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Old 09-16-2013, 06:30 PM   #1
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"General Purpose" yj build, looking for some input.

So, i have this basket case of a YJ

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Thats a 2.5l TBI (its going away).

no trans, tcase, axles are mis-matched, and need work, brake lines are shot, suspension is shot. Interior is shot, no top or doors..... Yea, about all thats usable is the frame and tub. The 2.5 will run, but.. why?


So ive had this thing for a few years. A buddy gave it to me just to get it out of his driveway. The grand plan when i got it was to build it back to a mostly stock YJ, and use it as a DD. I like YJ's (just see my sig. ).

Then i got the JK, and started to re-think DIYJ (thats what im calling this thing). I thought id build it into a badass trail rig, the sort of thing D60's, v8, 40's, crazy. Then i thought about that... And thought, when the hell would i use it? I dont have a trailer to get it around with, or even a tow rig. besides, that'd be a $40K rig by the time it was done.

So here's where i've landed. I want something moderate, but capable as hell for a seasoned wheeler (like me). Yet still streetable and good for the family outings, camping trips, and weekend hunting excursions.

Here's where my rambling turns into meaningful questions.

From day 1 on this project, i thought taking the time and money to put a decent coil/link suspension underneath it would pay off in the end. Ive researched a number of ways to accomplish this, and i think i've decided on a 4 link rear, 3 link front, with coil overs. Here's the catch though. I'm looking for a 3-4" lift, nothing crazy like these 8" kits i see around. It seems like all of the kits i'm finding have 5-6" minimums. Is it possible to get a kit that's lower than that? Is that just the mostly desirable height so they market their kits that way? or is there some geometric limit with link suspensions under a YJ making it impossible to go any lower? I'm only thinking of running a 33"-35" tire on this thing when its done, 5" would be overkill (since im planning on going with high clearance fenders).

The other things i need to know are, are coilovers suitable for on-road driving? I'm guessing they are, but its worth asking. What about towing? One of the things i may want to do with this thing is tow a trailer. Will things get squirly if i try to tow 1-2000 lbs (2000lbs being the max tow capacity of my JK, figure that's a good target)?

This is all just planning for now, im just starting to slowly tear this thing apart to clean up the frame and tub. Just looking for experience and knowledge.

Thanks!

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Old 10-11-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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I tow quite a bit with my yj. My buddy pulls a 6x12 cargo trailer that weighs in right at 2000 pounds and does fine in his tj. 2000 pounds is the suggested limit for both of them.

You definitely want to make sure your trailer is loaded/balanced right. The yj is a short, light rig for towing and if your trailer doesnt have good tongue weight your gonna sway and bounce like a mother and the trailer will push you right off the road if you hit a corner under the wrong circumstances. I think the general rule for tongue weight is 10% of the total weight of the trailer and load. I would shoot for slightly more with a jeep for the tow rig. I built a 4x6 trailer just for my yj and I can load that little sucker down to its limits and the jeep does fine. My car hauler is a different story...lol

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Old 10-11-2013, 08:37 PM   #3
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Looks like fun I am finishing up a yj build now...frame up and built it to be strong, reliable and a sleeper on the trails...

My suggestion would be to do the suspension last...get everything reliable first...it will still drive on springs. I've seen and bought a few good project vehicles that were stalled figuring out the engine, electrical etc...but they had nice suspension, roll bars, axles, tires and rims.. Just my 2 cents which isn't worth the two zinc slugs it was minted on..
Looking forward to seeing the progress....
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input.

Ive re-thought things, and i think i;m going to do just that. Doing coils looks very expensive. I think i may just keep the current suspension, and when the time comes, throw a mild SUA leaf kit under it. And then the second phase will be a wilder suspension.

I'm even thinking, that an SUA 1.5-2.5" kit, and high-clearance fenders might just get me all the clearance i need to run 33-35's. How's that for a sleeper?

My last Yj was SOA, and it worked really well, but i want to avoid the problems that come with SOA this time around.

I'm thinking.

motor will probably be a 4.0l, maybe a v-8 if im feeling adventurous when the time comes to pull the trigger.
undecided on trans. I love my manual trans, but im hearing a lot of love for autos in the rocks, and thats my terrain of choice.
some manner of 4:1 trasfer case, maybe a rubi drivetrain is in this things future.
If i can swing it, i'd love to get some dynatrac trail 44's front and rear. That'd set me up gear and locker wise, in one fell swoop (or, swipe, of the CC )

my main concern suspension wise was, how will a well setup coil-over suspension handle towing. After thinking about it, i'm guessing that it'll handle it just as well as any other suspension. Its the wheelbase, weight, and stopping power, that really matters.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
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You can't beat the longevity of the 4.0 engine and since it is being built for trails & rocks the 4.0 is much better than the v8. If you were building for mud bogging it sand drags then I would consider the V8.

