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Allow me to introduce my latest project, Pancho Villa. Why Pancho Villa you ask? That is due to the WilderNest that comes along with the truck. A mobile villa. The basic specs are it's a 1990 LWB Pioneer, 4.0L, 4x4, equipped with a 4" lift, 29" tires and 3.07 gear ratio. To accommodate the hefty Wilderness, airbags have been added to the rear frame. Inside its very posh, bench seat with head rests, no AC, and electric windows......on the drivers side, passenger side if you reach across the cab. Apart from that no other modifications have been done since I was last in possession of it. Amazing how things come full circle. It came back into my possession when a family member decided to upgrade to a newer, nicer rig. They asked if I wanted the truck back, and you can bet that I wasn't going to pass it up. The only change between then and now was the addition of the WilderNest and the airbags. But enough with the chit chat, on to the pics.

 

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When last in my possession, almost a decade ago, it was in great shape. Since then it has had an engine rebuild and and I was told some metal placed on the floor board to cover the small hole. I pulled the interior to see the small hole for myself and indeed found a wee hole. The metal patch was half a stop sign molded to fit.

 

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Passenger side was a little better.

 

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So with that I have already got my plans, for the direction that I want to go with Pancho. I have already built, wheeled and sold an XJ. Then moved on to the SWB comanche, the Pearl, that I have been building the last 4-5 years. That one I kept rather stock, all mods can easily be undone. For this one I found I want to go between the last two and have a moderately built overland rig. To speed up the process, the plan is to take all the aftermarket parts from the Pearl and move them over to Pancho. As much as I would love to keep both, I don't have space and I know I won't drive both. So I am going to consolidate down to one. I am going to take the best of two and make one better one. 

 

Passenger side was pretty easy to prep. Drivers side it still be prepped as we speak.

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I've seen so many rotted out floorboards that you'd think I'd get callused to it.  but nope.  makes my heart sink each time. :(  thankfully it can all be fixed. :D  

floors aside, it looks like a solid platform for your build. :thumbsup:  should be a lot of fun!

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11 hours ago, DirtyComanche said:

Neat Wildernest topper. :thumbsup:

Thanks, it’s in good condition for its age  Makes setting up camp a breeze. 

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While I'm waiting for the floor pans that I ordered to arrive I took the opportunity to start moving over the parts that I'm swapping between trucks. The first thing that I swapped over was the set of brown dog motor mounts with the flex rubber bushings. The rubber bushing really dampen vibrations from the engine once they break in. I've run these on 2 different rigs. 

 

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Then I began working on the list of Cruiser's mostly remix tips. Started with refreshing the ground sensors. I only refreshed the sensors found below the dipstick...you know the important things.

 

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So I didn't rain oil down all over the garage floor, to make it easier locating, and a more ample selection of oil filters,  the oil filter adapter with SAE threads was swapped over.

 

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And the last thing I accomplished in the day was swapping over 4 gauge battery cables. As the build progresses and I start having a larger power demand I'll upgrade to some 2 gauge batter cables. The setup I ran is below:

 

Positive battery terminal = B+;   Negative battery terminal = B-

 

Battery clamps are brass wing nut terminals.

 

Battery Cable                                                           Cable Length                                   Cable Termination

B+ to starter motor                                                          40"                                             3/8" on both ends

B+ to starter motor relay/distribution                              12"                                             3/8" on both ends

B- to engine block                                                           40"                                             3/8" on both ends

B- to inner fender                                                            12"                                             3/8" on one end, 1/4" on other

Engine block to firewall                                                   12"                                             1/2" on one end, 3/8" on other

 

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Made more progress on Pancho. When being handed the keys I was informed that the truck ran rather crappy. I spent the day doing a tune up and completing more of Cruiser54's renix tips. Tune up wise, I pulled and checked all the spark plugs (which included recapping them to .035). As recommended per tip number 37 on the tip page I installed some Bosch 4 hole injectors to give some better fuel atomization. I found a good price on a set of six refurbished ones on eBay.

 

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Then I moved onto tip 11 and cleaned the throttle body and the IAC. This one was long over due as the photos can attest to. It took awhile but with some throttle body cleaner, elbow grease and time all the carbon build up was successfully removed.

