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Topic: Manche - 1up Pick Up (Read 2975 times)

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  • LowJ
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Manche - 1up Pick Up
Most of yall have seen this work if you saw my other thread.... But I like stand alone threads that start from the begining, so here goes....

This is the build thread for an 87 MJ Comanche Chief.  I bought this truck late 2014 from a friend after he and I pulled it from a private jeep junkyard aka a crazy guy living in a compound in the woods with tons of random jeeps - this one was the only one for sale apparently.  

Being plucked.



Then it was briefly cleaned while in my friends ownership and then it sold to me.



Before I got it, we tried to start it.  Fuel pump was bad, so we just started it with ether.... Started and ran briefly on the first try.  

So the known things on the truck and axles:

-last was on the road in 2000 - via the inspection sticker
-was booty fabbed to hell and back... It looks as it the owner was adding a "lift" to it and just stopped mid process.  Used 3x4" steel on the stock d30 axle for lift and started a soa on rear.  
-53k on odometer
-not stolen
-want to bob and use this truck as a learning tool and who doesnt want to build a JEEP their way!
-appears to have been in a wreck in the rear with a good bit of bent bed and missing a bumper.  
-front passenger panel has some surface rust but I love the look of a 20+ year old truck like this and don't plan on changing many of the aesthetics
-I have 2 axles that have been used on a trailer queen for an old YJ.  They have 5.13s, ox lockers f+r,warn hubs and Im told upgraded shafts (all unconfirmed at this time).  These were run behind a 350/ax-15/231 with 38 TSL boggers.  I am not really worried about strength on 37s, but they will be gone thru before the truck goes down the road for the first time.

The plans:

-keep the 4.0L, add an LJ 6 speed  
-flipped D300 with cable shifters
-bucket seats with a cab cage and harnesses (down the line)
-wagoneer 44s and 37s
-low as possible with decent up travel

The name: being a child of the 80s, I grew up on video games like mario.  I think that giving this truck a new life and learning along the way is what I want for this build.  I bought it for very cheap so I want to keep it stock looking but super capable and look BA while not just throwing money at it.... If I can build it reasonably, I will try.  

Thanks for looking.

--as mentioned, I am just showing the work up to where I am now, so this is it so far.  

 Not at full bump but close.
  • Last Edit: Feb 11, 2016, 06:25 PM by G Beasley
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief

  • LowJ
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  • Wheel every damn day.
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #1


Somewhere after when I got the truck to Thanksgiving I pulled the axles and made it a hover jeep.  The junk in the bed started to pile up and a frined came over with his big truck to help haul it to the junkyard.  Somehow, for some reason we choose that day to figure out how to chop a bed.  I had just traded for a flux core welder and had no experience. 



You can see some of the damage to the bed here. 





Fitting and tacked.



Cutting off about 10 1/4" of bed.  You can see how the frame and last 2 of the 8 bed mounting bolts are exposed behind the end of the bed.



Rolled an old 35 in front and trimmed the departure angle some more. 



The following weekend another fellow jeeper came by to help remove the bed and some frame.


The bed appears to be in great condition considering its age.  a little surface rust on the tops, but that might get bedlined eventually. 



The ends of the frame were the old places we could find the rust so, that had to go.....



The standard SOA flip will net about 6" of lift on a comanche using all the stock componants but that is a lot of lift for me and I like sitting low.  I ended up getting a set of liquid iron ind. leaf spring sliders and recessing them into the frame some and using a piece of 2 or 3x4 to build a bumper/crossmember where the bumper used to be.  The leaf springs are not stock and appear to be a full sized truck springs with about 52" from centers of the holes.  I removed the overload spring and used these to mock the set up in place. 





After that, I reinforced my ugly welds and tied up the rear end for now. 





A few weeks later (slightly out of chronological order) I realized the front mounts for the leafs needed to move forward some.  I drilled the stock welds and relocated the the fronts forward about 3 3/4" 







And that brings to the profile of the jeep developing into this.


  • Last Edit: Feb 11, 2016, 03:36 PM by LowJ
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief

  • LowJ
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Wheel every damn day.
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #2
Somewhere in there, I got the idea to try to start this thing by using a newer style tank and fuel pump while "hot wiring" the electrical.  I picked up a 2001 tank and seats from an XJ part out.  After trying a bunch of stuff and comparing the wiring diagrams, we couldnt get it to start and suspected the pump might have gone bad since it wouldnt start (couldnt hear it) even directly wired to the battery. 

