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The original engine that came in those was the small inline 4 cylinder "Hurricane" engine. They only put out about 75 hp. If I had the Willys, I'd probably just try to keep it as stock as possible and use it as a grocery getter "run to town" type of car. If you put in a larger engine, you will have to beef up the suspension, and there'd be less room to work on the engine once it's inside. Maybe the Dodge 2.2 inline 4 cyl or the GM 2.5 "Iron Duke" might be something nice to put in it? Those Iron Duke 2.5's were put in Postal Jeeps from the 70's until 80's, I believe. According to the Wiki, these 2.5 Iron Dukes were backed by a Chrysler 904 transmission. Interesting.

But then again, you want a more powerful engine so you could rock crawl and do off-roading. Slant 6 would be better of course, for more power.
 

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Bob Lincoln said:
??? There was never a 4-cylinder in the original Darts. Did you mistakenly post in the wrong topic?

There was no Chrysler automatic behind the Iron Duke.
I never said that the Darts had the Chrysler 2.2 liter inline 4. I know Darts had Slant 6's and 318/340/360 V8. We are talking about a 1950's Willys Jeep wagon that originally came with like a 70 hp small inline 4 banger, so I was just mentioning that perhaps a Dodge 2.2 inline 4 or a GM "Iron Duke" 2.5 liter inline 4 might be a good replacement engine to put into it. Or as Dana44 said, the Dodge 2.5. It would have more power than the original engine and parts would be easy to get.

And where I got the Chrysler 904 transmission reference from was that according to the Wiki for Postal Jeeps (Jeep DJ), both the 2.5 liter GM Iron Duke and the (might also be a good option) AMC 2.5 liter inline 4 were both backed by the 904 Chrysler tranny. Who knows, that might be wrong, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_DJ

But I think he wants more power than a 4 banger, so this is all academic.
 

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patricklynch said:
Chrysler automatic backed up to an Iron Duke? I had a friend who had that in a Gremlin. I put a starter in it in a parking lot sometime in the mid 80's and remember being surprised by the combination.
Yep sometimes a car co. sources its parts from a competitor if it makes sense. Henry Ford started his co. by making parts for the Dodge Brothers. Rolls-Royces used American sourced transmissions until recently.

My dad (a mechanic who specializes in transmissions) bought for $200 in the late 90's an early 90's Dodge D-50 pickup (built by Mitsubishi). The transmission was out on it but the engine ran beautifully, so he took out the Mitsubishi tranny and declared it to be a bad design, and then he installed a 904 Chrysler or perhaps a Ford C6 or maybe it was a GM Turbo 350. It was definitely an American transmission. It was a quick and dirty installation. The shifter was a metal rod that poked up through a hole in the tranny hump. He took me for a test drive and said "feel how nice and solid its NEW transmission shifts!"
 
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