When it comes to an affordable build platform it's hard to beat the '87-'95 Jeep Wrangler YJ. The sturdy little leaf-sprung Jeep's stout frame and cheap price make it a garage builder's best friend. One of the most common conversions for the YJ is the spring-over axle conversion, or SOA for short. An SOA provides the Jeep with more ground clearance, a wider selection of springs options, and a substantial amount of lift without having to run overly arched or stiff leaf springs. Another big plus of the SOA is the ability to slide under 3/4- and 1-ton axle combos without being a metal magician. Though there is a plethora of aftermarket spring-over and full-width axle conversion kits available for the square-eyed Wranglers, we've also seen many home-fabricated low-buck ways to get the springs over the axle. Recently we dropped by our buddy's two-car garage as he was building his own SOA and dropping in a Dana 44 and 14-bolt axle combo. Since the '91 YJ is a bit of a long-term project, he peeled the body off for a little redo, but it is in no way required for the spring-over conversion. Though steering, track bars, and driveline modifications are all part of an SOA, we will focus on the basics of getting the suspension fitted and the axles in place for this installment. Buzz BoxIt's not too often you still hear of people using a stick welder to build their Jeeps, but for many it's all they have. We used 6011 rods and an old Lincoln 225 stick welder to burn the brackets in. Welding with a stick is definitely a dying art; but for many farmhands, a MIG or TIG is simply not an option. 1. From the factory the '87-'95 Jeep Wrangler YJs are configured with the springs under the Dana 30 front axle. This '91 YJ is outfitted with a set of 4-inch Rough Country leaf springs and aftermarket shackles. This means setting the springs over the axle will net the Jeep almost 9 inches of lift.1. From the factory the '87-'95 Jeep Wrangler YJs are configured with the springs under th 2. Part of what makes this spring-over so cheap is that you reuse a lot of the stock parts. You'll need a good hand and some experience with a Sawzall to cut off the stock shackle mount. Be sure to keep the blade as tight to the bottom of the framerail as possible since you will be welding the shackle mount to a new piece of 1/4-inch plate.2. Part of what makes this spring-over so cheap is that you reuse a lot of the stock parts 3. Upgrading from the Dana 30 to a full-width 3/4-ton Dana 44 gives the YJ a wider stance and increases the Jeeps stability. Using a floor jack and jackstands, carefully position the new axle in place.3. Upgrading from the Dana 30 to a full-width 3/4-ton Dana 44 gives the YJ a wider stance 4. With the springs still attached to the frame, position them over the axle and take your measurements for where the new centerline for the shackle mount will be. With the bushings removed we tack-welded the mount to a small piece of 1/4-inch plate a few inches wider than the Jeep's framerails.4. With the springs still attached to the frame, position them over the axle and take your 5. With the frame ground smooth, use vise clamps to position the plate, then mount it in place. Using the stock spring perches from the Dana 44 to position the springs, set the bracket and weld it in place. This will put the front springs at a little bit of an angle, but not enough to bind or damage the springs. With the new mount in place we chose to incorporate a 1/4-inch side brace for a little added support.5. With the frame ground smooth, use vise clamps to position the plate, then mount it in p 6. To secure the springs to the axle, new spring plates and U-bolts are required. The U-bolts can be made to order from most auto parts stores or spring shops, while the spring plates can be fabricated out of plate steel to keep the cost down.6. To secure the springs to the axle, new spring plates and U-bolts are required. The U-bo 7. The rear conversion is about as simple as it gets. Carefully cutting off the original spring perches from the stock Dana 35 we swapped them over to the new 14-bolt rear axle. We also used this opportunity to tilt the rear axle to improve the rear pinion angle.7. The rear conversion is about as simple as it gets. Carefully cutting off the original s 8. Shock tabs can be cut off the junkyard axle or purchased from one of the many aftermarket companies that make axle brackets and tabs. Depending on the amount of lift you are looking for, it is possible to reuse the shocks you already have.8. Shock tabs can be cut off the junkyard axle or purchased from one of the many aftermark 9. Placing the springs over the axle increases the leverage on the spring and in turn increases the effects of axlewrap. Ballistic fabrication makes a weld-on radius arm bracket that works great for the budget builder looking to create his own basic anti-wrap setup. If you'd rather just pick up a phone and buy an antiwrap kit, you can look to companies like Skyjacker, which makes a complete unit for the YJ.9. Placing the springs over the axle increases the leverage on the spring and in turn incr By Ali Mansour Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!