Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

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Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby philosoraptor » April 15th, 2016, 12:26 am

Greetings!

A new member, but a long-time lurker and admirer of the Jurassic Jeeps, this thread will serve as my progress log for the build of my 1994 Jeep YJ Sahara. Beware this will be picture intensive and maybe I'll even ramble a bit as well! Check out my brief intro here

http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5928

Back in November 2015 I was able to get myself a second car. I came across an ad on my local Craigslist and quickly got around to purchasing my 1994 Jeep YJ Sahara. It has the wonderful AMC 242 4L six cylinder paired with the venerable AX-15 manual transmission. She isn't a young vehicle, right now I am dangerously close to 300,000 km (180,000 miles), but the engine runs strong. Luckily the previous owners only drove it locally around town and it shows because there is very minimal rust on it! But with any vehicle of that vintage there will be mechanical areas to address. The previous owner had grafted TJ seats to fit onto the stock brackets which is okay, but they make you sit higher than usual. Lucky for me though, the owner still had the original Sahara seats which are in good condition. Here she is, from my first drive home with her.

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Now I have seen many of the fine examples of Canon replicas built by some of the members here. And wow, the dedication and time spent is overwhelming. For me however I am choosing not to entirely replicate one of the movie Jeeps; hence the use of the number 90. Also from browsing I don't think I have seen anyone else use that number (feel free to correct me on that!) so why not. The number isn't anything too special, however it is my birth year, and it also it the year the original Jurassic Park novel was published; so it seems like a good fit! Plans-wise this Jeep is going to be my trail rig. Secondly it will be a Jurassic trail rig. So with that in mind I will be deviating from making everything look exactly like the movie cars.

However early on and for most of my ownership so far I have been focusing on getting the car up to snuff mechanically. Only now (3 days ago) was I able to finally get some rear stripes painted. Here are some of the things I have tackled so far (and a lot of other things I didn't bother to take pictures of). The engine was obviously running strong but needed some love. I mean look at all this sludge and crud!

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So time to do the valve cover gasket and clean up the rest! Surprisingly there was no oil sludge or contaminants on the inside!

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Now that looks much better and it isn't leaking anymore! Then I was able to find a set of 5 Jeep alloys on my local craigslist for a mere $50 Canadian (about $3 USD if you do the conversion). Time to start cleaning them up and getting them ready for paint! Thanks to work I have access to a sandblasting cabinet.

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Sweet now I have 5 wheels painted and ready to go. Now came time to get this little billy goat some vertical. Rough Country 4.5" lift kit with boomerang shackles and military wrap springs incoming! There was plenty of cursing and swearing with this endeavour; lots of seized bolts. The main spring eye bolts were the most stubborn, so kill them with fire! Another pain in the ass was the steering pitman arm. The hammer could not get it done, neither could a puller tool, and neither could the fire. So the all-effective sawzall method was employed, and the fight went deep into the 12th round where after many blades changes and notches buzzed out of the old pitman arm, a victor emerged! Cue the awkward evolutionary phase of having a lifted Jeep on stock tires... how embarassing.

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Thankfully this didn't last too long. I was just waiting for my local tire guy to get stock on some meat for the rims. Now trying to be semi-frugal I was able to source a near-new BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO in the same size as my new tires from a wrecker. This will be my spare. While waiting for the rest of the new tires to come in; you better believe I was sizing up the difference everyday and dreaming of what it could look like. That is a proper truck tire!

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Finally, my BFG TA KO2 tires arrived, the size is 33 x 10.5, just right in my opinion. Personally I am not a big fan of wide tires and this size allowed me to still use the factory rims without spacers. They only rub on full lock, back off about 10 degrees on the steering wheel and you are good to go. They are aggressive and sure bite into terrain very nicely. Oh and I also picked up a hardtop along the way as well. It sure rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest!

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Diffs are like relationships, leave them open and things are bound to go wrong! Enter the cheap upgrade for my front Dana 30 axle; the Aussie locker. And then protect that puppy with a nice red (this is along the theme of the red Jurassic Jeep right?!?) ARB diff cover. An excellent upgrade, I would highly recommend this for anyone that does mild wheeling. Totally unnoticeable on the street when I am in 2WD (it isn't engaged because the T-case isn't putting power to the front wheels). Throw it into 4WD on the trail and she climbs, even with the stock open rear Dana 35. Very happy times.

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Then I noticed the water pump was leaking slightly. Time to swap that out and clean things up. And of course being an old vehicle after doing that my heater core started leaking. Time to fix that :roll: And while I had the whole heater airbox out it served me well to replace the blower motor at the same time. Basically I am a radiator away from a complete cooling system overhaul (T-stat was done prior when chasing a perceived under-temp condition... it was just the temp sender at that back of the block that was broken).

