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Moses Ludel

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About Moses Ludel

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    Administrator

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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. Update: Tire changer coming from within the U.S. and will be here within a week...Expect some video clips thereafter...I'm excited and see this as a sensible investment despite the front end expenditure. Our youngest (eight years old) grandson sold his grandmother on the deal. He did a count of our rolling stock tires on the property: 23 automotive/4x4 and trailer tires plus six dirt/dual sport motorcycle tires. 29 "perishable" tires will help amortize the in-house tire shop's start-up costs over time. Of course, with his reasoning ability, Grandson Camden will be rewarded. Money saved by DIY tire changing and balancing can go toward his college education. Moses
  2. Thanks for the update, BadDriver4x4! The objectivity and stark reality of your shared experience is helpful to others. Toyota vehicles are generally well built and at one time were distinctly the best vehicles on the planet for longevity and dependability. Many vintage Toyota pickups, FJ 4x4s and SUVs made it to the "300,000 Mile Club". Models worth noting: the 1979-85 4x4 pickups and the earliest 4Runners with beam front and rear axles, any of the original FJ and DJ 4x4 series trucks and SUVs with solid front and rear axles, and those derivative Lexus (Land Cruiser) badge vehicles with solid front and rear axles. These were rugged, truck-based chassis designed for the global market (including primitive roads in Asia, Africa and Australia). Beam front axles were far less troublesome and easier to maintain than later IFS models. Fast forward to Toyota's unitized body SUVs, and they are often no better than any other manufacturer. I would pit a 4.0L Jeep® XJ Cherokee 4x4 against any Toyota 4WD SUV for longevity and least cost for maintenance or restoration. The downside with Toyota, Nissan and other Asian and European SUV manufacturers has always been the cost of OEM replacement parts. Beyond filters and routine service parts, Toyota chassis, powertrain, axle and sheet metal replacement parts rank among the highest priced in the U.S. auto/truck market. I was a die-hard fan of the Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 in the eighties and nineties and built/restored/upgraded three of these 4x4s. Two of my FJ40s were built as magazine and book projects. The second project was a joint venture with BTB Products and became a SEMA Show display vehicle. I stopped building Land Cruiser FJ40 project vehicles when I realized the disservice it was to encourage wage earning 4x4 enthusiasts to build up a vintage Toyota Land Cruiser. The parts costs to fully restore or build up an FJ40, relying upon OEM Toyota parts, was two to three times higher than a comparable Jeep® CJ or Wrangler model. Moses
  3. Thanks, Mike...The remote tire changer idea worked...surprisingly stable, some incidental flex with the big tires, but the beam remains resistant to force. Key was 0.250" wall on the 2-inch tube. The remote use was the best "takeaway". This machine is ideal for Honda Civic, Prius and motorcycle tires. The adapter for moto wheels is high quality. I'm looking forward to receiving a semi-automatic tire changer at the end of August. There's a 20-30 minute video pending around that machine, a great sequel to the sweat and wrestling of a human-power tire changer and pair of Ken-Tool tire irons. To be continued! Moses
  4. Mike...We've been hitting the high 90s/100, but this is the classic "dry climate", less intensive than your neighborhood...I did a lengthy video on manual tire changing, picked a nice 95-degree F day to demonstrate wrestling with 10-ply/LRE tires and big tire irons on a tiny changer. Proved it could be done—for what that's worth. Had to edit out the mature audience language from the video clips...Roasted my butt off, you can see the sweat dripping onto the wheels as I tug and pull irons. Interesting segment is the fabrication/modification I made to the manual tire changer, made a 2"-square receiver adaption, turned the machine into a trail or moto pit portable tire service unit: https://www.4wdmechanix.com/change-tires-at-your-shop-or-a-remote-site/. Moses
