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About agamble

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    Comanche Aficionado

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    Jeeps, classic cars, motorcycles, biking, and being in the great outdoors.

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  1. Pulling up to the 4-way stop there was a loud pop, followed by a loud grinding sound that quickly went away. I quickly turned around and headed home. Once I got the Jeep into the garage, I was in a rush and already running late, I made a quick glance and noted that the front driveshaft was hanging down and left it at that. At the time I thought it was odd that the front u-joint on the driveshaft would randomly blow up like while driving. Later on, with more time to inspect I noted that the centering tabs on the front yoke had been broken and the free swinging driveshaft had marred up the upper control arm. Still thinking it was odd that the front u-joint would blow up and cause the centering tabs to break off was odd, I did more searching and that when I found the issue. All three cross member bolts on the passenger side had broken off (I neglected to get before pictures). It then became clear that when the bolt and/or bolts broke, the drivetrain was pushed to the driver side where the driveshaft then contacted the upper control arm, breaking the yoke and front u-joint. The nuts welded into the frame for the cross member had broken free, so using new bolts was not in the cards. I ended up welding the outer long arm brackets in place. Welding the outer brackets in place required removing the undercoating. Which will be replaced as soon as the temps get back above 60's. While I was under the Jeep, I took the opportunity to install the new diff guard that I'd had laying around. The diff guard came with new mounting hardware for the guard. Not wanting to have half the bolts be 1/2' bolt and the other half 3/16 allen head, a run to the hardware store was made to get 5 more. While getting additional hardware I noticed that there was no price difference between the stainless steel bolts and regular steel. I ended up getting 10 stainless steel bolts so they all matched.
  2. A good How-to video on cleaning and repairs power window switches.
  3. Wanting to keep the cab looking as stock as possible I bought the '84 - '96 Jeep Cherokee and Comanche In-Dash DIY Carling Style 4 Switch Panel from Prime4x4 that replaces the factory clock. I went with the Prime4x4 switch panel as it is a steel construction vs being plastic that other manufacturers offer. After installing the Eaton E-locker wiring harness, the supplied rocker switch was too large to mount into the Prime4x4 switch panel. Rather than enlarging the opening of the panel I purchased a Contura V rocker switch at otrattw.net (wanting to have all the switches match I bought additional switches for accessories to be added at a future date) for the locker.
  4. Thanks! It’s almost complete.....or so I keep telling myself. But as anyone here can attest to, I am only deceiving myself. There’s always something that will need to be done or changed. No. The Wildernest is not Comanche specific. The canopy a Tent Top Model Number 91/ Tip Top Model Number T91 and is designed to go with a number of light weight long bed pick-up trucks, essentially a one size fits all approach. While the fit isn’t perfect, it’s a close fit not to be aesthetically unpleasant. Height is ~1.5" below the roof line. Width wise is almost a perfect fit. Length is ~1” too long leaving a small gap between hatch and tail gate. For a complete setup on the long-bed Comancheit requires a rear door wedge, which I don't have, nor ever seen. Here is a link to a brochure listing model numbers: http://www.therangerstation.com/resources/pdf_documents/Wildernest_OEM.pdf.
  5. Appreciate it. The one minor issue is the window crank barely scraps the speaker cover when rolling the windows up and down.
