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Progression of a Red YJ by CCCJ - 5.3, SM465, D300, 9/D60...

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Build thread to track progress and seek advice on methods and techniques for building my 1994 YJ.

I bought this YJ with a previously installed 5.3 LM7 V8, SM465 transmission and NP231 with SYE.

It also had a 8.8 rear and original D30 front, 4.10, cable lock actuator and open diffs.

Not quite sure on the end state goal; it will change regularly as I wheel it and as my budget allows, but I'd like a very capable rockcrawler Jeep to be used at Gulches, Windrock, River Rock, Uwharrie and other parks. The intent is to trailer mostly but I also will daily drive it occasionally.

Let's get started

Purchase day pics-
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next I had to get rid of that tube bumper and install a winch. Quick short-term solution was a Harbor Freight universal plate on the frame and the Warn XD9000i off of my trailer. It looks like it spent time on the bottom of the ocean but it still pulls reliably and relatively fast.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My buddies sprung a trip on me last minute to Kairos Wilderness Resort, Glen Lyn, Virginia; so I loaded up the YJ and took it places it shouldn't have been.

It did very well to keep up with open diffs, but eventually I got happy with the rev limiter and broke the passenger side axle u-joint.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
During the trip I also dented both rockers and driver's fender due to expert driving and will power. The jeep was given the nickname White Claw and earned the pink shackle for being the last to winch out.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I traded a friend for a replacement short side axle shaft with a new u-joint and found everything else in the front end to be well serviced and in good condition. The inner axle seal and Posi-Lok cable collar took a little extra work to align, but now it's working perfect.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I found a tire and wheel combo on FB marketplace that I liked, so I made them work with bolt pattern adapters from 4.5 to 5.5.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Next find on FB Marketplace was new unused Corbeau Sport seats. These are Jeep CJ/YJ replacement seats with recline. Bolt right in, but they do sit high and add width so limited center console options. I also had to bend the ridiculously long SM465 shifter in order to get clearance for all gears.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I fixed some exhaust hangers, changed all fluids and put a bunch of miles on the YJ driving it to work and everywhere enjoying the summer in an open jeep. Took it to River Rock ORV, Milledgeville, GA for a hot day and it did great for a short wheelbase YJ on AT tires. No action pics taken.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
While in FL I picked up a set of 37x12.50R15 Super Swamper TRXUS tires. I got home a mounted them on 15x10 steel D windows and tried them on the YJ. No way were they going to clear, so used a pair of flares from my TJ and cut out the rear of the opening to slide them as far back as I could.
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The rear axle is now needs to move rearward to properly align with the wheelwell opening, but I'll get to that once I replace the gas tank.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Of course the front fenders needed help for tire clearance and to remove the dents and memory’s of driving into a tree in VA.
I found some used Metalcloak fenders for a CJ7 and thought I’d give them a try. They are a few inches short, but otherwise bolt up.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Loaded the YJ up and went to Sheriff's Jeepfest in Jasper, GA. It was a great event with a good show, lots of vendors and moderate trails. They increased in difficulty as the rain came, but I was really impressed with the Swampers eve with open diffs.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
When I pulled it out of the trailer I noticed a bad oil leak. Somewhere on the back of the motor, so I replaced the cam position sensor and o-ring but it kept coming. I have no idea on the motors mileage, but I do know I’ve had it on the rev limiter many times, so I assumed it was the rear main seal. Pulled the trans and replaced both main seals on the back of the block. Also fixed the trans mount while putting it back together.
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