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On 4/20/2018 at 8:27 PM, Pete M said:

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

 

Done and done.

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On 4/28/2018 at 4:51 AM, crumbscomanche said:

that shell is freakin sweet! 

 

Thanks. They can still be found for a reasonable price with a bit of searching and patience. But like the comanche going the way of the dodo.

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84’-94’, Comanches and Cherokees came with a single-diaphragm brake booster.  While this worked OK for stock once larger tires and a lift are added the lack of braking quickly becomes apparent. The later Cherokees and Grand Cherokees use a dual-diaphragm booster, which increase pressure in the brake lines, applying more pressure to the brakes, resulting in faster stops. There are multiple ways to do this swap and I'm not going to go into great detail as there are sufficient write ups to be found. I  used 00’ WJ booster and master cylinder, it’s rumored to give a bit better braking.

 

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the stock Comanche booster vs. the Grand Cherokee. The push rod on the Grand Cherokee has to be modified to allow for the brake switch to be installed correctly. Getting the push rod to the right length was the most time consuming portion. Initially, I ground too much off, and the brake switch wouldn't activate the brake lights. JB Weld was applied to the end of the push rod, then sanded that down until it was the correct length.

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For the larger booster to fit the firewall needs some modification.

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I marked the section that needed to be moved to allow the booster to be fully seated.

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Then I used a dremel to make relief cuts, then using pliers folded the lip up and under. 

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The lip still needs to be raised up slightly to allow the booster to fully seat into position.

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It’s recommended to use a ¼” spacer to keep the push rod lengths similar. After measuring the distances between the 89’ and the 00’ boosters, and seeing the significant height distance in the brake pedal and accelerator I decided to use a spacer. If you grabbed the booster from the junkyard often times you may find a factory plastic spacer, I didn't have one, but I did have a number of  unused washers. A couple test fits and I had the correct amount of washers. For my application it ended up being each stack was 6.7mm in height. 

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The Grand Cherokee brake master cylinder uses uses bubble flares at the connection, so new 3/16 brake lines with bubble flares at the master cylinder and double flares at the proportioning valve are needed.

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When I first when to test the push rod length on the brake booster I had to connect up the battery to get power. When I put the negative cable onto the post the truck starts turning over. Thinking I left the ignition in the on position I go to turn it off and see there are no keys and the ignition is turned off. Odd right, maybe it was a fluke. I go and connect the negative cable again and the truck starts turning over again. As long as the cable is touching the post the truck will crank. Now I am thinking I have a problem and I've never personally had this problem nor heard of this occurring. Off to the inter web for possible solutions.

 

First solution: I have the starter wired up incorrectly and/or the cable terminals is touching something it shouldn't on the starter. Out to the garage and loosen the starter wires, reposition, and ensure that nothing is touching.  Crawl out from under the truck, put the negative cable onto the post, the truck starts turning over. Go back into the house and read some more.

 

Second solution: Could be a bad starter solenoid. Out to the garage and under the truck again. Now I remove the whole starter to test the solenoid. Test the current one it checks out. Crawl back under the truck and put the starter on and connect it back up. Put the negative cable to the post. Truck starts cranking. Several threads read that even if the starter solenoid tests out it could still be bad. So I crawl back under to remove the starter....again and swap the starter solenoid for a good one that I randomly have on hand. Crawl back under and connect everything back up. Get out from under the truck, touch the negative battery cable to the post, truck starts turning over again. Back into the house to read some more possible reasons.

 

Third and fourth solutions: Several threads talk about a bad starter relay or a faulty ignition switch. At this point I start thinking I know that they can't be bad as the truck was running flawlessly a month ago before I started swapping parts over. I try to remember the K.I.S.S concept and realize these are getting more and more complex in repair and diagnostics. So I begin to think what have I done that might lead to this. The only thing that I have done with the electrical system was swap the battery cables. So I go out and start tracing the cables and everything looks to be connected correctly. Doesn't make sense.....I trace again, more carefully again and then I notice this, almost hard to notice but somehow I did.

