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Old 11-01-2006, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2D or 4D & 4WD or 2WD for Jeepspeed

I've been thinking about which Cherokee to start with for Jeepspeed and would like to hear feedback from those that have experience racing them.

First, I have noticed that many of the Cherokees are 2D. Is there an advantage to the shorter wheelbase? Disadvantage? Is there significant weight savings? What are the pros & cons.

Second, most Baja racers are 2WD. I have broken axle shafts on my Dana 44 jumping it and have had much better luck in the desert & dunes in 2WD. Is anyone actually racing in 4WD? Are you using the Dana 30 as an I-beam and stripping the guts out? Are you still running a transfercase?

Any input would be valued- Thanks!

Last edited by Dusty Booger; 11-01-2006 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 11-02-2006, 05:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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4WD isn't nessesary for alot of the races. 2WD saves wieght, and has less to go wrong. You can set the car up so that swaping in a front axle, and a x-case for a different race is quicker.
Some cars are running 30's, some 44's, some 9's.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Take this for what its worth since I have never desert raced, but I plan on building a prerunner next so I have been researching this a bit.

I would say 2dr, 2wd XJ. It has more solid body panel so frame flex wont be as bad, you can beef the fatory I-beam front axle a LOT easier, less weight, longer rear driveshaft with the 2wd AW4 trans. (makes running that 35 spline 9" low pinion a lot better option). Swap on later WJ knuckles for bigger brakes, never a bad thing.

This is just my opinion, take it or leave it.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Booger
I've been thinking about which Cherokee to start with for Jeepspeed and would like to hear feedback from those that have experience racing them.

First, I have noticed that many of the Cherokees are 2D. Is there an advantage to the shorter wheelbase? Disadvantage? Is there significant weight savings? What are the pros & cons.

Second, most Baja racers are 2WD. I have broken axle shafts on my Dana 44 jumping it and have had much better luck in the desert & dunes in 2WD. Is anyone actually racing in 4WD? Are you using the Dana 30 as an I-beam and stripping the guts out? Are you still running a transfercase?

Any input would be valued- Thanks!
You have other options with Jeepspeed now outside the Cherokee, just an FYI.
TJ Wranglers and Grand Cherokees's are legal, and Jeepspeed 3 allows just about any jeep powered, Jeep bodied rig you would want to run. A Comanche with a hemi is legal in that class.

Sorry to get off the subject, Just want to spread the word that the class is opening up.
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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some courses you will either need 4wd or you will be digging your self out in a jeepspeed(yes, alot of guys have the 4wd option alot don't), we chose a 2-door/4wd simply because there is way more room to play with as far as seat positioning, far back as possible to better distribute weight. The weight/strength differences between a 2-door vs a 4-door are negligible(cage should add most of the stiffness anyways) and the wheelbases are identical. We are keeping our xfer case installed and only swap out the 2wd beam for the trussed turdy and the F9" centersection(lp is not a problem in either config) for different gearing. Good luck
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Old 11-02-2006, 09:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I for one am thankfull that Mike has the option of engaging 4WD for this years Baja1K
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I for one am thankfull that Mike has the option of engaging 4WD for this years Baja1K

races like Parker with the insane silt bed's require 4wd, but all the MDR's don't...
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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FWIW, I've seen it mentioned that the Moss Class 3 Bronco (not, not a Jeepspeed, obviously), while 4x4, typically runs 2-hi most of a race, and only engages the front axle from time to time.

Me? I usually put it in 4-hi and leave it there..

FWIW, the last race I went to I was the only competitor with functional 4wd. Everyone else was running a 2wd or had disabled 4x4 for the race (there were some "class" advantages given to the 2wd rigs).

While the track is usually very nice and tacky clay.. it had rained for a day or two before the race.

I didn't even have to race - after the first lap, the competition had taken themselves out of the race. Stuck on a berm, stuck off course, stuck IN the course...
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Knoll
You have other options with Jeepspeed now outside the Cherokee, just an FYI.
TJ Wranglers and Grand Cherokees's are legal, and Jeepspeed 3 allows just about any jeep powered, Jeep bodied rig you would want to run. A Comanche with a hemi is legal in that class.

Sorry to get off the subject, Just want to spread the word that the class is opening up.

Jeff, I have read this, but my fear is that if I start swapping late model Hemis or looking to buy a 98 Grand Cherokee limited with the 5.9, I will be spending alot more. A major attraction to Jeepspeed is the cost. For $20-$25K in parts you could build a really nice rig, which would leave more money for race entries and logistics.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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we started our season out with the plans to be a 4wd vehicle, and ran it in 4hi, but we found out that it performed better in 2hi, and we kept breaking stock D30 open carrier's running it in 4wd all the time. now it is only used when needed, and we have added a LARGE noticable 4wd light. Parker it's a must for teh major silt beds, and with as flat as a large portion of that course is it's not a big holdback. especially when you're not stuck in the first 40 miles

The 4wd axle weigh's just over 100# more than the 2wd. and 2wd rig's are an average of 5mph faster than 4wd, the bigest reason is the less unsprung weight allows the front end to float a bit nicer in rough sections.

