Forget a New Grand Cherokee, This 392-Swapped Cherokee Is Twice as Awesome

The fifth-generation WL-series Jeep Grand Cherokee is something of a hit-or-miss vehicle. Sure, it's a little more refined than Grand Cherokees tend to be the last 20 years or so, and the fuel economy isn't exactly god-awful, considering how big it is. Wine moms across North America will surely feel right at home behind the wheel of such a plush, comfy vehicle. But what if you care considerably more about driving a head-turner than something shiny and new? Well, Vigilante 4x4s of Johnson City, Texas, is here to cure what ails you.
392-Swapped Classic Cherokee 8 photos
Photo: Vigilante 4x4
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What they've prepared is a 1975 Jeep Cherokee S that's been completely and fully restored, then sprinkled with a slew of modern goodies and trinkets that make a classic body shape easier to live with and, more importantly, considerably more fun to drive. In its day, the first-generation SJ-series Jeep Cherokee left the factory with either a 4.2-liter AMC straight-six engine or one of three different V8s ranging in size from 5.9 liters to 6.6 liters. Perfectly solid and serviceable engines in their day. But let's be real, and we've come a long way with engine technology in the last 50 years.

The modern 392-cubic inch (6.4-liter) Chrysler HEMI V8 crate engine that Vigilante 4x4 replaced this Cherokee's original motor with is everything the old one isn't. It is exceedingly powerful relatively efficient for what it is, and you don't have to fool around with carburetors every time the humidity changes. The engine is lovingly paired with a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual gearbox with an Atlas II dual-speed transfer case for extra grunt out on the trails. But believe it or not, tacking on a bunch of aftermarket goodies to the engine isn't the name of the game for this build. In its current state, this 392 V8 makes a respectable 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, indicating that this crate engine has a minimum of custom work done to it, at least for now.

The real meat and potatoes of this build come in the form of Vigilante 4x4's custom-fabricated chassis, over which the classic body fits like a glove. With a Currie Dana 44 front axle and a Currie Dana 60 in the rear with a quad-link suspension at all four corners, this custom Cherokee restomod is likely even better out on the trails than its modern equivalent thanks to less sensitive, vulnerable computers and technology to have to worry about. The truck's Eibach springs and Fox Racing 2.0 off-road shocks ensure this is the case. Add on a wicked light blue paint job with ornate white pinstriping all around, and we hazard to guess no modern Grand Cherokee leaves a Stellantis factory looking this nice.
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