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Peggy: 1947 Kubota Diesel V2403/TH350/D18 Build

Old 09-12-2018, 12:58 PM
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Martinsville VA
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Default Peggy: 1947 Kubota Diesel V2403/TH350/D18 Build

Hey Bombers,

Well, I've gone and decided to do it. I'm building my dream Jeep and it's basically a mixed bag of everything so I've decided call this project, with the help of my kids, Peggy! My long-term goal is to take this rig on the Rubicon Trail.

The Mission

Having changed directions on what I want out of my 1947 CJ-2A so many times I've decided I wanted to set up a theme for my build or a mission statement. I find it helps keep me on track. So essentially I want to build a Jeep that looks like an original MB Style Jeep with more modern steering, brakes, simple suspension, and drivetrain. I want the Jeep to be light and capable yet rugged enough to tackle the Rubicon Trail. I also want to keep the build to a reasonable budget as much as possible, so I will be using used parts and trying to keep using Jeep components as possible. I'm also going to try to honor the heritage of the originally CJ-2A so I'm going to sticking with a 4-cylinder engine and 3-speed transmission.

The Body

So a little history, back in 2016 I bought a running titled 1947 CJ-2A, I've always wanted one and now I have one. Here is a picture of it the day I brought it home:

It did run and drive, but the synchros were gone and it has issues, it's 70 years old. The steering was shot, brakes weren't great even though it had been modified for disc brakes, the cooling wasn't great, the transfer case didn't want to work, the exhaust fell off, but it's my CJ-2A and I love it!

The Frame

I'm going to be attempting to build my own frame. I was going to use a TJ Wrangler frame as a donor, but I've decided to attempted to build my own frame and keep the CJ-2A true to it's heritage so I will be keeping a simple leaf spring suspension on the CJ-2A!

The Engine

I knew I wanted a diesel for the torque and type of slow off-roading I enjoy, I also wanted something simple and light so I went with a Kubota V2403 engine:

I'm going to put installing a K03 Turbo with an intercooler, so I'm looking at around 110HP and roughly 300ft/lb torque. Another consideration with going with the diesel is improved fuel economy. Talking to Ken at KubotaSwappers, I should be able to achieve mid 20s on my miles per gallon which means longer trips and overlanding with having to carry less fuel!

The Adapter

For the adapter, I'm using KubotaSwapper's kit to make the V2403 look like a Small Block Chevrolet Engine. Ken makes a great product, and I want to keep the cost of this build as small as possible for the time being. Please check out Ken's site, KubotaSwappers.com, Ken has been an amazing source of help and information, especially since I'm switching builds on him!


For the transmission, I wanted to keep a 3-speed in my 2A so I decided to go with a TH350 automatic transmission for it's size, and availability of parts and upgrades.

I will be using the stock factory Dana 18 transfer case, I have two, I'll will be rebuilding one and maybe in the future I will be adding a lower gear set to the CJ-2A

Axles and Tires

I'm going to be going with Dana 44 front and rear axles that I bought back in 2016, they are in the field behind my house at the moment, so I will need to move them to my shop, strip them down, rebuild them and get them installed. Currently I believe they are 4.11 gears.

For wheels and tires, I'm looking to run an oversized NDT tire, I would love to run a 35" but my wheels are only 15, and I know they make a 900x16 NDT, so I'm going to have to figure that out as well.


1947 CJ-2A body
Custom Frame
CJ-3A windshield
*****'s MB 9 Slot Grill
Kubota V2403 Turbo Diesel engine
TH350 3-speed automatic
Dana 18 transfer case
Dana 44 Front and Rear Axles
Disc Brakes Front and Back

I've actually already stripped the CJ-2A down here it is. I had painted it at one point, but I'm going to be repainting the body Orange here soon!

Let me know what you think!


Last edited by disjaukifa; 09-12-2018 at 01:19 PM.

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