My YJ dilemma - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-13-2021, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
alev
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My YJ dilemma

Hi everybody - I'm a fresh YJ owner, I've been avidly consuming this forum posts, and this is my first post.

I have a dilemma. Despite its 124k miles, my YJ is immaculate. Everything is original, and everything works. But...I have two small kids, and want to make sure they can safely ride with me. I'm currently thinking of swapping the original back bench for one with headrest (Bestop Trailmax II Fold-and-Tumble), changing all seatbelts with new ones from Seatbeltsplus, changing front seats to go with the rear bench (Bestop Trailmax II Sport), and swapping headlights and taillights with LED ones (compared to modern cars lights, the YJ sort of disappears in the night, and I can't see much).

So the dilemma: would you YJ gurus think these are upgrades, or am I making a huge mistake and instead should try and keep my YJ as original as I can?

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 03:26 AM
bruinjeeper
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The seat belts wouldn't affect any value of it going forward should you choose to sell it. They are a good idea for safety and many of us after 30 years or so that these vehicles have been on the road should be changing out our seatbelts.

Your OEM seats are in immaculate shape.

Although changing base model seats out for Bestops can be seen as an upgrade to most future potential buyers.

LEDs are fine... maybe just keep the originals in a box on a shelf somewhere, again, if you plan to sell the jeep in the future. Would be quick to swap them back in.

I think the mods you're planning are conservative and I fully endorse all of them.

Any idea on the style or type of headlights you plan to install? I can tell you it really made a huge difference when I simply upgraded the factory wiring harness for the headlights with 12gauge wiring and relays. The mod is so popular and successful they now sell these harnesses complete on various platforms.... it brighten the original headlights up quite a bit. If you combine that upgrade with say, Delta Lightforce sealed H4 headlights... the difference is incredible in performance without much change to an original look. Just cleaner looking.


(Even after these mods, I went LED.... which is a spectacular difference, but they weren't a necessity).

~YJOTM MAY '16, JULY '19~


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post #3 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 07:12 AM
StanF
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Your mods sound very reasonable. Of course, this may not be the best place to ask...most of us here have been replacing parts, hacking sheetmetal for larger tires and making our YJs work for our needs.

I would not be very concerned with anything that can be un-done. You can bolt back in the original seats, if you save them. Same thing with the seat belts and lights. Assuming you have space to store everything.

I never found the stock seats to be very comfortable, so replacing them was a great upgrade for me. I have heard people say that the Bestop seats sit up too high in a YJ - so you might want to do some more research. They may make it difficult to get into the Jeep without hitting the steering wheel. Tilt wheel is supposed to make this better, if you have that.

I have new front seat belts from seatbelts plus, and they fit and work perfectly.


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post #4 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 10:12 AM
fishadventure
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Do the headlights relay upgrade and buy the brighter sylvania sealed beams

I personally hate LED and projector headlights and haven’t found the need, really. I don’t think the YJ disappears in the night, it’s just not blinding bright like stupid Audi taillights and Ford headlights are.

I’d keep the oem front seats though I can see the rear seat replacement.
(On the other hand as a kid we drove to Florida from NH a number of times and at least two of those were done mostly sleeping on the back window shelf of a 1969 Nova. IF there were an accident sure the risk of injury might be higher but the risk of an accident isn’t higher regardless.)

Anyway, the headlight mod is an easy project and there are adequate kits for low cost like this one I need to do myself
You might get some recommendations on a good kit; this one is cheap but does have the ‘checked over’ label lol
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 11:05 AM
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I have Bestop front seats and Seatbeltsplus belts in the front. In my opinion, the seats you have are much better and I wish I had them. Alas, mine were so worn that replacing was the only real option. The Bestop are okay, but you will find out you sit too high for about the first year. Until the padding foam takes a compression set. Some guys modify the bases to make them sit lower. If you have a tilt wheel that might solve that issue. The factory seats are still a lot better.

Seatbelts plus are not an upgrade. I have them because my originals were frayed and sun damaged. Wish I had the originals though, as they just work better. The SB+ work, but the lap belts don't slide through the Y buckle properly and so the lap portions tighten up. Which isn't a problem until the next time you get in the Jeep, and the lap portion is too tight to reach the buckle. Then, they don't want to slide to loosen. Best thing I can say about the SB+ belts is that they work, but they are far from an upgrade IMO.