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Blessed with some sunny days I finally have been able to put some red on the body of the Jeep. Now I have noticed that it is frowned upon by some of the die-hards but I have chosen to go the Plastidip route for my red. I cannot afford to do a whole repaint and knowing that this car will see time in the bush I have elected to go this route. I would hate to invest in a good paint job only to add what we call BC pinstriping (trees scrapping horizontal lines into the paint on narrow trails). The wheels were also painted in Plastidip red. So far they have held up well and after much time in the mud, sand, and gravel are not showing any wear. And after seeing the results here http://www.jurassicjeep.com/tag/paint/ I think Plastidip will serve my purposes well enough for the time being. Oh and also prior I had removed the factory Sahara green and brown pin stripes.

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Unfortunately after the paint dried the hardtop went back on. I cannot wait for summer to arrive to keep the top down permanently! So this where I am now in my progress. Just have to deal with tax season here and then hopefully more will get done. Some additional notes

- I have been unable to find a Mopar lightbar so I have fabricated a lookalike. I just need to weld on my attach brackets and figure out an LED lightbar solution for it then it will go on.
- Front stripes will be going on soon hopefully when I have some time off work and get some good days. First I have to contact forum member Jack Faust (spelling? I have the thread saved somewhere) for some Jurassic decals and stencils.
- Half doors are going to get purchased from a local wrecker hopefully.
- Buy some Sahara green door pouches from a forum member here that makes them for the half doors
- Non-OEM front bumper and winch are also in the works
- Rear bumper and tire carrier are also being sourced. Stock unit won't hold the larger tire happily
- Factory headers are cracked along with some other spots in the exhaust causing it to run a little rich and foul O2 sensors. Stainless headers and full SS exhaust are stretch goals
- Oil pan gasket and rear main seal
- Dana 30 will get chromoly shafts (1 piece conversion, goodbye central axle disconnect and posi-lok cable) and bigger u-joints
- Dana 35 will remain stock and hopefully survive the summer. A Ford 8.8 axle swap with a Detriot Tru-Trac will get done in the Fall/Winter. Slip yoke eliminator will be addressed at that time as well.
- Remove the interior and Line-X (Rhino line, Herculine alternate) the tub
- I also want to get my stock Sahara seats cleaned and repaired too.

So that is what is going on. Lots to do and lots to learn still. But it has been a fulfilling and rewarding adventure thus far! Looking forward to hanging out here and watching other builds progress. Until next time, thanks for having a look!
1994 YJ Sahara 4L/5sp - JP90 - Jurassic Trail Ready
http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5927
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby philosoraptor » October 24th, 2016, 10:58 pm

Well it sure has been awhile since I have checked in here. It has been a busy summer with work, and of course Jeep things. Glad to see more builds popping up on the forum as well :D

So catching up with JP90 here, it would seem I have taken care of most of my goals since my last post. Firstly I grenaded a U-joint on the front Dana 30 while having a little too much fun on some local trails. Limped it home as I did not have my tool kit with me, a slow drive home. So in order to save some money I just got some used TJ one-piece shafts which allowed me to delete the central axle disconnect (CAD) and throw in some new larger 297 series U-joints. Also added some axle tube seals because why not.

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Next with the nicer weather it was time to find some half doors. Luckily one of the local wreckers had a mint set that were rust free, albeit with some vandalism damage and scratches. Either way I swooped in and picked them up. Aligning them to my tub wasn't too bad, however some of those old Torx screws were seized in there, penetrating oil, heat, and all the other tricks did not work and I ended up stripping the heads. So time to drill em out. Then I sent them off to my local paint and body guy to get matched to my light champagne paint. Then it was a matter of getting the door panels ready to go. Quick sandblast and prime, then hit them with Rustoleum Painters Touch Satin Hunt Club Green. And then the finishing touch of ProjectVIC's Sahara door pouches. Do yourself a favour, when it comes time get a set of these, fantastic build quality! I secured them with some screw along the top edge as well as double sided tape.

ProjectVIC
http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=5439
Sahara door pouch thread
http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=2422

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Next up it was time to get some proper trail ready bumpers. Enter the Poison Spyder stinger bumper. I liked the look of the stubby style as it allows the tires to just crawl over your obstacles instead of smashing the bumper. BUT for when you wanna be angry and smash things it also does the job! Sturdy construction and from my seating position I can now see the forward most point of my vehicle! Also added a steering box armor cover because why not. Oh and there is also my 12,000lb winch, because overkill is fun.

