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Codename: Commander Chief


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Well, I had a somewhat build page that I posted a ton of questions in, a long time ago in the Tech section, so now its time for a real build page!

 

About me:

My name is Nate. I am from Central MN, and I am an off-road addict. I am currently a student at Alexandria Technical College for Diesel Mechanics. When I'm not in school, I work at Mills Fleet Farm, and I also work for Ziegler Caterpillar as a Power Generation Mechanic. I bought my Comanche in August of 2010 to use as a project vehicle during school, and to turn into my first 4x4 off-roader :D.

 

The Plan: Build for trail rides, with plenty of Mud capability, and ability to cross corn fields with ease.

4-6" of total lift

Upgraded rear axle (dana44, chrysler 8.25, ford 8.8)

Locker for the Rear axle

Would like to fit 33"s comfortably

Install Floors

Bucket Seats

2 speed transfer case

Get all vital electronics functioning again (headlights, taillights, blinkers, windshield wipers, defrosters)

Removable doors

Get radio to work!

Overall daily driver-ability (I have pretty low standards)

 

If I can make it look like this, I will be the happiest man on earth...

 

 

On to the Comanche!

My Comanche is a 1986 long wheel base 4x4 model, it has a 2.8L GM V6 engine, a 5 Speed (AX-15, I do believe), Dana 30 up front, Dana 35 out back, and 4.10 gears. It also has a single speed NP207 transfer case. It used to look like this!

This picture does it a TON of justice. It looked like complete crap in real life.

Now the Minnesotan Redneck within me convinced me to do this!

Typical floor rust..... :(

 

I felt a little creative one day, and decided to make my own light bar. 5$ and a short trip to the junkyard later, I drove home with a 95 ford explorer sport rack, modified it with my good ol' friend Dr. Dremel and made it look like this!

I also pulled out the blower motor, because my heater was the only electronic thing that worked in this bad boy. It was making a noise equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. I was curious, and had tools handy, so I got a little crazy.

This is also the most probable cause of the nasty dead mouse smell in my MJ, and electrical issues looks like the dash will be coming apart!

Found a useful write-up on the CC about replacing wiper bushings, so I used that to find my wiper motor, and apply voltage to be sure it was working. Yep, she works!

My good friend Neohic (a fellow user on Comanche Club) built this spectacular custom bumper for me out of an M beam, and some 1/4" cold rolled steel! Its way better than I could have possibly asked for, and I cannot thank him enough! He also gave me a replacement blower motor for my little mouse issue, and I absolutely could not be more thankful. He has helped tremendously in my MJ build and I truly Appreciate it!

I Picked up a Brush Guard from the local JY for $50, and it just needs a bit of modification to fit the new bumper, but she will go on soon!! :wrench:

I also have a roll bar, that I got from craigslist for a grand total of $50, meant for a Ford Ranger, but she lines up PERFECT in the MJ! No pics of it on the MJ yet, but soon to come! This is my 98 2wd Ranger w/ 4.0v6 auto tranny with the roll bar mocked up

the tires and wheels on the ranger belong to the MJ, I just needed the extra traction this winter in my open Dif. Ranger.

Progress will be made very quickly on this little bugger, now that I have a job that pays reasonably! I'm looking to get a 6" lift this friday if my funds will allow me to! actually from an old user on CC that goes by 1sickMJ!

:USAflag: :USAflag: :USAflag: :USAflag: :USAflag: :USAflag: :USAflag: :USAflag: :USAflag:

Stay Tuned folks! Thanks for reading!!

JEEP ON comanche.gif

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Anyone know of a good write up for a fuse panel replacement? I bought a new fuse panel from an automatic xj but I for sure can not see how its plug and play.... On the engine side, I understand, but not for the interior....

 

Also, anyone got a picture of the chime module?

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Well folks, this past weekend I had the wonderful pleasure of taking the dash out of the commander!

I can honestly say it really was not as stressful as I had imagined it to be, or as hard as I thought. The hardest part of the whole ordeal is the disconnection of the speedometer cable! that sucker was hard to get at! theres a small clip that holds to the base of the speedo cable, and to get at it, you need 3 arms, a flashlight, a pliers and a screwdriver and a hell of a lot of luck to get it un clipped. I got it un clipped and removed and the dash came out with relative ease.

Why did I remove my dash? So I could check for more "presents" left by mice, to check my electrical connections, and to remove excess connectors (to help prevent under dash fires)

 

before any work was done, took a quick shot! :D

 

Well, my wiper module can use replacing... look at those yummy toasty wires :fs1: :fs1:

 

Dash on its way out! have to pop off those stupid plastic clips at this point... :rant: I actually didnt end up breaking any of them! I guess I'm just a champ! P.S. It was much easier with the steering column dropped down! :wrench:

 

another quick shot after the dash was out! Me and my friend who were working on my MJ took her for a quick spin with no dash! this ride is a panty dropper for sure!

 

and... last but not least, the fuse panel I will be using to replace mine with.

 

Got that out of a 94 automatic XJ, I bought it just in case mine is bad, which I believe mine to be. I do get 12 volts at every fuse on at least one side, but I get a reading of .9ish-1.6ish volts on the opposing side, so I believe some stray voltage is leaking through the brake fluid to the other connections. I can't think of any other reason why NOTHING works in this MJ (Electrically) so the fuse panel is going to get swapped, and possibly relocated to the glove box depending on how I feel that day. My grounds were all good, but I think i'm missing my chime module? and I read somewhere that if your missing your chime module some funky stuff happens? can anyone verify this?

 

thats my updates! look for more after this extended holiday weekend! Have a happy Independence Day America!!!

 

-Nate

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  • 3 months later...

