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Project: Rescued Comanche.

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Hey all, happy to join the fellow Jeep owners here! My driver has been an 86 4x4 s10 with the iron duke and while its been a good little truck (motor is SOLID, rest of truck not so much) the front end is wearing out and my heart isn't really with this one. I had been eyeballing Comanche's even before I got the s10 but the s10 sort of fell into my lap for $500 bucks and some minor repairs and I have been running it for almost 3 years.


Anyways fast forward to a week ago, I go with my dad to the local Auto recycler/pick n pull hes searching for a new wiper motor for his 89 XJ. As I walk into the yard entrance there it is a COMANCHE just seemed to be calling my name. After some stewing about I manned up and pulled the trigger and ended up driving it home!


I will need to have have it VIN inspected once I get a few bugs worked out on it because for whatever reason it was sold as salvage or destroyed on the title. 


For the life of me I can't figure out why the previous owner sold it to this place I think possibly he was just in need of cash very quickly, it had a for sale sign behind the back seats so obviously he hadn't had any luck (I may even give him a ring to chat about some things with the truck!).


Well she's a 87 Comanche Laredo, long bed, 4x4, 4.0, 5 speed, Brown in color with 178k on the clock and appears to be all stock, the only damage is a crunched corner of the rear bumper which didnt even hurt the body and a decent ding in the top of the tailgate which I think I will be able to cover with one of those stainless tailgate protector caps. Other then those 2 things the paint and body on the truck is basically spotless.


Current list of issues or fixes I did already:


1. Replaced alternator and got a new battery - I barely made it home on a battery the yard gave me!


2. Replaced thermostat and gasket - was leaking from gasket


3. Fighting some fuse box issues - has a new master for clutch and obviously had leaked some onto fuse panel and ate some of the fuse plug ins, I managed to get my flashers working which was the biggest issue but now I have lost my                                                                     dash lights and radio, I do believe this is why the previous owner gave up on the truck (fuse box issues) and I will more than likely have it replaced by an Automotive Electrical place eventually as it                                                                                    seems to have alot of little quirks from this.


4. Slight manifold leak - My dad is jealous of the motor in my comanche says its one of the quietest 4.0 he has heard, has basically no ticking and great oil pressure ( his 89 XJ is pretty ticky and lower oil pressure than he would like) but                                       it does have this manifold leak, but the previous owner left a new manifold and gasket behind the seat! (love that guy) just got to dive in there and get it on.


5. PULL UP THAT CARPET- seems to be the #1 thing I read on here so far! haven't dove into this one yet, floor looks good from underside and feels solid, but will be delving into this one soonish.


6. GROUND STUFF- seems to be #2 thing I read on here with renix systems, slowly going through some of these (like I got my flashers working now but one side is blinking really fast so could be the ground)


7. AX15 - Seems like this will need to be swapped in one day, haven't read the greatest of things about the Peugot tranny in there right now


8. Windshield - probably will need this soonish aswell, decent crack infront of driver side and also seems to be leaking some around the edges


9. throttle was a little sticky - lubed up the bellcrank and added a small return spring uptop onto the TB arm and hooked onto a hole on fuel rail mount. Probably will get in and clean up the throttle body eventually aswell but it does seem to drop                                               down to a nice and low idle now


Eventually I would like to do probably around a 4-5" lift on her with 33's but just going to be a nice stock driver for awhile.


I think the previous owner took great care of this truck and really loved it but must have come across some hard times and some small nagging issues with it ended up with them having to part ways, but I sure am glad to have it. I will try to get some pictures up soon and in the mean time I will be tinkering away on it and absorbing some more knowledge from you all!

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:wall: At the beginning all project is hard because you discover surprises that is no present when make the first inversion (Buy a Truck)

:headpop:In this process you unknown how much more is the inversion

:chillin: When you finish the project you have a big advantage (YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAVE)  

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Awesome score! Sounds about like mine... should be a fun project. Post some photos if you have the ability, we love pics. What rear end is in it?


If you don't mind sharing, what kinda cash did you pick out up for?


Well thank you for providing my suprise of the day sir, assumed this truck came stock with a dana 35 after reading your post I go out and take a look and it undoubtedly has a dana 44. Anyway this was factory or I should asume it was added by someone? It has the springs mounted under.


