1992 Jeep Wrangler Islander  4.0L I6 cylinder with only 45,000 miles, WHOPPING 27" tires &3.07 gears.

Welcome to our Izzy build-up page!!

On this page you will see how performed the following transformation on a stock Wrangler.
**As time has passed & after 10 years of offroading - we decided to move on to other hobbies. This Jeep was sold somewhere back in 2010. At times we miss it, but ultimately.....we hope someone else is enjoying the jeep. We hope this information helps someone else with their build. Thanks for reading! **

BEFORE
AFTER

The Decision.......My husband and I have decided to buy ourselves a trail rig - Why??
Without getting into boring details - here are a few reasons, point blank.
1) Solid Front Axle
2) 3rd vehicle - not daily driver
Why did we choose a Jeep?
1) 4.0L 6cylinder & solid front axle combined
2) Parts availability (junk yards)
3) LARGE offroad aftermarket support
Unfortunately - Toyota didn't make a solid front axle and a 6cylinder in one machine.

The Search..... At the time, we couldn't afford to buy a 6cylinder TJ - although a TJ would've been preferred.  Gotta have a 6cylinder - no exceptions!!!  We started researching YJ's, prices, options, transmissions, transfers, axles, availability, mileages etc. We stopped over to visit Eric Kootte at Skid Row Automotive to get some serious answers on what to look for.   After that, we were ready to go shopping.  Finding the right Jeep for the right price is the hardest part.   We spent endless nights looking in the newspapers, searching Ebay, Autotrader.com, and Cars.com.  The majority of the Wranglers in our price range had too many miles (although we could've dealt with it) and major mechanical issues.  EVERY YJ with over 100,000 miles on it had a main oil seal leak.  ALL OF THEM!!!   The search goes on.......

Good things come to those who wait........ One day I was looking in Cars.com and noticed a really good priced Islander.  Actually, I couldn't believe the price was so good.  I thought for sure it would be sold already.  I took a chance and called the guy. It wasn't sold..... Although we were a bit skeptical at first.  Why was such a good Jeep at such a good price?  With only 45,000 miles on it,  we ended up scheduling a (3-4 hour drive) trip to go and see it.  We looked under the hood, we looked at the fluids, we looked at everything.  BINGO!!!  This guy took care of it and he had every maintenance record.  We offered him slightly less than what he was asking.....HE TOOK IT!!  SWEET!!! 
My husband named him IZZY - short for "Islander"

LET THE BUILDING BEGIN!!!!!!
(and the pockets go empty!!!)

OUR FIRST MOD!!! This is pretty hilarious.....our first modification was a lovely learning experience. We installed some mirror relocation brackets so we can take the doors off in the summer time.  Don't ask me how this went.....all I can say is, WHAT was Jeep thinking when they used TORX bolts and didn't weld the nuts on the inside?? I had to learn the fine art of Yoga while trying to reach the nuts on the inside of the cab!!

We left the mirrors in the stock location for now while the windows are in (You can't see out of the mirror in the relocation position).  Every winter and summer, we'll swap them back and forth. 

Dana 44's from an 89 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Ahhh New Legs!! We want this Jeep to be a fully capable rig. We spent a lot of time researching our options, comparing prices, longevity, and our mechanical abilities.  Our result .....AXLES!!  We decided not to spend anymore money on the stock axles.  Again, more research.

I found a Grand Wagoneer in a local junkyard that was cheap and still drivable. Thanks to Eric Koote of Skid Row Automotive - who bought the Grand Wagoneer and sold me a set of Dana 44's from a Grand Wagoneer he had at home.


This is my husband Steve cleaning the grease and dirt off the axle.

Ahhh New Legs need Hubs.....We definitely needed to put some manual locking hubs on the front so we ordered a set of Warn Premium manual locking hubs # 20990.  Unfortunately, the hubs are still in the box!!  Ok, that'll give me something to drool over for a while. Anyway,  we're not ready to install them yet because we've got the entire hubs torn apart. It was a premature purchase - we were just excited to get started!!

Front hubs torn apart. Still work to be done.

Ahhh Lift lift lift......We ordered a Rubicon Express 4.5" HD lift. Again, Thanks to Eric of Skid Row Automotive for ordering this kit for us. We asked several experienced wheelers which kit was the best for someone just starting out (in the Jeep world). This kit was recommended by all the folks we asked.

 

Front Rotors torn apart, with grease and seals intact.

