Brian Toole is a lifelong motor head. He knows everything there is to know about the industry and is capable of creating something not only functional, but ridiculously awesome. In his life he’s owned square bodies, Cherokees, and even a sweet Firebird. All of which hold a significant place in the automotive industry. However, friends of Toole might argue that the one vehicle he owns that turns the most heads is his 1987 Jeep Comanche.
- 4.0 5-Speed
- Lincoln Locked Dana 30 & Dana 35 Axels
- Rough Country/Rubicon Express 6″ lift
- 40″ Military Tires
An Unconventional Choice
The Jeep Comanche was never super popular. Often, the first time many people hear about these trucks is also the first time they encounter one. Right now the Comanche may be gaining some notoriety, as Jeep gears up to release another pickup truck. When Toole bought his back in high school, this wasn’t exactly the case. When asked ”Why a Comanche?” Toole stated, “It was different, not as common.” In high school, for a young man to make a move based on standing out as opposed to simply blending in, says a lot about the kind of kid Toole was and the man he would grow to be.
Toole found his Comanche on Craigslist for the price of $800. His build-up was simple and effective.
“It was a 4-cylinder and I swapped the 4.0 into it. Which required an all new harness, engine mounts, transmission, transfer case, drive shafts, cross member and linkages. … It was all bolt-in, just a pain in the neck. They say that swap is too much work for little power benefit, but hey, I was young and dumb. … I personally believe the 4-cylinder is a very good engine, but I bought it with a rod knock so I had to change it. I bought a parts Comanche with a 4.0 5-speed, so that’s the route I went.”
On top of the drivetrain swap, Toole Lincoln-locked the stock Dana 30 and 35 front and rear axles, lifted the truck six inches, and crammed 40 inch Military Tires on it.
A modified Comanche may seem like an underdog. But, Toole is the kind of guy who proves that it’s about more than just having the baddest rig. It’s about having a real driver behind the wheel. In the truck’s lifetime, Toole was able to bring back 2nd and 3rd place trophies in the modified 6-cylinder class at the Boondockers Mudbog in Bloomsburg, PA. The competition includes two 100-foot pits that hit depths of 3-4 feet at times. Looking back on the event, Toole reflects “My biggest competition was a Jeep CJ-5 with a built Buick 3.8 V6. I only beat her once and she was one hell of a driver. Her Jeep was built very well.”
The Future Looks Bright
As Toole moves forward in life, naturally, he wants more. Currently, he’s been collecting additional pieces for the Comanche and has plans to make this truck even better. He reveals his plan with “Chevy 4.8 LS, Chevy Dana 60 kingpin front axle with 5.36 gears. Turbo 400 trans and a Dana 300 transfer case. Bobtail the end of the bed and a roll cage.” And since he’s no longer working on a high school budget, he can certainly make for a much more awesome rig. There’s no doubt that an LS swap is a massive upgrade and should certainly bust up a Buick-powered Jeep, no problem.
Toole shows with his Comanche that you can use a little to make a lot. Despite the simplicity of the build and the oddball platform, he kicked enough butt to show just how qualified he really is. If there’s anything we can all agree on, it’s that once Toole completes the next step in his battle plan, there will be no stopping him.