We just got back from an 8 day trip to the Italian Alps in XJ. With it fully loaded, we pulled out at around 5am for a 340km drive to Limone Piemonte in the Italian Alps for Iron Bike 2012. Iron Bike is billed as the hardest mountain bike stage rally in the world. It’s a 7 day, 670km with about 12,000m of climbing, solo mountain bike race in the Italian Alps. It’s common for 70% of those that start on the first day to not finish the race.
Using computer modding mesh, I made some hood vents for the XJ to replace the grill trays I was using on the last hood.
I had a little time today to take the XJ up to the Pisan Mountains between Pisa and Lucca. I’ve ridden almost every trail on these mountains during mountain bike endurance training and have seen some 4×4’s on this trail. Tuscan summer weather has arrived and it’s commonly in the 80’s, sunny, with zero cloud cover.
Before shipping the XJ to Italy last year, I paid to have an NP231 rebuild kit and and slip yoke eliminator installed. I didn’t have time to test out the 4×4 before I had to left the country, so I was surprised when I received the XJ in Livorno, Italy and the 4×4 wouldn’t work. No manner of messing with the shift linkage would make the NP231 transfer slide out of 2HI and in to 4HI.
This install has to rank up there as the longest owned mod without being installed. I think I bought these DirtBound Offroad Window Storage Racks over a year ago. Due to a number of other interior projects these kept being pushed back until the interior trim was all reinstalled. Now that the interior mods have started to wrap up, I got around to installing these racks.
The H4 headlight conversion has been on my list of mods for a while. Anyone that’s driven an XJ (or any vehicle with the older style halogens) knows how painful it can be to move from that to something with HIDs or H4’s. I believe the stock headlights on the Cherokee are 55 watts. The upgrade I installed bumps that up to 185 watts.
In preparation for trying to pass inspection on Monday, I wired up some license plate lights. I purchased them off eBay a while back for next to nothing. They come in a number of street racing popular colors, but of course I went with black.
Call me a sucker, I don’t care. This was actually the first mod I did to my 2006 Dodge Charger TorRed Daytona and I loved it. I’ve seen people piece this exact kit together, but I bought mine from HoodLifts.com.
Installation was a breeze. I mounted the hood-side brackets first, popped on the gas shocks, then lined up the engine-side mounts and mounted them. All told it took 10 minutes. The struts hold the hood open very easily and look slick.
It’s been over six months in the coming, but the XJ arrives in Livorno next week according to the shipping company. I’m still trying to figure out how to get it towed the 10km from port to the base to get the import paperwork and Italian inspection done.
So much work has been done on it since I last saw it, that it’s going to be like getting an all new/different Jeep. WarriorWelding Bumpers, Oliver’s Custom Driveshafts, Rides of Conover custom tube fenders, SYE and heavy duty chain and sprocket, and RCV axles have all been added since I last saw it.
With all the suspension changes I’ve made to B2XJ, the rear suspension as remained completely unchanged from the day I bought the Cherokee. Not wanting to spend a lot of money on new rear leaf springs, I decided the best thing to do was to call IronMan4x4Fab and see what they would do. They sell a set of adjustable rear shackles. Not knowing exactly how much lift I wanted in the rear, or how much gear would eventually be added to the cargo area, I decided these having the ability to adjust the lift would be a good idea.