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mbwarhorse

Craigs1990 SWB restore/mod

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Hey all, 

I purchased this rig about 5 years ago as a 2wd 4.0 with the 5 speed and buckets.  A few years back I put 4wd under it, rear discs & about 4" of lift with 31" MTR's.

We drove it up until last year when it got backed into & the insurance co gave me fits.  So she sat for about a year.

Unfortunately I have too many jeeps now & sumthin has to go.  Sadly its the Comanche.  So I'm going thru her, making her decent again & selling her.

Funny thing, I started work on her B4 I snapped any pics.... (I know...)

The very first thing I did was build a 4.6.  I built a 383 SBC back in the day & was real hesitant to build another stroker.  That silly thing cost a fortune & wasn't as strong as some stock 350's I'd built.

I did some homework & talked to some trusted jeep folks who owned them & decided to take the plunge.  I had a little trouble with getting the correct valve springs for the cam profile but with a little money, you can solve anything.... right??

 

At any rate, I'm looking to build this & sell it.  I would really appreciate your input ......

Thanks!!

 

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I pulled the truck in the barn & started stripping her.  The bed is shot.  Could have been repaired had it not gotten backed into.  Its a shame to as the bed floor is beautiful!!

Aside from the known damage to the rockers, The drivers floor pan was sad looking.  It could have been much worse but it wasn't as nice as I thought it was. The passenger side was still very solid.  I hug it up & went over the frame with the pointy end of my body hammer & found one thin spot that needed repair. I removed the material & was surprised as to the amount of junk INSIDE that frame section there was.  I bet I pulled a half gallon of #@$ out of there.  As I intend on coating the inside of the frame with POR15 then rust proofing it I thought it best I open up the other side & clean it out as well.  I bet that stuff turns into a big sponge in there holding moisture!!!

The battery tray was beyond repair.....  That panel is proving hard to find in good shape so any insight would be most appreciated!!

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With regard to the cab floor, I removed the rotted out material back into good solid metal and welded in new steel.  Then I put JB weld along the welded seam (inside and out).  As we all know, POR15 LOVES rough material, I wire brushed (with a very course wheel on my grinder) all areas to be treated.  After the POR15 set up, I covered the repaired area with Mar-Glass to make it pretty then topped it off by brushing on Imron Industrial paint to the repaired.

Regarding the RH front fender apron..... I cut that b*$%@ out.....  Know where I can get another one??

 

Regarding the frame, I patched the two cut-outs in the same manor... new steel, JB Weld, then Mar-Glass.  As the frame was absolutely covered in rust proofing, I had hours & hours of work ahead of me.

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The frame is VERY solid.  I stripped all the rustproofing... and in spite of what all these strippers may claim... the best tools for this job are a putty knife, heat gun & a bunch of elbow grease.

aside from the tar, removing broken bolts was the next mots time consuming.  The X member and the tops of the frame rails were a tad flaky.... The best way to break the flakes up was by using the pointy end of the body hammer & tapping on them (not gently).

 

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After repairing the two spots mentioned earlier, and stripping all the tar as well as removing any loose material with a grinder,  I shot the entire frame with POR15.

After it set up, I hit it with etching primer, sealer and the painted it with Imron Industrial.

Now, I didn't fill any pits or grind marks with filler cause I figure ... well ... its a truck...

 

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After the paint set up I got the rustproofing junk out ... I used Rusfre ..... anybody have any experience with it?  2 types.... inner panel & outer... This is outer. I hit every seam & once things are all bolted together, I'll hit it again s well as inside the frame rails as mentioned B4.  The rear springs are new, and stock. I did a SOA & added a shock mount as you can see.  The rear diff was cleaned, painted (Imron) and all seals & gaskets were replaces with new calipers & rotors (not shown cause they were drying at the time).  I used all new fasteners, I can't ever seem to get them to hold paint ... The rear bumper is that Weston thing .... can't say I'm real pleased with it but I'm gonna let it pass...

With the SOA it looks like its gonna be a little higher in the air than I wanted.  Its lookin like about 6" of lift .... think thats to much for a short-box?

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Well, how about these apples...... This is supposed to be grey!  I hung the trans & T-case for cleaning and paint .... it took 2 of us to get it up there (hanging from the ceiling)

All the seals have been replaced in both units.... also, the silly thing tried to kill me!!  I took it down by myself & fell flat on my arse with this thing in hot pursuit!  The Lord was watching out for me fellas, cause all I broke was my bell housing!

This as all I have for now, Think I'm gonna go south after a bed & fender apron in the next couple weeks. Once I get the fender apron welded in, painted and engine installed, I update.

 

Thanks for looking!!

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great work so far! :L:    So glad to see someone taking the time to repair the ol' girl.  :bowdown: 

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A few more pics of my project.  Made a run down to NC after a box, doors & the rh frt wheel well corner.  I managed to get the engine & trans in without nicking the new paint.  re-wrapped all the harnesses & repaired any age damage. 

Running into a little trouble with ride height. The "stock" rear springs came in at about 4" taller than stock so she now sits like a 1960's Gasser!  Also, when I dumped the Renix intake & throttle body for the newer style I didnt plan for EGR changes.... gotta sort that out as well.... 

 

At any rate this is where I'm at on it.  I'll load more pics once I get it on the ground & get paint on the cab.

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Well, made a little headway, life keeps Getting in the way ...... I didnt like how close my frt lower control arms were to my diff bracket so I modified some relocation brackets for a Cherokee & got them relocated.  I cut the rockers out & replaced then and rebuilt the cab corners ... prepped them for filler with JB weld (there is metal behind the JB weld). Popped the glass out of her so I can repair the sealing surfaces. I'm darn near at the point of putting away my wrenches ant digging out my gun and respirator......  At any rate.... here is a look at where I'm at.

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 I got laid off last week (this covid hysteria sucks) so I will have more time to work on her ... most my mornings have been starting like this......

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I'm not a body guy so I have had to redo things from time to time..... but overall its going well so far.  I've sealed it twice, I keep finding spots I'm not happy with.  As I don't have a paint booth I am getting tired of sweeping & hauling water for the floor from the house.  I gotta say though, it really knocks the dust down!  Its an odd feeling dumping 5 gallons of water out on the floor.... it just goes against the grain .....

I think I will get color & clear on tomorrow.  I am undecided on striping it....( aside from the "SportTruck" decal)

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Wow, this looks great, I said that already but needed to say it again. 

 

Buck.

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3 hours ago, buxmj said:

Wow, this looks great, I said that already but needed to say it again. 

 

Buck.

:yeahthat:

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Got the fenders & hood all painted up, managed to nick the a-pillar setting a fender in place... Picked these doors up in North Carolina ... the pinch welds are AWESOME!  Seems one of the previous owners liked to lean against the passenger door .... the center part of the door was filled with those irritating smooth shallow dents.  Couldnt really see them with bad paint but a nice shiny clearcoat would make them pop like a school boy watchin porn!  Then I managed to drop the silly thing from the ceiling when I was putting on new body caulk...... Finally got them fairly straight & shot them today.  90% humidity ... took the primer & sealer FOREVER to set up.  I painted the cowl & grill support as well but got dirt in the paint so I'll redo those when the bed & tailgate get back from the sandblaster.  At any rate, here are some pics of the doors without clear.... I'll shoot the clear in the morning.  Its just to sticky out there.

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