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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep CJ Forum > CJ 7 rebuild-I think this was a big mistake...Suspension/driveline issues

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Unread 03-21-2010, 11:30 AM   #1
DUX4LIFE
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CJ 7 rebuild-I think this was a big mistake...Suspension/driveline issues

I am trying to finish up this stupid project I started last fall. Maybe someone can figure out what the problem is:
I have a 1978 CJ7 frame with a 4.2/T5/D300.
1. when I set the motor I had to use a come along/6' prybar to line up the holes in the skid plate with the frame. The motor mounts look a little uncomfortable pushed up forward but they work.
2. According to the chart I found on here the rear drive shaft is the correct measurement for this setup. it is fully extended and about 1/2" short. The front driveshaft fit fine.
3. I combined 2 jeeps into one. The spring leaves on one of the jeeps had several cracks so I used the other set I had. They were the ones originally on the frame I am currently using. When I got it they were a SOA setup. I used the other axles and went spring under.
4.Still looked to high and I had to compress the springs to get the oem style shocks to fit after they were fully extended(20"). Picked up a set of widetracks and "factory springs" from the same guy I bought the engine trany from. Swapped them and the jeep dropped about an inch but now the driver side is 1/2"-3/4" higher. REAR DRIVESHAFT STILL DOESN'T REACH...
5. I bought the D300 from a third party. Are there any variations of this as it was a spare and the owner was driving a cj5?
6. I thought about releasing the motor tension and letting it go back about an inch and redrilling the skid plate but I only have about 1 1/2" between the valve cover and the firewall.
7. According to the local 4WD shop the shock measurement indicated a lift of between 3"-4".

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Unread 03-21-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
1986cj
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Maybe the Dana 300 is a short output shaft one if the front driveshaft fits. I have read that some of the first 1980 ones were shorter. The T5 would have come with a long one. I think Jeep started using the T5 in 1982.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 11:48 AM   #3
LT1CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
when I set the motor I had to use a come along/6' prybar to line up the holes in the skid plate with the frame. The motor mounts look a little uncomfortable pushed up forward but they work.
You are not supposed to force fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
According to the chart I found on here the rear drive shaft is the correct measurement for this setup. it is fully extended and about 1/2" short. The front driveshaft fit fine.
Sounds like you got the wrong shaft, combine the 3"-4" lift and you come up short.
Probably have to find one that will work, Or spend some $$$ and have one made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
Still looked to high and I had to compress the springs to get the oem style shocks to fit after they were fully extended(20").
Force fitting again.......... "Buy the correct shocks"

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
Picked up a set of widetracks and "factory springs" from the same guy I bought the engine trany from. Swapped them and the jeep dropped about an inch but now the driver side is 1/2"-3/4" higher. REAR DRIVESHAFT STILL DOESN'T REACH...
Some variance is within normal specs, Or your new used springs have a weak pack.
You can lower it 4" and that rear shaft still won't fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
I thought about releasing the motor tension.
Sounds like the smartest thing you've thought about.

Your rebuild sound like the plan was based on "The Cheapest I Can Do It Theory"

Last edited by LT1CJ7; 03-21-2010 at 12:12 PM..
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Unread 03-21-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
1986cj
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I just checked out Novak's knowledge base on the Dana 300 and the 80 300 vers the 81 and up is about 2" shorter. Look where you spedo cable goes, In the housing or the case? Check it out.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
DUX4LIFE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT1CJ7 View Post
You are not supposed to force fit.

I did a search on this site and it seemed like an acceptable method of lining everything up on a 30 yo vehicle. Seems things don't always fit as they did when new.


Sounds like you got the wrong shaft, combine the 3"-4" lift and you come up short.
Probably have to find one that will work, Or spend some $$$ and have one made.

According to the FSM chart the correct length is 20.8" and that is what this one measures. FSM may be wrong

Force fitting again.......... "Buy the correct shocks"
I agree but I am trying to determine what lift (if any) BEFORE I buy shocks. If the springs were factory height or 2" lift I would be happy. Don't want to buy new shocks to fit and then find out It was a 4" lift and buy them a second time.

Some variance is within normal specs, Or your new used springs have a weak pack.

I agree, Just got them yesterday along with a set of widetracks for $100.00 and thought I'd try them out.


You can lower it 4" and that rear shaft still won't fit.

I thought you had to lengthen the driveshaft for the larger lifts as the axles are farther ftom the frame. I ain't sure at what point the lift requires a longer shaft.