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity of installing the front half of the lift kit for my MJ. It involved a 3" spacer block, longer lower control arms, 3" lift springs, new coil isolators, and a new (to me) Iron rock off road adjustable track bar. Also bought a new Hi-Lift 48" jack, and pulled out the rest of my interior and rubber flooring to get a good look at the floors, and to get some new to me bucket seats installed!

here's a nice look at my floors, basically nothing left but the transmission tunnel

235/75/15 TA/KO tires, and a nice before shot of the lift

Removed the PCV system, and instead of trying to remove the nuts that were in the exhaust manifolds, I just welded them closed so my manifolds wouldn't leak

Can you tell which is the new track bar? :D

My old spaghetti noodle coils vs. my new ones

 

After struggling for nearly 8 hours trying to install the lift, I managed to install the trackbar first, then dropped the lower control arms, disconnected shocks and sway bars, disconnected the bracket holding the brake lines on either side and finally started to put in the new components. I started with the track bar, got that in with little struggle, moved on to the lower control arms and had a heck of a time.... finally got them in, then put the block spacers, and springs in, and bolted her back together. Now she looks like this!

:banana: :banana: :banana:

 

And here's my new HI-Lift that I am very excited for

 

Neohic dropped by for a tiny bit to check things over in his "new" 91, Always nice to be around another MJer and get some helpful advice. Overall the Commander is coming along well!

 

Also scored a set of very bald 33's and some nice chrome rims, and have a new Fuel pump, distributor, and wires on the way from Drahcir459 :cheers:

 

Stay tuned!

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  • 4 weeks later...

A couple weeks ago the rear of the jeep got an SOA lift installed, so now it doesn't look so silly :) I also scrounged up a set of 33x12.50x15 wheels and tires from a teacher of mine for only $100 bucks :clapping: after the lift went in, put the tires on to see just how much comanche I have!

I ended up having to use 7/16" U-Bolts on the axle because apparently no auto parts store in my area carries anything larger than that... What a shame.... New spring perches were welded in and pinion angle set to 6 degrees

 

So I told Neohic about my floor situation (or the lack thereof) and offered him my rims and tires for his expertise in the welding department. After a quick handshake, I hooked up my "tow vehicle" and started pulling the MJ to his place a couple miles down the road

 

Happy Halloween!

I also converted my bench seat over to 2 bucket seats so those will be installed too.

Updates to come shortly with the floor pictures!

 

-Nate :banana:

 

P.S. I acquired another project vehicle this fall, at a whopping cost of..... FREE!!!! Has 72,000 original miles and a running 350 in it. Everything functions as supposed to and is completely drive able! needs new paint and a new headliner, but the rest is in great shape! its a 78 Z28 Camaro with an auto tranny. Should be plenty of fun when the time comes!

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My good friend Neohic (a fellow user on Comanche Club) built this spectacular custom bumper for me out of an M beam, and some 1/4" cold rolled steel! Its way better than I could have possibly asked for, and I cannot thank him enough! He also gave me a replacement blower motor for my little mouse issue, and I absolutely could not be more thankful. He has helped tremendously in my MJ build and I truly Appreciate it!

 

 

Custom built haha Talk to Neohic about building one, thanks though! I love it too

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Well ladies and gents, I have something around half of you for sure don't have... RUST FREE FLOORS!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

 

This is all Neohics work, so all compliments go to him. I was quite impressed with his work, but he never seems to disappoint

 

 

Goodbye old $#!&ty floors!

 

 

And I finally got down to replacing my leaky fuel pump! I bought one from Drahcir459 thinking a used one would do, but didn't have such luck... ended up shelling out another 35 bucks for a new one at O'Reilly. Spilling gasoline on your hands isn't exactly the most fun thing i've ever done in winter either.. haha but anyway, more updates to come! floors have to be painted all the way yet, right now they are only primed :cry:

 

 

Back to work! comanche.gif

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Got some more work done today! Fuse panel has been removed, and I am now working on building my very own wire harness!

 

 

My wire harness will include these things:

 

-Headlights

-Turnsignals/brake lights

-Intermittent windshield wipers

-Reverse lights (mounted to bumper)

-Blower Motor (blocked off all air passages and removed all vacuum lines to route hot air directly to floor and to the windshield for defrosting)

-Dash lights (looking to swap a non-dummy cluster)

-Cigar lighter

-Switch to activate air compressor clutch

-5-10 Accessory switches for lights and etc.

 

Hope to finish up soon! thanks for reading folks!

 

-Nate

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  • 8 months later...

Well, no progress has been made on the ol' MJ since my last post, and unfortunately I let my old MJ go today. I traded it to a friend at work for a double axle car trailer! His plans for the MJ are to either put a snow plow on it, or take the bed off, chop the frame down and turn it into a super awesome trail machine! Sad to see it go, but already found one to replace it! a '90 Pioneer grey/black long bed with a 4.0, automatic trans, NP231 transfer case, d35 rear axle. Bed is shot, floors are shot, but the price is right, and It will be a beautiful trail machine when I am done with it! Plans are to steal my 8.25" rear end out of the rear of my XJ, double up the 231 with the donor 231 from my XJ, take the H.O. components from my XJ and swap them into the MJ, Steal the 6' lift components from the XJ and build my own 4 link long arm lift with a coil sprung rear end. Probably going to either take the bed off, and extreme shorten the frame, or bob the bed. This pony will be a trail machine!

 

Not sure how long it will be before I pick up the new MJ, but having a new trailer certainly helps, oh yeah, and a new to me F-250 Super Duty Diesel helps out also :brows:

 

Thats also a shot of the trailer, and my trail XJ. Love that XJ!!!!

 

I will still browse the forums as usual until the new MJ comes along, and I referred the new owner to Comanche Club, he will certainly be joining!

 

JEEP ON! comanche.gif

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