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My wife and I bought ourselves a project for Christmas...

BadDNA

hophead
Mar 31, 2006
4,184
121
Winning.
So, I've got a 1989 Jeep YJ sitting in my yard.

The body has some minor rot but not terrible, frame is solid, engine runs, brakes need to be put back together (the parking brake assembly and brake booster were both removed but included). No top and no doors were included so I have it covered with a tarp right now since we were expecting snow last night. From what I can tell the electrical is all working. Front drive shaft was out when the previous owner got it so he's not sure if the transfer case is any good or not, I have the drive shaft.

I plan to start with the brakes, get them functional again and then get the drive train put back together, see if the transfer case is functional. If that all works I'll freshen up the motor and see if I can get it to pass inspection in the spring.

My first project is cleaning out the garage so I have room to work on it. The pictures below are from the previous owner, he bought it for the top and doors, I got the rest.



 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,908
1,794
Tustin, CA
Good luck. Car projects always come out costing way less than you expect. Should be fun though. What are the long term plans for it? Crawler or just all purpose cruising around off road?
 

BadDNA

hophead
Mar 31, 2006
4,184
121
Winning.
Long term plans are just a cruiser/trail rig. There's not much in the way of rock crawling to be had around here that's legal so we don't plan on getting to over the top with it. I have a friend who is heavily into jeeps and he's got some stuff left over from a project of his own that he's offered to sell me...not sure yet if I'll go for it.

4" lift
4.2L engine and transmission (not sure if I'll go this route or another type of re-power)
a set of axles
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,704
3,718
Portland, OR
Fun project! I spent some time on my truck project this weekend. The advantage of the '66 is no need for inspection. :D
 

eaterofdog

ass grabber
Sep 8, 2006
7,668
809
Central Florida
Wow that's an ominous thread title, at least for anyone who has bought a "project" before. I bought a "finished" project that I still work on every weekend.
 

BadDNA

hophead
Mar 31, 2006
4,184
121
Winning.
I had my buddy look it over before I made an offer on it. He said 'Go' so I figured it was reasonable at the asking price but still managed to talk the guy down a bit.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,647
470
Groton, MA
For the love of god, don't take out a 4.0L and replace with a 4.2......
:stupid:

That 4.0 is pretty much guaranteed to be the only thing that lasts another 5 years out of that vehicle.....just by the looks of it. Seems absolutely beat to piss for only an '89.
 

BadDNA

hophead
Mar 31, 2006
4,184
121
Winning.
It's got the 2.5 in it today. I've only got a couple hundred into the purchase and I know it's going to take work. We know it's the type of thing that's never done, there's always something more.
 

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,814
9
looking for classic NE singletrack
It's got the 2.5 in it today. I've only got a couple hundred into the purchase and I know it's going to take work. We know it's the type of thing that's never done, there's always something more.
My sister had a mid-90s Wrangler with that in it, had zero power *and* only got ~14mpg. The 4.0 I had wasn't exactly "high output" by any means (I once had trouble outrunning a guy towing a camper in an unfortunate road rage incident), but it's better than the 2.5. Enjoy your project, looks like fun!
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,908
1,794
Tustin, CA
Do yourself a favor and source a chevy 350 or ford 302/351 and swap that in.
Try that. In all fairness, I know squat about Jeeps and an OE motor like the 4.0 would probably be the best choice if you can find stuff for the swap. A motor swap on that should be relatively easy.
 
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BadDNA

hophead
Mar 31, 2006
4,184
121
Winning.
Try it now
Still not right...

I'm thinking about various options for powertrain swaps, there are kits out there for just about every engine under the sun, it's no more complicated than pick your engine, then buy the kit.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,647
470
Groton, MA
Try that. In all fairness, I know squat about Jeeps and an OE motor like the 4.0 would probably be the best choice if you can find stuff for the swap. A motor swap on that should be relatively easy.
The AMC/PowerTech 4.0 is well known to be one of the most reliable and easy to work on motors every produced.
 

kickstand

Turbo Monkey
Sep 18, 2009
3,444
392
Fenton, MI
It's got the 2.5 in it today. I've only got a couple hundred into the purchase and I know it's going to take work. We know it's the type of thing that's never done, there's always something more.
whatever you do dont swap in a 4.2 in place of the 2.5.

A 4.0 is a good option, but you will still need a new tranny the 2.5 typically uses the ax-5, and the 4.0 uses the ax-15 (or in later tj years the nv3500), and t-case (the 4 cylinder has a 21 spline input and the 6 cylinder has a 23 spline).

If I was going to go through the mess of doing an engine swap I'd at least take a 4.0 and bastardize it with a 4.2 crank and a slight over boar making anywhere from a 4.5-4.7 liter stroker out of the 4.0.

It'll provide v8 power/torque, and the ability to use stock transmissions and transfer cases.

If I was going to go V8 I'd look for an all aluminum 5.3 liter chevy motor, cheap at the yards, simple, bulletproff, and plenty of power.

Triple check the frame, the early yj's had ****ty frames.

Here's my last yj, I kept it low simple, and cheap...., 3" spring under lift, . 4.0, ax-15, np231 with SYE, 4.10 gears, aussie locker in a yj dana 30 with tj shafts, and a ford 8.8 with discs out back and a spool. bent up a cage with my buddy.

Total I think I had about $3500 into this, including new tires, purchase price of the jeep, and then I sourced almost everything else used when possible.

 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
16,676
1,400
01776
cool project. I'd love to have garage space available to have a toy like that. I think mine would be a muscle car though...swap in a 6 speed, big disks, etc...

Should be fun, and jeeps are common enough to get cheap parts for. Should something break, just grab a new/better one from a later model and slap it in. If anything rusts out, just cover it in diamondplate. It's hard to make a jeep look worse!

How much did you pay, if you don't mind me axing?
 

BadDNA

hophead
Mar 31, 2006
4,184
121
Winning.
cool project. I'd love to have garage space available to have a toy like that. I think mine would be a muscle car though...swap in a 6 speed, big disks, etc...

Should be fun, and jeeps are common enough to get cheap parts for. Should something break, just grab a new/better one from a later model and slap it in. If anything rusts out, just cover it in diamondplate. It's hard to make a jeep look worse!

How much did you pay, if you don't mind me axing?
Garage space? I've got the thing parked in my yard right now (though I will be cleaning out the garage for it over the next couple of weeks). I thought about a few different vehicles, this just happened to come along at the right time.

I need to get my hands on a welding rig and learn how to use it, there are a couple of panels that need some love. I know it's not necessarily something a beginner should tackle but what the heck, it's not like I need to drive it right away, I've got time to learn.

With transport, I got it in my yard for $500.
 

kazlx

Patches O'Houlihan
Aug 7, 2006
6,908
1,794
Tustin, CA
Garage space? I've got the thing parked in my yard right now (though I will be cleaning out the garage for it over the next couple of weeks). I thought about a few different vehicles, this just happened to come along at the right time.

I need to get my hands on a welding rig and learn how to use it, there are a couple of panels that need some love. I know it's not necessarily something a beginner should tackle but what the heck, it's not like I need to drive it right away, I've got time to learn.

With transport, I got it in my yard for $500.
Mig is pretty easy to learn. I would find a used 220V mig and go to town. Just buy a bunch of scrap and start screwing around.