  6. While it's been more of an inconvenience than a problem, I became tired of not having operating windows over the summer. Both windows would roll down but I was unable to get them back up without applying power directly to the motors. So for the summer months I drove around with the vent windows as the only way to get air moving through the cab. The replacement doors that came from an XJ came equipped with power windows and locks. When the windows were first wired the the drivers side control panel only operated the drivers door window and lock. A wiring harness from 4-door Cherokee with power windows and locks was later installed to connect and operate both doors. After the install the locks and windows worked.......for about a day. At first I thought the passenger window regulator died on me while I was testing it out. It would go down with no problems. Going back up I would have to flick the switch on both the master control switch and passenger switch multiple times to get it to go back up. However, I couldn't hear the motor running. I traced the the issue to the wiring harness connection in the master control switch. The wire pins (located inside the resin) were not making good contact with the window switches. I couldn't address the problem without destroying the wiring harnesses. Several runs to different junkyards provided plenty of donors for a replacement wiring harness, none gave confidence of lasting long term. There was one 86' - 96' XJ that had manual window regulators. After giving it some thought, the manual windows would better meet my needs and eliminate unneeded electrical issues. Swapping the regulators is straight forward, with the window rolled down, with a T-40 star bit remove the bolt holding the window glass to the regulator, once removed tape the window up and out of the way. Remove the rivets holding the window regulator and door braces in place. With them removed the regulator can be removed with some finagling. The manual window regulator was them put in its place. The indoor panels currently in the Jeep didn't have the hole necessary for the regulator cranks. I grabbed the panels from window donor, but they were not in as good of condition. I modified the nicer ones to allow for the window cranks. Using the second panel as a template a 1" hole saw was used to make the window crank opening. With the window regulators swapped and the window crank hole made the door panels were reinstalled on the doors.
  7. Awhile back the axle was given a refresh before taking it to the guys at Just Differentials to it regard and a locker installed. The big questions were which gears and which locker? The Comanche started with 30" tires and the typical stock gearing of 3.07 gears. The 30" tires were robbing the power from the Comanche, and with the recent jump to 33" tires without a reduction in gears robbed even more power. Earlier in the build process I found a HP Dana 30 with 4.10 gears on Craigslist for a good price. The popular 4.10 ratio is a great ratio that will bring the ratio and tire size to almost stock. The debate on which kind of locker is as hot as the debate of automatic vs manual transmissions. Everybody has an opinion. Some say the lunchbox style locker have the edge. Lunchbox lockers are locked when you need it to be locked, but can't be unlocked. While others swear by the selectable variety, with its open daily streetablilty being a strong lure. There truly is no right answer, it really boils down to what you need/want out of your vehicle. For my application I chose to go with a Eaton E-locker. I chose the E-locker for its simplicity and less components. While failure in the air system does not occur frequently, it will render the ARB useless. With more components there are more areas for failure. My thoughts are as long as there is power and the wiring is connected there should be a locker. As my build is for overloading I don't want to be in a scenario where I am in a remote location and I have a failure in the air system, particularly in the differential housing. Before scheduling the appointment I already knew which direction I was going but their customer service rep, Scott, was double checking my selections and why and talked me through all the available options. With everything scheduled the axle was dropped of for the install and back in my possession within the week. With the axle ready to go in the rear suspension was installed to match the front. For rear leaves I purchased Rusty's 4" leaves. I've never had issues with Rusty's products and the height matched the 4" coils from Ironrock offroad.The disc brake conversion that was put on the previous axle was swapped over to this axle. The last iteration the stock bolts that hold the retaining plate to the housing were used. The only drawback was that they were almost too short. This time around longer bolts were used. The only needed modification is to grind down one side of the bolt so it can sit again the axle tube. The weight of the Wildernest was causing the previous leaves to sag prematurely. Airlift airbags were put on to help carry the weight of the Wildernest (~300 lbs). When it was first installed the lower mounting brackets were not compatible with the Comanche's suspension. To make it work at the time the lower mounting brackets were welded directly to the axle tube. This made it so lower airbag bolts were inaccessible and the u-bolts virtually unremovable. Not good on either account. This time around some modifications were made to make airbag lower mounting bracket removable, allowing for access to the lower airbag bolts and removal of the u-bolts. 3/8" plate was welding to the sides of lower mounting brackets. With a few test fits the plate was trimmed down to allow for clearance of the shocks/shock mounting tabs and the backing plates. Then holes for u-bolts were measured and drilled into the 3/8' plate. With the airbags removed for the first time in years the fittings, hoses and hardware were replaced. For the outer axle tube 3" u-bolts were used for diameter increase as you go towards the outer axle tube. U-bolts were used for the outer mounts on both sides. The u-bolts didn't have enough thread engagement without the leaf pack, so a large stack of washers was used as a spacer to compensate. The original plan was to use u-bolts for the inner mounts as well. However, the airbag sat to far inboard to allow the u-bolts to be used. An alternative plan was devise using bolts to hold the inner bracket to the axle tube.
