Moses Ludel

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About Moses Ludel

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  • Birthday June 7

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    Reno Area...Nevada
  • Interests
    Family, destination four-wheeling and dual-sport motorcycling, photography, videography, fly-fishing, anthropology, automotive mechanics and welding/metallurgy.

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  1. You're welcome, Mike J.! Welcome to the forums...I am grateful for the tone and spirit of the members. You get back what you put out. These forums were intended to build special interest 4x4 and OHV communities, a place to discover supportive friends who genuinely enjoy what they're doing and want to share their experiences and findings. We get carried away with lengthy threads at times and should break them down to bite size new topics. Guess that's a reflection of our steady dialogues and enthusiasm... Looking forward to your topic posts and participation, Mike J.! Moses
  2. 60Bubba...If you do powder coat the T-19, mask off the front and rear mating faces. Powder coat is tough but not that tough. The flex and torque of bellhousing to transmission faces, or the rear T-19 case mating surface at the transfer case adapter, can lead to movement and hardware loosening over time. I use quality engine paint and always go very lightly with the paint at mating faces, just enough coverage to protect against surface rust. Some powder coat shops are aware of this and use discretion with the powder coating. Others think more is better. I do not powder coat frames or body panels. Rust can form under the powder coating without the usual exfoliation signs found with primer and paint. I learned this from a marine/boat service shop at San Diego years ago; they refused to put powder coating on ship and boat railings. If rust formed under the durable powder coating, nobody knew it until the railing gave way, then "Man overboard!" Moses
  3. beaujay...If your temperature gauge is indicating a lower temp than thermostat temperature, you likely have a defective thermostat. If the engine is at normal temperature and the heater core is not getting warm, this can be a clogged hose or a closed heater control valve. If the heater core and engine are both at normal temp and you're still freezing with the heater on, you have a heater control or heater vent door problem. Moses
  4. topher...The problem with spacers beyond 1"-2" is that you're dropping the rear mount of the powertrain while leaving the engine's front mounts in their normal position. This cocks the angle of the engine/transmission/transfer case. Both the front and rear driveshaft angles change because the transfer case vertical angle has changed. The angles do not change in the same way: The front driveshaft's transfer case joint angle becomes steeper while the rear slip yoke U-joint angle decreases. Shift linkage and console fit will suffer from the shift, too. This is a good reason to minimize the skid plate drop. I've seen chassis lifts with longer skid plate spacers, which doesn't make sense. The OE front driveshaft can become too short and bottom. Again, rotating the rear pinion shaft angle upward will reduce the rear joint angle but does not change the slip yoke joint angle. You wind up with angles at each end of the rear driveshaft that do not cancel each other properly. You do shorten the distance between the transfer case output and the rear axle's pinion flange. If you want to stick with the slip yoke rear driveshaft, I would first create canceling angles at the two U-joints. This can be accomplished with the mild (perhaps one inch) skid plate drop, then rotate the rear axle in whichever direction necessary to achieve canceling U-joint angles. You can rotate the rear pinion with wedge shaped shims placed between the axle perches and the springs. I use hard steel shims and not aluminum wedges. Once the joints are canceling each other's angle, measured with the vehicle parked on the ground and loaded normally, you can take accurate length measurements for a new rear driveshaft. Have a local driveshaft shop build the new shaft to length, using a slip-yoke at the transfer case end. This can be as simple as installing a new tube section or could involve rebuilding the entire shaft at the same time if there is wear at the flanges, slip yoke and U-joints. Overall, you do not want a steep rear driveshaft angle/slope, and the stock Jeep YJ Wrangler with a slip yoke has a short rear driveshaft. A short shaft plus steeper joint angles will decrease the torque capacity of a driveshaft. If your lift were any more than the 2"-2.5", I would strongly suggest the use of a CV rear driveshaft and an Advance Adapters' SYE kit. The SYE kit actually shortens the transfer case's output shaft and tailhousing. This allows for a longer driveshaft, which reduces joint angles and increases the torque capacity of the driveshaft. Moses
  5. Keep us posted, JJLike. Other owners will want to know what you discover and how you make the swap. Moses
  6. topher...Welcome to the forums...Understand that you've installed a 2"-2.5" spring/suspension lift on your '95 Jeep YJ Wrangler. The distance between the transfer case input and output and the front and rear axle joints has now increased, and this did stretch the drivelines. The rear driveshaft has a slip yoke at the transfer case end, that's the piece with the shiny new surface exposed. The front driveline has a slip collar with male/female splines, and the collar has been stretched from the chassis/spring lift. Here is a diagram of the stock front and rear driveshaft designs: Rotating the rear axle pinion shaft upward is often a remedy for chassis lifts but only if you install a double-Cardan (CV-type) joint at the transfer case end. In this method, the rear axle single U-joint is normally set to a pinion-to-driveshaft angle of 1.5-2.0 degrees and not straight up or "O" degrees. You need this slight angle to keep the bearings in the U-joint caps rotating and lubricating. Here is a typical example of a CV rear driveshaft which also requires a slip yoke eliminator kit (SYE) in the transfer case. Note that the shaft shown is for a 4"-5" chassis lift: Advance Adapters makes a popular SYE Kit for your NP231 transfer case if you do install a CV-type rear driveshaft like this one. There is parts cost and labor involved with the SYE installation and the new CV-type rear driveshaft. The front driveshaft already has a CV-type joint at the transfer case. As for joint angles, you are limited at the front axle by the need to set the correct axle caster angle for proper steering and handling. A 2"-2.5" chassis lift is seldom enough to create a front driveline length issue, especially if you lower the transfer case with spacers. If the front axle caster setting is correct, and if the driveshaft has not been separated at the slip collar and installed with the splines not matched properly, you should be okay with the front driveshaft. Did you separate the front driveshaft pieces during this chassis work? The rear driveshaft is a judgment call based upon whether the slip yoke is safely onto the splines of the transfer case output shaft. With the vehicle suspension at full drop, the yoke splines must be sufficiently engaged to be safe and not put a bind on the splines. The yoke must not bind nor slip out completely! Slip yoke splines must engage a safe distance onto the transfer case output shaft at full suspension and axle drop. Also, the slip yoke cannot travel too far forward or bottom out when the suspension and axle rises. Whether you keep the original slip yoke driveshaft at the rear or not, rotating the pinion shaft/axle upward will reduce the rear U-joint angle and shorten the driveshaft. Dropping the transfer case skid plate will also reduce the slip yoke joint angle and shorten the driveshaft. Overall, what you really need is: 1) proper slip yoke spline engagement, 2) virtually canceling U-joint angles at the slip yoke and the rear axle pinion U-joint (angles must cancel each other as necessary) and 3) enough unobstructed travel of the rear driveline's slip yoke and the front axle's driveshaft coupler. Summing up, I would try the skid plate drop first, which is a very common quick-fix remedy, many suspension kit manufacturers include these spacers and longer, graded fasteners with a mild lift kit. With the skid plate dropped no more than an inch, check the slip yoke spline engagement, front axle driveline length and the front driveline coupler travel. Also, and importantly, check the U-joint angles at the rear driveshaft. Make sure the rear U-joint angles cancel each other, or come very close, with the vehicle at a static (flat on the ground, normally curb weighted) height. Again, the front driveshaft must accept the front U-joint angle that results from proper axle/steering caster adjustment. With its CV-type joint at the transfer case and its longer length, the front driveline seldom creates a problem. The dropped skid plate can help restore the front and rear driveshaft lengths. Start here if the goal is to retain your original driveshafts and not have to install an SYE and CV-type rear driveshaft. See whether you come close enough for a 2"-2.5" chassis/spring lift. Let us know how the joint angles turn out if you do lower the skid plate...Be aware that lowering the skid plate will alter your transmission and transfer case shifter positions. Check for adequate transmission tower and transfer case clearance, proper shifter movement and complete gear engagement. Moses
  7. 53HiHood...Welcome back! Know you're busy with career and projects...The update on the Honda CRF450R motorcycle snow conversion looks like great fun and an alternative to cabin fever! We're getting your storms and similar winter, plenty of snow building in the Sierra. 8.5" of snow here overnight at our high desert east of Reno/Sparks, storms keep coming. The Portland Area has been slammed. Good year to have a snow converted motorcycle! Very good point about needing to raise the engine's coolant temperature. Your bike is still carbureted like my XR650R. That could raise havoc like you share with a cold engine not burning fuel properly. Raw, unburned gasoline will wash the cylinders of oil and quickly cause damage or even engine seizure. Good move with the panels. Everyone should take heed here. My XR650R would have trouble reaching thermostat temp in our current cold with chill factor; it's still in dirt riding mode and parked comfortably until Moab EJS. Amazing that you can track in deep powder like this! How long does it take to make the switch back to dirt/trail mode, including the forks changeout? Moses
  8. JJLike...Thanks for starting a new topic on the Suzuki Vitara transmission. We try to keep troubleshooting and parts interchange issues separated, you were practical. Too bad about the transmission having been run dry. There are minor differences between the 1.6L and 2.0L four-cylinder transmissions, clutch linkage and small parts that can be swapped over if the donor parts are with the transmission. Compare splines, too, before purchasing the replacement transmission. I would have the 2.0L 5-speed out of the vehicle before hunting for a replacement transmission. That way, you can match up the parts needed. The V-6 transmission is different. Avoid the 2.5L transmission for your 2.0L model. If you're looking for a complete transmission unit and direct fit without parts swapping, I would try to find a 2.0L 1999-up transmission. The earlier units were cable actuated clutches. You have hydraulic. Again, the 2.5L transmission will not fit your 2.0L engine and chassis. As for the automatic swap, I would not do it. There are too many donor components needed, including the automatic transmission, flex plate, torque converter, shifter mechanism and console changes, the control module, ECU and wiring harnesses. Not worth the effort in my view. I would sell the manual transmission vehicle and buy an automatic equipped Vitara before attempting the automatic transmission changeover. Moses
  9. All sounds good, William...If the countershaft rear bearing needs a closer look, the design may make it difficult to identify the source. Glad that Crown offers this kind of quality. Thanks for sharing, others will find this information useful when sourcing parts! Moses
