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A Comanche Named Sue (Sioux)


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This is a story of an '88 Jeep Comanche 2wd 4.L MT. The name Sue come from a combination of Johny Cash songs. Now, I don't claim to be Johny Cash cool. I think every one has heard 'A Boy Named Sue'. There was another John Cash song were he liberates parts on year at a time from the Cadillac factory. In the nend he has a car with one tail fin, and parts from about every year.

I bought this Comanche in '00. It replaced an '85 Ford Tempo. I was looking at older Ford Bronco, but they were a bit out of my price range. This one was sitting on a used car lot in Hope.

Yes, blow-by.

It did well during construction of my garage space. The slave cylinder finally get go. I wanted to put in an AX-15. Then a NV 3550 was won on E-Bay.

I bought an adapter slave cylinder from Advance Adapters. Also a Center Force Clutch.

The original motor was doing fine, but for some reason I bought an '03 4.0L on E-Bay from a GC. 3K miles.

The engine mounting bracket bosses are a bit different for that year. A spacer and a relocation weld on one of the bracket did the trick.

I also put a '95 Head on it. I used Elgin brand SS Chevy valves. There are Mopar Roller Rocker arms, too. I have a '95 valve cover for it. M.O.R.E. motor mounts. A B&M Short Throw shifter.

I do have parts coming for a lift. I plan on a 4" to 5" lift. I do have 31" tires on Canyon rims. A Ford 8.8 is planned for the rear end. I do have the MORE kit coming. I plan to use Hell Creek rear springs. Also, I have a Dana 300 for the Transfer case. I plan to get a 4:1 gear kit for it and twin sticks. I have tha case painted and disassembled. Also, probably a Dana 44 from a Waggy (74-80 ??) for passenger drop.

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Welcome !!! :cheers:

 

I think you will have a compability problem.

 

Your truck is a RENIX (1986-1990).

 

The later version use Chrysler computer and have differents sensors.

 

Some guys here have made this conversion.

 

Make a search for 4.0 HO conversion.

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Now I was fairly content to just do the 4X4 bit. I kind of like the straight lines of the early years. I did plan at one point to put in a newer dash and bucket interior.

A couple of years back, we had some flooding out hear in the Midwest. It actually shut down the palnt were I worked at for about a week. I went back to PA, to vist me parents. My mom was stuck in Chicago for part of that week.

Well, just before going on vacation, I went into Hope to get something to eat. The owner of the place was talking of trading in his '98 Cherokee to get a PU or something else with a bed. Just before the storm, a tree fell on his Cherokee with him in it. He had a Ford Explorer Trak sitting there that day. We went driving around town to look at the floud. Little Haw Creek was a ragin river.

Anyways, last year he was trying to sell the Cherokee. I offered $500. He thought he could get more at auction. He only got $200 bid. It came up in conversation about a month ago. The boyfriend on one of his waitresses was going to buy it. Last week, I asked about it. It was still for sale. I offered $500. He said OK. I said 'take a check'. "Sure.' Out came the check book.

My neighbor helped tow it home last night with his trailer. It didn't start and one of his friends helped tow it onto the trailer. Someone had swiped the tires that were on it :fs1: . Oh, well. I still figure I'm money ahead. It is home at least.

I know:

:needpics:

I'll get some pics of the XJ. It could probably be saved as a Wheeler. Its just a lot cheaper for the parts.

I am thinking of changing directions a bit and going with all '98 wiring. I will need to get a '98 MT ECM though. I have a '95 MT ECM, '88 MT ECM and of course the '98 AUTO EMC.

I will be keeping things for now, till I figure out what I need to keep. I might have the engine sold, but not the tranny. But left over parts will be sold, here first.

Tom

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Welcome !!! :cheers:

 

I think you will have a compability problem.

 

Your truck is a RENIX (1986-1990).

 

The later version use Chrysler computer and have differents sensors.

 

Some guys here have made this conversion.

 

Make a search for 4.0 HO conversion.

