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Truck Thursday: Jeep Comanche Crew Cab

Kamil Kaluski July 26, 2012 Redusernab Truck Thursday 51 Comments

No, it’s not Photoshopped

Once upon a time pickup trucks came in small sizes. There were no quad-cabs or mega-cabs, and “crew cabs” came only on large heavy duty trucks. There was also a time when small SUVs came with proper part-time transfer-cases and live axles.

The Jeep Comanche was produced between 1985 and 1992. Designed by AMC and based on the Jeep Cherokee, it was an excellent little pickup truck but it came in only one cab/bed configuration. It got somewhat famous by being on Truckin’ USA, on the old TNN network, and driven daily by our own longrooffan.

Details are scarse on the project pictured here, but evidently someone wanted a crew-cap Comanche, so he/she built it using… half of Cherokee and half of a Comanche. Build pics after the jump.

[Source: GooglePlus , originated somewhere on and made its way to imgur]

i told you it’s not Photoshopped

Below pictures show the front 3/4 (or so) of the Cherokee mated to a Comanche which was cut somewhere between the A- and B-pillars. While there are many Cherokees which had the cargo area converted into a picked up, I have yet to see someone actually mate these two together.

The finished product looks great. Added bonus for retaining a factory appearance. That wheelbase maybe a little long but who cares, it’s cool.

This project seems to be at least ten years old, so if anyone has any info on it, please post in the comments section. Thanks.+

EDIT – Wait, why am I seeing a frame under the pickup bed? Did the Comanche have a frame such as that?

  • I nominate this as Redusernab Car of the Year!

    • calzonegolem

      I second this nomination, all opposed?

  • Love it. I wonder, though, how rigid it is.

    • Sky_Render

      Me, too. I also wonder what its towing/hauling capacity would be and if it's a total dog carrying all that weight with a stock engine.

      • I had a Cherokee with the 4.0. There was power to spare, so I'll bet it's not bad unless it's fully loaded.

        That said, I wouldn't see myself working this as hard as a factory pickup. It's more of a novelty.

      • OA5599

        If the owner went to all that work to crewcab it, he might have upgraded the engine, too. He could put a stroker kit into a 4.0L, or, to better show off his skill, swap a V8.

        Stock towing capacity ranged from about 2000 lbs to 5000, depending on equipment. I'd expect something similar here, minus 10%.

        • markj

          Been think about kinda doing that with my cherokee but I only want a 4 foot bed on mine because it's 4×4 so I'm looking for a comanche bed…

  • Not bad.
    <img src="; width=400>

    • Alcology

      They look like they caught a whiff of something out of Joe Biden just off camera.

  • racer193

    They should have shortened the bed about a foot between the cab and rear wheel wells. I would buy one. It looks factory. Imagine parking it, at leats two spaced.

  • pj134

    Why stop at four?

    <img src="; width="500/">

    Oddly enough these things pop up on ebay somewhat frequently.

    • dukeisduke

      There's a guy in Oklahoma that mates Excursion bodies with later SuperCab running gear, frames and front clips (Why? Hell if I know!), and he's built some six-door Excursions.

      • mallthus

        The six doors are for the Duger set. As for the revised Excursions, they're one of those vehicles where there's nothing else quite like them available. If you want a new one, you've got to (re)build it yourself. The ones they're doing are essentially brand new F250s with the new Powerstroke and the old Excursion body shell.

        • pj134

          One of these days I'll figure out how the hell people like that pay for everything.

      • MVEilenstein

        Why? Why not?

      • dukeisduke

        SuperCab? I meant Super Duty.

    • Devin

      I saw something like that around here once, except it was based on an early '00s Superduty, was bright green, lifted and had the hood of the car from Corvette Summer.

  • dukeisduke

    I'd like to see a table showing the dimensions – that is one long truck. The wheelbase of a Dodge RAM Mega Cab long bed is 160.5 inches, and I'll bet this is close to that, if not longer.

  • CatSplat

    To answer your edit-question: Yes, Comanches had a "real" frame in the back. The front was a normal Cherokee uniframe that then had a traditional frame spliced onto the back of it.

    • * The More You Know *

      * jingle *

      • Devin

        [youtube pele5vptVgc youtube]

    • Scoutdude

      It is not a "real" frame back there it is a sheet metal extension of the same rails that are under the Cherokee with some sheet metal spot welded on top and a couple of extra sheet metal cross members tying it together. So it is more of a hybrid "frame" unibody style construction masquerading as a frame. Very similar to how they built motorhome chassis out of the unibody Chrysler and Chevy vans though they just used the section of the normal floor between the rails.

