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Zone Offroad Body and Suspension Lift Kits, Brackets, DiscBilstein Shock Upgrade Kits, Jeep JK TJ XJ Wranglers and CStainless Steel Door Hinge Pins

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Unread 08-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
mustanggarage
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: atlantic, iowa
Posts: 184
Joopacabra

Hello everyone. I finally decided to start a build thread on my jeep. my wife asked me why it said joop on the side when we got it lol so that is how it got the name joopacabra. here is a picture of my new to me yj.

it is a 1990 with the 4.2 and automatic. it was exactly what i was looking for.

I had a 95 when I lived in utah that I did a 4 to 6 swap and a bunch of other things too. so I am not entirely a newbie to jeeps. I spend a lot of time building and playing with mustangs so I have a fair amount of experience tinkering with cars and I have a really nice garage and tool selection to play with. here is a thread I did on my garage.
http://www.garageretreat.com/forums/...doghouse-1794/

I started looking for this jeep because I wanted something I could fix up for my daughter to drive to school in the winter, and because I really missed my old yj. We built a nice 67 mustang for her but it actually turned out a bit too nice and now she is afraid to drive it to school for fear of it getting vandalized so I guess it will be more of an occasional driver than a daily like I had planned. here is a pic and thread of it if anyone is interested.


http://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums...pic-heavy.html
I wanted a jeep that needed some mechanical work because I like doing that sort of thing, but I wanted one that the body was in decent shape because I don't like doing body work.
I wanted an automatic because I am going to be letting my daughter drive it. I also wanted the 6 cylinder because after the headache I had doing the 4 to 6 swap before I did not want to go through all that again lol.

this jeep is probably going to be different than the majority of jeeps on here because it has a different mission. I live in Iowa so there is not a lot of great rockcrawling places around here and with my job I can't go far from home very often so the primary purpose is for snow. I want it to be capable of getting through an Iowa winter and be relatively safe on the road. I want it to have good all weather capability and not sit up too high so that it is going to be blown all over the road when the wind kicks up. so a lift is not in my immediate plans. I may replace the springs, I would like to put a bit larger tire under it 31 10.50 like I had in Utah because that is the look I like, but I do not want to lift it any more than necessary.

I plan to fix all of the little problems that it has and at some point swap in a fuel injected 4.0 engine. I have already done a lot to it so I will go through some of that in the next few posts.

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Unread 08-16-2013, 04:52 PM   #2
mustanggarage
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: atlantic, iowa
Posts: 184
I bought this jeep off ebay from someone in Ohio. I never met him and I had the jeep shipped to me. that is the first time I had ever done that so I was not sure what I was going to get. the ebay description said the jeep ran but in talking to the owners mother after I bought it she said that he was having some problems with the idle. I asked them to send me some pictures of the engine because I assumed from the reading I had done on this year jeep that it had the stock carbureter on it and that was probably why it was having problems. they never did send me the pics so I had no idea what I was going to get when it got here. I was very excited when the truck pulled up. we tried to back the jeep off the trailer but it wouldn't start. we had to jump start it and we finally got it running enough to back it off the trailer. it would not stay running at all. I finally got the jeep up the half mile dirt road to my shop and it died again at the shop door so I pushed it into the shop to see what I had bought lol. here are some pics.







overall I was very happy with it. so after I got it into the shop I put the battery charger on it and started looking it over. the first priority was to get it running properly.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 05:02 PM   #3
Que89YJ
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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That is clean! What did it cost you?
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Unread 08-16-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
ThomasYJ
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That's a great buy!! Looking forward to seeing this build unfold. You mentioned earlier about swapping in a FI 4.0, have you considered doing the 4.0 head swap for a FI 4.2? just a thought.

oh and killer mustang!
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Unread 08-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #5
roadyrob
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looks like the PO spent all his time on the interior, very sharp. from your pics on photobucket I see he also did a carb swap, check to see if he did the nutter bypass or any other work on the ignition, might be the reason its not starting.
looks to be a nice solid jeep, have fun and post lots of pics.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 08:23 PM   #6
Michaelgoesrawr
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Holy crap! Your garage, the pretty clean Jeep you managed to find, and your Mustang. I'm subbed.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #7
mustanggarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Que89YJ View Post
That is clean! What did it cost you?
I paid $3,950.00. I thought it was a pretty good deal. the prior owner did a lot of things to it, some good, some not so much.