 

Red,

I am well aware of this problem. I did use a '95 flywheel. For some reason, I wanted to delete the EGR valve. EPA, emmisions stuff. Probably where I'm at not a problem. I did a cross reference and the '95 MT flywheel cross references with the '98 MT flywheel.

I did see the other swap of interior on this forum and JeepForum. It's a big help. It clarified the bracket and some other stuff. If I use all the '98 wiring, I think I'll be fine. I will have to figure out the MT vs Auto wiring. I know its been done before. The '98 also has Anti-lock braking. I plan to eliminate it. Mainly, because of the axle choices. Also, probably delete the airbags. Then again, see what problems are there.

Tom

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I got home a bit late, as I had some OT to get in. I stopped by to get something to eat and ask the previous owner if the XJ had an alarm system. I am having problems starting it. It doesn't have an alarm. I tired putting in more gas into the tank and some other stuff. The alternator was stuck. I loosened the belt, but it still didn't start. I'll have to check electrical components. The key won't turn the starter, I had to use a remote starter control. I didn't get a chance to take pictures.

Here are some pictures of the head I did. Its a '95.

I ported and polished the ports and bowl. Those are Elgin 2.0 and 1.6 SS Chevy SM valves. They are the same hieght as Jeep 4.0L valves. The stems are a bit bigger. Had the guides reamed to fit them. The springs are 4.0L, I forget which engine I had they were pulled from. I think they where near new. I used Chevy SB retainers and keepers. I had to machine down the spring location OD about .030. The stem seals are Chevy. That's what the machine shop put in there. I remeber useing Ford 400M push rods. I did a bunch of measuring and they fit. I am using MOPAR roller rockers. I don't know what MOPAR uses for their push rods for these.

Tom

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I got home a bit late, as I had some OT to get in. I stopped by to get something to eat and ask the previous owner if the XJ had an alarm system. I am having problems starting it. It doesn't have an alarm. I tired putting in more gas into the tank and some other stuff. The alternator was stuck. I loosened the belt, but it still didn't start. I'll have to check electrical components. The key won't turn the starter, I had to use a remote starter control. I didn't get a chance to take pictures.

 

Is is not even engaging the starter? Is it an automatic? If so, check the NSS. They fail/get dirty regularly.

 

Willy

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I got home a bit late, as I had some OT to get in. I stopped by to get something to eat and ask the previous owner if the XJ had an alarm system. I am having problems starting it. It doesn't have an alarm. I tired putting in more gas into the tank and some other stuff. The alternator was stuck. I loosened the belt, but it still didn't start. I'll have to check electrical components. The key won't turn the starter, I had to use a remote starter control. I didn't get a chance to take pictures.

 

Is is not even engaging the starter? Is it an automatic? If so, check the NSS. They fail/get dirty regularly.

 

Willy

 

Willy,

Turning the key, it does nothing. I had to use a remote starter, to crank over the engine. I didn't check if I was getting spark from the coil or to the spark plugs. I does sound like it is probably something like a NSS (neutral saftey switch). I don't know if it ran after the tree fell on it.

Thanks for the info,

Tom

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'nice build but let me ask you and I'm not being a fool. you can't afford a bronco II but you can buy a trans and a motor and rebuild it???? bronco II's are like 500-800.00 around here in good shape'

 

I was looking at the '64 to '76 era Broncos. There was one for sale near by at the time. I forget the price. It was quite a bit more than $800 at the time. Also, a lot of work. I drove my Comanche a few years, before I bought the trans and engine. So there was a different state of finances. I also bought the engine and trans about 4 to 5 years ago. I've owned this Comanche since 2000.

I did order the Hell Creek 4.5 rear springs yesterday. I also found an article on Jeepin.com to clean the NSS. Hopefully pics of stuff I have, some of the owrk to the Comanche with new engine and tranny in, and pics of the Cherokee.

