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onroad 07-05-2011 11:01 PM

1993 YJ off death row
This is my project, a high mileage Jeep that spent a lot of time on the beach, been pretty well beat up, interior is a mess, but no state of disrepair is too far gone for a Jeep. The rot is there and proud, but it's not quite as bad as you'd expect for being a beach truck. The price was right so I took it on. I'm actually kind of looking for a challenge. The engine and tranny, despite 200k miles, and some worn out inconsequentials, are rock solid. The chassis has a few problem spots, the right rear quarter has some minor collision damage, and it's in bad need of a full paint job.

First thing I did was whip it in shape mechanically. Replaced the water pump, stat, outlet housing, radiator, all hoses, flushed the coolant. Replaced front pads/rotors, rear shoes/drums/hardware, parking brake cables, and rear hydraulic lines. Just got it in shape to where I feel comfortable driving it.

Also found 2 of the 6 bolts holding up the tranny/tcase skid plate were spinning loose, as the nuts inside the chassis had broken loose. I got it down and found that the holes had such severe rot around them that I could poke a pen through it in a few spots. Water must have sat in there. I cut the whole section out on both sides and welded in some 3/16" plate, inserted new weldable nuts, and replaced the skid plate. Now I'm even more comfortable driving it. Safety wise... of course it looks like and still is a piece of shit. But without any catastrophic failures waiting to happen.

I've also replaced the windshield frame on account of urgency. The water streaming in through the rot holes along the window seal. And the cowl seal was like a sponge. That was actually the worst rot on the body, so that's out of the way now, and my feet stay dry.

It looks kinda funky with a newly painted window frame but I couldn't wait on that. But I have a lot of work to do before I can paint the rest of the body.

Both front fenders have a rust hole right behind the marker lamp, so I'll just replace them. They look relatively easy enough to bolt on. There's also a wicked rot hole just after the drivers side Jeep logo, by the lower front corner of the door. There's a door hinge support on the inside of the panel there and I suspect some water likes to sit there. Since that's part of the whole side panel of the truck, I'll have to cut that one out and weld in some new sheet metal. I don't have much experience with butt welding body panels, I know thin metal is bitchy but I'll just jump into it and see what happens.

My overall plan for it is a mostly road going Jeep, with a custom, but simple design. Nothing big or attention grabbing. I'm going to dig into the body work next, and repaint it the same hunter green metallic. Then switch it to a half-top which is now in my possession. The wheels I have on the way are 16" Outlaw II's, which will get fitted with 245/70R16 Duelers.

rmed4defense 07-05-2011 11:15 PM

Looking good.

Always Stuck 07-07-2011 05:12 AM

Sounds like your off to a good start. Keep us posted.

onroad 07-07-2011 06:34 PM

Did some hardcore chassis cleaning, de-rusting, and undercoating today. Long day. I still have some spots left to do but I knocked out the bulk of it. And a few spots, mainly the shock mounts, I'll eventually have to cut out and replace, but now that I've stopped any further rot I should be ok for a while.

6 hours in 95 degrees chipping the rust away with a screwdriver and wire brush. At least it's shady under there. If only you could see from the pic how much rust was on the ground.

This is GOOD stuff. The converter converts the rust to black oxide. Just chip away the big flaky stuff, spray it on, wait for it to dry and turn black, then coat right over it.

Moved inside when rain threatened my operation. Now this is a chassis I can live with.

Oh and that spray on undercoating sends a lot back your way. Even though it was hot as hell out I should have worn long sleeves. I'm still picking little bits of dried rubber out of my arm hair and it kind of sucks.

zoomwide 07-08-2011 04:07 PM

Looks very nice. I am slowly working on a 1995, body pretty straight now that I replaced a fender. But some pretty heavy duty frame issues remain. I have been struggling to remove the bash plate without breaking the bolts, but I fear it might be inevitable. So it was informative to hear how you handled yours. Keep it up and post some new pics soon.

billy_YJ 07-08-2011 07:17 PM

Congrats on your new project. Windshield/cowl looks good.

