Inline-sixes are cool. Theyre different. Without mufflers they sound like a UPS truck. And Keith Bailey has one in his 84 CJ-7.
Keith resisted the urge to stab in a Chevy engine when he built his Jeep. Instead, he got his hands on a 79 258 six and went nutty rebuilding it. Mikes Machine Shop in Warrion, Alabama, was enlisted for boring, balancing, and blueprinting duties. A set of forged pistons, a decked block, and shaved heads up the compression ratio to 10:1. The valves in the ported and polished head are tickled by an Erson 0.480-lift cam with 270 degrees of duration, while a Mopar MPI delivers enough fuel to make about 250 hp.
Because the Jeep does some crawling in Moab in addition to mudding in the Southeast, Keith found an 82 NP435 and mated it to the Dana 300 transfer case with Advanced Adapters parts. The weenie stock axles were junked in favor of a pair of Dana 44s with Detroits and 4.56s.
Jeeps sit just about perfectly on 35-inch rubber, so Keith chose a Superlift 4½-inch spring-under system and a 2-inch Performance Accessories body lift to squeeze the 35x12.5 Swamper SSRs on 15x10 Eagle wheels under his. The rest of the yearlong buildup entailed bending some 0.120-wall tubing for the bumpers and rollcage, mounting the leather Monaco seats, spraying liner in the tub, and doing a thousand other little things that pop up during a major vehicle rehash. Were sure therell come a time when kids think Jeeps came with injected Chevy 350s and spring-overs from the factory, but for now, its nice to see a little of what the factory offered being put to good use.