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The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

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The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 3/28/2012, 1:42 pm

Hey guys, here's my 1992 YJ as she sits now. I'll work my forward from the time I got her until now.



Originally it was bought as my brother's first car, but he didn't want to drive a stick, so we swapped rides. This is what she looked like then:



I decided it would be a good idea to pick up a hard top and full doors for the winter, so I trolled around Craig's List for a few weeks and found a pair of old CJ-7 doors in Weymouth and a hard top from a fellow '92 in N. Reading, $300 total for everything. Here's what it looked like last winter:



The doors didn't have any mirrors so my old man and I drilled out a few holes on the windshield hinges and attached a pair of CJ-7 mirrors to them. Once last summer rolled around I decided to ditch my old, torn vinyl seats for a set of cloth ones I picked up from Holland's in Billerica:

Old -->


New -->


I threw on some fog lights for looks and practical use:



A few weeks later my parents picked me up a set of Smittybilt side steps for my birthday. My old man and I drilled out the frame and installed them:



I got tired of looking like an Oreo too, so again my old man and I sanded, primed, and painted the doors. They have that old CJ look to them:



Right after Thanksgiving (2011) I picked up a TJ rear bumper for cheap from Craig's List and replaced my ratty-looking bumperettes with it. Then shortly after Christmas I picked up a Smittybilt SRC front bumper and replaced the stock front one:



And here we are today. Sorry about all the links, for whatever reason the forum won't let me post all the pictures directly into the thread here. I don't have pictures of the mechanical work that's been done, but to date repairs/additions include:

-new slave cylinder and master overhaul (done by FNA transmission, 2009)
-new brakes all around; new rear brake lines (driveway job, 2010)
-new Tuffy Security locking center console and locking rear boxes (driveway job, 2010)
-new Sony Xplod radio and 6x9 rear speakers (driveway job, 2010)
-new cat back exhaust (done by Lou's Custom Exhaust, 2010)
-new Spicer front drive shaft (done by 128 Tire & Auto, 2010)
-new windshield gasket (done by the Pioneer Garage, 2011)
-new radiator and thermostat (Pioneer Garage, 2011)
-new rear axle seals (Pioneer Garage, 2011)
-new fender flares all around (driveway job, 2011)
-new Bestop roll cage padding (driveway job, 2011)

And all the countless little things that add up that I definitely can't remember. Needless to say this thing has taken over my life since I got it. I still have a few extra parts too if anyone's looking for stuff for cheap.


Last edited by THOOPY3 on 4/2/2014, 10:12 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Corrected image links)
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  Ryan McKee on 3/28/2012, 5:07 pm

Fixed the image codes for you. All but the first one were lacking the coding at the beginning and end of the image urls. Anyway, glad you posted up! Jeep is lookin' good, and you're among good company with YJs here.

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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  dongalonga on 3/28/2012, 8:30 pm

Nice rig! I really need to get some armor.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  CrawlingForward on 5/1/2012, 4:28 pm

How did I miss this thread?!

As always, happy to see another YJ on here! They're a handful and always need some sort of repair or another, so if you ever need a hand with anything let us know. Most likely the knowledge and experience is here.

Love the CJ mirrors, btw!

Any plans on heading down to National Jeep Topless Day?

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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 5/1/2012, 6:54 pm

Thanks man. I actually just swapped hinges on my full doors and now have my half door mirrors on them. By some act of god I found a pair of doors at Holland's in Billerica from an old CJ-7 that had the mirrors and everything, so now I have mirrors to keep on my half doors too. Don't have any pictures of the full doors, but the one below is of the Jeep with the half doors on it in the woods last weekend. The work never ends. I'm thinking about possibly putting a small lift on this summer so if anyone is up for a project I may be looking for help with that.