Looks like you have the ideal set up w/ the lift & all!!! Have fun & keep us posted w/ lots of pics!

onroad 07-08-2011 07:18 PM

Thanks!...zoom you referring to the skid plate supporting the tranny and t-case? I had a hell of a time with that. Most of the bolts actually came out with no problem, to my surprise. 2 of the 6 bolts were spinning because the nuts inside the chassis broke loose. The nuts are boxed in, no access. I guess they're tack welded, but it doesn't hold forever. There was so much rot on the bottom there too, around a few holes it was paper thin. Seems like a popular place for water to collect inside the rails. I ended up cutting out most of the bottom of the chassis there, and welding in new metal. I actually used metal salvaged from the case of our old dyno. It was the perfect thickness, about 3/16" I think. To re-do the bolt holes (2 of the 6 had to be replaced) I drilled holes and welded in threaded inserts. The original bolts are 1/2"-13. This is what I used: McMaster-Carr <-- the weld-in slab base inserts. I also put a brand new skid plate back up there to finish it off.

Depending on the severity of the rot, if you have a cutoff tool, grinder, and welder it's not terrible, just time consuming. Not sure how you'd go about it without these tools though. Good luck.

zoomwide 07-09-2011 02:45 PM

Onroad - thanks for the suggestion on the weld in slab inserts. I will order some because I think I'm headed down the same path you took. I am not a welder but as my boy Ringo Starr would say "I get by with a little help from my friends."

onroad 07-11-2011 10:42 PM

^ He also wanted to live in an octopus's garden, but I'll let that one slide.

For lack of more productive pictures, here's my other pride and joy. I can't drive it but it does have wheels, and it's worth 10 times any vehicle I've had. And unlike the Jeep it pays me back.

onroad 07-21-2011 08:10 PM

Put in a new timing chain today. I've had a pretty bad rattle from the front engine area since I got it that's been getting worse. I traced it down to the timing case. I pulled the cover off today and found the chain was totally shot. There was so much slack it was just starting to contact the inside of the case, there was my noise. Anywho no damage was done and a new chain and gears cured the noise right up. 200k on the old chain.

It's also running noticeably better. I swear the timing had to be 10 degrees retarded with that amount of chain wear. I always thought it smelled a little rich. Definitely running a bit smoother now. And quiet. Sounds like a nice new 200k miles 4.0L.

onroad 07-21-2011 08:34 PM

Also put some new wheels on. 16" American Racing Outlaws. A nice basic look that I think is perfect. I know it still needs some body work and a paint job bad, and I always shake my head when people put shiny new wheels on a wreck. But I needed new tires bad and I was changing wheel size. So I had to. :rolleyes:

I went with Bridgestone Dueler A/T 245/70s. This combo being slightly larger than what I had on it before is making me notice how much the suspension is sagging. This is the stock springs with 200k on them, so I would guess it's down maybe 1-2".

I never planned on lifting it and still don't want to lift it too much. There's no point, I don't really do any offroading, there's nothing but roads here. I have 4 new 1.5" lift leafs waiting to go on, so I figure I'll gain in the neighborhood of 3". I'll at least pick the wheel wells up off those wheels a little, and won't bite into the fender flares.

Always Stuck 07-21-2011 08:48 PM

I don't think I've ever seen a windshield down with a hard top on. That's a first.

onroad 07-21-2011 09:28 PM

I wouldn't drive like that, I was pulling the dash at the time to drop some new speakers in.

Always Stuck 07-22-2011 07:42 PM

I have to tell you. If I saw you driving like that, I would have to chase you down and get a picture. That would be to funny.

Mykll 07-22-2011 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by onroad (Post 1398178)

Just gave me an idea while breaking in the new Jeep. :rofl: Hard top on, front freedom panels off, doors off, windshield down, motorcycle helmet and gloves, driving real slow. :eek:

onroad 07-25-2011 09:11 PM

You could even go for the old skool leather helmet and driving goggles, and grow a pointy mustache.

