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agamble

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About agamble

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    Comanche Aficionado

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    Male
  • Location
    Washington
  • Interests
    Jeeps, classic cars, motorcycles, biking, and being in the great outdoors.

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  1. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    Recently a buddy gave a new name to the Jeep with a play on the Wildernest name. He's taken to calling it the "The Wilderbeest". I like it and decided to go with it. I think it has a better ring to it than the previous moniker. As such, I've updated the thread title to reflect it.
  2. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    Since doing my disc brake swap I noticed that the rear brakes were not applying much clamping force. When stopping on gravel I was unable to get the rear brakes to lock up. With the dual diaphragm booster upgrade the truck was still stopping hands down better than it use to so I didn't think much of it at first. Here after a recent snow storm I noted that even on ice with minimal resistance the rear brakes would not lock up the tires. A known culprit for rear brake pressure loss is the load sensor. From reading the forum posts most elect to delete it all together when it appears that it has failed. I began looking into the process for deleting the load sensor when I came across thread posted by HOrnbrod: Using the advice on pg 2 I was able to get the rear brakes to lock up just after the fronts.
  3. agamble

    Sway Bar Upgrade

    If you're having trouble finding an Upcountry XJ you can use the sway bar from a ZJ with a V8. They came with the 28mm sway bar.
  4. I had been playing with the idea of converting the Dana 44 from drums to discs when the time came to redo the brakes. Researching showed there were several ways to do it ranging from easy to more difficult. Easiest and most expensive is purchasing an aftermarket disc brake kit. There is the option of using Ford Explorer backing plates and calipers, which will require minimal modifications. The other thing that a number of guys have used is Crown Vic backing plates and calipers, which use the same rotor as the Explorer, but have a trailing and leading caliper setup. And finally the is using backing plates and calipers from a Dana 35. This option appeared to be the most difficult to do and it required heavy modification to make it work. After researching I opted to use the Explorer for my disc conversion as its cheap ~$280 if you use mostly junkyard parts and pretty straight forward. I used the following writeup as my primary resource for information: https://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=967146. The first modification needed to use Explorer backing plates is the bolt pattern. The Explorer backing plate has an axle housing bolt pattern that closely resembles the MJ/XJ D44. - 95 - 01' Ford 8.8 rear discs backing plate has a 2" x 3 9/16" bolt pattern - 86 - 90 MJ/XJ D44 has a 2" x 3 11/32" bolt pattern This gives a horizontal difference of 7/32" between the axle housing bolt patterns. The Explorer backing plate needs the holes to be inwardly elongated 7/32" for them to bolt onto the D44 housing. A Dremel with a carbide bit made quick work on elongating the Explorer backing plates. Remove about 1/8" inward side of each hole. I used the D44 retaining plate as a template and to measure when I had removed enough material. When removing the metal with the carbide bit wear gloves. The shaving that are created are super irritating if you get them on the skin, and hang around forever if you don't vacuum them up. Explorer backing plate with holes elongated Here's the D44 retaining plate over the Explorer backing plate after elongating the holes. Finally a test fit of the backing plate on the D44 after elongating the holes. The second problem that needs modification is compensating for the difference in thickness between the Explorer backing plate vs the D44 drum backing plate. - Explorer disc brake backing plates are .350" thick - 86 - 90 MJ/XJ D44 backing plates are .125" thick Giving a thickness difference of .225" between the two. You can have a machine shop custom make a spacer to make up the difference or you can go the easy route and look to Teralex. Teraflex uses a spacer in the aftermarket D44 conversion kit they sell to compensate for this difference. A search on the webpage showed the spacers to be available for purchase by themselves, PN 86261, for $6.99 each. The spacer are .226" thick. The addition of the spacer will require the axle shaft bearings be replaced. When you go to press axle shaft bearing assemblies on the spacer will go between the D44 retaining plate and the oil seal. Make sure the tapered side of the spacer is facing the oil seal. I read conflicting reports of whether or not the stock wheel studs would work. It varied on what material the rims were, steel vs alloy, and the back spacing of the rim. I run the 90's era stock steel D-window rims. Before I pressed the new axle bearing assemblies on I did a test fit the Explorer setup for thread engagement on the lug nuts. Using the old oil seal I put the axle in place with the retaining plate and spacer. The stock wheel studs appeared to be just long enough. I was able to get 5 - 6 full rotations on the lug nuts. That was not enough engagement for my personal comfort so I changed out the wheel studs with some Ford 8.8 disc brake rear wheel