Due to some family issues (we've
all had them) I had to sell my last wheeler. Now that that's out of the way, my
kids have been telling me "we" need to build another truck.
Considering that I have FIVE kids, that's a lot of pressure on an old guy. Of course I got complete assurance that they will help me
This truck would have to be a
capable wheeler compromised with street ability. My kids want something akin to
the old rig - a YJ on 35's with a V8. They liked how high it was, the fact
that it was orange and it rumbled. I wanted something a little more capable with tires in the 38" range and
dual cases. I also wanted to be able to run it down the road, full of kids and
be able to tackle any trail. This rig will be built simply with
proven Pirate4x4 technology and parts found on the Pirate Board.
I originally looked around on
Craig's List in my area where I found and bought a basket case 1990 Jeep
Wrangler (YJ). I picked a Jeep because I know Jeeps pretty well (I've had 14 to
date). I picked the YJ because it's very easy to swap full sized axles under
them (they share a similar frame width) and because they are very common. Did I mention
this one was very, very cheap?
Here is what I found:
Someone had already swapped in full
size Chevy axles, but really didn't do a very good job. The frame also
needed repair, which I didn't notice when I bought it. It
came with a Dana 300 transfer case and SM465 transmission. Overall I have no regrets about
the purchase, but I can't justify spending the little time I have repairing this
frame and tub when there are better deals out there. I decided to post an ad on the Pirate Board wanted section (http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=491639 ) that I was looking for a frame and possibly a tub. I got several responses
but one really intrigued me. Davey Lesick responded that he has a New Old Stock
(N.O.S.) YJ frame that's never been used and I could buy it for a reasonable
I felt that his frame would be great, but
something used would probably be more suitable. I had plans to swap in
a Big Block Chevy which would require cutting off the existing engine mounts, install full
size and relocated axles, thus cutting off the spring mounts. I think you get
the point. He then mentioned that he runs a Jeep recycling yard. He took
pictures of several YJ's that he thought would suit my needs. Since I hadn't been on a road trip in quite some time, off I went to Salem, Ohio with my trailer in tow.
The road trip itself was
uneventful, but other than the traffic on I-80 across the great state of Pennsylvania.
Everyone should sit next to a dead Possum in the middle of a 95 degree summer!
I had my dog with me who was giving me accusing looksÉ At first, I
thought it was him! Then I figured
out a little dog couldnÕt stink that bad for more than an hour.
Upon arrival at Davey's Jeeps, I
found that I needed 4wd in my trusty Dodge Ram to get up his
driveway with my trailer. It
was gravel and very steep. Once I got up his driveway, after a few switchbacks, I
see the most wonderful thing ever:
That would be hundreds, and I do mean hundreds of Jeeps in
all conditions. I thought to myself, I could build 50 rigs out here.
Apparently Davey feels the same way. He's currently building a trail LJ for
himself with a few surprises.
I got a chance to walk around a
bit, and found a ton of interesting pieces of history, available for
pieces-parts. Like this Forward Control or these Flatties. I also found a bunch
of quality items ready to ship, some were sadly waiting to be dismantled and
lastly others were waiting for new owners:
I took my time walking around and
looking at all the different rigs and semi-trailers full of parts when I finally
found the right combination of beat down YJ and suitable sheet metal:
Can you tell which
one is mine?
loaded my trailer with his forklift, added an NP231 for my doubler set up to
the mix and sent me on my way. Overall, I'd say he's an excellent business man and has one hell
of a Jeep Yard. I think it's safe to say if there is a part you need that Jeep made, Davey has
I asked Davey
to write a bit about himself, so you all could get to know the type of guy he is. He
really didn't want to do it, but I think his wife (Beth) sweet talked him into
"HI, MY NAME IS DAVEY LESICK. I GREW UP IN AND AROUND THE
SALVAGE BUSINESS. MY DAD AND GRANDPA HAD BEEN IN THE SALVAGE AND DEMOLITION BUSINESS
ALL OF THEIR LIVES. MY DAD'S BUSINESS IS CALLED LESICK SALVAGE. HE HAS BEEN
SELLING WRECKED CARS AND TRUCKS FOR ALL OF HIS LIFE. I BRANCHED OFF OF HIS
BUSINESS AND MY WIFE AND I STARTED DAVEY'S JEEPS. WE SELL WRECKED REBUILDABLE
JEEPS, ALL MODELS, ALL YEARS. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WE MAY GET IN. BUYING A
WRECKED JEEP IS A REALLY GOOD WAY TO START A WHEELING RIG, OR DAILY DRIVER. YOU
CAN SAVE A TON OF MONEY AND AS LONG AS IT IS REPAIRED CORRECTLY THERE IS
NOTHING WRONG WITH ONE. WE ALSO SELL USED JEEP PARTS. WE SHIP UPS DAILY FROM
OUR SHOP. WE ALSO SHIP WORLDWIDE. WE ARE PARTING MANY JEEPS (APPROX 400) FROM
1943-PRESENT. WE ARE ALSO FELLOW JEEPERS. WE LOVE TO GO WHEELING WHEN TIME
PERMITS. AT THE PRESENT TIME WE ARE WHEELING A 2004 WILLYS EDITION WRANGLER. IT
WAS A SMASHED ONE THAT NO ONE WOULD EVER DREAM OF BUYING. WE SWAPPED IN A
STRAIGHT FRAME, REPAIRED BROKEN ENGINE MOUNTS ON THE BLOCK, INSTALLED A WRECKED
SET OF RUBICON DANA 44'S, A 241 FROM A RUBICON, PUT A 4" TERAFLEX LIFT (
WHICH I GOT FROM MATT@PETERSOFFROAD.COM ) HE IS A GREAT GUY TO GET CUSTOM AXLES
AND SOME NEW PARTS SUCH AS LOCKERS, GEARS, LIFTS. I AM CURRENTLY BUILDING A
WRECKED 2005 UNLIMITED. WE PUT A 2005 GTO LS2 ENGINE WITH 4L60E TRANSMISSION
FROM A WRECKED GTO WITH 796 MILES, RUBICON 241 T-CASE,2001 FORD E-350 DANA 60
REAR, 78 F-250 DANA 60 KING PIN FRONT. IT HAS 4.88 RATIO WITH ARB'S FRONT AND
REAR. I BUILT MY OWN HIGH STEER ARMS AND 1.5" STEERING TIE RODS. WE ARE
HOPING TO HAVE IT OUT I THE NEXT MONTH OR TWO. WELL... TO SUM IT ALL UP, I AM A
FELLOW JEEPER THAT HAS TONS OF PARTS THAT WE CAN SHIP ANYWHERE. WE OFFER GREAT
FAST SERVICE AND QUALITY USED PARTS. WE SHIP EVERYDAY. GIVE US A TRY FOR YOUR
NEXT PART. FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS IF YOU MENTION THAT YOU FOUND US ON
WWW.PIRATE4X4.COM WE WILL GIVE YOU A 20% DISCOUNT ON PARTS (
NOT FULL VEHICLES). MAYBE WE WILL SEE YOU ON THE TRAIL. DAVEY AND BETH"
I hope this gave you an idea of what to expect at Davey's Jeeps. I certainly
enjoyed my trip out there. I got a great deal for an awesome builder's platform.
I'll also be going back at some point for a "repairable" Rubicon Unlimited.
Davey's Jeeps & Parts
2217 North Egypt Rd.
Salem, Ohio 44460
Hours: M-F 8-5 Sat 8-12 EST