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#ProjectPineTree Phase 2

So as this is the 1st post for the new Jeep Comanche MJ project I will do my best to bring you up to speed.

I got this from an Uncle of a friend. He Shot me the deal and I went to pick it up. It is an 87 pioneer, 4.0, with the BA10 5 speed trans and an NP231j for the 4x4.

It had been sitting for a few years as it lost spark on the previous owner. He lost interest in the project and wanted to sell it. It had been in the back 40, under the trees for a while... By the time I got everything cleaned up the dumpster was full of pine tree. The name was obvious.

This was intended to be our Gambler 500 build for 2019. we pulled it off! Got her running, converted the closed cooling system over to open, and gave her a few "Gambler Things"

During the gambler we blew the internal slave, I had to drive it home power shifting, it made it no worries.

So I ordered the slave, a new clutch, and pressure plate. My son helped me replace it, and bleed the system. We also de-gambler'd the rig a bit, took some goods off and cleaned it up a bit. i had a super cool side exit exhaust for the gambler, having to fix it after and make it more proper, i though, the side exit had to stay. This is what i came up with.

I had picked up another MJ project after this, it was more a pile of parts, but none the less i has some things i wanted to transfer over to PineTree.

Rear Lift and axles were first. The blue mj had a lift on it, and the axles were a lower gear set than the ones that were in pine tree. 3:55.0 to 1 (3:07 factory) I was running a 31" tire and it seemed to do ok out and about for the moment.

My plan was to step up to the 33/10.5's that were on the blue MJ, along with the drop in gear, it would be about the same feeling as i had right driving it with its current setup. along with a new clutch. I had parted out a Cherokee some time ago and had saved the front axle. it had matching gears, and was a bolt in swap to match the front.

first thing first. Disassemble the parts rig.

I knew i wanted as much lift as i could bolt on with the parts i had stashed around the house. swapping shackles was the first step.

We made short work of yarding everything out. The rear axle was a direct swap, the new leaf springs had an Add A Leaf in them, and now a bigger shackle. I wondered if it would be enough to clear the new tires W/O trimming, it was not.

That's ok, I have enough stuff here to do a proper "Bastard Pack" in the next few days. I needed a 24" extended set of shocks, and found some. in my stack of shocks i found some skyjackers that had another 2" of throw. got them in and we were good to go!

Time to focus on the front. Here is what I had collected as far as bolt on stuff.

Procomp lower control arms, some adjustable uppers, extended sway bar links, lift springs, and some 2" pucks (not pictured) perfect for a budget build/beater! (have crawler stuff for later already)

I knew I would be going up so I had the track bar in mind. On the donor MJ was an axle side track bar drop bracket. I installed it and welded it in place to insure no future movement out of it. I feel good about it now. (hate drop brackets) but it fixed the geometry, Nice!

Stuffed the springs and lowers in her and began to lift the axle.


I Kept the axles, u-joins, unit bearings, and breaks off of the factory pine tree axle, the others i'll save for spares. We got the upper control arms in, adjusted the caster and pinion angles accordingly, then set it down on its own weight. This short on shocks, at ride height. not going to work. . .

There will be some adjustments coming. But we are well on our way!

Stay tuned, i'll do my best to post updates as I go. Thanks for reading!


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