Transplanting Grand Waggy Drivetrain into CJ7

Transplanting Grand Waggy Drivetrain into CJ7

jeepin jrod

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Tinley Park, IL
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1981 Jeep CJ7. Owned for 13 years and finally started a frame off restore a few months ago. Building an AMC 360 power plant. Harvested a 727 Trans, 229 TC and Dana 44 front & AMC/Dana 20 rear end from a 1984 Grand Waggy.
A quick backround, after 13 years of ownership I have finally begun my frame up restore of my 1981 CJ7. It had the straight 6 w/ stock trans, TC and axles. I wanted to upgrade the drivetrain to something a little heavier to go with the AMC 360 Motor that is going into it. Most of all I wanted wider and beefier axles. I wanted to be sure to keep it all original parts from an AMC Jeep. I tracked down a 1984 Grand Wagoneer and it donated a 727 Trans, 229 TC, Dana 44 front and AMC/Dana 20 (1 piece) rear.

Finally my question - the front diff is on the driver side with this setup (instead of the original pass side). I have a couple ideas about using a pnuematic or cable style shifter for the TC, maybe utilize the original vacuum style shift. I dont want to have a couple shifters under the driver's seat that look misplaced. Anyone have any good suggestions or have done a setup like this? Oh and a side note - it is an auto trans, but I have a conversion kit to convert it to a manual shift auto. So there will be a trans shifter too. Thanks in advance.
 
First off you do realize that the Waggy axles are going to be a lot wider than what you have on your jeep today by about 8.5” (I think) unless you cut them down. Also the Waggy front axle you speak of has a driver side drop so a lot of work will need to be done to get a transfer case to work and this is not to mention that the front spring hangers will need to be out boarded to accept a Dana 44.

Hey if all that work floats your boat go for it but it would be a lot easier and less expensive to go another way but I’m the kind of guy who wants to keep the hacking and whacking to a minimum.
 
Hey Saddle Tramp, I do realize the axles will be wider, hence the reason I went with the mentioned setup. I have already outboarded the spring mounts, made custom mounting blocks and welded to the frame, they mimick the angles of the frame (this way they dont look out of place.) I'm not too worried about the TC and front axle, all the parts came out of the same waggy.

I'm not too worried about the work, I like a challenge. Besides, I've waited this long to do this rebuild, it's worth doing it the way I want. Thanks
 
Saddle Tramp - PS, as far as being an expensive option. I found a guy with a barn full of old Waggys and needed to make some room. I paid $400.00 for the waggy (which was in very good shape for a barn Jeep) Took the trans, TC, axles, and I already had a 360 block, but the Waggy had a 360 so I got a complete motor w/ some brackets I needed. Scrapped the carcus, and am currently selling off some other useful parts (doors, hood, etc) to make back my $400.00 investment. So hopefully it all works out.

Thanks for the feedback
 
How much longer is your new drive train than the old one?? I would be interested in how long of a rear drive shaft you will end up with.:cool:
 
Hey IO, I don't have an exact length, but it is much longer than the original. We're going to start fitting/mocking up the motor, trans, TC hopefully this weekend. the rear drive shaft will need to be shortened quite a bit. I'll keep you posted when I get it figured. Thanks
 
Good luck with the build.. I'll be doin the same thing over the summer. For some encouragement here's what j-10 axles look like under a CJ.. They are a little bit wider then the waggy axles. Also I'm not sure if you can use I or not but look into using the "flag" style shifter from a waggy or j truck with a 208 t/c. I've seen a few tubs with the indent for that style shifter.


Your gonna get a bunch of negative or confused looks when you tell people that your swapping in a 84 drive train. Most people can't wrap thier heads around using the drivers side drop axles in a CJ

IMG_2202.jpg

Those are 12.5''s on the axles.

You have the AMC20 for the rear or a 44? Biggest problem you may have is if your rear is not centered. But since your running a matched set drive train you may be ok..
 
I know I’m a bit of a simpleton when it comes to build ups but wouldn’t be boring if we all drove the same jeep!
 
You have the AMC20 for the rear or a 44? Biggest problem you may have is if your rear is not centered. But since your running a matched set drive train you may be ok..

An 80's Grand Wagoneer will have a centered rear axle.


As far as the transfer case, there are better option. The NP229 is not locked when in 4 hi. It has a viscous coupler giving you a Limited slip type action. In 4 lo, you get a locked front/rear in the t-case. No one makes replacement parts so once it wears out you can't fix it.

If you can find an NP208 from a full size Cherokee or J-Truck, it will bolt up with no adapters needed. They come with fixed yokes already.

