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Street Comanche #20


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Hey there! I came across #20 in one of my many late night internet wormhole searches. At the time, it was too late to message the owner so I had to wait til the next day. I don’t think I got any sleep that night. The following day I was able to get in contact with the owner and see some photos of the truck. Upon seeing the photos I immediately said “I want it”. We talked about it, I explained that I am an enthusiast and would like to restore it the best I can to an original like state, and we struck a deal. Two weeks later I made the drive from Phoenix to Bakersfield to pick it up. It was about a 7 hour drive one way so I drove there and back in one day. 


I am extremely grateful and thankful for the previous owner for allowing me to purchase this truck. I was told they had acquired it from a mother who was selling it for her son, so there was not much back story. 


I did not look the truck over too long while I was there as I wanted to get loaded up and on my way back home. Amazingly they got it running before I arrived so I was able to drive it on the trailer and be on my way back home.













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4 hours ago, 500 MJ said:

Great find! 


Also - it's not red! I have only seen these in red, did not know they used other colors...

Thanks, yeah this one definitely came black with the tan interior so I don’t think it is safe to say they were all red with black interior. At this point I’m not sure what their methods were for selecting trucks to be a street comanche. 

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Alright so I made the trip there and back safe with no issues. So now that it’s home I have more time to look it all over, take it all in, and see what’s going on with it. I quickly found out both windows rolled down but wouldn’t roll up, both side view mirrors were broken, the driver door would not close, the turn signals didn’t work, no flashers, no instrument or dash lights, the blower motor didn’t turn on, the battery cables were frayed, battery tray was broken, broken fan shroud, several oil leaks, several coolant leaks, bad vacuum harness, it ran but it needed help, the fuel pump was very loud, the rear pinion seal was leaking, the list was quite long and seemed like it needed one of everything really.


Luckily the truck is super complete and the only specific thing that is missing is the front grille. Honestly, I am not too upset as the horizontal street insert is not my favorite look, but, it is unfortunate to be missing. 


The dash lights and turn signals not working are probably my biggest concern zooming out on the project, deep down I’m hoping it’s nothing crazy I have to chase wires everywhere to figure out the issues. 


So I started simple with a wash, the truck was sitting in a dirt lot and it was covered in spider webs and spiders. If you look under the truck on the side profile picture, you can see what looks like a loose hanging wire, its actually a bunch of spider webs wadded up to a rope from being trailered home. I spent a lot of time with the shop vac trying to get all that out from everywhere. 




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Knowing the majority of the truck is going to need to be taken apart to be cleaned, and refurbished, I decided replacing the window regulators to keep the windows up, and the elements out would be a good place to start. After taking both door cards off, the protective plastic on the doors had been tampered with so someone had been in there already. Not surprising with the mileage on the truck. 


Lucky enough I know several locals that like to part out jeeps so I took a drive and picked up a couple window regulators. The factory ones were riveted in so I made sure to snag some  from a later year xj where jeep used all the 10mm bolts. 




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Time to get the interior out to start the cleaning. One of the previous owners was a smoker so there was ash all over the console, the dash, and inside the instrument gauges. The carpet was filthy. I just wanted to gut everything and put it back together clean. 


Also at some point there was an old school cell phone installed in this truck, I didn’t get pictures but there was an antenna stuck to the back window, some box wired behind the seat, a microphone on the A-pillar (I am guessing for speaker phone), but the hand device phone itself was missing. So I had to undo all that in the mix. You can see where the box was mounted behind the driver seat based on how dirty the rear carpet board is. 








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Alright so the seats are crispy and toast, those will not be easy to locate so I’ll need to start looking for those now. The carpet is beyond what I would want to clean, it’s still going to show stains, who knows what it was or why you would treat your truck like that. So new carpet will be on the list also. 


Some grossness if the center console.


Oh and I found some hidden treasure under the passenger seat! And a classic compass, we had one just like this in a Toyota Tercel when I was growing up.











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So since the truck is missing the unique front street grille I decided to give it something with some style, I think it would fit the front of the truck very well.




Now the carpet is out I have discovered my next project. I was not looking forward to it at all,  but I figured I might as well jump in and get it over with so I can get back to something more fun sooner than later. 


I ordered a Sherman floor pan from rock auto, I was very pleased with the thickness of the metal, it was actually a little thicker than the factory sheet metal. The overall shape of the pan was quite close also so I would recommended them if you’re looking.


I spent several weeks repairing the floor. It was something I was not very motivated to do but I just chipped away at it day by day until it was finally done. I wanted to preserve the floor braces best I could, and try and make this a nice clean repair overall. The rust ended up not being  too bad on the floor brackets after I removed them, they were actually fairly solid still. I used several spot weld drill bits from HF,  lots of wire wheel and I coated with POR-15 when I was done. 








The passenger side floor had some slight surface rust from a leak from a failed radio antenna grommet. The driver side had a leak from failed seam sealer up where the driver fender met the hood and cowl area. Water was getting in a hole and making its way to the driver floor and it just rusted it straight through over time from sitting. No rust anywhere else on the truck, super clean everywhere so I would have never suspected having to do this.

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Here’s a couple pictures of the centerline wheels that come with the package 4C579BDD-BFBB-4CE4-B52B-EE49755CCA27.jpeg.e11e11e998fe39622f0448b57db1c732.jpeg640F8765-030C-4F90-AA34-FA1416B44949.jpeg.2d2f5c360a9ed496aa771ff4820dd8fd.jpeg5B690E4C-2969-49FB-9A66-E93DBB601174.jpeg.15e4e22a5e06a4d5c4eda494995f3e5c.jpeg0078FAAE-ADDA-481E-A2D8-A9AECD4D53A0.jpeg.766b9b9f8e3bba7f5c4162c898e8a438.jpeg

With the floor coated I want to give that adequate time to cure so I decided to move on to something outside of the interior and decided to go in the engine bay. 0FC45A46-05C3-476C-8FF5-41510FE08AC2.jpeg.17943297d908ade94ee1cc4780b26f45.jpeg



the valve cover gasket was leaking, oil filter adapter was leaking, thermostat housing was cracked, it was just really neglected and dirty so lots of taking things apart and cleaning. DF830F1E-39EC-40C2-83C2-9AF04083530B.jpeg.b880593ee6197eb5df8f30805b1ac70b.jpeg

I filled a bucket with dirty rags from degreasing the motor and the engine bay. I wanted to get everything clean so it would be a fresh start to maintain and also easily spot and leaks going forward. The valve cover was oxidized so that got cleaned up, new o rings for the oil filter adapter, new valve cover gasket, new vacuum harness, new battery cables and terminals, new water pump, tstat housing and thermostat, new coolant overflow reservoir, new belt, battery, and you know how it goes......1CC4F6D4-560A-4330-93F3-3679F1AAD3BF.jpeg.84acde8475f1523ab2baa8602c566516.jpeg


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