studs, Dorman PN 610-368. Axle bearing assembly with Teraflex spacer pressed onto the axle shaft. Parking brake shoes and hardware need to be installed before the axle shafts can be installed. When trying to put the axle shafts in the the Teraflex spacer kept falling down. To keep it centered and in place I put a few dabs of Ultragrey RTV on the spacer to essentially glue it onto the retaining plate. The third problem that needs to be addressed is the rotor hat height. The TJ uses the same rear D44 axle shaft as the M/XJ, and the TJ Rubicon comes with disc brakes on the D44. The TJ Rubicon rotor has a hat height of 2.295" vs the Explorer at 2.275", giving a height difference of .020". Which is negligible, so the use of a an Explorer rotor would/should not be a problem. If using the Explorer rotor the main issue is the center hole. The D44 axle shaft will not fit through the center hole without widening it. About .015" needs to be removed from the inner surface, a flapper wheel could probably take care of that. I read of a few guys have some brake pad drag when using the Explorer Rotor. The other option that a lot of guys use are ZJ rear rotors. The comparison of the three rotors is as follows: Explorer Rear Rotor w/Parking Drum in Hat -Number bolt holes: 5 - Bolt Circle Dimensions: 4.5" -Discard Thickness: .433" -New Surface Thickness: .473" -Outside Diameter: 11.22" -Overall Height: 2.295" TJ Rear Rotor w/Parking Drum in Hat -Number bolt holes: 5 - Bolt Circle Dimensions: 4.5" -Discard Thickness: .433" -New Surface Thickness: .472" -Outside Diameter: 11.22" -Overall Height: 2.275" ZJ Rear Rotor w/Parking Drum in Hat -Number bolt holes: 5 - Bolt Circle Dimensions: 4.5" -Discard Thickness: .374" -New Surface Thickness: .43" -Outside Diameter: 11.22" -Overall Height: 2.33" Again, the difference between the two, Explorer vs ZJ, is practically negligible. I went with the ZJ rear rotors due to the two issues that I read about with the Explorer rotors. Oddly enough I never read of anyone using the TJ Rubicon rotors. However, based off of measurements the change of brake pad drag would still be a possibility. The stock steel brake lines on the D44 will be too long, which will require them to be modified or replaced. I replaced mine as I don't know when the hardliners were last....if ever replaced. The hard lines were run to the rear towards the back of the spring perches. To connect the hard line to the caliper, I used two passenger side lines for an Explorer. I have them running horizontal and inline with the leaf springs to prevent them from getting snagged or caught on anything. While I was doing brake lines the soft line running from the D44 to the bed was clearly the stock length and didn't allow for any flex. A longer brake hose from a Dodge Dakota was put in as well. The last problem to address is the ebrake cables. There are three options that are discussed over and over: Cut the spring off the stock drum cable, fold it over and use cable clamps to secure it to the ebrake arm Purchase the Lokar Clevis Kit and modify them for the drum cable ends Use the Lokar Universal Ebrake Cable Kit and build your own cables I actually went with a fourth option. I thought what about using ebrake cables from a ZJ with disc brakes. I found a pair on a Zj in the junkyard and threw those on. The length is snug but long enough with no modifications needed. I remember reading mixed information on which rims and backspacing will work. I vaguely recall hearing the 90's era 5 spoke and 11 spoke stock rims wouldn't fit. But when researching the stock Explorer rims were the same size and dimensions as Jeep so there is no reason why they shouldn't fit. Further reading led me to believe some people were mixing up Crown Vic brakes. Stock rims most likely will not fit with that setup as the stock rims are 16" rims. But that's just me making conjectures. Anyways, the stock rims had plenty of clearance for the calipers. Several post discussed swapping out the stock single diaphragm brake booster for a dual diaphragm as well as a prop valve for one from a ZJ with disc brakes to provide better braking pressure on the rear discs. I've already swapped in a dual diaphragm booster and I still have the MJ prop valve as my load sensor still functions. Thus far driving around the brakes have worked flawlessly and if the load sensor fails I can install a wildwood adjustable prop vale on the rear line.
  5. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    Of course, what ever helps the community along.
  6. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    About a month ago I was playing around on the street in front of the house with the parking brake. After I had applied it the parking brake pedal released on its own, but the jeep didn't roll. Upon completing what I had been doing I went to pull forward only to find that the drivers side wheel did not want to spin. An initial attempt at a quick fix, putting the brake back on and releasing it again, did nothing to remedy the problem. So I now found myself in a conundrum. The jeep would roll just fine in reverse but, would not move going forward. After getting it into the garage I figured it was time to rebuild the brakes. I had been playing with the idea of converting the Dana 44 from drums to discs when the time came to redo the brakes. Researching showed there were several ways to do it ranging it easier to more difficult. After doing my research I opted to use the Ford 8.8 for my disc conversion as its cheap and pretty straight forward. I used this writeup as my source for information: