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Unread 03-03-2013, 04:28 PM   #1
JeepingShtHpns
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Where is the best place to start my upgrades on my 88 yj?

So I want to start souping up my jeep but im new at the whole jeep thing its my first car and im good at working on it i just don't know where to start. I really want a 4 inch suspension lift and a 2 inch body lift, tire and wheel size still unknown, and i want it to be reliable off roading i would like to get to places were other wanna be rigs cant but it also is my street car to.

I have a stock 88 yj that runs good but has wires all over the place under the hood the radio has no power the speakers are shot

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO START AND WHAT SHOULD I DO TO IT?

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Unread 03-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #2
idskot
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There is no definitively 'good' or 'best' way to start a build, especially on a budget. (Since this is your first car, I'm assuming you're young, and thus lacking funds).

I'd fix up the wires, and do everything else you can that's free. I'd also do a complete tune-up and go over everything possible. I'd change the front and rear differential fluid, transfer case fluid, and if you have a manual transmission, I'd change that fluid, too.
Once you know what's busted, and what's good... I'd go from there. I'd also write down all pertinent information, like gear ratio, wear, and other info you might need later.

While I don't know what places you plan on going, or driving style; I'd recommend saving up for the lift, and getting your tires in one go. (This is a $2k or so endeavor) I would not get the 2" body lift, and if you want, I'd say a 4" suspension, 1" shackle, and 1" body lift. I'd personally would rather 6" all suspension... but, to each their own.

With that size lift, it's recommended that you get a SYE (Slip Yoke Eliminator -- $200) and a CV Driveshaft (You can make a DIY one, or buy a new one). Also, given you want a 6" lift, you probably want tires bigger than 33"s. If that's the case, and you want a hardy Jeep, it's recommended that you upgrade the rear axle. A common swap is a Ford 8.8 out of a late 90's early 2000's Ford Explorer. Match up the gear ratios, or up the ratio. Your stock ratio is probably something along the lines of 3.07 or 3.54. With bigger tires, it's wise to up the gear ratio. A common stock gear ratio you can get from a Ford 8.8 is 4.11. You can then match your front D30 axle with 4.11 gearing. (~$250 + installation unless you tackle it yourself. You need a press.)

Now, if you do have a manual transmission, check... it's most likely a BA-10. This is a notoriously shoddy transmission, and is prone to being weak. It can be swapped for an AX-15 out of any YJ or TJ. If it's an automatic transmission, I don't suppose you'd have to worry.

So far, we've covered:
- Basic maintenance
- Suspension Lift / Tires
- SYE / CV Drive Shaft
- Possible Axle Swap / Gear Ratio Change
- Possible Transmission Swap


Read more about any of these topics by using the search functions.

NOTE:: This is not the order I would do this build. If it were up to me, I'd swap what I need to swap (I.E. Transmission / axle), do the SYE/CV Drive shaft, then do the lift / tires.
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Unread 03-03-2013, 10:19 PM   #3
JeepingShtHpns
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Thanks very much for all this info. know when people ask me what i want to dlo to my jeep i can speak about stuff other then lifting it slapping a sick bumper on it and some big tires thanks!
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Unread 03-03-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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Take it out and wheel it. If it gets stuck find out what would make you overcome the obstacle.
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Unread 03-03-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
NonRubicon
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If your YJ is still carbureted, I'd advise you to check out this site:

Adventures Under the Hood

It will get you up to par on the feedback Carter BBD system that is on the 4.2L engine. The OEM Carter BBD is the only street legal carb for a 4.2L YJ in California. It ain't your typical carb either. It is computer controlled.

Making the YJ mechanically reliable is the best thing you can throw your first dollars into. Solely focusing modding doesn't matter much if you cannot trust your vehicle to get you to your destination and back. Now, if in the process of fixing problems, you find that upgrading those parts at the same time is the best solution, then go for it.

So my final advice is to find out what needs fixing now to make the Jeep more reliable, and then decide if the needed repair makes for an opportunity to upgrade those parts. That's kind of how I ended up with Howell TBI (to replace the crappy Carter BBD), and a lift (replaced worn out/bent springs).
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Unread 03-04-2013, 02:48 AM   #6
YJrock88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NonRubicon View Post
If your YJ is still carbureted, I'd advise you to check out this site:

Adventures Under the Hood

It will get you up to par on the feedback Carter BBD system that is on the 4.2L engine. The OEM Carter BBD is the only street legal carb for a 4.2L YJ in California. It ain't your typical carb either. It is computer controlled.

