1963 Jeep FC-170 - Wash Often - The Jeeps Of TTCPosted in Project Vehicles on October 1, 2009
By far one of the most unique Jeeps we have seen show up for Four Wheeler's Top Truck is this '63 FC-170. Wayne Sheeley likes older Jeeps and felt that something a bit more unique was in order for this year's Top Truck. If the Sheeley name sounds familiar to you, that's because this couple was at Top Truck in 2006 in a Vette-powered TJ with Addie behind the wheel and Wayne spotting. This time roles were reversed, with Wayne driving and Addie spotting, but an LS6 still made an appearance and Wayne sure put on a show with plenty of wheel-standing action and even a backflip in the Tank Trap. Wayne owns a couple of carwashes up there in New York, so the "Washofen" license plate on the FC makes a lot of sense.
Chassis and Driveline
An owner-built five-link front and triangulated four-link rear suspension hang from the stock FC frame with added bracing as needed. Wrangler coil springs on all four corners couple with front Fabtech shocks, and rear Bilstein shocks tame the terrain. A Howe full-hydraulic steering system sends input from the quick-release Sweet Manufacturing steering wheel out to the 44-inch Super Swamper Boggers bolted to USA 6x6 double beadlock wheels and high-pinion front and rear Solid Dana 60 axles.
Wilwood steps in for braking duties with a pedal and a pair of master cylinders sending the pressure out to the Ford-sourced front and rear disc brakes. Power comes from the mid-mounted 383ci LS6 Chevy stroker V-8. In a stock FC, the engine is behind the centerline of the front axle, and Wayne kept that theory here. The engine inhales through a BBK intake manifold and a custom 5-inch-diameter metal snorkel that runs between the driver and passenger, behind the passenger's seat, and out through the replacement Plexiglas rear window. Exhaust duties are handled by a pair of Hooker Headers feeding a true dual exhaust featuring Flowmasters and Supertraps with the spent gasses dumping on either side of the Jeep.
Power then goes through the stock flywheel to a 2800RPM-stall B&M torque converter to a B&M-prepped TH400 automatic transmission sporting a deeper Camaro oil pan. An Atlas transfer case handles power-splitting duties and is protected by an owner-built 3/16-inch steel belly pan with internal bracing.
Cooling comes from a Griffin aluminum radiator with an electric pusher fan, while a B&M cooler keeps the transmission happy. A Warn 8274 winch is mounted in the front between the driver's and passenger's feet, with access to the top of the winch from the driver's seat. Out back, a Warn M8000 serves duty for those rear-extractions. Front and rear towhooks were sourced from a 3/4-ton Chevy truck, and for side pulls, there are 1-inch D-rings welded to the frame.
Body And Interior
Inside the Jeep, you will find a full roll cage, welded securely to the frame, and we've seen firsthand that it works. Other things to note are that the stock dashboard has been kept with a Painless Wiring ignition/switch panel coupled to a Painless Wiring universal harness and a Painless engine-specific harness. Power comes from a 130-amp Street Performance Alternator coupled to a pair of Yellow Top Optima batteries with a bed-mounted cutoff switch. Auto Meter gauges are mounted to a tube of the cage and feature a tach with shift light, oil pressure, water temperature, volt, and transmission temp gauges.
Kirkey racing seats are the thrown of choice and they are mounted to custom modified wheelwells. The wheelwells were stretched about six inches to clear the monster rubber and the doors were cut to the new wheel arch. Access to the pedals is kind of tight, and while it's totally doable, long road trips would get uncomfortable. An Art Carr gated shifter controls the transmission and a twin-stick cable-actuated setup row the Atlas.
Outside, the forward part of the swapped-on FC-150 bed is hinged to the drivetrain for easy access and has a Powertank, Hi-Lift Jack, and tool bags bolted to it. The rear portion of the bed is where the radiator and transmission cooler are mounted, just forward of the gas tank and the Optima batteries and under the custom spare tire mount.
Good, Bad, and What's It For
It's no secret we like old Jeeps, and we were thrilled to see this one get voted into the competition, but in the end, the overall height of the Jeep coupled with the 93-inch wheelbase and "small" 44-inch tires hindered its ultimate capabilities. This is by far the most capable FC anywhere, but in a field of 54-inch tires and 110-plus-inch wheelbases on a series of courses designed to test that kind of vehicle, Wayne had a rough time of it.
Model: Kaiser-Willys FC-170
Build time: One Cold Winter
Owner: Wayne Sheeley
Hometown: Walden, New York
Engine: 383ci Chevy LS6 V-8
Aspiration: Comp Cams Camshaft and Hooker Headers
Transmission: B&M prepped TH400
Transfer case: 4.3:1 Atlas II
Front axle/diff: Dana 60, Detroit Locker
Rear axle/diff: Dana 60, Detroit Locker
Ring-and-pinion ratio: 5.13:1
Front suspension: 6-inch lift TJ coil springs and Currie Enterprises Antirock sway bar on custom five-link suspension
Rear suspension: 6-inch lift TJ coil springs and Currie Enterprises Antirock sway bar on custom four-link suspension
Wheels: 15x10 USA 6x6 double beadlocks
Tires: 19.5/44-15LT Super Swamper Bogger