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  1. Driveway Ornament To Daily Driver A really quite long build thread by Minuit The Beginning: March-November 2012 Why hello there, viewer! If you're reading this for the first time, I think I should probably explain some things first. This build is now entering its fifth sixth year. It started shortly before I turned 16 years old, and I had absolutely no prior mechanical experience, so keep this in mind when reading the first few pages. I can say with absolute certainty that some of the things you see early on in this build were not properly done and should not be used as an example of how to do things! However, I have not edited any of this after posting it other than to remove blatantly wrong information. In the early stages of this build, I am teaching myself how to work on automobiles, and I am doing many of the things you see in the thread for the very first time. This truck was built on April 17, 1991, rolled off the line at Toledo at 12:55 PM, and was purchased new by my grandparents on November 22, 1991 at Underhill Motors in Dickson, TN. In late 2003, its fuel pump failed and the truck was not driven until I took ownership of the truck in 2012. It had not been moved from the spot it was sitting in since it was first parked there in 2003. If you want an exact date, I guess you could say that this build officially began on March 10, 2012 when the fuel pump was first purchased, or April 29, 2012 when the truck was first started and moved under its own power and fuel supply. I take this build very seriously. Every decision I make is carefully thought out. There will be no cutting of fenders, bed bobbing, or 35" tires in this thread. In an attempt to keep at least a fraction of the truck's history intact, I have a few rules that I follow very strictly: 1. No permanent modifications are allowed. The truck must be able to be returned to its completely original form with bolt-on parts only. The only permanent modification (that isn't a repair) to the truck's structure that is allowed is drilling holes that are pre-punched at the factory. Factory options that are added must be done in a way that's indistinguishable from stock to an observer. The specifics might not be stock, but it damn well better look stock. 2. If at all possible, parts should be correct for a 1991 model year truck. Exceptions are allowed if a later model part is clearly superior (for example, 1997+ door limiting straps that prevent damage to the door hinges) If reasonable, the original parts from the truck should be kept. 3. At no time is this truck to be driven off-road without a very, very good reason. I have other vehicles to abuse. 4. Aftermarket customizations are not allowed. Wheels, radios, etc. are to be OEM parts only. If there's a specific goal to this project, it's to create the best, most pure example of a street driven Jeep Comanche I possibly can. Even almost 5 years after starting, that goalpost is a very long way away. Thanks very much for reading, and I hope you enjoy watching this truck's transformation from an algae covered, forgottten driveway ornament to being my dependable daily driver. - Minuit 15 year old me didn't have very good photography skills. This is where this whole adventure began. April 29, 2012 It moved under its own power for the first time in 9 years an hour before this pic was taken. After replacing the fuel pump, the truck started immediately without smoke or hesitation. At this point it had a deep knocking sound coming from the rear of the engine. Although a number of mechanics identified it as a rod knock, it was coming from loose torque converter bolts! Tip: If you are experiencing a loud knocking sound and have an automatic transmission, check first for loose torque converter bolts and/or a cracked flexplate. Tip: A common theme in this thread will be this: Always verify the source of the problem yourself. Eliminate easy solutions first before jumping to the worst possible situation. Not much work happened for a few months, but I did start driving it regularly. I took quite a liking to how it drove and how it looked, even though it still was mangled from a front end collision several years back. I started learning as much about these trucks and how to work on them as possible. Christmas: December 24, 2012 The front end of the truck was damaged by a deer hit sometime in the early 2000s. It looked pretty bad, so new front clip parts were in order. The old front clip. We hammered out the front bumper to flatten it some. It was much worse. The bare header panel. I will eventually need to replace this. It's pretty banged up. Everything unscrews nicely. You remove the grille first, then the side markers, then the headlight buckets. Old and new grilles. You can tell how much color the plastic lost over the years. The new front clip with the old bumper. The new front clip, as it sits today. The shallow wheel caps don't fit over the 2WD wheel bearings. These caps fit perfectly. The valve cover gasket was leaking and the VC itself was losing most of its paint. I copied an idea I'd seen on Jeepforum. I like the look of the stripes a lot better. The old fan shroud had broken in several places and was held together with duct tape. After nearly getting sucked into the fan, I decided it needed to be replaced. There's a big time skip between the first part of this post and the next. At this point I'm 17 years old, and still pretty inexperienced. De-Rustification: May-June 2013 This is where the build thread originally started. The previous chapter was added on later. This chapter will be left unchanged so you can laugh at how naive I was a year and a half ago. Since getting it out from under a tree a year ago, my MJ has been faithfully serving me with very few issues. Even though it's "old", it's kept up with the best in terms of reliability and functionality. Now that school is out now and it's summer, it's time to fix stuff. I figure I have about 11 weeks to get it up and running, better than before. This isn't going to be a complete tear-down and rebuild, but I do certainly plan on going through it meticulously. I'm also trying to keep cost down as money is very tight right now. Here's how it looks today, the second day of teardown. Total cost of restoration: $140 (headliner + sunvisors) The seat before I took it out. It has been covered since the truck was brand new. With some care, it'll be pristine. The one thing all MJ owners dread but will have to eventually come to bear with: the floors. Not bad! From what I can tell, the metal is still sound with no holes. I'm going to get the grinder after this and paint it once I'm done getting the interior apart. As you can see from the first picture, the cowl is covered up with plastic currently because it's leaking water, which is for sure the source of the passenger side rust. The driver's side floorboard is dry, however. I'd say the jute padding is probably ruined. This will probably be a fast-paced build so check back frequently! This truck honestly does not need much to be considered 'restored' so as far as restorations go this is fairly minor. I am a 17 year old unemployed car guy, so that will probably be its own problem. I'm definitely not interested in half-@$$ing this. I'm going to do justice to this truck and fix everything correctly. It may cost more or take more work, but I can deal. Tentative plans for the next month or so: - Renew interior, including new headliner, refreshed seat and interior panels - Repair floorboard rust and plug any water leaks - Replace muffler (it's rattling quite badly) - Repair minor exterior damage (scratches, small dents) - Fix air conditioning (obviously a job for a shop)
