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by: Bryan Archambeault

Bryan on the Rubicon
Bryan on the Rubicon

Growing up, I always wanted a Jeep, but my parents didn't think they were practical. I think they just didn't like them and since they were paying the bills, who was I to argue? Once I moved out I got married and started a family, then I began to believe them: A Jeep just wouldn't be very practical as a family vehicle. However, once we bought a Ford Windstar (and later a Mitsubishi Montero), we had our family transportation, and I began to long for a Jeep again. So, in 1998, I bought a 1994 Jeep Wrangler. It was stock except for the 30 x 9.50 x 15 BFG AT tires and American Racing AR-23 wheels the dealer put on to help get it off the lot. It didn't stay that way for long.

About six months later, I had a local shop put on some Rancho 1" add-a-leafs and some Rancho RS5000 shocks. I also joined a local 4x4 club because I didn't have any idea where the local trails were, and I wanted to see what other people were doing to their rides. After a couple trips with them, I realized I was going to have to do some more work if I wanted to keep up with the big dogs. I started researching lift kits, and decided I wanted the Warn eXtreme CoiL (XCL) conversion kit (which had just been announced in the last quarter of 1998). After a few months of waiting for it to be completed and start shipping, it went from a bolt-on kit to a big time project outside the scope of my abilities and wallet. It was getting close to summer 1999, and the wheelin' season was near, so I decided to settle on an OME or National spring lift. While flipping through the magazines to find a good deal, I noticed a Four Wheel Parts Wholesalers ad for the Pro-Comp coil conversion kit. I had heard that they were working on one, but I had also heard that it wasn't coming out until the end of 1999. Guess I was wrong. I called 4WPW and placed myself on the waiting list. My kit arrived about a month later. It took my brother and I about a month working a night or two a week and a Saturday or Sunday here and there to get it done. I put some 33 x 12.50 x 15 BFG MTs on, and I was ready for the summer!

As I wheeled during that summer, more stuff started to go on the Jeep as I found my limitations. A winch here, some rocker guards there, gotta get some lockers, you know the drill. Now it's the start of the 2000 wheelin' season, and I'm still no where near "done". I just got finished putting on the Warn front hub conversion and some Rancho RS9000 shocks. I've got a rear disc brake conversion sitting in my garage, as well as some TJ flares and an air bag kit for my rear coils. And, I'm sure I'll find some other stuff to do for the 2001 season. I hear Superlift is coming out with a coil conversion kit. Hmmm...

YJ 1" Body Lift
Project BRYJ gets more clearance with a 1" body lift, coil spacers, and TJ flares
Rear Coil Air Bag Installation
Project BRYJ was rubbing too much on the rear fender flares when loaded down with gear. Air bags in the rear coils fixed that...
Rusty's Off-Road YJ Steering Arms Installation
We upgrade Project BrYJ with new steering components from Rusty's Off-Road Products. Rubicon and Sierra Trek were rough on the factory components, breaking and bending them and their replacements. The Rusty's DOM kit will be a major improvement over the stock bent and broken system.
Shock Rear Shock Mount Extensions for Jeep Wranglers
It is possible to install longer rear shocks on a Jeep Wrangler YJ without cutting the tub. Often rear shocks in a YJ will limit travel and you cannot run a longer shock without moving the shock mount point.
Shafts Wrangler Dana 30 Front Warn Hub Conversion
Bryan Archambeault gets serious with his Dana 30 with a Warn hub conversion kit for his Wrangler. The kit adds manual locking hubs and gets rid of the troublesome vacuum disconnect.
ARB Upgrade Your Dana 30 Front with an ARB Air Locker
I had been considering swapping out my Dana 30 and Dana 35c axles for some time. However, the Pro-Comp Coil Conversion Suspension kit that I have did not offer any axle options other than the stock YJ Dana 30 and 35c. So, I decided if I want to have a stronger front end, I was going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade my Dana 30.
Advance Adapters Slip Yoke Eliminator for the NP231
Advance Adapters provides a slip yoke eliminator kit for the NP231, follow along with this step by step installation.
Explorer Pro Comp Coil Lift for YJs
Bryan Archambeault shows how he installed this lift kit in his garage and converted his Jeep YJ's former leaf spring suspension to coil springs.

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