The Early Days . . .
Taking Look At The Body
After getting the jeep home, it was my intention to do a restoration, leaving the jeep as stock as I could. I took some time to take a better look at what a I had to work with. Unfortunately, this was not the jeep for that kind of project.
The body was in poor condition and really the only one component that was worthy of keeping was the grill. The grill was in very good condition, so it was spared the trash heap. Virtually every other piece of metal had so much rust and damage that replacing them was all that could be done.
So after a few weeks of assessment, I decided to do a complete frame off rebuild, update and improve everything. My dream jeep was about to become a reality, or so I thought.
I began the process of disassembling the jeep. Once I had the tub off, I noticed the floor had new metal welded into it. The problem was that no one bothered to remove or try to stop the cancerous rust that was still eating its way through the jeep. The tub had to go. New tubs are not hard to come by and I was not going to compromise. The fenders and hood were being consumed as well. So, it seems I will need a new body kit, not just a tub.
4 Cylinder vs. V-8
The engine did run but the entire drive train was screaming for a rebuild. The transmission, clutch, steering, brakes, were all needing attention if this was to be a daily drive. Derivability was a key factor for me.
I started to look at converting the jeep to a V-8. I did not want to have firewall clearance issues and really didn't want a v-6. So a Ford was my first choice, with the distributor on the front of the engine, firewall clearance should not bee a problem.
Well, if I am going to put a V-8 in the jeep, will the T-90 hold up to the torque and horse power? The answer is, probably not.
So, if I am going to swap a different tranny into the jeep, which one? An obvious choice is the Ford T-18. It is strong, and readily available. In addition, Advance Adapters makes a kit to allow the use of the stock Spicer 18 transfercase. The Ford T-18 also had a "Granny Low" 1st gear that would make for a great low end crawl. Sounds like a done deal!
~ Quick Links ~
The Early Days