I’ve had my YJ for 3 years now (Aug. 2006) and I am finally getting around to posting a build thread.
This is my first Jeep. Before this I had a Tacoma that I started off-roading with, but had to sell because of the gas mileage. I bought a Civic, but really missed off-roading. One day I was browsing Craigslist at work and saw a YJ listed for $1,650. I left work and went to see it. The guy had to test drive it for me since I had never successfully driven a stick shift. Everything looked good so I went for it. A friend of mine drove it home for me, and I stalled around the neighborhood until I figured it out.
1995 Black Jeep Wrangler 4 cylinder SE 4x4 - $1650 (Costa Mesa)
Looking for that perfect summer car? Well look no further you've found it! I'm Moving to Hawaii and am selling some of my bigger toys. If you're interested in knowing more feel free to give me a call. I'd post a pic but if you've seen one jeep you've seen them all.
The day I got it
The modding and spending began. First thing I did was paint the dash and door panels black. I got TJ bumpers, TJ flares, Rubicon rockers, tube steps, 31” tires, fog lights and a newish soft top all on Craigslist over the first couple of months, and took the Jeep out for its first trail ride with me and did some serious rock crawling.
Got my lift! I still remember how excited I was, I got a 4” Rough Country kit and had a friend of mine install it at his shop. Then came a Smittybilt SRC front bumper and some KC lights. Also got Currie shackles, Warn steering box skid, fancy tail lights, CB radio and antenna, and an ex co-worker built me a bumper / tire / gas can carrier that I designed. After a while the lift sagged so I added a 1” body lift.
Went on a couple of wheeling trips up to Big Bear
95 Black YJ
Last edited by sebastian22; 08-21-2009 at 06:54 PM..
Herculined the tub, got a Harbor Freight 8k winch, new seats, a CJ hard top (which I sold a couple months later) and some more lights.
Installed an Aussie front locker and did some more trails
Found a guy to build a cage for me. Dropped the YJ off at his house on a Friday and picked it up on a Sunday.
I decided to change direction with the lift. Ordered some Rubicon Express 4.5” extreme duty springs.
Had to do some minor repairs. Failed smog due to a bad cat, and a cracked exhaust manifold. Also discovered a manifold stud was broken inside the engine block. Paid a guy to put in a new cat, and I took on the manifold swap.
95 Black YJ
Last edited by sebastian22; 08-21-2009 at 08:28 PM..
Drew up some rock sliders and had a buddy a work cut them out on the laser and bend them on the brake. Then had my new friend Jimmy (the guy who built my cage) bend and weld some steps.
We also made some seat brackets for my ridiculously tall seats.
Installed some M.O.R.E. shock hoops and Fox 2.0 emulsion shocks in the front.
Scored a sweet craigslist deal on a Warn bumper/tire carrier that I liked better than my home made one. Had to drive 50 miles to the city of Murrietta and saw a small fire by the freeway a couple of cities over on the way out. On my way back, the entire freeway was shut down so I had to take a huge detour to get home, only to be told by the local PD to start getting ready to evacuate. Fortunately the fire was under control by the morning so I went ahead and put that sucker on. Kinda crappy installing it by myself.
After lots of research and saving, I swapped in an Explorer 8.8 (4.10 gears) with the help of my new friends. I did all the prep work, and when it was ready to go, I went to Jimmy’s and we threw it all together.
D35 out forever!!!
Couple weeks after we put in the 8.8, we went on one of coolest off-road trips I have been on. The Mojave Road. We drove 250 miles to Laughlin / Bullhead City Nevada. Then hit the trail and drove 220 miles through the desert.
February of 2009 we met a bunch of people from the San Diego JF group up in Big Bear. It snowed a lot the week leading up to the trip but we still went. Ran the Gold Mountain trail (my 2nd time). It was a piece of cake until we got to the North side of the mountain where the trail descent was full of snow and ice. After about 2 hours, a couple of fender benders, and many close calls, we were all safe and off the mountain.
Getting some coffee before heading out to Big Bear, already looked pretty nasty.
Meeting everyone at the Discovery Center. Didn’t really like driving in 4h up the mountain because of the Aussie in the front, just pulls too much and makes the steering whacky. Drove up nice and slow with chains in the back. Really wanted to run the elusive John Bull trail but decided not to because of the snow. This was the 2nd and there was later a 3rd time that we went up the mountain to run the John Bull trail, but ended up not doing it. I always heard stories and saw pictures about this trail, and my goal for a long time was to build my YJ capable enough to one day run this trail. Hopefully I will run it soon and see how I did.
Popping a wheelie (photo by forum member Poobah. Great shot!)
Back at the family cabin
Beth about to wipe out
Waiting for breakfast Sunday morning before heading back home (matching jackets, we're so cool)
95 Black YJ
Last edited by sebastian22; 08-31-2009 at 10:07 AM..
I was finally able to afford a TeraLow 4:1 case and swapped it in. Found a decent deal on the used case with the TeraLow kit and SYE already installed. NO MORE STALLING!
We ran my favorite and most technical trail I’ve done, Bullfrog/Cakewalk out in Lucerne Valley, CA. My first trail ride with the newly installed TeraLow. All I can say is I LOVE this thing. My favorite mod for sure.
The Jeep family almost complete (YJ, MJ, LJ, TJ, CJ, Rubicon) Our buddy with the XJ couldnt make it.
95 Black YJ
Last edited by sebastian22; 08-21-2009 at 08:37 PM..
After this trail, Beth and I moved in together and were pretty busy for a while, so the YJ just sat there, sad and alone. Last weekend I had a co-worker help me and we welded up brackets for a rack that forum member/moderator RustyWrangler built for me a while back.
We have a wheeling / camping trip planned for next weekend. We are heading to Big Bear to finally run the John Bull trail. Cant Wait!