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Unread 01-30-2015, 02:23 PM   #1
RedJeepster1
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Falls Village, Connecticut
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Overdue YJ Stroker Build Thread

I've had the YJ for a few years now and although I have done plenty of work to it, I never made a build thread to keep track of it all. So here it goes. Ill try to remember everything that has been done and get it up to date.

Here she is the day I bought her.



I soon found out that there was a lot more rust then I thought. I picked it up for $1500 with all new breaks, new exhaust, new radiator and a new drivers side floor pan. No top or doors other then the bikini top. Other then driving it home, I never actually drove it on the street before I started to tear it apart and rebuild.

Here is a picture right before I tore it apart with a hard top and doors off of an 84 CJ7 that I got for free to use for parts.



I decided that I wanted to repair the rust and paint the Jeep. I started working on it the day after Christmas my senior year, and set my goal to drive it to school by graduation.

The first major step was to tear everything down and clean it so that I could see what needed to be done.



Here is the frame after we power steam cleaned it at the shop. I was lucky in that I had access to a nice facility to work on the Jeep. Without it, I would never have been able to do most of what got done.



With everything cleaned, we proceded to cut all of the rust out of the frame and make new frame pieces. Everything was welded in and then we painted the whole frame. Here is the old tail section of the frame with the rear spring shackle.



This is the frame after painting.



Once the frame was repaired, we moved onto the body. Looking back, the body probably wasn't actually worth repairing. If I had known then what I know now, I would have looked for another body and but my losses. Here is a glimpse of the extent of the rust.



All of the replacement body panels that we used were just hammered out of flat stock. This was a really good learning experience for me. My father teaching me all the way though the project. Here is that same corner with the last piece being fitted after all of the repairs.



Most of the floors and floor supports were rusted and falling apart. Some of the body mounts were also falling apart. We welded new nuts into the body mounts and made up new pieces for the floor. Here is the floor on the drivers side.



We also found that the drivers side of the side panels were much worse then the passenger side. We ended up running new metal from the front fender to about 2/3 of the way into the rear fender. We made the pieces in sections and welded them in. Here they are before grinding. I think they came out pretty well considering I was a high school student and my father is a machinist, not a body guy at an auto repair shop.



Once all of the rust was repaired and the bondo was sanded smooth, it was time for paint. My father showed me how to use the paint gun and I sprayed the primer when we had a warm calm day right outside the back of the shop. We did some more wet sanding and brought it to the local auto body shop. One of my fathers friends was the manager at the shop so he got us in for free. I just had to pay for material. Here is the Jeep in the brand new 1/4 of a million dollar paint booth. We shot the paint with nitrogen and when we were all done it baked the whole room. Pretty cool setup.



Here is the back of the Jeep after paint. I went with a kind of a burnt orange. I don't remember exactly what the color was called. You can also see the CJ7 tailgate in this picture. That was just one of the other things I took from my donor while I had it in the shop. It was in too good of shape to not use.



Here is another shop after paint. This was before the windshield got put in.



And here it is the day before my high school graduation. Everything up to this point was done in a little under 6 months. Needless to say I didn't do much other then work on the Jeep my senior year. It definitely kept me out of trouble though.



There were still quite a few loose ends at this point but much of the major stuff had been completed. The engine in it was the 4.2 strait six with the awful carb. We had it running pretty well but it just didn't make nearly the power we wanted to get out of it. It also still had a broken passenger seat and no center console. The radio didn't work and a few other things. It was together though and that was all I really cared about.

__________________
88 YJ with a 4.6l stroker, bring on the torque!
2000 xj, cut fenders and 31's

Build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/o...hread-2984409/
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Unread 01-30-2015, 02:24 PM   #2
RedJeepster1
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I finally got to enjoy the Jeep for what it was. Here is a shot of me and one of the guys front the fire department. This is when I first learned the benefits of fuel injection. My old 4.2 would choke out and die before the back wheels ever hit the sand pile.



After driving it around for a while, I found a 4 cylinder on craigs list for $300. I picked it up that afternoon and started tearing it apart. It had no interior or top or doors or anything form the front clip. I sold the engine and made my money back. I then sold the transmission and the body and kept the frame and axles and transfer case for myself. The Jeep only had 107k miles on it. The whole reason I picked it up was to swap the axles so that I could have lower gears. I didn't like the 3.07 gears with the 31's and the old carbureted engine. So I swapped them out for the 4.10's in the 4 cylinder.



After the axles were swapped, it was much nicer to drive. With the 3.07 gears, 5th was basically unusable. I also realized when I swapped the gears that my spedometer corrected itself. I am assuming that the transfer case had been swapped at some point and they didn't switch the spedometer gear. After a few more months of driving (and two more transmissions and one more transfer case later) I finally found my ticket to my new engine. I picked up a 1993 YJ with a 4.0 with 193k miles on it. The thing was beat and the guy I bought it from said the transmission was shot, but it had what I wanted and for $250 I trailered it home.



