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Paden Saracino: 1989 Jeep Cherokee

The Ultimate Rigs of UA 2011

Driver: Paden Saracino
Co-Driver: Kellie Olson
Stomping Grounds: Sussex, NJ
Representing unibody wheelers across the nation was Paden Saracino and his ’89 Jeep Cherokee. Making the trek all the way from the Jersey Shore, Paden and his girlfriend Kellie Olson arrived wide-eyed and adventure-ready. He has been building his XJ for years, modifying practically every square inch inside and out. As many Ultimate Adventurers find out, the UA can uncover weak points quickly and sometimes wreak havoc on even the best-built rigs. Paden had some tough luck mechanically during the trip but, with the help of the old cronies, was always able to get back on the trail in short order. Overall, the classic XJ performed well, and we have a feeling this is just the start of many big adventures for the young Jersey couple.


  • Engine: 4.6L (bored and stroked 4.0L), Comp cam, roller rockers, ported intake, bored throttle body, 40-pound injectors, high-flow water pump
  • Transmission: AW4 with low stall converter and shift kit
  • Transfer Case: NP231 with slip-yoke eliminator
  • Front Axle: Dana 44, Ox Locker, 5.13 gears
  • Rear Axle: Ford 9-inch, Currie axleshafts, Moser spool, 5.13 gears


  • Springs & Such: Custom long-arm front with Rusty’s Offroad coils and ACOS adjustable coil spacers, 4-link rear with 51/2-inch ZJ coils and Skyjacker limit straps, Bilstein shocks
  • Tires & Wheels: 37x13.50 Interco M-16s on 15x10 Eaton beadlocks
  • Steering: High steer with an AGR steering gear box and pump


  • Custom cage, rear bumper, tube doors, and flares; ARB front bumper; Rusty’s sliders; Warn M8000 winch; 103-inch wheelbase