 

Before:

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After

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The air filter showed signs of oil getting on it from some blow-by created by the towers located under the aluminum valve cover, so to  eliminate this issue I installed an extra steel valve cover with baffles from a 98' XJ I had laying around. Install is very straight forward take of the old one, put on the new one. Just make sure to use a new style valve cover gasket with replacement grommets.

 

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Can someone shed some light as to what this component is? I didn't have this on my 89' Comanche and have never com across one until now. I tried a goole search to no avail. Its hard to search for something when you don't know the proper name.

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what the hell is that?  :thinking:  better post it up in the main tech area.  

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Not sure here either, but did the vehicle ever have dual batteries?

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10 minutes ago, Ωhm said:

Not sure here either, but did the vehicle ever have dual batteries?

 

Not to my knowledge. And no space has been created that I can see. Engine bay looks stock apart from the cylinder and two extra relays on the passenger fender.

14 minutes ago, Pete M said:

what the hell is that?  :thinking:  better post it up in the main tech area.  

 

I will post there as well, grabbed a few more pics of some other parts I believe are tied to it. This is based of the connecters. I'd have to cut open the loom and trace wires to be 100 percent sure.

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Any chance there's a winch connection? Maybe using a heavy duty connector, the PO had a hitch mounted winch he would throw in there? Does the truck have a front hitch?

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On 4/4/2018 at 8:30 AM, Skorpyo said:

Any chance there's a winch connection? Maybe using a heavy duty connector, the PO had a hitch mounted winch he would throw in there? Does the truck have a front hitch?

 

No front hitch on the truck. I just need to take the time to trace the look and see what/if it connects to anything.

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Thats crazy after so many years you got it back haha, glad to it getting some love

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Earlier I  purchased a set of new floor pans from classic2current fabrications. I've read mixed review on the fit of the pans when putting then into both the XJs and MJs. For having all the bends in and being made of 19 gauge, I figured I didn't really have to much to lose. For now it worked out, although it took a little massaging to get it into place. I worked my way around taking it into place about every 1/4". Once a portion was tacked using a ball peen hammer I would massage the next portion of floor pan to match the contours of the existing floor then tack a little more. I continued in that manner until the floor was in. Once the drivers side is in the entire cab floor with be covered with Chassis Saver, then I will apply seam sealer over the seams both inside and out..

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The rust on the transmission tunnel was more superficial than anything. There were two spots that I was able to punch through using a screw driver while tapping. I cut out the pitted metal and then used some of the extra passenger floor pan to cut out the two patches. 

 

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12 hours ago, Swampy said:

Thats crazy after so many years you got it back haha, glad to it getting some love

 

Thanks, I am glad to be giving it some of the TLC that it needed. It will never be show room nice, nor do I want that. Cars are made to be used. But I do plan on taking care of it. First on the list is the surface rust.

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The drivers side floor pan definitely was not a close fit. Took quite a bit more than massaging to get it into place, I'd venture as far as saying it was more of a forceful coaxing to get into place. As with anything though patience pays dividends. 

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Yes, I realize that I am missing small portion of the transmission tunnel to be complete.

 

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With the floor pans welded into the truck its time to finish with stopping the remaining rust, and prevent the new pans from succumbing to the same fate as the previous floor pans. I spent more time that I should have reading and debating which rust inhibitor to go with. I really could not decide whether to go with POR15 or Chassis Saver. Both products had great reviews, so it seemed that I couldn't really go wrong. I finally decided to go with the Chassis Saver as there was less prep work involved. I read through several forums and watched multiple videos to get any tips to make the process go smoother. The main take aways were remove the loose, flaking rust, it does not adhere bare meta, and don't to let the stuff get on your hands. The directions on the can also recommends scooping only the needed amount into a secondary container and thinning the stuff out with their S8 reducer. A quick check of the SDS sheet shows the S8 is an aromatic hydro carbon, the exact same stuff as xylol. So with the required items, let the rust repair/prevention begin.

 

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Prep work was straight forward and time consuming. As everyone always says its all in the prep work. I started with a wire brush to remove any remaining loose/flaky rust. The sections of floor without any rust I scuffed with 60 grit sand paper to remove any sheen to give the Chassis Saver something to bite onto. Once all the sanding and grinding was completed I vacuumed out all the dust, and wiped everything down with warm soapy water.

