Family Practical Tactical YJ - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 19 Old 01-14-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
18Housto
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Family Practical Tactical YJ

My wife and I had been wanting a Jeep for a while and this past July we found one that suited our budget and was in decent shape, it's a 95 with a 2.5L manual. The only problem is that it was red which was the only color my wife didn't want. We bought it and it was cheap and old enough that we could rattle can it to any color we wanted as often as desired. The first priority was to get everything mechanically sound. Right off the bat I had to change the water pump and radiator because they both had leaks. Next the weak starter was replaced. I went ahead and changed the transmission fluid which fixed a small grind when going into 5th and changed the rear differential gasket and fluid because of a small leak. Our plan was for this to be a DD for me back and forth from work and for her to drive it occasionally when the weather is just right and to take it to our sons ball games, backroad trail rides, kayak trips, camping and etc..I drive a F350 and for me it's quite possibly the worst vehicle for school pickups and grocery trips. My father has a 95 YJ as well and I put a 4" lift and 33's on it. It looks great but is a little rough driving for me as a daily so I decided to keep ours stock height and personalize it for our more urban and weekend needs.

I'm 5 months in to small upgrades so I'll try to post pictures of everything so far.

The first fun thing I did was make some foot rest. I had already made a set for my dad's so I pulled one off and duplicated it. It's a pretty simple design made from 1/4 stock and a 3/8th's bolt. Not sure if you can tell in the picture but it's angled so you can rest your heel on the door jamb and the ball of my foot rest perfectly on it.
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-14-2017, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
18Housto
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Guess I should have taken some before pics but it still looks pretty much like any other stock red YJ. I also forgot to mention that I like diy upgrades where I can and that I don't want to invest a ton of money into this thing for now. My next project was to change the look of the front bumper and put the old reciever hitch from my dads on mine and remove the bumper-etts.

First I notched the stock front bumper about 10" from each end and bent the ends back. I also had some 3/16 plate laying around so I added a little more dimension to it.
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-14-2017, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Finished the front bumper and added some cheap $18 Amazon LED's. Also notice the front fender damage, the PO had a small accident. That's the extend of any body damage besides the occasional small scratch. I don't think this jeep saw any rough off road time. Somewhere around this time I pulled off the fender flares and Kryloned them and tried out Plasti-dip on the front fenders. The Plasti-dip did a couple of things: first it helped hide the damage to fender and it also got rid of some of the red which made my wife happy. I later went back and did the headlight bezels. The reciever for the rear had a 1 1/4" hitch. I cut it off and added a 2" and some more 2" tubing that I recycled from a cargo basket that I had made when I was first learning to weld. The added material was intended to be used for a step to reach the roof rack which is still in limbo because I can't settle on a design.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-14-2017, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
18Housto
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We live in Alabama and we had a pretty bad drought this summer. The first 3 months we owned the jeep it did not rain a single drop. When we got our first rain this fall I quickly realized we had a serious leak. I assumed it was the window cowl and was dreading the replacement. I did my dad's by myself without first doing any research. It took a couple of frustrating hours to get the window back up without any help (thank God for ratchet straps). For mine I put wd40 on the hinges for three weeks before ordering the cowl. I wasn't in in a big hurry to do it and we were still planning on a color change and figured when we painted would be a good time to replace it. On a whim one day I stuck the water hose on the hood to try and confirm exactly where the leak was and I'm glad I did. Come to find out it was leaking between the body panels. A little time on the net and trips to several auto parts stores I found some body panel sealer. The water was rolling off the hood down to the area below the little trapezoid where there was a space 2" long that I could see light through. That was the only really bad place but I went ahead and did both sides and across the top.
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-22-2017, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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In preparation for the color change I pulled the carpet to see if it would clean up and it did but I found duct tape over the transmission hump. Imagine my surprise when I pulled the tape and found this.[IMG][/IMG]


It wouldn't have been so bad if it had been cut with a saw or wheel or anything else that would leave a somewhat straight edge. Instead it looked like it had been cut with a screwdriver and hammer. After a bit of frustrating time with pliers I got it somewhat straightened out and welded back. Whatever that stuff is that's painted on over the body seams is very flammable
[IMG][/IMG]

