Advice Requested - Father and Son YJ Build - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Wrangler Forums > YJ Wrangler Technical Forum > Advice Requested - Father and Son YJ Build

ECGS Black Friday Sale!!6th Annual, Beat Your Wife to the Credit Card Sale!50 in light bar /A pillar mount less than 500 at JeepHut.c

Reply
Unread 10-03-2013, 08:48 AM   #1
Spike6901
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 273
Advice Requested - Father and Son YJ Build

Hello fellow Jeepers,

I will be embarking on the quest of a father and son project this spring for my oldest boy and then a second one with my youngest in about 2 years. I grew up in the country and had rebuilt a motorcycle engine by the time I was 12 years old, but my boys are growing up in the big city where good ole’ projects are not the norm. Most folks drive newer rides and could not change their own spark plugs in my area. I want my boys to be able to yank a transmission in the garage and replace a clutch on the weekends, change diff fluids, etc… This is also a fairly tight budget project.

I am handy enough with the tools and have about 1 ½ restorations under my belt in my life including a CJ-7 and a FJ-40. So I am not worried about the mechanics and such of the build. I figure I can do just about anything besides body work in which I suck at which is why I will find a rig with no rust. I have been planning the build with three goals: safety, education, fun.

So, I do have some questions from those folks out there that have kids and concerns about a 16 year old’s first Jeep and making it safe enough. I know, there is only so much one can do to make a Wrangler safe and fear does not drive me but hey, these are my boys.

The Jeep will be used for wheeling (tow behind my truck), his daily driver, and hopefully some Jeep Jamborees around the south such as Texas, LA and Arkansas as well as local club runs.

Advice and comments would be appreciated.

- Vehicle: 1988-1995 YJ, 4 banger, 5 speed, as close to stock as I can find. I should be able to pick one of these up for around $3-$4k in my area in pretty darn nice condition. If I get lucky, I might pick up a TJ but haven’t run across one that is cheap enough and in good enough condition. Why a 4 banger (I can feel you about to pounce, hahaha)? I am doing this on purpose because they are cheaper, I want my boys to learn ‘how’ to drive with finesse rather than with the loud pedal, and parts are less likely to break under the lead foot of a teenager. Also, the lack of power will keep them from running down the highway at too fast a speed because they simply can’t (been there). That, and there may be a V8 conversion down the road anyway.

- Maintenance: We will be learning how to perform a FULL tune up and fluid changes including the cooling system and flush, fuel system, electrical system, vacuum lines, and ignition systems.

- Roll Cage: This will be top priority. I will install a cage and a family roll bar and/or a full cage. I have researched some products and most add on cages don’t appear to tie into the frame. Due to cost, I will probably go with an add on system and fabricate my own tie in’s to the frame as well as add some tubing to the back of the roll bar. Any advice for a cage under $800 that does not require as much fab?

- Suspension: I have no doubt that I will be installing a lift kit but I have concerns about stability. My first choice would be a SOA but have read about drivability issues and instability. That, I am not sure if I want to get into the cost of the SYE and drive line issues. Is this a bad idea for a first time driver? I was leaning towards a RE or OME 2.5” kit instead with a 32” or 33” tire.

- Gears: I was planning on going with 4.88 and some type of limited slip or ‘soft’ locker in the rear. Should I assume that a full locker could cause a safety issue for an inexperienced driver?

That is just about it unless anyone has any extra advice. I am pretty excited about this project with my boys.

__________________
Past: CJ-7 Full Resto, XJ Lifted and Locked, KJ Lifted and Cute, JKU Lifted, armor and a lot more...
2014: Wrangler#1 Father and oldest Son build and teach project
2016: Wrangler#2 Father and youngest Son build and teach project
Spike6901 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #2
Flajeeper1
Registered User
1987 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Lakeland, FL
Posts: 726
- Suspension: I have no doubt that I will be installing a lift kit but I have concerns about stability. My first choice would be a SOA but have read about drivability issues and instability. That, I am not sure if I want to get into the cost of the SYE and drive line issues. Is this a bad idea for a first time driver? I was leaning towards a RE or OME 2.5” kit instead with a 32” or 33” tire.

For a young driver I would stay SUA with the lift.

- Gears: I was planning on going with 4.88 and some type of limited slip or ‘soft’ locker in the rear. Should I assume that a full locker could cause a safety issue for an inexperienced driver?

