Jeep Wrangler Forum

Jeep Wrangler Forum (
-   Builders Corner (
-   -   The Albino Rhino Build Thread (

The Yeti 01-09-2012 12:07 AM

The Albino Rhino Build Thread
Well after about two years of busted knuckles and a few times catching various objects on fire, I figured it was time for a build thread. After sinking my 91 Toyota pick up in a mud hole and hydrolocking the engine sending it to a premature grave I ended up with my 94 YJ. It started out life as a 2.5L 5 speed.
When I first got it I was fairly new to the mechanic world and jeeps. I also had just turned 18 about a month before I got it so this was a whole new world and adventure for me.

Here are a few pics of when I first got it. It was completely stock. (on right)

Well the first thing I did was take trade my stock wheels and tires for a set of 15x10 aluminum wheels and some crappy 31s. No need to fear though my yota had brand new 33x12.50 Mud Stars on it which found a new home on my 15x10 aluminum wheels. This was also before I had hardly any knowledge of suspension or axles or approach angle or any of that nonsense. So what did I do? I got a set of add a leaf's and the longest shackles I could find. They served their purpose well and cleared my 33s beautifully. (until I flexed :whistling:)

Here is a pic of me and it after the lift and tires

So what did I do after that? beat the snot out of it.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 12:18 AM

And of course as most of us on here, I couldn't leave good enough alone so I started changing things. One of my first mods after the lift and tires was a rear bumper which I found cheap on craigslist.

Here is a pic of the bumper

And after adding a rear bumper I needed a ffront bumper... So I found one on a wrecked Jeep that was bent and had the winch protector hoop nearly broke off and my dad got it for cheap and it became part of my christmas for that year. I also got a smittybilt 8000 pound winch for christmas from my step dad so I was one happy dude.

well after deciding my jeep needed a stinger I went to a local steel store and picked up 6 foot of tubing. I took the tubing to a muffler shop and was lucky enough to have the guy bend it for me for free. So after a little grinding and welding my jeep now had a stinger. This was also one of my first experiences welding too. Many more to come.

99 cent of rattle can black later and I had a pretty nice stinger

The Yeti 01-09-2012 12:31 AM

The next few stages of build up were a few little things like stainless steel brake lines, swapping out the rear seat for a big tool box, and spacers for the stock tire carrier to make it fit. I don't have pictures of those because they weren't really that big of upgrades so I didn't take pictures. Well this leads us up to when I graduated highschool and got some money. So after my experience with the Toyota the next thing on my list was an Arb Safari Snorkel.

You can also notice in the picture light guards. My dad and I worked on a lot of old cars and junk and bought and sold stuff to make money. So my dad found a steal of a jeep that needed transmission work and we got to steal a lot of parts off of it before we stole it. The parts I stole where some side steps, the light guards, and some nice offroad lights. I took and drilled holes in my bumper and mounted the lights there. Here are a few pics of the lights installed.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 12:38 AM

I'm not sure when but sometime in this process I ended up buying a 4.0l throttle body and swapping it out in place of my 2.5L one.

Here are the two side by side

The swap did help power a little bit, Nothing crazy but did make it a little more enjoyable on the interstate.

Then thanks to my increased confidence with a grinder and welder, and a lot of research and drooling over other peoples jeeps (thanks guys... :facepalm:) I decided to bring this bad boy home.

It is an 8.8 with disc brakes, a LSD, and 3.73 gears.

But that project got put on the back burner for a long time.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 12:44 AM

It was just starting to get warm and I love kayaking and enjoying the outdoors. Taking the top down and strapping my kayak on top was fine but this christmas I bought my girlfriend a kayak of her own and with both of them on the roll bars it wasn't really the safest. So I went to the local steel store and came back home with 100 ft of 1x1x1/8 square tubing and starting cutting. And thus my roof rack was born.

Here is a picture of it almost completed in the basement.

