Hey guys, I'm usually a grand cherokee guy, but I've been trying to find a Comanche forever. I might have finally found a decent deal on one, buts its a semi-project. From what I'm told, it's an 89 long bed with a 5 speed. I guess the owner swapped the engine to a '92 6 cylinder and upgraded all of the wiring to the newer style wiring as well. Don't know if that's hard or causes any problems, but hopefully not. I guess it's got everything to be a 4wd already, except a 4wd front axle and driveshaft. I asked and he said it does already have the transfer case installed just not the front end. It needs paint for sure, but rust free. My first question is, does this thing sound like a basket case and a pile of problems, or should it be alright?
Also, my plan for the Comanche I buy is a newer nose swap, like a 98+ cherokee nose. Probably flat black the whole thing, a small lift and tires to make it more capable, and then just drive it, daily. Are the '89s able to be swapped to a '98+ front end pretty straight forward, i.e. just buy a donor front end and bolt it on? And what are some of the other problems with an '89 I might face? I was initially looking for newer but this one popped up for cheappp, and I'll grab it if it's decent.
Pics? and how much is "cheap"? If it has been swapped over to all HO and done so properly then you dont have to much to worry about. But if its been a hack and patch job, it will be your worst nightmare trying to figure out someone elses mess.
As far as the 4x4, swapping out a front axle isnt too bad so long as you have the tools and two reliable floor jacks.
I'm still waiting to here from him more, we just started communicating and it's via email and he's been a pretty slow responder lol. I'll include the two few pics he's sent me below. At first I asked him what he wanted and he said $3k but I told him I'm only spending $1500, and he said he might do that, so maybe it's a good deal. I'm not positive but he did say its fully upgraded motor and wiring throughout so I'll have to wait to know for sure until I see it myself. Gonna try to pry some more pics out of him. And that's what I figured, I've swapped axles before too. Are there multiple applications that can be used, like cherokee front axles, etc? I just want a direct bolt on, no extra fabbing.
For $1500 it's probably worth it. Look at the wiring in the engine bay and under the dash really well. Make sure they did a good job with the wiring and it's not all hacked together. Check the driver's floorboard, they like to rust through. In general the HO swap is a pretty nice upgrade. I'll probably do it to mine someday if the renix ever dies on me.
As far as the front axle swap goes. You can use a Cherokee front. I'd look for a late 90's high pinion without the disconnect.
Thanks I figured it's not a bad price IF it is what he says it is. I'll inspect everything very thoroughly, along with a solid test drive, to see what kind of hacks were made, if any, and what kinda quirks it has. Hopefully it'll be pretty solid because I'd love to finally get my hands on a nice Comanche, hell I'd even trade my wj for one lol.
Thanks for the tip on the axle, I'll try to find a later 90's one with correct gears already, not a fan of gear swaps. For the driveshaft (front) should I source a 4wd Comanche front of just take the front from the axle donor too?