Jump to content

Scaleless's '87 SporTruck Project


Recommended Posts

2031904900_20190921_122205copy.jpg.54807c22b20ca23b905bc82f36aa6826.jpg

Comanche Project Day 1, woo!

 

4.0L, Champagne Metallic over Tan interior, column-shift AW4, 2WD, D35 rear, some fairly nice bits like running boards.

 

So anyways, I picked up this Comanche about a year ago.  Work had taken me past this old transmission shop in Denham Springs quite often, and I took note of a Comanche sitting in their field.  I didn't really think too much about it then.  I was never really interested in cars at all - I certainly wasn't a mechanic in the slightest, but I was a Jeep guy for sure.  I had a Wrangler that I drove top-down, doors-off, rain or shine, all through places that I probably shouldn't have been, and that pretty much branded a 7-slot grill into my heart (ouch).  Seeing the big black 'Jeep' tailgate lettering poking out of the grassy field next to the transmission shop diddled that part of me in a way only your wife should, I guess. 

maps_Dec_2016.jpg.82d842684e940c0412f8b539358632a6.jpg

Dec 2016 streetview.  Funny enough, the paint was nearly immaculate except for terrible scuffs on the driver side fender. Hmmm, truly a mystery where those came from

 

This was all after a major flood in the area, so I knew the fate of that truck.  The water in this area rose at least 6 feet.  That's a big "oof" for sure.

Fast forward four years of driving past that truck nearly every day and the transmission shop now had a big "for sale" sign out front (not a mystery - the owner of this shop is a grade-a d-bag and does pretty terrible work to boot).  I was pretty confident that if the truck sat there much longer, I would at least never see it again.  Or worse: it would see the crusher!  So I did what any sane and rational person with no mechanical experience would do, and I walked inside, asked who owned the truck, went knock on a few doors and ended up buying it for $300.

 

The story of the truck, via the seller, was that his friend bought it new in '87 from Price Leblanc Chrysler Plymouth, took very good care of it, and rarely drove it.  It spent most of the time in his garage until the 2010s when he let his daughter drive it as her first car (...which explains the absurdly large perfume sachets stuck under the seats which just barely masked the smell of flood and death when I got it).  When she bought her own car, her father sold it to his friend (the last owner) to build into a great daily driver.  His first order of business was, despite the fact that the truck was in very good running condition with low miles, replace the engine.  His justification was that he "wanted to," haha.  He purchased the crate engine and this transmission shop - the one it has been sitting at for over four years - offered to do the swap for $600.  They swapped it all fine and dandy but it never ran.  They could not figure out the problem on account of, you know, Renix.  Scan tool or bust, apparently.  They told me they got a specialist in who only does old car electronics, and he told them they needed a new ECU!  (read: "I don't really know what the problem is so go away") The truck sat for months while they dawdled and got nothing done, and then it rained for a week straight and suddenly the whole place was under water.  That's basically the whole story, other than the truck constantly getting dented, scratched, and mangled as they pulled it around their field with a tractor to make room for other vehicles. 

 

1277260963_20190921_122149copycopy.jpg.6e8c3bd495beb6ec4752a1290208cf13.jpg225254309_20190921_184341copy.jpg.f93dc5d4503cf29c873f38327694d697.jpg

 

This was all about a year ago.  Most of the time I've spent since then was ripping everything apart, assessing the damage, and doing an absurd amount of research just to get a vague understanding of what I got myself into.  I also cut a big 6-month hiatus when I nabbed a junkyard '69 Corvette and brought it up to daily driver status.  Figured I'd start documenting the Comanche here to keep things interesting, get some feedback, and maybe kick it up a notch speed-wise.  I'm prone to dawdling, hence the already-extended timeframe.

