My son decided that he wanted a jeep, when hen he was younger he would always drive around in my wifes 94 YJ and loved it. I never did have a Jeep when I was younger, but I drove a lifted 77 Scout Traveler. Anyway we sold that YJ to my niece and almost bought it back, but the frame and body was in way to bad of shape. The Upstate NY winters take a real toll on these things. We found this Jeep in southern NY State and my son fell in love with it. Up till know he did not want anything to do with lifting it, he wanted it stock height. After looking at this one he got the bug.
It was not done the way I would like it so I knew that we had a project on our hands, but that ok he does not get his liscense for another year and a half. We have plenty of time to make this whatever he wants. It had 4" lifted springs mounted under what I think was a Dana 40 front axle and a Ford 8.8 rear axle. The welding was not very good and because of that the springs where a bit twisted and to top it off he had 1-1/2" shackles that made them even look worst. He had a home made High Steer kit made from 1/2" thick plate steel. This may have been good for the trails, but I was not going to let my son drive it this way on the road. Last it had a 3" body lift.
Some of the more possitive points where that the body was in very nice condition with just a litle floor board rot, the frame was in great shape, it has real nice tires that we may sell and go a bit wider and it has a sweet powertrain. A 1983 351 Windsor with supposadly very low mileage, rebuilt C6 Tranny and a rebuilt NP205 TC. We are through the teardown and have started recontructing the frame. Here are the pictures of what the Jeep looked like when we got it home.
They where out of something in the early 70's. I am guessing a one ton pickup. I did not like the drum brakes in the front so I decided to get rid of them and go with a Dana 60 front and a Ford 10.25 rear. They are out of an 87 F350. I found a great deal on them and they are much wider than the ones that where in it.
With the new axles I did a lot of measuring and since I was going to do a SOA lift I wanted to keep the existing perches on the axles and not relocate them. That ment figuring out how I was going to mount the springs outside of the existing frame. I tried frame brackets from all sorts of trucks and even thought about welding pieces of frame to the outside of the existing one. Then I found a great deal on a sweet 88 YJ frame with no rust. It looked just like the one that I already have. So I decided to strip the outside of my existing rails and the inside the new rails and attach the new entire rail to the outside of my existing ones. This gave me everything that I needed on the outside, regarding the springs in the places that I needed them. The only thing is the brackets for the body mounts are in the right spots, but 2-1/2" to far to the outside. I figured I will deal with that when it comes to the body work. After all of the figuring the spring line up almost exact.
Welding another frame to the outside seems a bit excessive. You could run a plate at the bottom of the frame rail and outboard the springs. A whole extra frame is quite a bit of weight to add when you could do it with a few pieces of 1/4" steel.
I know. I was just thinking with the jeep being so light and the engine pushing close to 350hp that a litle extra weight couldn't hurt. Also by the time I bought the steel and ordered all of the new brackets I was way over the price that I paid for the entire frame with everything in tact. I also needed one of the rear crossmembers that was roted on my frame. It seemed to work out better all the way around.
I removed he old rear shock mounts and I have to say that whoever came up with that idea should have been shot. Even great looking frames have no choice but to start rotting at that spot. I cut away all of the rot, plated the opening and added a new crossmember. I have my rear shock mounts and my new rear sway bar mounted from here. I also added another shock mount in the front for dual shocks. I got rid of the front track bar bracket and welded in a new one from Genright and a new axle mount bracket as well. With these two brackets and using the rear track bar on the front the track bar sits perfect. I know, most of you are saying that I should just get rid of it. Once it is on the road I will see how it rides with it and without it and then I will decide. If I want it then the brackets are there.
The welding is done and everything has been cleaned up with a grinder, wire wheel and sander. The frame, axles and all parts are getting a coat of POR15, so they are being washed down with the marine clean and getting a coat of the metal ready. If you have any cuts on your hands be sure to wear latex gloves, that metal ready burns like HELL. Everything is all set up in the garage and ready for paint.
Cleaned up the inside of the frame and started painting it from the inside out. At first I tried getting POR15 on the inside of the frame, but that was a disasterous mess and did not work very well. I found one of the threads that talked about a frame paint made by Eastwood. I odered it and that stuff is the best. It coats the entire inside of the frame with a green paint and you can access the frame from any of the existing holes. The 24" flexible wand that comes with each can makes it easy to get every inch. One warning, be sure to spray the frame outside. Even though you are apraying the inside of the frame the smell is potent and will get throughout your house for days.
We painted the springs, axles, Frame and all misc parts with a real good coat of POR15 and then 2 and some parts 3 good coats of Semi Gloss Chassis Coat. This is the point that we are at now. I have the new rear crossmember on order and it just shipped out today. I should be able to get that and my tire carrier welded in place this weekend. I would really like to have all of the painting done before the cold returns.
Started installing the new rear crossmember that just came in the other day. Also have to install the spare tire carrier that will be able to hold the 38" MT tires that will be going on it, along with the bumper brackets. Getting close to being completely done with all of the frame painting!
I started on my 94 YJ build here are some pics. After hours of wire wheelin the frame and then wiping it down. Then sprayed several cans of primer and bed liner black paint. Replaced all Tie rods and rear brakes. Next step will be brake lines and put 4" suspension lift.
Looking good so far. The cleaning and prepping work is what sucks for me. But I am pretty much done with all of that now and in the process of painting, detailing and putting things back together. Hang in there. Some time during the process you may ask yourself "why in the hell did I do this" Just remember. The way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time.