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Project: Risen From The Ashes!

risenSo, how does a crew-cab, Cummins twin turbo-powered MJ destined for SEMA sound? Oh, and it’s being built completely from the bottom up.

That, friends, is what Cody Kinnison is aiming for with a project he’s calling “Project Risen from the Ashes.”

Cody, a lifelong Jeeper based out of Colorado, was searching through a local junk yard early last year for interior trim pieces for his ‘98 XJ when he stumbled upon a brown ‘89 Comanche. There was no question: he had to have it. From that day on the building began.

“I ended up buying it and had plans to make it similar to my ‘98 Cherokee,” he said. “But as I started to look at the build I decided it needed to be more.”

To get the project started, he sourced a donor XJ that would eventually give up its engine, transfer case and transmission for the MJ. The first three months proved to be the most tedious, pulling both engines, electrical, painting jobs here and there, including the engine bay, as well as some body work with rust removal and ordering lots of parts.

Major milestones in the coming months included putting a D30 underneath and more work in the engine bay. A little over half a year since the project started and the MJ was sitting under its own weight. Then things changed.

“Recent life events pushed me into deciding to have it be a crew cab,” he said. “I now have two kids and a two seater truck wouldn’t do it.”

So, how will the crew cab truck built off a two-seater work?

“I’m going to use most of the XJ for the cab, and the back half of the MJ, so that it has the iconic Comanche trim and the bed for the truck,” Cody said. “I’ll cut the unibody frame off and put it on an actual frame.”

Since making the decision to go crew cab, Cody, with the help of a group of buddies who lend a hand, has done more work prepping the MJ frame, disassembling the body and removing the bed and rear axle.

Cody’s MJ build has morphed in many ways since he first picked it up. Including a period when a pre-runner style rig was its destiny and into the current crew-cab state. One thing stays the same no matter what the aesthetic vision is: work continues piece by piece with a definitive goal in mind.

“My ultimate goal is SEMA,” he said. “I’ll put in a 6.7 twin-turbo Cummins for the power plant,” he said. “With one-ton four-link axles.”

To keep up with Cody’s “Project Risen from the Ashes” build, visit his build page at

written by: Kyle Hayes