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biggman100

Identifying a Jeep FC150 Versus FC170

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A family member recently bought a property, and in the barn are two cabs, at least one frame, and several other parts, to a truck that neither of us have ever seen. Since he bought the property through an estate auction, we cant find the previous owner to get any info on them, so i figured i would ask here, and see what i find out. I didnt get a chance yet to take any pics, but i did find a pic online, that shows the front of the two cabs. In the pic, it is the one on the left, and the one on the right. I know from my online search they are jeeps, and one site called them fcs, but i couldnt find out much more than that though.

post-40-0-96332200-1414631835_thumb.jpg

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Biggman...As the author of the Jeep Owner's Bible, guess I should respond here...All three are Jeep (Kaiser era) FCs (Forward Control).  The smaller ones are FC150 models, the bigger one an FC170.  The 150s have the F-head four-cylinder engine.  The larger FC170 boasts a 226 L-head inline six.  These vehicles debuted in 1956 (FC150, the FC170 in '57). 

 

There is a great accounting for these vehicles at this Wikipedia page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Forward_Control.  You'll discover that there were several derivative Jeep forward control models, some experiments, specialty editions and even foreign (India) licensees.  A rare diesel (Perkins) powered model showed up at the Moab Jeep Safari two years ago, leaving a cloud of thick, half-burned hydrocarbons in its wake.  You can pin down the equipment and details after studying the Forward Control info at Wikipedia. 

 

There is a distinct and somewhat "cult" following for these FC models.  My earliest encounter and contribution to the lore recalls an FC mastering a dramatically steep hill at El Dorado Canyon near Carson City in the mid-'sixties during a Jeep/Land Cruiser/Scout/all new Bronco hill climb competition.  Danny Howerton, a member of the Douglas County Sheriffs Search & Rescue group that organized the event, had a Jeep FC.  Though the vehicle could not climb the hill like the V-6 and V-8 powered short wheelbase 4x4s, the FC was able to come down the ridiculously steep slope—as steep a vertical gradient as a Cat crawler tractor can cut!  Most impressive was Howerton's prowess at keep the vehicle straight on such a radical downslope and not becoming paralyzed by the bizarre view one would get through a forward control cab windshield!

 

Ground school for Dan Howerton was his teen years spent in the Pacific during WWII.  He served on the last combat cruise of the USS Pennsylvania, which ended at Okinawa.  During his wartime military service in the U.S. Navy, Dan was knocked out of his berth when his Navy ship was hit.  Experiences like that undoubtedly helped raise Dan Howerton's threshold for extreme challenges.

 

Moses

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I showed my cousin the wikipedia link, and now he is using that and some other sites he found to see what parts are there to maybe build one of the two. One question i have though, that may not be answerable, is, did the 150 and 170 use the same frame? The reason i ask is there is only one frame that we can find, and, the one cab is complete, even though the seats are ripped and shredded, but, i dont want to get the cab off the blocks it sits on, only to find it wont fit the frame we have. One thing that neither of us can seem to find is frame specs, such as width, length, and position of cab mounts. It may take a couple years, but i would like to see if we could get one up and running, using mostly the parts we already have. We did find what seems to be a complete 4 and 6 cylinder engine, but no transmissions yet. The barn is also a major mess, so who knows what we will find as we dig things out. And, last question for now, since the wikipedia article didnt seem to state it, is, what transfer case did they use?

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Both models use the Model 18 Spicer transfer case.   Frames are different due to inline six-cylinder (FC170) versus F-head inline four-cylinder (FC150) engines.  To clarify, here are the frame dimensions for each, you can measure what you have in the barn finds.  The FC170 cab is obviously bigger:
 

Jeep FC150 FC170 Frames.pdf

 

I thought of your "find" while filming at the 2014 SEMA Show.  Here is a "treat", the FC170 set up for a harsh winter in your neck of the woods.  Tracks are not "stock", obviously a contemporary upgrade:
 

 
 
You can open the brief video to full-screen viewing...Enjoy!

 

Moses

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