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Old 04-17-2018, 09:29 AM
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YJ Beast Or Burden

So the wife and I bought an 87 YJ a little while back. The previous owner had loved it for a long time, and done a lot of work to it to make it what it is today. 305 GM V8 swap, 6 inch lift, wheels and tires, and the list goes on. Sadly, even though his intentions were in the right place, his capabilities on modification and fabrication were not.

With that being said we bit the bullet and bought this beast. Drove it home from over an hour and a half away, and immediately pulled it into the garage to give it a proper assessment. What we found was that for the most part, the drivetrain was solid and strong. The wiring, however was another story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And the body seemed to be in pretty good shape. Not including the homebrew fenders that had all but rusted out. But then we go into the tub. And that's where the largest issue arose. Rust underneath the roll bar supports. And a good amount. The front support on the drivers side had almost completely rusted through. So we knew the roll bar was junk. Thankfully we were able to find a very solid replacement for the awesome price of gas money!

Next was on to cutting out the problem areas. I had researched the replacement panels online, but didn't feel that we needed all that extra material. Plus, for durability, I wanted to blend in a thicker steel. So I went the route of hand formed 16ga sheet metal. I'm not a welder by trade, so feel free to make as much fun of my welds as you would like, but I know they're strong lol. Plus I'm only working with a Harbor Freight 125 flux core welder. So no shielding gas, and tons of spatter. But, this thing also isn't going to win any beauty contests either, so it doesn't bother us. Plus I'm pretty good with a die grinder and some flap discs lol.

We're prepping all of this so we will be able to enjoy it for years to come. Within the next few weeks it will get rolled out and Raptor Lined on the entire tub. The B&M sport shifter will either be completely replaced with a B&M Unimatic, or the current one modified to have a longer handle, and relocated up next to the transfer case shifter so as to clear out some room in between the front seats for my eventual creation of a center console. Further down the road the dash will get a complete re-work, and be all steel with custom gauge clusters, and switch panels. But for now, I just intend to make it safe and last. Momma wants to actually drive it this summer lol.

Feel free to follow along and offer any insights. I'm always open to new ideas

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Old 04-17-2018, 09:31 AM
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Some more pics
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:32 AM
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New metal going in
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:36 AM   #4
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Wow.... your welds are horrible.


I'm just messing with you, they look fine. A little grinding and some bedliner and it'll be perfect. Congrats on the Jeep. I look forward to following along.
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Old 04-17-2018, 11:55 AM
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@daddyjeep thank you for the kind words lol. I've actually checked out your builds and you've done some pretty amazing things.

As far as grinding goes, I actually had to go out and buy a new compressor to keep up with the demand. Upgraded to a 60 gallon upright just to make sure my grinders didn't die out on me from all the pain and suffering I will be putting them through shortly lol.
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:20 PM   #6
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I certainly shouldn't think she'll be a burden to you. I'm doing much the same work on a '65 MGB that you're doing to your jeep. I find it rewarding to see it come together, even if neither of us can weld worth a chit.
And I step back, look at my work and think to myself, "if Sandra Bullock could see what I did, she'd never have hooked up with Jesse James".
Looking forward to watching your progress.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:41 AM
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Making Progress

@283 YJ Good ole' Jessie James. All the luck in the world, and somehow seems to screw things up every time. Oh well lol

And thank you, I look forward to making progress. And I got to make a little last night grinding down some of the welds. So far, so good I think.

