|The XJ sports OR-Fab's new rear comp-cut bumper.|
The front suspension system used on the Jeep, is a prototype that Faustmann designed for the company's other brand, Trail Master Suspension. It's a six-inch lift system that features a tri-link long-arm lift and a heavy duty cross member and track bar bracket. There's no telling when or if the new suspension will make it to market, but it appears to work extremely well on the XJ, when it debuted for it's first trail run during the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. To compliment the front, the rear was outfitted with a Rock Krawler four-link coil conversion with RuffStuff chassis stiffeners. Furthermore, to allow the XJ to drive and maneuver smoothly, Faustmann also added a set of 11-inch Fox Racing 2.0 reservoir shocks, a Currie Anti-Rock sway bar system, and PSC hydraulic ram-assist steering .
|Front axles are from a 1976 Ford F-150.|
With a front drivetrain that’s much stronger than the factory XJ axles and steering, Faustmann also did the same with the rear by installing a Ford 9-inch out of a 1979 F-150 pickup. The housing was modified with an RK Heavy Duty welded truss system, 35-spline Superior Evolution axles and gears, a Detroit locker, and a rear disc brake conversion that was compiled from GM 3/4-ton truck parts and Ruff Stuff Specialties caliper brackets. The original transfer case was also upgraded with an Atlas two-speed unit and new heavy duty, 1310 steel driveshafts from Tom Woods Custom Driveshafts.
|Rear Ford 9-inch came out of a 1979 F-150 pickup.|
Under the hood, Faustmann added an ATK Performance 4.0 liter engine and outfitted it with an S&S Custom exhaust system. The engine transfers its torque to a rebuilt Jeep AW4 automatic transmission, before it applies the power to the set of Goodyear 315/70R17 MT/R Kevlar tires mounted on Trail Ready 17x8.5 beadlock wheels.
Just in case the XJ ever gets into a precarious situation, the Warn M8000 winch, with Spyder Line synthetic cable running through a Hawse billet fairlead, provides an excellent means for recovery. Extra trail gear can be carried on the Gobi Stealth roof rack, and a set of Rigid Industries LED lights and light bar help to illuminate the way once the sun sets. The overall exterior of the XJ looks like it’s ready to take on any challenge, but the interior didn’t need to change much, with the only upgrade being a set of front black, Corbeau Baja XR-S seats.
|Corbeau seats fit nicely in the XJ.|
Considering that Jeep is now owned by Fiat, who also owns Ferarri, it gave Faustmann the idea to consider a whimsical nomenclature to the Cherokee. While Jeep did build a Ferrari styled version of the SRT8 Grand Cherokee, Faustmann new that his vehicle wasn’t truly Italian influenced, so it was dubbed the “Ferrarjeep.” More than anything, this Jeep Cherokee has stirred the imagination of many enthusiasts who have renewed their love for the Cherokee, and are now inspired to build and drive this vehicle on the trail once again.
For more information, contact Performance Automotive Group, P.O. Box 3450, Chino Valley, Arizona, 86323. (928) 636-7080. Visit them at www.OR-Fab.com and www.TrailMasterSuspension.com.
Text and photos by DS Media Relations
|The XJ is extremely capable off-road with its prototype Trail Master Long-Arm suspension system.|
|The XJ uses an OR-Fab Front HD bumper with a Warn M8000 winch, with Spyder Line synthetic cable running through a Hawse billet fairlead|
|Goodyear 315/70R17 MT/R Kevlar tires mounted on Trail Ready 17x8.5 beadlock wheels.|
|Additional trail protection comes from a set of OR-Fab rear quarter armor used with ORO LED lights.|
|The original engine was replaced with an ATK 4.0Liter rebuilt engine that's augmented with an S&S exhaust system.|
|American Rock Rod hood louvers were added to augment the Cherokee's appearance.|
|The original transfer case was also upgraded with an Atlas two-speed unit.|