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April Savings Save 5% Off Of Jeep HeadlightsBaseline 4x4 Lifetime Warranty 4340 Chromoly Axle Shaft KiSave on Rancho Products !

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Unread 10-28-2014, 08:21 PM   #1
Solidkm
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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...



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Unread 10-28-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
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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.

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Unread 10-28-2014, 08:45 PM   #3
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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!



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Unread 10-28-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
Solidkm
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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...

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Unread 10-28-2014, 09:01 PM   #5
Solidkm
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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.
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Unread 10-28-2014, 09:43 PM   #6
DavisI
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Looking good so far. I painted my wheels bronze as well and like you, found it totally worth the effort!
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Unread 11-04-2014, 08:51 PM   #7
Solidkm
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Tacking the brackets and test fit for pinion angle...

Get an angle finder on the transmission/transfer case output and weld your brackets so that your pinion matches that angle. ONLY when NOT using a CV driveshaft






mock up for shocks.... I wanted to keep the brackets from hanging passed the axle tube yet make sure I didnt have any issues at full droop or stuff.



full droop....



from center of axle...



burning the brackets in...

ER70S2 rod at 220 Amps...








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Unread 11-05-2014, 08:41 AM   #8
V1GiLaNtE
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Solid build. Love me some 'Manche action. You sir are an artist with those welds.
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Unread 11-05-2014, 09:54 AM   #9
goldensahara00
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Thank you for saving that poor thing. Looking good man.
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Unread 11-05-2014, 12:39 PM   #10
84jeepcj7rock
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Damn, wish I could weld like that. Purrrrty!
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Unread 11-05-2014, 01:05 PM   #11
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Durn looking good
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Unread 11-05-2014, 04:30 PM   #12
JD_JEEP_JK
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Haven't ever seen a Comanche in person but they're so sweet
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Unread 11-05-2014, 05:35 PM   #13
Solidkm
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Thanks everyone for the positive feedback. Especially when it comes to the welding... I am still getting my feet wet!
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Unread 11-05-2014, 05:47 PM   #14
Solidkm
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teaser on the BTF cover I welded up....

Not super pleased with how it came out. I will say the pieces were cut very sloppy but there was user error as well..... I definitely learned a lot on this piece

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Unread 11-05-2014, 05:57 PM   #15
Solidkm
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UPDATE: SEE POST #20. do not use dorman 610 234 studs... use dorman 610 449 from a TJ rubicon.

Tech on wheel studs:

The explorer studs.... at least mine... were 1/2 inch longer than the comanche/jeep studs. So the protruded passed the JK adapter/wheel spacer. This means unfortunately that I had to spend another 40$ for 10 studs.

I hate going to parts stores and asking for parts...bc no one ever seems to understand that the axle is no longer with the explorer and is now part of a custom build. I understand that they need to know if its a 6 cyl or an 8 cyl in order to please the computer. But when I ask for wheel studs that are 1/2" shorter than the ones in my hand dont give me **** bc thats not what the factory installed. ...hes like why do you want shorter... why why why...

'scuse me guy, may I see the dorman catalog? I will do your job for you...

Anyone who is looking to use wheel spacers on an 8.8 and needs to re-stud the shafts... use TJ studs... which are prob the same as most jeeps... they are Dorman part # 610-234
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