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1974 CJ5

Discussion in 'Custom Offroad Builds' started by Wadernation, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Wadernation

    Wadernation Well-Known Member

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    So this journey has had 3 basic phases for me. Buying and enjoying this jeep for a few years as it was...then progressing into a pretty decent build by my buddies fab shop...then finally my dream of a ground up transformation which i have done myself. I am documenting this not only to share the experiences with you but to keep the pictures and information in one thread for future reference.

    So let's start.

    I bought this thing back in 2012 right when i graduated from college. I have always off-roaded and it was a matter of time before i got a jeep and put the dirt bike away. Having the V8 swap was a good trade off between dune driving and hard pack cruising and that really sold me on it. Here are the pictures of the jeep back in its glory along with what it looked like when i purchased it. The blue boat carpeting really adds to the theme...yikes. I knew the original owner and this thing was sold off the lot with a burgundy/maroon color and he somehow opted to do a weird silver blue fade over the years...i will change this.

    The jeep had a sbc 355, port/polish, performer intake, B&M shifter and just basic comp cam parts. Honestly, it was a very good motor for what it was and paired with some paddle tires got me up every dune. I ripped out the carpet and spray lined it with a "at home" kit. I added some basic switches, stereo, newer gauges but basically kept it as was for a year or two. og 0001.png og 0002.JPG og 0003.jpg og 0004.jpg og 0005.jpg og 0006.jpg og 0007.jpg og 0008.jpg og 0009.jpg og 0010.jpg og 0011.jpg og 0012.jpg og 0013.jpg

    Phase 2 started when a good friend of mine decided to open a fabrication shop. He worked on off road trucks and hot rods so he needed a first project...and i jumped at the opening. He has a similar CJ he built and based the rebuild off past work to his own jeep. We left the motor and tranny alone for this one. New cage and seat mounts, fuel cell, D44 axles and new leafs, lockers, shocks, bumpers, fuel cell, disc brakes. basically everything under the tub would be new. He stretched it 9'' over stock and allowed for better articulation and a smoother ride. i was super happy with this and enjoyed it for a few years.
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  2. Wadernation

    Wadernation Well-Known Member

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    Phase 3 started back in December 2017. Over Thanksgiving i noticed some coolant blow by and figure it was time for a rebuild. i have been waiting to tear this thing down and this gave me the excuse. So began the 2 month transformation that has engulfed my free time and too much money. It isn't a good idea to start an off road project in the middle of the season but i gave myself till mid February to get it done and i will be very close.

    I tore everything down to a rolling chassis. Ripped out the motor and trans, cage, wiring, plumbing...everything! The goal was to redo it all and have it be nice and new..easier said than done. Cage was sent off for powder coat, engine, trans, and transfer case all sent out for rebuilds, and the prepping the tub for new paint along with a new hood. On the list to buy: all new gauges, steering and shafts, new lights, HID pods for the bumper and pillars, new fuel cell, aluminum radiator, hood, powder coat all the hardware, in dash GPS/ipad mount, K4 switches, alum. dash, mirrors, Holley EFI and everything to make this thing perfect again. Had to fill some body holes and it was off to paint. I stuck with a similar color as the previous silver and i am happy with that. Fabbed up the steering and dash support, got some aluminum and got the dash situation done and mocked up. Its been a journey but its coming together. The motor will be punched to a 383 stroker, the Dana 20 TC is just getting a basic rebuild and the Th350 got a bigger torq converter and bench prep. should have it fired up within the next week or so. more to come.. 0001.JPG 0002.JPG 0003.JPG 0004.jpg 0005.JPG 0006.JPG 0007.JPG 0008.jpg 0009.jpg 00010.jpg 00011.jpg 00013.jpg 00014.jpg 00015.png 00016.png
     
  3. DLC

    DLC Well-Known Member

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    B1A5EC04-4497-4DE9-9933-CBA84464426A.jpeg 85BCA4B8-D1A4-4855-9B48-7605CB0DC98C.jpeg Wow looks cool! Old CJ’s are just awesome when they are cleaned up! Are you going to run 33 or 35’s??

