When lives are at stake and you need a vehicle to work every time, it pays to have one that's built using the best parts. Masonry contractor Boyd Barney is very active in the Washington County, Utah, Search and Rescue team, both in ground search where his '94 YJ Wrangler serves well, and as High Angle Captain where the Jeep doesn't do much during cliff repels.
Boyd put together his Wrangler knowing that it would be working in a number of environments, including pavement, sand, mud, rocks, snow, and ice. He enlisted the help of Stewart at Drivetrain Unlimited in St. George, Utah, to help him build a tough YJ that does exactly that. We've had a chance to drive the Jeep and can report that if you get lost in Washington County, Utah, it's good to know that the county S&R team, including Boyd and his Search and Rescue YJ, are on the job to save your life.
Vehicle: '94 YJ Wrangler
Owner/Hometown: Boyd Barney, Hurricane, UT
Engine: 383 Chevrolet V8
Induction: Street & Performance TPI
Transmission: GM Turbo 350 automatic
Transfer Case/Low-range Ratio: Atlas/4.3:1
Frontend: Dana 44
Rearend: Tera CRD60
Front Differential: Detroit Locker
Suspension: Rubicon Express leaf springs/Bilstein shocks
Tires: 37x12.50R17LT Interco TrXus MT
Wheels: Mickey Thompson Classic II with TrailReady beadlocks
Estimated Value: $30,000
Up front, Drivetrain Unlimited...
Up front, Drivetrain Unlimited rebuilt a salvage-yard Ford reverse Dana 44 using Warn hardened axles and HD hubs, 4.10 gears, and a Detroit Locker. A Howe steering ram and HD steering gearbox make turning the YJ easy ... even in the rocks. A Currie Enterprises steering-box brace keeps the Howe box on the frame. Boyd installed a M.O.R.E shackle-reversal kit because he likes the way his Wrangler works with it.
An Atlas transfer case from...
An Atlas transfer case from Advance Adapters sits behind the Turbo 350 automatic tranny. The 4.3:1 Low range is perfect with the relatively high 4.10 gears in the differentials. A TeraFlex Belly Up skidplate/crossmember protects the transfer case and tranny in the rocks.
The Tera CRD60 uses reverse-cut...
The Tera CRD60 uses reverse-cut gears and gets the driveshaft up high for better angles and clearance. It also has as much ground clearance as a Dana 44.
Drivetrain Unlimited built...
Drivetrain Unlimited built the strong Chevrolet 383 stroker V8 with tuned port injection from Street & Performance. The V8 is mounted in the YJ using excellent motor mounts from Mountain Off-Road Enterprises (M.O.R.E.). Boyd had quite a time finding a radiator that would do the job in the extreme conditions this YJ sees. Even though there's a Be Cool cap on it, the aluminum radiator Boyd ended up with is from Advance Adapters and keeps the mill running cool in 110-plus degree F southern Utah summer temperatures. Also under the hood is the QuickAIR2 air compressor that supplies the ARB Air Locker, a Howe power-steering reservoir and pump, and an Optima YellowTop sealed battery.
The Tera CRD60 rearend has...
The Tera CRD60 rearend has 4.10 gears and an ARB Air Locker. Boyd put the air locker in back and the Detroit Locker up front - the correct way to do it, in our opinion. The hubs can be unlocked, and the ARB disengaged on the highway for a completely open Jeep with great highway manners. In the dirt, the ARB can be left on most of the time, and the Detroit Locker up front makes it easy to turn. The only people who say you can't turn with a Detroit up front are those who've never had one there. Drivetrain Unlimited installed the gas-tank skidplate and fabricated the U-bolt flip kit.
Front and rear CV driveshafts...
Front and rear CV driveshafts by Tom Wood's Custom Drive Shafts get the power to the frontend and rearend. Here, you can see the backside of the M.O.R.E. shackle reversal. Boyd likes his Rubicon Express leaf packs for their suppleness. Currie Enterprises supplied the U-bolt skidplates. Boyd found four Bilstein gas shock absorbers in a used-parts bin at Drivetrain Unlimited and bolted them on. Bilstein shocks are superb, but these need be valved different for this application.