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The Back Burner Comanche

Old 05-02-2017, 03:28 AM
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Default The Back Burner Comanche

Welp... Time to add another project to the list while I continue on the others that I have going on. This is going to be a back burner and budget build for the most part depending on how crazy and impatient I decide to get with it.

I've always wanted a Comanche. Even wanted one long before I got my first Cherokee (Project: Keepin' it Clean) but I just couldn't justify the crazy prices that people were asking for them relatively close to my location. 3-5k for ones that were rough and had some rust, ~7k for ones that were pretty clean, and upwards of 1k+ for absolute rot buckets with or without titles that would require extensive work to bring back to life. Any cheaper than that and they were usually too far gone for me. I pretty much wrote off the idea of ever owning one because of those crazy numbers and rust/damage issues at all of the price points.

And then NIIIIEEEEAAAALLLLLL (XjWonders) managed to get his hands on a pair of MJs and was kind enough to let the parts MJ make its way into my ownership for a price I couldn't refuse and after holding onto it for me till I got back from my 3 week long trip to Moab, UT for EJS2017 and Sullivan, MO for Moonlight Off-road Park (an adventure for another thread at another time). His only request was that I make a build thread for this thing..... What could possibly go wrong?

And here it starts with what is probably the cheapest MJ in the world. A 1991 rolling 2wd shell with no title. I have a couple ideas to solve the title issue, so we'll see how that eventually works out.

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All in all, it's not too bad for an MJ. A little rough, but the rockers are pretty solid (except for rust hole on passenger side), floors were lazily repaired, has some bed rot, and has a small rot hole in the passenger inner fender structure in front of the coil/shock tower. Quickly checked over the frame and that fortunately seems to be very solid (hoping it remains solid when I check it more thoroughly).

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And here's the parts XJ I picked up for $300 a few days before i grabbed the MJ. It should help a lot with putting the MJ back together. I dragged it all the way down from just past Albany, NY and it is a complete NY rot bucket. But here's where it gets good. It's a 1996 4.0 5spd 4x4 that appears to only need a fuel pump. Which means it has the later OBDII JTEC ECU that I've been playing with in my other Jeeps. Boosted MJ anyone??? Hmm... And to top it off, the MJ was a 4.0 5spd 2wd rig before it was striped which makes this the perfect swap since everything should drop right in with minimal issues.

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I also picked up two more XJs before my Moab adventure (97&99) from the same guy I got the 96 from. So the MJ will be getting swapped to the 97+ front clip. Haven't decided yet if I want to use the interior from the 96 or swap it to 97+ spec...

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Had to drag one of them down a steep snowy/icy driveway which required trying to get the Excursion to climb as far as possible and then I still ended up needing to use all of the 90' of straps I had brought with me because the Excursion couldn't climb all the way to the Jeep. The open front diff and weak rear LSD weren't doing me any favors that day. This pic was taken after I had moved it about 30-40 feet.

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Alright. So what's the plan for this thing past putting it back together into a running/driving vehicle with a title?
  • Turbo'ng the 4.0 and running around 12-15psi.
  • Short bed
    • Either bob and repair the long bed
    • Or find a clean short bed
  • 97+ door glass and mirror swap
  • Leave it a 2 door
    • Or find a clean XJ shell and make it a 4 door (really want to 4 door it)
  • Air bag suspension with decent travel of 9-12+" but travel will be cost dependant.
    • Link rear with either triangulated 4 link or normal 5 link with trackbar. Depends on cost and desire to use parts I have laying around.
    • Leave front short arms. Already has upgraded lowers. Might need to go to adjustable uppers and lowers.
  • 31-35" all terrain tires.
  • And lastly... Something that I've always wanted to do. A dually conversion. No idea how I'm going to go about it yet, but I have several options in mind.
    • Either find dually besides ($$$)
    • Or modify a set of Notch Customs M-Max fenders ($$$)
    • Or make something myself with another set of MJ bedsides... (?$?)
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:12 AM
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Year: 1990
Model: Comanche (MJ)
Engine: 4.0

ummm. MJ Proper Dually...YESSSSSSS
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:02 PM
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Location: west chester, pa
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Year: 1999
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:48 PM
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Year: 1998
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0 I6 torque monster w/ a supercharger

Originally Posted by XJwonders View Post
Don't make me start snagging parts from your other MJ.....
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