The ('84-'01) Jeep Cherokee and the Jeep Liberty both have something great to offer automotive enthusiasts. The Cherokee body and suspension benefit from a long production run where it received many refinements. Widely available aftermarket parts easily turn these vehicles into capable off-road machines and enjoyable daily drivers. The ('05-'06) Liberty came with a 2.8L VM Motori turbodiesel engine option and a 545RFE automatic transmission. The vehicle you see pictured is the perfect late-model Jeep combination. Garette and Aleaha Cruzan recognized this and decided to make this conversion a reality. Combined with the fabrication expertise of Josh Prindle, owner of Prindle Manufacturing and Performance, the swap went smoothly and looks finished and planned out to the last detail. The owners state they are more than happy with how the Jeep Cherokee CRD runs and drives. Performance and fuel economy increased with the swap, considering the Cherokee weighs almost 1,000 pounds less than the Liberty. The Jeep now gets between 21 and 27 mpg. Custom-Fabricated Conversion PartsThe foundation of this project was Prindle's two-piece motor mounts. Due to the height of the diesel engine, the firewall was slightly reshaped. The 2.8L engine and the 545RFE automatic transmission out of the Liberty were connected by their computers, so putting a manual transmission in would have complicated the project. With the Liberty's transmission installed, the Jeep needed a new crossmember. Prindle created a tubular crossmember, which provided excellent skid protection against hazards. Matched with a stout front winch bumper, the custom pieces blend into the factory Cherokee nicely. Prindle said, "Building the radiator support was one the most time consuming parts when doing this conversion." The intercooler's dimensions are 3 inches x 12 inches x 30 inches and the radiator was made from aluminum. Both were made to fit with a factory-like finish. Another difficult section was wiring the engine. Cruzan tackled this, and his experience as a heavy equipment diesel mechanic definitely helped the situation. DP The radiator and intercooler were custom made to fit in a spot first designed with only one heat exchanger in mind. The radiator and intercooler were custom made to fit in a spot first designed with only on Here are the factory-like installation results. The air intake was also a Prindle creation. Here are the factory-like installation results. The air intake was also a Prindle creation The rear axle was converted to a Ford 8.8-inch from a Ford Explorer that featured 3.73 gears and disc brakes. The rear axle was converted to a Ford 8.8-inch from a Ford Explorer that featured 3.73 gea These heavy-duty motor mounts, made in Montana at Prindle Manufacturing and Performance, secure the 2.8L VM Motori turbodiesel engine and look better than the factory units. These heavy-duty motor mounts, made in Montana at Prindle Manufacturing and Performance, s Organizing and routing wires is a time-consuming, important process. The Liberty uses a CAN-bus multiplex wiring system to keep the thickness of the wires down. This system uses a single wire to send different signals to power modules. Another piece to this conversion puzzle was installing the electronic throttle pedal. Organizing and routing wires is a time-consuming, important process. The Liberty uses a C The Cherokee's New Process 231 transfer case was upgraded with a slip-yoke eliminator kit and bolted to the 545RFE automatic transmission. Also visible is the 3-inch exhaust. The Cherokee's New Process 231 transfer case was upgraded with a slip-yoke eliminator kit SOURCES Prindle Manufacturing & Performance www.prindlemfg.com Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!