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Moses Ludel

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About Moses Ludel

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  • Website URL
    http://www.4WDmechanix.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    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. Sounds like a plan...Getting your ducks in a row. Researching the legal constraints.
  2. Makes sense...Smoke test is easier than using a vacuum pump. You can pinpoint the leak location visually.
  3. Donor vehicles are a crapshoot. Ideally, you'll find a wrecking yard with the vehicle you need. Timing seems to dictate success with finding these parts.
  4. Ian, I sensed there is a professional side to Graham Hill. He's been in front of the camera quite a bit and shows it. Nice solo job with the YouTube coverage of the Holland Track. I'll make a point of checking out the Australian 4WD Action programming... "Harry" the FSJ has a job cut out! Your outdoor travels are remote and require a vehicle in top shape—plus lots of planning and preparedness...The Simpson Desert sounds like a helluva run! Moses
  5. I installed TJ Wrangler Bestop seats in the XJ Cherokee, and they work great. However, they crowd the console and tunnel like you hint. I had to do a lot of work with the sub-frames, including fabrication of "adapter" mounting brackets to allow use of the OEM Jeep floor mounts and slide adjusters. It was ultimately a "bolt-in" after fabricating the adapters, which required welding and use of my Harbor Freight bandsaw. Realistically, lots of work but worth ditching the stock, flimsy Cherokee seats. Explore the later Toyota pickups and Toyota passenger cars. See if you can devise a suitable factory parts swap. It's always easier than aftermarket unless a model specific seat package is available for your year/model Toyota pickup. Then there's the option of rebuilding your original seat frames and having the upholstery and padding upgraded. Moses
  6. Hi, Speed...The 4.0L will swap with a major amount of wiring work, some even suggesting a dashboard change. The Explorer engine and ECM harness, a degree in electrical engineering and lots of time on your hands might see this through to completion. Your carbureted '84 Bronco II chassis raises the bar on the wiring dilemma, even for a 2.9L EFI engine swap. Here's a useful exchange about the swap options and chores. Some comments seem more valid than others: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1004706-85-bronco-ii-engine-swap-what-are-my-opitions.html Would I do it? I'd likely go with a 302 V-8 and aftermarket plug-and-play FoMoCo Motorsports, Painless or street rod wiring harness. The 4.0L V-6 is considerable gain, but a 302 would be substantially better. Improved radiator cooling and other chores, like exhaust modifications and engine mounts, would run up the tab. I have toyed with the Ford 302 H.O. pushrod MPI V-8 as a potential swap into our XJ Cherokee. It's a lot of work and commitment... Moses
  7. Ian, I took the time to play through Graham Cahill's video—twice...This is an incredible work, not to mention a great historical account of the Holland Track. Cahill has it down. I do a lot of video, and his one-man-show videography, narrative and post-production editing are first rate. He uses minimal tools: a light digital/video camera, an inexpensive drone and a selfie stick! His sets are really well done, the meals, campfire, his rabbit cookout, the steak, watering holes, the granite, on and on. Thanks much for sharing this, the aerials give much more perspective to the vastness of that country...Does Cahill do this strictly as an avocational/recreational thing? Is he producing videos for sale or rental? He really should be...The rig is purpose built, he's got the whole package. So, now I get it. When you do the Holland Track, you're on for the ride. Glad your FSJ is in good condition and well equipped. One motorcyclist and a 4x4 each 11 days make for awfully light traffic! Wow, what a great venue... Moses
