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Unread 05-04-2014, 02:40 AM   #1
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
DJ5C Track Jeep

Good evening folks. It's taken 8 years but I have finally gotten to a point where I can put some time and money back into my DJ5C project.

Background: The 1974 DJ5C Jeep started as my daily driver in highschool. It was completely stock except for some nice stainless hood latches my dad had gotten me. During my junior yeah of highschool I started to get into American muscle V8s and hot rodding. My best friend at the time got me into drag racing and convinced me to join the school bracket drag racing team. I raced with the factory 232 for 2 seasons clocking a record 22.43 second 1/4 mile @66mph on my best day . It didn't take long to want more...

The same friend and his dad had CJ2As with small block Chevy's so I knew a swap could be done. Working part time in highschool my budget was limited. The total time to do the swap was 6 weeks building the engine and about a week putting it in while working after school and on weekends. The complete 350ci engine was pulled from a 77 Chevy pickup for $300. The original plan was to just replace gaskets and clean it up then drop it in. During the teardown I found that I had lucked out and gotten a 4bolt main block! This got me thinking more performance oriented and settled on a 383 stroker combination because why not?

Engine:
The crank is an externallly balanced Eagle cast steel part, I kept the stock length 350 rods but replaced the bolts with ARP parts, new Keith black 9.8:1 pistons and molly rings, bored .30 over. I didn't touch the stock 76CC heads aside from cleaning and paint. Comp Cams...I don't remember the model, sorry, it's .454 lift on the intake and exhaust. Edelbrock performer dual plane intake with Edelbrock 750CFM 4BBL carb. Ignition is an Accel HEI with stock curve and 8MM wires with champion plugs. Jegs aluminum short water pump and 1 wire alternator. External balancer and flexplate. Hooker block hugger headers with 2.5" glass pack dual exhaust with side exit.

Radiator is the factory DJ5C size but cleaned and re-cored with a 2100CFM electric fan. The heater core is hooked up and working as well for emergency cooling but I've never needed it. Brakes are factory manual 4 wheel 11" drums but hoping to upgrade to power brakes very soon. The transmission was sourced on craigslist for $150 from a rebuilder who had built it for another drag track car. The guy never paid up and the rebuilder had to move so he just wanted to get rid of it. I just had to get a torque converter and pan for it. Both are stock replacement parts from FLAPS. Transmission mount is just slightly modified from the factory jeep member to move the mounting holes about 3 inches forward with a Lakewood bushing.

Per NHRA rules I had to extend the wheel base 9 inches to ~90 inches since it no longer has the factory engine. I moved the stock Dana 44 back which required relocating the gas tank. I installed a 10 gallon fuel cell in a locking metal tank in the back. All new aluminum fuel and transmission cooler lines but I still need to get them mounted a bit more solidly than zip ties . The tires were just whatever monthly special Les Schwab was running P185/75R14.

I ran this setup for 2 seasons and got it tuned in to my best run of 12.86@108mph with the pipes off . At this point life hit me pretty good and the project had to sit for the last 8 years. Uncle Sam was generous this year and I got some big debt knocked out so I finally have time and small funds to get it back into shape along with my 2A. Coming plans include upgrade to power brakes, shocks on all corners, new heads, relocate battery to the back, body off sand blast, metal repair and repaint, and maybe a speedometer .

engine.jpg   leftfront.jpg   rightfront.jpg   driverside.jpg   driverseat.jpg  

rightrear.jpg   tank.jpg  
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Unread 05-04-2014, 09:11 PM   #2
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
The weather was nice today so I dove into the carb a bit. I didn't get a chance to clean it really well before I put it back into service but I remedied that today. The idle was much rougher than it used to be before I parked it. The last time I drove it before I parked it I was having a fuel starvation problem and couldn't maintain over 35-40MPH without sputtering out. I removed the jets, rods, floats etc and gave everything a good scrub. I sprayed carb cleaner and compressed air through all the passages and replaced all the gaskets. I replaced the old Edelbrock fuel pump with a Summit brand mechanical unit. With everything buttoned up I ran some errands and tried to find some shocks that might work on the rear axle. The fuel starvation issue seems to be resolved and WOT is much improved now. Off idle still has some hesitation and missing though. The jets are marred up from the screwdriver too much to read the model so I'll have to order a couple sets above and below the stock size and play with that. I don't have an exhaust gas analyzer handy to know for sure so that will be trial and error affair . I hope to get out to the track next week where I can dial it in.

