Check out my Pre-Buy Check List?

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JJHoneck

New member
15
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3
Location
Port Aransas, TX
New guy here, on the hunt for a WWII-era Willys Jeep.

I have my eye on one, and am preparing a pre-buy checklist for my nephew (who lives near the seller -- who is 2,000 miles away) to use when he evaluates it for me. Can you guys take a gander at the list and let me know if I'm missing anything?

Here my list, so far:

Willys Pre-Buy Checklist

Body
❑ Are seams where doors and fenders meet even and straight? Smooth edges?
❑ Are seams where the hood and trunk meet the fenders even and straight? Smooth edges?
❑ Does a magnet cling to all steel body panels? (Be sure to test fenders, the lower corners of doors, and rocker panels, the areas below doors. If a magnet doesn't cling, suspect body filler was used to repair rust or accident damage.)
❑ Are all body panels the same color? Check the metallic in paint also.
❑ Has the car been recently repainted? (Look for signs of spray paint on moldings; also check the edges of the doors, hood, and trunk to be sure they are all the same color. Fresh paint may cover rust that will continue to progress.)
Tires
❑ Do all tires have the same amount of tread? Outside & inside tread..
❑ Are all tires the same size? (Check tire size markings on tire sidewalls.)
❑ Are all tires the same brand?
❑ Is there a spare tire, jack, and lug wrench?
❑ Is the spare tire inflated (Press hard against the side with your thumb; the tire should be firm.)


Suspension
❑ Does the vehicle sit level?
❑ Bounce each corner of the vehicle. Do all corners respond the same? (Corners should only bounce once or twice before stopping.)
❑ Do you hear a creaking noise when bouncing the vehicle's corners?


Frame
❑ Examine under tub, wheel wells, and under hood. Do you see areas that look like they have been crumpled and straightened? Black thick paint used to cover a repair?
❑ Look underneath each side of the vehicle for a row of holes in the frame just inside the vehicle's outer edge.
❑ Do holes appear scratched or recently cleaned? (If so, suspect the frame has been straightened after a crash. May need a mechanic & a lift)


Gas Cap and Filler Neck
❑ Is there a gas cap? Does it fit correctly? Overspray?
❑ Remove the gas cap and check inside the filler neck.


Interior
❑ Is upholstery in good condition? (Look for tears, stains, and burns.)
❑ Is the dashboard in good condition?
❑ Do seats adjust easily?
❑ Are any window cranks/buttons, door locks, handles, dash controls or similar items missing?
❑ Do all dashboard light bulbs work?


Accessories
❑ Do all accessories, such as the heater, windshield wipers, headlights, tail lights, work?


Engine Compartment
❑ Are there signs of oil or fluid leaks? Any scratches on any bolts, showing work done?
❑ Run the engine at full operating temperature. Are there abnormal smells that might be due to leaking fluids on hot engine parts? Is the oil cap clean, dirty or milky?
❑ Are there unusual noises, such as clattering or metallic sounds, or sharp hissing, in the engine compartment when the engine is running? (Normal sound is smooth whirring of belts and fan.)
❑ Does anything appear to be missing? (Look for shiny or clean areas where parts may have been removed.)


Under the Vehicle
❑ Are there fluid leaks on the underside of the engine and transmission, at axle ends, at brake line connections, or on the ground beneath the vehicle? Green fluid is usually antifreeze; reddish fluid is usually power steering or transmission fluid; dark brown or black fluid is usually oil or brake fluid.
❑ Are any parts loose, with the exception of exhaust parts slung from flexible rubber "donuts"?
Does anything appear missing, such as bolts, clamps, brackets or cables?
❑ Are exhaust system parts rusty?
❑ Are there marks from scrapes, indicating the car has bottomed out on rocks or pavement?
❑ Examine exhaust when the car is operating at normal temperature. Do you see white or blue smoke? (Both can indicate an engine problem, especially if the smoke burns your eyes. A small amount of steam is normal, especially in cold weather.)


Engine
❑ Does the engine start easily?
❑ Does the engine stall at any time?
❑ Does the engine idle smoothly?
❑ Does the idle speed seem too slow or fast?
❑ Does the engine hesitate or stumble on acceleration?
❑ Does the engine run smoothly during operation?
❑ Does the engine seem to lack power?
❑ If the vehicle has cruise control, do all features work correctly? Do engine or other system warning lights appear? Temp gauge normal?
❑ Does the engine diesel (continue running) when shut off?


Transmission and Clutch
❑ Is the shifting smooth? Under a faster acceleration too?
❑ On a manual-shift vehicle, is take-off smooth, without grabbing or jerking?
❑ On a manual-shift vehicle, accelerate hard in a higher gear (third or fourth) or while going uphill.
❑ If engine rpms rise without a corresponding increase in vehicle speed, the clutch could be slipping. It may need to be adjusted or replaced.
❑ On a manual-shift vehicle, try shifting to a lower gear when going slowly. Does the transmission shift easily, without grinding?

