-   Jeep Builds (
-   -   My YJ build/adventures Thread (

rambo3489 04-15-2012 12:20 PM

My YJ build/adventures Thread
So a lot of people on here are making build threads and Im jealous. So here is mine. Ill tell it with a story format. It was the end of February 2011. I found my jeep on craigslist outside of Milwaukee WI, the guy was asking 3500. The clutch was shot in it, and it ran rough. I offered him 2800 and he took it. It would be my first and probably only jeep. So naturally I went to autozone and bought a haynes manual instantly. I could not wait till the weekend.

-So I got a hold of my uncles f350 and a trailer drove down there and picked it up. In the middle of a snowstorm. (maybe this was a sign)

-Got it back to the garage and put it up on blocks where it would sit for the next month or so.

-Just some quick pictures to send to my buddies about whats on my new jeep.

-Started searching everything online about replacing a clutch on a YJ with the BA/10. booo! Was going to take it in to have it done professionally. Because Ive never done a clutch before. But 700 bucks for a clutch made me go hmmm how hard could it be? Took a bunch of pictures to make sure I didn't mess anything up. I was a little nervous. But it wasn't that bad. The worst parts were getting the transmission in and out (heavy and awkward), and removing the pilot bearing with grease and a socket.(worked great for a cheap technique)

-metal filing on the transmission drain plug. Scared the **** outta me. Turns out its nothing major, more like typical.

-While I was working on the clutch I checked out some more things with it. Found out I had 3.07 gears in it with 33's. boooo! So I pulled off the 33's sold them and hunted down a set of 31's. To make it a little easier on the drivetrain, and gas mileage aka my wallet. Replaced all fluids. Put on new pads and shoes. replaced u joints on driveshafts. Figured out how to take the top off. Fixed any rust spots I found on the body. Primed whatever part of the frame and axle I could get to. Installed an ignition tumbler to replace the push button start on there. new steering stabilizer. removed the second one. grease any fitting I could find. a lot of other little things.

- 33's gone waiting for a decent set of 31's. Started to prime everything I could find. The best part about the BA/10 is that it was so oily from the blown rear main seal (that is now new) that it didn't need primer.

Fixing rusty spots, and prime as much of the frame and axle as I could reach. I don't like rust, and at this point I was thinking if things didn't go well I could always sell it and wanted it to be in the best shape possible.

-New pads and rotors.

-fixed the windshield wipers. (they didn't work) melted wires. So I ran new wires to a three way switch, off, low, high. Gotta love custom work

-got my 31's mounted and balanced.

-Next step was fixing the rough running issue. I went straight to the carb. It already had a MC2100 so I was pleased. It seemed to be running rich so once i had it apart I found a I believe it was a 48 and a 49 size jet in there. I know they were different. So I ordered in some #47s and a rebuild kit. rebuilt it. Set the float properly. (twice) Again a little nervous about the rebuild. But it wasn't that bad.

I'll never forget the feeling I had once i had her running good.(the first time) Its quite the feeling of accomplishment.

-Now finally it was time to get out and have some fun. Ive had the itch for around a month now.

Now comes the dark days of my YJ.....

-I pulled the plugs before I even had it running and one of them looked like this.

-So I posted to the forum immediately. Was told it is probably no big deal so I put in new plugs and went with it. No dice. After 2 weeks I noticed it was idling a little off. So I pulled the plugs again. Lo and behold the same one was crusted up again. Ran a compression test, no good. one cylinder dead. and another with bad rings.

Now it was the moment of truth. It is now the end of May 2011 and I need this Jeep in a month to pull a small trailer 2000 miles to Albuquerque where my new home will be. Do I rebuild it, ignore it and try to make the run on a injured engine, or do I sell it in hopes of getting another acceptable vehicle. My Dad strongly suggested that I do not try to half *** it and just rebuild it.

So a rebuild it was.....

Jeepsr4me 04-15-2012 12:42 PM

Man I love build threads and love pics. So you got that going. But was that the only jeep around? Had some major issues and not the most desirable year model or trans and priced high. Now engine issues. A trip a little farther south and you could have gotten a no rust, fuel injected model with the better trans. Again not knocking, just pointing it out for future readers. Time wasted fixing and repairing is the same time you could have drove a little farther away and got a good one.