  10. Superwinch..Ultimately, the radio power source is the light switch, but if you're not having issues with other lights like the dash lamps, my approach would be checking for voltage and a stable ground at the radio's light lead. First access the harness plug at the radio, then use a volt-ohms meter and check the input voltage for the dash light circuit at the radio. If you have a good, stable voltage source here, rule out the hot lead side. See whether there is a ground issue (too much ohms resistance) between the radio to chassis; also check for resistance at the ground feed to the bulb. If there is a specific ground lead at the radio, test it for continuity to a good ground source. You're looking for resistance (ohms) on the ground circuit. If the radio face bulb has an actual ground lead on a pigtail, test ground resistance to a good chassis/body ground point. In a 12V system D.C., the ground is just as important as the hot side's integrity. If this is a pigtail and there is adequate voltage and a good ground reading, suspect the bulb itself. As a prudent move, I'd replace the radio bulb(s) anyway with the radio already out. Summing it up, with an intermittent problem like this, I would suspect that there may be a ground issue or loose connection. In the day, when automotive radio lights were just a common dash bulb, we would test the bulb socket for looseness, as the socket shell was the ground. Your radio face uses a bulb(s) as well, and you can test the bulb's ground and hot lead. You need to remove the radio and face plate to access the bulb and its leads. If you think there is a broader ground issue on the Jeep, test your ground-to-body for ohms-resistance. This can be done with a volt-ohmeter. I'd check directly from the battery's negative post to a body grounding point like at the firewall. You can test from the battery negative post directly to the radio chassis, too. If you do need a wiring schematic still, this a '97 Jeep TJ Wrangler? I can provide the chassis to radio lighting schematic if you can't access one. Obviously, if the problem is internal to the radio, bench tests of the radio and repair soldering might be necessary. Tackle the simpler possibilities first. Moses
  11. Good research, Joseph! Sounds like front axle/differential engagement is involved, you've narrowed down the relationship between the dash light and front axle engagement, the relay and so forth. An axle/differential disconnect system will reduce axle shaft and differential carrier rotational drag. The aim here is to improve fuel efficiency and, indirectly, reduce wear on the front drive system when in 2WD mode. Let us know what you find, you're on the right track and troubleshooting strategy. Moses
  12. William, it looks like a lot of thought went into this build and application. Your observation about the spring over perches is apt. I like the high steering linkage for both anti-bump steer (a serious goal on short wheelbase CJs!) and control. You also have the benefit of very well protected linkage. The size of the tie-rod tubes and the steering box brace indicate serious off-road intentions. The only concerns would be basic: the quality of the axle shaft work, specifically the spline cuts and heat treating on a quality base metal. Short of discovering the shop that built the custom shafts, you can assume that this was done right by the condition of the splines and integrity of the shafts after service. Looks good so far! Moses
  13. William...The usual choice for these axles is either Scout II or Jeep J-truck and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer. Grand Wagoneer uses a track bar, there would be a remnant scar where the bracket fits the axle housing if the bracket were removed. J-truck is a possibility. Scout II is a high likelihood considering the build. Typically, one side (the long side) front axle tube gets shortened with these retrofit upgrades. Both Jeep and Scout II have a wider track width than the CJ Jeep. This should narrow down your search and help I.D. these parts. Look to Warn and other freewheeling hub manufacturers for outer spline count data and parts interchange. As a footnote, brake rotors and calipers might be a tip off. What application are the brake rotors and calipers? Scout II uses 5-on-5-1/2" bolt circle wheels like the Jeep CJ. Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and full-size Cherokee often use six-bolt wheels, depending upon model years. In the disc front brake era, Jeep FSJs are commonly 6-bolt wheel rims. This is why Scout II open knuckle, disc brake application has been popular as a Dana 44 to Jeep CJ conversion. Moses
  14. No restrictions...Blowing through the filter or applying very light compressed air pressure should be enough to diagnose a problem. Make sure you apply air in the same direction as the engine normally draws air through this ventilation filter. Do not reverse air flow during the test...This could damage the ventilation filter. Moses
  15. JJLike...Welcome to the forums...The light not operating at the dash panel could be related to the front axle's hubs not engaging. The front axle shafts need to rotate for a signal to occur. If the hubs do work properly and the light still does not come on, it could be the 4WD bulb in the dash, or it could be the wiring circuit from the transfer case and front axle engagement switch to the dash. What makes you believe the front hubs are not engaging? The automatic locking hubs engage when the front axle shafts begin rotating and delivering power. When you engage 4WDL or 4WDH, the front driveshaft and differential in the front axle should deliver power to the front axle shafts, which will cause the hubs to engage. If the front driveshaft is turning under power (a function of 4WDH and 4WDL), then the hubs should engage and pull the vehicle forward. If the front driveshaft and front axle/differential are okay, and if the two front axle shafts are both rotating, the hubs should engage. Otherwise, there's trouble with the hubs. This test should be run on a safe vehicle hoist. Torque and dangerous moving parts could cause injury. Moses