's going to be even better when I get parts of the engine painted the body color or accent colors. It sure is going to help hide wires. They are very high quality covers that should last for a long time.
        Last edited by BigJ200; 03-18-2011, 12:42 AM.
        Build Thread:
        64 J200 Gladiator Build


        • #5
          Here are the new seats that will be going in the J200 now. They are shown here in my Willys wagon.

          The center console has a really nice pad for normal driving and I was surprised to see how large the console is when I opened it.

          I couldn't be happier with these. I like the low sides, because it will allow me to get in and out easily.
          Build Thread:
          64 J200 Gladiator Build


          • #6
            You are going to be really happy with that setup. Nice find and it looks awesome. I like the tire combo.

            I do have a request. Could you take a picture of the floor area surrounding the gas pedal. I'm in process of replacing floor rot and I need to see how that area is shaped. Place in your thread or PM me.

            Again, nice ride
            FSJ Newb


            • #7
              That's gonna be one sick Jtruck! Can't wait to see it come together
              Zack - 68 J2000, AMC 327, 4bbl intake, dual exhaust, Pertronix upgrade, Holley 600cfm, T18, dana 20 (twin sticked), 3" body lift w/ 35x12.50 MTRs ~ running AND driving!


              • #8
                What a beauty..
                The early gladiator with the small rear window is also one of my favourite
                Subscribe !
                J10 sportside '81, J10 Golden Eagle '77, Wagoneer '65, Gladiator '64 + parts rigs


                • #9

                  Of course I'm partial to small window Gladiators!

                  Basically all the later components (weather stripping, scuff plates, etc.) can be easily adapted to the earlier trucks. You may need to drill some new holes etc. but it's all pretty easy.

                  The door weather stripping on the early trucks was applied to the doors, while later versions were put on the pinch weld on the cab itself. The later weather stripping works fine - although you'll have to get used to putting a little oomph into closing the doors because it will be pretty tight.
                  '63 J200 2WD
                  '63 J200 4WD: J20 Axles, extended wheelbase, factory stakebed
                  '63 J100 Panel Delivery
                  '91 Grand Wagoneer Final Edition
                  "If you're going to laugh about it someday, you might as well start now".


                  • #10
                    I agree. This is a very cool Jeep.

                    Can you guys tell me what is different between the doors of a 64 compared to 66 and up models? Photos would help too. There are 2 Gladiator trucks and a half dozen wagoneers and grand wagoneers at our local pick-n-pull, so tomorrow we are going out there to do some close up comparisons. I seriously can't tell what is different.

                    Any details would be greatly appreciated.

                    I already bought all the newer model parts from BJ's today, including later model red and amber side marker lights and every piece of door & window rubber/weatherstripping that is available. They said some of it will not fit, but until I see why for myself or someone points it out to me, I am moving forward. Either way, I refuse to put the weatherstripping on the door, because that's exactly like the earlier Willys wagons and trucks that I've been building up for 25 years and it always sucks. And like I said before, if I have to buy later model doors, I will.

                    I am very excited about this truck. It is going to have all the right stuff.

                    I am not sure what to do with the dash gauge cluster though. I said before that I don't want to modify the dash, but I think I am going to have to make some slight modifications to take it to the level that I want.

                    I want a tilt column with a cruise, delay wipers and the hi/low beam switch. So, I will need to expand the opening where the column goes through the dash. Not much; and it will look stock. The second thing is that I've got to have full gauges rather than just lights. I don't like the look of gauges screwed into the bottom of the dash. It always looks like an after-thought.

                    I would enjoy seeing what would you guys do or have done?
                    What have you seen done?
                    Any ideas, references to tech threads, or photos would be awesome.

                    My friends came over today and we talked about the sequence of events and how this is going to happen. It really won't take long because I have everything. The gauges are really the biggest challenge at the moment.

