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Or as some might say 'you ruined a Comanche!'

 

I like to think I saved this one from the junkyard.  This started way back in 2015, so I'm copying posts from another forum. 

 

Here was my start- a 1988 Pioneer.  4.0, auto, AC.  D35, 2wd shortbed.  Would eventually become JP25. My buddy and I looked at a dozen Comanches before I got this one.  Most were 2.5's, some longbeds, some sticks.  4x4's were out of my price range for the most part- the only things I knew for sure was I preferred a 4.0, and wanted an AC truck.  Tried buying this one twice- first time the guy didnt really want to sell.  Second time his wife told him get it gone now, or its going to the junkyard.  Bought it for 800.  Did I mention I got it sight unseen, since I live in NY and my friend who handled this is in Atlanta?

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The guy I got it from bought it, and it was red.  Well, he couldnt have a red truck!  So he spraypainted it orange.  Then his wife saw it, and suddenly it turned black.  Everywhere, wheels, tires, grill, lights... black.  I was going to paint over it, but at this point I may try to get down to the base factory paint, and use that as a base instead of crappy spraypaint.

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Interior won't need much-

Underside! Not bad.

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Try getting that in New York.  Clean as a whistle.

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Before driving, my friend did a bit of work to make it more livable (to him).  Painting over the star on the hood, cleaning the lights off, checking all the fuses since the blinkers werent working, nor were the license plate lamps.  Also looked into possibly saving the factory paint and using it as a driver instead- the guy painted over the stripes, emblems, everything.  But it was toast. 

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And with his 89 2.5- RIP

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I finally saw this thing after 3 months.  What did I do with the weekend I had?  Some basic maintenance, laying out stripes, and meeting with my paint guy. 

For some reason, the once-fixed taillights failed as well as the right-blinker.  First up- cleaned the ground.  Fixed the lights.  but not the right turn signal. Odd, right? Also stuck in the spare donut, an old CD player, and cleaned up 3-spoke wheel.  Had new tires mounted- 235 Goodyears at 60/ea.  Joys of being on a budget- I am watching for some BFG's on craigslist.30x9.5 preferably!  I also went under it and marveled at just how clean this thing is.  Too bad its up in NY, and its tempting to take it out some snowy days.
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It still makes me laugh how small this is compared to new trucks

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Oh, and after replacing the front signal sockets, my buddy found the turn signal issue- an incorrect bulb in the rear.
 

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It went in for paint in March of 2016.  My goal was to drive it back from Atlanta to NY during my 2-week august break from school.  You know how paint is sometimes referred to as jail?  You can guess how this went. 

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It was in a front-end collision at some point, and the passenger side bed had some bondo.  But all the panels are original, and nothing had to be cut up. 

 

 

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Color was finally being laid down in early 2017.  Good, fast, and cheap.  Pick two for paint- guess which ones I chose.  Better than MAACO. 

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Tailgate was done- then fell off the stand.  So it had to be redone.  Also due to a miscomminucation, the door hinges were never repaired.  So I have to do that still (and as of 2019, I still need to.  Got to get a welder before the pull off any more).

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May 2017- Paint was finally laid down.  Was it done yet?  Still no. And I was gathering parts still- a good tailgate handle, front lights, etc. 

 

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It was finally back at the shop in early september

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Why the trailer?  It wouldnt start!  Eventually, it cranked- just needed time to build pressure.  FORESHADOWING!

 

I forbade my friend from sending my any of these- I never say the truck past the first picture until it was done.  A smaller, more personally expensive overhaulin.

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I flew down the first weekend of october for caffeine & Octane.  We were waved into the main lot, next to Fords 2017 GT race car that was there.  Pretty cool! And this was the fist time I saw the truck.  First time I drove it, it was nearly rearended by a guy not paying attention.

That pretty much ended 2017.  2018? Well, that involved an attempted 1600/mile 3-day trip with this largely untested, 30-year old truck that had never done more than 40miles at a time.

Some of you may be wondering at this point why a MJ, not a wrangler.  Well, I wanted a JP vehicle.  and I could use a truck for my motorcycles.  So this was the best of both. 

 

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I feel if Steven Spielberg put an MJ into the First Jurassic Park, it would most likely look like that! Maybe with a sport bar too. Looks great!

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So after October, the Jurassic Motorpool (Yes, it exists) decided to do its first-ever national meet for the Jurassic World 2 premier. We wanted to drive this there- not trailer it, I never built a trailer queen, and won't start with a Jeep (at least until I take it to Moab).

