No one can doubt that Grand Cherokees make great all-round rigs. You can daily drive one, go wheeling, grab some groceries, head to the mall, hit the trails, blast down the highway, and with a little work, you can build these rigs into truly amazing off-road vehicles—all with five-passenger capability. It’s somewhat amusing to us that for a long time people have been converting Wranglers to V-8s for more power (ourselves included), when it would arguably be cheaper and easier to buy a V-8 Grand and chop it up until it’s more like a CJ, YJ, TJ, or JK. So you spend $10,000 to $40,000 dollars on a Wrangler only to cut it up and spend another $4,000-$20,000 dollars on a V-8 swap. Why not spend $2,000-$10,000 on a V-8 ZJ or WJ and get to cutting and fabbing till you have a big tire’d, strong axle’d, small, roofless WJ or ZJ buggy?
This is not for the beginner, although it could be the evolution of a mild ZJ or WJ build. This idea is better suited to experienced fabricators, do-it-yourselfers with patience, or the guy with deep pockets and a good fabrication shop nearby. Here is how we’d do it!