1965 CJ5

1945 - 196*, Willys CJ series, modifications, sugestions, and ideas
Jasons65
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1965 CJ5

Post by Jasons65 » Tue May 26, 2009 2:12 pm

Ok guys I am new to here and I really don't know a whole lot about these. I want to put a Chevy 350 in but I would like to keep the manual that came with my jeep in it. I know I would have to beef the tranny up to handle the Torque but I was wondering if anyone on here has done anything like this, Or I also found a 4 speed out of a 1982 CJ5 and was wondering if that would work better? Or know of a message board where someone can help me.. I would really appreciate in help that you all can give me.

I also just posted this on the general forums because somehow I missed this section...

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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Cuz » Tue May 26, 2009 6:31 pm

There's not a lot of beefing up you can do on the T90. There aren't a lot of aftermarket goodies out there any more for these antiques.

Personally I think the Chevy V8 is too much, weight, space and power wise for the Willys CJ5. The jeep is too light to be able to supply the traction needed to utilze the power and the V8 adds too much weight to the front which worsens the weight bias. Knocking the firewall back, the radiator forward and then finding out the old Ross steering gearbox can't handle the extra weight and then adding a saginaw conversion! Just not worth it. It would be cute on the race track but not worth a dime in the woods.

The original Kaiser (Buick) 225 V6 was more than adequate and lighter than the Chevy V8 and all the parts to install it are already supplied by Kaiser. The 90 degree Chevy V6 is also a better alternative to the V8. Novak makes adapters for V6 Chevy to the T90.
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Glen » Thu May 28, 2009 2:58 pm

I must concur with Wes. 350 Chevy means beefing up the transmission, which means beefing up the transfer case which means beefing up the axles. You are opening up a huge can of worms. The 225 Buick V-6 is an excellent choice with parts available for bolt-in fit. A mild 4.3 Chevy V-6 is also an excellent choice too.
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Jasons65 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:20 pm

This jeep is a "frame off" prodject type. Body, suspension, drivetrain, brakes, radiator, you name it, is going to be new when i am finished. I need some suggestions for drive trains to supply a good amount of power while keeping in mind balance and versitility. i would like this jeep to be an everyday driver yet still be able to take it out to play on some steep grades. It is a 65' willy's kaiser with a hurricane four cylinder and 5:38 gears. Yes, highway travel is out of the question with its original equipment. It used to top out around 40 mph. Money is not a concern. I am not familiar with modifications that are being used in old jeeps currently. I just want the very best stuff possible in this vehicle for the applications above. If anybody has any suggestions at all just let me know.

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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Cuz » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:31 pm

That original engine was originally a 60 MPH installation. If you are disappointed with it because you can only get 40 out of it you could always properly restore it and get back to 60 MPH highway and very good original off road capability. Other intelligent choices for daily driver and off road get-up and go are those engines that fit with little modification structurally to the jeep and keep it's original weight bias front to rear. Those engines are the Buick/Jeep Dauntless V6, the Chevy 90 deg V6, and the Perkins diesel. Start toying with big V8's and you instantly become the funny car class with a load of handling problems and power transfer issues that will eat up your wallet trying to make enough mods to bring her back under control. If you just have V8 on the brain and can't shake the need for a V8 then buy a chassis set up for the V8 (1972 and on Jeep CJ) which came with the AMC V8's 304 and 360 and 400.
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Jasons65 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:59 pm

I would like to drive this vehicle every day and a top speed of 60 mph isn't going to do it regardless. I would like to keep up with traffic. Maybe a drivetrain something similiar to the newer jeeps on the road might suffice. Has anyone heard of this being done? Is this possible with the small engine bay of the cj5?

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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Cuz » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:56 pm

If a top speed of 60 isn't gonna do it for you then you need a chassis with suspension and steering that can handle more. The 55 to 71 CJ5 chassis just is not that chassis. If you read the post above the correct chassis for V8's and the speed that you are looking for is the longer, softer sprung modern saginaw steering 72 and newer CJ chassis. To make the 65 CJ5 handle and do what you want it to do you will end up buying all the 72 and newer components and installing them on the 65. Rather then re-invent the wheel here you can start with the correct chassis and instead of throwing most of your money at the 72 and up suspension, steering and brakes you can invest that money in a really hot engine and tranny set-up. :?
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Glen » Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:00 pm

