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The Slower Than Crap CJ5 Build

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by daddyusmaximus, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. Feb 13, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    People like photos, so I'll start out with one.

    [​IMG]

    Got my new (to me) 1979 Jeep CJ5 last month. This is my 3rd CJ5, but the last one I had was when Regan was in office.... I have been wheeling much bigger trucks (Suburbans, F250s) for the last 20 or so years. I decided to start my build thread, but please do not expect a complete build in a short time. You see, I'm poor. Well, OK, maybe not poor poor, but I'm living off my VA disability, so there's not a lot of cash raining down on me.

    As with most old Jeeps, my starting point has been through the ringer with past owners, and was built to serve as a sand toy a couple owners back. It is powered by a Mopar 360 out of a Dodge truck. The engine is very strong with fender exit headers, a holly 4 barrel, and MSD ignition. That same Dodge truck also donated it's full width axles. Front is a Dana 44, and the rear is a Chrysler 9.25. The rear has a Detroit locker, and there are 4 wheel disc brakes and 4.88 gears. A big selling point was the Torqueflite 727 automatic. Transfer case is the original Dana 20. The axles are in the SOA configuration, and it rides on 33" Goodyear MTs. Everything else has been stripped out. No heater or defrost, no rear seat, and the fronts are plastic racing seats with 4 point harness. A home built 6 point cage was built and the seats mounted to the cage a little further back for more room, but they cut the fenderwells to do that. The automatic, as I stated was a big thing for me. I wanted the auto in a CJ5. Thanks to some idiot in Iraq with an IED, I have hip problems and have to walk with a cane, so driving a stick just won't do. Besides, I have driven a stick too many times off road in Army trucks and I don't want that to be how I spend my retirement even if I were still healthy.
     
  2. Feb 13, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Plans for the Jeep are many. It will not be a daily driver. In fact, this will be the first 4x4 I ever had that wasn't, so it doesn't have to be super practical. I want to be able to go trail riding more than doing sand dunes. I also want this to be used for camping trips. (Or overlanding, as rich people call it.) It's just me and Brandy my service dog for the trips, so we don't need a large vehicle. I hardly ever got the wife to go in the big trucks I've has in the past, and she's already promised never to ride in the Jeep because it seems that Jeeps tip over easy. This will also make for a cool summer cruising rig. Who doesn't (besides my wife) enjoy no top, no doors cruising?

    I will be going to a suspension seat, as my mangled up back and hips demand it. Brandy will get a custom platform built into the space where the passenger seat goes. She's a 95lb German Shepherd, and is too big to lay down in a bucket seat. I will be running 35s and the overall theme will be that of a military style Jeep. She won't be a full on M38A1 clone, but will have that flavor. Still thinking on if I want to stay with the old school OD or go with the newer desert tan scheme we had in Iraq.

    I will need to make it more user friendly for me so I'll be building a center console to raise the shifters up for easy reach. I will be modifying the roll cage as there is a bar on the side that makes it a PITA to get in. I will have to put a heater/defrost system back in it, and it will get a soft top for bad weather. She will get a stereo I can use my Ipod with. Must have my oldies when I cruise. She will get a CB as well. I'm keeping her SOA but will probably change over to new YJ springs. I want a coilover, but that's money for parts and fab work I don't have. Trying to learn though, so who knows about the future. As it is right now, my booger-like welds are not to be trusted. I can practice my skills patching up the fenderwells.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
    melvinm likes this.
  3. Feb 13, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    The first project is to fix the way the transfer case is mounted so low. The engine has been tilted down a bit in the rear and a custom transfer case crossmember fabricated. It looks like they were trying to limit the driveline angle for the front axle, but now it hangs down too low for my taste. At least the rear axle was rotated upward to help with that angle. You can also see the torque arms fabricated to keep axle wrap down with the SOA. The crossmember for the arms is right on top of the transfer case, so it will have to be moved as well.

    [​IMG]

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    I have also been looking at, and researching my poorly designed traction bars. I took the traction bars off for now. A new one, if needed will be put in later... properly. You can tell that the lack of a front shackle put them under stress by the fact that they are no longer straight...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Feb 13, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Found a possible CJ5 carcass to pick through from a facebook group (midwest overlanders) contact, so some parts may be coming within the next month or so. It does have a factory Jeep Dana 20 skidplate mount for the transfer case. If only it had a good dash. I'd like to get rid of that diamond plate one...
     
