Story and Photos by Drew Riley
Zone Offroad Products is a newer name in the off-road scene that is making waves offering affordable suspension lifts, body lifts, and accessories for popular truck and Jeep applications. When the time came to build a project Jeep the company threw around ideas for TJs, JKs, XJs, and even FSJs, but ultimately decided on this killer concept for a Jeep Comanche, and so Project MJ was born.
Within a week Zone’s R&D department sourced a stock 1990 Jeep Comanche for the buildup and began stripping it down to an empty shell. With a crew of 4, the MJ was torn down and built back up using a number of aftermarket components as well as designing new components in-house. The project became a test bed for new products and kit offerings. With the initial buildup having a timeline of just 6 short weeks, the team rushed to outfit the Jeep and overcome numerous challenges along the way. The idea behind the buildup was a low-slung off-road vehicle blending the menacing appearance of a high-speed desert racer with the capabilities of a purpose built trail rig.
The unibody on the Comanche is reinforced with 10-gauge steel to add rigidity and allow mounting of the suspension and roll cage. Power comes in the form of a Golan 4.6L Stroker mated to the stock AX-15 and NP-241OR transfer case. JE Reel driveshafts transfer the power to the built Dana 44/60 axles sourced from a Jeep JK J8. Suspension comes from a Zone 4-link front and triangulated 4-link rear with 14’’’ Fox Racing 2.5’’ remote reservoir coil-overs at each corner. 40’’ Nitto tires mounted on 17’’ Walker Evans beadlocks offer great looks and impressive traction. With the 40s in place attention was turned to the stock steering with upgrades coming in the form of 1-ton linkage and an AGR RockRam and steering box.
Some of the goals for this Comanche were to keep it full bodied, street legal, and very capable as a daily driver. The factory hood received speed holes for additional cooling and the stock panels were swapped out for a set of Hannemann fiberglass fenders and bedsides. Custom bumpers, TJM winch, Rigid LED lighting round out this buildup. Zone’s Project MJ is built to perform, whether it’s cruising at 75mph down the highway or crawling in the rocks. It’s a killer project that’s hard to miss out on the trail.
To check out more on this buildup, check out Zone’s website at zoneoffroad.com
Owner: Zone Offroad Products
Hometown: Coldwater, MI
Vehicle: 1990 Jeep Comanche MJ
Engine: 4.6L Stoker
Transmission: AX-15 5-speed
T-Case: NP-241 Rocktrac
Front Axle: Mopar J8 Dana 44, custom truss and sleeve kit, ARB air locker, Superior 5.38 gears, Superior 4130 chromoly shafts and u-joints, Reid Racing knuckles, BTF Cover
Rear Axle: Mopar J8 Dana 60, ARB air locker, Superior 5.38 gears, BTF Cover
Suspension: Zone 4-link front, triangulated 4-link rear w/ 14’’ Fox Racing 2.5 remote reservoir coilovers at each corner
Tires & Wheels: 40x13.50x17 Nitto Mud Grapplers on 17x8.5 Walker Evans Beadlocks
Steering: AGR RockRam, 1-ton linkage
Other Stuff: Hannemann Fiberglass Fenders/Bedsides, fully plated unibody, full roll cage, PRP Enduro Recliner Seats, TJM 12,000lb Winch, GM dual piston disc brakes, WJ master cylinder and booster, Warn VTC Air Compressor, 15-gallon aluminum fuel cell, dual Optima yellowtop, custom dash/gauges