Fair offer on a 1945 Willys MB

steelsoldiers

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Hey guys. I’m looking at a crusty, rusty, ugly 1945 MB. I mean, it’s hideous, but it’s a Willys MB! Someone has definitely done some mods to this truck over the years. Some of the obvious changes are a hard top/doors, turn signals on the fenders, multiple coats of paint, and a home built rear bumper. The most obvious change is a hole hacked in the hood that was covered by a homemade hood scoop to fit the later F Head Hurricane engine. I’ve been looking for a military truck to use off road at events like the Haspin and Rausch Creek rallies, so a clean, straight body is not a priority. If I buy it, I would probably go through the entire drivetrain to make sure it runs, drives and stops. Then, I would install a six point roll cage and some meaty mud tires and call it good.

So, now for the famous internet forum question, what do you guys think it’s worth? The seller is asking $1500 OBO. I was thinking $1000 would be fair based on condition and the fact that it hasn’t run in over a decade. Thoughts? Thanks!
 

dependable

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It might be worth a grand to the right person if the body tub, and the rest of sheet metal are original and solid, if it's rusty, sounds like there is not much original to work with. Does it still have the T-84 transmission?

I'd look for one that needed less work and spend a little more, but I'm kind of lazy these days when it comes to vehicle restorations.
 

Tinwoodsman

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Having restored a 1942 GPW that was in fair condition I can say that there will be many areas you will need to sink money into. That being the case I would not go beyond the $800 to $1,000. Pay particular attention to the engine block, transmission and front axle and diff. Good luck.
 

papabear

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I'd pass on that one without seeing pics. I can almost assure you that if you pay even one thousand for it you will have close to four thousand in it before you have any hopes of having a reliable useful jeep....and it still won't even be close to original.

I'm gonna go with dependable's advice here and recommend you look for a better candidate and pay a little more up front.:papabear:
 

ODFever

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Walk away. That jeep has been hacked up far too badly. What scares me isn't what you can see - it's what you can't. I bet the entire wiring harness has been butchered and needs to be replaced. Brakes, brake lines, master cylinder, fuel tank, the list goes on and on.
 

steelsoldiers

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It might be worth a grand to the right person if the body tub, and the rest of sheet metal are original and solid, if it's rusty, sounds like there is not much original to work with. Does it still have the T-84 transmission?
I'd look for one that needed less work and spend a little more, but I'm kind of lazy these days when it comes to vehicle restorations.
Thanks! The photos in the ad aren’t much to go on, so I will inspect it in person today or tomorrow. I’m not sure if they swapped out the tranny when they changed the engine. I’ll check it in person because the seller inherited the jeep and really doesn’t know anything about it.

Having restored a 1942 GPW that was in fair condition I can say that there will be many areas you will need to sink money into. That being the case I would not go beyond the $800 to $1,000. Pay particular attention to the engine block, transmission and front axle and diff. Good luck.
Thanks! I’ll give it a thorough inspection to get a better idea on condition. I’ll share some pics and info with y’all afterwards.

I'd pass on that one without seeing pics. I can almost assure you that if you pay even one thousand for it you will have close to four thousand in it before you have any hopes of having a reliable useful jeep....and it still won't even be close to original.
I'm gonna go with dependable's advice here and recommend you look for a better candidate and pay a little more up front.
Thanks PB. You know me, I’m a sucker for sad, rusty trucks. My 925A2 was headed for the crusher when I rescued it. I think this one would make a good woods truck because I wouldn’t feel bad about giving it some rock rash. I’ll keep y’all posted.
 

steelsoldiers

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Walk away. That jeep has been hacked up far too badly. What scares me isn't what you can see - it's what you can't. I bet the entire wiring harness has been butchered and needs to be replaced. Brakes, brake lines, master cylinder, fuel tank, the list goes on and on.
Thanks. I’ll give it a close inspection and let you know what I find. If it’s really bad, then I may just throw $500 at the seller and see what she says.
 

Recovry4x4

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Since it's not going to be restored, let frame rot determine if it's for you. A solid frame is really all you need. If the F head isn't up to par, you can always swap a small V6 in there. Rashed and dented flat fenders appeal to me.
 

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gimpyrobb

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I know where a nice vortec 4.3 is... just sayin


Start at scrap value and let him work you up from there. If its not original, the value is gone!
 

steelsoldiers

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Since it's not going to be restored, let frame rot determine if it's for you. A solid frame is really all you need. If the F head isn't up to par, you can always swap a small V6 in there. Rashed and dented flat fenders appeal to me.
I have always loved Rick Pewe’s flatty. From the crappy pictures I’ve seen of this MB, it definitely has a good patina already. A VW TDI would be cool in a flatty too.

