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Unread 11-10-2012, 04:18 PM   #1
jester1341
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Maryland
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Questions before buying '86 comanche

Found a 1986 comanche for sale, always wanted one but i dont know that much so I'd like to ask a few questions.

For starters I know the '86 model year had the option of the v6 or the 2.5L i4(this has a non running 2.5L) but I read some where that the firewall was changed in '87 so that the 4.0L would fit. So if I buy this '86, can I fit a 4.0L w/o major modification??

Is the four speed manual worth keeping for any significant amount of time. I imagine I will replace the 2.5L with another for the least amount of work, and then worry about a favorable engine, trans, xfer case combo in the spring time. In the same fashion is the '86 model year xfer case worth keeping(with its slightly higher gearing) will NP 231 parts like a SYE fit in it?

Is there anything anyone can tell me about the model? It appears to have custom badges. I have been told it is an '86 with 2.5L and a four speed manual and the command trac transfer case.

Thank you for any help,
John

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Unread 11-10-2012, 08:21 PM   #2
ftpiercecracker
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1990 MJ Comanche 
 
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Location: woodbury, Tennessee
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86 did not have the 4.0 option But swapping a 4.0 in would probably be a no brainer, But i'll be honest i havent heard anything about 86 to 87 firewall differences. If you are going to go through the trouble of swapping to a 4.0 i would opt for an HO. The current motor you have is a decent little motor, with legendary reliablity and longevity, the only down side is that it has about all the power of a pencil sharpener. Transmission is probably an ax-5 or ax-4, not as good as the ax-15 but not as bad as . . . the puegot which is a 5 speed. Transfer case is a good one two, its whats in mine. I have heard the 231 is slightly more durable than the 242, but i think either is perfectly fine.

not sure about the custom badges

Love to see some pictures.
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Unread 11-10-2012, 09:50 PM   #3
97_4popper
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1990 MJ Comanche 
 
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Location: Guston, KY
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There are firewall differences from 86 to 87 for fitment of the 4.0. I think some of the later 86's got the later firewall design, but I do not know for sure.

If you want a 4.0, I would shop for one, not get a 2.5 and convert.
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Unread 11-11-2012, 07:27 AM   #4
jester1341
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Maybe I should have started with the fact I've had three Cherokees and drive the one in my sig daily right now. As said rather than do all the swapping this winter I would find a cheap running 2.5L so I have two 4wd vehicles but as stated my main concern about swapping later was the firewall. I'm going to check the MJ out tomorrow so ill drive my 2000 XJ and compare measurements on the engine bay.

It has an AX4 but I was wondering if its actually worth keeping, as in highway speed, off road ability, strength(can it handle a 4.0HO),etc

John
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2000 Cherokee classic 4.0L 4WD auto
Budget boost, 30" tires, and dynomax catback
Tame DD for now
1986 comanche custom
New project
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Unread 11-11-2012, 09:41 PM   #5
ftpiercecracker
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Comparing an 86 MJ to a 00 XJ will be of ZERO use to you, they will be totally different. The only reason to even bother comparing the two would be if you want to do a total 97+ swap. The closest thing to that MJ is going to be a 90 or older XJ/MJ, if you just want an HO you need to find an XJ between 91 and 96. These will have the HO motor but retain the same dash and what not, easyier swap.

Level of difficulty (1. being the hardest)

1. 97+ XJ swap, HO motor, but requires a lot more
2. 91-96 XJ swap, HO motor
3. 91-92 MJ swap, HO motor
4. 87-90 MJ/XJ swap Renix motor


As for the ax4 I would swap for an EXTERNAL slave ax15 as soon as i got the chance, especially since you want to offroad it. I personally dont like 4spd in general, to much distance between gears.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
jester1341
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Well I 'bought' the MJ, still have to go back to pick it up. All in all pretty excited to start working on it.

Going to swap in a good 2.5L and work on other things until I wanna do a 4.0 swap.

John
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2000 Cherokee classic 4.0L 4WD auto
Budget boost, 30" tires, and dynomax catback
Tame DD for now
1986 comanche custom
New project
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Unread 11-14-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
ftpiercecracker
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Got pictures?
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