On a budget, look into putting CJ or TJ solid axles in the front with something like an Aussie locker. You'll have to balance the driveshaft and cap the vacuum assembly (easy to make with aluminum plate). A compressor locker on in my case an electric locker in the rear will allow you to have great street manners and great offroad capability.

That is just about it unless anyone has any extra advice. I am pretty excited about this project with my boys.[/QUOTE]

I did an 87'YJ with son. Great fun and learning project! Have fun and keep us up to date on the build.
Flajeeper1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
warthog312
The Craigslist Crawler
 
warthog312's Avatar
1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 812
Nice project! Shoot, I wish I had an old man that was willing to do this kind of stuff with me when I was growing up! Those kids don't realize how lucky they are to have a pop like you.

Anyway, here's my advice for what it's worth:
  • Stay spring under for the suspension. Loads easier to do, and SOA is just a huge can of worms. Not saying that SOA won't outperform SUA, but for what you've described SUA is in my opinion absolutely the way to go. OME is a great product, although you'd probably have to add some small boomerang shackles and/or a 1" body lift to accomodate those 33" tires you mentioned.
  • 4.88 gears sound about right, but a lot of people will tell you to drop that nasty Dana 35 rear axle; and you know what, they're right. It's not made of glass as many would have you believe, but while you're doing all this you may as well grab a decent Ford 8.8 rear axle from an Explorer and work with that. It is in every way an inprovement over the factory axle, and can be had with a limited slip, which would help your "to lock or not to lock" question stated in your original post. Posi is a good medium if it isn't a hardcore wheel rig.
  • As far as a cage, look around locally. I'm in process of building my own cage, but there's a ton of shops around me that were willing to help, many that offered free advice and tips on building that I'm sure saved me a lot of time and headache.
  • Something I'd suggest upgrading while you're doing all this is possibly the transmission. I know the AX5 manual that came behind the 4 cyl isn't too bad, but after living on 33" tires and seeing daily use as well as weekend adventure, mine lost all its synchros and went from an otherwise perfectly fine transmission to totally trashed in under 2 years. The AX15 which came behing the 4.0's in much stronger and a fairly easy swap if you know what you're doing.
  • If and when you buy the Jeep (assuming you haven't yet) save yourself A TON of nightmare and headache and find one wih a clean and straight frame. My YJ was rotten through at three of the four corners. And I mean gone, as you could take your hand and break off chunks of what was once frame steel. Get a clean one, pay the premium for it, it's worth it; it just is.
__________________
Click for build thread: HONEYBADGER - 302//435//20//8.8
>>>the single greatest investment you can make for your jeep is to buy a good welder, and learn how to use it<<<
warthog312 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
Mobile_Homie
Desert Rat
 
Mobile_Homie's Avatar
1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Winnemucca, NV
Posts: 1,311
I would give this advice to any first time Jeep owner, especially a teenager...Wheel it stock. It will teach them how to drive and choose a line. I ran with the big dogs for two years before I lifted mine.
__________________
Mark



Smoke em if you got em!

Click here
Mobile_Homie is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 12:49 PM   #5
rambo3489
Registered User
1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 1,637
Don't have and children yet. But I plan to do something similar to this with my kids. I've already decided their first vehicle will be a built JEEP and will literally be built with love.

I think things like this are priceless.
__________________
89 YJ.. My first jeep and I won't let it go. ▀||||▀

Current Project: None... I disgust myself.

[URL="http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/my-yj-build-adventures-thread-1356941/"][SIZE="3"][B]BUILDING THE YJ MY WAY[/B][/SIZE][/URL]
rambo3489 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
Spike6901
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 273
Thank you to all and good advice. A little photo trip down memory lane. Man, I am getting excited!

I will definatly get a solid Jeep. I bought a rusty FJ-40 and found out how much I sucked at body work and frame repairs. I was constantly welding in a patch here and there. I did it all myself including the primer and paint. It turned out to look OK from about 30' but closer than that and it was ghetto (at least by my standards). Never, ever again.



Good advice. I will stick with SUA and that was my gut feeling. I had GREAT results from OME springs and dampers on my FJ40 and FZJ80 Cruisers as well as the KJ. I want to keep the center of gravity low so if I run 33's (probably run 32's), then I will cut the fenders and such as needed as well as ensuring to get the proper back spacing on the wheels. On my lifted JKU, I could stuff the meats to the stock bump stops and not rub.



