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Jeep Willys

Model of a US military utility vehicle. Features 4×4 drive, suspension, steering and custom stickers. Full building instructions available for sale on Rebrickable.


Completion date: 27/06/2021
Power: electric (Control+)
Remote control: Control+
Dimensions: length 44 studs / width 20 studs / height 24 studs
Weight: 1.45 kg
Suspension: pendular axles
Propulsion: 2 x Control+ L motor geared 3.89:1
Motors: 3 x Control+ L motor

A friend has suggested building the classic Jeep Willys to me, but the idea didn’t seem feasible because of the small selection of suitable wheels and because most of them were small, limiting the size of such a model. Then I remembered the classic 24×43 wheels and it kinda went downhill from there.

The model was all about the balance. Instead of trying to build something super-torquey, super-innovative or super pretty, I was trying to find a reasonable balance between looks and functionality, speed and torque, and a literal balance to offset the heavy smart hub above the rear axle. In the end the model’s center of gravity is right below the seats, which puts some more weight in the back but at least should be comfortable for a very small driver 😉

As for the performance, I didn’t want to build another sluggish crawler but rather wanted the model to be agile and able to move quickly over grass and dirt. Hence the modest 3.89:1 gear reduction producing over 34 N.cm of torque, which can be adjusted by replacing two 16t gears in the drivetrain with a 12t/20t combination thus increasing the gear reduction to 6.48:1. Still, even with the default gear ratio the model was able to climb inclines up to 18° and drive over sand, grass and dirt as well as drive over a single obstacle as tall as half of the wheel’s height. When trying to climb two such obstacles, the smart hub would cut the power.

The color is what made this model difficult to build, and in fact I doubt another copy of this model can be built in dark green at all because pieces such as e.g. eighteen 1×2 grille tiles or the 2×2 wedge plate left are pretty much impossible to get in dark green and I had to be very creative to buy them. Some parts of the model appear crude because of the limited choice of existing dark green pieces, especially the windshield which suffered from a complete lack of bar pieces and from a very limited choice of hinges available in that color. I was happy about being able to install a trans-clear shield in it, though, because it allowed me to add a sticker mimicking the windshield’s central splitter.

The model could be built in several more common and much cheaper colors, such as black, yellow as well as dark and light bluish gray.

The instructions can be purchased here: https://rebrickable.com/mocs/MOC-83359/Sariel/4×4-rc-jeep-willys/#details

A free sample of the instructions including the complete parts list is available here: http://sariel.pl/down/jeepwillys-sample.pdf

I was generally happy with the model, because it was fun to drive outdoors as intended, and because it was for the most part detailed and accurate. Also, hiding the ON switch for the smart hub in the spare wheel’s rotation and finding a perfectly matching Duplo jerrycan for this model was something I was proud of. Also, I intended to later rebuild this model into a wonderfully insane Willys SAS model.


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Media coverage:

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