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Since my Zuk insurance claim is dragging on, I need a toy whilst that mess gets sorted out.

So with very tight budget and strict requirements - small, convertible, capable and no rot - I purchased this 1995 YJ from Saint John NB and drove it the 5 hours home.....it made it without any issues.

  • 1995 Jeep Wrangler
  • 4.0 manual transmission with a brand new clutch
  • 4.5 R/C suspension 
  • 1 1/4 body lift
  • One ton steering 
  • Front Dana 30 HP with 4.10 Gears front locker 
  • 8500 lb Which 
  • 35" MT/Rs - exactly same as the Zuk!!

Tub is in great shape and has some repairs, but it's been done right and is solid. The trunk floor was also redone with 3/16 plate. Frame has also been patched.....it's a nearly 30 year old Heep LOL

Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect, but pickings are extremely thin, and as we know people are asking silly money for absolute junk.

It came with full doors, half doors, multiple soft tops (2x regular, a bikini, a deck lid & a windjammer), hardtop

Overall seems to wheel exactly as it should. 4LO is geared nice and lo - I was actually mostly in 2nd and 3rd whilst wheeling it the other day.


  • It just needs some tidying up and maintenance
  • I might plastidip the grill cover
  • I might see if I can get some better flares/flat fenders as the 35's rub on the plastic flares and rear tub wheel arch (only at full stuff)
  • I might build a tire carrier off the back bumper (it's 2x4)
  • Parking brake is inop, so I plan on converting the foot brake to a hand brake using an XJ handbrake lever






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  • 2 weeks later...

And now I can paint the Burb orange and not be copying Jay.   

Unless he does the WhyJ first!  🤪

Orange has always been my preferred colouring.  Incl. my first 4x4, a ‘72 GMC Jimmy, factory orange!  And the HRSAR vehicles.

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On 11/4/2023 at 9:41 AM, sar4x4 said:

And now I can paint the Burb orange and not be copying Jay.   

Unless he does the WhyJ first!  🤪

Orange has always been my preferred colouring.  Incl. my first 4x4, a ‘72 GMC Jimmy, factory orange!  And the HRSAR vehicles.

I'm not a huge fan of blue TBH, but it is growing on me.

Orange is the best colour, but IDK if it's worth the time, effort and cost to strip the blue bedliner off to change the colour.

I've got plenty of other little jobs to be getting on with lol.

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Aside from fixing a few things and installing some mandatory electronics;

  • Fixed
    • drivers door handle in-op
    • slackened off steering box, was over tightened (by seller)
    • cleanup up lots of loose wiring
  • Installed
    • relay operated accessory fuse panel
    • move the fuel pump 'anti-theft switch' to the fuse panel
    • wireless phone charger/mount
    • GPS thingy
    • CB and antenna
  • To do
    • install parking brake cables / upgrade to a XJ handbrake
    • fix the rear pinion leak
    • try figure out where the spots of coolant are coming from on the passenger floor
    • change the AX15 transmission oil - it's really stiff when cold. Read that RED LINE MT-90...expensive tho!!
    • tinkering...lots of tinkering needed for this Heep lol

With leaves up front, this thing drives just like the Samurai - with no sway bars & no track bars, in turns there is a 1/4 steering wheel delay in actual vehicle movement as the leaves react to weight shift. It doesn't instill trust and I don't like it.

All bushings are new and tight, and the 4.5" R/C lift springs are very soft. (comfy, but very very soft)

So, I've ordered a JKS telescopic trackbar to help stiffen up the leaves (leafs?)

This will allow me to lock up the front whilst not wheeling, and have no trackbar whilst wheeling....

Hopefully that will help.


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Jay - I have front leaf springs on two old rigs as you know.  I have very little steering issues NOW.  Aside from checking all steering ‘bushings’, check steering column ‘rag joint’, steering box bolt tightness, and ESPECIALLY the frame for cracks near the box, and for frame flex (twisting) near the box.  

On my rigs I had to upgrade all those issues.  ‘Fish plate’ the frame, cross-over braces frame-to-frame, etc.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE once all tightened up!




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good call, but I can't see any of that going on.

it's not that it's loose just not precise. no issues on the highway, only on tighter turns on roads where body roll and weight shift is induced.

apparently common on these without a front trackbar.

trackbar is due in today, so I'll need to make an axle side bracket for it as the PO cut it off.

I cut the remains of the frame side bar out last night....



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Alright, ran the Holland Rd to 102 Weigh Scale trail, which I've run a few times in the dry....well this was a few hours after torrential rain. It was a challenge!

1/5th of the way in and you get to the foot of the 1st hill climb. There are 2 routes;

Left: a gnarly washout with boulders and lots of off-camber. This is the route we've taken in the Zuk before.

Right: trail (was) just wide enough to squeeze a JK through

So, being host, I went 1st and took the usual washout route.

Now, halfway up the washout there are 2 spots with deep holes and big rocks. I got my right rear tire lodged in a big hole, and had to pull cable before the Jeep rolled over. I also popped my front right tire off the bead in the process.

