Different kind of YJ

Lee3333

Official Supporter
Well, here goes. This is probably going to upset some of you here, but I am turning my 1989 YJ into something it never was intended to be. Here in New York City, there are not any places to go off roading (so all of the lifted Jeeps you see here are all for show). There are a lot of people that enjoy drag racing, car shows, and cruise nights at various locations. I am one of those people. I was looking to build something that would be different. It had to have 4 seats, fun to drive, and short enough to park behind my other car in my driveway. One day when I was at a car show, I met someone that had a CJ with a small block Chevy engine in it, and it gave me an idea. A friend has a repair shop and offered me a lift to work on it, along with the help of his mechanics for welding and doing other major things that I couldn’t do. I took my Jeep in on December 9, 2008 for a simple drivetrain change. As I was leaving, my buddy came running up to me and mentioned to me that only a few bolts attach the body to the frame, and if we removed it we could clean up the chassis. I agreed, and my small rat-rod project mushroomed into a major frame off project. He knew I wanted to convert it to 2 wheel drive, and suggested that now would be the best time to do it (I planned on doing the suspension work in the second phase). Although I originally was going to use a Cherokee axle, another friend suggested going all out and using a straight front axle. I bought mine from Speedway Motors, complete with a 4 inch drop, disk brakes, etc. I had a 350 Turbo trans built by Select with reverse manual valve body and trans brake. Moon made my Ford 9 inch rear with 3.70 gears. The roll cage and suspension work is being done presently by Bobby Gardner at his shop in Hicksville, Long Island. The engine is 450 HP with timing gears, 10.5 compression, Crower cam, etc breathing through Advance fenderwell headers into cutouts (for easy noise) and Gibson round turbo mufflers.

The first picture shows how it looked when I bought it for $400.
From the side view, you can see that with the engine set back behind the front axle, this is truly a mid-engine vehicle.
 

Attachments

  • CIMG0370.JPG
    CIMG0370.JPG
    271.4 KB · Views: 732
  • Body on lift IMG_5216.jpg
    Body on lift IMG_5216.jpg
    559.7 KB · Views: 676
  • Lee lifting frame IMG_5265.jpg
    Lee lifting frame IMG_5265.jpg
    719.2 KB · Views: 648
  • Hot rod Jeep cc  IMG_5184.jpg
    Hot rod Jeep cc IMG_5184.jpg
    152.9 KB · Views: 18,304
  • mid engine Jeep IMG_5863.JPG
    mid engine Jeep IMG_5863.JPG
    710.1 KB · Views: 1,288
  • IMG_5908.JPG
    IMG_5908.JPG
    649.2 KB · Views: 449
  • Front quater view IMG_6051.jpg
    Front quater view IMG_6051.jpg
    186.9 KB · Views: 459
  • a IMG_7432.JPG
    a IMG_7432.JPG
    713.9 KB · Views: 439
  • a IMG_7435.JPG
    a IMG_7435.JPG
    766.2 KB · Views: 479
  • Pushing back view IMG_5775.jpg
    Pushing back view IMG_5775.jpg
    76.8 KB · Views: 659
  • Traction bar, rear, spring without lowering blocks IMG_7373 .JPG
    Traction bar, rear, spring without lowering blocks IMG_7373 .JPG
    569.8 KB · Views: 2,796
  • Side View IMG_6044.jpg
    Side View IMG_6044.jpg
    157.9 KB · Views: 508
Last edited:

OK, I am now totally convinced, you city boys are CRAZY!! But what the hail, at least some of you have good taste in vehicles!!:scratch:

That looks awesome, not how I did either of MY YJ's but good for what YOU need it for. Keep up the good work!!
 
We are crazy-that is why the owner of one shop said that this project is ridiculous. Hence, what I am naming it
This is photoshopped, but I want to do it in the same font as the 'Wrangler' was on some of the special editions. And in the same color as the seatbelts. Note the 'un' in front of the Jeep lettering on the side panel.
 

Attachments

  • Front quater view IMG_6051 old style seatbelt red 1.jpg
    Front quater view IMG_6051 old style seatbelt red 1.jpg
    178.2 KB · Views: 1,430

There are places to wheel at near NYC,but if its not your cup of tea thats fine.If you could have kept the 4 wheel drive it would have launched better on the take off.
 

