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Diesel Fuel Only - Factory Diesel Comanche


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Well, now that it's home from the epic journey, it's time to welcome it Comanche Club style. Time for a build thread. :yes:

 

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What it is:

 

1986 Jeep Comanche "X"

2.1L Renault Intercooled Turbo Diesel

AX5 Manual Transmission

NP231 Transfer Case

D30/D35 (Standard payload)

 

I will be the 4th owner. I just moved it from Virginia Beach, VA to Harvard, IL. Plans are for a restoration of sorts. New paint, possibly an interior color change, and get it running like a top. It has some interesting options that I am going to assume came with the "X" package. Either that, or someone was checking boxes at the dealership. Chrome grille, bumpers, body side molding, cargo light, buckets and full center console, upgraded door panels, along with power windows and locks... A option I have never personally seen on any MJ I have had my hands on, which is quite a few. Anywho, here are some drooling pics... Emphasis on the diesel weirdness. biggrin.png

 

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The previous owner had trouble getting it started in the winter, so he added another battery in the toolbox. He would use one to cycle the glow plugs, and the other to crank it. He mounted a boat switch on the cab wall. This is going to be one of the things that will be removed.

 

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Extra parts in the glovebox. Not sure what the huge bearing is, but I have to love that glow plug box. Ever classic display of "Genuine Mopar" when they slap their sticker right onto the Renault box.

 

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Remote oil filter

 

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Intercooler

 

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View of the intercooler from the grille

 

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And the moment I am sure many of you have been pondering... What the sam hell does it sound like?

 

Behold the video: 8)

 

 

More to come as I learn about and play with this thing. On the short list:

 

Timing belt, timing belt, timing belt.

Check the output of the alternator

Get the idle to adjust itself properly

Get some clean diesel in it

Oil Change

Fuel Filter

Trans service

Remove the bed rails, toolbox

Put it back to one battery

Check timing

Change seats, dash if I can find red nearby

Possibly put in black interior if I can't

Track down any and all FSM's/Supplements not already in possession

 

Can't wait to start tooling around in it... I hope I can get it running good enough to drive for a couple weeks before the snow flies.

 

Rob :cheers:

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Who ever originally bought it from the dealer must have been color blind because that interior is hideous! :eek: The diesel more than makes up for it though. :yes: Your probably gonna get all kinds of weird looks driving it around too.

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Thanks for the Comments fellas. :cheers:

 

Love the lights on the roof! Do they work?

 

Well...

 

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I don't really like them all that much. They aren't stock. I have to say that they look cool at night, but that's about it. I'm going to leave them on there for now, but when I get to doing the body and refinishing it, they are hitting the bricks. I'll be restoring it to factory for the most part, so buh-bye.

 

Rob :D

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Nice truck, and welcome to the DieselComancheClub :yes: Let me know if you need any of the weird diesel-specific parts i might have something floating around. You can have them for nothing but shipping (might be expencive enough...)

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Nice truck, and welcome to the DieselComancheClub :yes: Let me know if you need any of the weird diesel-specific parts i might have something floating around. You can have them for nothing but shipping (might be expencive enough...)

 

I'll take anything extra you are willing to give up! Shoot me a PM with what you've got, and we can work something out.

 

Rob :cheers: :bowdown:

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Picked up the Rosetta Stone of Diesel MJ.

 

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Even just flipping though it, I understand so much more about how it works. One goofy little thing I learned is that my idle and lack of power might be related. Turns out the solenoid that controls cold idle also controls injection pump timing. Its called a "Cold start thermostat capsule". From the manual:

 

When the engine is stationary and cold, the spring inside the capsule applies tension to the control cable, which moves the timing control lever to the ADVANCE position, and the throttle to the FAST IDLE position.

 

When the engine is started and the coolant temperature rises, the thermostat in the capsule slowly expands and compresses the spring.

 

The control cable is relaxed, the timing control lever and piston move forward, and the throttle lever returns to its original position.

 

So what I thought was either an electric or vacuum controlled idle solenoid is actually a spring and thermostat. Which actually has an effect on timing. Friggen French. :D

 

Oh, and the manual is the perfect addition to the '86 collection I already had:

 

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More on the way, and I'm buying them as they show up.

Rob :cheers:

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It actually didn't sound to bad (hard to tell without being there) but it is idling to low.

