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Backcountry Exploration Build

Old 08-11-2011, 01:39 PM
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Default Backcountry Exploration Build

I'm completely new to Cherokees and just picked up a super clean 1998 Classic with only 75k on the odo. So I've only had a little time to come up with my build plan. I want your comments/suggestions!

This will be my camping, backcountry exploration truck. It will take me to the Maze District in Canyonlands soon. It will also be my weekend canoe/dirt-bike hauler. My go-to vehicle when the snow's flying. I want to make it more capable without going too big.

Here's my plan:

Near-term:
OME HD Suspension from Rocky Road Outfitters.
Some decent tires - I'm leaning toward stock dimensions . . .
Class III Receiver hitch.
Bumpers - roxolidtrailarmor looks kinda like what I'm leaning toward, but I do need somewhere to put a full-size spare (not on the roof or in the cab).
Viar compressor under the hood.
Storage box or shelf of some sort.

Mid-term:
Dual ARBs

What am I missing? I'm looking for reliability and durability without sacrificing fuel economy.

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:09 PM
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Sounds like me and you have similar plans. You should check out my build thread as I just installed an 2" OME suspension lift. I've heard horror stories with Rocky Road Outfitters. You should look into JeepinOutfitters.com or DPGoffroad. I've heard nothing but good about them. As for me, I ordered mine from mine from 4WD.com. The only reason why I went with 4WD was because I got a complete kit (Leaf springs, Coils, Shocks, T-Case Drop, U-Bolts, and Bushings) with 5% off and free shipping, which essentially saved me $135 total.

I would also look towards getting front & rear recovery points and skid plates (Front, T-Case, and Gas Tank).

Anyway, sounds like you got a good idea with what you want to do on your Jeep. 75k Miles .

Congrats on the new Jeep..

Last edited by MCObray; 08-11-2011 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:25 PM
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Yeah, what you're doing sounds a lot like what I'm planning to begin.

Tow points are already in the plan with the bumpers and receiver. I do like the tow hooks you picked up!

What's the favored source/brand for skid plates around here?

Last edited by squatch; 08-11-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by squatch View Post
I'm completely new to Cherokees and just picked up a super clean 1998 Classic with only 75k on the odo. So I've only had a little time to come up with my build plan. I want your comments/suggestions!

This will be my camping, backcountry exploration truck. It will take me to the Maze District in Canyonlands soon. It will also be my weekend canoe/dirt-bike hauler. My go-to vehicle when the snow's flying. I want to make it more capable without going too big.

Here's my plan:

Near-term:
OME HD Suspension from Rocky Road Outfitters.
Some decent tires - I'm leaning toward stock dimensions . . .
Class III Receiver hitch.
Bumpers - roxolidtrailarmor looks kinda like what I'm leaning toward, but I do need somewhere to put a full-size spare (not on the roof or in the cab).
Viar compressor under the hood.
Storage box or shelf of some sort.

Mid-term:
Dual ARBs

What am I missing? I'm looking for reliability and durability without sacrificing fuel economy.

Thanks!
I have roxolid bumpers, for the $$ you cant beatem. I bought front and rears with hitch recievers built into both for $500 shipped. They sell a rear with a swing out tire carrier also. If you get a rear bumper with a reciever built in from roxolid the add extra frame ties that mount where a factory hitch does also.

Last edited by knuckleduster271; 08-11-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by squatch View Post
Yeah, what you're doing sounds a lot like what I'm planning to begin.

Tow points are already in the plan with the bumpers and receiver. I do like the tow hooks you picked up!

What's the favored source/brand for skid plates around here?
Yeah it's a good start for me because it's my DD.

Very nice! Yeah I figure they'll do the job until I pick up an ARB Bull Bar.