Frozen Leaf spring bolt......Torched it to get it off.

Lift Install - Day 1: We started tearing down Izzy in the garage after taking about 6 different measurements and several pictures.  The prior weekend we already removed all 4 shocks and both track bars.  We started working on the passenger side by removing the leaf pak.  Problem #1, A frozen leaf eye bolt - we hammered, we torched, we soaked it with PB and nothing.  We had this same problem in our truck.  We did everything we could to break it loose to no avail. 

Lift Install - Day 2:  #@!*!!*$%!! Leaf spring #@!*!!*$%!! brake lines.  I can't decide to laugh or cry........That leaf spring refuses to come off.  We took a break from that and started working on the brake lines.  #@!*!!*$%!! Need I say more? Fortunately, we did manage to get the extended stainless steel lines installed.  It feels so much better when you see progress....progress is a good thing. I get impatient when there's no progress. This is going to be a long winter project!

 

Close up of the Front suspension being removed

Side view of the front suspension taken off

Lift Install - Day 3: My husband Steve did all the work today - I had a prior commitment. With a little torch action and a really really big hammer, he managed to get the leaf spring off!!  YIPPEE!!!! There are miracles! He hung the new leaf packs in place and called it a night.

 

Lift Install - Day 4: We got the leafs attached to the axle and everything tightened down in the front.  Put the tires on and whalla....a lifted front end.  The next thing to do is start working on the pitman arm.  We've got the pitman arm blues.... the puller is not working so we decided to take a breather and start working on the rear.  More rust and more frozen bolts.  Who needs those old u-bolts anyway? Where are my cutting tools??

Lift Install - Day 5,6,7: It's obvious we haven't been in much of a hurry to get this lift done.  A few hours a day during the week is about all we can handle.  One of the eye bolts on the rear leaf springs had to be cut off. The rear brake line - the compression fitting on the frame was rusted solid.  Although, at the time...it wasn't all that fun, we did managed to conquer most of what was thrown at us.  This is the first major job for both of us. We really accomplished more than we ever thought possible.  It feels pretty damn good!!!  But there's more to come.....The lift is completely installed except the drop pitman arm. If you catch us at the right moment, you can probably see Steve and I both on our hands and knees praying......"Please, please, please come off!!!" 

That's me installing the stainless steel brake line

Rear without suspension

New leaf packs hanging in place

New leaf packs installed

Old leaf packs compared to the lifted pak

Finished Rear lift

Lift is done!! Steve finally got the pitman arm off. What a job that was! He's been messing with that for days!! The rear shocks we had to mount upside down because of clearance issue with the shock tube. We installed the Transfer case drop and took it for a drive around the block. NO WAY!!! Drive line screeches and vibes BIG TIME! Back in the garage it goes. That thing isn't safe to drive.

Izzy was blessed with hitch - not a good idea with boomerang shackles. Every time we hit a bump in the road, the rear suspension would bounce and the boomerang shackles would hit the hitch WHAM!!!

Here is it.........IZZY with an RE 4.5" suspension lift & 27" tires!!

If it makes you feel good and brightens your day....go ahead ....LAUGH!!! It is pretty funny looking!!

Drive shaft Removal: Back in the garage it goes, this thing is not safe to drive. So we're getting it ready for the SYE and Tom Woods drive shaft to arrive.

Transfer Case Removal: Our Tom Woods heavy duty drive shaft and JB Conversions heavy duty slip yoke eliminator kit came in and we began working right away. We removed both drive shafts, drained the fluids from the case, disconnected all wires, hoses and shifter linkage.  As you can see, we made sure to secure the transfer case while the transmission was held up by jack stands.  Steve's putting those muscles to work unbolting the 6 nuts/studs that hold the transfer case in place. The transfer case easily pulled away from the transmission by a slight rolling of the hydraulic jack. If you do this, make sure you use straps to hold it in place on the jack.

Transfer case supported by the hydraulic jack and straps. Steve removed the bolts.

We used the hydraulic jack to move the case out of the tranny. Steve holds on just in case...

This is what the tranny looks like after the transfer case is removed.

On a clean organized workbench ready to be taken apart.

Slip Yoke Eliminator (SYE) Install: We followed the directions on how to do this, although the pictures weren't that clear. We had to have the needle bearings pressed out of the old synchro hub assembly, the hub is reused without the bearings. A little blue Permatex RTV is applied before reinstalling the speedometer gear housing.

