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Old 12-12-2016, 12:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2016
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1990 YJ Rebuild

As I said in my introduction thread, I have a 1990 YJ with the 2.5L 4 cylinder. It has 146,000 miles on it. It has seen sporadic use for the last ten years out in Colorado. I brought it back to Texas for my 16 yo son to use as a daily driver. We are working on it together.

The vehicle:

I am going to use this thread to update our progress. I have enough experience messing with cars to be dangerous. I expect a good deal of trial and error before this is over.

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Old 12-12-2016, 12:44 PM
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The vehicle

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Old 12-12-2016, 12:54 PM
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First Challenge - Oil change

So, I thought I would start out by changing out the fluids. The jeep has been sitting for a while with very limited use. I put a bottle of Amsoil engine flush into the system, ran it for a bit and then pulled the plug to let the oil drain.

Oil out, filter off, all is well. I bought a Wix filter to put back on the Jeep and that is where the fun began. Based on the year and engine, I bought a Wix 51626. I thought it was odd because the filter that came off the engine was a Valvoline VO-45 and they aren't very similar in size. Well, needless to say the filter didn't fit.

After some head scratching, I thought to try and find the block numbers and such to confirm the engine was the original. It's not. The Jeep has a remanufactured engine in it that my Dad must have put in back in the early 90s. The block has a number cast in it (8933003059) and a 'remanufactured' tag on it with the number 214190. I haven't been able to figure out exactly what either number means other than that I have a 1980s-1990s 2.5L block. I couldn't figure out how to get the right filter going that direction so I looked for a filter compatible with the VO-45.

After some trial and error with a variety of Wix filters, I bought a K&N HP-2004. It went on without issue. Added 4 quarts of Mobil 1 High Mileage and that adventure is behind us.

We also replaced the air filter. A mouse must have made a home in the filter box. It was lovely inside. I used the shop vac to get the droppings out.

Now on to my next adventure - transmission oil. Then spark plugs/wires, power steering fluid, brakes. I've got an exhaust leak that I need to tend to but I need to figure out what block I have before I start buying parts.

More soon.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:00 PM   #4
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sound like fun keep us in touch!
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Old 12-14-2016, 09:48 AM   #5
Join Date: Dec 2015
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That Jeep looks amazingly stock and it looks to be in very good shape. Can't wait to see what you end up doing with it!
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:28 AM
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Made some Progress

After I got the Jeep home, I changed the oil and filter and with the help of a local mechanic got the cracked exhaust manifold replaced along with the exhaust system. I spend the Christmas break working on the interior.

All the soft goods were in pretty bad shape. We pulled the top, the bows and most of the soft top hardware. It was pretty banged up and windows scratched up badly. Pulled the seats and the carpet and swept up about 10 pounds of mouse droppings (Jeep was sitting a while). From there we cleaned out the tub. I'm disappointed I didn't take a progress photo.

I put back a Bedrug carpet replacement front and back. I like the color and heftiness of that carpet. The fit was really good. The only place I had trouble was around the shifters. All of the other cut outs were clearly marked on the carpet by Bedrug - the shifter you are on your own. That was pretty tough and I'm not thrilled with how it looks. The opening is a little ragged compared to the rest of the fit.

Here is a shot of the seats. They are the Bestop Trail Max 2:

Here is the rear carpet and the new driver seat. I hope you can see the carpet seams. Very tight and fit well - thanks Bedrug.

This is a shot of the Bedrug tailgate cover and the new subwoofer box mounted in the 'way back'

Speaking of stereo, instead of replacing the head unit, I mounted a JL Audio blue tooth receiver in the dash and wired it to a Alpine 300 watt amp under the back seat. I pulled the dash and replaced the speakers and added a JL subwoofer in the 'way back'. This was my son's Christmas present. As noted previously, pulling the dash to do the speakers is tough stuff.

Audio controller

Amp mounted on board, mounted on deck under back seat. Cut the bedrug around the board.


I covered up the dash with the Tuffy dash cover plate. I had to do some modifications as the dash hole was a bit mangled from the previous stereo install. I used stainless cap screws instead of the machine screws that came with it.

I have some more photos I'll post in a bit. I finished the LED dash light upgrade last night.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:26 PM
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LED Dash Lights

The JL Audio controller for the stereo has blue background lighting so I thought I would do the LED dash light upgrade. Really straight forward update whether you use blue or white LEDs, it sure gives the dash gauges brighter lighting.

Here's the dash lights - the audio controller is below the tach.

Closeup on the tach and controller.

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Old 01-08-2017, 01:31 PM
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I changed out one of the mirrors that got busted off when I was loading a canoe on top of the vehicle.

Original State:

Final State:

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Old 01-08-2017, 01:35 PM
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The Current State of the Union

Now that my interior projects are wrapped up for now, I have a new list of stuff to work up.

-Spark Plug wires, Spark plugs, rotor
-Transmission fluid change
-Differential fluid change & 2 new gaskets (both leaking)
-Windshield hinge replacement (driver's side is bent)
-New top
-Replace seat belts front and back.

That should hold me for a while. Here's the latest photo.

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Old 08-16-2017, 10:49 PM
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Well.......this happened when my son was driving home from school on Monday. Another car ran an intersection and whacked him; failed to yield and then failed to stick around after the accident. Thankfully my son is ok. The Jeep is looking rough. Insurance company said it's a total loss but I'm talking to my mechanic to see if I can save it. I guess if the frame is straight, at least I have a place to start. The motor mounts are are probably busted. Maybe Ill drag it home and do a frame off.

I know many will think I'm nuts but that Jeep was my Dads and it means a lot to me. I'll keep you posted on what's next.

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Old 08-17-2017, 01:46 PM   #11
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:59 AM   #12
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I'm glad your son is ok. Hopefully they find the other guy. His vehicle has to be pretty banged up. Since it was your dad's, you should absolutely do what you can to save it.
87 YJ, 5.7/TH350/NP241, Custom 4 link/ Radius Arms, ADS Nitrogen Shocks, 35" Cooper STT
DaddyJeep build Thread:https://www.wranglerforum.com/f8/dad...ld-122601.html
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Old 08-23-2017, 06:38 PM
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Well....the jury is in. $7,000 total loss. $6,000 if I keep the vehicle. Doing some soul searching on what to do next. The frame is wracked about 4 1/2" and the starboard side is twisted. I think the path forward is clear. Too bad.

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