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Old 05-13-2010, 06:58 PM   #1
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Smile My '89 YJ Project Jeep

Hello WF! I have recently sold my four wheelers and purchased an '89 Wrangler. The wife named her Dixie so she is officially part of the family. The guy I bought her from had her on a deer lease (luckily they had a garage for her where ever it was) and she hasn't seen pavement since 2002. I was impressed at how good of shape she was in. I have since cleaned her up a bit and started tinkering.

This will be an on going project and I am new to the Jeep world so I figured I would post a thread here and see what kind of ideas I can get. I am open to any advice, questions, comments, concerns and I told ya so's.

It is mainly stock with a 2" body lift and a 2" Shackle lift. has the 4 cylinder with 5speed automatic Transmission. Factory rims and some little tires(buckshots maybe but not sure). 2 tops the regular which appears to be in descent shape and a bikini top. The interior is already rhino lined so I don't have to do that but it is in rough shape.

It has a few open wounds so I ordered a complete gasket kit (came in today) and I am going to tear it down on Saturday and replace all the gaskets.

I have no idea where I am going to go with this project yet. I am going to drive it for a few months before I make any major changes. In the mean time I am going to replace stuff that needs fixing and just mess around with it.

Does anyone know what size, length and thread count the bolts are for the spare tire mount?

Are there any minor upgrades I can do for the 4banger that could give me just a little horsepower?

I need a new muffler, should I bother with a good aftermarket performance muffler or just go back with a regular one?

What can I do with the suspension? I don't like the body lift and would like to take it out and bring the suspension on up, any ideas?

I am attempting to get some pictures on here as soon as I can figure out how.
I have it in my projects on my profile but having trouble getting them on here.

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Old 05-13-2010, 07:09 PM   #2
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Kewl deal, welcome to WF .. I've try to answer what I know and go backward on those questions.

Try to host your picture on Photobucket, it's easy, register, upload, then they give you a link for picture, copied and paste.

My jeep come with 4" rough country, from what I know and experience, it's not a very comfortable drive, but it's cheap, and somewhat easy to install. I've notice that since I put in bigger and widder tires, it ride a lil better.

Look around for muffler, look for good deals around ur area, new muffler or perfomance muffler cost more but it sound better, depend on your pocket .. LOL

That's all I know, i'll let other guru on here help you out.

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Old 05-13-2010, 10:53 PM   #3
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Whatever you do, dont buy to big of a tire for it after your lift, it will be so underpowered it wont go against the wind. Serious. I just sold my 95 Rio Grande, I put on 32s BF Goodrichs, big mistake!
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:54 AM   #4
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Lets see if this works.

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Old 05-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #5
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There we go, I got one on here. Now that I know how to work it I will try and get more this afternoon. at least this way you can at least get a look at the Jeep.

Lykanjt - I read your Project forum yesterday and the Jeep you built is awesome. I hope that mine looks that good someday.

Schlaug - I am planning on some 31's for the time being but would eventually like to move up to 35's. I will not put the 35's on until after I put a bigger motor in though so hopefully the 31's will not be to bad.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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Thank mang, glad to see that you can post pictures now.

If you wanna ride on 35, definitely gotta get higher lift and bigger engine, 4 banger auto is not the ideal choice for it.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:30 AM   #7
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More Pics











Here are a couple more pictures, I will have more coming soon.

I will also be tearing the motor down somewhat this weekend to change out all the leaky seals so I will post some pictures of all of that as well.
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:31 PM   #8
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hey nice looking rig
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:13 PM   #9
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Hey, I have the same audio entertainment system!
I bought me one of them there fancy double jacks so I could connect 2 sets of throw away speakers to the ol' ipod!
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:52 PM   #10
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here are some more pictures of it when I got it a couple weeks ago.

This was the day I brought it home; Me and my Daughter.


Here are some scars



The Awesome suspension lift



Massy - Yeah I borrowed those from my wife to see if they would be a temporary fix to my boredom. Didn't work!