  5. In my Jeep® CJ Rebuilder's Manual: 1946-71 (Bentley Publishers), I discuss and illustrate how to upgrade the spindle bolt arrangement on vintage Jeep® Spicer closed steering knuckle front axles. I received this note from a friend who is restoring a 1971 Jeep CJ-5 Renegade V-6 model with the 27 front axle. This exchange is useful for owners debating whether to upgrade the knuckle/spindle bolt design and how to approach the upgrade: Eric's Question: "Good afternoon, Moses. Quick question. I am doing a full nut and bolt restoration of a Renegade 1 to Jeep showroom condition. It will not be rock crawled, and will see mostly fire and Forest Service roads plus one or two drives a week to work...Would you go through the process of spindle bolt reversal in my situation? Thank you for your thoughts in advance.” My Reply: "Eric...What year is the Renegade? (1970-71?) Is your question relating to a closed knuckle Dana 27 front axle and the use of button head Grade 8 hardware screwed outward from the inside of the knuckle—as I describe in the Jeep manual? I’m guessing that you mean this stud modification for a closed knuckle front axle. There is a benefit because the OEM bolts go into cast iron knuckle threads. The tensile of iron castings is low when compared to fasteners/bolts with higher tensile. The knuckle threads will pull out before graded bolts fail. Installing “manifold” type (double thread end) studs and nuts is also no solution: The studs will pull out the cast knuckle threads just like bolts do. Button head studs, installed from the inside/out, will shoulder against the inside of the casting and cannot pull through it. These knuckle threads are vulnerable to pulling out of the casting when 1) the bolts loosen, 2) tires are oversized with negative offset and wide wheel rims, and 3) “bouncing” on a rough trail or whoops overloads the spindles. (You have none of this planned.) Wide wheels and big tires definitely increase the odds of pulling these spindle/knuckle threads. If you keep the stock arrangement, and if the knuckle threads still have integrity, make certain the OEM style bolts do not loosen. Wire tying the bolts, a military protocol, is one solution. Also, if you do have weak threads, go to Time Fastener at https://timesert.com and get a kit to properly repair the threads. Don’t bother with Heli-Coils, they are way too weak and work poorly in this application. If all the threads in the knuckle were Time-Serts, the risk of pulling threads would be dramatically reduced." Continued from Eric: "Thank you for the reply, Moses. Yes, that is what I was referring to. My Ren1 is a Mar 71 build (about 450 units before the Ren II's started rolling off the line). Even though the knuckles are in perfect condition, given their age it would probably be in my best interest to do the modification since I am replacing everything with new in the axles (seals, bearings, races, bolts etc.) I will re read your section in the rebuild manual on this subject again before I attempt it. Thank you again for taking the time to answer this silly question...Looks to be a very easy and straight forward modification. No worries thanks to you. ;)...Thank you Moses. McMaster-Carr is what I am going to use." My Reply: "Not a silly question, Eric…On a Rubicon Trail run in 1989, driving an FJ40 Land Cruiser project vehicle, a fellow four-wheeler and personal friend from Reno ripped an entire wheel assembly (backing plate/spindle/wheel/tire/brake hose, etc.) off his vintage Jeepster’s closed knuckle 27 front axle...The Jeep had a 350 V-8 and 33” tires. Bouncing through a “V” of solid rocks, the outside tire tread making only partial contact, his aged front end let out an unforgettable snapping sound. We spent the next 10 hours driving in the Land Cruiser to Auburn for recycled parts then back to restore the front axle on the trail...If/when you do this approach, be certain the button head screws are high-grade. You will need to grind/surface (minimally) the knuckle casting where some of the button screws seat. Otherwise, some screws will not be able to seat well...The casting was not created with machined flats at the inside ends of the thread bores. You’ll figure this out once there." My Footnote/Reply with Details: "You can do it, Eric! I use a die grinder with a 3/16” or ¼” cylindrical carbide bur to grind a minor amount of knuckle casting where the button screw seats. On the Spicer 25 knuckles, there were only a few areas of the casting that needed to be flattened slightly or shaped enough to allow the button to seat better. The idea is to have the square seat of the button head screw fit securely against the casting and not just catch an edge of the button. Remove as little casting as possible to accomplish this. If the button fits firmly, that’s plenty. If you have a die grinder, a carbide bur tool works well. I buy the less expensive Atrax brand burs at MSC. You’re grinding on the cast iron knuckle, not the hard button head screw. Iron casting is relatively soft. A Dremel tool would work with the right attachment. The Dremel is less expensive than a die grinder and bur. The die grinder is much faster, and a bur will