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Unread 08-03-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
MatXS650
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Auto-crossing a YJ?

I realize that this idea has probably not been well-received in the past, but I can't seem to really find much information in my hours of searching, so I'd like to get some constructive information about converting a YJ to auto-cross duty.

I'm sure the question is: what the hell am I thinking, so I'll tell you.
I want to have a 3-4 seat vehicle that I can auto-cross but also drive around in on the weekends. I have a small budget. I have an appreciation for the Lotus 7, which--let's face it--looks a lot like a Wrangler with a long nose. So my concept is: open-air, back-to-basics, 4-seating, somewhat-underpowered, fun vehicle.

I know you all don't like the idea of a lowered, race Jeep at all, however I was hoping that I might appeal to in the interest of family hoonage and purposeful modification.

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Unread 08-03-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
Reddy89
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It may look cool, but how are you going to do it on a tight budget?
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Unread 08-03-2012, 03:17 PM   #3
Mr.ThunderMakeR
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Probably one of the worst vehicles you could pick for autocross. Why not at least a TJ? I imagine the coil spring setup would be better for autocross than leaf springs. Fwiw I remember reading an article in Grass Roots Motorsports magazine about a year ago about a group building an XJ for I think the Lemons racing series.

Edit: here it is: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/for...d/27247/page1/
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Unread 08-03-2012, 04:07 PM   #4
superj
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Normally, vehicles like ours are spEcifically prohibited in the wording in the vehicle classes. Back when I won D modified for my region, all suv style vehicle were prohibited. No Cherokees, explorers, four runners, anything like that. And wranglers were in the wording also. You can google the rule boOk or go to the scca home page Nd downlOad it completely
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Unread 08-03-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
crackedcornish
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YJ's are great vehicles for certain things, and not so great for other things...IMO you would be lightyears ahead by going with a '80's rag top mustang over a YJ.

not that a YJ couldn't be made into an autocrosser, but for the same amount of cash a mustang or camaro would be much better
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Unread 08-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #6
superj
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An e30 BMW is a badass autocross car
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #7
exige05
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^^^^^^ that all day..... I've been trying to get my hands on a clean one for a few months.... Instead helped my buddy do a 99impreza rs that he hopes to autocross.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
superj
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My lightly modded 89 325i four door killed everything in d modified in my solo2 region for two years in a row. I quit afterthat because it was getting old not having competition. I had asked to race a 95 cherokeeNd they showed me the rule book where the only legal suv was a chevy typhoon.

If you go on e30tech and look up superj, there is about 15k posts of e30 info and mods
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Unread 08-03-2012, 06:33 PM   #9
UltimatE
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Not trying to disrespect your idea, but in all reality, a YJ is a terrible platform for auto cross.

You're already starting with a 3,000+ pound vehicle with a high center of gravity. There isn't much you can do to drop weight on a YJ either. Auto cross' main focus is on handling ability. The YJ is descendant from a vehicle (CJ) that was spotlighted for rollovers in the late 70s, early 80s. All they did really to improve it was a wider track width and panhard bars.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 07:37 PM   #10
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
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I have always wanted to do this, but on a expensive scale, basically doing custom IRS and custom independent front suspension as well, channeling the body over the frame, I think you could get the weight down to 2800lb fairly easily, there are large I worth wheel wells for wide tires, but it would take way more time and money than it.

I would assume that 99% of tech inspection would say no.

That being said autocross in anything is fun, you will not be competitive in most cars, but it is fun, you learn to drive better and how to really handle a car (I would argue that a good driver should be able to drive anything fairly fast)

Also that is why I have my first gen CTS-V around, but even that is too big and heavy to be competitive at it.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #11
ltrail
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If its a budget thing an older 240sx or corolla(rwd) would be much better. I cant think a yj would ever handle great honestly(its like building a "super d30" sorry if its offensive its MY opinion lol) I never oficially got to autoX the truck but i bought an 86 S10($125 blown 4cyl) and from an auction a previously stolen 94 trans am(haggard but great running for $400) with LT1(efi 5.7L) I did the ol switcheroo, blam! 300hp in a tiny truck for ~$700 after some conversion mounts and such.

Ive had crazy ideas of doing things frowned upon by society, and its fun. But this one could be fairly dangerous and possibly against the rules in the first place.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 09:39 PM   #12
MatXS650
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I didn't count on them being completely illegal from the get-go. I mean, I know that you outright cannot race SOME vehicles, but I figured if you lowered it down, caged it, and got some real rubber under it with a stronger suspension.... Probably my best bet is to talk to a local club about it.

The TJs look like a better option from the front suspension standpoint, but they're more money than I was hoping to spend on the buy-in. Can you retrofit a TJ suspension on a YJ...? I've got no experience with Jeeps, but I've been wrenching on compacts and motorcycles for the last dozen years. I've driven them a few times before and they're great fun...I just kinda figured that if Miata wasn't the answer...maybe Wrangler was, you know?

Superj, I looked and looked for a somewhat clean E30--particularly a 325i with a stick after I crashed my last Neon...and there were none to be found that weren't either beaten within an inch of their lives, or covered in rust, or riced out, or ridiculously priced ($4,500 for a 325XI 'vert? REALLY?!)...or a damn E. EVERYTHING that looked good was an E! No SuperETAs, of course! I'd love to find an E30 yet, but the RIGHT one is really hard to find, here in the mid-atlantic.

I thought about a 240SX 'Vert, but I'm not real fond of those cars. I owned a '93 a few years back and it was just a mess.

My preliminary thoughts were to get the weight down, adapt a pony car suspension or something to that effect to the front and rear, and install a 2.4L out of a PT to handle the weight. I'm not looking for super-speed, I'm looking for something that I can enjoy with my family on the weekends, and race it a little too.
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Unread 08-03-2012, 09:39 PM   #13
90DesertTanYJ
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I dont know if you could ever get the center of gravity or a wide enough trac to ever make a YJ type platform be safe in high speed cornering situation. And to mention 3 and 4 seat arrangements? Its your Jeep bubba, do what you want with it but dont involve any one else. Could you live with yourself if you got family or friends seriously hurt? I know I couldnt, accidentally or otherwise.

I will give you A+ for cajones grandes!
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Unread 08-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #14
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
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One other thing to consider, with all the mods you would have to do to the Jeep, you would be in a really high class, with very high cars, so if you did want to be competitive one day, it would be even further out of grasp. I know some guys locally who have found stock 90's firebirds/camaros to be fun and fast cars, especially with sticky tires on an otherwise stock car.

I autocross every month, and while it can be a cheap hobby in some respects, I figure it cost me at leas t $1000 a year, between SCCA membership, entry fees, and most of all additional tire wear. (i'm not trading it in any time soon though)
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Unread 08-04-2012, 09:09 AM   #15
ltrail
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Question - how is this going to be fun for the family on the weekends? I have a couple keeps and I drive one and have fun on weekends with it. What's gonna happen after its lowered and got wide/low rubbers? How will that be fun for family when it's no longer off road capable, unless your family fun entails racing around the empty mall parking lot at night lol.

Now that's mall crawling!
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