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Thread: Project Warhorse

  1. #1
    Member warthog_cj7's Avatar
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    Default Project Warhorse

    Late on starting this thread so doing some catch up to current:

    1968 M715 Kaiser Jeep to become daily driver/tow rig.



    Since the truck is only 43 yrs old it would be a rough ride for long distance or in stock form a challenge to pull anything. So the drive train will be updated by 22yrs... I thought about swapping components into M715, but that seemed to require more effort for all components. So will do a body swap.

    1990 W350 Dodge Cummins Power Ram



    For the Power Ram, don't care about the cosmetics, it's the function I'm after. I drove this truck all last summer & fall as daily driver to make sure everything worked correctly and to get it caught up and started on a maintenance schedule.

    Rear drums have been reworked, ebrakes were dragging.

    Last summer I replaced the tired sagging suspension with stock replacements.



    I cleaned up the mounting points and applied POR-15. Why do it twice, I don't plan to unbolt all this later to paint.





    I also replaced the shocks front & rear. This I consider a major upgrade as it rides so much better.

    I have gotten my gauges figured out. I will be using VDO Vision Series (7) and (2) Auto-Meter Sport-Comp II. I wanted to be able to use the Kaiser gauge panel, but it required some modifications.

    Stock Panel


    Modified with just a primer, not final color.


    Top speed was 75mph (clocked via GPS) with the stock 3sp Auto. 3.07 gears and avg 17.9 mpg.

    Here is the setup I used in the truck while daily driving to make sure all gauges worked right.


    Performed the Killer Dowel Pin fix.

    Wired up trailer plug (7 blade RV) and hooked up the brake controller.

    Had hooked up the trailer w/ the CJ on it and took it for some test drives to make sure all was good. Also set some data points on the gauges to check later. This was fall of last year.
    Dan M.

    '85 CJ-7, 4.0L,T18,4.10s,35s,Fully locked,winch,cage

  2. #2
    Member warthog_cj7's Avatar
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    This Feb I started digging into this project.

    Did the easiest part.




    Started the demo work, labelling all connectors and took pictures as I went along for reference later during assembly.


    The gantry crane I built specifically for this project has already paid for itself!


    Sat it out of the way for now and lots of space to work!




    I picked up a 47RH dodge transmission from a 2nd gen so I can get overdrive and a lockup torque converter. Started disassembly.


    I've always delt with manual transmissions so when it came time to pull the auto I was having a bear of a time. Did get it and torque converter off with a nice mess to boot.


    I hung the 47RH with my engine hoist and used Simple Green and scotch pads to clean it. No before pics, but I was really surprised how easy & clean I was able to clean it up.


    Installed 2nd gen adapter plate (longer by 3/4"), new flexplate, new starter and hung the trans (minus torque converter).


    Had scheduled friends to come over to move body parts so had to quickly bolt up the tcase as I needed to know where the body was in relation to them.


    Got a steel of a deal on this package on Ebay
    Dan M.

    '85 CJ-7, 4.0L,T18,4.10s,35s,Fully locked,winch,cage

  3. #3
    Member warthog_cj7's Avatar
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    Stripped the wiring out of the Dodge cab. Most of it I'll be able to use and it'll be helpful to use the dodge schematics. There was a LOT of connectors that weren't hooked up to anything, so I'm interested to see what extra items I can potentially get. Every connector/plug was labeled. Plus I can cut the bulkhead hole out of the dodge and marry into the Kaiser for a nice clean bulkhead connector.







    Some data points. The M715 is a 126" wheelbase, the W350 is 131" wheelbase. So I didn't know if going to cut the frame or cut the body at this point. These are the first pics with the cab & bed on dodge frame and you can see the wheel wells need attention.





