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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 91 Jeep Wrangler, that I am kind of attached too. I live in Buffalo Ny, so it is rusting pretty bad. The frame is starting to rust and so is the body. Engine has 113,000 miles on it. I just am using the vehicle for plowing right now but I want to turn it into a snow beast. I have already invested pretty heavily into it over the years so ditching it and starting over really isnt a great option.
My thoughts are to buy a Galvanized Frame, then either an Aluminum body or Fiberglass or Kevlar (designing it to be rust impervious). Then rebuilding or replacing the engine.
First is who in the North East (close to Buffalo NY) rebuilds Jeeps and does good quality work that doesnt charge an arm and a leg.
Second any imput on what type of body is best. Metal is out because I only want to do this once in my life time.
Should I stick with a 4.0L inline 6? I am looking to use the vehicle to plow my office and then use to drive in 4feet of snow to my other office. I also am interested in increasing the gas milage without loosing power down low.
Do they make an Aluminum 4.0L that is lighter?

Currently the vehicle has a Mean Green Amp, Snow Way Plow, Borla Exhaust and about a 2 grand audio system in it.
I am figuring to spend about 18k on rebuilding it.
Yes I could buy a new one, but a new one will rust in about 7 to 10 years due to salt. With a galvanized fram and non metal body I can keep the vehicle for 40+ years and just rebuild the engine when necessary. Also thinking of a suspension upgrade, but I can't go crazy because the plow has to fit! Maybe an adjustable suspension 3" or something like that.

Would appreciate any recomendations!
 

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Pushy, Loudmouthed, and Ballsy
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Little more information?
How bad is the rust on the frame. Is total replacement necessary? 113k is not a lot of miles on that engine - if it has been maintained well. Unless you are using oil, or having major problems with it, I would run that engine. To my knowledge there is no aluminum engine that would be a bolt in replacement. That said, if you go with another engine you are also looking at transmission, transfer case, motor mounts,ect,ect,ect. You will eat up your 18 grand pretty fast.
If you are not doing a good bit of the work yourself, at least be willing to spend an arm on labor, maybe you can save the leg if you know someone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I had my wife's Uncle look at it and he said the frame is starting to show some area's of softness. The body is rusting really bad. My seat belt bolt on the driver's side broke off through the floor. I now have it bolted through the side panel just to pass inspection. Engine is starting to leak oil. Body definately needs replacement. Not 100% sure about the frame but I am guessing if I am gonna do it and put tons of cash into it I want to do it right.
 

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Pushy, Loudmouthed, and Ballsy
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That must be some attachment you have to that jeep. Personally I couldn't commit that much time or money to rebuilding it. Consider that not only the frame but all the other components that may have extensive rust damage. I think you would be better off finding a southern yj with no rust and protecting it. Maybe even changing out to a fiberglass tub. You would be able to salvage some of the things you have on your current yj to put on the "new" one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I actually looked into purchasing a used yj but people are selling them for like 7k+ with 100k miles on them. It is difficult to protect a vehicle against rust. Galvanized Frame will last about 30 to 40 years. A stock Jeep even undercoated is gonna see rust within 10 years.
I am guessing part's : 4000 for a tub
1500 for a galvinized frame
2000 to rebuild the engine
5000 for labor

Guessing about 12500 to 15000 to rebuild. Depending on what other parts need to be replaced. Maybe a new suspension and new axle's.
 

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Pushy, Loudmouthed, and Ballsy
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I actually looked into purchasing a used yj but people are selling them for like 7k+ with 100k miles on them.
You're not looking in the right places...

I bought my 95 for $4500. 109k 4 banger, though. I could find you one around here a lot cheaper than 7k.
 

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I can find 97+ TJ's for $3K, granted 2.5L 5sp but even the 4.0's are not that much more. If the frame is bad strip the yj of the good stuff and find another one.
Jeep Accessories, Jeep Parts, Jeep Soft Tops at Quadratec.com for Jeep Wrangler, TJ, YJ, CJ and Unlimited made by Bestop, SkyJacker, Warn Winch and others. - Quadratec sells a powerdercoated YJ frame, bodies in steel, fiberglass, kevlar and there is even one out there in stainless steel you can find thats made in the phillipines.
We just sold a 93 2.5L 5sp w/hard top, D44 and 4:10's for $2K with another rolling frame also with 4:10's, the frame on the 93 is rusted near the drivers rear shock, friend of my sons is going to do a swap over, probably take us a weekend once he has the replacment frame stripped an painted. We're pulling the body off next weekend so he can start doing the swap once the frame is back and they are parked next to each other. He replaced it with a 97 2.5/5speed, three tops [soft, hard, windjammer], 80K on the clock, new 30" rubber and a whole bunch of chrome stuff the kid who owned it never put on, $2900. He poured thru cardomain.com and autotrader.com for 3 weeks till he found itl, went there with cash and drove it home 3 hours from NJ...

In a nutshell, I would not put dime one into it until you get the frame corrected.
 

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Pushy, Loudmouthed, and Ballsy
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I can find 97+ TJ's for $3K, granted 2.5L 5sp but even the 4.0's are not that much more.
But aren't you in PA. The prices up there will be lower just because of the problems he is having with rust from road salt exposure. Best to find a southern vehicle if you can.
 

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I feel your pain. I am fighting rust right now. I like to play in the snow, but the salt takes it toll. My frame is suffering above the passenger side rear shackle. I bought a cap to put on it. I will try to get some pics of the project once I get started.

If you look at the rear frame, they don't drain well. Mine filled with mud, crud and salt. That caused the rusting. I have checked other YJ's and they are similar around here. The frame cap that I have looks like it will allow me to put a lot more miles on it.

I know everyone says to get a southern jeep, but they too will rust. In the snow belt it is gonna happen. Rust never sleeps. To each their own, but I am gonna keep fighting the rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hence the reason I want to buy a galvinized frame and a non metal body! Galvinized Frames seem to last 30 years or more as long as you dont scratch them! And well kevlar or Fiberglass cant rust! The engine runs great but tends to have a leak couple of drips found in the garage.
Know anyone in Western New York or Erie PA that does quality work to rebuild a jeep on a new frame with a new body?
 

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I think 5 grand is a little low on the labor side. I'm sorry to say but if you are going to have ALL the work done in a shop, you are probably looking at more like 25 grand for the total restoration, possibly even 30 depending on what you do with the engine and trans. My suggestion would be to take it to an auto body shop and just ask them. They can give you a LOT better idea than anyone here could. Just because they can physically inspect it.
 
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