TUBE TJ

BUILDING A TUBE TJ FROM THE GROUND UP AF­TER­HOURS

4 Wheel & Off Road - - CONTENTS - John Cappa BY ED­I­[email protected] PHO­TOG­RA­PHY JOHN CAPPA

What one man ac­com­plished in a mere 350 hours.

GIVEN OUR BUSY WORK sched­ules, kids’ ac­tiv­i­ties, spousal du­ties, and other chores, most of us strug­gle to find time to change the oil in the fam­ily 4x4, much less build an en­tire 4x4 from scratch. But Med­ford, Ore­gon, res­i­dent Richard Yea­mans is ded­i­cated to his af­ter­hours craft time. It just so hap­pens that a 1998 Wran­gler be­came the ob­ject of his late-night project obsession. While the rest of us were busy wast­ing a few hours ev­ery night watch­ing TV or trolling the in­ter­net for the lat­est vi­ral video from Kim Kar­dashian, Yea­mans set to work on his Jeep, peck­ing away at it bit by bit un­til it be­came the ca­pa­ble trail rig you see here.

Of course, Yea­mans didn’t take the easy route and start with a run­ning and driv­ing Jeep, or even a rolling Jeep for that mat­ter. His project be­gan with the res­cue of a 1998 TJ body tub that had been aban­doned in a field. Once the body was brought home, Yea­mans set to work on the body tub. It was stretched 8 inches, and the rear tub rails were raised 2 inches to al­low for larger wheel­wells. This was key in get­ting the lowslung cen­ter of grav­ity he wanted while main­tain­ing enough room for larger tires and ad­e­quate sus­pen­sion travel. The en­tire body was smoothed and hosed in 2010 Ca­maro syn­ergy green by Erin Peters. From there, Yea­mans bus­ied him­self with the DOM tubu­lar chas­sis, cus­tom link sus­pen­sions front and rear, and LS1 en­gine swap.

We were sur­prised and some­what ashamed that we can’t com­pete with what Yea­mans ac­com­plished in a mere 350 hours of build time work­ing alone. So the next time you find your­self wast­ing sev­eral hours a week be­hind an LED screen, maybe re­think how you could bet­ter spend your time to end up with a 4,250-pound off-road toy like this one.

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