It was 2016 in Edmonton, Alberta when Ryan and Kira Grassl decided it was time for a new vehicle. “My wife was looking so we decided to go car shopping. We had both decided we weren’t about to buy something boring; it had to be fun. We came across a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 for sale and decided to take a look at it. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love with it so we bought it,” explains Ryan.
For the first year or so, the Jeep was assigned to daily driver duties. One day, Ryan joined a Facebook group called “Alberta GCSRT8 Owners” and from there, everything changed. “The true fun began as I started modifying the Jeep after joining that group,” he says.
At first, the Jeep started out with just a mild tune and a cold air intake. However, after seeing some Jeeps in the group with built engines fitted with a supercharger or turbocharger(s), Ryan got very interested in making the Jeep go a lot faster.
As the desire to go faster grew, the daily driving practicality of the Jeep slowly started fading. He shares, “Something very rare happened shortly after. As it turns out, my wife was completely hooked on making the Jeep much faster as well so we sat own and started looking at performance parts with our son. It was then we decided to build a family race car with it. Jeep has such an awesome platform with these Grand Cherokee SRT8s. Since they are all-wheel-drive, they are rockets out of the hole.”
The next step in the Jeep’s performance modifications was a basic bolt on Vortech V3 supercharger kit with water/methanol injection. With these installed, the Jeep ran a solid 11.7 second quarter mile at 117 mph. While that was fun for around a year, it wasn’t enough for the Grassl’s. The stock 6.1L Hemi came out to build up and a Vortech V2 supercharger was ordered.
To make sure the power would get to the ground properly, a SHR transmission was ordered and installed. Ryan tells us, “I was really impressed with my buddy Matt Sinclair’s Jeep which has a 392 Stroker with a V2. He was always running consistent 10 second quarter miles so I reached out to him for advice during our build as well as the members from the Facebook group”.
The Jeep’s 6.1L Hemi was upgraded with a fully forged bottom end, Diamond pistons, Molnar rods and a Crower camshaft. The stock cylinder heads came off and a pair of 6.4L Apache heads were installed along with the Vortech V2 supercharger. A Procharger air to air intercooler set up and Flowmaster exhaust were also installed.
“All of the performance work was done at a shop called “Those Guys Garage” in Sherwood Park, Alberta. They have always done amazing work on our Jeep and have helped us get where we wanted to be on a decent budget,” says Ryan. Once the Hemi was re-installed into the Jeep, a custom tune by Johan Mangs out of Florida was installed to make sure everything worked properly together.
Ryan explains that so far on a pretty conservative pump gas tune, he has been able to run a best quarter mile time of 10.7 seconds at 126 mph. He hopes to try it again but using racing gas with a little bit more of a modified tune.
On the outside, the Grassl’s have modified their Jeep quite a bit. With the WK1 SRT Jeeps (2006-2010), you could chose Black Clear, Brilliant Black, Bright Silver, Red Rock, Inferno Red, Steel Blue or Modern Blue depending on the year. It wasn’t until 2013 (and mainly for the 2014 model year) with the redesigned WK2 SRT Jeeps that you could get white as a color option.
To change the exterior up, the Grassl’s decided to wrap their originally Red Rock colored Jeep in a Avery Pearl White. They tell us that they purchased the wrap and with the help of some good friends, they managed to wrap it themselves in their garage in the middle of winter! A Black Ops Auto Works Paramedic hood finished in black was installed to break up all of the white perfectly.
They installed an Eibach Pro lowering kit to get a really nice stance and had the original wheels powder-coated black by The Wheel Clinic in Edmonton, Alberta before wrapping them in Nitto NT05 (275/40R20) tires out front and Nitto NT05R (315/35R20) tires out back. Ryan says, “The Wheel Clinic was awesome. They have always helped get the look just right! They even powder-coated the intake manifold and supercharger housing for us!”
The Grassl’s tell us that their future goals for the Jeep is to eventually switch out the supercharger for an 85mm turbocharger and shoot for a 9 second quarter mile pass. They fully intend to keep it a full interior family race car throughout everything as they even have their son’s Recaro car seat in the back all of the time; even when running the quarter mile! Now that’s a true family sport!
*Special thank you to KGrassl.Photography and Cjames Photography for use of their photos.*