My ‘95 4.0L engine Wrangler is basically a YJ Wrangler as they know it elsewhere in the world (1987 – 1995), stretched from the 93.4 inches to 103 inches of wheelbase.
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Some people may mistake the long wheel base (LWB for short) YJ Wrangler for a CJ8 (1981 – 1986) with just a YJ grill clipped onto it. However, it is a YJ chassis with extra length and extra strengthening cross member, and it is proportioned exactly like a CJ8 (stretched in the middle & the back), having the same rear overhang … unlike the TJ (1996 – 2006) Unlimited and 4-door JK (2007 – present).
How did this YJ come to be?
Chrysler (way before the merger with Daimler) developed this long chassis YJ for military contracts as a light utility troop transporter. It was manufactured for a short while in Venezuela, but mainly in their long time AAV (Arab American Vehicles) assembly plant here in Egypt on the outskirts of Cairo. The same model was also assembled in Israel by STORM (which also produces other military vehicles). However, the Israeli version had a different front, dash, and had CJ8 doors (square edge), and was sold under the STORM brand not Jeep.
Jeep has been assembling CJ5s, CJ6s, CJ7s, CJ8s, Wagoneers (Cherokee Chief), J10s, and J20s since the ‘70’s in Egypt. In the ‘90s they started assembly of the YJ (Short & Long chassis), and the XJ Cherokee offered in 2.5L & 4.0L manual and auto. They were also the first assembly plant outside of the U.S. to retool and assemble the Liberty. Now production has shifted to the new 2008 Liberty and starting in July ‘08, the all-new and unique Jeep J8, developed for the military, will commence production as well. Their next dilemma will be whether to assemble the 4-door JK.
In 1992, they made civilian versions of the YJL available to the public. But only with CJ8 hardtops & square edge doors, and only 2.5L engines (useless on the long chassis).
In 1995, an improved version of the long chassis YJ was offered with a stretched YJ top (with a hump), round edge doors, and the 4.0L high output inline six. Needless to say, I jumped on it like a maniac.
Also, the reason why you guys have the TJ unlimited is due to its military success in our part of the world, and Jeep for once listening to the unrelenting demands of Jeepers during Camp Jeep and Jamborees across the USA. But the stretched TJ was never made available to the public.
Sasquash started off as a basic (stock) YJL Jeep with the awful OEM leaf springs (which I threw right away). Over the years a horde of modifications and improvements were carried, starting with a full Rancho suspension kit which provided much improved ride quality (over stock), and 2.5 inches of lift which also improved ground clearance. This was followed by a Shackle reverse kit, which also greatly improved the ride quality.