YJ Truck Build

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Long&Low, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. Feb 12, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Well, after quite a bit of searching and thinking, I decided to work on building a YJ truck. Initially, I was looking to build a CJ6 and picked up a nice '74 frame from a member here, and also picked up a CJ6 body that needed a ton of work from another member.

    While CJ6's are unique in their own right (note, did not say "rare"), I really want something no one else has. I was planning on using a YJ as a donor to any CJ6 project anyhow. So I ended up picking up a '95 YJ as a donor. I'm going to using the YJ tub, and will be making an "extended cab" it will measure from cowl to rear of the cab at 62". the bed length will be somewhere close to that same length 60-62". Making the bed that long will require an extension to the rear of the CJ6 frame of about 14"-18".

    The cab will be covered with my CJ5 Meyer top, which will need a ton of modifications. I am using YJ full doors, so I will need to clearance the drip rail, and make that sit about 1.5" higher so the CJ doors will fit. The side panels are gonna be scratch built also. In looking at this from a practical use perspective, the YJ doors are much larger than CJ5 doors, so getting in and out of the cab will be better, plus the YJ doors offer much more visibility. This is one of the reasons I decided on a YJ truck instead of putting a half cab on a CJ6. I want this to be a functional cab/truck, and be able to use this on a daily basis, and have some "extra" space inside, a half cab CJ5 extra space is located outside of the cab....

    Right now, I started dismantling the '95 YJ, pulled off the fender flares, took off the CJ7 fiberglass top. I've measure where to cut the cab. I picked up six YJ rear corner replacement skins, four will be used for the bed corners, and two will be used to enclose the half cab. I also picked up some side panel and rocker skins to do some rust repair on the YJ. The bed will be a "fleetside style bed, like a TJ Brute bed, not like the few limited built Gauchos with their stepside beds; which Jeff Scherb re-created on a project. I am going to use a drop down CJ7/8 tailgate, and use my CJ5 chains and tabs for the tailgate.

    The CJ6 frame has been stripped of its bottom strapping, and has been sand blasted, I found two very small cracks at the front frame horns, and those will be welded up. I am going to strap the bottom and top of the frame rails from front to rear. I will be using the YJ axles (eventually upgrade the rear from the D35 to a Ford 8.8 out of an Explorer. I picked up a set of 5 ten spoke wheels from a Cherokee/Commanche which sort of match the ten spoke Western wheels on my CJ5. I will need to outboard the front spring hangers on the CJ6 frame.

    One issue I have is where do I locate the spare tire? Since I won't be using the swing out tailgate of the YJ, its not going on the tail gate. I am going to use the entire wiring harness, dash, engine, transmission, transfer case and axles from the '95 YJ, along with the YJ leaf springs. (I have a set of 4" lift XJ springs that I may use as rear springs, not sure on that yet. My tire size will be 28"-30" at most. This is gonna not going to be hard core trail rig by any means. It's gonna be my camping, fishing, and driving toy rig. Nothing extreme except for the oddity / uniqueness. Lastly, I figured out how to mount round headlights onto a Yj grille in case I get the urge to do that style of conversion. With the Meyer top, I feel a need to add some CJ styling to this including round head lights and round turn signals. I thought about using a CJ7 front clip, but I don't want people to look at it and say, nice "Scrambler or CJ8", this needs to be different enough to stand out.

    Yeah, pictures of the pile of parts will start this week. My CJ5 is wrapped in tarps and is sitting out in the elements....
     
  2. Feb 12, 2017
    rejeep

    rejeep Sponsor Sponsor

    Rochester, NY
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    YJ axles on a Narrow track CJ frame won't sit well.. I don't think...

    you will need to majorly outboard the springs or do some funky work on the perches, especially up front..
    your taking the weakest parts of both animals...
    CJ frame YJ axles.. if anything try CJ axles and YJ frame(y)

    sounds like a cool build if you can sort out the nitty gritty
     
  3. Feb 12, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    I outboarded the front D44 on my ECJ5, that's not that tricky at all, its only a couple of inches. I can widen the spring perch areas as part of the re-strapping for the bottom of the frame, and welding in some side supports won't be an issue.

