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Old 02-08-2012, 10:20 PM   #1
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79 cj5 401 build

Here’s our father/sons project. 79 cj 5, 3 speed, 304. Picked it up locally for a good deal. Found a “swiss cheese” jeep that held a 401 under the hood. The plan is to strip the ’79 down swap motors and put a fiberglass body on it. We spent the summer acquiring some odds & ins parts, the 401, fiberglass tub with grill and fenders. Plan is to finish this project up this summer. In the past two weeks we have labeled, documented, and stripped the 79. The body is ready to come off now. I have been busy with school, as well as my brother. My dad had a back injury so really I just need to find time to get out there and build a roll around bench for the tub to sit on. Not too many surprises in this jeep and I’m curious to see how the 401 responds with a fiberglass body Here is the progress so far:












what is left on the 75 cj5 with the 401. Going to do a lot of cleaning up on this motor to make it presentable again.




Just for kicks, This is a 75cj5, 304, fiberglass tub, cruise/plow jeep



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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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Wow, that's a hell of a project!! Really looking forward to seeing how this '5 comes along!

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Old 02-08-2012, 11:20 PM   #3
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It's our first full jeep resto.. trying to stay organized and taking my time breaking it all down. Having fun so far and learning a lot
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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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Well, took a little time this weekend to get the tub off and all the driveshafts off. With only 3 guys and still a lot of weight left on the body, we took the redneck engineering method. I’m sure a few of you guys will get a chuckle or two.

We used the engine hoist haha To be honest if anyone is trying to lift off a tub by themselves this probably isn’t a bad idea. I wrapped two chains (1 on the driver side and 1 on the passenger side). With the arm extended out a few feet the body lifted right over the shifter. I would have taken the time to remove this but I’m trying to limit the number of parts laying around. I’ll be busy the next 3-4 weeks so not much progress will be made. Before leaving I would like to disconnect the power steering, loosen the motor mounts and get the 401 mocked up in the new frame. I’m wanting to get some suspension goodies ordered soon too! Enjoy the pics and progress.





My younger brother holding the back end up. His friend kept the other side steady while we lifted it right off












Here’s a pic of sarge on the plow jeep

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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #5
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At the risk of highjacking your thread, I'm curious how the stock Jeep diffs and axles will handle the increased torque of the 401. I am also upsizing my 304, to a 360. I've read elsewhere that some feel the stock axles may not be adequate to handle the increased torque of the larger-displacement engines (even though that torque increase is not overly substantial, by my estimation.) How does the board feel about that statement?
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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agreed. I can't remember stock specs on the 360 or the 401? However, the guy we bought it from told us it was out of a wagoneer.. if that helps anyone. We are planning on upgrading the front/rear ends anyways but definitely a good question.
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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:54 PM   #7
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The 1975 cj should have a rear dana 44 if it has a 304. The only problem is that they are narrower than a '76 and up axle. different frames, axles, and tubs. I may be wrong, but that is the problems I ran into with finding a new axle housing "in good shape" for my intermediate CJ5. Only 1972-1975 are interchangeable without much modification, if I recall. 1976 and up have different springs, perches, and the rear is more than likely, an AMC 20. Nothing wrong with the 20, if you beef it up, but there are more available options for the '76 and up CJ5 platform.

Haha...sorry, didn't pay attention to the 1975 you had above...that's what I get for going to the last post...you know the story then...
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
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correct.. thanks for the insight though. That's some good info. I'll see if I can get a VIN for both and get a list of the specs
(assuming they were both untouched)
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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:56 AM   #9
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After a long month of being out of state, school, snow, and acquiring some parts it’s finally progress time again. In two weekends we were able to finish stripping the 401 and 304 jeeps. Paint the frame that will be receiving the 401, Swap motors, mock up the fiberglass body as well as some other pieces and also drop the ax-15 out of the old yj to get rebuilt. Blessed with some warm weather for a change. Without it this probably wouldn’t have happened till May. Here are the pics
Next step is to get the 401 running again and start putting the body back together then it will be receiving new suspension.

Pulling 1 motor



304 out with its 3 spd and t/c



power washed the frame before the paint



frame, axels, skid plate, and tank coated with rustoleum



Here was the success of two long weekends





Excuse the shirtless joe. My buddy, pops, and brother helping out



401 sort of cleaned up in the new frame

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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:16 AM   #10
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So forgive me for the late updates. We've been so busy with getting things ready around the house for a family cookout and what not. I also got rid of the mustang for another jeep. The 401 is almost ready to start. Waiting on a radiator and running ignition and fuel. After that we'll be getting the trans and block situated with new mounts. My dad fabbed up a new alternator bracket using the old cj and the extra yj bracket we had laying around. We got the power steering mounted on as well. It was a direct fit. so fyi for anybody else wanting to put the comfort of power steering on the 401, find a stock 304 pump and gear box. No issues I will have some pictures up this weekend.
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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:45 AM   #11
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Looking great so far. Keep up the good work!
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79 CJ-7 304 4 speed all stock
07 Dodge Nitro
12 Chevy Malibu
Back in the finger lakes area of upstate NY
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:20 PM   #12
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Beautiful garage!!! I am SOOOO jealous!
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:27 AM   #13
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Thanks for the support here. The garage.. Believe it or not is a mess and there are definitely waaaaay too many jeep parts laying around. Barn used to be 24-42. Now it's 36-60 I keep tellin my dad to sell the bass boat. It would free up so much space!

Also if any of you want or know of someone who wants a cj5 rolling chassis and body let me know. It is the red body we took off and the chassis the 401 came
out of as we have no use for them anymore. Few local jeep guys gave their approval on the condition of the frame and I can post pics upon request.

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87 yj, 4.0, small lift, 33s, slowly taking jeep-roids
75 cj5 304, Fiberglassed, 4:56, lifted, 35s
79 cj5 built 401
73 cj5 plow jeep.
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