BUDGET JEEP BUILD Budget jeep build
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#1 Specialty Fab and Buggy Manufacturer in Southern California.

Master Fabricators and welders on staff!

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AFTER

BEFORE

jeep parts for sale

Our prerequisite:

  • 6 Cyl
  • Automatic
  • A/C
  • Fuel injected
  • No rust
  • Good top - soft, hard or both
  • 1/2 doors were a plus
budget jeep project1

The bones - a 1991 YJ Jeep

In order to keep our budget under control, we decided to go with a donor vehicle for our front and rear housings. We chose a 1977 Ford F150 from the junk yard. That year came with a 9” 31 spline axle and big brakes in the rear and the front came with a Dana 44, locking hubs, big disc brakes, left side drop, high pinion with 1/2” thick axle tubes, saving us time, money and making it easy to mount in our project Jeep.

FIRST THINGS FIRST - A ROLL CAGE

Jeeps are not known for their support structure and if you ever take the padding off your stock roll bar, you’d never get in it. It is little more than toothpicks protecting your head in a roll over. Sure - there are bolt-on kits available to increase the strength, but if you are going to do some serious wheeling, a custom roll cage is a must.

roll cage fabrication2

As you can see, this adds a ton of structural support to our Jeep and allows us to add grab handles, shock and seat mounts where we want them. This cage is welded into the Jeep frame and stiffens the chassis tremendously. We took extra care when building the roll cage so that our stock soft top still fit.

THE TEAR DOWN or what we refer to as the “Rip and Tear”

Now that we have gathered most of our parts we are ready to put the Jeep on the hoist and start tearing it apart. The boys have waited a long time for this!

Jeep housing tear down
jeep tear down2

Unbolting the leaf springs from chassis and removing front and rear housings.

rear housing tear down

Leaving the tires and wheels on it make it easy to unbolt housings and roll out from underneath chassis

tire and wheel package
new jeep rear housing

Aligning the new 9” rear end from donor vehicle.

leaf spring disassemble

Our tire and wheel choice is a 37” x 12.50x 17” Maxxis Trepador tire with a 17” REV wheel. Now the wheels came with the tires and of course were a deal of the century for the package, so REV wheels it is for our project Jeep.

Now because the tires are so large there are modifications that must be made. Leaf springs must be moved back 3” and larger fender openings are a must. We will be doing some flat fenders later in the project.

leaf spring adjustment

Before drilling our leaf springs, they were secured with a “C” clamp.

tire alignment
leaf spring modification

Leaf spring was drilled exactly 3” back allowing for housing and tires to fit in fender well evenly.

cycling the rear housing

Now time to cycle the rear housing for full bump, full droop and full articulation. We cut a hole in the floor board for our rear 14” shocks, removed the stock gas tank (which we will not be able to utilize) and mounted the modified leaf springs to the housing and chassis. Once the housing and angle of drive shaft was set, we were able to determine where the shock mounts needed to be.

shock mount2
shock mount
slip yoke eliminator install

Now, at this time, we’ll be making a new tranny and transfer case mount, since the stock mount is pretty cheesy and we’ll be mounting a 1/4” solid skid plate later. This also allows us to attach a wrap-up bar mount, which is attached to the tranny mount and rear end.

The install of the slip yoke eliminator is a must on all Jeeps that do not come with it from the factory. This allows us to use a longer drive shaft, therefore less angle on the u-joints and allows us to remove the drive shaft without losing fluids from the transfer case. This is key if you lose a drive shaft on the trail.

tranny mount1 jeep tranny mount
jeep wrap up bar 3
custom jeep gas tank

The purpose of the wrap-up bar is to prevent the rear end from twisting the leaf springs out while under throttle.

jeep wrap up bar2

While finishing up the fabrication on the rear end portion of our project, we made a custom tank and mounted it to the floor of the jeep, cutting a notch out for fittings. You could also use a pre-made tank, but we chose to make our own.

Click on the link below to see what’s in store for the front of our Jeep.......

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