He Installed A Deere 4045 Diesel Engine In His Jeep CJ5
“It has the torque of a tractor and the maneuverability of a Jeep,” says Gary Gradek, who installed a 4-cyl. Deere 4045 diesel engine off an old self-propelled sprayer and the turbo from a Ford New Holland tractor in his 1977 Jeep CJ5. He also replaced the front and rear axles, installed big 37-in. tires, and beefed up the suspension system to support the heavier engine.
“The Jeep now weighs about 5,200 lbs. compared to 2,800 lbs. before, but the axles are geared correctly so it has plenty of torque as well as speed. It gets about 22 mpg and can go 70 mph on the highway,” says Gradek. “Other drivers who see me on the road are curious and give me a thumbs up, and some have even followed me into a store to ask questions. They think I must be driving a small Cummins engine, and can’t believe it when I lift the hood to show them the Deere diesel.”    
The Jeep CJ5 came equipped with a stock 304 cu. in., V-8 engine. “The engine started puffing antifreeze out the exhaust, so I knew the cylinder head was probably ruined. Deere engines are built to last,” says Gradek.
“Some of the employees at my local auto parts store call it the ‘Franken Jeep’ because I’ve ordered so many different parts for it, including a Ford clutch and bell housing and large Chevrolet axles. I also turned up the fuel pump to add power. It probably has 140 to 150 hp. Yet I can start on a super steep hill and just let the clutch out in low range, and the Jeep won’t even roll back.”
He used a Phoenix adapter kit to bolt the engine to a Ford Mustang bell housing, and replaced the original mechanical linkage with a Toyota slave cylinder and a 10.5-in. Ford clutch. The engine is hooked up to the Jeep’s 4-speed T18 transmission and a Dana 20 transfer case.
He needed a bigger front drive axle due to the increased torque so he replaced both axles, installing a Corporate 14 bolt rear axle with a Detroit locker and a Dana 60 front axle with an ARB locker off a junked late 1980’s Chevy 1-ton pickup. “The front axle has power assist, which helps a lot when turning, and with the big tires it steers really nice,” says Gradek.
He modified the radiator and built new water and turbo lines, and added an electric fan to cool the engine. “Because the Deere engine takes up more space, I had to mount the fan in front of the radiator,” says Gradek. “I also installed bigger Jeep springs to support the engine’s extra weight. And I had to increase the size of the power steering pump in order to run the hydro boost brakes and the power assist steering.”
The Jeep’s chassis was reinforced with new motor mounts to accommodate the larger engine, and since the Deere engine doesn’t have vacuum he also installed a hydro boost brake system.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gary Gradek, 4750 Orr Springs Rd., Ukiah, Calif. 95482 (ph 707 695-6040;

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

Order the Issue Containing This Story
2021 - Volume #45, Issue #3