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87Warrior

1992/1999 Mj Project

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87Warrior's 1992 Comanche Build


Build Table of Contents

 

  • Page 1 - Introduction, General Maintenance, Full Cluster Swap, Parts acquisition, Bed painted and lined, Change of Direction...99 XJ Donor acquisition and maintenance
  • Page 2 - Start of MJ Tear down, Description of my ultimate goal for the truck, 97+ Dash install
  • Page 3 - 97+ Sheet metal and Doors, Rubicon Dana 44 front axle, frame top plate removal, 97+ Steering Column, Heater Box install, MJ parking brake adaptation and start of Sand Blasting
  • Page 4 - End of Sand Blasting, POR15 Frame, C2C body parts purchased, Tie-Coat Primer and Chassis Coat, Inner frame detail, Sent to Body Shop
  • Page 5 - Floor Pan Update, Preliminary Engine Build Discussion, Moab Wheels, Rear AxleParts
  • Page 6 - Painted Gauge Cluster, Body Shop update (firewall/floor) then Engine Bay paint, JCR DIY Bumper unboxing
  • Page 7 - Body Shop update with Sherman rocker
  • Page 8 - Picked truck up from Body Shop, Updated Rear Disk Brake plan (Ford and Chevy), Donor 4.0 Tear Down and Inspection, 4.0 (re)build,  XJ Main body wire harness adaptation
  • Page 9 - XJ Main body wire harness installation, RB1, Pacesetter Header, 4.0 install, [PROJECT STALLED OUT]
  • Page 10 - Front Axle Rebuild
  • Page 11 -

(...to be updated...)

 

Well, it finally happened. I had spent a lot of time contemplating the Brute conversion on a stock TJ as a Daily Driver for awhile but could not find a way to justify the cost... The coolness factor was not good enough.

January 31, 2009
I picked up a 1992 Comanche. It has the 4.0 HO, AW4, 30/35, AC, PB, PS, and even a CD player. As far as I can tell, the truck has generally been untouched, just driven 185K miles.

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This truck suffers from some minor body rot around the rear flares, needs a few new hoses, and the shocks were toast. Now I need to find a good body shop to do the work. Also need to get a factory style rear hitch bumper. My plan for this truck is to leave it stock and drive it for another 100,000 miles!!!!

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February 1, 2009

The shocks had to be the factory shocks. There is a MADE IN USA stamp on em. Believe it or not, these things still had gas pressure :thumbsup:

Replaced these with some Monroe gas shocks.

 

I also picked up a high pressure power steering hose as the one in the truck leaks like the sieve.

 

Ordered some factory color spray paint to cover up my anticipated 'rust displacement' activity. My goal is to stop the spread of the rust by taking out what is shot. Then when time and money permits, I will eventually get the truck to a body shop for repair and paint.

 

And shot with its sibling!

 

February 7, 2008

Today was a big day for the truck, from front to back:

- Replaced Front Diff Fluid

- Installed new upper and lower Radiator hoses, with new Antifreeze

- Installed new high pressure power steering hose, with new power steering fluid

- Installed new Heater hoses, the ones on the truck were a botched mess

- Inspected brakes, calipers had 3 different bolt sizes holding 'em on. Tapped and threaded.

- Replaced Engine oil/Filter

- Installed 10 matching lug nuts, ever other one was different

- Installed New Fuel Filter

- Replaced T-Case Fluid. The Drain/Fill plugs were on so tight that I needed a breaker bar

- Interior scrub down. My theory that the truck was 'old man' driven was proved when I found chew in every nook and cranny

- Replaced Rear Diff Fluid

- Received my title in the mail, now to inspection and registration!!!

 

I found that I need to do the following at some point:

- Has one bad Motor Mount

- Front turn signal bulbs are white, not amber behind the clear lens

- Front Side marker lights need replaced

- I need a Gauge Cluster swap so I know what my engine is telling me!

 

All in all I am having a blast working on this truck and can not wait to get it on the road! This truck is also a prime example why you should never take your rig to Wal-Mart, Midas, etc to have work done. Everything was torqued on by an impact wrench. I am also searching for a canvas bed cover...

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February 21, 2009

- Installed full gauge cluster with column shift indicator

- De-stripped the truck. A little rubbing compound and you can't even tell the stripe was there!

