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Unread 05-28-2008, 01:06 PM   #1
Abstruse
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Extremely Rare Comanche?

I have the 1986, 4X4, Fuel Injected 4 cylinder Comanche and never thought much of it till yesterday when I ran across this on Wikipedia...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Comanche

Quote:
Drivetrain

The inaugural 1986 Comanches could be equipped with one of three engines. The AMC 150 2.5 L I4 (Only 30-40 produced in 1986),
Is this a Wkipedia typo?

I find it hard to believe I own a vehicle with an engine in it that only 30-40 total were ever produced. How could it even be possible that I still am able to get parts for this motor (and do). This isn't the same 4 cyl motor in later model Comanches after the Chrysler take over.

I'd still like to someday drop an old school small block Chevy motor in this thing, I'm just not mechanically inclined enough to pull a task like that off.

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Unread 05-28-2008, 01:46 PM   #2
danw77
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your mj may be on the rare side, but that basic engine design was used from 1984 in the CJ's through the recent TJ's. changes in aspiration were made over the years, but it's still basically the same block.
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Unread 05-29-2008, 08:55 AM   #3
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What does the build date say on the door?
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Unread 05-29-2008, 12:45 PM   #4
Pete M
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A lot of MJs came out in 86 with the 2.5L gas engine. I'm not even sure what that typo was supposed to be. How did anyone come up with that kind of info? Wiki needs to have more references cited for the info contained.
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Unread 05-30-2008, 06:02 AM   #5
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I just wanted to be shure that was not OUR wiki, it is wikipedia's version. That data on wikipedia is just plain wrong.
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Unread 06-04-2008, 12:42 AM   #6
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There were only 30 to 40 carbureted 2.5Ls. The rest were injected. All '86s are longbox. A few came with 2.8L V6 (my neighbor has one)

I came across a 229 Chev V6 (and a 231 Buick) that I'd like to put into my son's GF's '86 XJ, but finding a 4 cyl pre '84 CJ 904 trans is tough! (it has the SBC bolt pattern)
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Unread 06-04-2008, 11:16 AM   #7
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So we are in agreement wikipedia has to be wrong about this right? It's the 2.5L Injected engine in mine and I found it hard to believe there were only 30-40 of this motor made since I've never had a problem getting engine parts for it. Wouldn't be the first time I've found information on Wikipedia to be inaccurate, seems to almost be the norm with that website.

Manufacturer Date on the Door is "June 1986".

carnuck,
I have always wanted to drop a small block Chevy V8 motor (327 or 350) with maybe a Turbo 400 Transmission in it, I just wouldn't even know where to begin in doing this so it just remains a dream, if even ever possible. Also haven't been able to decide if I'd be better off with an automatic transmission in it or not for off roading (pretty much all I use this truck for). In some situations having a clutch and ability to slip power has been nice, but in other situations (like rolling back on a hill) has been a curse. I've always been an old school believer in sports cars and off road vehicles should only come with manual transmissions, but have to admit, there are some situations when the automatic transmission can be better. In the area I live in everything is mixed rock and sand and nothing is flat, so going up the side of a mountain and having to climb rocks at the same time gets a little sketchy with the manual tranny.

I think my final conclusion on the thoughts of that entire project plan for this truck though is its just not worth sinking any more money into an off road vehicle that doesn't have an actual frame under it.
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Unread 06-04-2008, 11:34 AM   #8
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Interesting thread on this subject.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f11/collectable-xjs-rare-option-low-production-etc-525464/
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Unread 06-04-2008, 11:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
better its just not worth sinking any more money into an off road vehicle that doesn't have an actual frame under it.
Why not?

Unibody holds up pretty damned well, especially with bracing and tie-ins. Lots of aftermarket support to beef up any weaknesses in the stock XJ unibody.

There are guys on here who wheel in places you could'nt imagine with stock-framed MJ/XJs and dont seem to have problems, and I can show you plenty of small block powered unibody cars making well over 500-600 horsepower/torque running 9s and 11s with stock suspension and uni-frame design.

That being said, your MJ's frame will EASILY support a small block chevy and is definitely worth every penny you throw at it, especially if it is a rare model. Unibodys seldom get the respect they deserve. You can do more with it than what you'd expect.
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Unread 06-04-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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You'd find it hard to believe any Jeep as being rare if you lived around Lake Tahoe here. This is definitely Jeep country in this area, particularly the Cherokee's are in heavy numbers around here.

Back in the early 80's I had a 67 SS Chevelle and thought nothing of it, I sold it for $900 to a friend when I went into the USMC. Talk about looking back now and kicking myself in the butt for that move.

I don't have my MJ in the thoughts of it ever being any type of collectors item. I do think though with gas prices now what they are it would have more resale value with the original 4cyl motor in it though than if I did ever swap it out to a V8. It's the perfect vehicle for camping, hunting and broken down dirt bike deep in the desert recovery, which was why I bought and modified mine for actual off road use in the first place.