I don't have a back seat. I think my recommendation would be to keep that seat, but get a family style roll cage. I think I see enough of it in your pics to say that you have the sport style. The family style offers much better protection for rear passengers. Or even if you do change the seat, change the roll cage. As far as resale value, you can just keep the old seat if you want. I sold mine for $40. They are not worth much.

Bill

1988 Wrangler,4.2L I-6, Howell EFI JP-1,CRT HEI Ign,AX15 ext slave conversion, Zone 2" lift + 1" BL + 1/2" booms, BFG 31 x 10.5, Bestop.
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 05:25 PM
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^ he has the family style roll cage.

I can see how the OP wants his seat set to match.

Perhaps there are matching seat covers for the front seats to match whichever style of the bestop trailmax pattern you get. Personally, i would look into Corbeau for your rear bench - they have some cozy "hugging" looking models.

Of course, the cozier they look in the magazine - you lose fold and tumble operation if that matters.

Or think outside the catalog like the pic below. Two front buckets in good shape from a junkyard find will work with a little fab work. We had a member here recently who found a bench out of _______ and put it in his YJ. Real comfy looking.
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~YJOTM MAY '16, JULY '19~


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post #7 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
alev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinjeeper View Post
The seat belts wouldn't affect any value of it going forward should you choose to sell it. They are a good idea for safety and many of us after 30 years or so that these vehicles have been on the road should be changing out our seatbelts.
Thanks! New seatbelts it is then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinjeeper View Post
Your OEM seats are in immaculate shape.
Although changing base model seats out for Bestops can be seen as an upgrade to most future potential buyers.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinjeeper View Post
LEDs are fine... maybe just keep the originals in a box on a shelf somewhere, again, if you plan to sell the jeep in the future. Would be quick to swap them back in.
Thanks, I think I'm going to do that for both the lights and the seats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinjeeper View Post
I think the mods you're planning are conservative and I fully endorse all of them.
Good to hear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bruinjeeper View Post
Any idea on the style or type of headlights you plan to install? I can tell you it really made a huge difference when I simply upgraded the factory wiring harness for the headlights with 12gauge wiring and relays. The mod is so popular and successful they now sell these harnesses complete on various platforms.... it brighten the original headlights up quite a bit. If you combine that upgrade with say, Delta Lightforce sealed H4 headlights... the difference is incredible in performance without much change to an original look. Just cleaner looking.
These are the ones I have in mind (sorry cannot paste link): extremeterrain.com/jeep-wrangler-led-headlights-black-housing-clear-lens-rt28106.html

What do you think? Any other suggestion?
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
alev
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You all are AWESOME!

So:
> Seats: I think that I'm going to save the current ones; I'll give the Bestop a go both in the back and front; worst case, I'll return them. I've read they sit higher, but it does seem to be a temporary issue until they sink in. Unfortunately, I don't have a tilt steering wheel. I did look at Corbeau, but chose Bestop as they look the closest to the OEM ones. I'll post pics soon!

> Seatbelts: Thanks @bpounds ! I'v heard about some issues with seatbeltplus lap belt, but overall the reviews seem to be positive. Fingers crossed!

> Lights: @bruinjeeper I am thinking of going with these (sorry cannot past links): extremeterrain.com/jeep-wrangler-led-headlights-black-housing-clear-lens-rt28106.html#customer_reviews . @fishadventure You made me laugh with stupid Audi and Ford super bright lights...true, I'm just trying to see better and be seen.

@bpounds What do you mean by family style roll cage? The roll bar (which already is the full protective one) or a "net style" cage around the roll bar?
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-14-2021, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
alev
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You all are AWESOME!

So:
> Seats: I think that I'm going to save the current ones; I'll give the Bestop a go both in the back and front; worst case, I'll return them. I've read they sit higher, but it does seem to be a temporary issue until they sink in. Unfortunately, I don't have a tilt steering wheel. I did look at Corbeau, but chose Bestop as they look the closest to the OEM ones. I'll post pics soon!

