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350 Jeepster Commando

Discussion in 'Jeepster Commando and Commando Tech' started by mojerry, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. Mar 20, 2009
    mojerry

    mojerry New Member

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    Has anyone out there completed this engine swap, on a Jeepster, that is street driven? I would like to know what all is involved in this swap. What body and chassis modifications will need to be made?
     
  2. Mar 20, 2009
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Which 350? The Buick 350 is the engine of choice for this swap. Works especially well with the TH400.
     
  3. Mar 20, 2009
    Warloch

    Warloch Did you say Flattie??? Staff Member

    Falcon, CO
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    Which commando you working on? Some of the bullnose came with V8s in them.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2009
    1970CJ6

    1970CJ6 new mexico air

    rio rancho, new...
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    I did a Buick 350 into my 1970 CJ6
    What year is yours.
    The swap is very doable. not to many mods
    Andrew
     
  5. Mar 20, 2009
    mojerry

    mojerry New Member

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    I have a 71 Jeepster Commando. It currently has the original odd fire V6. It has power brakes and a 400 Turbo. It is all original. The engine I want to put in it is a 70s era Buick 350 that has been rebuilt.
    I appreciate all the input. Thanks.
     
  6. Mar 20, 2009
    1970CJ6

    1970CJ6 new mexico air

    rio rancho, new...
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    Will get back tonite when I have more time.
    Andrew
     
  7. Mar 20, 2009
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Ok - I know a little about this, but have not done it.

    This is a super easy swap. The Buick 350 will bolt up to the TH400 without modification. I expect you need to use the 350 flex plate and torque converter. The Motor mounts do not change - the 350 will drop right onto the V6 motor mounts - they are the same. You need to move the radiator forward to clear the longer engine. There is a "tunnel" between the grill and the radiator that has to be shortened.

    You'll have some plumbing and linkage to deal with, but nothing difficult.

    This is a great swap - the TH400 is fine with the 350 power, and the 350 is a lot of engine for the Jeepster chassis.
     
  8. Mar 21, 2009
    1970CJ6

    1970CJ6 new mexico air

    rio rancho, new...
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    Here wo go on the swap I did, starting at the front.
    Had to put in a new front crossmember because the crank pulley hit it, tryed to trim crossmember but it woulkd only left about 1/3 of it.
    I uses a crossmember from a 74 CJ5 .
    Also did a steering conversion at the same time using the box and bracket from the 5. You will have to set the crossmember foward more than the OEM one.

    The grill used the one from the 74 and this let me use a Chevy V* conversion radeatior. On a commando to use the grill you will need to cut off the parking light wing and weld onto the 74 grill and weld up the parking light holes on the lower part of the grill. The mount to the crossmember will need to be moved foward.

    The motor mounts should be in the correct spot on the frame, now I am not sure because my JEEP had a F-4 in it and had to use Novac motor mounts.

    Your Buick 350 will bolt up to the T400 auto transmission, you will need a flex plate for the 350 engine. cooler lines will need to be made to fit the rad. I have the part # for the conversion rad ( will post later).

    The fan will have to be a no clutch type, I used a 18" one from a 1968 Dodge truck with a V8 or you can get one from some one like Jeggs. Ther is not enough room for a clutch type.

    The hoses I could not find ones that would work with out modifying them. I do not like flex hoses so I found something close and cut them in the middle and added a hose coulping, I do have the hose # so it would not be hard to find replacements,

    The part #s for the hase and v belt that I uses, put s sticker inside glove box door so it I ever need to replace them out in the mountians I have the correct #s.

    on the firewall only had to make one small dent for the drivers side valve cover every thing else fit fine.
    As you have a auto already you wont have to mess with the floor board.

    The exhaust I used the stock manafolds from a 75 Buick and has a exhaust shop custom bend it, he kept every the up betwene the frame rails.

    I know there is more but have to get back to work.
    Any more questions please ask.

    The Buick 350 in the CJ6 is a blast, you got to be carefull as it want to spin the back tires on the city streets with just a small touch of the gas.

    Andrew
    Rio Rancho NM
     
  9. Mar 21, 2009
    mojerry

    mojerry New Member

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    Hi Andrew,
    Thank you very much for your input. I'm sure, the info. you've provided will be helpful. I do plan to use a 79 CJ grill, that I bought locally. A friend, that I met on this forum, said he can supply me with the Commando grill extensions. I still hope to hear from someone, who done this to a Jeepster.
     
  10. Mar 21, 2009
    1970CJ6

    1970CJ6 new mexico air

    rio rancho, new...
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    I can give you a phone # of a guy in Texas that did one.
    Andrew
     
  11. Mar 21, 2009
    mojerry

    mojerry New Member

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    I would really like to talk to him, if he is willing. My number is, 937-848-6701
     
  12. Mar 21, 2009
    1970CJ6

    1970CJ6 new mexico air

    rio rancho, new...
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    PM sent
    Andrew
     
  13. Jul 30, 2020
    johnD

    johnD FUBAR

    Morgantown, PA
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    I know this link is old but I have a question:
    I have a 1972 commando with a AMC 360 that needs to be rebuilt because it is full of water or purchase a rebuild 70 era Buick 350?
    I have the TH400 trans with the adapter plate.

    Any and all information is needed!

    P.S. The PO increased the engine compartment to fit the AMC 360.
     
  14. Jul 30, 2020
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Why contemplate the Buick?

    The adapter ring for Buick is different from the adapter ring for AMC. May take considerable effort to round up the parts to adapt that transmission to a different engine.

    If it's really a '72 and really a 360, that Jeep optionally came with the AMC 304 V8 which is exactly the same as an AMC 360 externally. No need to enlarge the engine compartment.

    Pics? What's the VIN?

    Suggest you start a new thread with your question.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  15. Jul 30, 2020
    johnD

    johnD FUBAR

    Morgantown, PA
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    You are right! Thanks for the insight Tim!
     
  16. Aug 2, 2020 at 10:45 AM
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
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    The V8s fit the extra length of the Bullnose Jeepster with nearly no major modifications. My brother swapped a 454 Chevy/TH400 in place of his original inline 6. Headers were the only complicated thing that needed to be fabricated.
    No cutting was necessary, just a dimple in the firewall for a small diameter distributor.
    -Donny
     

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