Jump to content

1987 SB 2wd --> 4wd HO conversion


Recommended Posts

OK, so after talking to Pete about picture posting (I am used to the old YAHOO site, so I am still trying to figure out this method), I figure I will give it a try, especially after Pete engouraged me to start a thread on the project...

 

The Comanche was a clean (not a speck of rust, but definately aged) 1987, 4.0, 2wd, 5-spd base model with 3.08 gears; got good gas mileage and was fun to drive, but just not enough...LONG story behind this truck, for another day...sold the truck (a few times) but just bought it back x-mas day '08 for $200 bux with a bad tranny, and within 3 days of getting it back I stole the motor out for another project. It needed help at that point, so I began to explore my options for a swap to something fun...the HO conversion seemed to be the best.

 

The donor presented itself on Craigslist shortly thereafter; an almost mint 1994 Jeep Cherokee Country 4x4, loaded and its got the 4.0 HO and 3:55 gears...with a 3.5 or 4 inch lift and some really nice American Racing rims :clapping: Although it was an automatic, and I would have preferred a manual, for $600 it was a steal!!! Original owners who took very good care of it; once again not a speck of rust or corrosion, no leaks either, 160k on the clock; VERY strong runner. It had gotten T-boned on the passengers side, and rolled onto the drivers side. Although mangled, I still drove it for 5 months before I decided it was time for the swap. :D

 

Its turned out to be a hell of a project...literally stripped both jeeps to the bare frame, and am rebuilding the MJ, but its giving me the opportunnity to detail and paint everything for a clean result, and I can install all the nice accessories from the XJ that the MJ didn't have before (a/c, cruise control, all power stuff, that cool little overhead consol with the temp/compass, etc) So here goes the pic attempt; lets see if I get it...

 

As they sit, the dark one on the left is the donor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And check out thesep; no corrosion on the trans/transfer case, they still need a little cleaning; very little surface rust on the block...a little cleaning, sanding and painting and it'll be like new :thumbsup:

 

 

 

 

OK, I'll leave it at that to see if these go through or not. Lemme know what you think!

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 57
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I'm getting closer jamminz.gif I borrowed my buddies front bumper from his cherokee to tow-bar my manche to my shop, where I will finish the project. The motor, trans, transfer case and front axle and front end lift are all in place. The wiring is all done. All the underhood and under dash stuff is mounted and connected. Now, I am just anxiously awaiting my new exhaust header before I can finish assembling the intake assy. UPS tracking is saying Monday. After that, it should be a simple connection for the fuel pump and she should start :clapping:

 

Even better, I dug through my stash of driveshafts and fount the rear driveshaft I removed from a 2wd XJ converted to 4x4, and amazingly it is a perfect fit, trans splines match and all...that seemed too easy :yes:

 

Assuming all goes as planned Monday, the only pending things are to sort out and connect the XJ-MJ wiring at the rear of the cab, finish assembling the interrior, get a spray in bedliner, swap the rear Chrysler 8.25 axle and get some lift leaf packs (not doing the SOA, don't want that much lift). (Until then, I'll be sportin the D-35 3:08 rear and no lift with rwd only :fs1: ). After that, looking into a fresh set of 31x10.5 R15's and a good detail after some paint touch-up, and my baby will finally be done!!! :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She's dirty, inside and out, but I couldn't wait to detail it for the pics. I gotta say, LOTS of time went into this project, but I don't regret one minute of it

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ugh, ya :oops: :roll: If you look closely at the pics, you can see the holes in the bottom of the bedside rockers where the kit was bolted on. I am going to have to dig hard for a pic of the numberplate as I took it off the truck several years ago to have a shop replicate it with the intentions of replacing it because it was scratched.

