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1997 Toyota Tacoma Jeep Grand Cherokee- SLC Thrashers

Posted in Features on January 1, 2004
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Who needs doors? They just get in the way when you're wheeling. And when you live in Salt Lake City, like Cody McKendrick and Bjorn Hutchinson, there's always a place nearby to wheel, so the doors are always coming off. Cody and Bjorn both sport far-from-stock rigs, and while they share similar ideas in some areas of their buildups, these are two very different-looking rigs entirely. Bjorn's '97 Tacoma is a daily driver for him, while Cody's buggy ZJ has become a purpose-built rig after a rollover convinced him to go that route. We caught up with Cody and Bjorn at this year's Easter Jeep Safari in Moab. As they pulled into Dump Bump, it was impossible to miss a completely hacked-up Jeep Grand Cherokee and a huge Tacoma with a thumpin' stereo.

Bjorn sports an almost-stock engine and tranny setup for reliability, but since the giant 39.5-inch Swampers mounted on MRT bead locks might be a little heavy for Toyota stock, an engine upgrade might be coming down the road. The Dana 44 and Tera 60R axles have proven themselves stout and will continue to reside under his custom suspension, but a little more frame beefing might have to be done as one of the welded-on custom crossmembers in the front decided to crack a weld while we were out messing around.

Cody is also running a stock engine and tranny, and he's very happy with the more-than-adequate power that the 318ci Magnum V-8 throws down through the 46RE tranny. Cody started his modifications right after the tranny and pulled his NP231 apart to throw in a NP231HD chain and a fixed yoke kit. Power is then transferred down the line to Dana 44 and Ford 9-inch axles stolen from a Bronco.

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