Exhaust Trail Fixes

Anyone who wheels Jeeps has mostly likely done it. It was done to my YJ just before I bought it.

What I’m talking about is chopping the exhaust. Whether it be a rock or your own axle, your exhaust system will get crushed at some point.

The trail fix for this is usually cutting the exhaust pipe off just behind the muffler.

Well, I ignored that mine was cut off too long. Coming home from a wheeling trip (I race on Sunday what I hope to drive on Monday) my ignition coil failed. During the failure, it loaded the exhaust with fuel and expunged everything out the muffler. This is when I suspect my problem really began. It began with a fireball exiting the muffler which was pointed directly at the fuel tank skid plate with the fuel tank inside.

Nothing went wrong immediately. I borrowed an ignition coil off a club mate’s jeep and drove home.

Subsequently, a couple months later, I’m filling up at the station when I notice gas running everywhere. After scrambling for some oil-dry, I was able to see that the fuel was exiting near the tank straps, but that’s all I could diagnose sitting at the pump. The one and only time my Jeep has left me dead on the road, and this was it. I had to call a flatbed truck to take it from Newton (Iowa Speedway) to home.



After ordering a new tank and getting everything torn apart, I noticed the passenger’s side of the tank was severely deformed. It had melted to the skid plate, thinned out, and finally cracked under the pressure of the strap.

This could have been ugly, real ugly. I got lucky.

Moral of the story is, carry a turn-down. You won’t regret it should you have to cut your exhaust.

Best case, a 20 US gallon, fuel tank for a 1994 YJ will run you about $400 delivered.

Worst case, your tank ignites costing whatever your junk is worth, if not your life.

A turn-down will cost about 6 bucks.

Shakedown Cruise

The axle swap was completed at the beginning of June, but it wasn’t until now that I had a chance to to get it out wheeling.

Along with the axles, I installed a new set of shoes. Trailcutter MT’s. Everything perform as was expected. Nothing broke on the trail, though I did burn up the ignition coil on the way home. I was able to scavenge one off a trailered rig to get home (Thanks Jim!).

Since then, I installed a new coil, cap and rotor. Everything seems to be running fine.



Build Sheet: 1994 Wrangler Sahara

Thank you for contacting the Chrysler Customer Assistance Center
regarding your 1994 Jeep Wrangler.

In response to your email regarding the build sheet information you are
seeking about your vehicle, we would like to inform you that we are
pleased to provide vehicle build information per your request.

According to our records, your vehicle was equipped from the factory
with the following:

Cloth High-Back Bucket Seats
Monotone Paint
Sahara Decor Group
90 Amp Alternator
500 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
High Back Bucket Seats
Reclining Front Seats
Rear Folding Seat
Floor Carpet
Cargo Compartment Carpet
Front Floor Mats
Spare Tire Cover
Full Length Floor Console
All 3-Speed Automatic Transmissions
3-Spd. Automatic 32RH Transmission
Lock-Up Torque Converter
Command-Trac Part Time 4WD System
Dana 30/186MM Front Axle
3.07 Axle Ratio
175MM Rear Axle
4.0L Power Tech I-6 Engine
Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
Tinted Windshield Glass
Front Door Tinted Glass
Full Metal Doors w/Roll-up Windows
Rear Window Defroster
Left Manual Mirror
Right Manual Mirror
Swing-Away Mirrors
All Vehicles W/O Power Mirrors
Heater w/Instrument Pnl Ventilation
200 KPH Primary Speedometer
Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Rear Window Wiper/Washer
Cigar Lighter
Single High Note Horn
Locking Glove Box
Add-A-Trunk Lockable Storage
Courtesy Lamps
Map/Dome Reading Lamps
Underhood Lamp
Halogen Headlamps
Daytime Running Headlamps
Fog Lamps
CHMSL Lamp
Painted Front Bumper
Black Rear Bumper
Bumper Extensions
Body Color Headlamp Bezels
Black Front Frame Overlay
Body Color Grille
Bodyside Side Steps
Sport Bar w/Side Padding
Federal Emissions
EVAP Control System
20 Gallon Fuel Tank
Engine Block Heater
Heavy Duty Engine Cooling
All Radio Equipped Vehicles
AM/FM Cassette Radio
4 Speakers
Fixed Long Mast Antenna
Power Rack and Pinion Steering
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
Heavy Duty Suspension w/Gas Shocks
Front Stabilizer Bar
Tilt Steering Column
Full Size Spare Tire
Outside Tire Carrier
P215/75R15 RBL Wrangler AT Tires
Goodyear Brand Tires
Black Hard Top
15″ Aluminum Wheels
All Aluminum Wheels
Tow Hooks
Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
Without Billable Fuel
Rear Spring Group Iii
GVW/Payload Rating
Left Front Spring Group Vi
Right Front Spring Group VI
Customer Preferred Package 2TV
Customer Preferred Package 24V

Clank and Grind

Earlier this morning the YJ started making this clanking grinding sound which appears to be coming from the rear axle.