 

As for the body kit, no. The PO's before I initially acuired it lived in the dry, hot climate of Sacramernto, Ca. They never garaged the truck, never waxed the truck and I doubt if they ever even washed the truck. It was severly weather beaten. The body kit was dry and cracked. I regret not taking pics of it then. I did my best to revive it, and I was able to for one of my builds on the truck...but one day I found myself with no work, no money and my comanche was the only thing I had a title for I could sell to float me by until I could get back on my feet. My roommate at the time purchased it, kinda with the agreement that I would be able to buy it back later. A few months went by, he went bar hopping in the MJ...left the keys in it...and it went missing; I was frantic to get it back at that point. I was providing the cops with pics and all. It was found 3 days later having launched through a fence, down an embankment and lodged into the side of a house. The truck at that time was a total loss. The entire front end was destroyed...frame was bent, passenger windshield pillar crushed, roof dented, undercarriage damaged (from going over boulders) and both sides of the truck sustained minor damage. That finished off the body kit. I tried to save it, but it seemed like a lost cause after that. I made the decision to sell what was left of it on EBAY, rather than just throw it away as I knew I could get replacement pieces through Archer Brothers.

 

You can check out this link http://www.cardomain.com/ride/393950 Believe it or not, that greenish grey truck was the same one you see me building right now on this thread. That was obviously before it got wrecked.

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it's a real shame that it's no longer a street truck. I'm sad to see it the way it is.

 

on the other hand, it is a very clean swap so far. keep it goin.

 

 

just a little note....with a renix fuel sending unit, your gas gauge is going to read backwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya, the circumstances were unfortunate. Had that all not gone down, the truck would still be in its street clothes. When I rebuilt it from the theft damage, I intentionally left the mounting holes for the body kit in the event I won the lottery and could afford to buy a new kit fron Archer Brothers....it may still happen (not the lottery, lol...I gave up on that one), depending on their asking price; just to have it. The truck hasn't changed other than cosmetically...its not like I cut the thing apart and modified it structurally. All it would take is bolting the kit back on, sticking the dash plaqgue on, throw some stock suspension or even a slight drop like I had before and viola, I would then have an all-wheel-drive high output streetcomanche :eek: Hmm :) Until then, its gonna be lifted! I definately am not going to wheel it hard, I got my dirtbike for that crap...I just want to make it a fun DD, and living in the mountains where we get dumped on with snow, 4wd only makes sense. Think I am going to keep my eye out for a 5-spd tho; the Auto tranny will work for awhile, but that 5-spd is so much more fun.

 

That aside, I got it running and lot driving today!!! 1st attempt I got a "Check Engine" light and it was running like crap, but then I realized I forgot to plug in the throttle position sensor...problem solved. 2nd issue, guages are not responsive. Gonna dive into diaging that one tomorrow, prob just missed a plug or a ground somewhere. Something about the '87 PS pump doesn't want to bolt onto the '94 manifold, so I gotta make the 30 min drive to the donor and steal the PS pump off it. I then just need to wire up the XJ-MJ wiring at the back of the cab for all the rear lights and it should be ready for the road. jamminz.gif Anyway, I can't wait for my 1st real test drive. I just wish I had that 8.25 in the rear with the 3:55's and not the d35 with the 3:08's...one step at a time tho.

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

how did you do the tail lights and gas tank wiring did you take the cherokee wiring or using your old wiring hook up and just spice the wires

 

I'm betting he used his old wiring and just spliced wires.

 

I did the exact same conversion on my 87 wheeling truck....my solution was to just make a jumper harness to go between the two harnesses (95 and 87) so I could just disconnect them seperately and not have any crossed wires and such..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

how did you do the tail lights and gas tank wiring did you take the cherokee wiring or using your old wiring hook up and just spice the wires

 

I'm betting he used his old wiring and just spliced wires.

 

I did the exact same conversion on my 87 wheeling truck....my solution was to just make a jumper harness to go between the two harnesses (95 and 87) so I could just disconnect them seperately and not have any crossed wires and such..

 

 

So the truck is running and driving!!! I took it for a 5 mile test drive today :banana: I am definately needing to get that other axle in it soon, and the rear lifted, but am so happy with the result otherwise. As for the wiring, I have two huge wads of wires at the back of my cab; one going to the front half (from the cherokee), and the other going to the back (the Comanche wiring) As of right now, I found the fuel pump wires from both harnesses and twist tied them together, lol. :roll: I have not connected anything else just yet. I do plan on just butt-connecting the wires together for the lights (possibly with the help of some tow accessory wiring as I think I may need that module that will adapt the independant turn signals to the combined system), and I will probably just connect the fuel pump wire, but I am also considering putting a switch right there at the back of the cab to connect fuel pump wires as an anti-theft device (because I am not into those noise producing alarm systems), and for a few bucks it seems worth it, but I dunno...just an idea. Electrical is my weakness. Still not sure what I am going to do about the fuel sending wire for the gauge. There has got to be an option for that, even if I have to somehow mount an outside (of the cluster) fuel gauge from the old cluster or -aftermarket???- and separate wire. :hmm: I want it to be a clean conversion w/o any crap, but I do need to know how much gas I got!!!. Anyway, when I get her all buttoned back up and detailed next week, I will post more pics! :yes:

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll get a pen and paper some time tomorrow while I'm at fair and write down which wires in the comanche harness go to what, and which wires in my 95 cherokee harness are what, and which got connected to what.

 

 

the turn signals are a straight connection...nothing needed to adapt. but there is no brake light wire in the XJ harness...the cherokee just puts power to both turn signals in order to turn them on IIRC.

 

there is a pin on your turn signal switch (located by your feet on top of the steering column) that is empty. you will be able to test it with a wiring test light for power, and just throw a pin connector out of your old harness in it then run a wire over to the comanche's brake light wire.

 

should more or less take care of your problems with wiring for the fuel pump and tail lights. I have yet to wire up the interior lights and center console lights, so I'll let you know when I figure that out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll get a pen and paper some time tomorrow while I'm at fair and write down which wires in the comanche harness go to what, and which wires in my 95 cherokee harness are what, and which got connected to what.

 

 

the turn signals are a straight connection...nothing needed to adapt. but there is no brake light wire in the XJ harness...the cherokee just puts power to both turn signals in order to turn them on IIRC.

 

there is a pin on your turn signal switch (located by your feet on top of the steering column) that is empty. you will be able to test it with a wiring test light for power, and just throw a pin connector out of your old harness in it then run a wire over to the comanche's brake light wire.

 

should more or less take care of your problems with wiring for the fuel pump and tail lights. I have yet to wire up the interior lights and center console lights, so I'll let you know when I figure that out.

 

DUDE, your awesome, thank you!!! I ALMOST started a thread in tech to see if anyone could help me save some time with the wiring by giving me a cheat sheet to work with, but then decided I would just figure it out with the test light...but since you offer, I'll take the help!

Ya, I managed to loose my center consol light wiring under the carpet, consol or seat, lol, so I gotta pull that up to find it...but I'm not too worried about that, if nothing else that'll just be a tap into the parking lights. Think while I have everything exposed, I'm gonna look into an option to mount a 3rd brake light on the truck, maybe some bitchin LED one or I'll wander pick-n-pull for awhile to explore my options (I've been rear ended twice now in other vehicles that didn't have one, both times its because the other driver claimed they didn't know I was stopping because of it...I'd hate for some dumb-@$$ to take out my nice, new OEM rear bumper :doh: )

Did you figure out anything easy out for the E-brake light? I havent even explored that one yet, but I can tell that idiot dash light being on is going to irritate me, and I would rather it work than not (just so everything works and the swap isn't a hack job).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DUDE, your awesome, thank you!!! I ALMOST started a thread in tech to see if anyone could help me save some time with the wiring by giving me a cheat sheet to work with, but then decided I would just figure it out with the test light...but since you offer, I'll take the help!

Ya, I managed to loose my center consol light wiring under the carpet, consol or seat, lol, so I gotta pull that up to find it...but I'm not too worried about that, if nothing else that'll just be a tap into the parking lights. Think while I have everything exposed, I'm gonna look into an option to mount a 3rd brake light on the truck, maybe some bitchin LED one or I'll wander pick-n-pull for awhile to explore my options (I've been rear ended twice now in other vehicles that didn't have one, both times its because the other driver claimed they didn't know I was stopping because of it...I'd hate for some dumb-@$$ to take out my nice, new OEM rear bumper :doh: )

Did you figure out anything easy out for the E-brake light? I havent even explored that one yet, but I can tell that idiot dash light being on is going to irritate me, and I would rather it work than not (just so everything works and the swap isn't a hack job).

 

no problem. I ended up figuring it out with a test light because no one else could tell me. I'll probably start a thread in the DIY section.