I did pick up some speakers today from my buddy. He just bought a 69 Chevelle and decided he didn't like the interior so he ripped it out. Great for me though because I got all his JBL Speakers that he isn't using so all I need is a head unit now.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:12 PM   #11
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nice looking rig.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:17 PM   #12
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Had a couple oil leaks so I tore off the valve cover and oil pan this weekend. Needed an oil change anyway but unfortunately one of the piston skirts was broke off and laying in the bottom of the oil pan. Not affecting the way it runs right now but I am curious as to how long it will run with they small piece broke off. I have noticed it running a little rough but I figured it needed a little tune up. I am however going to have to figure out what to do with the motor though. Should I swap a v8, v6 or rebuild this one? Here are a few pictures of the gasket changing adventure.

Gotta love the way they patched the leaky oil pan gasket




20 year old gunky motor.








Can't be good that there was a piece of metal this big in my oil pan.



Sealed up, cleaned up and leak free.



I really need some opinions on the motor swap, I am open to all questions, comments, advice, concerns or experiences. or am I just better off rebuilding the 4 and running with it?
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:40 PM   #13
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wow ... its in really good shape man, I like the YJs
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:53 PM   #14
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nice yj man.

as far as that engine, i'd address it soon. if that piston is cracked, or gets worse it can tear up the cylinder, and then the engine is junk. if you fix it now, you may be able to save it.

as far as swaps, honestly, fix the 4 banger. i am no fan of it, i've owned them, they're fine motors, and are reliable. but unless you know what you are getting into swapping motors, i'd just fix it. there's more work than people realize. it is just as much work to swap in the 4.0 as a v8. BUT, if you want to swap in a v8, and you know what you're getting into, by all means, rock on. but don't be fooled that the 4.0 will drop right in.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:50 AM   #15
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Got lucky yesterday, a friend of mines dad had some take off rims and a factory back bumper he wanted gone. The rims look just like the ones I have on there but they are 20 years newer is the only upside for the time being. I tore off the homemade pipe bumper on it yesterday and put the factory bumper on. Who would have ever thought that a factory bumper would make it look so much better. I will try to post pictures after church.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:40 PM   #16
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looks good dude your motor looks like mine inside.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:31 AM   #17
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Here are the pictures of the new back bumper. I am not big on the factory but I think it looks better than the piece of pipe. I have a call in and I am waiting on a response about a reciever hitch.

Not the best before picture because I was trying to figure out the bikini top but you can get an idea.


With the spare tire mounted before I put the new bumper on


With the new bumper on


Got a stereo going in this afternoon but I ahve to figure out how to mount it because the factory whole in the dash is to big for a din sleeve. Any ideas would be much apprecieated.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:33 AM   #18
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Also I think I am going to order about a 3.5 inch lift and take out the body lift completely. I don't know who put it in but the more I look at it the more I hate it.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:25 PM   #19
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Cool Jeep!
Mine is an 89 also with the 4 cylinder engine. Mostly stock with a recently installed long block from Jasper at 165,000.

Tuffy makes a nice looking black metal glove box to replace the plastic one. Best dash upgrade and the grab handle feels nice and solid to hang on to. It would look good in yours. Not cheap but worth it.

The only down side to the 87-90 2.5 YJ's is the Renix throttle body injection. There are no valve assemblies to get our hands on and an upgrade to MPI is a bit too involved. Auto Zone has a tbi repair kit available for 178 bucks. My advice is to clean up your fuel delivery system immediately. Especially if it hasn't been done in a while.
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Old 05-26-2010, 11:35 PM   #20
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Back bumper is much better. Also, If you feel like you should blot out your license plate, you'll probably want to do it on all of the pictures.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:09 AM   #21
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Yeah I was playing with the edit button and I didn't think it worked so I quit. Not to worried about people getting my license number but I saw a few other people were blacking theirs out so I figured I would follow trend.

