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drcomanche

DrComanches Project "Frankenstein" (The Rebuilding)

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Hi everybody. It makes me very happy to finally post my build thread on here. So, I bought this Comanche about a week ago from a place that was way too far away for me... But I think it was worth it. It is an 89 Comanche with a 94 cherokee engine swap, an ax15 tranny with an np231 slip yoke eliminator set up. It came with custom built drive shafts attached to a front hp d44 axle and locker with a t&t y link suspension. The rear is a 9 inch with a spool. It has a six inch lift on it with some decent 36 inch tires.

 

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As you can see in this picture, the po, or whoever built it, didn't really do a good job with the front axle.

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It has to get a bit of work done, but the good thing is... Barely any rust, and any that it has is small surface rust.

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NICE truck! Love that roll bar. All u need now is white stars on the doors and it could be poster truck for CC!

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Nice looking truck, looks like all the right parts are there, just needs a little tweaking. I see you live in Lusby? Shoot me a PM, I live in Lusby as well.

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looks good, and the V8 badge behind the door is a subtle touch..... even if is is false advertising lol

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So, here are a few of the things I have run into thus far on this. It looks like I have a bit of a leak on the front axle. Anybody know of a decent replacement for it?

 

 

And the bedliner that the po tried to put on didnt take, so he ended up peeling half of it off. Guess I'll have to redo that. Think I'll just go with some herculiner.

 

 

And, when I purchased the truck, it just happened to come with some extra parts, which I might be getting rid of. :brows:

 

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And some more...

 

 

As far as I can tell, there is a transfer case in there, a brake master cylinder, an exhaust and intake manifold, and some other odds and ends. Not pictured are a set of stock wheels for it too.

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That shroud actually has a fan attached to it. I was thinking of upgrading, so I have no need for it. I sorted the parts boxes yesterday and came across quite a few things. There are 2 transfer cases(np 231j) one whole and one in pieces. Some side windows. Door handles, mirrors, seals, latches, power window assemblies, distributor, and a bunch more.

 

I cleaned of the drivers side knuckle, apparently the po says that there were outer axle seals? On a D44? Not sure if thats true, but I cleaned up everything. I'll put some pictures up later. After searching around a bit, I found that this truck was someones attempt at putting every option in a Comanche.

 

I ran into a couple of things that concern me, though, and being a newbie at 4x4's doesnt really help me. There is a cluster of wires coming out of the side of the ax15 that don't connect to anything. It has an end connector but nothing anywhere around it. Anybody know what these go to?

There is also a hose coming out of the bottom of my starter, I think it is that connects to nothing.

I found out that it has a custom done rear disc brake conversion, which is a bonus, but one of the wheels is making a TERRIBLE squeaking noise when I drive it that gets worse when I hit the brakes.

 

Does anyone have some pics of their engine bay? There are some random parts attached in random places that I'm not sure belong. As is, it has AC controller on the inside, but I can't tell if it really has AC or not. I purchased a Haynes manual, but it's not helping me a hole lot.

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I also noticed that I'm missing a few fuses but I don't have the manual that came with the truck so I'm completely in the dark about which ones belong to what. Does anyone have or know where to get a diagram, so I can start putting fuses where they belong?

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You should probably post some of your questions in the tech section. You will get way more responses that way.

:wrench:

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Good call. I've spent so much of my time browsing awesome Comanche projects that I forgot there were other sections to this website. :drool:

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Good call. I've spent so much of my time browsing awesome Comanche projects that I forgot there were other sections to this website. :drool:

 

 

:hmm:

tell me more about these so called other sections of the website :shake:

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Here's the knuckle all cleaned off. I don't really have a jack that can put this thing in the air, so I can't take the wheel off just yet to look at the axle tubes.

 

Now, as you can see here, I have the ac unit on the inside.

 

But in this pic, you can see I'm missing a few critical components to a running ac system...

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The more I work on this, the more the junkyard list grows... And it may never end...

I got underneath today to try to take the bolts for the bed off (planning on taking it off, power washing it, and then rust reformer and undercoating) but those bolts are SOLID on there. Long socket and a breaker couldn't even do it. So I moved on to the plastic shield for the gas tank. The bolts for this were so badly rusted that they rounded out and fell apart. So I had to hack it off with a utility knife, unfortunately.

