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Happy Thursday! From Morris 4X4 CenterHalloween Savings to die for!THE NEW! VANCO DUAL MODE 15/16″ Big Brake Kit w/Bla

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Unread 10-28-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
Solidkm
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 437
Comanche Build #OverZealous

I have wanted a Comanche for a long time. With the LJ about to get ripped in pieces I needed a 'beater" to rip around in...So my search for one intensified.

I actually found a bunch... but either the person didnt want to answer my phone calls.... they wanted a fortune for the little truck... or it was rusted to its last leg.

I pulled the trigger on this bad boy. Didnt care that it was 2WD bc all the 4wd stuff is about to come out of my wrangler, it was rust free... and that had my attention.



Whoever did the SOA and the front lift was the definition of a butcher. When I test drove the MJ it was literally a death trap. Im surprised I made the 2 hour trek home with out incident. They did a SOA by swapping a cherokee D35 into it. An XJ D35 is something like 3 inches wider at the perches. They never re-welded the perches to the correct width. So the leaves were cocked outward terribly and screaming for mercy.Bushings were non existent at this time. Furthermore, they swapped the MJ ( I believe ) leaf plate from under the axle to over the axle and tried to still mount the shock to it. At this new location the shocks were so compressed at neutral that there was literally 2 inches of travel before they were bottomed out. So any bump in the road would result in violent metal to metal bottoming from the rear.

The front sway bar links were never replaced with longer units. So they were maxed. There was so much tension on them that the bushings were destroyed and there was 1 inch of play between the sway bar and the nut on the link. Any deceleration would cause significant clunking from the front end.

The pinion side u joint was destroyed. Not to be repetitive, but it truly was amazing I made it home with out incident.

The very next day I removed the rear shocks, which were completely blown out, removed the sway bar and links, and installed a new u joint. One hour's worth of work and this thing was driving like a completely new truck... and quiet!







EDIT: This picture shows a little perspective on how cocked and twisted the leafs were.... and the condition of the bushings...



__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
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Unread 10-28-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
Solidkm
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 437
Phase II....

Looking to wake up the renix... did i mention only 79k original miles?

I pulled the throttle body apart and took it down to my friends at S and S speed in Kingston, PA. I told Sheldon to bore it to 60mm. I went to the junk yard and grabbed the butterfly from an H.O motor.

Check out the difference between the renix butterfly and the H.O. one...



H.O butterfly on the 60mm bored renix TB







I had to remove the leaky... ratty old exhaust.. I threw on a single chamber IMCO that I had laying around.... yep.. still a child.

__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-28-2014, 08:45 PM   #3
Solidkm
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 437
Phase III

I wanted JK MOABs and I wanted them now...


I didnt want to go black on black since I did that with my last truck. ... and I love this bronze wheel paint. I intend to paint the jeep in the spring.. but for now... black and bronze for the win.

Rough the surface... wipe with prepsall....self etching primer....paint...wet sand... clear... wet sand again... and a week later you have wheels that look better than the vehicle itself. ha

Lessons Learned... the self etching primer I used came out like OD green. This was very difficult to cover with the light bronze. I drove an hour one way in philly traffic to buy more paint... three times... because I was too stupid to buy more than one can at a time...hoping I would have enough this time. If you are taking advice.... find a different color primer if using this bronze!



and the moment of truth!





That right there was worth all the hand sanding.... painting wheels sucks!


...bringing her to the new house to continue the transformation.

__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-28-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
Solidkm
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 437
Phase IV

I need this thing to be drivable and reliable so it can pull primary duties through the winter.

I wanted to fix the monstrosity that was the Cherokee rear axle and leaf situation. So naturally that means a junkyard trip to get me an 8.8.

3.73s with the posi...



removing the brackets...







Getting my TIG practice on so I can swap this axle properly. I hope the person who shoved that axle in there and just air gunned the U bolts stumbles into this...





Dana 35 to the garbage where it belongs.



I was tracking that MJ shackles are 1" longer than XJ shackles from the factory. I wanted HD shackles, but i didnt want to lift the vehicle anymore... so I ordered XJ 1 inch lift shackles.... turns out they were 1 inch more than the ones on my MJ anyway.. oh well... throw a couple dirt bikes in the bed and she wont be so tall!



What an absolute CS to get these bushings out. I went to Harbor Freight and bought some seal drivers... I knew they would get abused on this job.. but doing it this way was way easier than trying to pound them out.



fresh look for my leafs...



The right answer!



Painted, Greased, and hung.. waiting on the 8.8 to be ready...

__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-28-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
Solidkm
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 437
For those looking for tech....

I pulled the drive shaft flange from an older style ford explorer. The 8.8 is from a 97 explorer which uses the 1330 U joint. But I pulled the flange from a 95 era explorer which is 1310..same as jeep.
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 10-28-2014, 09:43 PM   #6
DavisI
Registered User
2002 WJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 257
Looking good so far. I painted my wheels bronze as well and like you, found it totally worth the effort!
DavisI is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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