Project: Hugs v4.0 - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-17-2021, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
yjsaabman
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1930 CJ2 
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Elizabethtown
Posts: 85
Project: Hugs v4.0

Hey, folks! New to JeepForum, so I thought what better way to introduce myself than to start with a thread about my ZJ, Project: Hugs. I've had this thing for about 6 years and have been slowly building up while maintaining as much drivability as possible as it is my primary snow/winter vehicle. Before the ZJ I had a YJ for about 10 years that was 2.5L/5 speed powered, about 4" of lift, 31" tires, SYE and CV rear shaft, etc. I initially grabbed this because A) I like the ZJ platform, B) it was cheap and almost exactly what I wanted in a ZJ, and C) my wife was pregnant and I wanted to have something that could get her, or our child, where they needed to go in an emergency, regardless of the weather. My lowered, RWD e46 wagon was not going to do that. long story short, I picked up Hugs for $375 with a very slight slip in the trans, a bad heater core, and just some general neglect and maintenance needs like tires, exhaust, tune-up, etc. After one auto trans rebuild that only lasted about 15K miles I took the plunge and swapped in an AX-15 using XJ components. I should have just made a pedal bracket since the '94 had the holes on the firewall, but in the end it works pretty well. The build is chronicled pretty well over on the MallCrawlin' forum under the same username and thread title. Currently Hugs sits on a 2" Rough Country budget boost, '16 Rubicon wheels w/adapters, LT265/70R17 Westlake SL369 All Terrains, a fresh manifold back custom built 2.5" exhaust, right side has had the wheel wells opened up and a 2"x4" 3/16" wall tubing installed in place of the rusted rocker. Time just hasn't been available to get the left side done. Front seats are out of a 2000 BMW 323i Sport Wagon and are fully functional 10-way power and heated. Aside from the body work on the left side, my next project is get some type of tow points installed. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't had Hugs offroad, but I won't do it without tow points. I did source a factory gas tank skid from the junkyard, so that has protection. I'd love to build bumpers, but that also involves time that I don't currently have. Now that I've started this I'll be sure to update it as I update 'ole Hugs.

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-17-2021, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
yjsaabman
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Location: Elizabethtown
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And of course there needs to be pics!

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-18-2021, 03:48 AM
Mark-318-IT
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Desenzano del Garda (BS)
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very nice, i like it a lot!

360swapped:np242swap,shift kit,BOLT ONs,ome HD coils,aussie locker,dana30hp trussed
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-18-2021, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
yjsaabman
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Elizabethtown
Posts: 85
I was going to post a link to my thread over @ MallCrawlin', but I'll have to get my post count up first, it appears.

Currently working on getting a set of tow package 3.73 geared axles prepped to go in. It's not undriveable with the 3.55 gears (still better than my 4 cyl YJ on 31s w/4.10) but it could use improvement. I honestly don't think it will ever see anything bigger than 35s, so future plans include a trussed HP D30 and probably an 8.8. Goal is to keep it as low as possible, hence the opened up arches.

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post #5 of 7 Old 05-04-2021, 06:42 PM
95-ZJ
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Yjsaabman,

I was browsing trying to find more info for my lift and LCG goals and found this original rundown of your ZJ. I have researched the AX15 swap and wish I was more mechanically and physically able to do the 242re to AX 15 swap myself but, age and health and not having a garage precludes this as a option unless I find a competent local mechanic to "get er done".

I love the idea and appreciate that you have done it and are enjoying the manual swap. The idea you came up with for the Beemer 10 way seats, leads me to think that your a foreign auto mechanic as the wiring sounds complicated but maybe not? My greay original leather drivers and passengers power seats are shot as in shredded and the power adjustability doesnt function in the passenger seat so another wiring bug aboo, along with the power windows and door locks.

I did finally source an original, not broken, master wiring drivers door wiring jumper pigtail and boot, searched the entire usa and none available except the one I got, lucked out but still have other wiring issues so windows still arent functioning.

Anyway, back to your ZJ. You have great plans in action for your wheel wells for clearance and I like what Ive seen you do on the one side and may get after measuring and marking it out.

The Rockers on mine are rusty as well, not terrible, lime some Michigan examples Ive seen but enough that warrants just cutting them out and doing or have them done in the 4x4 or 2x6 slider weld in mod eventually as well.

Well, enough out of me. Ill be checking out the mallcrawler forum to see more of "hugs"

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post #6 of 7 Old 05-04-2021, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
yjsaabman
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Thank you. Yes, I am a foreign car mechanic, but I was foreign car enthusiast long before I worked on them professionally. My first car was an old Saab 900, which led to 2 more, and then a bunch of VWs (the community I met my wife through), and now I've moved on to BMWs, which is also my bread and butter. You can see much more in depth info on both the seat install and the fender clearance in my build thread by the same name over at the Mall Crawlin forums.

Honestly, fitting the super wide and fairly tall based BMW seats physically into the ZJ was much harder than the wiring for the seat power, which was just power and ground. The heating wiring was a bit more challenging, but I already had it as a sub harness from retro fitting them into another BMW before they went into the ZJ. I just had to figure out how to "wake up" the controller, which ended up just being a 12V switched power signal.

The technical aspect of the fender clearance came from an amazing build by a long time member over at Mall Crawlin by the username of Kraqa. His ZJ build is also posted over on Pirate 4x4, and it is absolutely mind blowing when it comes to an incredibly engineered LCG build. IIRC he's running 38" tires on about 5" of lift, one ton axles, and cantilevered coilovers in the rear. It is truly worth the read, and I followed his detailed steps for my fender clearancing.

As for the 5 speed swap, and pretty much the rest of my build, it's all been done in the driveway. I do have a garage, but it's occupied by another project I should really get back to so I can use the garage, again. If I was doing the 5 speed swap over again I would not use the XJ pedal cluster as it caused me a massive headache with the braking system. I would simply build a standalone clutch pedal like the OG 5 speed ZJs came with. I would have used the pedals from the XJ cluster, but not the bracket. Especially having a 94 which had the holes for the clutch master already in the firewall.

I'd love to get to the point of built axles, around 4" of lift, long arms, and 35" tires. Right now my goal is to finish the rockers and fender openings, and to get the 3.73 axles under it. After that comes tow points so I'm not afraid to use it, and eventually bumper builds and a roof rack.

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post #7 of 7 Old 05-04-2021, 07:40 PM
95-ZJ
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There is a older guy, that posts on YouTube that did an AX15 swap (pro level) on a 94or95 ZJ and he also started manufacturing custom linkage kits and pedal kits for his swap.

Do you know of the guy, I think hes in New Mexico or Arizona. If you have never seen his build, I'll track down the info, he has a website too with AX15ZJ.coooom.

I made the o's so I could use it as an example. Anyway, his pedals and linkage is supposed to be exceptional in terms of build quality, materials, strength and ease of install and use.

If your unfamiliar with the build and swap and his brand of beefed up pedal and linkage, id suggest you look at them and his schematics and pics. Good knowledge and engineering.

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For anyone doing this conversion.

I have no affilation to these people or their parts. I am just sharing info-

Pedal, brackets, linkage and other AX15 manual swap from an auto transmission Jeep ZJ manual transmission installation parts may be sourced from the following-

1. Novak dotcom
2. stickshiftzj dotcom

Last edited by 95-ZJ; 05-04-2021 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Added some part sourcing info others may find helpful
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