Here in the Bottom Feeder section we find a couple of old vehicles that need each other on craigslist. It’s usually a cool older body with a bad motor or no motor and a newer vehicle that has been wrecked with a good powertrain. The goal is to take the best of each and build one cool custom ride as cheap as possible.

This month instead of highlighting vehicles we have seen, we have our own Bottom Feeder project vehicles to combine, a pair of Jeep ZJ’s.

This restoration vehicle: 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4X4 5.2L

donor jeep

Bought from craigslist for $500 with a “bad head, not blown head gasket”and a clear title. This ZJ has a really straight body and the interior is in ok condition.


And this parts car: 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4 5.2L


This Zj was built into a mud toy sometime in the past. My son Brian bought it for $550 but was was t-boned in an accident on the way home from buying it. The unibody “frame” is caved in, so there is no fixing this one, but the Magnum 5.2L still runs great and look at those tires!

Here’s a little video walk around of the mud toy. Note the luxurious interior…

We bought the white ZJ with the intention of doing a motor, suspension and tire swap . My dad is letting me do the project at his wonderful shop. Thanks Dad!

Here’s a little rundown of each one once we got them to Dad’s shop.

When I brought the white ZJ home and rolled it off the trailer, I hooked up jumper cables and tried to start it, just to see how bad it was…It wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I think there’s not much wrong with it.

Lots more to come, stay tuned!