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66CJ5

1966 CJ5, I just want to get her going!

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Well, here goes.

  About three years ago I purchased a 1966 CJ5 while living in North Eastern Nevada. I have always wanted a project Jeep and when I ran across this one for $900 that was brought to life the same year I was I had to jump in with both feet.  There is no doubt that she needs work. I know that the T90 transmission needs to be rebuilt and the rest of the drive line could use some tlc as well. The only rust issue she really has is on both rear corners near the tail gate. She has the Dauntless engine and the prior owner thought it had been rebuilt but I have no info on when or to what extent. The previous owner said that at one time it was his daily driver as well as his trail rig till he tore up 2nd gear and it has been sitting for most of a year. That's was two years ago and has since ben trailered to it's new home in coastal Oregon. I know that when I purchased the vehicle we were able to get her to start up without much work but I remember shutting her down because of the odd sounding engine. Turns out that's just the way they sound I guess. I am not in a real rush to get her goin nor do I have the facilities at this time to rip her apart and spread parts all over the place. Ultimately I am looking for a summer daily driver to work which is maybe two miles round trip and a trail vehicle for minimally aggressive trails.

  Here is the issue. I have found tons of material on complete tare down and that is something I would like to do in the future. Right now I would love to find info on how to logically and safely get her ready for the very light road work she will be doing. All the while I will be getting deeper and deeper into rebuilds and upgrades but not right at first.

  I have the Jeep Bible 3rd edition as well as the Haynes manual. I will be looking for some shop manuals as will. Does anyone have any others Ideas of good books or anything that might point me in the direction I need to be going? 

I have added some pictures, any info would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

James McFarland

 

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Wonderful start to a project, 66CJ5!  Glad you have my Jeep Owner's Bible, you also would benefit from a copy of the Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual:  1946-71.  The book is hands-on and addresses actual work you'll need to do.  

Here at the forums, I would be glad to answer questions you have about specific needs and road-worthiness.  You're in very good company, we have several members with V-6 CJ restorations underway!  We're all interested in seeing your project go well...

Moses 

Edited by Moses Ludel

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Wonderful start to a project, 66CJ5!  Glad you have my Jeep Owner's Bible, you also would benefit from a copy of the Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual:  1946-71.  The book is hands-on and addresses actual work you'll need to do.  

Here at the forums, I would be glad to answer questions you have about specific needs and road-worthiness.  You're in very good company, we have several members with V-6 CJ restorations underway!  We're all interested in seeing your project go well...

Moses 

  Thank you for the reply. I have looked at many of your post and you are certainly the man when it comes to this. I will send off for the rebuilders guide as soon as I find a copy, I am guessing Amazon? If there are better places to get these books let me know.

  It will be nice having the proper materials and expert advice to get things done correctly. 

Have a great day and I look forward to this adventure.

James

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66CJ5...Amazon, Advance Adapters, 4WD Harware, Quadratec and others have offered the book.  Of course, there's my publisher, Bentley Publishers.  I know this book has your CJ-5 V-6 restoration project in mind, enjoy it!

We've traveled similar paths.  A longstanding Nevada resident, our family did spend a total of nine years at Oregon, and I know the Oregon Coast well.  We purchased our travel trailer from a private party at the Reedsport Area last summer and enjoyed a brief run down the coast to Bandon...When we lived at Oakridge from 1990-94, I wrote for SoCal magazines and also for the Oregonian while creating the Jeep Owner's Bible and Ford F-Series Pickup Owner's Bible, spending a lot of time at the coast doing photo shoots (Sand Lake, Florence, Winchester Bay, Salishan, Lincoln City and the Tillamook Trail Area).  We also like the Central Oregon high desert, much like Northern Nevada, plenty of Jeep country!  Many friends and family members still at the Eugene/Springfield Area, the U of O is my alma mater. 

