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I restored a 1991 Comanche Eliminator between 2007 and 2010. It has been a great vehicle but it was an Illinois chassis which is still good but it has some paint issues, bubbling mainly,  which are going to be a challenge to fix without a complete strip down and repaint. It also has some repair needed to the rear floor. I did fix the floors at the time, along with rockers, new doors and cab corners plus it has a zero rust California bed. I have also come across a 1989 Comanche Eliminator which is incredibly clean except for a couple of holes in the passenger floor due to a firewall leak. Rockers, Cab corners, frame are in almost perfect condition.

The plan is to move everything over from the 91, fix all the things I don't like about that build, and make it into close to a show vehicle, that also has decent capability off road. The 91 has a Mopar Stroker, Dana 44, AX15 which will all get moved over. I will then sell the 91 chassis to somebody with better skills than me to get her looking perfect again. I thought about simply building the 89 up but I have so much invested in the 91 this approach seemed better and a lot cheaper. I intend to drive the 89 for a long time.

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So the first step was to strip the 89 and get her sandblasted. Blasting was done using Dustless blasting. Was pretty impressed with the outcome.

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I like where your head is at  :L:   I think I would do the same. 

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Next job was to tackle the floor. Had to remove the top chassis rail to get to the floor. Lots of welds to drill. To me it is the only way to get a perfect repair.

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Then I test fitted the Boostwerks hidden winch. The plan is to keep the stock front and rear bumpers. This is a quality piece of kit. Fits great.

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The Comanche is going off to paint in the next few weeks. What color?. I debated keeping it Colorado Red like my last one. But I fell in love with the new Corvette Sebring Orange. So that is the color or choice. It looks fantastic in the light and against any black.

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I am also going to install this hood, to make her look a little different and a set of Wilwoods. Scored a set of 1987 knuckles so they will bolt right up.

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Before the 89 goes to paint I have to drill the firewall for the clutch master cylinder. One of the problems on my 91 is that the cylinder isn't quite in the correct place. This time I should be able to get it exact as there is nothing in the way.

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The next tasks are getting the dash redone and figuring out seats. The dash is a mess. All split and nasty. Was thinking of using justdashes.com. They are really expensive but I would end up with a dash that would last another 20 years. It is so hard to find a decent junkyard dash and I really don't want to convert to a 97+. I am a tall guy and it further reduces my legroom. Thinking of a set of PRP seats. I have them in my Rubicon. terrific seats. Might also bolt a Boosted Technologies Supercharger onto the Stroker. That would make a pretty mad vehicle!! I have a Dana 44 in the back with a Detroit Locker and Alloy shafts with a disc brake conversion. Will probably change to a Truetrac and put the same in the front D30 HP.

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I just received a 120 mph instrument cluster from the UK. I took out the speedometer and corrected the mileage to the odometer in the 89. Not too hard to do. Just have to remove the gearbox from the side and use a dremel to wind the mileage forward so it is correct. I am keeping the old odometer just in case anybody accuses me of doing anything unscrupulous. It is more a convenience thing, as the 120 mph odometer only had 102,000 on it.

 

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I just received a 120 mph instrument cluster from the UK. I took out the speedometer and corrected the mileage to the odometer in the 89. Not too hard to do. Just have to remove the gearbox from the side and use a dremel to wind the mileage forward so it is correct. I am keeping the old odometer just in case anybody accuses me of doing anything unscrupulous. It is more a convenience thing, as the 120 mph odometer only had 102,000 on it.
 
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Do these 120 mph speedos only come in electronic versions, or are there the mechanical versions too? I’d like one in my Comanche, but it is a renix with the speedo cable vs the electronic control.


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I believe only Electronic. The XJ was only introduced into the UK in 1993. There was an export version before that into Canada and a few other places. The parts manual only shows one mph part no and a Kph part no for that speedometer. The 1991- 1996 parts manuals shows a RHD part no for the speedometer which would have been the UK export version. 4713512. Post 1997 also had a 120 mph version both export and the police package.

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19 hours ago, Limeyjeeper said:

I am also going to install this hood, to make her look a little different and a set of Wilwoods. Scored a set of 1987 knuckles so they will bolt right up.

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Can you tell us more of this kit? Such as part #/price. I haven't read about the knuckle difference then. I've done wj knuckle conversions and this is interesting since I'm curious especially about the unit bearing used/knuckle setup you will be using. I noticed several years back the renix unit bearings seam way better built but I was never able to find a source for that style new. I also wonder if the rebuild kits for them use as high of quality bearing as the original. I've learned that all the bearings sold today is actually same manufacturer/plant for most part just stamped with different names/boxes with different warrenties.

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20 hours ago, Limeyjeeper said:

So the first step was to strip the 89 and get her sandblasted. Blasting was done using Dustless blasting. Was pretty impressed with the outcome.

