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Unread 06-16-2005, 09:46 AM   #1
weerwolv
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Pros and Cons of fiberglass one piece front end

Hi all,

So with help from this board I have entered into a project to rebuild a 1980 vintage CJ7 into a diesel powered ride. (Going to end up with either a GM 6.2 or 6.5 diesel because parts are easy to get and it will mount of Chevy SM motor mounts.

My question today is around the fiberglass one piece front end I see offerered. Are there any downfalls to doing this?

With this type of opening it would make it very easy to work on any motor.

I have a concern though around how it opens. Most sites show it going forward like a Corvette which of course eliminates the option for a winch mounted up front.

From pictures, I've also seen it mounted like a normal hood and flipped back. Will that work and not put too much stress on the hood hinge area?

Reason I'm asking is the body will be fiberglass as well when I'm finished. Living in Massachusetts, our winters include a healthy dose of salt on the roads.

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Unread 06-16-2005, 10:20 AM   #2
jeepduo
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you may be able to mount the winch on the bottom side of the bumper. I have a hidden winch mounted like that on my pickup.
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Unread 06-16-2005, 11:42 AM   #3
BESRK
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Just mount it off the hood hinges.. it'll be fine. How much does one of those 6.2 engines weigh? Gotta be pretty heavy isn't it? What's the plan for the rest of the drivetrain? Tranny, TC, axles... etc? Sounds like an interesting project.
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Unread 06-16-2005, 12:00 PM   #4
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Hey Bersk,

It's gonna be interesting. The 6.2 and the 6.5 come in around 650 pounds or so. Roughly what a big block might be sitting up front.

I think someone told me the 4.2 weighs about 450 so I'm looking at a 200 pound jump at least on the front end.

The frame I've got is junk anyway so I'm budgeting in a AFW or Matkins as a replacement which will already be setup with welded in Chevy Motor mounts. Luckily, the 6.2 and 6.5 work off the same engine placement as the Chevy SB which saves in some of the engineering.

Jury is still out on the tranny though other than I'll use Dana 300 until I break it!!! Might go automatic but I'm still not sure yet.

Rear axle will be a beefed up AMC20 until I have the budget for D44. The bigger concern because of the weight is the D30 up front. Haven't fully figured if I'll try it in the beginning or not because of safety. Any suggestions?

I'm looking into springs now so I can lift it 4". The fronts will probably have to be even stronger than the normal lift kit so i may have to go custom on those to counter the weight.

Here's an article of a guy who did this same thing but on a YJ

Your gonna love this..

18-20mpg and maybe too much torque!!!

http://www.thedieselpage.com/readers/fleming.htm
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Unread 06-16-2005, 12:31 PM   #5
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hey im mounting a fiberglass 1 piece front right now on my 74 cj5. I got it from AJS a few years ago along with the tub. I took my hood hinges and drilled them out and put pins in the middle that can be pulled to tilt it forward. Also I am going to put a heavy duty prop rod underneath somewhere so i can pull the pins at the bottom and have it open the other way. I like opening it from the front, really easy to get to the engine, and i have the other way of opening it incase im working in the back of the engine. The problems are that the prop rod needs to be heavy duty because the piece isnt that heavy but much heavyer then a reg car hood. Also front end i have is molded all messed up so if my mounts in the front are straight where the peice hits the body are crooked, and if i make i make those line up then the front end sits almost a little to the right of the frame. I would go with one from 4wd.com if i were u. A pro tho is that there is a lot of places where theres metal sandwiched inbetween the fiberglass where hinges mount and such, same as my tub so having the peice flip up from the front does not put a lot of stress on the fiberglass and the bolts can be drilled and tapped. I like how mine looks tho otherthen the lineing up problem. I put some stainless hood catches on so it looks like theres a stock hood from far away. Hoped i helped
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Unread 06-16-2005, 02:58 PM   #6
Bgeddes
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I'm fairly certain that the 6.2s weigh in closer to 800lbs complete. They are heavier than a big block Chevy. I had a tow truck driver not able to use his wheel lift on my 6.2 Suburban, he told me the BB Chevys were not an issue.
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Unread 06-16-2005, 03:20 PM   #7
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After doing a little more digging I think your right. With everything bolted on and wet it will probably come in around 800+.

Still very possible to do the swap though as long as I beef everything up. The biggest issue will be adding stronger springs up front to counter the weight.


Hell, I've seen a picture of a Cummins 6BT thrown in a CJ. It was BIG in the bay.

