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Unread 08-26-2008, 08:36 AM   #1
JimenyFKrickets
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YJ Round Headlight Conversion using TJ Grill

Here is the process I used to convert my 1989 YJ to a round headlight grill.



Before we get in to it... Here is a finished photo...

The first thing you need to do is remove the YJ grill by...



1) removing the fan shroud by unbolting it from the radiator

2) removing the radiator by unbolting it from the grill

3) unbolting the inner fender well bolts that hold the grill in place (8 each side)

4) loosening the upper rod supports from the grill

5) removing the body mount bolt on the underside of the grill.

6) removing the wiring harness from the grill



Now that the YJ grill is gone... Slide the TJ grill in to place.



(a picture with the grill test fitted)
<<>>

You may notice your fenders may bow out at this point. This is due to the fact the TJ grill is wider at the bottom. This is not a big deal. I took a body hammer and gently pushed the fenders back along the grill line until everything was square. You don't need to worry about being too exact at this point. The fenders will pull back nice and tight when the inner fender bolts are back in place.



Now bolt the lower body mount to the bottom of the grill.



The body mount should line right up. The bolt hole on the TJ grill seems to be in the same location as the YJ's. Be sure to keep the OE shims in place.



Now you will need to remove the upper rod support brackets from the YJ grill



To do this, drill out the 2 spot welds on the bracket and use an angle grinder to cut the other welds. You should be able to break them off with a hammer after that.



Now you need to take the upper support brakets and weld them to the TJ grill.



Just center the brackets on the existing bolt holes on the YJ grill and weld away.



(a picture with the upper mounts in place on the TJ grill.)

At This point you will need to move the adjusting nuts in or out until the top of the grill is in the desired location. I set mine so the top of the grill sticks out a touch like on a stock TJ. This makes the gap look a little less noticable as well.



OK, Now we need to drill new holes for the inner fender bolts



This may take a couple of tries to get the holes in the proper location. There will be 3 bolt holes on each side of the TJ grill you will need to drill for. I won't post any measurements or procedures on this part. You can figure it out for yourself... or do what I did.. Just eyeball the holes until you get it right



Now that you have your inner fender bolt holes drilled you should be able to put in the bolts. The fenders that are spread out and dented from hammering will now suck in really nicely after you snug the bolts.



At this point, you can take your original wiring harness wiring harness off the YJ grill and pop it on the TJ grill lights.



That's about all there is to it



Of course you will need to do a little hammering and bending here and there, but hey.... It's a jeep. That's what it's for.

What about the front signal lights?



I grabbed a set of 2 3/4" round trailer lights from a local parts store. Measured the diameter of the light bezal and used a correct sized hole say to cut two circles in the TJ grill where I wanted the lights placed. Be sure to apply some paint over the bare metal after the cut.



I then took the OE square blinker housings and cut the back end of the light (where the bulb plugs in) and used contact cement to mate it to the round lens. The OE wiring harness plugged in perfectly after that.



This may look like a big project since the pictures show the jeep undergoing a full restoration, but the process really isn't that bad. You could do it over the course of a weekend without any body work or paint.



The end result looks quite nice in my opinion. There are two small gaps in the upper corners of the grill due to the fact that the TJ grill is a slightly different shape than the YJ hood. The gap is there, but not that bad.


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Unread 01-07-2009, 07:17 PM   #2
frhrwa
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I like it.. that looks much more JEEP than those freeway rectangle headlamps.. very nice job!
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Unread 01-08-2009, 11:07 PM   #3
472cid
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nice job!!!!!!!!!!
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Unread 01-09-2009, 04:18 PM   #4
Vassago
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wow i've seen the CJ grill on a YJ before but never this! i like it! good job!
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Unread 05-16-2009, 12:38 PM   #5
moonshinefuel
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The gap looks acceptable to me. And seems a better alternative to the cj clip conversion for me personally. I like it A LOT. Thanks for this. It looks excellent.
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Unread 06-23-2009, 01:42 PM   #6
jameswnaz
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Great job, simple and staightforward, I've spent months looking for a conversion grille, one has been made by Omix-Ada(?) but no one seems to have it, I would rather do what you did myself!
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Unread 10-30-2009, 05:09 PM   #7
472cid
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love this jeep
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Unread 10-30-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
Bromin
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I've been looking everywhere for some front view photos of different grill swaps. Has anyone seen or does anyone have the following photos, YJ with just CJ grill swapped, YJ with just TJ grill swapped. I would like to keep my YJ fenders and hood. I'm wondering what the spacing and gaps would look like so I can decide which direction to go.
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Unread 11-16-2009, 01:02 PM   #9
redbird2289
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schweet! think it would work on a CJ?
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Unread 09-03-2011, 11:47 PM   #10
GA_greenheads
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this is great. i think it would look great on my yj!
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Unread 09-07-2011, 08:11 AM   #11
85CJEric
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I am really impressed with the write up and love the ingenuity, but I have to ask (respectfully of course) if you wanted the TJ look, why not just trade off the YJ for a TJ? Just curious is all.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 11:59 AM   #12
Smokey007
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Looks great, I plan to do this. It seems the TJ grilles are going for $300+
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Unread 11-08-2011, 03:37 AM   #13
jlaudio_jeep
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If you all don't mind I'm going to blow the dust off this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85CJEric View Post
I am really impressed with the write up and love the ingenuity, but I have to ask (respectfully of course) if you wanted the TJ look, why not just trade off the YJ for a TJ? Just curious is all.
Not everyone has money to buy a TJ. I know I don't. Is it possible to just use TJ fenders? Would that make things easier or harder?
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Unread 04-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
robinhood256
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i have neither a tj or yj, but an xj, and i would like to build myself a crawler,.. so could you mount a tj hood on the yj after installing the tj grill? given that i would be building some fenders myself?
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Unread 04-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #15
robinhood256
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could you put a tj hood on it?
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