Today im going to cut my teeth for product reviews with HD offroad engineering's frame stiffeners. Anybody who has wheeled a Jeep Cherokee XJ knows that the unibody "frame rails" are very thin sheet metal (layered 16 ga. in some areas). This frame creates two very significant problems for the xj enthusiast, 1. the frame is very susceptible to denting and damage and can lead to overall unibody fatigue with hard use and 2. the light duty frame provides a poor structure for custom parts (suspension crossmembers, cages, rocker protection etc.) To solve these problems HD offroad engineering has developed their version of "frame stiffening" sleeves for the Jeep XJ. These consist of 10ga steel plate formed specifically to the xj framerail and drilled for rosette welds. The frame stiffener's i'll be installing today extend from the front lca bracket to the front of the leaf spring bracket, but HDoffroad offers a full stiffener set that consists of three pieces that cover the front frame section all the way to the rear of the jeep.
The stiffeners come pre formed for the shape of the xj frame with the exception of the small rise that occurs just behind the transmission crossmember, however the stiffener itself is also segmented for this bend in the xj frame so not to worry. Here is the freshly unpacked stiffener-
Ive run these stiffeners in my previous rig and have been more than satisfied with the support they provide the xj unibody. In this jeep they provided a good solid mounting point for the new 2x6x3/16 crossmember and i can already feel the difference daily driving it. After building xj's for the past 5 years it's my opinion that this should be the first modification to any jeep that will see offroad use, and it will prolong the life of the body under varying degrees of abuse. Weekend wheeler or full on chopped up and built, every xj on the trail can benefit from a set of frame stiffeners underneath.