I wanted to be able to take the top off and on easily so I mounted it on the back with the bolts acting as a hinge and had pins at the front that you can pull out to tilt it back

Life is good; girl of my dreams, topless jeep and the kayaks.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 12:49 AM

One other thing I forgot to add was I added a cobra CB and a 8 1/2 foot whip antenna. You can see the antenna mounted on the side of the roof rack in the previous pictures.

Well after the roof rack was finished and all was said and done on it, I focused my attention back to the 8.8

Cutting the brackets off

sway bar brackets they went to the scrap pile

Spring perches which I saved and used them for when I mounted the 8.8 under the jeep.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 12:58 AM

Well once again the 8.8 got put on the back burner. My dad came across a cherokee with a 4.0L that just screamed to be put into the albino rhino so guess what happens next.

Here is a link to the engine swap thread I posted earlier

Here are a few teaser pics though.

Old engine out

Engine on the stand

New engine in

The swap was really difficult and took a lot longer than it should but the knowledge I learned from it is priceless and the wait and pain just made it that much sweet when I finally got to take it down the road.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:12 AM

So for christmas I ended up getting a new Kenwood radio and some speakers and a speaker bar from my mom's side of the family. Man does it sound great.

The head unit installed.

My skypod before speakers

My skypod after speakers

The sound bar


BeaverJeeper 01-09-2012 01:14 AM

13 Attachment(s)

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:17 AM

Here are my switches for my sound bar dome light, electric fan and aux. lights the switch on the left I installed a long time ago when I first installed my lights and I didn't pull the dash to cut the hole and that's why it look terrible compared to the others.

Here is some of my trickery for hiding the wires for my speakers (not many places to hide them on a YJ

When I unzipped the padding my zipper broke and I had to zip tie it. It drives me batty and I will get new padding eventually.

Under the door frame

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:21 AM

More trickery for hiding the front lights.

I tried to run it inside the windshield frame but time did not allow for it. I ended up running it behind the plastic on the edge of the windshield frame then drilling a whole in the dash and running them behind it. I didn't have as many pictures of the front as I thought.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:27 AM

Then this is when things got really crazy. Remember how I kept putting off the 8.8? well about 220 miles from home when I was at school, the 4.0l decides it wants to shear off all of my ring gear bolts and chip a couple of teeth in the process. So luckily I was close to the school and a police officer pushed my jeep out of the road and while I was trying to figure out the damage a fellow jeeper in a sick TJ came along and towed me back to the school parking lot. So after cracking the diff cover to watch a pile of bolt heads and metal fall out I call a few places and my dad ends up finding the bolts I need and has them shipped to me. After a 2 1/2 mile round trip walk to the parts store to pick up jack stands I spent the rest of the day tearing my rear axle apart in the parking lot in the rain. Luckily I ended up getting it all back together with new bolts and chipped teeth and all. It held up enough to get me back and forth to work and then made the 220 mile trip home. It was at this point I decided never again and hit my 8.8 in over drive. I decided that since I was gonna have to weld perches and everything anyways this was gonna be a great time to go SOA. And so it begins...

My cousins truck hauling all of the parts to my uncles building.

The diff cover pulled on the 8.8 for the regear to 4.10s

All buttoned up with new (to me) gears

The jeep before the tear down.

The Dana 35 pulled out and being prepared for the scrap yard

The whole where the 35 used to sit

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:29 AM


Originally Posted by BeaverJeeper (Post 1902767)

Thanks, Much more to come!

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:34 AM

Finally got all my parts for the SYE!!

The t case on the floor

A few tear down pics

And here it is all put back together again, Shifts like a champ and turns easy. :dance:

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:40 AM

Then it came time to prepare the springs for the SOA part. I removed my add a leaf, replaced my lift shackles with stock shackles and flipped the centering pin

Every single centering pin broke... :facepalm:

It's ok. Allen head bolts at ACE are cheap :thumb:

This is the tool box that replaced my back seat for a year or so. it fit really snug between the fender wells.

Here is the 8.8 welded in it's new home.

The Yeti 01-09-2012 01:47 AM

Next step was to pull the front axle.

