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Old 10-19-2015, 03:16 AM   #1
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Default Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...

Apparently we do truck build threads here too, so why not?

Long before I was into little hair dresser cars, I was a dumb lifted Jeep kid. My mom bought a 2.8L v6 Cherokee when I was 8 or so and since then we've been a Jeep family (at some point we had 6 Cherokees for 4 people). I could go on and on about my old jeeps, but let's just cut to the chase...

This was my most recent Cherokee(circa 2006/2007):





I'd always lusted after Comanches's, the pickup version of the Cherokee, and some time in 2007 I found a 2wd Comanche nearby for cheap.

I promptly swapped over the lift kit(front:Long arms, rear: SoA and extended shackles and 1" block), axles(front: Dana30 lockright 5:13, rear: Dana44 full spool 5:13), and tires(35x12.5x15 BFG MT's) from my Cherokee and hauled it off to the scrap yard (installation of the lift kit renders the car useless once it is removed).





My almost bone stock NA can be seen in the background


I moved back to CA from ID in 2009(loaded it with 2500 lbs. of stuff and drove it back) and then the poor truck mostly just sat around unused. I swapped in a used AX-15 and the T-case from my old Cherokee at some point. I also put on the front bumper from my XJ and the really shitty APC ricer seats (they do hold you better than stock).



At some point(2014?) I bought a new CA legal catalytic converter, welded it in, and registered the truck in CA. And then it sat, only occasionally being used for dump runs or to help people move.
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Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-87d1825f-2a8b-4431-ac2a-653ab250a56c_zpse8jnjzd8.jpg  

Last edited by gesso; 11-18-2016 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:35 AM   #2
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Recently I've been feeling the need to trailer my Miata things to the track. I had the somewhat silly thought that I could use my 2006 Forester for this, but it would need a lot of work to make it "ready" for that, and even then it would be rather unsafe with ~3000 lbs behind it.

I decided the better alternative would be to spend the time and effort (and $) on my Comanche. Even if I decide in the long run that towing with a lifted short bed truck is not really better than the Subaru, at least the truck (which I'm sentimental about) will be in a much better state.

So there's now a huge list of things to do! Some are for increased comfort or better towing and some are just frivolous.

And so it begins.

First, smaller tires. 35's just don't make sense for towing(or anything besides wheeling really). I found some 255/75/17's(~32's) on rubicon wheels locally and bought adapters to bolt them on.



When I installed the new wheel/tire combo, I also removed the 2" spring spacer in the front (I still need to remove the blocks from the rear).

Before:


After(just tire swap, before the spacers were removed)




While removing the spring spacers, I noticed the ball joints are completely fucked (~0.25" vertical play). So I've ordered new spicer ball joints and a ball joint separator. I'll also weld the groves in the brake sliders when I'm swapping the ball joints (the groves in my sliders are worse than any in the linked thread).

I also removed the drooping headliner cloth and mount and will be recovering it with something
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Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-img_20151009_162112_zpsralgvnem.jpg   Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-img_20151011_164744_zps19ywwley.jpg   Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-img_20151009_163145_zpsrz3vdupp.jpg   Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-img_20151011_154813_zpsy5kvqlqt.jpg  
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Old 10-19-2015, 03:46 AM   #3
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I really like the way the face lifted Cherokees look and fortunately all the bits swap over to older Cherokees and more importantly, Comanches!

I bought new front fenders and a front clip with lights for a 97+ Cherokee and began working on swapping them in.







Unfortunately I was tired or drunk or something when I ordered the fenders and I managed to order a factory replacement (not the facelift newer one) for the passenger side. So I'm at a bit of stand still on that until the new fender comes in. Fortunately I can just park it in the garage for now.

I'm undecided on what to do about the fender flares. It doesn't really make sense to have the giant flares with the smaller wheels, but factory new flares are expensive.

