Pirate 4x4 banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,868 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK guys, my brother is talking about getting rid of his CJ in favor of a more street friendly, family wheeler. What do you guys think about a cherokee for wheeling duties? He wants to get one already built in trade for his CJ. How is the unibody, and all that stuff on these? Give me all the good stuff on them.

Thanks
Dima
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Tell him to keep the CJ, or get a scrambler so he can fit the kids in the back!:jeep:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,183 Posts
The unibody sucks, first thing i would do in a internal cage. An extrnalcage would be better but not many people want that for a famliy driver.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,248 Posts
For more info on XJ's than you'll know what to do with, check out www.naxja.org With that said, if he's already got a CJ and is into wheelin, i would really consider a 4 runner. The frame makes things a lot easier.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,372 Posts
Seen them do well, especially when built.

I've also seen bumpers rip off during vehicle recovery, Tomken stuff too...

I used to wheel my Tahoe. The experience is very different going from closed to open wheeling. Keep the CJ.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,670 Posts
Depends how hard he's going to wheel it. An internal or exo cage will help keep the unibody happy. Alot of guys that wheel hammers, ect have plated the bottom rails all with a cage and don't seem to have any problems. naxja.org does have some good info.

What else do you want to know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,868 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just wanted to know if it was worth it for him to stay Jeep or go 4 Runner. I think the runner may be the ticket for him. I like the Jeep, but he does not want toget the trailer, and all that.

Dima
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
The XJ does have limits to be overcome like anything else. The unibody is a pain and needs to be beefed up for serious wheeling. It's also a pain trying to fab anything up using the sub-frame rails because they're just sheetmetal, you pretty much have to weld some c-channel over the rails first. I don't think it would be any more or less work than building a 4-runner for extreme wheeling. If you're going to stay at 4" of lift or less and 32" tires or less, the XJ is a lot easier to build IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,351 Posts
xjaz said:
The XJ does have limits to be overcome like anything else. The unibody is a pain and needs to be beefed up for serious wheeling. It's also a pain trying to fab anything up using the sub-frame rails because they're just sheetmetal, you pretty much have to weld some c-channel over the rails first. I don't think it would be any more or less work than building a 4-runner for extreme wheeling. If you're going to stay at 4" of lift or less and 32" tires or less, the XJ is a lot easier to build IMO.


Buying an XJ is going to be way cheaper than 4 runner. You can pick up a stock 95-96 for around $4K, similiar 4 runner would be around 8K. 4 runner will need a SAS. Of course you get a frame and a very reliable drivetrain with the 4 runner but you will pay for it.

The unibody is not that big of a deal. I built a subframe to fit the TJ RE long arms, which takes majore stress off of the stock CA locations. The are around the steering box needs to be reinforced. And the rear shackle boxes could use some reinforcement. Yes, some folks run c channel welded to the "frame" rails, but this isn't super necessary. It's more work to fit an internal cage, but once you do this, you pretty much never have to worry about unibody fatigue.

the 4.0 bottom end is good for 250-300K if oil is changed regulary. stroke kits for $1500 or elcheapo home brew for less than $1K. AW4 tranny (auto) is built by Aisin and can handle a lot more torque than the 4.0 can give. I haven't heard very many AW4 failures at all.

Wheelbase at 101" is ideal for climbing and gives a nice stable ride on the road.

stock XJ with the sway bars disconnected flex very well off road. I miss the days of 31" tires no lockers and actually having to demonstrate driving skill. That said, I now have 38's Atlas, one ton axles and have built a pretty competent rig that seats 4 and has air conditioning.

I know of almost every built XJ on the west coast. I cannot name anybody that regrets building one.

naxja.org is the forum to check out built XJ's. Also, check out the 500 post thread on this Jeep forum on built XJs for some ideas.

good luck

SeanP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
XJ's are ok, but there is a lot of work if you want to do it seriously. What aboot building a TJ Unlimited when they come out? Wheel base, more room....just a little more pricey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,351 Posts
homerscj7 said:
XJ's are ok, but there is a lot of work if you want to do it seriously.
No more work than any other rig. I know of what I speak, I have actually built one.

SeanP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,465 Posts
SeanP said:


No more work than any other rig. I know of what I speak, I have actually built one.

SeanP
Shut up Newbie......you dont wheel and you know it. :flipoff2:

(Come over sat morning for a couple :beer:'s)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,919 Posts
get an 85 4 runner. Solid axle, efi, etc.

my $.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,346 Posts
For a "more street friendly, family wheeler" an XJ is hard to beat. The 4.0 has plenty of power, the coil sprung front suspention rides really nice, AC/heat that work, and you have available options like power windows/locks, and cruise control.
My little Jeep has taken me through the Rubicon numerous times, to Moab, Colorado, Arizona, and is very comfortable to drive. I can run the Hammers then run down the hi-way at 75MPH with the AC on and the tunes blasting.
However, I think it would be really difficult to get used to wheeling a full bodied vehicle after wheeling a CJ. There's just so much more sheet metal and glass to worry about, or not worry about in SeanP's case. :flipoff2:
I think a 4Runner would make a better wheeler out of the box but an XJ has it beat if you want to actually drive it on the road a lot and be comfortable.

Jes
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,861 Posts
Arghhhh.....he posted on here without telling me!! Well, I'm the one looking to make the trade. Simply said, I am sick of loading the damn Jeep on a trailer just to go wheeling. I want to be able to drive it to the trail and then drive back. I'm not even concerned about doing the hard stuff 'cause I'm always freaking out about breaking anyways. I think that if I had a more comfortable ride that wasn't as agressive, I could probably get my wife to come out more as well.

As for the XJ vs. Toy debate, I think the XJ's are much better equipped to be built up to become mild wheelers. If you're looking to get really serious, go with the Toy.....but it'll eventually just end up a buggy like the rest.

Here's a few pics of the CJ I'm looking to potentially trade:







 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
I readily agree with both Jes and SeanP. IMO, the better qualities of the XJ platform out weigh those that aren't. And there are plenty of ways around the XJs weaknesses ie: Beezil, EasyXJ, SeanP, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,308 Posts
I have owned 4 XJs. I'll own more.

I have a very mild '92 daily driver. 4" lift, 31s, locked front, light armor. It is as fun as my old trail rig and probably as fun as my new trail rig. But in an entierly different way (as SeanP mentioned).

Best light wheeling/camping rig I have owned. Fits 2 people/gear and 2 good sized (90# and 40#) dogs comfortably.

I will be taking it a little bit further with a LS rear and thin 33s and call it good.

As far as the unibody goes, I can pick up another XJ when this one is beat for relatively cheap $$ and swap the goodies over in a few weekends.

Holds lots of groceries too.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
i have an xj i regret trading my cj for it everyday. I hate it. Stock axles are complete shit. Steering in the front is crap death wobble is a constant problem prob bad ball joints but still. The unibody sucks limits size and does twist around. I would keep the damn cj strecth it and put a back seat in it. Easier than messing with a crappy xj.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,861 Posts
Louies106 said:
i have an xj i regret trading my cj for it everyday. I hate it. Stock axles are complete shit. Steering in the front is crap death wobble is a constant problem prob bad ball joints but still. The unibody sucks limits size and does twist around. I would keep the damn cj strecth it and put a back seat in it. Easier than messing with a crappy xj.
Coming from a guy who's sig line mentions stickers and a cage in his Jeep, I'm not convinced.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top