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91' Eliminator Daily Build


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It's been a couple weeks now since I made the 1200 mile round trip journey to pick up my second Comanche pickup, and so far I couldn't be happier with the purchase.  She's had a couple small issues, but has been everything I want in a "project" vehicle.  By that I mean, mostly perfect structurally and mechanically, with a few small issues that I can fix over time while enjoying it as my daily driver.  So without further ado, some pictures from the seller before I picked her up.

 

1991' Comanche Eliminator

2wd - AW4 console shift

Dana 35 rear

Lowered ~3.5" using unknown springs front and 3" steel blocks rear

Aluminum Rad with Dirtbound Offroad triple fan shroud and 3x Derale 10" fans with PWM fan controller

Newer belt, idler puller, thermostat, water pump and rad hoses

Grant steering wheel 

Smoked signals/tails and LED headlights

Factory 3pc glass rear window

Clean, rust free texas truck (unheard of in NE)

 

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So far my plan is to go about fixing and cleaning up the little issues it does have and getting it back to tip-top running and driving shape.  I've only had it a week and a half and I've already diagnosed and fixed a bad blower motor (replaced motor and resistor), a non functional horn (blown fuse) and no reverse lights (cleaned and re-greased NSS).  Still to go is fixing the AC, which isn't kicking on for some reason although the PO said everything was new (and it looks new) and general tidying up of the wiring harness and ground situation.  

 

In the future I'd like to keep it around this height, but maybe allow it to have more uptravel as it currently bottoms out pretty harshly over any large bumps in the road and I'd like to look into some form of rear drop other than blocks, just for my own piece of mind.  Potentially a Liberty 8.25 rear swap for discs and a stronger axle and even an AX15 swap (included in the sale with pedal bracket) although I'm quite happy with the AW4 currently.  

 

Thanks for looking, and please let me know if there's anything I should watch out for!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/10/2020 at 12:35 PM, Pete M said:

love that headliner!  :D 

Thanks, I'm assuming that wasn't a factory option?  

 

Messed around with the AC circuit last weekend.  My brother is a Commercial HVAC tech by trade so we checked the charge and found nothing in the system (strange?) so we pulled a vacuum on then left it for a couple hours to see if it had any leaks and strangely enough, it never lost vacuum in that time, so we took some refrigerant and charged it and it seems to be holding and not leaking out, but we used a gas sniffer just to be sure.  I'll give it a couple of weeks to see if any leaks out and then we'll recover it and charge it back to factory settings.  So nice to have some cold air again!

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1 hour ago, Pete M said:

very much a custom built piece :L: 

That's cool, I had no idea!  I've got a relay harness I need to get installed this weekend and check out why it seems to be idling low.  Maybe clean the IAC and throttle body and just generally go through the thing piece by piece.

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On 7/12/2020 at 2:58 PM, Pete M said:

there are directions for testing the various sensors in the link in my signature :L: 


Thanks, I got sidetracked when I found several vacuum lines that had fallen apart so I set myself on replacing those as best I could.  Seems to run better, but still has some idling issues when in gear.  I'll get around to that next weekend I hope.

 

Installed my headlight harness and struggled to get it mounted to the fenderwell.
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While I was messing around with the vacuum issues, I noticed that I don't seem to have a vacuum ball, and that hose is just capped right below the e-fan controller (which also has no cover).  Then afterwards I was looking for my source of harsh bottoming-out issues and noticed that I've got some sort of hard rubber caps instead of bumpstop bushings.  I wonder if these could be replaced with something with a little give, or even raised up some, but I'd have to check clearance with everything else.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got a wild hair this last weekend and went to the junkyard with my brother to poke around some.  Scored a complete windshield wiper motor assembly with track that I might replace down the line as mine are slow to cycle,along with a vacuum ball and some assorted random vacuum fittings and lines, all from a 99' Cherokee.  Set about repairing as many lines and fittings as I could find that needed it, and mounted the vacuum ball near the blower motor in the vacuum circuit, replacing the tee at the cruise module and just running straight into the module.  Tore my wiper assembly out and cleaned and re-greased all the bushings and inside the motor case.  Cycles better but still slower than my 95' XJ, not sure why?  Haven't had a chance to check the charge on the AC system, but it's still blowing cold even using it nearly every afternoon.  I'd have thought if there was a leak in the system it'd all have leaked out by now 🤔   

 

Scored some custom plates, my first for any vehicle I've owned!  

 

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21 hours ago, Pete M said:

have you tried grounding the motor directly to the battery to see if it improves?


IIRC the Black wire is the ground in that circuit correct?  I could always run a length of test wire from the wiper motor to the battery negative and see if it has any effect.  