I know where a nice vortec 4.3 is... just sayin
Start at scrap value and let him work you up from there. If its not original, the value is gone!
Good to know on the 4.3L! If the frame is good, then I’ll see how low she’ll go on price.
 

dmetalmiki

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That is the sort of project to start into if you just want off-road fun, military looks, a 'huge' pile or shed full of jeep "junk", And the purchase price is a 'clearance' price.
 
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PaFarmer

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A quick way to figure if the transmission was changed is the t90 is a lot taller than the t84. The MB has a flat transmission tunnel. If there is a shifter cover plate that sits up a few inches from the tunnel it probably has a t90. T90 is to be a bit stronger. F head motor made 12 more HP. Agreed on looking over the frame well for what you are looking to do. There are a lot of flat panels on a MB for easy patching. Tons of parts available new and used. Very simple to work on. A cage or roll bar is a must at Rausch Creek and not a bad idea with a narrow short wheelbase Jeep on rocky trails at RC. Sounds like a cool project. I built a rat patrol Jeep out of a CJ2A with a f head and put a fuel can with the bottom cut out over the hole in the hood.
 

Recovry4x4

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I have always loved Rick Pewe’s flatty. From the crappy pictures I’ve seen of this MB, it definitely has a good patina already. A VW TDI would be cool in a flatty too.


Good to know on the 4.3L! If the frame is good, then I’ll see how low she’ll go on price.
Wait, you have pics and not shared them? Shame shame!
 

steelsoldiers

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That is the sort of project to start into if you just want off-road fun, military looks, a 'huge' pile or shed full of jeep "junk", And the purchase price is a 'clearance' price.
Thanks! Exactly what I was thinking!
A quick way to figure if the transmission was changed is the t90 is a lot taller than the t84. The MB has a flat transmission tunnel. If there is a shifter cover plate that sits up a few inches from the tunnel it probably has a t90. T90 is to be a bit stronger. F head motor made 12 more HP. Agreed on looking over the frame well for what you are looking to do. There are a lot of flat panels on a MB for easy patching. Tons of parts available new and used. Very simple to work on. A cage or roll bar is a must at Rausch Creek and not a bad idea with a narrow short wheelbase Jeep on rocky trails at RC. Sounds like a cool project. I built a rat patrol Jeep out of a CJ2A with a f head and put a fuel can with the bottom cut out over the hole in the hood.
Thanks for the tip on the trans ID. I like the sounds of your CJ2A!
Wait, you have pics and not shared them? Shame shame!
[cough, cough] Forgot to share pics. Please forgive me! 😁 Like I said, they’re crappy. Here’s the best two:
 

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dependable

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Well, it is not as bad as the first Jeep I got when 14. It was a M-38 with the F head, to accommodate the taller motor, someone had added a CJ-3B hood and front clip, and welded an extension to the firewall to fill the gap. I did end up getting a less cut up MB a few years later.

One thing to check is the structural channels under the body, if they are not rotted, the tub is likely in pretty good shape. The T-90 is a stronger transmission, and was used in all jeeps after 1945, I think. If I recall, the T-84 could shift to 4x4 while moving, and with the T-90 you had to come to a full stop.
 

ODFever

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The hard cab has value, at least it does to me. I hereby modify my earlier evaluation. Try to knock the price down to $500. If you're successful, load that sucker up on a trailer and haul it home!!
 

PaFarmer

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With a 70 year old vehicle you need to do some digging to see what it actually has. The transfer case in MBs and Willys CJs was the same Dana 18. Agreed the top has value. I have seen them listed for more than $500. There were arctic tops and several civilian tops as well. Lots of info on the G.
 

steelsoldiers

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Well, it is not as bad as the first Jeep I got when 14. It was a M-38 with the F head, to accommodate the taller motor, someone had added a CJ-3B hood and front clip, and welded an extension to the firewall to fill the gap. I did end up getting a less cut up MB a few years later.
One thing to check is the structural channels under the body, if they are not rotted, the tub is likely in pretty good shape. The T-90 is a stronger transmission, and was used in all jeeps after 1945, I think. If I recall, the T-84 could shift to 4x4 while moving, and with the T-90 you had to come to a full stop.
That sounds like a nicely butchered M38! I'll check the hat channels to see how bad they are.
The hard cab has value, at least it does to me. I hereby modify my earlier evaluation. Try to knock the price down to $500. If you're successful, load that sucker up on a trailer and haul it home!!
Good to know. Thanks!
With a 70 year old vehicle you need to do some digging to see what it actually has. The transfer case in MBs and Willys CJs was the same Dana 18. Agreed the top has value. I have seen them listed for more than $500. There were arctic tops and several civilian tops as well. Lots of info on the G.
I did some looking on MB arctic tops and the photos I found on the interwebs look a lot like this one. That would be a good find.
Well, the hood is MINT so maybe I was a little low...
Yeah, LOL, it's a sweet hood. Nothing I can't fix with my trusty MIG. Would be worth keeping if I can find the original hood numbers under the paint.
 
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