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I Got It One Piece at a Time
September 11, 2010 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Canadian Jiffy Jeep Crews can completely disassemble and reassemble a Willys Jeep in less than four minutes.
posted by mattdidthat (37 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
That, ladies and gentlemen, is some goddamn engineering.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:44 AM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Truly skilled technicians.
posted by Doug Stewart at 10:54 AM on September 11, 2010


Wow. Yes, they can.
posted by pts at 10:54 AM on September 11, 2010


I wonder how long it would take if they screwed stuff in.
posted by Addlepated at 11:00 AM on September 11, 2010


From the YT comments in the first link: "Our military in Canada HAS to be this good at reassembling our Jeep.´╗┐ It's our only one."
posted by maudlin at 11:03 AM on September 11, 2010 [12 favorites]


Meh. A buddy of mine completely disassembled a Jeep using only a 12-pack of Stroh's and a tree, and it took WAY less than 4 minutes.

(Reassembly, though? Impressive.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:04 AM on September 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah, that would be a lot more impressive if they were actually removing and then retorquing bolts (bonus points for dealing with rust, rounded off bolt heads, and stripped threads).
posted by Forktine at 11:13 AM on September 11, 2010


The humble Willy's Jeep is an engineering marvel, and proof that vehicles can be simple, modular, and durable. I think it speaks volumes that changing a Willy's from gas to electric could be done in under 5 minutes.

My grandfather stuck the power steering from a 60's Buick on his, the pump was mounted on the front bumper. We still have that damn this as it refuses to die!

(the brakes on the other hand... well, let's just say that stopping involves downshifting and killing the motor.)

Last summer I was crabbing it across a decomposed granite hillside; tons of fun. My sis ran it into a tree, the Jeep was fine :)

I'm kinda all over the place in this post, but I think the Jeep is a great example of what a good vehicle in the future could be. These Canadians prove a great, if unintentional, point.
posted by The Power Nap at 11:18 AM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with Power Nap. This is a great demonstration of how simply constructed these things really were, and I'll admit that I hadn't really gotten the point before.

I mean, I'm not a Car Person. So hearing the Car People in my life talk about the mechanical details hadn't made an impression on me. But this? Okay, this I get. You're right. That's a gloriously straightforward vehicle (....and the next time something goes horribly and expensively wrong on the underside of my engine, I'll think back to these videos and sigh.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:25 AM on September 11, 2010


Does it have a radiator? It looks like they take (what looks like) the radiator out in that first video at 30 seconds in, but, why doesn't coolant spill out all over the ground?
posted by smcameron at 12:12 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Check out these new Willys CJ3B Jeep recreations, only a 100 grand or so, but they rock. Willys "The Dog Face" is one the best jeeps ever made, both engineering and style.
posted by stbalbach at 12:24 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I half expected the jeep to fall apart like that bit in the movie Gung Ho.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:30 PM on September 11, 2010


I agree with the sentiment here that this is really a statement about the engineering of the vehicle rather than the skill of the team. They weren't particularly extraordinary in any of the movements and fumbled numerous times - sure it was good, but for putting on a good show not so much.

I want one.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:38 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The story about how the Jeep was originally designed is pretty amazing, too. It was the US answer to the "K├╝belwagen" (AFAIR roughly translated as "bucketwagon") otherwise commonly known as a VW "Thing", those boxy corrugated VWs that the Germans used in WW2.

Anyway, they went from scratch to prototype in a ridiculous 50 days. The TV show Modern Marvels has a great little mini-doc about this. The original Jeep prototype was basically assembled out of scrap parts on a shoestring budget, but that and the war economy of the time is a huge part of what made it a Jeep - aka a Ford GPW, also known as the Willys MA/MB.

These days I don't think GM could gin up a sales brochure in 50 days, much less design a successful utility truck.
posted by loquacious at 12:39 PM on September 11, 2010


Not having any coolant doesn't seem to be the only thing missing, for example there were no muffler hangers.

is a great example of what a good vehicle in the future could be

Seriously? Carbureted = poor mileage, hard cold starting, wouldn't even come close to passing modern emission standards (this one didn't seem like it even had a catalytic converter.) Abominable NVH. Atrocious crash safety due to no active safety devices and rollover risk.

This may be the perfect military vehicle but let's face it, this kind of rugged simplicity comes at a cost. The top things that people look for in street cars -- safety and fuel efficiency -- are exactly what this kind of setup cannot offer.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:42 PM on September 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Check out these new Willys CJ3B Jeep recreations, only a 100 grand or so, but they rock.

Great googly moogly.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:44 PM on September 11, 2010


why doesn't coolant spill out all over the ground?

It's not actually hooked up - nor is the gas tank, I imagine, or the brakes, which explains why they're driving only short distances, and in 4-low.

There's more than a few shortcuts used to make the presentation easily digested by crowds with short attention spans. A conventionally assembled Willys could probably be broken down by such a team in 15 minutes but reassembly would take a fair bit longer if you had to fill the rad and bleed the brakes.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:44 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Does it have a radiator? It looks like they take (what looks like) the radiator out in that first video at 30 seconds in, but, why doesn't coolant spill out all over the ground?"