Once you have the rust in check on the CJ-5, you'll be resting a lot easier, especially at the coastal region with salt air.  The book will be helpful for mechanical chores.  We'll discuss questions and concerns that come up!

In looking over your pictures, I see some classic parts that can stand upgrades, in particular the ignition distributor.  A Delco-Remy window cap distributor like the Buick 225 V-6 type (odd-fire version) would be an improvement when you need to address the ignition.  Other CJ owners at these forums have the Delco-Remy distributor as an example...Also, take a look at the casting numbers on the transmission.  Curious if it is a T90, the Jeep CJ V-6 usually has a T86 (3-speed with no synchromesh on 1st gear) or T14 (3-speed with synchromesh on first gear).  You may be looking for an upgrade swap if you haven't repaired the damaged transmission yet.

The T86 is likely in the Jeep now.  Much like a T90, this transmission was a Jeep mainstay in 2WD applications and the earlier V-6 CJs.  Rebuilding a T86 follows steps much like the T90.

Moses

 

Edited by Moses Ludel

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   Wow! We have traveled some of the same paths. I am actually a Nevada native originally from East Ely. Bach when Ely was big enough to have an east and west! We are now living in Beaver, Oregon just a few miles from Sand Lake, a nice proving ground for the Jeep once she is up to it.

   It just so happen that I just purchased a 1995 F250 7.3 a few months ago so I see I will be buying another of your books. She is road worthy but needs some attention engine and suspension wise.

  As far as the transmission on the Jeep I am rather embarrassed to say I have not uncovered the casting number as of yet. When I purchased the her I was told by the owner that he had most of the parts to the "same" transmission and he would throw them in. I will include the casting picture which shows it as a T-90a-1 so I assumed that the jeep had the same. Of course we all know what happens when you assume things. I have already been doing some thinking about a transmission upgrade just so the engine wont have to work as hard on the highway but first things first. I want to get the engine back to life. As I said before the she has probably sat for almost three years with only a few minutes of run time at time of purchase. It seemed as though the oil was not getting to the top of the engine so I didn't run her long. I just wanted to heard her start up. I have been told to run a little unleaded gas in the oil to free up the gunk!? Sounds a little fishy to me but you know how old time shade tree mechanics can be. I can see why it might work. I will include some more in depth pics of the engine so you can correct my bad assumptions. 

All this talk about the jeep is getting me wrench crazy!

Have a good one,

James

 

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Edited by 66CJ5

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James...Great pictures...The basket case transmission is a T90A.  The transmission in the Jeep looks similar but could still be a T86.  Many parts interchange here.  We can explore that if necessary.

The 2GC Rochester looks authentically GM from the era.  A tag or stamping number can confirm.  This is a very basic Jeep and engine to work around, you'll like that factor.  Take the time to look through the many photos of Jeep V-6 models undergoing restoration here at the vintage Jeep forum.  The owner/forum members are doing a very nice job, and you're in very good company here.

I would not put unleaded fuel in the crankcase.  Aside from the risk of a blowby and ignition fire, unleaded gasoline does not lubricate.  Try either automatic transmission fluid (one quart plus the rest clean motor oil) or a quart of Rislone or Marvel Mystery Oil plus fresh oil.  Beware that gummy rings can get stuck while trying to clean up debris.

Knowing the intricacies of the Buick V-6 lubrication systems, I suggest making sure the engine is registering oil pressure at the gauge, if not shut it off immediately.  If the vehicle set up for a long time and the oil drained back from the oil pump (or the oil pump, pump housing/timing cover are worn), the engine is not picking up oil prime.  The lack of lubrication to the upper engine could be a sign of no lubrication in general.  This is a Buick V-6 and period V-8 design issue, also common to AMC V-8s.

Should the engine not be getting oil prime, the external oil pump can be removed readily to check for damage.  Inspect the timing cover's pump bore for damage as well.  (Read my CJ rebuilder's book section on oil pumps and priming the pump.)  Once pump parts are working, try packing the oil pump cavity with clean petroleum jelly.  Button up the pump and make sure the engine has fresh oil in the crankcase.  Crank the engine over and try to pick up oil prime.  