  8. I just bought 4 new bolts for my front drive shaft. If memory serves I bought 5/16-24 (fine thread) with 1-1/2 length enough length to use a lock washer and flat washer.
  9. At the suggestion of DesertRat1991 I rotated the upper shock mount adapters 90 degrees to be perpendicular to the lower shock mount. Having changed the gearing to 4.10s and the tire size to 33s on the Jeep, using the gear chart below I replaced the factory speedometer gear with the most correct tooth gear. 55-93 Long Shaft Cable Driven Speedometer Gear Chart Tire Size 44" 42" 40" 38" 36" 35" 34" 33" 32" 31" 30" 29" 28" 27" 5.38 Ratio 34 36 - - 42 43 - - - - - - - - 5.13 Ratio 32 34 36 - - 41 42 43 - - - - - - 4.88 Ratio - 32 34 36 - - - 41 43 - - - - - 4.56 Ratio 28 - 32 34 36 37 - - - 42 43 - - - 4.10 Ratio - 26 28 - - 33 34 - 36 37 - - - 41 3.73 Ratio - - - - 26 28 - - 32 33 34 - 36 37 3.55 Ratio - - - - 27 28 - - - 32 33 34 - 36 3.07 Ratio - - - - - - - - 26 27 28 - - - The gear and tire combination that I am now running fell between a 34 and 36 toothed speedo gear. I went with the larger of the two. Remove the bracket holding the assembly in place and pull it out of the transfer case. Swap the speedo gear and put it back in place. Make sure to "clock" the new gear to match the number range on the housing. You want the bottom bracket peg to line up with the range notch you need. Tighten it down and you should be good to go. If you don't get a reading, make sure the housing is turned correctly and the speedo cable or sensor peg is fully meshed with the speedometer cable gear shaft.
  10. The sway bar links are indeed too short and make the sway bar arms parallel with ground. They were salvaged from a lower lifted Jeep as I wanted the quick disconnects and I have not purchased longer ones. Currently I am making do with what I had available. When I had the stock sway bar there was ample space between the coil spring and the sway bar, however when I upgraded to a thicker V8 grand Cherokee sway bar the sway bar started contacting the coil spring. Please don't think I am picking fights as I post here to gain others insight and appreciate the feeback; the manner/punctuation in which you wrote the last sentence comes across as rather condescending and other may take offense.
  11. The other item of note is I got the new 33x10.5 BFG KM3s installed on the Jeep. I really went back and forth on which size (31" vs 33") to buy. I have always thought the LWB Comanches look better with a bit bigger tire. And I am not regretting the decision. The front is sitting higher as I've swapped new coil springs. The 4" lift gives plenty of clearance. The only rubbing that I have encountered is just on the passenger side. The tire rubs on the sway bar when backing up and the tires are turned left at full lock.
  12. When driving around I had metallic hollow clunk from the sway bar end link contacting the passenger coil when ever the suspension would cycle up and down. The result of the sway bar end link rubbing on the coil. I didn't want this to happen to the new coils going on the Jeep. As I was replacing the worn old coils with some new ones, I took the opportunity to add a set of Synergy rear sway bar relocation brackets. They brackets move the sway bar down 1" and forward 1-7/16" for added clearance. The hole spacing for the brackets line up perfectly with the MJ frame and and sway bar bushing brackets. The two main issuesI had/have with the brackets is the steering box brace from KevinsOffroad I have on the Jeep wouldn't allow the brackets to sit level. The simple solution was to use a few washers as a spacer front to level the brackets out. The second issue is the brackets overhang the front of the frame. However, the results speak for themselves. The benefits definitely outweigh the two cons that I found regarding the brackets. Plenty of clearance between the sway bar end links and the new IronRockOffroad 4" coils.
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