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SPARTAN LOCKERS are on sale BIG TIME at ROCKRIDGE 4WD!FLASH SALE! Open thread to reveil the Newest Sale @ ROCKRIIntroducing MONSTALINERô UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed Line

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Unread 06-18-2014, 09:57 PM   #1
geusey
Registered User
1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Morton, Texas
Posts: 268
Rusty the Blue YJ

Now that I'm getting in pretty deep into this project, I decided I might as well start a build thread. If nothing else, it will help me keep track of everything I'm doing here. I'm going to include everything I've done to the Jeep so far, along with a to-do list of upcoming modifications.

Okay, let's start at the beginning, the spring of '08. I was 17 and driving around my sister's old '87 XJ Cherokee. it was a piece of junk, but it was enough to make me want a YJ. My parents, as they did with my other siblings, bought me a car for my graduation from high school. This is what I got:



Blue 1992 YJ with the 4.0. At the time it had about 146,000 miles and no mechanical issues (other than blowing oil into the air filter, which I understood was normal). No lift, everything was bone stock except the top. It had a cracked hardtop and lower half doors. First thing I did was order upper half doors and a soft top with hardware. That at least kept the Oregon rain out.

Now, the other issue the Jeep has is rust. Even though I lived in Oregon at the time (which is not a very rusty part of the world), the Jeep had apparently been in Massachusetts and had rust issues (you can see in the pic. Most of what I found was cosmetic and on the tub, but as I dug deeper, I found more and more on the frame. Eventually, it became clear that I needed to do some repair. I had my brother, who was a welder, patch it up the best he could to get me through the next few years until I was out of college, when I could start up a restoration project on it.

Here's a good pic of the side where you can see the work done on it. It's not pretty, but it's not rusty either.



Fast forward a couple of years (spring 2013), and I'm in my last semester of college and I'm student teaching. I was using Rusty to get to and from the high school I was teaching at (about 20 miles away). That's when the death wobble started. Changed the shocks. Nothing. I'm not going to say I know for sure that the death wobble was because of the the sagging stock springs, but I knew it couldn't be helping anything and I was just aching to get a lift. Long story short, my brother and I spent spring break that year installing all new 2.5" Old Man Emu lift springs.

Anyway, I was running the 2.5" OME lift with 235/75/R15 tires for about a year. Sorry, I don't have a pic of this setup, just picture the same jeep from before, just a little.....taller?

Alright, if you're still with me, congrats. You've gotten to present-day. Now that I'm out of college and gainfully employed, I have parked the Jeep and have a separate daily driver. I'm also a teacher, so I have plenty of time during the summer to work on this sort of project.

Engine needed an overhaul, so that's where I started this summer. Pulled out the head first and sent it to a machine shop, then pulled the engine itself out. The machine shop I sent the head to gave me a great deal on bearings, rings and gaskets, so I got everything I needed for an overhaul there. I had the head resurfaced, crack checked, and vacuum checked, along with rings, bearings, gaskets, and a new thermostat housing (corroded onto the head) for under $300.

Here's some pics of the rebuild (in progress):





I'll get more pics of that and show the finished product when it's done.

On to the body. I told you about the hobbled-together repairs that were just to get me through college:







After poking around the rust damage and the repairs done on the body tub, I started looking into the prospect of a new tub. Not cheap, but sometimes you can find a deal on a good used one. Well, I did. I'm living in Texas right now, but my family still lives in Oregon, and I found a CJ7 tub near them with a frame for a steal. I know a CJ7 tub isn't ideal, but its dimensions are the same as a YJ and this frame is rust free, so I'm all over it. I can do a little fabrication to make it work. I know YJ tubs are galvanized and CJ tubs are not, but I don't live in a high rust area, so I'm not really worried about that too much. I just want something that is structurally sound. It comes with a frame, and I don't really have any use for it, but for the price I'm getting the frame and tub for, I can turn around and sell the frame by itself to almost break even.

So, for now, the plan is to put the CJ7 tub on the YJ frame. While the tub is off, I'll be doing some repair to the frame as well. I'll get pics of that when it starts happening.

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Unread 06-19-2014, 08:11 AM   #2
geusey
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Morton, Texas
Posts: 268
What's been done so far:
incomplete rust repair
New soft top (about 1 year ago)
Trac bars and sway bars removed (still have the sway bar. I may put it back on, but it needs repaired first.)
2.5" OME lift
T-case drop


To Do List:
Re-install the rebuilt 4.0
Replace Tub (already got a CJ7 tub waiting to be picked up)
Paint everything while it's off the frame
Do any repairs to the frame while the body is off
New Gas tank/sending unit (tank leaks and pump is going out)
Ford 8.8 swap (going to go for a 3.73 or 4.10 ratio with LSD)
Replace the front 3.07 axle with a Dana 30 with a gear ratio to match the 8.8 in rear
Install a locker in the front axle
1" body lift (I'm going to have to replace all the body mounts anyway)
Replace seats
Replace doors (or at least the drivers side door, it's damaged pretty severely. Maybe it can be fixed???)
32" tires
Get rid of the transfer case drop in favor of a SYE
New bumpers
Winch (the atv winch you see in the picture there is not my doing.)

This is going to be a while.
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Unread 06-20-2014, 06:00 AM   #3
responder
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1994 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Prudhomme, SK
Posts: 349
Maybe it's just me, but I can't see your pictures
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Unread 03-24-2015, 09:02 PM   #4
geusey
Registered User
1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Morton, Texas
Posts: 268
Pics fixed. Update coming.
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Unread 03-24-2015, 09:25 PM   #5
geusey
Registered User
1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Morton, Texas
Posts: 268
I ended up finding a YJ tub with a frame and went with that instead. This has simplified everything and I'm making some decent progress. Only problem with the new frame is that it was a 4 cylinder jeep, so the motor mounts are in the wrong spot for the 4.0. From what my research has turned up, I can cut them off and move them forward 4.5 inches and weld them back on for the 4.0.

So far, I have the engine rebuilt and almost ready to drop in, except for the fuel rail (needs a new one after being screwed up by a stubborn rusty fuel line). The suspension and axles are mounted under the new frame. Wiring harness is installed and electrical is currently being hashed out.

Here's some pics:






Engine ready to go




Transmission and transfer case will each get a fluid change before being installed.






Still a few parts to recover from the old body before selling.



Right now my goal is to have it all running and driving this summer.
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Unread 04-02-2015, 07:49 PM   #6
geusey
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Morton, Texas
Posts: 268
Just finished installing the wiring today. I have a little more work to do on the engine and then I will move the motor mounts (the frame is set up for a 4 cylinder) and install the drivetrain.
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