Jeep's First V8 Engine
history from Robert C. Ackerson's book: Jeep the 50 yr history, pg 191...
|This engine was originally introduced in 1956 for the Nash Ambassador
Special line. At that time it displaced 250 cubic inches with a bore and stroke of 3.50 x
3.25 inches. Peak horsepower was 190 at 4900 rpm with a 8.0:1 compression ratio and a
single 2-barrel Carter carburetor. Most engine analysts regarded it as a straighforward
design that, if lacking in exciting features, was reliable and up-to-date. Four main
bearings were used and with all accessories, but minus its flywheel and clutch this V-8
weighed 601 pounds. Thinwall construction was used for all iron castings and with
good-sized valves (1.79 inch intake and 1.41 exhaust) plus a 4.75 inch bore center-to-bore
center measurement it was easily expanded to 327 cubic inches with a 4 inch bore and 3.25
inch stroke in 1957. At that point its maximum horsepower was 255 at 4700 rpm with a
4-barrel Carter carburetor and 9.0:1 compression ratio. In December, 1956 American Motors
announced that this engine would power its entry in the then popular limited production
high-performance field, the Rambler Rebel. The 255 horsepower version would be standard.
The V-8 was available with and optional Bendix electronic fuel injection system. Due to
production problems no Rebels were sold with the fuel injection but the next year a more
powerful V-8 with 270 horsepower at 4700 rpm and a higher 9.7:1 compression ration was
In conjunction with use of this V8, Kaiser Jeep also made available General Motors' Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed torque automatic transmission for both 2 and 4-wheel drive models. This engine-transmission did not replace any of the J-series' existing standard or optional engine-transmission choices...
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