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71 Wheeling Rig

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Fireball, Jan 18, 2021.

  1. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    3,095
    I bought this Jeep a year ago and have been tinkering with it posting things on the "what have you done to your Jeep today" thread, but it's time to start a build thread. I don't have a lot of time to work on the Jeeps, so don't expect it to progress super quickly.

    I want to do a little more serious offroading, but my '69 ( Old Red Maintenace Thread) is original enough I don't want to hack it up. So I started looking for another Jeep.

    This one showed up in Spokane last January:
    [​IMG]

    Original paint, but bed liner interior, Saginaw steering, Aluminum on the back corners, 32 inch tires, and a Buick V8 under the hood. Pretty stock otherwise. It's been modified enough I don't mind making a better offroad rig out of it.

    I loaded it up and hauled it home:
    [​IMG]

    Where it got to meet it's stablemate:
    [​IMG]

    The goal is to make it a capable rig that can do the Rubicon, but not a rock crawler. Something along the lines of Norcal69 and FinoCJ's Jeeps. It should still look like a CJ5 when I'm done with it. The other goal is to keep it running most of the time during the mods. History has proven taking the project too far apart leads to me getting paralyzed.

    I bought it a year ago, so the next several posts will be from the past until I get caught up to today.
     
    CharlesC83, Ol Fogie, locrwln and 7 others like this.
  2. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Messages:
    3,095
    The basic inventory:
    • Original floor pivot pedals with a cable clutch (since it's a 71)
    • Saginaw power steering with an older GM tilt column.
    • Original 10" drum brakes all around.
    • Stock drivetrain with T-14 transmission, D18 transfercase (that pops out of low range), flanged open 3.73 D44 in the rear, open 3.73 D27 in the front.
    • 1970 Buick 350 4brl. Rated at 285hp/375ft*lb with 9:1 compression. Currently has Edelbrock 1406 600cfm manual choke 4brl.
    • Some sort of lift springs with no military wrap that ride fairly rough.
    • 32 inch tires.
    • Nearly new condition SuperTop.
    • 80's vintage S10 seats.
    • Bed liner interior
    • Roll bar
    • Aluminum guards on the rear fenders
    • Original paint, but there is some rust on the front and rear fender braces. Floor and hat channels look great.
    • It has a 10si alternator, but the wiring is a mess.
    Saginaw is a 4-bolt mount early unit. It might be from the same Buick the engine came from. It's mounted fairly low so the tie rod is horizontal even with the lift. Hoses aren't great:
    [​IMG]

    It's mounted with a cast (forged?) mount that I haven't seem before:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Steering shaft passes through the motor mount:
    [​IMG]

    The Buick 350 back when I got the Jeep. I'ts a bolt in replacement for the V6 with the exception of length:
    [​IMG]

    They collapsed the cowl in front of the radiator to move it forward and shortened the radiator in height so it can sit on top the front crossframe:
    [​IMG]

    Some of the rust:
    [​IMG]

    Some of the special wiring:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Build sticker:
    [​IMG]
     
    dozerjim, Ol Fogie, locrwln and 4 others like this.
  3. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
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    Where it's at right now.

    • When I got it, I was unimpressed with the 350. It don't have much power and would over heat and idle and low speeds. Tuning the carb, switching to electronic ignition, getting the vacuum and centrifugal advances working properly and setting the timing have transformed it. It was nearly 20 degrees retarded from where it should have been. Now it seems to run cool (but I haven't tested it in hot weather yet) and has tons of power/low end torque. You can pretty much drive around in 3rd gear without ever shifting.
    • Saginaw steering is tight and it drives nicely down the highway. It can be a little twitchy. A slower box might be nice.
    • There is a driveline vibration at 30-40mph I need to track down.
    • Brake are adequate but aren't working as well as the ones on the '69.
    • With the factory 3.73s and D18, it's not geared low enough for serious offroad use. The transfer case likes to pop out of low range on downhills.
    • The frame looks to be in good shape with no cracks. The PO boxed the front horns when adding the Saginaw. The front crossframe is somewhat hacked up for fan clearance.
    • The springs ride rough. It has an especially annoying pitching motion over bumps that whips you head back and forth. Gets very tiring after a while.
    Overall, it's a nice solid rig that should be a good starting point.
     
    fhoehle, blalp!, 73 cj5 and 2 others like this.
  4. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
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    Things done so far:
    • Water proof seat covers installed
    • Removed the Hi-Lift from the front bumper
    • Sold the rear seat
    • Fixed thermostat housing leak
    • Rebuilt heater controls
    • Installed Pertronix ignition/coil
    • Install carb insulator plate to fix hot-start issues
    • Tuned carb to lean it out a but and adjust the fast-idle for starting
    • Cleaned/fix centrifugal advance
    • Installed new vacuum advance
    • Set timing for 32 degrees total advance. Initial is 9 degree with vacuum advance unplugged.
    • New wipers, adjusted doors to seal better.
    • New valve cover gaskets.
     
  5. Jan 18, 2021
    Ohiowrangler

    Ohiowrangler Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Newark
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    May 29, 2019
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    169
    The steering box mount looks like a YJ mount, the extra bolt holes for the sway bar. Ron
     
    Fireball likes this.
  6. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Feb 9, 2018
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    The basic plan for a wheeling rig:
    • Truck 4-spd
    • Warn overdrive
    • D44 front axle
    • 4.88 gears with selectable lockers
    • BDS springs/shocks
    • Full cage and sliders
    • Winch
    • Front disks with rear 11" drums
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
    fhoehle, Ol Fogie, timsresort and 5 others like this.
  7. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    You're right! It looks exactly like a YJ mount. Thanks!
     
