1970 CJ5 4800 Style Build

Aug 10, 2023
Glendale, Arizona
Let me start off by saying that this thing has always been a pile and the body really isn't worth the time it would take to save it so I have no remorse as far as cutting it up.
This thing was my first vehicle, my dad bought it for me in my sophomore year of HS as a father/son project (along with his 66 GTO) and funded the rebuild of the drivetrain and other things needed to get it roadworthy (I use that term very loosely). It is an original v6 model with a t14 trans and a dana 18 t-case. It was completely and totally rotted out when we got it, there was no floor, just a stop sign someone hacked up to cover the hole where the floor should've been and that was just the start of it. Regardless, the first time we started the motor is was knocking to high hell, so it got pulled and sent off to get rebuilt. The entire thing ended up getting rewired, trans got rebuilt and the top cap put together backwards by novak adapters so it shifts backwards.......and a ton of other stuff, suffice it to say, more money was spent on parts than the thing was worth which I shouldn't be surprised with.
I drove the thing for a couple years until I got my C10, and them it was just my backup vehicle when the C10 decided it didn't want to start for whatever reason or when I wanted to go wheeling and my friends needed a recovery vehicle, but this thing always worked, it ran for years with little to no changes until the cheap chinese ignition coil exploded and ended up getting replaced with the original one from a 66 GTO.
First night home.jpgfirst in shop.jpgfirst in shop 2.jpgfresh black hood.jpgfresh paint, even fresher welds.jpgno motor.jpgrecovering caleb.jpg
Also yeah, the RZR seats weren't my first decision but good seats are pricey and this thing never warranted them. raw deal flex 2.jpgposted up in a rivebed.jpgtable_mesa_2.jpg
The one gripe I always had with this thing was the suspension sucked, it was really bad, worse than it should've been, so in my head, I'm thinking why would I go buy new leaf springs and whatnot to rebuild it to stock when I can cut it up and turn it into a mini 4800 car. So that's what I did. I started to disassemble it and cut the rear of the body in a way that would allow me to push the wheelbase out in both directions (also taking most of the passenger quarter panel rust with it) and also run much larger tires. recent teardown.jpgfirst cuts 3.jpgfirst cuts 2.jpgframe no body 2.jpgJeep seperated.jpgFrame Plates jeep.JPG
I have one big issue with the way I have seen most of these CJ5s built and that is that they look like monster trucks, and for me that isn't going to fly, so while I will be retaining most of the stock frame (which wasn't the original plan) it will be getting plated and boxed, and the rear foot of the frame and possibly a chunk of the front will be going so I don't have to sacrifice too much up travel while still retaining a lower ride height, if worst comes to worst, I suppose I can just body drop it, but ultimately this will be a go fast type rig, not as much of a rock crawler, so having a lower ride height isn't the end of the world as long as it rides and handles correctly.48in SC Trailing Arm.JPG
I still have a lot of deliberation and design work to do as the build comes along but hopefully it will pick up pace after my c10 gets done, ultimately my goal is to have this done by KOH 2025.
Sticking with leafs or linking?
It will be getting 4 link front and rear, for what I'm doing with it, it makes more sense to do coil overs than trying to figure out custom leaf packs and mounting. Plus I already know a whole lot more about designing suspension geometry with links as opposed to leaf springs.
Wrapped up design on the rear truss for the Dana 60, I'm not worried about running a full width truss at the moment mainly because this thing is going to be around the 3k lb. mark and there are probably other things to be concerned with beside the housing getting bent.
D60 Top side medium Truss.JPG
Following. This is a rad build. Dont see anything but full buggies in 4800. Rooting you on!!
It more than likely will never get raced unfortunately, but its getting built to class rules regardless in case it does, but it will absolutely see pre-running duty and serve as a trainer if I ever do get into racing. Thanks for following the build though!
Wrapped up with plating the frame, now I just need to generate the cut files for the inner box plates to weld those in, and wrap up with cleaning the stock bracketry off the frame since it won't be used anymore.
Haven't posted an update in awhile on this thing, I got the stock axles out, started to get the frame boxed, which is almost done save the small portions where I cut out the rear-most crossmember that I initially planned to save. I also got every single hole filled, all the brackets off, powertrain pulled and started designing the rear suspension, I also lopped off the front section of frame to the crossmember that holds the grill. Most of it isn't shown in these pics mainly because I just don't have good pictures of all the work.

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