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Moses Ludel

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Everything posted by Moses Ludel

  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


    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
  14. Mike, aren't the Jeep vintage vehicles great for repro parts! The rear bumper will work well, amazing that the market is still supported at this level. As for the unused lock tab on the bearing, that's on par. Our neighbor up the block has a JK Wrangler Unlimited built to the nines for the Rubicon Trail and hardcore wheeling. He has aftermarket Dana 60 front and rear axles that cost a small fortune. The manufacturer (name withheld to prevent a pissing match), went off on its own tangent with the full-floating front hub bearing arrangement. The design, two nuts without a key way-indexed thrust washer placed between the inner nut and the outer wheel bearing, guaranteed that the nuts would work loose at some point. They did. At the left side of the vehicle, the right hand thread nuts and thin tin lock plate came loose. There was no stack height on the stubby aftermarket spindles to install thrust washers. I am a stickler for OEM engineering as a baseline. There is a Ford OEM application prototype (F450 live full-floating front axle) that offers the correct thrust washer, nuts and lock tab sequencing. Unfortunately, the aftermarket manufacturer decided that off-roaders would like a stubby spindle with no stick-out like a stock Ford spindle and hub; this meant no room for an OEM type key way indexed thrust washer, an inner adjuster nut, a lock plate and an outer lock nut. Two nuts jammed against each other with no inner thrust washer does not work when the weight of a vehicle pushes the hub bearings outward, directly against the inner nut. The left side nuts (right hand thread) and flimsy lock plate came loose. Many companies are more concerned about product liability insurance than proper engineering. The owner shared the issue with the manufacturer, this was clearly a safety issue, and the concern fell on deaf ears. If I wanted Dana 60 axles under a Jeep, my first stop would be a recycling yard for Ford F350/F450 prototype beam axles. Cut and relocate the spring perches. Save $5000 per axle. Moses
  15. Mike...Ah, more things in common! Though northern Nevada has been home the majority of my life, we spent five years at the Eugene-Springfield-Oakridge Area while I attended U of O. We returned later for a four-year stint, and I completed the Jeep Owner's Bible, Ford F-Series Pickup Owner's Bible and the Chevrolet & GMC Light Truck Owner's Bible (Bentley Publishers) at Oakridge. I continued writing columns and tech features regularly for magazines plus a weekly column for the Portland Oregonian. A close friend (Kirk Rogers) from Oakridge retired recently from a career that began during his high school senior year at Pope & Talbot (Oakridge). He went "off the hill" to Georgia Pacific (Springfield), then finished as a millright and superintendent for Cascade Pacific Pulp at Halsey. They did a $15M renovation just prior to his retirement. Great background in each of your cases. What the three of us share in common is preventive maintenance. My earliest years as a professional wrench were spent as a light- and medium-duty truck fleet mechanic working at the engineering department of a large general hospital. We had resources, my supervisor was quality oriented, and I was able to do by-the-book work, which suited me well. Stakes were high, and my goal was zero breakdowns with a fleet of 22 service vehicles. Preventive maintenance is the only way to achieve these goals, work must be done properly...I've been at this professionally for 52 years, and to this day, knock on wood, at the personal level we have never been stranded alongside a road or in need of road service. I can see that your work environment is high stakes, too, a hugely responsible job and career! So, let's be academic and textbook with this CJ-3B. A single nut is sufficient on the bellcrank pinch bolt. The pin is clamped with the split casting, which provides some degree of tension. A self-locking, all steel nut will suffice. I'm not a fan of nyloc nuts, perhaps you have a different opinion from your jet aircraft background. Nylon fasteners deteriorate from atmospheric stresses, high heat, load stresses and chemical reactions. I'm okay with the older Willys slotted tension nuts like your bellcrank pin uses, though this nut design is now a specialty and more difficult to source. In modern hardware, I like the high-grade, deformed head (toplock) nuts; they hold torque settings well and remain resistant to loosening through their service life. You work with high-end machinery and vibration. What are your thoughts? Moses
