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Old 03-22-2016, 11:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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If you could start over. Build a Cherokee or tube chassis?

Trying to decide what direction to go. The reason I'm asking in this section is to get the opinions from those that have done it. And I have a bad ability to justify things to myself even if it's not true. Cost wise the jump to one ton axles is significant. All new steering suspension and brakes tires and wheels. I see all these threads of everybody plating their unibody frames. Cutting everything to make things fit. Throw away any fact that you're a diehard Cherokee fan and You really want to stick with the Cherokee body because of that. because frankly I don't give a shit about Cherokees its just what I ended up coming across and building.

Am I saving a bunch of money swapping one tons into my Cherokee. Or am I looking at the same relative cost to build a tube chassis rig. Considering I could probably sell my Cherokee to cover the cost of a prebuilt chassis.

So, would you put tons under your Cherokee given the hindsight you have now or would you start out with a tube chassis.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Tube chassis.
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I spent about 10k buying tons getting lockers tires gears and so on plus a few g's to get them installed. But I love my xj and the fact it is Inclosed has heat and air and I can drive it on the street to get to trails around here.

If I had to do it over I'd buy somebody else's built rig cause it would be cheaper and faster and less stress and headaches.

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Old 03-23-2016, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah. Before I built a from scratch tube chassis I would buy a finished rig. I don't have the room to build from scratch. I could swap tons into my Cherokee if I decided to go that's route but a long term from nothing build is out of the question
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If youve ever done an extensive build, you know it's not really the big parts like axles, lockers, shocks, etc, that kill you, it's the little shit like fluids, brake lines, hardware, metal, etc. Multiply that by a bunch with a buggy. Unless you're planning on going ghetto and using junkyard fuel lines and what not
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am mid/end of my build and I wish I would of not done the big custom setup I have going on. I stretched a ton and put tons under... blah blah, but if I had to start over I would keep my Cherokee body and just do it normal. I like the idea of a cab with heat and AC. Plus I doubt I would have the patience to make a tube buggy because it would need to be perfect for me.
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Old 03-23-2016, 08:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If someone prefers a cab, Rocklobster is going about it freaking perfectly. I love it. Tube chassis underneath, cherokee on the outside.
A tube chassis is always going to be a cleaner (probably lighter), and stronger platform. You can place motor/trans right where you want them too.

I made the jump to a tube chassis because for wheeling reasons, I just was not thrilled with the base I had to work around with a cherokee platform.

If I had to have a multi-purpose rig that drove on the streets, looked bad ass, and could hold it's own on the trail for a relatively cheap price? I still choose a stretched cherokee on big tires.

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Old 03-23-2016, 08:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If youve ever done an extensive build, you know it's not really the big parts like axles, lockers, shocks, etc, that kill you, it's the little shit like fluids, brake lines, hardware, metal, etc. Multiply that by a bunch with a buggy. Unless you're planning on going ghetto and using junkyard fuel lines and what not
Probably 1/4 of my budget was spent on small parts like new brake lines hoses brake calipers brake rotors backing plates and shit like that so I agree it will eat at the budget super fast.

I also like rocklobsters setup honestly it's probably one of the better executed setups I've seen going on like that.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So my mind has been made up for me this just fell in my lap 30 minutes ago. Rust free California jeep guy's daughter rolled it on a gravel road. Nothing broke that won't happen wheeling it. I can pound the dents out and I have a four-door kid haulerfriendly jeep and one ton swap build it while I wheel the two door. Cut the rear off behind the c pillar. Narrow the front fenders. 213 to 205 doubler. One tons and exocage. Here we go! With air conditioning!
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Lim the opposite. I have a truggy tube chassis now and wish I had more of a body and doors/heat etc
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Lim the opposite. I have a truggy tube chassis now and wish I had more of a body and doors/heat etc
Thats what I had years ago and while it was a blast to wheel. The cherokee I have now is more fun as I can drive it to work and it can still handle decent trails. It also works much better with the wife and the kids.

But like some people have said, I think my next jeep will be one I buy.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Depends on the goal. Are you adventuring with family and want a streetable rig or are you going to end up with a beat to shit, no windowed, no heater, no etc. jeep?

I've been down both roads, for me the full buggy would have been better at one time, but I got sick of expensive heavy parts. Now I have a simple WJ and am happy.

You really need to sort out your goals. If just getting tons under you rig with little planning and hacking the shit out of it in the process is in your near future, then I would just buy a buggy.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Personally ... wouldn't do tube chassis. But I would start with a 'real' frame.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
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good luck on the build man. I have no interest in putting 1 tons under a Cherokee ever again dealing with that weight under a uniframe just wasn't worth it. I had so much fun wheeling that thing on a D30/8.8 and 35" tires but convinced myself that I needed to go bigger for some reason. now I'm down the rabbit hole on the verge of a rocklobster/8lugxj looking build it never ends
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i need something i can haul small kids around in. im probably going to do tvs in the headrests (hey, keep them entertained so i can stay on the trail). soccer mom build. gotta have heat and a/c to keep them and myself comfortable.
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Old 03-25-2016, 01:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Well my Heims aren't mine anymore appearantly. If anyone knows of someone selling some send them my way.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm in the process of building a tube chassis with a tj tub.
Wide open design makes some cool chassis that basically bolt up to cj/yj/tj tubs...
Best of both worlds in my eyes

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Old 04-03-2016, 08:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My last xj turned into a buggy and now I'm building another xj for the same reasons as you.... Hauling the family, heat, a/c, a rig if I want to drive to the trail I have the option of doing etc but still have the strength of a tube chassis. The current xj I'm building will be both for crawling and go fast stuff. To deal with the unibody I've only kept the unibody from just infront of the rear spring mounts to the firewall. That area has been fully plated inside and out. Firewall forward will be all tube and the same out in the back, basically a buggy with a xj shell with full accessories and street legal.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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tube chassis.

and a cherokee.

I have a cherokee that's halfway there. I wish it was more of a cherokee and less of a buggy...

and I wish I had a buggy that I could run reckless on the harder trails.
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Mine started as a 1 Ton cherokee build, and turned into pretty much a full on buggy.

If it weren't for the VIN and it being plate-able, I'd say a tube chassis would have been WAY easier from the start.

That being said, a full body is really nice to have...and I do miss wheeling mine with a D30/9" on 35's ALL the time.

I'm now getting ready to have one on ~32's with a D30/8.8, and it's going to stay nice and pretty

So, I'll be getting a little of the best of both worlds.

For your needs, sounds like a full body is your best bet. That keeps it easily streetable, and with kids...a lot more manageable especially if sh*tty weather strikes.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Tube chassis.. No regrets or compromises if you can.
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:25 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If I was just hardcore wheeling I'd want buggy, if I wanted to haul friends and family, drive to work and just beat on while not caring if I had the baddest ass rig out there, I would pick an XJ or similar 4door rig. Frames are nice but #fwapit.
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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How about a tube chassis you bolt a whole XJ into?
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:03 AM   #24 (permalink)
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get that shit into production already @actionfab
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:49 PM   #25 (permalink)
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How about a tube chassis you bolt a whole XJ into?
I wanted to try that years ago when I bought my first XJ back on '99. I would still be interested in something that you could just "drop" the XJ shell onto.
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