The second pic is the area I really want to move the cable shifter to. I just need to come up with a good way to do it. I should have enough cable to move the shifter up to the transfer case shifter cover area and it not bind or catch. But the tricky part is going to be making a flat mount surface for the linkage assembly, and doing away with that god awful massive box surrounding the B&M shifter now. Hopefully I can come up with something this week/weekend.
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:58 AM   #8
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Pretty common repair areas. Nicely done. Looks like a candidate for a closer inspection of the rear shock mount pockets.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:58 AM
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Pretty common repair areas. Nicely done. Looks like a candidate for a closer inspection of the rear shock mount pockets.
@X-Bird thank you. Progress is a little slower then I wanted, but it's fairly steady. And yes, I had wondered about that. I know the frame has been repaired on the back. And it appears to be really well done. But I have a feeling that eventually this thing will be a full frame up re-build since I know fighting the rust and rot is going to be a slow losing battle.
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Old 04-20-2018, 02:24 PM   #10
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I picked up a 93 blue YJ that I nicknamed beast. Needs a lot of TLC. I'm glad to see that welder works for you. I was looking at picking it up but have been hesitant as I've never welded before. I just need it for going to a 8.8 rear and then I'm sure other things will creep up for the jeep. Nice work so far!
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:21 PM   #11
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Heckapunchez, I'm using a Horart Handler, 220V and it's a nice unit, easy to use. Before I started into things too heavily, I went to a local community college class on basic welding. Time and money very well spent. You might see if there's anything like that in your area.
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Old 04-20-2018, 03:33 PM
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I picked up a 93 blue YJ that I nicknamed beast. Needs a lot of TLC. I'm glad to see that welder works for you. I was looking at picking it up but have been hesitant as I've never welded before. I just need it for going to a 8.8 rear and then I'm sure other things will creep up for the jeep. Nice work so far!
I have never been a professional welder, and don't intend to be. But it's definitely a learned skill. I have used quite a few different welders over the years, but never owned my own. Never really needed one up until now lol. as 283 YJ says, a welding class can definitely be of assistance. I've just grown up around it and doing it. Hence why my welds are ugly. Never been properly trained lol.

But on a side note, that little Flux Core 125 has held it's own pretty well so far. I have a close friend who works for a locomotive refurbishing company. So he welds 12+ hrs a day. He came over one night to help me fine tune the new machine and give me a couple pointers. He liked it so much he went and bought one the next day to keep around the house for odds and ends so he doesn't have to drag out his large rigs when he needs to do something really quick. The flux core is very messy, and there will be a lot of clean up. But for the extra work in clean up, it was worth the $100 I gave for it new in box. And for those of us that don't have 220 volts easily accessible, it's nice to just plug and play so to speak. I will say, you've gotta practice, practice, practice.
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Old 04-20-2018, 04:07 PM   #13
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Heckapunchez, I'm using a Horart Handler, 220V and it's a nice unit, easy to use. Before I started into things too heavily, I went to a local community college class on basic welding. Time and money very well spent. You might see if there's anything like that in your area.
If I had a 220V outlet I've heard that's a slightly better option. I've used plenty of grinders in my time in the Navy and still at the power plant I work now. Unfortunately I would never be able to squeeze a course into my rotating days and nights shift schedule, so all learning will include youtube, friends that can weld, and lots of practice.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:21 PM
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Shifter Relocate Progress

Well I have finally started making a little progress with the shifter. I have started to do a mock up for placement. I should be able to reuse the B&M Sportshifter, and the cover. With some shims, and cutting on the cover to allow for the radius of the trans tunnel cover. I am also going to make a new trans tunnel cover that will be a little oversized compared to the stock one. That will allow me to route a few things a little better, and my transfer case shifter boot wont hang over the edge of it. Hopefully. I ordered a replacement shifter boot today, and a new TC shifter knob, since the wife didn't care for the green skull lol.

My goal is to have everything fabricated and moved by the end of this coming weekend. So wish me luck!
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:40 AM
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More Progress

Well last night I got about 2 hours to get some work done. So far I think it's going to look pretty good. I have it rough mounted and marked for trimming. Next I need to pull the shifter and relocate it on top of the new plate. Hopefully that goes smoothly. Once my mounts are marked and everything test fit, I can pull the new cover off, do my final trimming and fitting, then I can paint it.

If I can get an hour or two a night, and use my day off on Saturday, I should be able to have it done by Sunday. We shall see if the time allotment gods allow for this lol.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:41 PM   #16
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Nice! When do you get your own Discovery Channel show?
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:36 PM
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Nice! When do you get your own Discovery Channel show?
Hahaha!! I'm counting on everyone here to follow along and then recommend me to the network heads. I know someone on here has to have a friend of a friend lol.

On a side note, any idea why my pictures keep posting sideways? I preview the posts and they are fine. Then when I submit the post it throws them sideways.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:04 AM   #18
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Hahaha!! I'm counting on everyone here to follow along and then recommend me to the network heads. I know someone on here has to have a friend of a friend lol.

On a side note, any idea why my pictures keep posting sideways? I preview the posts and they are fine. Then when I submit the post it throws them sideways.
^^^I flipped your PICS for you.

You should try taking your photos with your phone held "landscape", with the volume buttons pointing towards the ground, and the "Home" button on the right. This is the technical "right-side-up" for camera phones.

^^^I hope that this helps you with your PICS.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:45 AM
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^^^I flipped your PICS for you.