I could design and build my own cage (did the front on my CJ) but it looks like there are some kits that get you a long way there out of the box. There is no way I am going to make those bends with 2" pipe around the dash area again and then try and make the other side match. I am just not that good. I can then tie them though the floor into the frame at the front and rear. I have access to a welding shop and scrap oilfield materials.

You are right, no full locker. My XJ was locked in the rear and I remember some interesting quirks, especially in the rain on pavement. That, and you don't always want a locker in every wheeling situation cause it can get you in trouble in a hurry. I want my boys to have picture like this to look back on.

__________________
Past: CJ-7 Full Resto, XJ Lifted and Locked, KJ Lifted and Cute, JKU Lifted, armor and a lot more...
2014: Wrangler#1 Father and oldest Son build and teach project
2016: Wrangler#2 Father and youngest Son build and teach project
Spike6901 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
DirtKar
I pledge allegiance.
 
DirtKar's Avatar
1993 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Nor Cal Sierras
Posts: 1,646
Good job, Dad!

My oldest just flew the nest... Wait, more like Mom pushed him. Anyway I taught him to build his first 2-stroke at age 11. I swear I had every part of my body crossed when he gave her that first kick. She fired first go! I get welled up just thinking about it.

Have fun, you are in for some great moments!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos14 View Post
What you see as not bad, and what I see as not bad, are two completely different not bads
YJOTM JULY 2014
DirtKar is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 06:17 PM   #8
bill8bud
Senior Member
 
bill8bud's Avatar
1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 880
My biggest advice to add is to get a 6 not a 4 banger.
bill8bud is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
DirtKar
I pledge allegiance.
 
DirtKar's Avatar
1993 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Nor Cal Sierras
Posts: 1,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill8bud View Post
My biggest advice to add is to get a 6 not a 4 banger.
For most this would fit.
This guy has hit on the most valid of reasons for wanting a 4 banger. Lower upfront cost, ease of teaching a young'n to drive/maneuver, the slow factor AND he has the skills to do a V8 swap. No doubt that will be on the to-do list not far down the road. It's a win win.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos14 View Post
What you see as not bad, and what I see as not bad, are two completely different not bads
YJOTM JULY 2014
DirtKar is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-03-2013, 10:30 PM   #10
bill8bud
Senior Member
 
bill8bud's Avatar
1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 880
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtKar View Post

For most this would fit.
This guy has hit on the most valid of reasons for wanting a 4 banger. Lower upfront cost, ease of teaching a young'n to drive/maneuver, the slow factor AND he has the skills to do a V8 swap. No doubt that will be on the to-do list not far down the road. It's a win win.
I just do not see any value in buying a 4 banger. To be honest both are not speed demons.
bill8bud is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-04-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
flea2107
Registered User
1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Coaldale, Colorado
Posts: 47
My jeep started as a 2.5L and I went through 2 transmissions. It did have 4.10 gears so it would still move with stock tires. Here are my thoughts on a 4.0 If you put bigger tires on it say 35's and it has only 3.07 gears then it will be a pig, but you will have a much better transmission. I understand a teenagers heavy foot and the 4.0 with 35's is slower or the same as a 2.5 with 33's. I had the 4 cylinder and my twin brother had the 6 and mine was faster off the line, all still more on the snails pace though.
flea2107 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-04-2013, 12:45 AM   #12
StanF
Registered User
1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,270
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill8bud
My biggest advice to add is to get a 6 not a 4 banger.
+1

Get the 4.0l and better AX-15.

No one that I know is contemplating a 4.0l swap to a 2.5l. There are tons of people moving away from the 2.5 into 4.0, SBC, etc.

The 2.5 is especially bad with the larger tires you mentioned unless you regear.

Sounds like a great fun project - have fun with it!
__________________
My Ammo Can Console: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/yet-another-ammo-can-project-finished-1498520/
My 8.8 Swap: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/yet-another-ford-8-8-swap-extras-1565339/
StanF is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-04-2013, 10:31 AM   #13
warthog312
The Craigslist Crawler
 
warthog312's Avatar
1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike6901 View Post
I want to keep the center of gravity low so if I run 33's (probably run 32's), then I will cut the fenders and such as needed as well as ensuring to get the proper back spacing on the wheels.
If you want to run big tires on a small (if any) lift take a look at MetalCloak fenders. It's a polarizing look, some love it, some hate it. Regardless, it does the job and I know there's some serious guys around running something like 37" tires on ~2" of lift with these. "LCOG" was a buzzword for a while, but there is merit to it's benefiets as a suspension system as opposed to traditional high springs or SOA.
http://www.metalcloak.com/category-s/246.htm



Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike6901 View Post
I can then tie them though the floor into the frame at the front and rear. I have access to a welding shop and scrap oilfield materials.
Take a look at this from GenRight, they're top of the line in product quality and customer service. This what I'm doing for frame ties so that I can still pull the body when necessary, and the bushings should dampen much of the vibration.
http://www.genright.com/ProductInfo....ductid=GRC5500



On another note, take all the advice about motors with a grain of salt. I wheeled AND DAILY DROVE my YJ on 33"-34" tires with a 150,000 miles and a 5 speed for 2 years. Was it a Ferrari on the streets? No. I live in Chicago, so during my rush hour commute I'd be lucky to break speeds of 35 on the expressway; but she'd do 65 if I really needed her to. And believe me, even with that tired old motor I got through some crazy stuff offroad. I'm an hour's drive from the Cliffs Insane Terrain park in Marsielles, IL and 2ish hours from the Badlands in Attica, IN; I've positively FLOGGED my Jeep at both and everyone - myself included - was stunned what she made it through with stock axles, a 4 cly, a heap of miles, and a complete disregard of sanity.
The only reason the 302 swap happened was because I got a nice new daily driver. Funny thing, being done with college, there's better jobs to be had which offer just enough pay to have a DD, a project/rig Jeep, and a few motorcycles.

The only real thing I'd say is almost a must, is to just bite the bullet right away and nip the problem in the bud, by going ahead and doing the rear Ford 8.8 axle swap. Mine never broke by some grace of God, but it was always this dark thought in the back of my mind wondering if today's the day
__________________
Click for build thread: HONEYBADGER - 302//435//20//8.8
>>>the single greatest investment you can make for your jeep is to buy a good welder, and learn how to use it<<<
warthog312 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #14
Spike6901
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by warthog312 View Post
Take a look at this from GenRight, they're top of the line in product quality and customer service. This what I'm doing for frame ties so that I can still pull the body when necessary, and the bushings should dampen much of the vibration.
http://www.genright.com/ProductInfo....ductid=GRC5500

The only real thing I'd say is almost a must, is to just bite the bullet right away and nip the problem in the bud, by going ahead and doing the rear Ford 8.8 axle swap. Mine never broke by some grace of God, but it was always this dark thought in the back of my mind wondering if today's the day
Ahhh, good find on the tie in's. Thanks for that.

As far as the axle swap, do you think that it is a liability even with the 4 cyl? I could understand with a V8 and/or a full locker. What about simply swapping out the shafts with alloy and different maybe different splines? What is its main weakness? I could research this on my own so no worries.

Thanks again for the advice.
__________________
Past: CJ-7 Full Resto, XJ Lifted and Locked, KJ Lifted and Cute, JKU Lifted, armor and a lot more...
2014: Wrangler#1 Father and oldest Son build and teach project
2016: Wrangler#2 Father and youngest Son build and teach project
Spike6901 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-04-2013, 12:00 PM   #15
warthog312
The Craigslist Crawler
 
warthog312's Avatar
1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 812
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike6901 View Post
Ahhh, good find on the tie in's. Thanks for that.

As far as the axle swap, do you think that it is a liability even with the 4 cyl? I could understand with a V8 and/or a full locker. What about simply swapping out the shafts with alloy and different maybe different splines? What is its main weakness? I could research this on my own so no worries.

Thanks again for the advice.
Hey, no worries. We are all here to help eachother

I'd say just do it off the bat and sink the ~$300 into it, or have to tear it apart at some time in the future with some degree of certainty. Not to mention when it does pop, it'll leave you stranded. Generally speaking it is just an overall weak axle. C-clips like to pop, snapped shafts happen, the carrier is weak, and the whole housing is rather thin and has potential to be bent. The 8.8 is in every way an upgrade. I advise from sinking any money into the factory dana 35, it is just polishing a turd, but that is just this humble man's opinion

There's plenty of reading on this forum about the famous - if not infamous - Dana 35 rear axle. I'm sure you'll find all the literature you need.
__________________
Click for build thread: HONEYBADGER - 302//435//20//8.8
>>>the single greatest investment you can make for your jeep is to buy a good welder, and learn how to use it<<<
warthog312 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools






Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.