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Project Old Goat - 1965 Cj5a Restomod

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by BadGoat, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Feb 1, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    In the fall of 2017, I picked up a 1965 CJ5a Tuxedo Park that seemed to be in decent condition, but wasn't running. As I began to dig into the Jeep I found more and more problems, including a damaged frame and extensive body rot. Additionally, very few of the Tux Park pieces were still there. At the same time, my wife fell in love with the little Jeep and wanted it for a daily driver. So we dove into a full on restomod build with a goal of creating a simple, but very nice daily driver. I got about 60% through the project by June, but then we had to move from Alaska to St Croix in the USVI. We are finally getting settled into our new place and I'm now able to dive back into this build. The list of major components we are using includes the following.

    - Throttle Down Kustoms early CJ5 frame
    - MD Juan new tub, fenders, and windshield frame
    - Dana 44 front and rear axles from a J-Truck with Quadratrac
    - YJ leaf springs with a front shackle reversal (OME 2.5 inch lift springs)
    - 4 wheel disc brake conversion
    - 5.3l Gen IV LS truck engine with an LS 9 camshaft
    - SM 465 Transmission
    - Dana 18 Transfer Case
    - New rear frame mounted fuel tank, with the original underseat tank kept as an auxiliary
    - Western Turbine wheels powder coated black
    - Hella halogen head lights
    - New Bestop soft top and bikini top
    - Original Tux Park front Bench seat and bestop rear seat
    - Ron Francis full wiring kit
    - Warn 8274 winch

    Currently it rolls, but needs a lot more work to start, run, drive, steer, and stop. I have an extensive collection of pictures for the build and will upload a bunch of photos. I also just did a walk around video if you are interested.



    Thanks for reading along so far.

    Mike
     
    Tom_Hartz, 73 cj5, Bowbender and 4 others like this.
  2. Feb 1, 2019
    Beach66Bum

    Beach66Bum ‘66 Tux Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Big Island on...
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,027
    Very nice custom build!
     
  3. Feb 1, 2019
    62CheepJeep

    62CheepJeep Member

    Spartanburg SC
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2018
    Messages:
    314
    Very nice.... Alaska to USVI must be climate shock. Lol
     
  4. Feb 1, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Here are pictures from when I first picked it up and when I began working on it. I still have the hard top and will eventually restore it too.

    Mike





     
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  5. Feb 3, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    I started with the axles. They are from a mid 70s J-truck with drum brakes. The truck had Quadratrac so the rear axle has a pumpkin offset to the passengers side, perfect for use with a Dana 18 T-case. I converted the rear axle to disc brakes using a caliper mounting bracket from Dave’s Customs and Cadillac ElDorado calipers as they come with a parking brake. Rotors are from a Chevy truck to keep the 6 bolt hubs. Front axle was converted by sourcing the knuckles and all outer components from a GM 10 bolt axle. You have to use the GM outer axle shaft and the Jeep inner axle shaft, but everything bolts right up.

    Mike


     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
    Rich M. and 73 cj5 like this.
  6. Feb 3, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    I originally picked up a Dauntless V6 to use in the project, but it had a questionable history and I wanted fuel injection. It’s my understanding that converting the odd fire motor to EFI is challenging due to not being able to use the cam signal to control the system. Add in the cost of a potential rebuild and it was an easy decision to look for a more modern power plant. So I succumbed to the calls to LS swap the world. The LS has a few things going for it. They are readily available, and there’s no distributor in the back to interfere with the firewall. I initially found a free one, but it was seized up and had one bent push rod. I found a second motor that had been the start of someone else’s project and was a much better candidate. This motor is an LY5 block from a 2007 Silverado with less then 50k miles on it and stock 10:1 compression. The guy who had it builds 15-20 motors a year and his client had fallen through on this one. He had already deleted the displacement on demand function, installed an LS9 camshaft, and an LS3 timing chain cover. I finished the build by sourcing a Camaro oil pan, a set of 799 heads, having them rebuilt with upgraded valve springs, finding a Trail Blazer SS intake manifold, and using a FiTech wiring harness and computer. I haven’t run it yet, but it should be in the 420+ horsepower range. And of course I painted it traditional Chevy orange.

