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Unread 12-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #1
TXST8tj
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1979 CJ5 Build

a build thread for the CJ5...
i wanted to get a build thread started for this CJ5 as i think this build will move much faster than my TJ build will.
if you have not seen the post ( http://www.jeeps-offroad.com/misc-je...my-office.html ), i was given a 1979 CJ5 for free. this thread is for the build-up of said jeep.

since my buddy/coworker has a great interest in CJ5s, i have passed the jeep ownership over to him. i figure, i have a TJ of my own to work on and i would not be able to put time and money into both right now, and he has both the time and money for the CJ5, so he is going to fund the build, and i am going to build it. in the end, we'll have two jeeps to wheel, and i can certainly live with that. i would rather someone get some use out of it than have it sit in my garage for who knows how long.

i brought my CO2 tank up to work the other day and aired up the tires to make it easier to roll around. i backed it up under the car cover b/c the weather has been so on and off these days. it has also allowed me to pick at it a bit here and there during the workday. the carpet is pulled and i got most of the loose leaves and twigs and such out.






we have a build plan for it. we sat down yesterday and i went over my ideas with him and i got an idea of what he wants out of it. he wants something that he can do some moderate wheeling with but also use to drive around the street in nice weather.

i am getting a parts list in line for it and he will start ordering them when i'm done. i found a front d44 out of a wagoneer on CL that we will be picking up as soon as the guy emails me back with place and time. i still need to get a rear d44...preferably from a waggy. just to keep things the same as much as possible....width, bolt pattern, etc. we will at very least regear them and add lockers. if he'll go for the expense, we will upgrade the shafts too.

the 258 6cyl, T150 3spd tranny, and dana 20 tcase, d30 front, and AMC 20 rear are all going in favor of updated equipment. i need to locate a 6cyl/5spd/np231 drivetrain out of a TJ or late XJ. i feel that this CJ5 only needs a 6cyl for as small as it is, plus it will only be running 33s so it doesn't need a V8. getting something newer will add to the reliability plus it will have all the power we will need.

the whole thing will start with a complete teardown. i've been pulling little stuff off when i can here and there throughout the last couple days. we are trying to schedule a saturday where we can take the whole day to get it completely torn apart. we will take the body and frame to get mediablasted. then we will start the body repairs...the very few that there are, paint the body and POR15 the frame. then start putting it all back together.

i would like to have the axles together and the suspension here (rubicon express 2.5" ultimate kit) when the body and frame are done so we can sling the axles under it and at least have a rolling chassis. we're going to be using the shop here at work to build this thing so space really isn't a problem, but being able to move it around certainly helps.

being christmas time, getting parts in is probably going to take a little longer than usual, so finish time is really pretty tenative. he would like this thing running by March/April when it warms up though.

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Unread 12-04-2007, 12:51 PM   #2
TXST8tj
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we have been really busy today doing our jobs...


hahaha. ok nevermind. we pulled the jeep over to the shop and started tearing it down. we got some good work done in a short amount of time.
we got the rear hunting seat out, the front seats out, the rollbar out, the windshield off, and the dash is ready to come off after we pull the steering wheel....kinda needed that to move it around easier though.


here are some pics...


the new owner







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Unread 12-04-2007, 02:54 PM   #3
TJandaCJ
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I'll definitely be following your build. I'm currently working on a 79 and 83 cj-5 myself. The 79 will be stock 258/t150/d20, but the 83 will have a 'ford 5.0 ho'/t-176/d300. With the short wheel base of a cj-5 I don't think you're going to be able to run a 5-spd (i.e. nv3550 or ax15). I look forward to seeing your progress and good luck. oh, by the way, I'm in N.B. TX myself.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 03:02 PM   #4
TXST8tj
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hmm..hadn't thought about a nv3550 being too long....

my buddy asked if there would be a way to build up the 258 to possibly keep it...fuel injection, etc. i don't know much about the engine, so i have some research to do.
we may end up just sticking with the 258 and t150. i guess we'll have to see. i think if we do, i might look into swapping in a built d300 tcase.

we have a ford 5.3L V8 sitting here at work, but i don't really want to swap that in.

awesome to see someone else from NB on here. not sure of any others. i'm off 725 and county line myself.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 03:03 PM   #5
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Not to be a downer on your plans, but did you measure this new drivetrain combo for fit in the CJ5? There is a reason why you don't see many CJ-5's with 5 speeds in them... mainly the length of said combo and the angle of hte driveshaft as a result.