Before Blasting.jpg

After blasting 1.jpg

After Blasting 2.jpg

After blasting 4.jpg

I have 2 I'm looking at getting to this stage this year. I'm from the region, live in Indy. Where did you get it done? Estimate of cost? Why dustless blasting or basically your thought process on that route vs. others? I have researched hydro blasting. Is this basically the same? Your work is amazing so I'm very intrigued.

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I got it done in Mckinney, near Dallas. To blast the complete truck was about $800. I shopped around and most blasting places wanted $1,000 and many wouldn't do the hood. I used dustless blasting because it keeps the panels cool and stops any warping. They used recycled crushed glass. Regular sandblasting, when used with high psi, can heat up panels to the point that they can warp. It is also very aggressive. This method allows you to use high psi to get the junk off without damaging the panels. Also because it washes off the debris it is really easy to see what you have blasted and as advertised - no dust. The only issue is that the media, because it is wet, stays in every nook and cranny. You have to do an extensive clean of all the vehicle inside and out to wash out all the residual media. You have a guy in Indy that uses the same equipment http://www.mdblasting.com/home2.html.  They sell the system on a trailer so it is mobile. It is not really the same as hydro blasting which just uses water pressure. This uses glass media introduced into a 70 - 120 psi water jet. The whole vehicle only used just over 100 gallons of water and about 400lb of media. They also use a rust inhibitor which stops any flash rusting. I am actually getting the bed done today. It is not absolutely necessary to blast down to the metal, I am just skittish after my last truck where the paint is peeling off the body due to poor body prep. I wanted to create the best possible base for a long lasting paint job. 

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1 hour ago, saveevryjp1998 said:

Can you tell us more of this kit? Such as part #/price. I haven't read about the knuckle difference then. I've done wj knuckle conversions and this is interesting since I'm curious especially about the unit bearing used/knuckle setup you will be using. I noticed several years back the renix unit bearings seam way better built but I was never able to find a source for that style new. I also wonder if the rebuild kits for them use as high of quality bearing as the original. I've learned that all the bearings sold today is actually same manufacturer/plant for most part just stamped with different names/boxes with different warrenties.

The wilwood kit is part no 140-12576-DR. It costs around $980 with slotted rotors. I will be using Timken sealed hub bearings which fit just fine. I have had good luck with them. The only real difference between the pre and post 89 knuckles is the caliper tabs changed on the later ones.

Early Knuckle.jpg

Late knuckle.jpg

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On 1/27/2019 at 12:23 PM, Limeyjeeper said:

I got it done in Mckinney, near Dallas. To blast the complete truck was about $800. I shopped around and most blasting places wanted $1,000 and many wouldn't do the hood. I used dustless blasting because it keeps the panels cool and stops any warping. They used recycled crushed glass. Regular sandblasting, when used with high psi, can heat up panels to the point that they can warp. It is also very aggressive. This method allows you to use high psi to get the junk off without damaging the panels. Also because it washes off the debris it is really easy to see what you have blasted and as advertised - no dust. The only issue is that the media, because it is wet, stays in every nook and cranny. You have to do an extensive clean of all the vehicle inside and out to wash out all the residual media. You have a guy in Indy that uses the same equipment http://www.mdblasting.com/home2.html.  They sell the system on a trailer so it is mobile. It is not really the same as hydro blasting which just uses water pressure. This uses glass media introduced into a 70 - 120 psi water jet. The whole vehicle only used just over 100 gallons of water and about 400lb of media. They also use a rust inhibitor which stops any flash rusting. I am actually getting the bed done today. It is not absolutely necessary to blast down to the metal, I am just skittish after my last truck where the paint is peeling off the body due to poor body prep. I wanted to create the best possible base for a long lasting paint job. 

 

just watched the process on tv (xtreme offroad) and it looks awesome!  I won't use the word "clean" but the leftover mess is just "mud" on the ground rather than dust everywhere:D 

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So a bit of  glitch on the 120 mph speedometer upgrade. My 1991 has a completely different speedometer setup to the UK 1994. Typical Jeep. The parts manual shows the same US speedometer Part No from 1991 to 1994 (4713883) mine is different so I can't do the swap because the spacer that flint54 used in his write up doesn't exist. Anybody got any ideas?. Maybe I need a 1992 - 1996 US Speedometer. Looks like they simplified the Speedometer significantly. Smaller board, no external odometer motor

 

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Looks good man. Excited to see it moving along. I adjusted my speedometer also, we’ll go down together. 😂😂 except I kept my old one and adjusted the new one to zero. I have 7k miles on my Comanche now. 😂😂

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Off to get the bed blasted. Then I can spray the inside and underneath with U POL Raptor bedliner. Heard really good things about it. Might even do the underside of the cab. Supposed to be a pretty good sound insulator. Also got the hood. Fit is decent but as always with fiberglass not perfect. Will need some work. But I think it looks pretty cool.

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just be careful that you don't accidentally plug any drain holes in the frame, rockers, etc :L: 

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Bed is done. Found a little accident damage on one corner panel. Not a big issue. Pete, agree on keeping the drain holes clear. The Comanche hasn't got enough already without me blocking what there is!!

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