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The positive battery cable that connects to the starter relay is just, and I mean just touching the plastic on the connection for the starter solenoid. I loosened the nut on the starter relay, moved the cable terminal away from the connection, tighten everything back up. Go to touch the negative cable to the post, no cranking. Two hours and some change later, problem solved. 

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Completed Cruiser54's tip #18 - Improving the Instrument Panel Ground. In his recommendations the cable is recommended to be 12" long. I only went with about 6" and attached it behind the support for the steering wheel.

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I next decided to tackle the wiring for the power windows and locks. The truck originally had manual windows, but the original doors had the towing mirrors that over time rusted out in the mounting points and left large holes in the door. The replacement doors that came from an XJ came equipped with power windows and locks. When the windows were first wired the the drivers side control panel only operated the drivers door window and lock. I wanted to be able to open the passenger side window without having to lay across the truck to open and/or close the passenger window or lock the door.

Earlier in the year a trip to the junkyard netted a wiring harness from 4-door Cherokee with power windows and locks. I stripped the wiring harnesses from the doors and into the cab and grabbed the master control panel. As I'd never done this and I couldn't find a wiring diagram online I started by unraveling the wiring harnesses and tracing each wire to see where and what it went to. Then using some painters tape labeled them for reference.

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Once I knew what went to where I rewrapped the wire harness.

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With the help of HOrnbrod I drew up the wiring diagram that I needed for my application. While perusing Ebay I came across a master control switch for a 86-96 two door Cherokee for cheap. While the wiring harness is for a four door, I adapted it to work with the two door control switch.

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While perusing Ebay I came across a master control switch for a 86-96 two door Cherokee for a reasonable price making for a cleaner look. The wiring harness was then adapted to work with the two door control switch.

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After mapping out what goes to where the wiring harness was installed.

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To connect the master control switch to the passenger door the harness was tucked up and run under the dash.

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The locks and windows worked.......for about a day. The passenger window regulator died on me while I was testing it out. It goes down with no problems. Going back up I have to flick the switch on both the master control switch and passenger switch multiple times to get it to go back up. So a new regulator is on the to do list.

 

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With the door wiring out of the way attention was moved to other interior items, such as swapping in a full gauge cluster to replace the dummy lights and installing a newer head unit.

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While reinstalling the fenders the front fangs were trimmed. 

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With easier interior items completed I moved onto more time consuming things. To reduce the amount of noise and heat inside of the cab the factory placed a foam backing on transmission tunnel cover. 28 years later it was dry and deteriorated. When I removed the dry foam a sticky residue was left over from the adhesive that was used. Olive oil is a cheap and effective way to remove sticky things. A few ounces of olive oil, ample time and some elbow grease removed the sticky residue. 

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With sticky stuff gone I put down a sound deadener & heat barrier mat. Don't recall the exact brand, but a 4' x 10' roll was purchased off of Amazon. The mat doesn't have an adhesive backing. 3M Super 77 was used to stick it down. Seams between matting were taped using foil tape.

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Shots of the finished product.

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The original plan was to put a piece of sound deadener and heat barrier mat on the ceiling of the cab. To my surprise on removing the headliner I found a large amount of rust on the cab ceiling. I knew the windshield leaked, the only thing I can think of is that when it leaks some of the water that enters becomes trapped between the roof and some foam sleeping pad matting that had been installed at some point in time between the headliner and the roof. So my afternoon entailed applying Chassis Saver to the roof to stop the rust. 

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Since the headliner was going to be out of the cab for more time that originally anticipated I made a jaunt to the local Joann's fabric store for headliner replaced material and recovered the headliner. 3M Super 77 was also used to glue the headliner down. Heavy coats were sprayed onto the back of the material and onto the headliner. Once the glue was given a few minutes to become tacky to the touch the material was smoothed out over the headliner.

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A couple days later, after letting the rust inhibitor dry and fully cure, some sound and heat barrier was installed.

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4 hours ago, JimmysJeep said:

My dad has one similar to this, lookin good!

