After seeing all the storage space my '97 donor had, having an MJ and an XJ made more sense than having two MJs, so I traded my '88 pioneer for this one. Its a sport model with 218k miles and about 10k miles on a recent engine rebuild. AW4, 231, power windows, locks and mirrors, cruise control, rear defrost and an Alpine stereo. Here's how I got it:
The bad: Rear collision damage on the passenger side (you'll see in a picture if you scroll down) and the hood flew up and slammed against the windshield frame. No damage to the windshield or frame, but the hood and cowl are pretty banged up. The headliner is drooping all around and I have a couple little interior pieces that need addressing, but nothing major.
I painted up all the gray plastic pieces:
There you can see the damage. It looks as though someone try to "roughly" bang it back out. The only thing this truck doesn't have (other than fog lights) that I wish it had is keyless entry.
I picked up a set of '05 Wrangler Ravine rims for $100. I paid probably three times that much for the ones on my Comanche, but these aren't in as good of shape. Some curb rash here and there and the clear and paint had begun to peel on two of them.
Here is one of the rims after I used some aircraft stripper on it:
I knew the paint was bad by the valve and the other rim, but couldn't tell that it was beginning to bubble in the other places. I sanded down the rock rash where I could. Two of the wheels I stripped completely, the other two I just sanded down with some 320 grit (the two on the right I sanded).
Here they are primed and ready for paint:
I decided to try Duplicolor's graphite wheel paint. It seemed to lay down OK, but I almost got a blister for the old style nozzle, plus plenty of finger fatigue. I tried to use one of those snap on triggers, but it would catch the very outer portion of the spray, pool and then drip. The finish is far from perfect, but I wasn't going for an OEM quality finish either. This is my first time painting wheels and I'm happy with how they came out.
I'm going to try and get them mounted tomorrow. One of my tires isn't holding air, so I have to take it to the tire shop anyway. My only question is the center caps. Since they are plastic, can they be primed and painted the same way, or will it chip off?
I had the wheels mounted and it didn't go that smoothly. Apparently the paint hadn't cured enough yet. All the edges have nicks on them now, but the worst one they used a rubber suction cup thing to balance it and it messed up the face of the rim.
Not very happy about that, but it is what it is. I still have to paint the center caps, but here's what they look like on the truck:
Made a little progress. Yesterday I went to the pull a part and picked up a new hood catch, hood and a pair of black head light buckets (still need a black grill for the set). This hood is in much better shape, but its the wrong color.
Its not hideous, but I'll want it painted.
Since I have a new hood, I was able to put the cowl piece back on. I kept the one from the '88 MJ because this was all that was left of the one from the XJ:
I also put on a new tie rod end on the drag link and replaced a messed up wheel stud which involved removing the unit bearing (ugh).
I still need to address the banged up quarter panel. I know that JCR makes crusher corners. These:
The problem is that they're almost $400 with lights and I don't really need that for a daily driver. I'm hoping I can get the quarter fixed and painted and then also paint the new hood and repaint the beat up bumpers all at the same time. We'll have to see how much that costs.
Not really. Its just been my driver while I've been working on the Comanche. I put a new battery in it. I had a CEL pop up on me today. Could be the idle air control motor, but I'm hoping its just a dirty throttle body. Edit: I was right, just a dirty throttle body.
As soon as the Comanche is done, I'll probably put this up for sale.