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Unread 03-03-2013, 08:34 PM   #1
Maineshootah
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Tan Valley, Arizona or Maine, depends on the day
Posts: 160
Maineshootah's Cross country 95 YJ build

Hey all,
I figured I would switch gears from spending hours reading this forum, to a few hours of posting to add to the knowledge here, even if it was a little bit.

A few years ago I had the chance to move from the snowy cold climate of Maine to the desert south west of Arizona. I jumped at the chance. After moving the family, I was lucky enough to retain my job in Maine, (yes, and live in Arizona) so.. I needed a vehicle to get around for the several weeks that I would be in Maine. My first thought was JEEP! Something that I always wanted but never purchased.

Had I been smart and not impulsive, I SHOULD have bought a Jeep in Arizona and shipped it back to Maine.. however, impulse took over, and I ended up spending a lot of time searching in Maine for a rig. After a few days I found what I ended up buying, a 95 YJ, SE metallic green color with a spice top and spice interior. It only had 109K on the engine, was on it's 4th owner and had a clean CARFAX report. (not that it means that much, other than providing me the details of where the car had been registered for the past 17 years)

First pics after dropping it off the car trailer.

Front:
photo

Side:
photo

Side patch work:
photo

Fender rot (much worse when the plastic fender extensions came off):
photo


photo

Rear end rust:
photo

From the pics you can see it had quite a bit of brown cancer in the fenders, the rear end, and there had been some previous repair in the left side of the tub. The frame was what we would call "tender" in a few spots, but I figured I could get a few years out of it before I started to need to pay attention to repairs.
I registered it, and drove it for about a week, then headed back to home, 3,000 miles away.

She remained that way for about 3 months (until my next trip back) then I decided that the first rounds of upgrades were to be done.
Some cosmetics, (new wheels, seat cover, full sized spare) and about 2K in body work, which consisted of replacing the left and right fenders, a lot of tiger hair in the driver side floor pan and a ton of body work on both sides of the tub as well as replacing just about the entire rear end of the tub from brake light under the door to the brake light on the other side.

While it looked a lot better, it still had quite a bit of work to do, which I was yet to discover.

__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
Maineshootah
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Maineshootah's Cross country 95 YJ build

So.. a bunch of body work new wheels, rear window pistons, custom hood graphics, full sized spare, Phoenix Coyotes tire cover (Go YOTES!) and a few other things get the jeep looking good. I was super excited. Paint was redone, the rust and holes fixed. Awesome work.

photo

However, on my last trip I was driving to my sister's place and noticed a thunking / banging noise when I would hit some bumps on the drivers side. Noise was towards the rear.
Stopping to check, I found that I snapped the front leaf spring mount of the driver side rear leaf spring.
UG. Not good.

I brought it back to the place that I had to the body work done, threw him a number I had for a budget to get it "driveable", dropped it off, and had to fly back to AZ.

A few days later, I get these pics via email:

photo


photo



We talk on the phone and he breaks the bad news that the frame wasn't going to support the fix. For two feet past the front attachment of the rear leaf spring, he could put a hammer through the frame. UG.
I asked what we could do - and ended up with two options.

1) Sell the jeep and throw the $ at something I could get in AZ to bring back to Maine.
or
2) A frame swap and rebuild.. to which he wasn't interested in taking on.

After thinking about 3 min.. I knew my answer.

__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
Maineshootah
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A Frame Swap it would be!

Yeah, anyone who doesn't read this forum would think that I was crazy to do this.
"You are a computer guy.. not a car guy.. what are you thinking!" Was a common comment by my non jeep friends.
I looked at it as a crash course in automotive repair, no way to hide from it when you have to pull it all down to the frame, then swap it and bring it back to life. The 95 YJ was calling to me. I graduated college in 95, I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail in 95 (yeah, all 2,159.9 miles in 127 days) So, something was stirring in me, telling me to take on this project to bring the YJ back to life.

So, I started my search on YJ builds as well as where I would be able to find a frame for this now 17 year old jeep.
Surprisingly, this is where being in the desert south west paid off. While I found some options for a "custom" new frame closer to my jeep in Vermont. I couldn't bring myself to dropping $1700 plus on just a new frame. That was a lot of cash.
So, I started digging around on Craigslist, backpage, and the local AZ jeep forums.
I happened to stumble upon Castle Rock 4x4, and sent Michael and email to see if he had any frames in stock. Low and behold in about 20 hours he fired me an email back saying that he had three YJ frames.
I asked to come over, and was there two days later.

Michael had three frames, two which were stripped, one of which had the engine mounts relocated, and then a "new" purchase, one with the fuel and brake lines, rear springs, front axle and front / rear bumper.

