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how do I keep from ruining my Comanche?


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If this is in the wrong section could somebody please move it?

 

I've been after a buddy's dad to sell me his Comanche for years, and lurking and occasionally posting here in the meantime. He's finally ready to let it go, just looking for some input. It's an '87 2.5/5spd/4x4/swb. In pretty good shape, plan is to mostly DD it.

 

I've already ruined one 4banger truck (Nissan) by converting it to solid axle and running 37s, kinda killed the DD-ability of it. I'm hoping this truck could fill that void, and am looking for input on how not to ruin this one.

 

Could I fit 33x10.5 or 9.5 or 255/85/16 with around 4-4.5" lift? Little to no trimming. Or would that be too much for the stock gearing etc? Would I enjoy it more with just a BB/shackle and 31s? Truck will stay open/open, and see a lot of pavement.

 

Thanks in advance!

Trent

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Personally, if it's going to be a DD, keep it as close to stock as possible. Sure, it looks cool on meaty 33's and a lift, but going down the road, all that off-road traction is just whining away. I say, if you must lift it, do the budget boost/Chevy shackles, get a set of 31's and call it a day. You'll still have a sweet truck, but you won't have to deal with the inconveniences of a jacked-up rig.

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33x10.50 will work okay at 4.5" lift on the stock rims but you would have to regear the axles to make the 4 cylinder want to push them. Overdrive would be useless without a regear. Budged boost and 31s is a pretty good match for the factory 4.10 gears for fuel mileage. That being said, the 4 cylinder is pretty gutless no matter what. Deeper gears can make it feel peppier at the expense of mileage.

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I agree with a budget or no boost and 31's. You could go to 32's, but then 5th gear would be all but useless. By using a tire size to gear table I calculated that 32's would be VERY close with 4:10 gears to my original tire size and 3:55 gears that came originally in my 4 speed truck. The AX4 and AX5 have the same gears 1-4, so staying in that range should keep you at original style gearing. You would need a speedo gear from a 3:55 geared truck to keep the speedo accurate with 32's and 4:10 gearing.... just you wouldnt get to use 5th much if at all. But like I said, that would make it the same as a 4 speed truck, so thats OK. Good luck.

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Could I fit 33x10.5 or 9.5 or 255/85/16 with around 4-4.5" lift? Little to no trimming. Or would that be too much for the stock gearing etc?

WHY would you do this to a daily driver, especially since you already ruined one truck? Yes, that's too much tire for a 2.5L with stock gearing.

 

Would I enjoy it more with just a BB/shackle and 31s? Truck will stay open/open, and see a lot of pavement.

By definition, daily drivers see a lot of pavement. Serious rail rigs are NOT suitable for daily driver use, and often aren't safe for daily driver use. And you might be surprised just how capable an MJ is running on 31s with a budget boost.

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Thanks guys, that was exactly what I was looking for! What kind of mpg could I expect out of this? 20ish?

 

This is the only other Jeep I've owned:

4.0/AW4/NP242, leather and all the other options, but the floorboards were GONE. The last time I looked at this Manche the floorboards were spotless.

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From the 2.5L it would be about 20 mpg... I have the same set up as you with 4.11 gears.. I get about 18-20 now with 235/75/15's I'm putting 2" coil spacers up front and chevy drop shackles in the back then putting 31's up under it. I expect less mpg than before

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I have a mostly stock 2.5 Comanche. Bit larger than stock tires (235/75R15) and a 5 speed with overdrive, but 4.55 gears, not 4.10. I get 24mpg at 70, 27-28 at 60 and mixed driving it's hanging right around 20.

 

With the wider 31s and more mass to get rolling, I would expect around 18 for mixed driving.

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:agree: If you think you'll want to cut bits off your truck, find a truck that has a body in bad shape. Don't cut up a nice truck, especially if it's rust-free. It's easy to trim, and very hard to get back to stock.

 

The last time I saw the truck was a year ago and I'm thinking about going this route. Maybe later on I'll find a beat 4.0 swb to bob and chop. This one can stay pretty on little tires as long as it gets decent mileage.

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Keep your foot out of it, and the 2.5 should return 20-25 mpg. Plenty of guys get better than that on the highway, and plenty get worse in town. All depends on how you drive.

 

 

2.5 with 4.11 and 30s and I get better in town that on the interstate..........I'm estimating about 24 in town and 20 at 70-75.

