Over (And Around) The Top
I'm just getting into 4x4s and saw the article on the Scorpion MK1 ("Over the Top," Jan. '98). How does the Chevy 350 TBI go into water so deep without stalling out? Wouldn't the compression have to be something like 10.0:1, if not more? I spent some time in the Army, and the Hummers were all diesels that had snorkels. I assumed this was for serious off-pavement handling and reliability. More torque and higher compression should allow you to go into serious water without stalls.
Next, what's the compression ratio of a standard diesel? I'm about to buy an '85 Bronco with a brand-new 351 Windsor, but am considering an engine swap. Do you know what the compression ratio is for the 6.9- or the 7.3-liter diesel?
Finally, what companies sell snorkel kits for trucks? For example, in Dante's Peak, a Suburban had a snorkel. Do they have to be diesels to use snorkels?
Troy A. Colon
Via the Internet
A vehicle's ability to ford water is not related to compression ratio. Regardless of the engine, once water enters, major problems arise. Snorkels will help keep water out, and will work for both gas and diesel engines that might see deep-water fording duty. ARB (Dept. FW, 1425 Elliott Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119, 206/284-5906) offers Safari Snorkel kits for several trucks, one of which was adapted to fit the lifted early-'80s Suburban seen in Dante's Peak.
The Scorpion uses several techniques to avoid sucking water, the most obvious of which is cab-controllable ride height. Second, the air intake is inside the cab, right where the driver can watch rising water levels. Engine compression is nothing unusual: somewhere between 8.5:1 or 9.0:1. For more information, you can contact the brains behind the brawn, Soni Honegger, at Recovery Enterprises (Dept. FW, 1020 S. School Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72701, 501/442-0027).
Typical diesel compression ratios are very high in order to create ignition. Early versions ran in excess of 20:1 air-to-fuel ratios. Ford 6.9-liter V-8s operate at 21.5:1 compression, with the next-generation 7.3-liter direct-injection diesels dropping down to 17.5:1. The new 24-valve Cummins turbo diesel runs 16.3:1 compression.
Jeepster Club Love
Regarding your "postage stamp'' artwork in "Letters" (July '97): I don't understand your use of the dates (1946 to 1964). The Willys-Overland Jeepster was produced from 1948 to 1951; however, all titled '51s were actually 1950 leftovers. The "Jeepster'' name was used by Kaiser for a line of late-'60s 4x4s based on the CJ-6. The "Jeepster Commando" came in either convertible models with continental spares, or station wagon, pickup, or other configurations. In 1972 or so, when AMC took over, the vehicles were then simply called "Commandos.''
Our club is made up of 400 die-hard Willys Jeepster enthusiasts who collect, restore, and drive these vehicles, certified as "Milestone Classics." In addition, we have regular meetings around the U.S and have other members in Canada, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden. For those also interested in the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of the Willys Jeepster, particularly as we approach the vehicle's 50th anniversary (1948-1998), new members to the Willys-Overland Jeepster Club can join for $18, renewing members for $15. Our newsletter provides a forum for the exchange of parts and supplies, free member classifieds, along with technical items, historical features, and other items of interest to Jeepster owners. For more, contact Willys-Overland Jeepster Club, Dept. FW, 167 Worcester St., Taunton, MA 02780-2088, 508/880-1951.