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comanche09

97 XJ Front End Conversion Pics

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Hi All,

 

Posting pics of my '97 XJ front end and door conversion. To those interested, feel free to ask any questions about the swap. I did it about 3 weeks ago so its all fresh in my memory. :cheers:

 

 

 

 

Before:

 

After:

 

Before:

 

After:

 

Before:

 

After:

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:clapping:

 

Well done, that looks sweet. I am on the look out for a 97+ donor for my '87.

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Looks good I am starting to think about this as my 99 XJ is getting a ton of miles and would make a great parts truck.

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That looks amazing. Does everything bolt right up or does it take some fabbing / modding?

 

And what type of brackets are those for your D-rings that I'm assuming you use for recovery?

 

Do you have some sort of black trim on your tail lights?

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Looks real good!! Out of curiosity......are your front tires/wheels larger than the rears? Or does it just look that way...

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Thanks for the compliments! :cheers:

 

That looks amazing. Does everything bolt right up or does it take some fabbing / modding?

 

And what type of brackets are those for your D-rings that I'm assuming you use for recovery?

 

Do you have some sort of black trim on your tail lights?

 

If you have an '87+ MJ all of the front end pieces are bolt on. If you retain the original wiring harness (like I did) you have to cut out some of the header panel behind the turn signals to fit the OEM turn sockets because they are longer than the '97 ones (you'll need to splice an extra turn signal socket on each side too because the '97+ have two bulbs per side) The old style bulb sockets fit right into the '97+ lenses too. '86 MJs require some minor mods to the header per the writeup in the DIY section. When you grab the fenders, make sure to get the "L" brackets affixed to the front of them. The triangular fender support on you MJ can stay, but you get rid of the lower fender support.

 

Try to grab front doors from a '97 as I've read there were some changes in later years. The '97 door hinges bolted right up to my MJ. For the striker, I just went and got a Grade 5 metric bolt from Fastenal to match the original striker thread and drilled out the '97 strikers to allow them to move inboard so that the doors would close flush. I gotta say these doors are nice. Much quieter and allow running 6.5" door speakers. I also grabbed tweeters from a 97+ Limited and they plugged right into the manual doors.

 

I got the D-rings from Tractor Supply Co. and the brackets from here:

 

http://store.hicountryoffroad.com/Xtreme-Tow-Hook-Bracket-with-D-Ring-Mounts-_p_41.html

 

Its a very nice setup for not alot of money. However the kit was missing a few bolts, but I was able to pick up Grade 8s at Home Depot no problem. My '88 did not have the holes in the frame on the passenger side like later XJ's so I had to do a little drilling. I also had to cut the lower bumper valence a little to clear em. The nice thing about this kit is that it also replaces the weak aluminum power steering bracket.

 

No black trim on the taillights. I painted them with Krylon Fusion in Satin Black and polished them up.

 

Looks real good!! Out of curiosity......are your front tires/wheels larger than the rears? Or does it just look that way...

 

Haha, yeah that is just the way the photo came out, they are the same size. Thanks!

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Gosh almighty, it's just stunning. I want to do this so bad and sink some coin into mine, new motor and 4x4 conversion. I desparately need a new vehicle, but I'd rather have this.

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Very cool , Looks like it came that way from the factory .

The old grill was soooo cleeen though , I wish mine was that nice .

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Very Nice Job....

 

Now you just need to paint the rest of the MJ to match your Conversion Parts or vise versa...

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Gosh almighty, it's just stunning. I want to do this so bad and sink some coin into mine, new motor and 4x4 conversion. I desparately need a new vehicle, but I'd rather have this.

 

Thank you! I don't have a whole lot of money into the conversion. I got all the parts off of one XJ at my local U-pull yard. Let see:

 

Front Header Panel Complete: $30

 

Front Fenders: $30 for both including fender liners, flares and antenna.

 

Front Doors Complete: $60

 

Front Upper Radiator Support: $15 - but I ended up not needing it

 

Front bumper end caps: $54 shipped ebay

 

Front fog lights: $40 shipped ebay

 

I already had leftover paint for the parts. So around $250 in it including little odds and ends like electrical connectors and such. Oh, not including the 6.5" Pioneer wal-mart speakers, they were around $40.

 

Very cool , Looks like it came that way from the factory .

The old grill was soooo cleeen though , I wish mine was that nice .

 

The old grille was in horrible shape when I got it. Cleaned it up a bit and sanded it then hit it with Krylon Fusion Satin Black, did the same with both sets of fenders.