    Mike


     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    Dphillip and Fly Navy like this.
  7. Feb 3, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    The transmission is an SM465 from an 87 2wd Chevy pickup. It also came with a stock bell housing with the mount for a hydraulic slave cylinder. I used kits from Advance Adapters to supply the correct flywheel with a Centerforce clutch for mating the engine to the transmission and the adapter to bolt the transmission to the Dana 18. The Dana had supposedly been rebuilt, but just before I left Alaska I filled them both with 90 weight gear oil and it started leaking out the rear output seal for the T-case. I still need to pull it out from under the Jeep and determine of it still needs a rebuild or if a new yoke and seal will solve it. I reused the original tranmisssion cross member with a mount adapter from AA and simply drilled new holes were necessary to get it all to bolt up. I might space it down an inch if I need it to help the rear driveshaft length. The shop I was working with for paint and fabrication support was spraying some safety yellow on an industrial job, so after I had the trans and T-case mated, they power washed it and sprayed them yellow. I like the contrast with the orange.

    Mike


     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
    Bowbender and Rich M. like this.
  8. Feb 4, 2019
    Dgroshek

    Dgroshek Member

    TX
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    191
    Loving your build! Since you're also using a TDK frame and MD Juan tub, how did you get the two to fit together? Mine fit but the engine was riding too low. Raised the engine but now my distributor hit. Wanted to go with just 1" body picks but got another set to double up just in case. Tried both, no joy. When I lower my engine, all mount holes line up.

    I guess can you share your measurement from top of engine to top of the cowl?
     
  9. Feb 4, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Hi Dgroshek,
    Our builds seem very similar. In short, I purchased my tub from C and C Equipment in Indiana and it came completely undrilled. The only body mount holes present were the four on the rear valence. I had to drill all the floor mount holes before it went into paint. It took me 3 or 4 days of work to fit the body and get everything drilled out. Also, the dimensions on my LS motor and SM 465 are slightly different then your small block Chevy and transmission. Did you have TDK pre-install the motor mounts or are you doing it yourself? You may need to pull the driveline forward an inch or so or open up the firewall for the distributor. My TDK frame came with a bunch of different holes that can be used for the trans crossmember, so moving the motor forward might be easy. Just be sure to leave enough room for the radiator. My motor is a little to far forward and I only have about 5 inches between the front of the motor and the back of the grill. I have found a radiator and fan combo that should work, but we will see. Hope this helps.

    Mike
     
  10. Feb 4, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Here’s the reason for going 6 lug on the axles. I had found a set of original Western Turbine wheel in 15x8 with a 6x5.5 pattern and thought they would be perfect for keeping some of the old school feeling in the build. I had a wheel specialist media blast them, fix some minor curb rash and powder coat them gunmetal gray. Tires are BF Goodrich All Terrains in 31x10.5r15. This size should work well with the 3.55 gears in the axles. I have room for 33s, but I’ll see how well these work first. Also, the wheels do clear the front brakes, barely, but I had to use 1.5 inch spacers to clear the rear discs. Luckily the rear axle was already about 3 inches shorter then the front after I converted them both to disc brakes.

    Mike


     
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  11. Feb 4, 2019
    Dgroshek

    Dgroshek Member

    TX
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2017
    Messages:
    191

    Thanks BadGoat. My TDK frame didn't come with engine mounts; had to do them myself. They supplied me with a transmission crossmember but I went with the stock one as it was less fabrication work. There were no holes cut out for placement on either by TDK. My motor mounts have 3 holes, and I had originally set them on the lowest two holes but I was told the engine may be too low. When it was on the lower holes, everything fit perfectly. I think I'll be lowering it again...
     