After some brief troubleshooting, I determined (I think) that it’s NOT the TC or drive shaft.

1. I must be underway, forward or reverse
2. It seems to be louder in turns, specifically forward turns
3. It appears to always be there, just louder sometimes

It was 1am so I didn’t get much done with it but my thoughts are I finally killed the D35 (good thing it’s not the new 8.8) or something let loose in the brake drum.

Project Upsize: Axle Swap

I am starting the process of swapping the axles in my YJ.

I am swapping my open Dana 30 HP 3.07 front axle to another Dana 30 HP already geared at 4.10 plus I will be installing a Lock-Right.

I am swapping my open Dana 35 3.07 rear axle to an open Ford 8.8 geared at 4.10.

While I am addressing various aspects of my JY axles like brake rotors and pads I am also pricing my various drive shaft options. I will consolidate my final decision here, but for now I am tracking the various options here.

HP Dana 30 ($267):
Solid axle shafts from a TJ or XJ ($100)
Brake rotors ($27×2 = $54)
Check pads (good)
Rebuild calipers if necessary (good)
Extended brake lines ($85)
TRE flip
Sway bar bushings and disconnects
XJ drive shaft 1j4ff68s3xl590831 ($35)
Lock-Right locker w/ hardened pin ($296)
YAW39147-KIT Warn Vacuum disconnect block off ($40)

Ford 8.8 1fmyu24e0xub73816 w/ flange adapter ($214):
SYE ($175)
XJ drive shaft 1j4ff48s5yl174236 ($35+$93 = $128)
Replace brake pads ($27)
Check e-brake shoes (good)
Brake rotors ($31×2 = $62)
Hard brake lines ($8)
Extended brake line (Included above)
Weld Tubes ($25)
E-brake connection
Mounting kit ($118)
MORE Shock Mount Extensions ($103)

33″ Trailcutter MT ($661)

Drive Shaft Options

This will detail the various options I have for both the front and rear drive shafts during my axle swap. Hopefully this will control costs while allowing me the most reliable options.

All prices are Midwest prices.

Decided on the standard SYE kit and a modified front XJ drive shaft.

Once You Go Black

Well it’s started finally…..the fade to black, as it were. Installed the new black headlight rings.

Before: After:

Next item up…the fuel filler door. Have the new one,just haven’t had a warm enough day to get it installed.

Now I just need to get the mirror mounting brackets changed out. Think he’ll notice i stole em off his? haha. The stickers are gonna be the last before i do the phantom flames. Wheels will wait until i need new tires…unless something falls in my lap. You just never know.

YJ Suspension Nip Tuck

I scheduled a half workday on Wednesday the 25th with the purpose of smoothing the ride and troubleshooting a vibration that had developed. I also was told that I should remove the rear shackle center bolt to maximize rear axle flex.

This was the first thing I did. In the end I didn’t have enough “junk” to flex it far enough for this to matter. I still had about 1/2″ before I would have hit the bolt anyway. It doesn’t hurt anything not having it in, so I left it out.

The most important thing I wanted to do was loosen shackles. Originally, the shackles were torqued to factory specs of 95 FT LB at the spring. Bear in mind that I am running boom shackles and during my research I found quite a few were only torquing to 45 FT LB. This was a little too far below factory specs for my comfort so I went with 60 FT LB all the way around.

I also decided to disconnect the sway bar to see if this had any affect, good or bad, on the ride quality. I left it zip tied to the frame until I get a few miles OTR before removing it permanently.

The results of these two things surprised me.

First, the ride quality improved immensely as measured by the scientific audible rattle method. When traversing bumps known to rattle any and everything as well as give me a good jolt were noticeably softer with less darting.

Second, the vibration I had been experiencing from full stop acceleration was almost completely gone. The vibration had been coming from, apparently, the front left. While it does still vibrate, it’s to a much lesser extent. Now I can hit the skinny pedal quite a bit harder and experience very little vibration at all. I attribute this most to the disconnecting of the sway bar and not the shackle work but I can’t say for sure as I did both before taking it for a test drive.

At this point, I have no plans to change anything I did. The benefits have far out weighed the minor body roll I am experiencing when turning. It doesn’t feel unsafe and hasn’t softened the steering to any great extent.

Some other things accomplished were to permanently attach the center console and secure wiring for the new stereo that was installed the week prior. I also upgraded the speakers in the sound bar and will replace the speakers in the dash once the weather warms up a bit more.