 

The to-do list:

-rebuild brakes, included severely rotted rubber lines

-repack bearings

-replace VC gasket

-New RMS

-Replace bench seat

-repair headliner

-pt miles on it

 

About half this stuff got done.  The brakes were first, and the lines were at breaking point when removed.  Close one!  The RMS was done with 2 weeks to go- and then done twice.  Why twice?  My friend had his 89, and did the rear main on that.  It was a 2.5. So apparently on those, you do not have to remove a bearing to install the rms.  So he did it like he did on his 2.5- fit funky, but okay.  It lasted about 30miles, then went exxon valdez.  New RMS, leak done.  New O2 went on, full exhaust out the back, new speakers.  I wanted to replace the fuel pump since I have had 2 of my old cars strand me with dead pumps.  This one jerked now and then like it was starving or misfiring, but then stopped.  So we passed on it, instead doing the rear main with the time we had.

 

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Finally, roadtrip day.  Atlanta to Branson, MO.  And we learned this truck did NOT want to leave Georgia.

Shortly after passing into TN, it began bucking like it had a bad misfire.  Also smoking under the hood.  We pulled off to let it cool and find an autozone.
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The front breather tube dry-rotted and blew off.  They didnt have one in stock, so I roadkill'd it together.  Still blew out oil bad when driving- until I rearlized the dipstick wasnt in all the way.  Whoops.  Ran great again!  For about 2 hours.  On the other side of Nashville, the bucking returned.  Remember the foreshadowing?

Dead pump.
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We found one place that had one in stock- pump only, no seal, no ring, nothin else.  Got it running again!  But leaked like there was no seal on the locking ring after.  We were in Kentucky when we found that out- so the truck went on the trailer for the last 300 miles.  And the return trip. For the record, this is the SMALLEST truck we could find at a moments notice.  The did give it to us at the small-truck rate at least.  Too bad it didnt get small-truck mpg. We were going to make Branson, Dammit.  We considered driving, but we were running out of time, didnt know how far between gas stations, and could afford another breakdown.

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Which we did, then had to leave 10 hours later to make Greenville SC for our best friends wedding.
 

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Ill skip the post about the trip home- smaller truck, towing, lots of people stopping for pictures and asking if it was factory.  Also a flat tire on the tow truck, and me hitting a hotel with it.  Put height warnings on low overhangs!

But it made it to NY.  Took it on a date the next day.  Did not get a second date.

I was rewiring the foglights, and managed to mess up a ground.  Set the wires on fire since one was not fused (since fixed).  Managed to melt the switch, part of the console, burn my carpet in multiple sports, and hole-up the drivers seat.  I have a picture somewhere- I was pissed.

I also picked up a factory bar a couple years back.  I began work on that to install some Jabsco searchlights- for those that don't know, these are remote-controlled lights with 70* up-down motion, and 370* around. 
 

I was going to weld mounts on the bar, but decided to make it as reversable as possible- so i only had to do 3 small holes on each foglight mounting tab.

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also played with the lift to see how a 2" lift would look with the tiny tires

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Each light has 6 wires- up, down, left, right, power, ground.  I had to run them through the bar, through the trucks frome, through the fender, and under the dash. Worth it- and I found something to do with the stock shifter spot in the console

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I forgot that it rained, this thing has 0 weight in the back, and I am on crappy tires.  Thats a hill, although it doesnt look it.  I had about 40lbs of mud in the 1/4s after this

 

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A bit less work when september hit and I went back to work. 

First, the alternator died- the replacement had a warped case so it got reswapped.  I readjusted the TV cable, and found a couple leaks- the timing cover oil pan bolts were stripped.  So installed slightly longer ones.  Leak was still there, but didnt seem to be oil pan?  Plus it would end up way forward of the pan.  I think its the trans cooler lines, those are next on the docket.
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Also when I used the heat, I found a coolant leak.  And an empty coolant bottle (but no overheating on the gauge or symptoms).  Open cooling time!  And bye bye heat valve. 
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Halloween was fun.  Looking at these pictures now that the girl who was with me is an X... not as fun.
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And away for winter, since I don't want to do rust repairs. 

