Nearly 30 years in production, the Jeep CJ-5 enjoyed the longest lifespan of any Jeep model so far. Back in 1966, as the Beach Boys were crooning about good vibrations, the CJ-5 was sporting good vibrations of its own in the form of a variety of new upgrades including a new "Dauntless" V-6 option. The six-banger, and the other new upgrades, opened a new chapter in the Jeep CJ-5 saga, and it undoubtedly brought in new buyers much the way the four-door Wrangler Unlimited did in 2007. The body of the CJ was modified to capitalize on trail functionality. Hilton analyzed every aspect of the rig's exterior to ensure that the big 42x14 IROK tires on 16x12 Rock Crawler wheels could travel through their full range of motion without contacting any part of the rig. The result also included outstanding approach and departure angles as well. Other exterior mods include a functional pair of '67 Camaro hood vents to help keep underhood temperatures in check; a custom grilleguard; a winch mount that holds a Warn XD9000i winch; a variety of lights; and custom frame- and 'cage-mounted 1-inch-diameter, 0.250-inch-wall rock sliders. The rig is painted "Coke" red.The body of the CJ was modified to capitalize on trail functionality. Hilton analyzed ever What you're looking at here is Matt Hilton's incredible '66 CJ-5. During a four-year buildup, Hilton took the rugged, timeless CJ-5 and implanted it with a variety of modern components. Add to that an impressive collection of trick, custom mods, and the result is a rig that not only looks great, but is incredibly skilled on the trail. Hilton, who was born 16 years after this rig rolled off the assembly line, says that after wheeling a stock rig for awhile, he wanted to build an extreme machine so he wouldn't have to go around the "fun stuff." He says that he chose to build this particular vehicle because he likes the looks of the CJ and its becoming rare to see them built up. Hilton says, "I do most of my wheeling at Fordyce and the Rubicon. I've been to the Hammers with it twice now and can't wait to make a Moab trip." He notes that the CJ has done everything he has asked of it and he's happy with the way it turned out. And the good vibrations continue. Specifications General Owner/Hometown: Matt Hilton/Dixon, California Vehicle/Model: 1966 Jeep CJ-5 Estimated value: $28,000 Engine Type: GM 305ci V-8 Aspiration: TBI, custom 2-in dual exhaust w/glasspack mufflers Output, hp/torque (estimated):N/A Drivetrain Transmission: SM420, aluminum bellhousing, Centerforce II clutch Transfer Case: Dana 300, Advance Adapters 4:1 kit, 32-spline input/output shafts Suspension Front: Four-link, Rubicon Express 5 1/2-in coil springs, Bilstein 5150 piggyback-reservoir shocks Rear: Four-link, Rubicon Express 5 1/2-in coil springs, Bilstein 5150 piggyback-reservoir shocks Axles/Differentials Front: Dana 60, Yukon axleshafts, Poly Performance drive flanges, PSC hydraulic steering/ARB Air Locker Rear: GM 14-bolt/Detroit Locker Ring and pinion: 5.13:1 Wheels/Tires Wheels: 16x12 Rock Crawler Tires: 42x14.0-16 Interco IROK The framerails coddle a modified Chevy TBI 305ci V-8. This engine has a Moroso high-output oil pump and deep sump as used in circle track cars. Referring to the deep sump, Hilton says, "It helps to keep oil pressure when you're tipped in bad positions." Exhaust gases are passed through Hooker headers, 2-inch-diameter exhaust pipes, and glasspack mufflers. The V-8 is cooled by a Be Cool aluminum radiator with 14-inch electric fan that activates at 190 degrees and deactivates at 170 degrees. Howell Engine Developments built the wiring harness and provided the computer to facilitate the V-8 swap. Hilton says, "The computer is made with a removable chip, so when I do engine modifications, I mail them the chip and they reprogram the chip to my new upgrades." Other underhood mods include a pair of Optima RedTop batteries, a 100-amp alternator, and an ARB air compressor. There's