Haha, he must have good taste. Thanks for the compliment. 

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Finished with the headliner this afternoon, turned out better than I had hoped.

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With the head liner back in most of the interior was installed.

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32 minutes ago, agamble said:

Finished with the headliner this afternoon. Turned out better than I had hoped.

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Nice job on the headliner.   :L:

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23 hours ago, HOrnbrod said:

 

Nice job on the headliner.   :L:

 

Thank you! Time will tell how well the glue holds up.

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The OEM B-pillar lights no longer stayed secure in their mounting locations. As a cheap fix grabber screws were used to keep them pinched in place. I neglected to get a picture of this, but you can see the hole it left behind on the left of the light cut out. As a replacement I used some aftermarket Euramatec lights that have more of a stock look than other alternatives that I have seen used in the past. The installation is very easy. The existing hole needs to be enlarged width wise by about a quarter of an inch. A dremel with a rotary bit but made quick and easy work. Wiring was also straight forward. Clip the existing connector off, wire on three female connects, plug on according to the wiring diagram that comes with the lights.

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Spent a good amount of time on the underside of the Jeep cleaning and covering the undercarriage, paying particle attention to the cab corners and rear floor pans. to compliment all the rust repair (floor pans and portion of the transmission tunnel) and prevention on the interior. In hindsight I should have done some sort of wash on the under carriage before dismantling. But then again how well I would have been able to clean the undercarriage with all the drivetrain in place is a whole different question. I used a wire cup to brush off any loose dirt, flaking rust that was present, remaining factory sound deadening spray and whatever else was under there. The obligatory before shots:

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When working in the interior there wasn't any visible rust on the rear floor pans or the cab corners. During prep of the exterior I performed a thickness check and the rust appears to be superficial. My method for testing was very high tech, I took a screw driver and stabbed at various places to see if it would punch through... I know, super technical. I was not going easy on the punching and all impact points had a strong metal clang. 

I used the same product, Chassis Saver, that I used for the interior. Where there was exposed rust and/or sound deadening spray from the factory it adhered nice and thick on the first coating. As the product instructions state, it works great if it has something to bite onto. The roughed up painted areas took two coats to get good coverage.

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I also performed the screw driver test on the rockers. The passenger side was not an issue. When I got to the drivers side rocker the screw driver punched through a couple places. This side had a couple areas that still seemed okay strength wise but definitely have rust issues. I might see about getting some rust inhibitor to spray inside the rocker. But even that might not be enough. If I was still living where there are harsh winters and lots of road salt I would say that the rocker might make it couple more years before it gives out. But being in the high desert of eastern Washington, dry, very little snow fall, and I don't use this as a daily driver. It should last multiple years before I have any serious issues. In a couple months or year, I may just end up cutting out the rocker and replacing it with a new one. For now I cut out what material was bad and patched it using left over material from the floor pans. A little bondo smoothed the patched area. First coat: 

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A Second coat to make it level after sanding down the first.

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Earlier on in the process I swapped steering boxes. While trying to remove the return line on power steering pump I snapped the plastic nipple off and all the fluid ran out onto the garage floor. I always have the same feeling when it comes to buying new parts. It's a mixture of dread and joy. Dread at the fact of I have to spend money that I don't really want to spend, but joy that I get to/have a reason to buy a new part. Which usually means upgrade time. Alas, no upgrade was to be had this time. I've always been intrigued by the PSC steering reservoir, but I couldn't justify the $400 dollars for the system.Maybe one day, for now went with a remanufactured power steering pump. The swap went quick. I spent more time removing old grease and grime from the previous leaking pump.

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Once the pump was replaced, attention was moved to aesthetics by refreshing the front bumper that came on the Jeep. I'm not 100% sure, but my best guess is that it is a Nates4x4 based off of design. It meets my current needs. Future plans......how far in the future is to be seen, are to get a winch bumper. Refreshing of the bumper consisted of a quick scuffing with a flapper disc, followed by a coat of Chassis Saver on the areas that were showing heavy rust and pitting. That was followed by two coats of Rust-O-leum Appliance Epoxy. I've become a big fan of the stuff. I like the durability it provides compared to regular spray paint as well as the finish. I've taken to using it on bumpers and sliders. The major down side is you get only two color options, white or black. 