You should try taking your photos with your phone held "landscape", with the volume buttons pointing towards the ground, and the "Home" button on the right. This is the technical "right-side-up" for camera phones.

^^^I hope that this helps you with your PICS.
@Old Dogger thanks for the flips! I will try that on my next batch of pictures.
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:11 AM
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Progress With A Little Frustration...

So I got a good amount of work done this past weekend, but not exactly how I planned it. I got the shifter mounted and relocated. But when I went to move the cable I found that the previous owner had only mounted it from one direction. Which meant I had to remove the assembly from the transmission. Yay.....So I get that all done and go to remove the swivel off the end that hooks to the linkage, and to my not so surprise, it was rusted solid. Sooo with a large amount of PB blaster, and some light touch,.....it still snapped off the end. Shortly after some very choice curse words, and a beer and a cigarette, I bucked up and ordered the replacement parts. Thank god for Amazon lol. They should be here today, and the Beast should be mobile again by tonight.

So since I couldn't work on what I had planned I shifted over to finishing some more welding on the patch panels. I finished that all up, and it's almost time to grind. I can already hear my grinders begging for mercy.

I still have a new to me roll bar that I need to strip and paint black. And 3 bolts I had to cut off during interior removal that I need to get drilled and removed, but I finally feel like were making progress.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:40 AM
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Primer Time!

After a long start to the week, and some lack of free time, I finally got back to work on the Beast. Finished grinding all the welds. And yes, they still look like someone puked on a piece of steel.(feel free to make fun of me) But I know it's going to be covered with Raptor Liner and the wife said I shouldn't worry about being a perfectionist with this thing. She made a very valid point when she said, "it's going to get beat up, it's going to have more scars, and it's a Jeep. It can take it." so with that I decided I had punished the grinders, sanding discs, and flap discs enough. So I moved on to priming the new patch work.

Now that it's primed, and the shifter has been relocated, hooked up and tested, it"s time to move on to the rest of the list. If all goes to plan by the end of this coming weekend I will have the roll bar cleaned up and painted. The snapped bolts removed. And the rest of the interior brackets sanded and painted. I'm going to remove the door latch pin covers and re-paint those as well as the back seat floor brackets, and the rear side seat latch brackets. Once done I will test fit the roll bar to mark my new mount holes in the floor. This time around we're upgrading to grade 8 hardware, and anti seize thread sealer. So if for some reason I need to remove it again, I won't have to go through the pain that was extracting the torx head bolts.
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:44 PM   #22
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Props for taking the initiative! I know i wouldnt be welding!
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:45 PM   #23
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Nice looking repairs too!
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:31 AM
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Nice looking repairs too!
@JP41 Thanks! I'm kind of a perfectionist, so it's been a little bit of a struggle not having things look "factory perfect". But as long as the repairs hold for quite a while, it's a worthwhile trade off.
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Old 05-05-2018, 01:52 PM
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Parts Galore...

Well work has been pretty slow today. So to make the best use of my time since I can't work on the Beast, I ordered some parts! Coming from Amazon is a new lower bearing for the steering column since ours is essentially non existent and the shaft has about as much play as a 9 week old puppy on meth. Also ordered the Rough Country steering stabilizer to help out with the steering play after the repair.

Coming from Ebay is a used set of factory 3 point seat belts for the front. Since I had to destroy the previous ones to even remove them, I figured for safety sake I should probably replace them. Wife may not like riding around without proper support and retention lol. But this time I think I got smarter. I ordered a grade 8 90 degree seat belt mount bracket for both sides. So I can direct mount to the new, thicker steel in the floor rather then on the pillar like the stock ones. And hopefully if I ever have to remove them again it wont be so much of a PITA.

Hoping to get some work started on the roll bar tomorrow. Maybe even get the first coat of paint on it. But that may be wishful thinking.
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:36 AM
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Some Progress Is Better Then None

Well it's been a slow going past week. Work has been crazy and the wife and I are getting ready to go on vacation for a few days. So prepping for all of that took priority. I did get my used seat belts in the mail the other day, and they look to be in great shape. I also received all of the steering parts and might just get them installed one night this week before we leave.

I made some solid progress with rehab on the free to me roll bar. It was white and the paint was trashed. So I stripped it, ground down some welds that the PO had added for the rear cross bar, and fuel cell shield he had fabbed up. And then shot it with a few coats of black satin. I think it will look really good once it's fully installed with the Raptor Liner in the tub. I still need to pull the tunnel cover I fabbed up and paint it as well. Will probably go black satin as well just to offset some of the textures in the tub when it's all said and done. So now we're just down to the little things going back together and lining the tub. Then we might actually get to drive it for a little while lol.