    Originally the M715 was going to be a mud truck, so I picked up a cherokee chief nose, because the radiator supports were made for a radiator for a V8. Lots wider than for a stock I6 radiator. I assembled the outer fenders and the nose clip to see where it would put the radiator in relation to the fan. The mechanical fan is already removed in the below photos. This was not going to work as the front needed to slide back...




    Ended up cutting the rad supports off and cut to insert into the nose. This will move the radiator to be flush with the clip. The PRO, this allows for the cab/nose to be slid back. The CON, will need to put a pusher fan on the front. In the pic below I now have 3.5" of space for backward movement.







    To give an idea on the front fender, the screwdriver is TDC of the fender and the line for the axle is 6" back.



    I plan to cut the arch from TDC and down the back side to about 4" out. The support for the fender instead of spot weld to fender will bolt to rocker.
    Dan M.

    '85 CJ-7, 4.0L,T18,4.10s,35s,Fully locked,winch,cage

  4. #4
    Rock crawling Infidel BucketOKarma's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see how this turns out!
    - Shane

    2000 TJ 2.5L SE, 2" spacers and XJ springs up front, Crown-Vic springs in the rear, Edlebrock shocks, 33" Dayton M/Ts, JKS discos, SYE/CV shaft, Warn gastank skid, 4.88 gears ShrockWorks sliders, OX locker, Camo soundbar, and 04 Willys Edition front seats, still LOOKING FOR A MATCHING REAR SEAT.

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  5. #5
    Member warthog_cj7's Avatar
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    End of March I made rough cuts in the cab and bed to fit them down over the frame. The curvature of the dodge frame in front of cab is steeper than kaiser. But the frame for the Kaiser bends up under the bed, whereas the dodge bent up under the cab. So channeling is required. This allowed me to drop almost 6" in height.









    There is still 5" height across the middle.


    I have spend a LOT of time trying to get the cab/bed lined up right so it looks correct and so the wheel wells look right (at least for bed). Have taken a lot of pics and hung up of someone else's for reference. I have ended up with a gap between the cab & bed of 9.5". Was thinking storage orginially, but that's too narrow. So will be (later) building an auxilary tank. Rough math put it at around 47gal, that will be a good complement to the 30gal stock tank.

    I think my lines are looking pretty good. I do have a slight off level to the front to drop the front nose clip closer to the frame.


    Built the body/frame mounts for the cab. Glad to finally get these on, as so much time was spent adjust here, adjust there, plasma here an there, etc..




    Finally got the hidden goose hitch in and installed. Hey, it's a 1 ton diesel pickup right? I think seeing a M715 pulling a goose would be pretty slick.


    Last night started the process to close up the holes in the cab. Figure get inside then flip up and weld the under side. Here is the hole in the passenger floor, panel in place, and then pic showing driver in place(not welded) and pass side is burned in.






    So more to come as I progress.
    Dan M.

    '85 CJ-7, 4.0L,T18,4.10s,35s,Fully locked,winch,cage

  6. #6
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    awesome man. thanks for sharing

  7. #7
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    Looks awesome. Can't wait to see more.

  8. #8
    Μολὼν λάβε Mr.RonGilbert's Avatar
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    I totally misread the thread title.....


    Nice work on the rig!!


  9. #9
    Member warthog_cj7's Avatar
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    Well currently I'm in the "hard" to me part, definate challenge to my skills. The sheet metal fab. But it is also the part I have most been looking forward to. Since this is the hard it's taking me longer to make progress. Sometimes I think I'm Way Over thinking things.

    3 things; 1) It's not a show truck, 2) I want it to look as right as possible for my ability, 3) and the Motivator, nobody else is going to have my vision on completion so finish it, else it's a pile of useless parts (2 vehicles)..
    Dan M.

    '85 CJ-7, 4.0L,T18,4.10s,35s,Fully locked,winch,cage

  10. #10
    You wont make that!! liftedon37's's Avatar
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    This is going to be a awesome tow rig.
    ITS GOT SOME SMALL THINGS DONE TO IT.

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