I bought this jeep in december so I have had it for a while now so I have already done a lot to it, I am going to kind of chronicle it like it happened up to this point.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 09:51 PM   #8
mustanggarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasYJ View Post
That's a great buy!! Looking forward to seeing this build unfold. You mentioned earlier about swapping in a FI 4.0, have you considered doing the 4.0 head swap for a FI 4.2? just a thought.

oh and killer mustang!
I have thought about it and I may do that. one reason I was planning the 4.0 swap is because I have a 4.0 that I took out of My sons cherokee. I just finished rebuilding the engine but there was some problems in the wiring and the body was so rusty, and my daughter was begging for a wrangler so I pulled the drivetrain from the cherokee and figured I would put it in the wrangler and scrap the cherokee. I liked the cherokee but like I said the floorpans were shot, the rockers were gone, the fenderwells were rusted. it would have cost more to get the body in decent shape than it cost to buy the wrangler.

anyway bottom line is I have a freshly rebuilt 4.0 that will fit right in this wrangler.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
mustanggarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadyrob View Post
looks like the PO spent all his time on the interior, very sharp. from your pics on photobucket I see he also did a carb swap, check to see if he did the nutter bypass or any other work on the ignition, might be the reason its not starting.
looks to be a nice solid jeep, have fun and post lots of pics.
now to the heart of the problem.

I was very pleasantly surprised when I popped the hood to see the weber carb already installed. My Dad is a retired mechanic. he lives nearby now. I finally got him to move out here after I built the shop. He did not want to leave all his tools and stuff at home but since my Mom died he was living all alone out there so I built the shop and convinced him to move out here. Now we tinker in my garage for fun.

anyway once we started looking at the engine we found a couple problems right off. first was that the vacuum advance was completely missing off the distributor. the little lever was sticking out of the distributor just flopping all over the place. secondly the vacuum lines were totally screwed up. and the lines to the transfer case were just cut off with what looked like a pair of side cutters. anyway after quite a bit of reading on here about the vacuum lines we got that sorted out, put in a remanufactured distributor, new plugs and wires, and a new fuel filter. then we did the nutter bypass and voila.



it started right up. We spent a bit of time setting the timing, and adjusting the carburetor and it starts right up and runs like a champ. now the thing runs so good I am in no hurry to swap that 4.0 in lol.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
mustanggarage
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ok so then I took it for the first real test drive... and found several more problems lol.

1. no heat at all.
2. the heater fan would not shut off. just blew cold air.
3. there were a lot of holes in the floor and around the doors and hardtop and it was plain cold driving (again this was in early january when the jeep finally arived.)
4. the water temp gauge didn't work.
5. the front end needed a lot of work there was a lot of slop in the steering.

so we tore into it. to make a long story short. I found that the prior owner had not installed a thermostat when they put it together. so I put in a new 190 degree thermostat and that helped it started to make a bit of heat just not much. it did however fix the temp gauge lol. I guess it just wasn't getting warm enough to register on the gauge. anyway I decided the heater core must be partially clogged. so I swapped the heater core and did the blower motor upgrade at the same time. I also cleaned the bed liner off the heater plenum. (the prior owner just sprayed it all over in there without masking anything off). then I took the heater controls apart and fixed the switch to shut the fan off. put it all back together and it heats up nicely now.

