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This is dedicated the restoration/rebuild of my dad's 1987 Jeep Comanche.   He bought it new in May 1988, it's a base long bed 4x4, 2.5, 5 Spd.   I still remember going on the test drive with him.  I learned to drive in this truck, drove it through high school and college, and it was rear-ended in an accident in 1999 which took it off the road with just 109,000 miles.   The bed was destroyed, but the rear subframe appears undamaged and it was drive able.   It was last driven in fall 2002 and hasn't been ran or moved since then.    Over the years various parties have inquired about taking possession of the truck, and just recently my dad mentioned to me that I can come get it.   So those plans are in motion.

 

My goal:  To make this thing look the way it did the first time I saw it in May 1988.  


Meanwhile,  I've taken stock of where it sits and what it needs:

1. A new long bed, rear bumper, and tail lights.   

2. Drivers side floor pan. 

3. A full AC system (this is a non-AC truck and there was lots of complaints about that in the past).

 

Any thoughts on where I can acquire these parts are much appreciated!

 

This thread will be the documentation of the build and hope to share the experience with others.   And I want my dad to drive it again.  

 

The old pic is from sometime around 1990, and the other pics are recent condition.   

 

 

 

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NEXT:   Start collecting parts!   Need a long bed, preferably southeast US.  HELP!

 

Do you see a Comanche in here?  

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How about now?

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A pressure washer and she cleaned up pretty nice.   Got the bed pulled, it was easy.   Removed and drained gas tank.   Gas wouldn't even burn.  The pump is toast, very likely the sending unit as well.  

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Loaded up and ready to go.

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Very likely the only GMC Yukon Denali ever used to tow a old truck out of the woods.

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Parked at home.

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Welcome. Where are you located? There are a couple of long beds near me on craigslist. Check offer up and marketplace for stuff too.

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Finding AC parts for the 2.5Litre Renix system is getting scarce. I’m in the same boat as you for a complete set up. 

But welcome to the club!

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Welcome to the club. Great to hear the truck has been in your family so long. 

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Appreciate the thoughts guys, I'm in Florida.    Hoping to keep the parts search in the southeast.

 

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Good luck!

I know you want to keep it the way your dad had it, but maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to swap in a 4cyl out of a TJ or something. That way it will be easier to get parts and diagnose issues.

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89, I don't see any need.  Nothing wrong (known) with the engine.   Just needs to be cleaned up and fired up.    If there was a problem, I'd go with a 4.0 instead of another 2.5.  I've done engine swaps and full rewire jobs on some other projects so that doesn't scare me at all.

 

 

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Updated post #2 with pics.  The rest of the pictures will be inserted sequentially in this thread.  

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And she's alive:

Replaced the fuel pump.  This was a pain, as the Walbo (Denso) pump I purchased (Made in USA) was too short to fit correctly.    Four different parts stores later, and O'Reilly had one that looked the closest.   But now, the strainer sock didn't fit tight on the nipple.  I ended up using some glue to hold it on there and it should be good now that it's back in the tank.   I also discovered a hole in the tank on the top, so it will be getting replaced.

 

Anyways ran a ground wire to the unibody, 10 seconds of cranking later and it fired up and ran great.   Hasn't run since 2002.

I did replace the plugs, wires, fuel filter, fuel pump, and battery before attempting start, but that's all.

 

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That’s great news! I’m sure some others will chime in about gas tank swaps or issues with fuel pumps and point ya in the right direction. Good job getting her to start up!!:L:

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there's a junkyard in north SC that has a longbed in it that looked intact (but very dirty).  Haven't seen it in person though. 

 

edit: found a pic

bed.jpg

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Thompson’s in Fountain Inn, SC

 

I was hoping to get out that way in the next few days.  I really want a door off of it.  Gotta finish fixing the Dakota first though. 

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Excellent, please let me know if you do.   I'll send you an I'm with my phone number.   

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Made some great progress.  First, Pete set me up with a long bed and even helped me pull it.  

 

Then, I found a rear glass and tailgate locally.

 

Finally got the wheels pulled and brakes unlocked.  Drove it up the drive way first time in 17 years.

 

Interior cleaned and getting ready to pull the seat and flooring.  

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happy to help!  :D  I used the experience I gained from that day to pull a bed of my own this past week. :L:  

 

if anyone was curious, that pile of trash was in the bed :crazy:

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Made a little progress today, worked on pulling the seat.   Three bolts on the pax side, and one on the drivers side came out.   I'll end up cutting the drivers rear bracket, and the passenger front bracket.   is it difficult to find new seat brackets?   I figured I could reweld them if I cut it correctly, worst case.

 

Also ripped out the vinyl flooring to look at the rust damage.  It's worse than I had hoped.

 

 

 

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Brandon makes new seat floor brackets :)  see his post in the venders section.

 

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Making some more progress.     Getting new brake lines on the rear, wire wheeled the D35 axle, and put in new shocks.   Also got the old bumper pulled off.

 

The passenger floorboard is solid, but barely.  The drivers side is toast a good ways past the transfer case.

 

Any thoughts on where to best get metal (and what kind to get) to patch this up?   I'm new at welding but this is a great truck to start with.  

 

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