The jeep sitting on the 8.8 and blocks in the front. Had to do the same for the leafs up front as the back

Here was the fun part... I took and put a jack under the yoke and put an angle finder on the bottom spring perch and jacked it up till it was at 0.

Then I look and realized that my perches needed some grinding to fit right.



The Yeti 01-09-2012 02:07 AM

So then I double checked to make sure I was still at 0.0 on the bottom and lined the top up to 0.0

This is when it got difficult. I didn't want to tack it in place with that angle finder there because I didn't want to melt the screen on it. So with all the genius of someone who's been at it for several hours with limited sleep, I lay a blue paper towel shop towel on it. Well it only took about .5 seconds for that to catch fire and almost melt my angle finder. :rofl: Because of the magnetic base I couldn't remove the finder because it would through the perch off. so I ended up having to c clamp it and then pull the finder off. So I did the same thing for the other side too. Then when I went to weld them in solid some slag landed on an oil(?) soaked spot on my pants and before I realized it, it had caught fire and burned a 1 1/2" hole in my pants:rofl:

So after I burned them in I buzzed one wheel off of the axle and lowered it down with a jack and rolled it under the jeep.

With the wheels on it

Sitting on it's own wieght

For the front I reused the stock locations for the shocks. As far as steering goes I put on a BDS 4" drop pitman arm to help the draglink clear the springs. I also am gonna fab up a drop trackbar bracket for the front so the track bar angle matches the draglink and hopefully eliminate some bumpsteer.

For the shock mounting locations on the back I decided to jack it up to full bump stop to see shock travel at full flex for the best mounting locations.

With a 6x6 wood block and a long travel jack I couldn't hit bump stops in the back. too much flex :punk:

TheDoc 01-09-2012 04:05 AM

Great write up keep us updated.

gixxerphil 01-09-2012 04:25 AM

Looks good:thumb:

The Yeti 01-13-2012 04:56 PM

The drop pitman arm and lift made the difference between trackbar and draglink angles pretty bad. I already had a lot of bumpsteer due to the angles being off and the shackles throwing the caster off by a good bit. Ditching the shackles and matching the perch angles fixed the caster issue. I cut the track bar bracket off of the Dana 35 to use for the drop track bar bracket. I decided not to use the rear track bar because I didn't think it was gonna be necessary. Here are a few pics of the trackbar braket.

In hind sight I would have raised the axle side instead of dropped the frame side. It helped the bumpsteer by leaps and bounds I can actually drive straight now. The only issue is that I might hit the mount if the driverside flexes up.

Zombiekiller 01-13-2012 07:57 PM


The Yeti 01-21-2012 12:01 PM

Sorry guys and gals I am probably selling my jeep. PM me an offer if interested. It's located in south east TN

Function 01-22-2012 08:21 PM

Holy crap this is the worst ending to a great story! Good job on everything you did and the experience is priceless!

The Yeti 01-22-2012 08:38 PM


Originally Posted by Function (Post 1949818)
Holy crap this is the worst ending to a great story! Good job on everything you did and the experience is priceless!

I know. It is a terrible ending to a great story. I am gonna shed crocodile tears when I see it drive off. I agree that the experience is priceless and that I know I did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong and will know better next time. I'm not done with the jeeping world just taking a (forced) vacation. after I get through college and get a decent job and house I'll be on the hunt for my next jeep.

ijp4fun 01-22-2012 09:06 PM

well...that stinks...but great job...thanks for sharing that with us

The Yeti 02-10-2012 05:56 PM

Well, The rhino has been sold. Thanks for al of the encouragement and help you have given me over the years. I am no longer a jeep owner but I will be one day!

yjJEEPyj 02-10-2012 10:50 PM

How much did you get for it

itty bitty 02-11-2012 12:10 AM

Yeah seriously what's a jeep like that go for. So I don't get ripped off..

The Yeti 02-11-2013 06:41 PM

I know this is about a year late, but I got 4500 for those interested and looking

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:36 PM.

User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.