Note:  If you suspect gunk in the crankcase, this could also be a clogged oil pickup screen and likely the promise that an engine rebuild will be on your to-do list.

If the engine does pick up oil prime and registers oil pressure, see if that also pumps up the hydraulic valve lifters and clears the valve clatter.  If not, oil system trouble and/or clogged oil passageways are likely...You'd be due for an engine tear down and inspection.

Moses

 

 

Edited by Moses Ludel

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  Thank you for the info Moses. Hannah and I broke out the wrenches and started removing body panels to uncover the guts of the issues with the jeep. Unfortunately  the rust is a bit more extensive on the tub than expected but workable for the time being. What do you think of the fiberglass tubs? Would certainly fix the rust issue. Just curious for the future.

  We did pull the floor panel and you were dead on with the transmission. It is indeed a T86AA-1B. From what I have been reading you can not replace it with a T90 easily. Looks like I will be rebuilding the T86 and doing a transmission upgrade some time in the future.

  I also saw the brake master cylinder on the frame under the rig, whose idea was that??? It looks to be original as well so I will just replace it due to its age.

  If you have better ideas for the transmission situation I am all ears. I have seen that the T86 is synchronized in 2nd and 3rd. What does that mean for first and what's the drawback?

Going to pull the fenders and take some pics tomorrow.

Thanks again ,

James

 

 

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66CJ5/James...The T86AA is the right transmission for OE.  Neither the T86AA or T90A is exciting without synchromesh on first gear.  You have the option of the T14 with a few parts to source for the bellhousing adapter and such.  The time-honored gain would be a truck-type 4-speed with compound low gear and synchromesh on 2-3-4.  Common for these applications is the Muncie SM420 swap, a rugged and GM compatible transmission.  A T98/T18 with some factory parts magic and adapter pieces is another approach.

I would peruse the Advance Adapters catalog for parts involved in mating a truck transmission to your side-drive Model 18 Spicer transfer case.  You have many years of SM420 transmissions for sourcing, the box was used from the postwar period to the late-'sixties (1947-68).  Here's the scoop from Advance Adapters:  http://www.advanceadapters.com/tech-vault/1-gm-sm420/.  This would be my choice for adaptation simplicity around the use of a GM bellhousing and clutch fork.  All details are at the Advance Adapters website and catalogs.  This swap dates to the 1971 inception of the company.  The compound first gear is a remarkable 7.05:1, a virtual double reduction compared to the T86 or T90 first gear!  This really saves the chassis and occupants when crawling trail obstacles.  SM420 cores are still abundant...

I'm not trying to spend your money, and if the T86AA becomes your approach, just beware of the non-synchromesh first gear.  Some of us still recall these boxes, I drove plenty of them and even spur gear transmissions with no synchromesh on any gear.  By the late 'sixties, however, everyone had moved to full synchro transmissions.  

When you get the rebuilder's book, you will see how I fitted a T18/T98 to an F-head four stock iron bellhousing.  This is the factory method...Similarly, the Buick engine uses a stock GM bellhousing and an adapter/bearing retainer to the front face of the T86 or T14.  Though there have been T98 (similar to the T18) transmissions found in rare CJ-5 V-6 models, the aftermarket adaptation is just as easy as the factory approach.  Kaiser/Jeep made these fit-ups look like an aftermarket conversion!  The more costly pieces are the transmission to transfer case adapter and aftermarket output shaft.

Any automotive conversion of anything requires modifications and some fabrication skills.  Though not rocket science, it is best to approach these projects and changes with a sense of realism.  The end result is desirable, but the path to that end has curves, twists and bends.  It takes parts, tools and commitment to get the vehicle on the road/trail.

