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Ed's Trac Too

The Trac Two from a January 1987 article in 4WD Action magazine

Ed Holbrook, an avid elk hunter, needed the ultimate hunting Jeep. One that would go anywhere and have room to cary an elk back to camp. What he came up with was "Trac Too", a 6 wheel drive DJ-6.

First Tri City Auto Body of Oregon City did the body work which included opening up the rear wheel wells for both rear axles, bobbing the front fenders, and painting it a 1956 Ford color called "bittersweet".

Next was the suspension to locate the axles. Ed worked with Benz Spring Company of Portland to build the springs. The rear used a trailing-arm arrangement with the front using a standard setup. Four air shocks in the rear help with ride height and firmness, depending on how many people or elk are being hauled around.

For axles Ed chose the rugged Dana 44 for all 3. In front was an axle from a 1967 Ford F100 that was narrowed to Jeep width. The front-rear axle is an offset to the right style from a 1971 CJ-5. The rear-rear axle is a center style from a 1972 CJ-5. All three axles have Powerlock limited-slip differentials with 4.09 gears. The braking setup is a trick setup the Ed came up with. There is the standard all 6 wheel braking available for street driving. Then, with special valves under the hood, he can shut off the front brakes and setup the rear for right and left braking. Because the vehicle has an automatic, the once unused clutch was replaced by a secound brake pedal. Push the right pedal while turning right and it will practically turn it it's own length. Of course you can do the opposite to turn left.

The transfer case is the heart of the 6 wheel drive. Ed motified a Dana 20 transfer case using parts from a Dana 18 and other places to come up with one that has two output shafts to the rear. The front axle gets power the standard way. The front-rear axle (offset to the right) gets power from the offset rear output shaft through a short drive shaft that contains only two yokes and a slipe joint, no tubing! The rear-rear axle is driven through the center rear output shaft via a two piece drive shaft, with a carrier bearing welded next to the differential housing of the front-rear axle.

A rebuilt Buick 300 cid V8 engine and a Turbo 400 auto is used to power Ed's creation. In 2WD the "Trac Too" drives the front-rear axle only. In 4WD it uses the front and front-rear axle, in 6WD it uses all three. In low range, 4WD or 6WD is available.

Just a note from Ed "Trac Too is the first and last 6WD I'm building", he claims it's just too much work. He would rather take care of his customers with his brother at Holbrook Specialties 4WD shop in Gladstone, Oregon.

Meet Mr. Ed an Innovation through time

In 1969 I purchased a M 38 body and frame, a Jeep built some where from 1951-53. Improvements began immediately. A 225 cubic inch V6 was installed with a Paxton supercharger blowing through a Holly 600 CFM four barrel carburetor. The transmission was a Turbo-hydromatic 400 with a shift kit. The Dana 20 transfer case bolted to the stock Jeep adapter. This engine and tranny combination and its resulting length gave me a problem with drive line length... it was only ten inches long! I opted to try something different and installed a 1966 F100 high pinion front differential pumpkin in the rear. This moved the pinion yoke two inches above the center of the housing instead of the same distance below. I was initially concerned about running on the coast side of the gears, but this proved not to be a problem. Included in the rear end installation was a Spicier Power-Loc with Jaguar 19 spline one piece side gears. A set of 4.09-1 gears supplied the final drive ratio and full floating axes transferred power to the rear wheels. 11 inch Lockheed brakes with Velvatouch lining comprised the rear binders.

The front end was the rest of the F100 open knuckle front end, shortened to Jeep width and a standard #44 pot installed. Another Power-Loc was installed, as well as matching gears. I had the front hubs machined to accept Studebaker Avanti disc brakes. Braking pressure was increased by the use of a Hydrovac power-booster and a Saginaw power steering system was installed. This was all in "1969"!!!

In 1972 the front end was changed to the standard ball joint design and the #44 center section was retained.

In 1973 the first gas crunch hit and I needed to do something in order to get better mileage, as this was my everyday driver. The 4.09-1 gears were swapped for 3.50-1 and the necessary 3 series Power-Locs. But I knew I wanted to keep a low range close to what I had with the 4.09-1's. With much research I figured out a way to change all five gears in the transfer case -using all stock Dana gears- and some relief grinding in order to achieve a 2.46-1 low range (half again as much as a stock Model 20). The Biggest difficulty was the input gear from the Turbo 400, as it is completely different from any others Jeep used. This was solved by machining out a Warn overdrive planetary gear to fit the Turbo 400 input sleeve.

During 1977 the brakes were changed to the factory Jeep\Scout hubs and rotors on all four wheels. A Corvette proportioning valve was installed to adjust pressure to the rear wheels. About this time the supercharge was removed and an exhaust turbocharger was installed. This unit came of an Oldsmobile F85. The turbo exhaust manifold off the Olds V8 bolted directly on the right side of the V6. By plugging the front exhaust port, the turbo bolted right on. Later, this was replaced with a simple Holly one barrel from a Dodge slant six. The carb had to be drilled for venturi vacuum for the distributor advance. A Filtron air cleaner was made to fit under the stock hood.

Other conversions include the removal of the tool box under the passenger seat and a twelve gallon gas tank was installed, mirroring the one under the drivers seat. Another tank was placed in the rear of the rig giving a total 34 gallon capacity. The paint color is Ford Competition Gold. A Warn 6000 lb.. winch is affixed to the front bumper. The custom leaf springs give a three inch lift with Gabriel Adjustable "Es" provide room for 33 inch Buckshot Radial Mudders. Stewart Warner gauges comprise the custom dashboard layout. The Jeep is titled as a 1971 assembled. Peterson's 4 Wheel drive and Off road picked Mr. Ed as one of their top 10 vehicles in 1981.

The latest modification was the return to the 4.09 ratio gears.