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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the weekend we started putting my YJ back together and figured it would be a good time to start a build thread. Here’s a little back ground on it and what’s planned for the future.
It’s a 1988 Sahara Edition; it came with a 258 I-6, BA10-15 trans, standard Dana 30/35 axles, hardtop, no A/C and all the Sahara badges and goodies. I picked it up in 1992 and I’m just the second owner. I put a 4” lift, SYE kit, 32” tire and a tube bumper on the front and drove it for years. As the family started to grow and the Jeep started to have problems with the transmission and passing emissions, I parked it until I had some time to work on it. Some 10 years later my son and I decided to get it running again, we were never able to keep it running for more than a few seconds so we started thinking, take all apart and rebuild it. Then we decided why just put it back the way it was when we can make it better. So I started getting ideas and parts, that’s when the wife stepped in and let me know that if I wanted to get anything else, I would need to save up for it. I’ve been putting my loose change away for some time now and I’m ready to get going again. Hence the project name “Loose Change”.
Here’s what’s planned so far:
Engine: 5.7 Liter TBI “K” VIN
Trans: AX-15
Transfer Case: Retain the NP231 and replace the input
Front Axle: Dana 44 LP/ True Trac/ 4.27 gears
Rear Axle: Mitsubishi 9.5/Air Locker/ 4.27 gears
Coilover and link suspension in the front
Custom front and rear bumpers
Custom flat fenders (front)/ flairs (rear)
35” tires and new rims
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks WICruiser.

Got some time tonight to work on it. Cut off the spring mounts for front spring and got the frame ready for the link mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I got some time the past few days to get some stuff done. I finished up stripping down the Dana 44 for the front, sanded it down and put on a coat of primer to keep it from rusting. Welded up the Ballistic Fab link mounts and made some mock lower control links using PVC. I'm looking at moving the front axle 2" forward. Once everything is set l'll change the PVC for DOM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Machine Auto part Wood Machine tool Toolroom

Started out with this rusty Dana 44, stripped it down and got it ready for the truss and gears.

Machine

Used some MDF to templet the truss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Auto part Engine Automotive engine part Vehicle Suspension

Got the front axle under the Jeep and the lower links mocked in place. Everything looks good with the truss so I'll start to fab the truss and weld the link mounts to the frame.
:iamhappy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well haven't had a lot of time the past few weeks only a hour here and there but I got the Advanced Adapter bell housing set up on the AX-15 and furnished changing the input on the transfer case and got it all back together. As soon as I get the time to weld the link mounts to the frame I can get the motor and trans in place.
 

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Your build and your story is a lot like mine. Sounds like you have a good plan. I like your plan for the truss. I always wondered why people don't take them all the way out to reinforce the "C" like you are. Maybe there is a good reason, but if I was going to build one it would be like yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks DaddyJeep, I'm sure I got some inspiration and ideas from your build (and others). As far as the truss, I'm sure a lot has to do with a one size fits all when it come to manufacturing them. I couldn't find what I wanted so I came up with my design, I just hope it work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I didn’t get much done over the summer but I did get to spend a lot of time with the family so that in itself was a great summer. Anyway I got back to working on the Jeep, I got the transfer case and trans bolted together and the trans adapted to the motor. Got them in place and everything looked like it fit well. But while I was underneath I noticed the front 4 body mounts didn’t look so good, after years of being soaked in oil the rubber got really soft.
So I switched gear, pulled the motor, trans and transfer case back out, disconnected the parking brake, gas tank fill tube and unbolted the tub. Last week I built a cart to hold the tub and over the weekend my son and I removed the tub from the frame. My hope for this weekend is to remove the rear axle and gas tank, I also have a few bolts that broke off for the skid plate and front bumper that need to be addressed. After that I’ll start welding on the link mounts and coilover brackets. Once that all done, clean everything up and give the frame a fresh coat of chassis paint.
I guess there’s nothing like starting from the begin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its been awhile but I finally have some movement. I'm trying Photobucket for the first time so I hope this works...




I got the body off and on the cart, finished removing the rear axle and gas tank. I used and engine stand and a couple u-bolts on the front which makes it real easy to work on the frame, just pick up the rear of the frame and spin it to work on the bottom side of the frame. I Drilled and tapped the broken bolts in the frame, cut off the old shackles and started welding on some parts.



