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Old 08-13-2014, 08:00 AM   #1
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89 Wrangler YJ Guidance

i have a stock 89 YJ. 4 Cylinder. looking for guidance on the order i should do for upgrades. i am looking to turn my Jeep into an off-road vehicle while still keeping it road legal. this will not be a daily driver. i have a car and motorcycle for that.

so far i have install 30" tires. the original tires were dry rotted and need replaced. purchased a rear bumper off Craigslist, this bumber gives me rear tow points and a hitch. will be installing it this weekend. and will be getting front tow hooks. with those things i will meet the minimun requirements for off-roading. i also plan on bed lining the interior.

Upgrades i am thinking of:
skid plates.
upgrading to F 8.8
4" Lift
35" tires

if there is something else you would recommend please let me know. also what order should i purchase these items.

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Old 08-13-2014, 09:22 AM   #2
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*not in order*

Upgrade the front axle to a HP D30 out of a Cherokee (No vacuum disconnect)

Regear (gears help as much off road as they do on the road)

Pick up a locker. (Front or rear) I'll let you google that and choice for yourself.

Front bumper (w/ winch)

Rock sliders

On board air

*Make sure your 8.8 has limited slip when you get it* also if your ever planning on going bigger than 35s I would suggest maybe you look at other axle swaps or at least another one instead of the D30 up front. Or just look at what all you have to do to beef up a D30. But that's just IMO....and opinions are like buttholes...

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Old 08-13-2014, 09:30 AM   #3
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The four cylinder will be a dog on the highway with 35's. You'll end up with driveline vibrations so sye would make sense. Get the right gearing in the 8.8. A four inch lift on a jeep with worn springs will put you up higher than you think. So sway bar links, brake hoses front and rear. Drop pitman arm, maybe a stronger stabilizer. Band aids, oxy acetylene torch are good to have on hand. Good luck and have fun with it!
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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does anyone have a suggested order? i am AD military so i am restricted to a budget and can only do a little bit at a time.
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Old 08-13-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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Unless you want to swap in a new engine/transmission and/or regear, I'd recommend that you stick with ~32" tires and a lower lift. You can do some awesome offroad work with 32s. 35s are great, though, but require more work.

There's really no reason to swap out the Dana 30, as recommended above - that's a lot of work with very, very, very little benefit. You can get 99% of the benefit by just putting in a solid axle shaft from an XJ on the passenger side.

The Ford 8.8 is good.

Rocker Guards are good.

Chomoly shafts in the Dana 30 with larger u-joints are very good, but a little pricey. I'd consider them mandatory for 35s. (look at Ten Factory or Alloy USA)

The Front Lunchbox locker is probably the best $250 upgrade I've done to my Jeep.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:03 PM   #6
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Before doing ANY off road.....get yourself a winch and/or a Hi Lift Jack and the OTHER things you will need to get yourself out of a jam you got yourself into.

You can get all of this for under $1K and will be better than ANY upgrade you make to your Jeep, in the LONG run. ANY upgrade you make will not get you out of as much of a jam as they can get you INTO........
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:34 PM   #7
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I agree with what everyone has said so far. The only thing I want to add is referring to your original list that you have in the 1st post.

Skid plates? It already has the biggest skid plate on the market under it right now, holds your trans up. You don't need anything bigger or better than that.

Upgrading to a Ford 8.8. Very good idea, one that I have done myself. Expensive, but worth the money. I bought my donor axle for $150, but I have over $1500 in it now.

4" lift, almost mandatory because anything smaller will always leave you with wanting more.

35" tires? That isn't going to happen with the motor that you have. 33" are the absolute limit for a 4 popper, and that is ONLY if you do a gear ratio change to 4.88 ring and pinion.

The 4.88 ratio is the biggest ratio or deepest gears that you can install into the Dana 30 front end. The actual ratio needed for a set of 33" tires on a 4cyl YJ is 5.13's. But since you are limited to 4.88, you will be a little under powered with 33's, so, 35's are definitely out of the equation.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bc3_Jeep View Post
Before doing ANY off road.....get yourself a winch and/or a Hi Lift Jack and the OTHER things you will need to get yourself out of a jam you got yourself into.

You can get all of this for under $1K and will be better than ANY upgrade you make to your Jeep, in the LONG run. ANY upgrade you make will not get you out of as much of a jam as they can get you INTO........
Great advice if you wheel alone.

Better advice: Don't wheel alone

Seriously, I did a ton of group wheeling with just a recovery strap, shackles and good tow hooks front/rear. Other people in my group had winches and hi lifts (that were very rarely needed, BTW).

If you wheel in a group, then you might be able to push off the winch and hi lift, etc.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post
Great advice if you wheel alone.

Better advice: Don't wheel alone

Seriously, I did a ton of group wheeling with just a recovery strap, shackles and good tow hooks front/rear. Other people in my group had winches and hi lifts (that were very rarely needed, BTW).

If you wheel in a group, then you might be able to push off the winch and hi lift, etc.

I will not be wheeling alone. i will be wheeling with parents and local Jeep Groups in VA. We will also be wheeling at local off road parks that are set up to recover vehicles. Min. requirements are front and rear tow points. fire ext. recover strap no hooks.

we will also be purchasing these ramp things that the park used in most cases where a vehicle got stuck instead of using winches.

my plan is to get a winch eventually but i am not sure if this is able to get installed on the stock bumper
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DShroka View Post
my plan is to get a winch eventually but i am not sure if this is able to get installed on the stock bumper
I don't have a stock YJ front bumper, so I can't comment directly on your situation. Generally speaking, I believe that you can mount a universal winch plate (Smittybilt, Harbor Freight, etc) on top of the bumper.

The picture shows my bumper (shortened stock TJ bumper) with a Harbor Freight winch mount and Smittybilt tow hooks. I had to clearance the winch mount to get the tow hooks to fit.
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StanF Tummy Tuck, Ford 8.8, Gas Tank Lift, Rocker Guard Fab, Ammo Can Console
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