This made me also check what tranny it was just to be sure and it is definitely our little friend the Peugot 10/5.


And I picked it up for 1500$ about 1670 with tax, possibly could have nit picked over some small things I am having to fix but I wanted the truck and the price seemed pretty reasonable compared to the FEW I have seen listed on craigslist over the past year or two, these trucks seem pretty tricky to find up here.

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If the truck had been sold to a JY as scrap or salvage, I'm curious as to how you got it. Here, in Colorado, once the title has been handed over to a junk yard it can no longer be sold complete or with title. I have left my name and number with every JY and P&P around Pueblo that if a MJ comes there way to call me before they accept it. I give them a couple bucks for their trouble and I give the owner more than the JY would have.

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Yea here in Washington you can buy them then you need to have them inspected, this one will only be a VIN inspection to make sure the numbers match and I didn't use stolen parts to put it back together (which is weird because It only needed some minor maintenance items so far) and possibly when I get my title it wwill be labeled as REBUILT or something of the such and insurance may not cover it for much or at all besides liabilty. Though I am not positive this one will be labelled as such because the law is kind of tricky to decifer and seems to only pertain to newer or high value cars that were damaged, so I may get a normal title on this one not that it matters much either way to me.




This is the tricky wording I alluded to, from this it doesn't really say what happens if your vehicle doesn't meet any of these criteria so I am assuming I would not get a REBUILT labeled title.


After passing a WSP inspection, paying the appropriate fees, and applying for a new title, you will receive a "WA REBUILT" brand on the certificate of ownership if the vehicle is no more than five years old. The vehicle is also eligible for a rebuilt title if it meets all three of the following requirements:

  • The vehicle is is between six and 20 years old.
  • The vehicle is a used car, pickup truck, or sport utility vehicle.
  • The vehicle had a retail market value of $6,790 or more before it was damaged.
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Dana 44 non c-clip - 30 spline, 1.31" diameter shafts, 8.5" ring gear, 2.75" axle tube - used 87-89 on some(not all) MJs equipped with towing package.
(note for D44's: All MJ's equipped with the stock D44 come with the Metric Ton Package)


So I found this in a thread on here, this truck does have the tow package but no metric ton labelling and the 8th digit in the VIN is T which when looked up shows this truck as a Comanche Laredo 4001-5000 Lb. And it shows the 8th digit as a U would be the Comanche Laredo, Metric Ton 5001-6000 Lb.


So is a truck with tow package and D44 like this one factory and in fact equipped with metric ton package though the VIN does not acknowledge it?

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  • 1 month later...

Well the VIN inspection is done and I have been using the truck as my driver now and all is going well! Just got the rear shocks replaced with some sensatracs after I noticed truck was sitting funny and will change the fronts when the damn weather straightens out for a bit. I read on here that a metric ton package would have 4+1 or 3+2 leafs in the back but this truck has 3+1 with the D44 so I still am not sure whether to call it a metric ton or not!

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I think the tow package would have come with the D44. However, when you ordered a new Jeep, you could tick whatever options you wanted. As a result, there are some oddball factory configurations out there. Could also have been swapped in. You could try contacting Chrysler with your vin to see if they can unearth the original build sheet, but you'd have to get pretty lucky... A lot of the records were lost somewhere between AMC and Chrysler.

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  • 10 months later...



Here she is a couple weeks ago, went out playing in the snow.


Just been fixing some small things, I replaced the tranny mount, motor mounts and O rings for the filter adapter. Installed a new water pump,also replaced the crankcase vent hose as I discovered my air filter drenched in oil and I could not blow any air through the old one, so far there is much,much less oil going to the air filter, but still some, so I may end up having to do the fix on the valve cover I have read about here. Next on the hitlist is the damn exhaust manifold it was leaking when I got the truck and has steadily become louder. And I will be looking for a new rear bumper since this one is dented up bad on one side and is also pretty well rusted out from the inside, probably going to order the Nates 4x4 bumper.

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Very cool, I guess that explains why I have the D44 and non metric ton springs. I haven't seen another Comanche on here with these side mirrors they must be part of the tow package? Also does anyone know if I will be able to keep my stock tow hitch on with an aftermarket bumper like the Nates 4x4 or JCRoffroad?

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