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My MJ is killing me at the gas pump :fs1: . I am burning through two fill-ups a week, which at these outrageous gas prices is close to 160 bucks. I have now dropped my tailgate and have been limiting my speed to 60mph and below. This has helped some, but basically the only thing noticeably increased by these measures is the drive time. I have been kicking the idea around of picking up something with better gas mileage. I decided I would look for a 2wd XJ that would hopefully save on gas while still being a jeep, but different in the eyes of my family. But we all know that one Comanche is not enough and I figured I might be able to justify another one by designating it as my “daily driver”. Wanting another MJ and being able to afford another MJ are two different things, but I had myself convinced it was the thing to do. The question now was how would I ever be able to afford another project without selling an organ, knocking off an elderly family member, or capitalizing on my boyish good looks at the Velvet Spike? There was very little hope for funding this idea until a good deed from my past amazingly materialized. Back in 07 I had been traveling with Bunji Garlin during the Miami Marti Gras Carnival. Most of the time I spent down there I was working, intoxicated, or both. A few of the other guys from the crew and I headed down Beach Drive to try to find some of the stars mansions. Around the 1500 block I found a fancy taco bell dog running in the street and scooped it up to keep it from being hit by a passing car. A few moments after saving “Cujo,” a woman runs over to me with an entourage trailing behind her. I remember thinking that this thing must belong to someone special, but I had no idea at the time. The woman snatches the pooch up and thanks me. Then she instructs one of the aids to get my information. That was it. I never thought about it again until a few months ago when I was contacted by the executer of this person’s estate; she had passed away in March 2010 and left her dogs a fortune! Turns out this woman had an extreme attachment to her dogs. So much in fact that she was very appreciative to anyone who put their own welfare behind that of her pets. I am finally collecting the sizable (jeep fund wise) reward for my heroic deed. Holy Crap – this is the ultimate guilt free Mad Money! I can now get another Comanche!!


The Search Begins


I have been lucky enough to have owned 2 Jeep Comanche’s – both 1989 LB. My first was a 1989 white 2 wheel drive MJ that was “totaled” while being stored at our shop. Overnight it went from a rust free driver to ending up looking like it had run over the Mother of All IED’s somewhere in Iraq. ->


And the second is my current blue 1989 4x4 ->


Before my windfall, I had been looking at 2 door Cherokee’s as an option. Then two weeks ago my favorite “What Brown Can Do for You” man found the perfect MJ for my next daily driver. Woo woo ~ another 2wd Long Wheel based MJ. It is a 1986 with the 2.8 V6 and AX5 5 speed. It has a blown head gasket or two, but runs. I have not had time to thoroughly inspect it, but I have only found a spot of rust in the passenger side wheel well under the battery tray. It looks like the battery acid ate through in that spot. I have not lifted the carpet up yet, but the truck looks to be in near perfect condition. The passenger side door is dented and the cab immediately behind it – it is not bad at all. There are a few small dents on the driver’s side of the bed, but the sheet metal on the passenger’s side bed is almost perfect. This will be my 3rd LB MJ and my 2nd 2wd ->


Interior ->


Perfect Bed ->


Nice rear taillights and stock Rear bumper ->




I will be converting this truck from the 2.8 to a 4.0 HO. Yeah, yeah – the 4.0 won’t drop in and it is too much work. The fire wall and front nose is different. You will have to bash the firewall in, or perform some extensive sheet metal work to get the 4.0 to fit. Why not do a 3.4 . . . I have read and heard it all. I have done hours of research here and on the web. I will be proving to the naysayers they are right, wrong, or that there is some truth in both views. No matter what, I will be making the swap happen – period. I plan on a detailed and picture filled write up whether I am successful or not. To make this swap easier, I have picked up a running 1996 XJ to be used as a donor.


The wrecked 2wd 1996 XJ for parts ->



I managed to part it out while retaining the complete wiring harness, the engine & transmission, steering wheel & column, Full gauge cluster, air conditioning, brake booster – basically every thing that was not damaged that you could put into a MJ Project. I forgot to grab the motor mounts and frame mounts off the XJ, so they will have to be sourced from the salvage yard. I have already cut out with the newer nose supports and lower radiator support from a 93 XJ. Those parts in my XJ were unable to be reused.


