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Roger Mears Budweiser Jeep J-10 Honcho ++ Restoration ++

Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
The bodywork is about done, once we finish some fabrication it should be ready for the original AMC Firecracker red paint. We probably went overboard on the paint prep, but you can’t fix one dent or fill one hole without doing another one...and another one. I was pretty amazed that the cab and bed fell right into place on the original mounts, it shows how well built it was.

body work.jpg
bed stripped.jpg bedd inside stripped.jpg


The Pyrotect 53 Gallon Fuel Cell showed up in less than 4 weeks, which is how it always is with those guys. I’ve used several brands over the years and haven’t found better built fuel cell. The cell always shows up as in the estimated time frame at a competitive price. One of the biggest problems when doing a restoration or a new build is being held up waiting for parts.

fuel cell 4.jpg



fuel cell mount 1..jpg fuel cell 5.jpg

The seat mounts are being rebuilt to accommodate the new Sparco seats(will be covered with original old school fabric

seat brackets on bench.jpg
seat mounts.jpg



The new bed required some extra bracing, while we were at it we added some threaded inserts so we can bolt through the bed after its together. A removable under the rail rack to secure gear, spares ect will be helpful for the 5 day NORRA race.

bed brace.jpg



The rear cage was pretty beat up but it looks like it can be fixed with a couple of new tubes.

bed cage cracked.jpg



Small parts are being cleaned up and painted with PJ1 Fast Black Epoxy Paint. I’ve used the PJ1 Fast Black paint when restoring vintage dirt bikes, it actually looks like paint which on the old stuff looks better to me than powder coating.

pj1 fast black.jpg
pj1 paint 1.jpg
 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
What are the dimensions of that fuel cell and was it an off the shelf piece or custom ordered? I will need a similar size cell for my Duramax project and was probably going to be going with Pyrotech too...

Thanks,
CT
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
The body looks GREAT Jeff, I'm jealous how far ahead of me you are on the "Save Bud" project. That thing is gonna look sweet with the red paint on it and the Budweiser Logos. what do the Sparcos look like?
 

Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
What are the dimensions of that fuel cell and was it an off the shelf piece or custom ordered? I will need a similar size cell for my Duramax project and was probably going to be going with Pyrotech too...
CT

Here's the first sketch I got back based on my request, it has basic dims. I have more details if needed. You wont be disappointed with Pyrotect, I highly recommend them...and no I didnt get it for free!

Honcho Fuel Cell diagram.jpg

The body looks GREAT Jeff, I'm jealous how far ahead of me you are on the "Save Bud" project. That thing is gonna look sweet with the red paint on it and the Budweiser Logos. what do the Sparcos look like?
Thanks Rory, they'll be covered in NOS material from my top secret source, like the seat in the 118. I'll probably go with something like this, its pretty close to what was in it. We'll pad them up with our custom foam to take up the bumps the angry 8 inches of travel misses.

_MG_2817 upr.jpg


What are the dimensions of that fuel cell and was it an off the shelf piece or custom ordered? I will need a similar size cell for my Duramax project and was probably going to be going with Pyrotech too...

Thanks,
CT
 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
Here's the first sketch I got back based on my request, it has basic dims. I have more details if needed. You wont be disappointed with Pyrotect, I highly recommend them...and no I didnt get it for free!
Thanks Jeff! I'll be working with something similar I imagine... It may have to be smaller for my available space behind the rear axle, but we'll see for sure once I get closer on the build. I'm also still undecided on running the tank in the rear behind the axle and low in the chassis or higher in the chassis and behind the cab???? Any suggestions for a big heavy 4WD diesel beast like what I am building???
 

Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
Thanks Jeff! I'll be working with something similar I imagine... It may have to be smaller for my available space behind the rear axle, but we'll see for sure once I get closer on the build. I'm also still undecided on running the tank in the rear behind the axle and low in the chassis or higher in the chassis and behind the cab???? Any suggestions for a big heavy 4WD diesel beast like what I am building???
If you have a diesel in the front of your truck, I'd think having weight to the rear would be the way to go. I need the weight in the rear becasue I plan on flying as much and as far as possible!
 

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
If you have a diesel in the front of your truck, I'd think having weight to the rear would be the way to go. I need the weight in the rear becasue I plan on flying as much and as far as possible!
I appreciate your opinion and that is what I was thinking too...

