Willys CJ2A Mild (ish) build - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 35 Old 11-23-2015, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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1979 CJ5 
 
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Willys CJ2A Mild (ish) build

So This is going to hopefully be my first documented build. I have now built 5 jeeps, CJ's and YJ's and decided this one would be different. The end goal of this build is to have a unique daily driver capable, semi aggressive general purpose wheeler.



The base for the build (aka tub) came from a 1948 Willys CJ2a. The original plan was to use the original frame and plate it for reinforcement. That plan went down the toilet quick once I realized modding the stock 48 Frame (even though in great condition) was harder (potentially) than building it from stock. Also I felt like a bunch of the hardcore willys guys would probably flame me pretty hard for chopping up such a good original frame.

The drivetrain was originally planned to be a OM617. The length of that motor turned out to be longer than I wanted so plans changed and craigslist supplied a 2001 gmc 1500 5.3 for $225. I took a gamble, as the owner stated the motor was potentially bad. He was not wrong as the destruction was pretty complete. The harness, ECM, intake accessories etc are all useable so it still was very worth it. Next a trip to the junkyard yielded no 5.3’s but I did get a low mile wrecked 02 4.8.


So after disassembly, cleaning, and gaskets its all ready to go. Note to anyone thinking about building a LS, Gaskets are expensive. REALLY expensive. Oil pan gasket was $50 by itself. $250 for head gasket set (valve seals, intake, valve covers etc) and head bolts are TTY so those are another $100. Also on the head gaskets- there are 2 versions- a 3 piece sandwiched steel and a more standard looked exhaust looking gasket. Spend the money for the sandwiched one. The cheap one is what killed the 5.3. It appears the headgasket blew, overheated the motor and the overheating pressed the seats out of the head.

Disassembly was very satisfying though as the motor is very clean and still has factory cross hatching. The wiring will be the factory harness, I’ll just be modding it for standalone. The 5.3 ecm will be reflashed to 4.8 and tuned.





Transmission will be a 70’s Muncie sm465 simply due to my hatred for autos and my love of old 4 spds. It will most likely be mated to a twin stick dana 20 due to already having 4 or 5 of them on the shelf. Option number 2 will be a scout 300 as my brother has some. Also the 20/scout 300 is the shortest tcase I can get (counting the adapter).

Rear end will be a big bearing Ford 9”. Front end is the only piece I don’t have yet, but my neighbor has some 70’s blazer dana 44’s. Either that or a waggy or scout 44 for the front.

The suspension will be (most likely) a 3 link front and rear using stock TJ coils f/r. The Steering is a little tricky as the early cj’s used ross steering. I would like to use a astro van steering box as that will allow me to mount the box back of the axle allowing for a really short front end for best approach angle. Most likely 2” stretch front 3” rear but I’ll know better when I get to mockup Phase. The frame will be built out of 2x4” square tube. I’m hoping to get started on the frame over thanksgiving weekend… But we’ll see.

Currently I’m planning on leaving the pedals In the factory location (frame mounted) which creates some packaging issues. To circumvent some of that I’m thinking of running a astro hydroboost setup. Hopefully it’ll fit in the narrow frame rails next to the humongous tranny. The biggest issue will definatly be packaging. I’d like to be able to keep the factory length but It will be tight. Worst case scenario will be a 3” stretch and I’ll build my own hood. Once again it’ll have to be determined when I get to mockup.

The last step will be the body work. The floors are pretty much nonexistent which is actually fine as the trans tunnel would have to be way bigger anyway.

The plan for wheels is basic stockish steelies with some 34x9.5 super swampers. I really want the willys skinny tire look. Also a basic cage will be built with frame tie-ins.

That’s the basic start plan I have. I would love some input and suggestions though.


1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #2 of 35 Old 11-23-2015, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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Things you will NOT see in this build.

Bolt-ons
Bling
Huge lift (shooting for 2"+- over stock)
snorkels (cause screw mud)

Also rear locker is a Detroit. Currently don't have a plan on gear ratio. I want to keep it somewhat high as I'm using a Muncie. So low gear makes up for the high gears and still allows me to cruise at good speeds. Thinking of 3:50 or 3:73.