I am not sure what the plans for a lift are, but keep in mind, that you might not be able to fit that without streching it... so don't get rid of the old stuff yet!

That said, anything is possible with time and money and if he has both, he can do it!

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Unread 12-04-2007, 03:05 PM   #6
TXST8tj
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thanks for the heads up....TJandaCJ had mentioned the same. the thought had crossed my mind, but i was thinking it would work.
this is making me think maybe we should just find a way to get the 258 fixed up and use that with the 3spd or swap in a 4spd.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 03:23 PM   #7
TJandaCJ
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Several options for fuel injection. Howell or Mopar fuel injection kit for the 258, or swap in a 4.0 out of a wrangler or cherokee. There are 2 jeep 4 speed trannys that will work, The Heavy Duty choice would be a t-18, and the medium duty choice would be a t-176. Since it's a 79, and already has a d20 t-case, the t-18 might be your best choice. Bottom line, it's all up to the builder and how much he wants to spend. I'm off County Line, between 1044 and 725.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 04:52 PM   #8
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awesome! that's good news about the FI kits. i will be looking into those tomorrow in depth. i have heard good things about the T18. i will be looking into one of those floating around. this build just got a lot less expensive (keeping the 258 that is). are there any other mods that can be done with this engine to get more power out of it?


got some more pics. we made some more headway this afternoon. one more body bolt to go and the body comes off....hopefully tomorrow.












it really helped getting an extra couple of hands in there tearing it down.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 07:24 PM   #9
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Depending on what you are doing, many times it is easier to access the engine bay by removing the front clip. Zip out the fender/tub bolts and unbolt the grill from the frame.
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Unread 12-04-2007, 07:42 PM   #10
TXST8tj
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well we disconnected everything connecting the engine to the body. we're just going to pull the whole thing off in one swoop. we'll pull the drivetrain later so we can get at the frame to blast it and coat it.
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Unread 12-05-2007, 08:33 AM   #11
TXST8tj
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is 3.5" of lift enough for 33s?

2.5" leafs
1" body lift


or will that require 4" leafs?
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Unread 12-06-2007, 07:01 AM   #12
TXST8tj
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ok...it was 3 more body bolts, but the body is off!!!! muuahhahaha.
and the drivetrain is out from between the framerails.


may not be the most common method of removing a body....but it worked very well.






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Unread 12-06-2007, 06:15 PM   #13
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The stock 258 I6 is going to make plenty of power, even stock, for around town driving and wheeling. My 258 has 160-180k miles on it, and turns 33" tires with only 3.31 gears just fine. The 258 makes some ridiculous low-end torque because it has a longer stroke than most motors. Most people will tell you the 258 I6 makes more low-end torque than the 304 V8.

From the factory, the 258 I6 makes about 110-120hp and 180lb-ft, which is plenty in my opinion. If you swap on a 4.0L HO head (this actually bolts onto the 258) and add a header, you will gain about 40hp. If you swap in a more mild camshaft (Crane makes them, I think there are a few other manufacturers as well), it will make even more. You can also use an Offenhauser intake manifold and install a 4bbl carburetor (that would be my choice), or you can move to a TBI kit (too much crap for me to deal with). With as many upgrades as there are out there for the 258 I6, and with the legendary reliability this motor has showcased, personally I just don't see the point in swapping in any other motor.

For the transmission, I would either keep it stock, or add in a T-18 as mentioned above. This will give you the 1:1 4th gear. As long as you don't go crazy with the gears, cruising at 60-70 shouldn't be a problem with the 4 speed.

If you want to run 33" tires, or even 35", I would go with a 4" suspension lift and be done with it. I don't like body lifts at all.

With the axles, if you're planning on doing some heavy wheeling, I would go with the Dana 44 front and rear plan. You can also build up your original AMC20 by installing 1-piece axle shafts and swapping to a LSD or locker. A lot of people that keep their AMC20 also truss it to make the tubes a little stronger than stock. The Dana 30 can be upgraded as well.

It looks like you have a pretty decent tub there, so that was a good find. You're going to want to grind/sand/POR-15 that rust, or it will be back shortly after you paint it! And while you have the tub off the frame, install some stainless brake lines and fuel tank sending unit wiring or else you will kick yourself later on.
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Unread 12-06-2007, 07:24 PM   #14
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Unread 12-07-2007, 06:56 AM   #15
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Great build, keep up the good work!
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