YJ unlimited build

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    YJ unlimited build

    Well I figured I show throw my build up here. I've had a build thread on JF for a bunch of years so I'm going to spend some time transferring that over. I am active duty US Navy so you will notice in a lot of posts I reference leaving and then coming back home.

    So a little background. I’ve had my ’92 YJ since I was 16 years old, so about 2003 time frame. Current setup is as follows

    Engine/trans: 4.0l/AX15
    Transfer case: NP231 with true neutral plate and Teralow 4:1
    Axles: front-vacuum delete/trussed D30 with MORE high steer, Spartan locker and 4.56 gears
    Rear- 8.8 w/ welded spiders and 4.56 gears
    Suspension: bastard leafs SOA with a 3” front stretch and 1” rear stretch
    Armor: poison spyder rear crusher corners, some random rocker guards that used to be on the Redbull jeep and some custom tube fenders that I built. I have some cheap Smittybuilt rear bumper and a procomp front bumper that I chopped up and welded back together to make a stubby
    Safety: 6 point cage that I build a couple years ago with Mastercraft suspension seats
    Wheels/tires: cheap Crager steel wheels with 35” Goodyear MTR’s

    There is a lot more little things done to the Jeep just too much to list. This build will start from about 2 weeks ago and go forward. If you have any questions about my old setup feel free to ask.

    The plan is to stretch the body and frame 15" to LJ length. 80's front D60 with outboarded leafs, Eaton HO72 rear with 4 link and ORIs, 40's and whatever else some how falls into the build as I get deeper into it.

    To start off here are some pictures that I have showing some of the various stages from the old setup. If I find more I will post some up.

    Last edited by '92 Vegas YJ; 05-26-2020, 11:10 AM.

    So now lets start on the current build. I started installing the front D60 by outboarding the leafs. The Dave's customs unlimited brackets I am using ended up taking me longer to get the 60 under the rig than if I had just built them myself. They needed a lot of work to fit right. The crummy thing is I spent $400 on this kit to "save myself some time". I could've built everything for free with what I have laying around my garage. Oh well, lesson learned. Dont buy things when you can make them yourself. You'll end up spending more money and more time trying to make it work.

    Anyway here are some basic pics from the last week. I haven't been taking a lot of pictures but you get the idea.

    I still have more work to do. I have a J20 pitman arm on the way, I need to redo my lower shock mounts and maybe move the upper hoops a bit, need new longer brake lines, finish welding frame mounts, build final steering links, notch frame for drag link, bump stops ect.....


      So I literally spent ALL day working on my shock mounts. Originally I just planned on using some standard shock tabs off the rear of the axle tube. That didn't work though because my hi steer arm on the drivers side would contact the shock before it reached full lock steering left.

      You can see how I originally tried to mount them in this picture

      The only other way to mount them would be on top of the axle tubes. The only problem with that is it really doesnt give me much up travel with the way my current hoops are set up. So that meant I had to do new lower and upper mounts.

      First thing I did was make some new lower mounts. I chose to integrate the tube and the inner C.

      Here is the initial trim work

      Then I trimmed it some more and came up with this. All of this is being done in 1/4" steel.

      Then it was time for the upper mounts. To get the amount of travel I want I had 3 options. Either cut the hoops off and move them forward and up some(still wouldnt gain that much more travel), cut them off and build all new hoops, or cut the shock tabs off the current hoops and raise them to allow sufficient travel. I chose the 3rd option for now. We'll see how it works out.

      Here's how the current tabs come off of the hoops.

      I then came up with these.

      Upper and lowers tac'd in.

      I plan to run some bracing along the top and some gussets off the side to help support it.

      Cardboard bracing

      Thats it for now. Again I spent all day cutting and measuring for these tabs. I did everything you see with a 4 1/2" grinder with a cutting wheel and flap disk. Tomorrow I need to put the tires on and do some flexing and turning lock to lock and cross my fingers and hope everything clears


        Got the upper shock mounts finished today. I used 3/16" plate for the top.


          I received my J20 pitman arm yesterday. Its got a little bit longer throw plus isn't near as much of a drop. With the current YJ drop pitman arm I only have about 1-2" of uptravel before my pitman arm hits my D60. My front axle is pushed about 2" forward from stock right now.


            Small update. I was able to get the pitman arm switched out.

            Heres a shot of the J20 pitman arm vs a YJ 4"(?) drop PA.


            Once I installed the new PA I had to cut down my drag link just a little bit. about 1.75". That's why I hadn't fully welded it yet. I knew I was probably going to have to trim it down.

            to cut it down I used my trusty new/used bandsaw that I picked up off CL. Man I should have bought one of these sooner. I always hated using my chop saw. If I only knew.