Speedometer housing & slip yoke removed

Oil pump removed (be careful handling the oil pump)

Back half of the case removed

Drive components removed

Empty T-case

New short shaft installed

Using Permatex RTV to seal everything up

T-Case installed with Slip Yoke eliminator

Time Flies - when you're busy!  Everything went together rather smoothly.  When we were done, we took it for a test drive and had some terrible vibrations and noises. More researching.....  We ended up taking the 2.5* degree axle wedges out of the rear and installing 6* wedges.  This helped tremendously, however, we still had some vibrations.  We had removed the transfer case drop earlier - so now we decided to put it back in to help.  Now, Izzy is back on the road again! Thank GOD!! Time to move on to other things!  

Rear Dana 44 Work:It is now January 2002 and the Holidays are finally over. It's been about a month since we did any work. The last several days we spent tearing apart the rear Dana 44 and cutting off the old shock mounts, track bar mount, and still trying to remove the axle perches. Here we are, both cutting away!!! We managed to get all the perches cut off clean enough that we can re-use them again.

Rear Dana 44 Test Fit: This weekend we borrowed a mig welder from Joe Sheldon and 2 wheels & tires from Jon Kamanns (THANKS GUYS!!!) and we began to take apart the rear of Izzy. We started by detaching parking brake (disassemble brake drums) , shocks, and brake lines and drive shaft. We disconnected the leaf springs and rolled the Dana 35 out from under Izzy. Our next thing was to take some measurements of the side to side placement of the axle. We rolled the 44 under Izzy as best we could. We still needed to shimmy the axle back and forth to get a good placement. At this point, we test fitted our JKS U-bolt plates and u-bolts and cut them to the necessary length. Installed the leafs and drive shaft and tightened everything down to about 90%. We took the jack stands out from under Izzy and allowed the suspension to be 'at rest'. We pivoted the pumpkin upward to line up with the output shaft on the SYE. At this point, we're done for the night. I did some last minute 'bending' to the brake lines to ensure they cleared everything. Tomorrow we'll fill up the tanks for the welder and Steve will tack weld the perches in place.

 

Borrowed some Tacoma wheels and tires to roll the axle in place.

Disconnected everything and rolled the Dana35C out.

No Axle....Dana 44 waiting to be test fitted.

Dana 44 rolled into place

Axle placement is measured and pinion angle is set (perches are tacked into place)

Hey Look what the UPS man dropped off....;)

Odds & Ends:It's probably been a couple weeks - I've been giving the front axle a Go-Jo bath to clean up all the grease and crud. The front axle is almost completely torn apart except the steering knuckles are still intact. Unfortunately, we didn't have the tools large enough to remove the ball joints - our local auto parts stores and hardware stores didn't have the right tools either. Patience is a virtue in this project - always waiting on something!! The rear axle is torn apart once again and is currently at a local shop WAYCOOL ROD SHOP in Lancaster PA to get the spring perches welded. THANKS and lots of KUDOS go to Mike Heim for doing this work for us cheaply (I owe him a few beers!).

Brake Lines: The brake line clips arrived today so it's time to get working on setting the rear brake line in place. When we test fitted the rear axle, I had 'gently bent the brake line tube to fit around the u-bolts and to better contour the Dana 44. We used brake line clips from Inline Tube and new brake lines from Lancaster County Auto Parts in Lancaster PA 1-717-397-7485. I used some clear tubing to wrap around the lines for protection & rust prevention.

We added extra attachment points on the axle for more support.

Brake lines in place with clips.

POR 15 Party! The rear axle is once again torn apart (can we make up our minds??). We used some POR15 on the back plates of the drum brakes, painted the new brake lines and left the rear axle apart. The rear axle is ready - we're going to wait until the front axle is ready before sending them away for gears & locker install. But until then, we had a POR 15 party!! We prepped many other components off the axles for applying POR 15. The axles will get painted once they are done with the gears & lockers.

 

Prepping the parts for POR 15

New brake lines painted with POR15. Turned out really nice!!!

More POR15 work.....rear drum plates, front rotor shields, & steering components

 

 

Dana 44 front Axle with 33X12.50's

We've got some 33's!!! The one good thing about having a Tacoma and having axles with the same 6 lug pattern - I was able to find some used Rockcrawler rims with the proper backspacing we needed (3.75") with some 33X12.50 BFG MT Km's on them. GREAT!!! Izzy has wheels!!

