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Old 01-11-2010, 01:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey everybody, here's my version of "another YJ build" on Pirate.

Like many of you there have been many changes that go into your rig as you own it, this is no exception. I got this Heep at the ripe old age of 16 and have been continuously dumping countless hours and paychecks into it since then, finding out what does and doesn't work along the way. As of now it sits like this






Since I got the rig I have been working part time at the local Auto Parts store, finishing High school, and getting through college so needless to say funds have always been tight to say the least. There hasn't been too many occasions where I could justify busting out the plastic money to get some Jeep bling. Pretty much anything I could build I did because I personally would rather spend 10 hours in the shop rather than 10 hours at work paying for a pre assembled kit. Not saying anyting is wrong with those, but I personally cant go that route

As I have accumulated hundreds of pictures I will try to highlite the key points of this build.

When I got the jeep it had a 3 inch body lift, bald 31's, and a ton of fast and furious neons and seatbelt pads. It also burnt about a half quart of oil every gas tank. I dont have any pics in that state but I immediatley rebuilt the motor, lost the BL in favor of a 2 1/2 Rubicon express lift with homemade 1 inch shackles, chopped the flares off, made the first version of rockers and bumpers and got some used 33 in swampers.



Diddnt like those so I added a miter cut stinger since I dont have a bender and a tire swing bumper in the back. Got a used SYE off a buddies rig, chopped down a cherokee front shaft, sold the stock axles and got a set out of a 4 cyl wrangler with 4.10's, trussed the turd 35 wasted more money on it with a powertrax, trussed the inner c's on the 30, TJ axle shafts, and put a powertrax in it as well.



Wheeled and daily drove it lilke this for a while with no complaints except it was still pretty much a bunch of bolt on's. so I decided to strech it with cherokee springs but still keep it level with the front and throw in an 8.8 welded with 4.10's. I got some mystery leaf I had in my yard cut the eyes off and booger welded them to the frame as the shackle mounts. And I obviously didnt know how long the shackles needed to be hince all the holes. First I tried stock cherokee springs with a add a leaf which sucked



Pulled them back out and pulled the bottom 3 leaves and the military wrapped leaf out of the RE pack to get it to ride better



As I am entirely too cheap to buy a fuel cell I moved the tank to the bed, flipped the sending unit 180 degrees and ran lines to the factory hard lines on the frame (holes are now grommeted)



Worked well but I realized that even though the back is spring under you NEED a anti wrap bar with cherokee leaves, oh and shocks help too



Digging around in a junkyard I found that half ton chevys are spring over and have the u bolts facing down, so I swiped those and put them facing up and a piece of half inch plate under the leaves to mount my shocks too on bottom. The plate between the axle and leaves is just there to level the jeep, no purpose other than that.

Again drove it like this for a while and man I can say the extra bit of wheelbase is pretty cool



Gotta go to class, Ill put up the big swap next, 44, 14 bolt, 4 inch strech up front, 231 300 all that good stuff
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ok so like I said I had fun like it like that for about 8 months and realized dana 30's dont like 35's and I didnt like only having a 42 to 1 crawl ratio. So the search began for bigger stuff. After scrounging for months and realizing a front 60 is just out of the budget for now so debating on weather to get a ford 44 and a 14 bolt and regearing it to 5.38 for a max ratio of 56 to 1 and eventually down the line selling the 44 and getting a 60 only to regear it again.
or...... get a d d machine doubler and a chevy 44 14 bolt combo, keep the 4.10's in them and have a 112 to 1 ratio, along with a much stronger t case and the ability to twin stick it. I could also find chevy 44's for cheaper than ford ones (usually). And the doubler with twin sticks came out to be way cheaper than buying 2 sets of gears and paying someone to regear at least the 44 (I 'd give the 14 bolt a shot myself). Decision made

I found a guy on Tennesseeoffroad.com selling the set of axles for 340 bucks with the springs (which I later found to be junk). so off I went in the middle of the night in a half running truck, but I got em




And another day I was wandering the junk yards I found a 83 cj7 half rusted, half buried in mud in the corner of the lot. I went up front to see how much they wanted for the t case and they forgot the jeep was even back there. They said 100 bucks and I said I would pull it for 80. DEAL!!



Oh and all that angle iron in the background is 3x5 5/16's and I found 2 8 foot sticks along with those smaller pieces in a collapsed barn at the top of my neighborhood. One mans trash is anthers treasure

As I think I am having good luck scoring junk, I hit a roadblock. as I am gutting the 44 the driver side comes apart ok and I go to the passenger side and the Hub will not come off the spindle. I broke 2 pullers, beat the hell out of it enough to destroy the rotor and end up taking it to my dads shop to torch it off in about 6 pieces. So now I have to spend 160 on a new hub and rotor on the axle I shouldn't be spending money on. Awoesome



Also repaced the ujoints and welded the tubes to the pumpkin just for fun. Since this 44 is not a flat top pass knuckle and I did not want to buy 1 I just decided to beef up the Tie rod as it will probably see some rock time. This is as scientific as it gets so hold on. I found a piece of pipe and cut a seam all the way down it so it could spread open a little, then I wrapped the threaded end of the tie rod in duck tape and slammed this pipe over the tie rod to "sleeve it" then I welded the seam all the way up and now have a 1 1/2 inch solid tie rod.