Sounds like the smartest thing you've thought about.

Is the 1 1/2" measurement from the valve cover to firewall reasonable?

Your rebuild sound like the plan was based on "The Cheapest I Can Do It Theory"
Not exactly the "cheapest I can do". I am trying to reuse any parts that are not wore out.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #6
LT1CJ7
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Does it sound logical to use a prybar with such force to get it bolted up and then have such pull on the mounts ?
NO !!!!!!!!!!
I'd like to see those posts you searched for.

Your 20.8" shaft measurement from the FSM is from what year drivetrain ?
What year is your engine,trans,T-case ?

Your shock measurements should me made from center of lower mount to center of upper mount. Then call or look up shock specs from what ever manufacturer you chose to get the correct shocks.

A set of WT's and springs for $100 is a great deal.

Distance from firewall to valve cover will vary from where your measuring and the angle of your drivetrain.
It doesn't sound like a significant amount to change.

I would unbolt the mount from the skidplate to release the tension and remount it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
Not exactly the "cheapest I can do". I am trying to reuse any parts that are not wore out.
Yes, Reuse what is usable, But don't Jury rig it.
Just because I have an old lawnmower out in the back yard, Doesn't mean I'm going to swap the engine into my Jeep.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #7
Mike Romain
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I also recently put a 78 frame under my 86 drivetrain and need a come-a-long hand winch, a 6' pry bar, an 8' 2x4 and a jack to get the sucker to line up... Took some good cussing while laying in the snow at -35 too... Once I drove on it for a bit, the mounts settled into shape. It is a year later and no issues.

I sure sounds like you have the short D300 in there from a CJ5... The later ones had longer tailpieces.

It sounds like the lower springs fixed your short shock issue, yes?
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86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 02:12 PM   #8
DUX4LIFE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Romain View Post
I also recently put a 78 frame under my 86 drivetrain and need a come-a-long hand winch, a 6' pry bar, an 8' 2x4 and a jack to get the sucker to line up... Took some good cussing while laying in the snow at -35 too... Once I drove on it for a bit, the mounts settled into shape. It is a year later and no issues.

I sure sounds like you have the short D300 in there from a CJ5... The later ones had longer tailpieces.

It sounds like the lower springs fixed your short shock issue, yes?
Yes mike they did. I Know I need new ones but I didn't want to buy'em until I settled on a set of springs. They are cheap enough that I will get the right ones before it goes on the road.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 02:30 PM   #9
Mike Romain
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Oh, seems to me the skid plate frame bolt holes also had slots in them so loosening off the bolts on that helped make it fit if I remember right.
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89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
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Unread 03-21-2010, 02:37 PM   #10
DUX4LIFE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT1CJ7 View Post
Does it sound logical to use a prybar with such force to get it bolted up and then have such pull on the mounts ?
NO !!!!!!!!!!
I'd like to see those posts you searched for.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/transmission-mount-trouble-876215/
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/transmission-mount-can-only-use-1-stud-761598/

I thought There were others but these are all I can find quickly.

Your 20.8" shaft measurement from the FSM is from what year drivetrain ?

82-86 here is the link: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/drive-shaft-length-567874/

What year is your engine,trans,T-case ?

engine, transmission were 1985 as told by po. t-case ?? around 80-82 as I recall but not positive

Your shock measurements should me made from center of lower mount to center of upper mount. Then call or look up shock specs from what ever manufacturer you chose to get the correct shocks.

A set of WT's and springs for $100 is a great deal.

I also scored a free D300 and a 999. At least I think it is a 999.

Distance from firewall to valve cover will vary from where your measuring and the angle of your drivetrain.
It doesn't sound like a significant amount to change.

I would unbolt the mount from the skidplate to release the tension and remount it.


Yes, Reuse what is usable, But don't Jury rig it.
Just because I have an old lawnmower out in the back yard, Doesn't mean I'm going to swap the engine into my Jeep.
The parts I have are all fine, Just trying to get them to work together.

