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February 2017 ● Korsch_RS's '89


Here we go into another month, all! This month is... well, this month is really something special. I dig it, anyhow! Here is one of those trucks where it looks somewhat of the norm... and then you start to take a closer look. Big knobby tires? Check. Heavy offroad bumpers? Check. Well weathered Comanche body? Check. LS power under the hood? What?!?! This month, be sure to take a close look at...

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YEAR/MODEL

1989 Jeep Comanche Pioneer. Originally 2wd, 4.0L, AX-15, with a Dana 35


ENGINE/PERFORMANCE ●

2006 Trailblazer SS LS2 400hp/400lbft - stock internals, Corvette accessories

Novak Ceramic Coated swap headers, 2.5” header outlet pipes, merging to a single 3.5” pipe. Reduces to a single 3” over the axle with a Magnaflow High flow cat and straight through muffler

4” intake to AEM cone filter


DRIVETRAIN ●

2007 Tralblazer SS 4L70 - TransGo shift kit, some upgraded internals, Novak tailhousing and 300M output shaft

NP242 from a Grand Cherokee

Dana 30 Front axle - 4.10, TrueTrac, Truss/sleeve, c-gussets

Ford 8.8 rear axle - 4.10, Trac-lok, Mustang Cobra Carbon Fiber friction discs, restacked and no friction modifier for more locking, RuffStuff diff cover


COOLING ●

All metal CSM 3-row HD radiator (for now, needs upgrade to Novak super thick aluminum unit in the spring).

stock XJ E-fan and 2 Spal Slimlines

B&M transmission cooler

Needs an oil cooler


ELECTRICAL/IGNITION ●

Custom wiring harness from the driver's seat forward, everything is rated to IP67 for water protection

Engine bay connectors are either stock GM, Deutsch, or a few metripack 280

Deutsch DRB12-48 bulkhead connector in stock location

Cooper Bussmann RFRM engine bay fuse box

Littelfuse 868-163 HWB60 interior fusebox, mounted to old ECU mount

Cooper Bussman Power Relay Modules to switch and control the big loads


SUSPENSION/STEERING ●

WJ Grand Cherokee knuckles with crossover steering

Custom 1.5” OD 0.25” wall track bar using JKS OTK bracket, RuffStuff ¾” heims, and a modified Iron Rock Offroad Double shear chassis side bracket

Durango Steering box with removed internal stops

Custom power steering hoses to meet up with Corvette PS pump

SPC 1.5” travel JounceShock front airbumps

MetalCloak 4.5” Dual-Rate springs

0.75” Spacers

Garbage 12” travel white-body shocks to get it on the road (soon to be replaced with Fox/Kings)

Single Y-link radius long arm suspension - RuffStuff DIY Long arms kit with 1.25” heims


Rusty’s Offroad 4.5” lift springs (5-leaf)

SummitRacing extended XJ shackles in relocated pivot (7” long c-c I think?)

RuffStuff high-clearance Deaver-style leaf spring brackets and u-bolt plates

Garbage 10” travel black-body shocks to get it on the road (Soon to replaced with Fox/Kings)

Extended progressive poly bumpstops on 1” aluminum drop spacers

RuffStuff Specialties DIY Traction Bar


INTERIOR ●

2007 Subaru WRX Seats

Rostra Seat Heaters

2002 Subaru WRX Underseat subwoofer mounted to back wall

Streamlight 75712 flashlight/cradle mounted to back wall - charges from vehicle 12V

Jensen JHD3630BT head unit with weatherband and bluetooth

Infinity Reference Speakers with DEI Speaker baffles

Cobra 19DX CB Radio

B&M Pro Stick shifter - modified with BillaVista tutorial for offroad use

Novak Cable TC shifter - modified to work with NP242 and 4L70

Modified XJ Center console to remove e-brake handle area, add cupholders, and clear B&M shifter (needs more work)

LED B-pillar and footwell lighting

1992 GMC Jimmy rear-view mirror with LED map-lights

1990 Eliminator tilt steering column, with working cruise control


BRAKES ●

WJ Grand Cherokee knuckles with 13” rotors

Akebono Calipers with a small shave to clear wheels

Stock Explorer rear disc brakes

WJ grand cherokee booster and MC

Deleted rear proportioning valve


LIGHTING ●

IPF H4 headlight housings with 65/75w bulbs

LED White/Amber turn signal bulbs with switchback

Hella 90mm foglights with PIAA amber bulbs

Zeus Pro Single 20” LED bar - spot beam

Hardwired flood work light on a magnet mount


EXTERIOR ●

Custom dents

Cut hood for intake manifold clearance

TrackSpec large hood louvers

Custom 3/16” plate front bumper with integrated LED and fog light mounts and protection with hidden winch (between front frame rails)

Custom bent stock rear bumper (for now), custom plate bumper to match the front coming soon


WHEELS/TIRES ●

33x12.5 R15 BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM2 - siped

Cragar Soft-8 steel wheels 15x8, 4” backspacing

1” spacers on the rear, 0.25” spacers on the front


Winter (just put them on, no pics yet):

2009 Ford Ranger Sport 16” wheels

285/75 R16 Yokohama Geolandar I/T G072

1/2” spacers in the front, 1/4” spacers in the rear, extended lug studs


MISCELLANEOUS ●

T&M Metal Fabrication frame stiffeners

Hi-lift extreme

Maxtrax

Warn M8000 with synthetic rope, custom tool to turn clutch lever through a hole in the front bumper


Remember That One Time?... Tell Us Your Best MJ Story ●


The company I work for built a prototype vehicle, and we were taking it up to Houghton, MI, in the Upper Peninsula for testing. I thrashed on my Comanche for several months every night after work to complete the 4.0 HO and 4WD swap, along with the 3” lift, D30 build, and Ford 8.8 installation, to get the truck ready to take up there, often working into the night in the garage after a 10-12hr day getting the work vehicle together. I went to school in Houghton at Michigan Tech, so I was really excited to get my truck up there for some after-work shenanigans, especially because one of my coworkers was bringing his Land Rover Discovery up as well. I ended up finishing putting the MJ together at 1am Monday morning, had it all packed up by 4am, and left at 7am to drive 600 miles up to the UP. The MJ ran almost perfectly for 4 weeks of wheeling and exploring.