 

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So to-do for the spring before driving much, I (would like) to:

-Open cooling system

-Heater valve delete

-HO valve cover with improved CCV system

-Rebuild the vacuum tree, since it looks like I can redo it as solid hoses and do away with the plastic bits

-MAP line (runs rich, I got 150miles in a tank)

-pull the sending unit to reinstall ground to I have a gas gauge

-Trans lines

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Nice build man Jurassic park was always a good movie, the truck looks like it belonged:L:

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Awesome build! I love the Jurassic Park theme, the roll bar with square lights really ties it all together :thumbsup: 

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after a pair of hideous spray-bomb paint jobs, I'd say you saved that MJ :D   

 

very nice work!  :L:  

 

I happen to know you can get replica Jurassic park mirror tags on ebay.  :grinyes:

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On 3/11/2019 at 1:03 AM, Cwhite87 said:

Nice build man Jurassic park was always a good movie, the truck looks like it belonged:L:

 

Thanks!  I've been building this to look as though it was done in 1992- Otherwise I would have done a lot more modern upgrades.  As is, I want to replace the aftermarket headunit with the RX171 I have on a shelf (after I send it to Minuit, anyway).  

 

 

11 hours ago, Pete M said:

after a pair of hideous spray-bomb paint jobs, I'd say you saved that MJ :D   

 

very nice work!  :L:  

 

I happen to know you can get replica Jurassic park mirror tags on ebay.  :grinyes:

 

Thank you- I know its not a lifted/4x4/monster truck, but where I am in NY there isnt a lot of use for that.  Although theres a 4x4 mj sitting behind a local shop that would be great for that...

I may have picked one up a couple weeks ago :D 

Long list of To-Do's for this year!  For all my cars- Mustang is getting a stick, Chevelle needs shifter work and post-restoration cleanup, and this needs a lot.  


How hard are the tanks to drop?  skid plate, 2 bolts on  the straps, and down it comes? 

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10 minutes ago, RustyRodder said:

 

Thanks!  I've been building this to look as though it was done in 1992- Otherwise I would have done a lot more modern upgrades.  As is, I want to replace the aftermarket headunit with the RX171 I have on a shelf (after I send it to Minuit, anyway).  

 

 

 

Thank you- I know its not a lifted/4x4/monster truck, but where I am in NY there isnt a lot of use for that.  Although theres a 4x4 mj sitting behind a local shop that would be great for that...

I may have picked one up a couple weeks ago :D 

Long list of To-Do's for this year!  For all my cars- Mustang is getting a stick, Chevelle needs shifter work and post-restoration cleanup, and this needs a lot.  


How hard are the tanks to drop?  skid plate, 2 bolts on  the straps, and down it comes? 

Rx171 what is that?

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7 hours ago, RustyRodder said:

 

How hard are the tanks to drop?  skid plate, 2 bolts on  the straps, and down it comes? 

 

don't forget the fill hoses and pump connections. 

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Well some things have gotten done.

Got the fuel gauge fixed, thanks to some tiny screws & nuts. Should have started with that, instead of melting half the plastic trying to solder the metal. 
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Also some blazer lights- and the realization that my new headliners glue is failing.  Ill fix it...eventually. 
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Any scrapyard exploration! 3 yards locally- 1 doesnt keep Jeeps in stock (don't make money, according to them), another only had a couple super rusted WJs, and the last had 3 ZJs and a few WJs.  pulled the sole valve cover off a zj, and stole the brakelines for my wj brake conversion. 

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Still trying to figure out the high idle, and where the coolant is going to.  Oil seems clear, no constant smoke, maybe the pressure bottle is venting when it heats up? Either way, thats not getting dealt with for a while. 

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generally a leak in the pressure bottle results in overheating.  :(

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I’m glad mine didn’t overheat. My overflow had a crack in it when I got it. Always bubbled out of a crack when hot. But not bad. Replaced it with a jy pulloff lasted a few years but developed the same leak in the same spot. Just bought a new amazon special for around $20.00. Let’s see how long this one lasts. 

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40 minutes ago, Pete M said:

generally a leak in the pressure bottle results in overheating.  :(



Well then... Dang.  One connection has a small leak, but not that big.  Hoping that the open cooling conversion will fix it, but thats a pipe dream. 

Funny, I got this down by you in Marietta, and it spent a while at a friends auto shop there.  Never had the coolant issue, high idle, or failing pump there!

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Drove to Boston yesterday to sell some seats from my Mustang.  Stopped at a U-pull-it on the way back. Ended up with a few new parts.

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Fan shroud, RX-173 radio, HO airbox lid, and some nearly new 97+ heater hoses.  I don't think horrible for 30 bucks.  But I realized once I got home that I missed the metal tube for one of the heater hoses.  Crap.  I was a bit annoyed- they said they had a 89 4.0 and a 95 2-door, both of which were missing.  Was hoping for a set of seats.  Ill be stopping back to get the other heater tube next time I am there, and not sure what else

 

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