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Unread 02-03-2009, 10:33 AM   #1
87warrior
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
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'92 Comanche Restoration/Build thread (Update | Full Gauge Cluster)

Well, it finally happened. I had spent a lot of time contemplating the Brute conversion on a stock TJ as a Daily Driver for awhile but could not find a way to justify the cost... The coolness factor was not good enough.

January 31, 2009
I picked up a 1992 Comanche. It has the 4.0 HO, AW4, 30/35, AC, PB, PS, and even a CD player. As far as I can tell, the truck has generally been untouched, just driven 185K miles.



This truck suffers from some minor body rot around the rear flares, needs a few new hoses, and the shocks were toast. I am trying to locate a 2door XJ to get the sheet metal out of out of it for some repair. Now I need to find a good body shop to do the work. Also need to get a factory style rear hitch bumper. My plan for this truck is to leave it stock and drive it for another 100,000 miles!!!!

February 1, 2009
The shocks had to be the factory shocks. There is a MADE IN USA stamp on em. Believe it or not, these things still had gas pressure

Replaced these with some Monroe gas shocks.

I also picked up a high pressure power steering hose as the one in the truck leaks like the sieve.

Ordered some factory color spray paint to cover up my anticipated 'rust displacement' activity. My goal is to stop the spread of the rust by taking out what is shot. Then when time and money permits, I will eventually get the truck to a body shop for repair and paint.

And shot with its sibling!


Stay tuned for more updates.

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86 Comanche (Heavy Four)

Last edited by 87warrior; 03-10-2009 at 11:21 AM..
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Unread 02-03-2009, 12:19 PM   #2
YJake
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I always loved those MJs for some reason, just some kinda cool factor having a Jeep truck

I can't wait to see it when you're done, if I had found one of those I would have bought it instead of my YJ. (Or in addition to )
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Unread 02-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #3
WranglerRush
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That is in a lot better condition than most MJ's I see now. Sweet buy.
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Unread 02-03-2009, 07:07 PM   #4
flopp
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i think it would be cool to swap the newer xj sheetmetal and interior into one but thats my 2 cents nice buy
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Unread 02-03-2009, 08:06 PM   #5
87warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MosinMe View Post
I always loved those MJs for some reason, just some kinda cool factor having a Jeep truck

I can't wait to see it when you're done, if I had found one of those I would have bought it instead of my YJ. (Or in addition to )
There is not shame in owning more than one Jeep.............

Quote:
Originally Posted by WranglerRush View Post
That is in a lot better condition than most MJ's I see now. Sweet buy.
It has body rot starting. I looked at several MJ's and ran away fast due to a scary amount of body rot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flopp View Post
i think it would be cool to swap the newer xj sheetmetal and interior into one but thats my 2 cents nice buy
The front header bar, grill, and bumper from the XJ are almost bolt in on the MJ. The 4door Cherokee doors are also a direct swap. The dash is almost a direct swap, but gets a bit complicated getting the gauges to work. When it come time for paint, I will probably swap over the doors and front end of a newer XJ.
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Unread 02-04-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
Mr_Clickerson
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How much did you spend on this beast? I'm looking for another cheep Cherokee or Comanche after trading my old one for a truck.
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Unread 02-04-2009, 02:07 PM   #7
87warrior
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I drove to Columbia MO and paid $3,000 for this truck. I deemed this reasonable because the body is in fantastic shape in comparison to other trucks in the Midwest and it has the 4.0HO and AW4.

I have seen a few <$500 trucks in KS, MO, and OK. Would be a good option if you are not looking for a pure DD as they'd need some TLC
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Unread 02-05-2009, 02:17 AM   #8
Mr_Clickerson
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Well ****- that could have been mine... I'm calling a guy tomorrow about a '95 Jeep Cherokee for 500... Hope it checks out, because I would love to have another Cherokee... Just wish it was green like my old one (hope it's a 2 door).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamb of God
Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward; whoever cannot take care of himself without that law is both. For wounded man shall say to his assailant, "if I live, I will kill you- if I die, you are forgiven;" such as the rule of honor.
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Unread 02-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #9
MoochsXJ
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Every time I see someone buy a Comanche I really really regret selling mine...Nice MJ though.
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Unread 02-08-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
4pointOH1998
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Great looking MJ man. Reminds me of the one my dad had back in 93 or 94
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Unread 02-08-2009, 02:41 PM   #11
87warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoochsXJ View Post
Every time I see someone buy a Comanche I really really regret selling mine...Nice MJ though.
This is my first one. Already learning a lot in regards to rusty ol' trucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4pointOH1998 View Post
Great looking MJ man. Reminds me of the one my dad had back in 93 or 94
Thanks!
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Unread 02-08-2009, 02:54 PM   #12
87warrior
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February 7, 2008
Today was a big day for the truck, from front to back:
- Replaced Front Diff Fluid
- Installed new upper and lower Radiator hoses, with new Antifreeze
- Installed new high pressure power steering hose, with new power steering fluid
- Installed new Heater hoses, the ones on the truck were a botched mess
- Inspected brakes, calipers had 3 different bolt sizes holding 'em on. Tapped and threaded.
- Replaced Engine oil/Filter
- Installed 10 matching lug nuts, ever other one was different
- Installed New Fuel Filter
- Replaced T-Case Fluid. The Drain/Fill plugs were on so tight that I needed a breaker bar
- Interior scrub down. My theory that the truck was 'old man' driven was proved when I found chew in every nook and cranny
- Replaced Rear Diff Fluid
- Received my title in the mail, now to inspection and registration!!!