Let me know what ya think, and any suggestions are always welcome.
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:56 AM
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Back on the road!

A little time has passed, and a lot of life has happened. The Beast got put on the back burner for a few. But, I recently had a week off and went to town trying to get stuff done. And now she's officially back on the road. Got the tub Raptor lined. Got all the small peripheral parts repainted. Door strikers, back latch assembly, etc. Cleaned up all the wiring under the dash. Installed new speakers in the dash, and even added some wakeboard tower speakers to the back roll bar cross bar. I needed the music to be louder than the exhaust and tires lol. Ordered some new to me 3 point seat belts off of ebay out of an 89 YJ. Sadly, only one of the retractors worked properly. So lap belts it is for the time being. Sucked spending $80 on the belts only to find out they didn't work. But live and learn. I will just order all new belts for this thing in the coming weeks.

I replaced the lower steering column bearing, and added a new Rough Country N2.0 steering stabilizer. She's still pretty sloppy rolling down the road over 45mph. So I'm thinking I may need to do the Durango steering box upgrade to tighten up some things.

That was all the good. Now the bad. After road testing for an entire weekend a little while back, she likes to get hot. It's a 305 GM small block bored .60 over I believe. The Holley carb needs a 1" phenolic plate spacer so it quits boiling the fuel. She gets up to 210-220 on the temp, which I'm not too worried about rolling down the road. However, even with both electric fans (ones an aux on a switch under the dash), she gets to 230+ in traffic or stand still for really any period of time. And when she gets to that temp, if I have to come to an aggressive stop, she drops out the RPM's so bad that she dies. So I have to 2 foot the pedals coming to a stop just to keep the RPM's up. And obviously that creates even more heat. So it's a little bit of a dilemma. Kinda scratching my head on this one. Adjusted carb idle. Looked for vacuum leaks since it's vacuum brakes and vacuum assist on the carb. So any suggestions would be well appreciated.

But in the meantime, check out all the pics!
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Old 06-09-2018, 10:57 AM
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:24 AM   #29
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Thoughts on the running hot issue.... After just running my 5.7 in my Jeep foe the first time last week I have some temp gauge concerns. I let it come up to operating temp just to make sure everything worked as it should. My temperature gauge read about 210 before my thermostat opened. I am not sure if there is an issue with the GM sending unit and the Jeep gauge. I considered swapping in a Jeep sending unit for the gauge just to see if there is a difference. I have not researched this yet , but thought I would throw out the information for you.
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DaddyJeep build Thread:https://www.wranglerforum.com/f8/dad...ld-122601.html
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by daddyjeep View Post
Thoughts on the running hot issue.... After just running my 5.7 in my Jeep foe the first time last week I have some temp gauge concerns. I let it come up to operating temp just to make sure everything worked as it should. My temperature gauge read about 210 before my thermostat opened. I am not sure if there is an issue with the GM sending unit and the Jeep gauge. I considered swapping in a Jeep sending unit for the gauge just to see if there is a difference. I have not researched this yet , but thought I would throw out the information for you.
Much appreciated. I did a little more investigating the other night. Let the Jeep run and idle without any of the electric fans running until she got up to about 210. Turned the fans on and let it sit for another 10 minutes. It continued to rise up to about 225. An old trick I remembered was to touch my hand to the radiator, and the top hose to see if they were hot at all. The radiator was cool, and the top hose was luke warm at best. So I knew I had a blockage somewhere. I squeezed and jiggled the top hose to see if any change would come of it. And wouldn't you know, I walked around to look at the gauge and it almost immediately dropped to 195. Let it run another 20 mins and only got back up to 210-215. So I'm thinking stuck thermostat. I have a 170 thermostat that I'm going to swap in and see if the fixes the issue. I drove it a little once the temp issue stabilized. She never got over 215 even under a load. But, I'm pretty sure that the carb is still vapor locking so I went ahead and ordered a phenolic carb spacer. Hopefully that will fix the low idle issue when coming to a stop.

If I can get these issues fixed tomorrow I will need to move onto the trans pan leak. Which seems to be getting a little worse. I'm trying to figure out a way not to have to drop the massive skid plate helping to hold it up, but I fear that is inevitable. Just for a bad gasket lol. Good times to come!

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