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MJOTM - September, 2014 - Usamedic's '87 Chief


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Each month that I've been doing MJOTM has always started off with this long introduction explaining each month's pick. Maybe toss in some kind of twist of words or metaphor... it drags on regardless of how I go about it. This month is different. This month I'm really at a loss over what to say about the truck. I mean, come on... this month's pick is just amazing. Doesn't matter what angle you look at it, it's just pure awesome. With everything is has, what else can you even compare it to anyhow? Loud, bright color... perfect stance... Moabs... the ever elusive WilderNest... What else is there to say besides this month's MJOTM is a one-stop-shop when it comes to the complete... COMPLETE... package.





Usamedic's '87 Chief!!!



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1987 Comanche Chief



4.0 / aw4



Dana 30 / Dana 44 (upcoming upgrade will be 4:88 gears and arb lockers)






Electrical includes a 150 amp alternator from San Jose Generator, upgraded wire for main battery alternator and all grounds, National Luna Powerpack for "house battery" and self jumpstart ability, and a backup solar system for charging either battery.



5.5" front rough country lower, rubicon express adjustable uppers, steering from my 06 LJ, Rear springs courtesy of Hell Creek Suspension



Tan bench seat






Currently stock (future upgrade will be LED headlights and possible a pillar lights)



Painted by Joe at Healdsburg Collision in Healdsburg CA. Paint was was 2012 Jeep orange. The color has multiple color codes and names so don't ask. The WIldernest, bottom 6" of truck, all floorboards, and front and rear bumpers are rhino lined. The truck is not perfect, as its a daily driver. But she is pretty!



I'm running Maxxis mud tires (currently 32's, but I'll be returning to 255x85x16 now that I have bushwhackers and the room for the taller tire)


Tires are mounted on Rubicon Moab Wheels and I'm currently running spacers.



Its basically my turn key "bailout truck", you can take here where you want to go, and have a two burner stove,refer/freezer and a living quarters and still get 16mpg, and thats why I like her!



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Build Thread


CC is Awesome!... Why Do You Think So?

Comanche Club is awesome because of great people, great mechanics, and great vendors!




See what I mean?... awesome. Bobby, you hit the nail right on the head when it came to the perfect combination of options, accessories, and an unbelievably high cool factor! I know I'm more than a little bias when it comes to the love of the look of the short bed MJ and the 'Nest, but it doesn't take much to quickly fall head over heels over this one. Congratulations, Bobby! You definitely earned the spotlight this month!




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I appreciate the comments! And while I dig her, there are still/always a few things to address. In regards to some questions I got via messaging:


The motor is still a Renix, not an HO


The Fender Flares are Bushwacker


The Visor is a Lund, and is MJ Specific, as Cherokee ones don't line up quite right. I'll try to find the part number. They don't go on as easy as one might think, and you have to be willing to drill a few holes in your Cab to get the visor to work. But I like the look, so it was a no brainer for me. 


In regards to issues with the truck that I don't currently like:


The rear springs are a bit too soft now that I have the fridge, stove, toolbox and WIldernest on her, so I may be calling Deaver soon or adding a leaf to the Hellcreek springs.Mind you this is not Hellcreeks issue, the springs worked great when I bought them but when I decided to make this truck into more of an expedition rig, well it got heavier. 


The tailgate wasn't straight when it got painted. It was just too trashed and they did the best they could keeping it straight enough to work. Its truly the only thing on the truck that looks s&$^ty, and only when its down because you can't tell the rest of the time. 


I need to address some interior lighting and a couple little electrical gremlins too.


Otherwise she is quite the animal and I love driving her. She gets lots of thumbs ups and looks when she is driven as well. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 2 months later...

long day today. New water pump. PITA! is all I can say about Jeep brackets and the compact area they got all that crap in. New pump on, but the pulley rubs against the bolt behind itself. Casting must be slightly larger on the new pump. Also, what I though was a bad water pump, may have been a bad harmonic balancer. Almost got that off tonight. 


The last couple days goes like this


Heard a squeak


Replaced a belt


Still had squeak


ausculatated and it sounded like the water pump


replaced water pump


everything was quiet till the pulleys and belt heated up a little. Then I had a rub. While trying to find the rub, heard the squeak again. 


with all the crap out of the way it appears the harmonic balancer has some rubber being pushed out, and auscultation now makes it seem to be coming from it. 


Started pulling the harmonic balancer, but a buddy had borrowed the pulley puller. So tomorrows task is replacing that bad boy.

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