https://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=967146. The write up is filled with great information and I recommend reading it. I have inserted snippets of information from the write up here. Ford explorer rear discs read to be the best for this conversion as the spacing on the backing plates is closest to the D44. - 95 - 01' Ford 8.8 rear discs backing plate has a 2" x 3 9/16" bolt pattern - 86 - 90 MJ/XJ D44 has a 2" x 3 11/32" bolt pattern This gives a horizontal difference of 7/32" between the two backing plates. The explorer backing plate need the holes to be inwardly elongated 7/32" for them to bolt onto the D44 housing. A dremel with a carbide bit made quick work on elongating the Ford 8.8 backing plates. Remove about 1/8" inward side of each hole. I used the retaining plate to measure when I had removed enough material. When removing the metal with the carbide bit wear gloves. The shaving that are created are super irritating if you get them on the skin, and hand around forever if you don't vacuum them up. Another difference that needs to be overcome is the difference in thickness between the Ford 8.8 disc brake backing plates and D44 backing plates. - Ford 8.8 disc brake backing plates are .350" thick - 86 - 90 MJ/XJ D44 backing plate us .125" thick Giving a thickness difference of .225" between the two. Teraflex uses a spacer in the aftermarket conversion kit compensate for this difference. A search on the webpage showed the spacers to be available for purchase by themselves PN 86261 for $6.99 each. The spacer are .226" thick. When you go to press them onto the axle shafts the spacer will go between the D44 retaining plate and the oil seal. Make sure the tapered side is facing the oil seal. I heard conflicting reports of whether or not the stock wheel studs would work and with what rims. I run the 90's era stock steel D-window rims. Before I pressed the new axle hardware on I did a test fit. Using the old oil seal I put the axle in place with the retaining plate and spacer. The stock wheel studs appeared to be just long enough. I was able to get 5 - 6 full rotations on the lug nuts. That was not enough engagement for my personal comfort so I changed out the wheel studs for some Ford 8.8 rear wheel studs, Dorman PN 610-368. When trying to put the axle shafts in the spacer kept falling down. Do keep it in place I put a few dabs of Ultragrey RTV on the spacer to essentially glue it onto the retaining plate. When selecting rotors I had read of some using explorer rotors and others going with ZJ rotors. The comparison of the two is as follows: Ford 8.8 Rear Rotor w/Parking Drum in Hat -Number bolt holes: 5 - Bolt Circle Dimensions: 4.5" -Discard Thickness: .433" -New Surface Thickness: .473" -Outside Diameter: 11.22" -Overall Height: 2.295" ZJ Rear Rotor w/Parking Drum in Hat -Number bolt holes: 5 - Bolt Circle Dimensions: 4.5" -Discard Thickness: .374" -New Surface Thickness: .43" -Outside Diameter: 11.22" -Overall Height: 2.33" The difference between the two is practially negligible. I read of some people getting some brake pad drag when using the Ford 8.8 rotor. But the main issue with using Ford 8.8 rotors is the center hole. The D44 axle shaft will not fit through the center hole without widening it. About .015" needs to be removed from the inner surface, a flapper wheel could probably take care of this. I went with the ZJ rear rotors due to the two issues that I read about the Ford 8.8 rotors. The stock steel brake lines on the D44 for drums will be too long, which will require them to be modified or replaced. I replaced mine as I don't know when the hardliners were last....if ever replaced. The soft line running from the D44 to the bed was the stock length and didn't allow for any flex. Longer hose from a Dodge Dakota was put in as well. To address the ebrake cables there are three options that are discussed over and over: Cut the spring off the stock cable, fold it over and use cable clamps to secure it to the ebrake arm Purchase the Lokar Clevis Kit and modify them for the drum cable ends Use the Lokar Universal Ebrake Cable Kit and build your own cables I actually went with a fourth option. I thought what about using ebrake cables from a ZJ with disc brakes. I found a pair on a Zj in the junkyard and threw those on. The length is snug but long enough. To connect the hard line to the caliper, I used two passenger side lines for a Ford Explorer. I have them running horizontal and inline with the leaf springs to prevent them from getting snagged or caught on anything. When I did a test fit early on in the process I neglected to do one major thing. I never put on the caliper to test for clearance with the stock D-window rims. I remember reading mixed information on which rims and backspacing will work. I vaguely recall hearing the 90's era 5 spoke and 11 spoke stock rims wouldn't fit. But when researching the stock Explorer rims were the same size and dimensions as Jeep so there is no reason why they shouldn't fit. Further reading led me to believe some people were mixing up crown victoria brakes. Stock rims most likely will not fit with that setup as the stock rims are 16" rims. Anyways, the stock rims had plenty of clearance for the calipers. Several post discussed swapping out the prop valve for one from a ZJ with disc brakes to provide better braking pressure on the rear discs. I still have the MJ prop valve as my load sensor still functions. Thus far driving around the brakes have worked flawlessly and if the load sensor fails I can install a wildwood adjustable prop vale on the rear line.
  7. agamble

