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1991 Jeep Cherokee XJ Unlimited Buildup - From "J_ep" To Jeep

Posted in How To on March 1, 2010 Comment (0)
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This XJ has the simultaneous blessing and curse of living in Utah. On one hand, Utah’s terrain and trails are as extensive and breathtaking as they are rugged. On the other hand, Utah's DOT insists on salting the roads during harsh winter weather. This, of course, wreaks havoc on sheet metal and hard parts.

The '91 Jeep Cherokee XJ Limited in these pages was purchased for $1,000, which was probably $500 too much. Fittingly, part of the Jeep badging above the grille was missing. This thing wasn't a Jeep; it was a "J_ep." The engine was fried, so the first order of business was to swap the bad motor out for one plucked from a wrecking yard. This, too, was no good. The third time was the charm, and the "J_ep's" engine bay was finally filled with a living, breathing 4.0L inline-six.

The "J_ep" was finally able to move under its own power, but there were still several issues to iron out. The shocks were done, and the rear springs were sacked out. The tires were a worn-down set of street shoes incapable of exploring the Utah backcountry.

The plan? Turn the "J_ep" back into a Jeep. Make the Jeep worthy of exploring the Utah landscape it's surrounded by. The chosen upgrades would take this rig well beyond stock capabilities, and also address stock weaknesses. The rules? No overbuilding, and no long-term installations. As is the plight of many an XJ, this one does double duty as a daily driver. Extended down time was verboten.

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Sources

Skyjacker Suspensions
West Monroe, LA 71294
318-338-0816
www.skyjacker.com
Daystar
Phoenix, AZ 85043
800-595-7659
www.daystarweb.com
Desolate Motorsports
Whittier, CA 90605
562-698-1460
www.desolatemotorsports.com
ProtoFab
Dewey, AZ 86327
928-632-0216
www.protofab4x4.com
Ramsey Winch
Tulsa, OH 74116
918-438-2760
www.ramsey.com
Tom Wood's Custom Driveshafts
Ogden, UT 84404
801-737-0757
www.4xshaft.com

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