 

Anyways, in the next few posts I'll go over what's been done to the truck so far and my plans to bring it back to life.  Stay tuned!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 66
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Can't go wrong with a Renix era Sportruck! Most importantly, it looks very solid. Be sure to pull up your carpet/vinyl flooring to check for rust. Even some of the driest trucks have rusty floors. These trucks like to leak. :fistshake2:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I started this project, I was a stickler for originality.  I wanted to keep everything EXACTLY as it came at first, so I wanted to just rebuild what was in the truck or replace it with original components and nothing else.  Well, after digging through all the broken crap on the truck and picking up a few other projects on the side that were less-than-original, I eventually backed off that plan a little bit.  But for now, I was just replacing... everything exactly as it came from the factory, to the best of my ability.

 

1950315825_20190917_160745copy.jpg.d331ede974b398cd29ea35bada0eb96e.jpg

 

And boy were there a lot of things to replace!  I expected basically a total loss, but digging in I was still impressed.  Also impressive was that, even after a thorough pressure wash, there was still mud everywhere. The mud'll probably be haunting me in my dreams forever, at this rate.

 

952193396_20191006_145238copy.jpg.272ef707a8bf335c69bdb76ec5f7e886.jpg

 

One of the funniest things courtesy of one of the previous owners was a brand-new battery mount from some other vehicle that didn't fit at all.  Hard to see in the pic above, but they made it fit by screwing a 2x6 into where the battery mount goes with 5 long, self-drilling screws.  I thought it was funny until I noticed that the board was rotting and holding enough moisture to rust out a big hole underneath the battery! :brickwall:

 

At this point, I noted the engine was seized, so I looked into the cylinders with a borescope and saw a whole lotta ew.  I forgot to get a screen cap of it, so I'll give a pic of the "oil" instead:

 

1481845238_20191024_212153copy.jpg.6886116583c775d474afae1e287dff20.jpg

 

Mmmm, yum.  This is literally all that came out of the crankcase.  It smelled like gas, too - not oil at all. :crazy: Weird.

 

1463994968_20191006_162056copy.jpg.13ee3cab2380ab563f34e408e7f05088.jpg

 

The head - you can definitely see which cylinders had their intake valves open.  Don't forget this engine is brand new, and has zero miles on it!  A real shame.

 

873626191_20191006_162116copy.jpg.5c83ca385729d763a8530b2c34bfbc60.jpg

 

And here's the block after I poured a ton of MMO in to try to see if I could turn it.  When I cracked the head open, cylinders 1 and 3 were actually FULL of the gassy substance I pulled out of the crankcase.  I'm assuming the battery was in the truck when it flooded and some connectors shorted the injectors open -> cylinder full of gas?  No clue, just spitballing.  Shortly afterwards, I ended up finding out the engine actually wasn't seized at all, but the starter - the only thing I hadn't removed from the engine before trying to get it to turn, of course - had actually seized up while engaged to the flexplate, somehow.  No clue how that happened, or if it was before it was flooded or what.  Perhaps they burned up the starter trying to get the truck to start and it stuck engaged, or if the starter shorted out in the flood and it burned up?  Sounds unlikely.  I have no clue.

 

Anyways, I gave up messing around and actually started to pull everything.  Everything comes out, and new stuff comes in. Eventually.

575988525_20191020_110404copy.jpg.51bd3e6fab10115aad76a057a28fe464.jpg

 

I'll continue the write-up in the next posts.

 

 

 

On 3/3/2021 at 7:43 AM, 89 MJ said:

Can't go wrong with a Renix era Sportruck! Most importantly, it looks very solid. Be sure to pull up your carpet/vinyl flooring to check for rust. Even some of the driest trucks have rusty floors. These trucks like to leak. :fistshake2:

 

Oh, don't worry!  I pulled up the vinyl to take a look as soon as I got it.  Passenger side looked immaculate, but the drivers' side looked like a nice block of swiss cheese. Fun stuff! :L:  Guess that'd be that fuse block/connector leak.  I'll get that all fixed up in a few posts' time.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome neighbor.

I live in Brandon, MS close to Jackson. I pass your house enroute to Breaux Bridge where I have family.

 

Looks like you have a nice project going and will enjoy following along. 

Having Comanche Fun,

Ollie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Ollie said:

Welcome neighbor.

I live in Brandon, MS close to Jackson. I pass your house enroute to Breaux Bridge where I have family.

