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1965 Jeep Flat Fender - Vintage Vault

Posted in Features on May 9, 2014 Comment (0)
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Contributors: Thomas Voehringer

Engine swaps. They are nothing new. You know this, we’ve told you this, and it is true. Swapping a larger, stronger engine between the framerails of a Jeep just made sense -- and it generally still does. While perusing Source Interlink’s vast media archives, we came across the following images of this clean flattie. These never-before-published pictures were shot in 1966 for Hot Rod Magazine by Eric Dahlquist outside of 2-J’s in Fullerton, California. Other images from this photo shoot were used to produce an article for the January ’67 Issue of Hot Rod entitled “More Jump for a Jeep.” The article covered some of the details of a 260-289ci Ford V-8 swap in a “Universal Jeep” using parts built by Brian Chuchua. The article goes into detail on the swap, with images shot by both Chuchua and Dahlquist, and outlines the modification of the front crossmember, steering, bellhousing adapter, transmission, clutch, motor mounts, and so on. We are looking into reprinting the article if the original images still exist in our archives.

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Ford Power
Here is a shot of the swapped-in mill in another photo by Eric Dahlquist. We can see that getting the V-8 between the fenders was a tight fit at best, even for a 260/289ci Ford V-8. A second passenger-side exhaust manifold was turned upside down and runs on the driver side with the dump forward. This would help keep the exhaust out of the Ross steering box, although the box apparently still needed to be moved slightly. Also note the carburetor. That sure looks like a Motorcraft 2100 to us, and that would have made this a pretty sweet off-road combination. The remote oil filter (upper right) helped clear one of the Chuchua-built motor mounts. The radiator is an aluminum unit out of a Corvette, and you can see the Vette’s “surge tank” on the firewall. Check that old-school fuel filter and that Ford Rotunda 6,000-mile oil filter.

One Clean Flattie
Here with the top rolled up, we can see what looks to be a chrome rollbar, and updated seats. The windshield sure looks like one from a CJ-3A, but it looks like there is a battery box opening on the cowl, which probably means this is a M38. Those rear fender flares sure look like later CJ-style factory flares from the ’70s and ’80s. We love the low stance and large flotation tires. Nice.

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