Vintage Chevy Engine Swaps
In case you are wondering, swapping a Chevy V-8 between the framerails of a Jeep is nothing new. We often say that there may be more Jeeps out there with Chevy V-8s than any other engine…well, maybe the 4.0L has that honor locked up these days, but these pictures taken by Eric Rickman for Hot Rod in 1967 show us that things haven’t changed much. Here is a shot of some of the parts necessary, including motor mounts, a couple of clutch forks, a throwout bearing, and odds and ends for linkage.
Getting that motor mount placed just so is critical. As it is today, the trick back in the day was to take lots of measurements before burning in the mounts. This shot by Eric Rickman also shows the exhaust manifold and head of the engine used for installation in an early CJ-5. The evenly spaced exhaust ports, head shape, and valve covers tell us that this is a big-block Chevy. The exhaust manifold number comes back as a ’65 L35 396ci rated at 325hp. Wow…wow! That’s a lot of grunt! The manifold number goes along with the info we know about the photo session for Hot Rod, entitled “Chevy Engine Swap.” Also check out that power steering pump…hmm, these other shots don’t show a traditional power steering box.
In this shot by Eric Rickman we can see the undercarriage of the Jeep from the back looking forward. That’s a Warn Overdrive up front adapted to a Ramsey PTO for the winch. Check out that big ol’ Borg-Warner Overdrive coming off the back of the Spicer 18 T-case. We are guessing that two overdrives would be necessary to get the 4.88 or 5.38 gears tall enough for that 396ci Chevy. Oh, and what can that be? A 4-inch-long rear driveshaft? Ha! Also, there is another view of the exhaust cut-outs. Rad.
Another shot by Eric Rickman shows the undercarriage of the Jeep looking rearward. Check out the world’s longest PTO driveshaft running up to the winch. Okay, it’s not really the world’s longest, it just looks that way. You can also see some exhaust cutouts with block-off plates peeking out behind the legs of the lift. Pull the block-off plates and hear that rat talk smack. We are pretty good at recognizing transmissions from the top and sides…but not the bottom. Can you make out what transmission that is?