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Rumblebucket Rebuild


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Greetings to all my fellow Comanche fans out there! :cheers: I've been lurking around the site reading up on all the great projects everyone has going on. It's finally time to get started on mine. My folks bought this rig back in 94' when I was 17. This was because I smashed their 84' GMC Jimmy beyond repair. In all honesty I hated that little pick-up back then. It was small and under powered compared to their Jimmy, and I had to learn to drive stick in the cow pasture behind the house. They drove it a little for a few years, then retired. They left it sitting for months during the Winter while they were down South and drove very little when they came back in the Summer. They gave it to me a few years back with 54K original miles on it. I stopped driving it in Winter and coated the frame in fresh bar & chain oil but it's real solid for a Northeast truck. It's an 87' with the 2.5, 4 speed manual,..... completely nutless but so much fun to drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My plan for a while has been to drop a 4.0 and AX15 tranny in it. I don't plan to wheel it much I just want to run 32's or 33's and make her look real nice. I'm trying to keep it as original as possible. I finally found a good donor Comanche with the 4.0. Same year, even same color & cosmetics. Below are some pics of the donor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still need an AX15.

I'm not all that talented at turnin' wrenches and such, got a buddy helping me out who does have skills. I'll be relying on you folks and all the awesome posts and pics on this site as well. :bowdown:

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Both trucks look REALLY nice. Why are you using that 4.0 truck as a donor? It looks too nice to part out. If it were me I would keep the 4.0 truck and find a donor XJ that has been crashed/smashed/or rusted out, and use that for the 4.0/4x4 swap. Just my 2c.

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Both trucks look REALLY nice. Why are you using that 4.0 truck as a donor? It looks too nice to part out. If it were me I would keep the 4.0 truck and find a donor XJ that has been crashed/smashed/or rusted out, and use that for the 4.0/4x4 swap. Just my 2c.

 

 

You're absolutely right, :agree: that was my first thought when I saw it posted online. The truck had about everything I wanted, would have saved me a lot of time and money. When I crawled under it I found two holes in the frame I could put my fist through. Other spots were real tender and about to go. The rocker panels and bed sides are deceivingly bad to. Note the black strip at the bottom,.... I think it was an attempt to repair/conceal rot. The plow trucks here carry full on salt, and they're not stingy on the application either. Kills a lot fine vehicles before their time. :fs1: drives me nuts.

Figured I'd grab it anyway, it has a good motor and lots of other goodies I wanted. I'll salvage what I can,.... may be lots of good parts left over to, I'll be sure to post them here first.

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Yea, when I fist started reading your post........and the "donor" MJ......... :eek:

 

But then I read about the frame being rotted :doh:

 

I got 2 MJ's here now that have the same problem.........and the only solution is to make them donors for other projects, both mine, and others :D

 

And I only live about 40 miles from the salt mine :fs1:

 

It's kind like finding a good horse, only to find out it's got a broken leg :(

 

That donor you found have some much "wanted" items on it.........so that's a really good find.

 

Good luck with your transplant project..........I'll keep an eye on it :thumbsup:

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Yeah, sadly a fact of life around here as in Buffalo. There are very few other Manches around, I've only seen a couple others around town and they're in real rough shape. People sometimes stop and talk to me about mine and tell me they used to have one and how they lost it to rot. I asked a buddy if he could weld the donor back into shape but he didn't want to touch it.

 

So here's where I'm at right now. Got the bench out and the floor up, close to getting the bed off. Got the four bolts in the front but couldn't find the others. I found the post by the retired Auto Tech in FL; thanks man you rock! jamminz.gif I never would have found those bolts. I'll finish getting the bed off this weekend. I'd like to get the 2.5 motor prepped and ready to yank by next weekend. Anyone ever pull a motor out with the tranny still on it? Is it doable??

 

 

 

 

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Anyone ever pull a motor out with the tranny still on it? Is it doable??