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Everything was great until the last weekend. I volunteered to stay over the last weekend as my co-workers all had families to get back to, and we needed someone to stick around until Monday to load the vehicle back onto the trailer for the trip back. I was doing some exploring by myself and unfortunately ended up almost getting stuck in a mudhole (thanks MaxTrax!) and cutting an electrical harness in the front of the truck. Some of the magic electrical smoke escaped and I hustled back to civilization as fast as I could, but the Comanche died on a remote dirt road, and I had to get it towed back to town. I couldn’t find the cut in the last day up there (luckily I also brought my motorcycle so I still had transportation) so I had to rent a u-haul to get it back to Detroit.


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Even after splicing the harness back together the truck never seemed to run very well again, I don’t know if something somewhere got shorted or what, but this eventually led to me having enough of the 4.0L and deciding it was time for an upgrade. And now it’s got an LS2 :)


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CC is Awesome!... Why Do You Think So? ●

There’s a huge knowledge base here and some pretty incredible build threads. I love browsing the tech and build thread sections learning new things about Comanches, and seeing what other people are doing with the platform. My favorite part is when I find some part or solution that is really well done, so I can take and use for my own build! :)


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FULL BUILD THREAD HERE




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Holy picture dump, Steve! Totally worth it though! A big, BIG tip of the cap on this build. I really appreciate the way you've documented everything in your build thread. Almost like a "how-to" on an LS swap. Very cool! It's your month so be sure to enjoy all of it. Congratulations!


-Ben


12 Comments

Nice work, congrats.
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masimmons25
Feb 01 2017 10:23 PM

Any idea what the long term implications of not adding the friction modifier are? how noticeable is the difference in the lsd?

 

Sweet build (also like the VFR)

Thanks guys! I've got some updating to do in my build thread to get it caught up with where the truck is now. I really like the VFR, the sounds of the V4 exhaust and gear driven cams are are just awesome!

 

The only long term implications I can think of for the diff is that the clutch plates will probably wear out faster than normal. There shouldn't be any effect to the gears in the differential because you wouldn't normally put friction modifier in an open differential and those gears do just fine. Without the FM the truck would chirp the rear tire going around corners at first, after the clutches bed in a little bit it settled down to only if you get on the gas. I'm pretty happy with the extra traction offroad for $100 (for a new set of clutches) vs. $1000 for a selectable locker.

Really like your build, good work!

I love the build thread :D  have you done a DIY thread yet on the swap?

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Comanche SS
Feb 03 2017 10:18 PM

Glad to see an LS MJ on the MJOTM thread! Congratulations brother...I think its so helpful to have someone with an odd build like yours and mine (and a few others) to be able to compare notes and tips. Your MJ is sweet and yours inspires mine as I'm sure ours do all. 

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88whitemanche
Feb 04 2017 07:13 PM
Congrats man! This thing is SWEET!

This thing is badass!

Thanks everyone!

 

Pete I don't think I'll put together a DIY thread. All engine swaps are complex, and different problems require different solutions for different trucks and different people. I'll put as much information as I can in my build thread to try and help anyone else that wants to do this swap have as much information as possible to find the best solution for them.

 

If anyone has a question about the LS swap or truck in general that isn't covered in my build thread, feel free to post or PM me with it and I'll answer as best I can!

 

I've just put the plumbing post in my build thread, the electrical post is coming soon, and then updating the thread with what I've been doing with the truck since getting the engine in :)

We're kindred spirits with the wiring mate.  Excellent build.  

Thanks everyone!

 

Pete I don't think I'll put together a DIY thread. All engine swaps are complex, and different problems require different solutions for different trucks and different people. I'll put as much information as I can in my build thread to try and help anyone else that wants to do this swap have as much information as possible to find the best solution for them.

 

If anyone has a question about the LS swap or truck in general that isn't covered in my build thread, feel free to post or PM me with it and I'll answer as best I can!

 

I've just put the plumbing post in my build thread, the electrical post is coming soon, and then updating the thread with what I've been doing with the truck since getting the engine in :)

 

 

what about a listing in the DIY forum that has some basic info and then a link to your build thread?  lots of great info just gets lost in the build threads because it's not all that searchable. :(  "v8 swap" in the DIY forum would be so much easier to find (especially now that we have the index)

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Pete I don't think I'll put together a DIY thread. All engine swaps are complex, and different problems require different solutions for different trucks and different people. I'll put as much information as I can in my build thread to try and help anyone else that wants to do this swap have as much information as possible to find the best solution for them.

 

If anyone has a question about the LS swap or truck in general that isn't covered in my build thread, feel free to post or PM me with it and I'll answer as best I can!

 

I've just put the plumbing post in my build thread, the electrical post is coming soon, and then updating the thread with what I've been doing with the truck since getting the engine in :)

 

 

what about a listing in the DIY forum that has some basic info and then a link to your build thread?  lots of great info just gets lost in the build threads because it's not all that searchable. :(  "v8 swap" in the DIY forum would be so much easier to find (especially now that we have the index)

 

Hmmm yeah I could do that. I'll post something over there after I've finished the electrical post :)