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Front Driver Side
Christian Hazel
| Brand Manager, Four Wheeler
Posted July 1, 2000
Photographers: Trenton McGee

Inline-sixes are Cool. Here's Why

Step By Step

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  • Keith Bailey's ’84 CJ-7.

  • Fuel injection is known for keeping an engine kicking at extreme angles, and the Mopar MPI doesn’t disappoint. The body-saving tubing tied into the rollcage is a nice touch.

  • Underhood, the hopped-up 258 now displaces 264 ci. Keith needed some Borgeson U-joints to snake the steering around the pullies, but the Hedman header, twin batteries, and remote oil-cooler were an easy fit.

  • Somewhere a Jeep Wagoneer is shy a Dana 44 front. The disc brakes are stock to the axle, but the 4.56s and Detroit aren’t.

  • The rear Dana 44 from an ’86 CJ-7 bolted right in after being loaded with 4.56s and a Detroit Locker. The front and rear U-bolts have been flipped, and a Mico Lock pulls holding duties.

  • The front framerails have been extended 3 1/2 inches for a 97-inch wheelbase. Both Superlift and Rancho 9000 shocks help damp the weight of the Warn 8274 and homemade bumper.

  • Out back, the tire mount swings open with the tailgate so Keith can get to the cargo area. Another Warn winch was hung on the rear bumper and a Hi-Lift hangs out up top.

  • Slick! A little plate steel was cut and welded to the frame in front of the spring hangers to allow the vehicle to slide right over obstacles. Note how the rollcage is solidly tied to the frame.

Inline-sixes are cool. They’re 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. Mike’s 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. We’re sure there’ll come a time when kids think Jeeps came with injected Chevy 350s and spring-overs from the factory, but for now, it’s nice to see a little of what the factory offered being put to good use.