Old sending unit removed from the tank and the 2001 poly tank. 



We never could get it to start but were able to turn the engine over again with just ether. 

Moving on, the 2001 buckets seats felt brand new, so I pulled the original bench out... Did I mention, the interior is imaculate?  except for the rat droppings.   [laugh]


back in 2014 before the jeep was mine.




The seats have room for the sliders to move, are low enough that my lefts arent in the steering wheel but sat just a touch high. 






I decided to take about 2" out of the rear brackets and 1" out of the front brackets.  The brackets dont just bolt in and will require a new base plate to mount off the original bolts that come thru the floor instead of bolt in a 90 degree like the XJ seats brackets do. 






I havent finished the mounting brackets at this time due to needing to clean the interior out some.  It somehow became the storage spot for everything. 


I ended up getting finding an older style grill from a 1990 forestry XJ in great condition.  My MJ has no front bumper but I do plan on building one.  After mounting the grill, the front fenders needed a little nip and tuck. 















  • Last Edit: Feb 11, 2016, 03:51 PM by LowJ
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief

  • LowJ
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Wheel every damn day.
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #3
I finally made the move to get a 6 speed I had been putting off getting since it was a 9 hour round trip but I got it.  



I also picked up a rough looking D300 for dirt cheap.  

After that, I decided hanging the rear axle was next to find out what ride height was in the rear.  I got a set of chassis unlimited u bolt eliminator brackets with a 1 3/4" stretch build in and angled it towards the back to get the axle basically centered into the wheel well.  

Assembled (all bolts are inverted to where they need to be since they were too long at the time.  



I ratchet strapped the axle to the leafs and put the weight of the truck along with a few hundred pounds on the rear, then pointed the pinion at the t case output (or in that direction) and tacked the brackets on.  



Then brought it over to the same friend who I bought the truck from to weld it up.  









He also donated a beat to shit shiny toolbox to the cause that the stock metal tank will probably end up living in.  



Around this time I decided to make the tailgate fit back on the truck.  I had to trim some of the bottom off since the new crossmember occupied the same space, so I skinned the tailgate and built a small frame from angle and mounted it back on the truck.  I made a couple tabs and such to make a hinge to support the weight of people but also allow the tailgate to be removed quickly, like if a race were to happen.  



In the lasty few weeks, I have removed the trans and tcase and all the stock components associated with them.  





And I rolled my 37s in front just to see it.  This brings us up to speed to now.  



Parts waiting to go in:
6 speed
D300
2004 like new clutch and pressure plate
front frame plates from Ruff Stuff
clocking ring for D300
Universal trans mounting kit from Ruff Stuff
D300 mounting kit from someone... forgot
front waggy axle
probably more.  

The next step is to get the trans and t case in
Then either:
gas tank and bed stuff to get the truck running or
frame plates and start on the front 3 link (probably Ruff Stuff) plus panhard  and building the steering around it.  
  • Last Edit: Feb 11, 2016, 04:14 PM by LowJ
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief

  • Florpro
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Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #4
 [popcorn] Build it...

  • G Beasley
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  • Admin
  • Sawzall Surgeon
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #5
ComManchester? ;D

  • LowJ
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  • Wheel every damn day.
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #6

ComManchester? ;D

Did you see my pm? Autocorrect. Need it to say comache instead. 
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief

  • jrainman13
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  • macgyver jr
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #7
Oooooo! Intriguing!  [popcorn]

  • TexNVA
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Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #8
I've been waiting for this thread to show up here!!!!!!
There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
‘Cause the Cross already won the war


  • LowJ
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Wheel every damn day.
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #10

Yes, will fix it tonight when I am on the computer.

Auto correct and late night build threading.. No worries. 
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief

  • LowJ
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Wheel every damn day.
Re: Manchester - 1up Pick Up
Reply #11
Thanks for the comments guys.  I hope to have more soon for you to look at.  
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief


  • LowJ
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Wheel every damn day.
Re: Manche - 1up Pick Up
Reply #13

Good to see some pictars posted up and a "hardcore" build on J-O [rockon]

Not sure I'd call it hardcore but I'll try to keep it as custom as I can. Vrrooom
16 Toyota Tacoma, 87 MJ Chief

  • Florpro
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Re: Manche - 1up Pick Up
Reply #14

Not sure I'd call it hardcore but I'll try to keep it as custom as I can. Vrrooom

It's more than the bolt-on crap the rest of us do [thumbsup]