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megamike 05-14-2013 02:28 PM

Mike and Meg's rebuild
We started rebuilding last week. Don't waste your time f5ing too much, we only have about one day a week of spare time to work on this.

Here is what we are starting with. We got this wrangler for $1000, here is the original thread I posted:

Well we gave it the test and it made it through the winter, engine and trans are solid. Everything else is shot... We got a new frame for $400, and a rust free body for free from my gf's dad. And we get to use his shop. After we finish rebuilding, we're going to go with a 4" suspension, and a 1 or 2" body lift. I hear higher than 1" body lift isn't such a great idea, so we're not sure yet. I'd like to get 35x12.5 tires on there, so I would need some guidance on our lift when we get to that stage.

I plan on dropping the transfer case until we have the funds to do the sye, and I'm keeping my eye out for some ford axles. Also plan on doing a regear, but we're gonna drive it a little, slow as hell. Trying to stretch this project out to lessen the financial impact. We're pretty sure we're going to paint it camo.

So here are some before pics, with some emphasis on the rust :p

Driver side floor

Seatbelt ripped out of the floor, whoops

View from underneath


My quick fix to get it through the winter on the passenger side floor

View after removing my cob job. I swear the floor was there before I screwed that sheet metal on there...

And now some pics of the beginning of the long process. Here's our nice new, sanded down and painted frame:

Pulling the front apart

And this is how small my girlfriend is, she's stronger than she looks lol

We are going to attempt to keep the frame and body connected, and lift it off of the axles, driveshaft, wheels, transfer case, etc. Then roll that all underneath the new frame and bolt it all on. Then remove the good body from the other jeep, and lower that onto the frame. And all of the other stuff inbetween, like wiring and stuff, you know what I mean.

The reason for not taking the body off of the frame (well were going to try anyway) is because we aren't keeping wither of them, and it is sooo rotted it will be a pita. Were running new brake and gas lines anyway, and taking the electrical lines from the jeep with the good body. Well see what happens. Thanks for looking, will add pics as we go.

To be continued...

jk'n 05-14-2013 02:42 PM

wow! nice start.

megamike 05-15-2013 05:16 PM

Thanks! Here's a pic from today's progress. I forgot my camera so here's a pic from my .00001 megapixel cell phone. Slowly moving along...

megamike 05-15-2013 05:20 PM

Also, the guy that makes the aluminum body lifts is going to make us ours tomorrow. Should we go with a 2" body lift, or is that too much? Well be doing a 4" suspension and we're hoping to get 35x12.5 on there. If we have to settle for 33's, so be it because I don't want to spend the money on a 6" suspension

sinbob 05-15-2013 05:52 PM


2" is a lot of body lift. Most on here will tell you not to go over 1.25 BL:nonono:, I have 1.75 and haven't had any problems.

megamike 05-15-2013 07:25 PM

yea that's what I keep reading, over and over again. How long have you been going with 1.75?

Cashcrazy 05-15-2013 09:02 PM

Thanks for sharing.

megamike 05-15-2013 09:45 PM

Wait until you see the pics of the frame I'm gonna post tomorrow. When I took the "steering box" out (not sure what it's actually called) it was actually only held on by 1 of the 4 bolts this whole time. One that screws in from underneath had the welded nut ripped out. The 2 on the inside of the frame were there, but they were connected to the inside of the frame which had actually become separated from the rest of the frame. The only bolt holding it on was able to be pulled out by hand after a handful of wrench turns.

I CAN'T BELIEVE this was holding up.

The pic of the frame I posted is nothing, the stuff behind the fenders is swiss cheese. Pics will follow. And yes, I drove this all winter, probably still safer than my 92 accord at that lol. Can't blame the inspector, I covered up the rot pretty good, and I don't expect him to pull the fenders to check for safety :p

megamike 05-17-2013 11:40 AM

Forgot my camera again today...

I have a question. Instead of doing a body lift I got a hold of a 1.5" to 2" shackle lift for $50(not sure exactly on the size). I'm guessing it currently has a 2.5" suspension lift. I went to put the shackles on and realized that I need longer sway bar links. I needed them anyway because whoever put the suspension lift on here either used the stock links or a set that are pretty much not long enough. Maybe they were long enough but they aren't now that the weight of the engine is off the leaf springs.

