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LQ9 V-8 1995 Wrangler YJ Is Hard To Ignore

Posted in Jp Dirt N Drive: 2018 on December 26, 2018
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We see all kinds on Jp Dirt ’N Drive, ranging from stock to beefy-built and Compass to Wrangler Rubicon. We do have to admit that we like the weird and the maligned-turned-magnificent though. A perfect case of the latter is this 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ owned by Burt Franklin. Burt must feel the same way we do. He bought his YJ more than 20 years ago, and it has been his daily driver; the build has been staged over almost that entire two-decade span.

It was sort of difficult to ignore the ’95 YJ as it rumbled up to the tech inspection table on the first day of 2018 Jp Dirt ’N Drive Presented by Jeep. And when we say rumble, we mean that the sound of what was obviously a big V-8 hiding under the hood was enough to draw a crowd. Burt popped the hood, and a 6.0L LQ9 V-8 from a 2006 Cadillac Escalade was revealed.

The high-output version of the Vortec 6000 V-8 truck engine built specifically for Cadillac features high-compression (10:1) flat-top pistons, and according to factory specs cranks out 345 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Treated to a cold-air intake, headers, and a tune through its HP Tuner, the 6.0L V-8 sends power through a Dodge NV4500 heavy-duty five-speed manual transmission and then is split by an Advance Adapters Atlas 2 (5:1 lower range) transfer case.

Underneath Burt’s square-light Wrangler are Currie RockJock 60s filled with 5.13 ARB Air Lockers. Swinging these huge logs is admirably handled by a GenRight Legend suspension system with King 2.0 coilover reservoir shocks. The wheelbase has been stretched to 100 inches, and a Daystar 1-inch body lift helps add a smidgeon more room for the 40x13.50R17 Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tires wrapped around 17x8.5-inch TrailReady HD17 beadlocks.

Those are the basic facts, but as you peruse the pictures of Burt’s ’95 Wrangler YJ, you’ll notice many details that helped make this Jeep a winner in our eyes. A custom rollcage was built to include a crossbar running horizontally directly behind the Corbeau driver and front passenger seats; vulnerable organs such as the transmission pan, transfer case, and fuel tank are all skidplated; and Burt placed a “6.0L High-Output” design on the Jeep’s rear passenger corner in a nod to the original 4.0L inline-six powerplant it replaced. The list could go on, but the bottom line is that Burt built this rig to play hard, and he came all the way from Georgia to share his beast of a Jeep YJ with us on Jp Dirt ’N Drive.

Hard Facts

Vehicle: 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ
Engine: 2006 GM 6.0L high-output V-8 from Cadillac Escalade
Transmission: Dodge NV4500 five-speed manual transmission
Transfer Case: Advance Adapters Atlas 2 (5.0:1 low range)
Suspension: GenRight Legend suspension system with King 2.0 reservoir coilover shocks
Axles: Currie RockJock 60 axles with 5.13 ARB Air Lockers
Wheels: 17x8.5 TrailReady HD17 beadlock
Tires: 40x13.50R17 Cooper Discoverer STT Pro

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