 

Looks like you have a nice project going and will enjoy following along. 

Having Comanche Fun,

Ollie

 

Glad to hear I've got friends nearby!  I've been through Jackson quite a few times - last time 'cause there was a Comanche at the Pull-A-Part not too long ago.  Wherever it's at, I'll keep an eye out for your 'Manche!  I'm sure we'll cross paths sometime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Current plan: tear everything apart!  I took a lot of photos during this stage to help with reassembly, then quickly realized I couldn't find anything I was looking for in a folder of 300 images, ha!

 

1212979533_20191020_122739copy.jpg.92ec22a201a5d25ca7917b3165d4b8ca.jpg

 

Looking back, I really should have pulled the trans with the engine!  I didn't intend on removing the nose of the truck just yet, though I should have.  This Harbor Freight hoist wouldn't quite clear with it on unless I shortened the chain a bit, which I honestly should have done the second I got it.

234749131_20191020_122925copy.jpg.f8e3afcb9bb5592ab1bbf397802efe0f.jpg

 

Wow, that engine looks brand new!  And, well, yeah it is.  Didn't even have time to get caked in oil. :sad2:

 

2143525145_20191020_170839copy.jpg.077ab9f6c85c225f1fd9ceeb683674a5.jpg297138722_20191020_170836copy.jpg.a3c3311246483f2a47bda5a846e64693.jpg

 

Just about everything here is getting replaced.  Any sane person might have swapped in HO parts, but I'm special and made a conscious decision to keep things more original that I now regret, ha!  I might swap everything in the future, but for now, it's Renix.  I had the same experience with my Corvette - needed a new carburetor and so I sprung for an expensive double pumper instead of a Sniper setup, because it was cool and I hadn't much experience with carburetors.  Well, now that I have... anyone wanna trade a Sniper for a carburetor?  :roflmao:

1201803902_20191024_214648copy.jpg.e52a8f12cf2fe9dfbe01f29b5646a1f1.jpg

 

The bottom end of the engine looks really dang good for sitting in oily water stuff for 4 years.

 

425924462_20191102_141145copy.jpg.4c8823c748568f1f107ce0638a0cbb5d.jpg

353530183_20191102_141116copy.jpg.0e08311b5c34093fd57fd535cf4c3dad.jpg

 

This is my first time breaking an engine apart.  The Haynes manual, liberal googling, and JeepSolid's engine rebuild series got me this far!

 

1496122193_20191107_090256copy.jpg.32d763a9f9105bf98ab921e045816fb8.jpg

 

Sending it all off to the machine shop!  "But Scaleless," you might say, "doesn't your forum signature say you have a stroker engine? Why are you getting your crank resurfaced?" Well, hahahaahahaa, I'll cover that in the next post.  Stay tuned!

 

In the meantime, I pressure-washed the whole truck, which has it absolutely shining.  Lost the decal, though - it was peeling and cracking very badly.  I'll grab another when I get the truck repainted.  Also note the damaged bumper and the adjacent bed, courtesy of the owner of that transmission shop!  Really glad they took so much care dragging the truck around with their tractor. Luckily there're no creases in the metal at all, and it should pop out fairly cleanly.

 

1048404335_20191102_181331copy.jpg.1c1f9e1d40b00ba2f15199568dcd2d31.jpg

 

Kinda debating whether to get another SporTruck decal or a Pioneer decal.  I'm planning to swap to 4x4 which I think thematically fits better with Pioneer badging, but I'm not sure.  Feedback would be appreciated!

 

And as always, see you guys in the next post!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, scaleless said:

Kinda debating whether to get another SporTruck decal or a Pioneer decal.  I'm planning to swap to 4x4 which I think thematically fits better with Pioneer badging, but I'm not sure.  Feedback would be appreciated!

4x4 SporTruck :beerbang:

You should paint your motor AMC blue. They look great that way. 

5B66FB9C-F30E-4A62-9EF3-CAA3FBD0F583.jpeg.1d999359a164ca97438a13ad3e4afa3b.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alot of work going on !!  I am impressed !!