I also need longer shocks because they fully extend to the point that I can't fit the new shackles on. I was thinking of getting rough country shocks because I'm trying not spend too much money. So should I go with the ones made for their 4" lift kit or their 6"?

I was thinking 6" shocks but I'm not sure if they are too long. I may eventually go with a 4" suspension kit down the road also, and the shocks that come with a 4" suspension kit might not be long enough in combination with the shackles. I have to order them soon so I can start getting the engine and body on there next week.

Thanks in advance for the input!

megamike 05-17-2013 01:35 PM

Ok I'm having trouble finding longer sway bar links, it looks like the best ones to get are the adjustable quick disconnect type, but they seem so over priced for a couple of little pieces of metal don't they? I can't even find just regular sway bar links for a 4" lift...

So my current questions are:

1) What should I do about the sway bar links?
2) Go with 4" shocks or 6" shocks for my amount of lift (between 3.5 and 4.5)?

I was tempted to just ditch the sway bar altogether along with the rear track bar since I don't drive like a true New Yorker, but my gf's dad said it's a bad idea and I should keep the sway bar.

megamike 05-24-2013 10:05 PM

Ok, we just scored an amazing deal! Sorry for the lack of updates here, but I had a hell of a time getting the rear end off, I really underestimated it since the front was fairly easy. After too much struggling, we finally used the torch to cut out the rear end at the mounts. Then spent 2 days trying to get the bolts out of the leaf springs, and finally got them with enough soaking and a ball joint tool. I really felt like giving up, about 20 hours spent just on removing 6 bolts, fml and first world problems... On the bright side, check out this pic :thumbsup:

My girlfriend's dad's freind rebuilds jeeps as a hobby, both to sell and keep for himself. He has about 3 of every yj part in his garage, most of which he doesn't actually need. He either parts them out on craigslist, scraps what he can't sell, or hooks us up. He is also the guy that have us the frame. His knowledge and advice is priceless, he'll just stop by when he's bored and tell us how to best do whatever it is that we're doing. Well he gave us 2 floor panels, a spare tire holder, and windshield frame with the glass, a hardtop, and 2 doors to go with the hardtop... for $50 and our soft top frame. He said he was ditching all of this stuff anyway, and he only needed a couple pieces of the frame, which you can't buy separately apparently. So as one sided as this deal seems, he just saved himself a bunch of money by getting rid of a bunch of stuff he didn't need anyway.

So anyway, now that the hard part is over, next week we will start putting it back together as soon as the new body mounts, bushings, and bolts come in the mail (broke body mounts and leaf springs bolts, it was expected). Hopefully putting it together will go a little more smoothly than taking apart the 18 year old rotted junk. Running new brake and fuel lines too just to help us sleep at night. We are also skipping the shackle lift for now and holding onto it until we get it together and get a bigger suspension lift so we can do the sye, longer pitman arm, and sway bar disconnects so we don't have to deal with a million problems at once.

jk'n 05-24-2013 10:27 PM

Where did you get the new hardware from?

megamike 05-24-2013 10:43 PM

If you are near albany county, new york, I can hook you up with the guy, he has soo much stuff. Get back to me quick, he's doing one of his annual scrap runs soon...

jk'n 05-24-2013 10:49 PM


Originally Posted by megamike (Post 3790846)

So anyway, now that the hard part is over, next week we will start putting it back together as soon as the new body mounts, bushings, and bolts come in the mail (broke body mounts and leaf springs bolts, it was expected).

This hardware, not the body parts. I was wondering what your source was in case I start having to deal with suspension issues.

megamike 05-24-2013 10:51 PM

Oh I see, I use Jeep Parts & Jeep Accessories From The Jeep Parts Experts - Quadratec

megamike 05-24-2013 10:54 PM

and I used one of these along with an air impact gun to get the leaf spring bolts out, It takes a lot of patience.

megamike 05-24-2013 11:05 PM

I should add that I can't say anything good about their service since I just ordered the stuff today. However, the guy I'm getting my parts from (the hobby re-builder), swears by this company and has been using them for a while. At this point I take all of his advice as if it were gold lol.