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I think it was also around the same time I got my rear bumper. I went for the Rock Hard 4x4 tire carrier and swing unit. A little more money but the quality is there as well, solid construction, actual bearings in the swing arm, and a nice clean minimalist look. Optional were the frame tie in brackets, but for good measure I got them and welded them in as well. Here they are with some of my patented bird crap welds, primed, and soon to be painted black. My only complaint would be that I noticed on some of the bumpier trails the first stage of the latch on the tire swing would come undone. This was because the whole vehicle was jostling around enough to lift up the release latch! Good thing it is a dual stage latch. This had to be addressed so I just drilled through and added a quick release pin to secure the latch. Viola, no more close encounters with opening the tire swing while driving!

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Next up were some very important Jurassic days. I had a solid week of great sunshine and clear skys. This meant I had to confront what was probably the most challenging job. Time to add the front red stripes and decals/stencils. So I started out with the hood stencil to get warmed up. Oh and I highly suggest going to Jack Fauth for your decals. Excellent quality, the proper fonts and sizing, quick shipping, and custom numbers to boot! So continuing on I masked out the front of the truck, removed the windshield and then laid down some Plastidip. It is a very weird type of paint but you sort of get the hang of it. Overall I am very pleased with the results. And after hitting many trails and being subjected to trees and other hazards contacting my paint I am glad I chose to go this route. It has proven to be rather resilient and durable for a fraction of the price compared to a proper paint job.

Jack Fauth
http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=298
Decal and Stencil thread
http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=2737

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Now with a proper Jurassic aesthetic transformation nearing completion I had to turn my focus back to the mechanical side of things. My stock exhaust manifold was leaking a good amount, the cat was probably dead, all the pipes were rusty, it smelt, and I wanted to hear some more of the 4L at the front. Enter a new complete exhaust system from block to tailpipe. I went with Gibson Stainless steel shorty headers (PN GP400S), JBA stainless midpipe (PN 1526SY, one of the few SS units out there for the 4L motor), Magnaflow cat, and Magnaflow muffler (PN 15853). It was very satisfying dismantling the old system with the sawzall, however the access to some of the bolts on the block was tricky, and I have small hands too. The sound is great though, not overly loud, but if you step on it you will be heard, especially in the upper rev range. And surprisingly not drony at all. Money well spent and no more exhaust leaks! Take a look at the crack on the original collector pipe, almost all the way around, yikes!

Cracked exhaust -->https://youtu.be/6Ri_lLt0Uo4

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A few other randoms: Oil pan gasket and rear main seal along with an oil pan skid plate. A little frustrated with the rear main, for the life of me I could not tap out the top half, it was in there good. So I elected to stop and just replace the bottom half before I dinged my crank. Leak is minimal from the rear main and all the other engine sealing gaskets have been addressed and are bone dry, so I'll have to just live with it for now. Added a military style fuel can and mount to the rear bumper. Of course it has to match the sand and red theme.

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Also since I have owned the Jeep for almost a year I never had full sweep with my windshield wipers. So I folded down the windshield to investigate. And clearly this area had been neglected for too long. It looks like the nylon bushing departed and the metal ball on the wiper motor arm was smashing the linkage with each sweep; talk about hanging on for dear life, not much metal left! I chose to solve the problem by using a different design for the linkage, some heim rod ends, threaded tube, and studs welded to the main linkage and motor arm, and done! Only a little bit of clearancing on the windshield frame to help jam the new pieces inside and to allow myself to tighten it all down.

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Coming to a close here with this post. Definitely one of my most satisfying repairs. I finally got around to seeing my upholstery guy to do some work on my original Sahara seats. We elected to redo the entire 2 front seats with factory trail cloth. Also after some consultation we also decided to beef up the bolsters for a true custom fit. I absolutely love these seats, comfortable and they look great!

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I had a homemade lightbar lying in the garage primed for the longest time. Finally plastidipped it and installed it. Very similar to the Mopar style, I just elected to keep the attach brackets simple by using flatbar and not having it taper upwards. I used larger dimension flat bar and tube thickness and so far it is solid. I just need to find some coarse thread bolts with drilled heads so I can lockwire them in place. Now just time for a big f*** off 50" LED lightbar to top it off.

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And lastly you gotta have some props, original Jurassic Park book, JP 90 id tag from FamousIDS, and Jeff Goldblum (because this build is and always will be total chaos).

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Thanks for tuning in and taking a look!

Future goals for winter now:
- Ford 8.8 rear axle swap and 4.88 gears all around
- Slip yoke eliminator and driveshaft
- Traction bar (axle wrap is fun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esPETc0FbV0)
- Spring over axle conversion
- High-steer conversion
- Stretch goal is now to run 35" or 37" tires

Happy Jurassic Jeeping!!