I had a ball joint in the front suspension that was shot and that was one reason the front end wandered so much so I swapped that. I tried tightening the steering gear box and it helped a bit but it was leaking fluid all over and there was still slop in the box so I bought a new steering box and swapped that in. that fixed my handling up nicely.

the prior owner had also decided to trash the vacuum activated front axle disconnect and the posilock cable was included in the purchase. since the vacuum system had been trashed and I had used the posilock before I went ahead and swapped that in. I found out that I had a bad passenger side ujoint at that time and fixed it as well.

now I have four wheel drive.
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Unread 08-16-2013, 10:48 PM   #11
mustanggarage
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after that I started tackling some of the little things that needed fixed. first I fixed a lot of little electrical problems like instrument cluster lights, and one of the biggest headaches I had was that stupid little light in the gear shift indicator. the indicator arm was broken and I found a new one to replace it. that was the easy part. I tried to replace the bulb and it would not come out. since I have never had to deal with that problem before I was not sure how the bulb was supposed to be replaced. I finally found out that it was just like the rest of the bulbs in the interior it was just completely corroded in the socket. so I ended up destroying the bulb but I got it fixed. I fixed the housing with j-b weld and painted it black. this was a big problem for my daughter as she can't quite get past the idea of if the gear indicator can't be seen how do you know what gear it is in. anyway it was a small but annoying problem fixed.



then in order to get it inspected I had to fix the horn. that was another much more difficult problem than it should have been. getting it running was easy compared to that lol.

first when I got the jeep obviously there was no horn button on there.


but before I bought a new horn button I started at the horn and found out that it was bad. so I swapped in a new horn. then I could make it honk by running current to it. so far so good so I tried to find a horn button that would work. it turns out after much sweating and figureing that the steering wheel that was installed and the installation kit that came with it were not compatible with this jeep. so I got a new steering wheel and adapter. I also bought the little horn hardware kit from napa to replace the spring contacts. then I had to replace the turn signal cancelling cam.

now in a mustang that is pretty easy. on this jeep it is obviously a bit more complicated because you have to remove that little snapring that holds it all in. I read that there was a special tool needed to fix that, I did not have that tool so I made this out of a couple bolts and a piece of angle iron from my scrap pile.



not pretty but it worked.

then the new steering wheel.



then I tackled some cosmetic issues. first I know I have spent too much time building mustangs but the grimy ugly engine compartment just bugged me so I spent some time with a pressure washer cleaned up where they obviously had a power steering hose fail as the entire engine compartment was covered in it. next I hate looking at rust so the master cylinder cap bugged me.


so I blasted it in my bead blaster and powdercoated it with my eastwood powdercoating system.

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Unread 08-16-2013, 11:08 PM   #12
mustanggarage
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some of the things I am very happy with on this jeep are that the seats are nice aftermarket seats that are pretty comfortable. they look better in the pictures than they do in person so I may get some seat covers soon. I had some of those wet okeole seat covers on my 95 and I liked them so we will see. I also am very happy that the prior owner put in those nice tuffy security consoles. however I only have one key for them so I am going to have to contact tuffy to see if I can get some copies. I really like the wheels. I would like them to be a bit wider however. I have always like the look of those bushwacker flares so I plan to put some of those on someday. I like having a hardtop. this one needs some work. the weatherstripping is shot, the attachment point in the front is all rusted, the window tint has holes in it and the rear defroster doesn't work. it also is in need of some paint. but overall the jeep is in pretty decent shape now and I have been using it a lot this summer. I drive it to work sometimes and my daughter has been trying to monopolize it to drive to school. I pulled the top off a couple months ago and put a bikini top on it for the summer and I plan to tackle the hardtop soon because it is going to start getting cold again soon. more pics to follow.
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Unread 08-17-2013, 05:33 AM   #13
CleverNameHere
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Bandon, Oregon
Posts: 227
Clean..... Dang....
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Unread 08-17-2013, 07:09 AM   #14
Que89YJ
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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That is so clean. If it hasn't been lined to protect it do it. The 94/95 do have factory rust proofing but that thing is so clean I would treat it right. I have a another serious case of jeep envy. That is 2 times this week.
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Unread 08-17-2013, 09:52 AM   #15
mustanggarage
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Posts: 184
the inside has bed liner of some sort all over it but not the underside. some day I would like to line the underside to protect it.
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