40dog 04-15-2012 12:57 PM

looking good .You know this is only the start of the yj adventure.:)

rambo3489 04-15-2012 01:05 PM

So the rebuild gave me some interesting options. I really liked the idea of the 4.0 head swap. Mainly because at the moment I didn't really know if it was my valves or rings that were shot and I was worried about what i would find in there. So I ordered my 4.0 head, with prefilled water jackets. (time constraint and I didn't want to mess with it)

The "rebuild", more of a freshening up because I did an engine in rebuild not the full blown take it to a machine shop and get it all trued up rebuild. Was not too nerve racking because my Dad and I rebuilt our Farmall H a few years ago, so I had my feet wet. But I was also like 14 at the time and I put the timing gears on backward. (luckly he caught it before all was said and done.) But lets not worry about that..

-The rebuild begins.

-At first glance not too bad...

-Thats a good looking piston.


-That would be cylinder #4. A little messed up. It gouged the cylinder wall a bit. But nothing a good honing couldn't fix. Turns out its been rebuilt at least once before. Judging by the dates on the bearings was at most 8 years ago. I was actually relieved that the piston was shot now I knew why my plug kept fouling.

-The head looked to be in good shape.

-My "workbench"

-The new 4.0 head and header installed and ready to rock.

-The 4.0 header caused a little misalignment with my tail pipe. Nothing a piece of 2.25" flex tube couldn't fix.

I got her up and running again. I had a little issue with the intake manifold leaking badly around the bottom edges. This was caused by the 4.2 intake manifold hitting the 4.0 header on cylinders 2 and 4. It scared the **** out of me when I went to start it after the rebuild because the only way to get it to run was to rev it to more that 2000 RPMs or it would die. I finally figured out the issue and dented the **** out of the exhaust header on those cylinders to get the intake manifold to sit flat on there. Then it ran pretty good. A little carb tuning, and it was running so very smooth. My second big wave of accomplishment, and stress relief moment.

-500 break-in miles later it was off on my 2000-2500 mile journey to Albuquerque. All packed up ready to go camp, and bike for 2 weeks straight.

It ran great for about 1200 miles then I noticed a rough idle again. I thought **** *** **** *********. I was in Chamberlin SD when I noticed it. I literally felt sick. I got to a campground and pulled the plugs they all looked great. WHEW! The engine wasn't self destructing. Turns out I didn't dent my header enough to get the intake manifold to sit flat on the head. It was leaking around the bottom again. So I needed an intake/exhaust manifold. Only problem is it was Sunday and the NAPA store was closed. So I had to wait 2 more days to get my manifold. They were getting flooding and record rainfall totals for that summer and it rained almost the whole time I was there. This was just GREAT!!! Come Tuesday I grabbed my gasket and headed west to the badlands, where I knew it wouldn't be raining all the time. Time to do a minor repair.

-Pulled off the intake manifold and exhaust header. (Good thing I brought all my tools)

-Finished project. Notice the abundance of the copper gasket sealant.

After a full day of sitting letting it all seal up I was on my way again.

-Custer State Park in the Black Hills SD

-Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills SD

And feeling better about the experience. Although my plan was to get to Yellowstone before heading south to Albuquerque. But the Jeep was having troubles pulling the trailer up the hills in the Black Hills so I knew the mountains were a no go. This disappointed me a little. But none the less I still made a trip out of it.

-I made it.

Turns out my engine being torn up came from the HEI distributor on it. I've herd stories about the HEI's detonating engines to death, and mine was one of them. So I attempted to rip out the HEI with a little help from 4.7Stroker. We were unfortunately able to get it running with a TBI setup. So we put the HEI back on it with the understanding that I would pull it out at a later date. It is now a later date and the HEI still sits on the 4.2. I never took it off. I've been meaning to but it runs so dam good with it on there. I did however remove the vacuum advance on it and now I am only getting 33 degrees of advance at 3000 RPM vs. 45 or so with the vacuum advance on there. The negatives to this is less power, and slightly less MPG down the road. But it keeps my engine running smooth, and isn't detonating it to death then its a win win for me. So I intend on keeping it in there until the engine goes, mainly because I don't want to deal with it any more. But I don't think its hurting anything being on there.

rambo3489 04-15-2012 01:43 PM

So I am now here in New Mexico. The very first time I took it off road I went to the Rio Puerco which is a nice little off road area west of Rio Rancho. Anyways I called my friend who has been living here for 2 years now. I told him where i was going and he told me not to get stuck. I told him I was going to take it easy. And I would be fine... Not even a half hour later I called him with the news that I was in fact stuck.. I've never driven in sand before and got teeter todder ish where my front drivers side and rear passenger side tires weren't touching. And with open carriers I was sunk... So he came out in is 2wd tacoma work truck to help me out. I know 2wd but he had a locker and said he would be fine. Anyways he got stuck 100 yards away trying to get out to me. So now here we are 2 of us buried. So 5 mins later a TJ comes by asks if we need help I have him pull me out, and I go pull my friend out. LOL. Funny story.

