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Topic: Buddy Holly's YJ (Read 41134 times)

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  • Rucas
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Buddy Holly's YJ
I've never done a build thread before but I thought it might be neat to document the evolution of me and my jeep for future years to come. I will try to be detailed with my posts and have lots of pics.

But first I have to play catch up  ;D

The Jeep is 95 YJ that came into my family in 2010. My father bought it as a cheap, reliable, and easy to repair vehicle that would get him back and forth to work (boy was he wrong about the reliable and cheap part  [laugh]). It was in great cosmetic shape; the PO was a detail freak and used armor all like it was going out of style. At that point it had a 2" body lift, stock springs with add-a-leafs which rode horrible and 32" street tires. It was bone stock otherwise. After my dad drove it around a while I finally convinced him to take the jeep offroad. This is where I caught the bug. I beat the ever living snot out of the poor little jeep on multiple trips until I blew the poor ax5 up twice- once while wheeling and the remanufactured one gave up the ghost a week after installation.

Fast forward to 2013. The Jeep began to have oil pressure issues. 3psi of oil pressure at idle wasn't going to cut it. So we yanked the motor out and to our surprise the hungry little 4banger had eaten that cam bearings and wore the main bearings down to the copper. After a lot of headache and a little money the engine was back up and running in August three days before I started college. Somewhere in there I put on an LOD rear bumper and tire carrier and stubbied the front bumper.

I went wheeling:


Top of Daniel (my father photobombing):



And tore the fender flares off by accident. It looked great before this:




With the Dana 35 howling like a dog I decided to finally make a major change. Enter the elusive Ford 8.8. I was lucky enough to find one with 4.10 gears so in it went.  It had YJ brackets welded on but the guy did such a hack-job that I ended up redoing every inch of this axle.

Pictured: This will do ;D


I went and bought some u-bolt plates from ruffstuff and had some u-bolts made.

Pictured: These look promising.........


The ruffstuff plates required me to redesign the shock mounts. I welded the shock mounts to the plates and reinforced them with some 3/16" plate.

Pictured: not bad for a novice with flux core  [thumbsup]


After I got the 8.8 installed I got the itch to go beat on it so I drove Roanoke to visit a buddy and wheel Potts mountain after a 3 year hiatus from my favorite trail.


The jeep performed well enough that we went up a second time and went the other direction. This is where things went sour. I head a loud pop after I bumped up an obstacle. I crawl out and my shock is broken at the eye on the lower mount. I take the rest off and keep wheeling. Upon further inspection after getting back, the u-bolt plates had bent so severely that the shock bound and eventually broke. The welds done by ruffstuff cracked badly as well.

Pictured: well that didn't last long...


So I parked the jeep and ordered a set of u-bolt skid plates and new u-bolts from currie. I drove for a few weeks and then noticed a chattering noise coming from the transfer case. I rebuilt it thinking it was chain slap It turned out to be driveshaft vibration (I didn't do an SYE when I did the 8.8 ). I have one sitting in my living room waiting to go in.

I think that brings us up to date. I need to go study for some final exams so I'll post my future plans for the Jeep tomorrow  [thumbsup]
  • Last Edit: Mar 21, 2015, 07:23 PM by Buddy Holly

  • cescuzzy
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #1
I like it, but then, I've always had a soft spot for YJs. 

Go, study, ace your finals, then let us know more about your Jeep!

-Scuzz
A safety tip in the form of The Seventh Commandment of the Electrical Engineer: Work thou not on energized equipment for if thou doest so, thy friends will surely be buying beers for thy widow and consoling her in certain ways not generally acceptable to thee.

  • badmonkey
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #2
Echoing what Scuzz said - the build looks great!  Knock those finals dead! 

  • G Beasley
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #3


This is a ruff stuff weld?

And good luck with the finals .

  • LBJ
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #4
No penetration on those welds..

  • cescuzzy
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #5


This is a ruff stuff weld?


Maybe someone just had an off day?

-Scuzz
A safety tip in the form of The Seventh Commandment of the Electrical Engineer: Work thou not on energized equipment for if thou doest so, thy friends will surely be buying beers for thy widow and consoling her in certain ways not generally acceptable to thee.

  • Rucas
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #6



This is a ruff stuff weld?



Thats what I said. The other sides were similar. The whole plate bent and distorted under the torque of the u-bolts. My crappy booger welds held better than the ones ruffstuff did. Heres a pic of the inside of one.


Note how far off square it bent



I'm not mad at ruffstuff by any means. If they made them out of thicker material, maybe 1/4" or 5/16" they would hold up better. 3/16" just won't cut it in this case.


Thanks for the kind wishes guys. I felt pretty good about the Business Law exam today. Hopefully the grade reflects that  [nailbite]
  • Last Edit: Dec 15, 2014, 01:28 PM by Buddy_Holly

  • G Beasley
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #7




Thats what I said. The other sides were similar. The whole plate bent and distorted under the torque of the u-bolts. My crappy booger welds held better than the ones ruffstuff did. Heres a pic of the inside of one.
[nailbite]

I asked just to clarify as I am really surprised that they didnt get better penetration. Did you mention this or send a picture to ruff stuff ?

