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How did you aquire your Comanche and what is the story behind it?

Classy Comanche

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I'll go first. I purchased my Comanche on October 31st of 2020. The truck formally belonged to my WWll vet great grandfather that he bought for my great granny back in 1987. She always drove it and did errands in it as my great grandfather took his little John boat to the lake from time to time. He traded his 1973 Ford Bronco and paid for the rest of it up front due to his wife having difficulties driving it. She was a small woman and had trouble seeing over the dash/hood. It was a town cruiser and still is. Later in early 2018 she passed away so then the truck sat. Before she got sick it sat for a while because neither one could see very well. So instead of it letting it rot away he gave it to his son [my pawpaw] to drive every once and a while. Well it just ended up sitting over here which pushed me even moreso to buy it. I offered him initially $5500 for it as is and begged him to let me have it. He kept saying maybe or no not right now. Finally 2020 came around and he gave me a price of $3000 and that day I tore out of the driveway slinging gravel to go to the bank and get the money. And then from that point forward I've been having it worked on. Also in early 2021 we had a bad snow and wind storm and it blew a tree over where the truck sat and pancaked the shelter. It would have absolutely devastated me if that happened. But that's my story on my little truck. I would love to hear the story on yalls


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My first MJ was an '88--got it when I was in high school about 10 or so years ago. Happened to be driving by a mechanic shop where my family takes their vehicles for inspections, and saw it sitting out front with a for sale sign. Having never seen one before, fell in love instantly--was able to talk to the shop, found out it was collateral for a job someone did, and was able to buy it. Can't remember if it was $1000 or $1500, but it was around there. Here was my first thread: 

Looks like I ended up selling it (because I was a stupid young kid) a year or two later... Fast forward to 2021, when I purchased my current '91 from another member here, and I don't plan on getting rid of this one :D

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My 86 I acquired a few short months ago, my first MJ, I had a nice black XJ sport but just wasn't what I wanted, ran across a FB marketplace ad where a guy had the MJ and wanted to trade for a Cherokee XJ, and voila! I got the XJ cheap as it was a no start, $1750, only ended up needing a coil, the XJ was extremely clean, but I didn't mind the trade, I got an almost new condition spare long bed, 2 doors and tailgate with the trade. Will continue to upgrade it and drive it but may not keep it as being 6' tall+ tends to be a pain getting in the truck, same with the XJ, always have to duck my head somewhat, seem almost too big for the truck, I'd really like a J-series full size, but maybe lowering the seat bracket an inch or two might just do the job.

from this




to this, no regrets



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The story behind mine goes back 7 years. When I turned 12, I got my Eagle. I swapped the engine in it and made it drivable. During my first bout of ownership with that car, I saw a Comanche that some friends of ours owned. I sold the Eagle because I wanted a Comanche and it turned out that he wanted to sell the Comanche at a similar time, so I used the money I got from the Eagle to buy the Comanche. I owned and worked on it for a year before joining the forum 4 years ago and I've been here since. I have since reacquired the Eagle and I have zero plans to ever sell either of them. 

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Drove Cherokee's when I was 16 to about 21 years old, then got newer dependable cars in college and beyond.  About a decade later, I wanted an offroad rig to explore southern California after originally being from the northeast.  I also wanted something with a truck bed and was debating between a Tacoma or a Comanche.  Ended up looking for decent ones on Craiglist for a few years, until I found mine.  A rust-free desert truck from Bakersfield area.  It checked all my boxes like SWB, 4.0L, auto, 4x4, and Dana 44, minus being a HO engine.  Over the last 5 years, I've rebuilt it from the ground up and replaced or refurbished almost every part of it (transmission and transfer case are the only things I haven't touched yet).

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Here's the novel. I've had three and sold one so at 2 currently, it's been a fun adventure of how I've got them. They have all been members rigs. I had a XJ for a while and the unibody cracked which lead to it's demise. Wanted another but wife wanted me to get a "nicer" vehicle for the little one that was on the way. So got a "nicer" vehicle but still wanted a jeep. Was talking with one of the Naxja guys (yellaheep) that had two comanches he was wanting to get rid of. I had never really heard of comanches but seemed cool and being a truck was a bonus (hauling football equipment got tricky in the accord). So traded some parts from my old XJ and some cash to get it. Had it for a while did some little things here and there but just drove it and loved it. Then moved and didn't drive it as much. I got to the point of wanting to have more of a hardcode offroad rig again and didn't want to chop it up so just kept driving it with slow aspirations to build the WJ. Then I stumbled on Meanlemons project MJ that had most of what I was looking for. So I sold my MJ to another NAXJA guy and got the project MJ shipped to CO from PA. After I get it life happened again and we moved again. Once we finally got settled in the new place decided I was going to finally get to working on the project MJ and started getting little things done. Then during my hourly CL search for jeep things I stumbled on a MJ that looked very similar to my original one. Well probably because it was. Reached out to guy I sold it to and he hit the same wall I did of wanting something to bash but couldn't beat up the MJ. So I purchased it back but with stiffners and some other little things done. So now I have the project MJ, OG MJ and the WJ. Knowing I wasn't going to be able to keep them all tried to sell the project MJ but wasn't successful at first, so I figured I'd keep working on it and sell it once it was running or just part it out. Well never really got to it and then I saw zambeezys 92 come up. Wasn't really looking for another MJ but this was close, a 92 and running. At first figured I'd strip the project MJ and throw those parts on the 92, but I wasn't sold on doing that. Then a savior @derfcomes and snags the project MJ away saving my the time of stripping it. So now I'm at 2 MJ's, the 88 and the 92. Still undecided if I will keep them both. Part of me wants to build a race truck with the 92 but might just clean it up and keep it stockish. Right now not in a rush to do anything. I drive the 88 a lot, tinkering on the 92 and still getting parts for the WJ. 


