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.