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86 Comanche Project Cinderella


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I wanted to start by introducing myself, my name is Josh and I am a lover of the Jeep. I'm 27 years old and have owned a 89, 91, and 92 Cherokee. My dad got me hooked on Jeeps seeing that he has been a Chrysler mechanic for over 20 years. Since I turned 16 I have hunted for a 86 Comanche 4x4 and about a month ago I found one. I had to spend alot more than I wanted (3500.00) but the body was rust free, already was SOA, new floor pans welded, and stock roll bar still in place.

 

Anyway now to the reason I started this post, over the next few months I will be doing alot of work on my MJ. Here is a list of current plans and along with the mods I will be posting everything I do in this Forum.

 

1. The dreaded 2.8 to 4.0 swap before swapping I will be stroking the engine out to a 4.5 - 4.7

2. Converting from manual to auto trans

3. Complete interior overhaul

4. Full 4.5 inch lift

5. 33 x 12.50 BFG All Terrians

 

Here is a picture of the 86 Comanche I picked up:

 

 

I'm sure I will be adding new mods as I go. No matter what I will be doing the 2.8 to 4.0 swap, but if anyone has any other suggestions let me know. The mods will take me a little bit of time, because I often have Military obligations that take up alot of my time, so please bear with me.

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I think tomorrow I will start working on the interior. I plan on swapping everything from the 89 Cherokee required for the engine swap but otherwise sticking with the old school interior.

 

The MJ currently has the blue interior and bucket seats, so I will be sanding down all the panels including the new dash from the donor (which also has the blue interior) and after primer/paint converting the interior to Black/Light Gray. I also will be swapping the bucket seats for a bench seat (just got to find one in good shape first).

 

I will post some pictures of the process tomorrow night.

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Some little odds and ends came in the mail today. All the items were purchased on ebay for a decent price.

 

Stainless Steel Gauge Bezel

Reverse Glow Gauges

New Jeep Header Emblem

Used Comanche Emblems

 

Total Cost: About $55.00

 

I'm still looking for a place that can refinish the Comanche Emblems in Chrome. I had to order another set because the MJ was missing one.

 

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Well today I finally started working on the interior paneling! Its actually a pretty simple process to repaint the interior, I did this when I had my 92 Cherokee and it came out awesome.

 

So first Ill go over the materials:

 

•Palm Sander

•Extension Cord

•Sandpaper (60, 100, 150, 220, 320, 400, 800, 1000, 1500, 2000)

•Dish soap

•Sponge

•Rubbing Alcohol

•Terry Towels

•High-Build Primer

•Paint

•Clear Coat

•3M Rubbing Compound

•3M Shine Restorer

•Wax Remover

•Automotive Wax

 

All these items can be bought at Walmart, Menards, and AutoZone

 

So first get all the panels together and look them over for any serious damage.

 

If all is good then let the sanding begin. I use 60, 100, 150, 220 grit sandpaper, after sanding take dish soap and a sponge and whip everything down. After that spray down with a power sprayer to make sure you get any remaing debris and dry the panels. After I dryed the panels I whipped everything down again with a terry cloth and rubbing alcohol. Everything came out nice and clean.

 

After getting everything cleaned up I started with the primer. I used primer filler so that any remaining texture or small dings will be filled in as I put on the coats of primer. Today I decided to do 2 quick coats and then it started raining, so the sanding will have to wait till another day. But if you look at the pictures below so far so good!

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Been busy with work and trying to track down parts for the stroker build. The donor fell through, it wasnt in as good of shape as I first thought, so I'm back on the hunt for a donor. I order a dash of ebay for $45/w free shipping. It came in the mail today.

 

 

Was wondering if anybody had some info on where I could get a instrument cluster with the rpm gauge at a decent price.

 

I also came up with a new plan for the interior, going to put a overhead console in the MJ from a 92 Jeep Cherokee, and also install a stock sound bar out of the 92 Cherokee as well. Just going to have to find a good way to cut the console down so it fits and also mate the both the console and soundbar together for a nice clean look. Anybody have any suggestions let me know!

