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Old 03-18-2009, 06:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Cutting the top off of a 2 door Cherokee.

I have been kicking around the idea of cutting the top off of my 91 2 door Cherokee. I want to cut it right behind the doors....pickup style. I do have the means and tools. A roll cage will follow eventually. My question is whether or not it is necessary to do the cage immediately after cutting back the top. I know that on a four door there is much more top left when you cut it short, but I am worried about losing too much chassis(unibody) support on the 2 door. I probably won't do much wheeling until the cage is in, but it is my daily driver for now. Anybody ever do it?

Last edited by Blacksmith Cycles; 03-18-2009 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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At the VERY least I would suggest you install sub frame bracing BEFORE you cut the top.

Dan at Ruff Stuff (vendor here) makes some very nice ones.

I am involved with a similar project; here are some pics:







you can see the plating on the remaining body in this pic:



The cage will tie in at all those plates...

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Old 03-18-2009, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wheeled mine several times (dirt road kinda trails) and drove it on the street with no top, and rear wheel wells gone, and the rear gas tank mounted through a hole in the floor. no sliders yet. I did plate the frame with 120 wall box. 1tons and 37s. I could still open the doors when flexed out so it didnt move much.

It didnt fall to pieces. like you said I wouldn't really wheel it till you add a cage.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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http://www.trailkrawlers4x4.org/tkbb...php?f=5&t=6464

20 pages of things you could do. Enjoy
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I chopped my top and used 1" x 2" box tubing around the edges to clean everything up. Nothing structural. Drove it on the street and wheeled a little but nothing hard. I didnt go as far at Ashman did with taking out the fenders. Chris (vette) told me the fenders add a good amount of strength to the body so I kept them until I got the cage in.

I got TNT frame stiffeners, Rock sliders and a 6 point .120 DOM cage so body flex is not a problem. The frame stiffeners and rock sliders made a huge difference. This weekend will be my first trail run with all my new hardware so we will see how it performs.

Pics with and with out cage.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just to clairify, those small bars going over the door and down the A-pillar are just for sliding on trees and such. I got sick of ripping everything up and getting hung up between stuff and blowing out glass and smashing the roof line.
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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don't chop it unless you have to, its the dumbest thing i ever did. before i put a cage in it you could watch the tail of the body flex up and down going down the highway.... i shoulda waited till i rolled it to cut the roof, just build a good cage and if your looking for the open air feel, ditch the doors and the rear glass peices, since they proably wont last aanyway
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Old 03-19-2009, 08:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Xjcrawler736 View Post
I chopped my top and used 1" x 2" box tubing around the edges to clean everything up. Nothing structural. Drove it on the street and wheeled a little but nothing hard. I didnt go as far at Ashman did with taking out the fenders. Chris (vette) told me the fenders add a good amount of strength to the body so I kept them until I got the cage in.

I not have TNT frame stiffeners, Rock sliders and a 6 point .120 DOM cage so body flex is not a problem. The frame stiffeners and rock sliders made a huge difference. This weekend will be my first trail run with all my new hardware so we will see how it performs.

Pics with and with out cage.

That thing looks much better than the last time I saw it. Will you be at Rausch this weekend? Me and Chris will be there.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That thing looks much better than the last time I saw it. Will you be at Rausch this weekend? Me and Chris will be there.
Thanks Tim. I should be pulling into Rausch friday night sometime between 8 and 9. I still have to finish a couple things tonight and tomorrow. I will be at the new shop all night putting axles back in a CJ. Regardless of how much I get done I will be there with the XJ ready to go.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Tim. I should be pulling into Rausch friday night sometime between 8 and 9. I still have to finish a couple things tonight and tomorrow. I will be at the new shop all night putting axles back in a CJ. Regardless of how much I get done I will be there with the XJ ready to go.
Awesome! We are going to be camping with a huge group. Definitely stop over. It'll be hard to miss my new trailer.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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been thinking of doing this to my jeep also since two years ago I flopped it on the roof and did major damage to it I had the spare tire on the roof
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