  8. Quite a Jeep fleet, Ian, much variety as well! The CJs are always fun for recreational use, the FSJ has the right wheelbase and ride quality for highway and all-around use. The Willys makes a great parade vehicle; too much restoration and detailing work to risk damage as an off-road vehicle, though they were workhorses in the day. Willys handling/ride quality is archaic...The CJ5 and CJ6 will handle the beaches well. Next year's charity rally sounds worthwhile for a lengthy outback trip with the FSJ! Over the years, with moves that resulted in less storage space, we've trimmed our approach. The '99 XJ Cherokee has proven to be a tough all-around vehicle. Ride quality is good with the 6-inch long arm suspension and 33" tires, the 4.0L engine with AW4 automatic is a rugged package. I fit the axles with 4.10 gears and ARB Air Lockers, and the vehicle has worked as a daily driver and for highway use, mild off-roading and even as a moderate rock crawler. The latter has been kept to a bare minimum, mostly for publicity shots and filming at places like Moab. The odometer reads 176K miles on this vehicle, we bought it stone stock at 94K. The only fixes have been a new water pump, radiator, brake service, front unit hubs, driveline upgrades, and I just installed a rear main seal and rebuilt/resealed the Saginaw power steering gear. Hot tip on the inline AMC/Jeep rear main seal installation: Use a Fel-Pro main seal and Fel-Pro OS34308R oil pan gasket. Fel-Pro has made the pan installation a breeze with its four plastic expansion studs and a one-piece gasket. I was able to support the new gasket and even a new Dorman oil pan (good product, too!) in place overhead, starting the bolts with no need to hold the pan. (Unheard of, right?) Tossed in a new Sealed Power iron oil pump and Melling screen for insurance at 176K miles. Good cylinder seal and great bearings, original injectors, who's to complain about an MPI/EFI engine? The Saginaw gear bench build went well, you're familiar with this chore. The steering feels as new, the Jeep rides and handles well. I've owned/restored/built up a 1950 CJ3A, 1981 CJ-5, a 1955 CJ-5 (first year) and an '87 Grand Wagoneer. Add three Toyota FJ40 builds along the way: 1971(stock), 1976 (lifted/oversized tires and a 383 stroker Chevy V-8 with SM465 4-speed, and a 1978 with a 383 and NV4500 transmission...Each had its place, the FSJ was my wife's favorite. Moses
  9. Nice work, Ian...and plenty of it! These tubs are vulnerable to rust in these areas. In the U.S., the use of brine/salt on roads has taken a tremendous toll. A NE based company makes TJ Wrangler frame repair sections for repair of the exfoliated, disintegrated box frames! Body sheet metal is somewhat easier to tackle, especially these flat panels. You're doing a great job of it. Are you blasting these tubs? The challenge is seam sealing when they get dipped. I had an FJ40 Landcruiser tub that we completely dipped, and the seam reseal was a major chore. Soda blasting is an alternative these days, and it does not surface harden the sheet metal like glass bead or other abrasive blasting media. It's difficult to work sheet metal after blasting with harder media. What's the long term plan/usage for these restored CJ Jeep 4x4s? The Willys Pickup plans? Do you still get out with the FSJ Wagoneer? Any trips on the horizon? Moses
  10. Gotcha...We have discussed this vehicle over time. The rust at the front kick panel(s) is a deja vu: I had an '81 CJ-5 project vehicle for OFF-ROAD Magazine and my first edition of the Jeep Owner's Bible. It came with similar rust, though not as conspicuous. The paint was exfoliated at that location...Flat panels can be cut out and replaced readily!
