My '89 YJ

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#1
I caught the Jeep bug in 2010 with the purchase of a 1989 YJ Wrangler. It was a 4.2, BA10 5-speed, with 3.54s and 4" Rough Country leaf springs. The trans was out and the Jeep had been backed into the passenger side crunching the footwell panel and fender. I picked it up cheap along with a spare BA10, slapped some 31"s I had laying around on it and went out wheeling with my TJ and XJ piloting friends.

Pics when I got it:
 

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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#2
I wheeled it for a few years at some local MO trails at the time. Mangled the body a little more, and discovered just how reliable the BA10 is...:rolleyes:

Then this happened:
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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#3
I pulled the 4.2/BA10 and put in a Ford 351w, T-18, NP203/205 doubler. I then bolted up a Dana 60 "snowfighter" front and Corporate 14 bolt rear both with 4.10 gears and SOA using the 4" lift springs, which netted me ample room for the 39.5 Boggers I got off from a mud truck friend. I had folded the front shackles in a few times wheeling and bent a top leaf, so I decided to do a home brewed shackle reversal. I also stretched the rear 6" and comp cut the corners. Bear in mind this rig has been a learning experience for me in my design and fab skills; I'm by no means a professional.

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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#4
I did a home brew triple stick for the doubler, some really crude square tube crossmembers, and an anti-wrap bar on the rear. A lot of this stuff was regurgitation from combing through the endless treads on Pirate4x4, choosing most things based on cost and simplicity.

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I was a college student at the time and couldn't afford much of the fancy stuff that many would consider the "right" way to do things. I've learned a lot since then and always have the intention of redoing things, but as backwards and "wrong" as much of the mods I did seem to most, the Jeep takes a beating every time I take it out and keeps on trucking without any carnage, all while putting a smile on my face. Sometimes it's hard to change what seems to work okay no matter how ugly or "unpopular" it is on the forums.
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#5
Some daylight poser shots...

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Took it to the local Mudfest a few times... Cleaning it afterwards brings the suck! :(

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Tried some rock crawling... (My "little" brother has good hand discipline but seems to have forgotten something....)

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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#6
I ended up crunching the fenders pretty bad with the Boggers smashing into them or pulling at the sheetmetal at full lock and full stuff, so I decided to try my hand at building a replacement set.

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I got tired of the mud and wanted to try trail riding more. Went out to Moonlight Off Road park and realized two things: I need a winch, and trail riding with a hard top can suck sometimes when you find yourself between some trees...

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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#8
I've since moved to Oklahoma and had left the Jeep behind at my Dad's place for the past few years. I really missed wheeling, hardly get back to my dad's much to wheel with him, and haven't taken much advantage of the great places in OK and north TX to wheel, so it was time to drag the old girl home. I just finished (mostly) parting out a CJ7 basket case I acquired as part of a package deal to get my CJ-8, so I had some room and spare parts waiting in the garage for the next victim. Over the weekend I decided to make the 1000 mile round trip to go get the old YJunk and drag it home. Oddly enough my wife actually encouraged me to do it!

Pics of my sketchy Fummins tow rig for proof!
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And that brings this to the present. The leafs are bent, the anti-wrap bar bracket is bent, the shocks are toast, the tires don't hold air for more than a day or two, the steering assist cylinder packing is blown, the steering pump is growling, the front driveshaft is bent, the front crank pulley is bent, and the battery is weak. Poor thing has seen better days.

The current plan is:
-Full hydro steering
-Stretch to 110" wheelbase, grafting a CJ-7 back half on to make more of a bobbed CJ-8 with drop down gate
-3 or 4 link the front with some Deaver coil springs
-lower the overall stance
-flat belly skid and two piece front shaft
-front locker of some sort, or possibly welded
-full cage, race buckets and harnesses!

I've read a lot, but keep learning more every day. I'm hoping I can refine the poor YJ into an even more capable and certainly more comfortable rig.
 

sdsupilot

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
OKC
State
OK
#10
Looks like a fun rig! I'll send you a PM, I typically get up to Edmond a few times per week.

I think we also need to see some more pics and specs for the Fummins...
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#12
I think we also need to see some more pics and specs for the Fummins...
Honestly, I feel like it's less worthy of pictures than the YJ... :crazy: Just a 1993 F250 that was originally a 7.3 IDI 5-speed 2wd and I grafted the engine, trans, t-case and front axle from a 1989 W250 Dodge after the stock dual mass flywheel came apart and the 7.3 dropped a valve. Unfortunately, I melted a piston in the 1st Gen 5.9 (non IC) after being a dumb kid "rolling coal"... Now it has a P7100 pump 12 valve 5.9 from a 1994 Ford CF8000 box truck mated to the Getrag 360 and NP205 from the W250. I rebuilt the trans, t-case and front kingpin D61 myself, and made sure to add an intercooler from a '99 Powerstroke. Truck tows great, runs super cool, but with the 4.10s and 35"s only netted about 12 MPG loaded on the way back from MO. I have a set of '05+ Super Duty axles in the garage, along with a ZF-6 and NP271 that I plan to swap in at some point, but it's hard breaking down and changing something that works well enough as it is. Need to address the body cancer more than anything....but again that's on the "want to" list and not the "need to" quite yet.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#13
Cool story and fun looking Jeep! That tow rig makes for quite the story too, dang! :headbang:
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#14
That tow rig makes for quite the story too, dang! :headbang:
Yeah, a saga of learning things the hard way...:crazy: How's it go....? Life's hard, it's harder if you're stupid. Not saying I'm stupid, but much of that project was rushed, cheap, convenient, easily influenced by misinformation and thoroughly abused....a lot of fairly stupid strategies thrown at what was supposed to be my "dream truck". You can only tell a college kid (at the time) so much, because I knew everything back then...:rolleyes:

This place likes pictures, so maybe I'll start another thread for the :hijack:...
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#15
Trying to make some progress on the YJ for an upcoming trip to Superlift ORV Park. Swapped on some crusty used Iroks with freshly lip stiffened steelies and Inner Air Lock pneumatic beadlocks, gave the cracked hard top to a friend at work who daily drives a YJ and was growing tired of his noisy softtop, gutted the interior in hopes of grafting the old CJ7 rollcage I have leftover along with Corbeaus and harnesses... Hopefully I'll have time to get the full hydro steering installed and weld up the front diff, since I have low expectations of the Iroks vs the Boggers. The hackery continues...!

Never did like that YJ dash....

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93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#16
Sadly, I didn't make it to my buddy's wheeling party at Superlift. I bit off way more than I could chew in a short amount of time and ended up with unfinished steering and seat mount issues...not to mention a front end that fought me every step of the way.

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Routine maintenance turned into replacing a bunch of bearings and seals I didn't plan on. Sandy river water makes a mess of things over time, even when you "think" you have everything sealed and greased appropriately. Perhaps if I were a little more routine with my maintenance... Spindle bearings were TOAST!

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All good to go now though! And I "upgraded" knuckles in the process. My stock Ford knuckles fell victim to the notorious crack about a year ago. A shadowy side-by-side shows how thin the Fords are compared to the Dodge/GM (Dodge knuckle pictured....no, it's not a Reid, just painted like one).

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Hopefully I can finish up the booger welded weld on cage A-pillar assembly, and burn in some seat mounts and harness bar for my used Corbeaus, if the weather warms back up again. Need to get this pile out on the trails and see if I still remember how to drive.
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#17
Finally cobbled together the rest of the to-do list items I didn't finish for Superlift and managed to get a free weekend to do some wheeling. So, I loaded up the heap and headed to Cross Bar Ranch in Davis, OK on Saturday to meet up with some friends.

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Sadly, I'm terrible about taking pictures when out on the trail, so this is the only proof I have of being out; a shot from the top of the overlook hill at Cross Bar Ranch.

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The YJ did pretty well, all things considered. I had a blast on the creek trails and some of the technical boulder trails. I tried the "hard" lines on Dead Man's Slide and Rockface, but with the MONSOON that hit that morning, everything was still pretty slippery. It was great to get back out and try a new spot (it was my first time to Cross Bar Ranch), but the YJ is in rough shape... My full hydro attempt worked well for what it was, somehow managing not to take out my low hanging cylinder, but the pump is shot and whined all day while giving me a good forearm workout. I guess I should have known better as that pump has endured 2 YJ boxes, an F150/Bronco box both with and without hydro assist, and now full hydro....I was on borrowed time to say the least. The front leaf springs are also shot....again. Something about my driving style and 39.5"s with doubler torque just wraps them to death in no time. So, I think it's time for the old heap to get some front end work....

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And so the saga continues...
 

93_Fummins

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Edmond
State
OK
#19
SOLD! The YJ is on it's way to a new owner in the endless wheeling ranges of New Mexico. Hopefully it's out there kicking butt and taking names on some obstacles that aren't covered in moss and mud for once. The old worn out Iroks should really shine on the gritty rock out west. Farewell and godspeed to the Jeep that got the addiction started for me!

I've learned a lot from the YJ project, and hope to work that into my next build. I can't help but feel a little premature bailing on it just as soon as I finally got full hydraulic steering figured out and gathered all the parts to enter the world of multi-link suspension. However, my life doesn't have the room for as many projects as I dream up. I also was rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns with the list of changes I wanted. I built the YJ tough for sure, but left a lot of voids in doing so. The T-18 is bulletproof, but my clutch finesse is lacking and the gap between 1st and 2nd left a lot to be desired sometimes. The same could be said of the 203/205; you won't find a tougher, more simplistic setup, but it's long, heavy, sloppy, and really only a 3 speed (or 2 speed in my case since 4.10 gears and 39.5"s meant no hi-hi range opportunities). The propane system was awesome, but empty tanks were sudden and made fuel sharing very difficult out on the trail. And even with the expensive, high-zoot Novak radiator, the 351w just never did cool right. I'm sure it was a tuning issue, with either the timing being off or the cam being less than ideal. Combining all of those minor nuances with the fact that the YJ leaf springs would barely survive a handful of trips before reshaping, and the wheelbase left a lot to be desired...the list of modifications and tweaks I wanted to make, extrapolated by the time it would take to do them and the extent of teardown to do them all most efficiently, basically made the project a wash compared to simply putting a fuel injected engine with auto trans into the already longer, way cooler, CJ-8 sitting next to it. Starting with the Scrambler would also give me the opportunity to undo the full hydro steering and mindless body and interior hacking and get back to a street friendly platform that I could cruise on the weekend and exponentially increase usage, making it more worthwhile in the long run compared to a purpose built rig. At least that is what I'm trying to convince myself.

Long story short; it's time to move on...
 
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