 

The AMC 4.0 is one of the best inline 6 motors ever made. Yours is not hurt. Clean and flux the block first. And go from there.

Stripping is cool too. I like mine

 

We were in Brookhaven for the car show today. 

Having Comanche Fun,

Ollie

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, 89 MJ said:

You should paint your motor AMC blue. They look great that way.

 

I was leaning towards AMC Blue, but I really didn't like how it contrasted with the gold exterior paint job.  That said, I'm no interior designer, ha!  I picked up a can of an olive drab color, hope I don't regret it.

 

2 hours ago, Ollie said:

Alot of work going on !!  I am impressed !!

 

The AMC 4.0 is one of the best inline 6 motors ever made. Yours is not hurt. Clean and flux the block first. And go from there.

Stripping is cool too. I like mine

 

We were in Brookhaven for the car show today. 

Having Comanche Fun,

Ollie

 

 

 

 

 

Definitely agree on that!  I'd go so far as to say it's THE best. 

If it weren't for cylinders 4 and 6, I wouldn't have had to get any machine work done on the block at all - it was in surprising condition!  Very nice crosshatching still on the other cylinders.  4 and 6, though, had deep and significant pitting throughout, and I'm confident it would have almost no compression at all.  The machine shop ended up punching the block 0.060 over just to clean it up.

 

Also, looks like I just missed you at Brookhaven!  I was planning on attending with my Corvette, but I ended up working on my Comanche so much that my 'vette is still up on the lift with no sidepipes and a lot of bodywork left to do!  Oops!  Ended up just working today instead of heading out at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At this point, I'm still just stripping the truck, prepping it to swap over from a parts Cherokee.  Almost everything is going straight into the trash or being used as a core!  I didn't get many good pictures, so not much to write up here.

 

1141693793_20200209_152206copy.jpg.ba1a57d58e252accfcedbc67f0b49819.jpg

 

You can see a lot of the rust from that plank they used as a battery mount in both the above and below photos.  Below you can see a large hole in the corner of where the mount is - since it's not a high-traffic area, I just went ahead and glassed it in instead of breaking out the welder. 

 

8663508_20200217_092248copy.jpg.9e5c53070c01604d0ce530f2dc731037.jpg

 

Mostly everything is stripped at this point.  I decided about here that, since everything is getting pulled out, I'd go ahead and repaint the engine compartment to make it look a whole lot better.  It kinda looks like crap right now.

 

1821984965_20200220_191701copy.jpg.c1342a25371957833e8f8af6f0a78346.jpg

 

Also, new warehouse!  This is MUCH better than working outside in my driveway!

 

253050697_20200412_222009copy.jpg.b75162de9ae818350807a4eb23353162.jpg

 

I didn't take many photos while I was painting, but I took down all the areas showing surface rust with a wire wheel on a grinder and finished up the corners with a Dremel.  I replaced all the aging caulk-sealant-stuff that was cracking and peeling with 3M Strip-Calk, too.  All the exposed metal got 2 coats of POR-15 after that.  1 coat of epoxy primer, 2 coats of color, and 2 coats of clear.  I forgot to take an after photo so you'll just have to wait!

 

495101142_20210208_185302copy.jpg.5fdf5338d1a316475629d6ef75f4779f.jpg

 

I also didn't get photos of the floor pans before, but the driver's side was fairly rusted while the passenger was perfectly fine.  You could trace a streak of rust up to the fuse box, so that's clearly where it's been coming from, but I'll definitely check the other seals before I reassemble everything.  You can also see just how much mud has deposited throughout the truck!  Gross.  I took the firewall foam out and washed it thoroughly.  The entire interior got pressure washed at this point as well.

 

853052482_20210213_124129copy.jpg.76e4769c938b045a68d643eff20c9166.jpg

 

The driver's side got wire-wheeled which opened up some swiss cheese on the floor.  Not a big deal - it's still strong enough to not flex when I put my weight on it, so it's definitely fine.