  2. What Minuit Knows About Stock Jeep Radios Got a question? Need one of these radios repaired, or want to buy one? Check out my website! A few tips before you start poking around. First of all, most of these radios are made in Japan. The many "Philips" screws on them are in many cases Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) fasteners. These screws are usually marked by a circular divot in the head of the screw. A typical Philips screwdriver will ruin these screws very easily. A screwdriver that specifically states it works with JIS screws is highly recommended if you want to play around with these radios. I have been extremely impressed with my set of Vessel screwdrivers made in Japan. JIS screwdrivers often make better Phillips screwdrivers than actual Phillips screwdrivers, too. What Will Fit? Let's get this out of the way. Every single radio I discuss in this article will physically fit in the dashboard of any Jeep XJ Cherokee/Wagoneer or MJ Comanche from 1984-1996. The dashboard opening never changed until 1997. These will also fit in right hand drive Jeep Cherokees. All radios featured in this article have detachable mounting brackets to allow installation in different vehicles. Mounting brackets are available to mount factory Jeep radios in the following vehicles: -1984-1996 Jeep XJ Cherokee/MJ Comanche -1985-1991 Jeep SJ Grand Wagoneer -1987-1995 Jeep YJ Wrangler -1985-1987 AMC Eagle -1988-1992 Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco -1985-1987 Renault Alliance/Encore These will not fit under any circumstances - Any radio larger than the DIN standard size, including most Chrysler radios - CJ shaft style radios unless using a Metra 87-15-1007 kit, which supports certain shaft radios. Vehicle connections differ between the 3 eras. Chrysler and Late AMC era radios should have labels somewhere on them showing the connector pinouts, but they are sometimes missing or unreadable. Please note that the year splits given are a general rule, not set in stone! I have seen pictures of brand new 1989 year trucks with AMC radios in them, for example. Early AMC Era (??-1984) You're on your own. Information about these is very hard to come by. Connectors change every few years, and most use a "common ground" style of speaker setup 1985 (1985) The 1985 line of AMC radios is unique. Identical to their later versions when installed in a car, but they have significant internal and wiring differences. Most notably, they feature as many as 4 individual, small connectors for different functions. I do not recommend purchasing these on this basis, but these radios can be re-wired to match the more adaptable Late AMC Era connection style. Certain internal differences make some 1985 radios (especially the RX-141) more difficult to repair. Late AMC Era (1986-1987) Late AMC Era radios have 2 8-position, free hanging connectors with some pins not used. The male connector carries speaker signals, and the female connector powers the radio. The radio will function with the "speaker" connector unplugged but will not produce sound. All late AMC era radios have identical connector pinouts, but depending on the model some pins are not used. Do not rely on color to determine the function of the wire. Pins are labeled with letters on the connectors themselves - a very intuitive setup. When buying a radio, keep in mind that in the AMC era, having 4 speakers was a somewhat rare option. Not all radios are pinned for all 4 speakers! If the radio has a "fade" control, it is equipped to drive 4 speakers. Speaker connections are completely conventional, with balanced + and - terminals. The diagram is drawn looking into the front face of the connector. Chrysler Era (1988-1996) All Chrysler era Jeep radios use a 13-pin connector, which almost always plugs directly into the radio. Some very, very early Chrysler era radios have a free-hanging connector, but you are not likely to find this. Almost all Chrysler era radios have all pins present for 4 speakers and a power antenna regardless of whether or not the vehicle had them. If the vehicle the radio was originally installed in only had 2 speakers, a jumper harness was usually used. Speaker connections are completely conventional, with + and - balanced connections. The diagram is drawn looking into the radio's connector. Aftermarket harnesses: Metra 70-1002 Metra 71-1002 The Radios This section is for information on the individual decks within the scope of this writeup. The information given (if it is available) will be as follows: - The deck's part number (and manufacturer number if known). The part numbers may differ based on the vehicle the radio was originally installed in - the part numbers given are for XJ and MJ applications. - Pictures of the deck at night, and in daylight if available. - Radio type - Display type - Years offered in Jeep vehicles - Manufacturer - Power output if known. Sometimes, the datasheets for internal amplifiers are available, and measurements are given if known. Otherwise, I will make a guess as to its power. - Aux input compatible? With some creativity all radios are capable of accepting an auxiliary input, but radios that have "Yes" marked accept it more easily, typically by applying a stereo signal to easily accessible test points. If soldering is required, "aux input compatible" is not marked. - Distinguishing features - Pros - Nice things about the deck. - Cons - bad features of the deck not counting any problems. - Common problems, and the causes, if known. Early AMC Era (??