I also noticed the idle and throttle response getting worse as it warmed up. There is no choke on it so that shouldn't be the problem. I checked the carb temperature after going around the block and it was VERY hot. The gas inside the bowls was audibly boiling. I made a trip to the FLAPS and picked up a 1/4" heat insulating gasket for the carb and swapped it there in the lot. The improvement was immediate. The idle is a bit more stable, less missing, and WOT felt better as well though that could entirely be placebo talking . On the way home I found an empty road and tested hole shots which revealed a new problem. I am getting pretty bad axle wrap/hop. Hopefully I can source some 15" steel rims this week and get some wider rubber for them and some shocks on the rear.
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Unread 05-06-2014, 10:45 PM   #3
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
Got the rear shocks in today. Nothing too special.

With the axle moved back 9 inches the shock mounts are almost perfectly aligned vertically. There's about 1/16" of clearance between the shock tube and axle tube. Yes it's a greasy mess.

Mounted with all new hardware.

The ride quality is much improved and it helped a bit with the wheel hop but didn't completely solve it. I wasn't really expecting it to but would have been nice . I think traction bars are in its' future.
Also found this while under there. It wasn't there yesterday.

Nice clean spot on the top of the pumpkin where it hit too... Gonna have to build some bump stops before it does some serious damage.

Took a break from the postal to work on the willy's fuel system after sitting all winter. Took it around the block for the first time this year.
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Unread 05-07-2014, 09:40 PM   #4
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
Didn't get a chance to go by the tire shop today but I did manage to fix the sender for the fuel gauge. I bought the gauge and sender brand new when I got the fuel cell. It worked the first day I installed then dropped to nothing. I was worried the float had gunked up or I got a bad unit. Removal is pretty easy. 5 small nuts, 2 wires, cut the sealant and out it comes.

You can see the float at the top and a small tab at the bottom to keep it from coming out. I found this tiny magnet stuck to wall of the circuit board. I bet it has something to do with this...

The float wasn't sliding smoothly at all. I gently tapped it loose but the gauge still wouldn't budge. Notice the slit in the float?

I figured the magnet must be inserted in that slot and the circuit board picks it up. Apparently the press fit was bad or being dry for years shrunk it up. Whatever the case it had to go back in. Unfortunately the tab at the bottom made it impossible to get it back in right so I had to remove the float. I had to gently bend back the tab holding it in with pliers.

It's difficult to see in this picture but there is a tiny metal tab in the groove on the float. The magnet fits up against it and is apparently supposed to just stick? I didn't see any kind of attempt at gluing it in from the factory.

I don't have any gas proof adhesive handy so I had to come up with something else light as to not affect the float. I used the tiny wire from a twist tie (yes the kind for bread bags) and wrapped the magnet into place.


I used a hacksaw blade to cut a VERY shallow groove around the outside of the float for the wire to sit in without rubbing against the housing and jamming it up. Using some tiny pliers I was able to make relatively clean bends and pull the wires taught then press the ends into the foam.

Now it was just a matter of putting it back together and and re-installing. With everything hooked back up I tilted the sender back and forth to verify it was working before I put it in and...SUCCESS. I finished just as the sun went down and fired it up.

Yeah it's still low but that is roughly the amount of gas in it now. The sender does not go all the way to the bottom of the cell so the float at it's lowest point is still about 5 inches from the bottom of the cell which probably works out to 1.5-1.75 gallons left. Before the gauge just sat at the needle. I took it up the road to put a few gallons in and sure enough, it is actually working. Now for rims and tires...
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Unread 05-08-2014, 11:34 PM   #5
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Posts: 88
Managed to stop by the tire shop and get rims and tires for the rear. We managed to "Stuff" 205/70R15s on there with new rims. Anything wider would require rims with LOTS of negative offset which they didn't have in stock and there weren't any wider options than 185 for the old 14" rims. By happy coincidence they happen to be the same rims on the Willys. It will have a slightly aggressive rake to it until I can afford to replace the fronts. Or maybe just leave em...

