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Old 11-21-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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Pavement Princess frame swap

In the summer of 2011 I wanted to buy my first motorcycle. At the same time, my wife wanted to buy what would be our first jeep. She eventually got her way. I bought a 95 that had some severe rust issues. The upside: paid a fair price, the jeep ran great, 6 cylinder 5 speed with 126 thousand miles. It never missed a beat all summer, and my wife loved driving it. Downside: It passed safety inspection, but I did not think it was safe, especially due to the frame rot around the steering box. So towards the end of the summer I started getting my act together to swap the frame. Found a 94 frame, transmission skid plate, and gas tank skidplate. I know it sounds like blasphemy on this site, but I am not going to rase the jeep - mainly because my wife does most of the driving, and she will probably never take it off road. And she corners too fast to drive anything lifted (according to me ha ha.)
I'm not much of a mechanic, but have patience and motivation. I have been reading a lot of posts on this site, very informative. And I have exchanged some private messages. Members have been very generous with their input. So saturday I started the tear down by removing the gas tank, had to grind nearly every bolt holding up the gas tank skid plate. I was not overjoyed about showers of ginding sparks around the gas tank, (empty except for fumes) but I took my time and now it's out. I bought 20 discs off ebay and now I wonder I might need more.
Anyway, thanks to all the members who share their tidbits on this site. I will probably not post much more about this rather straightforward project... unless I need more help. And what are the chances of that?

bought some doors and scraped off the stickers.

yuck

painted frame. Note my son's minibike with a good thumpin 5 hp Briggs.

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Old 11-22-2011, 02:36 AM   #2
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That don't look good. Normally the 95+ had galvanized frames.

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Old 11-22-2011, 02:46 AM   #3
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Even though it's got square lights, I want a 95 Sahara
I love the interior of your jeep, it looks immaculate
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:10 AM   #4
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Keep the pictures coming!
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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I might be doing the same thing soon. Found a good frame for $200 and I dont think mine will last till next summer. I might buy the frame and save the project till next spring. If you could document how you do this is would help me greatly.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #6
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I cut the back axle out and got it out from under the jeep by carefully flopping it on my creeper. Did it by myself and was quite proud.

Then I saw a crimp in the brake line. I probably just created it by banging it on the leaf springs. Idiot.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:31 AM   #7
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We're going to do this with mine as well very soon. Keep the pictures coming!
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:56 AM   #8
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brake lines are cheapo's dont worry about that.. and what you learn / experience and pride of doing it yourself will be far more rewarding then anything else.. you'll have a special bond with the jeep after this

and keep the pics coming, i dont care how many other threads are on this we always like more !
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:02 PM   #9
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After about three weekends (and some weeknights) of grinding off bolts, rolling around the garage in dust and rust haze, snapping off bolts, burning out old bushings, etc, it was nice to finally assemble something. Bolted the leafsprings to the axles. Kind of a nice milestone. Now I gotta call on some friends to help me position the frame and get it assembled.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:21 PM   #10
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Well thanks for the encouragement antitrust! I am indeed getting a special bond allright. Yesterday I tried to replace that brake line, and predicatably the spigots at the wheel cylinders were rusted beyond function. So were the bolts on the wheel cylinders. So I pulled out the grinder and ground off the bolts holding the cylinders in place. Bought new cylinders, so back on track.
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brake lines are cheapo's dont worry about that.. and what you learn / experience and pride of doing it yourself will be far more rewarding then anything else.. you'll have a special bond with the jeep after this

and keep the pics coming, i dont care how many other threads are on this we always like more !
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:37 PM   #11
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haha, yeah when i worked on cars up north that needed new brake lines i would always check the wheel cylinders also because 99% of the time that nipple would break or rust away and not come off... new is always better anyways
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:32 PM   #12
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The worst part of the replacement frame was the front body mount.


A washer from True Value welded in.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:04 AM   #13
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Looks like you are doing things correctly And Well Have a Very Nice Solid jeep when done! Best of all You will know exactly what you have because you have gotten into it so deep
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:13 AM   #14
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Two more body mounts to go. Had to cut three of the first nine, not too bad considering. Hope to pull the tub this weekend.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
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That don't look good. Normally the 95+ had galvanized frames.
Doesn't matter, they all rust the same. I have had lots of 95's with frame and body rust.

Your doing a great job in what looks like a cramped space
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:58 PM   #16
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Doesn't matter, they all rust the same. I have had lots of 95's with frame and body rust.

Your doing a great job in what looks like a cramped space
I have seen the pictures of your spacious shop, so I totally understand where you are cominng from! If I had this whole thing to do over again I would get rid of a lot of the stuff in my garage and put in some better lighting. But I have a stereo and a propane heater so I ain't complainin.
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:41 AM   #17
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I used to work out in the creek gravel in front of my buddies shop and it sucked. I decided then that when I could afford it I would have the biggest one I could lol
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:50 PM   #18
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Had a productive Saturday. Wilth the help of four friends, lifted the tub off the old frame. I had left the dash in and the gate on, it was a little heavier than I anticipated, so I'm glad I enlisted enough help. Paid the crew in bud light and PBR. Then moved the motor, transmission and transfer case over as well. Sold my cherry picker the next day for the same price I paid in October, so it amounted to a free rental.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:03 AM   #19
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looking good. ill be doing a tub swap in early spring. keep the pics coming
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:36 PM   #20
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I have been making some rather slow progress, but passed a few milestones. This is a picture of the tub after it was pulled. I built a cheesey little dolly, so I could roll the tub onto the driveway for grinding and welding. It really helped reduce the amount of grime in my garage. Had to patch a few spots on the tub.

Learning the hard way how to weld. An investment into an auto-darkening hood helped out big time. Eventually got this fender looking decent after some grinding and bondo.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:37 AM   #21
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Got the tub on, made all my connections under the hood, double checked everything, then turned the key... nothing but t click from the solenoid. so I triple checked all the starter and ground connections, tried the key again, and vroom, she fired right up aster sitting four months. Let it run for a few moments, shut it off, and watched smoke rise from the motor. hmmm..... It was just sludge burning off the manifold, I'm sure left there from a washing. Kind of a pleasant surprise that the engine ran fine after moving from one frame to another. Did a half ass bleed job to the clutch and brakes, put a pickle bucket in the tub and drove it around the block.
Took this picture before mounting the fenders.

From that point, assembling the rest was pretty easy. All in all, it was a pretty fun experience, but I am glad I was under no time constraints. Will be nice to clean out the garage.
I could eat off my skidplate. Ha ha.

From above, the jeep now looks pretty much like it did before I started. Ok with that. But underneath its worlds better. Now much safer.
Yesterday I noticed a slight chirping noise coming from underneath... sprayed the brake cllipers with cleaner, and it would go away for about two minutes then return. I took the left rotor to have it turned, and that did the trick. Even better that the guy at O'Reilly did it for free. Good man. Got the jeep up to highway speeds and it tracks straight with no vibration. Still have to paint the fenders and doors, but might put that off till fall, since we won't use the doors till then anyway.

Could not have done this without the forum. Thanks to all the contributors and the guys who were kind enough to answer the few private messages I sent.

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