Even here though in Jeep country, the MJ's are rare, I see a couple of the two wheel drive ones around, never seen anyone with a modified 4X4 model around here, mine is the only one I've ever seen lifted and with 35" Mickey Thompson tires and wheels under it.
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Unread 06-04-2008, 12:04 PM   #11
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The uni body has been a curse though as far as limitations to modifications. I certainly off road in tough places, the rubicon trail is in my back yard here. I still have the constant worry about twisting and damaging the body. Lack of cab space and the absence of an actual frame has been two of my biggest complaints with this truck. I think even with the Cherokees where you have a full body on the vehicle to stiffen it up isn't too bad, but the uni body design on a truck with a bed that isn't even attached directly to the front portion of the vehicle makes for a weak design. I admit, its made it and survived in some tough places, but it has still always concerned me.
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Unread 06-04-2008, 11:07 PM   #12
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You can think it's weak all you want, but I can't think of an instance where an MJ broke at the frame except for severe cases of rust and that one spot right by the track bar mount. They's a tough, tough truck and should not be confused with the wussier uniframes under an XJ.
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Unread 06-05-2008, 02:17 AM   #13
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Certainly don't get too far carried away with what I said. I'm not calling my MJ "weak" by any means, it's 100% a tough little truck. I live in the desert so rust certainly isn't a problem, and hey, it is a die hard Jeep, just being a Jeep says everything. I just wish they would have put an actuial frame under it, it's good, it would have been better.

I wish I could have went with the 6" suspension lift then had the ability to add another 2-3" from a body lift. 35" tires wouldn't be a problem and you would still have a solid low center of gravity with it.

I do have to thank all of my fellow MJ owners out there who post here. I was ready to give up on further development of this project, but after reading here, I think I'll hang onto this MJ and further develop it. I have a 3 year old son who is a fanatic about monster trucks and he calls my MJ "daddy's monster truck".

I bought my WJ thinking I'd be better served putting my project money into it, but, the thing is so smooth on the road as a daily driver and in such prestine conditon I can't bring myself to off road it, at least not off road like I take my MJ.

I have to admit, I bought the MJ for cheap, put a little money on it to make it off road worthy, think of it as such, as in, if I get it burried somewhere deep it's no big loss just leaving it out there. I think I've owned it 4 years now and I'll be damed if I can get that thing stuck enough to just leave it anywhere. It just seems to always pull through what ever I put it into. Good tires were the best investment I've ever made.

Put me down on your list though where the uni body on it has been there done that and survived in perfect shape, you have a point. I just wish still it had a frame instead, I'm still always worried about twisting it and suffering damage beyond repair. I still wish I could do a short body lift on it to get the 35's to clear better.

With 6" of lift and hitting anything straight on I clear fine, but if I have to turn the wheel hard, well my expensive tires have deep cut marks in them from the front fenders. A body lift would solve that problem while still keeping my mass low, but its just not an option. The cost of an 8" suspension lift on an MJ gets you into the range of is it really worth it?

4 Years of serious off roading in this truck now and looking back, I think it is worthy of an 8" lift kit to get 35" tires to clear. Money already spent on a 6" kit wasted to then remove for the 2 additional inches needed, well that's becoming a hard pill to swallow for me.

Don't get me wrong though Pete, I'm, a die hard Jeep lover. The major factor I love about my MJ is it's not the type of Jeep you run across often or if at all that someone has put the time and money into making it a true off road vehicle. I'm lucky to live in true Jeep country, and consider myself even luckier to have a rare built Jeep that no one else has. I've seen the pictures of the MJ's on this web site, they all look good, but nothing I'd take in the Rubicon...

http://www.rubicon-trail.com/

I take my MJ on the Rubicon every chance I get, and even on trails around here less known that put the Rubicon to shame. As soon as I find a decent digital camera I'll post some pictures here of what an MJ should be like and you'll see I'm a lover not a hater, just wish the dam thing had a frame so I could do a body lift.
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Unread 06-05-2008, 02:55 AM   #14
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Here's how little known our off road worthy MJ's are, you'll find the Mj isn't even listed or mentioned here...

http://www.4x4abc.com/4x4training/rock-requ.html

No MJ's, no XJ's, no, well no nothing without a true frame?
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Unread 06-05-2008, 12:08 PM   #15
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I've been a fan of the unibody on these for a long time, they actually got some extra frame support the xj's never got, and i'd put them up against any of it's competition (dakota, s-10 pickup, tacoma, etc.) any day. first of all, the bed IS connected to the front half of the vehicle, as good as any other truck with a frame. if you look, the frame rail under the truck bed is the same rail that goes forward all the way to the bumper. no welds, no bolts, same piece of metal. the frame actually gets taller just behind the cab, which would be the weakest spot on the frame rail for bending - something you don't see on full size truck rails. also, if you look underneath, there is an extra weld where the lower control arm pins in on the front, as well as some triangular shaped supports underneath the cab. the biggest extra support is inside under the carpet though. they welded the top part of the frame rail inside the cab as an extension of the one underneath the truck, sandwiching the metal from the cab in between, definately adding structure to the frame. i've seen way more full size lifted trucks twist going over stuff way more than my little mj ever has.

the biggest drawback of the unibody is not strength, it's manufacturing complications and lack of cab configurations on the same frame (such as extended cabs, quad cab, etc.), as there are several more intricate welds. just the longbed and shortbed mj's had to start on separate lines at the factory because they had to have different frames. unibody offers very little compromise in strength, though it sees an incredible advantage in weight reduction and ground clearance. most full size trucks usually benefit from the extra weight when towing anyway (the mj weighs just over 3000 lb, not good for towing since it's not hard to have a load weighing more than the truck itself), though i believe there is something to be said about a vehicle weighing 3150 lbs that has a payload of 2240 lbs with the right back axle. the stock cherokee came with more ground clearance than the wrangler and was actually a few inches shorter from the ground up. who wouldn't want more clearance with a better COG? and not just up agains the wrangler, but look at what else you can buy this size that holds up. i know a lot of guys that have just cut out there fenders for tire clearance. i'd say the reason xj's and mj's arent' in the competition rules are because they are longer wheelbase and not open on top like the tj's and cj's and all of them, possibly for safety reasons. this is also just one event out of many i'm guessing...
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