Why add more weight when it's not needed. If you want a hot engine get the 4.0 stroker and call it good.
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Old 10-13-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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I am thinking the feasibility of a 4 link and coils depends on your skills. If you can build everything yourself you will save quite a few bucks. Ballistic Fabrication and others offer all of the brackets and ends you need. You will just need some tubing for the links and shocks. It is a huge project don't get me wrong, but I have enjoyed every minute of it and it will be much better that leaves in the end.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddyjeep View Post
I am thinking the feasibility of a 4 link and coils depends on your skills. If you can build everything yourself you will save quite a few bucks. Ballistic Fabrication and others offer all of the brackets and ends you need. You will just need some tubing for the links and shocks. It is a huge project don't get me wrong, but I have enjoyed every minute of it and it will be much better that leaves in the end.
Thanks for the input.

I'm really torn. I'd love to build a link suspension right off the bat, but its going to add a lot of extra expense to the project.

On the other hand I'd really like to focus on getting the thing on the road, which means getting a drive train installed, and getting the body and interior square. That in itself isn't going to be cheap!

I think I'm going to focus on drive train for phase 1. Get the high clearance body concept going, then go with axles and suspension on phase 2.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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I am just about to finish a build like you are looking to do...
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jrozar View Post
I am just about to finish a build like you are looking to do...
Nice, do you have a build thread? Or pictures at least? Im curious how its coming along.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrozar View Post
You can't beat the longevity of the 4.0 engine and since it is being built for trails & rocks the 4.0 is much better than the v8. If you were building for mud bogging it sand drags then I would consider the V8.

Why add more weight when it's not needed. If you want a hot engine get the 4.0 stroker and call it good.
I agree except the weight part. The ford 5.0 is generally around 60 pounds lighter than the 4.0... Stock it produces like 20-30 more hp. Which isnt really worth all the work and cost of wiring harnesses and stuff. Someday I will swap in a built 5.0. I have a lot of work to get done before that though.lol
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:33 PM   #11
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I've got a build in mind for my 95YJ. Its a 4bngr/5sp. I've 7 yrs experience with a TJ on 35s with 4bngr/auto. Yah, training wheels by today's standards of semi-built wheelers. But at $200/tire, 35's was good for me.
Big issue I've found was belly clearance with the TJ. Short arms with 10" or so shock travel also hinder the aspects of wheeling as the rear would crawl underneath and the front would get real light.

My thoughts on the YJ, setup similar to that of a F-Toy (Formula Toyota). Leafed front/rear, shackles/shocks that provide travel, wheelbase, belly clearance, doubler, set low, skid underneath, skid on sides, keep it light weight and 37's (still cheaper) but room for 40s.
Leaf front/rear. Shackle reversal/SOA up front to get approach but need to stretch front out 3-4" or so to get tire clearance in the tub/footwells. Keep leaf short but also offset center pin in leafs to get high approach angle. Really don't need but 8-10" shock travel up front. Shackle reversal with shackle mounted center of frame (not hanging down). Depending on the leaf spring set, you want to have the spring eyes level to each other. Droop limitation (spring-wrap limitation) can come from second military wrap and 3rd leaf. Stretch rear 7-8" using XJ/MJ-application lifted leaf reversed. Similar story on shock travel with shock mounted straight up from axle using towers frenched into frame. Boomerang shackle travel limited due to hanger set above rear bumper. Full droop, shackle is held by bumper. That's the idea for my setup but the actual location of the leafs is relative to the axles used (full width, wheel offset) and leaf spring pack. Pushing the leafs out towards tires supports side hills but requires stiffer springs to maintain the offcamber weight shifts. Pushing leafs inside frame gives a lot of axle articulation, but has little support for offcamber weight shifts.
Got to find that happy middle place.
To minimize rear axle wrap, anticipating a single long link above the axle to an upper truss and the lower to the side of the diff on the axle tying together like a regular anti-wrap setup with a shackle mount on a crossmember.

Currently have 79 F250 HDD44 front, 99 Explorer 8.8 (yah need conversion spacers).

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