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1989 Jeep YJ Wrangler - Real Steel

Posted in How To on January 1, 2013
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First, let's explain the name change. We found that many don't know what a Gen IV GM V-8 is. Many others thought this was a GenRight project vehicle. While GenRight builds great Jeeps, this isn't one of them. This one is ours. So, after asking readers what the name should be, we've decided on "Real Steel," after the movie about a resurrected derelict robot boxer. Our YJ was a derelict and is now resurrected, too.

After arriving at MoTech, Real Steel’s OE engine harness, grille, and, later, fenders, were removed and everything was cleaned up.

After getting its interior and exterior (except paint) rejuvenated at Dixie 4 Wheel Drive, Real Steel went to Las Vegas, Nevada, so MoTech could install a GM Gen IV 5.3L aluminum block V-8, a 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission, and an Atlas transfer case. Tom Wood's Custom Driveshafts is building the front and rear CV driveshafts for the project.

MoTech knows their GM powertrains. They use OE GM components in all their swaps, the only exception being the new, reliable MoTech 10 fuse/2 relay box that replaces the large GM Power Distribution Center. As the new mill came with an AC compressor, we contacted Collins Brothers for the rest of the YJ air conditioning. The company that built these units for Jeep is out of business, so Collins Brothers found a new-looking used OE YJ AC unit in their giant Jeep yard, with all of its parts, and sent it to MoTech.

Deadlines being what they are, you don't see the new Griffin aluminum radiator and electric fan setup (they hadn't arrived yet). We'll show you those in the next installment.

Check out the photos for more information on MoTech's fine work. Next – Real Steel returns to Dixie 4 Wheel Drive for its final dialing-in.

PhotosView Slideshow


Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
Broomfield, CO 80038
Currie Enterprises
Corona, CA 92880
Dave's Customs Unlimited
Fruita, CO 81521
Compton, CA 90220
Raceline Wheels
Garden Grove, CA 92841
Advance Adapters
Paso Robles, CA 93446
West Chester, PA 19380
BDS Suspension Inc
Coldwater, MI
Murray, UT 84107
Tom Wood's Custom Driveshafts
Ogden, UT 84404
Mountain Off-Road Enterprises (M.O.R.E.)
Delta, CO 81416
Odyssey Batteries
Reading, PA 19605
Savvy Off-Road
Pomona, CA 91768
Collins Bros Jeep
OR Fab
Chino Valley, AZ 86323
Lokar Performance Products
Knoxville, TN 37932
Dixie 4 Wheel Drive
St. George, UT 84770
Las Vegas, NV 89145

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