- If I use the same 360 engine (after I rebuild it) then why would I need an adapter to the T18? In my initail post I was heavily favoring a 350 since I had nothing to start with but am considering going with this drivetrain as it sits.
You won't if you stick with the Dana 20 transfer case that's attached to the 360/T18/D20. However: With the 'spacer', it's going to push it way back inside your CJ7 tub. Therefore, you will need to get a shorter input shaft and ditch the spacer. Or do something 'creative'.
- I havn't heard many things about the T18 being sub-optimal for street. That's something I'll have to consider (I'll have to find someone with one and drive it).
I didn't say it was sub-optimal. I did say that it wouldn't be what I'd pick for a mostly street driven CJ. Ya gotta trust me on this. I've owned pickups with SM420's, NP435's, and SM465's. You don't exactly 'rip through the gears' on them. I'm really wishing (because of the way my build has 'morphed'), that I'd went with either a T176, or figured a way to use a SROD, or rebuilt a JeepT5 with some world class 'guts' to go into my Ford 5.0L powered CJ5:
Instead, I bought into all the magazine/internet hype and went with a Ford T18 adapted to my Dana 20:
Yeah, I've got a heavy duty trans with a low crawl ratio, but I'm thinking now that the CJ will be 95% on the street, and 5% on the trails/dunes (instead of the other way around), I'd like to have the O/D. If I had a CJ7, there would've been an AOD in it. Ya gotta trust me again: It get's real expensive when you start changing directions.
- If I keep the 360 and dana 300 I should be able to use a jeep auto that should be a direct bolt in right?
You should be able to locate a TF999 with Dana 300 (stock in CJ's), if you want to go auto and AMC power.
- The only direct bolt in WT axles that I know of are the 86 CJ axles which are difficult to find.
Not true. Jeeps switched to widetrack axles in 1982 (other than the CJ5 that remained NT until the end of the 1983 production). There were some Dana 44 rear axles installed in the last production runs on the 1986 CJ7's.
- for what I am going to do with this jeep I could probably get away with my stock axles (so I agree with you on saving money), but If I can get the 44's, dana 300, T18, and 360 for $500 then seems to me I should do the swap now while I am tearing it apart.
It's all about the time/money/effort you are willing to devote to this.
The transfer case in your picture is of a Dana20, not a Dana300. The adapter for a T18 to Dana300 is completely different. Unless it's a rare IH Scout Dana300.
The rear pumpkin offset will cause problems the shorter the wheelbase gets. Drivelines can tolerate a bit of difference, but the shorter they are the more exagerated the problems become.
But hey, $500 isn't too bad for the parts you may or may not use. However, in my area, you can get a complete running Ford 5.0L/5.8L engine for the same money and have a 'state of the 90's EFI' system.