I ended up taking the entire wiring harness, gages, injection system, computer, transmission, transfer case, the head from the engine and the fuel tank and fuel lines. Although it looked pretty beat up, everything about the Jeep was completely stock and had never been tampered with so I could see exactly how everything would need to go with my new setup. The transmission ended up having a bad slave cylinder. The transmission itself was fine. We charged the battery that came in the Jeep and it started right up. It didn't make a ton of oil pressure but it ran really well and was smooth. No bad noises or anything. I had also picked up an 87 xj a couple months earlier that someone gave to me and I used that block as the base for my stroker. I brought it to the local engine builder and had it bored .030 over and ordered new pistons, rings, lifters, seals, ect. My Jeep was running the 4.2 out of the CJ7 at this point, because upon taking my original engine apart, we found that it had 3 broken pistons. We used the crank out of my original engine and had it turned down. It also was bent, but they were able to straighten it and get it to run true again. I used the rods from my original engine as well.

Here is the engine as a work in progress.



We did a valve job at my house since we have a valve grinder. Under the hood, there is no way to tell that everything isn't stock. We ended up using all of the wiring out of the 93 YJ as well as the injection system and the air box and gages. This really made things simple because everything just bolted up where it needed to go. Since I had a few engines to pull parts from, we also made sure that we took the best of everything we had. I ended up using the 4.2 oil pan becuase it came from the factory with a skid plate, where the 4.0 did not. Here is the engine with the oil pan bolted on.



After getting everything hooked up, wow... It was like I had bought a new vehicle. No more pumping the gas before I started it up or worrying about whether the choke was going to shut itself off. No more downshifting for hills. No more worrying about my transmission dying since I had upgraded to the AX-15 when we did the swap. By far the best thing I ever did for that vehicle was that swap. Made it so much more enjoyable to drive.
__________________
88 YJ with a 4.6l stroker, bring on the torque!
2000 xj, cut fenders and 31's

Build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/o...hread-2984409/
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Unread 01-30-2015, 02:35 PM   #3
JustinEntropy
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respect the dedication!
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Unread 01-30-2015, 03:09 PM   #4
RedJeepster1
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Some of the other stuff that has happened since I got this vehicle, I picked up another hard top. My first hard top blew out of the back of the pickup truck one day and pretty much self destructed. I also traded my 4 cylinder frame for a soft top and picked up a set of half doors. Here is the Jeep with the soft top and the half doors. I haven't painted the doors, they just happened to be the right color. Got lucky I guess.



I also got a trailer hitch for the Jeep. We use it around the yard a lot and often use it to haul wood. My fathers truck is only 2wd so we use this to bring the wood into the back yard in the winter time. It also finally has a center console and a radio. I cut up an old rubber mat out of the bed of a toyota so that it would fit in the back of my Jeep. I have a bed liner kit and a spray gun, I just haven't had time to spray the bed liner in. I also have a family style roll bar that I would like to install, but haven't gotten around to it yet. A few months ago I picked up new tires and wheels for the wrangler. I got the tires from a friend with about 100 miles on them. He put them on his truck and then blew the engine. I found aluminum American Racing wheels up by my school for a steal and put them on the YJ. I took the old wheels and tires and put them on my Cherokee. The XJ doesn't have any lift so I just cut the fenders off with a plasma cutter to make the tires fit. They are 31's and they don't rub at all as long as I don't disconnect the sway bars.

Here is the YJ with the new 33's and the XJ with my old 31's. They make a pretty good pair.



The next thing I plan to do is to get OME 2.5" springs for the YJ. The rear springs are sagging pretty bad. I put 1" homemade boomerang shackles in the back just to level it out. I am planning to make a set of shackles for the front when I put the springs in to lift it up a little higher. I would also like to eliminate my transfer case drop. I am running a longer drive shaft out of the 4 cylinder and I have lots of room for lift still. Depending on how the clearance is, I will most likely do a 1" body lift and MML and get rid of my transfer case drop. I would also like to flip my u bolts when I put the new lift in.
__________________
88 YJ with a 4.6l stroker, bring on the torque!
2000 xj, cut fenders and 31's

Build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/o...hread-2984409/
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Unread 01-30-2015, 03:11 PM   #5
RedJeepster1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinEntropy View Post
respect the dedication!
Thanks! I've had it about 3 years now. I am just gonna keep chugging away until it is at a place I am happy with. I think opening up my fenders a little bit after the lift to fit 35's would really be an end goal for me. And then just seeing how long it takes to blow up with D35 haha
__________________
88 YJ with a 4.6l stroker, bring on the torque!
2000 xj, cut fenders and 31's

Build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/o...hread-2984409/
RedJeepster1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-25-2015, 10:57 PM   #6
RedJeepster1
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Falls Village, Connecticut
Posts: 174
Took my transmission out over spring break and found my pilot bushing was bad. I ordered a bearing for it that I couldn't find before since its a stroker with an ax-15. I also found that the noise I was hearing was not from the bell housing like k thought it was. I took the bell housing off the trans and bolted it up to the engine so I could start the engine with nothing attached and the noise was still there. After trying a few things and finally pulling the oil pan I noticed that cylinder 3 didn't look right. Pulled the head and pulled the piston and rod put to find out that the wrist pin is froze up. The engine has just over 2k miles on it so I am less then pleased... Gonna take the piston back to the shop where they pressed in the wrist pins and see if there is anything they can do for me. Gonna hone the cylinder and hope there isn't any damage. Hopefully I can find out what caused it to freeze up soon and get the Jeep back on be road. It's finally getting warmer here in New England and I am itching to drive the wrangler with the top off. The cherokee just doesn't quite give you the same feeling..
__________________
88 YJ with a 4.6l stroker, bring on the torque!
2000 xj, cut fenders and 31's

Build thread: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/o...hread-2984409/
RedJeepster1 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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