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MeanLemons

MeanLemons’ SuperComanche

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Howdy y’all. I have a regret I need to get off my chest....

 

I had been a member here for (I think 2 years? Correct me if I’m wrong). I’m pretty bad with procrastination and I still haven’t started a build thread here. Although I religiously maintained the Comanche build thread over at CherokeeForum. Now it’s gotten to the point that it would be nearly time consuming to duplicate everything over here.  https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f88/tale-supermj-230263/

 

So I ll introduce my CherokeeForum build thread right here, and I will place key details along with pictures here to help catch up. And then I will try my best to update both build threads here and there simultaneously.

 

I believe one of the first reasons why I didn’t start one here in the first place was that the old format didn’t allow me to upload pictures easily. (I don’t own a computer and rely heavily on my phone to do it all). Then one day this fine forum changed its format and allowed mobile users to upload pictures easily. I remember that feeling I had when I saw the new feature. I was so glad but again like I mentioned, procrastination is the devil in me. 

 

And I’m also not quite sure on how to name this thread...  I’m a Super Moderator over at CherokeeForum and I would be able to edit my own build thread’s title whenever I wanted to, depending on how the progress went by. Obviously I can’t do that here lol. 

 

So I’m sure you guys are starting to fidget in the seats wondering where the hell is the pictures of the Comanche and why am I not talking about it yet!?!.

 

So the story is; I got my first Jeep (a 99 Cherokee) in 2012 (a long story behind that not worthy of being spoken here). 

 

I lifted it 3” on 31’s shortly afterwards and started doing mods because I enjoy tinkering on it and “fixing stuff that aren’t broken”. I still have it to this day. (It’s the one I mentioned in my signature).

 

I decided I needed a second vehicle so I had a BBQ smoker on a trailer that I built over the years and put it up for sale or trade. I got an offer to trade it for a clean 01 Cherokee with a blown head. I went for it.

 

That was my first foray in the engine repair... I got a TUPY head from the junkyard and replaced it on the 01. Drove it around for few months and decided to sell it. I got a pretty penny for it. I always wanted a 5 speed so I bought a 99 5 speed XJ. And there I was, sinking in the rabbit hole.

 

Multiple XJs later I had a 98 running and driveable purple XJ that needed new engine or at least a rebuild. At that time we were buying a house and I knew I ll need a truck to move, plus bringing home the building material etc for whatever projects. It had to be in the Jeep family and since I stockpiled so many 4.0L parts it made sense to find a Comanche with a 4.0L so I ll always have spare parts on hand.

 

So I was on the hunt for few months looking for a decent Comanche.  I wanted a 91-92 at first. Because ya know, @#$% renix and all that.

 

Eventually I came across a CL posting with 2 Comanches for sale in northern New Jersey for $3,000. I threw him an email sarcastically asking if he wanted to trade both for the purple XJ.  I really expected to be told away and all that. To my shock he replied and said sure why not. 

 

To cut the story short. He had a 88 Pioneer 4.0L 2wd auto and a 91 Eliminator 4.0L 2wd 5 speed. The 91 had no title, he said it was running but missed a starter and a driveshaft.

 

I brought my father in law along with a tow dolly. I drove the xj there, swapped the wheels because I thought his was stupid (stretched 29’s on ridiculously wide rims). I drove the 88 home while the 91 was towed on the dolly.

 

On that drive I was reluctant to admit that it was actually driving pretty good despite its condition... 4 broken leafs out of 8, blown rear shocks, rumbling engine, really bad & howling Dana 35but it drove straight and the aw4 shifted perfectly. 

 

A in-depth inspection done at home showed me some serious cancer on the 91 (let me say that I was gonna hope to obtain a title for the 91 and start driving it instead of the 88). The interior was so clean though because it was only 129k miles compared to 88’s 239k miles. There was other stuff that shied me away from the 91. So I decided to verify that the engine was in fact running first, and as soon as I confirmed it indeed was running, I yanked the engine out and traded the 2wd ax15 for a shop hydraulic press.

 

I took some other parts off it and sold the 91 to a guy who promised to fix it up eventually. I did thought about stripping it down and turn into a truck buggy for Rausch Creek but I didn’t have the time for it.

 

I also became a believer in the Renix the longer I worked on the 88. 

 

Sooooo..... to cut the story even shorter... the engine in the 88 exploded at precisely 250k miles. And it has been in pieces ever since to this day......

