No matter what type of vehicle you're talking about there's always the redheaded stepchild that people love to badmouth. Truth be told, in most cases we're the instigators. But for some reason we never shared the distaste some people have for the YJ. Sure, the headlights are square, but should that really earn a good vehicle the moniker "Wrongler", "fake Jeep", or "S#$%-box"? We don't think so.
However, we know some YJ owners feel their skin crawl when looking at the '80s-era styling of their vehicle's front clip. We've gotten more than a few questions asking how to mount a CJ grille on a YJ, so we decided to order up some parts and see what's what.
We've often joked that we could build an entire Jeep from scratch using a phone and the 4 Wheel Drive Hardware catalog. One of these days we may actually try it, but for this story we come pretty close. The company had literally every body panel, light bezel, nut, and screw we needed for our '72-'86 CJ front clip. The parts arrived promptly and with no omissions or mistakes. Sadly, the days of Detroit-grade sheetmetal are over and most of the panels are thinner pieces manufactured overseas. While the fit was OK, some parts just weren't as rugged as we would have liked. Still, if you're thinking of undertaking a conversion like this and don't want to deal with the hassle of finding and restoring old, rusty factory parts, there's no easier way to go. Check out the conversion we did in an afternoon.