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Jeep Comanche for Snow Plowing


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Hello Everyone,

 

I'm currently looking at purchasing a used pickup truck. One of my options is a 1986 Jeep Comanche. In very good condition, with only one previous owner.

 

So my query is would a 1986 Jeep Comanche be able to handle snow plowing in New England. Specifically Connecticut. I do not know all the specifications of the jeep but it does have the General Motors LR2 2.8 L V6 engine.

 

Normally I would assume that this truck could handle a mounted snow plow and hold up well in high torque situations. But further research revealed that the California Sierra Nevada rangers purchased these trucks for extensive plowing and hauling in North Eastern California up by Tahoe. Soon after they had problems with dropping transmissions due to the high torque situations of plowing and hauling they used the jeep for.

 

The owner of the car said he did "drop the transmission" once trying to get out from being snowed. (From what he said they're was about a foot of heavy snow, like what Lake Tahoe gets.) He also said that it has been repairs and ran great ever since, but he has been reluctant to use the 2 wheel low because of the stress it puts on the engine.

 

So my questions is, would a 1986 Jeep Comanche be able to withstand moderate snow plowing in the North East. Also, if anyone has any prior experience with similar situations and have advice or any other useful informations such as mod kits that would help reduce the strain that would be great.

 

Thanks, I greatly appreciate any help

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I'll speak for the plowing part........

 

Yea, the MJ's are great for plowing, a few of us on here plow with the MJ :yes:

 

In action -

 

 

 

But......I've only used the 4.0 engine, both automatic tranny (much easier to plow with) and 5 speed manual, that I need to use 4lo to push.

 

Can't and wouldn't speak about the 2.8, never had one, don't want one.

 

I'll say......if the price is right, then get it, but......plan on swapping out that 2.8 in the future :roll:

 

 

Oh.......and welcome to the CC :wavey:

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IMHO, the uni body line of jeep vehicles is not well suited to plowing. Sure it will work and the lighter duty service its required. Besides the frame or lack there of, the XJ/MJ has cooling issues when you block or restrict the air flow thru its radiator. Wranglers are much better for small areas like personal drive ways.

 

If you only need it for your own driveway, only used for a couple months and a dozen or so time storms. That's one thing, but I would never base a plowing busines on anything but a full size, SWB truck with a V8 and a full frame. Just my humble opinion.

 

CW

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the 2.8 won't have the power to push.

 

 

my dad's renault 2.1 comanche had less hp and roughly the same torque as a 2.8.....it SUCKED when it had the plow on it. didn't overheat, but sucked to push with.

 

 

my brother's '88 4.0/ax15 (converted) 4x4 with metric tonne conversion, and trac-lock in the rear works EXTREMELY well. I love plowing with that truck. we also have the oem meyers quick connect plow for it, so it is very convenient.

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To anyone reading this thread & looking (not mine)

 

THIS looks to be a good deal :smart:

 

 

http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/cto/1826048071.html

 

1988 Jeep Truck with 7' Fisher Plow - $1500 (Chelmsford, MA)

1988 Jeep Comanche Sports truck automatic with 7’ Fisher Speedcast plow, truck cap and bedliner. Used to plow my driveway over the years, not registered, clear title - moving and won’t need to plow. V6 with 87,110 miles, mechanical and body needs work so selling "as is" parts only, tires good, plow in really good shape. Call (978) 551-8829. Asking $1500.00.

3n03k33m75Y25O25Z6a7594091f85d76b1e1f.jpg

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I can't speak for plowing but I can comment on the frame/unibody. Mine was destroyed by rust on the passenger side, right in front of forward rear spring hanger, it held on by a thread but was completely fixable. I've got the same damage on the driver side but not as bad. It will probably be another $175 fix at the shop either way. I would imagine plowing would break it with enough rust damage.

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I agree with CW. I only plow my personal driveway and my neightbor in the winter, (I do not charge my neightbor as we are friends). The mj does fine with it but that's all I would do - defenetly nothing comercial. My 88 mj with the 4.0 does very well pushing the snow as long as you go slow in low gear and take it easy. The plow of choice for me was the snoway brand plow that has the clear lexan plow which is much lighter that the full metal plows in the market, also I went with the shorter in height plow (18 inches vs.24) . If I'm going down the highway with the plow up blocking flow to the radiator I can see the temperature rise so having the shorter plow I can drop the plow down about 8 inches from the ground and the top of the plow is just above the front bumper leaving plenty of room for air to help cool down the jeep. I also have a pair of front coil airbags to help with the added weight.

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I can't speak for plowing but I can comment on the frame/unibody. Mine was destroyed by rust on the passenger side, right in front of forward rear spring hanger, it held on by a thread but was completely fixable. I've got the same damage on the driver side but not as bad. It will probably be another $175 fix at the shop either way. I would imagine plowing would break it with enough rust damage.

