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Pirate_Staz

1986 AMC Comanche "Graham Cracker"

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I decided it was finally time to start one of these for my truck since every day it seems like I'm adding more and more things and I want to make sure I keep track of when I did it. to start, here's some info on good ol' Graham Cracker:

 

1986 Jeep Comanche "Graham Cracker"

 

4.0 High Output I6 / AX15 transmission / NP231 t-case / Front Axle is a Dana 30, Rear Axle is a Dana 35

 

Build date: 3/19/86

 

Current Location: Chandler, Arizona

 

Status: Daily Driver and weekend rig

 

So this is my second Jeep Comanche. I foolishly traded my old one for a Honda Accord in an attempt to get better gas mileage and have regretted my decision ever since. I'm not kidding either ask anybody around me and not a single day passed where I didnt bring up my old "Dusty Duchess". I missed it so much that I sold a perfectly good toyota tacoma with barely 100k miles (30k of which were from me) and bought the best looking MJ I could find. That brings us to what I have today; body and Chassis are the 86 Comanche MJ, literally everything else is out of a 1996 Cherokee XJ. Over 10k in this truck and it runs strong. 4.5 inch procomp lift (not spring over axle) sitting on 31's. Long bed with a JCR steel bumper and historic plates. Original 10 slot grill with an all black/tan interior, american racing wheels, and the underside is bedlined to prevent rust/debris damage. Hood has hood pins instead of a latch, and theres an electric fan installed. The paint job is Maaco but its the most expensive package so here's to hoping it will last more than 2 years. Pictures below are from the day I first took it home on May 4th 2019!

 

 

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May 12th 2019:

First up on the list was restoring the badges to their former glory, I did this by masking off the chrome, lightly sanding down the black border and then just hitting it with a layer of glossy black spray paint and letting it dry. After I attempted to buff and polish the chrome bits with what I had on hand and stuck them on using 3M emblem adhesive. I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out!

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May 15th 2019:

Truck felt a little slow so I added some decals for +5 HP.....jk, I just thought it looked much better like this. Decals came from prop_kulture on ebay and they fit perfectly! (I did mess up one of the e's though but thats on me) I also found some really tiny hooks at my work that I thought looked funny so I put them on for laughs.

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May 19th 2019:

Crucial frame structural integrity and flex testing, very important. Passed with flying colors.

 

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May 27th 2019:

Next up was something I was so glad to get done, the exhaust. Previously the exhaust was cut out right behind the catalytic converter which meant inside the cab it was nearly impossible to talk to the person next to you. I fixed this by clamping on a flowmaster muffler and using alfa romeo exhaust pipe (idk either my uncle had it in his garage and said I could use it) I piped it all the way to the back of the truck where not only does it sound very nice, but the droning noise from the engine is finally gone. Id like to preface these photos with the fact that I attended welding classes for two years of my life, but the harbor freight welder I was using refused to cooperate and the end result wasnt so pretty lol.

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18 minutes ago, Comanche SS said:

Looks good! what are the future plans?

 

New taillights, fix a cooling issue (she gets really hot in the AZ sun I'm talkin 235-240) and maybe get some beefier axles and a spring over axle lift kit. Engine is pretty solid for the most part luckily.

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June 12th 2019:

I did what most people on this forum can only dream of achieving. I located and purchased an OEM (as far as I can tell) Comanche long bed camper shell! Its in great condition, fits snugly and it only cost me 300$. My plans with this shell are to get it all sanded down and spray it with some quality black bed liner to match the other black accents on my truck. I might also look into lizard skin coating the inside to make sure the temps don't get too high since I do live in AZ and black is the worst color for heat. My only regret with this is that now my Comanche Club sticker is all covered up :( but maybe that gives me an excuse to not have it on all the time. 

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I can send ya a sticker for the topper glass. :L: 

 

#theMJaddictionisreal   :grinyes:

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10 hours ago, Pirate_Staz said:

New taillights, fix a cooling issue (she gets really hot in the AZ sun I'm talkin 235-240) and maybe get some beefier axles and a spring over axle lift kit. Engine is pretty solid for the most part luckily.

 

Nice truck!  Converting to the HD fan clutch is a good move for a desert truck.  It runs a bit louder than the stock unit but it definitely helps.  NAPA part number is 272310.

 

Your electric fan should be kicking on at ~230 if it's working properly.

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10 hours ago, Pete M said:

I can send ya a sticker for the topper glass. :L: 

 

#theMJaddictionisreal   :grinyes:

If you did id be eternally grateful, gotta rep the forums! 

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5 hours ago, DesertRat1991 said:

 

Nice truck!  Converting to the HD fan clutch is a good move for a desert truck.  It runs a bit louder than the stock unit but it definitely helps.  NAPA part number is 272310.