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1994 YJ Sahara 4L/5sp - JP90 - Jurassic Trail Ready
http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5927
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philosoraptor
 
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby usmercenary » October 27th, 2016, 10:20 am

Awesome build dude! A lot of work done and it really came a long way. I really like the custom upholstery seats you did, looks amazing.
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby KytorIndustries » November 23rd, 2016, 8:51 am

This is an awesome build, I really like the custom bucket seats.
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby labskyfilms » November 23rd, 2016, 11:52 am

Very thorough and great overall post. And as a photographer/cinematographer let me tell you how amazing your photos are. It's refreshing to see properly composed photos on the internet.
1988 YJ Wrangler Laredo to JP 18
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby Boost1995 » November 23rd, 2016, 2:45 pm

Jp90 is looking awesome man! I love all the hard work you've put into her. How do you like the Aussie locker so far? My buddy has something similar on his yj and he says it works well.
JP19 instagram: mutant_dinos
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby marscreature » November 23rd, 2016, 3:14 pm

Why would you put the money into getting BFGoodrich tires if you don't have the white lettering out and visable?
1994 Wrangler Sahara - JP28 in Michigan
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby philosoraptor » November 24th, 2016, 9:14 pm

Thanks for all the kind words everyone! Happy thanksgiving!

labskyfilms wrote:Very thorough and great overall post. And as a photographer/cinematographer let me tell you how amazing your photos are. It's refreshing to see properly composed photos on the internet.

Yeah, I tend to update in batches. And thanks, when I actually remember to bring the big camera with me I seem to do alright. Problem being most of the time when I'm working on the Jeep I just have the camera phone and greasy hands. It's nice to take it out somewhere and get some good photos once in awhile! I'm sure you'll have some great photos once your JP is all done!
Boost1995 wrote:Jp90 is looking awesome man! I love all the hard work you've put into her. How do you like the Aussie locker so far? My buddy has something similar on his yj and he says it works well.

Thanks Boost! It is an old Jeep so there is plenty to do with it. The Aussie locker has been great for the time being. I'm rocking the stock open Dana 35 in the rear at the moment so having a locked front diff has allowed me some extra confidence to go places. Durability is no factor if you're sensible with the skinny pedal because at the end of the day the D30 isn't the stoutest of axles but is more than capable if respected and there are stop gap mods to help beef it up. And the install is a breeze, no worrying about setting gear backlash or bearing preload, just pop it into the carrier in place of the spider gears and away you go. Also when in 2WD it behaves like it isn't there which is great. With that being said it still uses the stock carrier which is a weak point but until I can save up for a front axle swap this will do just fine.

marscreature wrote:Why would you put the money into getting BFGoodrich tires if you don't have the white lettering out and visable?

Ahhh, a keen eye. This is a common discussion point, for me the white lettering would get scuffed off and dirty and to be honest would start to look bad very quickly, so I went with black sidewalls. Leaving me just a slight bit envious of all the proper screen replicas I have seen built here. But trust me the money put into the BFGs was mainly to get a set of BFGs; excellent tires regardless of sidewall lettering.
1994 YJ Sahara 4L/5sp - JP90 - Jurassic Trail Ready
http://www.jurassicparkjeep.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=5927
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby Boost1995 » November 26th, 2016, 8:19 pm

True, philosoraptor I agree. Tho, I feel like having a locker at least in the rear is what makes the difference between a capable adventure Jeep and a regular one. Don't get me wrong all Jeep are awesome but when you're running around with everything 4 wheel parts sells with a stock diff. Well... NOW, a JP jeep is a totally different story, but I'm speaking more of your average Jeep on the road. So, I feel your Jeep is coming along nicely! After I finish a few more things for the JP conversion the first order of business is a rear eaton locker in JP19's D44, then front. 2017 the year of the lockers. Hahaha
JP19 instagram: mutant_dinos
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Re: Philosoraptor's Canadian JP#90 Build

Postby Leethallee » November 28th, 2016, 2:07 pm

Hey Philosoraptor.....great build and your posts were funny as F@#K, very entertaining, I've heard that Aussies and Canadians have similar senses of humour :D
You obviously know you way around a tool box, I would'nt tackle half as much as you. I was looking at getting a diff locker, I've heard of the Eaton and ARB air lockers, but I will google the Aussie Locker (made in the USA :D)
A friend of mine has an old Series II Landrover with diff lockers front and back and it goes anywhere, most Aussie Jeep owners fit a lift kit straight away, but not many use diff lockers, no point having clearance if you don't have traction....
The BF Goodrich KO2 is a great tyre and looks freaking awesome too, I'm running the 31x10.5 as well, might go to 32's next time.
What is the brand of the oil pan/sump guard you have? I don't like the way the sump is just sitting out there in the open...it looks so vunerable, not that I will be doing as extreme off-roading as you, by the look of it.
Interesting you you refer to your off road adventures in the "bush" I always thought that was an exclusively Aussie word...

Cheers
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