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Well I put together a plan for the stoker build (below is a graph of my plans). I'm still trying to hunt down the parts and compare prices, I'm having a hard time finding the cams and lifters from Mopar Performance. If anyone has any suggestions or locations for the parts please let me know.

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  • 1 month later...

So I finally got some more work done!

 

I finished painting the dash pieces and got the floor console from Ebay which I also painted. I included a picture below.....

 

 

I also got a huge step completed when it comes to being able to work on the comanche. Since I don't have a garage large enough to put the comanche in and work on, I will be keeping it at my parents which will be a 45 minute commute just to do some work but its well worth it. Some pics of organzing nd getting it into the garage.

 

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I also got the engine out of a 1990 Cherokee (which will be used to build the 4.7 stroker) on to the engine stand.

 

 

One other sweet deal was I picked up a donor 92 Jeep Cherokee Donor for $450.00

 

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Here is a shot of the License Plate that will legalize the Comance once its on the road. (Wanted GIJOE, but it was taken). So I settled for GI LIFT (In other words "Government Issued Lift")

 

 

I also realized I didn't post any actual pictures of the MJ when I picked it up, so here are a few!

 

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Well sorry about the delay in work, the government decided not to pay me for a good while. I now have got some of my back pay and will be able to start getting the parts I need. Its going to be a fun project, my dad will be assisting me with alot of the work since he has been a Jeep mecanic for over 20 years. Also he will have to help and things will be moving a little slow since I will be going under the knive for knee surgery next week and shoulder surgery 3 weeks after that.

 

I want to apologize for the delays in posting time and work getting done ahead of time, I have learned alot from everyones post and hope I can help some as well along the way.

 

SO LETS GET THINGS STARTED!

 

(I will do my best to update every sunday)

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Not a dig, but I have some questions...

Why did you want a 86?

 

Seems it would have been easier to start with a MJ that already had a 4.0 since the firewall is different on the 86's.

Also, was wondering you said that you were going to put a "full 4.5 inch lift" when it already has a SOA. That should have netted you about 5.5 already, no?

 

Just curious.

 

Nice looking MJ and have fun. :thumbsup: :wrench:

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Not a dig, but I have some questions...

Why did you want a 86?

 

Seems it would have been easier to start with a MJ that already had a 4.0 since the firewall is different on the 86's.

Also, was wondering you said that you were going to put a "full 4.5 inch lift" when it already has a SOA. That should have netted you about 5.5 already, no?

 

Just curious.

 

Nice looking MJ and have fun. :thumbsup: :wrench:

 

 

The firewall is not a issue with mine, it was a later build (Oct 86) so the firewall was already prepped to have 4.0 since they were transitioning the following year. As for the lift, all the offroad clubs and businesses around my area say the SOA is a 4.5 inch lift. I will be purchasing the lift from this site http://rustysoffroad.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=rustys&Product_Code=RK-450SO-MJ&Category_Code=sus_xj_kit

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That motor did not come out of a '90 Cherokee. It is positively an HO version of the 4.0L. :D

 

Have fun with the build.

 

My fault that was a typo, It come out of a 92 Cherokee Limited, I have had 3 different cherokees and have all 3 motors still. With the additon of the donor I now have 4 motors, sometimes I get a little mixed up!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Decided today to go with the 2500 conversion, it looks awesome. I'm working on getting all the parts together! I finally got most the interior out of the comanche and started working on swapping in a heater/ac box out of a 92 Cherokee.

 

I was looking for a little help on the interior. I was wondering if anyone has done a install with the Dakota bench seats, because thats currently the game plan for mine but looking for some suggestions on the brackets and how to make them work.

 

I will post some more pics shortly, been kind of busy. Shortly after knee surgery, my wife had surgery so not much time to work on the lady.

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