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Alright, so I already have a build thread started over on CF but I am going to move all of my posts on there to here as well since I can get comanche specific advice and opinions. So, these next few posts will just be getting up to date on this site.

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Let me start by saying this is my 3rd jeep at the age of 17 and my first true build. I'm more excited than ever to do this and get all of this moving.

So I found a good ole Craigslist ad for a 1986 comanche and couldn't resist when I saw it. I offered up my 97 Cherokee for it and he was interested so we set up a date for me to come check it out. I went and saw it Friday and he actually delivered it to me Sunday. Awesome guy to deal with and he knows what he's doing. He works for ok4wd, so if you've seen this anywhere, he's probably been around the block out here in PA.

I'll list what it has then tease you guys with some starter pictures. So, it originally had the 2.8 but he started the 4.0 swap. It came with an uninstalled driveline consisting of a 92 4.0, aw4, and the np242 with a SYE already on it. Custom driveshaft to mate with the ford 8.8 geared at 4:10. Dana 30 front with matching gears. Aftermarket exhaust manifold. 6.5" lift with 35" tires on d windows. It has the long bed with no tailgate and a prerunner style spare tire mount.

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Day 1: Sunday the 21st

I got the jeep Sunday around 5 and was working on getting my donor jeep apart the whole day. Once we got the comanche, I emptied out the garbage and spare parts that were spread through the rig and organized them. Then we simple greened and power washed the whole cab forward. It was more of a cleaning and organizing day.

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Day 2: Monday the 22nd

I had school and a track meet so I could only get so much done by a reasonable time. I got the entire dash out and consolidated the entire interior wiring to the driver side and began to decide how I want to go about the new wiring harness.

I think I'm going to run the harness through the comanche and figure out what is not use or not needed. The harness came out of a four door power option cherokee, so there's going to be a lot to go through. I'm also not going to be using the air conditioning, door pin things(that control the cab light coming on and off), and the cab light. I'll be running an led strip along the back of the headliner above the rear window with a switch on the dash.

So the project tonight is to get the wiring harness completely out, take the seats out, and begin the process of installing the engine and wiring harness into the comanche

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Day 3: Tuesday the 23rd

I had an army of guys working the jeeps tonight. My brother is actually going to be becoming a member of the jeep family this weekend. He's trading his project ranger for an 85 2 door with the 2.5 and 4 speed. Pretty sweet set up actually.

Anyway, so I had one friend and my brother pulling the harness out of the old cherokee. It is completely out and set to be gone through and installed. During this, my other friend and myself got the wiring harness out of the comanche, cleaned the engine bay, took the good off, got the remaining interior pieces out, and began the floor work.

We had a lot of work to do on the floor, as you'll see below. We tried to wire brush as well as possible where my dad is going to have to finish welds or weld new pieces on. He also grinded down the thicker surface rust on the passenger side.

So, tomorrow night I plan to continue the interior work and put the engine mounting brackets on. I'll also use the rest of whatever time I have to simplify the wiring harness where it obviously won't be used, such as the wires that went to the farther back components.

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I skipped out on a work night since I got home later from a track meet than I had expected and I'm exhausted. I may as well get good sleep since tomorrow and friday will be engine/wiring harness install days. I'm also starting to look into exhausts since this one basically only came with an exhaust manifold(which is definitely aftermarket, I believe Dorman). Any recommendations from the manifold back? I'm assuming just an OEM downpipe, high flow cat, flowmaster muffler, and cut the tailpipe short and kick it out the side?

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Over the past few days, I've taken more apart and started painting parts such as the tunnel, engine bay, and the chassis. I'm painting the engine bay, tunnel, and wheel wells with under coating and the unibody with chassis paint that my dad has.

I already cleaned and scuffed the engine bay, just have to finish painting it. I also scraped and wire wheeled the unibody up to the back of the cab and am going to be painting that this week. I have to go out to New Jersey with a friend to get him tires and wheels for his truck, so not much will get done tonight.

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So the engine bay is all done in undercoating, just have to run a thin coat over some areas. Rustoleum takes HOURS to dry fully and 3M only took maybe 2 hours max, I guess tonight I'll see which one looks better and I'll let you guys know.

The front portion of the unibody is going to get painted as soon as I get home and then as soon as its dry the engine will go in. Pretty excited to say the least

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Rough night last night, I finished painting the engine bay and let it dry then went right onto the engine install. We made the mistake of putting the second chain connection on the far back of the engine. As we were dropping it in, we couldn't get it to the exact spot it needs to be in. It was maybe an inch off and we realized we have to set the engine down, change the spots of the chain and try it all over again.

I work all night tonight, so nothing will happen today. Tomorrow will hopefully be the day I finally get the engine installed. Then I can run the wiring harness. I get paid Friday and just sold my lift parts from my cherokee, so I'll be purchasing my fuel line, trans lines, and exhaust. Any recommendations? I'm not sure if I should order exhaust stuff on line or just go to autozone.

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Alright, so I figured out I just have to make a custom crossmember or move the one I have back. Now my problem is the engine seems to not sit quite right. It clears the hood barely, but I can just shave the hood "crossmember" down so it clears. However, the engine tilts slightly back. I don't think it would affect oil pick up. Does anybody have an opinion on it? Here's a few shots of the engine installed

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Okay, so the engine clearance won't be a problem. When I remake the cross member to correctly fit the truck/trans I might just fab a transmission lift basically. Just to kick the rear of the drivetrain up a tiny bit and hopefully pull the front of the engine down some too.

The girlfriend is coming over today or tomorrow so she can help me paint the frame rails. I also started taking out the current engine wiring harness and checking where the po cut wires so I can run mine.

It's pay day too, recently sold my lift parts, and tax return came in so I should be able to purchase my exhaust, trans lines, and fuel line this weekend. Trying to get a lot done these next few days.

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Uploading all of my pictures to photobucket as I type. They'll be up shortly!

 

You were just about to get the "this thread is useless without pics" smiley, but after all that reading I think this deserves so much more...

 

936930_413830542049148_1408899790_n.jpg

 

Welcome! Cool story so far.

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Definitely a good story and very well written, indeed! Now, where are those photos?

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Full dash that's going in:

 

P.S. If anyone in PA or NJ has manual gray or black door panels or interior panels, please let me know!

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Now that is a slick panoramic shot of the interior! Nice work on the truck. Looks like she needed an owner with some heart to bring her back.

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Now that is a slick panoramic shot of the interior! Nice work on the truck. Looks like she needed an owner with some heart to bring her back.

Thanks! It's a pretty big project. I'm making sure I do all of this right the first time. My dad even questioned if I should give it back to the guy. He's a lazy mechanic though so it's kind of something I didn't listen to. I'm busting my @$$ on this

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