1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #3 of 35 Old 11-23-2015, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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1979 CJ5 
 
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More jeep pics






1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #4 of 35 Old 11-23-2015, 12:17 PM
reichard117
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2014 JK Wrangler 
 
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I like the way you think Someday I hope to build an early CJ

'14 JK - Current
'00 TJ - Sold
'00 XJ - Sold
Follow me on Instagram - @thereich
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post #5 of 35 Old 11-23-2015, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
levergun
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Got the motor back together. I still don't know whether I am going to run the truck intake or get a ls car intake. Quick observation shows I really only gain a 1" or so due to the height of the altenator. I'm hoping to pick up the tube I need for the frame later this week.






1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #6 of 35 Old 11-27-2015, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
levergun
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I picked up the metal today. Hopefully going to start on the frame tomorrow. Depends on if I can tie up the loose ends on some other projects first.


1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #7 of 35 Old 11-29-2015, 11:19 AM
lovett86
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I like where your going with this, I love the early model jeeps, I'm glad your not lifting it to high either

its a rusty one

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/90-yj-frame-swap-build-up-1434246/
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post #8 of 35 Old 11-29-2015, 02:12 PM
Braath
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Ooohhh! This is real good jeep, i like model and jeep's model to! How much time did you maked this?
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post #9 of 35 Old 12-01-2015, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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I started the frame. Built the rails and now just have to square the rails and burn the






1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #10 of 35 Old 12-09-2015, 12:15 PM
m44
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Looking good time to get some more done already.

2003 Tj sport daily driver with a bunch of mods
1998 wrangler rolled and being rebuilt with tons
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post #11 of 35 Old 12-10-2015, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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That's just cause I was slacking on updates. And I need to pick up those axles still.

1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #12 of 35 Old 12-11-2015, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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So I've been slacking in updates a little. I have The crossmembers in and set the body on the frame so I could mock up the engine.

I discovered (I kind of knew the whole time but was hoping not to) that a front clip stretch is required. The engine only has about 3-4" of clearance from water pump to grill. Definitely not enough for a radiator and fan. So to make my life easier later on I'm stretchin the hood 4". I really only need about 3" but I'd rather not have it to tight and I only want to do this once.

I also picked up some sheetmetal and have started cutting out the rotted metal and rebuilding the tub. There is going to be some time in this as there is nothing left of the floors. I have the whole drivers side cut out and ne metal tacked in.

Also the plan has changed slightly and I will be trading the original frame/trans/tcase to my brother for a set of 1980 Scout dana 44's. The 9" I had was to wide and I didn't feel like going through all of the trouble of cutting it down/getting custom shafts. I also will be getting a 78/79 bronco dana 44 with a ox locker so I will mostly be putting the ox in the rear axle. I will not be running the HP 44 though. Yes, I know it is stronger but I don't want to have to struggle with all the dshaft clearance issues the HP will cause in a LCG style rig. Also it is way easier to rotate c's than to switch pumpkin to pass side.

I will most likely end up running the slightly larger ford outers. So, the front axle will most likely be a 1980 scout 44, c's rotated for 6* castor, ford knuckles, hubs, brakes, and stub shaft. With most likely a lockrite or aussie locker. Rear will simply be the scout d44 with disc breaks. I am throwing around the idea of doing the dana 50 gears and building a Jana 54.

Oh- and I will definitely need the LS car oil pan. The truck pan hangs down WAY to much. I will most likely incorporate a 1" body lift into the body mounts to give just a tad more intake clearance to help it not hang down as bad. Pics will follow.

1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #13 of 35 Old 12-12-2015, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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I set the body on the frame. motor mocked in.








1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #14 of 35 Old 12-12-2015, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
levergun
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Started on the body a little bit. And started the clip stretch. All just tacked for now.






1979 CJ5 408 AMC dana 60/14b, T18, d300, PSC hydro assist
1948 Willys CJ2a LS 4.8/sm465 scout 44's
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post #15 of 35 Old 12-12-2015, 02:45 PM
lovett86
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looking good so far, keep at it

its a rusty one

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/90-yj-frame-swap-build-up-1434246/
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