I took a quick peek at it, talked to Michael for damn near 2 hours, and bought the frame, fuel/brake lines and the rear springs.
$60 each for the springs and $250 for the frame, light Arizona surface rust included for free. We talked and I mentioned that I could come back in a week to pick it up.


photo


photo


photo

Done deal.

Now to head back to the house (about an hour away) break the news to my wife what was going to be taking up a bay in the garage, and start to look to look at how I would go pick it up.

__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
Maineshootah
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A week later and a 14' UHaul ona one day rental I headed over to pick up the frame.
I soon realized that I should have got the 17'.

photo
Not quite big enough!

Time to adjust how to get it home.
photo

An hour later, back at the house, in the first position where it was going to get cleaned, then washed, then wire wheeled and painted before I left to head back to Maine for the next round of work.

photo
__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:25 PM   #5
Maineshootah
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I knew that I was going to have to clean this frame real well before I could paint it.
However, I had no idea what I was going to clean this frame with to take care of dirt, sand, engine oil, brake and tranny fluid plus what ever else was on it.
So, more internet searching was underway.
What I discovered was that the solution was really quite cheap and easy, however, unorthodox.

What product is out there that is designed to clean things covered in all sorts of grime, oils and associated crusty bits?
OVEN CLEANER!

photo

However, not any oven cleaner would work, you had to get the "yellow can" from the dollar store brand.
Awesome. A cheap solution!
So, 4 cans later ($4 total) I headed back to the house to start stripping the frame down, pulling the fuel filter, gas lines, and brake lines, as well as removing the remaining top body mounts (which I now realize I should have kept)

photo


photo

Once that was done I started "cleaning" the frame.

__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
thebull84
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Good luck with the fresh pallette i think it looks like a blast. Cant wait to see how it goes!
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
Maineshootah
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Cleaning the frame consisted of two things.
Applying the oven cleaner, letting it sit for a few hours, then washing it down, and doing it again.
I did this for three cycles, using all four cans of the cleaner.

photo

(Looks like cake icing..but that is as close as it gets to the real thing)

I realized a few things doing this.

1) Oven cleaner REALLY smells. I was very thankful that I was outside and not trying to do this in a garage.
2) Oven cleaner is GREAT at cleaning a jeep frame!
Spray it and forget it, it did a great job of stripping down the frame of all of the grime and dirt.
__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:44 PM   #8
Maineshootah
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My next step was about two weeks later after a lot of research on what to use to clean paint the frame.
I decided on the Eastwood products of paint.
I saw several postings on the various forums about various paints ranging from Rustoleum to POR-15.
Some folks paint the internal frame, others do not. Some use the Eastwood internal frame paint, others use standard paint, thin it down and run it in the frame.

So, I researched some more.
There seems to be a lot of debate when it comes to painting frames. From the basic Rustoleum rattle can job to the in depth POR-15 application.
I decided I was going to use the Eastwood internal frame paint since this was going to be living in Maine, then the Eastwood rust encapusulator, to encapsulate all of the rust that I will miss from the wire wheeling, then paint the whole thing in Eastwood Chassis Black.

photo

Once the paint got here, it was time to start using the wire wheel to clean up the rust and start applying the paint.
__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
Maineshootah
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You use a lot of wire wheels when scouring even a lightly covered frame.
photo
Thankfully, I have a Harbor freight close by, so I could drop $20 on a angle grinder and put it through its paces to strip off the rust on the frame.
After about 8 hours of work I was happy with the result, so I could wash it down, dry it off, and start applying the internal paint.

photo
The internal frame paint applicator is pretty cool, they give you this 16" ish hose that you slide into the frame and coat the internals.
It works well, and I laid it on thick so it was running out of the bottom holes of the frame.

photo


photo

Two cans later, I let it dry, then went back to wire wheeling the external frame to work on the rust.
I did one final coat with the remaining one can I picked up. Yeah, you could do the entire frame with two cans.
However, I always believed that if two is good three is better. Better to have and not need, that not have and need.

photo


photo


Once I got all of the wire wheeling done and the internal paint finished, I decided it was time to move the frame back inside the garage so I could start applying the rust encap and the the frame paint.

