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  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
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1986 Jeep Cherokee - Race 2 Recreate

Posted in Features on May 26, 2013
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Tube bumpers all around and four Baja Designs HIDs up front help protect the truck with armor and visibility. The antenna is for the race radios so Greg and passenger can keep in touch with other wheelers or his race team. Running a steel yard has its benefits, such as rock sliders of oval tube for a unique look. The small steps are dimple-died for traction, and front fiberglass fenders bulge just enough to clear tires and allow more uptravel of the big 37s.

When the King of the Hammers began, a lot of racers made a mad dash to build something that could go fast and still crawl through the rocks. Just seven years later a lot of those initial builds are becoming outdated as the technology grows faster and faster—just like the buggies. When Greg Parker from Competitive Metals first heard of the race he decided to build a high-speed rock-racing Jeep Cherokee. Before he even had it finished it was outgunned. Now it doesn’t have the speed or agility to compete in the Unlimited class, yet is too modified for Stock Modified. However, it is perfect for our favorite class: recreational four-wheeling.

He upgraded the unibody with tubes inside and underneath as a beefy monocoque cage system

Greg’s Cherokee is the epitome of a built-to-the-hilt modern-day XJ. Since Parker owns a metal yard he has access to all the chromoly tubing, perforated metal, and tools to make art from tube stock. What is incredible is that this Jeep is obsolete on the race track but still cutting-edge for the trail. That’s why we appreciate racing, because this is proof positive that it helps evolve not only the competitive side of off-roading but also the recreational side. Greg could take some time to transform the Jeep to a more timid machine and squeeze into the Stock Mod class, but that sure feels like two steps backwards. Instead it has be assigned prerunner duty for his desert race buggy. This, in addition to weekends on the trails, makes his well-built Jeep a true winner.

PhotosView Slideshow

Tech Specs
1986 Jeep Cherokee body on full-tube chassis
Engine: 420ci Chevy small-block
Transmission: TH400
Transfer case: Atlas II
Front Axle: Dynatrac ProRock 60, 4.88 gears, Detroit locker
Rear Axle: Dynatrac ProRock 60, 4.88 gears, Wilwood discs brakes, Detroit Locker

Springs & Such: Hyper coil/Fox shocks coilovers, bypass shocks, and bumpstops front and rear

Tires & Wheels: 37x12.50R17 BFGoodrich Krawlers on Walker Evans beadlocks
Steering: Howe ram and pump and PSC full hydro valve
Other Stuff: MasterCraft seats and belts, Lowrance GPS, Auto Meter gauges, onboard air compressor, Baja Designs HID lights

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