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skyj 01-22-2013 12:29 PM

Ok, so I have decided to start a build thread. Here is a little history of my jeep and how we came to be. I have loved jeeps ever since I was a small child our first family jeep was a 1984 Cj7. It was what I learned to drive a standard transmission in. My father and I had a blast exploring the mountains around our family ranch. Fast forward a few years and my parents sold it. Later on after high school my dad had moved away to Green Bay and always regretted selling the jeep so we set out to find another one. $200 later and we had a rusted out 1972 cj5 I spent almost every free hour I had working on that jeep we pulled the blown motor and swapped in a running one we bought off a news paper ad for $75 even though almost nothing worked right on it my dad and I had a blast working on it together.
here are some pics
Well as life would happen I grew up and moved away, three years later my dad sold that cj5 to fund a yj project he purchased which led up to me desperately wanting a jeep again. I begged my wife to allow me to sell my truck so I could purchase a jeep. She gladly accepted :kiss:(although she now sorely regrets saying that). In the summer of 2008 I purchased my 1990 jeep wrangler sight unseen from a KSL ad in Ogden UT. My awesome brother-in-law test drove it for me and checked it out. Later that week he drove it up to me over the 4th of July week. I was instantly in Love with my new purchase. I though it was so bada** and that it could do anything. I had already thought my knowledge of jeeps was sufficient and that I had made a sound purchase. Then the want to customize with off-road capabilities and with the hours and hours of research on here and Pirate4x4. I learned so many things I wanted to start trying all these awesome mods. Then my wife smacked me in the face with reality! :rtft:With a mortgage and 3 boys to feed my jeep budget was slim, but I was determined to have to a jeep capable of traversing Montana mountains and Moab slick rock. So a new jeep was born. Most of the stuff I will be explaining in the next few posts will have already been done I will try to get my thread caught up to where I am as of today, hopefully in chronological order.
Specs of jeep when purchased:
1990 jeep wrangler Laredo.
Engine: nuttered 4.2L
Transmission: stock Ax15
Transfer case: stock Np231
Suspension: 1.5 rough country lift 1" shackles
2" body lift
Transfer case drop
Front Axle: Dana 30, 3.07 gears
Rear Axle: Dana 35, 3.07 gears
Tires: Bald 33x12.50x15 wild country MT
Wheels AR steel 15x8
OK enough introductions!! On with the jeep build and pics

Picture from the day I bought it. july 2008
June 2012
Most recent May 2013

skyj 01-22-2013 12:30 PM

the first thing to go was the balding tires and somehow I ended up with a brand new spare with alum. wheels off craigslist for $100 so i threw the steel wheels with tires in the shed for safe keeping and mounted up 4 brand new 33x12.5x15 BGF A/T's from costco on the AR 15x10 alum. wheels. At the time I was still driving it on the street and wanted a more street friendly tire.
Just like any guy would do with new tires I went to try there effectivness out in some new fallin snow out at my parents ranch. The result of too much skinney pedal in reverse in a snow drift and bam!! went reverse
In the middle of tearing it apart I found a freshly rebuilt AX-15 with external slave on craigslist with best offer. Called him up turns out UPS dropped this tranny on a delivery and it somehow was "bound in gear" offered him $100 and brought it home with me. Removed the tail housing to find out that the shift rail was missing set bolt that held fork on shifter. installed bolt from my broken tranny and wala had a new tranny. I removed the rear tail housing from my broke ax-15 and installed it on new one( rebuilt one was clocked for a XJ) then proceeded to do an external slave on my previoiusly internal jeep.