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While waiting for the bumper to dry I started the prep work for the installation IronRockOffroad Rock-Link Long Arms that I purchased a while back. The instructions require that the area where the arm brackets mount all structures that stick out further than the frame rail need to be removed. As of now I have removed the extra brace brackets are used for the cross member, and trimmed the lip that sticks in towards the transmission.

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A second test fit showed that the rear stud for the extra brace needed to be removed for the arm bracket to sit flush on the frame rail.

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Once I had both sides prepped, I reapplied Chassis Saver to the areas of the undercarriage where it was ground off when removing the structures that would interfere with mounting the long arm brackets.

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This evening I started on my transmission swap. In this instance I am going from an internal AX-15 to an external AX-15. For those of you interested the swap will essentially be identical if you're going from the BA10/5. 

 

In my case I am using an external AX-15 from a 98' XJ. It came complete, meaning I had the external slave bell housing, the clutch fork and bearing. If you don't already have these parts you will need to source them. Due to the differences between the Renix era and newer OBDI/OBDII computer systems, when installing the clutch system the Renix era fly wheel and CPS sensor must be used with the newer transmission. 

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When Chrysler changed from the internal slave setup to the external slave, the transmission input shaft diameter was changed meaning if you are using an external slave AX-15 in an older 4.0L a new pilot bearing may be in order. 

The BA10/5 and internal slave AX-15 have a pilot bearing with an Inside Diameter (ID) of 0.5934 inches, Outside Diameter (OD) of 1.055 inches, and depth of 0.719 inches (OE part number 53009181). 

The external slave AX-15 has a pilot bearing with an ID of 0.7518 inches, OD of 1.8161 inches, and depth of 0.719 inches (OE part number 33004041). The standard pilot bearing that comes usually will not fit into the crankcase as it will have to large an OD.  

Side by side of the internal vs external pilot bearing (internal on the left, external on the right).

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A 72 - 73’ CJ, 350 V8 pilot bearing is recommended when swapping in an external AX-15 in an older 4.0L. It has an ID of 0.751 inches, OD of 1.056 inches, and depth of 0.88 inches (National part number PB77HD or Dorman part number 14674). For my application I went with the National bearing. 

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The bronze bearings are impregnated with oil, so when installing do not use grease as it will contaminate the bearing. I've read to make for an easier install the night before place the bearing in some fresh motor oil and store it in the freezer. Now I may be incorrect, but I figured if its already impregnated with oil why would I need to soak it again. And in the winter its just as likely to freeze so it should not affect the bearing in any way to freeze it without additional oil. So 24 hours later I began the install. I used a make shift install tool...an old shop broom handle cut down to size. I slowly tapped it into place, taking care to make sure it was square while inserting it. (Sidenote, when doing this swap, BA10/5 to external AX-15 on my other Comanche the 73’ CJ pilot had too large an OD to fit into the crankcase, in that case I found that the external AX-15 pilot bearing fit into the space, so I ran that one.)

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With the pilot bearing in place I moved onto installing the Luk Heavy Duty Clutch Kit. At this point as long as the clutch kit is designed for the AX-15 it is compatible. The kit comes with an alignment tool to use when installing the friction disc to the flywheel.

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Fly wheel, pilot bearing, and clutch kit in. :applause:

 

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Phase II of the transmission swap

 

When going from an internal slave to an external slave, there are various ways to go about getting the clutch master cylinder and external slave connected. One method is to buy the complete kit. The issue that I have heard with this is that it requires the drilling of a new upper mounting hole in order for the later clutch master cylinder. I have no personal experience with this so I cannot confirm this. 

