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scooter18155 03-16-2008 03:56 PM

yj frame swap
To kinda clarify what I am doing I am not specifically doing a frame up restoration at least i wouldn't call it that. I am just replacing my old rusted out frame with one that is in good shape. So i figured I would take a little time this morning and clean out my jeep as well as take some pictures of my jeep and the stuff i have acquired to get through the frame swap. Over the last 2 or 3 months i have managed to acquire quite a bit of parts to have replaced on my jeep.

1st the frame
I have found a good frame from a local junk yard called tolpa's auto parts. I have to admit $750 i paid for it is a bit steep but they did a darn good job of cleaning it up and even spray painted it a nice black. They also gave me a 6 month guarantee that if in the process of sand blasting and installing in my jeep a bad spot was found i could get my $ back. I really don't think this will be necessary as This frame has been looked over pretty well and shes a good one. I am glad to have finally got this main part taken care of especially as close to home as i did. Let me tell you it was hard to find a good one. I had a guy in mass that does nothing but part out jeeps who said he would have one for me. All he did was give me a run around and waste my time. Another guy in Connecticut I had agreed to buy his frame and even paid a down payment of $50 as he still had to get the cab and axles off from it. I had gotten pictures of it and everything looked good. However the guy pulled the gas tank and found a big rotted hole on the inside of the frame hidden by the gas tank. That guy did refund my deposit so i didn't loose anything but time there. I do have to give my mechanic the credit of finding the good frame i had no knowledge of tolpa's or even that they existed. I also had to find the transmission skid plate as mine is pretty bad as well. That should be on its way here at the moment. The frame/skid plate etc is going to be sand blasted cleaned and then coated with por 15 prior to install. Once this is done the disassemble of the jeep should start shortly after. We may even go as far as to do the axles and under-body of the tub with por-15 we will see how it goes with the frame first and decide on that later.

2nd suspension
considering the amount of work that would be going into the frame swap I knew there was some things that I should replace not only due to age but to help make the job somewhat easier. One of these areas was the spring bolts and bushings. Originally i had planned on replacing with standard bolts and Polly bushings. However in the coarse of things I found a new set of front 1 1/4" dray star greasable shackles still in the box for $20 so i snatched them up. I then purchased the rear set from quadratech as well as the spring eye greasable kit. This allowed me to sell the Polly bushings i got on ebay to replace the shackle to frame bushings i had previously bought. I know this is the grand opportunity to buy and install a suspension lift into the jeep. However I'm afraid funds wont allow it right now. So the 1 1/4" i get from the shackles will have to do for the time being. Also one of the things I have to get probably in the next cpl weeks is the shocks. I am not certain which ones I need or am going to get. With only 1 1/4" of lift i think stock shocks should be OK but ill have to look into this. I certainly don't intend to spend too much $ on the shocks as i do plan on a suspension lift sometime down the road and cant over do it on the $ right now. Id use the old ones but I'm pretty sure they are shot.

3rd body mounting and outside accessories
well here i found a set of Polly body to frame mounts on ebay and then found a 3" body lift on the jeep forum for $60. I really didn't know at that point if i wanted a body lift and I'm still unsure now. I just didn't want to let the lift go at the cheaper price in case I decided to do the lift. It is just like me to pass something up and kick myself in the rear later for it. part of me wants the body lift because i want to get it higher and want to take advantage of my frame situation to do the body lift to get it up there. However the downside is If later i do get a suspension lift (which id get a 3.5" lift) I'm not sure id want 6" or more of lift on my jeep. The jeep mostly gets driven on the road and don't see any trail time. so having huge tires and all kinds of lift isn't exactly needed. When i do get around to getting some tires I only want to go with some 33" tires at the most. I also got a tubular front bumper for $30 that needs tabs welded onto it to bolt it up. I also got a set of chrome side steps that need to be repainted black as the previous owner painted them and the chrome is showing through. I thought about cleaning the paint off and going with them as chrome however they wont match the front bumper that way and I figure if i want chrome ill get new later on. My mechanic is trying to talk me into replacing the fenders on my jeep as at least the pass side is shot and the drivers is getting there. I probably will replace with fiberglass ones but i doubt it will be now. most likely this summer. I also have some rust spots that need attention in the back end and near the doors. I also have acquired a used good Grey soft top, new clear windows, and used tinted windows however the rear tinted window got brittle and broke. I also need to find some Grey upper doors. I want to get ones with sliding windows but for now ill take what i can when i find them.

