1989 YJ Wrangler - Real Steel

    Our Resurrected 1989 YJ Wrangler Works!

    Phil HowellPhotographer, Writer

    As you may recall, our Real Steel YJ (formerly Gen IV YJ) was at MoTech in Las Vegas, Nevada, so they could install a GM Gen IV aluminum block 5.3L V-8 and 6L80 6-speed automatic overdrive transmission. MoTech was also going to install the YJ air conditioning we’d found at Collins Brothers. Just as the YJ arrived, the press that MoTech received started running in magazines and on the web. They became extremely busy, so Real Steel was fit in when there was time to work on it. It took a while, but while details still needed to be addressed, it was finally ready for its shakedown cruise.

    Real Steel works, and works well. It’s easy to forget how well good ol’ leaf springs work. The addition of a 21st Century V-8, transmission, and transfer case transformed the Jeep. Currie Enterprises’ Ford 9-inch front and rearends brought back memories of the days we started upgrading Jeeps yet delivered modern-day performance. Check out the photos and captions to see what makes our resurrected 1989 YJ Wrangler such an outstanding Jeep.

    Vehicle: 1989 Jeep YJ Wrangler
    Engine: GM 5.3L aluminum block V-8
    Induction: MPFI
    Transmission: GM 6L80 6-speed overdrive automatic
    Transfer case/low range ratio: Advance Adapters Atlas/3.0:1
    Front end: Currie Enterprises High Pinion Ford 9-inch
    Rear end: Currie Enterprises High Pinion Ford 9-inch
    Ring and Pinion: Yukon 4.88
    Front Differential: Yukon Grizzly Locker
    Rear Differential: Yukon Grizzly Locker
    Suspension: BDS 4-inch leaf springs
    Tires: LT315/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar
    Wheels/Backspacing: 17x9.5 Raceline Monster Beadlocks with aluminum rings/4.0 inches