 

An idea of how it looked before.

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And after

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To cover up the bare metal of the recently installed floor pans I scuffed the bare metal with 60 grit, cleaned with some denatured alcohol, and applied automotive primer. This should allow the Chassis Saver bond to the new floor pans.

 

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Chassis Saver can be applied by spraying or with brush. I went with the brush method. 

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In the end I decided to apply the Chassis Saver to the areas where the rust came through as well as where there would be the potential for any water to pool.

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Before I tore the interior apart to repair the floors, I noticed that the parking brake lever would not stay engaged. Every time I depressed the pedal it would spring back up instantly. After searching through the forum I found an amazing write-up by A-man930:

 

http://comancheclub.com/topic/48483-parking-brake-pedal-refurb/

 

However, I decided to start with the simple as recommended by Cruiser54 on page two. I replaced the stock spring with a new one, as the spring appeared to have lost a lot of its original tension. I made a trip to Ace Hardware and found a spring that sort of matched the stock one. Originally they were to long, I shortened it with same wire cutters.

 

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I made it a bit shorter than the stock one to give a bit more tension on the pawl.

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After the floor has fully cured I'll reinstall the assembly to see if the spring fixed the issue. If not I will remove it again and follow the repair done by A-man930.

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11 hours ago, agamble said:

I spent more time that I should have reading and debating which rust inhibitor to go with. I really could not decide whether to go with POR15 or Chassis Saver.

 

Me too, and I ended up picking Chassis Saver as well. Great stuff.  Give it a solid 7-10 days to fully dry and cure.  A little less if it's still cold where you are.

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On 4/15/2018 at 6:40 AM, kryptronic said:

 

Me too, and I ended up picking Chassis Saver as well. Great stuff.  Give it a solid 7-10 days to fully dry and cure.  A little less if it's still cold where you are.

 

Thanks for the tip. I am in no rush, so I will definitely give it a week before I seam seal and put the carpet and foam padding back in.

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Wrapped up repairing the floor boards in Pancho this afternoon. Applied a bead of seam sealer on the the weld joints both inside and outside. On the outside the seam sealer is going to be covered with Chassis Saver. When I get to that portion of the build I will scuff the undercarriage and seal it.

 

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The drivers side door had broken free from the factory weld. To get the door to unlatch you had slightly lift the door up to get the door up over the stricker.

 

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While surfing the web I came across these products from hooliganoffroad: https://www.hooliganoffroad.com/collections/xj/products/xj-door-hinge-support

I placed an order for these about a month ago, and they arrived today. The box came complete with instructions and couple decal stickers that are guaranteed to increase horsepower output and offroad prowess when adhered to your jeep.

 

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The instructions are brief, literally 4 steps, but clearly instructs installation. Installation requires removing the front fenders to gain access to the door hinges. I didn't take any pics of removing the fenders as this has been covered in several other threads. Once access to the hinges is gained, the instructions call for removing the plastic plug that is located under the top hinge of the door. Place the bracket up to the body and trace around the outer edge. and clean to bare metal.

 

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The door hinges had a foam placed over the top of the factory welds. The foam was readily removed with a flat head screw driver. It took about 5 minutes per side to clean off all the foam. 

 

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After getting to bare metal, clamp the bracket into place to get a snug fit. I forgot to take a picture, of that step however, I used a mini C-clamp placed into the opening that is visible in the picture below to secure the bracket to the body. When welding the bracket onto the body, you only need to put couple stitch welds along the outer perimeter of the bracket. Then completely weld the door hinge to the bracket.

 

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awesome!  :L:  can you make a copy of that install for the DIY forum?

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Finished with the door support brackets from Hooligan Offroad. I applied a two coats of Rust-O-leum paint and primer to cover up the bare/exposed metal. And  then as we all like overkill I put some seam sealer on the outer edges to keep any water from getting in between the bracket and the body.

 

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I also swapped over the red top steering box and the borgeson intermediate steering shaft. To make access easier I removed the brake booster and brake lines.

 

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While attempting to remove the power steering lines I broke the plastic nipple for the return line off. So until I order a replacement, the lines are just sitting there.

 

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