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The Engine, Tranny, and Transfercase . . .

The drivetrain assembly has a few troublesome areas.

  • Distributor
  • Clutch and associated parts
  • Placement in frame

The Distributor
The Engine is essentially ready to be dropped into the jeep. I have been looking for a distributor for the 289 but I am having trouble. I purchased a dual point unit from a used parts vendor at the Daytona Turkey Rod Run a few years ago.

It fit into the block and appears to be the correct distributor for my engine. I made a trip to the local parts store a few weeks ago looking for a set of points, rotor, and cap. It was a "no go". It seems the distributor is a non-standard size. We could find no parts that fit the unit and I am unable to identify who makes the distributor.

So, I took a look at E-Bay and found a "Turn Key" distributor. The "Turn Key" reference meant it included all the parts needed. I won the bid and paid $28.63 and received the part via snail mail about 10 days later. Sounds great right, wrong. It didn't fit. It turned out that the main shaft was 1/16" larger than the one I had and would not FIT!

Well, I got that going for me. More on this later.

The Clutch and Associated Parts
The transmission and transfercase are ready to be mated up. I just need to locate all the clutch parts to finish the drivetrain assembly. Here is another problem. The transmission is out of an '83 Ford F-150 with a 302 motor. The engine I have is a '66 Ford 289. Apparently the two motors have different pilot bushings and throughout bearings.

The clutch kit I purchased was for the '83 F-150. I assumed there would not be a difference in pilot bushing but I was wrong. The pilot bushing is too long and I will have to get the 289 bushing. It seem the throughout bushing does not fit correctly either. So I will be re-visiting the parts store.

Placement In The Frame
I finally got the chance to make a trial fit of the engine with the tub in place. It was enlightening to say the least. It seem that there is not enough room between the firewall and front crossmember for the motor.

Relocating the crossmember forward 3" to allow for the motor and radiator installation was the only option. I thought removing the existing tube crossmember and replacing it with a simple boxed crossmember would be the best solution.

The key would be to allow for the crossmember to be moved without having to move the grill. So I decided to leave the mounting brackets in place and that should ensure a good fit with the hood and fenders. So I have taken the frame down to a local fabrication shop for the metal work.

More to come soon.