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Old 02-13-2011, 06:13 PM
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44BZ 44BZ is offline
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Zack's 68 J2000 re-build thread

I've been posting bits and pieces on my rig for awhile now and it dawned on me that perhaps I should be collecting this stuff in a single thread. Not sure why it took so long

The back story:
Purchased a 1968 J2000 about a year ago. Was in running, driving condition (apparently not as good as I initially thought). Came with the AMC 327, T18 4speed, Dana 20 combo; manual brakes and manual steering; stock 44s front and rear rolling on 38x12.50 bias swampers and a 3" body lift. Brakes were no good. I made an offer and the buyer accepted, even offered to trailer it to my house (brakes).

And here it is in my driveway, shortly after being delivered



It wasn't long before I discovered the steel gas tank was rusted through and leaking. So I replaced with a poly tank from BJ's. At this time I also replaced the sending unit, rubber fuel lines, fuel filter, and mechanical fuel pump. I also changed all the fluids.

I picked up a power steering gear, pump, and resevoir from a member here that came out of a '66 wagoneer I was told. The install went pretty well, but I had to rebuild the pump and have new hoses made. Also added some orange paint to the valve covers.



Next I bought a set of 15x10 steel wheels to replace the rusty 15x8's. I like the stance from the wider wheel and they moved the tires out about one inch so no more rubbing on the springs when turning.



Then I cut out the driver's side floor pan, which wasn't terrible but I could see the road underneath the floor mounted gas pedal.



I also had to fix the hole cut by a PO into the tranny tunnel. I patched the floor with 16ga (I believe) steel and Herculined the whole interior.



I repainted my valve covers in red, which I like much better and I also pulled the intake manifold to paint as well. Replaced all the gaskets.



Then I picked up a Rambler 4 barrel intake off ebay, which is waiting to be cleaned, painted, and installed

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Zack - 68 J2000, AMC 327, 4bbl intake, dual exhaust, Pertronix upgrade, Holley 600cfm, T18, dana 20 (twin sticked), 3" body lift w/ 35x12.50 MTRs ~ running AND driving!

Last edited by 44BZ : 03-05-2011 at 01:34 PM. Reason: re-build seems more suited to this project.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:17 PM
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44BZ 44BZ is offline
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Today I started tearing down the front of the motor. I plan to replace the water pump, timing set, and all gaskets, and paint all the parts. I'm stayin with the red...





I'm still waiting on parts so I haven't pulled the water pump and timing cover yet. I also need a new radiator, it's literally falling apart...

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Old 02-13-2011, 06:24 PM
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Looks good..couple things tho.
That brake master cyl is not OE..no biggie..thot Id say that.
The tires NEED 10 or 12" rims.

But most of all I would REEELY ask that you consider a later AMC front face panel and rad support. That way you can have the larger AMC rads that are plentiful rather than having a custom made, and very small, OE 327 rad.

my 66 sports 77 front end sheetmetal.
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5.7L 2BBl. Th700R4. NP-208. Opens. 3.31s. 4core. 4Discs. PS,PB,AC,CC,Cassette.
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"If it aint leaking, it's empty!"
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:31 PM
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Looking good to me! Beale.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:34 PM
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44BZ 44BZ is offline
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Quote:
That brake master cyl is not OE..no biggie..thot Id say that.

Thanks for pointing that out, I didn't know. I'm planning to step up to Elliot's Hydroboost eventually

Quote:

The tires NEED 10 or 12" rims.

The truck came with the tires and 8" rims. I replaced with 10" rims, much better!

Quote:

But most of all I would REEELY ask that you consider a later AMC front face panel and rad support. That way you can have the larger AMC rads that are plentiful rather than having a custom made, and very small, OE 327 rad.


I haven't ever thought of this, but a very interesting suggestion. I can't find a replacement and was sorta anticipating a rebuild of the one I have...
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Zack - 68 J2000, AMC 327, 4bbl intake, dual exhaust, Pertronix upgrade, Holley 600cfm, T18, dana 20 (twin sticked), 3" body lift w/ 35x12.50 MTRs ~ running AND driving!
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:50 PM
twisted frame twisted frame is offline
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Great progress. My J4000 kind of looks like the longbed version of yours right now. I'll have to get some pics.

Have you needed to replace your front manual brake hoses? You've got drums up front, right? Just curious where you got the new hoses or where you're planning on purchasing them. I actually found them at the Zone but I might consult Inline Tube. I currently have manual brakes and am not planning on upgrading at this time.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Have you needed to replace your front manual brake hoses? You've got drums up front, right?