Last edited by THOOPY3 on 5/2/2012, 10:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 5/1/2012, 6:55 pm

Also I am thinking about joining you guys for Go Topless Day. I have my shirt from last year and everything.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  CrawlingForward on 5/2/2012, 9:30 am

THOOPY3 wrote:Thanks man. I actually just swapped hinges on my full doors and now have my half door mirrors on them. By some act of god I found a pair of doors at Holland's in Billerica from an old CJ-7 that had the mirrors and everything, so now I have mirrors to keep on my half doors too. Don't have any pictures of the full doors, but the one below is of the Jeep with the half doors on it in the woods last weekend. The work never ends. I'm thinking about possibly putting a small lift on this summer so if anyone is up for a project I may be looking for help with that.


In Holland's, really? Wow, that's lucky. That place is normally picked over pretty clean in the Jeep section.

Yeah, I love my YJ, but with that old a vehicle something is always in need of replacing or tinkering. I found a puddle in the passenger side yesterday that had dripped off my radio. No Looks like I'll probably replace the cowl seal next time I have the windshield down (which, btw, have you done yet? Freaking awesome.)

If you end up getting the lift, let us know! We'd be glad to help. And lucky for us, leaf springs are way easier to do than coils, so it's not too bad.

(Oh, and the image you linked to still has the &theater suffix from facebook. I link from facebook too and it's funky. You have to right-click on the image and Copy Image URL or whatever. It should start off with something like http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos Otherwise you link to that stupid pop-up page.)

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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 5/2/2012, 10:02 am

I would love to put the windshield down, but that's actually the cause of your issue. I had to replace my radio two winters ago because my cowl was leaking so bad it shorted it out, and I had puddles on both floors even from five winters of heavy rain. I had the cowl replaced at the Pioneer Garage in Peabody (they've been in business for years and were once a Jeep dealership) last summer and Phil Sr. down there told me that as soon as you put the windshield down just once the seal is ruined. I never got the chance to put it down before they replaced it though. My Jeep was in an accident that hit the left side before I got it and has a salvage titled, and it seems as a result of the accident the windshield hinge on the left side was bent from the impact, so I'm not even sure if the windshield would even fold down. I know the cowl is a pain to replace, don't know if you've ever done it before, but if you haven't I would definitely recommend those guys at Pioneer, they know their stuff.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 5/2/2012, 10:05 am

Oh and thanks for the help with the picture link, the full image is up there now.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  CrawlingForward on 5/2/2012, 10:26 am

THOOPY3 wrote:I would love to put the windshield down, but that's actually the cause of your issue. I had to replace my radio two winters ago because my cowl was leaking so bad it shorted it out, and I had puddles on both floors even from five winters of heavy rain. I had the cowl replaced at the Pioneer Garage in Peabody (they've been in business for years and were once a Jeep dealership) last summer and Phil Sr. down there told me that as soon as you put the windshield down just once the seal is ruined. I never got the chance to put it down before they replaced it though. My Jeep was in an accident that hit the left side before I got it and has a salvage titled, and it seems as a result of the accident the windshield hinge on the left side was bent from the impact, so I'm not even sure if the windshield would even fold down. I know the cowl is a pain to replace, don't know if you've ever done it before, but if you haven't I would definitely recommend those guys at Pioneer, they know their stuff.

Folding it down with the original 15 year old seal the first time will cause issues, but with your new one it shouldn't be a problem. It's just a rubber gasket type deal that seals when it's folded up, but if it's old and dried up and cracked, putting the windshield down disturbs the old crusty rubber. It's just held on by screws, so there shouldn't be any silicone or sealant or anything.

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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 5/2/2012, 10:31 am

Yeah, I have some rust forming in there so they may have put some sort of sealer to keep it from getting worse. I've driven no top, no doors plenty of times. Nothing like it. Like I posted yesterday I'm hoping the weather holds up for Go Topless Day so I can just pull the hard top and leave it in the driveway for the day.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  CrawlingForward on 2/27/2013, 12:18 pm

Hey, just wanted to weigh in on the trackbar issue you asked about.

