BUILDING A TUBE TJ FROM THE GROUND UP AFTERHOURS
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.