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Thread: T-18 into CJ5 swap

  1. #1
    Bulltear forum member New to the forum
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    T-18 into CJ5 swap

    I've got a barn-find 1976 CJ5 with a 304, 3-speed and a seized-clutch. I was planning on swapping in a Centerforce, but might be able to score a T-18 this weekend for dirt-cheap. Most used T-18s with Dana 20 transfers mounted people want $1000 for. I could score a adapter for my 20 transfer case for $500 from Novak or $50-cheaper from Advance Adapters. Is there any reason to think the Novak is worth the extra $50? This shop I used to work at has a damn good driveshaft fabricator. Am I gonna need to alter the driveshafts for this swap?

  2. #2
    Thank you from BT Grease Monkey
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    Start here and learn of the variations of the T-18

    http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/t18_t19.htm

    I thought I read somewhere that the T-18 from a J-truck had a long input shaft and deeper bell housing that the CJ application. You will want to keep total length in mind with a CJ5.

    I looked into this once and decided that the NP435 was a better way to go. They are plentiful in junkyards (Ford trucks) and short enough for a CJ5. (Read better replacement parts availability)

    http://www.novak-adapt.com/knowledge/np435.htm

    The downside is you need a bellhousing for a T-150, T-18 or T-186 to mate to the 304. You will also need an expensive t-case adapter. Novak sells the custom pilot bushing for this swap as well.

    This is what I was going to do untill I obtained a TH400. Now I'm regretting my decision as the TH400 is long as hell and I'm scratching my head trying to resolve my driveline.

    No matter what trans you swap in, your driveshafts will have to be modified. The T-15 you have is the (IIRC) shortest factory installed in a Jeep. Also watch your rear drive shaft angle. IIRC, that factory 1310 single cardigan driveshaft can only sustain ~ 20* If you get too long, you're talking $$$$$$$ for a custom 1350 CV shaft and rotating your rear axle.

    good luck
    Its a Jeep Thing --- No one understands!

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  3. #3
    Thank you from BT ULTIMUS MAXIMUS STATUS tufcj's Avatar
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    A 76 with a 3 speed would have a T-150. The T-18 is about 3.5" longer than the T-150, so both driveshafts need to be changed, along with the shift linkage for the T-case. You can use the same bellhousing, but you need a CJ specific T-18 that has the short input shaft. Wagoneer and truck T-18s have about a 6" spacer at the front, and you wouldn't have room for a rear driveshaft, especially in a CJ5.

    Check with Novak and Advance. I believe their adapters are for 2WD Ford T-18 truck trannies. The adapter bolt pattern on a Jeep T-18 is different from Ford. If you use a Ford trans, it has to be disassembled and the output shaft replaced. Also be aware that there are several "flavors" of T-18. Pre 1975 Jeep T-18s only had a 4:1 low, later ones have a 6.32:1.

    As mentioned above, the NP435 is an option. It has a 7:1 low.

    Bob
    tufcj
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    Bulltear forum member New to the forum
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    I guess I neglected to say this is a Ford T-18 I might be getting this weekend for dirt cheap. My main question was if there was anyone who has experience with both the Novak Ford T-18 to Jeep Dana 20 transfer case adapter and the Advance Adapter version. Novak claims theirs is clocked better, but I didn't know if this is just a sales pitch. On a 35 year old Jeep, If I'm going to bother pulling the trans and transfer out, it only makes sense to tear them down and swap the bearings, seals and gaskets. So swapping an output shaft while I'm at it isn't a big deal labor-wise.

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    Oh yeah, the 3-speed is a T-150. As far as I can tell from both Advance Adapters and Novak websites, I should be able to use my existing bellhousing.

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    I went ahead and got the T-18 Ford tranny today. According to Novak and Advance Adapters, among others- the Ford T18s all had the same input shaft that is perfect depth, size and spline-count for the T-150 trans bellhousing without any funny spacers and bolts straight to the bellhousing without the problems associated with the Jeep T-18. It also has the more ideal 6.32:1 gearing as opposed to most Jeep T-18s that came with 4.03:1 gearing. People were selling Jeep T-18s on CL with Dana-20 transfer cases included (I already have one) for $1000. I scored this one with better gearing for $75.

    Now I just need to get the adapter. The Advance Adapter is a bit cheaper than the Novak equivalent. I was really hoping to get some un-biased input on why Novak gets more for theirs, but it looks like I'm gonna get the AA.

    The dude who sold it to me asked what I was putting it in. I told him it was going in a Jeep and he replied,"I aint never heard of no one puttin' Ford parts in no Jeep."

  7. #7
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    Did you ever get the advance adapter you were looking at?

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