 

It didn't look like the idle solonoid was plugged in (top front of injector pump).

 

It should come out on cold starts and keep the R's up. Will also come out when the heater fan is running.

 

It's been awhile since I've had to mess with mine but as I recall that soloniod is also where you adjust for low idle.

 

They do shake quite a bit if the idle is too low.

 

Tach runs off the Paris Rhone alternator (small green (?) wire at the back plugged onto a spade conector). I have had my alternator rebuilt a couple of times. It seems as though the tach would start acting up shortly (few days) before the alt would give up. The needle would do about the same as yours is doing. Tach up, drop down, peg the needle and stay. Might be your tach issue.

 

That engine is rare for sure in the states here but it's also an odd duck in the way it's built when compared to US standards. Get a book and study up on it before taking stuff apart and don't assume anything. A little thing as an example, #1 cylinder is closest to the firewall not the radiator. Stuff like that can wreak a good mechanice that isn't used to working on these French critters.

 

Good Luck,

 

opsled

 

PS, That thing is in great condition and should be a jewel when you're done with it. Don't know what the miles are but mine has 265,000+ miles on it now and has had 4.10 gears in it since new so you shold have some life left in that one.

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Thanks for dropping by!

 

From what I have learned reading so far, the rear "Cold start thermostat capsule" sets the idle and timing. That really obvious electric one in the front is supposed to be the kick up for the A/C or Fan demand. If I could find it again, I would see what else it says about it. The think I remember it saying base idle was 800, and the solenoid was supposed to activate to kick it up to 1100.

 

As for the tach/alt... I had a feeling. He's had it on that 2 battery thing for who knows how long. I have yet to really dive into it, and have maybe had it running for a total of 5-10 minutes. One of the things that stands out in my mind is the clock would cut on and off like it didn't have enough voltage. Worth looking into. I really wish these still had a voltmeter, somewhere. I might hide one in the ashtray when all is said and done.

 

So far I am picking up small things here and there, I found one guy commenting on how the Paris Rhone starter likes to crack the bell housing, the engines don't take heat very well, the head gasket doesn't like to keep if the truck has been sitting any length of time, and some other small things. The engine seems to be in a TON of Renault cars, trucks, and transits over in Europe, as most of my 2.1 searches toss out a bunch of info on them.

 

I did also just talk to Pat, and he commented on the belt some more. I have the local Car-Quest guy pulling some strings with his Gates rep to see if they can track one down. Rockauto.com lists a timing belt kit, complete with belt and tensioners, but you can only order it in a quantity of 5. I will not be comfortable doing much if any sort of real messing with it running until I address this issue. Last thing I need is for the belt to snap, and the pistons acquaint themselves with the valves. Then I would really be up $#!&s creek.

 

I'll keep you posted as I find out more. Can't wait to have you down and kick the tires.

Rob :bowdown:

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Sounds like you are getting on top of things Rob. It's been a wile but what yor're saying on the cold start capsual sounds right. Mine has never had an issue with starting/idleing so I've never had to mess with that but I do remember reading up on it.

 

My bell broke by the starter. It's another goofy design. Heavy starter with a not so solid mount. Mine has been welded. Never an issue since.

 

Phil, (opsled)

 

PS, This isn't mine but this is what they should sound like.

 

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I did also just talk to Pat, and he commented on the belt some more. I have the local Car-Quest guy pulling some strings with his Gates rep to see if they can track one down. Rockauto.com lists a timing belt kit, complete with belt and tensioners, but you can only order it in a quantity of 5. I will not be comfortable doing much if any sort of real messing with it running until I address this issue. Last thing I need is for the belt to snap, and the pistons acquaint themselves with the valves. Then I would really be up $#!& creek.

 

Found the timing belt at rockauto, look at renault -> 1988 -> espace -> 2.1 -> engine -> timing belt (part number QTB143 or 94196) Doesnt say anything about quantity of 5. I'm not 100% shure its the right one but i know the renault espace diesels has been used as a bolt-on replacement for blown up XJ-diesels.

 

Edit: I looked at the belt on my engine (sitting on a pallet in a dusty corner...) its 1" wide and 148 teeth, just like thoose belts above. Dunno about the tensioners, but do you really need to replace them? :hmm:

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