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May 2012 4Word Editorial

Posted in Features on May 1, 2012
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Last month I told you about purchasing a TJ Unlimited.

Stewart, owner of Drivetrain Unlimited in St. George, Utah, is always stumbling across good Jeep deals. He somehow procured two YJ Wranglers, the first a red four-cylinder in good shape but with no transmission, the second a black six-cylinder ’89 that didn’t look too bad once you looked past the accumulated dirt.

A friend of Stewart’s wanted the red YJ, so they removed the black Jeep’s 4.2L I-6 and AX15 transmission and installed the tranny in the red YJ using an adapter from Advance Adapters. They also removed the black YJ’s carpet, center console, and soft top, although Stewart threw an old spice soft top on it to keep the sun off the dash. The Jeep then sat in Drivetrain Unlimited’s parking lot collecting cobwebs and dust. Every time I visited Stewart, the YJ called to me. After some negotiation, we agreed on a price and the black YJ became mine.

The YJ is now sitting, waiting for a GM Performance Parts E-ROD 5.3L aluminum block V-8 and 4L65E transmission. GMPP has procured a CARB EO number for the 5.3L E-ROD when it’s installed in a YJ Wrangler or earlier Jeep, so my YJ will be California smog-legal even though I don’t live in California. Advance Adapters is sending an Atlas transfer case and one of their excellent aluminum radiators. Currie Enterprises is building F9 front and rear ends.

Most 1989 Wranglers have interiors that need help by now, and this one is no exception. Many interior parts are missing or broken. The front seatbelt retractors no longer work and the mirrors are either cracked or gone. The seats are ripped and the dash has seen better days. At least the body was still in good shape with no rust anywhere, except the steel dash panel cowl lip.

Summit Racing sent Auto Meter ES Series gauges for the dash. The ES Series offer full-sweep electrical gauges that can be set to the sending unit’s specs. For instance, the fuel gauge can be set to any ohm level without buying a new sender. Summit will also be supplying other miscellaneous engine swap parts.

I’m going to Quadratec for every interior piece the old YJ needs. That includes seats, seatbelts, mirrors, Bestop top, sport cage, console, etc., etc.

After driving the red YJ we made over a few months ago and Steve Nance’s Jeep, I’m going with BDS leaf springs with Fox shocks.

What’s old will soon be new again.

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