Sorry to clutter up your great thread!!! The work you are doing is awesome!!! I look forward to seeing the finished truck!!!
 

Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
While the outside is being tended to, I’ve been working on getting the engine built and some other details. The original engines were built by Traco, then by Precision Engineering originally and were supposed to be 460 HP. The trick will be to get the HP on pump gas which is the only way to race in Baja without breaking the bank.

The first step was to figure out which parts that were with the truck were useable. When dealing with basket case vintage cars, you never really know what to expect as the sellers usually don’t remember what happened the last time the truck was driven.

The engine was torn apart while it was still in the truck over the 35 years the truck sat, the block and crank were still in the truck and the rest of what I got was in boxes. The first step was to send the block and heads to Gary’s Engine and Machine in Tucson for evaluation. Gary reported block that the block was bored to 40 over and may have to go to 60 over if we were to use it. The crank also unfortunately had a crack, so the hunt is on for a good used block and crank. You can run an AMC 401 60 over, its just not ideal for the planned abuse this one is going to get. The heads cleaned up and seemed to be in good condition.

engine block pre machine.jpg



Even though the heads were in good condition and had been heavily ported, I wanted to have them flowed to make sure they would work into the build plan for HP/Torque. As it goes when building a vintage race car, there are always guys that you meet during the process that are willing to help. One of those guys is former Class 3&4 racer Lowell Arnold of Mesa. I reached out to Lowell early in the build for advice and tips on sources for parts. Lowell was full of knowledge and enthusiasm, and along with some great advice offered to have his longtime employee (Mike) and engine builder flow the heads.

The heads flowed well, but were going to need a fair amount of work to make them usable. Mikes suggestion was to consider buying aluminum heads from Edelbrock, which were not much more money than I’d have in reworking the cast iron heads. The other advantage would be the weight savings over the front axle along with being able to run slightly higher compression on pump gas. Without much work, the Edelbrock heads can flow well enough to get us the HP we're looking for.

heads 2.jpg

mike flowing heads.jpg



The headers appear to be custom built; we’ll de-rust them and see if they are usable.

headers 1.jpg



The rear springs are already back from Deaver after a complete prep, as usually they came back looking new. I had Deaver check the spring rate as well so we’ll have a good baseline when we get to testing and tuning the suspension.

The front springs were damaged and appeared to be 4 inch lift Rough Country’s, I recognized them because I sold a bunch of them at Desert Rat in the olden days. The secondary torsion means a softer spring can be used. I’d heard great reviews on the US built front springs from Rusty’s off road, so I called Rusty and he made me a deal on their off the shelf soft ride spring kit.

springs 1.jpg



I had the oil coolers sent out to Critical Operations in Santa Ana to be sonic cleaned and checked. Without knowing what happened the last time the truck was raced, I had no idea what condition the coolers could be in. I’d hate to risk a clogged cooler after rebuilding the engine and transmission. The price was reasonable and worth it for the peace of mind.

oil coolers from critical.jpg



Sandy Cone is working on the axles and they should be done soon. One more challenge is that the spool I got with the truck is a Dana 60 and obviously won’t work with the Dana 444. I REALLY need a Dana 44 35 spline spool which they don’t make any more from what I’m finding. If anyone has a spool or a source for a new one. Let me know!

rear axle sandy cone.jpg
rear axle sandy cone1.jpg



The days are getting shorter and NORRA is getting closer, this may be where I'm sleeping soon...

shop at night.jpg
 
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Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
The only option is to find a good used one, which isnt as easy as a SBC. The guys that have them, don't want to part with them or price them accordingly. The crank is the same deal, used ones on eBay are 1000-1500. I've been pretty lucky so far to be able to get support from former Jeep racers, so I'm confident Ill find something soon at a reasonable price.

The Full Size Jeep community has been great, always willing to help.
 

Jason P

Well-Known Member
I have a 401 block and crank laying around, it's been so long I don't remember the bore size or condition of either of them anymore I will check them out next weekend and let you know.
 

Jeff Furrier

Well-Known Member
I have a 401 block and crank laying around, it's been so long I don't remember the bore size or condition of either of them anymore I will check them out next weekend and let you know.
I've got the block taken care, Lowell Arnold had one. I'm still looking for a good crank, so if you have one for sure let me know!
 
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