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My 1987 Jeep Comanche 4.0L 4x4
For many years I wanted a Jeep Comanche. My mom sold Jeeps from 1986 to 1991. I spent most nights at the dealership hanging out with her and the other salespeople (back in my junior high and early high school days). My Comanche is named "Morelli" after one of the salesmen my mom worked with. He was both a very good friend to my mom in the cut-throat car business, and he was like the big brother I never had. He owned a Comanche back then, so the name just seems perfect!
In mid-2007 I decided I had the space for one, and I passively called myself looking for one. I told a friend at work about what I wanted, and a few weeks later while looking for Jeep Wagoneers online, he sent me a link to Craigslist saying “you may find this interesting.” I saw the ad and what was a 4x4 SporTruck model on a lift, mudder tires, and a winch bumper mounted in the front. I always wanted an Eliminator model, and I didn’t care either way about 2x4 vs. 4x4. As hard to find as these are (and to find one local), I was quite excited not caring what model it was. The fact the ad listed the mileage as 75K miles, I couldn’t pass it up. Two days later on a Saturday I got to see and drive it. The following Monday (9/10/07), I took the afternoon off work and met the owner with a check. Overall the interior was excellent. Upon seeing it, the actual mileage was 71K!
The first afternoon I had it, the inspection station was backed up to the street, so I would have had to wait in line at least 40 minutes. Being unfamiliar with the truck, I didn’t care to sit and idle that long. I headed home to take a few pics and wash it. Between rain showers, I decided to see what 3M’s Perfect-It III clearcoat compound would do for it. Here are the photos I call “before” and “during” since it is still a work-in-progress. I love everything 3M makes!
The original owner was an elderly man, and the truck was purchased for him by his son. The son got it when his father passed away. The third owner put the off-road equipment on it. I am the fifth owner. I called the third owner, and he still had the original bumper. I swapped him even - winch bumper for stock bumper. I swapped it out as soon as I could. I may someday get a set of 10-hole Eliminator wheels for it, but for now I am very content with the factory 10-spoke wheels. Currently, the 10-spokes are on my '93 Grand Cherokee, and the '93 ZJ 5-spoke wheels are on the Comanche.
The oddest thing to note about the truck is that after running a report on it at the dealer, I knew it was sold out of that dealership in 1987 (different dealer ownership back then). Upon thumbing through the owner’s manual, I found my mother’s handwriting where the new owner’s information was added. So yep, my mom sold it when it was new! Twenty years and a month later, it came back home in a sense!
I removed the SporTruck decals with a 3M rubber decal removal wheel. The driver side was quite deteriorated, but I would have removed them regardless. I may change the trim and grill out to be all chrome like the Laredos, or I may black out everything to better resemble the Eliminator's meaner look. I am content with the 2" lift with the street tires, so I will probably leave it on.
In late 2010, I wetsanded the entire truck. It was a labor of love. The AMC-Jeep clearcoat is durable stuff! There are dings all around the bed, and I will see if it is feasible to have some of them worked out.
Also in 2010, I sealed up numerous water leaks. My finishing touch on the appearance has been the addition of foglights that are very close the OEM appearance.
Here are three shots after the wetsanding.