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Old 01-11-2010, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Next was the 14 bolt, everything went cool with it and since I dont have a TIG or ARC welder to properly weld a lot of cast I just trimmed up the bottom lip off it




Add a couple pieces of that 5'16's that I coustom bent up in my fancy brake ( laying the piece between 2 rocks on my driveway and smashing it with the back of my axe) welded to the cover and shazam, diff protection!



Also I kept killing motor mounts, especially the drivers side as that is the side that torques up so I busted out the fancy press again and bent a chunk of half in an arch like the factory one (not fun), then I cut the factory one apart and welded it all together to get one solid drivers side mount and one factory (compression side) rubber mount on the passenger side.


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Old 01-11-2010, 04:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good work, and I like the current pic of the Jeep as it sits now. That is how I want my YJ to turn out when I get things rollin' here.

I find this build interesting because this is more realistic to most people, not everyone has the cash to burn on KOH type rigs with tons of bling, and especially the people that don't have all the cool equipment and tooling to do such jobs.
This build is very realistic. And I dig it. Keep the updates coming, this is awesome.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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next was a front driveshaft, and since nothing was in the jeep yet I was kind of guestimating how long It should be, adding the legenth of the range box, subtracting the longer yoke of the 44... I still wanted a ton of slip as I was planning a shackle reversal, It didnt have to be balanced since I have lockouts for the road driving and with it as long as I knew it would be it had to be heavy. So my solution was a square tube 1.5x1.5x.25 in 2x2x.25, as much travel as I could ever need, half inch thick where it overlaps and best of all I could make it on the cheap




cut the yokes off another cherokee shaft to get 1310's and burned them on

guesstimation of where it will ride in the jeep


Now i turn to the front spring hanger/crossmember as I know the spring perch width of the chevy axle, so I get to chopping on that angle iron again
who said you cant get good heat with a 110 on flux core?

cutting 3/4 plate with an angle grinder and drilling a 1 inch hole with a harbor freight hand drill is not fun


now I have everything ready to go to start tearing down the jeep, but I have to wait until finals are over to begin because if I started then I would have blown everything else off and failed all of my classes
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The solid motor mount is not a good idea. You are going to fracture the block at the mounting locations. I'd recommend using quality aftermarket motor mounts.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I second that motor mount. There's a bushing in there for a reason, fab one with a bushing since I know you're on a budget.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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probably the coolest yj ever, nice work. hey, didn't we used to live together?
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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probably the coolest yj ever, nice work. hey, didn't we used to live together?
Hell yeah I think we did, that old blazer in the background is the inspiration for the front springs. RIP

Ok so now that all the school crap was over it was time to start tearing into the jeep, stripped the 8.8

Threw the 14 bolt in there and had it sitting in the back in like an hour




then stripped the 231 to get ready to go to the welder


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Old 01-12-2010, 12:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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while that was getting TIG'd, it was now time to pull the front. My dad also let me borrow his bad ass welder because the 110 was just not cutting it anymore

Also had to cut the spring mounts off which is really not fun with an angle grinder, the tape line is where the previous axle set

At first I thought I was going to put the crossmember flush with the front of the frame, but when I mocked the axle up it looked more porportional pushed forward a bit so I added 3 1/2 inches to the front

then the crossmember to the front of that


Then cleaned it up a bit

so without shackles it sat under its own weight like this
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:03 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The YJ frame is actually a little wider than the 2x4 I put in there ao I cut a piece of 5/16 to space it out a little

Then to keep it as low as I could I put the shackle bushings through the frame, 1.5x.120 Dom sleve and poly YJ spring bushings


I first thought I would have to bend up some shackles because the axle is full with, but it ended up not being that far out so I just threw a couple washers in there to space it out. Then I put those old shackles on there and holy crap it's level! first try, what are the odds of that



Next question was what the hell am I going to do about the steering, so I decided to rock the box back, lift it up and push it forward. Kinda of like Flatlander 757 did, thanks dude

and again a sawzall would have been really nice here

And of coures I had to cover up that huge hole in the frame so a 12x4 strip of the free 5/16's went in


Since the mounting points on the box are on different planes I thought modifying the old bracket would be easiest, instead of having to do it with the bolt sleeves

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Old 01-12-2010, 01:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Where did you go to HS? That building in one of your first pictures looks really familiar. I used to date a girl that lives in Marietta/Kennesaw. She goes to KSU currently.
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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so after much notching and measuring and eyeballing it I got it where I thought it should go to clear the tie rod


