unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
6/17/15 6:51 a.m.

We decided to make some big changes in our life. Over the past six months, we've both quit our jobs, moved 300 miles, and bought a house. Mrs. Unevolved decided a few weeks back she wants to sell her Mini Cooper S and buy a beater pickup truck. She says she wants a C10, until we look at prices for a solid, running example.

"Hey wait a minute, doesn't [REDACTED] still have that Comanche? Think he'd sell it to us?"

About a month ago, a good friend of ours flew up to Denver to buy a turbo M20 setup from a friend. To get all the parts back, he turned to the local Craigslist to find a beater vehicle to haul back an engine, transmission, and various accessories. With some of his potential choices, we were worried about him making it back, but he settled on this beauty. 1986 Comanche. Long bed, 4WD, 2.8L V6 with a 5-speed manual. It made the drive from Denver to Houston loaded down with 800 lbs of BMW without a complaint. Very slowly, but without a complaint.

Mrs. Unevolved is away for work this week, and as a belated birthday present, I flew down to Houston, bought the truck, and drove it back to DFW while I was supposed to be working on the house. She still doesn't know I have it, and she gets back Saturday. This is going to be a hard secret to keep.

Not too many mods in it's future, I don't think. It's painfully slow, I think that 2.8L made 105hp when new or something like that, I don't think I saw the far side of 65mph the whole 5 hour drive back. But it's pretty damn solid, it didn't have a single complaint or stutter. It may get a 4.0L in the future to make it a little more driveable, but I really don't want to swap transmissions too. The lack of AC is pretty irritating in Texas, but she swears it's not going to be THAT big of a deal.

Hey, for $2000, who am I to argue?

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory SuperDork
6/17/15 7:02 a.m.

Soooo cheap and easy to lift...

As long as the new 31" tires don't kill your power even more. But then there's factory 4.11 gears from the JY. And the rear Dana 44 from a Wagoneer XJ and and and...

rcutclif
rcutclif Dork
6/17/15 8:28 a.m.

awesome, love it!

NGTD
NGTD UltraDork
6/17/15 8:30 a.m.

Would a 4.3L bolt-in where the 2.8L was?

bgkast
bgkast UberDork
6/17/15 11:06 a.m.

It's even pink.

captdownshift
captdownshift SuperDork
6/17/15 11:12 a.m.

you won't sell it to Swank for a profit before she gets home.

Esoteric Nixon
Esoteric Nixon SuperDork
6/17/15 11:18 a.m.

Ah, single stage red paint. A good polish and wax, and that will indeed buff out.

turboswede
turboswede MegaDork
6/17/15 11:27 a.m.

Poor Swank. He must be pounding his desk in frustration at this point.

Thinkkker
Thinkkker UltraDork
6/17/15 11:34 a.m.

I saw the pic and thought, that looks just like ____ truck. It is.....er.......was.

Drop in a supercharged Buick. Should bolt up to the trans right?

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/17/15 11:38 a.m.
captdownshift wrote: you won't sell it to Swank for a profit before she gets home.

Not for the price he paid, he won't.

turboswede wrote: Poor Swank. He must be pounding his desk in frustration at this point.

I'm ok, it's a red V6. I either want a roller with a blown motor or a 4x4 4.0 truck.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
6/17/15 11:43 a.m.

Most of those didn't look that solid when they were 5 years old. Nice!

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
6/18/15 6:44 a.m.
NGTD wrote: Would a 4.3L bolt-in where the 2.8L was?

That was my first thought (even though the only one of those I've had, I absolutely hated...) but I don't think so. 90deg vs. 60deg, I think.

Thinkkker wrote: I saw the pic and thought, that looks just like __________ truck. It is.....er.......was. Drop in a supercharged Buick. Should bolt up to the trans right?

Not this one, sadly. This has an AX5, whereas I'd have to swap in an AX15 to handle just about any swap. The transmission feels like it's actually in good shape, so I'm hesitant to throw it out and replace it with an unknown unit from a donor quite yet.

I'll probably just go through the carb and freshen up what I can, and see what that gets me. We'll see how long the missus can handle the lack of power and AC, that'll probably determine how long that engine gets to live in there.

I've missed this forum, I've been so busy with a new job and new house that I don't really have the time to browse on here like I used to. I'll probably need you guys' advice on this thing, though, so I'm sure I'll be around more.

Mike
Mike Dork
6/18/15 7:22 a.m.

The best improvement in appearance I've ever gotten out of a new truck was to take all the steelies off and hit them with silver wheel paint from the car parts store. I didn't bother to mask mine, because tires were already lined up. Add a paint cleaner or mild compound followed by polish and wax. That truck looks about half a day's work from being really fresh. Very good find.

Swank Force One
Swank Force One MegaDork
6/18/15 8:11 a.m.

I'd grab some late XJ 15x7 "Eccos" and toss them on. Then keep your eye out for a late XJ to show up in the junkyard so you can do the fascia swap, because it looks awesome.

Dbussey1
Dbussey1 New Reader
6/18/15 9:57 a.m.

Awesome truck, I've always loved those Commanches.

What part of DFW are you in? I'm out in East Dallas

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 SuperDork
6/18/15 10:31 a.m.

I think that temps above 76 degrees dictates AC, much less 90+, but that's me. I guess some people like sweating in their cars in the summer.

drdisque
drdisque Reader
6/18/15 10:52 a.m.

Best engine that would bolt up would be a 3400 from an early 4th gen F-body. But it would be a wiring hassle.

TIGMOTORSPORTS
TIGMOTORSPORTS HalfDork
6/18/15 6:31 p.m.

Does Javelin have an extra AMC V8 he can sell you?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
6/18/15 6:52 p.m.

Assuming that 2.8 is a GM with TBI, you can swap a 3.4 in with no issues. Wiring is pretty damn easy, too. I did that swap on my Trooper.

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
6/19/15 7:11 a.m.
Swank Force One wrote: I'd grab some late XJ 15x7 "Eccos" and toss them on. Then keep your eye out for a late XJ to show up in the junkyard so you can do the fascia swap, because it looks awesome.

I actually kind of like the fascia on it right now. it's just got a black steel perf plate instead of a grill, combined with the pipe bumper it gives it a nice rough look. I'll have to find a better picture.

Dbussey1 wrote: Awesome truck, I've always loved those Commanches. What part of DFW are you in? I'm out in East Dallas

SW Fort Worth.

Tom Suddard wrote: Assuming that 2.8 is a GM with TBI, you can swap a 3.4 in with no issues. Wiring is pretty damn easy, too. I did that swap on my Trooper.

It's actually carb'd, but otherwise, yes. What transmission do you have? Everything I read says the AX5 I've got in here can't handle much more power than this V6, everyone recommends swapping in an AX15 and matching T-case.

Mrs. Unevolved got home from her work trip last night, and I got to surprise her with the truck. She LOVES it.

unevolved
unevolved SuperDork
9/1/15 6:18 p.m.

Looks like we might be selling this thing, along with my E46. I need to add a horn, get it inspected, and get a new title issued before I can sell it. Might even put in a working radio.

Logically, though, I should wait another month or two until it's not ridiculously hot to sell a truck with no AC. I can't see that going well.

Vigo
Vigo PowerDork
9/2/15 7:08 p.m.
Best engine that would bolt up would be a 3400 from an early 4th gen F-body. But it would be a wiring hassle

I swapped a camaro 3.4 into a carb GMC Jimmy and it's total crap compared to any jeep 4.0 i've driven. I only say this to point out that if you want more power, either get a 4.0 truck or swap to something better than the ohv 3.4.

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