We took some videos last fall while we cruised around on a nice November day. We wanted to get in a lot of the fall foliage and colors, but were actually about two weeks late for the best colors. Anyway, I wanted to post some of the videos here. Nothing high-tech like a GoPro or similar, just an iPhone on a selfie stick that my wife held between us as I drove. The idea was to have a view through the windshield as we went down the road without showing a lot of dashboard and vehicle interior. Also we wanted to have the sound of the engine come through as well as a little background music. The first effort came out okay with the equipment we used, and I hope to post some more in the future. Most of the videos were recorded in western Hunterdon County NJ, by the Delaware River along the Pennsylvania border.
These were recorded in 1080p video. Once you click on the play button, at the bottom of the video you will be able to change the settings to 1080p HD video. You can also view the videos full screen in YouTube.
Since this is a throttle body setup with the injectors mounted above the blower, they will never see boost, only vacuum. I needed to reference the fuel pressure regulator to the area below the throttle blades and above the blower rotors.
There was no accommodation in the Hilborn throttle body for a vacuum hose connection, so I needed to add one. The throttle body was removed from the engine and disassembled. The first photo shows the throttle body mounted securely in the drill press so that a small hole could be accurately drilled in the first port directly under the closed throttle blade. I then used a piece of 3/16" stainless brake line bent into a 90 degree angle for the vacuum hose connection. The end of the line was slightly flared to help keep the vacuum hose in place. The second and third photos show the installed tubing. The tubing was a snug fit into the body and secured in place with epoxy. The forth photo shows the vacuum port as it looks from under the throttle blade. The last two photos show the hose routing along the side of the throttle body and connected to the regulator.
With engine off and fuel pump running, the fuel pressure was set to 45 psi. With engine running, the vacuum under the throttle blades decreases the fuel pressure required for the injectors, and under cruise conditions, the regulator drops the pressure down to around 37 psi.
Along with changing the water pump, I changed the thermostat out for a high flow unit, also from EMP Stewart. This type of high flow thermostat has a much larger body on the upstream side, and I found out that the temperature sensors mounted in the original spacer wouldn't fit. The probe end of each sensor ended up hitting the thermostat housing. I needed to find a thicker spacer that would allow the sensor probes to fit without hitting the body of the thermostat.
The first two photos show the original spacer that I was using. It was 1" thick, with two 3/8" NPT tapped holes for the sensors. The second photo shows the how the original spacer was installed in the water crossover. The standard style thermostat just fit between the two sensor probes.
The third and fourth photos show the spacer I was able to find. It is 1 1/2" thick with the two sensor holes offset to one side. This placed the sensor probes far enough away from the thermostat body without interference. This spacer doesn't use O-rings, so regular thermostat housing gaskets were needed. The fifth photo shows the EMP Stewart high flow thermostat design. The last photo shows the finished installation. I actually needed to use three separate temperature sensors, one for the Autometer water temperature gauge, one for the fan controller and one for the fuel injection ECU.
The early Hemi is able to use a BBC water pump by use of adapters, instead of the original iron monster supplied by Chrysler. The first photo shows the aluminum Flowkooler short shaft water pump originally picked for the engine. The second photo is an early shot of the engine build showing the smoothed and painted pump bolted up to the block using the adapters. The pump worked well, never had any problems with it originally, but after a year on the road, the rear backing plate began to leak. I tried a new gasket, then two gaskets, then just RTV water pump sealant, but for whatever reason, I could never get the plate to stop leaking. I gave a call to Flowkooler and they were willing to rebuild the pump, including a new backing plate, but the price was almost the same as a new pump.
So, I decided to replace the pump with a new aluminum Stage 3 High Flow BBC pump from EMP Stewart Components. This pump was also an as-cast unit, but it was smooth enough that I was able to paint it as-is to match the block color. The pump has a larger 3/4 inch shaft, so I had to drill out the pilot hole in the V-belt pulley. The pump works well, does what it is supposed to, and doesn't leak.
The Willys was originally purchased with Aldan Eagle coilover shocks both front and rear. The fronts were installed as part of the Heidts SuperRide II front end, with rear Aldans installed as part of the four link setup. These shocks were not the best choice. The spring rates were wrong; too stiff in back and too soft in front, and the total shock travel was just around 3.5 inches both front and rear. The rear shocks started leaking after only one season. Also, both front and rear springs had too many coils for their length, and not enough travel.
I decided to replace all of the coilover assemblies with units from RideTech. The front RideTechs had about the same amount of travel with quite a few less coils for the same spring rate. The rears had 1.7" more travel, also with less total coils.
The first photo shows the unassembled rear shocks and springs. I actually changed out the rears first, with the front units as shown in the second photo being replaced about 6 months later. Third photo shows the assembled front coilovers ready to be installed.
The fourth photo shows the big differences between the Aldans and the RideTechs. More travel, less number of coils, and bearing mounts instead of bushings are some of the differences. The front spring rates were originally only 450#, but with the big Hemi up front, the 525# springs were much better. The rear springs were originally 250#, but I ended up with 225# units instead.
The last two photos show the new coilovers installed both front and rear. Ride quality improved greatly.