Welded the link mounts on the frame and added some sleeves through the frame for the upper link bolts so the bolt head will be on the outside of the frame. I figured by adding the sleeve I wont have to put a big hole in the frame for a socket to tighten the bolt.

Tomorrow I'm looking at getting the coilover brackets welded on and fab a new panhard bar bracket so I can lower the bar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Had a good night out on the Jeep tonight. Got the coilover brackets welded on and made and installed the panhard bar bracket.


Designed the bracket on the computer and printed a couple templets on label paper. I used a grinder with a cut off wheel to rough cut the two sides pieces from some 1/4" plates I had.




Drilled them out and bolted them together, did the final grinding and shaping as one piece so they were same shape.







I used some threaded rod an nuts to hold everything together, added bracing to both sides. Located it on the frame and welded it on. (no its not on the top of the frame, it will be on the bottom of the driver's side once I turn the frame back over.

Next up prep the frame for painting so that as soon as its warn enough out side I can get the frame painted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Took some time to get the anything done on the frame, March was too cold and wet to paint it. So I finally did get it degreased and painted. Got some time to work on it this week and the motor and trans are in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm working on this problem for a few weeks now. So a few weeks ago I was fitting the Peugeot 10/5 skid plate to the AX15 transmission and noticed a small gap between the Advanced Adapter bell housing and the engine block only on the drives side from the alignment pin to the bottom of the block. The gap went from nothing to about a 3/32".

My first thought was the bolts that were supplied with the bell housing were too long and not tightening down. So I pulled the trans and checked the depth of the bolts in the engine block. The bolts were going in to the block but it was close, so I took a tap and chased all the threads to get them in deep enough. Tried it again and the same gap was there, I added lock washers for some extra space on the bolts and no change.
I pulled the trans back out and took the bell housing off the trans, bolted it to the engine block and great no more gap.
Ok so everything's working, I put the bell housing and bearing retainer back on the trans, bolted the trans back on the engine and WTF...there's the gap. I cant tighten the bell housing down anymore without the risk of breaking the bell housing.
I don't want to leave the gap, I thing it would cause the bell housing to break at some point. Maybe I should just shim it so the bell housing to block is tight, I don't know.
Time for a beer and pondering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well its been some time since my last post. Didn’t get much done on the Jeep over the summer, spent it traveling and doing things with the family and replacing part of the fence around my yard in my spare time. But now with the fall here I’m outside watching football and playing with my Jeep.
Since my last update I was able to get the trans mount figured out it was a lot easier than I thought. I simply used the bracket that came with the AX-15 and cut the back half off it. I pressed out the 2 studs and relocated them between the mounting holes on the front half of the bracket. I used an Energy Suspension’s urethane mount and clipped the corners off to allow clearance for the socket head cap screws. I also had to remove a small amount of webbing between the mounting holes on the trans for the head of the studs. By doing it this way I was able to still use the torque stud that goes between the skid plate and mounting bracket. It also saved me about $50 on an aftermarket bracket that eliminated the torque stud. With that out of the way I was able to install the transfer case after I installed a stud that was missing from when it was installed at the factory, I know it was missing from the factory because it still had the plastic insert in the hole from when it was made, go figure. Other related items, I replace the speedometer gear to allow for the change of gear ratios and installed the Hurst shifter body.
After that I moved on to the finishing up the M.O.R.E steering box relocation bracket and box, installing the correct turning direction water pump, power steering pump/hoses, alternator and underdrive pulleys, the TBI unit and a few small items on the motor.
The new rear springs are installed and the pieces to the front axle truss are all cut out (using only a 4” grinder), bent and test fitted. Next up start welding it all together and onto the axle, modify the ballistic lower link mounts to fit with the axle truss and fab up some upper link mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Got some time this weekend to work on the Jeep. I was able to finish welding up the front axle truss. Added tabs to the shock mounts to bring them down from 2" to a 1.5" mount width. Made a support for the panhard bar and tabs for the upper links.
Bumper Auto part Metalworking hand tool
 

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The truss is looking good. Glad you are making some progress. Are you going to add a top cap to those link mounts to add a little lateral strength?
 
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