The 88 OG MJ

How I got it


How it is



The project MJ 



The 92 and 88 together




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I wasn't even looking to buy anything other than some small parts for my Torino when I was walking around a cool junkyard here in the upstate SC area. Came across this Jeep and I immediately realized its something I just needed to have. Best part is telling my wife I just bought a Jeep from the junkyard and she didn't even flinch. :laugh:

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My first one was the fun story.  Myself and 6 of my friends flew from Cleveland, OH out to Los Angeles with enough cash on us to purchase two craigslist vehicles to drive cross country home.  The trip was heavily inspired by the Roadkill YouTube series.  We pre-gamed before heading out and I had lined up to look at a 30k mile 83 Chevy K5 blazer.  It was mint underneath but trashed from the Cali sun on top.  Another friend had a Ford Crown Vic in his sights, the paint was still curing on the door when he showed up, and he passed.  All of us met for lunch and started looking through Craigslist, at one point a friend handed me phone already dialing someone and said it was a Jeep Comanche.  I had no idea what it even was.  Regardless I organized a meetup.  The seller was super cool, a nice Iranian fellow who owned an off road modification shop in an industrial park.  It was an awesome truck, 1988, 176k miles, non-op title due to not passing emissions, the guy just wanted something out of it as he had spent two years trying to make it pass smog.  Exactly what we needed, a reliable 4.0L with a 5 speed manual to drive across country.  We also looked at a BMW 330Ci, Lexus LS300, and a Mazda Miata.  Only ended up buying the Comanche and chose to rent a Yukon Denali to carry everyone else and the luggage home.  We had an epic drive home, particularly in Colorado.  Had a complete failure of the PCV in Kansas that pumped a few quarts of oil into the airbox.  Luckily the small town Kansas auto store around the corner from our Pizza Hut lunch had the three parts we needed on the shelf for a total of $6.  Overall, made it back to Erie, PA all 3500 miles with only a 20 minute delay to fix it.  Drove it for the summer and sold it on Bring a Trailer, the first Comanche BaT had ever listed.  Then, I regretted selling it until I bought my current one 3 years later.


This trucks history was all in southern California before I purchased it.  I was the 9th owner.  If one looked closely at the door there was some logos that said, "World Airways Charter Airlines.". Judging by the front receiver hitch, I think it had been used to push around small airplanes.  I sold it to a fellow who wanted a farm truck with 4x4, manual transmission and was narrow to make it through his gates.  He was also looking at early Land Rovers.  He loves the Comanche and has sent me a few pics of it doing work.  He very much wanted a rust free vehicle as he had no intentions on road registering it to keep it out of the salt.

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The second Comanche that I have now was far less exciting.  April 2022 my twin brother and I purchased a farm that we intend to build a house on the land.  The property needed major cleanup and we didn't own an appropriate work vehicle.  Our daily drivers at the time were a 99 Oldsmobile 88, a 99 BMW M3 and a 62 Austin Healey Sprite.


I had been searching a long time and a week after buying the farm found my dream Comanche, just a short 5 hour drive away in Reading, PA.  It was a 90 Eliminator with the AX15, 4x4, 4.0L, short bed and factory AC.  A few other nice options too but those were my requirements.  It was hard to purchase, the seller didn't respond to Craigslist messages, I found that he owned a little corner car lot so I called him directly.  He said a lot of people had interest but I was the one who was bold enough to call him directly.  He was trying but failing to get the parking brake fixed and didn't want to sell until he had that sorted out.  I had a ride down to that corner of the state just the next day lined up and told him I'd bring cash. So my twin, and father headed down and purchased the truck.  It didn't run well, at the time I didn't realize that the intake manifold bolts were loose.  Still we drove it home, only stalled a few times.  Been a great truck and used it to haul 25k lbs of scrap metal to the junkyard and have had a lot of fun tuning it up.  


This truck had an interesting ownership history.  The original owner put 237k miles on it in 16 years.  They then sold it back to the original selling Jeep dealership, which put it to work as their parts running truck.  The Jeep dealership kept it an additional 15 years, kept great records and fixed a lot of the annoying stuff like the AC and replaced the clutch.  The dealership sold it to a guy in the same town who had a little corner car lot, he used it to tow his boat around.  He kept it one year which is when I picked it up.