 

 

Very Nice Job....

 

Now you just need to paint the rest of the MJ to match your Conversion Parts or vise versa...

 

Haha, Thanks. I was wondering when someone would make a comment about the paint! They are painted to match. I painted the truck myself using silver Tractor Supply Co. Truck and Trailer paint.

 

The conversion parts just haven't "seasoned" yet. :yes:

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You guys with U-Pulls are really lucky. Those parts here would have been at least 3X what you paid. I did just find out a new U-Pull just opened about 20 miles away I am going there on my trip tommorow looking for taillights. I called and asked if they had any comanches and the girl said I just can't answer that you need to come and look yourself? Maybe thell be resonable????

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I too had a question on the striker. I just did a door swap for my 90 MJ with an 95XJ. The rear part of the doors line up fine but the front is a little proud and the crease line is a little low. That is, for proper overall appearance, the front of the door should go inboard about 1/4" and up about a 1/4". I noticed this on both sides. I played with shims at the hinges until I got tired of it and then said, it closes and is water tight and that is good enough for now. Would really rather make it look nicer if possible. Got suggestions?

 

Also, your paint looks nice. How did you paint it? I noticed you mentioned the paint but not the system you used.

 

thanks

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Can you post a pic of your door striker.

 

I will post pics of them up this evening. This was that part I was most worried about, but turned out to be pretty simple.

 

I too had a question on the striker. I just did a door swap for my 90 MJ with an 95XJ. The rear part of the doors line up fine but the front is a little proud and the crease line is a little low. That is, for proper overall appearance, the front of the door should go inboard about 1/4" and up about a 1/4". I noticed this on both sides. I played with shims at the hinges until I got tired of it and then said, it closes and is water tight and that is good enough for now. Would really rather make it look nicer if possible. Got suggestions?

 

Also, your paint looks nice. How did you paint it? I noticed you mentioned the paint but not the system you used.

 

thanks

 

Mounting the doors is definately a two person job, unless you are an experienced body man. The door's are adjustable in at three axis's (in fact there is a fourth for tilt) and thats not including those darn shims on the hinges. I ended up taking my shims out all together and the doors fit fine. The drivers door is perfect and the pass door is about a 1/16 of and inch too high. Combined with the +97 door seals the noise reduction on the road is dramatic.

 

I sprayed it with a Automotive Spray Gun kit from Harbor Freight and my little 8 gallon compressor. I had to use the smaller trim gun in the kit as my compressor was not really up to the task. I bought a gallon of silver truck and trailer paint, a gallon of anti corrosion primer and a pint of hardener from Tractor Supply Co. The paint is actually made by Valspar. I made a makeshift paint booth in my garage, basically covered everthing in it with plastic tarps. This was my first time painting a vehicle. If I would have spent a little more time with prep, it woulda came out better. Can't see your reflection it it, but oh well not building a show truck. A friend said its alot like the Harley Davidson Denim paint jobs.

 

I still kick myself for not being able to take before pics, as my MJ looked ready for the scrap heap when I got it, paint condition wise (surface rust throughout and roof almost rusted through).

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It's amazing what the front end swap does to change the look of the Comanches. Welcome to the dark side! I looks great.

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Striker Pics:

 

 

 

I may drill a hole through the lower striker hole for a bolt, put its seems plenty sturdy for now.

 

what did you do for door panels? Did your old panels line up on the 97+ door?

 

I kept the +97 interior door panels and just sprayed them black to match my interior. They are manual window doors. I though about swapping the old style panels, but I like the interior door handle setup better. It would take some work to get the older panels to fit as the holes for the plastic pins don't line up. The handles and mounts for the armrest are also different and in different locations.

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Are they new doors, or did you just swap the mirrors? (sorry if you answered this already)

 

Got any pics of the strikers on the door jamb for the new doors?

 

Also, what part number did you use for the blinker relay?

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Are they new doors, or did you just swap the mirrors? (sorry if you answered this already)

 

Got any pics of the strikers on the door jamb for the new doors?

 

Also, what part number did you use for the blinker relay?

 

 

Yes, they are 97+ manual window doors.

 

Pics of the strikers are above. If you can't seem em, PM me and I'll send them to you.

 

I did not have to mess with any relays as I retained the original front lighting harness and modded it to work. Now that I think about, it I had to use the side marker sockets from the 97+ XJ too as the originals would not fit in the 97+ lenses.

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