Junkyard Find: 1972 Jeep J-4000, Used-Up Snowplow Edition

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1972 jeep j 4000 used up snowplow edition

Most ’60s and ’70s Detroit cars I see in big pull-yer-own-parts wrecking yards show signs of having spent a decade or more sitting in a yard or driveway. This is not the case with pickups, because just about any pickup that can be made to work at not-too-great expense will be kept on the road. A 45-year-old long-wheelbase Jeep pickup with a snowplow will earn its keep pushing the white stuff around until something really expensive fails.

Here is such a truck, spotted in a Denver yard.

The lack of an area code on the phone number and BIG SKY COUNTRY mudflaps indicate that this truck may have been a recent Colorado transplant from single-area-code Montana.

The plow hardware is gone, no doubt transferred to a youthful Dodge or GMC from the mid-80s.

There’s Bondo. There’s rust. There’s a driver’s door from a different-colored truck. How many miles are on this thing? A half-million?

The base engine in the ’72 Jeep pickup was the American Motors 258-cubic-inch straight six, an engine family used in Jeeps well into the current century. This one has the optional AMC V8, either a 304 or a 360 (and if you can tell the two apart from this photograph, let us know). You can only wring 175 horses from the 360, but that was plenty for plowing with the no-doubt-crazy-short gearing in this truck.

AMC found a particularly gruff-sounding hired voice for this in-house 1973 Jeep truck ad. Coming on stronger and tougher than ever!

[Images: © 2017 Murilee Martin]

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  • CobraJet CobraJet on Jan 30, 2017

    Growing up, my best friend's dad had a 1964 Jeep pickup. It had a camper shell that we rode many miles in. We thought it was fun back then. That body style didn't change for over a decade. His truck had an odd 6 cyl engine made by Kaiser, I believe.

    • Drzhivago138 Drzhivago138 on Jan 30, 2017

      Engine in question was the Tornado 250 Six. "Road tests of the new Jeep Wagoneer by Car Life magazine described the OHC six as 'commendably smooth and quiet.'" Besides the Gladiator and Wagoneer, the six was also used in some Industrias Kaiser Argentina and Renault Argentina vehicles, most notably the IKA Torino.

  • Doug-g Doug-g on Jan 31, 2017

    The promo film talked of turning "suspects" into buyers. LOL!

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?