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Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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6 to 8 ?

I have a 1980 cj7 258 auto. dana 300 case. My motor is tired the 3 speed auto is getting tired. I am think about a chevy 305 or 350 swamp. My question is what is the cheapest way, 305 or 350 to my trany. OR 305 to chevy trany or 305 chevy trany and trasfer case. The adaters seem very exp.
Is there a way aroud some of the expence. I have been looking for a old amc304 or 360 but thay are hard to find. I would like to go to a v8 becouse i need to tow cars every now and then. Thanks for the help Dave
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 01:41 PM
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Tow Cars with a CJ? Are you ever livin' flippin' nuts? I towed a Caravan behind my Bronco II and it was the scariest thing I ever did in my life. That Bronco couldn't get out of the Caravan's way. This ain't a matter of horsepower, it's a matter of a short wheel base. You're asking for a problem... and it will happen.

Last edited by LEVE; 07-01-2007 at 03:05 PM.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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I agree with LEVE, if you haven't towed a vehicle behind a CJ... hahaha let the games begin. I towed my 68' 442 and I swore I'd never tow with a CJ again... The CJ was being pushed around like a 7th grader picking on a 4th grader... I can understand yard-working supplies... riding mowers etc, maybe a load of wood etc.. But then again, to one his own...
You said it's hard to find an AMC 360 or 304?... That sucks... different story here. As for the CHEBY stuff... Stay away from the 305... IMO it's junk.
The 350 is a nice up-grade ... Not only for power etc.. but the tranny selection as-well... TH350, Th400, SM420, NP465 and more... along with the NP205 t-case... these are killer set-ups for a CJ... the only thing that you're missing is the 1 ton full width axles...
But doing the chevy conversion... there's a ton of info on this, along with the for 302 conversion... Pirate has a $h!t ton of info on either and all...
You need a new radiator (chances are)... new motor mounts, new wiring harness or you can use the existing harness and cut out what isn't needed... wire-in what is... cross member will need to be modified or a new custom one made.... new driveshafts will be needed (Unless the over all length is close to the original) but then you might have to check or changed the yokes etc... If I remember right the I-6 (258) is almost the weight of a Chevy V-8.. it might be slightly heavier than the 350??? so your front leafs should be alright... the rear leaf pack might be a little tired so you might want to check those... if they are worn (flat or really close) then on hard excelleration you're going to have axle wrap etc... You might need a custom trac-bar... these aren't hard mods but it's more or less a matter of time, having the parts, a good welder and knowledge... it's going to be $$$ thing too... if you have the time, money and knowledge along with the means then once these mods are done you'll love the v-8 power in the CJ (Besides the weak-a$$ 304....which couldn't walk itself out of a wet paper bag)...
Anyway... is this going to be a DD and occasional Tower?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 06:55 PM
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You can't find an old Wagoneer with a 360 ???? You should be able to find a worn out 360 and rebuild it for the price it's going to cost you to swap in a GM motor, tranny, and t-case. You are going to need a new radiator, motor mounts and make a new crossmember and drive shafts. Talking some serious $$$$$ here...
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-01-2007, 10:38 PM
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You don't need to have 400hp and one ton junk to have a reliable Jeep. I would swap in a Jeep 304 or GM 305 in a heartbeat. Both can be very reliable and make respectable power without dumping too much cash into them. The key here is a reliable Jeep, that will get you around town, get up and back down the trail, and get you home... time and time again. If you go tossing in huge power, you will eventually start breaking other components, run into cooling issues, and longevity issues. Keep it simple & reliable.

The GM drivetrain is long. You will need to address driveshaft lengths, and if your lifted, you'll likely end up having to CV the rear shaft. This in itself can be expensive.

Another option would be to rebuild your 258 and look for a T176 four speed. If you've had your 258 on the trail, running well, you know it's a workhorse and can make your Jeep do things that will have the V8 guys scratching their heads. I love my 258, with the HEI and MC2100, it's never left me stranded and always got me home.