Leaf Spring Locating Hole & Webbing: We put the front axle back together and put the wheels and tires on it. Steve had already plugged and filled the leaf spring locating hole on the original perches (centering hole) and relocated them 1/2" inward and drilled another hole. The next step is to cut away at the diff housing to make room for the leaf springs to fit (passenger side).

Notching the diff housing to make room for leaf spring U Bolt

Webbing already cut to accommodate U Bolt.

Here's what the stock axle looks like (before the test fitting)

 

Test Fit Front Axle: We lifted Izzy up on jack stands and began to disconnect everything attached to the axle. We removed the front Dana 30 Axle and rolled the Dana 44 in.

Test Fit Results: We found out that the leaf spring centering bolts on the Rubicon Express leaf springs are way too big for the holes we drilled in the perches. We'll need to locate a bigger drill bit and/or make the pin smaller. This is definitely a work in progress.

Front Dana 30 removed

Both Front Dana 30 and Dana 44
Which would you rather have?

Dana 44 front axle sitting on the leaf springs

 

U-bolts & Plates: I was unable to locate any U-bolt flip kits or skid type U-bolt plates for our application. We ended up buying the 89 Grand Wagoneer U-bolt plates from Eric at Skid Row Automotive just so we could get this job completed. We're currently waiting for those to arrive.

Track Bar : The Track Bar mount on the Dana 44 is not compatible with the YJ mount. The track bar mount on the Dana 44 will have to come off completely OR we'll need to design something custom and weld a new mount on the frame to make it work. I'd like to think we'll try to make it work. Anything to help make Izzy drive smoother is a bonus.

Drag Link/Ball Joint hitting leaf springs

Steering Linkage : The Wagoneer drag link and tie rod will fit up to the YJ steering pump rather easily. We'll be purchasing a drop pitman arm for a Grand Wagoneer to keep the overall strength. You could machine the YJ pitman arm to accept the larger ball joint if you wanted to.

Oops : Upon further investigation, at almost full droop and full left turn - we noticed the drag link/ ball joint hits the leaf springs. So, in order to get Izzy back on the road quicker, we'll get the hole in the tie rode machined (filled and re-tapered) to accept the drag link/ball joint from the other side of the tie rod.

NOTE: See a later portion of this build for updates on the steering. This wasn't such a good idea after all.

 

"Flare less": While waiting for our u-bolt plates to come in, we decided to begin removing the stock flares. We'll be purchasing some Xenon 6.5" TJ style flares.

 

 

 

Grinding away at the leaf perch (passenger side)

Grinding Away Our U-bolt plates arrived so we began to work on the u-bolts and front axle attachment points. Since the locating pin hole was drilled 1/2" inward on the leaf spring perches, that left 1/2" of leaf spring perch hanging over the outside of each spring pack. In order for the U-bolts to fit up against the perch and spring pack, we had to grind off a corner of the old perch. The picture to the left is the passenger side perch, viewed from the front. We had to grind off the diff housing on the drivers side for the same reason. The U-bolts you see here came from the 89 Grand Wagoneer. They work great for testing purposes but they are too long to use for our application and the threads are really stripped.

Grinding away at the diff housing (driver side)

U-bolt in place after grinding (test fit)

Installing Flares

Flares!! We ordered some Xenon 6.5" TJ style flares for the YJ. These flares are impressive. They're nice and THICK and sturdy.We decided to use 1/4"X20X 3/4" bolts, lock washers, and nuts instead of using the stock screws and plastic clips. If you didn't notice already - we removed our stripes...... The flares had covered some of them up and it didn't look right so we just took them all off. We put on one of our Jeeps R Us stickers instead.

U-bolts: We took some final measurements for U-bolt sizes and went to BUD'S Springs & Suspension service in Lancaster PA 1-717-392-3416 to get 4 U-bolts bent. Only $21 for 4 including nuts & washers.

Front Axle Test Fit: We managed to get <most> of the grinding done - enough to get everything bolted down in place so we could get Izzy back on the garage floor and off the jack stands. This way - AT REST - we could see how things will fit.

The Track Bar will not work with the set-up. We're not concerned with putting one in unless Izzy's driving characteristics are less than ideal. We'll have to wait and see.

The shock mounts will work as is, however, because of the straight mount at the top - they could bind somewhat. We're planning on converting the upper mount to a standard (EB1) to give it a bit of flexibility. This can easily be done with Ford F250 shock towers.