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Got started early this morning since I had several things I wanted to do.  First out of the gate, I wanted to fix the weird narrow butt thing the comanche had going on, so after some research I picked up some 1.25" wheel spacers for the rear.  

 

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This is my first time ever using spacers, and after reading all of the "my wheel came of on the interstate!!" horror stories I was real careful to use locktite and carefully torque everything in sequence to 100 ft. lbs.  Honestly, I feel like it turned out great aesthetically, but time will tell if its reliable.  

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Second thing on my list was to do something about the faded and (imo) ugly front end.  Started by removing the zip ties and assorted bolts and screws keeping the factory front valance on to set about fitting one off a mid 80's/90's Chevy S10.  

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Out with the old!  Found the wiring for my factory fog light switch that I thought (read: hoped) might be hiding out behind there somewhere.  Interestingly enough, I also discovered that the MJ had most definitely been involved in some sort of front end collision on the drivers side.  Hard to see in that photo, but it had very hard to miss signs that it had been crunched a little and pulled back to close to original in the past.  No skin off my back, but was surprising anyways.  

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So being made for another truck, the new front valance had a pretty decent fit out of the box.  It was a simple matter of flattening the ridge on the bottom of the factory bumper to allow it to sit flush and then the hard part of deciding where to cut the excessively long side pieces.  After much back and forth adjusting the tape, I settled on following the factory flare lines to give it some coherence.  

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Couple seconds with the grinder followed up by a file and some sandcloth and I was able to mount it up for the final time with some new 1/4 stainless hardware.  Surprisingly time consuming, given how simple the idea really was, but I'm nothing if not a perfectionist.  I kind of have a love/hate with the frontal profile right now, but it does help to make it look more aggressive imo.  Between the new valance being more substantial that the old, and the half dozen odd bolts holding it all tight, it has very little play in it at all.  We were joking about running some Naca ducts from the holes instead of getting fogs down there 😄 

 

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Went to flick my fogs on this morning and the middle plastic portion disintegrated in my hands, so add that to the list of parts I need haha.  Are the rockauto repro's worth the $30 bucks or whatever, or should I just go scrounge one from the local junkyard?

 

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Made an early trip to the junkyard this morning after checking their inventory online and seeing a 91' XJ.  As luck would have it, it had a trans comfort/power switch which I had read was the same part number.  When going to remove it, I got my second surprise of the morning when I discovered the contactor portion and actual plastic faceplate of the switch are two separate pieces!  So I grabbed the contactor portion of the tranny switch, along with faceplates from that one and two others that were in the XJ.  Not bad for $5 out the door either.  Then it was a simplr matter of taking apart the dash, cleaning and greasing my existing switch and swapping for the junkyard faceplate and now I'm back in business! 

 

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I might work on it more tomorrow, but its supposed to be CRAZY hot with the heat index so I might just take a day 


Edit: I almost forgot, while I had the dash apart, i decided to bypass my comfort/power switch entirely, so I made a small jumper wire per Cruiser54's suggestions and got that mounted up as well.  Did some more wiring getting ready to get my stock rear bumper back on for now, I think the roll pan is going to be retired to a winter project so I decided to get my plate lights working in the meantime.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...

After a long and ridiculously(!) cold winter, I finally pulled it off the tender and got it outside for the first drive of the year.  Checked all the fluids, let it warm up and the idle smooth out after the long sleep and took it to get a full tank of premium!  After a long weekend cleaning up around the house, getting to drive the truck again was just the relief I needed!  Need to get supplies for an oil change, and get back to the "to-do" list but overall, still immensely pleased with ownership of this truck.  

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  • 1 month later...

When I bought the truck, the previous owner had been planning to manual swap it at some point, and had begun to round up some parts.  The truck came with an AX15 and manual pedal set.  I've done some digging and found that the trans should be a 94-96 model, however when searching that number I come up with links to a 97 model.  More interesting still, it's an internal slave bellhousing, so idk what's going on there.  

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So I've had those pieces, but recently I started working on gathering more of the swap parts.  Was able to find a guy parting out a cherokee with the stepped crossmember and ax15 mount plate.  

 

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And then since the trans didn't come with a shifter at all, I found a different person selling a complete shifter assembly including the manual floor pan cover and all the accessories.  

 

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Making good progress, still need to come up with a manual pcm for my year, although I think any from 91-95 mj or xj should work.  Then I need to source an external slave bearing retainer, bellhousing and all the related clutch/flywheel parts to convert it.  Finally I need to get the pre-bled master and slave assembly and I think that should be most of the hard parts I'll need.

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