Fiberglass is a tub option if cost effective.  The coastal zone demands a long-term solution, and 'glass would be helpful here.  There are pitfalls around fit and the need to ground every light and accessory on its own circuit.  You might look at replacement metal tub options, there are several sources.

Moses

 

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  I appreciate the info. I was on the Novak site looking at their transmissions an see that they can set me up with everything I need and all new for about 2 grand. They are also recommending the GM Muncie SM465 Transmission as a newer option and at a bit of a price break. Unfortunately they are both out of my range right now and I think I will have to rebuild the T86 to keep a bit under control budget wise. I will wait for your book that I ordered today from Amazon before I make the final decision. I will also check out your links to Advanced Adapters as well.

  As far as the fiberglass tub the electrical issue doesn't bother me. That's the one thing I do well with is electrical issues. Spent some time as a com/Nav tech with the Nevada Air Guard there in Reno after my time in the Army.

  Once again thank you for your great info, I wish more were as helpful and knowledgeable as you.   Who knows, maybe some day you will get to see this crazy Jeep in person.

Thanks again,

James

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The SM465 is an option, James.  However, you wind up with a very large transmission, longer (not good on an 81-inch wheelbase vehicle with a short rear driveline), and a taller compound low gear ratio.  One thing to consider is a used SM420 that you go through yourself, adding an Advance Adapters mainshaft and transfer case adapter in the process.  These older transmissions fit everything from 1/2-ton Chevrolet/GMC pickups to 2-ton trucks.  Just a thought...

Note:  I'm partial to Advance Adapters products and have known the Partridge family since the 1980s.  (Their sponsorship at the magazine helps make these forums possible.)  In early 2013, I did a 17 HD video series on the Advance Adapters facility and products, the state of the art tooling and emphasis on QC.  When you have the time, search the magazine with "Advance Adapters" keywords.  I also knew the late Lloyd Novak, he and his wife Barbara joined my wife Donna and me at Oakridge, OR for lunch when they passed through in the early '90s.  Lloyd was very knowledgeable and, like John Partridge (Mike Partridge's father), Lloyd was a master machinist and problem solver.

The wiring on the CJ is basic and easy to re-do, whether you add extra ground wires or not.  I am excited that you have this project and want to work through the CJ's needs.  Glad to help, and yes, we might just cross paths at the NW, Donna and I always enjoy Oregon and still have a strong compass bearing NW!  Like you, we're Nevadans:  Carson Valley/Gardnerville and Douglas High for me while Donna is from Yerington.  We also both have webbed feet.

When you're in the Portland Area, you'd enjoy Powell's bookstore.  (Allow plenty of time!)  You might find a copy (new or used) of my Ford F-Series Pickup Owner's Bible.  

Glad you ordered the Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1946-71, it's hands-on.  This is a good point in your project to do some armchair time.  If you're like we were at Oakridge, you have a nice wood burning stove to stay toasty and dry while you're reading!

Moses

 

Edited by Moses Ludel

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Well, if nothing else come from this adventure it is nice to get to know another Nevadan.

As far as the transmission I have no problem looking for a used SM420 to rebuild since a rebuild is in the cards regardless. If you have some ideas where to look that have served you well in the past the info would be appreciated. I will start the search on this side as well. Once I get your book I will start a plan for dropping the old T86 so I can get busy on other things. Unfortunately I don't think I can rule out a rebuild on the T86 at this time. Was hoping I might have the needed part in the T90 disaster I showed you. Wont know till I get inside the crazy thing.

Brakes come to mind, lol. I have the old single reservoir so it might be a good time to upgrade. Also need to brake down all the systems at the wheels so I have plenty to keep me busy.

If I get real ambitious we may take the body off completely so I can give the frame some lovin as well.

Hope you have a great day,

James

P.S. Just wanted to let you know I am in no way partial to Novak, they are just the ones that popped up on the google search first.