 

Oh yea, Thats the easiest way to pull then :D

 

First one I pulled, I took the tranny off :fs1:

 

Ever one after that, I pulled the engine with the tranny and transfer bolted together.

 

I know your dealing with a 2.5, but, a 4.0 with an AW4 and NP231 bolted together is 6'-7" long :eek: I got the thing half way out, and had to push the truck out the shop door to finish pulling it........ran out of room in the shop :rotfl2:

 

Now I got a bigger shop, so thats not a problem anymore :brows:

 

Just unhook everything, like fuel lines, and wire harness's and support the tranny, remove the cross member and tranny mount. Take off the entire front end, header panel, radiator support, loosen up the engine mounts off the frame, and of course a few other odds and ends, and the real trick is to have a leveler on the hoist, drop the tranny down and pull away :D

 

Yea, salt does its tole on us around here, but, there are still some good solid MJ's in this area.

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Anyone ever pull a motor out with the tranny still on it? Is it doable??

 

Oh yea, Thats the easiest way to pull then :D

 

First one I pulled, I took the tranny off :fs1:

 

Ever one after that, I pulled the engine with the tranny and transfer bolted together.

 

I know your dealing with a 2.5, but, a 4.0 with an AW4 and NP231 bolted together is 6'-7" long :eek: I got the thing half way out, and had to push the truck out the shop door to finish pulling it........ran out of room in the shop :rotfl2:

 

Now I got a bigger shop, so thats not a problem anymore :brows:

 

Just unhook everything, like fuel lines, and wire harness's and support the tranny, remove the cross member and tranny mount. Take off the entire front end, header panel, radiator support, loosen up the engine mounts off the frame, and of course a few other odds and ends, and the real trick is to have a leveler on the hoist, drop the tranny down and pull away :D

 

Yea, salt does its tole on us around here, but, there are still some good solid MJ's in this area.

 

Thanks! really great tips,... I didn't even think about running out room when I pull that engine and tranny out. I'll have to turn it around and push it out the door while I'm yanking it out. You just saved me a bunch of aggravation. :clapping: Looks like I'll be doing the Manche shuffle this weekend.

Sounds like you got a sweet shop to have that kind of room.

Got the exhaust, bed, and a few more parts off this weekend. Not as much work done as I hoped. Had to box in my vegetable garden and got two loads of dirt with the parts runner. She's ugly but back on the road and working,... steering is funny. I think it needs a new pitman arm. I'd rather work on the MJ though.

 

Here's some updated pics of where I'm at with the MJ.

 

 

 

 

Speaking of wire harness can I use the 2.5's? it has dummy lights. The donor has gauges and I want to put that cluster in.

Is it simply a matter of plugging in a couple unused plugs to get the 4.0's motor and gauge cluster to work? :dunno:

Or will I need to pull all that wiring out?

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You asking about the interior wire harness??

 

The only difference in the gauge cluster, either dummy light or the true gauges, is the sensor or sending unit on the engine. There is a adjustment that can be done on the tach if switching from 2.5 - 4.0.

 

The interior harness is "clipped", strapped to the back side of the dash, the dash comes out with a couple pita screws at the lower windshield, and a bolt on each lower side, drop the steering column down, and it's out, and easier to work on from the back side.

 

If your asking about the engine harness, you will need to change the harness out for the 4.0, the 2.5 harness is not adaptable to the 4.0, and the ECU must also be changed out.

 

The best part about all the harnesses is, there all plug and play, all the sensors and accessories have a connector on the ends, just pop the connector apart, and your done. there are no two connectors alike, so putting it back together is not a problem.

 

I would still change out the interior harness for the 4.0.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well finally got the T-Case, engine, and tranny out a couple days ago :D .

The prep work took a bit longer than expected, more stuff to pull out

than I thought. Should be fun putting it all back together. Got all the old fuel

and brake lines out only to find more rust and holes hiding underneath.