  12. Feb 6, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    I had mentioned earlier that the frame was damaged. It had obviously been in a wreck as both of the front frame horns were bent, cracked and poorly repaired. The front shackle hangers had rusted out and been badly patched, and when I stripped the body off, the whole frame had a noticeable twist. I didn't think it prudent to install a 400+ hp engine in the current frame or cost effective to straighten, rebuild, and reinforce it, and still have a 50 year old frame. So I bit the bullet and ordered a custom built frame from Throttle Down Kustoms in Montana. I had them leave off the front spring mounts and the motor mount as I would need to place the new ones myself. They were great to work with and the frame came looking very nicely built. We first mocked up the front spring hanger for the shackle reversal and the wider axles. The outboard bracket was built in such a way to allow both the reuse of the stock type c-channel bumper and the addition of tow bar brackets, all with being removable. We then used the front spring hanger to locate the rear shackle hanger and outboarded it as well. The spring and shackle hangers, the rear outboard bracket and the shackles all came from Ruffstuff Specialties and are excellent quality. We also moved the saginaw steering box bracket farther forward as we knew the axle would be forward of it's stock location. We also cut off the front shock mounts and moved them rearward about 6 inches to better work with the wider axle and it's new rearward travel arc. Once the welding was complete, we bolted up the springs and had the entire assembly sandblasted and painted gloss black with an industrial paint. My paint and body guy does mainly heavy equipment work, so his go to coatings are all frequently exposed to harsh environments. Should be perfect for a Jeep frame.

    Mike



     
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  13. Feb 6, 2019
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor Sponsor

    Florida Keys
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
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    2,212
    I don't suppose any of the original Tux parts are still around? That steering column and matching dash are getting really hard to come by.
    Nice build.
    -Donny
     
  14. Feb 6, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Hi Donny,
    I'm working to incorporate as much of the original Jeep as possible into the build. I'm keeping the original steering column and wheel, along with the seats. The dash was left in Alaska as it didn't match up properly with new tub and had been cut for a stereo. None of the gauges were original. It might still be available if my buddy hasn't used it for anything. That's really all of the Tux stuff that was left on the Jeep (aside from the vin tag.)

    The motor, transmission, and axles went to other restorations that were ongoing in Alaska. The tub is still probably sitting at my buddies, but it looked like swiss cheese once we sand blasted all the Bondo and fiberglass off it.

    Mike
     
  15. Feb 6, 2019
    Dphillip

    Dphillip Sponsor Sponsor

    Omaha NE
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    188
    Looks great, nice work!

    I’ll be curious how the El Dorado calibers work for you especially the emergency brake function. I considered them for my build but went with Wilwood instead. The braking is good but the emergency brake is weak at best.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    With the frame complete, it was time to start bolting stuff to it. First came the axles and brakes, to make a rolling chassis. Then the engine, trans, and t case. We tried to set the engine as close to the firewall as possible to leave room for the radiator. We made a couple of small but important changes to the motor. We replaced the truck dampner with a Corvette dampner and pulleys. This saved about 1.5-2 inches off the motor length. In the picture below you can see a comparison between the two dampners. You can also see the water pump pulley. We changed the water pump as well to a Camaro water pump which has a single width pulley, not the double width on the one shown. Most people will relocate the cross member to allow the radiator to fit down between the frame rails. I wanted to try and save it. I'm still working on fitting the radiator in it's space, so we'll see if I can save it or not. Also in hindsight, we could have moved the engine back another 1-2 inches. As it sits I have room to fit my hand in between the motor and the firewall.

    Mike



     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  17. Feb 16, 2019
    Focker

    Focker That's what I do, I know things and I fix stuff. Staff Member Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
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    6,149
    I like all the different colors... Reminds me of old school Legos.
     
  18. Feb 16, 2019
    givemethewillys

    givemethewillys Sponsor Sponsor

    New Kent, VA
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    857
    Great build! I really like your fender flares, do you have a source for them?
     
  19. Feb 17, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    Thanks, they are 5 inch wide CJ flares from Xenon. They are not their flat fenders. They did not come with hardware so I used some 1/4 inch stainless steel bolts and nuts. They fit well and are quite sturdy, but the finish on them is flat and not consistent. They could be painted to match the body, or painted gloss black.

    Xenon 8260 EZ Mount Fender Flare Set for 76-86 Jeep CJ-5 & CJ-7

    Mike
     
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  20. Feb 21, 2019
    BadGoat

    BadGoat How High Can You Climb?

    St Croix, USVI
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Messages:
    41
    For those curious about how much space is left under the hood of a short nose CJ-5 with an LS motor, here's an overhead view. I'm in the middle of wiring the Jeep, fitting in the steering system, and installing the cooling system. It actually has more room than I thought it would.

    Mike

     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019

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