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Starting a CJ-2A project, need advice on components

Discussion in 'Flat Fender Tech' started by Ceol, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. Jul 24, 2006
    Ceol

    Ceol New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Like the title says, I'm just embarking on a project to build up a CJ-2A. I'm starting with the following components (thanks again, George!):

    FC-150 frame (basically identical to a CJ-5 frame)
    CJ-2A tub, fenders, hood, and grill
    Roll bar
    Dana 25 and 41 axles, with 31" tires.
    New Rancho springs
    170CI or 185CI (not quite sure which yet) Studebaker Champion flathead six-cylinder engine, complete with all accessories (including an adapter plate to mate it to a T90).

    My plan for this Jeep is twofold. I want to use it as a platform to learn the basics of working on vehicles (I have some experience as a small engine mechanic, but nothing automotive). Second, I want a recreational vehicle for cruising around the back roads and trails around my home. I'm not concerned with keeping the machine in any sort of original condition. I want it to be a fully functional offroader, but I'm not looking for anything extravagant (no V8s or 35" tires, that sort of thing).

    What I'm wondering is what sort of changes/upgrades I might want to make over the OEM parts that a CJ-2A would have had. Primarily, what I might need to strengthen to accomodate the larger-than-stock engine. It's spec'd at 90-100 horsepower and 140-150 ftlb of torque; will the Dana 25, Dana 41, and T90 handle this reliably? If not, what would be my best options for upgrades?

    I already plan to improve the brakes - are there any recommended way to do that besides using the 11" brakes from later Jeep? I don't have any objection to doing that, but want to know all my options.

    I also plan to put in a Saginaw power steering unit (and conveniently, the frame already has a mounting bracket for one).

    Is there any reason not to use a T-18 transfer case?

    Lastly, I'm wondering about tire size. The tires on it now are 31" tall and pretty wide. I want to keep the tires small enough to make best use of the stock gearing if I can, but at the same time I do have more power than the 134 engine had, so maybe bigger tires would be fine (and would give me a bit more ground clearance). What are your thoughts on tire size? I've seen many people say that a wholly stock flatfender can go just about anywhere, but it seems that most people building up Jeeps go with tires much larger than the originals. Is this just for looks, or for specialty use (big rocks, etc), or is there some general-purpose advantage to big tires?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jul 24, 2006
    neptco19

    neptco19 That guy....

    Athens, GA
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    Sep 26, 2003
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    1,381
    I think your biggest challange is going to be to fit the inline 6 in the engine compartment. You'll prob have to cut the firewall or cut the rad. shroud and move the rad. forward. As for the axles I believe you should be fine. If your not going to lift you can run 31" tires and the width will be up to you, especially since your going to do a saginaw swap at the same time.

    The main advatage to larger tires is for offroad capabilites, allow much more clearence under the vehicle so it dosnt get hung up on obstacles.
     
  3. Jul 24, 2006
    runnamuck

    runnamuck look out!

    hickory, nc
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
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    like a 3" stump at the bottom of guardrail.R)

    yeah, what jason said about the 6. is it already in? axles should be fine on 31"s. same goes for the tranny and t-case. go disc brakes, lots of threads on this on here. you're probably geared 5.38, why not stay with a l-head?
     
  4. Jul 24, 2006
    181jeep

    181jeep Banned

    central valley, ca
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
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    376
    that 6 cylinder was a common transplant years ago and will fit ok. it will overheat with the stock radiator. your proposed drivetrain will work fine for that popwer and torque involved.

    There isn't a T18 t-case. There is a T18 4 speed and a d-18 t-case.

    jb
     
  5. Jul 24, 2006
    Ceol

    Ceol New Member

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    The engine was out of the vehicle since I got it, though I'm told it came out of a 2A, so it should fit.

    The only reason I'm using it rather than an L-head is that it's what I have.

    Conveniently, I don't have a radiator. So I'll make sure to use one that's big enough for the six.

    Glad to hear the drivetrain will be fine as-is!
     
  6. Jul 25, 2006
    jpflat2a

    jpflat2a what's that noise?

    Riverside CA
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
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    7,987
    run the 6
    common old-timer swap
    the rest of the drivetrain should be fine for your use
     
  7. Jul 25, 2006
    rat_ranger

    rat_ranger New Member

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  8. Jul 25, 2006
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Yep. Pretty sure Studebaker used a T-90 in their cars, so the bell will connect without making a plate. Like Jim says, it's common old-timer swap. Every once in a while a Jeep comes up on ebay with Studebaker power. I think you'll have to move the firewall though.

    Studebaker engines are very durable (steel, steel, and lots of iron), though you may have trouble finding parts.
     
  9. Jul 25, 2006
    jd7

    jd7 Sponsor

    Nacogdoches,Texas
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    Studebaker was a popular swap back years ago. That would be neat to see someone do that to completion. Good Luck
     
  10. Jul 25, 2006
    Ceol

    Ceol New Member

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    Huh...like I said, I'm told this engine came out of a 2A already - and one of the parts I got was an adapter plate. Maybe the previous Jeep had a different tranny?
     
  11. Jul 25, 2006
    timgr

    timgr Jeepin' Nerd 2020 Sponsor 2019 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Dunno. Could be that Studebaker used a plate with the T-90? I don't know much detail about this - the swap was popular before even my time. Does the plate look like a factory part, or home-made?
     
  12. Jul 26, 2006
    Ceol

    Ceol New Member

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    The plate looked aftermarket. No numbers stamped in it, and not painted.

    I did some searching, and according to the fine folks at the Studebaker Drivers' Club (who ID'd the engine), a Jeep T90 should bolt right on. I guess I'll know for sure what's going on when I get a T-90 and see if it matches up.
     
  13. Jul 28, 2006
    rwirtzfeld

    rwirtzfeld New Member

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    Jul 2, 2005
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    I have a Studebaker 170 OHV in my 46 CJ-2A. The engine is from a 1963Studebaker Lark. The bolt pattern of the bellhousing is the same as the T-90 in your CJ-2a. Only reason you need an "adaptor" is the length of the input shaft on your transmission. Its about 1 inch longer than needed, so the adaptor is just a spacer between the tranny and bell housing. Anyway, that's the way mine is. If you would like a picture I can email you one.

    As far as cooling, I did put in an aftermarket all aluminum radiator. With a Ford taurus cooling fan. (popular junkyard fan swap, Taurus fan's will suck a cat through the radiator.) My cooling system is way overkill, but when I rebuilt the Studebaker engine I bored it out .060 and it already had close tolerances between the cylinders (siamese) so it required a little extra. I believe you mentioned your Studebaker is the flathead so cooling probably wouldn't be as much of a concern, since the flathead cylinders are all equally spaced. Rebuilding Studebaker engines is no problem as far as part availability, I can give you several vendors if need be. The cost is high however, just because of the limited supply and lack of volume sold.

    As far as fitting in the engine compartment, no problem there. I did change from the original headlights to some aftermarket to help free-up some space, but that was more related to the above described cooling system not so much the lenght of the engine block.

    I also hang out at the Studebaker drivers forum, my login on both is rwirtzfeld, let me know if I could help with something.
     

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