 

E-brake light IDK what I did with it. don't think it's hooked up to anything right now...just coiled up in the XJ center console harness. you really just need to peel it back out of the xj center console harness and re-route it back up to the factory E-brake and plug it in to the connector on the e-brake.

 

I don't have mine connected and the brake light isn't on :hmm:

 

as I said, I only did what was necessary to get it running...then completely forgot about it until seeing your thread. I don't drive my own vehicles much...have a company van for going to work and back, and the jeeps are basically driven locally...i.e. around 10 miles a week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey JeepcoMJ; I just couldn't stand not driving the truck anymore. I went at it with a test light this morning and was able to figure out the wires, for the most part (enough to make it street legal). Running lights, turn signals, backup and brake lights are all connected. Only thing I can't figure out, is when my brakes are on, the right turn signal works as it should, but the left one does not blink, although it does turn on; but it does blink normally when the brakes are not applied. I tried replacing the bulbs, and that did nothing. :hmm: For the brake lights, I couldn't find that extra prong in the plug, so I just tapped into the white wire coming off the switch and threaded it to the back of the cab, then split it to go to each brake light

I am stoked to just be driving it; put about 80 miles on it today and it runs and drives like a brand new truck! Everything is so tight and solid feeling :banana: Was able to line up a welder to finish my exhaust and rear axle swap, so when I get the time I am going to get together with him.

I have to chase down a wierd very intermittant noise coming from either the bell housing or -gulp- the back of the motor. It was a problem before the swap, but I hoped it was just a broken flex plate...and it wasn't. Then I re-assembled in hopes it was going to dissappear...and it didn't. Its kind of a chirping noise...very inconsistant, very unpredictable, but doesn't seem like one of those really threatening noises. Warm engine, cold engine...doesn't seem to matter. Most of the time, unloaded it doesn't ever do it. The only time it is a for sure thing, is if I am towing a load, which its more so appearant than any other time. I was able to find a cure for it though (when it was in the cherokee), rev the motor above 3,000 RPM once, and it would not do it again for as long as the thing was running, even hours of stop and go, no matter what you are towing through what type of conditions. Shut it off, and then re-start it and its back. I know everyone is going to point at a crank shaft bearing or something, and that is my fear...but are there any other possibilities? Can the torque converter make a noise like that? Was thinking about taking it into Jeep and seeing if they have any mech's that know this mid-'90s 4.0 setup inside and out, that may either be familiar with this as being a common noise, or may know what it might be. Its either that or I'll just turn the stereo up louder and keep driving it until something happens, if anything ever does. If that does happen, guess that'll be my excuse to invest in a stroker for the HO setup :) I just hope it will last a while; it didn't ever seem to get worse when I was driving the Cherokee, and I put quite a few miles on it.

Anyway, I'm working on the odds and ends, touch up and detailing right now, so hopefully by weeks end I'll get some revised pics up.

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like I say, electrical is my weakness...and this is where I become baffled; especially when trying to combine two different systems. I don't see how it could make a difference; if I took one wire (from the brake light switch) and split it into two, then connect each end to each of the tailights "bright glow" terminal wire, and one turn signal wire to each taillights "bright glow" wire, so there are two separate wires going into each taillights bright glow wire. Theoredically it should be a symmetrical connection to each taillight, so if one works, then why doesn't the other? :fs1: LOL, maybe I am overly complicating this, but why can't things just work right!!! :wall: Its almost as if there is a short or something in the left tailight, preventing the flasher from operating when the second current is there...but I examined what I could see of the wires and plugs, and everything looks fine. :???:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just a little note....with a renix fuel sending unit, your gas gauge is going to read backwards.

 

So, curious...I thought I read somewhere on here that the fuel gauge would not only read backwards, but inaccurately. For this reason, I wasn't going to mess with it...but maybe I am mistaken. Is is this true about the inaccuracy, or will it be realtively accurate and just read backwards, because I can deal with that, I just don't want it lying to me. If this is the case, I guess I can use some help with the wire colors to mate on that because that one will be a search otherwise.

 

you're overcomplicating it.

 

and because of the back-feeding across the other wire, that's why it won't work.

