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Worlds Fastest Comanche

Drag Comanche

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Bob Salemi, Forestdale, R.I., runs a '92 Jeep Comanche in a stock class in the IRHA He just set a new record with a , 12.95 ET , 100.19mph top speed in the quater mile. This is runnig a 4.0L I am trying to get more details and pictures.

 

Thought you guys might be interisted.

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I'm glad to hear he finally has it running right. Bob is an old friend from NAXJA, and I saw that truck when he first started building it. There were LOTS of problems getting the engine sorted out, mostly due to the fact it's a stroker and it was a trial and error process finding the optimum injector size. I think there was another ":doh!" type problem, too, but I don't remember what it was. He's a long-time serious drag racer, and there's perhaps nobody (other than perhaps Dr. Dino Savva in Saudi) who knows more about the stroker engine.

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Didn't I read somewhere that a 4.0L HO in a 2wd SWB was faster on the 1/4 than its corvette year equivalent in '91-2?

 

I think I read that in some of my old comanche literature... :hmm:

Rob L.

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Hesco's owner Lee Hurley is the Godfather of Jeep stroker engines. :D

 

Here's the link to the Hesco forum. Great reading. http://www.hesco.us/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=2

 

 

VAM in Mexico was the grandfather then. :D

 

They were building 4.6L AMC 'strokers' in the 1970's.

 

4.0L's weren't even a glimmer in their daddy's eye yet, so VAM had to cast their own 258 blocks to the bigger 4.0L bore size to get to 4.6L.

 

It just took us silly Americans a couple of decades to catch on ;)

 

 

I don't know if the part about these 'strokers' directly leading to the 4.0L's development is correct (VAM actually became defunct in 1982), but the first part is dead on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veh%C3%ADc ... _Mexicanos

 

All VAM engines were of AMC design, but built in Mexico. Moreover, VAM added unique engineering features to deal with low octane fuel and high altitudes. This included a 282 cu in (4.6 L) I6 engine that was not available from AMC. The larger six helped counter high altitude/low octane fuel power loss and with the lack of a V8 engine option in VAM produced vehicles.

 

In 1982, VAM's engineering department worked on a prototype Jeep XJ and fitted VAM's straight six into it (in place of AMC's four-cylinder or optional V6 from General Motors). AMC was impressed by the project, which eventually developed into the 4.0-liter engine version introduced in the 1987 Jeep Cherokee (XJ).

 

VAM ad's:

http://www.arcticboy.com/Pages/arcticboysvam.html

http://www.arcticboy.com/Pages/arcticboysvam2.html

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Didn't I read somewhere that a 4.0L HO in a 2wd SWB was faster on the 1/4 than its corvette year equivalent in '91-2?

 

I think I read that in some of my old comanche literature... :hmm:

Rob L.

 

I've had heard some say the Dodge 'Lil Red Express Truck' was faster than a Vette in 1978:

 

express-truck.jpg

 

but not the Comanche.

 

Would be very cool if it was tho. :cheers:

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OK Bob did build an early stroker, but that is not what is in his race truck. Here are some details

 

Attached is a pix of the Comanche - runs HT/SA in IHRA and R/SA in NHRA.

3230 lbs (18 lbs per HP) )60 over comes to 249cu in.

Running stock eliminator requires stock compression,head, manifold and T-body.

stock size valves, any valve job. cam limited to stock lift - .439" with any

valve spring. Exhaust header is 1 3/4X37" 6 into 1 collector 10" long. Trans

is a 904 with 2.74 low gearset and 5.38 gears with 30X9 Hoosier radial.

running the old FAST fuel injection (has been the biggest learning

experience.)

 

8 or 9 years ago ( when Bob did hid first stroker) Only Hesco and Clifford were producing strokers, and they charged about $7,500 for them. The details on how to do it were not widely known. Bob experimented on his own and made one for about $2,000. It is still running and has about 75,000 miles on it now.

 

But back to the drag truck, a basically stock comanche that runs in the 12's is impressive.

 

IHRArecordholder.jpg

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Bob's first stroker was (and probably still is) in his XJ daily driver. I used to visit him regularly when he was building both the truck and the engine. It was a stroker. Unless he has changed the engine, it is still a stroker. The truck was a shell he rescued from a junkyard in Massachusetts. Nobody wanted to buy it from him for the $100 he had paid for it, so he decided (since the pro dragster he had been crewing on had been sold) to build it into a drag truck. I watched the transformation take place, and I was in the shop when he flow tested the head after he had cc'd it. In fact, the original tailgate off the truck is leaning against my garage.

 

The engine he had in it then was a stroker. If the engine now isn't ... he has swapped engines.

 

And back when Bob did his first stroker, in the XJ, Hesco and Clifford were not the only ones selling strokers. There was a company in Maryland, that has since gone under. And there was another company, that's still around but the name of which I can't remember.

 

And then there was the strokers' e-group, where all the guys who were doing their own hung out and exchanged information. We knew about the VAM engines and pistons back then. There was an American living in Mexico, for example, who was hot on tracking down a source for them. Sadly, he died of a heart attack just when it appeared he was close to scoring. Dino Savva was a member of that group, too. He built his stroker in Saudi Arabia. I don't think he used anything from Hesco or Clifford.

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And back when Bob did his first stroker, in the XJ, Hesco and Clifford were not the only ones selling strokers. There was a company in Maryland, that has since gone under. And there was another company, that's still around but the name of which I can't remember.

 

And then there was the strokers' e-group, where all the guys who were doing their own hung out and exchanged information. We knew about the VAM engines and pistons back then. There was an American living in Mexico, for example, who was hot on tracking down a source for them. Sadly, he died of a heart attack just when it appeared he was close to scoring. Dino Savva was a member of that group, too. He built his stroker in Saudi Arabia. I don't think he used anything from Hesco or Clifford.

 

 

There were a few guys on the XJ-list building their own strokers in 1998-9.

 

The 'poor mans' 4.0L pistons, 258 rods & crank + a balancer spacer (or a late YJ 258 crank) combo was figured out by then, it just took a few people assembling their own before it was considered 'verified'.

 

I left the list shortly after that, couldn't handle reading 50+ e-mails a day :nuts:

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