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88 Comanche Black Baby

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(I uploaded a picture of the truck washed)

So its a 1988 Comanche Pioneer with 2.5 liter automatic, 2 wheel drive. Currently requires an Out of Province Inspection. Originally from British Columbia, now home in Alberta. The only local shop that does OPI inspections always finds some reason to fail them. so I'll be going through everything with a fine tooth comb prior to taking it in. You can't tell from the pictures it is pretty clean , with a little rust starting on the front lower corner of the front drivers side of the box. I've already upgraded the tires and rims from a project jeep that got used and abused and finally crushed, long story, don't ask, lol. I'll wash it again and take more pictures, it started snowing when I took it out for my little 75 mile "test drive" :D . This one I plan on keeping as my daily driver with the stock 2.5 and the 2 wheel drive. With each price change at the gas pumps setting new record highs and the fact that my 2 wonderful kids live 3.5 hrs east of me and my very fine Lady lives 9 hrs west of me I need something economical, without having to drive a car.

So this weeks projects include, valve cover gasket, engine and underhood bath, oil & filter change, new plugs, cap, rotor, & wire changes. Hopefully that'll cure the rough idle issues. Also a new thermostat and a heater core flush, I wasn't happy with the lack of heat and defrost when it started snowing. I'm used to older Chevy trucks where you can darned near cook lunch on your dash. Other then it running cool, I was quite happy with the test drive, needs rear brake shoes and at some point in its life this truck had 31's on it, cause according to my GPS the speedo and odometer are almost dead on accurate. I couldn't find a ratio tag on the D35 rear :( but the engine didn't start straining till I hit 75mph on the highway, not that I would knowingly go speeding ;), I was ummm distracted by listening for tire noise, which there was none till I wound her out. All in all I'm quite pleased with my new Baby.

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Here you can clearly see the only blatant rust issues, I've yet to pull the carpets.

Here you can see my temporary right side vent window. The Previous Owner snapped his door key in half and took a hammer to the window :(. I would be more forgiving if he hadn't have missed the first time and dented the front of the door frame, I'll take a picture of that when I get the replacement window.

You can't tell in the pictures but the roof is a medium blue, so I'm guessing that I'll be finding some more rust when I replace the front windshield. For the time being I hope I don't have to replace it to get it to pass the OPI.

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Wasn't impressed with the Victo rubber valve cover gasket that the Napa was able to bring in, but it has to be better then the sloppy silicone that I stripped off. Half a can of Seafoam into the engine and ran it for 5 minutes then drained the oil, prior to pulling the valve cover. I forgot I had 4 liters of Mobil One synthetic 10w30 left over from my Chevy so I replaced the oil with Rotella 15w40. Apparently Napa is using Wix filters in thier store branded boxes this year, time will tell. The oil was as black as molasses and the valves weren't much better, so I'll be doing another oil change within a few k's anyway.

I drained off a gallon of antifreeze and pulled the thermostat, didn't seem to be stuck or installed backwards or missing, unlike most of the project beaters I usually end up working on. Installed the new 195 thermostat, a new gasket and topped of with a gallon of fresh antifreeze and had hot air blowing within about a minute :D. Of course this is one of the first days there hasn't been fresh snow on the mountains... I'm so tempted to flush the engine/rad, but looking at the green oxidization on the rad I know it'll have to be replaced before summer anway. 219110 kms (131466 miles) on the odometer, hopefully with some tlc I'll get a year or so from this engine or until I can have a spare on hand and rebuilt.

I forgot to measure the rear brake shoes today, so I'll have to do that tomorrow morning and replace the brakes on Thursday. Tomorrow's project is to get the reverse lights and license plate lights working. Oh and to track down why my intermittent wipers are acting up.

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Thursday Apr 21/11

So Napa back ordered my rear brake shoes, so they upgraded me to the Wagner set for the same price. I may end up redoing the axle seals, as the drivers rear is weeping a bit. So with only 8 light bulbs at the rear of the truck including the license plate lamps, I had 7 burnt out, lol. I splurged and replaced all 8. On the plus side I don't have to mess around with the NSS. I should have a used vent window here tomorrow or Saturday.