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post #6 of 19 Old 01-22-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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After some thought it was decided that we will Monstaline the exterior. I was going to do the interior as well but it seems like a waste just to cover it back up with carpet and the main reason was to get rid of the red. The interior paint was in almost perfect shape except for the footwell areas. They were worn with a little surface rust but nothing a little sanding didn't take care of. Everything else was scuffed and cleaned. Dis-assembly cleaning, primer,paint, and re-assembly took one 12 hr day, one hour the next day for a second coat of paint, and then maybe 3-4 hours to put it all back together.
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Had my son help with some of the re-assembly, while I had the help we went ahead and changed out the windshield cowl. It's so much easier with two people.
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-03-2017, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
18Housto
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Got around to installing the under seat security box that my dad got me for Christmas. I believe it's actually made for a TJ but it fit fine with a spacer. He bought one for himself and used a deep well socket for the spacer, I used a piece of threaded nipple and a heavy duty washer/spacer on the bottom. I'm sure it could be compromised if someone had enough time but it should work great for a phone, spare keys and, etc... that just need to be secured for a short time.

You can also see the Bestop seat covers that my wife bought. Passenger seat was in good shape but the driver's bottom was 90% covered in the same red duct tape that was hiding the holes on the transmission hump. The tape didn't bother me but she will be driving it to work occasionally and she must wear nice clothes where I very rarely do while in the jeep. But I do like having the nice looking covers.



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post #8 of 19 Old 02-03-2017, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
18Housto
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So after some debate on the exterior color my wife ordered 5 samples of Monstaliner. We originally thought we would either do Sans Panties or WWII OD. After getting the samples in we settled on Pyroclastic. I love that she is involved in this project, it makes additions much easier. Last weekend we began stripping off unnecessary items in hopes we'll get a free weekend warm enough to apply it. I hope having it somewhat stripped will make the prep process go a little quicker when that weekend pops up. I removed fender flares, light bezels, spare tire carrier and bump stop. Also added a factory style antenna because I don't think a radio was a factory option on our YJ and the antenna cord ran under the carpet to a rear upright on the roll bar where it was appropriately attached with red duct tape. My son drilled the holes for the new antenna and the drill drifted on one of the holes so when it comes off for the liner I'll weld that wild hole and drill another.

I think I've figured out the roof rack also. I've been back and forth between a full rack or a half rack. The half rack in the back would probably be enough but it wouldn't be ideal for kayaks. We normally don't have to take them to far but it is possible that we might have to spend some time on the interstate with them and I like the idea of a full length rack for that purpose only. Also was having trouble deciding how to attach the rack in the back. For now I've decided to tie it in to the rear crossmember for stability but I really think I would like the way it looks better if it was attached to the tub with plates "sandwiching" the tub. I probably need to start a thread about the pros/cons of both ways. It's going to be a Barricade style frame with a full basket similar to the Garvin. Going to order the steel Monday and start the rack in any spare time I get.

Also got new tires, went with Cooper AT3's (235/75/15). After the tires were installed I started painting the wheels. Have both of the driver's side done along with the spare and one of the passenger side prepped. Just need another free afternoon that's somewhat warm.


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post #9 of 19 Old 02-07-2017, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Got the prepped wheel painted Saturday and had time to prep the last one but ran out of time to paint it. Ordered metal for the rack yesterday and started cutting plates to attach to door and window hinges. Also decided to make plates and sandwich the tub for the rear supports and got those cut as well. This morning it was raining so I couldn't work but it did allow me to go pick up metal and get started on the rack. In the Practical theme, I went with 1 1/2" tubing for the rack and a combination of 1" and 1/2" for the basket. Larger tubing would probably look better for the rack but it weighs more and I don't plan on a lift so trying to keep it scaled down for the anemic 2.5L. With some rough calculations I figured the whole thing is going to weigh approximately 80lbs.

Door hinge bracket held on with one socket cap head bolt while I check angle and clearance.

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Windshield hinge held on with one bolt while tacking it to the rack upright.

[IMG][/IMG]

Bottom hinge welded on.

[IMG][/IMG]

Ended up getting the rest of that corner welded up and holes drilled in the rear plates. My plan is to get the passenger side mounted before starting on the drivers side although I'm making both sides as I go.

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post #10 of 19 Old 02-08-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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More progress for the day. Got all four corners of the rack built. I left all the uprights a couple inches long and will cut them all once the basket height is figured out. I would like to keep the basket as low as possible. The ability to lower the top isn't a huge concern. The little bit we had it this summer, we just pulled the doors, rear window, and side rear windows. It will be very seldom that we go completely top down. Hoping to get them cut tomorrow and start on the basket. After that it will be next week before I will be able to really work on it much.

