1990 4.2L YJ Build - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 10-30-2013, 07:12 PM
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ferriolom's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Herkimer, NY
Posts: 112
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1990 4.2L YJ Build

So I figured it was time I threw together a build thread to keep track of the progress and history of my Jeep.

In August of 2010 I sold my beloved 99 Durango with the gas-guzziling 5.9L 360 for something that can handle the treacherous upstate NY winters, and something that did a little better on gas.

A 1990 Jeep YJ With a 258.

Puny. Little. Mostly Broken.

Nearly every bolt in the engine bay, and elsewhere, was hand tight. The Alternator overcharged and put out 19V's at idle. The rear frame was rotted out. It smoked, the vacuum lines weren't even close to right, and the firing order was wrong. But I scooped it for a good price, and the previous owner even delivered it to me when I told him I didn't feel comfortable driving it home.

It was a good deal, and I knew it needed work. I got most of the basic maintenance done. I replaced the oil pan gasket, the valve cover gasket, and all the vacuum lines.

One day while driving to work the jeep just sputtered to a stop and died. The choke system was broken and the the jeep tried to choke itself forever. At this point I had been fighting a miss at idle I couldn't fix so I replaced the carter carb with the popular MC2150 one from the Ebay Seller.

At some point the entire electrical harness caught on fire and melted everything together. It happened just before winter, and the jeeps heat didn't work anyway so I drove one of my other cars throughout that season. Thankfully it wasn't a very snowy and all was well.

The Jeep sat for almost a year before I rewired all the core components by hand.

All was well for awhile, and then I started blowing out old dry rotten tires left and right.

so I invested in some of BSERK's shackles and some 33"x12.50" Kumho Road Venture M/T's

Time passed. The Jeep ran well enough, but weird electrical quirks kept popping up. The battery would be randomly dead some days, the lights would flicker, ontop of all this the jeeps heat was so broken I literally nearly froze to death quite often.

Spring came, and it was time...

The body was removed. I wirewheeled the entire frame, and reinforced all the bad spots. Then I painted the frame with Magnet Paints Chassis Saver.

I put it all back together and replaced all the brake lines with stainless steel ones, extended the lines to the breaks with extended steel braided lines. I threw on a rough country four inch lift with the TC drop and painted everything with that chassis saver.

All was well until I went to put the old body on. It was just in too poor of condition to bolt to my nice, pretty, painted, rust-free frame. I would have had to sink too much time and effort into restoring the body and it just wouldn't have been worth it for this project.

So I went to craigslist. At this point my dad was working on his 2.5L Jeep Wrangler that had recently ate the motor. We found a jeep for sale with a newish Jasper 2.5L motor and a fiberglass body.

The gods smiled on us. We split the cost and got to work.

His motor went in easy enough and his jeep was back in business. My body took a little longer... Going from a 90 YJ to a 94 YJ fiberglass body was a bit of work. I had ordered this body mount replacement lift but the black was backorded, so I had to order the unsightly red.

The mounting holes didn't line up. The wiring was just different enough to become confusing... but at the end of the day I ended up with a Fiberglass jeep, on a rust-preventitive coated frame, with half doors and soft uppers, a soft top, a hard top, hard doors, and two bikini tops.

Today I went out and cleaned some things up. I painted those unsightly red mounts black, painted all the hinges, tried to realign the doors, tightened the squeaky alternator belt and fixed my small vacuum leak. I also installed Big Sarge's Custom Pool Ball Shift Knob

This is how she sits today:

The only few nagging issues are the lack of a decent sound system, a cracked exhaust manifold (that someone tried to weld and made worse... you can't weld cast...) and the hard doors I have to recondition to make work.
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