It was on the rag in this pic


So now I need a drag link. and after wasting hours at work digging through catalogs getting the tapers of different tie rod ends I find out that the Dana 30 tie rod has the same taper as the pitman arm and suprisingly enough the same taper that the steering stabalizer uses on the chevy tie rod that I turned around to face forward. if that makes any since

so being a cheap ass what do I do, go out and cut the old tie rod down to become a new drag link
cut tie rod here

insert to piece of 1 1/4 tube I had laying around

cut tie rod here

insert into other end of tube

eyeball it to size

burn it together and paint, screw high steer, ultra low steer is where it is at
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Where did you go to HS? That building in one of your first pictures looks really familiar. I used to date a girl that lives in Marietta/Kennesaw. She goes to KSU currently.
That is in front of the Advance Auto Parts where I work, by Hooters and Cowboys. I go to KSU too
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That solid motor mount is the shit.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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And by the way, forgive me and my drunk noobness, but why did you flip the FSU 180 degrees? what did that accomplish? and did you ever get a proper fueling hose for that tank?

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:30 AM   #17 (permalink)
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And by the way, forgive me and my drunk noobness, but why did you flip the FSU 180 degrees? what did that accomplish? and did you ever get a proper fueling hose for that tank?

I forgot to mention that I flipped the tank 180 so that the filler neck would line up with that little cut out in the fender, so I had to turn the sending unit 180 to point back at the hard lines. The hose is 3/8 and 5/16 fuel hose so I guess it's proper. For the filler neck I reused the factory hoses and fillerplate (or cap neck thing whatever it's called), I got a wheel center cap off a tacoma I had laying around and cut down and welded the filler plate to it, then added a couple tabs to recess mount it right behind the B pillar on the cage. Came out kinda cool I think


Ok so after the front was pretty much done I turned attention to the doubler, cleaned and painted 300 with the clocking ring

guestimation of where to clock it

ready to roll, duffy hooked me up with some twin sticks when I orderd the doubler

In with a little floor massaging

Couldent clock it as flat as I originally wanted to because 1. the floor (not that big of a deal) but 2. the drive shaft is EXTREMELY close to the bell housing and if I lifted the 300 up any more it would interfere

so this is how much lower it hangs from the factory pan
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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so now I had to protect that investment, first all I was going to do is this

But when you add 5/16 to the factory pan it makes the pan look really pussy so I added a little here and there

And before I knew it, it looked like this, fully welded inside and out just for fun

Then I had to go to work so I asked my roommate to paint it somthing cool

kinda looks like a robot flicking you off
My driveshaft measurements were pretty damn close for guessing

I lucked out again as the first driveshaft I made (before the first stretch) just happened to be the right legenth so I just put in a 1310/1350 ujoint part number 33140 for anyone who needs one

Primed and painted the front

set the pinion angle and burned the perches on, by the way all the perches I have ever used have been the factory ones I'm just carefull when I cut them off, and I use an angle grinder
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Got it. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:28 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Got it. Thanks.
no problem man, any questions or criticisims (sp?) you got, or anyone else out there just shoot. The main reason I am putting this up is to help anyone who is planning to do anything like this to their rig. Kirby, Flatlander, willhf, backyard wrenchers and a slew of others helped me with their threads and I hope this helps others out there as well.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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what generation chvy 1/2 ton has those u bolts?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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couple more updates to finish this phase of build off
I needed front brake lines, chevy 44 calipers use a 7/16 banjo bolt and have a 3/16 female end on the frame. digging through books again I found that 77 chevy 2500 lines are pretty long and have the same frame side and were pretty cheap.

for the rear I already had the 8.8 lines available for free but they were 3/8 banjo bolt size, so why not drill them out a bit, hell it's only 1/16.


at least it moved, not wheelable but the day it leaves the garage was awoesome. now it needed a traction bar, so digging through the scrap pile I ound the old front spring hangers so a little chopping and welding later

grind em to fit

on the top I used a left hand thread piece of the cat link so if I change the springs out I can adjust the pinion angle, the bottom was one of the old front shackle bushings I chopped off the frame. The 1/2 inch peice between used to be a blade off an old paper cutter


the crossmember is 1.5x120 square with a piece of 1.5x.188 angle welded to it, the shackle is off a cherokee I got with the leaves

For the extra transfer case mount I got the other cherokee shackle, chopped it in half and welded the bushing side to that plate on the back of the 300, then extended the tabs and welded them to the crossmember. First time I tried (when this pic was taken) I didnt remove the cover and it leaked like a sombitch, hince the rtv. I later pulled it off rtv'd behind the cover and replaced the bolts with grade 8, no more leaks now

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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this is really looking alot like my old yj, your progressing the same way mine did.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:41 PM   #24 (permalink)
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At first I thought it was your old YJ.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:10 AM   #25 (permalink)
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what generation chvy 1/2 ton has those u bolts?
I think it was late 80's thru mid 90's chevys with a 10 bolt, iirc
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