Rear up-rights
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Outside plate
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Rear corner
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Complete side
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-09-2017, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Got some time in today. All uprights mounted and cut to height. Everything seems pretty square but not perfect. Front to back measurement are the same on both sides but the front is a tad narrower than the rear. No big problem, I can push the front out a hair and the back in when installing the rack. The bottom of the basket is going to 3/4" above the highest part of the soft top. That's as low as I felt comfortable but it's still higher above the windshield that what I would like purely for the look. To try and offset that high look in the front I think I'm going to have the top rail of the rack stepped down on the front half???

Uprights all cut
[IMG][/IMG]

Lowe portion of basket welded up and sitting on top

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[IMG][/IMG]

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post #12 of 19 Old 02-11-2017, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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I spent a little more time on the rack yesterday. Was able to get the mounting tabs welded on and holes drilled in tabs and basket. Everything ended up aligning pretty much dead on which is a huge relief and a surprise considering my engineering skills.

Mounting tabs
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Rear top portion of basket added. Now the only things left are the front portion of basket, the floor, and paint. I will probably go ahead and add some tabs for misc. lighting in the future and some sort of eyelet or hoops for a place to attach ratchet straps and bungees

[IMG][/IMG]

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post #13 of 19 Old 02-13-2017, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on the rack. Yesterday between church services I got the front half of the upper portion of the rack finished and today I got the floor portion almost done. Still have to put a few pieces down the middle. I had a rough idea of how I wanted the floor layout but it has been a very fluid process trying to make it the most practical for the items that will spend the most time up there. Overall I'm happy with the rack. The basket is light enough that I can set it up there by myself. The look of the front is the only part that I'm not really excited about. It sits much higher above the windshield than I would like but I knew this going in so I can't be to upset about it. I also went by harbor freight today and picked up a 3x5 cargo net that should fit nicely across the very back where my son will put his school and sports bags. I drove around town and home with the rack mounted yesterday to check for noise and was really surprised that it didn't make any. I was prepared for some noise and had anticipated making a wind screen for the front but that may not be needed. I'm now thinking that I may install a led light bar across the bottom of the front of the basket. Maybe get a 24" bar and a couple more of the 4" squares to put on the front uprights. The two 4" lights on the bumper are floods and they work great for lighting up the last couple of miles to our house which always has deer popping out of nowhere so a couple more floods would be nice.

Hers a few pics of the progress.

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post #14 of 19 Old 02-21-2017, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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So it's been a busy few days. The roof rack was completed last week and painted with rustoleum flat black performance enamel which matches the bumpers and interior. It's cheap and is pretty hard to mess up. This past weekend the weather was forecasted to be almost 70* so it was decided to go ahead and do the Monstaliner. I had already removed the fender flares, spare tire carrier, and bump-stops knowing that we would be painting when the opportunity arose. Friday morning i drove down Magnet Paints and picked up a quart of 1K primer to hit the few areas that were bare metal and got back to the shop around 10:00 and I began pulling everything else off including the hood and grill. I think the hood and grill could have been left on but I'm glad I took them off. By 3 o'clock everything was off and ready for sanding. Picked my son up from school and he sanded all the wide open areas while my wife and myself did the details. After dinner and dropping him off at a church camp for the weekend we went back and wiped everything down with MEK and masked everything we could. Finished masking and a final wipe down Saturday morning before the first coat started at 9:21 and we finished up with with the second coat at 1:46 that afternoon. The liner was much easier than I had anticipated. I was a little nervous about covering up a perfectly good paint job with something that was irreversible but I couldn't be happier with the finish. Drove it a few minutes yesterday partially reassembled and got everything put back together this afternoon in time for the drive home..
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-22-2017, 06:54 AM
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Minus the fabrication of the roof rack, you're basically headed in the same direction I am. Monstaline, re-carpeting, same lock box under the seat, making it mechanically sound, etc.

I'm very happy to see another descent Monstaliner job. I have my color samples and I'm almost ready to pull the trigger. I have some more mods to do that require messing with the tub. Once those are finished, time for the paint job!

Keep up the good work!

~DM

'92 YJ, 2.5L "Delilah"
Sold 2014, '93 YJ, 2.5L "Quake"
Sold 2005, '88 XJ, 4.0L "Lisa"
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