 

Wow that was a really long first post in the build thread.  Lol.

 

Pictures to come!

 

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I haven’t drove the truck since May of 2018. I’m really itching to have this truck done. I would actually prefer driving it over any XJ. 

 

So I'm gonna get ahead of myself and jump over the journey to today.

 

as of right now the truck is sitting inside my garage, without a bed and doors... I’m going to build a custom bed for it. I already chopped 8” off the rear frame. 

 

It’s currently sitting on a pair of Dana 44 axles (front has an arb locker and a geared LSD in the rear) on a set of 33’s. I swapped in an AX15/NP242 combo along with the re-freshened up engine I yanked out of the 91... still need to finish up the wiring and connect everything back up before I can fire up the motor. 

 

It look so so sad right now

 

 

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So what I need to do from this point is to finish the wiring (I m still keeping the Renix but I’m going through the entire harness and soldering every crimped connection AMC is notorious for...). I need to finish adapting the TPS to the HO throttle body, I need to re-time the engine. I need to put the 97+ front clip back on along with the new aluminum radiator and stuff back on the engine. I’m not finished with fabricating a valve cover for it. I need to finish the wiring for all the accessories. I need to finish the pneumatic system for the ARB locker, air horn, etc.

 

I need to make a new console for the shifters, I need to finish putting the interior back together. I need to finish the bed build. 

 

I'm really @#$%ing tired of driving my XJ around. It ain’t no fun anymore 

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8 minutes ago, MeanLemons said:

I need to re-time the engine.

Renix timing is fixed. Maybe a degree or two only (CPS).

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1 minute ago, Ωhm said:

Renix timing is fixed. Maybe a degree or two only (CPS).

What I meant is that I gotta set the dizzy in conjunction to the camshaft & crankshaft. 

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This was a sad day when the engine blew up. I had to ask a friend to pick me and bring the truck home... about 70 miles away.  Talk about embarrassment lol 

9A4E7BBA-76B6-4E10-8B90-896D75C6161A.jpeg

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This is the purple XJ that I traded away.  Note the wheels on it.  I took the picture AFTER I swapped that crap off the MJ and kept the canyons.

F95F45CB-2A3E-449E-8025-C62CD93EF969.jpeg

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One of the parts I took from the 91 was the rear axle... somebody put a Cherokee 8.25 under it but never welded perches on... it was simply held on with u bolts. I assume because somebody took a D44 out and needed a temporary axle to make it rolling.

 

so since the 88’s d35 failed inspection. There’s literally zero brakes left along with howling bearings. ‘‘Twas a no brainer. I got perches and welded them on the 8.25 and slapped it under the 88.

 

also. Two pics of the broken leaf packs.  I rebuilt the leaf packs using the mj main leaf and the rest from the Durango packs. Worked ok for next 2 years...

 

its currently sitting on a 7 leaf pack I rebuilt. I bought that set from a Comanche owner who used it for 8 years.  Anyway. The specs was a MJ main leaf, another MJ main with eyes cut off, then MJ secondary, a 3” AAL, couple of MJ thirds, then an overload leaf.  Gave me 3-3/4” of lift, which was what I wanted. Although I’m worry about the rate. I figured with the custom bed (probably 375-400 lbs) and custom bumper. It might turn out ok.  If I don’t like it. I ll just buy brand new packs later.

 

 

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F8AE314A-373F-4F8F-ACC6-7279FD9E3200.jpeg

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So far I had swapped the steering columns in favor for one that’s from a 88 Cherokee with manual transmission, and the gauge cluster. I think I ll like to keep it a bench, not buckets, so maybe one day I ll go with Dakota 40/20/40 one day. 

 

I put in 97+ windshield tank on outside of engine bay, 96 booster and master cylinder.  Yea I need to finish the brake routing. 

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Oh yea. I really want to get rid of the sliding rear window.   I think it’s aftermarket And somebody did a terrible job of installing it. 

 

I m thinking about using plexiglass sheet to replace it. Has anyone ever done that?

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The current specs on the truck is

 

Dana 44 front from a 88 Grand Wagoneer, TNT truss, 4.27 gear ratio, ARB locker, stock shafts with brand new 5-760x’s, and a Metal Cloak heavy differential cover. 