I found that I need to do the following at some point:
- Has one bad Motor Mount
- Front turn signal bulbs are white, not amber behind the clear lens
- Front Side marker lights need replaced
- I need a Gauge Cluster swap so I know what my engine is telling me!

All in all I am having a blast working on this truck and can not wait to get it on the road! This truck is also a prime example why you should never take your rig to Wal-Mart, Midas, etc to have work done. Everything was torqued on by an impact wrench and what was done was 1/2assed. I am also searching for a canvas bed cover...
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Unread 02-26-2009, 09:35 AM   #13
87warrior
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February 21, 2009
- Installed full gauge cluster with column shift indicator
- De-stripped the truck. A little rubbing compound and you cant even tell the stripe was there!

This is how I went about the XJ cluster in my 92 with electric speedo and column shift. I started to swap the new gauges into the old cluster housing, but the holes were not identical and did not feel like trying to figure everything out. I went about this with out having a clue what I was getting into. After All, I only bought the truck 3 weeks ago! This is what I did:

Factory Cluster still in the truck
1. Remove the fuel gauge from your factory gauge cluster and cut off the bottom. Use the top of the PRD3 1-2 opening as your cutting guide
2. Remove the PRD3 1-2 housing from your factory gauge cluster. Two screws and unhook the wire to the column.
3. Remove the cluster from the truck

Altering XJ donor Cluster
1. Remove the tach from your donor cluster, 3 or 4 screws on the back.
2. Notice: the bottom of the tach has two hole in each corner. Line up your PRD3 1-2 housing with those mysterious holes in the tach. Mark the tach where the PRD3 1-2 will be located.
3. Cut the Tach.
4. Place the lower portion of the original fuel gauge (the piece you cut in the beginning) behind the tach of of your donor gauges. Trim the PRD3 1-2 opening as necessary. You are essentially strengthening the tach to withstand the pressures of the column shift spring by doubling up the thickness of the tach.
5. Use 1" machine screws, nuts, and washers to fasten the PRD3 1-2 housing to the back side of the tach. I put the screw in from the back, through the PRD3 1-2 housing, added 2 nuts as spacers, through the tach, and fastened down with two nuts. The PRD3 1-2 housing is now securely positioned behind the tach. The plastic gauge bezel will cover up the end of the machine screws and nuts.
6. Trim any ribbing inside the donor gauges housing around the lower portion of the tach. Also, drill a big hole in the bottom of the donor housing between the speedo and tach. This is for the column shift wire to go through.
7. Test fit and check for clearances. The gas gauge might have capacitor on its circuit board. You may have to trim the PRD3 1-2 housing for clearance.

Installing the New XJ Cluster
1. Take the donor gauge cluster to your Jeep and get it plugged in (I would speculate holding off the the speedo cable at this time, the HO Jeeps do not have the speedo cable).
2. Fish the column shift wire through the hole you drilled and attach it to the proper place on the PRD3 1-2 housing. Push and hold the tach into position.
3. Twist the gauge cluster forward and down to gain access to the back. Reinstall the tach using the 3 or 4 screws through the back of the cluster housing. This is a royal pain, but possible with a small screw driver or bit driver. When doing this you will notice the gear indicator may move down to 1-2, this is simply because you are pulling on the column shift wire.
4. Rotate the cluster backward and attach the speedo cable if necessary.
5. Once stuck back in the dash, the PRD3 1-2 indicator should be in the park position and should be ready to go.
6. I plan on using some small black tubing to "frame" the PRD3 1-2 opening in an effort to clean up the cuts.

I am experimenting with 1/8" hard plastic vacuum line around the cut marks... It is still very rough, but I see potential!!!

Here you can see the end of the machine screw assembly described above. Once you get in there this should all make sense if you have never looked behind the dash bezel.



How it sits behind the bezel:


And lastly, what you see when driving. Using this method will put the indicator in a lower position than factory. This is magnified by my attempt to create a frame around the opening with the hard plastic vacuum line.

Yes, it still gets plenty of light from the tach lights to see at night.
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Unread 02-26-2009, 11:51 AM   #14
JEEP97TJ
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Looks good, nice find.
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Unread 02-26-2009, 12:30 PM   #15
vtjeepguy97
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if that Comanche ends up looking half as great as that rubi, your gonna have one sick truck
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