❑ Does 4-wheel drive work properly? Ask Charlie for instructions.


Brakes
❑ Apply the brakes several times at different speeds. Also try a sudden stop. Does the vehicle pull to one side when brakes are applied?
❑ Do brakes stop the vehicle adequately?
❑ Does the parking brake hold firmly and release completely?


Steering
❑ Does the vehicle pull to one side during normal operation?
❑ Is steering difficult at any speed?
❑ Turn sharply in both directions. Do you hear clunking or other noises, or feel rubbing or binding?
❑ Does the vehicle shake or vibrate while moving? (Take the vehicle up to highway speed for this test.)


Originality and Accessories
❑ Are VIN, engine, transmission numbers matching or period correct?
❑ Are colors paint, interior, upholstery original or redone period correct?
❑ Are wheels, tools, spare, A/C original or period correct?

❑ Check condition of canvas top (supposedly not installed.
❑ Check to make sure Jerry Can and holder are present on the back.
❑ Check spare tire and wheel on back.
❑ Check for shovel on drivers side
❑ Check for radio in back seat.
❑ Check for rifle holder.

Anything else I should add? Thanks!
--
Jay


 

m38inmaine

Active member
2,094
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38
Location
Maine USA
I would look for combat wheels, seats don't adjust, early models did not have a gas can bracket or rifle holder. You would be better off taking a lot of good pictures of it and posting them on G503.com and ask them to look it over.
 

ez8

Member
42
2
6
Location
Indiana, USA
I would also make sure that the frame is really a WW2 jeep frame. You can verify by looking for the machine gun mounting plate. It will be visible from under the vehicle, on the rear crossmember.
You can see it here in my picture over on G503, 2nd post on the page, first picture. https://forums.g503.com/viewtopic.php?f=96&t=209632&start=60
The CJ2A frames are close, but are missing this plate.

Also, the front radiator crossmember will be different based on whether its a Willys or a Ford. Willys will be a tube (as can be seen in the same picture referenced above) and the Ford will be almost like a hat channel shaped piece of steel. You'll want to make sure that the frame is the same make as what's advertised.

I'd also check to see if the numbers on the data plate match the frame tag if it's a Willys. If it's a Ford, the Frame and Engine numbers could potentially be the same number which means you've struck gold. If you want to PM me I can give you more information on what specifically to look for when buying an MB or GPW.
 

seriesonelandy

New member
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Location
Rome/Italy
❑ Has the car been recently repainted? (Look for signs of spray paint on moldings; also check the edges of the doors, hood, and trunk to be sure they are all the same color. Fresh paint may cover rust that will continue to progress.)

What?! I thought you were talking about a jeep here!
 

Jamesan

New member
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Location
Southern Ohio
I know I shouldn't make fun, but that internet list is comical for a military jeep. My favorite part is where it says to "ask Charlie for instructions
 

JGBallew

New member
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Location
Paducah, Kentucky
For "trans" , run it HARD in second, then quickly release the gas and see if it tries to jump into neutral.
Seen more than a couple of "rebuilt" transmissions where they reused the "well loved" plate and shift lever.
 

IRQVET

New member
10
2
3
Location
Roseburg, Oregon.
If that is your list, I have to ask ask what you plan on paying? Because seems like a museum quality piece. My list was pretty slim when I was hunting:

1.) Look for body rot.
2.) Meassure the frame width from headlight to taillight and look for damage and/or bubbaification.
3.) Make sure its a clean title and not stolen.
 
Last edited:

JJHoneck

New member
15
1
3
Location
Port Aransas, TX
If that is your list, I have to ask ask what you plan on paying? Because seems like a museum quality piece. My list was pretty slim when I was hunting:

1.) Look for body rot.
2.) Meassure the frame width from headlight to taillight and look for damage and/or bubbaification.
3.) Make sure its a clean title and not stolen.
Holy necroposting, this was from a year ago!

But it all worked out. I purchased a '42 GPW that is every bit as original (and in better mechanical condition) than most museums possess.

I think I paid $12K for it. Probably put another grand in it to bring it to 1942 perfection, adding the 30 cal machine gun, the proper fire extinguisher, etc.

We drive it weekly, have displayed it at our Commemorative Air Force events, driven it in parades, and enjoyed the **** out of it!

BTW: I use this list when purchasing all of my classic cars. Just picked up a '32 Chevy last weekend.
 

frank8003

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Holy necroposting, this was from a year ago!
But it all worked out. I purchased a '42 GPW that is every bit as original (and in better mechanical condition) than most museums possess.
I think I paid $12K for it. Probably put another grand in it to bring it to 1942 perfection, adding the 30 cal machine gun, the proper fire extinguisher, etc.
We drive it weekly, have displayed it at our Commemorative Air Force events, driven it in parades, and enjoyed the **** out of it!
BTW: I use this list when purchasing all of my classic cars. Just picked up a '32 Chevy last weekend.
Yeah a year ago and still no photos
 
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