TBC - Rich

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My first was a 1989 white 2 wheel drive MJ that was “totaled” while being stored at our shop. Overnight it went from a rust free driver to ending up looking like it had run over the Mother of All IED’s somewhere in Iraq. ->





please image_209027.gif

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the rims on your blue 1989 4x4 are they called Robby Gorden beadlocks?


Read his build thread for the "blue" truck in his sig!


I got my new Walker Evans Street wheels in a week or so ago. They are the 17x8.5 simulated bead locks -

I picked up four new 33x12.5x17 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ radials and had them mounted & balanced on Sat. -

I am trying out Photobucket below -

I will not know how they ride until I get the lift onto the truck. TBC- Rich

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Hey Rich, great find! I would also like you to elaborate on the white mj. I am sure you will do well on this mj, like your current 4wd mj. Definitely will keep an eye on this build. I'll let you know when I head to the pnp in Daytona and or Orlando, see if I can get something for you.


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yeahthat.gif thanks Shelbyluvv - they are Walker Evans.


Buxmj - thank you. Please keep an eye out for the inner seat belts (for the bucket seats) in the Dark Blue colored interior :cheers:


I had to opened my big mouth to a few of the townies. It was during the day on July fourth and the truck was blown up with fireworks that night :dunce: . The engine ended up in a friends 2 door XJ. I sold a few parts of the interior on the old Yahoo group. The bed was turned into a trailer and the rest went for scrap.

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I had to opened my big mouth to a few of the townies. It was during the day on July fourth and the truck was blown up with fireworks that night :dunce: . The engine ended up in a friends 2 door XJ. I sold a few parts of the interior on the old Yahoo group. The bed was turned into a trailer and the rest went for scrap.


I'd have went off the deep end... I don't care how much smack someone talks... You don't damage property. Especially a vehicle...


Rob :rant:

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Getting ready for the swap, I did a ton of searching for information on the 2.8 to 4.0 swap. So what did I learn from my research? I learned that I did not have to venture out of the Comanche Club forum for the most comprehensive information on the 1986 2.8 to 4.0 motor swap. I was able to get every question I had answered from these treads below:


Great Comanche Club thread on the 4.0 swap with great input from Jeepcomj (has done it all) & Wildman ->



Beaterjeep’s motor swap page started by Jeepcomj -> viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8591&hilit=motor+swap


More wisdom from Geonovast and Jeepcomj -> viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6530&hilit=motor+swap


FireFighter32’s swap page with information from CC veteran mjeff87 -> viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18461&p=188569&hilit=motor+swap#p188569


Scott 86mj build page had some insight into the swap ->

http://www.comancheclub.com/forums/view ... ngine+swap


At this point I realized it can & has been done! I headed with my saws-all down to the junk yard to find the front end pieces I would need. I found a 1993 XJ that all the hard work had been done for me. The nose and fenders were already off the jeep. All I had to do is cut the parts I needed off.


Pick-n-Pull 1993 XJ ->


Used my Saws-All to remove the nose ends ->


Two pieces off ->


I will be going back for the lower radiator support soon.


The front and rear of the two supports ->



I bought a Blair Spot Weld Cutter from Sears ->


Drilling out the spot welds ->


This little tab has to be bent out ->


After 16 spot welds drilled out (8 per side), I was able to free the piece ->



TBC - Rich

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There were a lot of MJ’s at LKQ this weekend for the 50% off Memorial Day Sale ->



Comanche Dave and I went back to get the front radiator/core support off of the 93 XJ ($10.00). We cut the nose free with the Saws-All->


Got it back home to remove the excess material ->


Have to cut two welds on top for each sides ->


Drill out 3 spot welds in the front of both sides ->


Two spot welds on the bottom of each side ->


There are also 3 spot welds (per side) where the two flat pieces of sheet metal jut out past the front. The bumpers mount to this. In total there are 16 spot welds to remove and 4 weld beads to grind out ->