we used all our 4wd outers on both JeepSpeeds with stub shaft's bolted in them and all, so that there wasn't seperate spare part's. we've also left the tranfer case in them, it's so centrally located in the vehicle it isn't a gain/loss with the extra few pounds. and the T-case output is stronger than a 2wd tranmission output, and is a fixed yoke with an SYE. plus swapping out tranny's having spare drive shaft's etc is just expensive!
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Booger
Jeff, I have read this, but my fear is that if I start swapping late model Hemis or looking to buy a 98 Grand Cherokee limited with the 5.9, I will be spending alot more. A major attraction to Jeepspeed is the cost. For $20-$25K in parts you could build a really nice rig, which would leave more money for race entries and logistics.
99-2000 WJ V8's are running about 5k around here (limited 4wd) A lot of electrical crap to remove, but a lot more power than an XJ. A ZJ would be more affordable with a v8. The 5.2 and the 4.7 are attractive options to the 4.0L
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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We are going TJ. Picked up a nice one (99 I think)
Runs great looks good.( I hate to cut it up) $5000.
We have $15,000 To play with so we will see if we can get it done and race a couple races on that budget. The V8 in the grand would be great as well as the rear coils, but they are heavy and no one knows how they will hold up yet. I like a frame so we went TJ. I believe Barnett is building a Grand cherokee. The tradition Jeepspeed Cherokee is the best bet right now. Great even playing field with a lot of racers. Us guys thinking outside the box might end up pushed out or into a different class.
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Knoll
Great even playing field with a lot of racers. Us guys thinking outside the box might end up pushed out or into a different class.

There's always Class 3.
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am going to order the $25 rule book from SCORE. (I did not see a download on their site.) I would like to know the specific class rules before I start a build. The bottom line is that I would like to pick a class that I can be competative in and not go broke. At the same time, I would like to do more than a stock VW like Class 11.

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Old 11-03-2006, 05:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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99-2000 WJ V8's are running about 5k around here (limited 4wd) A lot of electrical crap to remove, but a lot more power than an XJ. A ZJ would be more affordable with a v8. The 5.2 and the 4.7 are attractive options to the 4.0L


The V-8s would have to race JeepSpeed 3. The Grands with 6 cyls can play with the JS 1s.
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:52 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The V-8s would have to race JeepSpeed 3. The Grands with 6 cyls can play with the JS 1s.


it's all 1 class now... no one built a rig for any of the new classes, so they lumped them all together...
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Old 11-04-2006, 10:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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it's all 1 class now... no one built a rig for any of the new classes, so they lumped them all together...

? There are definatly js2 rigs racing next season. Clive is keeping them together till there are enough to race seperate rom what i understand.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Sorry I hyjacked the thread and sent in another direction.

TJ Wranglers and 6 cyl grands will race JS1 and v8's would have to run JS3 as far as I know. When the JS2 TJ 's get enough cars I would guess we would spin off from JS1. We might all end up with JS1 cherokee's if the experiment falls flat.

IMHO if you want to race for the best value. Go 4 wheel drive Cherokee with a swapped in 2 wheel drive front axle, and run what you need per race.

Traditional JS1= best racing value.
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:30 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I belive the tj's are the best bang for the buck.. The xj's seem to have a life span of 3 years with the unibody. We are shooting for a much longer life out of the tj with a full frame. so i belive the tj's are a better investment.
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:07 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I belive the tj's are the best bang for the buck.. The xj's seem to have a life span of 3 years with the unibody. We are shooting for a much longer life out of the tj with a full frame. so i belive the tj's are a better investment.

The XJ's will last as long as the owner. They takes alot of maitnance, just like any other race car. I think the wranglers are going to open some doors for the XJ's, and allow them to go faster.


On a side note........... Being on the team, then not on the team, then racing against us. You know we can never let you guys pass us, right!
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The XJ's will last as long as the owner. They takes alot of maitnance, just like any other race car. I think the wranglers are going to open some doors for the XJ's, and allow them to go faster.


On a side note........... Being on the team, then not on the team, then racing against us. You know we can never let you guys pass us, right!

We only joined your team to steal your idea's......... One race was all we needed.
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:54 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I belive the tj's are the best bang for the buck.. The xj's seem to have a life span of 3 years with the unibody. We are shooting for a much longer life out of the tj with a full frame. so i belive the tj's are a better investment.

The class leader is the 6 year old Currie car that is still in great shape
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:20 AM   #23 (permalink)
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The XJ's will last as long as the owner. They takes alot of maitnance, just like any other race car. I think the wranglers are going to open some doors for the XJ's, and allow them to go faster.


On a side note........... Being on the team, then not on the team, then racing against us. You know we can never let you guys pass us, right!

Has there ever been a jeep lap another js? Man i know we should B goood but....

And a side note...... Good luck in MEX...

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Old 11-07-2006, 02:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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If desert racing is new to you I'd start out with 4WD. You can get yourself in a lot of trouble in 2WD. The biggest challenge in desert racing is to finish. Just slow down a bit and don't break things. If you finish you will end of placing most of the time.
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:14 AM   #25 (permalink)
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The biggest challenge in desert racing is to finish. Just slow down a bit and don't break things. If you finish you will end of placing most of the time.
In most desert racing this is true, But we found the top 5 Jeepspeed guys run balls out all the time All the MDR/Jeepspeed races are less than 200 miles and Plaster City was only 100 miles! It comes down to how hard you can push it, but don't brake it! At most races the guy that sets the fast lap wins or is in the top 3!
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