Okay, granted 1994 wasn’t that long ago to most of us, but to a Jeep it can be a lifetime.
You know how it goes: a little water, a little wear, a little salt and suddenly your favorite ride found religion—it’s now hole-y. And there’s not a lot you can do about it. But if you’re game for a frame-off resto, or you’re going to perform a shackle repair, tub weld—any number of projects involving bare metal—then read on.
We lucked out when we found a low-mile, all-original 1994 YJ Sahara for around $5K. The previous two owners were a brother and sister who wanted to find someone who would appreciate the Jeep and not immediately take it rock crawling. It was our chance to have one that was practically new, aside from a little surface rust on the suspension and frame.
There’s only a few ways to deal with rust when you live in a salt belt state. One is move to West. The other? Get the rust under control. For this Jeep, that involved a frame-off. We won’t go into the disassembly in this article, but once stripped bare, the frame was discovered to be in very good condition. All that was really needed was a strip, clean, and paint process.
Taking advantage of the products Summit Racing offers, we completed all three jobs in record time, and for less than sandblasting or a chemical bath would have cost. And the results were astounding. We finished the frame before this past winter, a record-breaking season for snow. The frame was covered in snow for six months.
Were we worried? Not a bit.
When the spring thaw arrived,we found the frame just as we left it with no new signs of rust. How’s that for an acid test? Check out the photos to see what’s involved.