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schaef89 04-24-2011 06:31 PM

Schaef's 89 YJ "build"
Hey guys,

I figured I'd start a thread here to help keep track of my progress with my Jeep. This isn't so much a build as a "getting it back in good shape". It's been my DD through college so some things have been neglected as funds were low the past few years. It has pretty typical YJ issues with rust(thanks to PA winters) and I have a laundry list of things that need done(heater core, exhaust manifold, fixing frame rot, the list goes on lol). Here's a bunch of pictures of what I started with as of last week for a before comparison. I'll be taking a bunch of pictures to track progress as I get things completed as well. Feel free to give me any advice you may have.. I'm sure I'll need it lol

Here's the subject.. 89 Wrangler S

The main reason I decided to get my *** in gear to get this thing fixed up.. I got a solid frame section from a junkyard that I'll weld in once the rot is cut out.

The typical windshield frame leak rotted out my dash frame.. got one from the JY to replace eventually

Also caused this..

All that being said.. it was time to get a more street friendly tire especially since the swampers were dry rotting. I scored some BFG all-terrains from a forum member recently. Pic is me getting the tires to the tire shop to get installed lol.

I've also got a Borla header, heater core, and 4.88s waiting in the garage to be installed once the rain stops here in PA..

schaef89 05-02-2011 06:09 PM

Small update..

Got my tires mounted and balanced about a week ago.. figured I'd wait til I got more progress done to post a pic

Finally got some time to work on my Jeep after some goodies came in

Got a Hobart to fix my frame rail.. ended up getting a smaller one so I could use a regular house socket

Borla header and downpipe are in as well. I've been having problems cracking stock manifolds every 2 years and figured I'd jump the gun and get a Borla for the warranty

As for wrenchin' .. I didn't get as far as I would've liked to since it started raining on me but I got the stock downpipe off as well as all the electrical/fuel connections to the intake. Despite how the picture looks, the only thing to get it out now are the coolant lines and the bolts holding the intake/exhaust.

I'm hoping to get the Borla installed tomorrow if the weather permits.. update to come

PA_YJ19 05-02-2011 09:02 PM

Hey man if you're good with that welder I could use some help. I need to replace several parts on mine and having trouble fitting it into my friends schedule, ur the first person I've seen on here from PA. If for some reason you'd wanna help me out shoot me a pm or something...You're jeep looks nice tho, do I see another yj hiding in the background there, do u have 2?

schaef89 05-03-2011 06:16 AM

PM sent. And no I don't have two.. the one in the back is my brother's that I happen to be working on as well since he's at college lol.

Louie4 05-03-2011 06:49 AM

Looks like a fun project. At least the rear frame section near the shackle hanger looks intact.

schaef89 05-03-2011 06:51 AM

Yeah I'm hoping it's not too late for those.. but with my luck they look better than they actually are lol

wellsnmj 05-03-2011 08:23 AM

not to hi jack your thread but do you happen to know what flares you have really like the looks of those

schaef89 05-03-2011 08:27 AM


Originally Posted by wellsnmj (Post 11474710)
not to hi jack your thread but do you happen to know what flares you have really like the looks of those

No problem man. They're Smittybuilt. I think i got them off 4wdHardware a couple years back. If you're looking into them I'll tell you that the pockets aren't very strong and the plastic will crack and the screw will break through. It could have been from people leaning against them but I ended up having to reinforce them with rubber washers so the flare wouldn't fly off. They were the cheapest set of 6 inch flares I saw at the time though

schaef89 05-07-2011 11:01 PM

Got some progress done over this past week/weekend..

Turns out the EGR tube gasket for the TBI setup is about as easy to find as a unicorn since Mopar discontinued it.. This is as far as i got with the Borla install until my gasket comes in from a dealership in Connecticut

Since I have to wait for USPS for that gasket I figured I'd start on my heater core replacement.. I got the heater box out but not without a fight first. The metal backing plate was in pretty rough shape and after some wire wheel action ended up being about 50 percent rusted lol. Ended up wire wheeling the entire thing as well as Rustoleum primer and painting it. first pic is the engine compartment with everything torn apart

My "paint booth" :thumbsup:

All cleaned up and ready to go back in. Install was so much easier than disassembly with this thing

When I took the battery tray out it was pretty well rusted like the heater box sheetmetal was so that got the same Rustoleum treatment. Makes the rest of the engine bay look like hell though lol. I'll be looking into cleaning that up once all the major fixes are done.

Next up is swapping in a barely used clutch I had laying around already. Figured I'd save some cash since there's nothing wrong with it. More updates to come

schaef89 05-09-2011 09:25 PM

Another small update since my gasket came in the mail today..

I was initially planning on dropping the tranny and doing the clutch but I wanted to see if the header would be in the way first (didn't want to get ahead of myself with starting more than one project). Turns out the collector and 90 degree turn would cause some potential headaches with getting the trans out. Also turns out my power steering bracket needed some modifications for clearances.

