Project Invasion

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By: Terry L. Howe - 5/2002

Project Invasion

There is some heavy rust around the wheel well flares. How and if this will be repaired remains to be seen. One of the previous owners decided to spray on a fresh coat of paint, but the preperation work on the job was not the best.
The passenger side looks much like the drivers side, lots of rust around the wheel wells. The passenger side floor also has a pretty big hole in it. Other than that, the cab seems to be in good shape.
Note the plush interior and custom seat ventilation. Maybe some seat covers are in order.
The bed of the truck is in okay shape. There are some holes in the wheel wells and the tailgate obviously took a hit.

Project Invasion is a 1975 Jeep J-10 pickup that is being built to accomplish two goals. During the week, the truck will be a work truck to drive around town. During the weekends, the truck needs to be ready to hit the high mountain passes for camping and exploration. The major goal for this project is to get the truck ready for the Ouray 2002 Full Size Jeep Invasion, so the project is named after the event.

When I heard about the Full Size Jeep Invasion a while back, I decided I needed to participate. Every summer I head out to Ouray, Silverton, Crested Butte, Aspen, and Durango and hit the high mountain passes. Every year, my rock crawling Jeep is less and less comfortable for these adventures. I also always wanted a J series pickup, so this was the perfect excuse to get one and build it up for some summer four wheeling.

The idea of the project is to build a fairly low buck, but reliable Jeep truck. I purchased the truck for $400, but it does not run. The truck is the short box version of the J-10 with a 7 foot bed, I like the look of the short box and I don't need to haul much more than a tent, a sleeping bag, and some tools.

The truck has the standard 258 I6 engine with single barrel Carter YF carburetor. It has a T-18 4 speed transmission that the Standard Catalog of 4x4s says should be the close ratio version, but I've heard most of the pickups got the wide ratio version. The transmission is hooked up to a Dana 20 transfer case that leaks fluid. Power is put to the wheels with Dana 44s front and rear with 4.09:1 ring and pinion.

The promblems that I have identified, so far, do not appear to be that bad. The battery was totally dead and the starter seems to be be burnt. The previous owner said it was running badly and he had to start it all the time, which he did until the battery went dead. He said that afterwards, he noticed the distributor cap was loose. Sure enough, I noticed the inside of the cap was chewed up from where the rotor was hitting it. The engine does turn over with a wrench, so hopefully, I will not have to replace it.

The only other obvious mechanical problem is one of the shift rails on the Dana 20 transfer case is not hooked up to the shifter. It isn't broken off, but it fell off or was disconnected. The transmission seems to shift into all the gears with no problem and the clutch works. The axles roll!

The condition of the body isn't great by Colorado standards, but it is not bad. There is a lot of rust around the wheel well flares. The rear wheel wells have rust holes in them through to the bed of the truck. There are a couple small, minor dents on the truck and the tailgate is bent up pretty badly. Rather than trying to repair the bed of the truck, I'll probably build a flat bed for the back. I just like the looks of flat beds. I'm not sure what I'm going to do to the front fenders if anything. I do want to repair the rust hole in the passenger floor. Fortunately, the doors and door pillars are in excellent shape, it is never any fun repairing that kind of thing.

What actually gets done, other than getting it running, really depends on how much time I have to spare for the project over the next couple months. No matter what, it must be ready for the Full Size Jeep Invasion in Ouray in the middle of August.

Update 4/25/02

Installed a new starter and a good battery last night and the truck actually started. I noticed that the fuel filter was installed improperly and fixed that. The previous owner put the smaller high side of the filter to the carb, so it might of been running a little lean at wide open throttle. This also probably made it hard to start since more fuel would drain out back to the tank. I noticed the base of the carburetor was loose, but I haven't fixed that yet.

The next step will be to replace the cap and rotor and set the timing. The cap and rotor are pretty smashed up from when the previous owner was driving with the cap loose. The truck does miss a little bit under load while I was driving it up and down my street, but this isn't surprising when the condition of the rotor is considered!

One of the shift rails to the Dana 20 transfer case was not connected. I hooked it up and noticed the other rail was installed with no cotter pin. I hooked up the two shift rails and put in cotter pins. It looks like the one rail probably just fell off.

Update 10/1/02

My changing job situation forced me to sell this truck to have enough money to finish off my CJ-6. This J truck was the coolest project I have ever worked on. It had the right balance between modified, but not too modified. The truck was a ton of fun to drive around town and on the trail. I had a blast out in Ouray wheeling those great trails. There will be other projects...


dcp_0096.jpg Full Size Jeep Invasion 2002
The Full Size Jeep Invasion in Ouray, Colorado in August of 2002 was a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the full size Jeep. Wagoneers, Cherokees, and J series pickups from all over the country came out to run the classic four wheeling around Ouray. Full size Jeep owners enjoyed the mountain air and ghosts towns up in the high country.
dcp_0175.jpg Build a Flatbed for Your Truck
Nothing looks cooler or more rugged than a pickup with a flat bed. Building a flatbed ia a fairly simple metal working project and it is a great way to replace a rusted out pickup bed.
dcp_0028.jpg HEI Distributor on Jeep 258
I have a Ford truck, but I seem to be a big fan of putting GM parts in my Jeeps. GM parts tend to be simple, reliable, inexpensive, and easy to find. These are all the features you want in a part that goes in your Jeep. That is why I put a GM HEI distributor on my Jeep 258 engine.
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