I posted a build thread of my YJ in the builders section but thought I would do one here as well.
I bought my 88 almost 3 years ago from a customer of mine in Dumas TX. I own a wrecking yard and he had a jeep in his shop that needed a BA10 transmission. It was popping out of reverse. I was unable to find him a good one so his customer decided to sell it. I offered $1500, seller wanted $2000.00 and we settled on $1850. It was equipped with the 4.2,5spd,3.07 drive train and a 2.5" procomp lift kit with 31's. Drove to Dumas to pick it up and was a proud owner of a jeep.
Brought it back, pulled the trans out and sent it to the transmission shop. He was able to fix the reverse gear.
Here is what it looked like when I got it.
After the trans was fixed I drove it around, registered on a couple of jeep forums to learn all about my new toy. First thing I did was change the wheels cause the tires were rubbing on the springs as I turned. Then it was time to ditch the track bars. That made a world of difference.
Found a tube bumper that would fit and also bought a 79 F150 that had a warn winch on the front for $50.00 bucks. Also had a friend give me some KC lights that I mounted on the windshield.
And this is pretty much how I drove it till I rebuilt it. I did buy a 95 sahara and swapped in the AX15 after my BA10 started having problems again. Installed the MC2150 carb and did the nutter bypass. The original motor stated smoking real bad so I bought an 87 YJ at the sale for the motor. That motor ran real good and best of all didn't look like a bug sprayer going down the road.
In the mean time I found my dad an 81 CJ8 and rebuilt it. 4.2,4spd,dana 30. 3.5" lift and running 33 duratracs.
Then my wife needed a jeep and I found here an 01 TJ. 4.0,5spd, 5.5" RE long arm lift riding on 33's. A college kid here in town rolled it 2 days after he got it and called me and asked if I would buy the salvage. Had 67k miles on it and we made a deal. Had to replace the windshield and frame, both front fenders and half doors. Put a new top on it and she was ready to go.
And then of course my mom had to have one. So I bought this 98 TJ at the sale. Needed a hood, pair of doors and a top.
My father-in-law also has a 97 TJ and my sister-in-law has a 2013 JK.
I guess you could say we are a jeep family.
Now that I got all my family members taken care of it was time to start on mine. I knew what I wanted out of my jeep, wrote down my plan after a lot of research and pretty much stuck with it. I wanted no more than 4.5" of lift. I wanted to run 33" tires. Had to stick true to the jeep by running a 6cly. Had to be 5spd and had to be built where it would not break on the trail. Or at least lesson the chances of that drastically.
So with that in mind I started on my build. First was to bring in the 95 sahara to rob the 4.0 and all the wiring for the swap.
The bright green 87 in the back ground is Shrek. My family members named him that. That is the one I used the 4.2 out of to replace my original motor. I have plans for that one but it will be nothing but a trail rig. V8 power with full width axles.
So with the sahara in the shop we started working on it, then a thought came to me. My old 4.2 was just laying there doing nothing but just begging me to take it apart and but it's crank and rods into the 4.0. Called my machine shop and we developed a plan. We were going to stroke the 4.0 but was going to go back with all the factory 4.0 parts like the cam and injectors. We decided to do this due to the fact I was doing so much to the jeep that it would be a good idea to work all the bugs out first and then step up the motor if I felt it needed it.
I did make one small rookie mistake while taking the 4.2 a part. I thought I could just pull the pistons out from the bottom. I know better but got into a hurry.
Once both motors were ready off to the machine shop they went. I ordered my lift kit. I went with the Rubicon Express 4.5 extreme duty lift. Really liked the look of the lift and the quality was excellent. More expensive than most lifts but I am one who believes you get what you pay for. We installed the lift and I robbed the wheels and tires off my wife's TJ just to see what it was going to look like.
After the fun of seeing what it would look like it was time to take it all apart. I had decided to powder coat my frame at this time. There is a place in Lubbock called Orbit Enterprises that did the frame on my GTO years ago and decided to give them a call. For $375.00 they would sand blast the frame, my t-case skid and powder coat both items. I said hell yes!!!!!! I couldn't buy the material and do it myself for that. I also got in my 33" MT/R's But those would soon be sold to a friend of mine for some 35"s.
So with the body off we removed the good 4.2, ax15 and 231. The AX15 went to the transmission shop for an overhaul and the t-case got put on the bench for the SYE and terlow 4.0-1 front case. I am telling ya, I do like that 4.0-1 low gear. A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!
While the trans and motor were getting attention and the frame being addressed it was time to scrape and sand years of crap off the body. I originally had bought a sandblaster to do this job but it just did not do a good enough job as just good ole' fashion elbow grease and paint stripper.
Seemed like this stage of the build took forever but we finally got it all clean and ready for the raptor liner we would be spraying on both the inside and underside of the tub.
My very good friend who is a framer even built me a temporary paint both to do it in
During the time we were getting the tub done, my frame, motor and trans was ready. So we got all of those items mated together. I also got the 8.8 taken care of with the new spring perches. It already had 4.56 and ARB locker in it and also got my front D30 taken care of with gears and also an ARB. Also installed chromoly axles for some added insurance.
After getting the drivetrain in we installed the fuel tank and loom from the 95. I wont bore you with those details or pictures cause that is pretty straight forward. Next it was time to set the body on the frame. I was starting to get pretty excited at this point. Just seeing parts actually going back together was making me pretty happy.
This is where I strayed from my original build plan. I planned on running 33's but something came up. I sold a bunch of core motors and made good money on them so I decided to go a different route. I sold my 33's to my buddy for what I paid for them and bought me a set of 35's. And the reason I could go with the 35's on just a 4.5 lift and not rub on my fenders was because of these................................
Now it was time to fire it up and break the cam in. Well this turned into a nightmare. I had lost the jumper wire from the trans to the wire loom so it acted like a neutral safety switch was out. Messed with that all dang day and finally found out what was wrong and just spliced to wires together so that we could get it to crank. But it ran like crap. I tried everything. Replaced the crank sensor, already had new rotor, cap, plugs and wires. Made sure the dist. was set right. I bet I set it 100 times. Called some mechanic friends of mine over to see if they could figure it out. No luck what so ever. So I am at my wits end and one day I am walking around the shop. Pissed off because my motor won't run. I look down on the roll around cart and see a flywheel sitting on it under a rotor and some other part. I reach down and clear the crap off of it and say to myself. I bet that is the 4.0 flywheel right there. You see I had two jeep flywheels in the shop. One flywheel had the notches in it for the crank sensor, the other one didn't. So I just assumed the one with the notches was the correct one. And here is this other jeep flywheel, the third one from my three motors sitting where I had put some parts. I came into the office to my computer and looked up the interchange on 95 wrangler 4.0 flywheels. Just so happens it was the same flywheel that is in my wife's 01. So I pulled the starter of my jeep and her jeep. Sure enough the notches on her flywheel were the same as the ones on the flywheel laying on the shop floor. So out comes my trans and in goes the correct flywheel. Presto, motor fired up on the second turn and ran perfectly. So that night we broke the cam in, and I learned a valuable lesson. Make sure you know what the hell you are doing.