-1984) Very early XJs seem to use shaft style radios with single DIN faces in AM, AM/FM and AM/FM/Cassette varieties. I don't know any part numbers or specific details about these. As of this writing I consider these to be hopelessly outdated, and of little use in any circumstance other than a meticulous restoration of a 1984 Cherokee. Late AMC Era (1985-1987) This is where things start to get good. The Late AMC Era radios are extremely well made, durable, and may surprise you with their sound quality. The cassette decks are also extremely heavy. Power is still lacking by modern standards, and they were teamed up with 8 ohm speakers from the factory. As a rule none of these radios have a clock. Internally these radios are very intricate and difficult to service. These aren't unique to Jeeps. They can also be found in AMC's other products, including Renault cars and the AMC Eagle. Don't believe me? Search "Renault Alliance interior" on Google images and you'll find several pictures of French cars with these very same radios in them. It might sound like there's a lot of downsides, but these radios sound good, look proper in our trucks' interior, and have an '80s retro charm that nothing else does. The 1985 versions are unique as described above. These differences lie primarily in their connection methods. A dizzying array of radios were offered in this period. AM only, AM-FM with either 2 or 4 speakers and with or without electronic tuning, and 2 different cassette decks were offered. RX-135 / RX-131 8956001651 / 8936001522 / 8936001268 Type: AM/FM/Cassette Display: Vacuum fluorescent, green or light blue Years: 1985 (RX-131), 1986-1987 (RX-135) Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 13Wx2 RMS at 8 ohms. Features: Motorized tape ejection Dynamic Noise Reduction Music Program Search (MPS) - finds individual tracks on cassettes Seek sensitivity (DX) 5 station memory (per band) Pros: - Vacuum fluorescent display! - Very good sound quality, especially for the time Cons: - Exceptionally rare - These are getting very old, and will probably require service - Does not use the Jeep/Eagle factory connector - uses two separate plugs for power and speakers, so an adapter will need to be made to install this into a post-1987 vehicle. The RX-135 was the most technologically impressive of the AMC era radios, and is one of the very rarest. Its most distinctive feature is its noise reduction system, as indicated on the cassette door: it uses National Semiconductor's Dynamic Noise Reduction. Similar in nature to the far more common Dolby-B noise reduction system but much different in operation, DNR is also available when listening to AM and FM radio. These radios do not appear to have been common even when new. They are extemely scarce on the market today, especially in good condition. They show up as original equipment in Jeeps very infrequently, more commonly found in the Renault Alliance and similar vehicles. They may have been used into Chrysler's ownership period - notably, I have seen one installed in a brand new Comanche in a 1989 Jeep dealer training brochure. The unit pictured to the right was installed in a 1986 Jeep Comanche, but I have doubts that it was original. A very helpful member at ComancheClub.com spotted it in a junkyard. I am currently working on repairing it to full function. Like all AMC radios, the RX-135 remembers station presets even if the battery is disconnected. My testing has shown that the radio will remember stations for as much as 12 hours with no power, possibly longer. RX-161 / RX-141 8956001910 / 8956002148 / 8956002197 Type: AM/FM/Cassette Display: Vacuum fluorescent, light blue Years: 1985 (RX-141), 1986-1987 (RX-161) Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 13Wx2 RMS at 8 ohms. Features: Dolby-B Noise Reduction Seek sensitivity (DX) 5 station memory (per band) Pros: - Vacuum fluorescent display! Cons: - Rare - These are getting very old, and will probably require service - Does not use the Jeep/Eagle factory connector - uses two separate plugs for power and speakers, so an adapter will need to be made to install this into a post-1987 vehicle. The counterpart to the RX-135. It seems to appear more frequently in Jeeps, and is more traditional overall. It offers fewer features than the RX-135, lacking track searching, motorized cassette ejection, and forgoing DNR in favor of the much more common Dolby noise reduction. These radios are by no means common, but appear to be much more common in Jeeps. I have seen these radios in all Jeep products of this time, including Grand Wagoneers, highly optioned Cherokees, 1987 Wranglers, and Comanches. This radio appears to have co-existed with the RX-135. My 1987 Jeep Trucks brochure includes both as optional extras. In the Grand Wagoneer, this seems to be the only radio offered between 1985 and 1987, and possibly later depending on supply. The 1985 version of this radio is unique, with different connections. Its model designation is the RX-141. Like all AMC radios, the RX-161 remembers station presets even if the battery is disconnected. My testing has shown that the radio will remember stations for as much as 12 hours with no power, possibly longer. AR-7650 8956001384 / 8936001127 / 8936001521 / 8956001573 Type: AM/FM Display: Vacuum fluorescent Years: 1986-1987 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 13Wx2 at 8 ohms. The circuitry is perfectly stable at 4 ohms, but this unit does not have an external heat sink so heat is a concern. Distinguishing features: - Larger than usual vacuum fluorescent screen is located on the top right corner. - No clock, like other AMC units. - Seek mode works in both "directions" Pros: - Vacuum fluorescent display! Cons: - Rare - Does not use the Jeep/Eagle factory connector - uses two separate plugs for power and speakers, so an adapter will need to be made to install this into a post-1987 vehicle. - Overheating is a potential concern when running 4 4-ohm speakers. With electronic tuning, 4-speaker output, station memory, and bi-directional seeking, the AR-7650 is the most advanced non-cassette AMC radio. As indicated by the very wide variety of part numbers, this radio was used in a large number of different products. These radios can be found in any AMC product during their time period, and are among some of the most common AMC radios, although they are by no means common. These can be found with a number of logos printed on the screen. I have seen the pictured AMC logo, the Jeep logo, and the Renault logo on these units. I have briefly used the pictured example in one of my Comanches, and it made a good impression, with good sound quality (as good as one can get with 27 year old base model speakers, anyway) and a clean, attractive look. Chrysler Era (1988-1996) When Chrysler purchased American Motors Corporation in 1987, they contracted Mitsubishi and Automatic Radio Corporation with developing a new generation of radio head units for their Jeep division. The result was a significant technological improvement over the previous AMC radios. Specs are improved across the board, with better AM-FM reception, more power, improved reliablility, and one massive improvement: 4-ohm speaker stability. For the most part, these radios are exclusive to Jeeps. Certain models can also be found in the Eagle Premier. The Chrysler era head units, with their grown-up, businesslike look, represent the overwhelming majority of the available factory Jeep radios. A large variety of functionally equivalent units are available, and all share the same functional features. All are capable of driving a full set of 4-ohm speakers without concern of overheating, and