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Project: Blue


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Hey all. This is my progress so far on my new MJ. She doesn't have a proper name (yet), so I'm calling her her "Project: Blue" for obvious reason, until I come up with something better. I'm just going to copy/paste what I wrote in the intro thread, to save my poor fingers a bit and keep from throwing my crappy keyboard out the nearest closed window.

A little back story: Ever since I was a little boy, and my friends dad got an AMC Jeep Comanche, I've wanted one. My first car was a 1984 AMC Eagle. I loved it. Wish I still had it, but that's a story best saved for a few beers. I decided that when I finally got my Comanche, it would be an AMC built one. Sure, there wasn't much difference after they got bought out, it was still a Jeep, but that's not the point.

I happened to be browsing the good old CL one day, not even looking, and BINGO! 1986 AMC Jeep Comanche. Looked pretty good from the pictures, so I emailed the guy with my number, hoped in my car, and went to check it out. Did some hemming and hawing, bought it the end of that week. She had some rough spots, but nothing too bad that was immediately apparent. Plus, she had brand new (but crappy Wrangler) tires, and a (by my opinion) pretty sweet ladder rack.

 

It's got the 2.5 and an auto, so not ideal. No biggie, I'll get her built just the way I like her eventually. Right now, road legal and running smooth is good enough for me.

First, welcome to the Busted Knuckles Garage! My brother is a mechanic, and has tackled many projects, including a complete frame off restoration of his '96 Chevy Silverado out of his tiny garage in Fisher, PA. I don't have pics of the inside with me, but I'll get them at some point I'm sure.

 

Got it home, found out there was a little more work then I thought I needed to do (isn't there always?). I THOUGHT the floorboards were fairly solid, but they weren't as good as they appeared once I pulled the carpet up. You see, one of the previosu owners, I'm asuming the one that painted it blue, decided to do a hack job on the floorboard repairs. Bless the sod, they decided to pop-rivet some duct work over the bad spots on the undercarriage, and just hit it with layers of bedliner to hide the slack-@$$ repairs. :headpop: Fooled me, for certain. Evidence of tomfoolery:

These are post mild cleanup, I'm sure I don't need to post every step along the way, I imagine you've seen plenty of it.

 

So, a 50 gallon drum, a cut-off wheel, hammers, and feed mig welders fixes all the holes for now. We only did partial patching for the moment, as my old lady was insistent that I don't have an not inspected truck sitting on the street for the man to haul off. Spring will see a complete frame-off resto, I promise!

 

Other things that needed fixin': New gas tank (included with purchase, but not installed by the PO)

 

And lastly, on her way out of the garage:

 

PO mentioned she was "running a little rough", but had no idea why. Also suggested I needed a new steering gear box, which was actually the death wobble. I popped the hood and noticed that the O2 sensor was absent. So, a new Moog track bar, and a new O2 sensor. Problem solved. So far, I'm all of $110 and about 20 hours of my bother's and my time into this project over purchase price, which pleases me. Oh, and I also had to replace the rear bumper, which we got from an MJ my brother used to have but was far too gone to repair, so he just pulled what was still useful from and junked. He's kinda pissed at himself now :)

 

Still to happen? Bucket seats. A five speed, a HO 4.0, and lifting the bed to clean up and repaint the frame. I need to fix some surface rust on points over the body, fix the upper hinge on the drivers door as it has popped the original mount and is currently held in place by a temporary fix. Don't have a picture, but I will later. A set of Dana 44's would be nice to go with the 4" lift I plan on doing so I can get a set of 31's on it. Perhaps someone here that's fairly local could point me to these parts at a fair price? I would love to buy from one of you as opposed to Joe Blow's parts and salvage, keep the money in the group, aye?

 

So, before I go, here's an obligatory pic of the dogs watching on as we cuss and sweat. And yeah, that's a bench from an MJ they are sitting on, the bench from my brother's MJ I mentioned previously.

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