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Last year I picked up a 1967 J3000 Gladiator RV. Not a camper special but a true class C motorhome. It is supposedly a true one off built special for a dealership and then was raffled off at an employee auction...so (again supposedly) it was never actually sold through a dealer. Unfortunately it spent 15 years of its life sitting on the Banana River near on the east coast of Florida...which wasn't kind to it at all.

It is all original. Basically my plan is to tear it down to the bare frame as everything on this other than he frame is toast...and put in new suspension, bigger axles (D-60/70 or 14B) and put on a better cab (which I already have) and then fit a 14' u-haul truck box on it as the RV section (it's very close to the size of the original RV section).

As much as I would like to reuse the original AMC 327 V-8... from both a financial and practical standpoint it simpy won't do what I want. By the time I spend the money to get it cross country reliable I could buy a donor rig or at least and engine to swap in something better. Plus with the AMC 327 being fairly rare and old I am sure I can part it out or find someone who wants the whole engine/trans/t-case.

Anyway...I want to swap in a 4BT...but I am concerned it won't be enough. I know a stock '67 Gladiator with the regular long bed wheel base at 132" would weigh in at around 4000 lbs. My thinking is that this thing with 165" wheelbase and then fully done will end up weighing close to 6500# without passengers/carg...plus have the aerodynamics of a brick. I also would like to be able to tow a jeep behind it either flat towing (my comanche weighs about 4000#) or dolly/lightweight trailer towing (with a single car hauler and my comanche I'd be at about 5500-5800#).

So the total would end up being between 12,000-14,000 GCVW that may end up going several hundred...if not a couple thousand miles in one trip a couple times yearly once it's completed and then on other trips without towing. I did read somewhere that the 4BT can handle up to a 16K GVWR....??

Would a 4BT be enough to survive for a good long time in a rig like this? I don't want to hotrod the motor (once I actually get one) but I am figuring on getting it around 400 ft lbs of TQ (which is what my '95 ram has with the stock 6BT) and the motor won't be abused but will be worked.

My reasoning for wanting to lean towards the 4BT vs 6BT is space and weight. The 'full size' jeep trucks (and wagons) were not truly full size like a dodge, ford, or chebbie they are slightly smaller...so the engine bay can be modified to fit a longer 6 cyl in it..but it would take a good bit more work and then add a good bit more weight to the front end.

Sorry for rambling on...we are in the early stages of tearing this thing down and I am really trying to make my 'list' so I know how much money and parts I need to collect to get this thing done before I retire (not that I'll ever be able to afford to retire :( LOL ).

And here it is in all its glory...or lack thereof. The frame is solid and I have a good cab/front clip that needs some work but is very solid as well. I love the Gladiator grills in these things...thankfully I have the original one.

If the pictures work (I have a no post count) you can see what it looks like now...and what it would have looked like new.
 

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Nice find. You should post this over on www.ifsja.org (international full size jeep association). They would get a kick out of it.
 

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In my opinion, truck alone = 4BT
Truck towing = 6BT.
I second this advice. The complete drive train from a 6BT Dodge is usually cheaper than a 4BT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I posted it on IFSJA very soon after I brought it home. I had an '85 J-10 at one point and IFSJA gets some traffic from me now and again.

So I guess I wil be hunting another 6BT. Now I have to decide whether to take my current dodge apart and use the engine, trans, and rear end (it's a 2wd so I'd need a divorced t-case) to find another one and tear it apart. Hmmm.
 

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My 4bt suburban about 6000 lbs with a he341, m3 fuel pin, light turning of power screw would only go 55 floored and 40 up overpasses of Oklahoma with a 7300 dry RV travel trailer and it was dry. Just bought it. It ran 1300 egt consistent and 210. Usually it spikes to 1000 floored and runs 160. If I would have kept pushing it it would have blown the motor. Plan on heavy mods and twins to push that weight. I'd go 6bt.
 

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I also think you are going to be way to heavy for a 4bt. Something else you should consider is the rear end on that thing. I personally believe that you should go to a dually rear end. I had a Kayot motor home very similar in size to that with singles on the rear and it was dangerously unstable. I beefed the rear suspension with extra leafs in the springs and re-arched the original springs plus air shocks and it was still marginal at best.
 

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Another vote for the 6BT. So glad I did it to my RV.
I'm running 10,000# empty in a 27' class C. Just pulled an enclosed trailer full of furniture about 2000 miles and never missed a beat. 13.5+ MPG, cruise set at 70 all day - no problems. Fully loaded: fuel, water, trailer, cargo, STUFF, and passengers I figure I'm probably about 13.5 to 14K pounds.
Go with the 6BT.
 

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Last seen 17 Jan 2013 so that means it will be 10 years ago as of tomorrow.
 
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