Rusty Frame Takes Bulletproof XJ Jeep Cherokee to ‘Splitsville’

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We’ve never seen the impervious XJ Jeep Cherokee killed so unceremoniously before.

Off-roading is, as you already know, pretty tough on any vehicle. That’s why we spend countless dollars upgrading the suspensions of our Jeeps. Not to mention adding bulletproof bumpers and various armor plating to protect the important (and fragile) bits. But when you’re running on a rusty frame, not even the mighty XJ Jeep Cherokee is immune to breakage. And that is on full display in this gut-wrenching yet fascinating video.

We don’t get to see the events leading up to this poor XJ’s death in the above video from ViralHog on YouTube. But we can safely assume that it became stuck in a mud pit at The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off-Road Park in northern Illinois. A friendly fellow off-roader stops to help him free his Jeep from the muddy hole. But the force of the winch, coupled with weak frame/body mounts underneath and the odd angle it’s placed at results in this poor old Cherokee snapping in half like a pretzel stick.

XJ Jeep Cherokee

Unfortunately for this poor fellow, it isn’t just the frame that breaks, oh no. The body is shredded to pieces as well, with only the tailgate left behind at the rear. But even that level of carnage isn’t enough to stop the Jeep owner from attempting to free his ride. With onlookers encouraging him to “send it,” he hits the gas. And amazingly, the Jeep appears to “fix itself.” Well, kinda.

XJ Jeep Cherokee

Who knows if our wheeling XJ Jeep Cherokee owner will opt to fix this extreme damage or not. But we’d go ahead and call it a loss, to be honest. And it’s also a great reminder that rust kills in more ways than one.

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Brett Foote has been covering the auto industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ popular Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among others.

Foote has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles and every other type of automobile, Foote had spent several years running parts for local dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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