And I should also add another piece of advice to those who stumble on this thread. One of the bolts would not loosen up no matter what with the ball joint tool and an impact gun. We had multiple people stand on the springs while I got a breaker bar with a 4 foot pipe on it to get the bolt (with the nut off ofcourse) to turn just a bit. Once it was unfrozen the gun and ball joint tool forced it out, holding the trigger for like 2 minutes. Hope that helps, I don't see how it could have been any worse so it's always possible to get them out I think.

jk'n 05-25-2013 09:24 AM


Originally Posted by megamike (Post 3790992)
And I should also add another piece of advice to those who stumble on this thread. One of the bolts would not loosen up no matter what with the ball joint tool and an impact gun. We had multiple people stand on the springs while I got a breaker bar with a 4 foot pipe on it to get the bolt (with the nut off ofcourse) to turn just a bit. Once it was unfrozen the gun and ball joint tool forced it out, holding the trigger for like 2 minutes. Hope that helps, I don't see how it could have been any worse so it's always possible to get them out I think.

Some things that I have found helpful in this situation. If there are any exposed threads on a nut that I am going to break free from the bolt, before I begin torquing on it I run a thread restorer (looks like a nut) up the threads to clean them out of all rust and any paint that might have gotten on there. Once the threads are clear I'll begin torquing. I'll spray it with some breakaway lube before I get started. I always use six sided sockets when I know that the nut may be seized to the bolt. My dad, who was a master tool maker by trade, (bless his soul) would always tell me not to try and back the nut out all the way on the first attempt to remove it. When you do that, whatever gunk that is in the threads will gather on the side of the nut that faces the direction of travel while turning it. This gunk that gathers will bind the nut to the bolt and cause you to have to apply increasing torque as you continue and usually will result in breaking the bolt. Instead - move the nut until you have a substantial amount of torque to turn it. Spray more breakaway behind the nut and then turn the nut back in the direction of tightening. If you keep moving the nut back and forth a couple of things will happen. You will be breaking up the stuff that is binding the nut and you will also be carrying away the sludge as you spray more lubricant in. Eventually the nut will be almost finger loose where you have run it back and forth and only bind when you approach the threads that have not been cleared out yet. This method requires a certain amount of patience but if practiced, you will rarely break a bolt and you will usually end up with the pieces apart. It applies to bolts that are screwed into a fixed thread as in a tapped hole as well as stud bolts. I am in my fifties now and whenever I am trying to break loose a nut - as soon as I hear that snap as the nut moves for the first time, I know that I will be able to work the nut out from that point. It is getting that snap loose sound that I get anxiety about because in some cases you definitely don't want to break the bolt off especially if it is a stud bolt. Applying the amount of torque necessary to break it loose builds anxiety because in most cases the physical workout you get will cause your blood to get pumping and then anxiety comes into play when you don't know how much torque exactly will break the bolt or stud. You hope never to reach the point of breaking it but sometimes that happens and when it does you move to plan B.

One other thing that I learned just recently when I was trying to break a nut free on a bumper mount is to wear leather gloves when working in this circumstance. Not only does it protect your hands from bad cuts caused when by bashing it against the edge of something as the nut breaks free but, there is another problem that can cause real hurt that I was completely unaware of until this incident. What I wasn't aware of was the amount of potential energy that can be stored up in a torquing tool like a breaker bar. I was putting my whole body into the torque and when the nut let loose....the familiar loud snap....and then all of a sudden major pain....the kind that makes you afraid to look....happened upon my baby finger. I wasn't even gripping the handle tightly with my fingers but when the nut broke free, the energy stored in the metal of the breaker bar caused it to move in the direction of my fingers so swiftly that it split my baby finger open at the end of it. No stitches required and no broken bones but that finger was sore for a couple of weeks after. So be cautious when breaking a nut free about things like kickback of the tool itself as well as where your hand may end up if the nut suddenly breaks free.