Salam - Yeah I plan on investing in a few tuffy storage options just wanna get some mechanical done before I invest to much.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:56 AM   #22
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Got some off road lights hooked up last night, Man what an increase in visibility. I bet these guys increased my line of sight but 50 yards easy.



On another note I have what is supposed to be 4 inches of lift. 2 inch body and 2 inch suspension. I personally don't like the boday lift and my springs are almost flat. I think I am going to order a 3.5 to 4 inch suspension lift and just pull the body lift out all together. Anyone have any ideas or advice? What brand of lift should I get? It is 20 years old so I am going to buy a kit with shocks and all. I want to put 15 x 10 inch rims with about a 33 inch tire. I know I am going to have to regear it when I do so if anyone knows an estimate of what I am going to be spending on regearing the axles it would be much appreciated. I haven't had much time to study the process and I don't even know where I am going to start yet so I will take all pointers to the right direction you can give me.

Also I want to put a cable locker on the front axle. What do ya'll think?
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:04 AM   #23
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I have a "90 Wrangler with a 4 banger,anemic no matter what mods you do. As far as a swap you are looking at a pretty good amount of fab work to swap to a 6 cylinder that is not really worth it.

Gearing is where it is at...I'm running 35's with a 5-6" spring over lift and had 4:10's which was tolerable at anything but highway speeds...just have to wind the hell outta of them and forget about 4 and 5th gear.

If ya do decide to do a V-8 swap remember that those Dana 35 axles in the rear have a tendency to explode at higher HP and torque...hell even the larger tire are pushing it.

Also if ya still have the vacuum assisted axle locker in the front you may want to consider switching out to a cable actuated system of a solid axle from a XJ,you'll just have to install a seal in the housing if ya do that.


My thoughts on well spent money would be a moderate suspension lift, (get rid of the BL),increase air intake and exhaust flow, lower gear ratios,33" tires max.,and drive it at higher RPM's


Bry
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austin1869 View Post


There we go, I got one on here. Now that I know how to work it I will try and get more this afternoon. at least this way you can at least get a look at the Jeep.

Lykanjt - I read your Project forum yesterday and the Jeep you built is awesome. I hope that mine looks that good someday.

Schlaug - I am planning on some 31's for the time being but would eventually like to move up to 35's. I will not put the 35's on until after I put a bigger motor in though so hopefully the 31's will not be to bad.
I have 31 10.50 15's on mine it does ok 65,70 mph is about it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:15 AM   #25
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I have 31 10.50 15's on mine it does ok 65,70 mph is about it.
Are you running a V-8???


Bry
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:18 AM   #26
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Are you running a V-8???


Bry
No it's the inline 4 I want to put a V8 in soon but $ is tight right now So its not the main thing right now!
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:25 AM   #27
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You may also want to consider swapping in a Ford 8.8 rear end prior to the V-8.
I was blowing up Dana 35's with just my 4 banger and a locked rear....but I did run 35's too.

The gear swap and the 8.8 swap was the best investment I've made!!!!



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Old 05-27-2010, 09:33 AM   #28
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Lookin' great!

I used to detail cars and could'nt help but noticing how nasty your speakers are. A good trick for cleaning those out is to use a paint brush, 1-2 inches wide. It will flick most of the dust out of the cracks, if you need liquid to help get it all out of the cracks, dip your paint brush in a little rubbing alcohol first. It will get all the crap out of the cracks and the alcohol evaporates quick.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:38 AM   #29
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You may also want to consider swapping in a Ford 8.8 rear end prior to the V-8.
I was blowing up Dana 35's with just my 4 banger and a locked rear....but I did run 35's too.

The gear swap and the 8.8 swap was the best investment I've made!!!!



Bry
Okay that sounds like good info! Now the front and back axle's have to match right?
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:40 AM   #30
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No worries those speakers are no longer in there. I will try to post pictures of the new ones soon.

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