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The Shop Rigs of Rusty's Off-Road Products

Rusty's Off-Road Products: Rusty's Shop Rigs - Orange XJ
Orange XJ

Well I finally got to the awaited build up on our Orange XJ. Many of our projects they start off in pieces and in boxes but this Jeep was a complete vehicle, actually it was a pretty nice XJ. After beating my Red XJ up pretty bad I wanted a Cherokee that had as few body parts as possible.

First was to remove the doors, hatch, and almost all of the interior. Once this was done we started the cage, the cage was built of .120 wall two inch tubing. The cage offer complete protection of the inside of the vehicle and ties into the rear bumper and rock rails. The cage also is the mounting point of the 35 inch long remote reservoir rear shocks.

Once the cage was completed, we cut the fenders for the Rusty's cut-out flares then it was off to the paint shop. The color is GTO orange. After getting it painted we could start on finishing the interior, the floor was done in Durabak, the fuel tank was removed and a fuel cell was installed. The steering column was removed and replaced with a custom built steering shaft and a race style removable steering wheel, great for anti theft. A pair of Mastercraft seats where install along with a set of 5 point seat belts and a Tuffy console.

Now that the in side was done it was time for the outside. We installed a set of our Rusty's cut-out flares and a Safari Snorkel. The rear bumper was custom built and is tied into the cage, the front is Rusty's Baja Pre-Run winch bumper one of our newest styles. A Warn9500Ti winch is mounted to the bumper as well as a pair of Lightforce 140. A pair of Rusty's tail light housings where also installed. We removed the Wilderness rack for one of the Rusty's Baja Light Bars and installed 4 – 240 Lightforce lights in it.

Now was the fun parts, the suspension and axles. The rear axle is a Dana 44 with Ten Factory Axles, a Full Spool and Motive Gear 488 gears. The front axle is a Currie high pinion 9 inch, Ten Factory axle shafts, a Detroit Locker, 488 Superior gears, a set of drilled rotors and EBC pads where added. An Atlas transfer case was used with Tom Wood driveline. The suspension is all production Rusty's parts. The rear springs are our 6.5 leaf springs and a pair of Rusty's 1.75 greasable shackles where used. The front is Rusty's Long Travel Suspension, this consist of the long control arms mounted to the new crossmember. A set of Rusty's 6.5 coils and Rusty's Adjustable spacer where used in the front. The steering was replaced with a hiem style "over the knuckle" steering conversion, a Rusty's drop pitman was also used. The trac bar is our HD trac bar with new frame mount and the frame stiffener was added. Then a set of Rusty's shocks RX300 remote reservoir shocks where mounted with shock conversion at top and BPE's at the axle.

Now that the vehicles was back rolling, we added a set of Rusty's new XJ Armor rock rails. A Rusty's rear diff skid and a Rusty's transfer case skid where installed. A set of 37 x 12.50 . 17 BFG Crawlers where mounted on a set of 17 X 9.5Allied Beadlock Wheels. Many of our parts where specially powder coated in orange and gray, this was done so the parts are easier to see, all production parts are powder coated black.

All in all the XJ turned out much better than ever expected, the on road driving is great, highway speed handling is very good. This vehicle was built for off roading so the sway bars where removed and beadlocks are not DOT approved and the doors being removed, luckily Ala. has no inspections so we drive it quite often.

Now for the good stuff, off road, This thing rolls over rocks with ease, the gearing works so good, going over a bluff or a drop off you hardly have to use the brakes. While climbing over rocks just let the suspension work and keep steady throttle and it will find a way up. We have had it at Moab, Tellico, Superlift Park, Gray Rock and many other trails and it has performed flawlessly. I hope this will give you ideas for your vehicle and hopefully we'll see you on the trail.