  • bobthetj03
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #8
That's a clean YJ. Now I can follow to see how the leaf sprung folks do things!  [thumbsup]
My Jeep takes me to some pretty cool places!

  • Rucas
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #9
I asked just to clarify as I am really surprised that they didnt get better penetration. Did you mention this or send a picture to ruff stuff ?



I haven't mentioned anything to them yet. I was going to email them and never got around to doing it. I'll get one sent out to see what they say [thumbsup] I was very surprised the welds didn't hold up.

That's a clean YJ. Now I can follow to see how the leaf sprung folks do things! [thumbsup]






Thanks!
  • Last Edit: Dec 15, 2014, 01:32 PM by Buddy_Holly

  • Rucas
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #10
Goals and Intentions

I was at one point hell-bent on 37s and a 44/9" combo and stretching the wheelbase to around 102". After my last trip to Uwharrie my opinion changed. I do not need big tires and lots of wheelbase to wheel with the big dogs. Lockers and 33s will make my jeep a very capable vehicle. The goal is to make this Jeep a super capable and safe vehicle on the trail without sacrificing road manners or practicality. I need to be able to drive to the trails on Friday, beat it like it owes me money all weekend, and be able to drive home and get to school on Monday. I want it to look stock-ish- very clean, simple, and composed with a hint of hardcore thrown in the mix.

6 month goal:
Install SYE
Rear locker
Cage with suspension seat and 5pt harness
Narrow the track width (wheels with more backspacing)
TJ fender flares
Gas tank skid (modified stock unit)

1 Year goal:
Improve approach and departure angles
Front bumper with winch
Lose TJ flares for Tube fenders
Tummy tuck
Engine and steering box skid (home made)

I am saving my pennies for the cage and interior parts. I hope to have it all installed before the club's Rausch Creek trip June 6th weekend. I have my sights set on a Synergy front cage, Corbeau Baja XP, and Crow 5pt harness.

The track width and tire coverage is a big priority right now. I am looking for a set of cheap TJ flares and a set of canyons or ravines to replace my 10" wide rims. I love the look of both but am not sure it they will look out of place on an older model. Thoughts on TJ wheels on a YJ? If anyone has pics of their Canyons or Ravines with 33x12.50s I would love to see them.
  • Last Edit: Dec 15, 2014, 01:23 PM by Buddy_Holly

  • bobthetj03
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #11
I have similar goals with my TJ. I think TJ flares, and either Canyons or Ravines would look good! [thumbsup]
My Jeep takes me to some pretty cool places!

  • ShaunSweeney
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #12
That stinks about the bad welds.  We have a YJ in my local club.  He wheels that thing everywhere and does pretty darn well.

  • Rucas
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #13
Trying to decide on a roll cage. I have a frameless soft top and can't change the stock cage in any major way or the top will not fit. I have to make due with the stock bar and add to to front. There are two main designs. Design 1 uses two tubes that go straight from the main hoop to the windshield and then a downtube is welded to it which goes to the floor. Design 2 is similar, but the tubes come from the main hoop and bend down towards the floor and are sleeved and welded to the other half of the downtube. I plan on removing the windshield when I go wheeling. Is there a big difference in strength between the two? For reference the three cages I am looking at are the Trail Gear and BTF cage (Design 1) and the Synergy cage (design 2). Design 1 is mainly found in the add-on kits and design 2 is found in the full replacement kits like Genright and PSC offers. Synergy is the only one that offers Design 2 in an add-on kit.  The Trail gear and BTF cage are almost identical from what I can tell. The trail gear cage is $250 and the synergy cage is $500. Is the difference in price for the synergy cage worth it? Any big difference in strength? I will add gussets to the junctions and will add a dash 'V' bar during the install. Thoughts? I'm sure I'm overthinking this......

Design 1:


Design 2:

  • Last Edit: Dec 17, 2014, 05:13 PM by Buddy_Holly

  • LBJ
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Re: Buddy Holly's YJ build
Reply #14

Goals and Intentions

I was at one point hell-bent on 37s and a 44/9" combo and stretching the wheelbase to around 102". After my last trip to Uwharrie my opinion changed. I do not need big tires and lots of wheelbase to wheel with the big dogs. Lockers and 33s will make my jeep a very capable vehicle. The goal is to make this Jeep a super capable and safe vehicle on the trail without sacrificing road manners or practicality. I need to be able to drive to the trails on Friday, beat it like it owes me money all weekend, and be able to drive home and get to school on Monday. I want it to look stock-ish- very clean, simple, and composed with a hint of hardcore thrown in the mix.

I ran 33's then 35's on my 95 yj with a 8.8 locked, you would be surprised where you could put a jeep with 33/35's and i like opt. #2, looks nice .