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Preservation or Desecration? The 96/86 Crewmanche Build


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Hello everyone! It's been quite awhile.

 

I used to browse years ago when I first got my Comanche. I drove it for several years and it got parked. I then noticed some bad frame rot one day when I was poking around it. I had originally intended to just redo the frame and put it back on the road. One thing led to another, I ended up with a Cherokee and decided to go crazy.... 

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I didn't get pictures of it, but I used 3x3 tube slid into the Cherokee to start out the new frame. Then set the cab on, and kept trimming the roof/rockers until I had an equal door gap at the back on each side.

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3 minutes ago, MiNi Beast said:

went at it the right way. looks great. you have done well and i look forward to the progress. :thumbsup:

Thank You! It's getting close to the final stages. Still working on dumping the photos! :laugh:

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I then moved on to making the doors work.

 

Moved the striker to make it shut, not sure if that's the final iteration, but it worked at the time. 

 

I've seen this done a couple ways, but I opted to add to the Cherokee door to meet the cab.

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Got tired of it sitting downhill in the shop. Changed out the front axle and suspension.

 

The D30 that was under the Comanche I had rebuilt and regeared to 4:56's a few years ago. The '86 was a 2.8 and wouldn't get out of it's own way. At the time I thought gears might help, I was fairly young... But it should move great with the 4.0 now. :laugh::laugh:

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Decided to go with the Bench Seat in the back. To make it work I had to add brackets to the frame and some extensions to the seat brackets. The original seat brackets hit dead on top of the new frame rails. 

 

 

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And here's where we are now.

 

Needs to be higher in the front but I'm maxed out on short arms. Will have to move to Long Arms in the near future.

 

Still lots of little stuff to do. Needs body work, but that's not my cup of tea. I have buddies for that. :laugh:

 

My main hangup is needing a driveshaft. Need to call around about having one made. Just measuring from the Tcase shaft to the yoke is about 82". I think ill be looking at a Two-piece with a carrier.

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8 minutes ago, JMO413 said:

I absolutely love this build! Great job can't wait for more pictures. I really like how you did the rear doors.

Thanks!! I'm trying my best here. It won't be a show truck by any means, but it will be functional. Something I hope to have for years down the road. 

 

And thanks again. I've seen some make the cab meet the door, but I opted to go this route. They still need a little work. I need to add an inner structure to them to fill the gap so the doors actually seal. 

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1 hour ago, Deadeye1445 said:

Thanks! I have caught some hate over it from some circles of the internet. :laugh:  (Not here though.)

I will be honest. Its not what I would want to drive but I like short wheelbase stuff. Not only that I can't say anything because my #2 is always going to be a minivan.

 

But it takes some skills and perseverance to do a build like this. There was one a few months back that the guy gave up on and I was pretty invested in his build =P

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