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 Updated Aug 23, 2009

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Who is Yuccaman?

Goodbye, Old Friend...


Buh-Bye, Stinky

I bought her used in November 2000, completely stock. She had 69,000 miles and some crappy generic tires - the first thing I did was have the dealer take the 235/75R15 BFG AT's off from my '89 Cherokee, so I would at least have some tread for my first Colorado winter after nearly ten years' absence.

She stayed stock for about a year until my friend (and admin of ilovejeeps.com) Tiffany helped me install the 2" Budget Boost. More correctly, we installed the back half of the lift as back pain prevented my doing the front. The joy of that build was documented in one if my first write-ups about the Jeep. Because of the interruption, I drove around with a 2" lift on the rear, giving the whole Jeep a "stink-bug" stance. That and a couple spilled coffees inside led to the "Stinky" nickname.

After a couple years with the 30" BFGs and 2" lift, I decided it was time to go bigger. All along, I had a plan laid out with various checkpoints. I didn't want to upgrade the tires 'til I had stronger axles. I knew there was exhaust work needed down the road, so had plans that included the manifold and exhaust. I wanted to get a front bumper in place before lifting, because I knew there was trimming needed - things like that. It turns out I never did get some of my long-term plans completed; I wanted to build a high-pinion Dana 44 front axle to replace the D30, and expected to do that before the second time I needed to do balljoints and axle u-joints. I planned to build a stroker motor that would be a drop-in replacement by the time I hit 200,000 miles...I ended up selling Stinky more than 30,000 miles past that mark, and it still ran great and had just passed emissions with flying colors.

Back to the project - I was a regular on Rubicon Express' website and forums years ago, and in 2003 I won a trip to the 25th Jeep Jamboree across the Rubicon Trail in their promo Cherokee. That Jeep had a 5.5" lift at the time and 33" ProComp tires; I decided my target was going to be similar although I opted for a shorter, 4.5" lift instead. That lift included some hardware upgrades that were probably invisible for the casual observer, but I included Drop Brackets and a heavier trackbar with a brace as two upgrades that I feel helped make the lift stronger and more tolerable.

As time went on, I ran through two sets of 32" tires before settling on 33x10.50 BFG Mud Terrains. People have often asked why the narrower 1.50 tires instead of the more commonly-found 33x12.50, and it boils down to two reasons: fit, and pressure. The narrower tires fit inside the wheelwells better. That's it. The narrower tires also have a smaller footprint on the road, which leads to a slightly higher ground pressure. On a lightweight vehicle like the Cherokee, that means you have better traction in varying surface conditions - 12.50s fill the same role with heavier vehicles.

So where does that leave me? In an econobox, with plans to pick up a LJ Wrangler Unlimited in the next couple years and build that up. I already miss being able to hit the trails and get away from the masses (or is it, 'them asses'?) whenever I want.


Goodbye, old friend...


e-mail Jim
Created: March 10, 2003 and updated whenever the Muse strikes me
 

All content is copyright 2001-2010, and unless otherwise noted content comes solely from the mind and keyboard of Jim "Yucca-Man" Langdon
Any changes or modifications to your vehicle are at your own discretion; I take no responsibility for your lack of responsibility