Tom

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I mainly cleaned the XJ Friday and Saturday. There was a lot of paper, trash and about $8 in coins. I gave the lock-pick set back to the original owner, along with some other stuff. The pics are of the cleaned vehicle. I looked at fuses in the engine bay and the relays. It didn't help any, still didn't start. I didn't have time for the NSS, and I need to check the fuses in the inside first.

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I also duct taped the windshield up. It looks a lot worst with out. I needed to keep the rain out. Overall the interior looks very good. I am thinking of using the headliner and the rear speakers. I'll have to see how that goes. Still, deciding on a few things. The header panel is damaged, and I am going to graft on older style signal lights to it. I should be selling some of the parts from the '88 Comanche. I want to get the engine running on the '98 before it goes for sale.

Tom

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OIc old school broncos are like 1500 o well keep us posted with the build

 

Its a Jeep Thing, no one understand, it's not suppose to make sense either. :D

If I remeber right the one Bronco that was locacally here, looked like a bit of work. The Comanche ran fairly well. I had to get some work done to it at the time. $1400 and $600 is work.

Here's some more pics of it. I did start to clean out the interior. I have a lot of work in there. I should be stripping that out.

Roller rockers, '95 MT wiring harness, Renix TB and Intake, The intake on the engine in the bay is a 2000 XJ. I am leaning to a WJ accesory setup. There might be complications with the WJ's water pump. Also, it would put the Alternator higher. I should already have the brackets.

Tom

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did some trading. I traded the 3" RC springs for some 4" Super lift springs. It cost me shipping the 3" springs to the other person. I did buy a brush guard from a member on this board. I am reassesing my plans. I am going in the direction of rebuilding the Dana 300 with the stock gears for the moment. I did get a Mitsubishi 3000GT manual shifter off of E-Bay. Some Jeepers are using them in place of twin sticks. It cost me $50 shipped, with the cables. The Hellcreek 4.5" rear springs came in. They look good. My neihbor might have a line on a Ford Explorer 8.8 with 3.73 gear LS. I am hoping on a cheap price.

I haven't done much to the XJ yet. I did get a '97 FSM for it. I need to run through the wiring and diognostic test to get it running. I want it running before I swap wiring etc. and selling of parts.

Tom

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I'm still battleing to get it started. The NSS was/is defective. I did a continuity test with a volt meter. I jump the wires on #7 and #8. The plugs for the latter Cherokees are different than the earlier ones. I did get the motor to turn over from the key. It still would start though. There was no spark from the plug wires, also none from the coil. I didn't do the correct test for the wires to the coil yet. I do have a coil for a'95, but I think '97-99 used the same coil.

There are some other test to do form the FSM. I have to make up a wiring harness of sorts with a capacitor. Part of what might be the problem is that from waht I read in the FSM, I have a '97 FSM, the ECM receives an electrical signal from the NSS. I don't know if by jumping the NSS, that it is getting this signal or not.

I tired to pull the NSS off. I think it is rusted on there. I did spray on some PB Rustbaster. Then I tired to pry and loosen the threaded collet clamp. I broke one off. It still didn't budge. I sprayed some more PB rustblaster last night. I'll do that for a few more days. I'll also put some heat to the shaft that it holds onto. Sometimes that pops the rust loose. Then clean the NSS and try again.

I did get the Mitsu shifter. It looks good. I'll have to see how it fits in the space etc. I might have some other ideas on how to adapt it.

Tom

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I'll also put some heat to the shaft that it holds onto. Sometimes that pops the rust loose. Then clean the NSS and try again.

 

You may want to reconsider. The internals of the NSS are plastic. I don't think you'd be left with anything usable if you heat it up.

 

Willy

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I went over the FSM. It looks like the jumping of the NSS should work. I think the ECM recieves a 5V input from one of the relays or such from the starter or starter selonoid. I did buy a Lisle spark plug wire tester at Sears, $12 and US made. It didn't show any spark from the distributor or coil. I need to check the coil and wires to the coil for voltage. I might buy a code reader, a cheap one.