I do have drums up front and sadly I haven't gotten to them yet. My hoses need replacing, they're defintely showing their age but I haven't started looking yet. I'm interested to know what you find out as far as suppliers since I will likely replace what I have before I'm able to upgrade...
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Old 02-14-2011, 08:10 AM
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That's nice work and a good lookin rig to boot.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:14 AM
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Gambler68 Gambler68 is offline
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Nice! Dejas vus on the engine, went through ALL that.

comments:
ignition: I haven't installed it yet, but I ponied up for a Pertronix kit for mine (you shouldn't need the ballast resistor)...got mine off Amazon for around $100..application numbers in my build thread I think). May as well do it now while you have access to it. Gear reduction starter (180 or so) from Autoelectrics would be a keen upgrade too, the old Pertronix is a long cold walk home in the waiting.

Power steering: nice! Did you rebuild the eaton yourself? The setup I used had a non adjusting bracket for the pump, and a idler gear that bolts on the bracket that attaches to the crossover. How did yours install? Does it actually seem to have enough power to turn those 38s? I've been wondering if the little eaton can drive the Saginaw PS enough to turn em..got 38x14.50s Swampers on mine too.

Radiator: yeah mine came apart like that too. I JB welded it back on, has held up fine. They are stupidly hard to find. Good idea on swapping the front metal out, didnt think of that, never looked to see if the inlet/outlets were in the same config with the 360 series.

Gas: I ditched mine..considering how pricey the mech. gas pumps are for 327s, I blocked it off and installed a $25 (shipped) Holley Red Top I snagged off Ebay. The idea of a leaky mechanical pump RIGHT OVER the exhaust crossover didn't jibe well with me...when mine would leak it was fun to watch though..puff...puff...puff..

Nice job so far, my 68 was exact same color (Seafoam) same exact driveline. I converted to SOA HD44/D60 8 lug.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:18 AM
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PS: you can install discs on the front if you choose to keep those axles and huge tires. I can't imagine it stops very well from running speed at the moment. They are well above and beyond what the axles and braking system were designed for, even at 100% operating condition fresh off the factory floor. I'd also think if you went hydro-boost you'll have to figure out how to add another pump to the system. I swapped in a 78 J10 power brake system and pedal..it sorta lines up..no idea yet how it'll work till I get it going.
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1979 Chero S "Sundog" 1979 Chero S "Hammer"
1968 327 J3000 1978 J10SWB
The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:36 AM
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44BZ 44BZ is offline
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Gambler - Thanks for the comments, I've read through your build thread a couple times. Quite inspirational

Quote:
ignition: I haven't installed it yet, but I ponied up for a Pertronix kit for mine (you shouldn't need the ballast resistor)...

I have picked up the Pertronix kit and Flame Thrower coil, just haven't installed it yet. I'm wondering if I should replace the distributor gear at this point also?

Quote:

Power steering: nice! Did you rebuild the eaton yourself? The setup I used had a non adjusting bracket for the pump, and a idler gear that bolts on the bracket that attaches to the crossover. How did yours install? Does it actually seem to have enough power to turn those 38s?

I paid a shop to rebuild it for me. I wasn't cheap, but not terrible I guess. The pump started leaking from behind the pulley almost immediately after I installed it. The mounting bracket is flat with three slots in it. The bolts run through the pump, through the slots and into the block. The slots are about two inches wide maybe and allow you to move the pump left to right, to adjust the tension. I'm probably not describing it very well. I'll see if I can get a picture of it...When it was still running, I drove it down to the dump (makybe 5 miles round trip). The tires turned effortlessly! No squeals from the pump, I could turn with one finger. I was amazed and relieved, ever tried turning 38s with a manual gearbox

Quote:

Gas: I ditched mine..considering how pricey the mech. gas pumps are for 327s, I blocked it off and installed a $25 (shipped) Holley Red Top I snagged off Ebay. The idea of a leaky mechanical pump RIGHT OVER the exhaust crossover didn't jibe well with me

The fuel system was one of my first projects and I hadn't researched it much. The tank coughed up a ton of rusty bits and clogged everything. Also a PO re-routed the driver side exhaust back instead in front of the engine. Currently it has duals with cherry bombs. Kinda sounds like a diesel frieght train!
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Zack - 68 J2000, AMC 327, 4bbl intake, dual exhaust, Pertronix upgrade, Holley 600cfm, T18, dana 20 (twin sticked), 3" body lift w/ 35x12.50 MTRs ~ running AND driving!
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
you can install discs on the front if you choose to keep those axles and huge tires. I can't imagine it stops very well from running speed at the moment. They are well above and beyond what the axles and braking system were designed for, even at 100% operating condition fresh off the factory floor. I'd also think if you went hydro-boost you'll have to figure out how to add another pump to the system. I swapped in a 78 J10 power brake system and pedal..it sorta lines up..no idea yet how it'll work till I get it going.