  16. Mike...I worked at gas stations in the sixties when many of the left hand thread wheel studs were still in service. We were cautioned to loosen carefully and look for an "L" (often on the head of the studs) at the left side of the vehicle. I also owned four vintage Ford (pre-1948) vehicles in my early teens before joining the '55-'57 Chevy crowd. If thread type was overlooked, snapping older studs could easily occur with a hand cross wrench. I could see the fresh breaks at the broken studs. Yep, live and learn. When replacing the studs, fortunately, Jeep aftermarket sources are the last to offer left hand threaded wheel bolts for the left side of the vehicle; you can find them from Omix-ADA, Crown, Quadratrac, Dorman, etc. If you're curious, here's what a pain it would be to replace studs on vehicles as new as early sixties Chrysler cars. Goodson makes this cutter primarily for the larger numbers of early Ford vehicles that use swaged studs to cinch the brake drums to the wheel hubs. Your studs are not swaged; they do not crimp the drum to the wheel hub: https://goodson.com/products/swedge-tools Here's an excellent article and set of photos on an early Ford wheel bolt installation, quite a job, be glad you will be spared this cost and time: http://www.fordgarage.com/pages/swaging.htm I thought the washer stack looked high on the bellcrank pin. Glad you had an easy fix there. Is there a reason for the double-nut on the pinch bolt? Can you replace these two nuts with a single Grade 8 toplock (all metal "deformed" crown) nut? Fastenal and Hillman produce these nuts, a hardware or fastener supply should have them in stock. Pleased to share these tidbits and glad you were not offended by my observation about the wheel studs. I tried to be tactful... Moses
  17. Hi, Mike...Looks like the LF wheel studs snapped off. This happens likety-split (especially with air tools) when unsuspecting folks do not realize that the left side wheels and hubs on vintage Jeep, Studebaker, Ford and Chrysler vehicles are left hand thread. Fortunately, Willys/Jeep did not use swaged wheel studs and drums. Swaged studs require special tools (Goodson Tool Company) to replace properly. If the hub holes are not wallowed, Willys studs can be replaced readily with an arbor or bottle jack press. As for the brake drums, the previous owner talked about a mix of M38 and CJ3B parts. Is that an issue here? The wheel bearings require end play and not preload like axle differential bearings. Specifications for adjusting the M38 or CJ-3B wheel bearings can be found in the FSM for your Jeep. An excellent book that covers CJ-3B through early CJ-5/6 Dauntless V-6 applications is the reproduction/reprint of the 1965 factory shop manual. Here is one (new book) source: https://www.themotorbookstore.com/jeep-service-manual-sm-1046.html I teethed on these manuals and have this book plus a shelf full of vintage Jeep factory parts and service manuals. To this day, I consult these books regularly, they have each paid for themselves many times over. Adjusted properly with the outer lock nut torqued, a front wheel/tire (lifted safely off the ground) held at the 6/12 o'clock position should have a specific feel when adjusted properly. After a fresh bearing pack and new seal: "...shake of the wheel will be just perceptible and wheel will turn freely with no drag". The adjustment steps are outlined in the manual (page 337) available at the link above...Later model vehicles use a true end play method, attaching a dial indicator to measure the precise thousandths of an inch end play while pushing and pulling the wheel hub inward and out. Looks like you needed the bell crank kit!...You're moving along. I see that you're using the OEM pin nut. With the new washer in place, it appears that the nut is not turned onto the threads far enough for the pinch top to do its self-locking job. Did the kit provide a self-locking nut with a thinner profile? Moses
  18. Understood, Mike, by all means take your time and do your homework. This engine does need an oil pump from these photos, which is normal and on par for the age and wear. A Melling high volume upgrade pump would be a cost effective solution. The Melling parts will work with a stock or new aftermarket timing cover...Research it. Moses