  11. Great, Ian...You'll notice a big difference on the CJ-5's handling. Much more stable with that "sprint car" wheelbase! What year CJ-5 chassis? Moses
  12. Very nice rig, Ian...I'm sure this Jeep will provide years of use and fun. The only area to watch on these pre-'76 (U.S. reference) CJs is the frame sectional design. 1972-75 AMC/Jeep CJs have open channel to the back of the front spring anchors, then the frame is boxed. The combination of leaf springs with a rear anchor and the junction of the open channel to the boxed frame sections can lead to frame cracking just past the front spring anchors. Ironically, the earliest 1955 CJ frames followed the M38A1 military frame design and have forward mounted front spring anchors...The '55 CJ-5 featured in my Jeep CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1946-71 (Bentley Publishers) was one such model. Inspect your frame, and see whether the Australian design is similar to 1972-75 U.S. frames. If your frame is intact, watch for cracks and drive with the frame design in mind. A broken or cracked frame is usually due to rocky off-road terrain where the axle and leaf springs drive a lot of force into the front spring anchors. Many '72-'75 CJs have survived without a problem while the trail pounded and V-8 models often succumb to frame cracks. Footnote: Your transmission is a 3-speed; the optional T18 four-speed transmission with a compound 1st gear ratio helps slow the crawl speed and reduces off-road impact. AMC uses a taller 1st gear ratio in many of its T18s; the aftermarket conversion uses a Ford F-truck transmission that has a desirable 6.32:1 compound low gear ratio. Some AMC/Jeep T18s do feature this ratio. One solution is sensibly boxing the C-frame forward of the boxed frame sections. (Fully boxed/plated front frame modifications with continuous weld beads leave little room for flex—and Jeep CJ frames are designed to flex. If fully boxed with plates, the use of stitch or intermittent welds will allow some degree of yield or flex.) Another solution is a "shackle reverse" kit that places the front spring anchors at the front and the shackles at the rear of the springs. The stock, rear anchor layout pushes the front axle down the road by the frame/anchors and leaf springs. With the conversion front anchors, the leaf springs and front axle trail from the frame like the rear axle layout. This allows the front axle to lift more easily over obstacles and also improves on-road handling and steering control. Here is a shackle reverse kit example at Quadratec: Warrior Products shackle reverse kit. This kit fits 1955-75 CJs and does require welding. You'll get the idea... Moses
  13. Hi, Ian...If this had been a U.S. model, it would be a CJ-6, early AMC/Jeep generation at 104" wheelbase. Engine would be either a 258 or 232 AMC inline six with the T18 four-speed or T14 3-speed transmission. Saginaw steering gear (power or manual), Spicer 20 transfer case...Dana 44 rear, Dana 30 open knuckle front axle with drum brakes all around. As a genuine and highly original Australian model (right-hand drive), what is the equipment and powertrain? The Jeep is a rare find and in very nice condition!!! The paint matches well, and restoration of the Renegade decals is unique. A keeper! What was the Jeep's history? How did it remain in such good and original condition? Moses
  14. Stuart...It's all about air volume...The Ingersoll-Rand Garage Mate is great for light air tools, HVLP painting and tire service. It hit the wall, however, when used with the blasting cabinet. Blasting takes a large volume of air and requires a big air tank. At that, even the Air Boy 23 CFM compressor will run intermittently while blasting, which is really a lot of air. The 23 cfm Champion compressor is a beast, so the bead blasting never slows down, even when the compressor is running. I regulate the tank pressure between 125 PSI and 150 PSI, the line pressure is 90-100 PSI. The body shop where this compressor resided for years actually had two large air tanks, the one that came with the compressor and a second tank also filled by this compressor. They had an automatic drain on the compressor and system, which dramatically reduces the risk of the tank(s) rusting out. On that note, I put a Harbor Freight drain on the I-R Garage Mate and need to do something similar (commercial grade) on this 120 gallon tank. I consider myself lucky to have found a big shop grade compressor in good condition. It was used plenty, but not abused, and serviced regularly. There are rebuild kits available for these iron Champion compressor units. If you could find a similar unit, you'd have a lifetime system. Mine is single phase 5 H.P. with a magnetic starter (clunk, clunk!). There are alternatives like the two-stage (not twin-stage) DeVilbiss iron upright unit that I used for years. It had a 230V single phase capacitor start motor and enough CFM for bead blasting; however, it ran at a much higher rpm. That DeVilbiss consumer unit never gave trouble despite rumors that they suck reed valves. I bought the DeVilbiss at Costco in the mid-'nineties for around $800, a bargain in hindsight! Moses
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