We took the front drive shaft measurements this evening and removed the front drive shaft. We'll be taking it to Bud's Springs tomorrow to be shortened.

Pitman Arm : We ordered a Skyjacker drop pitman arm for an 89 Grand Wagoneer (part # JA350). This pitman arm will allow us to use the Grand Wagoneer drag link. This bolts right up to the YJ steering pump output shaft. You can see in the next few pictures below just how HEAVY DUTY the drop pitman arm is compared to the YJ drop pitman arm.

 

Top: YJ Drop Pitman arm (Rubicon Express)

Bottom: Grand Wagoneer Drop Pitman Arm (Skyjacker JA 350)

Below You will see the difference in width.

Afterthought: Save your money for a new steering setup. See a later portion of this build for details.

Front Hub & Knuckle Removal: For the last time - we're taking apart the front hubs & knuckles for a cleaning and rebuilding. After this is complete, the axle will be delivered to Way Cool Rod Shop for some final welding work on the perches. We have an official date with Hoaks 4WD in Wrightsville PA on April 8th to have the gears, lockers, bearings, & seals installed on both axles.

 

Ball Joint Removal: As you can see in the picture, we didn't remove any ball joints just yet. We came across something that was a bit unfamiliar to us. These ball joints don't just press out. After spending about 2 hours on the internet trying to get information on how to remove these things - I discovered we needed a tool called a "Ball Joint Spanner Wrench".

I spent another hour or so driving around town trying to find one - none of the auto parts stores have one.

I finally ordered one from a Napa Auto parts. They had to order it special for me.

Ball Joint Removal??

ARB air compressor install

ARB Air Compressor: Steve began working on installing the ARB Air Compressor. Installing an ARB was our fastest and cheapest option to get things functional. In the future we will consider doing an onboard air system-possibly a York set-up. But...for now, we're more interested in getting Izzy back on the road and having those lockers available!

Rear Axle Paint Job: While I was working on extending the rear differential breather hoses and finishing up with the CB wiring, Steve began prepping and painting the rear axle with POR 15.

 

Painting the rear axle with POR15

Old U-bolt welded to side of diff housing

Fabricated Front Perches: The front axle came back from Way Cool Rod shop in Lancaster Pa. Mike did an awesome job!! After our front axle test fit - we found the u-bolt (left or outer side) would be mounted on the edge of the diff housing and not the tube. We asked Mike to weld this old u-bolt (seen in picture) to the edge of the diff housing as a safety precaution to prevent the u-bolt from coming off the edge. Not that we'd expect the u-bolt to come off the edge, but under heavy rock crawling situations - I'd rather be SAFE than sorry.

On this same side of the axle, there were 2 small areas where the leaf springs were not supported. We didn't need to get these 'voids' filled, however, Mike was able to weld in some angle steel. The entire area of the leaf springs will be supported now.

The other side of the axle - the picture below shows the area we had to cut away to accommodate the u-bolts (right side of perch in picture). Mike welded a 1/2" piece to the other side of the perch (left side of perch in picture).

 

'Voids' filled

Extending the Perch

Ball Joints : It's been a few days since we worked on the ball joints and steering knuckles. It took us a while to learn how to remove them. After purchasing a ball joint spanner wrench and a 3lb sledge hammer, finally the ball joints & knuckle came off the axle. Stress relief.....3lb sledge hammer.....and WHAM!!! many times.

We totally removed the ball joints from the knuckle. We will be getting replacement ball joints and saving the old & dirty ones for spares if needed (on the trail).

 

 

Rear Brakes: We made a trip to Reardon's Machine Shop & Auto Parts in Lancaster PA for some cheap deals on parts. We decided to rebuild the brakes on the axles to ensure they would function properly - not knowing the history or condition.

Rear drum rebuild kit (springs & pins), rebuilt/resurfaced shoes, and new rear drums.

Front Brakes: Rebuilt front calipers, turned rotors, and new pads.

Did I mention we got bran new greaseable ball joints for $15.50 each? We're replacing all 4 ball joints on the front axle.

 

Rebuilt rear drums (springs, pins, & shoes)

Rebuilt Front Calipers

Turned Rotors

Front drive shaft shortened

Shortened Front Drive Shaft: We had to get our front drive shaft shorted in order to fit with the Dana 44. We took measurements from yoke to yoke and took the shaft to Bud's Springs and had them shorten it for $35. In the picture, just above where the slip yoke is, you can see a weld mare on the end of the main shaft.

