A Wrangler Built For Crawling
At the other end of the Jeep spectrum at Moab, we have Charles Young’s ’94 Wrangler. With big axles, lots of tube, and 42-inch-tall tires, this thing is anything but stock.
The departure starts under the hood with an ’83 3.9L Cummins 4BT. That’s right kids, it’s an oil burner. Jeep 4.0L engine mounts were used to hold the engine, while an NV4500 transmission mount was used on the back of the NP435. The engine benefits from a bigger turbo, Airaid filter, and no mufflers—just a straight pipe taking exhaust away. Behind that NP435 is an NP205 handling power splitting. Up front a Ford high-pinion Dana 60 turns 4.10 gears with welded spider gears. Out back, a Chevy 14-bolt does the same with matching gears and welded spiders. The front axle has Chevy 3⁄4-ton brakes on it, and the rear also has discs with all four corners benefitting from the pressure from a 2010 Chevy hydroboost unit. And 15/42-16.5 Super Swamper TSLs are wrapped around H1 Hummer wheels to put power to the ground.
Most of the YJ frame is still under the Jeep, but long gone are the leaf springs. Instead Fox coilovers front and rear handle elevation and dampening in conjunction with owner-fabbed links. The rear of the frame has been replaced and total wheelbase is punched out to about 114 inches. Up front the steering linkage clears that pushed-forward axle thanks to an Astro van steering box that has the pitman arm sweeping forward rather than back. All the skidplates are homemade, and if what they look like is any indication, they get used and abused. A 1-inch body lift and rear dovetail are but a few of the cool body modifications that have been made to this Jeep.
Inside, Corbeau suspension seats are mounted to the ’cage. Behind the front seats is a 15-gallon RCI fuel tank. Gone is the plastic YJ dash, and a custom aluminum unit with AutoMeter phantom gauges is mounted just behind the cage for a really clean and finished look. The YJ windshield and steering column are still in service, but the floor and firewall got some modifications to clear the engine, transmission, and T-case.
Vehicle: ’94 Wrangler
Engine: 3.9L inline-four diesel
Transfer Case: NP205
Suspension: Linked and coilovers (front and rear)
Axles: Dana 60 (front); 14-bolt (rear)
Wheels: H1 Hummer
Tires: 15/42-16.5 Super Swamper TSL
Built For: Crawling
Why I Wrote This Feature
As I mentioned at the beginning of this story, this Jeep is far from stock. It sits low, looks awesome, and with a 4BT under the hood, it just sounds right. It is approaching a buggy-level of build, but there is still enough Jeep left that I had to shoot it. If you haven’t been to Moab before, you might think nothing can challenge your better-built Jeep. Rest assured that if Charles can find something challenging for this thing, you can have fun with your very built Jeep, too.