After taking it off, I could see that some water and mud had gotten stuck in there and gave it a few problems, so I hit it with a rust removal wheel. I'm going to have to replace the tank straps, cause they are looking a little worse for the ware. And the bolts are still rusted into it. I'm low on gas anyway, so it's probably a good time.

I'll replace them and coat the tank with a reformer and hit it with an undercoat. I ground a few spots of rust on the framerails out as well. Hopefully, I'll be able to remove the bed and get it all cleaned and coated before winter.

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Now, as you can see here, I have the ac unit on the inside.

 

i don't see the A/C unit on the inside. i really like that truck though. more pics!

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Why is there a transfer case on the seat!!! :shake: Nice truck, just have to tighten up that track bar to pull the front axle more driver side and you have a ac pump... There is a fuse box picture somewhere on here I believe in the DIY section? Good luck with it dude!

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eh, I have that whole transfer case, and the one in pieces. It's on the seat because I'm trying to get rid of it, and I have no garage to put all of the stuff in. So I have to leave it in the truck when I'm not working on it.

 

@shawn: I'll try to get some more pics up. I'm having some issues with money right now so progress is slow, at best. Hopefully, with this coming paycheck, I'll get a new adjustable track bar and maybe a few other goodies. We shall see...

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I took off my cracked rear light today just to see why it was loose and got an extra surprise. Hooray for PO's custom wiring!

I'm not exactly sure what these wires do, although that may be part of why I don't have reverse lights. The other being that the wires on the side of my trans aren't connected to anything. :doh: After seeing this, I took pictures of ALL the other disconnected connectors in the hopes of figuring out where they go. Time to consult the wiring manual...

In other news, I have parts on the way. :clapping: Hopefully, they will be here soon. I really want to install something. Just taking everything apart is only satisfying for so long.

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The kinda "L" shaped connector is a diagnostic port used with the old chrysler scan tools. The others I couldnt really tell you, but there are always a bunch of unused connectors that they left hanging when building our trucks. It is most likely that the disconnected connectors you have just werent part of your trucks build or options.

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Yeah, I kind of figured that. But I also have quite a few vacuum lines disconnected in random places, as well as some clipped wires. Most things seem to work on the truck, but I have to figure out a few more of them. I haven't done an in depth look at the some of the more detailed areas, but I'm going to have to check out behind the dashboard, most likely.

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So, it's been a while since I posted on the build, and that's mostly because I have been on vacation in New Mexico. Now that I'm back, let the pictures commence.

 

 

To start, I took the wheels off the front to paint my ugly rusted hubs. Here's a before, during, and after of that.

It got one coat rust reformer and two coats of undercoating.

 

Before my vacation, I cleaned and dismantled my wheel wells, and removed all of the plastic shrouds and flares. I've been planning on undercoating the entire chassis before winter and this is the early progress.

And just today, I finished cleaning and reforming the wheel wells.

 

I have also removed my current track bar and steering arm in the hopes of straightening out my axle, but ran into a snag with a new track bar. Because I have a modified d44 in the front, regular comanche adjustable track bars are about 2 inches too short for it. Now, I pretty much just need a custom made track bar.

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Well, I suffered a minor but very frustrating setback today. I suppose my gas tank was a bit more rusted and weak than I thought, and while working today, I noticed a wet spot on the tank... Well, there goes my tank of gas. Looks like I'll be adding this to the 'to do' list. On a slightly more positive note, I did get my new windshield in and set. So I knocked one off the list and subsequently added one on. Bummer...

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Ok, so some major progress today. My gas tank straps put up one hell of a fight and wouldn't budge for the life of me but they could only hold up so long to the hack saw. The tank was fairly rusted on the top; enough so that large chunks of metal were just falling off. When I shined a light inside and looked at it, I could see some spots where it was starting to rust through.

and my clipped tank straps

I dismantled the tank filler valve, scraped off the rust, sanded it down, and put a coating of rust reformer on it.

I got underneath it and started sanding and scrubbing down underneath the bed in preparation for undercoating. It looks very good under there, luckily for me.

I also started on the side of the frame rail and cab with the rust reformer.

And here is a quick couple of pics of the truck and its new windshield.

And last but not least, I mocked up a track bar and sent in the sizes to northwest fab so they can make it for me. Really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. A lot of progress should be done on it.

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