OK, so I was cleaning out my pictures folders this morning and found these. I thought it would be fun to do a write up on the Round Eye YJ Conversion. So here ya go.
Bear in mind that if you try this, I or the WF bear NO
responsibility for any problems you may encounter or the total destruction of your Grille!
OK, now that we've said that...
First, you need to plan your build and gather the parts. You'll need two 12x24 sheets of steel (Lowes), a box of 1/8 x 1/4 pop rivets, a rivet gun, a set of "Empi Bug Eye's" headlight buckets (eBay or any air cooled VW website), longer headlight adjusting screws (NAPA), Two 7" sealed beam headlights, the round turn signals of your choice (you can get really nice CJ turn signals from most high end off-road stores), the paint of your choice and poster board.
I took a bunch of measurements and cut out my template from the poster board. You only need to make one template as you can reverse one of the blanks when you cut it to make the other side.
Your template should look like this:
You can see here that I pre-measured all my rivet holes and used a small diameter hole punch to make them. This made it easier to pre-drill the filler panel once it was cut.
Next I measured to find out where to place the lights. Now, I can't remember the exact measurements but if you split up your template like this then find the centers you'll be just fine. Just eyeball it but leave yourself enough room for the tops of the headlight rings to clear the hood when closed.
Now that we have the main template cut we can place the headlight opening. Here's where it gets a little tricky. The opening isn't round like you'd think. and you'll need to cut 2 templates in order to line things up. Make your template from the mounting area on the back of the headlight buckets. Again, Make 2 templates... One that is solid with a center line and one that is cut out and fits the light buckets with reference point to line up the top of the bucket on the blank. They should look like this:
Using the solid template, line the intersection of the centerlines with the headlight center you marked on your big template. Draw the diameter of the headlight bucket. Now use the template you cut for the opening and place it in the circle you just drew on the template and mark your opening. This "opening" is what you need to cut out of the blank when you put it on the Jeep.
Measure twice, cut once!
Now, cut out your blanks. Make sure you have a nice clean work area with a flat surface. Use a Sharpie and mark around your template and transfer that shape to the sheet metal don't forget to mark the rivet holes (i spaced mine every 2"). Using an air nibbler or Jigsaw with a metal blade or (like me) extreme heady duty metal sheers and cut out the shape. I found it was easier to cut out the headlight openings after I attached the blanks onto the Jeep. Pre-drill your rivet holes.
Reference the body line under the headlight onto your freshly cut blank with a ruler. Now find yourself a nice sharp edge (the edge of your workbench or a 2x4 or anything you can use) and bend in the body line. It's not that sharp of a bend and you can eyeball that as well. Once everything is riveted down you'll be surprised at how nice it lines up.
Apply the blank to the Jeep and start drilling rivet holes into the grille. Start at the corners and work in (that way you don't need 6 hands). Here's what everything should look like at this stage:
When you cut out the openings, just know that the opening for the 7" headlights is a little larger than for the square lights. You will cut into the grille metal when cutting these out. I drilled 3/8" holes where the headlight openings are and cut the contour with my jigsaw.
After that it's down to the actual install and wiring. I had a blast doing this mod. At first, I was apprehensive because I was afraid of what the "purist" would say. After I did the mod, I found that even the purists were saying it was cool.
NOTE: You could also cut out the old metal face to the grille and weld these panels in if you so choose. I just haven't replaced my welder since the move out here. And besides, the rivets add a nice "Military" feel to the grille!
Hope this helps! Be sure to post or PM if you have any questions!!