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My first Comanche - 91 Comanche Pioneer


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4.0L 4X2 Auto with 130k

 

My first Comanche! Bought this as a parts truck but the engine is so solid -- and the body completely rust-free -- that I decided to rebuild it instead. Found it for $500 with brand new tires, suspension, battery, belts and brakes. Poor lady I got it from dropped $1500 into it and then a week later the tranny kept overheating.

 

To do:

- Replace tranny (picked one up today) - done

- Replace radiator and all cooling hoses - done

- New grille and corner markers - done

- New fender flares - done

- New carpet - done with Herculiner instead 8)

- New headliner - done (Joanne Fabrics FTW)

- Bucket seat swap - done, then undone

- Fix the numerous mysterious electrical gremlins - gremlins slain

- New head unit and speakers - done

- Add push button start with a momentary switch (the ignition switch is screwed, so she added a toggle switch to start it haha) - done

- Add Renix cluster

- Remove dents and repaint silver - done, went with white instead :wrench:

- Roll bar w/ lights

- Sand and paint rims black - done

 

Looks to be a fun project ahead! :cheers:

 

Zach

 

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Nice bumper

 

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Don't worry, that tree isn't growing out of it

 

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Badly needs a paint job and front end parts

 

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The interior isn't much to look at. You can see the toggle switch hanging from wires by the steering wheel :doh:

 

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Changing out the radiator

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Looks like a good project with a good direction.

 

But I have to ask. Why install those auxiliary harbor freight gauges? It would be much simpler and cleaner to install a full cluster. Not to mention cheaper! Just some food for thought for you.

 

Good point! I already picked them up, but I'll keep an eye out at the junkyard for a 91+ cluster (I read they went more digital after 90)

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I decided against rhino lining mine because the floor isn't flat, just something to consider.

comanche.gif

 

Good point. Now that I'm at my computer I did some research and it turns out the carpet is responsible for dampening a lot of sound.. I'm not sure I want to hear every pebble and rain drop hitting the bottom :oops:

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Good point! I already picked them up, but I'll keep an eye out at the junkyard for a 91+ cluster (I read they went more digital after 90)

 

Yep. '91-'95 should all be the same. All you will need is the cluster, and 2 sensors. Get yourself a cluster out of any MJ or XJ in the years stated. Then go to the auto parts store and pick up an oil pressure sensor and temperature sensor. Remove the switches that would have turned on the dummy lights and install the sensors.

 

All you have to do. The tach will work immediately, and so will volt/gas. Easy-peasy-japanesey.

 

Rob

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Excellent find! Especially since it's an HO. You'll be very happy for that later down the road. Reminds me of mine when I bought it umpteen years ago. :cheers:

 

A full gauge cluster from a 91-96 will work fine, but you will not find one with the integrated auto tranny shift indicator. There are several workarounds for this; either use an after market column indicator or modify your cluster to accept the shift indicator parts. This is fairly easy to do in the Renix models, but more difficult in the 6-gauge HO clusters since there are no mounting bosses for the shift indicator. Lots of write-ups in the forum for doing this.

 

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arent the police package XJs column mount? I know it would be a PITA to find one of those cluster but if they have them, then surely there is a 91+ setup for the column shift indicator (or even a cluster)

 

Yes, but on the ones I've seen the cluster isn't a full six gauge cluster in the 91+ Police Package XJs. It has no tach (has the big gas gauge instead) and the 120 MPH speedo. And very hard to find.

 

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Excellent find! Especially since it's an HO. You'll be very happy for that later down the road. Reminds me of mine when I bought it umpteen years ago. :cheers:

 

A full gauge cluster from a 91-96 will work fine, but you will not find one with the integrated auto tranny shift indicator. There are several workarounds for this; either use an after market column indicator or modify your cluster to accept the shift indicator parts. This is fairly easy to do in the Renix models, but more difficult in the 6-gauge HO clusters since there are no mounting bosses for the shift indicator. Lots of write-ups in the forum for doing this.