will plug in to the same connectors and attach with the same mounting brackets. In addition, these units are Jeremy's Radio Emporium's bread and butter - full support for these radios, including repair, modification, and customization options are available - all but a couple of models are offered by JRE with auxiliary inputs. Unlike with the AMC era, there is no vast chasm of functionality from one unit to another - there is no "best" radio in this era, so pick the one you like the look of the most. Chrysler radios have one integrated 13-pin connector for all functions. All pins are installed, even when the vehicle is not equipped with those features. Connector pinouts are identical, and speaker connections are conventional - "Feed" represents the positive signal, and "Return" represents the negative signal. The diagram is printed facing into the radio. RX-170 8956002467 Type: AM/FM/Cassette Display: LCD, green with green pixels Years: 1988 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 18Wx2 RMS at 4 ohms. Features: Dolby-B Noise Reduction Fully motorized cassette transport Seek sensitivity adjustment (DX) 10 station memory (per band) Pros: - Many more button panel bulbs than later radios, resulting in more consistent illumination. Cons: - Can be difficult to find in working order. Most of these radios require service by now. - Internal construction is entirely different from later decks, meaning parts availability is poor. The RX-170 is the first of the Chrysler era radios (note the AMC style part number), and a transitional model. My service manual for the RX-170 even indicates AMC as the manufacturer. The short-lived green-on-green display makes its debut here, and all following Chrysler era radios share its basic design. It is by far the most internally intricate of the Chrysler Era, and further models are greatly simplified - to the trained eye, the RX-170 looks more like an AMC era unit on the inside than a Chrysler one. Otherwise, build quality is exceptional. In fact, this is one of the heaviest factory Jeep radios! Sadly, the RX-170 also introduced a notoriously unreliable cassette mechanism. While not a major issue in 2018, it is something to look out for. Common issues include motor seizure, constant cycling of the motorized loading mechanism, auto reverse flip-flop, and excessively high playback speed. On the bright side, I have "serviced" (replaced) many of these cassette modules, and the belts have always been in excellent condition. This radio officially appears during only the 1988 model year, but appears to have been gradually introduced, and may have carried over into 1989. Automatic Radio AM-FM-Cassette 8956003020 / 8956003021 Type: AM/FM/Cassette Display: LCD, green with green pixels Years: 1989-1990 Manufacturer: Automatic Radio Power: Unknown, likely unimpressive Features: Dolby-B Noise Reduction Seek sensitivity control (DX) 10 station memory (per band) These radios, built in Korea by Automatic Radio, are the black sheep of the Chrysler era. While appearing very similar to the RX-170 of 1988, the Automatic Radio series are built to a significantly lower standard of quality. Potentiometers are unshielded, the display lighting (even when fully functional) is uneven and unattractive, and their reliability seems to be a step below the Mitsubishi offerings. Also, the buttons are brown by design, not because the radio in the picture is dirty. Pros: - The cassette player seems to be reliable! Cons: - Too bad about the radio it's attached to. The pictured radio was shipped to me for evaluation by another very helpful member at Comanche Club. It was found to be in very poor condition and likely not worth repairing. I even found an un-clipped component lead inside! Information on these is even more difficult to come by than for the Mitsubishi radios, so specs such as power output are unknown. RX-171 56002467 Type: AM/FM/Cassette Display: LCD, green with green pixels Years: 1991 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 20Wx2 RMS at 4 ohms Features: Dolby-B Noise Reduction Fully motorized cassette transport Seek sensitivity control (DX) 10 station memory (per band) Pros: - Low noise, with quite high quality sound. - Construction quality is excellent overall, with many high quality parts being used. - Neat looking display Cons: - Can be difficult to find in working order. Most of these radios require service by now. - The cassette module, as with all of these radios, sucks. For the 1991 model year, Mitsubishi's offering was an iteration on the previous RX-170, greatly simplifying the internal layout, improving power, and updating certain components. Internally, it is the base from which all later Chrysler-era cassette decks were built. The display is carried over from the RX-170, but otherwise shares very few components. Sadly, the cassette mechanism is arguably even less reliable than the one in the RX-170, and has all of the same issues. The RX-171 was the last radio to use Jeep's green-on-green display, and the last to not have a clock function. RX-172 56009004 / 56009005 Type: AM/FM/Cassette Display: LCD, light green with black pixels Years: 1992-1993 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 20Wx2 RMS at 4 ohms Features: Dolby-B Noise Reduction Clock Fully motorized cassette transport 10 station memory (per band) Pros: - Low noise, with quite high quality sound. - The new display is easier to read in some light, and can still be read in daylight with the bulbs burnt out. - Newer, and thus less likely to be in need of service Cons: - The cassette module, as with all of these radios, sucks. - The LCD backlight bulbs are very, very likely to be burnt out. For the 1992 model year, Jeep introduced the RX-172. Internally, it is very similar to the earlier RX-171 with many of the same features - the main difference is the display. A new black-on-green LCD was introduced, which is easier to read in some light conditions. A clock was also introduced, as Jeep was transitioning its vehicles from using separate dash clocks to ones integrated into the radio. While easier to read, the new display has one major downside: the bulbs. It is exceedingly difficult to find a regularly used 1992 or later radio with fully functioning bulbs in the display, unless it has been serviced. Replacing these bulbs is an advanced task - certain parts must be bent out of shape to be removed, solder points lie approximately half an inch from a critical ribbon cable, and the display must be re-assembled by a careful hand to prevent damage. RX-173 56007214 / 56007215 Type: AM/FM/Cassette Display: LCD, light green with black pixels Years: 1994-1996 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 20Wx2 RMS at 4 ohms Features: Dolby-B Noise Reduction Clock Music Program Search (MPS) Fully motorized cassette transport 10 station memory (per band) Pros: - Sound quality is slightly improved from earlier models, although the difference is slight. - The