Front Axle Paint Job: The front axle received a POR15 paint job. We also painted a variety of other things like the steering knuckles, u-bolt plates, and u-bolts.

Remove Front U-joints: We removed the front u-joints on the axle shafts. They were pretty old and dried up. We replaced them with Spicer 5-2971X greaseable u-joints.

POR15 paint job on front axle

Removing old & dried up u-joints

New Spicer u-joints installed

While you were away: Both the front and rear axles went to Hoaks 4WD in Wrightsville, PA to pack them full of goodies!! They came back and look what they put inside..... ARB Air Lockers front and rear (Both Model RD-06), Dana Spicer 4.56 Gears, and new bushings, bearings, seals, etc.

ARB Locker & 4.56 gears installed

Steve's installing the U-bolts

The Final Installation: It's been a long, frustrating, yet rewarding winter. The reality of installing these axles permanently has finally arrived. I think my husband and I both feel like little children at Christmas. We can't wait to get out and play!!

That's me installing the spindles

Steve's installing the Manual hubs

 

 

That's me installing the ebrake cable

Rear Dana 44 installed

Front Dana 44 Installed

Final Install Notes: Everything went together rather smoothly and quickly. We've had a lot of practice over this winter taking things apart and putting them back together. We made an attempt at aliening the front end as best we could with our limited knowledge. Our steering stops had to be set to accommodate the length of the steering stabilizer - it would bottom out or hit the differential. We'll have to change this in the future to allow for tighter turns. Bleeding the brakes took longer than expected.

First Test Drive: Our first test drive - Can you tell we're both a bit nervous?? At speeds below 20mph, we didn't have any drive line vibes. The brake peddle went down farther than we thought it should, but that's to be expected with brakes that are about 20% larger than stock (11" in diameter).

Death Wobble : So this is what they call Death Wobble?? Izzy was all over the road. To keep it going straight, you had to see-saw at the wheel.

Back in the garage, we made some changes in the alignment to see if that would help. No Luck. We removed the extended shackles and installed the shorter stock shackles - this helped a great deal, however, it's still not ideal for highway speeds. We've got more ideas up our sleeves to correct our CASTER problem.

Wilderness Rear Bumper & Tire Carrier: Installed our Wilderness Rear bumper and tire carrier. SWEET!

Gear Break In: Since Izzy was driving much better after installing the stock shackles, we couldn't resist to take it around town. We found a dirt parking lot so we could test the 4WD and the lockers. SWEET!! We won't do any real offroad testing until the driveability situation is fixed - at least to make it safer on highway trips.

But until then, I'm just glad its back on the road!

Alignment: Had Izzy in at Buds Springs for an alignment. They couldn't do anything for us. Our Toe setting was within specs and our caster was 2.5 degrees on the left side and .75 degrees on the right side. The specs for Caster on a Wrangler is 6 degrees.

We're gonna do what?? Just when we got it all back together and started to enjoy the idea of wearing a hat because of the incredible sensation of being topless - we're going to take the front axle out (again) and take it to Way Cool Rod Shop and have them cut the knuckles off and reweld them at 6 degrees caster.

 

Personalized: Ok, so we couldn't resist the urge to personalize Izzy a bit. It was cheap and easy....so why not. At this point, I'll take anything that's cheap and easy.

We're back...... We currently have 6 degrees of caster and the infamous death wobble has totally gone away. However, in order to get rid of most of the bump steer issues, we put the stock shackles on.

 

 

 

RTI Ramp Posing: Thanks to Blake Livelsberger for fun on his RTI RAMP. We are very impressed with Izzy's flex. So much so....that our shocks are the limiting factor right now. We have room to grow!!
The Little things...are important:This is a picture of our fire extinguisher mounted beside the drivers seat (mounted to the floor) using a fire extinguisher spring clip thing-a-ma-jig. We bought it from a place that refills fire extinguishers.

CO2 Bottle ....I traded in my 15lb CO2 tank for a 10lb tank that fits nicely in this mount that I also bought from a fire extinguisher refill place. This mount it attached to the fender well and has a spring clip that holds it firmly in place during offroad trips.

GPS Mount.... This is a picture of our Garmin emap GPS mount using DualLock - can be found at Radio Shak. This stuff was also used to attach our CB on the underside of the dash! It hasn't moved yet!!! It's strong stuff!