__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 10:03 PM   #10
Maineshootah
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The encap and frame paint went on with a foam brush, as I wanted something that would lay it on thick, and it was good therapy to take my time applying the paint thinking about all of the other things that would have to be done in order for this project to be completed.
A few days later, after one coat of the rust encap and two coats of the Chassis Black paint, I had a finished product.

photo


I was lucky that I was also able to pick up a gas tank skid from Castle Rock, as mine was shot. That got the same treatment of wire wheel, rust encap as well a the paint.
I soon realized that I needed a transfer case skid plate, as my frame didn't have one on it, and the one I have in Maine was pretty bad off.
So, back to Craigslist.
One day I happened to find one listed for $75, saying it was for a Jeep YJ.
I jumped on it and brought it to the house.

photo


Several hours with a wire wheel, then more rust encap as well as the chassis black paint, it then looked like this.


photo

(Anyone notice anything yet? I didn't until yesterday)

__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 10:25 PM   #11
Maineshootah
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At this point it was early Feb, 2013 and I needed to start thinking about shipping the frame to Maine from Arizona.
I contacted several "car shipping" brokers, and had quotes from $800 to $1200 to ship my $250 frame.
UG!
I posted a message on a few forums and was told about Uship, the supposed "Ebay" of shipping items.
There is even a TV show about Uship on one of the cable channels.

I joined Uship, and posted an add to looking to have it shipped for $600. The auction ran for a week, not one bite.
So I raised the floor to $1000 to ship it. Again not one bite.
Now I had about a week and a half before I had to swing back to Maine for work, and I had planned on taking time off in Maine to do this jeep build before I started work.. I was starting to get a bit stressed at this point of how I was going to get this frame to Maine.
Searching the internet some more, I found "Freight Center". A broker of shipping. What the heck, I will give it a whirl to see what #s it would generate.
Doing some reviews online, this company is about 50/50. Some have no issues with them. Others, had a terrible experience.
I threw a coin up in the air, called it, and let it land on the floor.
Tails. Yep.. let's see what #'s they can come up with for me.
I entered what I had for a product, the dimensions as well as the weight.
It generated a number and a list of shippers.
I found I company that I recognized and decided to go with them.
$481 to ship it from AZ to Maine, 6 day delivery.
Wahoo! This project is underway!

I booked the frame to ship a few days later, so I started on the packaging of the frame.

Did you all know that there is a "core charge" on pallets?
Ya know, the things that folks ship other things on?
I didn't, heck, back in Maine you could go to your local big box home improvement store and get pallets for free. Sure they had a busted plank or two, but you could fix that.
Here in AZ? Not a chance, nope, not going to happen. I tired all of my social engineering tricks. No dice, struck out like a 40 year old with no game.. wait.. I resemble that remar.. anyway, I digress.

Not have a pallet (or two) I decided to make a few, then get the frame mounted on them, with the springs, brake/fuel lines, skid plates all on the pallets as well wrap them all up in moving blankets and shipping wrap so it would protect the frame during the ride to Maine.
What I finished with looked like this.
photo

A day later the truck showed up, I hefted the frame into the back of the truck, got copies of the signed BOL and waived good bye as the truck headed on its way.

This project is ON!
__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 10:35 PM   #12
Maineshootah
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Four days later I was called by a friend of mine who owns a salvage yard in Maine.
The frame had arrived.
I asked how it looked. He said "umm.. ok I guess".
Uh oh...

The pic he sent me.

DSCF3264

The pallets were gone.
The gas tank skid and one spring were loose items, the frame was scratched and gouged (lightly) in several places and the wrapping was all but gone.
UG.

Having him go back out to the yard and looking at it again, all the parts were there that I had shipped, and most of the damage was nothing more than scratches and scrapes. I could deal with it. I wasn't shipping $8,000 of medical equipment that was professionally packed, I was shipping a jeep frame on home made pallets.
Yeah, I could have complained, but.. I had the frame in Maine now, and I was jumping on a plane in less that 24 hours.
Things were looking up, even if I had a bit more work to do to fix the scrapes and scratches.

Next stop Maine, and let the project begin.
__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-03-2013, 11:22 PM   #13
Maineshootah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebull84 View Post
Good luck with the fresh pallette i think it looks like a blast. Cant wait to see how it goes!
thanks!
it has been a blast to date with all the work on it!
__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-07-2013, 11:56 AM   #14
Maineshootah
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1995 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Posts: 160
Costs to date:
Frame: $250
Rear used springs: $120
Paint: $95
Oven cleaner $4
Uhaul: $117
Shipping frame 2,900 miles, $481.50

Arrived in Maine, and headed to the shop.
When I convinced my firends that they wanted to help me with this, I gave myself a 4 day budget to get everything done.
From what I had read here on the forums, alone, this is a 6 weeks to several months job, with two folks a two weeks, and with three the fastest I have seen was the video of the fella with the blue YJ in the driveway time lapse getting it all done in three days.
So.. as ambitious as I was with 4 days, I believed that I could get it done.
Before I came to Maine I ordered about a $1000 worth of parts from Quadratech knowing that if I needed to replace something, I could "cut it off" and replace it with what I ordered, rather than having to waste time trying to save something, or need something and not have it.. and have to order it. Quadratech has an awesome return policy (30 days), so I knew if I didn't need the parts, I could send them back (what I am doing this weekend)

Wednesday, 5 PM

Here are the last two pics of the Jeep before we dove into the project.

photo

and inside:

photo


I had pulled the seat a while ago as it just takes up too much room if you are the only one (or you +1) in the jeep.