display is easier to read in some light, and can still be read in daylight with the bulbs burnt out. - Newer, and thus less likely to be in need of service Cons: - The cassette module still sucks. - The LCD backlight bulbs are very, very likely to be burnt out. Installed in Jeeps from 1994 until the Cherokee's 1997 revamp, the 56007214 is probably the most common of any of the Chrysler-era radios, and one of the most reliable. Externally identical to the RX-172 except for the "MPS" lettering on the seek button, the changes introduced with the RX-173 lie under the skin. Parts are simplified and modernized - the RX-173 is the first Jeep radio to heavily use surface-mount components, for example. A Motorola amplification chip was used, replacing the Toshiba TA8210AH chips used previously. Subjectively, this results in a slightly fuller, more powerful sound. The cassette mechanism was reworked, adding Music Program Search, a feature not seen in Jeep cassette players since 1987. Reliability of the cassette mechanism seems to be better, but still not great. All of the same flaws still exist, although the motors seem to be less likely to seize up. 82300393 / 82300392 Type: AM/FM/CD Display: LCD with green backlight Years: Available 1994-1996, possibly produced in one run in 1993. Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 18Wx2 Distinguishing features: - It plays them newfangled Compact Discs - The only Jeep radio that you can probably make a serial number registry for - 6 AM, 12 FM station presets Not surprisingly, there is very little information out there about these due to their extreme rarity. Internally, they share a significant number of parts with the RX-173, and the internal layout is what I would describe as "an RX-173 run through a blender" - lots of surface-mount components are used, and we are beginning to see more advanced features than on previous analog radios. Unfortunately, these have a lot of problems - the faceplates are quite fragile, the power supply is fragile, the FM tuner requires removal for any service and likes to mute itself. Build quality is a touch below the more mainstream Mitsubishi-made Jeep radios. Their rarity was no doubt helped by their price - roughly $300 in 1994 - about $500 in today's money. My current estimates give a production number of approximately 1200 based on a very close grouping of observed serial numbers, with the 4 units I have personally examined being within 800 serial numbers - including two units 13 serial numbers apart. I have acquired one for myself, and I will be restoring it, adding auxiliary input, and installing it in my '91. One production variation I have seen that makes absolutely no sense is the volume knob, which seems to vary without rhyme or reason. Some have a volume knob with a white tick mark, while others are unmarked. 3070927 has a tick mark, and 3070914 doesn't. If you own an 82300393, consider sharing the serial number! I would like to get as many serial numbers together as possible to determine a total production number. AR-7750 8956002466 / 8936001568 Type: AM/FM Display: Green LCD with green incandescent backlight Years: 1988 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 18Wx2 RMS at 4 ohms. Distinguishing features: - Unique external design - Unique fade knob - it sticks out more Pros: - Many more button panel bulbs than later radios, resulting in more consistent illumination. Cons: - Can be difficult to find in working order. Most of these radios require service by now. - Internal construction is entirely different from later decks, meaning parts availability is poor. - Bass and treble potentiometers are prone to becoming "scratchy" The AM-FM companion to the RX-170, the AR-7750 mirrors its design in many ways. Essentially the RX-170 without a cassette player, it features every innovation of its counterpart. In addition, it was the first radio to feature front-mounted, sliding tone controls. While distinguishing, they are far more exposed to the elements than standard knobs and become "scratchy" very easily. Sadly, I am unable to report on the AR-7750's sound quality - the pictured unit looks almost brand new inside and out, but will not produce sound. Automatic Radio AM-FM 8956003018 / 8956003019 Type: AM/FM Display: LCD, green with green pixels Years: 1989-1990 Manufacturer: Automatic Radio Power: Unknown, but it makes pretty loud pop noises Features: Seek sensitivity control (DX) 10 station memory (per band) Lots of popping and crackling noises Pros: - ??? Cons: - Sound quality below expectations - Rudimentary construction compared to Mitsubishi-built decks. I defend most factory Jeep radios, because I genuinely believe they are good radios with redeeming features. The Automatic Radio decks are the exception. A step down in both build quality and sound quality from anything made by Mitsubishi in the Chrysler era, I struggle to find anything to brag about with these. The brown buttons look out of place in the MJ's interior, and the entire radio just feels low quality. Also, who decided to make the buttons brown? That's sad, because the pictured radio might as well be brand new. AR-7751 36001568 / 56002466 Type: AM/FM Display: LCD, green with green pixels Years: 1991 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 20Wx2 RMS at 4 ohms Features: Seek sensitivity control (DX) 10 station memory (per band) Pros: - Reliable Cons: - Bass and treble potentiometers are prone to becoming "scratchy" The last major change to the Chrysler-era AM-FM radios, the AR-7751 was the counterpart to the RX-171. All following AM-FM radios share a virtually identical layout - the only change to later versions worth noting is the display. Typical of a Chrysler-era AM-FM unit, the AR-7751 is essentially a slightly simplified RX-171 without a cassette player. The AR-7751, and later AR-7752 and 7753, are some of the very most reliable Chrysler-era radios. Unusually for a Mitsubishi product, their internal layouts are very simple. I generally find these units to give very few issues, unless treated poorly or exposed to extreme heat. These also appear in the Eagle Premier and Dodge Monaco as the base audio option, with the pictured green panel lighting and no "Jeep" stencil near the volume knob. AR-7752 56009001 / 56009003 Type: AM/FM Display: Black LCD with light green incandescent backlight Years: 1992-1993 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi, made in Singapore Power: 20Wx2 at 10% THD at 4 ohms. Not 2-ohm stable. Distinguishing features: - LCD screen updated to match the 56009004. A clock was also added, and minor revisions were made to the internal circuitry. All Mitsubishi-built AM-FM radios are identical on the inside. The only notable differences are the early (black) vs. late (green) display styles. Pros: - Reliable Cons: - Bass and treble potentiometers are prone to becoming "scratchy" Essentially the AR-7751 with a clock, these share roughly 90% of their parts with their