CJ 5 T15 to T18 swap questions - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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CJ 5 T15 to T18 swap questions

Helping a buddy do a swap in a 73 CJ5 with the AMC 304. Right now it has a T15. Sourced a 76 FSJ T18, I have the Partsmike short shaft kit for it already.Also going to do the Dana 18 gears in the FSJ 20. I already have the 18 gears and the Bronco 20 slider.

My question is will I need the T150 bell housing or is there a way to adapt the T15 bell housing or the FSJ t18 housing? There a lot of info about the swap on the net but every post is vague about the bell housing. Is it easy enough to use the FSJ housing and build a adapter out of 1" steel or with this screw up my stick out?
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes you will need the T150 bellhousing. The T15 bell is too deep for the input shaft length, even if you could adapt it somehow to bolt to the T18. The input nose would never engage into the hole in the back of the crankshaft.

The same thing goes for the FSJ bellhousing. You wouldn't be swapping in a shorter input shaft to use a bellhousing that pushes the trans back to the same place it would be using the FSJ input shaft.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Next question is, what would people rather have? In my search for a bellhousing I've found a complete t176 with a dana 300. Would you rather have 4:1 and 3:1 that the 176 & 300 offer? Or the 6:1 & 2.5:1 that the 18 & 20 offer.
This Jeep lives mostly in mud and snow but a few times a year it goes to Moab where it struggles in the gearing department but gets by with brute force.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sledhooligan View Post
Next question is, what would people rather have? In my search for a bellhousing I've found a complete t176 with a dana 300. Would you rather have 4:1 and 3:1 that the 176 & 300 offer? Or the 6:1 & 2.5:1 that the 18 & 20 offer.
This Jeep lives mostly in mud and snow but a few times a year it goes to Moab where it struggles in the gearing department but gets by with brute force.
Mine was a 79 CJ, started life as a 304, 3speed, dana 20 with 2.02 gears. Axles were 3.54.

Swapped out the 3 speed for a T18 with 6.2 low gear. BEST DAMN THING I EVER DID. Also swapped to a Bronco geared (2.46) Dana 20 and, later went to 4.27 axle ration. Jeep flat out worked. Last mod was a built 360 V8.

In later years, I built a 401 AMC with a TH400 and a 4.3 Atlas (in a YJ platform). Truly don't like the 4.3 gears. Too low for trail crawling. Always trying to shift up to high range.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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T176/D300 is going to be very long (short rear driveshaft) in a CJ5. It's longer than the CJ/Ford T18 & Dana 20 combo.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a t-18/D300 and my rear shafts not that bad Iíd say. Iíve seen shorter.
T18 was the best mod ever for me as Iím an old Toyota guy and we love super low gearing.


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Old 05-12-2019, 04:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So the swap and re gear are done and its heading to moab next week to get a shack down run.
Just a little info if someone comes along looking at doing this swap.
First don't believe the casting # on the case. The t18 we got said t18b but when you counted revolutions it had the 6:1
I used a t176 bell housing. One hole needs drilled a taped but there is a boss cast into the case so you have meat for the threads. The other hole behind the clutch fork needs a stud. I built the stud with a plate that wedges up against the clutch fork pivot ball casting. I used a clutch fork out of a late 70s cj7 you'll need to grind of some of the fork to clearance the stud you built.
Everything I read said you could use the stock cross member. Maybe so but I would of had to shim it 1.5 to 2" off the frame to get it to work. Sticking out like a dick on a fish. ended up building a cross member with some polly bushings and plating the frame with some angle iron.
Because the 176 bellhousing is so much shorter the whole setup was only about 2" longer. Was hoping not to have to modify the drivelines but ended up shorting the rear and adding a little to the front.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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.Also going to do the Dana 18 gears in the FSJ 20. I already have the 18 gears and the Bronco 20 slider.
I did this swap on my 79 CJ5.

My piece of advice;.. don't catch any air with the jeep under power. I peeled the teeth off the transfer case gears, and the broken teeth got wedged between the gear and the side of the case, blowing the case out and leaving me stranded.

Towed it home.

Bought all new gears, new case, and bunch of other stuff since I had it all apart.

Year and a half later I did it again. Same teeth on the new gear. Same hole in the case.

Replaced it with a D300 out of a 1980 Scout diesel. (same texas bolt pattern)

Wish I had done differently, as the 300 hangs too low, and cannot be clocked with that style mounting flange.

Built a YJ/CJ hybrid rig and sold the CJ5 ... that one got an Atlas
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Last edited by Treeclimber; 05-12-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Everything I read said you could use the stock cross member. Maybe so but I would of had to shim it 1.5 to 2" off the frame to get it to work.
The factory did it with the same crossmember shimmed down 7/8". My '73 has the factory T18. My '75 has a '79 T18 in it with the factory xmember bolted directly to the frame. Had to build a doghouse to go over the shifter, but that was easy enough.

Last edited by CSP; 05-19-2019 at 05:53 PM.
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