There's a guy locally that packages the D44 disc brake kit for about $500. I've thought about going that route. I've also thought about swapping in a Dodge 44, like JoshD did to his. I'd like to stick with a 5 lug axle for now since I just bought new wheels. I don't particularly care for the closed knuckle front and the two piece rear. I think a later model Jtruck (73+) will get me a stronger axle and still 5 lug?
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44BZ
There's a guy locally that packages the D44 disc brake kit for about $500. I've thought about going that route. I've also thought about swapping in a Dodge 44, like JoshD did to his. I'd like to stick with a 5 lug axle for now since I just bought new wheels. I don't particularly care for the closed knuckle front and the two piece rear. I think a later model Jtruck (73+) will get me a stronger axle and still 5 lug?

Who's your guy? Do you know if his kit allows for the closed-knuckle that I have (and I believe you have as well)? I've seen it done with the close-knuckles, but I remember seeing something that you have to "slightly" grind the knuckle for it all to work. Bolt on is always better :-)
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:09 PM
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For the closed knuckle disc brake kit check out the link, scroll down a few items and it's listed there. He also has a mini kit for $350. My guess is that this kit will require the same slight grinding on the caliper and there's a bolt on the knuckle that needs grinding as well. I also read that someone else who installed the kit was able to replace said bolt with an allen head type, which went in flush and negated the need for grinding (I think)...

http://www.the-jeep-guy.com/brakes.htm

It's a cool resource and he has lots of parts for CJs mostly, but some FSJ and Willy's applications. He's located in SE Portland. I haven't purchased anything from him yet, but I've emailed questions about certain products and he seems pretty knowledgable.
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Zack - 68 J2000, AMC 327, 4bbl intake, dual exhaust, Pertronix upgrade, Holley 600cfm, T18, dana 20 (twin sticked), 3" body lift w/ 35x12.50 MTRs ~ running AND driving!
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44BZ

http://www.the-jeep-guy.com/brakes.htm

It's a cool resource and he has lots of parts for CJs mostly, but some FSJ and Willy's applications. He's located in SE Portland. I haven't purchased anything from him yet, but I've emailed questions about certain products and he seems pretty knowledgable.

Oh yeah. I've ordered from him. He's a great guy! Spent a lot of time chatting it up with him on the phone when I was ordering some seals.

Good idea with that allen bolt. Be sure to post your steps for the front brakes if you do it. As of now, I was thinking of just hydroboosting drums.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Oh yeah. I've ordered from him. He's a great guy! Spent a lot of time chatting it up with him on the phone when I was ordering some seals.

Good idea with that allen bolt. Be sure to post your steps for the front brakes if you do it. As of now, I was thinking of just hydroboosting drums.

Glad to hear you had a good experience. Like I said, I haven't purchased anything yet, but it's reassuring to hear good results.

My brakes need to be replaced at all four corners and I don't think I will be in a position to swap axles right away so I will probably do the disc conversion once I get the funds together. Seems to make more sense than investing the money into rebuilding the front drums...

I didn't mention it among the list of upgrades, but I'm pretty sure I copied your rear shock mount idea. I think it was you that build mounts out of 3x4 steel and bolted/welded them to the frame? Well I did the same, since the upper mounting tabs were missing on mine. That was a great idea and worked out well for me
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:05 PM
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Iv never been a fan of discs on a closed knukle diff, I passed that for the OE D27 in my 66..went instead to a normal '77 D44 FnR. then converted the rear to discs.

The open knuckle D44 has the advantages of a better turn circle, better bearings and stronger attachment of the spindle to the knuckle.
Especially if your running 38's!

If the dodge front end is spring over thats great, but are the spring perches the same width as what is on your 68?

AMC rads have the same outlet locals as the OE 327 rad does, but the lower outlet (back to the eng) points up at a 45* angle to miss the steering gear. (for those rigs w/o a bod lift)

also, tho you may not find the front end sheet metal for a "rhino" AMC truck, you can still use "w i d e" truck or wag sheetmetal, you just have to grind off the tabs that mount the wider grilles.
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(Soon to be TBI)
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Last edited by Kenall : 02-14-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenall
.

If the dodge front end is spring over thats great, but are the spring perches the same width as what is on your 68?


The Dodge D44 is factory spring over, however the Dodge factory spring spacing is much narrower than the post mount J-Truck springs. So new spring perches would need to be welded on.

You could use later FSJ 2.5" wide springs and mount the springs under the frame like the later FSJ's and the Dodge axle perches will line right up.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:33 PM
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for sheets and giggles.

this is the comparison pic i made of the OE 327 face panel and rad support from my 66 and the replacement 77 set at the rear of the pic.

you can clearly see the differences in width of the rad supports.

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(Soon to be TBI)
"If it aint leaking, it's empty!"
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh D
The Dodge D44 is factory spring over, however the Dodge factory spring spacing is much narrower than the post mount J-Truck springs. So new spring perches would need to be welded on.

You could use later FSJ 2.5" wide springs and mount the springs under the frame like the later FSJ's and the Dodge axle perches will line right up.

you would have to mount the springs under the frame to compensate for the great turn angle afforded by open knuckle front diffs. That is why jeep did so with the introduction of the open knuckle front diffs.
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"If it aint leaking, it's empty!"
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