The goal for tonight was to pull the top, and get the seats out. Not a lot, but get a jump on the next day.
Well, that went so fast we kept going.
Doors off
Top pulled off
Rear tire removed from the carrier
Front seats out (breaking two bolts in the process due to rust)
carpet all out to reveal some decent paint in the passenger side as well as the rear of the tub, and some more rusty holes in the driver side.
Hood off
disconnect the battery and remove it
Ham gear out (radios and wiring)
started with the wiring in the engine, removing all the grounds, the connection to the front drive shaft vacuum lines, the lines to the transmission, brake boost, clutch master cylinder,
disconnect the clutch
disconnect the ebrake cable from the brake and pulled it out of the tub
disconnect the steering column (and noticed that it was FROZEN with rust with no articulation movement.. which would have to be addressed before we put the tub back on)
disconnected all the electrical wiring from the battery to the engine / lights / etc.
disconnect the fuel filler line
disconnect the muffler hangers
remove the shifter knobs
remove the shifter boots
remove the shifter boot mounting plate
Found out that the radiator was shot..
photo
So that came out,($120 aluminum replacement ordered) and disconnected all of the hoses going to the radiator.
Removed the front bumper and bumper mounted driving lights as well.

I had read that folks removed the front grill and support bars, but I didn't think we had to do that, and left them in.

We then went around and tried to pull the body bolts.
We had used the PBblaster on them 2 months ago, and hit them again before we started tearing down.
The bets were that we would break almost all of them.
However... we only broke three off in the tub, and were able to loosen all of the others.
That was exciting that I didn't trash as many as I predicted, not from the standpoint that I was going to reuse them, as I also picked up a 1" body lift and replacement bolts, but from the time that was saved in not having to mess with several frozen/rusted bolts in the body.


What I had and what was going to be..
photo

We finished at 10 PM that night well ahead of where we expected to be.
The plan for tomorrow was to finish getting the bolts out, get the tub off and get the engine out.

__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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Unread 03-07-2013, 12:19 PM   #15
Maineshootah
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: San Tan Valley, Arizona or Maine, depends on the day
Posts: 160
Friday 7:30 AM.
Costs to date:
Costs to date:
Frame: $250
Rear used springs: $120
Paint: $95
Oven cleaner $4
Uhaul: $117
Shipping frame 2,900 miles, $481.50
Radiator:$120
Dunkin Donuts $22.00

Knowing full well that I was going to abuse my friends for four more days, I wanted to keep them full of sugar, caffeine and happy.
So I arrived with a box of joe, a box of munchkins, three cups of coffee, sodas and a xl with a turbo shot for me.

We immediately threw the jeep on the lift (yeah, the garage I used had a lift.. ANOTHER reason why I thought I could do this in 4 days) and started working on getting the stuck bots out.

torches and grinders are great things.
photo

When I started researching this project everyone also said "TAKE PHOTOS OF EVERYTHING". I took hundreds of pics of everything, from the very basic of where the grounds went so I would not forget anything when we put it all back together.

photo

While we had it up on the lift I was able to find the rear axle tag and find out the gear ratio on the rear axle.
photo
Looks like I have an uncommon one.


Within about three hours we had all of the bolts out of the tub and were ready to lift the tub off the frame.

I was lucky in that I only had to cut holes in the tub to get to the top of the captured nuts on two of the body bolts, both of them being the body bolts behind the drivers and passenger seats. (No pics) Those bolts snapped right at the head of the bolt, so I needed to cut into the tub to reveal the nut and the rusty bolt so we could grab it to work it out with some heat. Besides those quick cuts, that was all we had to do with the tub to get them all out.
This thread was VERY helpful in knowing where everything was and what I had to cut. Thanks CheapSunglasses!

Now that we were done that... how were we going to lift that tub off the frame?
We looked at it for several minutes, researched the forum for a bit.. and came up with this solution.
__________________
I guess my YJ Is my midlife crisis therapy.....

My 95 YJ cross country (AZ to ME) frame swap thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/maineshootahs-cross-country-95-yj-build-1487587/
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