Now at the top of the washout, it was Ben's turn in his JK, which he made up the wet rutted tree root laden hill with some spotting.

Dave was next. Since he is currently fully open diffs, we had to pull cable and there was some RPMs to help him on his way up the hill. He also busted a side mirror on a tree.

Robbie was last, and had no issues.


Whilst at the top of the washout, I noticed my Jeep wasn't charging. Now, this isn't a new problem as I've replaced 4x 50A alternator fuses so far. I couldn't find a fuse, so after making a jumper I was charging again.


After a short drive up the hill, there is another nice obstacle to climb over. Last time I was there the Zuk climbed it, and the JK I was with had to use the bypass.

I blew the rear driveshaft ujoint cap bolts whilst trying it. So that was the end of the trip.

But, there's more!

On the way down, we all took the tight non-washout trail. I was fine, just scraped a tree or 2.

Ben on the other had, smashed his JK hardtop up pretty bad on the tree knot, and we ended up having to cut some trees to help him get out.

Robbie busted a rear light assembly (just clips)

So, a usually tight and technical trail ended up producing a fair amount of winching and some carnage.


So, what's next for the Jeep.

  1. The front locker is making a loud noise clunck when it unlocks under load - probably normal operation. Will check diff oil, and/or shavings on the drain plug.
  2. Check the transfer case - not a drop of oil came out of it with the driveshaft removed - it's open splined
  3. Lesson learned - 12PSI is way way too low on this one!!
  4. Look into ujoint strap failure
    1. Check pinion angle - looks too steep! Measure flange input/output angles.
    2. Maybe try find a Ford 8.8 with 4.10s - stronger than D35...maybe if I keep the Jeep. Don't want to go full size!
    3. 4.5" RC leafs too soft - axle wrap?
      1. Build anti-wrap bar?
      2. Replace leafs with non RC junk (they ride so good tho LOL) v
    4. Beef up the ujoint straps using ubolts - trying this now












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Thanks for the write up!  
That pic of your pinion angle shows a very steep pinion angle.  I know you know how to test / amend if necessary, yada yada.

Did Dave get an axle shaft or whatever was ailing his rig recently?  

Armchair wheeler here…. 




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17 hours ago, sar4x4 said:

Thanks for the write up!  
That pic of your pinion angle shows a very steep pinion angle.  I know you know how to test / amend if necessary, yada yada.

Did Dave get an axle shaft or whatever was ailing his rig recently?  

Dave switched out his rear-end to a earlier style and re-worked his disk brake setup to accommodate it. He also broke the springs on his lockright, so pulled it out for now. I think he's sourced new ones. 

On the pinion angle - I think what happened was, I slid backwards on the climb, which moved to pinion up even further and pull the bolts.

I've yet to measure the angles....

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looks like I did a bit more damage than just the ujoint strap.

I was replacing the pinion seal, and the pinion dropped into the carrier. So I took the cover off and saw the reason it was clicking....assumed the clicking was the front locker. Hmmm I better inspect that too!!!

I guess Dana 35s don't jive with 35s 🤣😂


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  • 3 weeks later...

Sourced a complete D35 and swapped it out. Yes I know, D35. But I don't plan on going build crazy on this thing.

Fixed the pinion angle in the process. It had a bad DS vibe under hard acceleration as the pinion was pointing up too much. I think that's how I broke it... when a rock climb rolled the pinion too high due to soft leafs.

Also added brackets for my hi lift, and something I should have done years ago.... welded corner brackets to the floor for a metal storage box. No more loose tools and parts 🙂







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Pulled into the Halifax Infirmary car park for an appointment, all was well.

Came back to the Jeep, pulled out of my spot, and clicky click. Of course it was also rush hour too, which was good, because it really kept my speed down on the drive home to Fall River LOL.

Found bad ujoint. I think it bodes well that these are these super duper easy to replace!!




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  • 1 month later...

Well it seems I had mistakenly / mysteriously lost feed (my fault) and had missed ( quite) a few posts.  All caught up now!


Wish I had something to post…


Had hoped to give a verbal update at Coffee but had to shy away from that.



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Little update....

Jeep seems to be working well since I replaced the rear end and nosed-down the pinion.

I do have a problem with the front Lock Right, where it seems to disengage under heavy load. I was looking at the springs and pins in one of my videos and they seem to be be intact. So, I might have to shim it a little tighter.

We ran through Renfrew to Beaverbank last weekend and it had no issues, other than climbing ice and the locker not functioning correctly.

Also, bought a t-case with a SYE installed in it and a front TJ drive shaft to shorten for the SYE.....that's a project for warmer days LOL.




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Yeah, though I have no hand’s on experience with the Lock-Rite’s, that seems to not have much ‘clamping’ force.  Are the ‘teeth’ and or clamping (interference) surfaces okay?  Or abnormally worn?  🤷‍♂️

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On a Dana 30, the center pin is secured by a roll pin that is only accessible with the ring gear removed, so to do a proper inspection the whole shebang needs to be pulled out.

I'm in no rush the do that right now LOL

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