Mike and Dana Stump have been regulars on California trails for years, and as the owners of Trail Tech, they have used their own trail rigs for testing new products. This '93 YJ Wrangler has been on the receiving end of the Stump's R&D work for some time now, and it has evolved into a very capable off-road machine.
Purring beneath the hood, the stock straight-six still churns out more than enough power to get the YJ through the California rocks and mud, but to open it up just a bit, the Stumps installed an AIRAID intake, a Mopar Performance header, and a high-flow after-car exhaust with a 12-inch glass-pack muffler. Power is then transferred via the stock three-speed automatic to an NP231 T-case that is equipped with a Rubicon Express slip-yoke eliminator kit.
Because it's hard to resist the lure of coil springs, the Stumps traded in their leaf springs for the Black Diamond XCL suspension. It's a complicated install that requires the skills of a good mechanic and fabricator, but once it's all dialed in, the XCL kit is hard to beat. And once you've experienced the kind of ride and articulation this suspension provides, there's no looking back.
At the front of the rig, the Stumps decided to stick with the Dana 30 axle, in part because they wanted to use it as a test bed for some new products, such as their new knuckles, which are machined to accept their high-clearance steering setup and 1-ton tie-rod. To make the 30 as bulletproof as possible, they also used Warn hubs and one-piece alloy axles.
At the back of the YJ, the Stumps swapped in a Dana 44 borrowed from a '73 Scout. After a bit of machine work, which included drilling the axles for the 5-on-4-1/2 bolt pattern, the 44 bolted right into place. Both the front and rear axles are equipped with 4.10 gears and ARB lockers and were finished off with 35x12.50R15 Goodyear MT/R tires mounted on 15x10-inch Rock Crawler wheels.
With all the major components taken care of, the Stumps turned their attention to the many details that project vehicles always seem to generate. First, they had a custom front bumper fabricated that serves as an air tank as well as a mount for the Warn HS9500I winch. In back, they installed a Currie swing-away tire carrier and a Hoofer's jamboree rack.
Providing a bit of armor for playing in the rocks, the Stumps had some custom rocker guards built that are made of 1/4-inch plate steel. Moving on to the bodywork, they cut the stock fenderwells to accommodate the 35-inch tires, and then installed a set of TJ flares. In back, they converted the stock tailgate to a drop-down-style gate.
Inside, the Stumps had the YJ tub Rhino-lined and then had a full 'cage custom-built by Roggy Enterprises. Rounding out the interior is a Tuffy center console, a Cobra CB, and a Steel Horse carpet kit. Providing shelter when the weather gets to be too much is a Bestop Super Top.
Without going over the top, this YJ has been built to perform on all kinds of trails. And it's sure to be around for a long time to come.