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To avoid headache and making unnecessary holes I went the second option. AdvancedAdapters sells hydraulic fittings that allows youth retain the year specific clutch master cylinder while mating it up to the slave cylinder at the bell housing. You can order the complete setup (Jeep Slave Cylinder Assembly For NV3550/AX15 Bellhousing, P/N 716340) or you can purchase the parts individually. Why I don't know but, I had a brand new slave cylinder laying around so I purchased the individual parts. To connect the stainless steel hose (716130-60, 60" length or 716130H, 42" length) you will need the early master cylinder fitting that is a 7/16 inverted flare style (P/N 716130F). This fitting will thread right into the clutch master cylinder.

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Then to connect the stainless steel hose to the slave cylinder you will need the TJ Master Cylinder Fitting and Slave Cylinder Fitting (P/N 716130 TJ) and O-ring (P/N 716130OR).

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Once its all connected you will need to prime the hydraulic system. The slave cylinder does not have a bleeder valve. In order to prime the hydraulic system you'll need to let the push fully extend (don't cut or break the retaining straps that come with the slave cylinder). While holding the slave cylinder at a 45 degree angle, pour the fluid into the slave until its full. At this point insert the fitting, o-ring, and hose. And place in the retaining pin. Once secured with the retaining pin hold the slave in a vertical position with the rod pointing down to the floor and slowly push the rod inward about 1". After about 10-15 strokes there should not be any air bubbles in the master cylinder reservoir.

 

Bled, connected, and ready to install.

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Mounted up and waiting for the transmission to be put in.

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Phase III of the transmission swap

 

The final phase of swapping in an external slave is that the bearing retainer needs to be swapped out. The internal slave bearing retainer is shorter and reveals more spline. In the picture below you can see the final setup, the throw out bearing in the front, followed by the clutch fork, and finally the bearing retainer plate.

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When swapping the transfer-case if you did not get an AX15/NP2321 combo you will need to get the correct input gear for the transfer case. The important thing to look for is the variations in the 231 transfer case input gear. The 231 comes in 21 spline (found behind the BA10/5, and I believe pre 91' AW4)  and 23 spline (found behind the AX15 and post 91' AW4) versions. The input gear comes in long, medium (rare) and short variations.  To know which length input gear you have or will be pulling from the donor just take a quick measurement. The long shafts protrude 2.1" from the front mounting face of the transfer case. The short version protrudes 1.2". The rare medium shaft protrudes 1.7". You should also be careful when swapping any of these gears due to different bearing widths and gear teethFor my specific situation I'm going from an AX15 internal slave to AX15 external slave, and both transferases had the short input gear. So it was a straight swap. Another thing to watch out for is the 4WD shift linkage is different between the BA10/5 and AX15. You can take one of two approaches, you can cobble together a functioning one from the two or use an after market product (google returns several results). I went with the shift linkage from Boostwerks. 

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A very important thing that I found out the hard way for myself as no-one ever mentioned in the swap posts I read and had the hardest time finding in the after math. When swapping from the BA10/5 to the AX15 the BA10/5 transmission bracket (it connects the transmission mount to the transmission) does not work on the AX15. The spot for the transmission mount 3/4" to 1" lower. You will have to use an AX15 specific transmission bracket. I didn't want to take the this path and spent several weeks scouring the internet to find the correct bracket.  When mounting the transmission if possible, use the AX15 crossmember. The crossmember holes on BA10/5 do line up with the AX15 mount studs, but will move the frame mounting point further back.  I've heard one work around is to drill and tap new crossmember holes in frame where the crossmember will then be located. I didn't use the AX15 crossmember, as I am putting in long arms (a write up on that will follow once its complete).

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Another easy fix is the reverse lamps connection. When going from the BA10/5 to AX15 you will need to swap the plug. You'll need to replace the silly two prong push-on with a two-pole Delphi Weatherpack (and you may need to extend the wiring a bit). You can buy a weatherpack new online or go clip one from any vehicle in the junkyard.

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All buttoned up with the new external slave cylinder in place.

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On 3/28/2018 at 7:50 PM, agamble said:

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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Love this setup. Do you know the Wildernest model number? Did it need to be modified or is it a perfect fit?

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