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Finally bought a Comanche!


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After years and years (about 7) I finally found a cheap Comanche that isn't a complete rust bucket here in Michigan. With that being said it does have some small issues but overall I'm very happy with my purchase. It's an 88 Olympic edition with 91k original miles 4.0L 2wd with a 5 speed manual transmission. It's missing a few of the things that make the Olympic edition special such as the stripping and emblems but in time hopefully I'll be able to track down the emblems and some decals. There is one issue I noticed while driving it home it does have a slight miss between 55-65 but seems to go away at 70+ does anyone know what this could be? I was thinking maybe the distributor/plug wires? Any thoughts? Reverse seems to be slow and takes a decent amount of gas to get it going is this normal? It's the first manual I've owned so not sure if that's just how these older Comanches are or what. The wiper blades don't seem to work any ideas on what it could be? Fuse maybe? Also the bed has the only major spot of rust was wonder if anyone has an idea of what the best/cheapest way to repair it would be. Doesn't need to look great just  so no water comes through it. Hoping to have it running 100% by next weekend so I can start daily driving it. 

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First thing you need to do is download a Factory SErvice Manual for your MJ.  It will help IMMENSELY with all the niggling issues that can be found on a 30 year old car.   Several guys on the forum here have links to those manuals.

 

That manual will help you track down the wiper issue.

 

If it was my car, the first thing I would do is inspect and change ALL the fluids, unless they look brand new.   Such a change will also give you ideas what other issues may be lurking when you inspect the old fluid during removal.

 

A tune up would not be a bad idea either.  New plugs, cap, wires, rotor, along with a new air filter (unless it's new) would be a good start for your new acquisition.  Good luck, and fire away with questions.

 

For the rust, the best long term fix is to cut out the bad part and weld in a repair.  Lots of guys have to do this on floor pans, so a bed repair should be very similar.

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Headlight relay mod should be up near the top on your list.  Congratulations on your purchase.  Will be good to hang out with you here.  Ask away and keep us up to date on progress.  Hopefully someone will learn from you soon.      

 

Wiper blades, check fuse first.  Mine quit working once and I found that the whole assembly worked it's way loose from inside the cowl.  Bolts had simply loosened and dropped out.   Rule of thumb:  start by checking the easy stuff first (fuses, connectors, etc).  These MJs had substandard wiring.  But sometimes you got to dig in there deep and start dissembling things to figure problems out.

 

Start with a good tuneup to see if that corrects your strange engine miss.  Can't hurt and you probably need it anyway.  In my experience, there's always something that is not quite perfect with the operation of my MJ.  Good thing is that most of the time, it doesn't impede my use of the truck.  Strangely, I find it kinda fun to track down and solve these minor annoyances.  Makes you "become one" with your Comanche.  

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8 hours ago, AZJeff said:

First thing you need to do is download a Factory SErvice Manual for your MJ.  It will help IMMENSELY with all the niggling issues that can be found on a 30 year old car.   Several guys on the forum here have links to those manuals.

 

That manual will help you track down the wiper issue.

 

If it was my car, the first thing I would do is inspect and change ALL the fluids, unless they look brand new.   Such a change will also give you ideas what other issues may be lurking when you inspect the old fluid during removal.

 

A tune up would not be a bad idea either.  New plugs, cap, wires, rotor, along with a new air filter (unless it's new) would be a good start for your new acquisition.  Good luck, and fire away with questions.

 

For the rust, the best long term fix is to cut out the bad part and weld in a repair.  Lots of guys have to do this on floor pans, so a bed repair should be very similar.

I'll have to search the forums for that owners manual. PO did change the plugs/filter and most of the fluids except the coolant which I'll probably flush! Drove it 2 hours back home and besides the slight missing it ran/drive very well. I'll have to try and track down a welder since I don't have one. Luckily for me the PO replaced both sides of the floor pans already so I shouldn't have to worry about them for a long time! 

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3 hours ago, 75sv1 said:

I'd add new radiator cap to the list. Check the brakes, too. Looks good. Camper shell looks good on it.

Brakes are a little soft wasn't sure if they have air in the lines or what. Thank you! I was really happy when he told me I could have the topper for it. Just need to find a better way to secure it PO had it secured with c clamps.

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1 hour ago, coolwind57 said:

Headlight relay mod should be up near the top on your list.  Congratulations on your purchase.  Will be good to hang out with you here.  Ask away and keep us up to date on progress.  Hopefully someone will learn from you soon.      

 

Wiper blades, check fuse first.  Mine quit working once and I found that the whole assembly worked it's way loose from inside the cowl.  Bolts had simply loosened and dropped out.   Rule of thumb:  start by checking the easy stuff first (fuses, connectors, etc).  These MJs had substandard wiring.  But sometimes you got to dig in there deep and start dissembling things to figure problems out.

 

Start with a good tuneup to see if that corrects your strange engine miss.  Can't hurt and you probably need it anyway.  In my experience, there's always something that is not quite perfect with the operation of my MJ.  Good thing is that most of the time, it doesn't impede my use of the truck.  Strangely, I find it kinda fun to track down and solve these minor annoyances.  Makes you "become one" with your Comanche.  

Thank you! I'll be sure to keep updating on the progress.

 

Hopefully it is one of the easy issues. I'll have to pull all the fuses and check out if they're all good or not. 

 

Been waiting years to "become one" with a Comanche so I'm just glad to have one regardless of it's issues! 

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C-clamps are preferable to drilling and bolting.  Or you can buy clamps for toppers and bed covers at a truck accessory store, Amazon or eBay.  They generally have a lower profile, wider clamping area and protrude into the bed area less.

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