Totally do it. There really isn't much point to it, as leaf springs do a much better job of locating the rear axle side-to-side than a track bar does, so all it does it just transfer vibrations/impact, etc. from the axle straight to the frame and limit flex.

I can't say I noticed a *huge* difference between trackbar and no trackbar, but it was definitely smoother and definitely flexes better.

I hate when people just advise to get rid of the swaybar altogether. It's a safety feature and should be there for on-road driving (even if I forget to reconnect occasionally). I do *not* like the feel of it with a hardtop and no swaybar, it's just too tippy.

But track bars? They're just overengineering and I've been like 4 years without them now with no ill-effects.


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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  CrawlingForward on 2/27/2013, 12:25 pm

Oh, and if you can grab them from the JY, *totally* swipe those disconnects.

Even if they're a little rusty, buying new is *seriously* overpriced and it's easy enough to replace any overly rusted parts with stuff from the hardware store.

Mine are actually half-homemade, as the ones I bought were too short and I had to compress the suspension to get the pins in, so I just used the end bushings (seen in the photo below) and made new links out of piping from home depot.



The disconnects don't actually take that much stress or shock-load, and as long as you can get those end-links, you can easily replace the bolts, pins, and piping with stuff from home-depot.

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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  Mark on 2/27/2013, 2:38 pm

I have an 8.8 and a dana 30 in my yj with out track bars, it handles ok.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 2/27/2013, 4:17 pm

OK, you guys have given me slightly more ammunition for when I discuss the track bar removal with my old man, because I've brought this up and he wasn't on-board with my thinking. He's my second set of hands at Shitboxes 'R Us (he was an auto tech way back when) and the Jeep is registered in his name (to help with my insurance costs), so I tend to run more bigger changes past him. Plus with the exception of a few items, all the tools I generally use are property of THII.

I'm going on a camping trip not this weekend but the next (March 8-10), and there is some wheeling involved to get to our camp site. Do you guys think I should remove the track bars without the extended bump stops installed? My thinking is if I'm gonna get more flex I'm gonna get more rubbing without them, so it wouldn't be the best idea. I'm also going to have the new 31s on by that point, which to me means I'll really be rubbing without the stops. My one saving grace is that I'll have different wheels; I'm going from the ones that were on it (American Racing IIs with unknown large offset) to Moabs from a 2005 Rubicon with a smaller offset. Aside from the bonus of the smaller offset, let me tell you, those things look damn good on the Jeep.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 2/27/2013, 4:30 pm

I should add that the bump stops have been purchased, but Quadratec decided to leave out the tid-bit about them being on back order.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  Mark on 2/28/2013, 10:04 am

Removing the track bars will have no affect on the tires rubbing.
The bump stops limit the upward travel of the wheel and the shocks limit the amount that the wheel droops.
Rubbing depends on rim back spacing, tire size, bump stop length and flare width.
On jeeps with leaf springs like yours the track bar some what hinders the left rear and right front wheel droop
In the end, the extended length of the shock and flexibility of the leaf springs determine how much droop you will get.
A longer extended length shock, extended bump stops and some extended length shackles would do wonders for off road ability.
The track bars do just that, they help keep the front and rear wheels tracking square with each other, no big deal with out them with a YJ.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 2/28/2013, 10:35 am

Gotcha. I was thinking the track bar would also affect upward travel, but if that's not the case I don't have too much to worry about. I do have slightly longer shackles, they're semi-boomerangs that are either 1/2" or 3/4" longer than stock, and the shocks are Ranchos but I can't remember the model number because the Jeep was my brother's when those were installed.

