I'm new to jeep forum, but I have been into jeeping and off-roading for awhile. I bought my 1994 YJ about 8 months ago and I have been building it up since. I have referred to jeep forum frequently and have received some good info. Some questions were not answered which is my point for documenting my build here. Maybe someone else will benefit from my headaches.
In short, I purchased the Jeep because it had dana 44's (Front and rear) with ARB's. It had 37's and the SOA was already done. I thought the foundation was solid. I was wrong (As you will see).
Also, just to clarify: I'm by no means a mechanic, but I do try to do things correctly. Please let me know if you see something that you think may be improved upon.
I would also like to add that I have done most of the work already, so although it looks like it has been done very quickly, it hasn't. It has been a slow work in progress. I know that some of the pictures are sparse and I apologize. I thought I did a good job taking pictures until I started putting this together. Just let me know if there are any questions.
Here it is the day I brought it home:
Last edited by sqrsrok; 04-28-2015 at 09:29 PM..
Reason: add info
this was my first trip out to see how things worked. It needed work and I came home with a pretty long list. Also, I discovered that my rear main seal leaked, front axle seals leaked and the output shaft leaked. Not a good feeling at this point about my "New" Jeep.
Last edited by sqrsrok; 04-28-2015 at 09:16 PM..
Reason: post picture
Due to excessive body damage, my first order of business was to add body armor. I also pulled the hood off, fixed the dent and painted it. While I was at it, I installed the genright hood louvers. I also installed the led tail lights and genright back up lights. I also took the time to pull the bumpers and spare tire carrier off to clean and paint. I also figured it was a good time to relocate the license plate because I could not stand pulling the license plate down to put gas in it.
My dad and brother planned a jeeping trip in the Sierra's. I knew the Jeep was not ready, but I simply could not pass up the chance to go. The 37's were rotted and cracking and I should have known better. Also, my oil leaks were not resolved at that point. Despite my better judgement, I went. Hey, it was jeeping and I needed to get away. You will see in the pics that I added my Currie shackles (Boomerangs in the rear only). I also added the Pro-Comp Explorer LED's to the pillars. I got two flat tires and the chance to use my new high lift. Since no one sells 37's in the Sierra's, I had to plug them. The cheap air compressor that was in it took a dump so I not only lost it, but also my lockers. In the end, it was a good trip and the plugs got me home. Needless to say though, my list got even longer. Stayed tuned for the next set of mods.............
When I bought the Jeep, the SOA was done and I was not happy with the leafs. I had absolutely no idea what springs were under it. I tried to find out, but I never really could. That was one of the biggest issues I had.
The pictures you have seen so far have the the original springs that were on it when I bought it. They were at least 4" springs (On top of the SOA). It was too tall for my liking and way too soft. Also, the springs were sagging and some of the leafs had been removed.
In short, the springs in the photographs are different than what I now have.
I hate to spoil it, but I now have RE1445's in the rear and RE1444's in the front. I'll cover that part of my build later tonight and I'll post some pics. The RE's are very good and made just for the SOA.
So, after the Sierra trip, I came home and changed out the tires. I was really apprehensive about running 37's with the Dana 44's. I did not want to put undo stress on the axles and I was not happy with how tall the Jeep was. I decided to go with the 35 12.50 15 BFG KM2's. On a side note, it is really nice being able to dismount and mount your own tires with the beadlocks. I broke the old beads with my high lift and rear bumper. Pretty cool to have that option in a pinch.
I got talked into doing the Bull Frog trail in Johnson Valley. I then realized how much work I needed to do to my Jeep. There is nothing like testing stuff out in real word situations to see how it works.
These are my old springs that had been pirated and pieced together. It was time for a change. I decided to go with the Rubicon Express 1445's (6 pack) in the rear and 1444's (5 pack) in the front. I should note that my old rear springs had (4) leaves in the rear and (3) in the front. I figured it was only a matter of time before something broke. I also replaced my shocks with the Rancho 7000's. I only did that because Bilstein's were on back order. I should note that simply changing the springs lowered me about an inch or so. With the smaller tires, it put me pretty close to where I wanted as far as height.
Pictures of my old rear springs:
The new RE's. Notice the reverse eyelits which help with combating negative arching and axle wrap:
I also realized the need for lower gears. I have 5.13's in the axles, but it was not enough. I decided to go with the Tera low 4:1 because it was cheaper than the Atlas. Time will tell if that was a wise choice. The installation was pretty straight forward except for a broken oil pump in the np231. I will say that the lower gears make a huge difference. I have heard the horror stories with the Tera low and I am hoping that I am one of the exceptions.
I then wanted to get rid of the old interior. New seats, carpert, rear seat cover, dash pad, and painted dash. And yes, the glove box sucks to take out and the wind shield has to come down to take the pad off. Other than that, pretty straight forward.