  8. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    When I wasn't enamored with the V8, I picked up this whole assembly from another forum member to get a truck 4sp, an overdrive, and V6 to put back into it:
    [​IMG]

    1971 dauntless, T-98, Large hole D18, Warn overdrive. I'm really liking the V8 now, so I'll probably refresh the V6 for the '69.

    I'm digging into the transmission/transfer case today and will update with some pictures tonight.


    I'm stealing the D44 front axle from my flatfender project. I don't know it's history. It came from a friend. As near as I can tell, it's a tapered D44 pumpkin with D30 2.5" tubes stuck into it. It's got strange 27-spline spider gears in the open 44 center section and seems to be using stock D30 narrow track axle shafts:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'v already put Chevy disks on it. More details later, but the plan for the axle is:
    • 30-spline D30 inners
    • D44 30-spline selectable locker
    • 30-spline (upgraded) D44 truck outers
    • D44 Chevy short spindles
    • D44 Ford internal spline 5x5.5 wheel hubs/rotors/bearings
    • 30-spline Yukon internal hubs
    • The existing brakes
    We'll see if that all fits together when the time comes.
     
    CharlesC83, fhoehle, Ol Fogie and 4 others like this.
  9. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Here's the current punch list in no particular order. We'll see how long it takes to get through all this:
    • Install fuel pressure regulator
    • Install and plumb new heater core and intake hose
    • Rewire the whole thing
    • Make fan shroud
    • Install 14” electric pusher fan with sensor
    • Fix speedometer
    • Fix parking brake (and rear output seal)
    • BDS springs and shims as needed
    • New power steering pressure hose
    • Replace the Flowmaster mufflers with turbo mufflers
    • Make a full cage
    • 3 point seat belts
    • New steering column
    • Skid plates
    • Rock sliders
    • Blacken the rear diamond plate
    • Make spare tire/gas can carrier
    • Install truck 4sp. Use the T-98/Go with a T-18?
    • Rebuild transfer case and make dual stick controls
    • Install Warn overdrive
    • Install Dana 44 front axle with 4.56/4.88/5.38, disk brakes, 30 spline axles, and locker
    • Install rear locker with 4.56/4.88/5.38 gears and 11” brakes
    • Rebuild/install Warn 8274 winch
    • Rewire with EZ-wiring 12 circuit kit
    • Fuel injection?
     
    CharlesC83, fhoehle, dozerjim and 6 others like this.
  10. Jan 18, 2021
    Rubicloak

    Rubicloak Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Nevada
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    ^^^ Wasn't your list this long last year too??? :p
     
  11. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Hah! I said I didn't have much time. I was mostly working on the 69 for the Colorado trip last year and just driving the '71.
     
    Rubicloak likes this.
  12. Jan 18, 2021
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    given that it has a v8, power saginaw steering and 32s....its rubicon ready and probably already built beyond mine....A little rocker protection, lower gearing and a locker and it will be beyond capable...
     
    Ol Fogie and Fireball like this.
  13. Jan 18, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    i wish mine was at the point where it only took that much. :cry: i need to work on the motor, rocker protection, front axle could be better, rear needs traction device, rollbar, mirror, spare & carrier, i'd like to do a saginaw swap? and maybe a chevy drivetrain swap with intermediate axles... so much money tho.
     
    Fireball likes this.
  14. Jan 18, 2021
    Renegade ll

    Renegade ll Member

    Thayne Wyoming
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    Feb 17, 2013
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    That's going to be a great jeep.
     
    Fireball likes this.
  15. Jan 18, 2021
    FinoCJ

    FinoCJ 1970 CJ5 Staff Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Denver, CO
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    not to side-track the thread, but as Roy noted in his post above, its easy to get carried away with big plans and mods etc and never get a finished driveable jeep. My cj has run the rubicon twice with this group, and its pretty simple: stock Ross steering, v6 with 2g carb, T14, D27, D44 etc....it has some additional gearing, good BDS springs, locker and a little bit of rocker protection...I love cool builds, but not all the mods are really needed to make these things strong wheelers....
     
    Jrobz23, homersdog, dozerjim and 2 others like this.
  16. Jan 18, 2021
    blalp!

    blalp! Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Concord, NH
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    It took me three Intermediates to learn this lesson!

    Watching :watch:
     
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  17. Jan 18, 2021
    timsresort

    timsresort Member 2021 Sponsor

    South Lake Tahoe CA
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    Jan 22, 2014
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    Nice jeep. I have never driven a jeep with the Buick 350. Sounds great. I think you have a good plan, keep it simple. For the Rubicon I think it's more about reliability than overkill, unless that's what you're into, of course.
     
    Alan28 likes this.
  18. Jan 18, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
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    You supply the Jeep and tubing, I’ll supply the bends and welds. :sneak:
     
    Alan28, montanacj, fhoehle and 3 others like this.
  19. Jan 18, 2021
    Mr Vaughan

    Mr Vaughan Fly by the seat of your pants

    Central City, NE
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    those are both upgrades from mine, i'll now leave and let the thread get back on topic.
     
    FinoCJ likes this.
  20. Jan 18, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    You got a deal!
     
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