That's not limited to MJs, however. My brother had a '92 Nissan that he used for plowing -- in Connecticut. The frame snapped between the cab and the box.

 

He didn't do commercial plowing. He did his driveway, my driveway, and one or two neighbors.

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  • 4 weeks later...
To anyone reading this thread & looking (not mine)

 

THIS looks to be a good deal :smart:

 

 

http://boston.craigslist.org/nwb/cto/1826048071.html

 

1988 Jeep Truck with 7' Fisher Plow - $1500 (Chelmsford, MA)

1988 Jeep Comanche Sports truck automatic with 7’ Fisher Speedcast plow, truck cap and bedliner. Used to plow my driveway over the years, not registered, clear title - moving and won’t need to plow. V6 with 87,110 miles, mechanical and body needs work so selling "as is" parts only, tires good, plow in really good shape. Call (978) 551-8829. Asking $1500.00.

3n03k33m75Y25O25Z6a7594091f85d76b1e1f.jpg

 

i looked at that. frame rot. brakelines are all shot and leaking. heat dosnt work, floors are gone. its beat. not worth it. i ended up finding a better shape longbed 4x4 in ct for $950 instead

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Go for it, they handle small plows just great. I have done all kinds of plowing with my 88. Putting in in 4 low does not put more stress on the motor, it makes the motor and transmission not have to work as hard. I always plow in low range to help save the trans, that it what its there for, low traction situations that demand more torque... The owner probably blew the trans from rapidly shifting back and forth trying to get unstuck, yeah good way to Blow ANY trans. The 2.8 has a bad rep, they are underpowered and run forever, I had a s-10 blazer with the 2.8L V6 and had nearly 300k on it when I sold it, still going strong...

 

10zv6kg.jpg

 

99fbwi.jpg

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I had a 99 f250 as a shop truck and my mj would plow circles around it. Last feb we got about 21" of snow in one weekend. The little mj plowed snow for 23 hours in two days. Never let me down once. The only changes Ive made to my truck were to replace the front shocks with a set of air shocks. I air them up to help carry the weight when the blade is on and air them down when its not. I also wired the electric cooling fan through a relay and a switch so that I can make it run constantly when I have the blade on as it blocks quite a bit of the grille when its raised..............here are a couple pics from last winter......

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  • 1 month later...
I had a 99 f250 as a shop truck and my mj would plow circles around it. Last feb we got about 21" of snow in one weekend. The little mj plowed snow for 23 hours in two days. Never let me down once. The only changes Ive made to my truck were to replace the front shocks with a set of air shocks. I air them up to help carry the weight when the blade is on and air them down when its not. I also wired the electric cooling fan through a relay and a switch so that I can make it run constantly when I have the blade on as it blocks quite a bit of the grille when its raised..............here are a couple pics from last winter......

where did you find front air shocks?

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  • 8 years later...

I was just looking around to see what folks had done to their Comanche to add a Snowplow.  I'm curious about plow lights what seems to work well for you?  I have a 91 Wrangler which I've been plowing  snow with for many years.  I bought the Plow setup (Meyers 7.5) brand new and it came with a light package. They're okay but I'm wondering if what works best.  I after purchasing the plow frame I modified it to allow the same plow I use on the Wrangler to work on Comanche. I'm in the process of overhauling a Meyers Pump for the Comanche waiting on some seals to come in.  Only thing left is to get the lights and a plow controller.  For now I'm going to use the same touch controller used in the Wrangler and swap back & fourth between vehicles.    I'll post some pictures when I'm done.

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  • 2 years later...

To set the stage: We have been using a 1990 Comanche short bed with 6cyl 4.0L, FI, auto tranny, 231 case in the Sierra Nev mountains now for 23 years. Lots of heavy wet snow each year. We call it Sierra Cement! 
 

We have had issues but ones that were caused by “really bad” transfer case shifting linkage. We replaced the vacuum control for shifting the front axle with a cable kit. We replaced the “flimsy” transfer case shift linkage with a cable kit. These two mods were imperative and gives us positive smooth shifting from 2H to 4H, N, 4L on the transfer case and we know the front axle is engaged! 
 

Note: Factory floor shift lever remains intact. Also added a second tranny fluid cooling coil. 
 

I generally agree with others that depending on the snow type in Connecticut your small engine may be a big problem. I would not want any less than our 4.0L.

 

A V8 might be better but not interested in modifying this Comanche any further and we love this smallish Jeep. Goes pretty much any where we point it on our 40 acre forested lot. The 4.0 is really strong, rebuilt (about 200 miles on it) and pushes a bunch of “Sierra Cement” snow in 4H. We run a Sno-Way 90” wide hydraulic plow. When the snow gets too deep we haul out the big gun, Case 480 FLL. These older Comanches are “popular” pickups! Get one no matter.

Best wishes, Don

 

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