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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Project: YJ Recession Retry build--Linking up a YJ right!

I am posting my build to try to help others figure out how to take the next step. I have learned almost everything from fellow members here on this site. I would have not ever even attempted to tackle a project like this if it werent for the ultimate TJ swap and build thread. I want to pay back and post pics and info because I spent nearly three years reading, searching, and researching what is involved in a project like this.

I am calling it a recession build because I am trying to find high quality parts for cheap prices. Alot of my parts are from other members that I have gottem great deals on, including the actual wrangler.

I have worked on it for about 3 months now. I think it has come a long ways......but still has a long, long ways to go. If you want to see any specific pics as I go along, let me know and I can post up.


Plans include:
Full link suspension (4 link rear, 3 link with panhard in front)
Swapping rear 60 for a 14 bolt
91 Ford dana 60 in front
14" coilovers in front, coils and shocks in rear
astro van box. Roughly 110" wheelbase
42" iroks


I want to get it done before easter jeep safari this year, which is in like 3 months

I started off in my head thinking I would build my 97 TJ. Went as far as buying a genright tank, setting up a 14bolt, and getting ready to get out the sawz-all when the wife said no way. She still wanted a "street legal" Jeep to drive in the summer(The green TJ is what I planned on building)

I then started looking for a CHEAP Jeep I could build. Trying to go to school to become a Doc one day, my funds were limited.

This is what I found, Bought it here on PBB from a very cool guy in California. It had a rear 60, front 60, and a one ton drivetrain. The tpi 350 has less than 1k miles on the rebuild. NP435 Tranny, 205 t-case. It already had a fuel cell, full gauges, a weld in cage kit, BTF 60 diff covers (sold one)

I think I got a fairly good deal, considering the parts already put on. The biggest problem with it was the suspension......it is comical. I was unsure it would make it on my trailer!

Here are a couple photos sent before I brought it home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The worst by far was the suspension........all of it. Nothing is salvage-able.....Nothing.

The owner said it was a Procomp coil conversion suspension system made for a YJ, Im not sure what it is......

Here are some pictures of what not to do when setting up a suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
First off, I pulled the fenders and the grille and replaced it with the ones he provided with the sale. I know.....Im going to have to take the back off to set up my hoops.

I also comp cut the rear, and welded in my gas tank hole, and bondo-d. I wish I would have made the back cut more rounded and not notched like that. Oh well......not going to worry about it now until i get the real corners
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I then moved the Jeep over to my shop to gut the rear. I am very limited in space so I have to do the rear first.....then the front.

I removed the "body lift". I havent bolted the body back down yet, I want to see if I have any clearance issues first, I may need a 1", but its going to by poly bushings if I do, not fender washers or tubing!

Everything was gutted from the rear.

It took 6.5 hours to remove all the old brackets from the other lift kit. It took 8 sawzall blades, and 12 grinder wheels, and a really sore back.

The Dana 60 was sold.

I had previously bought a 14bolt and set it up with coil buckets, control arm mounts, truss disck brakes, and 5:13 gears.

I also bought the control arms from another member. The lower are 2"X.375 DOM and the uppers are 1.5"x.25 DOM. There are standard bushings on each end of the arms. There are johnnies on the lowers and heims on the uppers. The lowers are not adjustable, I want to make them adjustable down the road. This is only going to be a trail-Jeep but it would be nice if they were. So thats a future plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ive also done body work here and there when Ive waited for parts or got sick of grinding off brackets and needed a break.

I thought I had more pictures of the coil buckets I used as well as the brackets. I re-used the coil buckets from the old lift. They were kind of nice, they were a bucket as well as a retainer all in one. For the frame mounts, I used Ballistics heavy duty frame bracket and the upper link bracket for the uppers. I triangulated the uppers and left the lowers standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I still have to figure out what my ride hieght will be, I have the old coils in for now until I get the front to that point. I still have driveline, bumpstops, shocks and brakes in the rear to complete.

But I turned it around and pulled the front out. This is where I am right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Im just getting all my brackets figured out and tacked into place. I still need to bend my hoops and get my coilovers. All my brackets have came from Ballistic Fab. Yes..........at times I have had to wait for them to ship. Most complaints from Ballistic come from their shipping. My complaint with ballistic is their ability to package the parts and tape up the box. UPS does a great job bringing it to my door after Ballistic packages it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I also got my Astro van box from Gui here on the board. Tapped it for Hydro assist and swapped it in. Could not have been easier. When I pulled off the old, the return line to the gearbox was way kinked, I need to find a new fitting for it.


The Jeep also came with a weld in cage, it attaches to the stock bars. I think it turned out quite nice for a weld in kit. It is painted hammerite black.

I just need to set it back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I now have the front axle positioned where it needs to be thanks to Santa bringing lots of brackets from Ballistic fab. With the Astro box, I have about 8" front stretch. It may be stretched a little too far, but it is what it is.

I am running a 3 link front with panhard. All the control arm mounts have been tacked thus far with a 110 Hobart welder. I will be borrowing a 220v mig to burn everything in, just as I did on the rear.

I am too the point now I need to build my trackbar. I also will be running hydro assist. Bought it from Gui on the board as well. All the front brackets came from Ballistic as well. So far I have spent roughly $1300 there.
 

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Good looking project, you got alot of work to do in three months.

Your cage doesn't have much triangulation. Are you adding any more tube?
 

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Jared! You definitely have your hands full! I hear ya about getting a project rig and then putting a lot of time to fix things up and getting things right, I am going trhough teh same thing :D Still I think it sounds like you got a greta deal on a good start platfrom. Dang that dash is fuggly!

Awesome that the box and parts went to a good home, put them to work! I am definitely keeping an eye on your build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Picked up some H2 wheels today, came off a Hummer with 500 miles that was being transformed into a limo


Also, I snapped a picture of my astro box installed and ported for assist.

I also purchased some 1.75" X .120" to build my hoops
 

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