 

1995431729_20210221_105906copy.jpg.81c45bab405ccacd0089bd034daaf690.jpg

 

Didn't get intermediate pics again, but I welded a corner into that big hole, sprayed another coat of POR-15, glassed it all in to fix the swiss cheese, 2 coats of epoxy primer to seal the glass, then the whole floor got another 2 coats of POR-15.  It's definitely not rusting out again, haha!  :D Used about a quart and a half of POR-15.  Excess is my middle name!

 

341747799_20210213_182458copy.jpg.9e488d46746402ee42e1f5086c306dc3.jpg

 

I also grabbed a new tilt column from a '95 Cherokee and sprayed it with the closest thing they had at O'Reilly's. It... doesn't really match lol.  I ordered some SEM Palomino and Camel which supposedly match 86 and 87 tan interiors.  Palomino is supposed to be a good match for 87 Tan but my original dash is definitely close to Camel.  The plastic trim seems to be in the middle of Camel and Palomino but a little closer to Camel.  My build date is in January and the trim pieces all have stamp dates of 86, so I'm wondering if my truck got the last of the Honey interior.  If I had to describe the color in one word it would definitely be "Honey".  Not really an issue since I'll be redying everything anyways, but I'm a stickler for originality.  If I cared enough I'd get something custom mixed, though.

 

 

In the next post, I'll probably not forget to get a pic of the painted engine compartment, throw down dynamat, dynaliner, and carpet, recolor the interior, clean out and refurbish the heater box and maybe even start to reassemble the dash!  I might start to focus on getting the engine compartment reassembled first, though.  Need to think through what order would be easier.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Short post today, probably.  I got this work done a while ago but I just survived 6 consecutive 14-hour work days so I haven't had much time to blog and I'm dead tired.  Anyways, here's the block back from the machine shop!  Bored 0.060 over and ready for reassembly.  At this point I wasn't actually planning to stroke the engine, but you'll see why I ended up doing that in just a second lol

481353659_20191124_163924copy.jpg.0f8898ee57a9e5f0ed8ae4b06a76562a.jpg

 

Here's the original crank going back in very carefully!

 

2108462011_20191129_185959copy.jpg.233f08137fff6452e708d7be46b63ff7.jpg

 

With some cheap but effective hypereutectic pistons from Sealed Power.

 

883323813_20191129_190116copy.jpg.af5be24a7c484a08bf9c47902763150b.jpg

 

And then I hit the dummy barrier, ha!  :brickwall:

 

139962035_20191129_212157copy.jpg.89c22fd2dc3ecdb0dbe289c250c76214.jpg

 

I had shrunk two layers of heat-shrink over each rod stud to protect the crank, but still managed to miss and THWACK one right into the crank and the tubing didn't do much!  Er, I bought real stud boots after this.  Also a new crank.  Needless to say...

8ad.jpg.41237af140664db057a5214c5de26f2f.jpg

 

In a lapse of judgement I decided to spend an extra 400%-ish and get a Scat stroker crank and some Icon IC-944 pistons from Clegg Engine.  I really don't like the performance numbers I've seen of strokers running the Renix manifold and head, but I'm going to deal with it for now.  In the future I'm going to definitely upgrade both of those to a 99+ intake and probably one of those Edelbrock aluminum heads.  Professionally ported, too, so that my wallet hates me more.  Not going to spend that kinda money before the truck is running, though. 

 

2032711150_20191201_200641copy.jpg.97a9587939d368d8b6c261e3dfb9159b.jpg

 

In the meantime, I resurfaced the head, did a lazy-man port job, and lapped the valves.  Did pretty good with just a Dremel, I think.  Didn't get many pics but I spent like 2 days with some Prussian Blue and acetone getting this absolutely perfect. Very tedious. 

 

244134864_20200125_002757copy.jpg.9aabfdece03befbd6b5d951f39db6375.jpg

 

Here's the engine buttoned up and nearly ready for paint.  I've got POR-15 engine enamel paint going on it - Austin Healy Green, I think it was.  I think it's a really Jeep color.  Also, my garage isn't usually this dirty, so don't judge me!

