Turning a tired Cherokee into a JeepSpeed competitor
Our story so far: JeepSpeed racer Jason LaFortune and his crew at Temper-Mental Racing (TMR) hit us with an intriguing question-could they build a fully operational desert race truck out of a tired, 140,000-mile Forest Service XJ in just 10 days? The pitch was a strong one-LaFortune accomplished a similar feat in 2004, but in 14 days, not 10-and we were curious to find out if he could truly work the same magic in about two-thirds of the time.
In our last issue, we kicked off the buildup coverage with some drivetrain work and frame bracing. During Days 4 and 5, the suspension and rollcage start to take shape.
Day 4: Prior commitments kept us out of the Temper-Mental shop on Day 3, so we had some catching up to do. The most obvious change: the Jeep came off the lift and into the shop's second bay. The lower altitude meant the crew could start locating the axles. At the rear, the Currie 9-Plus racing 9-inch was moved into position. The rearend is fitted with 35-spline axles, 5.14 gears, and a spool. The suspension is cycled with only one leaf on each side.