    Random Find

    If it is one and the same, the national search has been narrowed down to South Eastern Washington region. I've read the threads on the debates of whether it was authentic or not. Saw a lot of photoshop renderings of multi-door comanches. We can put that debate to rest that it is authentic a driving around.
  8. agamble

    Random Find

    The other day I spotted this in the parking lot of the local Walmart as I was pulling out. As much as I would have liked to wait I didn’t have timers hang around waiting for the owner to come out. Anyone familiar with this? If memeory serves I recall seeing this or one similar on eBay about a year or so ago.
  9. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    For the last little while I’ve been wavering back and forth on which rim to go with on the Jeep. In the past I’ve leaned towards an aftermarket for a more modern look and taste and was thinking of going that route for Villa. Really the only drawback is that with the backspacing of aftermarket rims they stick further out of the fenders and get more crud on the truck, which really isn’t that big of a deal breaker. Then as I was looking at rims I started thinking sometimes a well built Jeep looks nice with stock rims, I already have five matching stock rims, while driving around I have noticed not many XJs running the original stock rims, and a few eBay searches didnt returning very many results for the stock rims. I decided to keep the original rims and freshen them up a bit. I tried to keep the paint as close as possible without custom mixing. Closest match I could find was rustoleum metallic silver. How the rim looked when removed from the Jeep. Any refreshing job is all about the prep work. Started by roughing up the suface with some 120 grit. Then vacuumed the sanding debris from the surface and did some more sanding with 400 grit to give the paint something to bit into. The 400 grit sanding was followed another vacuuming of the debris and a wipe down with denatured alcohol to get a nice clean surface. To keep the the paint overspray off the tire taped it up. The first coat was a light coat mostly to get some coverage on the rim. Within 10 minutes a heavier coat was applied making sure all of the surface was coated. With the heavy coat applied a second heavy coat was put on about 10 minutes after that. All cured and back on the truck. With succes on the practice rim the other rims are currently being painted as well.
  10. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    Had the battery die on me the other day. I knew it was but thought it still had some life in it. I debated on getting an AGM battery, such as an odessy. But after all the research I got to thinking, I have no aftermarket electronics and the Autozone gold top batteries have always served me well and been reliable. And the most on the electrical I have planned is perhaps a winch in the far far future. So I went with the gold top. The new battery oddly enough sorted out a slight rpm surge that was present in the jeep, added bonus . With the battery installed and the jeep running again I had some free time today. With nothing major that needed to be done on the Jeep I did a few of the want to do's. First was I freshened up the emblems, I neglected to get a before picture. The freshen up entailed repainting the background black to get the lettering to pop again, hand painted, and a clear coat for protection. Both the driver and passenger doors came from a newer model (94 I think?) as the originals were rusted out and falling apart. Both doors came with gold striping running the width of the door. No where else on the truck had gold striping, they stood out. I have no plans to make this a show truck, and the visible dents in the door can attest to that. But I figured a consistent theme in color is do able. It took long than I thought but I removed the gold striping from the doors. A fresh razor blade and a lot of patience got all the sticker and adhesive from the doors. The shell had/has a number of decal stickers that I also am not a fan of and I started to remove those. The razor blade came into play again, but the adhesive was not as easy to get off. It took a number of methods to get them off. The first attempt was the razor blade with lots of scraping, yet the adhesive would not come off entirely. Olive oil was used to help with the sticky and that work, but left an out line of where the decal had been. After thinking off ways to remove the outline of the decal I figured I would give a a mister clean magic eraser a try. The thing worked wonders. It removed everything, the residual adhesive where the decals were stuck, the outline that would not be removed, and the years worth of built up grime on the shell.
