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Flexj

88 Sport Low N Slow

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Hello all, Ive never bothered with a build thread in the past and thought it would be good to start on my recently acquired Comanche.  I Suppose ill explain my user name first, its from the 89 cherokee pictures a few down. I got that when I was 17 Just before graduation. I had it 5 years. Best Jeep ive ever owned shouldnt have ever sold it. It was complete, I had a built dana 30, ford 8.8, manual with a 231, on three inches of lift and 31s. I could have fit 33s, and was planning on it until I parted it out in order to buy the Grand Cherokee Pictured. Ive had the Grand for 4 years now and I want to go back. Always wanted a mj so here I am. I bought the mj for 1800 from a friend, who traded a car for it as a favor to me, that he was asking 1800 for to sell.... So, first fun thing that happenned, previous owner had to pull the diff cover to check the gear ratio...... locked up on me a day or two later. He never put fluid back in the rear end... Luckily a fellow jeep club member had a old stock 35 laying around and just gave it to me. Front end was all @#$%ed when I got it so I got a 97 front clip from a rolled 01 xj and did the fiberglass work myself. Its real easy to work with. Had running issues, tps was out of range so i replaced it, did the c101 elimination because the sensor grounds were horrible. Anywhere from 18-90 ohms when I would shake the harness. Cps had three splices in it, hahaha. Replaced that and its been running great now. Just needs brakes and a 8.8. in the next two months i plan on swapping a 3:55 8.8 in the rear and rebuilding the front end with 98 abs shafts hubs and brakes. Ill truss it while its out and get aftermarket control arm mounts and otherwise leave it as is with 3:55s until I can afford chromos and gears. I'm going to make custom fenders along what I have pictured. I'm sure most of you will recognize it from the 4wheeler article all over google. Ive tried searching for the guy that makes them, they talk about it in the article but I'm thinking his shop is probably closed now. I want to keep it spring under, its my daily driver. Inspiration is the grey MJ pictured. Overland'esk. 

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Edited by Flexj
Trimmed up excess info.

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Sorry wish I had taken more pictures of the fiberglass repair on the front end. Halfway through this project i said screw it, its to cold outside ill redo the paint and bondo in the summer. Here we are getting into the nicer part of the year for Oregon so well see if i get to it. haha 

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I recovered the bench seat using the rear seat from a 01 xj. It looks nice but it’s kinda rough getting in and out due to the side brackets that the xj seat doesn’t cover up. It’s narrowed towards the back for the wheel wells in an xj. This is right about when I discovered this site. I’ll be doing the Dakota seat swap in the near future. 

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When I got the Jeep the door was a bit tweaked. Pretty typical from my experience. 

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Started out by repairing the striker. Forgive my welds, the bottom half turned out pretty good. The top half I had my heat set to low. Didn’t have anything to practice on first... 

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Which got me this close, but the door was still tweaked clockwise from weight being pushed down on it. 

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I have a friend that went to school for auto body. He got me this close. Thank you Ryan! Any closer and I would need to cut into the a pillar and push it out with my hydraulic body kit. Sorry just not that worth it to me. 😂😂

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There is plenty of daylight left, so I decided I would start cutting. I just put loadbearing shocks in the rear which gave me an extra inch of lift, I’m confident I can fit 32x10 tires after trimming. I’m going to try for 33s. 

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Finished the first fender. And hammered in the inner spot weld seam. 

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Smart on your move to fold the front lip of the fender under like that. makes me wish I would have done something like that

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Thank you Swampy! Its just a everyday thing at work doing a 1" flange for rigidity. I contemplated doing another 1/2" flange going up but decided against it, the fenders I have planned will take care of any questions in strength. 

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Alrighty guys been a while since I did any updates on the build. It was half off day at pick n pull on labor day weekend and I ended up finding a 99 xj with a five speed brand new on the lot when I went. So I now have a five speed xj with a full 99 tranny swap. Hahaha. For anyone that is curious, I used the flywheel from a 88, clutch from a 99, bought the novak pilot bearing for a .75 input shaft, obviously 99 ax-15, and a 231 out of a 01 xj with 80k miles when rolled, clutch master cylinder from a 96, pedals from a 96, and clutch line from a 96, external slave from a 99. Had to swap the input shaft back to a 4.0 on the 231, I had a v8 input in it with plans to put it in my old wj, but never ended up doing it, so perfect for this swap! Oh, and I used the stock driveline from a 2wd ranger to make up for the 3" in difference between the aw4 and the ax-15. Not including the new clutch, pilot bushing, slave cylinder and master cylinder the swap ran me 170 bucks. Gotta love half off day!

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Edited by Flexj
Forgot crucial info.

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So i was trolling the yards today bored and for one reason or another ended up looking at these PT Loser seats. Long ago when I was a apprentice tech at a Chrysler dealer, these PT cruisers were in constantly with blown head gaskets. So they are usually at the yard in good condition around here anyways. These came out of a turbo edition with sweet suede and leather interior. They are as flat bottomed as the Acura seats and really just sit nicely in these little tiny cabs. I had to take a dead blow to the tranny tunnel on the driver side. It really wasnt that bad... Used quarter inch plate to make the front and rear brackets. I don't have any pics of the rear bracket but ill get them tomorrow after finishing the passenger side. Ive done a few seat swaps and I gotta say these are the easiest seats to swap I have ever seen. My brother who is 6'2" and 260 pounds fits nicely in the cab with inches of headroom. I'm 5'6" and i feel incredibly comfy in here. The height matches perfect with the arm rest on the door and having the second armrest in the middle is just heavenly with flying through gears. Hahahaha. Also they have mechanical lumbar support. The bottom adjusts also in softness, But its the only adjustment that requires power and I have yet to run power to it. On top of all these features the passenger seat has a really cool function that ill make sure to show off tomorrow when I finish it! 

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And my favorite part, flip forward seating with a working area!!!

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Got the old brackets off of the 8.8. Should have it completed next weekend. Not sure how much I'm gonna be doing after work this week... Haha

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Oh by the way guys, I had to use the PT Cruiser seat belts also, it wasnt bolt in but wasnt difficult to do. Just a three inch long bracket with two holes to extend it out a little bit. And update I had a friend that is 6'8" sit in the Comanche after the seat swap. He says it is more roomy then his xterra that he dailies. His head barely rubs the bottom of the head liner. 

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Thank you! it was totally random seeing them at the yard. hahaha

 

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I'm keeping it sprung under. I don't feel like opening that can of worms at this time, and with how my fenders are turning out I'm anticipating being able to run 33x10.5 at my current height. I wanna get everything else done before I go spring over, bumpers sliders axles etc. Not planning on doing it for probably a couple years, right now my main focus is overlanding and camping trips. 

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I'm either going to stumble onto a 97+ fender set or end up getting tired of waiting and notching the clip and re fiberglassing it to match. Its super easy to work with and I have been planning on taking it off and redoing the passenger areas that I had to rebuild anyways. Up close there are some small cracks here and there that I need to fill in and repaint. And thank you on the seats! I'm pretty proud of how they turned out. Super comfy also. 

 

I bolted 33x12.5s on it last night and it fit without any rubbing lock to lock. I turned it around in circles several times to see. So with that being said its time to cut the rear fenders and go get some 33's. Haha

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