 

704304870_20200126_235553copy.jpg.cede498624b3da7a294880a18411e0c2.jpg 

 

1 layer of POR-15 under a layer of engine enamel.  I brushed it on because I'm dumb - I've got a spray gun and I know it would have left a better finish, but I wanted to see how a brush job would come out.

 

461093912_20200131_193915copy.jpg.bfb60515cafddc42c47aff2ba9094793.jpg

 

Forgot to paint the thermostat housing before I took the pic, haha!  I saw some guy on Jay Leno's Garage with a Pacer and he had painted the valve cover with red, white, and blue AMC stripes.  Looked awesome - I think I'm going to do that before the truck is done.

 

image.png.d0d8f648a36e0f8de7e53edddac86b19.png

:drool::drool::drool::drool::drool::drool::drool::drool:

 

Oh, also when I got the truck I had a really $#!&ty set of generic keys for it, so I nabbed this set of NOS AMC key blanks on Ebay.  Score!

 

1696836751_20200216_233244copy.jpg.ecadc47e9c60f7b72e26a91bed00b545.jpg

 

Oh, change of pace - I also Dynamatted the interior.  Really went all-out because I had a bunch left over from my Corvette on top of a new big box I bought for the truck.  I still have a ton of sheets left over!  Dynaliner is coming... in the next post!

 

60894359_20210317_193824copy.jpg.6ef2110303a54c2f60c6434edb2ed08e.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Short update for now - I got way more done recently but in my efforts scrambling to get things moving on the truck combined with the fact that I work upwards of 80 hours a week, I haven't been able to make an update.  I'll have a lot of time now, however, as I'll share in a bit, but first...!

315248595_20210330_230327copy.jpg.fd345e732e4d26f0ebbb20c6220c352c.jpg

I'm relooming all the wires in that nice braided split loom from Amazon.  Will it pick up an absurd amount of road debris and oil?  Heck yeah, probably!  Does it look hella good before that happens? Definitely!  Will anyone see this behind the dash? Of course not!  But I'll know.

808503425_20210331_000009copy.jpg.d28bbe7969ed1b9d102b94fd5aad0327.jpg

 

 

 

568424386_20210403_233534copy.jpg.4e843b668b31c7b48297a26dd9c9b7ef.jpg

I rebuilt the heater box with a new heater core, AC evaporator core, and replacement foam seals in most areas.  All the parts went through an ultrasonic cleaner so it probably won't smell like mud and death when it runs!  I hope.

 

4564564815copy.jpg.1077a2a30de3a835634a5a1e8f66334c.jpg

Oh, also, grabbed an '89 parts Cherokee a while back for the seats, wiring harnesses, transfer case, and as a reference for originality because the engine had been swapped in my truck and I couldn't easily tell what was original and what was Bubba.  I'm swapping the front harnesses to be rid of the C101.  I could easily have got a better Cherokee for the price but I could not bring myself to rip parts from one that wasn't already destined for the junkyard!  Most other parts from this are for sale, so let me know if anyone needs something!

 

As for the reason I can't work on the truck?  Well, I yanked the dash out of that Cherokee to grab a few things...

fgyujjmfm4564564815copy.jpg.404e134e174995854418234139786cbe.jpg

 

And I threw it on the floor near where I was working.  And I was wearing my crappy old work shoes with holes in them, right?  Well the next time I walked past the dash this afternoon, one of the holes snagged those hooks that mount it to the kick panel area and I completely wiped out across the floor and broke my elbow.  So I've been having fun rolling around in excruciating pain and missing a functional arm!  I've never broken anything before - what a chump way to make my first!  Anyways, I'll post some of the backlog of stuff I completed but hadn't posted about tomorrow, when I hopefully regain some ability to move my arm.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Holy crap, it didn't get crushed! I talked to the owners of this MJ no less than 3 or 4 times in 2017 and 2018 trying to get this thing. I'm glad it's being saved....and also glad I didn't come grab that tailgate in the night like I wanted to :laugh:

I'm no longer in BR but I find my way up there on the weekends often. If you need a hand, tools, etc let me know!  I've got everything to regear your rear axle too :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tex06 said:

I talked to the owners of this MJ no less than 3 or 4 times in 2017 and 2018 trying to get this thing

 

Ha!  When I asked about it he mentioned that people had been hounding him for years about it.  I guess that was you!  He made it sound like he still really didn't want to give it up when I bought it, but he also didnt want to deal with it anymore given the shop was being closed and it would cost a penny to get it towed.  I guess I got lucky!