      • kelly

        Its not sheet metal, and yes its a real frame. How can a frame be real or not? I get what you are saying, but not exactly true, its actually quite strong, as I have a friend that had one, and I assumed it was really thin metal, but I forget the actual measurement, but it was quite sturdy.

  • This is just plain slick. I'd hate to have to perform a U-turn with it, though.

    • The trick is to play Yakety Sax really loud, while doing your 20 point turn.

      • Vairship

        Either that, or get some speed going, then turn the wheel while pulling the handbrake…

  • Truckin' USA! Now there's a flashback. I used to love watching it, and all of the other car shows on TNN. All sponsored by Diamond P Motorsports' "And They Walked Away 352!"

    • So SO happy that someone picked up on that.

      What was that other show that reviewed cars? For a while it was known as the "Road & Track something…", toward its end I guess.

      • Hmm, can't recall that one. Will probably ring a bell if someone does figure out the name.

        I can only recall Shadetree Mechanic and American Sports Cavalcade as being other shows they always aired.

        • Shadetree Mechanic, those guys, or at least one of them, that Italian dude, are/is still on Speed on Velocity… doing THE… EXACT… SAME… THING.

          • Yup, good old Sam and Dave. Throw in Pat Goss and they have probably been on TV for a combined 100 years haha.

  • RegalRegalia

    Am I the only one who doesn't like this? I love Comanches but I really need a car/truck/whatever to have decent proportions.

  • The Comanche "came in only one cab/bed configuration" isn't entirely true. There were 6' and 7' bed versions. All regular cab of course.

    • No shit, really?

      I'm bad at this bloogining thing and I should feel bad.

    • the first year, 86, was offered with only the 7' bed. Mine is an '86 four cylinder, 5 speed, with the 7 foot bed of course. One of about 30 made that first year.

      • Wow, they probably made more diesels than that. 4 cylinder 5-speed sounds like the Archer Bros. race truck configuration.

        • Archer Brothers Racing, my dream team at the time and now the fact they actually raced a Comanche, something that didn't really register back in the day, makes them even more awesome these days.

  • Personally, I like the uniqueness of this old truck. Ironically enough, right after I purchased my Comanche, a buddy and I were talking about putting a "new" Cherokee front end on it. This truck deems that exercise unnecessary. If I had a need for a longroof pickemuptruck, this one would be my first choice. It appears to be nicely done but I would prefer steelies versus the pseudo mags on it.
    Nice find K.

    • When I first saw this on Google+, I immediately thought of forwarding it to you. However, laziness got in the way…

    • UDman

      Those are Steelies… later model steelies, but steelies none the less…
      <img src="; alt="" />

      • UDMan: I concur, those are definitely steel wheels but, at least to me, these are the ones truly deserving the name "steelies". The only thing better would be if they were black.

        ; width="500" height="375" alt="sale 016">

  • Optix_truf

    My favorite part would be the "dropping the kids off at school" part. And then making a U-turn in front on their friends on the way out.

    • Alcology

      That sounds like some euphemisms for several scenarios during/after a big night out.

  • GTFour

    I wonder if this is possible with a Subaru pick-up / Justy combination?

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      But what could you do with a Brat like that?

      Seriously, I think it'd be possible with a Brat and an ordinary GL sedan/wagon… of course, anything is possible

  • bus plunge

    Ah, I see you found Waldo's big brother!

  • Yep, the Comanche had a full frame under the box and it was grafted to the unibody under the cab. We made a trailer out of our Comanche.

  • Steve Hendricks

    This Comanche Crew Cab Belongs To Me , Steve Hendricks. This Truck Was Built In 2002 To Take To Camp Jeep. We Are In Process Of Building A Comanche SS ( Super Short ) . Thanks For All The Great Comments . This Jeep Is Also On A Lot of Other Wed Sites.

    • Steve: Nice truck. We'd love to run a story on your SS. Got any images of the build? Send them to [email protected]

    • brandon laflamme

      Steve: would love to get some more information from you about the truck. Possibly arrange a deal?! if interested email me at big[email protected]

  • Eric Orel

    Have you used it off-road how well did it do? Did you have to use guessets on the una- body in the frame and outside? That is an awesome truck!!!

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