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Thread: 1946 CJ-2A Slightly Above Stock

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  1. #1

    1946 CJ-2A Slightly Above Stock

    I suppose I will start here. Some pictures from the day I picked him up are over on the introduction but I figured I would start this thread here as I begin to tear down and rebuild.


    So I got the front hubs, drums, and backings off this morning. It really seems like the axle and bearings are in great shape. It has some Selectro manual locking hubs that were installed and after some research I believe that was a good upgrade. I knew going in that there was going to need some brake work done so that was the reason to start with the front axles. I am going to convert to disc up there and it appears that Brennan's setup may be the best fit. I have already ordered most of the parts and am waiting for those and a good day for the install. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lines seem to be intact without leaks. However, there was very little pressure even though there was some movement on the shoes when the pedal was pressed to the floorboard. I have read and heard that using the original single reservoir master cylinder is probably not the best idea with discs especially. Does anyone have any input on whether they have had experience with that? I would really like to test out the conversion with the single before I upgrade to dual and start changing too many more things.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    OK JoeyD, now lets see those pictures!

    5JeepsAz has a lot of experience with converting to Disc's. I would check out his upgrade on his truck. Also TJones has a radically tricked out CJ that is something to see.


    https://willysjeepforum.kaiserwillys...w-to-the-Forum
    Last edited by bmorgil; 11-19-2021 at 08:41 AM.

  3. #3
    bmorgil, you weren't kidding about that CJ of TJones. He really did some custom stuff there and I like the way he has that roll cage on the inside. Guess I will just have to work my own magic as he seems to have done. 5JeepsAz really did a nice job on his rig too, but I didn't see exactly where he mentioned if he actually attempted to do the disc conversion with the single cylinder first. Thanks for the quick information grab.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
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    Hey Joey, yes, it's a good idea to skip off the single cylinder. Won't do fluid push required, even if specs say it will. Master cylinder went in after the discs being in the same spot then you are now. Lost sleep worrying about having these beauty brakes installed and a hole in my bay where the master cylinder should be, in case new ones didn't fit. Turned out fine, good fitment on the fire wall due to good selecting and good wrenching by the guys doing my build. I even looked at some master cylinder with a pedal hanging off and how to insert that through the firewall. Freaking nightmare.

    Forum gurus told me about brakes. I didn't listen and with that original singleness in place and freshly serviced original brakes I pounced on the brake pedal and ended up in the other lane before I could say 4wheel disc conversion and a 78 corvette master cylinder. I believed some hack who told me it worked good back then, so, as long as it's serviced, it'll work good now. Not in modern traffic. For me anyway!

    We are unified in one thing above all else, and I am glad I finally listened even if I didn't at first: do good brake work.

    My build, goal, something serviceable by any modern mechanic, parts available convenient, since it's a daily.That meant upgrade all around. Had a hell of a time locating parts so went modernized.

    Had that brake situation been in traffic or near pedestrians, tragedy would have been on me. So I took responsibility not for me, but to protect those around me. Not preaching. Hell I run over fences and near miss fire hydrants on u turns cause I refuse power steering. And I don't have an ebrake.

    Sorry long post. Anyways, the word from up high around here is good brakes are essential. Looking forward to your build!
    Last edited by 5JeepsAz; 02-05-2021 at 12:08 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Joey, 5JeepsAz is modest, he has more he's not telling you. His system is a nice one. It utilizes a Corvette Dual reservoir master cylinder and 4 wheel disc brakes. In addition he is using a vacuum power booster and a vacuum reservoir to make it act like a modern braking system.

    He (Az), has a tendency to run over fences, so good brakes are very important on his vehicles. He also is predisposed to drive in populated areas using driving techniques that require 3 feet and 3 hands, while enjoying the air conditioning. It takes some planning to get Air, and Power Brakes to play nicely together on an old classic motor. There is another member on here who has begun a CJ conversion. I cant find it but, he was going to start with just the rears. That has control issues, so I believe he was aware he needs to do the front first to avoid a dangerous situation. That said I am quite sure a CJ with front discs and stock rear drums will stop on a dime.

  6. #6
    Az, that makes a ton of since and I have been trying to read as much about this conversion as possible. Sometimes I feel like I am at the end of that firehose trying to drink. Mechanically I feel pretty sound and at this point I am trying to do just about everything myself with a some help from my lady (she ain't bad, it's a bonus). I just want to make sure as you said, "do good brake work". As bmorgil mentioned these 2As weigh nothing and with front disc, rear drum I believe it is going to stop just fine. Just like Dad always said, I just want to do it right the first time. With that being said, it sounds as though you went a little more modern than I have been planning for in the cylinder department. Herm has the Dual Cylinder that mounts in the same location on the frame as the original single is right now. So I suppose it just means, place that order and get it here. Thanks for clearing up the "will it have the pressure it needs" question, really a big help with making the decision.

    On an update note, I am having some trouble getting the axle nut off the rear. I want to at least check those rear drums and shoes out before I start running fluid through there and testing after the front conversion. The nut doesn't look that bad it is just seriously on there, both sides. Any tricks for me to get that dang thing off of there? I hate to think I need to resort to anything out of the ordinary. As always thanks for all of the conversion, I really can't stop messing with this CJ now that I have started...lol

  7. #7
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    JoeyD, It is on there as tight as you can imagine. Most who are familiar with the tapered axle are used to them coming loose enough to make noise. The nut should be torqued to 150 to 175 ft lbs of torque. To get it off use the biggest stuff you have and a long leverage bar like a pipe or, a real good impact gun with a lot of air or a big battery. Make sure the cotter key is out.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 5JeepsAz's Avatar
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    Another issue was changing wheels to fit around the discs. Not sure if that's an issue on the CJ but it was on the SJ truck. I did want to do it like you are planning. That's always the best. Start with keeping it original, try mod close to original, fully modern only when needed. Mine had every challenge for the brakes, so the rabbit hole led past Herm and Walcks, though they were super helpful and I met great jeep people, legends really if you think what a few knowledge keepers are doing for guys like us, along the way. It came down to "what's on your Jeep is on your Jeep". I had different drum size than parts available, one truck model later than plumbing available, too early for changing in parts off of the regular j truck set ups although they would have worked if fully transferred it was same thing to just go modern (mine is early in j truck series). These guys on here who had been through kept telling me the build, the journey, is all the fun. Looking back it is all true. But I surely appreciate where you are at with your build. The firehouse as you call it. Keep posting, man. Pictures!!!
    Last edited by 5JeepsAz; 02-06-2021 at 09:58 PM.

  9. #9
    So at this point I am just tinkering until I get some parts in. Waiting on the calipers, rotors and lines to finish up the front brakes. Now that I understand from Az I guess I need to go ahead and order that dual cylinder. I also need to get that elbow grease in there and get that castle nut off so I can inspect the rear brakes. I think I am gonna see if any body needs the fronts drums cause they seem to be in decent shape. I did remove the square taillights someone put on there and replaced them with round ones. Really just an aesthetic thing but I like it better. I need to check the brake light switch, but the parking and taillight works just fine. I am curious as to how far with an engine review I need to go. I mean he runs really smooth but it is obvious some PM needs to happen. Here are a few pics I snapped today.20210207_145428.jpg20210207_145455.jpg20210207_145450.jpg20210207_145422.jpg20210207_145204.jpg

  10. #10
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    You have your priorities right - good brakes! !!

    As they say in that phone commercial; "If the brakes don't stop it, something else will"

    And old lifters will clatter a bit.

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