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I wanted one for a long time, and every time a nice one popped up, I always was broke and in debt. When I had enough money, there was only two for sale: a super original survivor, red Sportruck, showroom condition with roll bar AND tonneau cover, for around 7500$ canadian and a 4-hour drive from me. A truck this nice and original, I knew I couldn't live with myself if I modified it! The other one was the one I bought; an abandoned project, on facebook marketplace. A kinda 2-owner, clean-ish truck (the second owners were two brothers, which bought it from the original owner, and kept swapping it between themselves) that spent it whole life in the town it was sold at. It had a so-so repaint at one point, one of the brothers, wanting that "classic instagram Jeep flex pic" backed up a bit too fast in a huge snowbank to get his "pose", and ruined the original rear bumper, and bent and cracked the left frame rail. He "repaired" it by welding and plating it, but never got it straightened first, so the bed looks twisted to this day. The brother that had it for sale wanted to convert it to 4x4, and swap a Mercedes diesel in, and asked 5000$ CAN for both the MJ, the Mercedes donor, and a bed full of parts including the 4x4 bits and a Dana 44 and leaves from a Metric Ton MJ. He said the Jeep 2.5 was pretty much junk, and had cut pretty much every hose and wire in the engine compartment getting ready to yank it out before he gave up on the project and the truck sat for 3 years. I made a deal for the MJ+parts only, minus the Mercedes, for 3500$CAN delivered to my door. I completed the 4x4 convertion, but planned on an engine swap. However, just for fun and to make the truck mobile, I restored all the wiring, and did a tune-up to the 2.5; the distributor base had one ear broken off the the cap held loosely by only one screw, the clutch had a weird piece of sheetmetal sticking out messing with the CPS, and a couple of lifters were colapsed. Fixed all these things, added some Marvel Mystery oil and turned out this thing runs like a champ!!! Now I've grown attached to that little 2.5!!! Here's the first start video!

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Warning this is a literal life story: 


You have been warned…

My story is Quite different than everyone else’s. I grew up around XJ’s, ZJ’s, and MJ’s. A024753A-48F3-45A2-91C6-C8B82575E00D.jpeg.9a2a8c1c4e4a21a320ddff385ac5efb5.jpeg




Here's me 10 months old standing in the back of my dads MJ With his 2DR XJ wheeler/DD, and the ZJ, my moms DD. Also here’s me in My dads 71 Javlin AMX




But Finally the part we are all here for. 
In January 2010 when I was 5ish, my dad picked up this black 89 2wd SWB 4.0 automatic truck 31k original miles.









Needless to say I immediately fell in love with that truck, it was the first vehicle I changed a tire on and sparked my love for working on Jeeps









Fast forward about 10 years. I’m 15 and I had been calling the black Comanche “My truck” and been eyeballing it for the last couple years, so I pulled it out of its parking spot and got it back to daily driver status for when I had my license. 


 And now we are at modern day Here she is now. 





She’s definitely come a long way, and I can’t believe this started over 10 years ago lol. Pretty much before I could remember

OG Thread: 


My Thread:



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49 minutes ago, pizzaman09 said:

I'm not from Cleveland, just south of Erie, PA.  Cleveland is the best place to get cheap direct flights, hence our journey started there!

I see, I forgot, think I remember you saying you were from Erie...old age lol

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Mt Comanche story started when I was 13. I had been reading up on Comanches in Peterson's 4wheel and Off road and thought they were awesome. Straight axle and powerful and fast compared to the competition. My dad was a logger and one of his friends showed up in a brand new 1988 4.0, 5SP Comanche! I own that very truck! My dad bought it from his friend in 1992 and I bought it from my dad in 1995. Fast forward 28 years and my wife and I have enjoyed overlanding and camping in the old beast. The great part about her enjoying our adventures is that she's  on board with me making upgrades. :)) We have been on several multi week trips, the longest of which was 2850 miles to Death Valley. We also slid into a Lake in Idaho and had to rent a Uhaul to get home. That was a bummer.

We are CAMP OUT WEST US on YouTube if you'd like to see some of our adventures.

The stockish photo below had a 3" Rancho lift with some 30x9.50r15's. That was probably taken in the late 1990's.   There have been many changes throughout the years and will probably be more to come.





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got a job back in '97 with a 3hr round trip commute.  the family's lease car was out of the picture for that so young me figured I should buy something to rack up the miles.  had to be a stick.  wanted a Jeep.  but also wanted a truck.  then I found out that I didn't have to choose. :D  learned a lot on that truck.  mostly learned to invest in tools and do the work myself.  :L: 




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Year 2008.

Local guy was going through divorce and wife was gutting him/his belongings. This truck was originally his dad's and only had a sale sign in the window for a short while before it was pulled. Didnt intend on selling but didnt want her to take it. Other people in the group I was hanging out with were talking big games for going and buying it but no one ever made a move. So I stopped by one day after work And left a note in garage door stating I'd like to buy it and my #. Called the next day and we made the deal for $500. Guy was pretty excited to hear I wanted to use it for a wheeling vehicle.



This is from early last summer but 15 years later this truck is iconic for me in representing struggle and progression. A lot of life has happened in those years and this truck has always occupied my time in some way and I'm grateful for it.



I've had multiple other MJs over the years but none of which can compare to the sentimental value this one holds

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