So I picked this 91 2.5l/5spd YJ up a little over a year ago (in November 2012) for the price of $1,100 and a cheap Remington/Baikal 12ga shotgun.. I suppose $1,400 value altogether. It came with an extra 4 cylinder chassis, hood, front fenders, tailgate, and half doors, extra carpet, grille, and a whole lot of dirt and rust in every possible orifice. With my experience as a welder/fabricator (and CWI Inspector) I wasn't too concerned with the rust repair and my area is pretty well saturated with used jeep parts. I have experience in commercial truck modification and a full set of tools and any tool I end up needing is procured without much fuss since I'm without a wife for several years now. I also live pretty close to the proprietor of Simpson Family Jeeps so I have substantial Jeep knowledge to lean on when necessary.
I had found this on Craigslist, went and saw the rust, (and awful body lift) and figured worse case scenario my dad uses it as a farm implement on his Christmas tree farm. The price was close to what I wanted to pay so I worked out a deal with a friend and we hauled the whole mess of it home with his gooseneck and dually.
On getting it home all the fluids were checked, topped off, and/or replaced as well as the spark plugs. Then I noticed the belt was missing one rib... on further inspection I found that the wrong pully had been installed and the adjuster bolt was wrecked. So I picked up a new pully, pressed it on, and built a new adjuster out of 3/8" threaded rod with nuts welded on in strategic places. I then welded a nut to the back side of the adjuster block that the rod threads through that moves the PS pump and ran a tap through to make sure it all fit. This was all before I started taking huge amounts of pictures so none are posted of that here... except this one of the pump without the pully -
Now that it was running well enough to start thinking about getting it on the road I set about tearing into it, cleaning, patching, and making the modifications I wanted it to have.
More to follow... probably tonight 12/4. I have about 250 pics uploaded to photobucket so be patient.
Last edited by Shadownwpa; 02-11-2014 at 12:55 AM..
Do you know where the PO found that muffler hanger? I've been looking for one just like that but can't decide to go with bailing wire or duct tape.....!!!
Man, you know some dude's wife is THRILLED to have all that outta her yard. Nice score.
Please Note: My actual location is a lead box in Sassafras Cove.
-Proud Co-Founding Member of the Dirtbag Brotherhood
-Ringleader of the WhiteTrash Circus.
**LONG LIVE 4-LOW**LONG LIVE 4-LOW**LONG LIVE 4-LOW**
So through the winter I continued to disassemble and pick at it. I went to open the back window one day.. figured out they don't bend too well in the middle of the winter. The whole top was pretty tired so I just removed it, putting the hard top on when I would cover it to keep the snow off.
In mid-winter I started working on picking the scabs and patching up the tub. I had decided early on that I wanted the family bar upgrade so the removal exposed plenty of places to repair. The green metal is cut from some old shelves we had sitting around.
Note: Initially I had little concern for the jeep being pretty when I was done with it, and I HATE body work... in case anyone was wondering why the ugly patches on the outside.
So this brings us to March, when I decided to start buying up parts. I found a 8.8 rear end for $115 (limited slip, disk brakes) at a local junkyard and hauled it home.
Then I found some hard doors (cheap but in Buffalo, NY) to go with the hard top I had picked up previously, the guy also had some half decent seats so I brought those home too.
It was around this time that I decided to try and sort out the tailgate situation. The one on it was junk so I patched up the spare. I left it like shown for a while and eventually sold it at my friends booth at Bantam because it was no longer needed, we'll get to that.
March 23rd - took it up the hill.. in the snow.. I was impressed with how far up I made it given the conditions, but ran out of gas at the top. I let it sit a minute then scavenged enough fumes to get back down the hill and across the field to the garage.
Soon after I had the following conversation (or something thereabouts) with my father -
Dad: So when are you gonna get that crap out of my driveway?
Me: When I can get the welding done on the body and frame to get it inspected..
A couple days later -
Me: How about we park the yanmar outside for a couple weeks so I can lift the tub and patch back here by the spring hanger. Shouldn't take too long...
Dad: Fine, as long as the tractor is covered.
From there the 'two weeks' just spiraled out of control.
