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Hard To Find Performance Parts: Old Jeep Power

Posted in How To: Engine on October 1, 2012 Comment (0)
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Chevy, Chevy, Chevy, Chevy. We hear a lot of complaints about putting Chevy engines in an otherwise vintage Jeep. The fact of the matter is that we aren’t really huge Chevy fans, we like Jeeps. The problem, if you want to call it that, is that the aftermarket support for the Chevy V-8 is epic. The parts availability for conversions and hop-ups is both plentiful and relatively cheap. So, unless you’ve got a pile of parts stacked on the side of your garage, the aftermarket support makes a Chevy engine the cheapest and easiest thing to put in a Jeep.

Over the years, Jeep used a bunch of engines from other manufacturers in their vehicles, and many of them are decent. From Rambler to Buick to Chevy to AMC, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Chief among the high points is that they are already in the Jeep. One of the big weaknesses is that these engines can be hard to find replacement and performance parts for. Indeed, over the years, many of these engines got tossed in favor of the Chevy engines just because parts were too hard to find.

Well, despite all the other problems we’ve got living in today’s society, it is truly a great time to own an old Jeep. Today there is more information available and there are more parts being manufactured for these engines than ever before. So, we went and scoured the interweb, our dusty archives, and Hazel’s bald head for this list of where to find hard-to-find performance parts for your non-Chevy-powered Jeep.

I-5 Automotive
If you have a relatively stock engine, and your idea of performance is the thing simply running well again, you should check out I-5 automotive. Also known as Jeep Carbs, if you have a carburetor on your Jeep and it isn’t working well, these guys can make it run like new. Not only does the company stock an array of stock-spec carbs, but it also can do performance carbs. In the unlikely event that the company doesn’t have the carb you want in stock, I-5 will find it and rebuild it for you.
Information: I-5 Automotive
800/562-9952, i-5automotive.com

Summit Racing
Whenever we want to build some power in one of our V-powered Jeeps, we first turn to Summit Racing. The company’s inventory is huge, and whether you are building a Buick, AMC, or other engine, odds are very good we can find the part we want somewhere in Summit’s vast pile o’ parts. Often though, we won’t be able to find what we are looking for in the catalog or even online. A quick call will usually either get us the part or get a sales agent who will find the part and call us back.
Information: Summit Racing Equipment
800/230-3030, summitracing.com

Advance Adapters
You probably already have Advance Adapters in your head as a good source of conversion parts. What you might not have known is that the company also builds a plethora of headers in-house, right here in the good old USA. In addition to a lot of boring old, yawn-inducing Chevy parts, the company has many options for 225ci Buick V-6s. It also has headers for Ford engines, if one of those engines has found its way between your framerails.
Information: Advance Adapters
800/350-2223, advanceadapters.com

Edlebrock
As Editor Hazel mentioned elsewhere in this issue, Edlebrock has intake manifolds and carburetors for AMC V-8s. What he didn’t mention is that the company also has high-performance aluminum heads, multiport fuel-injection systems, and camshafts. Indeed, the company features similar parts, if in somewhat less of a variety, for the Buick V-6 and V-8 engines. Sometimes it can be hard figuring out what parts a performance company offers will fit your Jeep engine, but don’t fear, a quick call to Edlebrock’s tech line can have you emptying that bank account for the correct go-fast parts in no time flat.
Information: Edlebrock
310/781-2222, edlebrock.com

DUI
We aren’t advocating drinking and driving. DUI is the shorthand form of Davis Unified Ignition, which can be found at Performance Distributors. The company is well known for AMC inline-six-cylinder performance distributors and wires, but it also features parts for the somewhat less common Jeep engines. Once you’ve got your fuel taken care of, maybe you want to give that mixture a little more zap. Not only does the company have distributors for the somewhat more normal AMC V-8 and Buick V-6 engines, but it also has distributors for the 230ci OHC Tornado inline-six.
Information: Performance Distributors
901/396-5782, performancedistributors.com

Bulltear
Got AMC? Check out Bulltear. From complete serpentine belt accessory systems to hard engine parts, Bulltear likely has it. It doesn’t matter if you are a V-head or inline-lover either. Roller rockers and forged aluminum pistons are but a few of the parts that you might have issues finding elsewhere. Want that original AMC blue paint when you are done? Yep, that can be had at Bulltear too. If you’ve got a V-8 and are going all the way, there are crank scrapers, and a lot of modified oiling parts to cure that oil starvation problem to the back cylinders. Not sure what you need to make power? They’ve got knowledgeable tech support that can help you build power on whatever budget you’ve got.
Information: Bulltear
651/257-7917, bulltear.com

Clifford Performance
The company’s motto is “6=8,” meaning it offers parts to hop up six-cylinder engines to V-8 power levels. If you’ve got a factory inline six-cylinder Jeep engine, Chrysler slant-six 225, Ford 300 or 223, or even (dare we say it) a Chevy 235, 250, or 292 inline-six then the company had a range of products from performance camshafts, intake manifolds, exhaust products, and so much more. Hey, there are even 4.0L head conversion kits for the AMC 232 and 258 engines and a special Clifford-only carbureted intake manifold for the 4.0L head if you want to do a simple no-injection 4.0L conversion in your vintage Jeep.
Information: Clifford Performance
951/471-1161, cliffordperformance.net

T/A Performance
Got a Buick engine? No, it doesn’t matter if it’s the Buick 350 found in the earlier FSJs or the Buick V-6 found in the Jeepsters and CJs. If you’ve got a Buick engine in your Jeep and want more power, you owe it to yourself to go over to T/A Performance and browse around. Beware, though; leave your wallet locked up. T/A has everything from intake manifolds and headers all the way through new aluminum blocks and heads. If you want to keep your Buick engine and want power out of it, T/A has it.
Information: T/A Performance
480/922-6807, taperformance.com

Pertronix
If you want more spark from your ignition system but don’t want to go to a full-bore HEI, maybe just replacing the points will give you what you want. The company’s Ignitor kit is a drop-in replacement for your point-style setup using your existing distributor. Whether you are running 12 volts or still on 6 volts, it doesn’t matter—the company has a solution for you. The kit features a solid-state controller that not only means you never have to adjust or replace your points again, but it also passes more power to the spark plug. The company also features HEI-style distributors and you can find headers on the website as well.
Information: Pertronix Performance Products
909/599-5955, pertronix.com

Holley
Holley might not be your first thought when it comes to hard-to-find, but the company has a surprising amount of parts for both AMC and Buick engines. Whether it is AMC throttle bodies, headers, or gaskets this is the place to be. The company also has Buick-compatible carburetors and the Truck Avenger line is a good series of carburetors that is compatible with just about any Jeep engine you might be running.
Information: Holley Performance
270/782-2900, holley.com

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