Keep your engine!
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.
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
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
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
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.