First of all I am fairly new to this forum. I am very pleased to see such an active YJ section! I bought my YJ in 1999 and it has been a complete rebuild. It was originally a project that was going to be sold after I fixed it up. So much for well thought out plans.
I had always admired the CJ8 with the full hard top. I did look for one when I purchased my YJ. However the same thing remains true today as back then. Everyone thinks they are made of gold wanting 16K plus. I loved the 03-06 LJ but again people who are selling them want big bucks for them because they are "rare". So when AEV started cutting up TJs a long time ago I had always wanted to to that to the YJ. Well several years later I am at a point in life that I can under take that project.
I want to clarify that I am not going to be doing "hard core" wheeling with this Jeep and for the time being I have no plans to change out the D30/35 or go with larger than 33" tires. I wanted more interior room, a different look, a longer wheel base and a better ride. Most importantly I did not feel the Jeep was safe for my young son only having lap belts in the back. That is the main reason for the full cage with the frame tie in. This Jeep will be used for camping and off road trails that do not exceed the capability of the axles and suspension.
Here is what I started the project out with:
1991 YJ 226K
4" ProCrap suspension
Rhino lined tub
custom rear bumper
rear disk conversion
GenRight LJ blanks
At the end of the project I hope to have completed:
Body and frame stretch
Hard top stretch
new longer glass for the hard top ( I am planning on stretching the top where the glass is)
new seals and rubber on all doors and windows
new longer drive shaft
new lines for fuel, exhaust, and brake
reconnect the parking brake
extend electrical harness for the rear of the Jeep
new seat belts
complete family style cage with frame tie ins
I was thinking of going a little longer than a TJ but when I ordered the YJ blanks I did not realize they were cut to fit along the bottom radius of the door. It would look a little strange if it were not up against that radius or if I made a straight cut.
So it is going to be extended about 15 inches to the same length as a LJ.
Sweet! Subscribed! Just wondering, would there be enough room (both width and length wise) to do the two fold-up bench seats like in the old Fj40s?
She's my 4 banger.
She's great when she gets down in low range, hard to control when she gets going, and always in need of my money. But she's a jeep and that's why I love her.
Plus, she has nice headlights..
I have not considered a FJ40 seat set up because the FJ40 had a lot more head room. Besides that would be difficult to find and most likely have to fab something from scratch. I am tying to get this project done as quickly as possible.
So we are in the mock up stage of the project. The body and frame are split and the LJ blank armor is used to help with mock up. It looks very long without a roll cage to break up the visual lines. I am glad I was not planning on going longer than the LJ body size. Next is building the frame extension and filling in the 15 or so inch gap on the tub. After that the full custom roll cage is getting built and then tied to the frame. If all goes according to plan the parts should be done and off to powder coat Monday. It's getting exciting! Here are the latest pictures.... Enjoy!
I have to say, this project is really neat. I've seen lots of "stretch with springs" where people push the axles back and forward to give a longer wheel base, but not a lot of whole body/frame extensions. This is very cool!
Denis A. Baldwin
1991 YJ 99 Vortec 5.7L, SM465, NP205, 14 Bolt Rear, Dana 60 Front, 5.13 Gears, Detroit Lockers, 395/85R20 46" Michelin XML tires on 20" XD Wheels, Cherokee Offset Springs (10" front to back stretch total), Bilstein 5150s, 1in. BL, custom cage, Warn M8000, Double D Dash/OHC, 4Low Front Stinger Bumper, DirtWorx Rear Bumper WTC, Tube Fenders, Comp Cut, 1 Ton HD Kingpin High Steering and PAID FOR.
So today the frame of the Jeep was put back together. There is not much to look at visually but the back bone of my YJ is now longer and a little stronger. The body mounts were also relocated to accommodate the stretch. She is also back on the ground without the assistance of the frame tubes that were welded to the bottom of the frame.
I did however run into a bit of a unexpected problem. While I thought I was going to do the rocker guards at a later date it seems I am needing to do them now since I have a hole in the side of the Jeep now. I really was not able to pick this detail up from the photos on GenRight's website but with the frame back together it is very clear. Not sure what I'll do to correct this but it looks like I'll be sending more money to the folks at GenRight. I thought I was done with that for this stage of the build. Shipping is painful with those guys to Tx.
Stitch the body back together so I don't have a huge hole in the tub and a much larger than usual YJ roll cage!
The most challenging part is keeping momentum going with the project. I am very worried about stalling the project and having a mess on my hands. Just found out a few days ago the fiberglass guy I picked for this project is back logged 5 weeks I was planning on doing the electrical, fuel and brake extensions after the top got worked on but I now hope to drive it before the top gets cut. We will see.
So here is an update for those of you who are following this project. The donor tub I purchased ended up being nothing but bondo and hack style body work. Things had to be pulled apart to get this all to line up properly. The idea prior to this discovery was to have a full section to weld into the lengthened tub. This has put the project WAY behind schedule. I am hopeful that things will go off to powder coat next Monday.
On a side note. I just wanted to say thanks to the Rhino folk for doing such a piss poor job of prepping my tub for their liner. Nice shiny smooth surface for this stuff to adhere to. This was done about 10 years ago and its the low pressure system that no one uses anymore. I can peal it up in big chunks. Life time guarantee eh? Well if you can hang on to a the receipt for 10 years and 7 moves sure! It was nice while it lasted. I thought I would be able to patch the added section of the tub in but the high pressure spray would not match the existing bed liner.
On the bright side their poor prep job should make removing the liner a little easier.
Man that looks like a lot of work. I wish I had the time, knowledge and spare change to do things like that. Looks like a fun project.
It appears to be coming a long quite nicely. I have heard terrible things about rhino lining. Heard they are one of the less quality companies to go with.
The Rhino liner was a very nice addition to the Jeep. It did keep the temperature down a bit from the under body. I am looking at a company that makes a product called lizard skin and am planning on spraying the entire firewall, tub and inside the hardtop to help combat the very hot temperatures here in Texas. It is a ceramic liner and from what I have seen of this product so far is very impressive with temperature control.
So we are getting close to the end of this phase of the project. I am hopeful that we can get the rest of the body armor on and the cage welded up. As of now all the tubes are just tacked into place. I am selling the YJ sound bar and going with TJ speaker pods and they actually match up on the cage quite nicely, for once a part of this project did not kick and scream it's way to completion. The next step is to go to the fiberglass shop for the hard top stretch! Here are a few pictures!
Here is a corner of the cage tied into the frame!
Rear with a temporary seat for mock up
Last but not least, my favorite picture so far!! We are still in mock up and no final cuts have been made. The rocker guards are genright as well as the LJ corner blanks.
Hope you guys are enjoying the show I see lots of views but not many posts, don't be afraid to post!