79 CJ5 hydraulic clutch conversion - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-22-2011, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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1979 CJ5 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southeast
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79 CJ5 hydraulic clutch conversion

Been thinking of doing this for a while but my jeep decided it was time.. The bellcrank to pushrod arm snapped clean off.

After limping it the remaining 10 miles home I pondered for a while my course of attack. Repair and reinforce my current parts, purchase a replacement bellcrank or upgrade to hydraulic clutch. Upgrade..... Everytime anything breaks that's what I have to do. Then I started thinking about how nice it would be to lighten my clutch pedal force by at least half.. No more leg cramping workouts in afternoon traffic. No more linkage to wear and fall out of adjustment.

First thing is parts. Slave is a 81-83 cj7 with gm 151. Bolted right up to my t15. It used the bottom and center hole vs. the top and center used by the stock linkage.

The master cylinder is one I had lots of previous experience with. A 88 yj. Also I got 4 feet of 3/16" brake line and a flex hose I had sitting around from some unknown previous project. Also a lot of brake fluid, a 1 1/2" hole saw and 4 5/16-18 bolts and nuts. Total parts cost- just under $100.

First step remove old parts and linkage. Mount slave and pushrod to tranny using 2 5/16-18 bolts 1" long using bottom and center hole. Next- unscrew fusebox and push to the side. Remove clip holding clutch pedal on. Slide to side taking care through this whole process not to dislodge needle rollers. I put a socket that fit snuggly in the center to prevent this.
Grind the 2 rivets holding the bracket to the pedal then knock them out.

Next measure then drill using the 1 1/2" hole saw the hole in the firewall for the master to mount. Using the master as a template mark and drill 2 5/16" holes to bolt it to the firewall. Once done bolt it to the firewall.

Next slide clutch pedal on. Align it to the correct height, then align the master pushrod and mark. Remove and drill the hole. It was a 7/16" for me. I then welded a nut on the other side. Install pedal then pushed to pedal. Check for proper travel with no binding and install return spring. Reinstall fuse box. Run brake lines and bleed. Test drive and enjoy the much lighter smoother clutch.

All in all took about 2 1/2 hours and minimal skill.. Very pleased. My leg is so much happier. Next up this weekend- install my yj booster and have power brakes...

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 13 Old 12-22-2011, 05:29 PM
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1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Clarks Summit
Posts: 3,259
Header clearance is the only thing stopping me fromgoin' Hydra. All the cool kids are doing it!
Good luck, I'm pulling up a chair

I've also learned that sometimes... when people don't agree with you .... its best to hold them down and kidney punch them till they agree with you
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-24-2011, 12:37 PM
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1973 CJ5 
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Location: Phoenix
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Great post. Did the same and is a big upgrade with relative ease compared to a lot of projects!


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post #4 of 13 Old 12-24-2011, 06:42 PM
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1980 CJ7 
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Location: Leesville
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Yup pretty easy upgrade
...hutch, V8?

1980 CJ7,
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-24-2011, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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1979 CJ5 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southeast
Posts: 846
Did power brakes today. Picked up a booster of eBay for $25 shipped. $15 in brake fluid and fittings and I can stop in a decent distance too. Without having to stand on the pedal.

Yes my wiring is a mess. Part of my list to do tomorrow. Lol..

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 13 Old 01-01-2012, 01:33 PM
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
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Location: Lubbock
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Looking at making these same upgrades on my '76. Good information.



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post #7 of 13 Old 04-09-2013, 06:07 PM
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These are upgrades I definitely need to do. Just redid rear drums (wheel cylinders and shoes). Bout to do the front disc (not sure if they are even original to the jeep). But after the repairs I did, my brakes are still spongy and feel better after a cpl pumps. No air left in the lines (according to the clear fluid being pumped out) and I'm at a loss. The brake booster has been on my mind and the price u paid is excellent, but idk what parts I need, or what will even fit.

The clutch, it's on the floor and stiff as a board. Rumor is the original builder sold it for this reason. I got an idea for clutch parts... Any and all help is gladly received
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post #8 of 13 Old 08-10-2013, 05:35 AM
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1979 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Venus
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Been doing research for this mod for my cj5. How do I find center for master cylinder on the firewall? The cj5 does not have dimple for it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 08-11-2013, 08:00 PM
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1974 CJ5 
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Location: Colorado Springs
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I just did this on my 74 with a 304 and T-15. Was so easy I'm sorry I waited so long. All the parts are available at Advance Auto. Search '81 CJ7 clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder and you'll find the whole setup. My local box had the master and slave in stock. I had to order the hydraulic line which came in a couple days later. My only other part was an adjustable pushrod kit from eBay. This is the kit:


The slave is a direct bolt-up to the T-15 bell housing. The master was slightly more complicated. Unfortunately I didn't take pics so hopefully my description will do. I used the existing wiring hole through the firewall as a starting point. I cut a new hole for the wiring to the outside of the current one and slotted between the two to move the wiring over without disconnecting everything. After that, I used an angle grinder and pneumatic die grinder to grind the original wiring hole inboard far enough so the pushrod on the master lined up with the pedal. Lots of trial and error and some time but got the job done. Once the master was lined up, I used the pushrod kit to attach to the same pivot point as the mechanical linkage on the pedal arm using a bolt and a couple brass bushings. For adjustability on the other end I used the pushrod from the old linkage. Hooked up the line, filled it up, bled it, adjusted the slack out of the linkage at both ends, and done.

The travel is perfect, clutch disengages perfectly, and there is enough play so the throw out bearing doesn't ride the clutch fingers when the pedal is out. Sounds a lot more complicated than it is. It's super easy even on the 5 and the parts are easy to come by. All in, I'm only out about $180.

If you've ever been stuck on an obstacle because the bell crank dropped out then you need to do this upgrade. Happened to me twice this summer and that was the last straw. Have done the trail that left me stranded twice since the upgrade and zero issues. Go hydraulic and don't look back.

Good luck.
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post #10 of 13 Old 08-14-2013, 09:58 PM
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1979 CJ5 
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Ok, started the conversion. At the suggestion of my nephew, made a template of the master cylinder(mc) base, then followed instructions found at http://extremecustomparts.com/attach...tructions4.jpg to locate where mc should go, I had to make a few adjustments for my application. Drilled holes and attached mc to firewall per instructions, attached slave cylinder (sc) to bell housing, needed to make adjustments again for my application. Took the old hose to local parts place, suggested sending to big city hose company. An online search for the hose returned a part number for omix ada 16919.24, available from several vendors online. If the local parts house cannot acquire, will be ordering online.
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post #11 of 13 Old 08-15-2013, 11:02 AM
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1982 CJ7 
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Location: Marysville, WA
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Did mine about a year ago and love it. The only thing I did as remove the return spring off of the pedal assembly under the dash. It make it very difficult to push in the clutch. Now its very easy and I seem to have more control over it.

Beat it to fit, paint it to match!

Wheel, Wrench, Repeat.
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post #12 of 13 Old 08-15-2013, 12:09 PM
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1985 CJ7 
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Location: fayetteville
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i got a question did you have to do any modification to the vaccum lines cus i though brake boosters ran off vaccum??
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post #13 of 13 Old 08-15-2013, 12:14 PM
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This doesn't have anything to do with the brakes or the brake boosters.

This is a conversion of the clutch from a linkage setup to hydraulic actuation.
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