On the way home I could feel some rubbing somewhere at the rear. Once I got home I checked in the wheel wells and sure enough.

That is the metal frame for the old charcoal evaporation canister. The tire caught the bottom and bent it out a bit. I don't actually use or need this system anymore so out it comes. On the other side the old fuel fill cap that went no where after installing the fuel cell was rubbing on the tire. I had to remove that assembly as well. No big deal as I wasn't using it anyway.

I also had a clearance issue with the bottom rail on the doors rubbing against the tires with the doors open. It's not the best picture but you can see the rail just digging into the tire. Gonna need to put a stop to that.

luckily there is enough play in the mounting slots to move the bottom rail back just a bit. After breaking the rusted screws loose I just slid it back as far as it would go and screwed it back down. I now have ~1/8" clearance between the tire and door rail.

The skies opened right about that time so I started to clean up and take everything back to the garage. In the garage I ran across a spare mirror that fit quite well on the left arm. Someone had walked into the original mirror years ago and broke it off. I just never bothered to fix it. Today I remedied that in the rain.

Still lots left to get done before test 'n tune Saturday. Tomorrow's plan is battery tie downs (doesn't have one), neutral safety switch (doesn't have one), and radiator overflow can (doesn't have one), and front shocks.
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Unread 05-09-2014, 11:55 PM   #6
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
It took most the rest of the day but I got the front shocks on, the battery tie down installed, the radiator overflow installed, re-ran the fuel gauge sending wires so they didn't go under the driver's seat, and installed a new inline fuel pressure gauge. I will still have to tackle the neutral safety switch tomorrow. I'll probably have to do it at the track in line during tech inspection .




Gotta start early tomorrow. Gates open at 9 IIRC and I still have to find my helmet...
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Unread 05-10-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
Well today was a bust. I was informed by the tech inspection official at the track that the SNELL rating on my helmet is no longer valid. Mine was SNELL 2000 and they require SNELL 2005 or better. I blew the last of my budget getting everything else ready for today so there's no way I can afford a helmet today. Everything else passed inspection though which is a relief. Guess it's time to start saving.
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Unread 05-13-2014, 08:44 PM   #8
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
Still broke until the 20th so I took care of some free cosmetic things today. First off is the cow fabric interior with blue fuzzy dice. Like a lot of things it seemed like a good idea in highschool but those days have passed.

The only thing holding the rear section up is the vent surround. Removing it is a 2 person job. It is nearly impossible to reach the screws in the top and back the nut from the inside unless you have 5 foot arms.


With the surround removed.

and the panel removed.


Now for the front. The front section is held in by the dome light assembly. After removing 2 nuts and disconnecting the wires it comes out as well.


Both panels removed and the vent surround back on. I haven't decided if I want to put a fabric on or paint the ceiling.


That brings us to the damn FAA stickers on the bumpers. Again, seemed like a good idea at the time after a job fair in highschool but I have grown to regret it. Today we fix it.


Say hello to my little friend.


They came off more easily than I was expecting. The paint came off in a few places but it's falling off everywhere else too so I'll deal with it when I do the rest. Both bumpers took 40 minutes or so of scraping. Here we are all cleaned up.



That's about all I could get done today before the sun started going down. The weather is starting to get warm tomorrow so we'll see how the cooling system holds up.
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Unread 05-15-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
PostaljeepSS
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1974 DJ 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Boise
Posts: 88
Cooling system seems to be holding up fine so far. I will need to get a thermostat for the electric fan eventually but I have bigger things to solve first. I started having a fuel starvation problem the last few days to the point where I had to pull over today and let traffic pass several times in a 30mph zone. The fuel pump and lines are brand new so that shouldn't be the problem. I took the top off the carb and the jets and bowls looked clean enough. I took the floats and valves out to check if they were getting stuck. The filter and valve closest to the fuel inlet looks great. I then checked the one furthest from the inlet and found this.


You can barely see the mesh filter in the middle there. It was so gunked in that the fill valve fitting came out without the filter. I got that out and started scraping the crap out.


This is less than half the crap that came out. Bits of plastic (presumably from the fuel cell since there is nothing else plastic on the fuel line), chunks of RTV, some metal shavings, and misc. crap.


Put it all back together and wouldn't you know. No more fuel starvation issues. Time to get some better fuel filters me thinks.
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