I have a project, which I need some help with. I am here since I am not well educated in jeeping repair and auto repair in general. I’m the type to try to do it but with lots of advise and assistance. I figure there is no better place to come for advice than this Jeep forum. I hope that I can get could planning tips and help along this project.
Project history and future goals: 1987 Jeep Wrangler 258 six
I bought this jeep from a friend going into the service. I got a good deal on it and mainly wanted to morph it into my own rig. It had not top, lots of cracking decals, a worn 258, a 2WD AMC Auto Trans, and seats that barley stayed together. It was more of a fun hunting buggy and not a Jeep. I have always had Jeeps in my family and I wanted to turn this into my first very own.
Over the first year, I did the following:
• Rebuilt the 258 all the way. Runs great now with top-of-the-line internal parts.
• Replaced the Radiator with high performance one and water bump with high performance one
• Yanked the Carter crap carb. and put in a Weber kit.
• Replaced all the seats with Steal horse grey vinyl seats.
• Tore out the dash and refinished it grey and rebuilt all the gauges
• Installed new carpet throughout
• Installed new Besttop supertop
• Installed Roll bar pads
• Few other small things
Now with the big problem. One week after I rebuilt the engine I hydroplaned sidways into a telephone pole. This let me know I should have replaced the tiresL
I now have a bad mess with the body. The engine still works good and I crank it once a week. Here is a list of things that have to get fixed.
• Hood needs to be replaced
• Driver fender needs to be replaced.
• Engine mounts need to be replace. They used to be brand newL
• There is a bad dent on the drivers side of the cowl
• Part of the driver side body is bent
• All four tires and wheels have to be replaced
• Front springs are warped now
• Needs full detailed paint job. I would like to do this myself if I can for Quality control.
I have attached PICS so the damage can be gauged.
After this is done here are things that will be in phase two:
• Replace AUTO 2WD Trans with 700R4 or better suggested auto with overdrive. My better half does not know how to drive manual and does not want to learn.
• Install the NP231 back into the system with slip-eliminator and get 4WD working again
• Replaced cracked intake and exhaust manifolds and entire exhaust system
• Replace YJ style Gauge panel with CJ style. I personally like the YJ look better but the panels are crap and barley work.
• Put spray on inside instead of carpet
• Fix full steel doors. There is a crack where the window frame joins the door main frame above the outer door handles. I have heard this is a know issue. The windows regulators are also bad.
• Take the Computer out of the system if I can.
• Install Lift
From there I am hoping I can make this a daily driver and off-roader.
The damage is not a killer if the frame is straight. I couldn't tell much about any dents in the driver's side and if it is in the cowl which you circled, this could be major work. You can likely do much of the work yourself ...certainly panel replacement. I would decide how much I could do and the cost. Then I would get an estimate on the major stuff that I could not do or didn't have tools to do.
Add up the cost ....you may need to find another Jeep about like what you started with and move your good stuff over and continue with it. In addition, you want to convert to another transmission; that will cost big bucks and you need several other things. Some of these just might be in a Jeep you find. (but not likely the drivetrain you describe; that will cost some bucks) Sorry and Good Luck
I would just take it to a quality body shop and have them put it on frame rack and check if the frame is bent and if so they can pull it out also. Then i would see how much to fix and paint it !!! Unless you have all the right equipment and skill to do the body work then have at it If not and you spend a couple hundred to half *** it and are'nt happy with it then you will spend more in the long run
well since you bent the front springs now sounds like a great time to lift your jeep
As for the fender mabey you could beat it back into spape or just do a custom wheel cut out or posion spyder custom tube fenders.........they look cool..
as for the 4 wheel drive i would suggest that you find a donor jeep thats 4 wheel and swap that drive train into it
most 4x4 xj's are automatic and i belive that some of the combos will bolt right in....im not super positive though.......hopefully someone might pipe in that knows a littel more
anyways good luck
91 yj 2.5 Daily Driven on the Texas streets on 33's
Thanks for the imput guys I do plan on installing a lift since I have to replace the springs anyway. This brings up the question about tire size vs lift size. I want to run 33's mainly so I can have a slightly bigger tire than my father-in-law . I've been thinking about a diamond 3.5 lift since it seems complete and not a budget buster. Is a 3.5 good for running a 33x12.5? is Black Diamond a good brand?
Also will a CJ7 Tub fith a 87 Wrangler? I've been trying to find a steel tub for mine but can't find it. I was thinking that maybe a steel tub from a 86 CJ might fit. My wrangler has simular roll bars and i know they have the same full steel doors. My only concern would be how it connects to the hood and fenders and if the softtop would fit. Does anyone know?
Brad, why on earth would you want to willingly use a tub that will rust and rot out faster than a YJ tub?
I really think running a 3.5" lift on a YJ is pushing it for 33's if you plan to off-road, but if you installed a set of TJ fender flares (need to cut sheetmetal to fit properly), you should gain the extra clearance you need.
I don't think the tub looks all that bad from the pictures...just the big dent on the top. But again, pictures can be deceiving
All the wreck does is give you the perfect excuse to make your jeep even better. The damage doen't look that bad. I've seen worse driving down the road. I've got one jeep that just sits there for now and one in the garage strip down to the frame. Sometimes it seems overwhelming but you just got to have fun with it. And if you don't know much about working on jeeps. Well, now is the perfect time to learn. Especially the body work side of it.
2.5L No mods yet! Besides 31's.
87 Wrangler W/258 stock and even missing parts.
I can't help you out with the tranny, body work, etc., but if you are looking for info on installing a custom dash let me know. I just finished mine a couple of months ago with Auto Meter gauges and a few other doohickeys. Check out my page 6 for pictures if you want.
Guys thank you for the input. I agree this is going to be a learning expereance for me. The fender, Hood are easy. Just replace them. The Cowl and firewall are little more complicated. The cowl is bent to a fine edge at one point. The firewall is bent in about 1\2 inch. Its not that bad but I don't know the right procedure to fix it either.
If I wanted to run 33's what would be a recommended lift without setting my pocket book completely on fire?
KC704, How much $$ did you put into your dash conversion