My new to me 56 CJ5

noclinkers

Gear Grinder
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Hopland Ca
First Name
Bob
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1956
#1
I am new to the Jeep world, but the ol girl is finding a soft spot in my heart. I would like to be able to drive her out on the highway and just generally putz around.
I have a few questions for the gurus?
1 What do i do for a taller gear......overdrive?
2 what is the largest tire you would run?
3 Are there any axles that are an easy swap for strength and gears?
4 Brake upgrades?

Thanks for any advice! 98000562_2919966764787018_2939862701309952000_o.jpg 98016855_2919967634786931_9131180164414177280_o.jpg 98359680_2919968681453493_9028438177257357312_o.jpg
98000562_2919966764787018_2939862701309952000_o.jpg 98016855_2919967634786931_9131180164414177280_o.jpg 98359680_2919968681453493_9028438177257357312_o.jpg 98359839_2919967084786986_7867130972343369728_o.jpg 99087815_2919966364787058_3292952619844108288_o.jpg
 

64CJ5

Gear Grinder
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
18
Location
N E Wyoming
First Name
Tom
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1964
#2
Looks like a really good Jeep. Drive it a while and find out what you like and do not like, then make some decisions. A shop manual is a good place for info. Also the book by Moses Ludel "Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual 1946 to 1971" has lost of info. This site has plenty of knowledge for you to tap into, keep asking.
I changed to 11"x 2" drum brakes years ago along with Saginaw steering. Right now I am running 31x10.5x15 tires. That is plenty of tire for the F head to turn. Have fun with your Jeep and keep us posted with pictures.
 

52 M38 Kurt

Gear Grinder
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Renton Wa.
First Name
Kurt
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1952
#3
I have a 73 cj5. 2 1/2" spring lift and 1 1/4" body lift. I am running 12 1/2" x 35" Swampers for off road. The body lift is hard for you due to the brakes and clutch petal setup. I would go with 33" tires. Mine don't rub for the most part. (unless Wheeling) The photo below has no body lift and shows the33" tires.

For running gear you can get a tighter turning radius with a Dana 30 out of a newer CJ5. Watch what year you get in the late 70s they went from the narrow track to the wide track. If yoy want to go stronger you can always narrow a Dana 44.
With the 4cl in your jeep the 30 will be plenty strong unless you are being stupid.

On my M38 I have 11x2" brakes off an Ford F100 as best I can tell. They came with the rig. All my Rock Auto parts fit. You could go to the 11" on the rear. For the front i would pick up a disc brake conversion. The make things stop even when wet.

Have fun with your first Jeep. Sounds like it is just the start.
Kurt
 

Attachments

noclinkers

Gear Grinder
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Hopland Ca
First Name
Bob
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1956
#4
Thanks Kurt,
I would eventually be interested in upgrading some parts, but right now I'm enjoying putting around in it.
I need mirrors, overdrive and a top for it first i think.. Then I will move on to the axles. The brakes could use some help though.
 

Stakebed

Well Oiled
All-Star
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
1,696
Location
Northern California
First Name
Joseph
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1957
#5
I'm just over the hill from you in Lake Co.

I would say mirrors first, either service your brakes or make the Ford 11" conversion second. Top third and overdrive during the winter.
But, as 64CJ5 stated, drive it first...with mirrors of course. Only through driving can you determine what it needs most.
 

noclinkers

Gear Grinder
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
11
Location
Hopland Ca
First Name
Bob
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
1956
#6
Yeah Stakebed, that is pretty much my thoughts as well.

I bought the Jeep in Lakeport and drove it home over 175. It was a good way to get to know it....haha.

I would like to drive it to Ukiah every so often, but it needs a little more top end for that.

Thanks for your comments!
 

Stakebed

Well Oiled
All-Star
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
1,696
Location
Northern California
First Name
Joseph
Willys Model
Pickup
Willys Year:
1957
#7
You drove a new to you Jeep over the Hopland Grade? You have a death wish?;)

My M38a1 is in transmission jail in Lakeporr. I had to do a double take on your avatar to make sure my Jeep wasn't sold.

Yeah, unless you're doing 65 or greater on 101, you'll get run over. Your section in Hopland is the only slow part. That and the "narrows".
 

Tuxedopark1

Gear Grinder
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
10
Location
Michigan
First Name
Bob
Willys Model
CJ
Willys Year:
Other
#9
I'm not really sure how well an overdrive will perform with your current 4 cylinder F head. If you go that route you may need to stick with stock 15" wheels as to not over tax the drivetrain. I added overdrive to my 66 Tux last year and I'm running 215/75R15 8" wide, and it is a vast improvement, however I'm running a stock 225 V6 Buick that adds maybe another 50 hp over the 4 cylinder F-head. Just my thought on wheel size. However, I'm in Michigan so we don't do much rock climbing, mostly two track and sand dunes.
20200624_204216.jpg
 
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