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I have some 16" fake beadlocks with the 5x4.5 bolt pattern so I'm thinking those and some 245/75/16 TreadWrights with the BFG A/T pattern. Should be able to fit them fine with no lift right? Maybe a BB/Chevy shackle later on? I'm hoping this would be close enough to stock size the mileage wouldn't suffer much.

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I have some 16" fake beadlocks with the 5x4.5 bolt pattern so I'm thinking those and some 245/75/16 TreadWrights with the BFG A/T pattern. Should be able to fit them fine with no lift right? Maybe a BB/Chevy shackle later on? I'm hoping this would be close enough to stock size the mileage wouldn't suffer much.

Stock tire size on a 2.5L MJ was either a 195/75-15 or maybe a 205/75-15. That's a 26-1/2" to 27" tire that about 8" wide. A 245/75-16 is 30-1/2" in diameter and 9.6" wide. That's not even close to stock -- it's actually almost a 31x10.50, but slightly narrower. Depending on the wheel backspacing they'll fit, but they'll probably interfere with the wheel wells in front on sharp turns.

 

And IMHO they'll kill your gas mileage. Overdrive will be useless.

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DAMN, that small huh? I'm pretty sure this truck has had 235s on it for awhile, and thought they came with those or 225s stock. I'll do some more reading. Anybody running 31s on a 4banger care to chime in? Or anybody who wants to chime in, I'd like to hear what you have to say!

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A lot of the 4.0s came with 215 or 225. My 4.0 was supposed to have 225 but had 235 when I got it (35x12.50 now), my 2.5 is supposed to have 205, also had 235 when I got it. Actually still does. My Cherokee is supposed to have 215 but had 225 when I got it (Now 31x10.50, hoping to find some 16" stock rims to run 265/75R16, or about 32x10.50). My old Cherokee was supposed to have 225 but had 235. New owner swapped those out for 215.

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Thanks for the input!

How does it do on the 235s? You keep track of mileage?

 

I bought my fiance's Dakota a set of 31s so I can take the LT235s off of it that have a little tread left, thinking I might go that route instead. Maybe find some of the turbine wheels and paint them black to match the Comanche's trim. The main priority is how streetable it can be, so trying not to fawk that up.

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Thanks for the input!

How does it do on the 235s? You keep track of mileage?

 

I bought my fiance's Dakota a set of 31s so I can take the LT235s off of it that have a little tread left, thinking I might go that route instead. Maybe find some of the turbine wheels and paint them black to match the Comanche's trim. The main priority is how streetable it can be, so trying not to fawk that up.

 

With the 235s, stock 3.55 gears for the 4 speed I got 27-28 mpg at 60, but only 19 going 75. You have to be careful, though, as the speedometer will be reading about 5mph low at highway speeds. Odometer also reads 7% low for the same reason. After I swapped in a 5 speed, but keeping the 3.55 gears, mileage at 60 stayed the same, but it now gets 24 when running 75mph. Mixed mileage I get 20-21; I do a fair bit of town and short distance driving. It's only 3.4 miles to work.

 

The 235s also fill the wheel wells much better than 205s would. Still need to get some Spidertrax wheel spacers for the rear, though, as I think the wheels sit too far back into the wheel wells.

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FWIW... and contrary to some of the other posts.

 

My XJ is built as an "overlander" and I use it as a daily driver as well when the mood strikes (I have more than one "interesting" car). I've built it to be able to do moderate wheeling and return decent fuel economy for what it is. I also will start using it to tow my race car on a trailer. All the while being able to drive it across country without any issues like having to tolerate funky handling traits.

 

I'm running 265/75-16 (~32x10.5x16), ~4.75" of lift with long arms, WJ front brakes and steering, selectable hubs, manual lockers, 4.56 gears, armoured up and stuff...

 

I haven't done any cutting on the fender openings, but I have long bump stops and 16x8-5BS wheels that tuck.

 

If I drive it gently and keep speeds under 60 mi/h I can just touch 20 mpg down here at low altitude with my pavement pounder tires mounted. I can easily drive this thing for hours on end and not feel any more fatigued than any "normal" car.

 

I'm currently building an MJ the exact same way. I'm happy with the setup and don't have a reason to change it.

 

The key is to know what you want out of the end product and to do it "properly". No kludges or billy-bob make do things.

 

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