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Unread 05-24-2013, 12:06 PM   #1
RobzRidez
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Robz 90 YJ Islander build thread and tribulations

Ok, hate to do this to you again but have to start with some background as it will all tie in someday I can assure you. I have drooled over many Jeeps for many years and other than my grocery getters I was never able to persuade the other half to let me have one. Was always you cant fit all of us and car seats or that wont be safe or it will be too cold or.... you get the picture. Well that was then... over 5 years ago since we called it quits. There are no car seats now and I am re-established and have put motorcycles and all my other toys, that were never allowed either, in my garage. Now time for that Wrangler and the boys (3 sons) will fit in just fine!

So last summer I started conjuring up the plans, doing the research. Stopping and looking at everyone I saw for sale, turning to craigslist and other online sites to see what was available. Decided I would expand my coverage area for the right deal to a 3 state area to help with the choices. During late Fall and into Winter I contacted several potential sellers, all who thought they were sitting on a gold mine, but it was always a pretty rusty hunk of gold. But with my budget in mind, I was willing to deal with some rust. Here in Ohio, we don't have much of a choice really. I decided that the YJ was the one for me, always had a thing for the ruggedness of it and the squares! Finally after what seemed like a lifetime I found her! Stumbled upon it on CL with a short description which included some "minor rust" on this stock Jeep. As always I made an appointment to go take a look and see how big of an understatement it was this time.

It was a brisk, early Saturday morning and Im driving a mere 30 miles from home to take a peek at this Islander. Followed the GPS directions to the point where she sits and knocked on the door. a trip around to the back through the locked yard and there she is! Brighter than the fuzzy images showed, and to my surprise, cleaner than expected. Did the quick walk around and wow, let me see more... Opened her all up and like normal I grabbed the floor mats and lifted them up to see the damage. Drivers side. clean! Passenger side, clean! Behind, under the rear mat, clean! Holy crap, this is a 90?? I have looked at several a decade newer that looked 5 decades older. Now let me back up and say that there are a couple a small rust spots here and there, but no way has this thing spent its life in Ohio. The front seats are shot and its missing a couple a odds and ends here and there but it has a new radiator, a fresh transmission rebuild, all with paperwork. WIN!!

A test run, a little negotiation, a handshake, and a tear in the seller son's eye and we are off to the title office. Signed, sealed, transferred, and keys in hand (2 sets) and I am off! Made a phone call to get a driver to get my car home and down the highway I go! Been a while since I drove anything that felt that real. Didn't turn on the radio, just rolled down the windows and listened to every beautiful sound!

That's what led me to this forum, where do I begin? What is the way to go? What is superior? What is affordable? What the heck is that noise? Hours / Days / Weeks, soaking it all in. Listening to the pointers from some of the great members here, reading their many build threads, and just being glad to be a part of it all! So here it begins my 1990 Jeep YJ Islander build thread!

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90 YJ Islander*Nuttered4.2*MC2150*4" RE Lift*BESRK 1" Boom Shackles*33x12.5x15 BF MTs*Spyder bumper*
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Unread 06-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #2
RobzRidez
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I know I am well behind now but I will try to catch it all up to present time. So here it are a couple of pictures that I took of the Islander when I got her home in all her blue beauty!! So this is just a quick starting point of where I started with.
rsz_1rsz_1rsz_1s7300314.jpg   rsz_1rsz_s7300315.jpg   rsz_s7300377.jpg  
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90 YJ Islander*Nuttered4.2*MC2150*4" RE Lift*BESRK 1" Boom Shackles*33x12.5x15 BF MTs*Spyder bumper*
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Unread 06-03-2013, 02:08 PM   #3
CrawlingForward
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Nice! Love a good islander! (We have a matching 2010. I love the YJ version even more!)

EDIT: sorry, looks like I'm jumping the gun, posting before you'd finished!
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My Other Jeep Is A Jeep - Crawlingforward's Jeep-Related Adventures

95 YJ, Rio Grande - The Wannabe Sleeper Wheeler
2010 JKU, Islander Edition - The Burly Stock Overlander

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Unread 06-03-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
RobzRidez
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Ok now that you see the base YJ that I started with and know I spent more time than should be allowed rummaging all over the JF site. I read over and over to try and keep the Body Lift around an inch. So I made my first order, a 1" Daystar poly body lift. Within a week it was waiting at my front door when I drug my butt home from work and I was rejuvenated. So I tore the box open and rolled out to the drive way. Thought what the heck, lets just see if I can turn a couple of the bolts... so I turned them all and didn't quit till the last spacer was torqued down. Damn fine feeling, my first change to the first YJ in my life!
rsz_s7300332.jpg   rsz_s7300336.jpg   rsz_s7300342.jpg   rsz_s7300345.jpg   rsz_s7300385.jpg  

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Unread 06-03-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
RobzRidez
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Now that I have a little body lift its time to start hitting the suspension. I researched and researched, and ready everyone's opinions and took it all in and with my budget in mind I decided on a Rubicon Express 4" kit. I placed my order along with a matching SS and 2 seats and some grab handles and I better hold up there. Now it took a couple of weeks and a couple of phone calls to get my stuff in due to the sway disconnects being on backorder. So I told them to get my stuff in route and the could send me that crap later, come on! So they did, and I waited until 7PM on Friday night to hear the UPS man pull up and get the pleasure of watching him unload the boxes. Anyway its here. Pretty complete set; springs, shocks, u-bolts, bushings, brake line extensions(stainless), dropped pitman arm, shims, transfer case drop... Here are some picks.
rsz_s7300348.jpg   rsz_s7300350.jpg   rsz_s7300352.jpg   rsz_s7300354.jpg  
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Unread 06-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
RobzRidez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawlingForward View Post
Nice! Love a good islander! (We have a matching 2010. I love the YJ version even more!)