predecessor, including basic circuit board layout, amplification, and basic construction. The display has been updated to match the RX-172, and it shares all parts. Clock functionality is the same as the RX-172, as are all features other than the tone controls, which are still unusually prone to corrosion. Jeremy's Radio Emporium has serviced more AR-7752s than any other radio - they are as reliable as Jeep radios get. Other than the typical display bulb issue, I very rarely come across an AR-7752 or AR-7753 that are "flaky" or nonfunctional AR-7753 56007519 Type: AM/FM Display: LCD, light green with black pixels Years: 1994-1996 Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Power: 20Wx2 RMS at 4 ohms Features: Clock 10 station memory (per band) Pros: - Reliable Cons: - Bass and treble potentiometers are prone to becoming "scratchy" The AR-7753 is essentially identical to the AR-7752. In my many detailed examinations of these radios, I have not found a single substantial difference that an end user or technician would notice. Even as someone who has worked on dozens of these radios, I struggle to tell the difference between them. It is important to note that the AR-7753 does not appear to have benefitted from any of the technical improvements from the RX-172 to the RX-173. Its circuit board layout resembles the RX-172 more than the RX-173, and surface mount components are relatively few in number. In addition, the AR-7753 retains the same Toshiba TA8210AH amplifier chip used by all Jeep radios since the RX-171 and AR-7751. Science Projects - Adding Auxiliary Input to the RX-170, RX-171, RX-172, and RX-173 AM/FM/Cassette Radios for $3.30 in parts All of the above listed Chrysler era tape decks share the same board layout for our purposes. For testing purposes, these radios have two pins labeled TP371 and TP471 on an extension board located behind the volume and tone controls. If a signal is put through these two pins (TP371 for the left channel and TP471 for the right channel), it will be played through the speakers, and the radio or cassette volume will be cut. When no signal is being played to these pins, the stereo functions as normal. This allows for an auxiliary input to be added very easily, and without any permanent changes. Depending on your attention to detail, the install can be very slick - the only noticeable difference will be an aux cord somewhere on the interior. I prefer to run mine through the center console. The best radio to use for this procedure in my experience is the 56002467 by far, as it will have the least background noise. As the main talker-abouter on this forum about this technique, I'll admit that it isn't perfect. You're asking a 20-30 year old piece of audio equipment to do something it wasn't technically designed to do. However, its drawbacks can be minimized. - Your phone is meant to drive headphones, not a car radio. Without a pre-amp, this won't be as loud as the radio or cassette player so you'll lose out on part of the radio's power. An external amplifier will also fix this, and is a good idea anyway. I've also seen "sound shockers" that supposedly make the aux input much louder without needing power, although I've never tried one. - The radio can "bleed through" the aux signal and be noticeable in the background. I'll show you a way to minimize this, or if you have a 56002467 deck, eliminate it entirely. To access the inside of the radio, remove the top cover. It is held on with one Philips screw and two "snaps" at the rear. Once the screw is removed the cover can be pried up at the rear and lifted out. Once the cover is removed, you'll see this. The inside looks scary, but nothing else needs to be removed. The extension board we need is located right behind the bass and treble knobs. Pins TP371 and TP471 are visible among several resistors and other parts directly below the long yellow connector in the middle left of the picture. On the model 8956002467, this board is on its side in a similar location. The top pin is TP371, which corresponds to the left stereo channel. The bottom pin, TP471, corresponds to the right stereo channel. Putting any audio signal through these pins will play it through the speakers (and attenuate everything else). Volume, treble, bass, fade, and balance can be adjusted as normal. On radios I build for sale or for service, I build custom fully shielded shielded cables with female 3.5mm jacks - nothing you can buy off the shelf meets the specifications I need. The details of this method are beyond the scope of this article. A simpler solution, and one that I have used in the past with good results, is to use a 6 ft. long cable with a male end. This involves as little electrical work as possible. Earlier revisions of this article mentioned a 3-pin Molex connector, but some tests revealed this to be far too fragile for general use. Here is a pre-made Digi-Key cart of all of the parts you'll need if you're working on a tape deck. The connectors specified are designed to be crimped with a special 28 AWG open barrel crimper, but the home gamer can get away with soldering them. In summary, if you're using the cable I linked to: - Green wire attaches to a metal surface on the radio - Red wire attaches to pin TP371 - White wire attaches to pin TP471 If you're using any other cable, check which color code corresponds to what function, as they do vary. I removed the cassette module to take a better picture, but you shouldn't need to. I can make you an aux input cable for your 56002467, 56009004, or 56007214. The cost is $25 shipped and the cable can be made to your specification, with either a female or male 3.5mm connector at the end. Spotted an inaccuracy? Got a question, complaint, concern, demand, cry of outrage, or AMC era tape deck? PM me on CC, or e-mail me at: jeremy at radio-emporium dot com 2/21/17: Correction - the 92-93 radio is the 56009004, not the 56006932, and it does not have the MPS function. Added what very little I know about the AMC radios. 3/11/17: Added section on 8956001910. To be filled in later once I get it. 5/2/17: Added 8956002467. 5/10/17: Added 56009001, and a few new photos to replace old blurry ones. Updated 56009004, as I now own a working one! 6/24/17: Big edit. Changed the order to be descending chronologically, and added some more fluff to explain compatibility. If you are not reading this article on the "DIY Projects and Tech Writeups" section of the "ComancheClub.com" website OR on radio-emporium.com, it has been plagiarized! All pictures are property of Jeremy's Radio Emporium and I do not authorize the redistribution of any images or information contained in this article on any web site other than ComancheClub.com. All audio equipment featured in this article was either my property at one point, or belongs to a customer who contracted my equipment repair services. I certify that the information contained in this article is correct to the best of my knowledge, but make no guarantees.