I just puked in my mouth a little.

I get that a lot. But the reality is, the Jeep makes a good platform for a race car. It has a solid frame and plenty of room for working on the engine. Plus, for street cruising it is perfect. With the top down and the doors off it will be a blast in the summer time. The full roll cage and 5 point harnesses for everybody will keep it safe. Since I lowered it to conventional car height, stability should not be a problem. But most importantly of all for me is that it is different. How can somebody build a Nova or Chevelle and have it stand out from the crowd at a car show? There are only so many different hood scoops or wheels you can get, and just about every conceivable combination has already been done a thousand times. But a Jeep....how many have you seen like mine? The most fun part about this project is that there is no exact recipe for what will fit or work, so it has taken a lot of thought, experimentation, and fabrication. I did not want to build a cookie-cutter car.

Besides, if you read JP magazine, you will see some Jeeps set up for sand and ice racing. And if you really get down to the original intention of the Jeep, it was not designed for rock crawling or even off road use. It was meant to be a general purpose vehicle (GP) for the army.
 
WOW

SEE KIDS PICTURES DON'T LIE :shades:
NOW WE GOT PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!
:lol:
 

Attachments

  • Front20quater20view20IMG_6051.jpg
    Front20quater20view20IMG_6051.jpg
    18.3 KB · Views: 2,731

Not my cup of tea but I don't hold it against you at all. I'm all for customization of any vehicle and I think you are doing a good job on it. Very cool.
 
WOW

SEE KIDS PICTURES DON'T LIE :shades:
NOW WE GOT PROOF!!!!!!!!!!!!
:lol:

Just for the record, my brother also lives in Colorado (Durango) and he has a conventional TJ, but out there he uses it off road. So we do have one normal Jeep in the family :) But mine is faster! And I think mine is more like something one would create on LSD, not crack.
 
How can somebody build a Nova or Chevelle and have it stand out from the crowd at a car show? There are only so many different hood scoops or wheels you can get, and just about every conceivable combination has already been done a thousand times.

Here is a different way.

 

Attachments

  • 867404561_dabbb69be5.jpg
    867404561_dabbb69be5.jpg
    161.8 KB · Views: 2,538
Last edited by a moderator:

To each his own I guess but I puked a little too.
 
Well, I was hoping that my passengers would need a puke bag when I stepped on the gas. Seems like that is already happening to some of you and I havent even put it in first gear:)
 

I like.. Specs on teh SBC?


If you are interested in Wheeling (obviously not this) Long Island Offroad (LIOR) is a great club down near you. they make a number of trips up to New England every year and are part of the NEA4WD which has a lot of private land that only we get to wheel.
 
This is the only mystery part of my project. The engine came from a good friends show car (a Malibu). He put less 1000 miles on it, just driving it from his house to local shows and cruise nights. The only reason he sold it was because he built a new supercharged motor. It was professionally built in PA and was in a car driven by the owners son. It was too fast for the new driver, and he wrecked the car. The owner didnt want to sell the motor to just anybody, and my buddy has a friend who is close to the builder and convinced him. But it was built about 8 years ago, and nobody remembers the exact details other than:

1979 Truck 350/4 bolt mains
Steel crank/polished connecting rods
Manley .030 over pistons (Flat?)
Fuelie double hump 2.02 heads
Crower cam-525 lift/296 duration
Timing gears (not chain) and it has a nice whine sound like a S/C motor

It supposed to have 450 HP, and I will have it dynoed to see for sure. Once everything is set up in the Jeep, I can always pull it apart to modify or build another motor-swapping would be easy enough, especially the way I ran all of the wires and hoses. It should be good for the low 11's without any problem.
 
I bet that'll be fun to drive, and definitely will be different from any other. Good for you on building what YOU wanted and not feel like you have to be one of the crowd.
 

Just for the record, my brother also lives in Colorado (Durango) and he has a conventional TJ, but out there he uses it off road. So we do have one normal Jeep in the family :) But mine is faster! And I think mine is more like something one would create on LSD, not crack.
LSD is right, but it's different and that what counts. Not to shabby.
 
Back
Top