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Building a Universal Modified

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plowpusher View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote plowpusher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 4:37pm
to see a more complete list of various 4.3 torque and horsepower Google 4.3 Chevrolet V6 then see the wikapedia page
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oldtime Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 4:55pm
You might be interested in this on-going unfinished article:
Currently building my final F-134 powered 3B .
T98-A Rock Crawler using exclusive factory parts and Approved Special Equipment from the Willys Motors era (1953-1963)
Zero aftermarket parts

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Metcalf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 6:01pm
Sounds like a cool project. Here are a few thoughts and ideas. 

What size tire do you want to run? You mentioned very close to a stock look so perhaps a 29-30" tire? I would look for a radial tire for sure. Your not going to want to run stock MB bias tires at 60+ for any length of time. 

Highway speeds in a flat fender are pretty brutal really. Anything over about 55-60mph  and just the wind noise starts to get a bit much. Your going to want to upgrade the brakes and steering for SURE at those speeds. You will also need a bit more windshield support. The factory windshield frame starts to fold back at those speeds to the point that you don't really want to have your hand between the stock sized steering wheel and windshield. 

Gearing will be a weird duck with just about any of the 1.7 3rd gear, 1:1 4th gear manuals. It depends on tire size somewhat, but the jump between 3rd and 4th is tough at highway speeds. Give or take its a 1200rpm change. 

With stock-ish sized radial tires you are probably going to need something in the 3.55 to 3.73 range with a V6 and the flat fender barn door aerodynamics. There will be some hills that you will want to climb that you just can't do in 4th gear if you want a comfortable 55-65mph engine speed. At those times you pretty much have to do a 3-4 shuffle back and forth which gets old. 

I ran my MB in more stock form with 4.30/4.27 gears and a 32" tire. It was geared a little low but would do 50-55 all day long without buzzing the motor too bad. When I stepped up to 35" tires the 4.30s just didn't cut it. 4th gear was ok for flat road or downhill but that was about it. The engine was always on the power valve and sucked down a bit of fuel. On any kind of hill you always where doing the 3-4 shuffle. 

I am right in the middle of regearing down to 5.38 gears. With the 35" tire this seems like a good combo. I can pull 4th gear at 40-55 no problem. I just got the rear gears done last night and have been driving it most of the day to break in the gears. So far I am very happy with it. I don't need to go 65mph all day. Honestly that just isn't much fun in an open flat fender. Being able to do 50-55 comfortably without having to constantly shift gears on every little hill is much easier overall. 

I mentioned it before, you probably don't want to do a short adapted sm420/d18 combo. I have one in the shop, I took it out. There are just too many issues to fight....too many custom one off parts that if they where to fail finding replacements would be near impossible. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 9:56pm
Metcalf,

I'm glad you came into this discussion as I have huge respect for your Rango build .

I hope all you guys will follow this thread and post up ideas.

Tires: I'm going with NDTs. One of the parameters of this project is that it look as close to stock as possible. I will however probably go with 7:50s. I'll have another set of radials on separate wheels to change with when the weather calls for it. I actually have not had any problems with NDTs on the interstate in clear weather.

Originally posted by plowpusher plowpusher wrote:

4.3 Chevy 180-200 hp @ 4600 rpm  torque 260 ft/lb @ 2800 rpm
   If I went with 7:50 -16s I'd have a 29-1/2" diameter tire. If I went with 3.73 gears, I'd be doing 2800 rpm @ 66 mph.

Originally posted by Metcalf Metcalf wrote:

I mentioned it before, you probably don't want to do a short adapted sm420/d18 combo. I have one in the shop, I took it out. There are just too many issues to fight....too many custom one off parts that if they where to fail finding replacements would be near impossible. 
I know you said that, but I'd still like to try it simply because I am intrigued by the concept. I already have the tranny, t'case, and machine shop. If it fails, I can always replace it. Since Im cramming all this into an 80" wheelbase, I need to keep the drive train as short as possible. Can you be more specific on the problems you had? I thought that the major problem was leakage which I would think could be remedied with the incorporation of seals. As far as the one-off parts, I am understanding that it will require a piece of 1/2" plate steel, boring out the transfercase gear, insert and weld an internal spline in the gear, and ether putting a 1310 front yoke on or angling the t'case down lower. Anything else?