  19. Mike, snoopy2x is right on about the demand for adequate oil volume (i.e., pressure as well). There is a less expensive, fully functional alternative to the more expensive TA Performance pump: The Melling "High Volume" Pump Kit for Buick V-6 and V-8 engines: Melling Part Number K-20IPV (that's an upper case "I" letter, not a "1"). This kit uses a spacer plate that raises the oil pump end plate height to provide room for two longer oil pump gears, springs and small parts. This is the pump kit I used for my 231 V-6 build for the 1955 Jeep CJ-5. (I did the same approach on our 1987 AMC/Jeep Grand Wagoneer's 360 V-8 with a Melling High Volume Pump Kit for AMC V-8s.) The solution is ingenious; simply extending the oil pump cavity height and providing longer gears will increase the volume of oil between the pump rotors. Pressure can be adjusted to your needs with the choice of springs provided in the kit. The cautionary part of this pump installation is the centering pins for the spacer plate. The plate must index precisely on the timing cover/pump housing. These two pin holes must be drilled correctly, which is not an insurmountable task but one that requires patience and proper alignment. Failure to align the spacer with the timing cover gear bores will result in gear drag. As for your timing cover issue, if there is oil pump bore wear (common for Buick and AMC engines with this kind of oil pump configuration), you might as well get a new timing cover. Regarding the original cover, if it is a necessity or practical to repair it, I would use the Time-Sert repair method. The thread drilling and tapping kit and stainless inserts are not cheap, but the precision tools can be reused many times. I never use Heli-Coil repairs on this type of project. Here is the Time-Sert method performed on one of my critical aluminum thread projects where I saved the cost of a new motorcycle outer case: https://www.4wdmechanix.com/how-to-time-sert-aluminum-thread-repair-and-upgrade/. Your timing cover is similar. If you use a Time-Sert repair, you could set the insert with a quality two-part epoxy then even epoxy a graded stud rather than bolt into the case. The water pump gasket would actually seal around either a bolt or stud, so setting the insert with epoxy would be enough, allowing use of a removable OEM type bolt to secure the water pump. This comes down to whether the oil pump cavity is in good condition and the cost of a new timing cover. Despite the hole punched through the blind hole casting of the cover, the water pump should not seep coolant if the pump gasket is a Felpro type with impregnated sealant and you use pipe/thread sealing Teflon paste (high temp automotive type) on the water pump fastener threads. As for snoopy2x's suggestion about a Cloyes doubler-roller timing set, that's my approach as well. Good suggestion and safeguard that will last for the engine's normal lifespan. Moses
  20. ahmichigan...The larger pin size, bearing improvements as snoopyx notes, and bracket mass increase are obvious, looks like a significant gain here. This pinch bolt and pin bolt nut will do the trick. The combination with self-locking nuts should keep parts in place! Moses
  21. oryj94...AN lines are top drawer but consider my other suggestions if AN is too costly. The forums are too time consuming at this point for the limited sponsorship. Video production demand is up. I may consider a subscriber/member blog down the road if sponsorship is available. There is a large amount of searched material at these forums, traffic is high. Guests and members will continue to have access to these archival resources. However, postings and exchanges will be on hold, there's simply no time for it. I'll send you an email access to help you through this project... Moses
  22. martin_xj...I have a good friend with a coil-on-plug 4.0L TJ Wrangler, he had the mystery P0301 code, too. That's a common false code with many possibilities. His turned out to be the one below if you haven't made this remedy under the Mopar TSB. What draws me to this possibility for your problem? The back pressure may not cause a great power loss, but it could be heating the engine in the locale that creates the problem below. This is the remedy described in a Mopar TSB: REPAIR PROCEDURE: 1. Cut insulator sleeve, p/n 56028371AA, to make two (2) insulator sleeves about 25-30 mm (1 in.) in length. 2. Install one sleeve around injector #3,with the slit on the upward facing side of the injector. Install the other sleeve with the slit on the downward facing side of the injector. 3. Confirm sleeve is flush to intake manifold surface around injector. 4. Check injector #3 wire and ensure that the injector is rotated to a 2 o'clock position (from driver's side of vehicle). In my friend's case, his engine acted up after parking and a heat soak. Once cooled down, the problem went away. When you drive the Jeep as hard as you describe with the exhaust system in place, it may create the engine heat that triggers this trouble and code. The other idea that comes up is the downstream oxygen sensor, especially with limp mode, but you're not throwing that code. Moses
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