I got a new driver side floor pan on order.

I need some suggestions on shocks, I'd like to get them in while the bed and engine

are out of the way. Looking for a decent set, I won't be wheeling much if at all so ride is important.

For now I'm just going to run 31's on it, will stock size shocks be long enough?

 

 

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I see you turned the MJ around in the garage in case you ran out of room for the drive train pull :D

 

Sure did, I gotta thank you for that one Wildman, :cheers: that worked out real nice. It's a while since I been on the site, we've done a bunch of work. And I of course have Q's to post in the Tech section. Anyway here are the latest pics:

 

 

Had to take it outside to de-grease the undercarriage. Many years of bar and chain oil sprayed on the frame and panels. It's messy but it's why she's stills here. I sprayed it with degreaser and crawled under it and went to town with the pressure washer. Had to do it before we got under there with angle grinders and welders, would have caught the whole thing a fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty much done on the floor pans and undercoatings, just a bit of painting to do.

 

 

Went to replace the backing plates and found leaky axle seals. Seals and new bearings just came in. Should have them back in the axle some time this week.

 

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Got the underside and frame done.

 

 

Finally got the new axle seals, bearings, and collar pressed on and back in the D35. :clapping:

Also new Drum brake hardware, shoes, and got the drums turned.

 

 

Good time to change out the gear oil.

 

 

Hope to have this one button upped, prepped, and out the door by next weekend; so I can get the donor in to

pilfer the parts I need off it. Will post more pics as soon as I can. :yes:

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All done with the undercarriage/frame, axle. Cleaning up the metal, POR-15, and painting took longer than I thought. Got the new rear shocks in, will try to tie up the front springs and shocks today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been a while since I posted but got the donor in and started tearing it apart. Bundled up the keeper for a while but just her back in the garage a couple days ago. Here are some new pics:

 

 

 

 

Snapped a pic of one of the holes, ain't she a beaut? Ate a lot rust pulling parts of this rig. Few shards in the eyes to, always fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a little break for the next couple weeks, 4th of July parties and such, there's lots

of burgers, dogs & beer that needs be et & drank. :cheers:

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Do you still have the black buckets from the donor MJ? I am looking for a set.

 

Thanks,

 

Kevin

 

Sorry, that's party why I got the donor, I wanted those buckets to. The driver's side mounting bracket is all rotted out.

I have to find a new one some where my self. I'm about to post on the classifieds to see if anyone has one. Good luck with your bucket seat hunt. They're a bit tough to find.

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  • 1 month later...

Long while since an update,... July has been tough to get much done :(

 

Got the new motor and put it in.

 

 

 

Got the 4.0 computer, harness & instrument cluster in as well as well.

 

 

Re-did my headliner to.

 

 

 

 

More pieces-parts bolted up to. Got some fancy injectors from Five-O :brows:

 

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  • 1 year later...

It's been nearly a year since I posted. I finished my re-build last October,....mostly.

My appologies for not keeping up with the pics and the progress. Could not have done it without all the excellent write ups and help I got from this sight. I've got a problem again and need some more help.

 

First I'll pay up and post the (mostly) fininished product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Myself and a buddy did all of the body work and some of the priming. Brought it to a good local painter for the rest of it,...$$$$ ouch. Came out pretty good though. Found a guy up in Canada to make me the the strips and "SporTruck" stickers.

 

 

 

I still need to go out and do a nice photo shoot. This is the only pic I have after I put it on the road again this past Spring. Since I've put a 1" lift and 30" treds, and a spray in bedliner. Going mostly for a factory look here. I even found some original AMC logos while on vacation in FL. I put one on the tailgate and one each under the Comanche logo on the front quarter panels. The pic above is out camping and windsurfin' at a local State park. This is mostly why I rebuilt it, to carry my toys around and look shiny.

 

Let me know what you think image_209027.gif

 

I'll be posting my questions in Tech.

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