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I figured I’d post my progress on my 1989 Comanche that I’ve had since March. I haven’t documented everything as I went but I do have a general idea of when I have done major work. My goal is to make a high-optioned pioneer out of my somewhat base model clean 1989 Pioneer and a donor 1990 Eliminator and maybe an 86 LWB. I’m not sure yet on the 86 as of now. 

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So, a bit of backstory on how I got this truck and what it’s story was before.

 

This truck was order in the fall of 1988 by an army Sergeant stationed in Germany. It was built on 1/26/89, and was picked up by him in march of 89, at West Valley Jeep/Eagle, in Mesa Arizona.


The truck then spent some years in Montana, hence the reason it doesn’t have A/C. 


When he moved to Kansas, the truck followed, and remained in the Family, eventually becoming his sons school vehicle. 
 

This truck has the BA10/5, and around 2001ish it began making bad bearing noises, and the truck was parked before being due up for insurance in October of ‘02. 
 

The truck sat outside, uncovered for about a year and then was drove into the shop, where it would sit for the next ~17 years.

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(I decided to split this into 2 comments. It’s a long backstory. :) )

 

Last March (3/2020) we had a nice weekend and I decided to ride my moped around to enjoy the weather during the forced quarantine. (It’s an 82 Honda NC50, if anyone cares) and stopped by the eliminator on the side of the road. 
 

Now I don’t condone trespassing, but I wanted to get some quick pictures and went around on the other side. (Towards the property) to get some pictures and crouched down behind it.

 

And that’s when the owner pulled up.

 

Thankfully he only barely ripped my @$$ for it, but we got to talking about it and that he hated seeing it sit there and was willing to sell it. Thats all the farther we had got at this time. I never offered him a price.

 

As I was fueling up the moped to leave, a local store owner and one Army sergeant pulled up to see if I was ok. I told him what I was doing and he said he had one for sale, and so we went to look at it.

 

Here are some photos I got of it on that date, which was February 23rd.

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This leads us to February 23rd, when I stopped and looked at it. The moped didn’t have a light so it was kind of a short look. I peeked inside and out to check for rust, mice damage, etc, and it looked good. Even better than the eliminator that I really wanted. Like with the Eliminator, we didn’t come to a price, he wanted to check with his children to see if they wanted it first. (Reasonable)

I don’t have any pictures of this day, so I won’t be able to post any. :(.

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2 minutes ago, eaglescout526 said:

 

Time to do some info searching on this dealer.

 

Both are good looking trucks though. 

The dealer itself no longer exists, it was located at 1350 west main in Mesa. The location is in the middle of a housing complex. 
 

also, I screwed up. It’s East Valley, not West valley.

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1 minute ago, AwashCascade said:

The dealer itself no longer exists, it was located at 1350 west main in Mesa. The location is in the middle of a housing complex. 

 

I had a feeling but dang, course it got torn down... oh well.

 

Look forward to more updates on the MJ's.

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Then, we move to the first of March, where we finally take some photos of it. It basically was the same as it was back in February, but the hood was cleared of junk. We both agreed on the price of $800 and I spent the time to raise the funds. 

about a week later, he calls and says his friend is interested and he asks if I’m still interested. I’ve only scrounged about ~$350 so I’m panicking.

 

At this same time, I had a 1972 Datsun 240z that had been at a shop for about 2 months for carb issues. I decided on the 10th that I was going to sell it and had it gone by the 12th. Had offers all around the world for that car, which surprised me.

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Since I had a full wallet, (and maybe an empty heart, I loved that car to death) I pressed on, and took another look at it on the 15th. (I forgot to post the pictures like an idiot for the last post, so they’re in here as well.)

The truck had been rolled out into the open, and we were having a bloody polar vortex, so it was pretty cold on the 15th, no in-depth pictures, sorry.

 

As of 7/1/2020, the Grey Sierra that pulled it home is for sale, reverse went out and I got a new truck, so it’s a bit sad seeing it there.

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On the 16th, I came back with pride, some thicker gloves, (because it was like 25°), and $800 in cash. We cleaned out the rear, and I ended up negotiating down to $700 (steal) and I pulled it home that afternoon, with the help of a friend. Thanks, Ridley.

 

ironically, I had gotten that Datsun a year to the date prior. Fun fact.

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When home, it was parked outside for a few days to make room (and air out the interior, damn rats) in this time, I was running it on starter fluid and it backfired and caught half the engine bay on fire, (oops).

 

in my rush, I closed the hood to get more air. Fun factoid, both latches need to be latched in order for the hood to pop, Insert me panicking for 5 minutes running around like a ape trying to get the hood open while it’s on fire. Not exactly fun. 
 

eventually, I got it open, unfortunately, it burnt the map and The vapor line on the valve cover. I got some simple vacuum lines and fixed them, no sweat.

 

the next couple days were spent deep cleaning the interior and engine bay.

 

I don’t have any pictures of this either (go figure) so I ll leave you with an engine bay shot. 

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 I spent the 19th taking the old tank off and hoo boy it was dirty, so much that I bit the bullet and bought a new one. And the sender was toast. Great. The next ~month was spent looking for one. Luckily I found ones on Rockauto for the ~3 days they lasted. First start was getting close.

 

here's a picture of my fancy workstation

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April 15th, to most people it’s an average day. 
 

to me, it was everything.