 

Edited by 66CJ5

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James...The T86 could be the fast track to getting the Jeep running.  A common complaint with the V-6 CJ is gearing that is too tall, so keep an eye out for the SM420 or a T18.  As for availability, imagine the huge numbers of 1947-67 GM trucks as a cohort: pickups and flatbeds at recycling yards and backyards, many in fields and pastures at Oregon.  The concern is how much use/abuse and exposure to moisture on the west side of the Cascades.  

Ask around, these transmissions are quite common, don't be concerned about the output or whether the donor was a torque tube (1947-55 First Series) pickup.  The adapter kit to the Spicer 18 transfer case includes a new tailhousing and output/mainshaft.

Compare the price of rebuild parts for the T86, this might tilt the scale in the direction of finding an inexpensive SM420 core that only needs bearings.  T90 and T86 NOS or U.S. made parts are now virtually non-existent.  That raises concerns.  Know the difference between the SM420 and an SM465; the last year of SM420 production, both transmissions were in use.

When you get the book, I detail a conversion to a dual master cylinder with disc brakes.  The Warn disc brake conversion is no longer available, but there are several other suppliers.  I fabricated a bracket for mounting the dual master cylinder beneath the floorboard in OE orientation.  Some move the master cylinder to the upper firewall and install swinging brake and clutch pedals.  For years the 1960-62 GM pickup brake/clutch master cylinder was part of that conversion.  There are other approaches these days, like Wilwood masters and pedals.  Hydraulic clutch linkage has become popular, anything is better than the OE cable system on early Jeep models.  You'll see the Advance Adapters solution in the Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Moses

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  So I was able to get things opened up and get some pictures of the devastation in the T86. I also shot some better pictures of the T90 that I have as well. I have seem multiple post from people saying that the guts from a T90 and fit inside a T86 with no problems. Can that be true?

  As far as I can tell at this point the reverse idler gear, low and reverse sliding gear and the cluster gear in the T86 are banged up and need replacement.  The T90 actually looks ok except for some very superficial rust and a few missing parts that seem to be available. 

  Now for the big question. Is it at all an option to rebuild the T90 guts in the T86 Housing since I have most of the parts and just need to find a way to clean them up if possible? Or is it possible to just rebuild the T90 and put it in place of the T86without an adapter expense? 

  I am getting a parts cleaning cabinet next week that will be able to use various media to clean up the rust. Can the internal parts of the T90 be cleaned with soda blasting or walnut?

 Are you getting tired of me yet? lol

  I know you feel I should go with the sm420 and work with Advanced Adapters. I guarantee that is going to happen in the near future, say within the next year. I just have a need to look into all aspects of this rebuild situation for my own piece of mind. Not to mention the experience I will gain.

If additional pictures would help just let me know what you need.

As always thanks my friend,

James

 

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James...Simple rules apply here:  Count the teeth on each gear, including the cluster, measure bores, lengths and widths of gears, and go from there.  Do not place used gears from different transmissions together, particularly a used input/1st and 2nd gear alongside a used cluster from a different transmission.  Make sure you use the full gear set from the T90 if the gears are okay and will fit.  I believe you will have an issue with the input shaft length, compare your T86 input gear's stickout length with the T90 input.

For comparison of parts between the T86 and T90, compare part numbers for the parts.  I did some of your homework, and here are the catalog sections for both the Jeep T90 and a T86 at Crown Automotive:

T90  http://www.crownautomotive.net/category/T90-Transmission-Parts.html 

T86  http://www.crownautomotive.net/category/T86-Transmission-Parts.html

When you compare the parts, you'll find an obvious difference in gear ratios.  2nd gear and the cluster are different between these two transmissions.  Input and cluster tooth count for 1st gear is also different...The T90 gears, if they match and fit in every other dimension, would not provide the same gear ratios.  Check the length of the input shaft as well, you won't be able to use the T90 input gear if its length, spline count or front bearing retainer fit are wrong for your Buick V-6 application.  This would be the deal breaker.

