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Comanche of the month, Mar 2010 --- GLUNDBLAD's 1987

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Lets all get together and congratulate this months MJOTM honoree, who just happens to be the original owner, and the 3rd. :D








-----------------------MARCH 2010 - GLUNDBLAD's 1987 CHIEF-----------------------















The truck originally came with a very uncomfortable bench seat. The buckets and console were a nice upgrade.


I know a lot of folks don't care for the stickers because it makes the truck look dated. But I like the stickers because it makes the truck look dated.




Here is what this poor truck looked like before we started working on it. Look at those tiny tires. They are factory size. They are probably over 15 years old have have 12,000 miles on them.



1987 AMC Jeep Comanche Chief



Chief means Miscellaneous trim upgrades and body graphics (see window sticker)

Paid $14,200 new in 1987 (Traded in an ’82 Dodge Colt and a ’72 Datsun 240z)

Sticker was $13,352 + $850 for a/c.

Sold for $3,000 used in 1995

Paid $500 used in 2008. Paid $6,600 for the bodywork including new decals and rim refurbish.



Everything is stock. I don’t plan to change anything. Stock cooling. Oil changed every 3,000 and never driven hard. Still runs like new. It’s a Renix so it takes several cranks, then fires right up (as it did when new). It has about 85k miles on the clock.

4.0, 4x4, 5 speed Peugeot (Shifts perfectly)

Still have all original documentation. Even the Temporary tag from 1987 (is that sick or what?)



Factory rims

Tires are 235/75/15 Wrangler “Silent Armor”. Stock was 225/75/15 Wranglers.



Black Factory Trim & Carpet

XJ Buckets & Console

Have full “blue letters” gauge cluster but still need to install.



Stock Everything

Factory Limited Slip Differential which Included “Heavy Duty Axle” (Dana 44)

Anemic 3.08:1 gearing. Considered switching to 3.55 or 3.73 someday but probably never will.

New rear springs at factory height.

Need new Front Springs. Type TBD but leaning toward OME (I think it could use a 1.75” lift in the front, agree?)

Need new Shocks. Type TBD but probably OME



Color – Jeep Colorado Red

Factory “Chief” Decals – The body shop used a local sign painter. They were drawn on a cad computer and printed on vinyl stock.

NOS factory side Mirrors

Factory Rear Slider window

Fey Aftermarket Rear Bumper (Can’t find nice OEM in Indiana)

Factory Tow Hooks, “ROL” Fog lights (guts need replaced) and Roll Bar

Spray Bed liner added at Body Shop

TekStyle Tonneau Cover from fellow CC member altered to accommodate roll bar



New XJ front fenders

New XJ rocker panels

New windshield

Cab corners, one from MJ Donor other was fabricated

Used Bed

Used XJ Doors

Original Factory Rims refinished

Finish - DuPont’s Basecoat/Clearcoat Urethane ( 1 coat sealer, 3 coats base, 2 coats clear).

The fender flares were painted using a semi gloss paint. ( I cannot tell they have been painted even upon close examination).


I wanted it stock as possible down to every last detail but finding quality parts became very frustrating. I live in the rust belt. I counted about 13 junkyards that we visited searching for parts. The bed was nearly impossible. I found only one usable bed with no rust and the junkyard didn’t know they had it. Even the doors in good condition were difficult to find. Most had rust on the bottom seam. I ended up paying a fortune for them. I considered buying a southern 2wd as a donor but probably would not have had the heart to tear it down. Plus it would have been expensive getting it home.



Most people don’t get the opportunity to buy back their first real car from their youth. This truck is a family member. We don’t drive it in the winter and it gets stored in a heated garage. If you have a Comanche, don’t sell it.



I remember when we first bought the truck new. My wife wanted it for herself. She fell in love with it when she first saw it in ‘87. She was a small petite 5’ tall 95lbs hair dresser. The girls she worked with were cruel and teased her all the time for buying a truck as her primary transportation. Especially a 4x4 pickup with fog lights and a roll bar. But she loved it. We eventually had kids on the way so I sold it to my dad. For 10 years, he used it like all comanches are eventually destine, to haul a lawn mower and gardening equipment during the summer.


I felt bad watching it rust away so I rescued it. I needed a truck for my son and knew the engine was in mint condition. When they started work on the body, the memories came back and I quickly changed my mind about giving it up. He has a Grand Cherokee now.


My all time favorite story: This is a little embarrassing but since I will probably never meet any of you, I will go ahead. Back in the day, a Jeep advertisement showed one of these trucks on TV pulling a large truck (semi perhaps?) I was building my house at the time and I was young and dumb. A flat panel truck got stuck in the drive before it was poured. An old POS 2WD Ford was trying to pull the truck out using his bumper but he couldn’t budge it. I knew my 4x4 could. What I didn’t realize was the Ford had a real bumper. My jeep had the OEM bumper. When I started to pull, the Amish builders just stood there staring with their mouths open as they watched that bumper fold like a cheap lawn chair. They never said a word (picture the Darlings from the Andy Griffith Show). My wife started screaming. I still have the bodily scars from her claw marks.