pictures and closing

well I did take pictures of the bad spots of the frame, my jeep overall, and the parts i have acquired. I had wanted to post them all up on here but they are kinda big and theres i think 16 of them. I just think it would be easier to post a link to the photo albums and let ya click and view the whole album then posting up 16 individual pictures here. Besides this post is long enough without pics lol. There is some other bad spots in the frame i haven't gotten to take pictures of yet. I am hoping to get pics of these spots later when its all apart and easier to access these areas. I also plan to get some shots of the new frame before its installed as well as some progress shots as it is getting done. these pics i will post up as they should only be 1 or 2 at a time. This project will be getting under way the end of next week so more pics should be up at that time. As far as parts i need to get still. I would like to get a header and the front exhaust pipe and a new high flow cat to finish off the exhaust. I also need shocks like previously mentioned. I also plan on some other polyurethane stuff to finish it off. sway bar bushings, tie rod Boot sets, track arm set,transmission torque arm set, and axle bump stops to name a few. If anyone has any ?s feel free to ask. Also any input into something i may have forgotten to consider or mention might be helpful as this is the first time undergoing this kind of project. I am not doing the work myself someone else is but id like to get the things i need as quick as possible. I don't know how long this is going to take. my mechanic plans on taking his time with it around some of his other work and thinks it will be a cpl months. I'm kinda hoping early to mid June I could be driving it. OK below is the links to the pictures the first will be of the jeep and the bad spots of the frame i have. the 2nd is of the parts i have acquired. I hope this helps to answer any ?s you guys have and satisfy your curiosity for now. Feel free chime in and let me know what ya think or give any suggestions or criticism. ... ep%20pics/ ... p%20parts/

scooter18155 03-16-2008 06:33 PM

here are the links to the pics again.

George T. 03-16-2008 07:17 PM

dude. bring that on over to my house we'll knock it out ourselves. save you money and i want to take my body off too to redo my frame. lets do ittt

scooter18155 03-16-2008 10:27 PM


Originally Posted by George T. (Post 207455)
dude. bring that on over to my house we'll knock it out ourselves. save you money and i want to take my body off too to redo my frame. lets do ittt

well hey there. thanx for the offer. I am afraid i just dont have the time,all the parts, the tools,probably some know how as well to knock this off myself. If i was to do it it would take forever and a day. Not to mention I kinda already promised the job to my mechanic. I think hed understand i just trying to save myself a few bucks but hes always done me good before on other jobs so i dont just want to yank it out from under him like that. I am pretty good with a wrench or 2 so if you needed some help to get yours moving and done id swing by and turn a few bolts for ya. anyways its good to see a local jeeper on here.
you belong to any other forums or any clubs? I just joined up with this club a month or so ago and just attended my first meeting it was fun.

scooter18155 03-17-2008 09:42 PM

well it turns out luck was on my side for once. late last night i can accross an ad for a used 3 inch suspension lift that i can manage to fit into my current budget. It comes with shocks as well. My only concern now is the lift shackles i got. Ive read a cpl posts concerning that lift shackles will wrap the wrong way destroying your leaf springs. looks like i might havta either go with tthe stock shackles (which id rather have beefier ones) or possably boomerang shackles. I may just sell/trade the shackles for some beefy stock sized shackles. I know boomerang shackles give ya some more articulation but i doubt ill need that as i do verry little to no offroading. perhaps if the boomerang shackles are aproximately same $ as stock sized ill bite but havent priced them yet.

scooter18155 03-18-2008 09:56 PM

ok here are the pics of the new frame and transmission skid plate prior to sand blasting. As long as the por 15 takes hold like it should i shouldnt have any trouble with it for quite some time.