I fully plan on documenting this project with pictures. A diesel in a Jeep is a great combo for a project and will very much improve fuel mileage with tons of torque...
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Unread 06-16-2005, 03:50 PM   #8
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Engine and trans aside... The Dana 300 or a NP205 will be plenty strong for your diesel application.
The AMC 20 or the Dana 44 (modified or not) will never hold up to the torque of a 6.2 or 6.5 diesel.
There's a reason Chevy puts a 14" Corperate axle in the rear and a Dana 60 in the front. You'll be better off and money ahead if you install larger axles from the start.
Your front springs will be a problem. The fiberglass 1 piece is a little lighter then the sheet metal, but once you install the diesel engine, trans, larger cooling system and a winch your talking some weight. Heck when I installed my winch the front of my Jeep went down a 1/2". and it's not that heavy!
A good place to start would be some 4' lift YJ front springs with some add-a-leaf's.
That keep my last Jeep out of the dirt when I had the 7' Western snow plow attached.
Another idea would be to install full size truck springs in the front.
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Unread 06-16-2005, 04:12 PM   #9
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Honestly, I would start scouring GOVLIQUIDATORS site looking for a complete running M1008 truck. Should be able to get one for under $3000. That would give you the complete engine, T400 tranny, Dana 60 front axle and a GM 14 Bolt rear axle. The axles will have 4.56 gears already and the rear will have a Detrtoit. If you can find one of the ambulances, some of those had Powerloks in the front D60.. just some info.. if you've never bought anything on GOVLQUIDATORS, they tack on a 10% service charge to the auction so be prepared for that. Also, as long as there's active bidding, they'll keep extending the auction (I believe it's 15 minutes at a time) so there's no swooping in and sniping like you can do on eBay.. and the credit card that you register with to bid WILL be charged if you win the auction.. gotta be careful but there's some good deals to be had on that site.. especially if you want heavy duty..
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Unread 06-16-2005, 05:42 PM   #10
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Was just thinking about it.. make sure if you're looking for the 1 ton axles you only consider M1008 Trucks and not the M1009 Blazers. The M1009s only had 10 bolt axles front and rear.. just wanted to toss that out there..
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Unread 06-16-2005, 06:11 PM   #11
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Cummins builds a 4bt which is the same as the 6bt with two cylinders cut off. They were turbo'd and used in a lot of bread trucks like the big delivery vans. They had either a turbo 400 or the sm465 truck 4 speed behind them depending on application. Would probably make a much better swap than the early GM diesels which were very disappointing to say the least.

Just a thought.........




As for the tilt front end.........There is something inherently wrong with one that tilts backwards........I can't explain why I feel that way though. Dropping the winch down in the frame is probably NOT an option unless you were to use a really small (narrow) winch. The steering box is in the way. I just decided not to run a winch. I always seemed to be winching someone else out all the time and not myself.

Tilt front ends can be very handy also. Mine is on convertable top hydraulics so I can open it from the drivers seat. Makes more room for upward articulation. This setup can be very imbarrassing too......someone might think that you were showing off, not that ANYONE would do that.
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Last edited by BACKROAD; 08-13-2006 at 10:38 PM..
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Unread 06-17-2005, 07:27 AM   #12
weerwolv
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Getting the donor truck makes a lot of sense for this project and it looks like for the right price I can pull just about everything I need from it and modify what is required.

The Cummins 4BT is being used a lot in CJ7's lately. I think its slightly lighter, maybe 700 to 750. The problem is motor mounts. I'm very good and bolting and tinkering but this path would require fabrication of Motor Mounts; something I've never done.


Are the GM 6.2 and 6.5 bad motors? I know they've been used a lot but I thought only that earlier Olds 5.7 diesel was the problem.

Anybody help me with this one?
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Unread 06-17-2005, 11:06 AM   #13
firecord
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Quote:
GM diesels which were very disappointing to say the least
That is an understatement!

They were Gas fired engines converted to Diesel!

Go with a true Diesel of today! DURAMAX

I watched a guy in an extra cab Duramax ( chiped out) smoke an SSR in the quarter!

Just my 2cts!
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Unread 06-17-2005, 11:26 AM   #14
Bgeddes
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My '83 3/4 ton Suburban has 225K, runs like a top, and gets just a tick under 30MPG, pulling a car on a trailer milage falls to about 28.5. Above 65MPH milage also suffers, do to gearing.

IMO, 6.2 is a good engine, it's not a conversion, it's a Detroit I believe. I do think the Cummins Diesels are very good. Installing one might be a trick, and they are pricey when you find them. Buy the entire donor truck sounds like the best plan no matter which engine you choose to install.

And please take lots of pics and notes...
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Unread 06-17-2005, 07:09 PM   #15
BACKROAD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bgeddes
My '83 3/4 ton Suburban has 225K, runs like a top, and gets just a tick under 30MPG, pulling a car on a trailer milage falls to about 28.5.

Wait just a minute please.......let me go get my boots on first......ROFL
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1989 MJ.........4.0 with auto...2" BB and Rubicon tire PKG.

& a shiny new 2005 RED Rubicon Unlimited...RE3.5 Superflex and 33X12.50-15 MTR's and 15X10's. And a sad 10-13 MPG.......

4 WHEELING CAN BE AN ART WHEN APPLIED PROPERLY AND CARNAGE IS NOT A NECESSITY.......
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