While I'm waiting for the fender, I replaced the speedometer cable and housing as they are prone to failure (and it was too short anyways given that the truck was a 2wd when it was made). To do this I had to remove the gauge cluster and I'm really tempted to mount a nexus 7 and an amp in place of the cd player while the dash is apart. Ah, slippery slopes...
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Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-img_20151018_154351_zpsdsyyn0v6.jpg   Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-img_20151018_155924_zpsifexnl9n.jpg   Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-img_20151018_161150_zps2x1vomq2.jpg  
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Old 10-19-2015, 04:21 AM   #4
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An incomplete list of things to do:
-Replace ball joints
-Weld/grind divots in the brake slider surfaces
-Finish facelift when the new fender comes in
-Install Ecode H4 headlights
-Install headlight wiring upgrade
-Figure out fender flares
-Recover and reinstall headliner
-Remove rear spacers
-Possibly redrill rear shackles for less lift
-Install transfer case shift linkage(kept the one from my XJ, or could upgrade)
-Determine if something is wrong with the front diff(clunks, could just be the lockright)
-Replace homebrew longarm mount with a nice Rubicon Express mount with built in skid plate(t-case hits the current one )
-Install front driveshaft
-Build and install JCR rear bumper when it arrives (already ordered)
-Figure out why the blower isn't working and fix it
-Replace failing vent windows with fixed windows
-Replace APC seats with newer factory seats
-Fix broken interior side lights (falling out and don't work)
-Retrofit full length center console from an XJ
-Regear axles (or just buy used ones) with 4:10s
-Replace full spool in the rear axle with a selectable locker
-Paint (probably to match the exofish )
-Replace battery cables (The current 25+ year old cables are corroded pretty bad)
-Fix the poor quality weld repair of drivers upper door hinge
-Install new window seals in doors
-Install new door seals
-Dynomat everything in the interior
-Lightly tint windows
-Replace front shocks
-Remove rear proportioning valve (supposed to be for auto load based balancing, doesn't work well with the rear disk upgrade that's already done)
-Install larger fuel tank from dodge dakota
-Build a tube based tailgate with highlift and spare tire mount
-Install better stereo or tablet based solution
-Figure out an e-brake solution
-Replace broken battery tray and add a hold down (battery's loose at the moment )
-Tons of other stuff that I'm sure I'm forgetting...

Last edited by gesso; 10-19-2015 at 04:34 AM.
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:49 AM   #5
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- turbo!

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Old 10-19-2015, 09:27 AM   #6
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I'm sad the 35s are gone :(
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:56 PM   #7
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Sometime last month I finished the facelift. I still haven't figured out what to do about the front flares, likely just find some used factory replacements. The hood needs to be adjusted some, but I'll get to that eventually

In the past few days I've:
- Replaced the battery tray with a used replacement and installed a battery hold down
- Re-installed the dash panels/gauge cluster
- Replaced/rewired the front turn signal bulb sockets as both the front ones had broken grounds
- Fixed the wipers not working issue (really really corroded connections)
- Replaced the wiper blades (hard core car fixing!)

All pretty minor things, but I need to get it smogged so it's just put it back together time.

Turbo thoughts are brewing though...
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:14 PM   #8
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Another 2 years of smog inspections done no ebrake, questionable steering, 75% functioning lights, but none of that matters. The tech was concerned about the intake heater tube having fallen off, but he let me put it back on!
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:02 PM   #9
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Turbo!

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Old 12-24-2015, 04:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codrus View Post
Turbo!
So i spent way too much time tonight looking and thinking about this...

MS for engine management would be easy, but packaging constraints for the turbo make it a bit interesting...

This is the best manifold I've found so far, but charge piping becomes challenging. Build thread for that jeep here. The quality of this build seems to be an anomaly...


Then there's the people running the factory manifold and routing the exhaust over to the passenger side and up(build thread). To be clear, this is also the level of fab work for most of the builds I've perused.