            I also got my tie rod mocked up with PVC. I will try to get the new one cut out tomorrow.

            Its been snowing all day today and will snow again tomorrow. Been in the 20s-30s here. Gotta tell you though, I LOVE having a heated garage


              Been working like crazy again lately but I did get some time to do some work on the Jeep today.

              I wanted to get everything bolted up and take it for a quick spin real quick before i did all my final welding. All of the mounts had some beads on them to hold them in place but it wasn't fully welded yet. Here are a couple pics of it out of the garage before my test drive.

              the test drive went ok. I was a little squirrely but I'm hoping that's just because I wasn't running any shocks for the test drive. I also don't think the tires are balanced at all. After the test drive I welded everything up and laid some paint.

              here's an obligatory weld shot

              while waiting for paint to dry I decided to measure and notch up a new piece of tube for my lower windshield bar. The old one will get cut out when I pull the cage. Its going to look so much better and be a lot easier to see with this newer bar.

              you can see it at the very bottom on these pics

              Well that's all for now. I leave tomorrow morning for work and won't be back until next weekend so I wont be able to get everything bolted back up until I get back. All that is left for the front is bump stops, longer brake lines and notch the frame for my drag link.


                Worked on my bumps today. I'm probably going to bump it with around 5-5.5" of up travel. First thing I had to do was try to flex it out a little to make sure everything will clear.

                This is about 3" of up travel right here. I still have plenty of clearance for another 2-2.5". I might have to notch my frame for my drag link a little bit. With this setup i should have around 7" of down travel.

                To start off the bumps I built these little pads that will get welded to my spring plates. 1.75x.120 DOM capped with 3/16" plate.

                Then I built some bump cans out of 1.75x.120 DOM and built the bumps using 1.5x.250 DOM again capped with 3/16". I welded a nut on the inside of the plate and threaded a rubber bump stop into it. I hope these will work out.

                And this is how I'm hoping to mount them.

                I need to flex it out again and see if the bumps will clear the shocks at full droop. If not I may need to french them into the frame a little bit. I'm pretty happy with them seeing that I built everything with scrap I had around the garage and only spent an afternoon building everything. I leave again tomorrow morning until next weekend so the Jeep with sit until then.

                Last edited by '92 Vegas YJ; 05-26-2020, 11:12 AM.


                  got the upper mounts for the bumps built and welded up. Heres the final setup.


                    I bought myself a nice Valentines gift yesterday. I snagged a complete YJ minus drivetrain for $800. The body and frame are in perfect condition. I plan on using the body on my rig for the tub stretch and selling off everything else. I'm pretty sure I can sell everything and make my $800 back. Plus I can sell my current tub for a few hundred bucks and be in the positive.

                    Here it is when I brought it home last night.

                    And heres what I woke up to this morning.


                      Spent $118 on brake lines today. Ordered them from WFO concepts. Everytime I order something from them I am more than impressed. I leave on Monday again for 2 weeks but when I get back I'll install the brake lines and I'll be done with the front end for now. I still need gears, diff cover and shorten my driveshaft but that doesnt have to be done right away. Once I get the front buttoned up I will remove my cage and start cutting up the spare tub for the swap. I'm excited but nervous at the same time. I also bought a cheap $400 plasma cutter from Amazon the other day. I'm tired of cutting everything with a grinder, but I also dont feel like dropping $1,500 on a Hypertherm. I read good reviews on this unit to hopefully I'll be good.


                        Decided that since I'm waiting on parts to work on the current YJ that I can start disassembling the parts YJ. I ended up getting it all torn down and the body removed from the frame. Now I'm relaxing on the couch icing my back and popping Motrin. My body has trouble keeping up with all the jobs I try to get done at work and around the house. Im only 28 but my body feels WAY older. Unfortunately my next Chiropractor appointment isn't until the end of March

                        Went from this...

                        To this...

                        And one of the other Jeep sitting sad on jackstands


                          Finally back home again today. All my parts came in while I was gone so I should get a little bit of work done tomorrow. Jessica was really excited about the plasma cutter so that was the first thing I got put together when I got home. Going to have to learn how to get good at using a plasma now.


                            Been tinkering here and there on the Jeep in between work and family life.

                            I didn't want to start a build with 2 dirty Jeeps so I started by pressure washing the parts jeep. I did the outside, inside and the underside. Even after pressure washing the underside though I couldn't get it clean enough. So I decided to wire wheel it. For now I just threw some primer on it until after the stretch, once I get the stretch finish welded I will probably POR15 the underside.

                            I also got the cage pulled from the white jeep and started prepping it to pull the tub. I got the all the armor, hood, steering column and dash pulled. Here are some pictures.



                              I think I have a Jeep problem haha