Ahhh....."THE" switches.........

Time to go play......Bye Bye!

 

Izzy TEST: First of all, I must apologize for not updating this site any sooner. It's been a busy summer already and I've been having more fun being outdoors than sitting in front of the computer.

On May 11th, a friend of ours, Chris Shontz -took us for a ride of a lifetime!! Izzy's first TEST at Paragon Adventure park. Izzy conquered things we never would've expected!!! The most technical trails we did were Whompum and a part of Rattler. AWESOME!! I managed to scare the living **#@*!!** out of myself .....as seen here.

Uh ohh...inverted shackles woes........ We've since reinstalled the extended shackles in the front and the shackle inversion problems have disappeared.

4XDoctor Diff Guards: After that first run to Paragon, Izzy took some abuse to his underbelly. We scraped the bottom of our rear diff pretty good - enough to pull the cover slightly from the housing and cause a slight oil leak. It was time for some protection. After removing the oil, we got the dremel out and filed down the scrapes to a smooth finish, installed these 4XDoctor guards on both the front & rear diffs.

4XDoctor Rocker Guards: For further protection, we installed some 4xDoctor rocker guards. These guards are really nice. They work VERY well!

The install was fairly easy - however, the rocker guards are wide and interfere with the larger flares. We had to use our Dremel tool to cut the flares in such a way that they would fit around the rocker guards.

Other Issues: After spending some time offroad, we've discovered some issues that need to be taken care of.

At full compression on the drivers side, our drag link and tie rod hit each other which render the pitman arm and our steering pump shaft as our bumpstop. Not Good! See the fix below!

.

Performance Unlimited Steering: To fix our clearance issues as mentioned above, we purchased a new steering system "BulletProof Steering" that totally replaces the tie-rod & drag link. We also had to remove the Grand Wagoneer drop pitman arm and put a stock YJ pitman arm back on and drilled it to accept the new system. More pictures below.

This system is AWESOME and we're very happy with it. The only thing left to do now is redesign the steering stabilizer to mount on the drag link instead of the tie-rod. At its current location - it's getting hit pretty hard by rocks.

We've tested this steering system out many times including the RTI ramp and everything clears. We've also tested it on many tough Paragon "Black" trails including Rattler, and Rattler II. We are very pleased with the results!


Updates:
It is currently March of 2003 and we've spent the winter months shoveling out from the snow. We took one trip to Paragon over the winter many weeks after the heavy snows hit. Snow wheeling is completely different and I'm not sure I like it. It's cold and you need all the Go- Pedal to get you moving - sometimes very bouncy and violent ride. Not my cup of tea....But anyway... as the spring is now approaching, newer things are added and/or changed.

Optima Battery : Having a winch on the front really tests your battery and we weren't sure how old our battery was or how long it would last. To ensure the reliability of having the power for the winch when we need it (cough), we ordered an Optima Deep-Cycle battery.

Steering Box Brace: This modification - UpWarrior Steering box brace was purchased from JeepsUnlimited. This isn't something we'd normally think of doing until after we saw pictures on the net of what a steering pump can do when it gets ripped off the frame taking the frame with it. Cheap insurance...
Kilby Gas Tank Skid Plate: This was an 'over the winter' project installed to help protect us over the coming summer months. This picture was taken after one offroad trip and it already has some character. GREAT PRODUCT purchased from OK4WD.

York On-Board Air System: Goodbye CO2 tank - say hello to On-board air!! This was another winter project just finished this month (March 03). A very complicated little system including York compressor (purchased on ebay) and an 1.75gallon Kilby air tank mounted above the rear axle. We should have a 'write-up' sometime soon with pictures and information on what's involved.

Future Mods?? Sometime this spring, we will have a custom roll cage put in - we have a deposit at Way Cool Rod Shop and are waiting a confirmation and date of installation. We would also like to put in some Ford shock towers in the front and relocate the rear spring hangers under the frame. We're not exactly sure when these will get done, there are still come research and investigating that needs to be done yet. Until next time, Happy Wheelin!!

Front Shackle Hangers: On September 23rd, 2006 - not 1 hour into our trip to Rausch Creek, our front shackle hanger broke. This is a pretty normal breakage point on the YJ's - especially when you offroad them. We purchased some JKS replacement shackles hangers. Part Number PN SR103

I can't believe you read this far!
We really hope you found this build story helpful, or at the very least entertaining!

- Jandy & Steve