- This is me on my way to the top of Cabezon peak on nothing but dirt roads.

-While cruising down one of these back roads I run across an arroyo. Which is a dried up river bed that will flow with water in spring when the snow melts. I did not see this arroyo in time and there is like a 1' straight up section on half of the opposite side of it. I hit this going around 30 and this is the result.

-Just messing around in the desert.

-My Camping trip up in the Jemez Mountains.

-Broken shackle.

-Up on the forest roads.

-Camp site for the night.

-Up in the Manzanos one afternoon.

-There are jeeps everywhere in Albuquerque.

-Typical "Jeep" in Albuquerque. People just lift them as much as possible without having them be off road worthy at all. For example this body lift. Yea I'd feel safe with that bad boy. And you can tell who takes theirs off road at all. Most just jack them up put big tires on them to feel cooler. It pisses me off.

rambo3489 04-15-2012 01:47 PM

My passion for my YJ has spread.

-Maertz my old roommate

-Hes got a head start on me at the moment. But I will close that gap in the next year.

-Marshall my new roommate

-New paint job on the CJ

rambo3489 04-15-2012 02:03 PM

I have some rather ambitious goals for my YJ from this point forward.

-I want to step up to 35's, and I want to do it right. I don't do things half assed. I have a Ford 9" for the rear and a detroit locker sitting in my living room for it. I want to maybe put some disc brakes on it and get some superior gears in a 4.88 or 5.13 ratio. I'm looking into the proper dana 44 with manual locking hubs for it. So I can just drop a spool in it and just use my hubs as the selectable locker. I will rebuild it to make sure its a solid axle to start with. Drop in the same superior gears and bolt it in.

-My Ford 9"

-I'm building a custom bumper for the rear on it, because the 33" that's on the tire carrier now is loosening up the tailgate hinge a little.

Eventually I will come up with a matching custom front bumper.

Probably most important I am needing some frame repair. The front drivers side frame where the steering box bolts to is in rough shape. As you could see from my broken shackle picture. This is needing attention because if this goes I'm boned. So I will either need to fab some reinforcement, or buy a pre made end and weld it on there.

But my YJ story is just beginning and I will keep adding to this build post as things continue to materialize on it.

PO modifications:

-33" mud rovers
-about 3.5 inches of lift. 1"bl 2.5 suspension
-posi lock for dana 30
-MC2100 carb
-some off brand off road lights
-home brew fromt and rear bumpers
-new brake lines
-larger radiator
-removal of all emissions componenets
-push button start

My current parts/mods list:

-New LUK clutch
-31" rugged terrains
-15x8 procomp rock crawler wheels
-all new fluids when first bought
-new radio, amp, and sound system
-MC2100 rebuild kit
-MSD plug wires
-ignition tumbler
-fuel pump
-fuel filter
-front disks and calipers
-rear shoes
-rear brake rebuild
-new posi lock for dana 30
-steering stabalizer
-rear main seal
-4.0L head
-4.0 Header
-engine overhaul kit (
-entire underside painted flat black
-ruff stuff shackle mounts and .5" shackles
-removed carpet. Herculined entire interior floor.
-Yakima bike rack on spare tire
-valve cover gasket

My future plans:

-Ford 9" in rear with 4.88 gears, detroit locker, rebuilt internals, set up for SUA.
-Dana 44 (HP?) in front matching 4.88 gears, spooled up, manual locking hubs to make spool work in front, rebuilt internals, also SUA
-35" anything decent. Duratracks, MTR/Ks, KM2s, Grabbers, ect.
-Frame repair on front drivers side. Its rusted and needs attention. So either one of those pre fab sections, or better yet some 1/4" reinforcement plate welded on it.
-Custom front and rear bumpers. Custom tailored by me for me.

Future future plans:

-Crate motor, better trans, maybe a tera low 4:1,

metalry101 04-15-2012 03:19 PM

Looks like you're having a lot of fun with the YJ man! I know how the broken shackle thing goes. I broke my front right shackle on Steel Bender in Moab and got to drive all the way back to Salt Lake like that.

rambo3489 04-15-2012 03:54 PM


Originally Posted by metalry101 (Post 13414459)
Looks like you're having a lot of fun with the YJ man! I know how the broken shackle thing goes. I broke my front right shackle on Steel Bender in Moab and got to drive all the way back to Salt Lake like that.

Yea I drove around most of the winter with it like that. Mainly because I didn't have a welder at the moment. No biggie though it took it like a champ.

metalry101 04-15-2012 04:00 PM


Originally Posted by rambo3489 (Post 13414583)
Yea I drove around most of the winter with it like that. Mainly because I didn't have a welder at the moment. No biggie though it took it like a champ.