Another alternative is an NP231 from a newer Jeep. It also bolts up in place of the 229 and has a locked 4 hi. You may want to do a slip yoke eliminator but it's not absolutely critical.

The TF727 is a relatively short transmission for its strength, shorter than a TH400. It should it under a CJ7 just fine.
 
Hey derf, thanks for the good info, I will be looking into those other TC's today. It's nice to get some positive and encouraging feedback. I'll get some pics up soon. Thanks
 
Good luck with the build.. I'll be doin the same thing over the summer. For some encouragement here's what j-10 axles look like under a CJ.. They are a little bit wider then the waggy axles. Also I'm not sure if you can use I or not but look into using the "flag" style shifter from a waggy or j truck with a 208 t/c. I've seen a few tubs with the indent for that style shifter.


Your gonna get a bunch of negative or confused looks when you tell people that your swapping in a 84 drive train. Most people can't wrap thier heads around using the drivers side drop axles in a CJ


You have the AMC20 for the rear or a 44? Biggest problem you may have is if your rear is not centered. But since your running a matched set drive train you may be ok..

Hey Jimbos76cj thanks for the encouragement, you're right about the negative and confusing looks, thanks for not being one of those. As far as the rear axle it is a 20. However it is the AMC/Dana 20 - 1 piece. I know some CJs came with a smaller, 2 piece version AMC20 that wasn't too great. And as derf said the, the rear is centered. Thanks
 
Hey Jimbos76cj thanks for the encouragement, you're right about the negative and confusing looks, thanks for not being one of those. As far as the rear axle it is a 20. However it is the AMC/Dana 20 - 1 piece. I know some CJs came with a smaller, 2 piece version AMC20 that wasn't too great. And as derf said the, the rear is centered. Thanks


The axle tubes on a Waggy AMC20 are heavier/thicker than the CJ version so it shouldn’t be a problem with one piece shafts on a CJ.
 
The rear in my pics is a AMC20. After seeing a gear set from a 44 and a set from a 20 next to each other I'm more then satisfied with the strength of a FSJ AMC20
 
Hey derf, thanks for the good info, I will be looking into those other TC's today. It's nice to get some positive and encouraging feedback. I'll get some pics up soon. Thanks

I may have a spare Jeep NP208 coming available this spring. It'll be the one out of my J10 pickup. It has only 62K original miles. I make trips into Illinois once in a while, we may even be able to meet somewhere in between.
 
The FSJ corp20 is a great axle...very overlooked and underestimated.
 
The FSJ corp20 is a great axle...very overlooked and underestimated.

Yep. Some people weld up the pressed in axle tubes but it's not absolutely necessary.

The only reason I took mine out of the J10 is that I found a set of axles from a J20. And a full float Dana 60 with swapped in disc brakes is hard to pass up. :cool:
 
Hey derf, I sent you a PM about the TC, I am interested and would be willing to travel to get it. Thanks
 
Hey derf, I sent you a PM about the TC, I am interested and would be willing to travel to get it. Thanks

I'll be making it to the Quad Cities a couple of times this spring. I'm sure we can work out a day to meet there.
 
Good luck with the build.. I'll be doin the same thing over the summer. For some encouragement here's what j-10 axles look like under a CJ.. They are a little bit wider then the waggy axles. Also I'm not sure if you can use I or not but look into using the "flag" style shifter from a waggy or j truck with a 208 t/c. I've seen a few tubs with the indent for that style shifter.


Your gonna get a bunch of negative or confused looks when you tell people that your swapping in a 84 drive train. Most people can't wrap thier heads around using the drivers side drop axles in a CJ

Hey Jimbos76cj, I outboarded the front spring mounts w/ some custom mounts I fabricated. I'm using Skyjacker 4" Lift Kit Springs for a CJ7. When installing this setup with the Waggy axles, do I have to move the front of the front spring mounts forward at all? I had heard something about that somewhere, not quite sure why I would have to. Do you know? Thanks
 
I didnt move mine forward any.. the only issue I have run into is the steering linkage is too long and the end wont fit into the CJ pitman arm. I plan on cutting down the linkage, sleeving and welding it to the correct length. For the pit man arm Im gonna run a waggy stock arm. The front 44 linkage is higher then where it goes on the CJ's 30 so the need for a drop pitman is not really there right now. My only concern with the longer pitman arm is there might be a little interfernce with the linkage at certain points. Ill be in the shop tomorrow and can take some pics if you want. That would be the only reason I can see for moving it forward.
 

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