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1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport - Upright XJ

Posted in Features on June 1, 2006 Comment (0)
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We see plenty of lifted rigs in our line of work. Many are well-constructed machines built with performance and off-road capability in mind, but some still subscribe to the "lift-it-to-the-moon" mentality that invariably situates the vehicle 10 feet in the air so the 35-inch tires will never touch the fenders. While this may create ample space for the big tires, it doesn't do squat for the vehicles' off-road prowess since the center of gravity is raised to eyeball level and the tip-over angle is exceeded on speed bumps. So how do you properly outfit a 4x4 to fit 35s? J.D. Sanders' '98 Cherokee should give you a few ideas.

J.D.'s Upright XJ was designed to be as low and wide as possible in order to maintain a low center of gravity. This not only alleviates tipping issues, but the wider stance provides a great ride and handling on the street and excellent stability and capability off-road. The Cherokee's lift system was designed by DPG Off-Road in Rose Hills, Kansas, where J.D. works as a technician.The system incorporates a variety of manufacturer components to achieve the desired level of performance, and includes Old Man Emu coil and leaf springs and shocks along with JKS adjustable control arms and an adjustable track bar. After the suspension components were in place, J.D. got out the saw and started trimming the fenders so suspension and tire uptravel would have plenty of space to fully articulate without interference. All told, the system renders 4-1/2 inches of lift and clears 35-inch Toyo Open Country M/T tires.

With the lift system and many other upgrade parts in place, J.D. continues to address other deficient areas of his Cherokee. He's quickly finding, however, that an efficient suspension system gets you a few steps ahead in the game. Built low to go, this Upright XJ gets the job done right.

Year/Make/Model: '98 {{{Jeep Cherokee}}} Sport
Owner/Hometown: J.D. Sanders
Haysville, Kansas
Engine: 4.0L I-6
Induction: MPI
Transmission: AW4 automatic
Transfer Case: NP231J
Front Axle: Dana 30 w/Lock-Right
Rear Axle: Dana 44 w/Detroit Locker
Ring-and-pinion: 4.88
Suspension: 4.5-inch Old Man Emu/
DPG/JKS
Tires/Wheels: 35x13.50R15 Toyo Open
Country M/Ts
15x8 MT Classics

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