I stumbled into a lot of guys building these! Too cool!
Away I went to eBay to secure one.... or more. When the first one
arrived I flipped it over to pull the frame and get started... no frame.
Formative International... shoulda started with a Hasbro...
***TIP**** Apparently there is a learning curve. Go figure.
So off to the scrap metal bin I charged to find some suitable metal for
a frame. I dug to the bottom of the barrel and found a large and hideous
piece that just might work.
After a few measurements and the aid of a contour gauge I cut out a
couple of frame rails, bumpers and a cross piece.
In 1987 I purchased and built and wore out a ClodBuster; it has been sitting on a
shelf in my garage for 25 years with a worn out mechanical speed
controller. So I pulled it down and yarded out the axles to donate to
this project. Yea, I know they don't lend them selves to a puritans view
of scale... but I kind of got a little crazy and ended up with 3 Willys.
Sooo this first one will have to be my Guinna pig cause I don't have a
clue what I'm doing. With any luck, by the third one I'll get it figured
I pulled the Clod axles apart and was really surprised at how well it
survived the beating I gave it before it was relegated to a dust
catcher. I added a little JB weld and locked up the spider gears and
replaced the axle tubes and steering knuckles with some aluminum ones.
As previously noted I am out of my element (whatever my element is?) and
wanted a little larger tire and wheel for the Axial JK and stumbled into
a set of 2.2 Pit Bull's that I knew would be just the ticket. When they
arrived I realized my mistake (they were taller than the hood of the JK...
So when life serves you lemons; make lemonade! And just like that I had
a set of tires and wheels for the Willy (albeit a bit on the large
I have seen a few 1:1's on 38's that look pretty similar, so I'm hoping
that the finished product won't look crazy out of scale. Here is a mock
up shot from underneath.
And from the side.
Problem numuro uno seems to be the mass of the clod axles (sitting under
a flat platform). I can see the merits of having a Lexan body to sit
atop the whole package and have full swing of the suspension. It's
pretty clear that I will need to put a bend in the links to clear the
Back to the scrap metal bin for some 1/4" round to mock up a four link
Having never made links before I cruised around a bit and read every
thing from chucked up in a lathe to just taking after it with a hand
held drill. I opted for the center punch and drill press.
Not perfect, but I think it will get the job done.