The connection appears to be a quick coupling, varieties exist that seal off both halves to permit disconnection without fluid loss. Also you can idle an engine for a pretty long period of time with out actually having fluid running trough the radiator. Considering the highly modified nature of this vehicle they just may have bypassed the radiator.
posted by Mitheral at 12:45 PM on September 11, 2010


smcameron: I wondered the same thing when I saw them put the radiator back in. "Shouldn't there be some hose clamps or *something* involved here? And what about the gas lines/tank? Is everything on some sort of specialized quick-release?"
posted by Wild_Eep at 12:49 PM on September 11, 2010


nor is the gas tank, I imagine, or the brakes, which explains why they're driving only short distances

Yeah, there's definitely no brakes on these -- you can tell in the first video where they're on a bit of an incline that they just slowly coast and then cut the engine to stop, because they start rolling backwards with the driver still at the wheel. If they had brakes he would use them instead of having the guy at the hood have to reach down and pull on the bumper to get it to stop.
posted by Rhomboid at 1:00 PM on September 11, 2010


Completely disassemble? I don't think so. I didn't see any naked pistons, valves, camshafts, brake linings, etc. And I don't trust even this partial disassembly because there weren't any leftover parts once it was reassembled.

Joking aside, the Jeep was obviously specially prepared for this stunt. For example, I think there were only 3 bolts holding the tires on.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:06 PM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Obligatory Dead quote:

"Well, she can dance a Cajun rhythm, jump like a Willys in four wheel drive."
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:32 PM on September 11, 2010


Yeah, that would be a lot more impressive if they were actually removing and then retorquing bolts (bonus points for dealing with rust, rounded off bolt heads, and stripped threads).

Seriously. And drill teams are only impressive if they perform in full dress while under heavy enemy artillery and small-arms fire, while stepping over knee-high piles of bodies.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:35 PM on September 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


wow, that reassembly was a neat trick, next time lets see them do it and come up with a Silver Cloud( you know) a Rolls Royce. also reminded of the scene of the Blues Brothers movie when they finally get to the assessors office and their vehicle comes apart at that moment they jump out.
posted by tustinrick at 1:40 PM on September 11, 2010


Check out these new Willys CJ3B Jeep recreations, only a 100 grand or so, but they rock.

Great googly moogly.

I wonder what the Chemical Brothers think about the soundtrack of that little clip.

/derail

Those look awesome.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 1:47 PM on September 11, 2010


Anyway, they went from scratch to prototype in a ridiculous 50 days. The TV show Modern Marvels has a great little mini-doc about this.

Inventions of War - Jeep [trailer | 02:02].

The mini-doc: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
posted by ericb at 2:29 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Origin of the name "Jeep".
posted by ericb at 2:29 PM on September 11, 2010


Check out these new Willys CJ3B Jeep recreations, only a 100 grand or so, but they rock.

Neat idea, sure, but do you want to pay a hundred grand for a vehicle put together from spare parts from several different manufacturers with serious fudging along the way? Listen to the number of times the mentions something that is a hand operation (i.e. "crafstmanship"). I bet no two of those are ever the same and getting spare parts, especially body panels, would be a bitch.
posted by Doohickie at 2:42 PM on September 11, 2010


My reserve unit had a few of those, this was back in the early 70's. They drove like crap, rode hard. But it was fun, on those reserve weekends, to check one out, and drive around the UM campus, in uniform.... Interactions with the somwhat radical student body was always, well, interesting.
posted by HuronBob at 3:08 PM on September 11, 2010


I don't know if it's even useful too extol the virtues of the simple design of these things. They were notoriously unsafe. I wonder how many GIs were killed or wounded during WWII just from rollovers and other accidents that a modern vehicle with good brakes and handling wouldn't encounter.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:26 PM on September 11, 2010


My grandfather had one of those that he drove around on his farm and on the roads in rural Vermont. It didn't kill him, but his kids took the keys away when he was about 90, for fear that it would.

Add me to the list of people who think "completely disassemble" is not what those guys in the videos do.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:49 PM on September 11, 2010


"I bet no two of those are ever the same and getting spare parts, especially body panels, would be a bitch."

This isn't much of a problem. The flat fender jeep's body not only has extensive replacement part availability from the off road marketplace; most of the body can be fabbed from scratch by any decent body man with a brake and beader. Even the stamped grill could be fabbed by hand. The body is very simple with few compound curves. Your average 50 year old jeep has had extensive custom repairs anyways; at least these "new" jeeps have been in very good shape in the last 10 years.

Also the original Jeep was pretty well put together from parts from several different manufacturers with serious fudging along the way plus the pressures of war time scheduling and rationing.
posted by Mitheral at 5:01 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The about-faces they do at 1:40 in the first video are really bugging me. I thought they were US Army (who step with the right and pivot with the left) at first, and the guy who stepped in to keep it from rolling looked like he was in US Army BDUs, so it just reeked of bad training or wannabe-ism. Still really cool, though.
posted by Evilspork at 5:05 PM on September 11, 2010


Neat, thanks. I learned to drive on a Jeep in the woods in NJ. Before that, as a kid in Holland, I pretended to drive a Jeep left over from WWII in the dunes of Holland; the steering wheel was the only moving part.
posted by beagle at 5:36 PM on September 11, 2010


Whatever. Wake me up when they can do that on a stock Jeep and not pre-disassembled one that is missing a whole bunch of very important parts.
posted by c13 at 5:54 PM on September 11, 2010


Evilspork, they're Canadian Armed Forces, 3 Area Support Group (3ASG) Technical Services Division (ie motorpool) from Gagetown base in New Brunswick. That first movie was taken in Halifax NS. It's most likely that he's CF.

The CF camo pattern (CADPAT) was used as source material for the US marine pattern (MARPAT) which was, in turn, the basis for the current US Army UCP/ACUPAT. Which is all to say, the Canadian Combat Dress and US BDUs look pretty similar.
posted by bonehead at 6:05 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The top things that people look for in street cars -- safety and fuel efficiency

You must be from Europe.
posted by DU at 6:26 PM on September 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


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