At some point when we apparently weren't paying attention, the Jeep Cherokee got old. It was first introduced in 1984 and enjoyed a lengthy production run that lasted until 2001, which means that there are scads of 20-plus-year-old Cherokees on the roads and trails these days.
We recently came across one of these aging workhorse 4x4s at our local Jeep dealership. At 22-years-old and with 421,392 miles on the odometer, this Cherokee was nearly bone stock, having received no more than a set of take-off shocks and tires over the years. It has been, however, meticulously maintained by its Jeep mechanic owner, Gary Grinkevich. Gary has been working as a Jeep mechanic at Don-A-Vee Chrysler Jeep since before the Cherokee was even introduced. He knows his stuff, evidenced by the well kept nature of his personal vehicle.
An avid off-roader, Gary uses and abuses his Cherokee on a regular basis. Open diffs and stock tires aren't the easiest way to 'wheel but Gary still gets it done, using years of Jeeping skills and creative lines to get through bigger obstacles than a stock Cherokee should be able. After a fresh paint job to cover the many trail scars that he had amassed over the years of 'wheeling stock, however, Gary decided a few upgrades were in order.
What started as a discussion about installing a rear locker turned in to much more; Eaton Performance jumped aboard with a set of its ELocker electric lockers for the Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear axles. Since the diff covers would be off we called BDS Suspension for a set of its differential guards. The crew at BDS determined that the diff guards would look even better paired with a BDS 6.5-inch long arm suspension system. We didn't argue. Still wanting to protect the Cherokee's fresh red paint we contacted Rock Hard 4x4 Parts for a set of its sturdy rock sliders. At the end of the conversation we had added Rock Hard's Cherokee Sport Cage and a winch-adaptable front bumper to the list of items to be installed.
Even with its high mileage engine the Cherokee was positively transformed through the installation of the BDS, Eaton, Genuine Gear, and Rock Hard 4x4 Parts components. The highway ride is amazing and trail capability is unstoppable. As Gary puts it, "It'll climb a freaking wall! I'm taking lines I never dreamed of and not even breaking a sweat." Check out the captions for the installation details.