It's hard to believe it's been almost four years since I sold my Trooper. After selling it
in 2013, I was without a 4x4 for a few years. Then in early 2015
I decided to buy a Jeep Cherokee XJ. I've always loved the body style, and I had owned a 1990 Jeep Cherokee "Pioneer" back in the 90's. I liked the vehicles interior, and how it
handled. I also liked the power from the 4.0L engine. I searched for about three months before finding a suitable candidate to build. I wanted something bone stock, so I could build it the way I wanted. Believe it or not, clean unmolested XJ's are getting harder to find. So I settled for a filthy, unmolested XJ. lol
The Jeep had a great running engine, smooth shifting transmission, hot heat, and cold AC. It drove great, (almost) everything worked, and it was rattle, and noise free.
It also had dry rotted tires, rusty wheels, filthy carpet, worn out shocks, worn out lift gate struts, a sagging headliner, and even saggier rear leaf springs.
I didn't mind most of the issues, as I was planning to lift the truck, and replace the wheels/tires.
Here it is in all it's sagging glory the day I drove it home. It looked so pitiful, but I was super excited to once again have a 4x4.
It also had a factory LSD, which I only discovered after I got sideways leaving the car wash with wet tires lol
I found an ex-Chrysler master mechanic who now owns a Jeep "Off Road" shop that does all the things I either can't do, or don't own the tools to do. He's been a great help in sorting out all the things needed to make this Jeep as reliable as it can be. Over the next few years, I fixed a bunch of little nuisance items, and got all the vehicles service up to date. I've replaced the entire cooling system, brakes, fluids, battery, all the gaskets, seals, o-rings, bushings, and anything that could possible leak.
I lifted it 3", with all new shocks, new coils springs, new full leaf packs, and new control arms. I replaced the wheels and tires. Added a front winch bumper, and rear tire carrier bumper, added larger aftermarket cut out fender flares, and a CB radio. I replaced the factory seats with nicer seats from a Grand Cherokee, replaced the sagging headliner, and shampooed the filthy carpet. I also replaced the factory Dana 35 rear axle, with a Chrysler 8.25.
I had kept the roof rack from the Trooper, so I cut it down to fit the XJ, and modified the gutter mounts slightly to accommodate the angles of the Jeep. I also added a fuel can to the rear hatch (which was much harder than it was on the Trooper). I really miss the Troopers rear doors. I've never been a fan of lift gates.
I still have a fairly long list of items I'm hoping to add to the Cherokee, but it's coming along slower but surely.
I've been driving some of the TN Dirt Devil Trail over the last few months, and so far the Jeep is performing great.
I'm hoping to attend Overland Expo East this fall, so I'm planning my next few mods/items around that trip. Eventually I plan to hit Uhwarrie, Moab, and a few other places.
Here's how it currently sits
I've actually not been very active online the last few years. My home computer failed and I just never got around to replacing it, until last week. I've always had a work laptop, but don't use them for personal use. Now that I have a desk top with a good size screen, it's much easier to surf the forums.
I realize this is an Isuzu forum, but I always liked the people on here, and reading the threads. I've really missed being on here the last few years since I sold my Trooper. I'm on a few Jeep forums, but it's just not the same.
It's been nice looking around the "Planet"