Beefed-Up YJ Comes to Life Off-Road

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YJ Jeep

YJ Jeep Is Proof That True Rock Climbers Are a Different Breed

The key to maintaining a reign at the top of the hill in the off-roading world has nothing to do with the look of your vehicle.

Nope, not one bit. Now, that’s not to say that a Jeep modified to tackle trails won’t turn heads on the street. In fact, there’s a strong chance it will, due to the special mods it takes to beef up a winning off-roader.

But unlike those custom, high-riding Jeeps you typically see in the city, the mods on a true off-roader aren’t strictly for show. And you can usually tell by the wear and tear the Jeep has endured on the trail. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain.

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Just ask Sergio Martinez, owner of this trophy-winning YJ rock crawler, highlighted in a recent Four-Wheeler report. The Jeep YJ’s winning list of mods grew out of a desire to build something beefier, after it blew out a 9-inch rear-end for the third time.

One of the first moves included adding a 14-bolt rear axle from an ’85 Chevy G30 van and a Dana 60 out of ’97 F-350. Martinez also moved the axles to give the Jeep a 108-inch wheel base, in order to perform better on the trail.

The Jeep also features a custom 4-link front and rear suspension. It was built using aluminum links, 5⁄8-inch Heim joints with 3⁄4-inch shanks, and 35-inch limiting straps. On the front of the YJ, you’ll find 2.0 King 14-inch coilover shocks, and stock TJ front coils with universal coil buckets modified to fit the Jeep.

Martinez’s Jeep also underwent a serious engine and transmission upgrade, including pulling a 6.0-liter V-8 from an ’05 Chevy 2500. The Jeep also features a 10,000-pound capacity winch mounted on a steel front bumper, another one of a dozen hardcore mods made to the SUV.

Point being, a real rock crawler is defined by what a Jeep’s mods can do, not how they look.

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Via [Four-Wheeler]

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