I drove mine around for a month or two like that while I waited for better shackles and then tracked down new bushings for my leaves. I was amazed that it wasn't a bigger deal. Other than the lean I really couldn't tell. I wouldn't want to do it again...but still, I would expect more interested handling dynamics from it.

rambo3489 10-13-2012 10:23 PM

So Ive taken a little break from working on the YJ. But recently I've been taking my Fridays off of work to work on the YJ and since then things are getting done. My plan is to head to Moab next year in September 2013 with some buddies and hit some trails for a week or so. I need to do a thing or to to the YJ to get it in Moab shape. Hence the weekly projects. So I'll have more updates in the near future.

Playing a little up in the San Juan Mtns. in Colorado on my way out to Moab.

Heres my little problem that has been bugging me for quite some time now and will be the main part of what I've been working on lately

Got myself some spare D30 parts. Only problem is I think I'm going to go with a TJ or XY shaft swap to get rid of the CAD system. But Still got these spares for now.

Had a little un-finished wire business to take care of....


Getting ready for my ford 9" swap. Got these bad boys in the mail. Still have yet to get it all assembled. Hopefully in a few weeks the third member will be assembled and in a month or so (when I have a garage) I'll have the axle under the YJ.

Test fitting the Detroit on the shafts. How sweet of a lamp would this make?

Due for a new yoke

Disassembling the third member and cleaning it up. Got all the bearings removed just waiting to get it all assembled.

Got the brakes rebuilt. Still have to get the drums turned down. Should probably get that done sooner rather then later.

At my "temporary shop" working on my CS-144 alternator. (More to some later)

Before the materials were used:

After the materials were used:
(Didnt want to buy angle iron. So I got creative)

Don't give me too much grief for this picture. This is some of my welding work and some of the PO's work. The front left is in rough shape. Rusted through in multiple areas and real thin just about everywhere. My plan is to buy one of those frame sections cut it off and butt weld the new piece on there. Im not going to weld it its going to a professional for this.

Also added a MORE steering box support to help with the stress on the weak point. Helps out A LOT.

Hitting some arroyos for some fun in the sun.

rambo3489 10-13-2012 10:50 PM

Now comes the electrical undertaking. So I learned a thing or two about alternators here. There was a break in the styles with the 4.0. The 4.0 used a DENSO type alternator which works differently then the DELCO. I'm not sure what the difference is but I do know that the denso alternator does not work in the 4.2. Don't ask me how I know this.... Anyways after the alternator fiasco I decided to slow it down and research things a bit more before diving in. Seeing as how I'm an electrician I decided I would re-wire the charging system before swapping the alternators.

The start of the re-wire:

Getting the auxiliary relays wired up. Will have plenty of room for future expansion.

The relays wired up

Here is the new power pole to distribute the high power requirements to everything. I ran 4GA copper to the starter and alternator. Along with a 12 GA sending wire to the alternator to get a better charge out of it. Also replaced the fusible disconnect to the alternator with a re-settable circuit breaker. The re-wire had a lot of hidden costs even without me having to buy the wire.
Due to the amount of leaking this battery had I now have a new battery. 795 CCA baby! But it doesn't quite fit in the battery tray... Time to get creative. AGAIN!

While I was in wire mode and had a spare relay or two I decided I would do the Headlight mod and run them with a full 12V on 12GA wire.

Gotta love the factory duct tape

Mid re-wire portrait:

The headlight relays

Its a bird its a plane its a YJ on an incline?? Not the greatest pic but I am VERY happy with the results.

Back to the "temporary shop" to put in my CS-144 DELCO alternator.

Got it mounted. With new alternator and power steering belts to boot:

The bracket actually turned out better than I thought. Impressed myself

Wiring to the headlights

My 4.0 head swap dilemma. Now I just need a bolt for that hole...

Wlaha! Problem solved

AHHHH Finally! Some BOOMS for the back

To replace these.... Notice the beautiful beads.

N besides they look WAYYY cooler

So thats it for now. But as promised I'll have plenty more to report back with. Next on the list is getting the third member assembled. Welding a temporary tire carrier on to the bumper. Moving the sound bar. New wiper motor. New wiring under the dash. And getting new wheels for my new 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern in the rear.


Maertz 10-16-2012 03:37 PM

Cant wait for Moab!! Your jeeps coming along awesome. I kinda like the orgional tires that were on it for some reason what were they?

Eron 10-16-2012 04:00 PM

Coming together nicely.

Jeepsr4me 10-16-2012 04:16 PM

Built a house on sand..........

The time now is 04:26 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.