 

And thanks for the offer to help!  The truck hasn't gotten out of hand just yet, but I'm sure it'll give me some trouble sometime!  I'll be sure to give a holler.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/21/2021 at 2:51 PM, scaleless said:

 

Ha!  When I asked about it he mentioned that people had been hounding him for years about it.  I guess that was you!  He made it sound like he still really didn't want to give it up when I bought it, but he also didnt want to deal with it anymore given the shop was being closed and it would cost a penny to get it towed.  I guess I got lucky!

 

And thanks for the offer to help!  The truck hasn't gotten out of hand just yet, but I'm sure it'll give me some trouble sometime!  I'll be sure to give a holler.

At the time, it was the wife's truck still and she said the same thing that "people were just crazy about it" and they wanted.....well considerably more than I was willing to pay. More than I had paid for my '92 just before the flood. :doh:

I hope you got a good deal on it and look forward to seeing it out on the road! I need to get around to pulling my dash.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Right...  I'm clearly very punctual when it comes to updating my own build thread.  Spent the last 4 weeks out of work because of my broken elbow and still didn't post anything, ha!  Spent the time wisely, though - half of it was RGB-modding all my classic consoles and the other half binging Yoshi's Island.  Well-spent!

20210412_002456.jpg.8a757dcb65885969c94835808a168333.jpg

 

Anyways, the past week my arm was good enough for more productivity regarding the truck.  And boy, when you aren't working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week it sure is a lot easier to get stuff done!  Anyways, let's start with the transmission! Yeah, I forgot to take a "before" picture, sure me!
20200222_172420.jpg.bc3bbe39cc34a380da16c7210474f767.jpg


Got this bad boy from a TJ owner in Houston.  Had a really badass Jeep but he swapped an AW4 in (ew!) for its "superior" (read: BORING) rock climbing ability.  It was in PERFECT condition, but I'm crazy and wanted an experience, so I rebuilt it anyways:
20200326_184153.jpg.aa3b8d4d6a8d65235895ec370bc2b41e.jpg
I don't regret it at all, I had a blast.  And it is definitely smoother than before.  Almost didn't catch that the 3rd gear synchro is different on certain model years!  Very weird - it uses a triangle style mesh instead of the hat-style.  If I didn't catch that, it would be like that gear didn't have a synchro at all!  It took FOREVER to find the right synchro, though!  It was some random OMIX part that wasn't even listed as fitting 3rd.  It was for first or something.  But it's an exact fit.

Ended up soda blasting and spraying it with silver engine enamel to pretty it up.  Perhaps a little too sliver?  Maybe I should have just hit it with alumablast or something. 
20200404_152238.jpg.c2b4afb54440812933b71fb44ae4d599.jpg


Oh yeah!  The transfer case.  Came out of my 89 parts Cherokee.  Wrong input spline count for an AX15!  I just used that as an excuse to rebuild it, since Novak sells input gears! 
20200405_001133.jpg.352624a45868d52edcc53374f698402b.jpg