Last edited by DUX4LIFE; 03-21-2010 at 02:55 PM..
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Unread 03-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #11
LT1CJ7
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If you think it's okay to use a come along and a 6 foot pry bar to line up your mounts, Your nuts !
It's a ticking time bomb just waiting to blow. "Usually the bellhousing"
I think you took those threads out of context.
It's okay to use whatever to move the mount around to line up with the holes in the skidplate if it's off by a little.
You are using a skidplate and frame that was never intended to bolt right up with a T-5 and the D300.
You should have had the new engine mounts set in place with the nut loose on the bottom side of the frame brackets, set your angle on the engine/trans/T-case, mounted your trans mount, mounted your skidplate, check your rear output shaft to make sure it set as perrelell as possible to your frame centerline and then mark and drill the new and proper holes in the skidplate.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 03:13 PM   #12
jeepskate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
I am trying to finish up this stupid project I started last fall. Maybe someone can figure out what the problem is:
I have a 1978 CJ7 frame with a 4.2/T5/D300.
1. when I set the motor I had to use a come along/6' prybar to line up the holes in the skid plate with the frame. The motor mounts look a little uncomfortable pushed up forward but they work.
Bad idea. Your problem here is that your drivetrain combo was never used on a '78 frame, so you have to mount the drivetrain up and then modify the skidplate and/or frame for proper fit. Did this when I did my 4.0/999/300 into a '79 frame several years ago.

Quote:
2. According to the chart I found on here the rear drive shaft is the correct measurement for this setup. it is fully extended and about 1/2" short. The front driveshaft fit fine.
Measure exactly what you need. You're mixing and matching parts from various unknown years and then trying to use a factory chart for your driveshaft.

Quote:
4.Still looked to high and I had to compress the springs to get the oem style shocks to fit after they were fully extended(20"). Picked up a set of widetracks and "factory springs" from the same guy I bought the engine trany from. Swapped them and the jeep dropped about an inch but now the driver side is 1/2"-3/4" higher. REAR DRIVESHAFT STILL DOESN'T REACH...
I think LT1 has already covered how little sense this made. Again, you're using unknown parts and then trying to use a chart that covers known parts. Break out the tape measure and measure for what you need and order accordingly.

Quote:
5. I bought the D300 from a third party. Are there any variations of this as it was a spare and the owner was driving a cj5?
More unknown parts. Since CJ-5's stopped in '81, you probably have a short D300 which nullifies your usage of the factory charts.

Quote:
6. I thought about releasing the motor tension and letting it go back about an inch and redrilling the skid plate but I only have about 1 1/2" between the valve cover and the firewall.
Now you're talking...

Quote:
7. According to the local 4WD shop the shock measurement indicated a lift of between 3"-4".
Do your own homework and measure for what you need. Best route is to flex the suspension and get your extended & compressed lengths, then use a shock manufacturer's chart to pick out your shocks.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
DUX4LIFE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1986cj View Post
I just checked out Novak's knowledge base on the Dana 300 and the 80 300 vers the 81 and up is about 2" shorter. Look where you spedo cable goes, In the housing or the case? Check it out.
The speedo goes into the tailhousing. Measures about 5 3/8" from mating surface of case to rear face- of ujoint yoke. I think it is the long one. Looks identical to the free one I got this weekend.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 03:41 PM   #14
DUX4LIFE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT1CJ7 View Post
If you think it's okay to use a come along and a 6 foot pry bar to line up your mounts, Your nuts !
It's a ticking time bomb just waiting to blow. "Usually the bellhousing"
I think you took those threads out of context.
I only had to move the assembly forward about 1/2". Couldn't do it by hand.
It's okay to use whatever to move the mount around to line up with the holes in the skidplate if it's off by a little.
You are using a skidplate and frame that was never intended to bolt right up with a T-5 and the D300.
The skid plate is for the t-5/d300. It is the later model. I don't think the earlier one could be made to fit.
You should have had the new engine mounts set in place with the nut loose on the bottom side of the frame brackets, set your angle on the engine/trans/T-case, mounted your trans mount, mounted your skidplate, check your rear output shaft to make sure it set as perrelell as possible to your frame centerline and then mark and drill the new and proper holes in the skidplate.
I felt that relocationg the items farther back would be a bad thing. I thought it best to use the existing holes.
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Unread 03-21-2010, 03:49 PM   #15
LT1CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUX4LIFE View Post
The parts I have are all fine, Just trying to get them to work together.
This is your problem !
You think your parts are just fine, But they don't fit because there not the right combination, or you just don't want to buy the right stuff, or you don't want to do any fabrication.
This type of thought, "well now it's an after thought" is why your in the position your in.
Just as you titled the title:
"CJ 7 rebuild-I think this was a big mistake"
I don't know how you think, But I know your aggravated and feel like giving up.
If you just stop, take a breath and listen to the more knowledgeable advice, it should work out pretty easily, But you have to get out of thinking you can make anything work that you have.
You'll have to float some green $$$.
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