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Old 09-07-2012, 11:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovel View Post
Over the years I've seen easily hundreds of this sort of chopped up "let's turn a SUV into a sorta sedan-truck thing!" idea. Most on 4x4 forums, a dozen or so in meatspace - I have yet to see one that wasn't terrible.

I think sometimes people just feel like they have to change something to change something, even if the end result is going to be worse than what they started with.

If you have it in your head that you've gotta do this, well then I guess get on it. Soon there will be yet another one of these on the road and after a few weeks of tolerating it you'll put it on craigslist because it was a terrible idea in the first place, and you'll never again hack up another car.. some lessons I guess you've gotta learn first hand. Enjoy!
Lets not forget that the bronco was 1 of the originals of this style then when the production of the bronco was stopped people started doing chopped styles to explorers which led to the explorer sport trac. Yes the explorer has a frame so its more structurally sound then a Cherokee I have seen plenty of good chops on them

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Old 09-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
That thing ain't gonna fall apart, especially with the added bars.
Didn't say it was going to fall apart...only that chopping it would decrease the structural integrity of the overall vehicle (which it would). You can stiffen the unibody up by adding frame rails, added roll bars and frame braces where the chopped section meets the roll bars but this is all stuff adds weight, cost, etc... It is not as simple as chopping the C pillar off, boxing the cab in and having it drive the same as it was pre-demolition.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gealii View Post
Lets not forget that the bronco was 1 of the originals of this style then when the production of the bronco was stopped people started doing chopped styles to explorers which led to the explorer sport trac. Yes the explorer has a frame so its more structurally sound then a Cherokee I have seen plenty of good chops on them
I'm not worried about the structure of the XJ unit body, I argue that there's no actual advantage here. If you want to hack up an XJ for better mileage, kamm the tailgate a little and then focus on the pair of live axles and the maze underneath the machine that air has to battle going from the front to the back, not to mention the front diff that's always spinning because there aren't any disconnectable hubs (even on CAD models the diff's still being spun by the driver side tire)
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I am doing something similar to my CJ, I am adding a roll cage, and shaping it to improve the aero. It may or may not improve mileage, but I am hoping it will improve highway stability. Even without the top its a pretty big undertaking.

I haven't seen many good looking chop jobs, but almost all of the ones I have seen were on off road rigs so looks took a back seat to functionality.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think sometimes people just feel like they have to change something to change something, even if the end result is going to be worse than what they started with.
Some more than others
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the great replies. I hadn't actually thought about the disconnectable hubs before, but (while expensive) those are pretty easy to swap out.

Structural integrity of the car would be maintained with bars, frame rails, etc.

Like I said, I mostly am attracted to the utility of the chop, and I've got a pension for tinkering. It seems opinions are pretty split on whether there is are any aero gains to be made.

I'll be turning this car into a long term project and will incorporate some major modifications such as:
-swap in a mercedes om617 turbo diesel
-design removable boattail for highway driving
-increased wheel size w/ lrr tires
-full belly pan w/ tire spats & tails
-small body mods (mirror delete, fender delete, smooth wheel covers, gap sealing, etc.)
-smart alternator mod & electrical fan
- And anything else I can think of!

When it's all said & done, I want to have a versatile 4x4 w/ towing capabilities, an engine that will last 500,000+ miles, a daily driver, bio-fuel & wvo capable, and gets 50+ hwy mpg.

This would be my perfect car, and the idea towards which I am beginning to work. Starting small right now, and working towards the more intensive mods.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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i'd swap the drivetrain from a liberty. and re-slope the back
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:45 PM   #18 (permalink)
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One advantage ... I think the only ... for the XJ is they are extremely light for an SUV. 4x4 XJs only weigh around 3200 pounds.

OM617 diesel has been done once or twice I think, they saw some serious mileage improvements out of them!

If you want better mileage without spending the money for lockout hubs, pull one of the INNER shafts in the front. A lot of people pull the front driveshaft thinking that actually improves mileage, but you are still turning the front differential.

The axle nut and outer stub shaft are VITAL to the front wheel bearing; if you don't have the axle nut and outer stub shaft the bearing WILL fall apart. My recommendation is to pull the left front wheel bearing and axle shaft and throw it in the back, replace it with a junkyard wheel bearing with just the stub shaft - that way if you need 4x4 you can swap it in in 30 minutes or so.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovel View Post
Over the years I've seen easily hundreds of this sort of chopped up "let's turn a SUV into a sorta sedan-truck thing!" idea. Most on 4x4 forums, a dozen or so in meatspace - I have yet to see one that wasn't terrible.


That's not too terrible.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:56 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Smurf View Post

That's not too terrible.
I've seen worse, but I'm having a hard time understanding how this is an actual improvement over the original vehicle

He can bring home tall potted plants from home depot now?

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