                    Last edited by BigJ200; 02-16-2012, 07:36 AM.
                    Build Thread:
                    64 J200 Gladiator Build


                    • #11
                      awsome truck you got there! love the seats and especialy love the motor
                      '86 Grand Wagoneer
                      Chevy 350 TBI
                      Rhino grill
                      rusty's 4in all spring lift

                      '67 (i think) M715 all stock w/pto


                      • #12
                        Very nice truck, I have a 63 J200 as well, with a small window cab going on...but I'm not going whole hog on it.
                        About the doors and as mentioned above, yes they do look similar. Door strike/catch plate changed over from 78 into 79...though they can be interchanged with latch mod's. You don't really need a later model door, what you have is fine. I agree the weatherstrip on the doors sucks. Fortunately the late style weatherstripping will work. On opening your door you'll see pinchwelt all around the perimeter of the door opening on the body side. Take that off. When you get your new weatherstrip make sure it's got holes in the air can come out when the door shuts on it. The new stuff just fits in where the pinchwelt was. Some people report having to re-adjust their door hinges to make the door fit, etc. But as mentioned expect to shut the door harder. Small price to pay for getting a good seal...probably better seal than the older style weatherstripping.
                        Have fun...and J...ust E...mpty E...very P...ocket.

                        By the can get a flaming river tilt column, but they had tilt's as an option in that era on the Super Wagoneer's, that's what I'm installing in mine. Same as the Chevelle I think, gotta go look at my notes.

                        What are the seats out of? I'm gonna guess you'll need those to sit in with your back issues.
                        Last edited by JeepBountyHunter; 03-17-2011, 08:59 PM.
                        1992 Cherokee XJ Laredo


                        • #13
                          Post some pics of the willys wagon, too!
                          1989 Grand Wagoneer -- FOR SALE


                          • #14
                            i hope to have mine lookin like that.....feel like i am window shopping lol
                            78 j10 on 35s & propane DD


                            • #15
                              Thanks JeepBountyHunter! That's the info I needed. I will be comparing a number of later model rigs with the J200 tomorrow, which will help too. Awesome!

                              Here are some pics of the wagon, which has been put on the back burner because of my serious back issues and 3rd spinal surgery just 3 months ago. I am now sporting 2 12" rods and a bucket full of screws in my back. And I have at least 9 more months of initial recovery. After that, who knows. We'll see. I am so thankful for good friends who are into Jeeps with young strong bodies. They will be doing everything on this one.

                              They came over today for a little while to check everything out and we talked about what needs to be done and in what order. They are very excited to get started. They love the truck and they love Jeeps. I think they are planning to come over this weekend to load all the Willys wagon stuff inside of it and move it to the back and wrap it up for a later date way down the road.

                              I am bummed out that it has to be put on the back burner because so much has been put into it. But at the same time I am super excited about the Willys pickup because the guys can do everything that needs to be done and all I have to do is lay out the plan and check on the quality of their work at each stage. There are no complex things other than centering, precision alignment and correct angles, and clearances. But I will keep a close eye on everything and make sure it's all correct. I have done it so many times I could do it in my sleep. I have a huge heater out there and Direct TV with a special chair that allows me to stay warm, stay off my feet, and watch TV and direct traffic. I am so thankful that they are into it too. They love Jeeps and they love this kind of work. And they are young and strong. So, it will go very fast. The work is so simple.

                              As long as my wife and I feed them and either trade some more parts and/or throw some cash their way once in a while, they will be happy. Mostly, we do things on the barter system though. They both have Jeeps and will need my designs and expertise when they are ready for their modifications and builds. I already designed a custom frame, suspension, steering, and drivetrain/axle setup for J's very cool CJ6 Tuxedo a long time ago. And I gave them a ton of extra parts that I had laying around and there is still a ton of boxes out there full of parts, so it all works out. I love the barter system among friends, because everybody wins.

                              This is going to be a super cool truck. And switching from the wagon to the truck saves me over $8k because there is no custom work on the body or any super trick stuff like the wagon was destined for. Some day... Some day...

                              Here are a few photos of the Willys wagon that is now on the back burner. It is already primed with Epoxy DP90 and sprayed inside and underneath with Vortex, so it's really just about ready for paint too. But there is a ton of custom work that I need to be able to do myself. But I can't. And may not ever be able to. So it will have to wait. Possibly for years.

                              Here's the custom dash I designed and had cut out on the water jet as well. It is of course unfinished. 3/16" stainless steel mesh goes behind the outer stainless trim piece. That is just a template piece of cardboard sitting on top that will be cut out, padded and covered with vinyl at some point.

                              This is only part of what will have to be boxed up and saved for another day.

                              It is way tricked out and will be truly one of a kind just like the J200 some day. It has custom EVERYTHING!
                              Last edited by BigJ200; 02-19-2012, 05:48 AM.
                              Build Thread:
                              64 J200 Gladiator Build