Bear94 07-25-2011 10:09 PM

Look great man. Could you send me a link to the stuff you used to clean up the frame. I need to clean my frame up.

onroad 07-26-2011 08:24 PM

Thanks, I used a wire brush for the loose stuff and the rust converter and rubberized undercoating from

onroad 08-09-2011 09:27 PM

Got most of the interior done, and the front bumper this week. I stripped everything out of the tub, scrubbed it all out good (so much sand) and took care of any rust. The only bad rust was the drivers floor pan, but it was still sold. And just some minor spots here and there. Converted and repainted all the rust. I recarpeted the front area, and will bed-liner the rear cargo area. The carpet surprisingly went in smooth even though it was a solid piece with no cuts. Got the shifter carefully marked up, cut it right on where it had to be, and the rest fell into place. I derusted and repainted the seat risers which were in pretty bad shape. The seats are Bestop Trailmax II's. Center console is coming, since the Smittybilt 8.5" was too wide in conjunction with the new seats, a 6.5" will fit. The dash panels will go back in once I'm finished with any wiring back there. Got some nice green seat belts too (not pictured) that match the body color.

The new bumper is a Procomp rock crawler, I like the simple design. Lift, paint and bodywork will be coming soon.

billy_YJ 08-09-2011 10:43 PM

Good looking interior man.

Keep us posted. Love the pics!

onroad 08-10-2011 08:25 PM

Thanks, will do.

Quick little trick for the front bumper if any of the bolts are seized and the inside nut breaks loose. Happened on one of the bolts for me, and I ended up just blasting it off with a torch. The inside nut will be boxed in when the bumper is in place, so I nut plate. Cut out a square of 3/16" plate, to the inner width of the chassis rail. I marked the hole, drilled it, and welded on my replacement 1/2"-13 nut. Coated it in a zinc galvanizing spray for rust prevention. It won't turn, and has a tiny bit of float to it so it will center itself on the bolt. Worked like a charm and took all of 10 minutes.

incizion 08-10-2011 11:04 PM

subscribed, doing great

zoomwide 08-11-2011 08:02 AM


Originally Posted by onroad (Post 1458598)
Thanks, will do.

Quick little trick for the front bumper if any of the bolts are seized and the inside nut breaks loose. Happened on one of the bolts for me, and I ended up just blasting it off with a torch. The inside nut will be boxed in when the bumper is in place, so I nut plate. Cut out a square of 3/16" plate, to the inner width of the chassis rail. I marked the hole, drilled it, and welded on my replacement 1/2"-13 nut. Coated it in a zinc galvanizing spray for rust prevention. It won't turn, and has a tiny bit of float to it so it will center itself on the bolt. Worked like a charm and took all of 10 minutes.

Nice fix, keep up the good work.

onroad 08-11-2011 03:54 PM

Some more stuff today. Installed the soft top-- Bestop Halftop. It went on pretty easy. I can tell it's gonna leak in places though. I've been fixing up water leaks since I got this thing, now I think there's no point in bothering any more, lol. There are plenty of places I can tell it's gonna seep, around the roll bar collars, the door seal, and the stitching at the seams I can see pinholes of light so that'll seep for sure. But I like this better than the clunky old hard top, so it is what it is. I'll just accept it as a fact of Jeep life. It won't be watertight. Unfortunately we get a fair share of rain here.

Otherwise I love the top. Also here is a pic of the new seat belts installed, in sort-of-matching green. The closest I could get but it looks good. And I'm happy they came with old skool style buckles.

incizion 08-11-2011 04:10 PM

the interior cleaned up great

onroad 08-11-2011 05:25 PM

Yeah just a little TLC :)

billy_YJ 08-11-2011 07:36 PM

Looking good man. Where'd you get your seat belts?

onroad 08-11-2011 08:18 PM

I got them off Morris 4x4. They have a nice selection of colors. Quadratec carries the same ones too.

billy_YJ 08-11-2011 08:26 PM

ok, cool. Yeah Morris rocks! Don't forget to use coupon code "SHIN" for every purchase over $100 bucks to get $10 off.

onroad 08-11-2011 08:49 PM

Ah ha, thanks for that, did not know. I spend over $100 with them almost weekly. :)

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