 

This is how I went about the XJ cluster in my 92 with electric speedo and column shift. I started to swap the new gauges into the old cluster housing, but the holes were not identical and did not feel like trying to figure everything out. I went about this with out having a clue what I was getting into. After All, I only bought the truck 3 weeks ago! This is what I did:

 

Factory Cluster still in the truck

1. Remove the fuel gauge from your factory gauge cluster and cut off the bottom. Use the top of the PRD3 1-2 opening as your cutting guide

2. Remove the PRD3 1-2 housing from your factory gauge cluster. Two screws and unhook the wire to the column.

3. Remove the cluster from the truck

 

Altering XJ donor Cluster

1. Remove the tach from your donor cluster, 3 or 4 screws on the back.

2. Notice: the bottom of the tach has two hole in each corner. Line up your PRD3 1-2 housing with those mysterious holes in the tach. Mark the tach where the PRD3 1-2 will be located.

3. Cut the Tach.

4. Place the lower portion of the original fuel gauge (the piece you cut in the beginning) behind the tach of of your donor gauges. Trim the PRD3 1-2 opening as necessary. You are essentially strengthening the tach to withstand the pressures of the column shift spring by doubling up the thickness of the tach.

5. Use 1" machine screws, nuts, and washers to fasten the PRD3 1-2 housing to the back side of the tach. I put the screw in from the back, through the PRD3 1-2 housing, added 2 nuts as spacers, through the tach, and fastened down with two nuts. The PRD3 1-2 housing is now securely positioned behind the tach. The plastic gauge bezel will cover up the end of the machine screws and nuts.

6. Trim any ribbing inside the donor gauges housing around the lower portion of the tach. Also, drill a big hole in the bottom of the donor housing between the speedo and tach. This is for the column shift wire to go through.

7. Test fit and check for clearances. The gas gauge might have capacitor on its circuit board. You may have to trim the PRD3 1-2 housing for clearance.

 

Installing the New XJ Cluster

1. Take the donor gauge cluster to your Jeep and get it plugged in (I would speculate holding off the the speedo cable at this time, the HO Jeeps do not have the speedo cable).

2. Fish the column shift wire through the hole you drilled and attach it to the proper place on the PRD3 1-2 housing. Push and hold the tach into position.

3. Twist the gauge cluster forward and down to gain access to the back. Reinstall the tach using the 3 or 4 screws through the back of the cluster housing. This is a royal pain, but possible with a small screw driver or bit driver. When doing this you will notice the gear indicator may move down to 1-2, this is simply because you are pulling on the column shift wire.

4. Rotate the cluster backward and attach the speedo cable if necessary.

5. Once stuck back in the dash, the PRD3 1-2 indicator should be in the park position and should be ready to go.

6. I plan on using some small black tubing to "frame" the PRD3 1-2 opening in an effort to clean up the cuts.

 

I am experimenting with 1/8" hard plastic vacuum line around the cut marks... It is still very rough, but I see potential!!! :thumbsup:

 

Here you can see the end of the machine screw assembly described above. Once you get in there this should all make sense if you have never looked behind the dash bezel.

 

How it sits behind the bezel:

 

And lastly, what you see when driving. Using this method will put the indicator in a lower position than factory. This is magnified by my attempt to create a frame around the opening with the hard plastic vacuum line.

Yes, it still gets plenty of light from the tach lights to see at night.

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February 28, 2009

Went a visited a 1998 Cherokee being parted out in Kansas City. The trip was a success and I also learned that the MJ is by far the most squirrelly rig on slick roads! It started to fishtail at 60mph on the highway after it down shifted!!!

 

With snow falling I was dreading the fact I was going to be stripping parts. Luckily it was in a shop with 4 helpful people and a sawsall.... I came back with the following:

 

+ Front Header

+ Front Grill

+ Headlight wiring harness

+ Bumper

+ Bumper Caps

+ Both Front Fenders

+ Both Front Doors

+ 1 fender flare

...all for $150 :cheers:

 

I need to get the front turn signal housings/lens and a fender flare. Also need to figure out how to get my future power windows, locks, and mirrors to work.

 

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February 28, 2009

Went a visited a 1998 Cherokee being parted out in Kansas City. The trip was a success and I also learned that the MJ is by far the most squirrelly rig on slick roads! It started to fishtail at 60mph on the highway after it down shifted!!!

 

With snow falling I was dreading the fact I was going to be stripping parts. Luckily it was in a shop with 4 helpful people and a sawsall.... I came back with the following:

 

+ Front Header

+ Front Grill

+ Headlight wiring harness

+ Bumper

+ Bumper Caps

+ Both Front Fenders

+ Both Front Doors

+ 1 fender flare

...all for $150 :cheers:

 

I need to get the front turn signal housings/lens and a fender flare. Also need to figure out how to get my future power windows, locks, and mirrors to work.

 

nice price

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It has been awhile since my last update! I have acquired a bed, wheels, some "beef" for the rear end.