  11. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    I contemplated doing the load sensing valve delete, but if its not broke why fix it. When I came into possession of the truck the valve was zip tied up to an upper hardline. As far as I can tell the load sensing valve functions on the truck. I seemed to have more rear brakes when it was tied up higher (pointing towards the underside of the bed) vs when it was hanging there pointing towards the ground. So for the time being I made a new and longer rod for my load sensing valve to accommodate the lift that has been installed a while back. The rod was made from a 6 inch 1/4 -20 rod, two couplers and four nuts.
  12. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    Been daily driving Villa in an attempt to find remaining issues or things that need to be addressed. Which included an 80 mile round trip to my work. Majority of the drive....as in 95% was on the highway with average speeds of 75 mph. Only issues were a high idle, 1500 rpm, no climate control or transfer case lights, blower motor was weak and a smell of oil on the exhaust. I traced all the vacuum lines and couldn’t locate any holes or leaks in the lines. So I double checked my work. Still didn’t find any leaks or holes. So the diagnosis moved into other sensors and fuel related items and all were new and working or just working. I had a similar issue in another renix era Jeep and ultimately I ended up adjusting the butterfly valve to .003 mm. I ended up doing the same thing, but instead went with .004 mm. Now the idea rest right at 900 rpm. Just faint amount of light coming through. The bulbs for the climate controls and the transfer case were replaced and all displays are now illuminated. The burning oil on the exhaust was traced to the output shaft seal on the transfer case. That was quickly replaced and oil smell is now gone. Cruiser54s mostly remix tips were referenced and used to make a ground closer to the blower motor and the output has since increased significantly.
  13. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    When I removed the fenders to repair the door hinges I attempted to remove the fender flares. Ultimately I ended up breaking off the majority of mounting bracket studs. To re-attach the brackets I used a angle grinder with a grinding wheel and punch to get the old studs off the bracket. Then tacked 10-32 x 1” bolts onto the brackets. Once the new studs were in place a couple coats of paint were applied to brackets. Just waiting to reinstall the fender flares.
  14. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    Thanks. While I have never actively searched, I'd never seen shelves like this in a cab until I got the truck. They were too cool and handy not to put them back in.
  15. agamble

    The Wilderbeest

    Finished up the last of the interior today. UP to this point I did not have the fabric backing board that goes behind the seat. When I got the truck there was a black plastic shelf attached with sheet metal screws into the rear of the cab. While I liked the shelf for the added storage I was not a fan of the attachment method. I've seen several other members builds where they built their own so I figured that I would give it a go. First on the agenda was a stop at the Home Depot. There I acquired a 4' x 8' x 3/16" hard board. Using the backboard from the other Comanche that I have as backboard I traced out the dimensions, then used a circular saw to make quick work of getting the shape out.For the smaller cuts and access holes I used a dremel with a reinforced cutoff wheel. The covering was felt that I got at Joanns fabric store. The color is a bit off but most of it is going to be out of view anyway. I used some tee nuts as the new method to attach the shelves to the backboard. These shelves will come in very handy to store and carry extra parts and other knick knacks.
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