I did my build in the winter of 2013 and never got around to putting up my own thread. After looking at a lot of other really cool ones, I decided to finally put my own up. So the story starts with buying the YJ in August of 2012. I trailered it home and thus began my newest obsession/hobby.
Paint was a little rough. You could easily see where somebody had done some prior body work.
The fender flares were trimmed down to accommodate 30" tires. (came with 30x9.50x15 BFG All Terrain T/As)
The interior wasn't in too bad of shape. There was some surface rust on the driver's side floor pan but nothing that was a cause for concern.
Under the hood proved to be very sound. It has a 4.0L with the AX15 transmission. The largest tasks that I had to address under the hood at this point was a complete tune up, serpentine belt and alternator.
The next thing I chose to take care of was the paint. I normally would do this kind of thing myself but not having a garage of my own to do it in made it really difficult. So I asked a friend of mine who does auto body for a living and did the paint for me. I didn't want a paint job that's worthy of a luxury car, just something that cleaned it up and prolonged it's life. So I got the scuff and paint and so far, it's held up awesome! I picked it up from his shop and threw some new silver decals on her. Made a huge difference!
Since I have another vehicle, I told my buddy that there was zero rush and that he could take his time doing the work. He basically did a little here, a little there, and over the course of 2 weeks, got it completely done. During that time, I picked up everything I needed to do my lift. 4" Rough Country lift, SYE and Tom Woods drive shaft. This way, when I got it back, I could start it whenever I was ready.
Before I installed the lift, I spent time deciding on what size tire I wanted to put on it once the build was complete. I decided on 33x12.50. In reading some of the other threads on here, I realized that I should investigate the gear ratio I had in my axles. Found out I had 3.07's. Research said that it could have worked, but it wouldn't have been the best set up. So, I looked into just re-gearing my existing axles. The quotes I got around my area were more than what I paid for the Jeep! I hit Craigslist and found a pair of axles with brand new 4.10 gears about 1/2 hour south of me. I noticed that the rings still had machine markings on them and everything checked out. So I picked them up for $200! I tried to do the axle swap at the same time as I was doing the suspension lift. Before I put them in, I cleaned them up good and hit them with a rattle can.
One thing I had a really hard time with was the stock spring bolts. I lost the picture I had, but the bolt was actually fused to the inside of the spring. I ended up grinding ends of both bolts to drop the old springs.
This was the point in my build got really interesting. The transmission used to grind when down shifting from 3rd to 2nd. That was something I could live with. What I wasn't thrilled about was having only 4 usable gears in a 5 speed tranny. So my buddy that was helping me with the build suggested that I rebuild it while it's out. I didn't want to, but he convinced me. Man am I glad I did it!
My grinding between 3rd and 2nd, was only a bad synchro. My 5th gear, or a lack there of, was a broken counter shaft. It was a little disconcerting but I was able to find one relatively cheap.
Hooray new countershaft!
I lost the picture, but I picked up a master rebuild kit from East Coast Gear Supply down in North Carolina. Came with all the synchros, bearings and gaskets I needed. We rebuilt it in about 2 hours. I had never done a transmission, but my buddy had done it bunch of times. Plus, I found a really good thread that does a step by step AX15 rebuild. We sealed it up with anaerobic sealant and got ready to put it back in.
Decided at the last minute to put a new clutch in it while I had the trans/transfer case out.
We got the trans/transfer case bolted back, put a new starter and battery, bolted the Tom Woods drive shaft up and took it for a test run. It had a little vibration, so as a quick remedy I dropped the Tcase. Also had to get a new speedo pinion gear because of the different gear ratios. No more vibrations and my speedo worked! I hated the low back seats the PO had installed, so I found a pair of stock style on Craigslist for $100! Bolted right onto my risers. Built my gear shift knob and called the drivetrain and interior done for now.
I made my own shift knob out of a flat head Craftsman screwdriver.
Stock style seats proved to be WAY more comfortable than low back seats.
Next were the tires. I decided to run with 33x12.50x15 Hankook Dynapros. Hated the steel wheels it had so I had the new tires mounted and balanced on plain black soft 8's. They gave me the good look I was going for. I darkened the windows on my hardtop, although I ended up taking it off a few monts later for summer time!
I apologize for this being so long and drawn out. I was hoping to do it in one long post but I was only able to upload so many pictures at once. I hope you al have enjoyed this so far. It's been a lot of fun and work to get to this point. At first I wasn't going to do any of this by myself. But I looked at it as a really good learning experience. It's been great, and, thanks to places like this, I've been able to get help every step of the way!
Anyways, back to the Jeep! All the previous work was done this time last year (2013). Currently, I'm in the process of applying bed liner to the inside of the tub and addressing a couple of small holes in the driver's side floor pan.
The driver's side floor has very small holes in it and should be a pretty simple fix. I'm spending a lot of time cleaning it in preparation for the POR15 etc.
First coat is done. I sanded everything, cleaned with a lot of acetone, sanded again and cleaned with more acetone. As of today, I'm waiting for my POR15 kit with Marine Clean and Metal ready to arrive. Should be tomorrow or the next day. I used orange foam ear plugs in the holes that have threads. If anyone reading this has yet to do the bed liner, the best advice I can give is really prep it well. The preparation step(s) can make or break the final product!
That's my YJ build so far! It will never be completely done lol
Thanks guys, glad you like it so far. I'm going to be mounting a hi lift to the hood, and a couple ammo cans for some added storage and then a rear bumper with tire carrier. Pictures to follow once this nor' easter in Mass is over!
"Some days you eat the bear, and some days the bear eats you"
My Build: '92 YJ 4.0, AX15 with 4" RC lift, SYE, Tom Woods drive shaft, 33x12.50 Hankook Dynapro MT, 4.10's
Today I got LED bulbs for my dash in the mail. I installed them with the help of a thread written by another member here on the forum. It was a pretty straightforward install and it was cheap. under $10! Gauges look much better with LED vs stock.