A few months ago, we ran a feature on making over a 1989 YJ in which a few things were repaired and new seats, bumpers, winch, sport cage, and softtop were installed. The owner, Chad Hughes, finished the Jeep and made it a fine ’wheeler.
The Deaver springs sat the YJ too high for this application, so Chad removed a few leafs from each pack. This made the YJ just the right height to clear 33-inch BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrain tires mounted on 15x8 MB Chaos 5 wheels. Bushwacker flat panel YJ flares fit perfectly and provide plenty of tire coverage, as well as give more clearance.
Chad rebuilt the Carter carburetor and installed a new aluminum O’Reilly radiator to replace the leaking OE one. Sparkplugs, wires, and distributor cap were replaced. Chad was looking for new shocks, but couldn’t find any that worked as well as the old, generic hydraulic shocks that were on the Jeep when he purchased it. Leaf sprung vehicles need very little compression and rebound damping in their shocks.
The YJ is made-over and it works fine. We drove it during the photo shoot and it was a pleasure to be reminded how well a simple, basic Jeep can work. What fun.
||1989 Jeep YJ Wrangler
||Chad Hughes/Riverside, California
||Jeep 258 I-6
||AMC 999 Torqueflite three-speed automatic
|Transfer case/low range ratio:
||Currie Enterprises Ford 9-inch
||Currie Enterprises Ford 9-inch
|Ring and Pinion:
||Deaver leaf springs, hydraulic shocks
||33x12.50R15 BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrain
||15x8 MB Chaos 5/3.7 inches
This was one clean YJ. The...
This was one clean YJ. The OE 258 I-6 with Carter carburetor still works as well as it can (once it was rebuilt). The OE radiator was leaking, so Chad found a generic aluminum replacement radiator at his local O’Reilly Auto Parts store. New sparkplugs, wires, and distributor cap finished off the work under the hood.
The 61-inch OE-width Ford...
The 61-inch OE-width Ford 9-inch frontend has 4.10 gears and a Detroit Locker. The tie rod has been bent and straightened. Maybe it’s time for a replacement.
An original Currie slip yoke...
An original Currie slip yoke eliminator graces the OE NP231 transfer case.
The interior looked much better...
The interior looked much better once we finished our work. A B&M shifter shifts the 999 Torqueflite.
The Ford 9-inch rearend has...
The Ford 9-inch rearend has 4.10 gears and a Detroit Locker. Chad removed a few springs from each of the Deaver leaf packs, not to improve the ride, but to lower the YJ.
Bestop TrailMax II Pro seats...
Bestop TrailMax II Pro seats recline and are direct, bolt-in replacements for OE seating. This YJ had uncomfortable, worn-out aftermarket seats and the Bestop seats are a big improvement.
An OR Fab Sport Cage is an...
An OR Fab Sport Cage is an easy install and protects occupants.
The OE factory YJ soft-top...
The OE factory YJ soft-top was the best soft-top design ever on Jeeps. Bestop has brought the factory design back with their Supertop NX YJ tops.
Bushwacker flat panel flares...
Bushwacker flat panel flares are great looking and provide good clearance. They’re flexible, yet don’t sag like some other plastic flares we could name, but won’t.
Warn’s YJ front bumper is...
Warn’s YJ front bumper is a simple bolt on and carries the winch nicely.
The Warn VR8000 winch is Warn’s...
The Warn VR8000 winch is Warn’s entry-level winch. Its performance isn’t entry level, though.
Warn’s tire carrier rear bumper...
Warn’s tire carrier rear bumper is simple and clean. Chad didn’t install the carrier, as he likes to carry his spare inside the Jeep.
Poison Spyder Customs sent...
Poison Spyder Customs sent a set of original Currie rocker guards that are lightweight but provide some rocker protection.
The 33x12.50R15 BFGoodrich...
The 33x12.50R15 BFGoodrich KM2 Mud Terrain tires are mounted on 15x8 MB Chaos 5 wheels.