> Seatbelts: Thanks @bpounds ! I'v heard about some issues with seatbeltplus lap belt, but overall the reviews seem to be positive. Fingers crossed!

> Lights: @bruinjeep; I am thinking of going with these (sorry cannot past links): extremeterrain.com/jeep-wrangler-led-headlights-black-housing-clear-lens-rt28106.html#customer_reviews . @fishadventure You made me laugh with stupid Audi and Ford super bright lights...true, I'm just trying to see better and be seen.

@bpounds What do you mean by family style roll cage? The roll bar (which already is the full protective one) or a "net style" cage around the roll bar?
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-15-2021, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alev View Post
You all are ON
You made me laugh with stupid Audi and Ford super bright lights...true, I'm just trying to see better and be seen?
You inspired me. I did the headlight relay upgrade yesterday.

You should, too.

Locally, every jeep owner that upgrades their headlights…loves them. As a driver.

Most people admit they don’t have good cutoff and are way bright to too bright for oncoming traffic. I hate them, I’m biased I admit.

In my 89 I have a CJ front clip. I nerfed the CJ bezels into USA cutoff housing that take 9007? bulbs. Now THAT’S an upgrade. Nobody flashes me on low beam, and nice wide, long illumination. As good as projectors? No but I’m not driving the autobahn at 150mph. LEDs are blinding white- some interpret this as ‘better.’ But in many cases from a variety of ‘brands’ I’m not certain the reach out further, they just present a very bright blob of in-your-face light. I hate them.
On low beam all the time oncoming cars are flashing me at night in my company car, a 2021 Nissan Rogue RR. Not all upgrades are improvements
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post #11 of 14 Old 09-15-2021, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alev View Post

@bpounds What do you mean by family style roll cage? The roll bar (which already is the full protective one) or a "net style" cage around the roll bar?
The actual roll bar/cage. Bruinjeeper says you already have the family style, and I can't see enough of it to be sure. The difference is in the rear portion. Sport style just has 2 struts that angle down to the tub. Nothing really over the passengers. Family style has additional tube members that curve back over the passengers, and then down to the tub.

My sport style:
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Bill

1988 Wrangler,4.2L I-6, Howell EFI JP-1,CRT HEI Ign,AX15 ext slave conversion, Zone 2" lift + 1" BL + 1/2" booms, BFG 31 x 10.5, Bestop.
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post #12 of 14 Old 09-15-2021, 04:15 PM
Waternut
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Here's my take on the modifications.... Not modifying YOUR Jeep to make someone else happy if you sell it is like not having sex with your wife to ensure she's more appealing to the next man if you get a divorce. I don't understand it.

Do you want it, will it make the Jeep more enjoyable for you, and can you do it for a price that will make you happy? Beyond that, I'd say safety should come into question but from what I've seen, everything you're doing is attempting to increase safety rather than decrease it so go for it.


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post #13 of 14 Old 09-16-2021, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
alev
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waternut View Post
Here's my take on the modifications.... Not modifying YOUR Jeep to make someone else happy if you sell it is like not having sex with your wife to ensure she's more appealing to the next man if you get a divorce. I don't understand it.

Do you want it, will it make the Jeep more enjoyable for you, and can you do it for a price that will make you happy? Beyond that, I'd say safety should come into question but from what I've seen, everything you're doing is attempting to increase safety rather than decrease it so go for it.
Thanks @Waternut ! Rear bench seat arrived today...let the mods begin!
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post #14 of 14 Old 09-16-2021, 05:41 PM
Boojo35
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I have some LED headlights that are used in my area in the LLV mail trucks. They do not blind oncoming drivers (if aimed correctly), they work really well and are bright. They truly are an upgrade. They cost about 38 bucks apiece but the problem is that they are Jasper innovative solutions and I have not figured out how to buy more of them. I got to drive many of the postal trucks in the dark and fell in love with those headlights.

I did see another brand once upon a time ago that is the same light but for the life of me cannot find that brand again.

Some LED headlights are a down grade.

The relay wiring trick really helps.

Some companies make outstanding square replacement housings that use H4 IIRC replacement bulbs. The good ones like are a great upgrade that is more focused light.

If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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