At $6,000, Could This 4WD-Converted 1987 Jeep Comanche Be A Truck You Might Pick Up?

Craigslist
Photo: Craigslist

The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Comanche says it was converted to 4WD from its original 4X2 base. Let’s see if this midi-pickup’s price is low enough to get you to convert in its favor.

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I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there was something about yesterday’s 1979 Ferrari 400 GT that just didn’t sit right with me. I don’t know if it was the angle of its dangle, with the rear appearing to sit much squatter than the front, or perhaps the somewhat tired shape of its interior and engine bay. I guess what got my mental monkeys wrenched was that the Ferrari’s ad had been up on Craigslist for more than three weeks with seemingly no nibbles at its $59,500 asking.

Whatever was going on, quite of few of you must have felt the same way and as a result dunned the car with an overwhelming 70 percent No Dice loss.

Now, unless you’ve got buckets of cash just lying around, a Ferrari isn’t a car that you’d go modifying just willy-nilly. On the other hand, an old Jeep pickup truck could potentially be a ripe candidate for reimaginations, updates and upgrades.

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Photo: Craigslist

Apparently, that’s exactly the story behind this white on blue on Pokemon 1987 Jeep Comanche 4X4. (Note, the ad has been pulled, but we can still have our fun as we kept a copy.)

We should first note that the Comanche is an odd duck among midsize pickup trucks. When this truck was new, the general rule of thumb was that pickup trucks came first and were then followed by SUVs built on the pickup chassis. The Comanche did this in reverse, following the XJ Cherokee to market and using much of that truck’s body and driveline.

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Photo: Craigslist

That’s not the only oddball thing about the Comanche either. Because it was based on the XJ Cherokee, the Comanche had to start with a unibody chassis instead of a full ladder frame. Unlike many car-based pickups that wedded cab and bed, the Comanche had a separate bed that rode on an extended box-section frame fully attached to the unibody cab in front. That allowed for multiple bed lengths or the removal of the bed entirely.

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This ’87 Comanche sports the shorter six-foot bed and factory SPORT TRUCK side stripes down each flank. That, and the 4-liter in-line six are about the only things from the Jeep factory left on this truck.

According to the ad, the truck started life as a 4X2. It’s even noted as such on the included owner’s manual. The seller says, however, that the only thing left from that 4X2 driveline is the engine.

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Photo: Craigslist

The rest has been given the heave-ho to make way for a bunch of Cherokee 4X4 parts. These include an NV3550 five-speed manual, New Process 242 transfer case and a Dana 30 front axle. Along with the added traction, the truck has gained a steering system upgrade, a modest lift and a Warn winch mounted in the bullbar at the front.

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All of this work is claimed to have been undertaken a full 30,000 miles ago. The truck now has a claimed 170,000 miles under its slightly higher belt and is said to be presently employed as a daily driver.

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Photo: Craigslist
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There are other mods here as well. The bed is accented by a diamond plate lockbox, and the back bumper has been replaced with a heavier-duty steel unit. The wheels are the stock steelies, but those wear fat Cooper AT3s.

Perhaps most startling of all the mods is the interior. That features a bench seat, a carpet-free floor, and oddly enough, a Pokémon headliner. Yep, catch them all folks. Aside from the wildly distracting headliner, it all seems a tidy, if objectively austere, place to get your driving done.

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It should be noted that the engine in this truck is the Renix 4-liter. That was the short-lived edition of AMC’s straight-six with a fuel injection designed by Renix Electronique S.A., a joint venture of Renault and automotive parts supplier Bendix. As fitted, the Jeep 4-liter made 173 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque. It’s also an odd duck since it doesn’t use the standard OBD protocol for ECU access.

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This one looks to functioning properly and has been converted to an open cooling system with all new parts. Along with that comes a bunch of spares including Dirtbound rock sliders to keep your rockers from getting rock and rolled. The truck’s title is clean, and the asking price is $6,000.

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What’s your take on this 4-wheel-drive converted Comanche and that $6,000 price? Does that seem like a fair deal for this sort of Franken-truck? Or, does that price make this an off-roadable Jeep that’s not going anywhere?

You decide!

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Seattle, Washington, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to picoFarad for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

DISCUSSION

elhigh
Elhigh

The price sounds a little high but I could be moved to give on my limits, maybe. It would kind of depend on how the meeting went.

I don’t think there was a lot different between the 4x2 and 4x4 Comanches. Pretty much the driveline bits and a dash of added ride height and not a lot of that last bit. You had to squint hard sometimes to spot the factory 4x4s if the decals weren’t there.

The Renix engine isn’t a deal killer but it isn’t the desirable HO. The mods aren’t a deal killer because the Comache was kind of a Lego project to begin with so all the bits were literally made to go where they are and where they are was made to accept them. No bodging required to make it happen.

The interior isn’t a deal killer but it sure as hell isn’t helping the seller’s cause.

A lot of this would come down to whether the guy doing the work sounds like he was fully cognizant of everything he was doing. I’d be curious about the Pokemon headliner so that would get an explanation. The main draw here is that it is an actually-compact compact 4x2 truck from a company whose name is literally synonymous with 4x4 vehicles and has been converted into a 4x4 after the fact, offered at a time when there are no actual compact trucks to be had in the US.  It’s a fun little bit of provenance. Under the right conditions, provenance has market value.

I’m not going full on Nice Price but I think it’s close enough to call the guy. I can see paying $5000 for this, though I’d be happier at $4500.

No sale, but not no way.