Take a Look at the Quadratec Jeep Wrangler YJL Build

I have never purchased a brand new Jeep Wrangler, but I assume that most new owners don’t immediately think of how they can chop their new Wrangler to make it look like a 1989 Jeep. That is exactly what Jeep parts supplier Quadratec has decided to do with their new Jeep Wrangler JL build-an homage to the 1989 Jeep Wrangler YJ Sahara edition that started it all for Quadratec in the nineties. 


Photo by Quadratec Inc.

Photo by Quadratec Inc.

Quadratec founder Ted Wentz purchased his 1989 Jeep Wrangler YJ Sahara brand new and quickly realized that aftermarket parts and accessories were hard to come by. Quadratec started as a catalog parts company at first, but today employs over one hundred employees and uses their 200,000 square feet of warehouse space to provide jeep parts all over the country. Ted has passed the management responsibilities of the company on to his son, but his ‘89 Wrangler is still hanging around the shop. 

Quadratec decided to build a brand new Jeep Wrangler JL to replicate the Jeep that started the company many years ago. The most notable modification on the new “YJL” is the amount of effort that the team at Quadratec spent in order to maintain the original YJ lines. The grill was heavily modified to accommodate square headlights and the taillights were filled in and replaced with an LED Quadratec tail light for YJ’s. The gas filler was moved from the side of the JL and relocated to the rear of the Jeep and covered with a flip down license plate holder-the single most annoying feature of the original YJ Wrangler. 

READ MORE: WHICH JEEP IS BEST FOR OVERLANDING?

The exterior was painted with the same Khaki metallic paint that coated the YJ Sahara from the factory and custom Sahara pin-striping and logos make a heavy nod to the original truck. Custom front and rear bumpers were fabricated to mimic the original offerings from Jeep, with the exception of the plastic front end-caps, which were known to crumple on impact. As with most builds from Quadratec, the vehicle is heavily armored with tube doors, color-matched sliders and wheels, and massive 37” tires. 


Photo by Quadratec Inc.

Photo by Quadratec Inc.

The rear seat was removed, as the new JL rear seat is even less useful than the YJ rear seat was. The front seats were replaced with Corbeau Trailcat seats with custom leather and stitching that looks nothing like the original, but are likely much more comfortable to sit in. The stock dash was updated a bit with a massive nine-inch Alpine X409 infotainment unit that incorporates Apple CarPlay, Jeep Off-Road Mode, and provides water resistance in the event that you take a dip or get caught with your top off. The crown jewel of the interior is the set of custom Overland Outfitters headrest bags on the back of the seats to replicate the useful map pocket that was stock on the YJ. 

Obviously a company like Quadratec can’t build a Jeep without beefing up the suspension, and beefy it is. The stock suspension was replaced with a full Teraflex kit sporting a massive set of Falcon 3.5-series shocks. Nearly every piece of the steering system was replaced with SteerSmart components to keep everything tight in all conditions. 


Photo by Quadratec Inc.

Photo by Quadratec Inc.

As someone who spent a fair amount of time bouncing around in a 95 Wrangler Santa Fe, it is nice to see builds that pay tribute to the models that came before beyond simply slapping a badge and decals on the body. Although it isn’t an overland specific build, with the right upfitting, the Quadratec Jeep Wrangler YJL could make an excellent platform for someone wanting to get extremely lost in the bush. So bust out your sawzall and welder and start cutting up that new JL to make your own tribute to the Jeep models of old!


Header photo by: Quadratec Inc.

Overlanding Industry News by Zach Elseman. Follow Zach @okienomads.

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