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2019 Jp Dirt ’N Drive Attendee Brett Thompson in His 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Hammer Down, Turn Left

We were excited when we saw the photos of this '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the application email for the 2019 Jp Dirt 'N Drive Presented by Jeep event, and we were equally ecstatic to see that the builder and owner of this sweet ZJ was NASCAR K&N West Series driver Brett Thompson from Twin Falls, Idaho. How well can a guy who is used to putting the pedal down and turning left handle the slower pace, dirt, sand, and rocks on Dirt 'N Drive? With skill, ease, and finesse!

Brett built this Jeep to take his family on off-road trips into the backcountry of their home state of Idaho. He told us the easiest part of this build was buying the Jeep. He had safety in mind during the build, adding custom framerails to tie the unibody together, and his internal cage is a work of art. It's connected to the frame as well as the exo-cage over the top of the Jeep.

The long-arm suspension is a combination of Clayton Off Road parts, 4.5-inch Rubicon Express front springs, Eibach rear springs, and Bilstein shocks. Brett added adjustable weighted jacks on the rear springs for variable load capacity. Penske bumpstops are on the front shocks, with Timbren bumps are on the rear. Other suspension mods are a Speedway Engineering 3-piece front sway bar. We love the blending of the speed sport and off-road components in this Grand Cherokee; it makes it a truly unique trail beast.

Hard Facts
Vehicle: 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Engine: 5.2L V-8
Transmission: Chrysler 46RH (A-518) 4-speed automatic
Transfer Case: NP231 w/ 2.72:1 low range
Suspension: Custom-built 4.5-in
Axles: Dana 30, 4.56 gears, Eaton ELocker, Warn free-spin/locking hubs (front); Ford 8.8, 4.56 gears, Yukon Grizzly Locker (rear)
Wheels: 15-inch Mickey Thompson Classic Lock wheel w/ Coyote Internal beadlock
Tires: 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich KM2 Mud-Terrain