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Old 10-04-2016, 08:33 PM
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The Little Green Monster Lives!!!

I've had the YJ for almost 5 years now, and she has taught me a lot. She was always meant be a toy, and a laboratory, and a guinea pig, a grown up version of the crazy monster truck drawings we all made when we were kids but in REAL LIFE (minus the missile launchers).

But on Thanksgiving day two years ago, I crashed my Honda, and got about enough out of the insurance to cover the note. So my toy, my weird, Frankenjeep YJ, became my daily driver.

This was not a happy relationship. Driving a half- (quarter-? 10%-?) finished project every day sucks. Especially one that you previously were actively trying to break on a regular basis.

So finally, this spring, I bought another vehicle, something simple and mostly stock, but still had enough clearance and 4x4 to keep me from getting bored, and I parked the YJ in the garage and stored stuff on it.

And there it sat, all miserable summer long.

Finally, though, the weather is dropping to less fatal temperatures, California seems to be burning less so the air outside is more breathable, and I want to go wheeling again, harder than I'm comfortable going in my non-Jeep vehicle.

Time to bring the Little Green Monster back to life.

I've got two primary goals here, and I'd appreciate any and all feedback, advice, sarcastic comments, etc. the group has to offer.

My first goal is to bring the Jeep back to full working order. The last time I took it out in the desert, the transmission actually separated from the engine by about half an inch (funny and really annoying story behind it), and that screwed up things pretty royally. I was able to limp to pavement and get a tow back to my house. I dropped the tranny, replaced the clutch (for giggles, the existing one was only a couple years old and fine) got it back together, and figured out why the bellhousing bolts came out. But it picked up a nasty vibration at a particular speed, and my gut and most of what I'm reading points to the U-Joints. I'm going to replace them over the weekend, fix the radiator hose, and if it passes smog, I'll get it registered again and I'll be back on the road, and hopefully the trail.

My second goal is much more fun. I'm going to radically re-evaluate my plan for the project. I spent A LOT of time getting to know it intimately, and I spent a lot of time away from it, so I have some perspective.

I've got it mostly stripped down to almost bare bones, and I'm willing to go all the way down to the bare bones. I basically have a blank, YJ shaped canvass to work from.

So how do I start thinking about this? I've got some ideas, and I've got a few years of trial-and-error bestowed experience, but I really want to keep my mind open.

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Old 10-04-2016, 08:54 PM   #2
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So we really need some basics to work with here. What engine, transmission, etc. do you have; any lift; what type of wheeling are you planning/hoping to do?

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Old 10-04-2016, 10:40 PM
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It's a '91, 4.0. It's got a 4 inch lift and 32s. AX15 transmission out of a 92 (that install SUCKED).

Got rid of the back seat a long time ago, and did the rattle can truck bed liner to the tub. Swapped out the seats with a set of seats from a junkyard Sunfire.

The dash is gutted. I got overly ambitious and tried to make one from scratch. I've got all the gauges and lights i need, but looks like crap and it's gotta go. AC and heat didn't work when I bought it, so I took them out altogether. Complete dash reboot is in order.

Under the hood, I'm doing OK. Pulling out the AC hoses and bypassing the heat made a lot of room. When my alternator went I replaced it with one from a Dodge v8. I upgraded the fuel injectors to the Bosch 4 hole ones.

I live in southern Nevada, so my playground is the Mojave desert. I'm not looking to build a rock crawler, more of an expedition Jeep. I like Death Valley and Joshua Tree, and I like seeing places most people don't get to see because they're really hard to get to.
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