Again, I must concur with Wes. The later model jeep has a longer engine bay and chassis spacing for a straight 6 making V8 installation easier. The last V8 I saw in an earlier CJ5, the frame had the crossmember behind the radator cut out and the starter had issues with the front driveshaft. Steering on the later model jeep is not done with a draglink and a Ross box, it will have a modern box mounted up front. Newer jeeps will have clutch and brake pedals are hung with firewall installed master cylinders. Transmission, transfer case, drive shafts and axles still need to be upgraded from the stock items. Why do I say this??? A guy I work with put a 350 Chevy in a CJ8. He upgraded the transmission twice. Then he had to do the driveshafts. Then he had to do the axles. We are talking a CJ8, a jeep later than yours or the one we are talking about. Sit down and do some math. And look at this project, it might give you an idea of all the work needed http://www.g503.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=137263" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; .
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by avmechanic » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:28 pm

It can be done. There are plenty of guys that will try to talk you out of putting a V8 into it. The V6s are probably the best option for a stockish running Jeep. If you are doing a complete build from the ground up anyway build it the way you like. If you just have to have a V8 the go for it. Do a ton of research and plan your build wisely. I would start by stripping and boxing your frame. Add a later CJ or better yet YJ lift and spring hangers. Do a saginaw steering conversion. Look for at least a 80s dana 30 with disk brakes for the front and aftermarket axle kit for the back. Even better add some heavier duty axles than that. The V8 will fit under the hood OK and will have even more room if you find a grill/rad support for a late CJ like 76' to 86 it will bolt on without a ton of fuss and give you more room in front of the engine. Find a T18,sm420,or sm465 tranny and adapt to the dana 18 transfer case. It would all be a lot of work but a ton of fun for a build up if you are into that. I finding the building almost as fun as driving. For a good reference forum check out http://www.earlycj5.com/forums/ introduce your self, start searching and asking questions. They are a great bunch there with lots of knowledge especially on your particular model. If your into a little more high tech option consider going to a 4.8L or 5.3L GM gen III Vortec engine. They are plentiful, cheap and powerful. I am running a 4.8L in my project. You can check out my project over at early CJ5 here: http://www.earlycj5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60125 I hope this info gets you started, good luck on the project.
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by 45MB_DHM » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:59 am

Having just finished up the "Major Mechanics" on a '77 CJ5 I can say without reservation that the later CJ's are a better setup for the bigger motors! PLUS, it's easier to find parts in the bone yards than it is for earlier ones! There's one sitting close to me that already has a small block chevy sitting in it, I'm sure that if you're close to MD you can pick the entire thing up for next to nothing!!! It's @ Brown's Auto Parts... (410)357-4040...speak to Jay
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by gearhead » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:29 am

Having been involved in many jeep build ups over the years, sell the 65 and purchase the best late CJ-7 you can afford.
Will run with traffic, modern disc brakes, longer wheel base rides better and is much more stable.
AMC straight six or 304 V8 are reliable and easy to get parts for.
If your are going to off road much, go easy and it the stock driveline will be fine.
Too many jeeps have been scrapped during driveline mods/rebuilds as the fever goes away with the amount of work for a proper conversion/restoration.
And it will most likely cost twice what you think! :D

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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Jeff L » Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:02 pm

While I'm sure it's way too late to help Jason, since he posted well over a year ago, I thought I would add my 2 cents to this in case anyone else is considering a V8 in an early Jeep. I have a 1964 DJ-3A that I converted to 4 wheel drive many years ago using the running gear from a '64 CJ-5. I have to agree that a 225 Buick V6 or a 4.3 Chevy V6 are probably the best all around engines to swap into an early CJ (pre-AMC 1972), when you consider power, economy, and ease of installation. However, the best thing I ever did for my Jeep was swap in a 350 Chevy V8. It is a lot of work to do this right, but I think it is well worth it. My Jeep is an absolute joy to drive.

As mentioned in other posts, to do this swap properly you should also upgrade, at a mimimum, the brakes, steering, suspension and cooling system. The 9" drum brakes on an early CJ are marginal even with the original 4 cylinder engine. I changed mine to 11" drums, the same as on an early Wagoneer or J series truck. The difference is like night and day, they feel like power brakes. If I were to do this today I would probably install disc brakes all around for ease of maintenance. I understand that the '72 and newer Jeep disc brakes are nearly a bolt on for the early Jeep front ends. There are also kits available for discs on the rear. The Saginaw steering mod is probably the 2nd best thing I did for my Jeep. I used an AGR variable ratio power steering box and mounted it in the same manor that the late CJ-5's and -7's did, using a modified CJ-7 bracket and some other supports. On most early Jeeps the suspensions are pretty worn out unless someone has replaced the springs previously. I installed a 2-1/2 in Superlift suspension package which also helped with clearances in a few areas.

