For years we’ve told you how the ’84-’01 Jeep Cherokee XJs are some of the cheapest and most budget-friendly wheeling platforms you’ll find. While some model years are notably better than others, the overall suspension and chassis layout went relatively unchanged over the XJ’s 17-year run. Our friend recently picked up a well-used and lightly modified ’97 Cherokee for a great deal. Though the overall rig was mechanically sound, the suspension system was pretty cobbled together and extremely worn out. After looking at all of the various pieces he would have to acquire to re-vamp the defunct suspension we found that it was cheaper to start over with an all-new kit. Without question there are a lot of suspension options and companies that cater to the XJ platform. Like many of you, deciding which system is the right one often comes down to who offers the most bang for the buck. For around $450 we found that Rough Country’s 41⁄2-inch complete XJ suspension fit the criteria perfectly. To raise the front of the XJ 41⁄2 inches, Rough Country provides heavy-duty lift coils. We found the new coils to be a touch firmer than stock ones, but they still cycle easily under the Cherokee’s weight.To raise the front of the XJ 41⁄2 inches, Rough Country provides heavy-duty lift coils. We The folks at Rough Country have years of suspension knowhow, and they understand that having quality parts and an economical price is something that benefits both the business and the consumer. To install the lift, we browed some shop space at our local 4x4 shop and went to work. Since the majority of the lift is bolt-on and doesn’t require a vast array of specialty tools, the budget-friendly kit makes for an easy install. For a complete line of the Cherokee kits visit www.roughcountry.com. The Cherokee’s stock front lower control arms are fine for daily driving but a little weak for serious wheeling. Rough Country takes care of this problem by providing stronger tubular steel control arms that are bent for clearance and packed with heavy-duty bushings at each end.The Cherokee’s stock front lower control arms are fine for daily driving but a little weak Our ’97 Jeep XJ is equipped with a NP231 transfer case that retains the original slip-yoke driveline. To help prevent driveline vibrations and improve operating angles, we installed the provided crossmember drop spacers.Our ’97 Jeep XJ is equipped with a NP231 transfer case that retains the original slip-yoke One step to lifting the rear suspension is disassembling the rear leaf pack and sliding in an add-a-leaf. This lift method is preferred lift over a lift block, as it lessens the potential effects of axlewrap.One step to lifting the rear suspension is disassembling the rear leaf pack and sliding in Aiding the rear lift is a new set of lift shackles. The 11⁄2-inch lift shackles are equipped with new bushings and easily bolt in place of the stock units.Aiding the rear lift is a new set of lift shackles. The 11⁄2-inch lift shackles are equipp Included with the value-priced kit are four N2.0 series shocks. The Nitrogen charged absorbers are tuned specifically for the XJ platform, and we found the valving to work well on- and off-road.Included with the value-priced kit are four N2.0 series shocks. The Nitrogen charged absor With the Jeep raised 41⁄2 inches, we had plenty of room to clear a fresh set of 32x11.50 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2s. Mounted on a set of Craigslist-special 15x7 steel wheels, the KM2s performed great in the sandy, mud-soaked Southeast soil. Another bonus of the knobby Load Range C tires is that they are pretty quite on the road.With the Jeep raised 41⁄2 inches, we had plenty of room to clear a fresh set of 32x11.50 B SOURCES BFGoodrich Tires P.O. Box 19001 Greenville SC 29602 877-788-8899 www.bfgoodrichtires.com Rough Country Suspension 1400 Morgan Road Dyersburg TN 38024 800-222-7023 www.roughcountry.com By Ali Mansour Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!