Hey everyone! I guess it's been a while since I posted anything on here. I've not been dormant, I've just tried not to touch my computer for a while! Sometimes being disconnected is just what the soul needs for a bit.
I've been a pretty busy beaver these last few weeks though. We took the kid to Barrel Racing Camp, that was an adventure! Then I started working on the Jeep again. As of my last post I was trying to find a way to weld without spending so much time repairing blown through sections. As I was researching, a thought hit me. Maybe instead of pouring more money and time into the body work, I should use that money and save the time! I started hunting craigslist and I managed to find a YJ tub. It had it's issues, but they were NOTHING compared to what I was looking at doing on the original tub.
So the story on the tub I got is this, a guy was building up his Jeep and went to find a tub just like I was. He happened across the tub at a junk-yard. The junk yard would gladly sell him the tub, but only as parts. They wouldn't allow him to haul it out of the yard as a complete tub. So the geniuses they are, they decided to take a sawzall and cut the tub in half thus making it only "Parts" of a tub they were selling. Shortly thereafter he sold the jeep but didn't sell the tub with it. So it was sitting in his garage taking up space, and he put it on craigslist because the wife was tired of seeing it. I picked it up for $250 and haven't looked back yet. Here's a couple pics of what I got.
Here's the night I got it home:
Here's the next night:
Once I got the front part on there, I realized that the 4" body lift mounts were still attached on the front of the body, that's why the nose of it is lifted up so high making it look wonky.
It pretty much sat that way for a few days till I got more time to work on it.
Obviously Jeeps always seem to inherit a little rust, so I dug pretty hard to find it, and this is what I found!
I finally got some welding time, but I was struggling with my welder. Even being set at it's lowest setting it was blowing through this nice clean sheet metal. Plus it was a bit breezy, so I ended up getting some swiss cheese.
I spent the majority of an afternoon chasing holes I was blowing out as I figured out how to work with the welder I had.
As the evening wore on, the beads started looking better and better. I was figuring out how to make this malfunctioning machine work WITH me!
I got about half way across the body on that first day.
Tonight I finally had some more time to work on it, and so I pulled out the sand blaster, cleaned the paint off and got to the business of sticking metal to metal. It only took about an hour to do the whole other half of the body, and I gotta say, I'm kinda proud of what I was able to accomplish!
They're not the prettiest welds in the world, but they're solid and fully penetrated.
Here's the front side of the weld on the drivers side outer panel:
Here's the inside of that same panel, the back side of that weld:
So all in all, I'm pretty excited! I probably saved myself easily a couple hundred dollars by getting the YJ tub. Plus now I have spare parts if anyone needs them I'll sell them rather affordably. Especially if you live near me.
If anyone reading this has never done the YJ swap I figured I'd take some pictures of the few modifications that I'm going to need to make so that you'll be able to see what's going to need to be done.
As far as the body mounts, you'll have to move two of the body mounting points on the frame. They're fairly easy (I hope) if you've got a welder and a measuring tape. The first one is the very rearmost mounting points. You can either fill the old holes with some material, then re-cut new holes in the proper locations. Or you can just cut from the current holes a couple inches further the right direction to be able to get the mounts in there. They'll basically need to be moved about 1.5 inches outward.
The other two body mounts that need to be moved are the ones that are just in front of the rear axle. It looks like they'll need to be moved forward a few inches, and possibly even make some extensions to pull them outward away from the frame a little more. I'll have exact measurements in a day or so when I start working on that part of it.
So there we go, been pretty busy, but still a long way to go!