Frame: I'm thinking I will use a 3A frame because it is an 80" wheelbase, but thicker, and it can be easily modified to look like an MB frame I.e. adding front and rear gussets. If I put a Saginaw steering box in, I could cover it with a capstan winch or something. Thoughts?

I should also say that I don't plan to make this a daily driver. I'll drive GW whenever I can..


Edited by jpet - 04 May 2013 at 10:00pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schimms15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 10:04pm
jeff i think a 7.5-16 is bigger than 29.5" my 7.0 is around 30.5 i believe. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 10:24pm
Yeah, I read that somewhere this morning but now I can't find it. Maybe someone knows.
I want to use the largest diameter NDT that I don't have to lift the body.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schimms15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 10:28pm
kaiserwillys has the 7.00 at roughly 31 from personal experience and manufactores customer service they are 30.5-30.6" i have a 7.00 and have no problems at stock height at all. with the 7.50 im unsure if you would have rubbing, mine has a good amount of clearance still from the frame and fenders. ive never bottomed it out though or done rock crawling more like hill climbing and such. if you have a spare spring set and can get just the main leaf out you can mockup how much room you have fully flexed with the bump stops to figure out if you can do the extra height of the 7.50s without a lift. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 10:37pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schimms15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 10:42pm
i think you should be good height wise in the fenders and unlike the trucks the drag link is not almost touching the tire. i think you should be good. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schimms15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2013 at 10:42pm
are you going to put on disk brakes or just the 11" drums?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 7:14am
I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I'll probably start with what I have and upgrade as I go..

Edit: When I get the axles that I'm using, we'll see what kind of brakes they have and go from there.

Edited by jpet - 05 May 2013 at 7:34am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Oilleaker1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 8:07am
A couple of thoughts that popped into my head are: A M38 flatty frame is the same as a 3A frame but already gusseted or boxed for strength, and two: I wonder if NDT's have a speed rating. They may not be able to handle high speed at all. You are building a "restomod Willys". Hey, call it "Restomod". Love building a toy from scratch. You will learn new things. Then it's on to the next idea. Always something to do, never bored. John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MIZZOU29 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 9:54am
Looking forward to this one. I've been thinking about the same kind build. I've got an offset Dana 44, a SM 465 and a SB chevy just itchin to go somewhere.
 Look foward to seeing your progress.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Metcalf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 11:52am
Short adapting an SM420......

This picture sums up a lot of the issues with the Buick v6, sm420, d18 combo. 


Everything on the passenger side of the transmission is EXTREMELY close and a pain in the butt to work around. 

Here is what I know about the adapter system. To be clear, I didn't build it originally, it came in the vehicle. I rebuilt it twice trying to fix some of the issues it had. It was a novel concept, neat to look at, but I would NOT suggest duplicating the idea. I do not know who built it originally, it was homemade for sure. It was probably a crazy machinist like you or me. 

-The adapter. It is 1/2" thick place drilled to bolt to the back of the SM420 with two counterbores for the upper and lower rear bearing. These counterbores where TIGHT with some of the mounting bolts for the SM420. 


Here you can see the back of the adapter. One of the mounting bolts for the D18 has to be inside the lower bore facing outward. This bolt needs to be welded in from the backside completely. I think this was one of my major leak points. The adapter is fairly thin at this point also so I think the adapter would flex a little bit at that mounting point. The brazing was to try and seal the holes that secure the adapter to the SM420 around the lower mounting holes to the SM420 case. These are VERY tight since they need to be flush to the back of the adapter for the D18. 

I don't think the D18 can be clocked since the pattern would no longer work out between the two units. 

If you where to do it I would see if you could get away with a slightly thicker adapter. I think it would help with all the mounting bolts, countersinks, sealing, etc. 

