1975 Jeep CJ5 Build (Part 2)

Last time y’all heard from me, we were still in the process of building a V8 Jeep for the 2013 mud bog season. We have since completed the project and attempted the maiden voyage with her.

We wound up having to use the full 3in body lift to clear the air cleaner on the engine. Many custom components were built to use the older-style body with the newer frame. We used the same body mount locations on the frame, but new holes needed to be drilled into the plates along with the body. The body was mounted with new, grade 8 carriage bolts for added strength.


The driveshaft angle was pretty sharp with the lift, so we picked up a set of 6-degree shims to put between the axle and springs in the rear. This rotated the pinion upward to give a better angle for the rear driveshaft and be easier on the u-joints. New u-bolts were also installed when this was done. (I’m a believer that if you are removing u-bolts, you should replace them while they’re out just for safety reasons)

We had the exhaust built by Lefever’s Garage in Quarryville. It consisted of 3in. tubing from the headers back with short glasspack mufflers. It was kept tight to the body to and exited behind the rear tires to keep mud collection to a minimum.

We decided to keep the jeep the original color. We picked up a gallon of “International Red” Rustoleum paint and a Harbor Freight spray gun. We set up drop cloths in the garage and went to town on her. For a cheap paint job, it came out looking very nice. Be sure to use a good thinner and hardener for a clean look when finished painting.


Finally, we went to Sign-A-Rama to have our stickers made. These were not cheap, but they are a professional company that does damn fine work. We were very happy with their work and I recommend them to anyone local that needs stickers made.

Off to Buck Motorsports Park. We finally made it to opening day. We got the jeep teched in and ready to run. Dad lined the jeep up and took off into the pit. He hit a rut and it took him up onto the left side of the pit, then he dug down into the slop. The tires got traction and the engine began to bog. Finally, the engine came back to life, but the tires didn’t. Smoke began to flow out from under the jeep and he shut it down.

After some consideration and more research, we believe the culprit to be the wrong clutch for the engine/transmission combination. The donor jeep had a T-18 4-speed and we used a T-150 3-speed (and earlier trans). A little research at autozone showed that there was 3 different clutched for the V8 jeeps throughout the years, and 2 different throwout bearings. We will be changing the clutch and testing much more thoroughly before the next race.

Stay tuned on the 717wheelers forum for more testing/upgrades or come to Buck Motorsports Park for the next mud bog event to see us in action.

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