Then proceeded to enjoy my jeep for awhile.............

skyj 01-22-2013 12:30 PM

Shortly after all the fun with the transmission my wife was begining to trust the jeep to take Me from point A to Point B. It started running rough . I decided to check the oil in the jeep since it had'nt ran very well recently. Yup confirmed my fears Milk in the oil.
broke as a joke!! so I started reseaching some possible upgrades and came accross this thread Then found a guy on craigslist( starting to see a trend here??) in the free section giving away two jeep motors one out of a '93 xj with 4.0 and a 4.2 out of AMC eagle so I buzzed over to his place and cleared his garage.while explaining to him what I was about to attempt he willingly offered up the complete wrecked jeep XJ (the one the 4.0 came out of) wohoo I hit the jackpot. :cheers:now I had all the stuff I needed for my 4.0 head swap. I followed the thread word for word, then went to a Junk yard an got an a HEI from a 198? chevy truck straight six. bought the parts to rebuild it with a drive gear from a 304 out of a CJ.
By this time I had done a enough research on the interweb about 4.0 head swap, HEI and MC2100 carb that my eyes should have been bleeding:crying:. It was about then that my Wife really said what the Hell have I done:laugh:

skyj 01-22-2013 12:31 PM

After I got the jeep back on her feet again I ran across an ad on craigslist for a warn winch for $150. I called and it turned out to be a 5687 winch so I picked it up it was pretty beat up but still worked well.
I quickly went to work on building me a winch mount for the front of the jeep. I made it all out of 1/4 steel. Drilled all the holes with a bi-metal holesaw steady hand and trusty drill. I tacked it all together with my craftsman 120v welder, then took it over to my buddies shop to finish burning it together with his 240v mig welder.
It stayed like this for awhile up until about a year ago when I finished it I did a build thread in the fab shop here is a link: At the same time I ripped the horribly awful tube rear bumper off and made a rear bumper with a receiver out of 2x4x3/16 steel, with plans to add a swing away to it.

'92 vegas YJ 01-22-2013 02:38 PM

Im in. Its about time you make a build thread :D

skyj 01-22-2013 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by '92 vegas YJ (Post 14834099)
Im in. Its about time you make a build thread :D

Thanks Man your jeep has been a big inspiration to mine! I had been regretting not starting a build thread since my Father lives so far away now. I want him to be able to follow along with me. I feel that this build will be able to keep him in the loop to as what is happening instead of me trying to explain it to him over the phone. Dont worry there will be plenty of tech coming up, and wheeling pics of Moab. My buddy just bought a built YJ with a V8, tons and 37's so I finally have someone local to me to wheel with.

skyj 01-22-2013 07:32 PM

alright still bringing it up to date. after the winch and bumper I drove it like that for about a year and did some wheeling and just some general fun in it. Picked up a '96 ford exploder 8.8 with 3.73 open for $75 on craigslist. I tore it down slowly buying parts to rebuild it and was on the look out for a set of 4.56 gears for it. Then one day after a softball game Im driving home and Snap!! clunk clunk!!. 1/4 mile from home rear tail cone on transfer case exploded:mad:.
So I pushed it home and winched it in the garage. Now sure I could have just bought a new tail cone and slapped it on there but where would the fun be in that. I browsed ebay and found a AA SYE for $160 with free shipping so I pounced on that and set myself in for a complete over haul on the suspension.
If you remember when I bought the jeep it had a RC 1.5 lift and road like a dump truck with a flat tire. I wanted a better riding jeep and a little more wheel base, so with some more searching online through pirate4x4. I learned that 80's jeep grand wagoneers leaf springs give you 2" of stretch and 2" of lift. As budget conscientious as I was I figured this was the time to pull the trigger on it. I made up some excuse to my wife that if I didnt do it now with the SYE I would have to buy two drive shafts and that it would cost me $400 bones, Ha ha she fell for it :kiss: I hit up my local junk yards and with $90 I bought two sets of front waggy leafs I quickly went to work on installing the SYE mean while stirpping spare parts off my parts XJ. I sold most of the drivetrain parts that I didnt plan on using. I sold the rear 8.25 to a local wheeler and happened to mention to him I had a 8.8 he told me he had a set of 4.56 gears and for $100 they were mine. Score:highfive:

I swapped springs an turned around and sold my RC lift for $100 I was feeling pretty proud of myself and loved the amazing ride those waggy springs gave, but alas I didnt have enough money to swap in the 8.8 at the time so it sat. I used the front CV shaft from my parts xj and had it cut and balanced to run with my SYE.I lengthened my stock front driveshaft and continued to wheel on the dana 35 knowing it was on borrowed time. I was also proud of my new found flex

Michaelgoesrawr 01-22-2013 08:34 PM

813 Attachment(s)
Those waggy springs have an offset perch right? Did you use them in the rear or build a bastard type pack with them?

skyj 01-22-2013 08:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Michaelgoesrawr (Post 14836140)
Those waggy springs have an offset perch right? Did you use them in the rear or build a bastard type pack with them?

Yes they are offset about 2" longer than stock YJ springs.I used them both front and rear. The fronts I used an XJ main leaf and made a mini military wrap.

Attachment 548860

Attachment 548858

Louie4 01-23-2013 06:02 AM


And in. :thumbsup:

grandboost98 01-23-2013 06:21 AM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by '92 vegas YJ (Post 14834099)
Im in. Its about time you make a build thread :D


Originally Posted by Louie4 (Post 14837480)

And in. :thumbsup:


Always admired your Jeep :2thumbsup:

skyj 01-23-2013 07:47 AM

Thanks guys! I have always wanted to do a build thread. Hopefully today I can get some more updates in.

khwrx 01-23-2013 08:12 AM

keep it up subbed. gotta get back out in the garage and work on my 1 ton yj project.

skyj 01-23-2013 09:22 AM

So in the summer of 2010 I was scrounging craigslist again and came across an ad for a set of ultra alum. wheels for a yj. The guy wanted to trade for a set of black steel wheels. Ha :laugh:remember the wheels my jeep came with so a phone call and we were off to swapping wheels and I ended up with these:
My wife and I also like to go to yard sales and buy good used stuff well I happened upon this run down beat up 1987 Kawasaki 250 for $20 I begged my wife to let me drag it home :kiss: a few dollars later and some turd polish I had this. ** add pic later**It was a complete hack job from wiring to motor mounts when I got it. Oh and it didnt run:D so after a used stator from a clapped out junk yard find it purred like a kitten. Around that time I found an ad on craigslist (if you havent figured it out yet Im a craigslist junky) I find a guy wanting to trade a set of (5) 35x15.5.x15 Super swamper TSL SX for a dirt bike. A phone call later and I was on the road with the dirt bike in the back and came back with 5 fairly dry rotted TSL's. All hold air just fine.
that was just a pic of them mounted up to my dana 35:eyebulge:I could just hear it wincing in pain. I pilled the tires up in the corner of the garage and set out to one day install then for good once I got my 8.8 regeared.:2thumbsup:

skyj 01-24-2013 10:24 PM

In January of 2011 I finally had scrounged up enough money to buy a decent welder. I bought a Lincoln 180 mig, its been a great welder and can lay a nice bead.:thumbsup: In Febuary I had finally scratched the itch to install the 8.8 long enough and had saved enough coin to do so. We Left on vacation for Presidents day weekend and I swung by the shop of the guy going to install my gears for me in the 8.8. I had completly tore down the axle and had it all ready for him to setup my gears. As we were unloading the 8.8 Ryan just mentioned he happened to have a detroit locker for the 8.8 and for a extra $300 bones he could install it while he was doing the setup. We shook hands on the deal and I headed off to Island Park and a wonderful weekend in the snow with my wife and kids.:wave:
Shortly after we got back I set out on removing the old dana turdy-five.
I removed my gas tank also in preperation for doing the "dimple mod"
A few days later and I got a call that my 8.8 was done :highfive:
I didnt waste anytime getting it slung under the jeep.
Setting Pinion angle
welding perches on
I even stenciled the Punisher on the diff cover.:rolleyes:
After all the $$$ I had spent in the last two months and the extra cash I shelled out for the Detroit my front axle regear was gonna have to wait:(:(.
Unorthodox front axle swap coming next:teehee:............

The time now is 11:58 AM.

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