 

Your electric fan should be kicking on at ~230 if it's working properly.

thank you for even specifying the part number, I'm definitely going to be replacing that asap

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1 hour ago, floridaftwman said:

Heck of a truck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

watch your language man (lol)

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July 7th, 2019:

Many up and coming plans. I got my hands on some near mint taillights that I'm going to be wetsanding and painting the accents with chrome. my current taillights are cracked but they used to have chrome accents and I really liked it so this time I'm going to do it again but better by sealing them with a few coats of acrylic UV protection when I'm done. Ill take before and after photos don't worry. I also have a lead on 3 more taillights (1 driver 2 passenger) that I'm going to be picking up soon that  might hold on to or sell to have more jeep money. My cooling problems have started going away luckily and now she only gets hot if shes idling with the AC on in stop and go traffic but i haven't seen her above 230 for awhile now. I'm still probably going to be installing an HD fan clutch though to be on the safe side. My camper shell is sanded and ready for bedliner and Ive decided to go with roll-on herculiner as thats what my bed and lower portion of my truck have and I want it all to match. In the far future I plan on getting some carpet to help the floor that gets so hot you can feel it through your shoes. Along with this I'm also on the hunt for a center console that work with a stick and bench seat. Finally once all that is done I want to see about getting my headliner and doors reupholstered since theyre beginning to show their age. Maybe some window tint along the way since this is an Arizona truck but my windows are pretty scratched up and water stained so maybe its not worth it. Stay tuned and watch as my wallet gets lighter!

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On 8/1/2019 at 7:12 PM, Pete M said:

did ya get the sticker? :D 

sorry for the late reply, yes I did! goin on the camper shell later this month when I get it all prettied up

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August 16th 2019:

Finally re-did the leaky T-case rear output shaft seal and changed the fluids. It only took me a day and a half longer than it should have too! Turns out the original seal I bought wasnt correct so I had to go find another one, only I couldnt. It took me a solid few hours to locate the seal I needed for my Np231J because every seal I could find was too small and was meant for the np231 that has the longer output shaft housing.

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 For those of you who may be in the same position as me the parts numbers for O'Reillys is #710663 and it is a National seal. The parts number for NAPA is #18108 and it is an SKF seal. The parts number for MOPAR and CROWN is #4798117 and they are, well CROWN and MOPAR seals. That being said, I got back from O'Reilly's around 8:30PM to put the seal on and wouldnt ya know it, I messed it up. My guess is that I didnt have enough lubrication around the seal and output shaft because the inner part of the seal where a coil spring rests got inverted and by the time i had the seal seated all the way in I realized it was practically inside out. Whoops. By this point all the autoshops around me had closed so I had to call my friend to give me a ride home as I did this at work thinking it wouldnt be that big of a deal. Day 2 I had my girlfriend drive me out to work but not before stopping at NAPA as I had heard the SKF seal was a bit better and also to pick up some more lubrication (I used NAPA Sil-Glyde #765-1351). After she had left I went to work putting on the new seal and it slipped right on. I tapped it into place and reveled in the absolute mental freedom that my jeep would no longer be FWD only and I could reattach the driveshaft. P.S. the lock ring is a pain and you definitely should get lock ring pliers or you might end up chewing the metal ring up. Also its worth noting that probably only a quarter of fluid came out of my Tcase compared to amount I put in so it was definitely time to do this job as it probably all leaked out from that leaky seal I had.

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August 16th 2019:

 

Started work on getting my new non-cracked taillights all prettied up. I wet sanded with 2000 grit all around until they were nice and hazy, taped them off how I saw fit and sprayed them down with some black Rustoleum plastic primer.

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I did 2 coats of that and let them dry but before they were 100% dried I hit them with a few coats of Rustoleum metallic paint. After that's finished drying my plans are to tape up some of the metallic paint and hit the small areas with black again to add some accents like you see below. After I do that Ill hit em with a few coats each of dupli-color clear acrylic UV protection until they're nice and shiny and we should have some fancy "new" taillights!

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5 hours ago, Pirate_Staz said:

August 16th 2019:

Finally re-did the leaky T-case rear output shaft seal and changed the fluids. It only took me a day and a half longer than it should have too! Turns out the original seal I bought wasnt correct so I had to go find another one, only I couldnt. It took me a solid few hours to locate the seal I needed for my Np231J because every seal I could find was too small and was meant for the np231 that has the longer output shaft housing.

20190816_150216.jpg

 

 For those of you who may be in the same position as me the parts numbers for O'Reillys is #710663 and it is a National seal. The parts number for NAPA is #18108 and it is an SKF seal. The parts number for MOPAR and CROWN is #4798117 and they are, well CROWN and MOPAR seals. That being said, I got back from O'Reilly's around 8:30PM to put the seal on and wouldnt ya know it, I messed it up. My guess is that I didnt have enough lubrication around the seal and output shaft because the inner part of the seal where a coil spring rests got inverted and by the time i had the seal seated all the way in I realized it was practically inside out. Whoops. By this point all the autoshops around me had closed so I had to call my friend to give me a ride home as I did this at work thinking it wouldnt be that big of a deal. Day 2 I had my girlfriend drive me out to work but not before stopping at NAPA as I had heard the SKF seal was a bit better and also to pick up some more lubrication (I used NAPA Sil-Glyde #765-1351). After she had left I went to work putting on the new seal and it slipped right on. I tapped it into place and reveled in the absolute mental freedom that my jeep would no longer be FWD only and I could reattach the driveshaft. P.S. the lock ring is a pain and you definitely should get lock ring pliers or you might end up chewing the metal ring up. Also its worth noting that probably only a quarter of fluid came out of my Tcase compared to amount I put in so it was definitely time to do this job as it probably all leaked out from that leaky seal I had.

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Back to the drawing board it still leaks :( i don't even know why anymore because the seal is brand new

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