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Big Red 1993 Rockcrawling Jeep Wrangler YJ

Posted in Project Vehicles on September 1, 2011
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Some families seem to have it made, especially when their lives intersect in a four-wheeling lifestyle. Jeremy Joyner met his wife Tara, who introduced him to the trails of Moab as a teenager. Ever since those early days, Jeeps, four-wheeling, and rockcrawling have been a big part of their lives.

Jeremy’s dream was to build a Jeep that would transport the family on a lifetime of adventure on any type of terrain, from mild forest roads to such hardcore trails of Moab as Pritchet Canyon. He spent a good portion of 21⁄2 years with his boys Colton, 16, and Cal, 14, in the shop on the weekends and nights toiling away on their ’93 Jeep Wrangler. When the custom YJ finally rolled out the doors, the family had a trick and capable trail machine that would roll, crawl, and climb over just about any terrain or obstacle thrown beneath it.

The clean, utilitarian interior has everything needed for a great day on the trail without being cluttered. For comfort and safety, Corbeau RS suspension seats were installed and the family is strapped in with four-point harnesses. Jeremy and the boys also designed and built the rollcage.

Jeremy found the front axle from an ’83 Chevy 1-ton truck. He fitted the axle with a 4.56 gearset and a Detroit Locker for dependable traction. A PSC 21⁄2-inch double-ended steering ram helps keep the steering controllable, and Sway-A-Way coilovers front and rear keep the Jeep stable on and off the highway.

A low-mileage Vortec V-8 engine was scavenged from an ’04 Chevy and dependably powers the YJ. The engine’s power is transferred to the axles via a TH350 tranny and a dual NP205 and NP203 mated with an adapter kit from Offroad Design.

Jeremy increased ground clearance by placing the control arm link mounts on the outside of the framerails, getting rid of some typical hangup points. He boat-sided the YJ’s tub for more clearance, and his custom belly skid protects the transmission and transfer cases. He also custom-built the Jeeps frame and bumpers, which double as an air tank.

The 14-bolt rear axle was fitted with 4.56 gears and a Detroit Locker. The suspension links for the front and rear were built with 13⁄4x0.120-wall DOM tubing and use Heim joints from Merrell Spicer and Ben Hank’s Racing for smooth articulation.

Tech Specs
1993 Jeep Wrangler YJ
Engine: ’04 Chevy Vortec 5.3L V-8
Transmission: TH350
Transfer case: NP205 and NP203 Offroad Design Doubler Kit
Front Axle: Dana 60, Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Rear Axle: 14-Bolt, Detroit Locker, 4.56 gears
Springs & Such: Sway-A-Way 14-inch-travel coilovers and custom 4-links front and rear
Tires & Wheels: 42X17X13.50 Iroc, 17x10 steel wheels with custom beadlock rings
Other Stuff: Comp cut front fenders by Bluetorch Fab Works, Custom rock crusher body corners, 3-inch stainless steel exhaust, Six States driveshafts, Art Car shifter, custom center console and dash panel

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