A Closer Look at Darren Parsons’ Race-Crawler Family-Hauler
1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ on Tons and 40s!
By: Corey Simone
Photos By: Darren Parsons and Blackhat Studios
4WP Official racer and all-around off-road hooligan Darren Parsons recently finished building his latest project, a 1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ. This isn’t your typical standard short arm special; this beast was built to take on the local trails with plenty of comfort for family as well as roar through the harsh racecourse at Laughlin!
Starting with a Cherokee Classic, Darren pulled the tired 4.0L straight six in favor of a tried and true 5.3L Chevy LS V8 with a little extra pep in its step to rip through the trail. An Ironman 4-link suspension with King Internal Bypass Coilovers and bypass shocks mean this XJ can scoot when the going gets rough. A stout G2/Currie Rock Jock 60 front differential and Ruffstuff Specialties fabricated 9-Inch out back give this Cherokee the axle beef needed to take on the whoops and the rocks without skipping a beat!
Traction comes via a set of 40-inch BFGoodrich KR2 race tires wrapped around a set of 17-inch Method 701 wheels with bead-grip technology. A race legal hybrid exo cage keeps the occupants safe while a set of PRP suspension seats with 5-point harnesses keep you firmly planted in the cockpit when the speeds and bumps increase. A Heat Wave Visual air freshener keeps the interior smelling minty fresh.
Of course, every race truck worth it’s own salt needs to be completely self-sufficient and that includs having the necessary gear for self-extraction in sticky situations. Darren didn’t forget about that and stuffed a Smittybilt XRC Gen 3 12,000-pound winch up front along with plenty of other recovery gear in the cargo.
We can’t wait to see Darren wheel this low, wide and mean Cherokee way more this year!
Smittybilt air compressor: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/smittybilt-5-65-cfm-air-compressor-2781/_/R-DSBP-2781
KC Flex Series lights: https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/kc-hilites-flex-single-led-spot-beam-system-270/_/R-BFHB-270