My main concern is rubbing under compression because I had that issue before the new lift. No issues in the front at all, but my back right tire dug a decent groove in my fender flare before the kit was put on. The flare isn't a big deal, but obviously that signaled to me that I had an issue. I did just replace one of the smaller spring bump stops that I noticed was missing, so that may explain/help that situation.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  Mark on 2/28/2013, 10:42 am

Can't you just remove the bump stops and install longer bolts, with a aluminum or plastic spacer plate between the frame and bump stop temporarily.
Until your new bump stops arrive?
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 3/4/2013, 2:15 pm

So tonight the new 31s go on. Until then though, I have the crap set of bald 32s that I bought (just for the Rubi Moabs they're on) a few months back on there. I put them on yesterday afternoon so I really didn't get a chance to drive them until this morning's ride to work. I have to say, that little four cylinder turned those things pretty good all things considered. Makes me feel a little better about the upgrade now. Pictures and details to come soon as promised.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  Mark on 3/4/2013, 2:20 pm

It's gonna be fine, you'll love it.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 3/5/2013, 10:31 am

Well everyone, the day I've waited nearly three years for is finally here. Now that I've moved on from broke college kid to semi-broke post-grad, the transformation is complete. Here's a refresher both for me and everyone else as to where she started and where she is:

August 2010, the day(ish) the Jeep was purchased off my younger brother for my 1993 Corolla and $400 cash.



February 2011, shortly after purchasing hard top off of a fellow '92 and doors from an unknown year CJ7.



August 2011, doors are finally painted to (somewhat) match the color of the Jeep, and have working locks; side steps added for protection.



And here we are today, March 2013. Those same doors are fully painted (no more vintage look, for now); rear bumper from a 2003 TJ replaces the factory bumperrettes; 1.75" Crown Auto lift installed; 245/75-16 General Grabber AT2s on 16x8 TJ Rubicon Moabs replace the 235/75-15 Goodyear Wranglers on 15x7 American Racing Outlaw IIs; and unseen to the naked eye is the replacement AX-5 transmission from a 1994 with external slave cylinder (more on that whole nightmare to come in a later post).



Today folks, I am a happy man. There's a whole bunch more I'm going to include in a follow-up post, but this is a pretty good look at the cosmetic and function stuff. Things continue to evolve with it, including the rust as you can see through the photos, so as you all know the job is never done. I was hoping to be able to test the new performance this weekend in a camping trip, but Mother Nature is giving me a big middle finger with this storm coming Thursday.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  CrawlingForward on 3/5/2013, 1:31 pm

Yay! cheers cheers cheers

Don't it feel awesome? The wait makes it all the sweeter.

Looks good. It looks like they'll tuck quite nicely too, which should help in all sorts of areas.

Can't wait to hear how it performs!

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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  THOOPY3 on 3/5/2013, 8:42 pm

It feels excellent. And you're spot on Geoff, they should stuff perfectly now compared to the old ones. I'm now also far less apprehensive about airing down with these because of the tougher side walls. Between the tires and the lift, I ended up gaining 3 inches over stock height, and about 3.5 inches over where my saggy springs had me. Here's some front and back shots to show the ground clearance a little too:





I know I've had them for literally a day, but these tires are living up to the hundreds (and I do mean hundreds) of reviews I read on them. It took me a solid two months to decide on these, and it didn't hurt that Sear's happened to be having a small sale on them. They handle great in corners and off ramps, no lateral slide or roll at all. They're also just as quiet as the Goodyears I replaced them with, no difference at all. And as an added bonus, the minor death wobble I had going on has disappeared with these. I originally attributed it to any number of things just being worn, but as I also suspected I believe I had a bent rim and this leads me to believe that to be the culprit.

She's a bit of a dog getting up to speed, but that's nothing I wasn't used to already. The speedometer being (more) off is gonna take some getting used to, but it'll be second nature soon enough.
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Re: The Oreo (T.J.'s YJ)

Post  OverlandXJ on 3/6/2013, 12:30 am

Nice looking YJ man. I like the little touches you have added, they keep it a bit more modern looking than your run of the mill YJ. The TJ rear bumper works really well, and i really like the way the MOAB wheels look on it.
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