 

Dana 44 rear from a 89 Grand Wagoneer, 4.27, Auburn Geared LSD, stock shafts, G2 wheel spacers  sitting on aluminum wheels with Firestone Destination MTs 

 

96 4.0L block with 91 7120 head on it, with 99 intake manifold & 91-up exhaust manifold. Renix fuel rail with Volvo 746 injectors. 96+ throttle body that’s been bored out to 63mm.

Renix distributor & alternator. 98 power steering pump & bracket. 

 

I think i ll delete the AC at this point and use a bypass pulley for now until I have time to do a York OBA or a second alternator for onboard welder. 

 

The AX15 is from a 95 XJ mated with a NP242 from a 2000.  I actually had this combo in my 5 speed XJ. I LOVED it so much. I decided that if I ever had any 5 speeds I ll do that combo now on. 

 

I ALMOST installed a doubler that I built in this but decided not to.  Maybe one day in future I will. 

 

I built the front bumper using JCR’s DIY bumper. I didn’t like it so may be selling it off in future and build my own. 

 

I'm trying to think if I didn’t miss anything so far. 

 

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So why Wagoneer Dana 44’s you may ask?   I have a set on my XJ and before that, it was in a friend’s XJ.  Logged on so many off road hours beating on it and never had any problems.  So I decided I ll use same axles on the MJ as well.

 

another bonus is that both axles use same parts so it’s less parts for me to stock pile. 

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I was wondering where your truck was.   love it!  :D 

 

and I'm more than happy to change the title if you want to. :L:  

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2 hours ago, MeanLemons said:

The current specs on the truck is

 

Dana 44 front from a 88 Grand Wagoneer, TNT truss, 4.27 gear ratio, ARB locker, stock shafts with brand new 5-760x’s, and a Metal Cloak heavy differential cover. 

 

Dana 44 rear from a 89 Grand Wagoneer, 4.27, Auburn Geared LSD, stock shafts, G2 wheel spacers  sitting on aluminum wheels with Firestone Destination MTs 

 

96 4.0L block with 91 7120 head on it, with 99 intake manifold & 91-up exhaust manifold. Renix fuel rail with Volvo 746 injectors. 96+ throttle body that’s been bored out to 63mm.

Renix distributor & alternator. 98 power steering pump & bracket. 

 

I think i ll delete the AC at this point and use a bypass pulley for now until I have time to do a York OBA or a second alternator for onboard welder. 

 

The AX15 is from a 95 XJ mated with a NP242 from a 2000.  I actually had this combo in my 5 speed XJ. I LOVED it so much. I decided that if I ever had any 5 speeds I ll do that combo now on. 

 

I ALMOST installed a doubler that I built in this but decided not to.  Maybe one day in future I will. 

 

I built the front bumper using JCR’s DIY bumper. I didn’t like it so may be selling it off in future and build my own. 

 

I'm trying to think if I didn’t miss anything so far. 

 

Oh I forgot to mention the suspension....

 

I acquired OME 3” lift coils through a trade or something years ago, and also a set of 3/4” poly spacers. So I used those.

 

when the CAVFAB first came out with the 3 link system a guy bought a set up, and pretty soon afterwards they redesigned the crossmember to the 3 piece kit. That guy preferred that instead so he sold the original crossmember to me for $100. 

 

 

Then eventually somebody accidently got the lower long arms in wrong length (too long). So he complained to CAVFAB and they sent him replacement arms in correct length.  I bought those arms for $50 and cut 3” off them & rewelded the threaded bungs on. I had to make an upper link out of an old CAVFAB steering link. So basically I have a complete 3 link kit from CAVFAB for only $200.

 

I also got an OTK ruffstuff one ton steering kit in a trade and built that. 

 

I am am seriously considering selling the OME coils and buy 3.5” RE coils instead but that ll be after I get it running and see how I feel about it 

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2 hours ago, neohic said:

Sounds like a good recipe so far. I’m in! :popcorn:

Thank you sir 

1 hour ago, Pete M said:

I was wondering where your truck was.   love it!  :D 

 

and I'm more than happy to change the title if you want to. :L:  

Thank you sir and I ll keep that in mind. Haha

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15 hours ago, MeanLemons said:

Thank you sir and I ll keep that in mind. Haha

 

16 hours ago, Pete M said:

and I'm more than happy to change the title if you want to. :L:  

You can actually change your own title by hitting edit on your initial post on a thread, it pulls up the title text box and allows it to be edited.  

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