1. #1
    Boze's Avatar
    Boze is offline Senior Member
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    YOU Build MY YJ...

    Alright everyone, I know you've got this a thousand times, but here's a thousand and onel.

    I just bought a '91 YJ from my wifes uncle. It has 180,000 highway miles on it if you can believe that. The guy is a dentist, (no offense to any dentists reading this), and is just not the type of dude to take his Jeep off road. Don't know why the heck he bought a Jeep to begin with, but that's beside the point. Anyway, there are records from the dealer for every oil change, tune up, and service performed over the last 18 years. I can almost guarantee the thing has never seen 4 low, and know for a fact the tranfer case has been in gear less than 10 times. Needless to say, it's in as good of shape that a bone stock '91 YJ could possibly be in.

    Now, I'm fairly handy, pretty good welder I like to think, and a decent mechanic. The only real problem I have when it comes to building this thing is, of course, budget. I would like to spend less than 1,500 dollars on the initial build, which has to include rim and rubber. I'll be spending most of my time in the desert around SoCal, (as I'm stationed on DDG 91 at Naval Station San Diego). I don't care for Giant lifts, I'm not at all oposed to chopping sheet metal, and I have to keep it safe enough for two toddlers and a wife to ride in. I've looked into SOA convertions a little, seem cheap enough. but before I do anything I want to hear what everyone thinks...So...YOU Build MY YJ!

  2. #2
    Bounty__Hunter's Avatar
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    Tires and wheels will eat that budget up fast.

    Do you have the 2.5L or 4.0L engine? What axle gear ratio? Reason I ask is because you obviously haven't budgeted for regearing the axles, so driveability after the lift should be a concern.

    I recommend a SOA conversion, pretty inexpensive and the results are great for offroad. You can then comfortably fit 33"-35" tires, although I would stick with 33" tires on stock axles and gears.

  3. #3
    jps4jeep's Avatar
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    $1500 is not that much of a budget... I will use my build but with a different axle.. I would go SOA on stock xj rears both front and rear, modify the packs a little, then I would source some rockwells, Flip the hubs, weld them up, slap them in. some ghetto Fab single ram hydro steering, orbital valve from a fork lift and you should be with in the $1500 budget (no rims or tires yet). The rims and tires... I would save my cash, source a set of used 42" tsl's with some wear, borrow a tire groover and groove the crap out of them to give them a second life, and perhaps some usa 6x6 wheels or re-centered H1 wheels.
    It used to be a jeep Thing,
    But all that stuff broke

    -Johnny-


  4. #4
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    Oh ya, and lots of sawzall
    It used to be a jeep Thing,
    But all that stuff broke

    -Johnny-


  5. #5
    Boze's Avatar
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    Oh ya! So it's the H.O. 4.0 L, manual transmission. (not sure what T-case, how can you tell)? Found out Uncle Sam's giving me almost 5 g's back, but the wifey's got a Ninja death grip on that, so... we'll see who wins that battle.

    Anyway, I was starting to lean towards the SOA, 33x10.5x15 Dunlop Mud Rovers on stock rims, and stock gearing for now. (i'll change axels and gearing when I get back from deployment next year). But what about the SYE? Do I NEED NEED that or can I get by with just the T-case lowering kit for now?

  6. #6
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    if you plan on changing the axles in a year, I wouldn't even bother. Put your money in a savings account and wait till next year, then put in the axles, SOA and run some 35-37" tires.
    It used to be a jeep Thing,
    But all that stuff broke

    -Johnny-


  7. #7
    Joopin's Avatar
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    I gotta tell ya, I have an SOA on my 91 and I can't imagine putting little kids in it. My wife doesn't even like to get in it, especially when she has a skirt on! I would def recommend a SYE. I have one along with a tcase drop I made myself. I didn't have it initially but I was getting some wear on my trans mount believe it or not.
    I have heard of people doing an SOA without an SYE, but I can't imagine it lasting that long especially if you are wheeling. You will get unwanted vibes or the driveshaft will end up on the road.

    Bottom line is you may be able to pull of the SOA on a low budget, heck, I tried. AAL in the springs, dropped pitman arm... and no Tcase drop. I ended up getting new reverse eye spring packs, a t case drop, and a high steer. The jeep performs tons better now on and off road.

    Like the other said, the big money will be going into regearing (or new axles) and the tires. Cheap steal rims are good, and you may find some cheaper tires on ebay... but I would save up. Good luck with the project! From a fellow slanty roll bar, 4.0 driving, jeeper!
    91 YJ 4.0 5spd
    SOA + 1.5" reverse eye RE springs
    D44 LS Rear & ZJ Disks
    4.56 gears
    36"x14.5" Parnelli Jones'
    Jks discos
    Warn XD9000i
    Banks SS exhaust
    High Steer!
    And a bunch of home made stuff!

    Stock 2005 Loaded WK, for now!

  8. #8
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    with 1500 you could buy a exploder 8.8 w/ 4.10's aleady in it for about 150-200 (thats bout how much they're goin for here anyway), its an easy swap so you and buddy could do it in a anfternoon, get a SYE for about 175-200 bucks, once again you can do that yourself, most come with really good instructions, now you'd just need to reagear the D30 up front to match the 8.8, and when you swap in the 8.8 go ahead and do SOA while you're at it. IF you can install the gears in the D30 yourself the gears are about $150ish

    So now you'd have a plenty strong enough rear axle, SYE, SOA, 4.10's all for $600 tops, BUT you'd probabaly need a new rear driveshaft (~200), drop pitman arm and t-case (make it yourself? its a possibility) now you just need to find some wheels and tires. I tihnk if you had 2 grand this would be realistic with wheels and tires, BUT remember .... THE LESS YOU WANT TO SPEND ON A PROJECT, THE MORE TIME YOU WILL SPEND DOING IT.
    1995 Wrangler, 4" lift, 33" tires, 5 spd, warn 9k winch, rear rack and tire carrier, hi lift jack, rock bumpers front and back. NEED SOME NEW AXLES!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    Thanks matt,

    I like the idea of the 8.8, and I think 4:10s would be low enough for most 33's , but what about some of the larger 35's, (Like most Interco's).

    I think I'm just going to save my money untill this time next year, (think I'll call dibs on the next tax return check ), before I start doing any serious mods. Although I may be able to pull off all the mods you mentioned for under 1,500 bucks, you know as well as I do that as soon as I get under that thing are going to be all sorts of things that need fixed and replaced. Belts, hoses, bushings, on and on and on. So that will eat up alot of my dough right there...geez reality is setting in.

    How about this, Could I fit 31"s under this thing with just a 2" body lift and some minor fender trimming? If so, I'll just run that for the rest of the year untill I can get to work on the suspension.

  10. #10
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    Jesse,
    Does the SOA just make it tough on the street? Everyone's heared the horror stories of big body lifts givivng out in wrecks and the tub being launched off the frame, but the SOA seems like it would be pretty solid. I was just wondering because you made it sound unsafe. If it's just a rough ride, i can deal with that, (the fam won't be in it on the street that much), but if it's unsafe that's a different story.

  11. #11
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    Re: YOU Build MY YJ...

    SOA is safe on the street if properly done, and not at all a rough ride. Smoother ride than when using lift springs.

    You shouldn't need a transfer case drop if you install a SYE, you generally use one or the other but not both.

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