I did buy a 98 Manual ECM and a '98 MT engine wiring harness. About $60 shipped on the ECM and $100 shipped on whe wiring. Both good deals. I still want to get the XJ running before I part it out. I will probably put the '95 wiring harnesses and EMC I have in the classified this week.

Tom

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Well, I worked on the Cherokee a bit more. I left the NSS alone. I just jumper wired it. The signal to the ECM comes from a relay in the PDC(fuse box). I did get a Lisle spark plug wire checker. I jumped the battery from my MB 240D. I am getting spark from the coil, but not to the plugs. I changed the cap and rotor. I bought Echlin brand from NAPA. It had the brass inserts. THe cap was about $10, but the rotor was $12. Still, fairly good price. Still, no luck. So, I changed the plugs with some I had laying around, Bosch Platimuns from the '95 motor. Also, I put on the Moroso Blue wires I had. I don't know if the Moroso wires are to thich or what. I didn't get a spark reading with the Lisle. I changed the coil wire back to the red Mopar one. Still, not running. I think the ignition coil pickup is bad. I haven't had time to check it.

I did start to pull the interior out of the Comanche. I never put back in the carpet from years ago. I was and still am getting water in there. Anyways, I pulled both wire harnesses, Bench seat, dash, OK the complete interior.

 

I did get a '98 MT ECM for $60 and a '98 MT wiring harness for $100, both prices are shipped. There is a bit more rust in the floor boards than I thought there would be. I think I'll try to just patch it up. The passanger side is OK, and just needs spots of rust taken care of. The dirves side has a few holes towards the rear. The front of it looks bad, but no holes. I'll probably pull the stiffening doubler plates, and then go from there.

Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I was on vacation last week. Just before that, I got the Cherokee running. I put in a MSD ignition coil.

I went to PA and DC. DC for a cousins wedding. Then to PA. I finally caught a trout on the LeTort. It was onyl 6 incher, but a trout.

I also went to Harry Pull-a-Part in Hazelton PA. I hadn't been there in about 8 years. I was searching for Comanche Bucket seats. There were two Comacnhes there. I pull a set of tail lights and the rear interior panel. Someone had beaten me to the bucket seats on the one.

I did get a late '95 valve cover. There were two others and another with the clunker orange paint on it. These have the late styel CCV groments. They also have the older style tower shields. I'll try and post some pictures later of the different styles of valve covers. I have a 91-early 95 and a later stamped steel one.

Tom

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  • 1 month later...

I've kind of stalled out on this. I worked on my Ford Contour SVT for about 2 weeks. I hit a racoon a few years back. It took out the AC condensor and bent the radiator. I changed all the hoses, water pump and some other stuff. I finally, have AC in it.

Then I have to work on my MB 240D. It wasn't starting, took a long time cranking to get it started. I adjusted the valves, then replaced some of the glow plugs. I think ti was the glow plugs. Then I finished up some of the stereo install. Still, a little bit of work there.

I did get to a pick-n-pull this weekend in Indy. There are two of them there. I couldn't find the one. I made it to the one on 16th St. I was looking for 2dr seats. There was on XJ with 2dr seats. One the steel bracket was broken, the other missing the plastic bezel. I did walk the yard. There is a red MJ 4cyl there. I nabbed the one taillight sitting in the bed. It had a dark gray interior. It was 2wd. The bed had some rust, but could have been salvageable. Also had the rear bumper. I little bent, and I don't remeber the plastic ends being there.

I did get a few XY parts. I got the overhead consul for an 98 XJ. I plan to fit it into the Comanche. I'll have to do some cutting on it. I didn't see the wiring piece for it though, nor did I get the sensors in the engine bay.

I also got the steering wheel from it. It has the Cruise control buttons. The actuator was crushed, and I didn't get the wiring piece from the steering wheel into the dash.

I did look at some Ford 8.8s. It was hot, so I skipped seriously looking at them, nor getting one out. I'll wait a few weeks, and go earlier in the day.

I saw one on my neighbors there. He has a tan Comanche. He talked about buying the 4.0L out of the XJ. Never know.