 

March 29, 2009

I picked up a new RUST FREE bed/tailgate and rocker panels from CC member krochus. It is currently at the paint shop getting dents/waves pulled out. To be painted soon!

 

April 14, 2009

Time for some new wheels. I grabed this set of Moabs locally. Need repainted, but is great shape. I have 3 of the 5 wheels shot with self etching primer. To be painted with duplicolor silver wheel coating. Going to wrap them with Cooper ST (not STT) in a 30" version.

 

May 29, 2009

Well.... I had hoped to get some of the XJ stuff on the truck today, but last night I contacted a guy on craigslist and picked up this 'chunk-o-beef':

 

Yup, a Dana 44 and driveshaft out of a 91 MJ. The guy was going to put it under his YJ a few years back but found a 9inch instead. $200 bones delivered fairly local. Now I need to clean it up and bolt in. Yaaahhhooo, no more ticking time bomb D35!

 

And I realized it has been a while since I have posted eye candy. Current picture of the truck:

 

Now I will be removing the carpet and prepping for new floors to be welded in, taking off the rusted bed and applying POR15, and getting the stock style replacement bumper mounted up. :banana: Glad things are happening to my DD!!!!

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That Duplicolor wheel paint is some neat stuff. I painted some aluminum wheels for Neon with their graphite color a couple years ago and they have held up very well through two Utah winters and the crap they throw on the roads here. Granted, its on car wheels, but you will like the results. And I didn't use any primer either, I had previously sand blasted the wheels and almost dropped the coin for powder coating.

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June 17, 2009 (see below post for images!!!)

BED IS HOME FROM THE PAINT SHOP!!!!

Got a call this morning that a red comanche bed was taking up space in the paint booth.

The inside of the bed was not painted, just had the factory paint pulled off. I am going to use the UPol-Raptor spray in bed liner for this. The UV protection is primarily why I am going with it.

Time to get the rear frame cleaned up, POR15'ed, and get the bumper installed

 

Tailgate sitting in the house. Waiting to get the J E E P stickers on the back.

 

The D44 is almost ready for POR15. Also received serviceable Spicer U-Joints/ straps today.

 

The collection of XJ body parts collecting dust and grime in the corner. Finally getting the missing antenna wire/mount. Then I will work on getting this sheet metal installed.

 

After the 97+XJ sheet metal is installed, the truck will go to the body shop and get the floor pans, rockers, and cab corners replaced then shot with more shiny paint

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June 17, 2009

BED IS HOME FROM THE PAINT SHOP!!!!

Got a call this morning that a red comanche bed was taking up space in the paint booth.

The inside of the bed was not painted, just had the factory paint pulled off. I am going to use the UPol-Raptor spray in bed liner for this. The UV protection is primarily why I am going with it.

Time to get the rear frame cleaned up, POR15'ed, and get the bumper installed

 

Tailgate sitting in the house. Waiting to get the J E E P stickers on the back.

 

The D44 is almost ready for POR15. Also received serviceable Spicer U-Joints/ straps today.

 

The collection of XJ body parts collecting dust and grime in the corner. Finally getting the missing antenna wire/mount. Then I will work on getting this sheet metal installed.

 

After the 97+XJ sheet metal is installed, the truck will go to the body shop and get the floor pans, rockers, and cab corners replaced then shot with more shiny paint

 

Fixed some of the img tags.

 

Willy

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November 08, 2009 The new bed is lined!

 

With fantastic weather and some spare time (recovering from sickness) I decided to prep and spray that shiny red bed with bed liner. I used the U-Pol Raptor liner kit. It comes with 4 quarts of liner, hardener, an air gun to apply it, and it it UV stable... all for about $130.

 

I worked on prepping the surface. Generally all you would need to do is scuff, clean, and spray. This bed has several to the metal scratches and scrapes, so I sanded them down smooth, masked the bed and sprayed the areas with self-etching primer as suggested by the U-Pol instructions.

 

 

Then I started with the bed liner. I was very nervous about doing this since I have never used an air gun to apply any sort of paint. Luckily it was a piece of cake. Dump 250ml of hardener into a quart of liner, shake, screw it to the gun and apply between 40-70psi of pressure. The more pressure, the finer the texture. Set the regulator to 70psi and went to town. Be sure to wear some sort of mask, the fumes are insane. I applied two cost of this stuff, and still have a 1 quart bottle left for touch ups later on down the road.

 

After the first coat:

 

The texture is very nice. I ran the gun at 70psi wide open and got a nicely textured, hard as a rock finish. It is just a touch more textured than plastic drop in liners.

