The Mega YJ
What do you get when you mix tractor tires, a late-model V-8, and a lightweight Jeep Wrangler YJ? Well, if you are Manley Jones you get a weekend wheeler that takes the idea of a big toy to another level. On location at a recent mud event in the Southeast we spotted Manley’s Monster blasting through the water-soaked trails and clay pits. After seeing the mega Jeep in action we decided to head over and get a closer look.
Packed with a nitrous-snorting 6.0L GM engine, 21⁄2-ton Rockwells, and 58-inch Tractor cleats, Manley’s YJ is a mix of low-buck, high-horse, and DIY upgrades. Though Manley purchased the rig partially built from the previous owner, he has been working through the kinks, improving the parts, and finishing out the unfinished pieces. Since he uses the rig for all types of wheeling, he even has a set of smaller trail cleats for when the urge for technical terrain strikes.
And while a heavy-duty trailer is required to tote this Jeep long distances, it’s no pampered trailer queen. As a matter of fact, Manley broke his rear CV driveline midway through the wheeling day after hitting the wall in the hole-n-hill pit. Instead of loading up the Jeep and calling it a day, Manley pulled out the rear driveline and decided to enjoy as much wheeling as he could in front wheel drive! Trailer or not, Manley is a true wheeling enthusiast.
1992 Jeep Wrangler
Engine: 6.0L, performance cam, heads, and intake, Nitrous
Transfer case: NP205
Front Axle: 21⁄2-ton Rockwell, Detroit Lockers, custom driveline brake, 6.72 gears
Rear Axle: 21⁄2-ton Rockwell, Detroit Lockers, custom driveline brake, 6.72 gears
Springs & Such: Custom 4-link front and rear with 21⁄2-inch Fox air shocks
Tires & Wheels: 18.4-26 (57.4x18.4) Delta Akuret R-1 Agri-Trac on 26-inch custom wheels
Steering: Fully hydraulic double-ended ram
Other Stuff: 2-inch body lift, Warn 9,000-lb winch, custom snorkel, 126-in wheelbase