Surely you’re aware of the C7 Corvette. You know it’s a huge leap for Corvettes. You know that valets go joyriding in them. You know a manual Z06 did the Nurburgring in 7:13.9, making it the fastest factory Corvette to ever lap that track. You know that with a little fiddling the C7 Z06 can exceed 200 mph. But did you know you can buy the beating heart of a C7 Z06 and put it in any car you want?
While these aren’t necessarily Jeep mods, they should be checked and double checked when you’re putting in work. No matter how careful of a driver you are, there are likely going to be times when you get yourself into a bind. Even if it never happens to you, others who you come across or go adventuring with may need help.
Even if you can overlook the drab exterior, the cheap plastic interior of this used minivan can almost turn your stomach. Once inside, you will find average passenger space and less-than-stellar cargo space. These things could be overlooked if the Grand Caravan offered a smooth and quiet ride, but it doesn’t offer either.
As if that wasn’t enough, GM then throws on a gargantuan 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger pushing a full 16 PSI of boost. All of that cast iron and forging means strength, and the COPO 350 can set dragstrip records day in and day out without breaking a sweat.
Enter the LT4 crate engine. Power comes on fast: a 1.7-liter Eaton supercharger spins at 20,000 rpm to force 9 pounds of boost into this 6.2-liter engine. That results in the same 650 horsepower and 650 torques you’ll find in the Z06 that’s sitting over at your local dealership, but for a fraction of the price.
The Chrysler Town & Country is basically a rebadged Dodge Grand Caravan with some added tech and comfort. Even in its lowest trim level, the Town & Country offers more refinement than a Dodge Grand Caravan. Still, as used minivans go, there are better models on the market today.
It also takes more torque to get oversized wheels turning which saps overall output and drains the gas tank much faster than normal. Swapping to lower gears and increasing the number in your gear ratio may be enough to offset the difference. A notable exception here is diesels, which sometimes put out so much torque that the difference with larger wheels isn’t noticeable.
The powerplant behind them was the legendary 427 “L88”, a 450-horsepower 7-liter engine found in many other GM cars including the Corvette. But this version had high compression, required race fuel, and made an insane-for-the-time 450 horsepower.
It also favors a hydraulic roller camshaft instead of the original’s flat-tappet cam. It makes a few extra ponies over the old model, too: 480 horsepower and 490 lb-ft of torque will melt any tires this engine’s hooked up to.
This is one of the best old Ford trucks as far as we are concerned, but they can be hard to come by. Restored versions tend to be pricey but it’s a great choice if you can get ahold of one.
This baby has aluminum heads and pistons, titanium valves, forged rods, and even an aluminum block, for God’s sake. That’s real supercar stuff, but it runs on pump gas. And might I remind you it comes with a warranty. What more do you want?
The Highboy was available with a 360 V-8 or the less powerful six-cylinder. A C6 automatic transmission was a common choice on the Highboy. Its tough look makes these trucks pretty collectible so they can be hard to find and sort of pricey for a fully restored version but if you have the budget, it’s a great choice if you are looking for a cool old ford truck.
The alternative is to either rebuild an old engine yourself, have an engine builder do it for you, or buy a custom-made engine directly from an engine builder. Each of these options has a fair share of hurdles, and often it’s cheaper to order a crate engine than it is to go those other ways.