The similarities and differences are clear.  If the transmission case lengths and face/bellhousing bolt patterns were the same, and if the stickout lengths and clutch splines of the input gears matched, and if the gears interchanged and fit in either housing, the ratio difference might be tolerable until you find an SM420, T98 or T18 transmission alternative.

Moses  

 

Edited by Moses Ludel

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James...I know you want the Jeep running, but reliability will go a long way on a 4x4.  As shared earlier, the book casts light on a lot of our discussion points.  I'm pleased you'll have access to the book!  I'm available for additional questions.

On the body, a brand new tub by Omix-ADA is available in the industry.  Here are two examples, one the Shell Valley fiberglass tub and the other Omix-ADA steel:

http://www.shellvalley.com/index.cfm/page/ptype=product/product_id=372/category_id=139/mode=prod/prd372.htm

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12002-09-Omix-ADA-Steel-Body-Tub-JEEP-CJ5-1955-1969-Tub-Only-/201095170782?fits=Model%3ACJ5

The cost is major sticker shock, but for those wanting a whole new start on a vintage CJ, these are some solutions...

I enjoy your participation at the forums...thoughtful questions! 

Moses

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  Well, I have made the decision to take my time and not rush this rebuild. There are enough issues that to rush on this area would be detrimental to another so I guess I am in for the long haul.

  I pulled the valve covers and no real surprises. I will pull the plugs tomorrow just to see what they look like. I hooked a battery up and it turned over without to much issue so that encouraging. 

As far as the body tub I think I am going to be ok with the one I have. A little cutting here and weld a patch there and I think I can keep her going. I have also decided to do a body off rebuild so I can get her better protected from the moisture here.

I really appreciate your input and willingness to share your knowledge. Now I just have to listen to it. lol

Thanks again,

James

Edited by 66CJ5

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Hi, James...I would run a cylinder leak down test on the Dauntless engine, all six cylinders.  Here's a lead to a forum entry you'll like: http://forums.4wdmechanix.com/topic/245-jeep-cj-dauntless-buick-225-v-6-rebuild/#comment-4707.  See my January 5th reply with a link to the forum topic on leak down testing.  I'm a very strong proponent of leak down testing, and you can do this without the engine running.  

Look for other entries by JohnF, he's done some great work on his vintage Jeep CJ-5 V-6 model like yours.  You can call up his roster of topics and posts by clicking on "JohnF".  This is one of the great features here at our IPS hosted forums!

Your work with the body tub will pay off.  Gauge of sheet metal is ample, there's much to work with, and mostly flat surfaces.  Rust eradication and proper sealing are the primary concerns.

Glad to comment!

Moses

  

Edited by Moses Ludel

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Hey Moses,

  Been a long while since we chatted. Not a lot has been done to the old girl but it's time. Considering a move to Arizona to get away from the rain here in coastal Oregon. Looks like I have decided on the SM420 as per your recommendation. I have an email out to Advanced Adapters to get things rolling. Any other advice you have for me now that I have decided on a direction for the build would be appreciated. Is there anything I need to look out for when purchasing a 420 as far as types or are they basically the same? Thanks once again in advance for the help.

James

 

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Hi, James...We get your weather pattern most of the time, and I know what this winter hath wrought!  Arizona would sound enticing...

The 420s are mostly 7.05:1 first/compound gear ratio.  You should confirm this when you inspect a unit.  Rotate the input/clutch gear and count the number of turns in 1st gear before the output shaft has turned one full revolution.  Simple math:  7 turns.

There were applications with torque tube rear axles (1/2-ton trucks through 1955 "First Series") and many units from open driveline applications (1955 Second Series and newer).  Just be sure you know what the Advance Adapters kit will fit.  If "any" SM420, that would be easy.  If they prefer a specific year range and application, look for one of those units.  The online catalog for AA should be able to clarify.

Keep us posted!

Moses

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