    Finding a good YJ frame is difficult, most have inner frame rust issues, same as TJ frames. I like the CJ6 frame since I will not have to cut it in the middle and lengthen it there, I am not a big fan of cutting and lengthening frames. The rear addition is not big deal either, same things as on a CJ8 for that bed extension. The bed is gonna be separate from the tub, so any frame twist won't lead to stress cracks on a long single one piece tub & bed combo. Plus I have the room to add in some frame rail to frame rail gussets if need be.

    I have no qualms about the YJ front D30 for a street driven Jeep, however, I do not like the rear D35, but that will go when I come across a Ford 8.8. The D30 does have the after market cable shifter so no issues with vacuum lines.

    There is a ton to think about here and there with a lot going on, remember street driven, starting with a 4 cylinder engine, no big tires, and no off-roading is expected with this one. This will be a two person driver, for stowing camping gear, and pulling my 12' aluminum boat, no heavy tasks or heavy hauling. The longer wheel base will help in towing the boat, but the boat and trailer weight next to nothing anyhow.

    At some point I may look to swap in a 4.0ltr engine and trans and maybe A/C, but for now its going to be built simple and "small".

    The hard part to this is the sheet metal work needed on the hard top, lots of detail and planning will need to be there, plus the rear cab enclosure work. But that is all being able to plan step by step, and seeing how one way impacts the future steps.

    My two big stumbling blocks are where does the spare tire mount?. I was thinking of mounting it inside the tub, behind the rear tire on the right side. Or maybe inside the cab, but then I lose my in-cab storage room. Any ideas on mounting it under the bed somewhere?

    And I want to re-use the stock YJ fuel tank, which won't fit between the frame rails..... So I may end up, again making a custom fuel tank, unless someone has a better idea?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  4. Feb 12, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Parts of the plan are still gray, help with making them black and white is appreciated, all thoughts and comments are welcome.
     
  5. Feb 13, 2017
    Twin2

    Twin2 wasn't me Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    I like the concept . can't wait for you to start . remember pictures
     
  6. Feb 15, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Gutted the YJ interior. Gonna pull the front clip, and get ready to pull the cab off the frame.
     
  7. Feb 16, 2017
    Posimoto

    Posimoto Hopeless JEEP Addict Sponsor

    Kings Beach, Ca....
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    Sounds like this will be an interesting build. I like the concept.
     
  8. Feb 16, 2017
    tymbom

    tymbom Member

    Siskiyou Co.
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    Have you thought about mounting the spare in the bed, either against the driver's side bed rail, or the back of the cab? Standing up along the bed rail would lessen the view block...
     
  9. Feb 16, 2017
    daddyusmaximus

    daddyusmaximus New Member

    Indiana
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    Sounds interesting. Whoever built my CJ up did outboard mounts for the front springs to match up with the full size Dodge truck D44. It doesn't look pretty, but it works.
     
  10. Feb 16, 2017
    Framer Mike P

    Framer Mike P Member

    Hopkinton, NH
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    I like the concept as well. I enjoyed following your cj5 build and have no doubt you can pull this off. The one thing I question though would be the hard top. I have no fiberglass skills but it just seems to me that shortening the cj7 top would be a lot less work than trying to retrofit the metal hard top. Carry on...
     
  11. Feb 21, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Got the front clip off. And boy oh boy is this YJ frame a rotted mess.... And I found more sheet metal work needed on the YJ driver's side floor area. The PO already replaced the floor pan, but the part that meets up to the rocker panel is pretty wasted. The passenger fended is toast.

    With respect to the metal top, I can weld and bend metal, I have not really play with fiberglass. This may end up looking like a CJ / YJ Overlander for export market with a separate bed. I am still toying with the idea of putting round headlights in the YJ grille.....

    It will probably take me two more days to fully disconnect the tube from the frame. The CJ6 frame is sitting off to the side, not gonna work on that anymore until I can have the YJ tub off, and dismantle the YJ chassis. Picked up some additional pieces parts, nothing special, a rust free CJ7 tailgate and hinges. So far from a picture standpoint, nothing much to show except for the YJ being picked apart, and that ain't nothing special.

    I am thinking about mounting the spare in the front of the bed, behind the cab. I am toying with the idea of cutting the YJ roll bar, and tilting it forward to make a shorter cab, or just fab a real vertical bar. Could give me 4" - 6" less cab length, and thus more bed length.....
     