This is for anyone who's curious about what all needs modified for a borla to fit on a 2.5 with power steering. I know that I couldn't find anything with pictures or information as to what the actual modification was to the PS bracket. All I ever got was "yeah it needs modified" lol. Pics show how much material I had to take off the bracket itself and weldnut for the tensioner bolt. The bolt also needed an angle ground into it. I don't necessarily like how much material I had to take off but once i started it was too late to turn back.

Looking down from the top of the engine

Borla mocked up with two bolts loose in the block for correct alignment

schaef89 05-12-2011 08:11 PM

alright.. spent the last couple days wrestling with the trans/tcase to get to the clutch. My trans mount came off in two pieces and I now hate myself for using nylon lock nuts on the transfer case drop bolts :brickwall lol. Once I got the old clutch out it was pretty much completely smooth. So after some thought I decided to bite the bullet and buy a clutch kit to hopefully not have to deal with this again soon. Here are some pics..

New clutch n that

Yep that's a good coating of gear oil all over the inside of my bellhousing. Input seal is completely shot. And I always thought that puddle underneath was a shoddy oil pan gasket install lol.

Got work done with a toothbrush and some degreaser..

Here's the tranny without the bearing retainer plate. Had a HELL of a time finding the right input shaft seal. Anyone that's interested.. TIMKEN #1981 was not the correct input shaft seal (at least in my case). Had to cross reference from the numbers on the old seal through a couple companies to get the right one (national 223014).. lot of running around and a lot of headaches.

New one in with RTV to seal the plate

This is as far as I got as of 20 minutes ago.. got the new slave and lines in. it was getting late and didn't feel like working by my head LED light alone.

This brings me to a question.. is there a way to get the pilot bearing out of the flywheel without the use of a special puller? Auto parts store didn't have one to rent or in stock and I'm kinda thrown for a loop. I know there is a trick with bearing grease and a socket but I wasn't sure if that works for this setup or not. Anyone have an idea?

schaef89 05-13-2011 11:21 PM

got some work on the jeep done today when i got home from work.. ended up having to rent a pilot bearing puller to get the old one out and the new one in.

Clutch in place

Great Success.. clutch moves to the DONE list (minus some major degreasing needed)

Intake and Borla are in. Had a rough time with positioning the EGR tube to align with the tube on the header but after that it went in. I need to hook up the wiring and vacuum after i double check the seating on the intake and exhaust flanges.

schaef89 05-15-2011 04:16 PM

took some time to tend to the skid plate issues this weekend. The transfer case drop that was on there caused me a bit of an issue. the metal sleeves used to drop the plate rusted fast on the bolt.. which made it stuck to the actual skid plate itself. I ended up having to heat the spacer until it was red hot with an oxy acetylene torch and hitting the bolt through with a sledge hammer to get them free. pics below

One of the rusted bolt/spacer. i'm gonna have to figure out something to fix the crack in the sheetmetal as well. the two center holes on either side look like that.

And finally.. she's a runner :2thumbsup:. got the trans filled with gear oil, clutch bled and all the engine connections/vac lines hooked back up and cranked her over

I had to order a new transfer case drop kit since mine was ruined by trying to save the skid plate for reuse. Ordered a "two piece" design one from Qtec today and will hopefully be getting that installed in a day or two.

I'm gonna drive it for a week or two after everything's together just to make sure everything is hooked up correctly before I rip into the frame repairs. I must say it felt great to hear it run today

schaef89 05-18-2011 06:06 AM

Got the skyjacker tcase drop in after a trip to the hardware store. Also got the downpipe for the header on and the rear driveshaft and took her for a test drive :thumbsup:. Sorry about no pics.. I was excited to get everything together/it was drizzling and forgot to take breaks for pictures lol.

Other than a coolant hose not being tightened all the way she ran great! I'm gonna be driving it for about a week for a shakedown before I start cutting out the rot in the frame.

schaef89 08-02-2011 05:21 AM

Long overdue update
Since it's been awhile I'll give an update here..

Ended up getting a new job and relocating so the Jeep was put on the back burner this whole time until I got myself situated.

The frame repairs were not started yet (since the jeep had to make the trip with me) I deemed it necessary to hold off on that project until I was at my new place. The inspection ran out on the jeep so now this will turn into a job to get it inspected.. lol.

I've been having a huge headache with the Borla header, leaks at the flange no matter what I do. Tried a new gasket.. didn't work, then I tried doubling up gaskets and that didn't work. So I put a call into Q-tec and I'll be getting a full refund for the Borla. Then I'll be going back to a stock manifold and downpipe. Sucks.. But I'd rather not deal with a leaky exhaust when that was the problem I was trying to fix. I'll also be degreasing the hell out of the transmission while I'm there.

The next issue I was hoping you guys could give some advice on.. Now that I have a second car and the Jeep is more or less a toy.. It's time to address the engine noise I've had since I've had the Jeep. Believe it's a wrist pin knock but not 100% sure..

Either way.. should I do the 4.0l swap, which I currently have no parts for yet.. or should I rebuild another 2.5l (that I can get for free) and re-gear my axles to 4.88 (already own the r&p for both axles)?? Thanks ahead of time for your guys advice.

The time now is 04:00 PM.

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