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Thread: 1958 CJ5, V8 swapped

  1. #1
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    1958 CJ5, V8 swapped

    Hi All,

    As I approach retirement, I'm selling off most of my toys and with a hunk of cash in my pocket, I told myself no more projects..... That lasted a week and then this came up on craigslist. So here we go again. I am lovin' this thing!
    What I know so far, it has a Poly 318 (never heard of it), T-90, and more than likely (not confirmed yet) Dana 18 transfer case. The engine runs as nice and smooth as any new engine out there. It really is amazing to see!

    Down side is the drivetrain combo is super heavy and the front, even with some extended shackles, still sits way too low. I believe it still has the stock springs.
    Brakes are shot, I will add power brakes, all new lines and wheel cylinders. Floors are decent, usable. I could weld in new pans, but not now. I just want to get it driving and see how it goes.
    Will post more later. This post is to see if I can load pics.

    Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    I like it! The 318 is the "Almost Hemi". It should pull that Jeep quite well. They made them in the 60's for a while. Very similar to the Hemi but, an economy version. Because of the "Hemi" type head, it is a VERY heavy for its displacement motor. Powerful but heavy. Most of them were removed and a big Hemi went in or, a small block 318 for a power loss but lighter weight. No problem on those front springs Ifster. Just add some leafs till it sets where you want. Guaranteed these guy's will get it level.

    https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/

  3. #3
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    Got the add a leaf kit yesterday. Went with a 2.5". I think that should do it. If not, I'll then add a shackle lift till it sits where I want.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    That should help stiffen it up for a lot better handling with the extra weight in the front. Not enough spring and long shackles in the front can make a CJ a bit "wiggly".
    Last edited by bmorgil; 07-02-2023 at 09:02 AM.

  5. #5
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    I'm shooting for a decent handling and riding rig. So maybe I'll go with a front lift spring pack if the add a leaf isn't enough. That's a 30" tire for reference.
    Do you think it already has a lift, gauging from the back?

    I think I came across the term "semi hemi" for the poly 318........... That'll match the 5.7L Hemi I swapped into my 4 door Rubicon last year.
    Last edited by Ifster; 07-02-2023 at 08:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    I cant quite tell from the picture but, it does look very high in the back. The CJ-5 should be around 70" high to the top of the windshield and fairly level front to rear, with 27" tall tires.

  7. #7
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    Here's the rear leaf pack, if that means anything?
    Thanks again.
    20230621_180037.jpg

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Someone has performed a "Spring Seat Lift" on your rear axle. The springs are mounted under the axle on a CJ. By moving the spring mounts to the top of the axle tube, a lift of several inches will occur. Usually this is done to mount very large tires and achieve high lifts. You may want to put that back the way it was.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 07-02-2023 at 01:36 PM.

  9. #9
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    Oh yeah, I see now. Didn't notice that. The front is still spring under. I'll drop the rear back down.

    Thanks.

    20230621_180020.jpg
    Last edited by Ifster; 07-02-2023 at 02:15 PM.

  10. #10
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    Is it a short nose like the one I will have? Photos here: https://willysjeepforum.kaiserwillys...o-mod-1958-CJ5. I’m looking for power train swap ideas.

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