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1980 Jeep CJ-7 - The World's Quickest Jeep

Huge Smoke
Christian Hazel
| Brand Manager, Four Wheeler
Posted August 15, 2007

Greg Zoetmulder's Evil CJ-7

The title says it all. You're looking at the world's quickest street-driven Jeep. With a quarter-mile time of 8.87 seconds at 151 mph, Greg Zoetmulder's supercharged CJ-7 is a screaming example of horsepower's ability to overcome absolute aerodynamic inefficiency. Not only does the small-block Chevy 400 pull enough snort to send a brick down the 1,320 in less than 9 seconds, but with the exception of the fiberglass hood and fenders, the body is all steel, the lights all work, it still uses the stock Jeep leaf springs, and the open cockpit effectively creates enough drag that Greg may as well have a parachute following him down the track. The fact that it can muster less than a 12-second time is good-a sub-9-second pass is just flat-out amazing.

As stated above, Greg's '80 CJ-7 essentially sits on the original suspension. The stock front and rear leaf springs have been de-arched by Spring Alliance in Palitine, Illinois, to lower the ride height. Even the shocks are the factory pieces. Out back, a set of slapper traction bars put the snubbers to the forward spring eyes when the slicks hook, keeping pinion climb down and increasing tire bite. The factory CJ-7 frame has been marginally reinforced and benefits from a little stiffening, thanks to the front- and mid-engine plates that solid-mount the engine to the chassis, but otherwise, it's just as it left the factory.

Up on the front frame horn, a factory manual-steering box puts the turn to stock Dana 30 knuckles. The centersection was cut out, converting the rest of the Dana 30 to a full-tube front axle. That's right, folks, this Jeep is for haulin'-not crawlin'. Other sanctioned items for the track include the use of a driveshaft loop in case of U-joint failure, a tranny shield, and a set of genuine, no-foolin' wheelie bars out back.


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Let's just get right to the meat of the matter. It takes a lot of reliable, repeatable horsepower to do what Greg does with this Jeep. While nitrous used to be the weapon of choice, Greg has since ditched the funny gas in favor of a ProCharger F2 centrifugal supercharger with an air-to-air intercooler. To keep an engine alive with such a brutal induction system, a bunch of stout parts went into building the engine.

For starters, Anthony Schroeder of Automotive Engine Specialties (AES) in Elk Grove, Illinois, took a Dart Iron Eagle 4-bolt block and filled it with a billet crank, 6-inch Crower billet rods, and Forged CP pistons with Hellfire rings to bring the compression to a blower-friendly 8.0:1. A set of fully CNC-ported Dart Pro-1 220 heads received 2.10 intake and 1.60 exhaust valves and were topped with an Edelbrock Super Victor high-rise manifold. A Cam Motion solid roller camshaft with 260 intake and 272 intake duration at 0.050-inch lift and 0.629 intake and 0.640 exhaust lift moves a massive volume of air.

To top off all this intricate engine work, a Carburetor Solutions Unlimited (CSU) 1,000-cfm carb specially designed for blow-through boosted applications was fitted to the intake. Along with the cog-belted F2 blower, a ProCharger race blowout valve was fitted to the intake plumbing and ensures the engine and Precision Turbo 1,200hp intercooler won't be overboosted. The fuel system is a full tilt MagnaFuel ProStar 500 with a boost-referenced regulator-that means as the boost increases, so does the fuel supply. A set of 171/48-inch primary tube Kooks headers feeding into4-inch collector mufflers and side pipes shatter eardrums.


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Backing the brutal engine is a TH400 built by DRC Performance Transmissions in Elk Grove, Illinois. The tranny employs a Precision Industries 3,800-rpm stall converter, a Hibsters transmission brake, and a huge TCI cooler. A B&M ProShifter toggles the gears.

Moving backward, a 3.5-inch-diameter driveshaft connects to a fully braced Motive Gear Ford 9-inch. The Strange Engineering centersection is loaded with 3.73 gears, a spool, and 31-spline Moser axleshafts. Wilwood four-piston calipers are juiced by the stock manual master cylinder and pull the Jeep down from speed without locking thanks to a Wilwood proportioning valve.

A set of Weld Drag Lites 15x5 front and 15x10 rear hold the Mickey Thompson tires. In case you're wondering, the rears are 28x10.5 and don't rub anywhere.

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