To cool the V8 properly will require some frame mods. First, when locating the engine it must be as close to the firewall as possible and still be able to get the distributor in and out (on a Chevy). You want as much room as possible in the front for the fan and radiator. The shrouding behind the grille will have to be removed, and as mentioned in other posts, the front crossmember will have to be cut out and a new one fabricated, located directly under the grille. The steering bellcrank is attached to the removed crossmember, but if you do the Saginaw steering mod you won't need it anyway. I found a '60's Ford Falcon or Mustang radiator at a flea market for $25 that fit perfectly between the headlight buckets. I had it re-cored with an extra 3 inches on the bottom. This is one area that needs a little improvement, on a hot Florida summer day it runs a little hotter than I would like. I think a radiator shroud would fix it but the problem has never been bad enough to spur me into action. It has never overheated.

The late Lloyd Novak was a Jeep guru who made his living manufacuring Jeep transmission and transfer case adapters along with other aftermarket parts, mostly all Jeep stuff, from the '60's to the 90's. He first installed a Chevy V8 in a CJ2A in 1956. According to Lloyd, if in good condition the stock T90 3 speed transmission can handle a moderately powered V8 if driven CAREFULLY. He also felt that the Model 18 transfer case would would hold up quite well behind most V8s. Same with the Jeep rears, except for the MB/GPW and early CJ-2A models. Most of the early CJ's (pre-'71) have 5:38 gears, which is pretty low by any standard. You would probably want to consider swapping to a higher (lower numerical) gearset, installing a Saturn (formerly Warn) overdrive, or both. I was fortunate in that my donor CJ-5 had the factory T98A four speed, which also mean the differentials were 4:27's instead of the usual 5:38's. The CJ-5 also had a Dana 44 rear with a Powerlok limited slip, and a Dana 27 front. I also installed a Warn Overdrive. My V8 probably has somewhere between 200-250 hp. All these components have held up quite well. As with anything, these parts will fail if you abuse them, but if driven smartly should last a long time. My DJ is pretty comfortable at 65 MPH, but any more than that just doesn't seem prudent in such a short wheelbase vehicle.

Lloyd Novak wrote an excellent how-to article on swapping V8's into Jeeps. It included pretty much everything you needed to know including the best engines, transmissions and transfer cases to use, and the ones to stay away from. Novak Enterprises now has new owners and I do not know if they still sell this article. I think I still have it somewhere; if I ever find it I will scan it and make it available. It is must reading for anyone contemplating this swap.
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Jeep 1964 DJ-3A 2.jpg
Jeep 1964 DJ-3A 2.jpg (179.55 KiB) Viewed 5787 times
Chevy 350 2.jpg
Chevy 350 2.jpg (101.48 KiB) Viewed 5788 times
350 Chevy.jpg
350 Chevy.jpg (96.44 KiB) Viewed 5790 times
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by gearhead » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:58 am

Very sharp jeep!

Ed 8)
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by Jeff L » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:27 pm

Thanks Ed. Those photos are a few years old. The paint really needs done again, I painted it 22 years ago when I did the frame off and 4x4 conversion. The 350 and the other mods were completed about 10 years ago.
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Re: 1965 CJ5

Post by gunpilot » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:00 am

Nice,

Looks like you have a very well thought out jeep. Do you have any more pictures of the steering setup, includeing the crossmember? Likewise the fuel tank. I have a 56 DJ that has been converted to a CJ chassis, but the DJ fuel tank is gone. I'd like to add one back in someday to compliment the underseat tank.
Thanks again for sharing the photos.

Oh, and you mentioned the 11" brakes. I'm doing that to mine right now, but you said if you had it to do over you'd go with disc's. I already have a complete NOS 11" brake set, but before I go to the trouble of installing it all, should I abandon this setup and source some disk brakes instead? Bird in the hand sorta question.

Thanks.

PS, I've only owned two jeeps in my life, one in 1983 and now this one. Both were DJ3A's, but I never set out to find a DJ, it just happened that way. My first one remained a 2 wheel drive, but I put a 283 V8 and TH350 automatic in it. I didn't own it long before someone came along with more money than I thought it was worth. My current one is a keeper, it'll have a 4.3L V6 with the TH350 auto in it when I'm done.

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