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New member, 1st MJ

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Just wanted to introduce myself and get some info up regarding my newly acquired project, a 1989 Comanche, 4.0L 5 speed 4X4. Live in Southern Iowa also known as rust central. Found it here locally to replace my 2wd Isuzu Hombre I had been driving up to this point in order to leave my diesel truck parked (too stinking expensive). The body is somewhat rough, not as bad as some I have fixed. Hopefully my attached pic makes it, don't mind the tape on the hood or the burro in the background either.



Here is what I am thinking of doing to it. Floor pans (typical midwest rot), rocker panels. Maybe swapping over the doors, header and fenders from a early to mid 90's cherokee. I still have yet to pull up the carpet but know what I will find since I can see parts of the bottom of the carpet from underneath. Got a bit o body work ahead of me. Still locating and fixing all of the previous owners sins.


More to follow. From what I have seen on the forums I think I am in the right place to get this Jeep back in shape and start having fun.





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Thanks for the warm welcome, much appreciated. I finally was able to get my Comanche into my shop tonight and started surveying the damage and see what all fun I am in for. Other than some typical rust which needs repaired the rest of the truck is in real solid shape, just needs some tlc which it appears has not happened in the past.


First a pic of the thing in my shop. Just enough room to work around it with the doors open.




Looks like the previous owner was in a hail storm at some time, popped a bunch of body filler on the roof loose. I am planning on taking it down to bare metal and redoing it.




Pulled the carpet and found a sight I am sure many here have seen before, rust. Looks like a leaking clutch master cylinder was the catalyst that started the rot. Better get my welding tanks filled and some 16g sheet metal.




Drivers side isn't too bad, leaky door gasket from the looks of it. Might be a leak somewhere else as well, will find it when I patch the floors, will use the baby powder trick.




Need some rocker panels as well and some cab corner repair. I plan on replacing both doors with some from a junk yard off an XJ, anything in particular I need to watch out for?




Finally last but not least, looks like the tailgate latch broke on one of the previous owners, they just bent the metal out on the tailgate and used a screwdriver to pry the latches open, nice. They scratched the crap out of the bed and tailgate by doing this. I think I am going to put some feelers out and see if I can find another bed for it. Whole truck is going to get painted anyway, might as well start with something solid as the current bed is iffy as to if it can be saved or not.




Engine compartment isn't too bad, just need to swap some seals and gaskets out to stop some oil leaks and whatnot, new clutch etc...




More to come as work progresses

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She's gorgeous bro. I have alot of respect for beat up trucks. It means they're tough :D . It was once said about my Uncle then later about me that "You likes junky thangs". I'm foolish about them :nuts: My MJ's tailgate hardly works either, so i leave it down :dunce: . Anyway great to have you. Keep us posted.

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Yeah, picked up the sheet steel today and spot weld cutters to start dismantling the floors on the MJ, piece by piece, shouldn't be too bad.


In answer to your question the 944 in the background is a 1985 944/NA that I have done extensive work on. I replaced the entire drivers side rear quarter from behind the door all the way to the rear as the previous owner had tried to pound out the dent from a fender bender himself. Fully welded seams, all repairs body soldered (no plastic filler). Did a V8 conversion on it with a LT1 from the 97 firebird with some mods. Swapped the entire front end over from a 944 turbo, 4 piston calipers all the way around. Subframe connectors, lowered it 2 inches. Currently putting a ford 8.8 IRS rear end in it and a 700R4 (may put in a TKO 600, not sure yet) in order to put the thing on the track as well as the street. Also rewiring entire car and doing a custom interior. Car is wicked fast and a total sleeper, even kept the stock hood unmodified.


So yeah I am a glutton for punishment, 2 projects concurrently, just can't pass em up. Love doing the work.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Made quite a bit of progress over the last week or so, been getting dumped on with snow so haven't had a huge amount of time until the last couple of days. Pulled the driveshafts, transfercase, transmission etc.. Started removing the floorpans and through using a bfh to knock a piece loose apparently dislodged a small piece or rust on the gas tank which them promptly sprung a leak. So dropped the tank and tossed it outside so as not to blow my shop up and proceeded with removing the drivers side floor pans. Busted the spot welds loose and got all the way down to the U channel frame and exposed it all the way to the rear of the cab. Wanted to see if they were majorly rusted which thankfully they are not, just a wire wheel, some por15 and should be good to go. Nothing too exciting in this post, progress though. Got some big plans for this thing.


Here is the drivers side exposed:


Drivers fender well, rust made it's way up a bit, I'm going to cut up another couple of inches to get to clean steel and patch it fully.


Also pulled the dash, pedals, clutch master cylinder which is bad, fuse block is good though so the brake fluid didn't eat that. The rust on the firewall is all surface so will just flap wheel it, paint and go. Plan on pulling the heater box an plopping a new heater core while I am in there.



I am thinking of strengthening the frame rails under the cab, debating if I should put the re-enforcing in the frame rails or on the bottom of the frame railed under the truck. Thinking of 2X2 tubing from behind the cab all the way forward to where the front suspension brackets are in the frame. I am planning on putting a plow on it eventually so want a little more meat in the front. Thoughts?

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