April 4, 2012 - Preparations were made for the removal of the tub from the frame, I borrowed a trailer from a neighbor to set the tub on. We used Dad's Massey Ferguson to lift the tub (shoulda just used the bobcat forks), pushed the chassis out of the way, and backed the trailer under the tub. The tub was covered and left to be dealt with later. Before all that though I removed the seats, steering column, dash, and windshield. The windshield gave me some trouble with stripped out bolts, but nothing a welder and another bolt can't fix.
Another pair of hands would have been awesome in getting the dash out, but a rope and bungees can hold it out of the way so you can get in to unhook things.
Initially we left the front clip together because I was trying to get around having to remove the wiring beyond unhooking the engine.. it might have worked if I had kept that tub.
So after the tub was off and the chassis was rolled in I surveyed the damage. I found this busted motor mount, saw the real extent of the rear frame damage, and found plenty more areas needing attention. The fuel filter skid plate did little more than collect crud to rot through the frame. The shock mounts were layered out with rust. All of the rear passenger side frame rail would need replaced along with the inner driver frame rail. The rear crossmember wasn't in so good of shape so it was scrapped, I left the second-to-rear crossmember in for the time being.
Some nice porosity in the factory weld holding the rear crossmember... Overall not too impressed with the factory welders, they put down some BS welds.
I then started cutting and replacing the rot...
Replacement frame ends were made from some plate we had sitting around, it was powder coated from its previously intended use in a high pressure coolant system control box. It was 1/8" thick, the cutting was done with a 4" grinder using 4 1/2" wheels... I had Dad make the holes for the shackle bushing tubes on the Bridgeport.
After the plates were made the fitting, tacking, and welding began. Some of the pictures don't show much gap between the plates, but prior to welding any of the joints there was at least 1/16" gap to assure penetration with the Lincoln 220v mig I'm using, not sure the model of the machine.
After that corner of the frame was done I used the Harbor Freight 130# pressure pot sandblaster I had picked up ($120 on sale) to blast the frame. Over the course of a week or so I got the thing blasted and went back to the business of patching holes. Also in this time any bracketry having to do with the track bars was removed. The 8.8 was also cleaned up.
By this time I had ordered my Pro-Comp 2.5" lift springs (to replace the body lift) so I pulled the rear axle, welded in my 2x4x1/8" rear crossmember, removed the rotten 2nd crossmember, and continued the patching. I also re-purposed the oem u-bolt plates for the larger axle by filling the holes with weld, grinding flat, then re-drilling them at the needed spacing.
Here's the cut-out where the old fuel filter guard held enough salt to rot the frame.
When removing the power steering pump I had issues with the captive nuts inside the frame to I cut open the top and welded in bolts sticking down for the pump to mount to, then welded it all shut. (I think this is what it was, I know I had to fix something in the frame right there by the pump)
Nice to have a Bridgeport and surface grinder to use there's not much that can't be done with that combo
There's actually two surface grinders there that don't get so much use, as well as two lathes, two bridgeports, a vertical bandsaw, optical comparator, tig/stick unit, and a pressure system Dad uses to test some of the high pressure tooling he modifies. I come from a family of toolmakers but for some reason went into welding.. I suppose cranking handles didn't sound as dangerous.
Sub'd up! Great work man, looks like your super motivated. Wonder what it'll look like in another year!
Thanks, at that point I was trying to get it together in time for Bantam, that didn't work. Then I tried for a trail ride a friend was sponsoring, that didn't work either. Another motivating force came to be Dad asking when my crap would be out of his garage when I far surpassed the 'two weeks'. I think these pics aren't even into May yet, there's alot more to come.
I then started on the 8.8 spring perches and welded the axle tubes. I preheated the housing to a couple hundred then used regular ER70s- mig wire, fancy alloy is unnecessary in my opinion for this.
Some residual magnetism on the ABS? sensor on the 8.8..
It didn't take long for wheels to start falling off the HF mechanic seat so I welded some new ones on.. necessary stuff ya know.
Once I had the exploder spring perches cut off the axle I fixed them up to reuse, electing to wait on welding them in until I was set with the drivetrain in position. A big part in this decision was the massive amount of camber (just under 9") in the pro-comp 2.5" lift springs I got to replace the body lift. There's some driveshaft issues in the axle test fit pics here..