Babe the Blue OX

OXBlurWeb (22K)

My Jeep is a 1987 Jeep Cherokee XJ. I bought it about 4 years ago after moving to northern California. I bought it from a guy who had bought it as his fist new car. It was spotless! Literally not a scratch on it. Oh well. That was then... I had a ton of fun in it, driving it as my daily driver and then up into the Sierras on the weekends. I could go a lot of fun places in it stock, but I wanted a bit more capability. After I paid off the little lone on it, I decided it was time to start to build it. One of the very first things I did was put a LockRite in the front axle. I went up to Boise for the Christmas holiday and put it in with my brother Joe. By far the hardest part was getting the unit hub assembly out of the knuckle for the first time. I ended up renting a BIG slide hammer and even then it took a good hour or two of wailing on it. Once we got it out we had the LockRite in and everything back together in short order. It only took me a few hours to brake my first axle. It turns out that it's a bad idea to crank the wheel all the way to one side and try to climb a vertical ledge. Anyway, got that fixed and on my way home to Cally I ran into a ton of snow. I twice slipped off the road but the locker really saved me. All I had to do was put it in low and point it in the direction of the road. To this day that locker was the single thing that made the most performance difference to that jeep. Soon after I added an engine skid plate and rock rails to keep form trashing it. I lifted her about 5 inches on Saturday, Feb 1, 2003. The same day the space shuttle broke up. I remember driving to my friends house to do the lift and hearing about it on the radio. Where were you when you heard? Sitting on 32's gave it a much better look, but it needed gears before I could get the value of the lift and bigger wheels. I bought a Dana 44 from a friend that had 4.10 gears in it and an ARB Locker, and swapped out my stock Dana 44 with its open diff and 3.07's. Now it felt good on the street but I couldn't even put it into 4 wheel drive till I had the front gears swapped to match. Having finished that I took it on its first "real trail" Dusy-Ershim. She handled it well and I have enjoyed a number or fun trail since then including Fordyce, Golden Spike, and Lockhart Basin. My Jeep was also featured as the readers ride on

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Last Modified 12/20/05 06:51 EST