Well, hopefully I'm doing this right (posting pics). I bought this '88 YJ a couple years ago from a friend of mine for 500 bucks. It had been sitting in their back property for several years without being started. I had to tow it home (after I put tires on it so it could role) because it would start and the plates were expired.
Within a few weeks, I got it started after swapping out the carb to a Motorcraft 2100. Once I did that, I learned about the "nutter bypass" and did that along with the "team rush" mod. I drove it like that for about two years. During that time, I replaced those huge fender flares for some regular YJ flares. This Jeep had all the stock drivetrain in it (junk puke-goat trans).
I eventually sanded her down and sprayed some black primer on her to get rid of the faded red paint job until I got around to painting her. I also fabbed up some "flattie" front fenders (steel square frames with steel sheet metal). I welded the new fenders to the old fenders after cutting them down a bit, that way I can still remove the fenders just like the original ones. I also made my own front/rear bumpers. This was about a year ago. It was still running fine, but I could tell the tranny was starting to act up. So, I purchased an AX15 with the matching 231 transfer case from a '97 XJ. I kept these in my garage waiting for my tranny to take a dump.
I then ordered my Rough Country 4" lift and some BFG All Terrains (35x12.5x15). Once I did this, I couldn't hardly ever use my fifth gear...so I didn't. Within a few months, my stock tranny died. I then installed my AX15 and transfer case from the XJ. That wasn't too tough to do. I just did a lot of research and had it back on the road within a few days. I did clock my XJ transfer case and made my own transmission mount. She drove great, but I could still hardly use my fifth gear.
I then fabbed up my own rear flares out of steel rectangle stock so that I would have some added protection for the tub back in that area. I also fabbed up my sliders.
A few months ago, I also installed a Ford 8.8 with 4.10's, put 4.10's in the front Dana 30, installed a SYE and a one piece axle shaft to the Dana 30. With these new add on's, I was now able to use my fifth gear without any problems. But as luck would have it, I now developed an oil leak somewhere in the engine. I tried for weeks trying to track that down. I decided to live with it for a while since it was still running pretty good. A couple months ago, I was able to track down the oil leak. It was coming from the head gasket on the passenger side. It was making a big mess with oil going everywhere. I was going to change out the head gasket, but I first did a leak down test and learned that all of my cylinders were loosing compression pretty bad. So....I decided to rebuild the 4.2. As I was looking into doing that, I decided to rebuild the engine, but swap in a 4.0 head, keep my Motorcraft 2100 (instead of going fuel injected) because I didn't want to mess with sensors and all the electrical stuff (for now).
So, now in early January 2014, the engine rebuild began. Out came the oily engine and the short block was sent to the machine shop. It got bored out .060 over, because when I took her apart, I saw that it had already been bored out to .040. I got a complete engine rebuild kit with a mild Comp cam, new bearings, oil pump and pretty much everything else was new. I also picked up a 4.0 head (casting 7120). I ended up using the 4.2 pushrods, rockers and new 4.2 lifters. I also installed a header and fabbed up the rest of the exhaust (2 1/4 inch pipes). When I was rebuilding the engine, I took the time to paint the engine bay. That took hours and hours to prep because there was such a big oily mess in there. I spent hours cleaning everything under the hood, to include all the nuts and bolts for the engine.
Once I got the engine installed, she fired up......after I realized I had the fuel lines crossed and the dizzy was 180* off. She fired right up! I did the 2000 rpm deal for 30 minutes, adjusted the timing and the idle. After that I hooked up the newly fabbed exhaust down-pipe to the header/cat. She ran great!
Now since the engine was new and the engine bay was looking nice, I decided to paint the rest of my Jeep the next week (last week). The prep for the paint job took over fifteen hours! I had never painted a vehicle (other than painting my '74 FLH) before, so this was going to be a new venture for me. After the prep was complete, I ended up shooting the paint. I did the paint job in my back yard since my garage had too many things in there. The weather was perfect and had a breeze between 0-3 mph all day long. The actual paint job only took about an hour.
Finally got her rebuilt and painted.....and back on the road. She runs great and she looks pretty good too! I'm very happy with the complete build/paint. I'll be making my full rollcage and rear swingout tire carrier soon.
Oh yeah....last year I converted my tailgate to a drop-down tailgate. I used the stock hinges (cut them down a bit) and made some 3/8" steel and made some big washers for the backside of the hinges. I also installed some LED rear lights and some LED rear sidemarkers. The interior is in really great shape too. I have an ammo can center console (that is painted the same blue as the Jeep). I also made my own sound-bar and added some six inch speakers to the corners of the windshield overhead. The stereo sounds pretty good too!
I put my top lightbar back on and added the black Jeep logo decals yesterday. I still only have 250 miles on the rebuilt engine, so I have to do another 250, then change the oil. After that, I'll start driving it like normal and not taking it so easy (for the break-in). So far she's been running great and still no leaks or noises.
Painted my dash and ammo can to match. I first sanded down and cleaned the dash (after i removed it) and then painted it with two coats of "plastic" spray paint, then when it was dry, i mixed the blue metallic paint and put two coats. The ammo can, i just sanded/cleaned it, then painted it (three coats). Came out pretty nice!
The ammo can I've had since 1983 when I was in the army. So, I guess I'll have it for another 30+ years! It's in perfect condition. I welded the rear handle so I could use it like a hinge and I added padlock in front. I have seen ammo cans at military surplus stores, gun shows and craigslist before.
Thanks guys. I try to do all my own work. So far i've done everything except the machine shop stuff. I get my ideas from forums like this one, then i try to make things myself. So far so good! I looking into making my own cage and swingout tire carrier. I also have to put a kill switch or something like that.
The paint for the dash is "plastic" paint (rattle can). Its for painting plastic. So i sprayed that on first so the blue paint had something to stick to. The plastic paint i got at O'Reilly's auto parts. The blue is the single stage i used on the Jeep.
I'm basically doing the same thing with my 89', but I doubt it'll be as nice as yours-looks good. A quick question through, I have a shifter linkage issue as the header is in the way of the factory mount bolts-auto trans. Any suggestions?
Thanks for getting back to me-I searched high & low for a couple days & didn't find anything relevant. Let me know if you come across anything. Besides running my exhaust, the linkage is the final piece to the puzzle.
Take a look at that ^. It's from the Jeepforum.com in the "YJ Tech forum" under "AMC 258 Exhaust upgrade questions". It looks like the guy had a similar issue as you are. He had to fab something up it looks like. I hope this helps. Good luck...