 

 

Cool, I'll keep an eye out for one. Just found a great junkyard with 10-15 XJs and 2 YJs in it. Just curious.. do you know which years used the column mount?

 

Here's an update on the project:

- Completely stripped the interior, definitely going to rhino line for durability (or use some good knockoff brand). Looking for bucket seats now

- After a short test drive she was overheating, turns out the lower radiator hose I got from Autozone was too long and had too sharp a bend in it (almost a kink). Also replaced the thermostat and radiator cap while I was at it. Problem fixed!

- Started sanding her down to paint her :D

- Replaced the door seals with a nice set from an 01 at the junkyard

 

Photos to come!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's an update:

 

- Herculined the interior (got lucky and there was barely any rust on the floor).

- Grabbed some buckets from a comanche in the junkyard and fabbed my own brackets to reuse the Comanche bench brackets for about $40 (see pics). The seats are solid and sturdy.

- Put in new speakers, about to put in new head unit.

- Sanded and primed the entire truck -- have to bondo a few small spots and do another coat or 2 of primer.

- Got new(ish) fender flares from the junkyard to replace my crap ones -- will put it on after painting it.

- Got nicer grille, side mirrors, etc. -- all off in the photos since I'm painting it.

- Added a compass mirror from a Suburban -- $10 at jy. Gonna find the temp sensor next time and hook it up as well.

 

Gonna paint it Jeep silver like this cherokee 8) will post pics after. Still tons to do, but I'm getting there!

 

:cheers:

 

Ripped the carpet out, looked pretty gnarly underneath.

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Cleaned and rhino-lined. Looks nice -- only cost $70 too (vs. $100+ for new carpet)

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Rhino-lined the back too for that extra-durable feel.

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Put new radiator in, but realized I forgot the o-ring on the transmission cooler line :doh: expensive mistake in terms of fluid loss.

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Nearly done painting and priming (I'm further along now).. still a bit of priming and bondoing left (see rust spots I temporarily primed over).

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Here are the seat brackets I made. Using box tube would've been much easier than the angle and angle brackets I used, but I couldn't find 1.5" box tube.Seat sits about 1.5" higher than the stock one (I'm 6'5" and this still is not a problem). I could've made it sit lower but I wanted to keep its sliding capability for storing crap behind the seat.

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Here's the passenger's seat mounted (I got it a bit greasy during the fab but it cleans up nicely).

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  • 6 months later...

Here's a much needed update!

 

Had some bad luck with the tranny; was definitely shot. Have since replaced it with another AW4. Now I've just gotta troubleshoot a bit of a power loss issue and I'll be golden :) All signs point to the cat; gonna check it tomorrow.

 

Also decided to trade my buckets back for a bench -- they were a bit too high for me. Still to do:

 

  • Find some rear fender flares that aren't insanely expensive
    Line the bed
    Fix some spots where the buffing wheel slipped off :fs2:

 

My roommate helping me out with some painting

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Hard to these were the same rims at one point

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Before putting on the rear center caps and bumper corners

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Trans went out on the highway. Missed class and a date :mad:

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New calipers and brake lines

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Sydney approves

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Went to swap my buckets with Brandon for his bench seat. Hmm.. perhaps a lift is in order

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These pics are all a month old -- I'll post some new ones including the back (painted the pipe bumper and fabbed a license plate bracket) so I can do a side-by-side before and after shot. Also the interior :cheers:

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Looks great! I know you said it was beat up before you painted it but :eek: and what hsppened to that silver? Man that would look nice.

 

Keep going is looking great!

 

Brandon

 

In hindsight, I really should've done yellow with blue graphics like the Jeep from Twister, but I can't kick myself for it now. :cheers:

 

 

Sydney approves

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Man, if that isn't a sheite-eating grin, I don't know what is. Great pic. Good looking 91 too. :cheers:

 

Haha she'd just come back from the vet so she's pretty doped up. She's usually not that smug ;) Looking forward to continuing the project.

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