Tom

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  • 7 months later...

Its been a while. I haven't done any work on the truck. I did put the Cherokee back on the road. I just wasn't selling any parts off of it, except nickle and dime stuff. So around Novermber, I bought some parts, windshield, hood, fender etc. There were other problems, but it is on the road and driving OK. So, I'll need to get the interior and doors from another Cherokee. It kind of helps out, though as I need a vehicle to get parts with. My Contour and MB240d get cramped for parts.

One of the parts holding me up is a Ford 8.8. I did go to the PnPs in Indy this past weekend. It was raining on and off. I was looking for tires for the Cherokee P225-75-R15s. I didn't see any I liked. I did pick up an antena and a CD player for the Cherokee, $27. It had a tape player before. I wnet to the next one. I hadn't been there before. It did list a FS Grand Cherokee a few months back. It was still there and had the front axel. Someone had taken the springs, so that was a big help. I wondered the yard and there were three Comanches. I pulled the taillights from them. One had buckets (red), I pulled them. They are a bit worn though. I pulled some grey interior parts, the B-pillars and bottom piece, with seatbelts. $114. I went back to pull the GC's front axel. They were one vehicle away from taking it to the crusher. It didn't take to long to pull it. One of the yarg guys put it in back on the yard truck and took it to the front. I paid for it, and we loaded it into the Cherokee. $214. It was heavy, or I was fairly weak from rain and pulling stuff. Overall a good day. I might go back next weekend. I still need to get a Ford 8.8.

I did order 4:1 gear set for the Dana 300. There is a sale on the first 50 sets ordered. It won't get here till May. Still, it was $150 off. I have some other work to get done. I still have to get the NSS off the Cherokee. Its on there. I did get a new one off of E-Bay, $50 shipped. The Contour is down. I think it blew a fuel pump. I have the parts. Its just been cold and rainy here.

Tom

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Well, I went to an RC Swap meet. Got some stuff I needed and some I didn't. Then I headed to the PnPs in Indy. There was a P225 75 R15 tire up front. I though about it, but passed. I needed some newer tires on my Cherokee. It had a vibration at speed. There were a lot of people out Saturday, and I had to wait for a wheel barrow. Anyways, the first disk braked Explorer was a 3:73 with a locker. Not having pulled one before, it went fairly well. It had the brake calipers etc, except the pads. I will replace most of that anyways. It was a chore wheeling up to the checkout and to the Cherokee. Some guys help me put it in the back. Then I got the rear wiring harness from a long bed Comanche. I had to cut the wiring and didn't get the rear plug. I didn't have time to drop the fuel tank.

I was looking at some Grand Cherokees dashes. My neighbor has a parts '96 GC. Anyways, the next day, I pulled two of the tires from that CG. The dash, the steering column and wheel, the brake booster and MC and the e-brake handle assembly. I am looking to see if and how that dash will/can be adapted. The steering column is a tilt unit. It didn't have the key tumbler. Also the dask is incomplete.

I messed around a bit, and the tilt column is about 3 inches shorter from the attaching bolts to the wheel. This is actually good and I feel a bit cramped in the Comanches interior. I looked breifly at the dask. I couldn't find my '95 instrument panel. It was boxed up to ship. Also a wiring harness. Glad I didn't sell them.

I might hit the PnP this next next weekend. I need to get a few of the gray interior parts from the one Comanche. Also, look at a few 2 door Cheorkee seats. Then some parts from some Grand Cherokees. Also, pulled the door weather stripping. It looked to be the wider newer style. I'll have to cut it to fit the door opening.

A neighbor's kid pulled the rear end and springs for $20 and scrap. Also he took the stock tires. Put on the 31" with the Canyon rims on the front. They look good.

 

Tom

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I went a different way with the dash. I did not end up using the ZJ cluster. I had to cut so much of the factory dash that it made it weak. It would flex and twist very easily.To make a ZJ dash fit you would have to cut about 3" out of it and mold it back together.

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