We all dream of our ultimate wheeling rig, but few of us can convince our accountant (or significant other) that turning our dreams into reality is a wise investment. Fortunately for Emil Bjornsson, he pulled it off. As the owner of Master-Pull Recovery Gear, Emil was able to build what is quite possibly one of the most capable Grand Cherokees on the planet. After all, he needed a vehicle to test products and use it to visit the variety of events that Master-Pull attends throughout the country.
We kept running into Emil and his clean ’98 Grand Cherokee ZJ on the trail, so we decided to take a closer look. The hood vents implied that the relatively rare 5.9L engine lurked under the hood. These were the last incarnation of the Jeep 360ci engines and offer gobs of low-end torque. The wish list of parts doesn’t stop there though. Emil added a Rubicon Express long-arm suspension, an Advance Adapters Atlas II transfer case, and fully built Spidertrax Spider9 axles to fulfill his Grand vision.
This Grand Cherokee is perfect for exploring wide-open spaces for days at a time. There is room for multiple passengers and their gear, and when the trail gets tough Emil doesn’t have to turn around and head home. No wonder we keep running into him and his Grand Cherokee all over the country.
The 5.9L engine was only offered in ’98 Grand Cherokees, and only 1% of the 1.4 million ZJ Grand Cherokees produced were so equipped.
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Engine: 5.9L V8
Transmission: 44RE four speed automatic
Transfer case: Advance Adapters Atlas II, 3.8
Front Axle: Spidertrax Spider9, True Hi9, ARB Air Locker, Superior Axle shafts, CTM U-joints, Wilwood brakes, 4.56 gears
Rear Axle: Spidertrax Spider9, True Hi9, ARB Air Locker, Superior Axle shafts, Wilwood brakes, 4.56 gears
Springs & Such: Rubicon Express 51⁄2-inch long-arm suspension
Tires & Wheels: 37x12.5R17 Goodyear MT/Rs on 17x9 Walker Evans beadlocks
Steering: PSC Hydraulic Assist
Other Stuff: Hanson front and rear bumpers modified by Jonasson Motorsports, Iceland Offroad rock sliders and fender flares, T-Maxx EWI 12000 winch, Master-Pull Superline XD winch line, Master-Pull Super Yanker