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-   -   CJ-5 Rock Crawler Project? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f298/cj-5-rock-crawler-project-228443.html)

killerpbtech 03-18-2013 12:34 AM

Alright so I'm selling my TJ and buying a CJ-5, I'm thinking about getting it built up to be a Rock Crawler. Problem is, I've never built one and I don't really know what goes into one.... So that being said, what needs to be done to turn a mint condition relatively stock CJ-5 into a gnarly Rock Crawler? (must be street legal and cost should be limited to around $15,000 on top of the Jeep's price)

Goofyjumper 03-18-2013 09:42 AM

You have to stretch the wheelbase.... A CJ-5's wheelbase is way too short for rock crawling. You will also need to beef up the frame if you go with an earlier CJ (Pre '76.)

Here's my build to do the same thing ..... LINK HERE

I have $28k into mine, but I upgraded axles, did hydro assist, 40 inch tires, bead locks, and upgraded engine, transmission, and transfer case. I think $15k is doable if you really watch your budget and stay with 37's and 3/4 ton axles.

duffer 03-18-2013 10:20 AM

Wow, going to butcher a mint CJ 5? The TJ would be a much better and less painful start for a rock crawler-or find a CJ 5 in a lot less than mint condition-not going to make much difference in the build because you will not have much of the original Jeep there when you are done anyway. You are going to be replacing the entire drive train and suspension, with major mods to frame and sheet metal. 15k is probably a very conservative cost estimate and only achievable if you do all the work and have a lot of time to acquire parts.

You could probably put together a decent trail rig for about half that, depending on what CJ 5 you start with.

killerpbtech 03-18-2013 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by duffer (Post 3518402)
Wow, going to butcher a mint CJ 5? The TJ would be a much better and less painful start for a rock crawler-or find a CJ 5 in a lot less than mint condition-not going to make much difference in the build because you will not have much of the original Jeep there when you are done anyway. You are going to be replacing the entire drive train and suspension, with major mods to frame and sheet metal. 15k is probably a very conservative cost estimate and only achievable if you do all the work and have a lot of time to acquire parts.

You could probably put together a decent trail rig for about half that, depending on what CJ 5 you start with.

Yeah, I'm really wanting to do a CJ so I'm doing a CJ. So what do you mean by replacing the entire drivetrain? What type of suspension?

indirocz28 03-18-2013 05:58 PM

Keep your TJ, or buy my YJ!

killerpbtech 03-18-2013 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by indirocz28 (Post 3520103)
Keep your TJ, or buy my YJ!

I'd rather have an early CJ-5 over any other generation to be honest

Goofyjumper 03-18-2013 08:50 PM

Stick with the CJ! It's true early CJ's have ZERO creature comforts or computer controlled things.... But if you are building a rock crawler then you don't want any of that stuff in your jeep anyways. I have a lifted JK and my CJ crawler... Which do you think I have more fun driving?

As for drive train, the stock axles simply will not cut it for crawling... but that being said, you can get better axles dirt cheap. I upgraded to one tons (dana 60 and a corporate 14 bolt) for cheap. I rebuilt them both, upgraded gearing, added lockers, and upgraded to disk brakes all around and I only have $2,800 into them. If you are good at hunting for parts on craigslist and junk yards, you can find good parts on the cheap. I sourced my transmission and t-case this way along with the axles.

Suspension: These can be as simple or complicated as you like. You can do simple leaf springs or links with coil overs. The beauty of this is you can choose to do one (leafs for cheap) and years down the road upgrade to something more complicated.

I highly recommend you create a detailed budget for the entire project in excel and detail out every part you would like to put on your jeep and then add 30% more consumables/tools/and contingency. You can then play with this budget by adding or subtracting parts and complexity until you reach a project that is affordable and still a finished project that meets your goals.

killerpbtech 03-18-2013 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Goofyjumper (Post 3520834)
Stick with the CJ! It's true early CJ's have ZERO creature comforts or computer controlled things.... But if you are building a rock crawler then you don't want any of that stuff in your jeep anyways. I have a lifted JK and my CJ crawler... Which do you think I have more fun driving?

As for drive train, the stock axles simply will not cut it for crawling... but that being said, you can get better axles dirt cheap. I upgraded to one tons (dana 60 and a corporate 14 bolt) for cheap. I rebuilt them both, upgraded gearing, added lockers, and upgraded to disk brakes all around and I only have $2,800 into them. If you are good at hunting for parts on craigslist and junk yards, you can find good parts on the cheap. I sourced my transmission and t-case this way along with the axles.

Suspension: These can be as simple or complicated as you like. You can do simple leaf springs or links with coil overs. The beauty of this is you can choose to do one (leafs for cheap) and years down the road upgrade to something more complicated.

I highly recommend you create a detailed budget for the entire project in excel and detail out every part you would like to put on your jeep and then add 30% more consumables/tools/and contingency. You can then play with this budget by adding or subtracting parts and complexity until you reach a project that is affordable and still a finished project that meets your goals.

Thanks for the advice!

indirocz28 03-19-2013 04:15 PM

Have to say that I agree with Goofy on the project budget..

Duckquackers 03-19-2013 04:19 PM

Damn Goofy could be a PM on my team anyday.

hrpkustoms 03-29-2013 12:35 AM

i would do a cj for sure, good luck with the build


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