  3. Finally got the jeep to the point to be my daily driver and camping workhorse. 1. New engine 2. New transmission 3. new suspension 3' lift new heavy duty spring with 1500 added helpers 4. New redesigned aftermarket High performance carbs. 5. New .......lots of other stuff :thumbsup: Before and after pics below, sorry about the size difference in the pics. Before: After:
  4. Hey guys, New to the forums here - Glad to find a club specifically dedicated to these diamonds. For my 22nd birthday my dad bought me a 1988 Comanche 4x4 4.0 5 speed for $140 and some old rock sliders off of my XJ (Pavement Princess doesn't need them.) THE FUN STARTS HERE. Let's break down first impressions. She's missing the whole header panel and passenger side fender. The windshield is cracked. The seat is out of a Grand Caravan, and is secured to the floor with... nothing. It's resting on a piece of wood thats deck screwed into the pan. There is some god-awful form of makeshift wiring harness in the front... I mean nightmareish. The fuel pump is powered by a toggle switch thats mounted in the dash, and it's wired backwards. The Steering column looks like it's out of a 90's model XJ and the dash is spray painted black and red. She doesn't have a tailgate, passenger window, or taillights... I WAS IN LOVE. The Speedometer (Which I later found to be 100% accurate) reads 379,000 miles... Wow. That's a lot even for the venerable 4.0. The young man I was purchasing it from did not have the title but had purchased it from a friend of mine, who apparently had the title. The reason my friend originally bought the MJ was my original XJ that he loved. Interesting how all of the people can be connected in a small town. 5 Speed - I hope it's not the peugot, but I haven't had any better luck with my AX-15's either. We go to pick up a U-haul car trailer from town to tow it home. By now with all of the project Jeeps and Volkswagens we've paid them to tow, we could've bought two cheap car haulers. They refuse to rent it to us, because my mom's 2000 Grand Cherokee V8 4x4 apparently isn't strong enough to haul a Comanche (Which was complete BULLSH*%, as they had rented me a trailer a year prior to haul an XJ with the same vehicle and trailer type...) We went across town to a more Redneck-Friendly U-haul yard. The woman has also rented me a trailer for ANOTHER XJ with the same configuration and never given me a hard time. She followed suit in this case as well, bless her little heart. We go to pick it up - The kid wants the battery and tires back. I told him I would bring them back that night, and he reluctantly let me pull it up on to the trailer. While driving it, I noticed the brakes are done, Which I expected from the get -go. I got it home, and immediately swapped the tires with my superior spare set, pulled his battery, loaded them into my Grand Cherokee and brought them promptly back to his house 6 hours after picking up the truck, in the pitch black, in the middle of tweaker-ville. He later texted me to say that I had restored his faith in humanity for keeping my word, and as a reward he would track down the original bench seat on his property. Still haven't heard back on that one, going on three weeks now... The good list is short. The body that's still there is not in bad shape. The frame is straight. I pulled the horrendous seat and mount, and inspected the interior for rust- Nothing but some slight surface rust. Easily stoppable with some sanding and rust reformer (My primer of choice). She runs, and has a very good amount of power. The transfer case is flawless, and my god can this old girl climb. Now, I do NOT plan on wheeling her, but making her able to if needs be. There weren't enough of these things made to justify that - I'd buy another XJ first... But even in her neutered and stock form I was able to climb a rock face by my pond that not even my beefiest XJ could ever climb... The love grows. The bad list, including the above initial things I noticed, runs deep. I discovered it was being prepared and stripped to become a pre-runner or tough truck. The front suspension looks to have been stripped down a tad. The wiring harnesses are messy as hell. The Fuse block is damaged in the footwell, and definitely Needs to be replaced. So here's my plan: Full, ground up tear down and wiring replacement. Body, paint, and interior. Going either black or silver. Front end 97+ XJ upgrade. Customized bed- Possible removable camping setup- this will be in the future but I really want to experiment. POSSIBLE High output conversion. If I go this route, i'm going to try to find a 91-96 XJ and rip all of the wiring and drivetrain out of it and swap it. She's getting the works in regards to Power and accessories- roof console with temp gauge, power doors and locks, 2 door XJ Bucket seats. While I'm fixing the suspension and such I will be lifting her anywhere from 2 to 4.5 inches. This all depends on pricing and such. I may leave it stock height and focus on tanking it out. I'd like experiment with body armor. Various other odds and ends. The fun part so far has been tracking down the title. The DMV understandably believes that anyone trying to find the last registered owner of a vehicle is a stalker and cannot be trusted. I was able to find out that there is a lien on the title from a dealership that no longer exists. after spending a solid few hours on the phone with the Secretary of State I was able to receive a signed and notarized form stating that they no longer exist, which in effect makes this null and void and should no longer cause an issue with the titling process. After many days of hunting I was able to find the last Gentleman that owned the MJ - Turns out I got lucky. He is incredibly friendly, glad to see that she hasn't been destroyed completely by tweakers and is doing everything he can to find the title. The truck was originally purchased Brand-New off the lot in Grants Pass, OR by his grandmother. Finding this out is incredibly cool... I've never owned a vehicle that I can trace the full lines of ownership with. This is how I found out it really has 380k miles, and still runs as well as it does. He also says he has some parts laying around, and only asked that he could keep the glove box lock he stole from it in his s-10 ad to receive updates on the progress of the MJ as I bring it back (He almost invited me to his wedding, though we had never met.. I was more than happy to oblige, considering the possible hell he is willing to go through to help me track down the title. So there it is! Much more to share and update later, but for now the fun begins. I live in Eugene, and travel back to Grants Pass (2.25 hour drive) at least 4 times a month, where the MJ is located. For now, I'm going to start collecting parts and research all of my options. If you folks have any input to offer, or helpful advice, feel free to shoot me a message. Hope you enjoyed the abridged version of my adventure so far - Cheers!