That many different kinds of people share the same interest in these trucks. The personality that comes from this forum is very unique, informative, entertaining and never rude or obnoxious. More important, as time progresses, the amount of documentation accumulated from the wealth of knowledge from current and previous owners will become more and more valuable for this extinct truck.


Regarding junkyarding, this bed is an example of "The thrill of the find". It was the only one I found worth using. If you are looking for something, don't forget to check the tall grass. You will never know what you may find.



Here they cleaning up the bed.


The parts were all painted individually. Here is some of it in the booth.


Here is my wife and her new truck in 1987


Here is my wife and "her" truck in 2010


Here is the Window Sticker. I don't know why they didnt put the prices on the sticker.


Here is a quote for a truck we were going to order from the factory. We backed out when we found this chief. Yes that is correct. A rear bumper cost only $132.


- Gary


Well, I have to say this is one of the best examples of an what an MJ looked like in its prime, and the owners undying love for the truck. I wouldn't be able to take that thing out of the garage without worrying about it. The details on the truck reflect a great owner. The little things that most of us will never have... The bill of sale, the window sticker, even the TEMP TAGS! Being able to say you bought it on the lot, back when it was new is quite the accomplishment, and if only we all were so lucky. Awesome truck, that goes with an outstanding member.


Great looking truck Gary. :bowdown:


Congrats. :cheers:

Rob L.

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Wonderful example of a well cared for stocker that looks as well as the day it was purchased. Gary sticks to his roots and has done a super job maintaining the originality of his fine rig. Very worthy selection for the March MJOTM. :cheers: Congrats mate!

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Very nice MJ. Its also nice to see the MJOTM go to aall different kinds of rigs, from trail rigs, to stock trucks, to restos.


I like the chief decals the best of all MJs, especially the ones on the hood.


Great truck

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Great looking truck. Your wife and the MJ look much sharper now than they did when they were younger. How come ? Glad camaras are better now . No insults, just comps ya know. Have fun this summer with it.


Thanks for the comments from everyone about my truck. We enjoy it quite a bit. It was great fun going to junkyards with my sons looking for parts. That is how we spent our entire summer that year.


I also need to thank many of you for the valuable advice you have given me over the last couple of years. I wish I joined CC much earlier than I did.


In hindsite, I wish I would have gone the extra mile and had them pull the suspension and engine. Then paint everything and put it back together. I think I could have flown under the radar so the wife wouldnt have known. I could have blamed the price increase on poor estimating from the body shop. I offered to let Paul borrow it but so far, he hasnt taken me up on it.


I bought some OME coils & shocks per Don's recomendation. He thinks they will raise it about 2" in the front. I look forward to doing that. I will let everyone know how I like the OME coils and shocks compared to OEM.


And yes the wife is a little sharper than when she was young. I don't know what happened. She is almost 50 and that isnt even a good picture. I think I would win one of those nice wife/ugly guy contests hands down. :shake:

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The old saying about March, "In like a Lion" holds true with this months MJOTM selection. What a perfect example of a stock Beast. You've done an over the top job in restoring her to better than factory looks. I wish the shop that painted yours was the one I would have used. Congrats on being selected. Well deserved :bowdown:



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I havent posted in here yet....anyway I'm just as impressed as anybody, if i had an MJ like that idk if it would ever leave the garage, id probably get a fullscale display case and keep it in my living room, lol


Great Job and thanks for preserving 1 of these great Trucks jamminz.gif

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The old saying about March, "In like a Lion" holds true with this months MJOTM selection. What a perfect example of a stock Beast. You've done an over the top job in restoring her to better than factory looks. I wish the shop that painted yours was the one I would have used. Congrats on being selected. Well deserved :bowdown:



Paul, thanks for the help on the interior by the way. :cheers:

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glundblad -


Super great job on the restoration of your "original owner" Chief :thumbsup:


Your MJ couldn't have been a better MJOTM example :yes:


And some great stories to go along with it.


Excellent Job, Man :clapping:

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  • 3 weeks later...

thats a great story.. and a great looking shorty

I know I hate to sell any of the parts I have or the trucks.. I can not keep everything but 4 or 5 mjs is ok by me... oh and 4 or 5 parts trucks...LOL

I know the 86 that i just bought was a sad day for the owner watching it leave his yard. he bought it new. gave me all the papers with it.. he and his daughter were both their taking pics of it as I leaft the yard.

he also gave me a june 87 4WD Action magazine with a artical on the thunderchief concept MJ..

I am thinking I am going to sell the 86 but as you said if you have one do not sell it.. well I have 6 now.. I don't need them all.... hummmmmm maybe I do.......

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think this Comanche is absolutely beautiful!!! I found CC.com when I began thinking about buying another Comanche. This build was the MJOTM and when I saw it ... I was hooked!!!


My wife didn't understand my fascination with Comanches. My previous Comanche (years ago) was just that "old truck" I used to drive around. I showed her this build thread and it changed her mind. The story of being the 1st and 3rd owner is terrific. The interior and exterior of this truck are fantastic. I keep looking at it over and over!!


You did a terrific job and created a family heirloom. :cheers:

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