 

 

Once it was well set up, not tacky to the touch, I removed the masking to see how well I did at taping. Not half bad. Also took the opportunity to hang the tailgate and set the unit in the garage just in case it tried to rain.

 

 

Next step is to POR15 the inner fender wells, install the bed rubber pieces, install my 4.0 and 4wheel Drive stickers, and run the bed wiring harness. Hope to get the rusted bed off of the truck soon so I can blast, treat, and improve the rear end. Yank the drive train, then it will go to the body shop for floor, rocker and cab corner replacements as well as the 97+ front end and doors.

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Thanks guys jamminz.gif

 

Today I got the last two stickers stuck on the tailgate. I replaced the chrome/black 4.0 badge with a vinyl cut out for a smoother look and added a 'retro' style 4wd in the same.

 

I plan on keeping with the same theme for the rest of the truck. Spence at jeepsticker.com helped me get some stickers awhile back, he went a little crazy with my order!

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That be the kit! From the same folks too. I picked it up during the summer so I may have been a bit hazy on the price. Oopps.

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good as score on all your parts man dana 44 for 200 lucky. :popcorn:

Plus the matching drive shaft for an auto, 4x4, long bed :waving:

It was one of those "commanche" searches on craigslist. I wasn't even looking for a D44... Although, it was poorly set up for a YJ SOA... luckily the factory MJ mounts were still in place. :banana:

 

The D44 housing and tubes have been coated in POR-15 for some time. I still need to re-work the brake lines, obtain new drums and rebuild the drum assemblies before it can be called done. If a D44 ZJ bites me in the butt I will get the disk brake backing plates and build accordingly.

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man youve got the makings of a beutiful mj there its already very clean

Thanks 8) She is not as clean as the pictures indicate. Although I know your project is much more challenging! The rockers, cab corners, bedsides, and floors are rusted out. Front fenders, doors and bed are dented and wavy. Sit on the road grime stained bench (from the holes in the floor) and hit the base springs. In addition to the 55mph violent shaking, a new 45mph vibration has begun. The truck did great last weekend at hauling my ATV around for the first time. Tonight after a hard stop to avoid a large buck, my 'Brake' light has illuminated. Good news is my new drivehsaft showed up for the TJ tonight as well. Assuming all goes well, I can start tearing down the MJ and DDing the TJ after Thanksgiving break!!!

 

I love my truck :D

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man youve got the makings of a beutiful mj there its already very clean

Thanks 8) She is not as clean as the pictures indicate. Although I know your project is much more challenging! The rockers, cab corners, bedsides, and floors are rusted out. Front fenders, doors and bed are dented and wavy. Sit on the road grime stained bench (from the holes in the floor) and hit the base springs. In addition to the 55mph violent shaking, a new 45mph vibration has begun. The truck did great last weekend at hauling my ATV around for the first time. Tonight after a hard stop to avoid a large buck, my 'Brake' light has illuminated. Good news is my new drivehsaft showed up for the TJ tonight as well. Assuming all goes well, I can start tearing down the MJ and DDing the TJ after Thanksgiving break!!!

 

I love my truck :D

hey its a jeep what did you expect. Just Empty Every Pocket... :rotf:

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December 17, 2009

After months of searching, getting close then coming up with nothing, I picked this beautiful donor up from a little town near Columbia, MO.

 

1999 Jeep Cherokee

- 4.0

- AW4

- NP231

- 8.25

- Cruise

- 155,100 miles

- New 235/75r156 tires

- New AC system

- Rolled on its side into a ditch

- Exhaust cut right after Catalytic Converter

- Shot front axle outter shaft u-joint

 

 

Interior is in good shape less the stale aroma of old cigarettes.

 

December 22, 2009

I have been working with the donor, making sure everything works 100% before I take it all apart to shove in the MJ.

 

My first order of business was to remove the front sheet metal that was bent/banged up. The findings:

- Both front fenders junk

- Header panel junk, bezels in good shape

- Hood perfect

 

Then I decided to install the doors I picked up earlier this year to make sure everything works (locks, mirrors, windows). To my surprise they all worked flawlessly!

 

 

I then removed the stereo. There was an electrical nightmare of exposed wires, poor splices, and a hot amp wire in the cargo area. Yanked all of that out and threw it in the junk pile. I will be running a factory XJ head unit in here eventually.

 

 

Image of the vitals:

 

Took it for a spin down the county road and tested the cruise control. To my amazement, it too worked flawlessly! Never got hot and the auxiliary fan seems to work like it should.

 

Next step will be to get the MJ down to a rolling shell for body work/paint and POR15 everything on the underside. :banana:

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