As much as i hate doing rear brakes on my pick ups, with a couple of tools and some swearing and a little blood sacrifice its simple to do. Our 2007 Mack blew an axle seal yesterday, took 3 of us 3 hrs, including the wait time for late parts and pressure washing the truck to redo the brake, bearings and seal. 2 guys just to lift the drum in place, lol the drum on my MJ I could throw across the yard with 2 fingers.


Tomorrow isn't a day off, but unless any calls happen I'll be able to work on my truck in the yard guilt free. I may pull the carpets, as I know the door seals are leaking from when I hand washed it in the yard. I hate long weekends, cause if it does need floor pans I won't be able to get any till Tuesday.

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So this morning I may have located a donor 91 Laredo with 4x4 and a 5 speed. Has way nicer bucket seats, a 3 or 4" lift and a death wobble :D. I grin cause the owner of the Laredo runs the alignment shop in town and is getting one of his employees to flog the vehicle, lmao. I'm thinking I can get it pretty cheap if he can't figure out how to fix it himself, shhhhhh. Oh and a 4.0 HO :D. Managed to pressure wash the front underside of my Baby today between calls and for being an 88 it looks pretty nice. 1 dust boot needs to be replaced, but the ball joint in question is nice and tight.

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  • 1 month later...

June 22/11

So a belated update, I replaced 2 tie rod ends and the muffler to pass the OPI. Mechanic called it the straightest, cleanest, most rust free Jeep he's ever seen being that vintage :D. God bless the original owner who splurged for the undercoating, thank you wherever you are.

I got a sweet deal on a fiberglass canopy off a S10, $102 with the canopy clamps from the Chilliwack, BC Pick a Part, of course with 8 cherokees in the lot, none had any of the parts I wanted. If I would have had the time I would have loved to pull the whole front clip off that black 2001 Grand Cherokee.

This past weekend I did manage to find the center console, full guage package, and all the floor courtesy lights in the Edmonton, AB Pick n Pull. I even managed to score the elusive valve cover grommet :D. I also found a set of original door lock cylinders that just require a visit to my local locksmith. I almost bought a set of 40/20/40 seats out of a '99 Dakota, but the cupholder was broken, anyone interested its a red extended cab pretty much out the rear doors of the Edmonton location. My son helped me install the guages :D.

Duplicolor Vinyl paint works very well on disguising the hideous butterscotch center console, and I was surprised how well it covered the console lid. Of course I had to add some colour and I painted the guage insert and the shift console a bright yellow.

Once I have some more funds and this Canadian mail strike is over I'll have to get hold of a oil pressure guage from down south. I can deal with the metric temperature guage, but I want a oil guage that reads PSI.

So on my trip out to the coast I got 24 Imperial mpg going and 26 mpg coming back with the canopy on, its way too early to figure the math to US mpg, so I'll do that this afternoon when I wake up and take pics and post them.

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Old Guages


New Guages


Old Mini Console


New Console




Canopy off a '91 Chevy S10


Crack in the Roof


Cracks and a soft corner


The Canadian guages read in Kilopascals, I'll have to look up one of our bilingual air pressure guages to see what the closest equivalents are.

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They also had a canopy of a mazda B2600 that seemed to measure a little closer to the correct size, but costing $125 more I couldn't resist buying this one. One of our trucks at work needs some fiberglass work done and my coworker has agreed to give me a hand so we'll do both repairs at the same time. Then I'll pop out the windows, redo the seals and shoot it a gloss black to match the truck. I so love the fact our company colours are midnight gloss black and inca gold. I'll have to cover the cost of the paint and some gin for my coworker :D.


Oh Yeah, about the yellow, I couldn't stand the grey insert in the guage cluster and the shift console was covered in cigarette burns, apparently the former owner of the cherokee couldn't find the ashtray, ever. The parking brake area is also covered in burns, but I'll be making a template for an oak and stainless steel overlay from this one for custom cupholders and replacing it when I find a better one.

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