-The input gear. The input gear was made by taking a SM420 style 2wd output yoke, turning it down, boring a D18 inputgear, press fitting the two together, and then welding them. 


The sm420 output used the factory bolt style retainer with a large thick washer. Gear depth was set when building the unit. 

I never broke the rear output gear, but I did blow the rear bearing out of the transmission once. I don't really know if that was just wear, stress, or something else. 

If I was going to do it again I would probably use a shim system under the gear on the rear of the output bearing to set depth. Maybe find something like a ring and pinion shim you could use. This would let you dial in the position of the gear. 

-The front output. This is the total pain in the rear part....


Here you can see the ONLY front output system that works with the space you have. 

The front output is an 1100 series u-joint. Think PTO sized. The front output on the D18 is custom with the yoke being retained buy a bolt to get some more room. It is VERY small. The case of the SM420 has had the fill port shaved off and brazed shut. You can't simply stick a plug in it, the case needs to be shaved down a bit for clearance for the 1100 series u-joint yoke. The fixed end of the driveshaft needs to be at the transfer case. I tried to replace the 1100 series yoke with a new version when I needed a new driveshaft and the version that is currently for sale is too big to fit in the space. I have no idea what this front driveshaft was made out of......its SMALL. 

You have to use a front axle style retainer system with the clips on the inside. U-bolts or straps will not work. 

-Transfer case shifters. 


The twin stick shift housing needs to be shaved down a bit to fit next to the SM420 case. The little retainer screw for the shift lever shaft pin is still there but it is TIGHT! 

A few misc notes....

-The front driveshaft will probably rub on the nose of the starter ( with the Buick V6). I had a 1.25" front shaft and it rubbed pretty bad when the vehicle was in its more stock form. 

-The SM420 is pretty large from the centerline to the top of the shift tower. You will most likely need to modify the floor of the tub to get a little more clearance. 

-If you shave the fill plug on the SM420 you need a new one. It can go in the PTO cover. 

I will mention it again. The T18 is LIGHT YEARS better in just about every way for a 4-speed conversion on a flat fender. Fully adapted the SM420 is 11.2" long if you use a 1/2" adapter. The T18 is 12.9" long. That is only a difference of 1.7" longer. Even a flat fender with an 80" wheelbase can handle that difference, especially at a low lift height. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 2:17pm
Originally posted by Metcalf Metcalf wrote:

The front driveshaft will probably rub on the nose of the starter .....
This problem will be the same regardless of transmission as long as I use a D-18 or D-20 right?

Quote I will mention it again. The T18 is LIGHT YEARS better in just about every way for a 4-speed conversion on a flat fender.
What sort of adapter did you use for this? ..... or was the tranny designed for a D-18? I browsed your photobucket but did not see much detail on your new setup.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Metcalf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 8:18pm
The starter nose cone on the Buick is an issue pretty much no matter what. I like the little old buicks but they have some fitment issues....


I used a T18 from a later CJ in my Willys. It had a factory D20 adapter which allows you to adapt a Dana 18 also as long as you use a large bore case for the transfer case.

A lot of full size jeeps use a T18 with a D20 also. A lot of T18s from FSJs used a super long input shaft you can't really use. 

Ford T18s generally always had a short input just like a sm420 or sm465. The ford case also has the extra ears on the front that can be drilled to mount a GM bellhousing. 

The junkyard way to do it is to take a ford T18 case and input. Use the FSJ D20 adapter and mainshaft. You can use either gearset as long as they are both wide ratio. The D20 adapter bolt pattern needs to be drilled into the back of the Ford case. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Schimms15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 10:02pm
Jeff what are you dead set on? It might be better to go a different way. Possibly a turbo diesel?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jpet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 May 2013 at 10:20pm
No. If I was smart, I'd do what I originally intended to do and use my CJ5. It already has all the major components that I need. I'd just be concerned trying to cram that 350 in a flatty and keeping it cool. I considered shortening the frame and putting CJ2A springs in it. Idk. Just collecting ideas right now but definitely not diesel.
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