Motobilt YJ Stretch Kit Install
- by Dan DuBose
The Motobilt YJ stretch kit is a great way to increase the wheelbase of your Jeep YJ. It allows you to convert to a Jeep XJ, Cherokee, leaf spring to extend the wheel base of your Jeep YJ by approximately 6 inches. The kit provides you with a heavy duty steel crossmember with thick 3/4" steel D-Ring mounts. The shackle is mounted on the end of the frame up high so that you can maintain the lowest possible center of gravity. In the following sequence of photos, you will be able to see the process of installing the kit on your Jeep YJ. You will need to complete the obvious, such as removing the gas tank, rear axles/springs. You can install the stretch kit with the factory cross member installed and just stitch weld to it or you can completely remove it as we have and install the kit without. We installed the kit this way as it is a cleaner install this way. The cross member is cut away and the frame can be cleaned up with an angle grinder with a flap wheel. Grind down the tube for the stock shackle hanger so that it is flush with the frame. Whether you remove the cross member or keep it the end will need to be cut off where the body mount attaches. We recommend you tie the rear of the roll cage into the frame at this point. This will allow you to know only support the body but also strengthen your roll cage.Make sure the cross member sits flush with the frame rails so that you can get a good weld onto the frame.The frame rails will end up even or flush with the end of the cross member like shown. An end plate will be welded to close this off.With the plates tacked in place you can now see how the ends will be fully closed off.Once you have confirmed all the pieces are aligned properly you can weld the cross member and side plates to the frame.Once all pieces are fully welded and cooled down you can install bushings, shackles, leaf springs and the rest of the components.
Next, place the new cross member against the frame rails to ensure it is square and centered. Tack weld into place. The frame side plates can now be added to cap off the end of the cross members and tacked into place.
Tack welds will hold everything in place while you double check.