EDIT: sorry, looks like I'm jumping the gun, posting before you'd finished!
Thanks! Like the look of the new blue one too, Big Islander stickers!!
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Unread 06-03-2013, 03:16 PM   #7
RobzRidez
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And not that this has anything to do with my build but this is the first time I took the top off and my 3 darling boys got to climb around at its stock stance! BTW my 15 year old wants one too so maybe.....
rsz_1s7300321.jpg  
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Unread 06-03-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
Tom95YJ
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It looks like you are off to a good start !

I recently picked up my 89 Islander which is also Pacfic Blue, I'll be watching your build. Mine is going to take a year or two before its lifted because I am finishing my XJ first then the YJ gets 100% of my attention
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Unread 06-04-2013, 07:33 AM   #9
RobzRidez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom95YJ View Post
It looks like you are off to a good start !

I recently picked up my 89 Islander which is also Pacfic Blue, I'll be watching your build. Mine is going to take a year or two before its lifted because I am finishing my XJ first then the YJ gets 100% of my attention
Thanks!! I have read your build threads and saw the YJ deal! DD the heck out of it! This is my first build so I guess I don't have much say but I already have visions of more and more and with 3 boys I may get my chance. If I ever get time with all the quad, and bike repairs I usually get left....
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Unread 06-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #10
RobzRidez
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Took the boys down to the Swap and Show to take a look around at the other setups out there. Picked up a set of grab handles from a Vendor that isn't too far away. Good to know... Also picked up a set of speaker pods that I had a brand new set of 6x9's sitting in the garage just waiting for a place to go. Got the speakers wired up and the pods installed and beats those old 5.25's the PO had sitting on the rear wells. However my drivers seat does rub the pod when I am all the way back which is usually where I am. I can hear tunes now so Im happy.
rsz_1s7300463.jpg   rsz_s7300461.jpg  
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Unread 06-04-2013, 02:28 PM   #11
RobzRidez
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Body Lift...Check! Suspension ordered...Check! Now these factory shackles just wont do... PM'd BESRK, Boom Shackles on the way! While Im waiting I figured Id go ahead and put that new SS on. Pretty simple and straight forward... Done! While Im under there I started soaking down everything with PB in hopes it start working in by the time I am ready to start the lift. Heres the SS but I haven't put the sticker on yet, waiting to see how everything sits.
rsz_s7300361.jpg   rsz_s7300371.jpg  
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Unread 06-04-2013, 04:39 PM   #12
Tom95YJ
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Those pods are nice I had them in my 95 along with the pod for 5.25's that go infront of the shifters hooked up to an amp they sounded great. I will eventually do it in this Yj also but the po installed a homemade sound bar with 5.25's. some new 4x6's in the dash and 2 8" Subs in the back it sounds pretty good
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Unread 06-04-2013, 09:54 PM   #13
RobzRidez
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Yea these made a big difference. I've always been a stereo nut, so it was killing me. Just picked up a soundbar that I am going g to redo to give me a little bit more sound. Nothing better than the top off and jamming out!
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Unread 06-05-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
RobzRidez
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While I'm planning and organizing the Sprig swap, I decided to go ahead and mount these Boom Shackles that Sparrows suggested from BESRK here on JF. If you are in need of some then Jim does a great job and it is a damn good deal for these beefy things. He will get them right out and to your door within a couple days! Anyway no problems swapping these out, even put my oldest boy on a wrench to get him lending a hand! After all 4 were complete, made a noticeable difference in the stance. Still need to get some support bolts through the center holes before I try to start flexing it too much. Here are a couple pics, check out the difference!
rsz_s7300386.jpg   rsz_s7300385.jpg   rsz_s7300387.jpg   rsz_s7300395.jpg   rsz_s7300396.jpg  

rsz_s7300394.jpg  
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Unread 06-05-2013, 12:13 PM   #15
RobzRidez
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Long weekend so here goes nothing... Started with the back springs and not too much trouble, yeah there was 23 years of corrosion and wear on most everything, but was able to power through. Passenger side came off with not much of a fuss at all, spring out, shock out, spring in, shock in. This included the new U-bolts and shock relocate bracket. Drivers side, about the same but a little easier, so I thought. the main eye wrap was actually broken on that side which made it pretty easy to drop the spring out, and according to the rust it had been broke for some time. A little cutting action and good to go! Kit also came with an extended stainless brake line extension, so got it buttoned up too! Knocked the old track bar out, rear end done!
rsz_s7300373.jpg   rsz_s7300408.jpg   rsz_s7300409.jpg   rsz_s7300411.jpg   rsz_s7300412.jpg  

rsz_s7300423.jpg   rsz_s7300425.jpg   rsz_s7300430.jpg   rsz_s7300431.jpg  
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