Part 2: Prepping For The Road
Driving the ’78 J10 known as Piggy the Pig Truck down the road is an assault on the senses. It’s much like driving a pick-up-shaped, open-top CJ down the road. There is tons of wind noise, a couple of rattles, creaks, and squeaks, and the ever-constant drone of the AMC 360 2-bbl V-8 spinning at about 3,000 RPM, thanks to the lack of Overdrive and 4.10:1 axle gears. The wing windows keep air flowing in the cabin pretty well and get assistance from both the driver’s and passenger’s manual-pull foot vents. The bench seat is fairly comfortable, but has absolutely no frills. It’s there to do two things; one, to keep your butt off the floorboards, and two, to help absorb every bump that the nearly 35-year-old shocks can barely handle. This thing oozes cool like the ever-present drip of motor oil from that 360 V-8!
Why don’t they make trucks like this anymore? King Ranch Edition F-350 with leather seats, A/C, Bluetooth, yada, yada, yada? You can have it! Ours has a four-speed with a 6.32:1 First gear, 4.10:1 axle gears and a gas-sucking American pushrod V-8. Sure it ain’t fast, it ain’t pretty, but the patina, painting of a pig smoking a stogie, thick steel body, wing windows, foot vents, and absolute “brick poophouse” construction is a sensory slap in the face that is pure America.
We have done a ton of little things to Piggy since we bought her, and the carnival continues in this; part two of our life with the J10. Last time we tossed some junkyard parts at the Pig, rebuilt the carb, changed the engine oil, checked the timing and went through the front axle. We also chased down some loose electrical connections and somehow got the green pig truck through an Arizona emissions inspection. This time around we drop the tank, get a few holes fixed, get the rear brakes working, replace the non-working door locks, change out a bunch of gear oil, add some more reliable tires and wheels, and address a couple of other little issues that would make a road trip in Piggy more bearable for a couple of hardy Jeep enthusiasts. Follow along and feel our pain and joy as Piggy’s revival continues with a little help from BJ’s Off-Road and Summit Racing Equipment. Next time, road trip to points unknown!