20200405_180830.jpg.26fedfd5d2d7b29f3baa5d4fe4cf71dc.jpg

20200502_171706.jpg.e8b31408793f7fbb87b4e7ecad526be4.jpg


Very easy rebuild, way easier than the AX15.  Took like 2 hours, max.
Anyways, back to wiring?  Got the dash together, with a liberal application of epoxy to fix all the cracks. 
20210330_235052.jpg.b1a9c87f8df0d6eb834e3b8b64fb4551.jpg
Rewrapped the ECU-side harness and welded in new stainless battery tray studs.  I can't believe I didn't do this before I painted the engine compartment, but you can't fix stupid, haha!  The touch-up looks fine, and it's not like you can see it under the battery tray anyways.  Also added new front stainless brake lines and fittings, since it's 1000x easier when everything is out of the engine bay and I'd regret it if I didn't. 
20210422_012410.jpg.3eac66b8bd5d9d17cd70dac3da86259c.jpg
Oh, did I mention the whole reason I got the 89 parts Cherokee was for the wiring harnesses?  C101, goodbye forever!  Removed the windshield, too.  A previous owner replaced it using butyl tape and it wasn't adhering AT ALL!  It was apparently leaking because of it and the solution was clearly to fill the windshield channel with household silicone!  Smart.  All this did was hold water and rust out the windshield frame.  I literally removed the windshield by sitting on the inside and pushing really hard.  I had experience with refurbishing the windshield frame on my Corvette, though, so it was an easy fix.  Unlike my Corvette, all I had to do was grind the rust off, fill the pits, and coat in POR-15 instead of cutting out the entire frame and replacing it, thank goodness!

20210429_003042.jpg.b28e91001232f52c28d6490779ebd870.jpg


Oh, also Comanche spotting!  In Madisonville, LA.  I was running late so I didn't drop out to check the VIN against the registry, but if it's there next time I stop by I will.  My mother - who lives nearby - said it's been there almost a month.  Maybe having Renix troubles?  Should I go offer some assistance?  Hmmm...
20210507_001457.jpg.96b5a6eb485b70782874268e1520e0d0.jpg
As for the fuse block- side harness, what the hell is this connector for?  It seems to connect two points on the same harness for some lighting-related connection and the under hood light, but if you disconnect it, it's not like you can remove it!  It's still connected to the harness on both sides!  Anyways, I just cut it and soldered the wires together way shorter to shave the wiring a little.  This is the point everyone screams that it's super important and I shouldn't have done it! :roflmao:
20210429_021615.jpg.56944eb014570142d4e2b1d5b68afc4a.jpg


And then this guy!


20210501_232254.jpg.160cf8632a6f21e55e414aeff5998a6c.jpg


What a gross connector, full of the factory goop.  Took two days in the ultrasonic to dissolve the stuff, and the film floating in there afterwards was way worse than the stuff in the connector!  Stuck to EVERYTHING!  Horrible!  Filled the connector with some good dielectric grease.  Before I could plug it in, though, onto the interior!

 

20210503_042400.jpg.9858a8fa8e2096da7ab23b8b667c77b7.jpg


Finished up the dynaliner!  This b*@ch is gonna be SO quiet! 
Carpet!

 

20210503_051510.jpg.7431034f69d71afd3dd5df71183692f5.jpg


Dash!

 

20210504_035431.jpg.f4587c9b56ce639ad9b4514d343abfd2.jpg

 

Forget to take a picture when the dash is actually screwed in!
Random Grand Wagoneer spotting!

 

20210503_195553.jpg.e12dcefc0967276e5ba925266f511702.jpg


I see this guy driving around the LSU campus all the time.  Too old to be a student, though.  Pretty sure the only students daily driving classics are me in my 69 Vette and some other guy in his blue 69 Chevelle.  It's also pretty rusty - needs some love!
Random tangent over, back to the wiring!

20210502_020836.jpg.7cc4af89f6dcf1b83a21e261532e5b3c.jpg
After this pic, I put in the new clutch master cylinder.  I cut the hole 1.5" dia after measuring the cylinder, but I think perhaps I should have gone 1 3/8" instead.  Oh, well!  It still seals fine.  Of course I forgot to take a picture. 

Next up: 96 dual diaphragm brake booster + master cylinder, WJ steering box with the nicer steering ratio (both are sitting on my desk) then... then I think it's time for the engine and trans to go in!  I am EXCITED!  I also still need to button up the interior and drop and inspect the tank and fuel sender.  But we're getting close!  I'll see you guys in the next post!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good work on the transmission. 1st time I did my AX-15 I put the reverse gear in backwards :doh:

I've seen the Chevelle, is your 'Vette yellow or white? There's one of each early C3 around that area, I forget how to differentiate pre-'73 Vette's from each other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...