scooter18155 03-21-2008 12:46 PM

ok i got a ? on the body lift. Im deffinately scrapping the 3" lift. Iam going to do a 1 inch body lift though. I have a poly body mount kit as well. I do have to use the poly mounts along with the body lift pucks right? Anyone got any suggestions for a good 1 inch body lift.

scooter18155 05-25-2008 11:21 AM

ok i figured its been quite a while sence i have updated the thread with new information so ill try to get it up to date. Pretty much ended up going away from the 3" body lift and bought a draystar 1 inch poly lift. This lift seemed highly recomended and the comments about the damage possabilities with the 3" lift kinda swayed my thinking there. The horror stories of lift shackles wraping the wrong way causing breakage of springs led me to sell off the 1 1/4 inch lift shackles i had and buy a set of more greasable 5/8 inch boomerang shackles with the hd bolts for the front and rear. I also did get the 3 inch suspension lift and for a mostly used kit it was in excelent shape. The guy i bought it from bought a new 4" kit for his jeep and instead of replacing things like the 1 inch transfer case drop which he had with the 3" suspension he gave to me new. so my kit included some new parts and the used parts like shocks and so on was in excelent condition as the guy took verry good care in cleaning and painting the underside of his jeep. You can see the underside of his jeep with the lift i got here As far as work getting done to the jeep its been kind of a slow process. the new frame has been sand blasted and is waiting for prep work and por-15 coating. The old jeep has the body taken off which has led to some bad news for me as my tub was found to be in bad shape as well as my fenders. So it looks as if my jeep will take longer then expected as now i havta replace a tub unexpectedly. :cry:. I am leaning towards saving up the cash to buy a 4wd hardware fiberglass tub,fenders and front grill at the least. I thought about one of those one piece front ends but they dont allow for the use of aftermarket bumpers and winches and such as they open forward so i decided to go with the bolt up parts. Also i have some pics of my old frame and how bad it was and i havta admit it was pretty bad especially in the rear end section. Right now the big hurdle is going to be saving the $ for the tub as i just spent a good chunck of my $ on a 79 chevy pickup i have been after for quite some time now. Seems this is how my luck goes when i dont need the $ the guy wont sell and when i am in the middle of something and $ is strapped here he comes looking to sell. anyways i pondered it for 3 or 4 days and decided oportunity knocked and couldnt let it slip away. anyways here are the pics of the old frame.

scooter18155 06-18-2008 10:35 PM

ok ive got a issue with the rear axle on my jeep. aparently the track bar mount has rusted/broken off. You can see it in the pic i am posting below I just didnt notice it and the mechanic working on it needs to know what to do with it. well I am wondering is there someplace i can order one that can be welded in its place or is this going to havta be a home made job? I really dont know where to look to find one.

crafty 06-18-2008 11:08 PM

I hate seeing YJ frames in that bad of condition. Makes me realize how lucky I was to find a good 1 in Maryland. Good luck with your swap.

wannabe 06-19-2008 10:21 AM

you dont need the track bar on a leaf sprung vehicle....especially the rear.

whiteyj 06-19-2008 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by wannabe (Post 238550)
you dont need the track bar on a leaf sprung vehicle....especially the rear.

Yeah, it's one of the first things any of the lift kits have you pull out.

BTW... I am so glad I live out west! It's a wonder the thing rolled down the street.

The Sos 07-01-2008 09:59 PM

Looks like you could touch that frame and it would crumble. I admire you for what you are doing cause I will be there in the next couple years myself.

former USMC 07-04-2008 03:15 PM

Scooter; I bought my 94 YJ for 700 last fall. Pulled the body off the frame using my new holland compact tractor. Set the body on a trailer and disassembled the frame. Found several rust places ( majority near the rear frame shackles ) and cut 1/8" sheet steel to make the repairs. Blasted the rest and primed / painted gloss black. I went with a 1" poly lift and new mounts / bolts - bushings.
I would get you some pictures but this vista program has me mentally challenged. I have it back on the frame but not fired up as I changed the 4 cyl to a six and have to figure out the wiring. Good luck on your project !

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