 

after a (“grueling”) night of putting the new tank/sender in. (Wasn’t too hard, we had a lift to help) the truck would just barely cough, but wouldn’t fire. We let it sit overnight to see if it would be better in the morning. 
 

and it was. The truck fired up on its own power for the first time in 17 years. It want running great, but it was kicking on all cylinders. 
 

we let the truck run, and a stuck theromostat caused the temp to climb, and climb and climb...

 

we removed the stat and I drove it about 10 miles for fuel.

 

it filled up, but it also leaked, bad. The gaskets have expanded over time and no longer leak. So it’s an issue that solved itself.

 

it drove ok, and I changed the oil. No smoke, no knocks, just a weird noise I attributed to the cat tapping the trans crossmember.

 

it wasn’t that. 
 

Uppon further investigation, it is the countershaft bearing, (noisy in all gears, except 4th, when it’s not turning. The ol pukegoat has overdrawn it’s stay in the old Comanche hotel, and a good ol AX-15 swap is in order.

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That leads us to the present. I’ve put about 250 miles on and am currently having overheating and low oil pressure issues, so those’ll have to be addressed in due time. She kind of sits for now as the new truck I got as previously mentioned gobbled up my funds and a unwanted surgery has left the last couple weeks  a bit unexciting to say the least. I’ll be doing a open cooling system swap from a 91-96 Jeep also, as I think the only reason it overheats is that I have an air pocket somewhere from the gobs of leaked coolant from the new thermostat I put in. I left a lot of the tuning stuff out. (New alternator, fuel injectors, O2 sensor, and vacuum lines) from a misfire at idle and it not charging. I’m hopeful that I can make some more progress after this weekend, and that the Eliminator can finally come back home with me to get robbed of some bits I want. So, this’ll probably be the last post in a while, but I hope I’m not gone long.

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11 hours ago, Pete M said:

did you try bleeding air out the temp sensor at the back of the head?

No, but it doesn’t overheat when you drive, just when you sit, so I’m more worried about the oil pressure at the moment. Other than that it’s been completely reliable, It’s never broken down in the 250+ miles I’ve put on it.

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2 minutes ago, Pete M said:

electric fan?

I though about it, but since I want to go as period correct as possible, I’ll probably leave the engine fan on. I’m going to swap to an HO cooling system, so I hope it'll solve the issue. It never overheated until I put the thermostat in, and it’s a 160° one to keep the closed system as cool as possible.

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39 minutes ago, AwashCascade said:

a 160° one to keep the closed system as cool as possible.

The thermostat actually works opposite, then what your thinking, a 160 degree will open when the engine reaches 160 and thats it, once its 161 and above that thing will not close again, once its open the engine will reach its operating temp which is 200/210 depending on how good the system is. it doesn't keep the motor at 160. if you have an overheating issue while stopped you either have a bad clutch fan or a bad radiator. Please, when you fix the issue install the correct thermostat your engine and fuel mileage will thank you

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On 7/2/2020 at 11:41 AM, jdog said:

The thermostat actually works opposite, then what your thinking, a 160 degree will open when the engine reaches 160 and thats it, once its 161 and above that thing will not close again, once its open the engine will reach its operating temp which is 200/210 depending on how good the system is. it doesn't keep the motor at 160. if you have an overheating issue while stopped you either have a bad clutch fan or a bad radiator. Please, when you fix the issue install the correct thermostat your engine and fuel mileage will thank you

When I do the open cooling system I’ll add a new one. The clutch seems ok. It spins all the time when running and when the engine is off it has some resistance. Like what Pete M said, I’ll probably add the aux fan even if I don’t swap over the A\C.

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On 7/1/2020 at 11:13 PM, AwashCascade said:

 

 

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Is that a rat in front of the camera?

On 7/1/2020 at 11:13 PM, AwashCascade said:

 

 

 

 

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So, since I have done some updating to the Comanche in the last couple of days I’ll update here! 
 

When I initially got the truck, the POs son had taken the rear bumper off to build a custom one (a notable cause) but he only got to taking the bumper off and cutting the mounts. My dad welded them up a couple weeks ago (I haven’t been able to do it because I got my wisdom teeth removed, and didn’t want to risk a dry socket from jostling which naturally comes from working on one of these :) ) and I got them installed. I’ll insert a before/after pic. I think it looks odd, but that might be because it doesn’t have a tag on it.

 

Also, an update on the Eliminator parts truck, I though I would swap my leaky D35 to the D44 that I though was in it, but it’s also a D35, so I’ll have to keep looking for a D44. Also, it doesn’t have the full-length center console (at least it didn’t from the factory, I now remember that the passenger seat was damaged in the crash and the yard he went to had another eliminator, so he might’ve put it in, I’m not sure, I tried to dig through the junk in the cab, but I came across a bull snake, so that put an end to the search pretty quick, although, I guess I don’t have to worry about rats too much. :)

 

Hopefully in the next few weeks I can get around to getting the other truck and getting the trans (or maybe the entire power plant) into my lil’ ol’ pioneer. 
 

Is it too late to step out now?

 

back to the bumper, I will want to replace them to Chrome (and straighter) bumpers, the old 1986 has a chrome front bumper, does that mean it has a chrome rear bumper? I would like a good bumper that better shows the condition of the truck as a whole.

 

Also, I don’t plan on towing with it in the near future, I physically cannot get that ball off without doing more damage to the bumper.

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