And then there's the factory manifold and up pipe and down pipe on the drivers side! ("build" thread)



The low mount log seems the best, but is the most fab work and the hardest to revert to stock every two years. The passenger mount seems ghetto and laggy, but at least the charge piping would then be set up for easier intercooling. The drivers side mount with the factory manifold combines the worst traits of the other two

Anyways, lots of other stuff to be done first.
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Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-80-jeep_low_mount_turbo_manifold_3464aa905b3a914e800decca7a0a7421553ababc.jpg   Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-80-jeep_passenger_side_turbo_mount_2d1eeccfbeac72a794632d23b376fe8b3d2d6cdb.jpg   Geoff builds a silly "truck", over a decade+...-80-jeep_drivers_side_turbo_mount_cce883878f85cb481a8e264d405b97ad5f7d6f76.jpg  
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:22 PM   #11
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Did some work on truck this evening. I've known the ball joints were going bad for a while so I bought a ball joint press, a pickle fork, and moog replacement ball joints. Just got around to starting to install them.

Remove the axles!


Separate the knuckles. Hmmm something seems wrong...


Hard to tell but the ball joint pushed up 1/4". Also it only spins, does not pivot about the ball at all, basically a king pin


Uh oh... that looks even worse!


Gonna have to figure out how to get that out of there. Probably a BFH.


Glad I'm replacing the ball joints!
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Old 11-09-2016, 01:10 AM   #12
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Got another hour or so of work in last night.

Removed the drivers side ball joints using https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Installed them using the same tool but it would have been easier if I turned some custom adapters. It might be worth it for the passenger side.


And then today I fixed these huge divots in the brake sliders by tig welding them up and then grinding/filing them flat. No after pics as I was in a rush to clean up after I was done.
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Old 11-11-2016, 05:03 PM   #13
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So much dirty. No wonder you were talking about a blaster
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:55 PM   #14
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It was cool hearing about your plans to join the tiny trailer club at MRLS. I've been keeping my eyes for Trailexes like mine; if I see a nearby one I'll send it your way.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
So much dirty. No wonder you were talking about a blaster
Yeah... A cheap Harbor Freight one might be in my future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afm View Post
It was cool hearing about your plans to join the tiny trailer club at MRLS. I've been keeping my eyes for Trailexes like mine; if I see a nearby one I'll send it your way.
Seeing your trailer at [email protected] inspired me to get back on this crazy idea. Thanks for keeping an eye out!

I wasn't feeling well today (food poisoning I think) so I spent too much time looking at trailers on craigslist. Didn't find anything good.

This evening I was feeling a little better so I went to the garage and put the tires back on.

I figured while the truck was in the garage I might as well open the front diff and try to figure out why the pinion feels only sorta ok.
Fluid smelled rather bad as usual.


Well ****.


Oh, well, that's even worse...


That bolt is totally reusable right?


So I could only find 2 of the three missing ring gear bolts. The gears surprisingly look ok but the pinion bearings are toast.

I think I'll just order a rebuild kit for the diff and put it back together.
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Old 11-18-2016, 11:45 PM   #16
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Locker?
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:49 AM   #17
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Time for some thread locker?

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Old 11-19-2016, 04:45 AM   #18
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Dude, you have the worst luck with Jeep diffs. Sorry man :(
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidandj View Post
Locker?
It's already got a lunchbox/spartan locker. I'd like to do an OX or ARB eventually, but that's really really low on the list at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codrus View Post
Time for some thread locker?
Yeah... it's called for in the installation manual for the ring and pinion. No idea if the PO did the work himself or had a shop do it. But either way, I'll be adding lock-tite when I rebuild it.

Quote:
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Dude, you have the worst luck with Jeep diffs. Sorry man :(
Hah! I was thinking the same thing... At least this one wasn't my fault...



The rebuild kit won't be here until after Thanksgiving, so the truck will sit in the garage for now making it hard to work on anything else. I should have ordered from summit not amazon.
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:55 PM   #20
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I was disappointed to find there were no pics of the SI in the back of the Jeep
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