  5. So I bought this Comanche about a year ago, after a long day of wheeling maybe 6 months ago the rusty unibody cracked. I have begun restoring the jeep and have plans for a whole frame build.
  6. It has been a long time coming friends. Here is a little background on this project... I drove to Alabama from Georgia to tow this beast home after looking for a long time. Got it for $900 in working condition with some "minor" fixes necessary. I guess "minor" is somewhat subjective, but here is a list of what I got, what was wrong with it, what I've done to fix it so far and what I'm planning on doing. Keep in mind that this is still in progress. I will keep you guys updated as it comes together with tons of pictures and probably some videos. I'm big on videos... Anyway, here's the beast the day after I picked it up: And here's some more pics before some of the fixes just to give you the full scope on this guy: And here's the engine: The rust was not terrible, but obviously not ideal either. The biggest issue was basically the electrical was all messed up. It would not start half of the time, the turn signals never worked when it did start, no radio, A/C worked only half the time, and worst of all, half the time I was driving and it would just stop if it idled. This was not an engine issue though, it was all electrical. I knew this because all power would go out and if I got out of the truck and wiggled the wires around, i could eventually get it to crank. I turned to ComancheClub to help me asses the issue by uploading tons of pictures of my wiring. While this wasn't a bad idea, it still was futile just because nobody could really see the issue. Turns out that there was a bad diode in the alternator. Check out how the last owner dealt with the alternator. I guess this is an Alabama fix? :doh: So, to start, I replaced the alternator and fixed some minor wiring issues. Now the turn signals work, the A/C works, the heat works, the engine cranks every time and stays that way no matter how long it's idling. :banana: Alright, so the beast is alive now. Good progress. From here some routine stuff had to be addressed. The radiator fluid inside of the overflow was rust brown. I flushed it completely and then found out there was a huge leak in the radiator. I guess some dirt or rust was clogging the hole up before, but now it was just pouring out coolant. So...time for a new radiator. :wrench: After I got the radiator in, I went to the oil, changed the filter, put some good synthetic stuff in there. Food for the soul . :MJ 1: . So...now the beast runs like a champ with a new alternator, fixed wiring, new radiator, new coolant, fresh oil filter and clean oil. So what's next??? :) Here's my list. This will allow me to have something to reference as well as allow you guys to hound me if I'm not updating you with pics and info! -Paint Job, sand down the rust -Take out the carpet and fix the floor as I'm sure there's plenty of rust there. -I know the interior looks pretty good, but I have an itch to change the interior to some sweet black and white seats I saw on this forum a ways back. I will try to find some photos, but am not sure I'll be able to. But it looked sooo good. -Add roll bars -possibly a lift -Needs new tires desperately -Some surprise customization that I'll keep you all on the edge of your seat for :popcorn: Normally, a paint job shouldn't be the FIRST thing for a variety of reasons...but I had an opportunity that was too good to pass up to trade a guy who has a paint shop for services. I build websites, do photography, video etc. so I offered to build him a couple websites for his business if he would paint the beast. He agreed. Under 1 condition though...he will paint it textured flat black (kind of like a bedliner paint job...) At first, I wasn't crazy about this, but I actually went to visit a jeep that had this paint job...and I think it looks like a tank. Pretty freaking cool I think. But...just want to throw that out there so you guys don't think I killed my jeep when it comes back murdered out! B) I think it will look good...at least it will be a unique look. Anyway, I'll hopefully be able to update you guys next week with the paint job pics. Stay tuned
  7. Hi All, I installed a clutch kit, new master cylinder and new hydraulic lines a few weeks ago in my 1990 Jeep Comanche 2.5L. The clutch had frozen on me (all fluid drained out of a busted slave) while highway driving. I had to force it into a couple gears to get home (drove in third a lot of the way). That was before I knew what the problem was. With help from this forum and elsewhere, I figured out it was the slave and made the installs listed above. All fixed. Mostly. So now the transition between first and second, and to a lesser degree second to third, are a little rough. Already bled the clutch, and it seems to be disengaging fully. The symptoms are worse in cold weather (FL, so 60's is cold.) And they alleviate a lot once the truck is warmed up. Down shifting is considerably more rough. It's not terrible now, just to the point where I can feel some very soft grinding sometimes -- not audible yet. Very drivable, but will need to get fixed sometime. So anyway I think the transmission is either naturally beginning to fail, or my episode driving with a failing clutch broke it or took it over the edge. From what I can find online, I'm thinking maybe the synchros or whatever they're called are failing. So enough backstory -- the question is does anyone have experience with transmission rebuild kits? And AX5 rebuilds in specific? Could this fix the problem? How long does it take? After just doing the clutch kit, I feel like I can pull / replace the transmission pretty easily, but have no idea what to expect from the rebuild itself. Any experience or tips would be really appreciated. Thanks much,
  8. We are three highschool students with a yearlong project of fixing our school's autoshop truck. We have made a fair bit of progress and we joined this forum to find answers to Comanche specific questions and to keep track of our progress.
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