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1975 Brutally Simple Daily Driver


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  • 3 weeks later...

Beautiful day yesterday! About 42* and sunny. My rule is if it’s at least 40* then the doors come off. Had to run to the shop so of course I parked in a snow bank... as one does. 

 

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High of 20* today and heavy snow. Trying to figure a bikini top for this year that attaches only to the cage so I can put the windshield down but still keep the sun off me. So... there you go... I guess it’s an update. :D

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  • 3 months later...

I feel as though this little Jeep got yet another extension on its borrowed time with this drivetrain. Lately I’ve been dreading the feel of the clutch and the effort and timing it takes to shift from gear to gear. Assuming that the clutch was on its way out and that was that I’ve just been sour about the CJ. On a whim I crawled under it this morning and had a look at the pushrod adjustment. “Surely it can’t have much left to give!”

 

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... but it had enough. The clutch feels great again! I took about a half inch of slop out of the linkage. Then I rolled over to find a big drip of brake fluid rolling down the front left tire. See, back when I put disk brakes on the front it was just a kit we had on the shelf at the four wheel shop I was working at. Who knows what the brake hoses were for?! I took one off and brought I over to my buddy at the local Napa. We looked up different applications, looked through catalogues, started opening boxes, and we finally found a couple perfect hoses that were about an inch shorter than I had. Low and behold, they turned out being for a late ‘70s CJ5/7/8... go figure.

 

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In any case, the brakes feel great and my clutch is functional again. Still waiting for the other shoe to drop for the engine to yard sale on me. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I washed my wife’s car today which got me thinking about the Comet wash from last year. How’s it holding up?

 

August, 2019:

 

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Today:

 

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Meh... not terrible?... but not red either. It doesn’t have that chalky feel to it before the Comet but it obviously hasn’t kept the color. Whatever. Maybe I’ll hit it with another bottle of NuFinish... maybe. 

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2 hours ago, eaglescout526 said:

Also ive enjoyed reading the new things that come up with your CJ.

 

:beerchug:

 

Been real itchy to pull the tin top off lately again. It hasn't been off since it went on to "check clearances" when the roll cage went in. I've got a bikini top but nothing to keep the rain out being it parks outside. No... it will not be going in the new shop. If anything is going to start living in there it'll be my Eliminator. There's a few companies that make trail covers which are essentially just bomber cap looking tops that the ear flaps go all the way down to the rockers. Try and find one that'll work with an early CJ though... nope. Might try and play around with a canvas tarp. I really need a soft top.

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  • 1 month later...
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Nope. I like to think that something will present itself when the time comes.

 

Right now I’m leaning towards moving the front axle forward 3-4”, pushing the drivetrain forward the same 3-4”, and then figure things from there. A 4.0/AX15 wound be cool. Keeping the 4.2 and going through it while putting an AX15 (or T5 from a later CJ to save a little more rear driveshaft room) behind it wound be cool too. Pretty sure I’ve ruled out a full modern drivetrain swap like an Ecotech or some kind of diesel. V8 maybe? An AMC 360 could be cool and any Jeep trans would bolt up to it. But what about a Magnum 318/360 from a Dakota or a Ram? I think I could dress one of those to give the look of an earlier engine. The bell housing changed for those too so I’d be stuck with a Chrysler auto or figure out something with Dakota stuff. I’m also pretty sure I don’t want to go bigger than the engine it already has. 
 

The issue really comes down to the transfer case. A Dana 300 makes sense as it’d keep the front axle on the passenger side and there are short and long factory options. It’d mean a bit of work, but I wouldn’t be opposed to swapping the front differential to the driver side and using a NP231 with a short fixed output shaft. The 231 wound run quieter... which wound be nice too as I really want to make this a good driver. Totally cutting apart the front axle wound just be another step as I want to cut the inner C’s from the tubes so I can rotate them back for more caster... again, to make it a better driver. This would also make anyone who would notice say “HU?!” Then YJ springs? Keep the current springs?

 

Suppose I could move the rear axle back too but that’d mean some body modifications. I could get an easy 2-3” more wheelbase but I really don’t like the look of CJ5s with cut up rear wheel wells. My OCD would want to cut the sheet metal and move the wheel openings. I won’t stretch the body because that’d mean cutting the hard top too. Then if the wheel wells get moved then I might as well do all the metalwork needed on the tub... rockers, floors, cowl... might make more sense to use a better tub? But then what about the wheel wells? Do I have room for the fuel tank in the rear if I move the axle?

 

The snowball here can keep rolling for miles. I love the simplicity of this little Jeep and I think the more I do to it the less it has that charm. The very LAST thing I want to do is get to the point that it’s super nice... that’s usually when I loose interest in a vehicle. I like the crappy paint and the terrible bodywork. The floors aren’t terrible but the hat channels underneath are gone.

 

Anyhow... a question like that always turns into a mental dump for me. The bottom line comes down to a dream of mine to take this thing on a real road trip. Do I need a modern transmission for that? Do I need decent paint? Do I need softer springs? Nope, nope, and nope. I do need a reliable engine and the comfort to know that everything behind the engine is solid. 
 

Edit: that turned into a wall of text. Here’s a picture I just took for those who hung in there through all of it. 
 

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More truck stuff. This little CJ gets it. 
 

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Might’ve had a visibility issue at the one stoplight between my house and the lumber yard. 
 

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I’m starting to think that a low profile roof rack might be in the cards down the road. 

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Any thought about a T177? Bolts up stock to the 258 and D300, shorter than every 5 speed, tougher than a T-5, simple.to build, works great until you want to travel at Interstate speeds. Swap it in, then if you decide to go to a V8, you still have enough transmission.

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8 hours ago, BeatCJ said:

Any thought about a T177? Bolts up stock to the 258 and D300, shorter than every 5 speed, tougher than a T-5, simple.to build, works great until you want to travel at Interstate speeds. Swap it in, then if you decide to go to a V8, you still have enough transmission.


I’ve probably thought about every combination of factory Jeep engine and transmission combo. The T176,7,8 transmissions are pretty good in terms of gearing and strength. I wouldn’t turn one down if I were to find a good complete drivetrain that’s just ready to drop in. The problem comes in with overdrive which is really what I’d like. I’m not stuck on a V8 either. Again, if a complete donor were to come along...

 

Decisions, decisions... :dunno:

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  • neohic changed the title to 1975 Brutally Simple Daily Driver

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