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Hey everyone,

I would like to invite you all to watch as my team and I build a 1987 Cherokee to race in the Everyman Challenge in February 2014. Here we will talk about what we are doing, what we will be doing, and what we have done. If you have any input about our rig, do not hesitate to post your comments or suggestions. This isn't just a build thread...but also a learning thread. We are trying to make it a point that you do not need the biggest bank account and most friends to participate in this race. Enjoy!
 

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Here is what we are starting with. This jeep was originally owned by one of the current team members. He then sold it to his roommate who later moved to Idaho. He was having some issues with it...and that is when we decided to pursue the Everyman Challenge and bought the Cherokee back.

Here is the jeep loaded up for the long tow back from Idaho:





Here we are back in California, ready to work:

 

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Here is the donor truck that we got our axles from. Unfortunately...it turned into only one usable axle. Apparently a 1978 F-150 has a HP44, however, the radius arm wedges are actually cast into the housing. If you are looking for a worthy HP44 axle to swap in...get it out of something Pre-77. The wedges on the pre-77 are welded on the tubes...so removal is easy (possible). The rear 9" is just fine though...31 spline big bearing.




After a trip to the junkyard though, we managed to get a "good" HP44:
 

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During this whole ordeal we got the base of our suspension in the mail from Rough Country. We went with the 6.5" Long arm kit (no pics yet). While this kit may be ok for your weekend warrior, there will obviously need to be some changes made for this kit to work to it's full potential. 6.5" Long Arm Lift Kit
 

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This weekend was one of Wranglerforum Socal's big semi-annual meet and greets. A couple of members that attended generously donated this piece. It is a little old, but we think we can make it work. We now will have eyes on the trail!



Not only did we get a lowrance gps, but we also hosted a 50/50 raffle. In this raffle we gave away a shirt, as well as raffled off half of our earnings over the weekend. We earned a total of $320 from all of the wranglerforum participants!! This means $160 was going to the winner! When the winning number was called, the winner kindly donated all of his $160 winnings right back to the team!! The Wranglerforum group never fails to impress! THANK YOU!
 

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This evening we tore apart all of our axles. One of our D44s is out of a 1978 F150. Unfortunately when we bought this we did not know that the radius arms fit on a CAST wedge. The cast wedge pretty much makes it 'impossible' to rebuild with new brackets. To solve the problem we went to the junkyard and picked up a new front D44 out of a 1978 or 1979 F250 with leaf springs. Since we are trying to stick with a 15" wheel setup we would not be able to use the brakes that are on the F250 axle. Therefore we need to swap all of the outer 5 lug stuff off of the F150 axle onto the current 8 lug F250 axle. We also pulled apart the 9" to find out some measurements since we are putting in an order for gears and master install kits soon. Here are pics of the axles torn down, the size difference between rotors, and a few of our spare axle shafts. We should also be putting an order in for new chromo shafts soon too!



 

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Looks ambitious :)

I remember this like it was yesterday. I too started with a XJ and built for 2012 KOH What fun and long days, nights, and weekends...

Great platform to start with. There are better of course, but not for the $ and easy of build of a XJ.

Any questions or if you want to look over or check out a Ultra4 Stock Class XJ, I am only down in Yorba Linda. Its full race though, but somethings might still apply.

Things like fuel system, cage integration, etc might be nice to see what another XJ has done.

I will say, reinforcement is KEY! Shock valving is Key. And fun comes later lol...

I have a crap load of pictures also, if you want anything particular.

Good luck and get er done...

 

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Did the 87 XJ come with a HP D30? Do you know if that housing will bolt into a TJ? Do you still have it? :)
It did...but we sold both axles off in the beginning to get some cash flow. The new axles under Jeff (turdhurdler)'s rig are our old axles ;)

Looks ambitious :)

I remember this like it was yesterday. I too started with a XJ and built for 2012 KOH What fun and long days, nights, and weekends...

Great platform to start with. There are better of course, but not for the $ and easy of build of a XJ.

Any questions or if you want to look over or check out a Ultra4 Stock Class XJ, I am only down in Yorba Linda. Its full race though, but somethings might still apply.

Things like fuel system, cage integration, etc might be nice to see what another XJ has done.

I will say, reinforcement is KEY! Shock valving is Key. And fun comes later lol...

I have a crap load of pictures also, if you want anything particular.

Good luck and get er done...

Great to hear, I will keep that in mind! You wouldnt happen to have a build thread floating around would you? :popcorn:

Your shop looks like my garage two weeks ago :rofl:
Shop? This is a garage build too :rofl: those axles are torn apart in my buddy's side yard
 

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Shop/garage = same thing :rofl:

I had enough room in mine to store the parts, but that's about it... Time to build a front now though :rofl: I'd be d60 hunting now if it weren't for PA laws.

I can't wait to see this thing come together, I love XJ builds. I have a buddy who wheels with us and he will bring a basically stock XJ that he just buys for cheap, he beats it til it dies then parts it out and buys a new one. He bought one last thursday for 1K just to come wheel with us and he dented half that rig. They are very capable and so much cheaper than a wrangler I can see why you'd use one for your platform.
 
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