 

So, now what? I guess I could use your cheat sheet after all :doh: No rush though, because it works for now...I just have to be careful when I stop in my lane of travel with cars barreling down on me as I wait for traffic to clear to make a left hand turn. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, I have succesfully racked up about 400 miles on the truck since the conversion, with no mechanical issues :cheers: Definately happy with the result. Priced out the parts today for the rear suspension to finish the lift...ouch; I figure by the time all said and done I'll need to drop about $600 bux; been eyeing the 3" lift spring packs from Hell Creek, along with shocks...after I get that all on, then comes the 8.25 axle mods to fit. I just might have to run around a bit longer with my comanche pre-runner ;) until I get more $$$ to finish the rear. Oh well, I must be doing something right because I was sitting in my MJ outside of a 7-11 yesterday, waiting for someone, when a guy approached me begging me to name a price and sell the truck to him because he thought it was the "most bad-@$$ truck he had ever seen" :yes: I confidently said "Its not for sale, but thanks for the compliment"

I'm beginning to put the interrior back together -slowly-. The only real "bug" I have to work out of it still is the a/c compressor won't kick on when selected on the controls, but it works great when bypassed (on a good note, got the a/c charged and the mech said it had excellent pressure in the system, so it should be good to go for a long time :thumbsup: ) I'll bypass it completely if I have to with a switch on the dash. I still need a windshield and spray in bed liner though. I'm also debating a 2-tone paint scheme on the rockers to repair some chipped paint...I like it all white, and don't want a whole repaint, but the white on it has aged a bit and I think it will look obvious if I get just the flares and rockers re-painted white, so I am toying with the idea of flat black :dunno: The flares are the worst, so I may sand them and do them in black primer to see how it will look; maybe just the flares in black will satisfy me. A project for another day. But for now:

 

My dirtbike doesn't fit in this MJ as well as it did my longbed, but it works :clapping:

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I'm bored and my brain is fried from doing paperwork all day, so I figured I would post an update. Haven't gotten as far as I would have like to on the truck, but I have made a little progress. First off:

 

The truck looks great......followed your thread and, Wow......nice job!!!

Thanks!

 

looks really nice id paint it red dtho :D

Thanks again, BUT red seems to be a bad-luck color for me. Doesn't matter what type of vehicle it is (car, truck, motorcycle, snowmobile, etc), if its red, something bad ALWAYS happens to it, so I gave up on that color :shake:

 

ANYWAY, I did get my rear suspension stuff ordered. I pulled my fender flares off with the intension of painting them. Finished the wiring for the taillights; I just cut the wire going to the top brakelight and ran a wire from the cab to the rear so now both top and bottom bulbs run the running lights, the bottom bulb brite glow is the turn signals and the top brite glow is the brake lights. This way everything works. I also pulled the nice rear bumper off my other MJ before I sell it...just in case; for the $1,500 bux I'm selling that one for, I don't think a rear bumper would make or break the deal (you got to understand my big concern with this, I live in snow country where our #1 industry is tourism, most of which tourists have never seen snow before and don't know how to drive in it; and while its entertaining watching them stop in the middle of the road in a blizzard to put cables on the rear wheels of their front wheel drive cars, etc...its also a scary thought as they cause MANY accidents here)

 

Got around to cleaning up the interrior a bit: (a mistake just before getting the new windshield installed as they made a mess in there :ack: )

 

And did a quickie on the engine bay:

 

Also stripped the headliner frame and overhead consol, now got to come up with a plan for doing this right, the first time:

 

And finally, some junkyard finds...I can now fill the holes in my dash; Also going to try to make a drop-in cup holder for my current center consol, but as a backup if that doesn't work, I picked up this '98 XJ consol for $20bux, while I hate the thought of "spray painting" that consol because it won't be right, to have cup holders will be so worth it jamminz.gif

 

Anyway, thats it for now :cheers:

 

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice job so far, wish mine was finished (frame up resto no choice found frame rot soapbox.gif ,

http://www.comancheclub.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=17152.

I'm not messing with the engine yet hope that it lasts for a while but if not after reading what you did I will go with a HO xj engine was thinking about v8 swap but I don't feel like doing that much work i'm getting impatient to finish it so i can drive it finally after 6 months of staring at it and driving in the back yard lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...