  12. Feb 21, 2017
    gunner

    gunner Member

    Washington state...
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    If you can put the spare right behind the cab, see if you can recess it down into the floor of the bed to drop it below a bit to improve you vision to the rear. A recess can't go so far as to hit a gearbox or driveline and it would have to have a means of getting rid of rain water, such as expanded metal.
    Personally I'd try to keep a roll bar inside the cab- improves the lines, I think.
    How about a 15 gallon fuel tank from an intermediate? Should slide into the CJ6 frame. They practically give them away at the swap meets and I see them frequently on CL.
    Last thing- have you considered a flat bed/stakeside style?
    (I have a future build in mind that would use all those ideas)
     
  13. Feb 22, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    The spare tire mount and fuel tank are going to be what fits and where. I'd like use the stock YJ fuel tank from an ease standpoint. I may raise the bed floor to accommodate the fuel tank and spare tire. Those two items are going to be pretty far down the project list for right now. The only issue with using a CJ fuel tank is then the fuel pump will be an external unit, and not cooled by the fuel = short fuel pump life.... plus I like the idea of using off the shelf parts, makes it easy going to the local FLAP and getting what I need no matter where I am.

    And while some folks truly dig flat beds, I'm not one of them.
     
  14. May 15, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Well been kinda busy. Got the YJ torn all apart. Started working on the CJ6 frame, re-strapped the bottom of the frame and made my outriggers to outboard the front springs. I will move the rear axle mounts to line up with the CJ6 frame, so no outriggers on the rear spring mounts. Made the new front and rear shackle mounts, and need to make some new fixed spring hangers. I also picked up a power steering mount from MORE and got that mounted, and welded a pate across the front frame horns to stiffen up there and to mount a winch and the front bumper. Using YJ lift springs up front and XJ lift springs out back. I wanted to shift the rear axle back a little farther so the rear wheel will sit closer to the middle of the bed of the truck.

    I am not going to box the CJ6 frame, but I did add some boxing straps down the wide of the rails to add some stiffenness and to mount my fuel and brake lines and to also mount the e-brake cable.

    I will be extending the frame about 16" to get a 60" bed. I'm going to mount the YJ fuel tank sideways behind the rear axle inside the frame extension. Need to pick up a bunch of fasteners for the put together, priced up a decent amount of steel material for everything, went with 16 gauge sheet for the sides of the new hard top since the CJ5 Meyer side will not work, no sense in cutting them up, it'll be easier just making new ones to fit the YJ full doors anyhow. I do need to trip about a 1" strip off the side of the Meyer roof to the YJ doors will fit and then move the drip well up 1" or so.

    I know,I know noting happened unless there are pics. I'm waiting on that till I get the springs mounted and axles in so pics will wait till its kind of a roller.....
     
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  15. Jun 6, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Well got the frame fully strapped from front to rear. Got the spring eyes and shackle mounts done. I outboarded the front and will keep the rears centered on the frame rails. I added 17.5" to the rear of the CJ6 frame so I get a bed length of 60". Got the springs on, need to clean up and paint the axles before I mount them up and have a roller. Wheelbase should be around 106". Went with YJ springs front and back, decided not to do the XJ rear springs. This way I can mount the YJ fuel tank sideways behind the rear axle. If I used XJ springs, the YJ stock fuel tank would not work, or I would have had to go to a 66" long bed. Oh well, it is what it is. Should be posting pics as soon as its a roller, then on to making engine and a transmission crossmember and mounting the power end of the driveline......
     
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  16. Jun 19, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Got the front axle mounted, and the steering box in place. Had to make spring perches for the rear axle, that should be mounted this week. Once the driveline and power train is in place, then its time to mount the fuel and brake lines. Gonna rebuild the entire brake system and use DOT5 fluid.
     
  17. Jun 19, 2017
    Desert Runner

    Desert Runner Sponsor Sponsor

    Hickory, Pa
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    I don't see no pictures..............o_O............. Where's the PICTURES!!!!!!!
     
  18. Jun 20, 2017
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
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  19. Aug 1, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    these are old, but at least they are something visual....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    photobucket was a PITA
     
  20. Aug 1, 2017
    Long&Low

    Long&Low Active Member

    Geauga County, OH
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    Like I said above, these are a few weeks old, the engine is mounted, along with the t-case and tranny. The tub is near complete, except I need to redo the driver side floor plan and driver rocker.
     
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