also a custom airblock to distribute the compressed air.The framerails coddle a modified Chevy TBI 305ci V-8. This engine has a Moroso high-output Hilton created the front four-link/coil-spring suspension using Rubicon Express Jeep TJ-application 5 1/2-inch-lift springs, Bilstein 5150 piggyback-reservoir shocks with 255/70 valving, and links made from sleeved and plug-welded 1 1/2-inch-diameter DOM tubing. Ballistic Fabrication QA1 rod ends reside at each end of the link arms. This suspension locates a Chevy Dana 60 axle that has been beefed with 5.13:1 gears, an ARB Air Locker, Yukon 35-spline chrome-moly inner and outer shafts, Poly Performance drive flanges, and 3/4-ton pickup-application disc brakes. A hydraulic steering system makes pointing the big 42-inch tires easy, and the system consists of PSC components including a high-output pump and double-ended ram. The steering links are made from 1-inch-diameter, 0.250-inch-wall tubing and they're fitted with Ballistic QA1 rod ends. The hydraulic fluid for the steering system is cooled via a transmission cooler mounted behind the engine radiator.Hilton created the front four-link/coil-spring suspension using Rubicon Express Jeep TJ-ap Nestled underneath the rear of the CJ is a GM 14-bolt axle. It has been fitted with 5.13:1 cogs, a Detroit Locker, Ballistic diff cover, and 3/4-ton pickup truck-application disc brakes. The flexy rear suspension is almost a carbon copy of the front in design and features. All of the custom shock hoops under the CJ are made from 1-inch-diameter, 0.250-inch-wall DOM tubing. Hilton stretched the CJ's wheelbase to 101 inches, which is 20 inches more than stock.Nestled underneath the rear of the CJ is a GM 14-bolt axle. It has been fitted with 5.13:1 The most obvious mod to the interior is the custom dash. Hilton says, "I custom made my dash so I would have more room in the Jeep. I removed the window channel from the tub and made the dash from 1-inch tubing. I bent the tubing and used 16-gauge sheetmetal to form the tub back to the new dash. I laid my gauges out on poster board and made a stencil that fit inside my tubing." The folks over at Wiegand Fabrication cut the dashplate with a waterjet, and all of the gauges are from Equus. Other interior mods include Pro Comp Super Seats on custom rollcage mounts; a modified Grant steering wheel; a custom underseat 22-gallon fuel cell; and a custom console that holds a Pioneer CD player and a variety of switches. That big ol' shift knob? It's a float from a bulk fuel storage tank.The most obvious mod to the interior is the custom dash. Hilton says, "I custom made my da A removable skidplate protects the transmission and transfer case. It's made from 1-inch-diameter, 0.250-inch-wall tubing and 3/8-inch steel plate. The transmission is an SM420 with aluminum bellhousing and Centerforce II clutch. It's mated to a Dana 300 transfer case that has been fitted with an Advance Adapters 4:1 kit and 32-spline input and output shafts. The front driveshaft was made by Hilton using 1310 yokes, while the rear driveshaft is a Driveline Superstore 60-degree Bad Boy unit.A removable skidplate protects the transmission and transfer case. It's made from 1-inch-d The cargo area has plenty of room for gear, even with the full rollcage. Speaking of the rollcage, it's made from 2-inch-diameter, 0.095-inch-wall tubing. Hilton made the 'cage to his specs. "I was tired of hitting my head on stock cages, so I built mine a bit higher to fit me. The 'cage is connected to the frame in six places, but it is bolted through the tub to the frame so it can be removed from the tub with no cutting," Hilton says. When we photographed the rig, the cargo area was mostly empty with the exception of the 2 1/2-gallon Peterbilt auxiliary air tank.The cargo area has plenty of room for gear, even with the full rollcage. Speaking of the r By Ken Brubaker Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!