sinbob 05-26-2013 12:37 PM


Originally Posted by megamike (Post 3759397)
yea that's what I keep reading, over and over again. How long have you been going with 1.75?

about 4 years......I have bent one of the mounting bolts...but other than that no problems

megamike 05-28-2013 09:48 PM

Thanks for the advice jk'n. I think I pretty much got every bolt out that needs to be out though. I'm just waiting on new bolts and bushings for leaf springs, and a set of new body mounts to come in the mail. In the end we'll have a little less than $1000 into this if everything goes back together smoothly. So around $2000 total and a lot of work to have a like new yj, not too bad.

jk'n 05-28-2013 10:22 PM

I was sitting in the post office parking lot and I saw a red YJ today in the best shape that I have ever seen. It was so nice...all I could do was stare at it until I couldn't see it any more as it drove away. I hope yours comes out as nice as that one!

megamike 05-28-2013 10:34 PM

Me too :)

When we're finished the only spot that will have rust are the corners where the flat part meets the wheel well. It will be sanded and bondo before the paint job. There is a little rust on the floors of the new body as well, but the new floor panels fix that problem.

I will however be driving around in a rust free, green, red, and black jeep until I get around to painting it lol.

megamike 05-29-2013 11:02 AM

I'm trying to order new body mounts but I'm stuck between 2 brands, anyone have any advice? Prothane 1-113-BL Black 1" Lift Body Mount for YJ: Automotive


Daystar KJ04505BK Comfort Ride 1" Body Lift Kit : : Automotive

They both seem to be pretty complete, and are the same price. From forum lurking people say the prothane kit is the most complete. I noticed that neither of them state that they use grade 8 bolts...

megamike 06-10-2013 02:33 PM

I went with the prothane, they look pretty decent. My bolts, bushings, and shackles finally came so I could resume the project. I've spent more time waiting for stuff than working so far...

The tank was hanging off of the jeep when I bought it. The sections that the tank skid plate bolt on were rotted so we had drilled holes in the body and made some homemade straps. In fact, it didn't even have the skid plate when I bought it, someone had used 2 wires and tied it up lol. So seeing it finally on properly is pretty comforting. It's nice to have the extra dead jeep around to pull things off of when I realize I need it, the skid plate being one of them.

megamike 06-10-2013 02:36 PM

And I forgot to mention, after getting the rear and tank on I prepped the engine and trans for removal, hopefully doing that tomorrow. Let me tell you, if you leave the frame and body connected, it is not easy getting the electrical snaked out of there. I'm so lucky I already planned to run new break a fuel lines.

megamike 06-12-2013 09:51 PM

Well this feels like progress.

petercass88 06-12-2013 11:16 PM

:popcorn: :popcorn: :wavey: :thumb:

megamike 06-12-2013 11:45 PM

I am going to try really hard to remember my real camera tomorrow, I know how everyone loves pics :)

I hate to be that guy infesting a build with cell phone pics but, here I am.

sinbob 06-14-2013 09:44 AM

:thumb:sweet build:popcorn:

megamike 06-14-2013 01:38 PM

UH OH...

Looks like a problem with the engine mounts on the frame. We new something was up at first but shrugged it off. Our mount had a piece between the mount and the frame. We noticed that the new frame had two bolt holes instead of the one hole that our extra plate had. So we took it off. Then the engine wouldn't line up. So I turned the mounts around 180 degrees and wha-du-ya-know, it fit right in with them backwards. Thought it would work but what do I know? Well the whole thing is crooked.

The only thing I can come up with is that our supposedly 4 cylinder frame is actually a 6 cylinder frame. So from my understanding, the frame is exactly the same but the mounts are in a slightly different location.

So if anyone knows exactly where I am supposed to weld the mounts on with measurements that would be awesome. And if anyone can direct me to a write up on cutting off the frame mounts and relocating them that would be cool, thanks.

Here is the extra piece on the mount that I was talking about, it was on the passenger side. Notice the piece of frame we cut off, it only has one bolt hole and a notch to keep the mount from spinning:

I know a lot of people like to do a 2.5 to 4.0 conversion, so I guess I'm just doing the opposite in this situation.

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