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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
Black 1993 YJ, AX15, 3" BL, 2.5" RC lift kit, 1"shackles, 2.5"Exhaust, 33-12.50s, 15X10 Black Steel Wheels.....More to come.
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.