Is this the only hammer you've got?
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoggmoney View Post
You don't need to have 400hp and one ton junk to have a reliable Jeep.
Wow, you don't say!? If he's gonna go through the trouble of changing to a Chevy Motor, changing the mounts, fabing a cross member etc... Then why not bolt up the rest of the goodies... You know as well as I do that Countless numbers of 350's had a wide variety of HD trannies, (Auto/Manual)... No worries about bolt patterns etc... Here, I can walk into a yard Grab a Chevy 350, Granny tranny... or an TH350/Th400... Finding an NP205 is fun but that's what Ebay is for
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I would swap in a Jeep 304 or GM 305 in a heartbeat. Both can be very reliable and make respectable power without dumping too much cash into them.
The 304 is JUNK... You might as-well drop in the 258 with minor bolt-ons (Which will equal or better the 304)... The 304 is a dog no-matter how you look at it... Even with an intake/carb/headers... But you'll be pushing over $600 for these simple mods... The 305 isn't much better either.. Unless you get the HO 305... Pretty much all 5.0's are Junk... and I hate to say this But the only 5.0 that I'd drop in my Jeep would be a FORD 302... (I can't believe I said it). Complete roller set-up, fuel injection tons of after market junk (Still kinda pricey.. for Ford parts )...
Quote:
The key here is a reliable Jeep, that will get you around town, get up and back down the trail, and get you home... time and time again. If you go tossing in huge power, you will eventually start breaking other components, run into cooling issues, and longevity issues. Keep it simple & reliable.
I can't agree with you more... I prefer to build my rig(s) with 1 ton stuff... For long term reliability... I know this stuff will handle the loads/stresses that I'll toss at it... Now, as for my motor... She's definitely Over Built for Crawling... She's been worked and detailed covering all aspects... I know this motor will last for a while... Now, If i go out mudding every weekend and hold her at 7000 then yeah she'll end-up beat...
Quote:
The GM drivetrain is long. You will need to address driveshaft lengths, and if your lifted, you'll likely end up having to CV the rear shaft. This in itself can be expensive.
The NP435 is only 10.8" long... The T18 is 11.9" Long... The NP465 is 12" long.. The SM420 is 10.7" long.. The TH400 is 24.37" long... The TH350 is 21.75" long...
Quote:
Another option would be to rebuild your 258 and look for a T176 four speed. If you've had your 258 on the trail, running well, you know it's a workhorse and can make your Jeep do things that will have the V8 guys scratching their heads. I love my 258, with the HEI and MC2100, it's never left me stranded and always got me home.
I had a 258... It was great... I also had a 304.. I thought that it was Junk... (Good power but the difference between the 258 and 304 was minimal)... I had a 360 and loved it... Now I have a sickly built 360 and I'm sure I'll enjoy it even more... (I'll probably drop it in an AMX or Javelin).
My best advice is... Find what you want to do with your Jeep... save up for all of the parts etc... and then build the Jeep stronger than what will be needed... Build once and never look back... Build it weak, and you'll be the guy holding everybody up on the trail... or you'll be off to the side in the pitch black working on the rig. (Hoping that somebody is soon to come along... asking yourself. "Where the hell is the trail rig"
post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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Up to our butts in SJ's around here, and most of them have 360's in them
I have two extra J trucks with 360's 'Just In Case' out back, plus one in the garage, built, but no place to put it yet...
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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That's one thing that is plentiful.... The AMC 360... No matter where I go, whether it's in the yards here in Va or up in NY I always see 2 or 3 360's... I got my last two for $150 each... one running and the other seized from sitting too long..
post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 07:59 PM
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I have a 304 in my CJ and a 258 in my YJ... there is a significant power difference between the two. It is as noticible as when I went to a 360 and then back to the 304. The 304 is a good engine and not junk. The 360 got about 9 mpg around town and 12 on the highway. The 304 gets about 12 around town and 15 on the highway. Horsepower isn't everything... the 304 makes plenty of power plus uses less gas.

"As the circle of my knowledge grows, so grows the circumference of the unknown." - Isaak Newton
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 09:14 PM
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V-8

Go to OFF-ROAD.COM, and look under jeep-tech. You all you need to know
about A V-8 swap.

Good Luck
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