    I really like your build! I had a 56 cj5 it had a Chevy 350 with auto trans ps &pb, it need to be gone thru it as it sat for 15 years! It sat /rested at my house for 3 years and I finally realized I wasn’t going to get to it so I sold it to a buddy and I bought a 2012 jk Rubi. But seeing your build I sure miss it!
     
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  4. Wadernation

    Wadernation Well-Known Member

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    good looking jeep! im sure down the road i will be more comfortable in something like yours. I run 35s on the CJ. thanks for the kind words...its been a fun project!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  5. t&y

    t&y Well-Known Member

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    Finally a REAL JEEP. Better check the air bags, you might not be able to register it without them...:D

    Question, what fuel cell did you go with and are you going bottom fed lines, intank pump, standard pickup with manual pump?
     
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  6. t&y

    t&y Well-Known Member

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    Crop (2).jpg

    This one is on the waiting list for it's second complete tear down and rebuild.
     
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  7. Wadernation

    Wadernation Well-Known Member

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    I went with the RCI 15 gallon tanks that Summit sells.. ok..disclaimer.. i ran the same tank for a few years with terrible luck..had the tank re welded a few times because of hairline cracks. Last week i had a buddy re tig the cell again (filled with water) and the thing blew up like a tin can. Because i am in a rush a went ahead and bought the same tank again and noticed the welds are WAY better than before so maybe they fixed their fab system. I also mounted it on foam strips so it has more flex and purchased internal cell foam but still deciding on that. I have heard both good and bad with that shit breaking down with the Cali gas. The tank is a top fed pickup tube, comes with a sending unit of your choice, has a roll over vent and return line (all are located on the top). I ran this tank off a mechanic fuel pump no issues. With the 383 paired with the Holley EFI system it will still work with an external electric fuel pump that comes with the kit. I did have to drill a new return line since the one that was on the tank wont work with the fittings for the kit but wasnt a big deal. I capped the existing return threads and it should work fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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  8. DLC

    DLC Well-Known Member

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    15 gallons seems kinda small what type of mileage do you get? When your out in the dez you must have to top off every day.
     
  9. Wadernation

    Wadernation Well-Known Member

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    the old 355 did surprisingly well with fuel. i could cruise most of the day on 1/2 tank or better so not bad. If the new motor is more thirsty i will definitely consider a better cell with more capacity. I think changing to the EFI will also improve the MPG so i guess i will see how it goes.
     
  10. Wadernation

    Wadernation Well-Known Member

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    Things are coming along but slowly. got the motor and trans back in but need a hand getting the Dana20 bolted up. its too heavy to get into place and my floor jack just isnt cutting it with just me. I will have my mechanic install that on his lift when the times come to crank this thing over and tune it. But Lots of dead ends. i bought a flex-a-lite radiator and fan combo that should fit my application but the fan was in the way of the water pump. I racked my brain for hours on what to do and how to mount it. Ideally a puller is a much better install and i went back and forth with a puller vs pusher vs mechanical fan (ditching electrical) or even adding a small spal fan. The only option at the moment is to run it as a pusher since it fits that way (3000 cfm), buying and remounting the tranny cooler to the rear by the fuel cell, and see how it cools on the first ride. Who knows...it might be just fine at high speeds and the pusher may work on slow trails. If not, i will ditch the fan and run a mechanic set up with shroud.

    I also needed to get a short SBC water pump as my long pump was about 1/2'' from the radiator (pic below). thats too close for comfort esp if the frame starts flexing. So a short water pump requires all new pulleys and brackets so theres more money i wasnt expecting but gave me 3'' to work with. one thing after another but i hope this is the last bit of shit! Finishing up some wiring and getting the wire looms all nice and pretty. By this weekend i should have it all together and maybe get out to the desert for presidents weekend if the pulleys go on as they should. if not then the TDS jeep run will be the maiden voyage the first weekend of March.

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  11. Wadernation

    Wadernation Well-Known Member

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    more updates: wheeled it out in the sun since my garage lighting sucks. Got the tranny cooler re-routed and mounted. just need to install the lines. Still waiting on my serpentine set up to ship but thats the last of it to install. Then the carb goes on and off to my engine guy for the final prime and tune. then mufflers welded up. once that happens i will install the Holley EFI which is pretty much plug and play and i have already pre-wired the jeep to accept this.
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