by Eric Zappe
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Ready to turn your Jeep Cherokee XJ into a trail-worthy machine? Why not? With two available 4-wheel-drive systems, solid axles front and rear, and a torquey 4.0-liter straight 6, the Cherokee is a very capable machine, especially when it's modified the right way.
Author Eric Zappe explains how to upgrade your Cherokee's suspension, axles, differentials, engine, transfer case, wheels and tyres, skid plates, and more, using aftermarket and salvage yard upgrades. Zappe even has special sections covering basic driving and recovery techniques, and a number of built-up Jeeps to give you ideas for your own Cherokee.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Cherokee Basics
A Brief History of the Jeep Cherokee; Buying a Cherokee; Can My Stock XJ Go Off-Road?; Shifting into 4WD; Basic Driving Tips and Techniques; Responsible Use – Doing Your Part; Basic Maintenance and Do-It-Yourself; Beginning Modifications — Sway Bar Removal
Chapter 2: Suspension Upgrades
2-Inch Budget Boost; 3-Inch Lift Kits; 4- to 6-Inch Lift Kits; Long-Arm Suspensions; Achieving a Balanced Suspension; Shocks; Post-Lift Maintenance
Chapter 3: Wheel and Tyre Selection
Beadlocks; Wheel Size; Backspacing and Offset; Wheel Spacers; Tyre Size vs. Lift Height; Correcting the Speedometer; Tread Types
Chapter 4: Steering, Alignment, and Brakes
Heavy-Duty Stock Steering Replacements; Over-the-Knuckle and Cross-Over Steering Systems; Drop Pitman Arms; Steering Box Reinforcement; Alignment: Toe, Caster, and Camber; Death Wobble; Rear Disc Brake Conversion
Chapter 5: Axles, Gearing, and Traction Devices
Stock Front Axles; Stock Rear Axles; Alloy Axle Shafts; Popular Axle Swaps; Choosing a Gear Ratio; Manual Hub Conversion; Limited-Slip Differentials; Lockers
Chapter 6: Transfer Cases and Driveline
Front Driveshafts; Rear Driveshafts; Slip Yoke Eliminators; Long-Travel Yokes; Shims
Chapter 7: Engine and Transmission Upgrades
The 2.5L I-4 Engine; The 2.8L V-6 Engine; The 4.0L I-6 Engine; Snorkels; Air Filters; Bored-Out Throttle Body; Aftermarket Exhausts; Using an Oversized Oil Filter; Transmission Upgrades
Chapter 8: Body Basics
2-Door vs. 4-Door; Unibody Strengthening and Stiffening; Fender Trimming; Flare Options; Hood Vents; Bedlining the Interior
Chapter 9: Skid Plates and ecovery
Front Recovery Points; Rear Recovery Points; Transfer Case Protection; Gas Tank Protection; Differential Guards; Control Arm Protection; Rocker Panel Protection; Where to put that spare tyre?; Basic Tools for Recovery; The Reno 4x4 XJs do the Rubicon
Appendix A: Stock Cherokee Specs; Appendix B: Acronyms and Terminology; Appendix C: Source Guide
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