last longer. Here is info on oxide alloy button head (hex socket) screws at Fastenal. I have attached a PDF with grading details. (I highlighted the ASTM F835 rating in this case, quite high.) These screws are available in the length(s) you need, this is an example, see catalog pages for other sizes. Pick the thread pitch/size and length you need, make sure it meets the ASTM F835 rating: https://www.fastenal.com/products/details/24104 In 1970, I turned 21 and had a passion for the new Renegade V-6 CJ models! Would have bought one if my income bracket had been higher at the time. Settled for restoring a 1950 CJ-3A that I purchased the year before at San Diego…So pleased that you’re doing this restoration! What work have you done?" Grading Details (PDF) from Fastenal. Use this grading guideline whether buying from Fastenal, McMaster-Carr or MSC: ASTM Mechanical Properties Inch Fasteners.pdf Eric updated that he has ordered these parts and tooling from McMaster-Carr. Before ordering fasteners, verify the correct bolt/screw thread length needed for your knuckle/spindle and the individual screw locations. I use toplock (crushed head) style Grade 8 nuts for this application. The 3/8"-24 (SAE fine thread) screws that Eric ordered are a reminder why the OEM bolts pull the threads out of the knuckle. Fine threads, though stronger in most applications, are a recipe for failure in an iron casting:
  6. Moses Ludel

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    Both beautiful, Monty! Nice tribute to our flag...Moses
  7. Understood...I have a daughter and her daughter, my granddaughter, who carry on the tradition! Great values to instill, especially a work ethic and appreciation for the outdoors and self-sufficiency...The best gift for a daughter—or son! Our three boys know this lifestyle, too.
  8. Hi, Monty, thanks for joining us! I looked at the mount, it has a "classic" appearance and is well constructed. With oversized tires, I always run a bumper/frame-mounted swing away tire mount. This places weight at the rear frame instead of sheet metal. Your wheel/tire package is not terribly heavy, but the load on a tailgate or a side-mount to sheet metal would be significant. There is also the issue of loosening the hinges and rattling the tailgate...I would use a swing-away, frame/bumper mount spare carrier...My view. Moses
  9. Fantastic, Adam! This is family recreation at its best...Great locale, looks like the highest point in the area! I have many friends and colleagues from my work with Mopar, they four-wheel at the Upper Peninsula and Canada...Your Willys looks terrific...So, fun! Moses
  10. During the Covid-19 stay-at-home order, I took stock of the tools and work I can perform at my shop. Tire service stood out as the only remaining sublet task. As a teenager in the sixties, I serviced tires at gas stations and later as a truck fleet mechanic. After graduating with honors from the University of Oregon during the midst of an Oregon economic recession, I found myself fortunate enough to land a job at Schmunk's Tire Service in Springfield, Oregon. I fed our family by busting passenger car, light truck and logging truck tires, adding another notch to my work resume. To be fully self-reliant in a Covid-19 pandemic, or for any other reason, I decided it was time to bring tire service into our shop/studio. Working with Gaither Tool Company, I found some sensible equipment solutions and discovered a variety of innovative tire tools. For details on my findings, go to the magazine's search box and enter the keyword "Gaither". See how I quickly eliminated 40 mile trips to the tire store. Here is the 46:30-minutes video coverage on dismounting and mounting tires. See how I modified a Gaither 12772 Manual Tire Changer for portable work, mating the changer stand to a receiver hitch. This setup is optimal for 4x4 outback overlanding or changing motorcycle tires at a motocross pit: Enjoy the video and consider a manual tire changer for DIY work at your shop or trail use! For our larger 37" tires on the Ram truck, there's a power tire changer in our near future. Moses
  11. ahmichigan...If there is a bearing number on the Crown part, the rest is simple. Bearings are on an international sizing standard. You can find a replacement, or even an improved upgrade/heavy duty bearing, at a major bearing supplier's catalog online. (Try Timken, SKF, NSK, Federal-Mogul, etc.) Simply use the interchange chart or conversion table at the catalog. Moses
  12. Mike...We need to talk over coffee at some point...Much more to our bios, many similar experiences to share! Moses
  13. Wow, Adam! This changeover is involved. Can see where this went. You now have a heavy duty bellcrank upgrade! Moses
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