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New Texas member with '88 Chief just acquired!


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Just joined up a couple days ago, after rescuing my soon to be new obsession. I have owned a Jeep before, a '78 CJ Levis edition that almost rotted away after some horrible self attempted lift endeavors that rendered it road un-worthy, until it was rescued by a friend.Sorry to see it go. Now it's my slightly better informed chance at redemption. I know very little about this Chief but will be diggin in soon. It is a stock 1988 4x4 I6 200,000+ miles with factory air, manual trans, windows and locks. Slight surface rust on top, bed and tailgate. Looking to add lift for cool factor and up-size the tires. Would like to add front and rear bumper with winch on front. Probably never gonna see any crawlin or boggin, more like takin the kid to school and some deer lease in style time!

 

 

Yes it came home with scrap metal the PO was saving. That might scrap out enough for a water pump or hose, which is all he thought the truck needed...

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This truck has been parked outside for probably 3 years w/out starting. Untill last summer when owner had a buyer so he worked on the fuel sending unit and got it started, then noticed water leaking under engine compartment. He shut it down and there it has been. For $200.00 I think I can take it over for him. Can I get an "Amen"? So many questions for ya'll.

 

1. How do I determine what drivetrain components I have?

2. Which ones will suffice for the previous post's intended use I described.(DD, no crawls, lift for bigger rubber,etc.)?

1a. Oh yeah, what should my first move be?

 

This might go down like a "Blog truck build" where I try to do what the more experienced and knowledgeable wrench heads suggest...

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I'm assuming you're talking about transfer cases and axles, so here we go.

 

The factory transmission in your truck is the Peugeot BA-10/5, a french transmission not known for strength but many have acheived some very high mileages. The AX-15, a much better transmission, came to be in mid 1989.

 

Your truck is an '88 so it could have one of two transfer cases: The New Process models 231 or 242. The 242 has the option for full-time 4WD, the 231 does not.

 

The front axle on a stock Comanche is always a Dana 30 with an open differential. It may have either a Dana 35 (oval shaped cover) or Dana 44 (angular cover) rear axles with either open or limited-slip differentials. The D35 is known for being very weak for offroading duty, but may be kept depending on what tires you plan on using. The Chrysler 8.25 and Ford 8.8 are frequently swapped in place of a Dana 35 that has failed. You don't have a Dana 60.

 

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My opinion? Start simple, and make sure it's mechanically reliable before worrying about cosmetics.

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Thanks Minuit, crawled under and confirmed the 30 and 35. I guess since there is no selector anywhere for full time 4x4 that I've got the 231 T/C. I'm gonna assume that the truck is carrying the original tranny at this point, since everything else seems completely stock.

Thru in a battery today and truck cranks, but alas no fuel sending unit noise, so I think I'll drop the tank while checking out the sending unit electrical issue. No telling what is in that tank! Also upon keying had no dash component response. The radio did pop to life! Hoping for only ground problems. Looks like the only 2 things I need from here on in are money and time...

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First off, welcome from just south of you, nice to see another TX MJ not being torn up. Truck looks pretty good for $200, can't really beat that. Not sure if you're planning on keeping the roll bar or not, but if you ever plan on getting rid of it, I would be interested. And I would agree Minuit, get it reliable before you start tearing it apart, not saying you will do it, but I'm sure most of us agree that we have seen too many unfinished projects for sale, because people ran out of time or money, again not saying you are going to do that, but you have a pretty good platform to start with, get it daily driveable and then start upgrading.

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Glad to be a part Jeepskater433! Certainly wanting to put the cart before the horse is just natural excitement kickin in. I know I've got lots of checking it out to do before it even rolls outta the shop. I think the Roll bar is what puts the "man" in Comanche. Bout to be bird huntin time down in your neck of the woods...doves, bwt, gwt, etc.

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Glad to be a part Jeepskater433! Certainly wanting to put the cart before the horse is just natural excitement kickin in. I know I've got lots of checking it out to do before it even rolls outta the shop. I think the Roll bar is what puts the "man" in Comanche. Bout to be bird huntin time down in your neck of the woods...doves, bwt, gwt, etc.

 

I understand, been there done that plenty of times. Roll bar looks good, definitely keep it, hard to find them,

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Okay been gathering up a few parts:

 

New Fuel tank from 1AAuto

 

2 in 1 from a member here! fuel sending units!!

 

recieved my "746"s from Programbo and got them in and while replacing injectors i was able to clean the fuel rail and lines!

 

next on the list

 

along with next purchases: NGK copper plugs, wires, cap and rotor, wix oil filter, inline fuel filter, sending unit filter and new ground and hot battery leads.

I can not wait to hear this kitten purrrr.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally installed new fuel tank, fuel sending unit, fuel filter, injectors, cap, rotor, plugs, wires, new battery, and battery cables. Twisted the key and chuggity, chuggity, chuggity...nothing. Checked out all installs and try again, nothing. Yes I put fuel in it. Sending unit is audible and rail is pressurizing. Can I get a run down of possible no start fault culprits? It's been along time since I did any mechanicing.

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Did get a little time on the truck yesterday. I've got fire from the coil but no spark at the plug. So unplugged CPS for 5 minutes then reconnected it. Still no start. Got the Echlin CPS from Napa and installed it. What a freakin job that is! I found that I could reach the bolts with my extensions and swivel socket rather easily to remove them. The hard part was repositioning the new CPS from above. So I got a piece of coat hanger type wire and inserted the end of it into one of the holes on the CPS from the backside of it. That made it much easier to lower it into position from above. Then I taped the coat hanger in place while I went underneath to install the bolts. Also inserted the bolt into the socket and put one wrap of electrical tape around it and it's washer and the socket to secure it while trying to thread it up to the hole and get it started. Climb back out and connect the plug. Hit the key and....more chuggity, chuggity, no start! Did a little "why me" dance, cussed, then prayed, then started pokin around. Found a bit of corrosion in my fuse panel. Even though my floor boards look great I guess there has been some moisture on the panel.

Could there be my problem? Any ideas?

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can't remember off the top of my head right now but on the back of the cluster there is a common ground that runs to everything... when I put mine together it didn't work either so I ran an extra ground wire to one of the posts on that back and everything worked immediately.  I can't remember where I found it but try searching external ground for XJ gauge cluster.

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Hot D*!# added an additional 4ga. Ground from the firewall to the manifold and PRESTO! The Chief started right up! It took about 30 seconds of running to settle into an idle but then steadied out. I also refreshed the cluster ground and BAM! We have gauges! Pretty sure the temp gauge is not reading properly, the engine seems to be a little hot, so time to get to the flushing and new thermostat. But for now, no leaks at idle and one trip around the driveway. Now to flush the cooling system and change out all the fluids. Very light pedal on brakes. Couldn't have had a better Sunday morning.

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