  5. Feb 13, 2017
    Lilbuff63

    Lilbuff63 Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    Sonoma County Ca
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    215
    Looks like a great project, I wish you luck! Thank you for serving for our country!:flag:
     
  6. Feb 14, 2017
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,049
    Hey welcome buddy. We have talk a little on a facebook post (Jean-Michel Gagnon)
     
  7. Feb 24, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
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    28
    Got my first add on in the mail yesterday, my custom plate.

    If you have to ask, drop and give me 20.

    [​IMG]

    Couldn't figure out why it wouldn't shift into 2 high. The home brewed shifter is FUBAR on the Dana 20. No biggie. I disconnected it from the shifter and pushed the front drive bar into neutral. At least I got 2 high cruising for now. I was gonna twin stick it anyhow.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2017
    Posimoto

    Posimoto Hopeless JEEP Addict

    Minden, Nevada
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2003
    Messages:
    4,504
    Looks like a good platform to start with. Gotta love the Mopar 360. Have fun with the re-build and thank you for your service.
     
  9. Mar 22, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
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    Well I finally got that good test drive in. Went wheeling in her Sunday with my 4x4 club. Still gonna be a slow process, but I need to start on some things. Some parts each month, and we'll see... I'm giving myself 2 years start to finish. I will use it this summer and start the real teardown in the fall.

    After driving around in her a bit I find she is lacking in the wiring and shifting departments. The PO stripped out everything he didn't need to run in the sand. I've no way to charge my phone, there are light issues, and I am kinda scared to tap into what's left of the rats nest under the dash to put in a CB. Ordering components to build a new wiring harness. Also ordering a twin stick cable shifter for the D20. Sucks having to crawl under to engage the front axle...
     
  10. Mar 23, 2017
    aallison

    aallison 74 cj6, 76 cj5. Has anyone seen my screwdriver?

    Green Cove...
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,922
    Looks like a good project. Lots of work already done but still a lot to do. And another thanks for your service.
     
  11. Mar 29, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
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    Brown Santa dropped off my new J B twin stick cable shifter today. If all goes well, that will go on within the next week.
     
  12. Mar 30, 2017
    AlexCold

    AlexCold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    140
    I hope yours goes in as easily as my normal twin stick did. They're a great company, and reply quickly to emails if you need help.
     
  13. Apr 3, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
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    All didn't go well... Got the shifter off of the transfercase but couldn't get the adapter for the new twin stick cable shifter mounted. There is a piece in the way I need to cut off, but my sawzall died. Will have to pick up a new one soon. Probably get a battery powered one.
     
  14. Apr 9, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
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    Got the JB twin stick cable shifter mounted, but can't get the transfer case to move out of neutral in the front drive. Shifter is good, T-case is messed up somehow. Worked 2 weeks ago... ???

    Took the front passenger seat out, and built Brandy a temporary front seat dog bed. I'll have to re do it later when I get my suspension seat and build the center console for the shifters, but it's good enough for this summer.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Apr 10, 2017
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,049
    You may need to move the jeep forward or reverse...sometime there is load on the t case so it's harder to get it disengage
     
  16. Apr 10, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
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    I was trying with it on jackstands... shouldn't have been binding. A guy on another site says the shift rod for the rear drive can move too far or not far enough, and lock up the front drive rod. Any ideas on how far they are supposed to move to be in the correct position?
     
  17. Apr 19, 2017
    army grunt

    army grunt Member

    Georga USA
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    269
    Is that a service dog?
     
  18. May 14, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Haven't had much energy or money to put into the project, but I have done a few small things.

    New front recovery points are off my old F250.
    [​IMG]

    Put in a CB. Not many places to fit a full size radio in a CJ5. I welded a couple bars between the top runners on the roll cage. I used an old bracket from a military vehicle radio antenna.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Installed a Blue Sea charging port in the radio hole in the dash. Can't wait to get rid of the diamond plate.
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    Steps make it easier to get in and don't cost any ground clearance. Jerry cans go mounted on the side. They can't hit anything as the tires stick out with the full width axles.

    [​IMG]

    Put the Hi-Lift on the cowl in front of the windshield that I'll probably never put down.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. May 14, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Messages:
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    Yes she is. She helps me with my PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury issues I have from an IED blast. She has really brought me back to almost being a civilized person. Here you can see how hard it is for a 95 pound Shepherd to lay down on a small Jeep bucket seat. The dog box will be used on long trips, but she does ok in the seat around town.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. May 17, 2017
    army grunt

    army grunt Member

    Georga USA
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    269
    Thats outstanding!!!Here is mine. I have had her 6 years.She is for balance, hearing, ptsd.
     

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