Ready to mount up to the 86 MJ ->


I picked up a 1996 XJ that hit a tree, then bounced off of it and into a house. Most of the sheet metal was damaged and bent. The unibody was bent and a few of the doors were jammed shut, so the jeep was totaled. It had a nice running 4.0 and auto transmission, so I made the guy an offer on it. I then towed the XJ home and had a few buddies over for a two day Cherokee break down party ->


The running 4.0 engine ->


I will be using the tan interior to replace the fabulous red interior that is in the 86 now (don’t want to risk damaging the most collectable interior color ever placed in a MJ :yes: ) ->


Pulled the motor and Transmission ->


I sold what was good off the XJ and cut up the rest to fit in the back of the truck for the trip to the recycling center ->


TBC - Rich

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Shelbyluvv needs to stop by... Last I heard, he was still on a toss up between a black interior, and the "porno red" as he calls it. I think he had a few parts missing from the porno red if he goes that route.



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So close – yet so far.


Ever since seeing my first Dually Comanche picture, I have been obsessed with getting one. This might not have been the first dually MJ I had seen, but it was definitely the one that had me hooked on the idea ->


Several others photos turned up after that ->



Then someone posted this one and the fenders were exactly what I wanted->


After a freaking lot of calling around, and hundreds of emails, I was able to find the guy who “made” the fenders for the truck above and he sent me this picture of his fenders on a Comanche->

I have had this hanging up at work ever since (He has another one in red too)


I was obviously very excited. Oh man how great was it going to be to have a dually Comanche! I told him that I was getting my funds lined up and I would be calling him back for an order. I gave him a call at the beginning of the year telling him I had the money and was ready to order. He took down my information and said he would get back to me shortly – and then nothing? I waited a month & called again. He said he was waiting to here back from the guy with the mold and he had not forgotten me. I waited two more months and gave him another call. He said he did not know why the guy had not gotten back with him? He would find out why and get back with me – that was a month or so ago. This is killing me. I just want to know if I should drop the dream or not. I sent him an email telling him that I picked up my new Comanche and I needed the fenders. I tried to get him to realize that the money would not last long in my pocket. So here I sit a week and a half later without word on the fenders. I am going to have to give him one last call then switch the direction of the MJ if need be.


SUCKS – TBC ~ Rich

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Everyting, Everyting!

I am switching over to the tan interior, so most of the interior will be going. I will PM my information to you. Give me a call and I will let you know what my plans are and how we can get this stuff to you. :cheers: Rich

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I called the fender guy today and the fenders are ready to ship :jump: !!!! He said that they have been ready for a month :popcorn: and he was wondering when I was going to call. Well it is a good thing I did. I should have something in by end of next week! I asked him to include the other picture of the dually MJ. Even closer to having the Dually Comanche jamminz.gif . TBC - :D

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Mind if I ask how much? Also, will these be available to any MJ'er?


Rob :cheers:

I think they were too much $ - like the stupid cowl hood on my 89, but I had to have them. I believe these will be available to other MJ'ers. Like always - I will post all the guys contact info after I have had an opportunity to check the stuff out and negotiate some better pricing on the other stuff I need ;) .



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I started stripping the interior out of the 86 ->


I save a few of the 4 door XJ interior pieces hoping that they could be used in the MJ. The pillar pieces were almost identical to the MJ pillar pieces except they were a bit longer ->




I was able to cut off the excess and they should fit perfectly into the MJ – >



I will be using the factory electric windows in this build, so I will be reusing the XJ door panels ->


I like the map pockets on my 89, so I grabbed a set of the pockets from LKQ ->


Fortunately all the holes for the screws were already marked on the back, so this took all the guess work out of installing them. I just needed to knock out the tabs and punch the holes through the carpet ->


A few minutes later and I had Map Pockets ->


I have been working on dismantling the engine a little everyday after work, so it won’t be long before I have the 2.8 out for the swap.


TBC - Rich

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