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A YJ Rebuild


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  • Platinum Member

So. I buy a 92 YJ Jeep and insist on a full new MOT before I part company with the money. I get it home and something is not right. I immediately get suspicious and request an inverted appeal. This is a VDSA appeal where you believe the vehicle should not have passed. Over 30 fail points were discovered. The weakness in the system is that the MOT station has SO much wriggle room with VDSA that ALL of these faults could have occurred in the 50 miles I drove the Jeep! Including : on horn, no indicators, no brake lights, no speedo, leaking shocks, damaged track boots, torn gaiters, oil leaks, an OBVIOUS sign that the mileage has not been accumulating over the past 5 MOT tests, perished tyres, and on and on...

So buyer beware. MOT test certs are worthless.

So do I cut my losses? No. Like an idiot I decide that THIS tired out YJ will become a "project". It may take me 2 years to do... but what the heck. The wife has left me already by and my life has been dogged by fast women and loose cars so far so why spoil the habIt of a lifetime.

At this point I need to say: I am not a professional mechanic. I am just careful and thorough and I try to seek a perfection in most things I do.

I AM blessed with the facilities of a workshop. A rented unit large enough to take a vehicle lift I can share with other people who have similar interests. The beauty of this arrangement is we can pool resources and assistance.

After taking some soundings and particular chatting to owners state-side and watching endless You Tube videos of red-necks stripping and rebuilding YJs I commence a shopping list of things that need sorting. I know in the UK there are not so many YJ's kicking around. This one does have some good qualities. It is not ALL bad. Already sits on 33" RockCrusher wheels, has a 5 year old Mr Goodwrench /Chevy 5.7 ltr engine mated to a TH350 auto box. It also has a new soft top with the half doors.

The MAIN issue is that for off-roading the advice is I will do much damage leaving the standard fit Dana 30 / 35 axles in place. They are just not man enough for the output of the engine. So first on the list are 2 new modified Dana 44's from G2 Axles  fitted with ARB air lockers.

Additionally I have bought the on-board ARB Air compressor. New shocks and steering shock, leaf springs (not going to attempt a coil over conversion) new dash, dual battery tray, new front wings, new door seals, new gasket set for the engine and gearbox, new Painless wiring loom, New stainless steel bolt set, new carpet, sound and vibration deadening materials, new seat belts,  new dash speakers, fuel tank straps, new set of poly bushes, Steering shaft and linkages, dis-enagable tie bars, Winch refurb kit with new rope, wiper conversion kit to sort out the crap blade parking position, new wide chain kit and six pinion gear for the NP231 transfer box. steering block refurb kit, a new spare wheel (the one fitted didn't match and was completely the wrong size), new steering wheel, complete set of new Autometer dash instruments, new windshield rubbers inside and out. battery changeover circuitry. The frame is not too bad buy I have bought a new rear rail, mid rail and rear frame section to eliminate the rusted areas. I have ordered alot of gear... this is not the full list.

The body is now off the chassis and the chassis is going in for shot blasting in the next week or so to be immediately coated in weldable oxide primer.

By that time all of the goods I have ordered will arrive. I am fortunate to have a trading relationship with a US manufacturer or equipment my company imports and I have found that buying most of the kit I need in the states and having it shipped to my supplier mainly FOC who then sends it on to me, not the fastest way forward but certainly the cheapest.





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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Platinum Member

Now I have the frame back, shot blasted and coated in red oxide weld-able primer, I can start work repairing the areas of rot. Time to practice my MIG welding techniques. Additionally, all the parts I ordered from the States have arrived so rebuilding can start.



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  • Platinum Member

Amazing looking build, didn't look bad to start will be awesome when its done.


(wish I had a workshop like that  :icon_mrgreen: )

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  • 2 years later...
  • Platinum Member


Also have my YJ undergoing a full restoration.  Was wondering what firms you use in the US.

Also after a carpet set for my RHD YJ.  Easy to get LH in US or UK but both say extensive trimming will be needed to fit carpet set to mine.

Any help much appreciated



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  • Platinum Member


I'm continuously improving my 94  4.0l YJ too. Thankfully I have my own workshop .

I bought her over a year ago. She was low miles, very good chassis due to underseal from new and reasonable body and interior. At my age I couldn't face yet another total rebuild, I wanted to enjoy the car before it was too late! She was SORN for 6 months during which time I began an overhaul, having been mechanicing, car building etc in motorsport   most of my life. Being fairly original I wanted my YJ to stay that way. I believe there are only about 63 still on the road so YJ's are rare and a future classic I think. The car had been laid up for many years. The previous owner had plans to convert into off road only use but it never happened apart from a few bits of strengthening and a 2" body lift (gr8 )

I began with the steering, about 15" play at wheel. Fun but crap. After dismantling I replaced joints as needed. I tried to adjust the steering box but it was at end of adjustment. A new one  was expensive so I bought a recon from WPS ,Bristol. I visited them . They seemed to be doing a good job and their service was excellent. Steering transformed!

Next brakes. All stripped. New discs, calipers , rear shoes and  small parts. All good.   Replaced clutch hydraulics. Tip . Mine exterior slave. You can buy the two units seperately which saves a lot over the' ready bled'kits  etc (often LHD pipe anyway) I went for solid metal jobs not the plastic . Suspension. Not bad but springs tired, bushes worn etc.. Shocks had been replaced I think 'HD Crown Gas'.  These make the ride  hard but kept for now.Next mistake. I had leafs refurbed to save . This can be good if done properly ie. retempered and reset, but I don't believe mine were. I think they were cold bent despite the companies  denials and they are already resettling all over the place. Now about to go for new all round, probably OME as the road comfort/performance is important to me travelling long ways to JOC events etc.

The body work is pretty good . A few minor chips etc but nothing serious. So, touching up polishing etc in the main.   I have touched up the undersealing where necessary and visible.   Inside the chassis is difficult to see so I assume it is beginning to peal here and there. I have made the mistake in the past of spraying in more u/seal on an XJ. I later stripped the rusting  sills etc that I had treated years before. All that it had done was seal in any rust beginning and had therefore not worked like it does when  the car is new. So, I fall back on the old fashioned but very effective internal oil spraying once or twice a year using my secret recipe(lol). The interior is good but I had the seats restuffed. Really good now. I made up a set of side protection bars (still have the jig if anyone is interested) which have already proved their worth.

Electrics needed a bit of sorting. I got rid of modern non working spotlamps, sourced a correct period pair and fitted them and h/lamps with upgraded bulbs. (I had crawled home from Slindon behind a pair of candles)   Engine. Checked all. replaced TP sensor to cure tickover probs. Currently uses no oil , good pressure but compression test revealed variable figures for each cylinder.  I guess due to standing so Its off with the head for a top end o/haul in the winter.

Any way , that's a fair chunk of what I've done so far. Hope its of interest.

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