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Old 09-23-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
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Rebuild Project-- Diesel?

Hey guys,
I am thinking about starting a new project. I have an opportunity to get a junker jeep CJ5 or CJ7 to rebuild. I can do anything I want with it (money being the only limit). I don't know if it runs. i don't know if the frame is good. I don't know a whole lot about it. All I do know is that is really cheap, and I need a project to work on with some older high schoolers in my community that tend to get in to trouble when they don't have a goal. They like cars/tucks and jeeps. Here are some questions that I have just to throw them out there, but first I want this jeep to be a rock climbing, mud slinging, show(ish) jeep.

1. Engine Swap- Should I go GM small block V6 or try and do the impossible-- DIESEL SWAP?!

2. Frame-- Can you correct and old frame? If not, Should I get a TDK factory replacement or a TDK CJ/TJ hybrid frame and run a coil suspension?

3. Suspension-- If I stay with springs, is SOA conversion a good idea? or should I go with an aftermarket type lift?

Its out there now and look for more questions in the future as me an this rag tag bunch of teenagers try and do this.

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Old 09-23-2010, 02:56 PM   #2
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Well I for one will never say something can't be done, since I have spent my life doing those things lol

No way I would buy an aftermarket frame considering a 7 tub and and a YJ tub are nearly identical. Plus a YJ will outdrive a CJ any day of the week. As far as suspension goes, that's gonna be up to your motor choice and preference. For instance a 4BT cummins weighs around 780#'s fully dressed, so that's gonna take heavier springs and a heavier duty front axle.

I'd say think about what you want for a motor and post it...everyone will be glad to give input. Just an FYI, diesels aren't worth a crap in the mud unless you boost the hell out of um....no rpm = no tire speed = stuck

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Old 09-23-2010, 03:09 PM   #3
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The Diesel thing sounds cool. Especially if we could run bio or something. HPA used a 1.9L VW engine out of a Jetta TDI (or something) and all of the running parts. Gave it a flash boost and it got 165bhp and something like 285ft/lbs. and it weighed alot less than stock. I even think there is a kit for using the stock t-case and such. Just engine/tranny and other diesel specific parts. If I went gas I want to go Chevy Small Block V6/8 with an automatic TH400 tranny if the Jeep turns out to be a CJ7 for a CJ5 I will go with same engine with a TH350. Are these gas options easily available from salvage yards?

What are some price estimates on engine swaps?

Frame wise, I would say if I stay with springs, thanks for the tip on the YJ frame. If going to coils, then does anyone have experience converting using the TDK custom frames?
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:13 PM   #4
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Dunno, I am a Ford man so I can't price gm stuff for ya.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:15 PM   #5
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I am open to Ford. What would I be looking at then?
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:21 PM   #6
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Its all gonna depend on what you want really...carb or efi? automatic or manual? If your gonna use a ford in a CJ your gonna have to get a Dana 300 case and flip it upsidedown so your driveshaft will work on the CJ front axle. IF you use a wrangler front axle or a ford one, you can use a ford case. I'd say in the ballpark your looking at a good 2200.00 for all the parts minus axles to do one with injection.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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thats not that bad. I assume that is the salvage price?
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:06 PM   #8
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ANy more suggestions?
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Old 09-24-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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That's the average salvage price yes...but if you do some digging you can find better deals. When I start a project I sit down with 12 pack and a pad of paper. I think about what the rigs intended purpose is, how I want it to look, and when I want it done. The last thing I think about is budget because I feel if you work under the budget tent all the time you never reach the goal you are going for.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:26 PM   #10
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The diesel swap can be done there are plenty of other routes besides a cummins also like the lighter Mercedes diesels that are in their older cars I've seen a couple of these or chevy 6.5. It would be a bit more exspensive to convert to a diesel but from what I hear the guys with diesels in jeeps are getting around 30MPG if not more.
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Old 09-25-2010, 04:44 PM   #11
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Good luck with this, subscribed.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:26 PM   #12
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The project looks like it might be lifting off of the ground as a few more people come in board. I would like to keep you all updated, but this might be a slow project. Keep the ideas and tips coming. I will need all of the help that I can get.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:41 PM   #13
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sounds like a fun project ahead of you and those teens. Good luck.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:57 AM   #14
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Not trying to knock a diesel swap but they are pricey to do. My guess is in the $6-8000 range when it is all said and done.
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:59 AM   #15
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It all depends, I am into my 6bt, nv4500, and dana 80 for 425.00 after I sold the rest of the truck

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