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1992 Jeep Wrangler YJ - Red Hot YJ

Posted in Features on September 1, 2011
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You’ve seen Drivetrain Unlimited’s vehicles in the pages of 4Wheel Drive before. James Stewart, Drivetrain Unlimited’s owner, builds and runs some of the best 4x4s in Southern Utah.

His 1992 YJ Wrangler is no exception. After purchasing it, he immediately installed a pair of Tera CRD 60 front and rear ends with 5.13 Sierra gears and Eaton Detroit Lockers. While Stewart knows plenty about suspensions, this time he sent the Jeep to T&T Customs in Cheyenne, Wyoming, so they could do some bodywork and install their Y-Link suspension. The Y-Link features radius arms up front and reverse-triangulated upper and lower rear control arms. Along with the Y-Link suspension, T&T included JKS ACOS Pro hydraulic bumpstops and Walker Evans adjustable reservoir shocks. The bodywork included their cool aluminum HyLine fenders, Guardian no-tube rockers, and aluminum body panels. Once the Wrangler returned from Wyoming, Stewart went to work.

The 4.8L GM Vortec V-8 came from Advance Adapters, as did the aluminum radiator, motor mounts, headers, and Atlas 3.8:1 transfer case. As always, the GM mill fit cleanly under the hood. A word about the hood: Stewart fabricated a custom hood that worked with the T&T high fender kit. See the photos for the clean way he designed the hood latches. Drivetrain Unlimited, based out of St. George, Utah, built the GM 4L60E automatic tranny.

Advance Adapters supplied the 4.8L GM Vortec V-8, aluminum radiator, motor mounts, and headers. The Optima Red Top sealed battery doesn’t leak. Stewart plans to install a PSC ram assist, so used a PSC reservoir and box as a start.

The interior features comfortable Bestop seats and search and rescue radios protected by an OR Fab Sport Cage and a Bestop Supertop. Stewart wanted to reuse the stock gauges, so he reworked the tach so it works with the V-8.

The 39.5-inch IROKs mounted on a set of Alcoa 16x10, Champion-beadlocked wheels fit perfectly. As the YJ is Stewart’s daily driver, he wanted a less aggressive tire for the street. He chose a set of 37-inch Falken WildPeak all-terrains mounted on Black Rock Viper wheels. While this opened him up to ridicule when he brought his Wrangler to a run with his “Grandpa tires” on it, the scoffers were soon silenced as Stewart and his Jeep did so well the TV crew filming the run ran over to film the Red Hot YJ’s performance.

Perform it does. The T&T Y-Link works. The Wrangler is stable on obstacles and handles well on the street. The 4.8L Vortec V-8 delivers plenty of power. This is one red hot YJ!

PhotosView Slideshow
PhotosView Slideshow

Vehicle: 1992 YJ Wrangler
Owner/Hometown: James Stewart/St. George, Utah
Engine: GM 4.8L Vortec V-8
Induction: MPFI
Transmission: 4L60E four-speed automatic
Transfer case/low range ratio: Atlas/3.8:1
Front end: Tera CRD 60
Rear end: Tera CRD 60
Ring and Pinion: 5.13:1
Front Differential: Eaton Detroit Locker
Rear Differential: Eaton Detroit Locker
Suspension: Custom T&T Customs Y-Link
Tires: 39.5x13.50-16 Interco IROK bias ply; 37x12.50R17LT Falken WildPeak A/T
Wheels/Backspacing: 16x10 Alcoa w/Champion Beadlocks/4 inches; 17x8 Black Rock Viper/4.5 inches

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