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Banana 'manche project

Old 04-03-2019, 10:30 PM
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Default Banana 'manche project

The Banana 'manche project

I bought this jeep a few weeks back as an unfinished project. It's a 1989 Jeep Comanche short bed. The truck started its life as a Renix 4.0 with a 5-speed transmission.
The previous owner started the '97+ conversion but never finished it. I bought the Comanche "as is", along with another, parts Cherokee.
The deal was too good to pass up.
The jeep was bought and kept in Florida its whole life, so it's very solid. There are only a few, very little spots on the floor pans with some rust showing, but it's a quick fix, so I don't really worry about that.

Quick plan for the build:
- newer engine, automatic transmission, and wiring harness swap
- 3/4 ton axles (8 lug ford HP dana 44 and full float dana 60)
- 35" tires
- new paint job (yellow)
- front clip and interior swap to the older style
- fuel cell
and a lot more...


Here are some pictures of the jeep when I got it. Of course first, I went thru all the stuff that was on the bed of the truck and all the additional parts that came with the deal.





















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Old 04-03-2019, 10:45 PM
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I already have a bunch of parts waiting to be installed on the Comanche.
Axles are getting new 4.10 gears. Both axles have trusses. For the front, I went with TnT XJ/MJ swap kit with a high steer track bar mount, and on the rear dana 60, I just welded a simple, plain truss.
As soon as the axle come back regeared, I will start putting them back together. Everything in the axles is going to be new, all the bearings, seals and bolts.
Front axle is going to get a LockRight locker, warn premium hubs, Yukon Chromoly axle shafts, high steer arm, RuffStuff diff cover, new spindles, ball joints etc.
Rear axle is equipped with a factory track lock differential, so I'm going to keep that for now. Other than that it's getting all new bearings, gears, seals and steel diff cover.


I also found a Comanche specific topper/camper locally, and it's in very good condition. I'm going to paint the same color as the jeep will be.





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Old 04-04-2019, 10:35 AM
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looking forward to this one.
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Old 04-04-2019, 06:11 PM
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Will be camping out here for this!
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Old 04-05-2019, 03:39 PM
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:26 PM
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ive always wanted to do an mj with a 97+ conversion
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cleenrob View Post
ive always wanted to do an mj with a 97+ conversion
This one is not going to be a full 97+ conversion, but stay tunned
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:41 PM
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I spent the last week fixing some rust problems in the cab an engine bay. Everything is nicely patched, sprayed with ospho and is waiting for some anti-rust paint next week.
There were about 10 little rust holes in the cab. About golf ball size. I think Comanches tend to have rust on the floor pans. This is my third Comanche, and they can be perfect everywhere and have rusty floor pans...
Also, I think the rear sliding window was poorly designed. They were leaking like crazy and Comanches were rusting behind the front seats. Mine don't have rust on the back of the cab, thankfully.









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Old 04-12-2019, 09:58 PM
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Few of the missing pieces for the suspension came in. New factory leaf springs (they flex more than lift leaf springs). I'm doing a spring over the axle, instead of the factory under the axle set up. That and some custom leaf spring hangers should give me about 6.5" on the back. I already have 6.5" front Clayton Off Road springs.
And some fox shocks performance series to go with it. Should ride pretty nicely






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Old 04-13-2019, 08:07 AM
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Where did you get oem leaf springs?
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mikebravo View Post
Where did you get oem leaf springs?
I found them on generalspringkc.com


here is the link:
https://www.generalspringkc.com/Leaf...che_s/1954.htm
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:57 PM
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Seems like over kill on the axles for 35s and then a little light on the gearing for 35s. At least the d60 sounds a little big.
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by SatiricalHen View Post
Seems like over kill on the axles for 35s and then a little light on the gearing for 35s. At least the d60 sounds a little big.

The Comanche is actually getting 37's.
A little light on the gearing? Why? because the chart on the internet shows that you have to put 4.88 to be "optimal"? This jeep is not gonna see the road, and I would rather have strong pinion in the front 44.
Also, 60 is hanging just about an inch more than 44, so should be no problem with 37's.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GOLIATH-XJ
The Comanche is actually getting 37's.
A little light on the gearing? Why? because the chart on the internet shows that you have to put 4.88 to be "optimal"? This jeep is not gonna see the road, and I would rather have strong pinion in the front 44.
Also, 60 is hanging just about an inch more than 44, so should be no problem with 37's.
4.56 is the highest gear before the pinion size change I'm fairly certain, and that's what I run with 35s and would like more gearing sometimes, but don't want the tiny pinion. 4.88 aren't "optimal" they're back to stock ratio which doesn't account for all the added weight and rotational energy. I'm always getting hung up on my 8.25 on rocks I can't imagine another 1.25" hanging down. That's like going back down to 32" tires almost for me. 1" of clearance is 2" of tire size. For 37s I would personally run 44 front and rear and I'm looking into maybe Toyota axles with 37s for cost.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:58 PM
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Today, I started cutting the metal!
I "trimmed" the bed to clear the new 37's. I'm also planning to make a nice rear bumper that will be low profile, go around the corners, and won't take away any clearance. In order to do that I cut the rear lower section of the bed, leaving just a little bit of lip to make it look cleaner. I think it looks much better now.













I also started working on my new seats. Since the jeep came without seats, and the XJ seats from the donor won't really fit I had to make something. I had these Mastercraft Nomad seats since forever and thought they would look cool in the 'manche. However, considering the fact that I'm 6'4", the regular "bolt-on" brackets won't fit, I had to make my own. These are going to work just fine, and I won't be touching the roof with my head. I also made the sliders for them (not pictured).














Frame stiffeners from T&M Fab came in the mail the other day. I will be welding them after the jeep is painted.
I was looking for the dedicated Comanche stiffeners for a long time, and I saw these on Instagram. Decided to give them a try.
The problem with the Comanche is that they are the same as the Cherokee, to just about the middle of the cab. After that, they are completely different and regular Cherokee stuff won't fit without a lot of modifications.
This is the full set that goes from the very begging of the jeep to the very end (front, mid, and bed section)
So far, they look good, we will see how they fit...









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