Hoonigan YouTubers Transform XJ Into Badass Camera Truck

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Long regarded for its legendary off-road performance, the XJ Cherokee makes a great chase vehicle, too.

Hoonigan cameraman Nelson Flores needed a vehicle to keep up with intense off-road photo shoots, so he decided to take an XJ Cherokee and turn it into the ultimate off-road chase vehicle.

It’s a great base vehicle to start with. The XJ Cherokee is one of the most beloved Jeeps of all time. Its combination of utility, capability, and good manners on-road made it a true sport utility vehicle. In this age of FWD compact crossovers, it’s especially missed.

To start, Flores enlists the help of Brad to dig into the Cherokee, starting with a lengthened control arm kit. In conjunction with a lift kit, lengthened control arms help to restore some of the handling lost when the suspension is raised, making the truck easier to handle. This will surely be helpful at the high speeds this Cherokee is expected to see.

Hoonigan Transforms XJ Cherokee Into a Camera Truck

Raceline hooked Flores up with a beautiful set of beadlock wheels, upon which a set of 33-inch tires will be mounted. According to Brad, 33s are about the biggest tire you can mount before serious axle upgrades are required.

Brad goes on to explain that that tire size is better-suited to street driving than, say, 35s. As a dual-purpose camera chase vehicle, it seems that the chosen combo offers the best balance.

A Rubicon Express 4.5-inch lift kit provides the clearance for the tall tires. Short of a cross-threaded bolt and some conflict with the exhaust system, the install went off without a hitch.

XJ Cherokee camera truck

Before the new tires can be fitted, the fenders and quarters have to be modified for flares. With the whole package assembled and put together, this XJ is ready for anything. It’s a shame that it will be hidden behind the camera most of the time.

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Longtime motorcyclist and automotive journalist Cam Vanderhorst is a regular contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum and MB World, among others.

When he's not busy working on his Harley-Davidson bike, the vastly experienced writer has covered an array of features, reviews, how-tos, op-eds and news stories for Internet Brands' Auto Group and is also a co-founder and co-host of the popular podcast Cammed & Tubbed.

Check him out on Instagram at: Camvanderhorst.

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