1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee - ZJ SUT
A Custom Canadian Creation for the Trail
By Chris Pearson, Photography by Chris Pearson
This isn't the first Jeep Kevin Keller of Harrow, Ontario, has modified along the same lines. In fact, Kevin once turned a two-door Jeep Cherokee into a sport/utility truck. That Cherokee gotcrossed with Comanche parts to make a three-door version similar to what you see here today. The years of hard wheeling took their toll on the Cheromanche and it was retired for a new creation. Most of the driveline components found their way into this new '96 Grand Cherokee version, which allowed more room for newly arriving family members.
Kevin and his brother David own Keller Motors in Harrow. They work on all types of 4x4s and have quite a collection of Jeeps in their salvage yard to get the ideas brewing. So when it came time to build another Jeep they were up to the task. The project Jeep they selected had suffered quite a bit of damage from an engine fire. It was so bad that the entire front of the body was not usable, and had to be swapped out for newer '01 sheetmetal. The rear roof, pillars, and glass were removed to make way for the truck bed. The original bottom half of the ZJ lift gate was kept to close off the rear end of the bed, while a custom top protects cargo from the elements. The rear pillars and glass were then molded together with the original cabin to form the shorter cab. After countless hours of getting all those body panels to line up, an AMC 360 V-8 was dropped in for maximum power. That's when it was decided that '69 AMC Big Bad Blue paint would represent the vehicle's powertrain heritage the best. When this transformation was completed, Kevin came away with a really unique trail rig that almost always gets a second glance.
No shopping bags here. The custom truck bed has more than enough room for a 35-inch spare
Skyjacker 8-inch coils make room for the 35x13.5 BFGoodrich Krawlers on 15x8 Jeep wheels o
A balanced and blueprinted '79 AMC 360 V-8 powers this Grand Cherokee. It's been bored 0.0
The T-18 with 6.32:1 First gear sends power to an NP261 transfer case and out to dual CV d
By Chris Pearson
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