Making the YJ mechanically reliable is the best thing you can throw your first dollars into. Solely focusing modding doesn't matter much if you cannot trust your vehicle to get you to your destination and back. Now, if in the process of fixing problems, you find that upgrading those parts at the same time is the best solution, then go for it.

So my final advice is to find out what needs fixing now to make the Jeep more reliable, and then decide if the needed repair makes for an opportunity to upgrade those parts. That's kind of how I ended up with Howell TBI (to replace the crappy Carter BBD), and a lift (replaced worn out/bent springs).
Very good yj advice. I did this to my 88 and I love her more than ever
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Unread 03-06-2013, 10:04 PM   #7
JeepingShtHpns
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Thanks for all the info. guys I was wondering if a dana 44 would fit my jeep and if it would be a good axle upgade or should i just look for a ford 8.8?
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Unread 03-07-2013, 09:02 AM   #8
idskot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepingShtHpns View Post
Thanks for all the info. guys I was wondering if a dana 44 would fit my jeep and if it would be a good axle upgade or should i just look for a ford 8.8?
Dana44 will fit your Jeep just fine. However the Ford 8.8 is stronger than the Dana44. Its also more common and cheaper. Unless you get a good deal on a set of Dana44 out of a Rubicon that has the air.lockers in them, I don't see it as worth it. At least for the rear. Dana30 is pretty strong, I'm not sure how much stronger the Dana44 front is in relation to the dana30.

Personally, I'd recommend the Ford 8.8.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 09:40 AM   #9
rambo3489
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Take it slow man. I would get the foundation squared away first. Things like organizing the wires. Figuring out what all of the things under the hood do. Maybe play with some things to get it running her best. Look over your suspension and drivetrain. See if anything seems messed up. You can use this forum to help you if you have questions. But honestly I would make sure you covered all the basics before you upgrade anything.

Also You're getting the cart before the horse when you start talking lifts, tires, axles and stuff straight away. SLOW DOWN and figure out what you really want to do with it before you just jump in and start messing things up. Research EVERYTHING to make sure you're making the right choice. My advice do everything yourself do it once and do it right!
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Unread 03-07-2013, 01:10 PM   #10
Beachcruiser
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Agreed w/ the above. Don't just start throwing money at it, or you will find yourself losing it when you swap stuff out later.

Do your research, outline a basic plan that updates things in a logical way & then stick to it. You can find some great deals (& help from guys who have been there) thru your local 4X4 club classifieds.

In the meantime, once you get all the stock stuff working well....wheel it gently for a bit. You'll be surprised at what a stock YJ can do. The light weight & small dimensions mean that you can already get where many heavy, big 4X4 rigs cannot fit, or get bogged down.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 01:41 PM   #11
YJrock88
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Perfect advice ,I did this to mine and she runs great
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Unread 03-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #12
JeepingShtHpns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo3489 View Post
Take it slow man. I would get the foundation squared away first. Things like organizing the wires. Figuring out what all of the things under the hood do. Maybe play with some things to get it running her best. Look over your suspension and drivetrain. See if anything seems messed up. You can use this forum to help you if you have questions. But honestly I would make sure you covered all the basics before you upgrade anything.
Ok that makes total sense. I have already change a blown head gasket on her, put in a rebuilt DBB Carter carburetor, put in an exhaust doughnut to fix my exhaust leak, I got a new set of spark wires and I have had my dad and gearhead neighbor kind of get my familiar with the stuff under the hood. For the wires under the hood i was seeing complete wiring harnesses runing for about $800-$900. My dad is an electrician, do you think we should just buy the right wires and re wire it, like would it be a smart thing to do or is the wiring to much of a pain in the a**?
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Unread 03-07-2013, 07:40 PM   #13
YJrock88
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Sounds like your on the right track but yes yj wiring is definatly a pain in the ***. On the other hand if your electricion guy is confident after looking at it then it would be a lot cheaper to DIY.
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Unread 03-07-2013, 10:34 PM   #14
imstillatwork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anticanman View Post
Take it out and wheel it. If it gets stuck find out what would make you overcome the obstacle.
Best. Also, this method forces you to 'upgrade' the most important part. The driver.
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Unread 03-08-2013, 12:12 AM   #15
Anticanman
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Indeed. Nothing beats experience. Period.
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