Mm honestly, it seems like a lot of people find skids at Junkyard, but around here in the Willamette Valley I have had no luck. I scour craigslist though and was fortunate enough to land a brand new, un-painted, still wrapped in packaging JCR Gas Tank Skid plate for $175. Just got to be on the lookout man.
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:09 AM
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Hey brother I have similar plans. My XJ is my D.D. but I also like it to be as off-road competent as possible as well as one day making it 100% self sustainable for expeditions. Check out my thread here for the top ten off-road mods:

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f59/to...j-mods-100236/

For you, if your not planning on doing too much serious wheeling then only 1, 2 6, and 10 are applicable to you but if your hitting up canyonlands and plan on doing any serious crawling AT ALL then all 10 on the list are pretty necessary if you want your rig to last.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:34 PM
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Thanks guys, especially the comment about the additional mounting points for the rear bumper. Good tip. That way I only need the bumper with a built-in receiver and do not sacrifice departure angle.

PFC - All 1-10? I get a big kick out of watchin the guys with 35s see a stock looking vehicle do challenging obstacles. I did gold bar rim in a 4-door montero with stock tires/suspension and only a rear locker. Now that was fun! Seriously though, I do not plan to do hardcore wheeling with this rig. I just want to be able to get out there and back again. I'm pretty sure this truck completely stock should be able to do canyonlands (eg out to the doll house and back) with only some bumper scrapes.

Other than pulling the axles out, how do I find out the spline count and gear ratio in my rig?

Last edited by squatch; 08-12-2011 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:41 PM
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This doesn't seem like a build thread. Sounds an awful lot like an introduction...
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:45 PM
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Good point. Move if needed. But I tend to move pretty quickly from concept to build. In fact, new front and rear bumpers are on order and should installed by next weekend. Pics will come soon thereafter.

Last edited by squatch; 08-12-2011 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by squatch View Post
Thanks guys, especially the comment about the additional mounting points for the rear bumper. Good tip. That way I only need the bumper with a built-in receiver and do not sacrifice departure angle.

PFC - All 1-10? I get a big kick out of watchin the guys with 35s see a stock looking vehicle do challenging obstacles. I did gold bar rim in a 4-door montero with stock tires/suspension and only a rear locker. Now that was fun! Seriously though, I do not plan to do hardcore wheeling with this rig. I just want to be able to get out there and back again. I'm pretty sure this truck completely stock should be able to do canyonlands (eg out to the doll house and back) with only some bumper scrapes.

Other than pulling the axles out, how do I find out the spline count and gear ratio in my rig?
Well you know what you need better than I do. I've been updating the list as more people comment and make additions but for the most part those are the TOP ten upgrades we think people need before they turn their rig loose off road. That doesn't necessarily mean everyone needs all ten of the mods all depends on what you need your rig to be able to do. And I think we can all attest to the impressive capabilities of the venerable stock XJ
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:21 PM
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Default Backcountry Explorer Update

New set of BFG AT KO 30x9.5s and Roxolid Rear Bumper installed:


The bumper is very solid and the price (shipped and powder coated) was pretty good. I'm looking into options for cleaning up the rear 1/4s, either by reinstalling the factory parts (they do fit) somehow or going with some aftermarket armor (eg JCR).

RAM GPS mount. Simple and effective.



Suspension, gas tank armor, sliders, and front bumper/winch are next on the list . . .
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:26 PM
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Now its a build thread!

:
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:57 AM
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Quick question: Does anyone have opinions which lift ht I should go for? OME 2" or 3"?

I presume I will want the HD springs as I will be hauling a lot of extra steel around (bumpers, winch, full-size spare, armor).
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:06 PM
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I would go 2" OME HD. Seems like it usually nets people 2.75" or in your case with all the additional weight, i'm guessing 2.5". I just ordered the OME D22XL OME because mine came with light load leafs and my front already sits higher than the rear .

Edit: If you go 3" OME HD, i'd bump up to 31s. But that's just me.

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Old 08-31-2011, 12:09 PM
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3" would be better if you got full coils.
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