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Author Topic: Kudu's Restoration  (Read 448 times)

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moke123

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Kudu's Restoration
« on: June 08, 2020, 12:03:18 PM »
Hi all,

Been a long-time lurker on this forum and have learned many useful things. Getting geared up to begin restoration on my 1980 galvanised moke, so thought it was time to introduce us. I know you guys like lots of photos.

My family and I originally hale from Canada, but having been living in Australia almost 20 years.  We first moved to Cairns when I was working FIFO at the Porgera Gold Mine in PNG. While getting used to the heat and humidity we noticed a few of these fun cars around. I didn't know what they were called, but became a convert. The first moke I saw for sale was a total rust bucket. Then 6 months later, someone just 4 doors down the street put up their moke for sale as they were moving interstate. Car looked great. No rust anywhere.

Asking price was $2,550 unregistered. Got it down to $1,500 plus 2 bottles of good wine!


The previous owners used the car as a promotional vehicle for their surf shop called Planet Beach located in the northern beaches.


I had the car inspected by the local moke guru Darren. He did his job perhaps a little too thoroughly and gave me a long list of items to fix. Needed all new brake and suspension components, seals, sun visors, etc. etc.  Spent $2,800 on parts alone, plus another $1,100 for Darren to replace the clutch and a few other minor things. End result was a car that drove as good as it looked.

Getting stuck into front brakes and suspension




Tools away for the day and ready for a cold beverage...and yes I still have the goatee and a moustache to go with it...


Start em young...


Once the car was roadworthy and registered, the next job was to install a back seat so that the whole family could enjoy moking. I adapted a bench seat out of an old Land Rover I think and had it engineered.


My kids and their friends loved the moke. It was always a big hit wherever we went.

The smiles say it all...


Kudu goes fishing and comes back with a few spotted mackerel for supper

« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 12:42:40 AM by moke123 »

moke123

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 01:34:51 PM »
Kudu in Cairns continued...

One Christmas we took photos of the family with the moke to send back to relatives and friends in Canada while they were celebrating their usual cold and snowy winter.





Ahh, the good old days when Kudu had fresh paint and I was 20 pounds lighter...also note the Planet Beach sticker on the side window and the ghosting along the side pod leftover from where its original promotional stickers were removed.



Kudu moves to Canada...

After living in Cairns for 3 years, my family and I moved to a residential minesite in Mali, West Africa, for 3 years.  That was a great experience for all of us and whole other story.  At the time we left Cairns, we didn't know where we'd go after Africa, so decided to ship all our household goods back to Canada for storage. Our household goods were too much for a 20 foot container so needed to upsize to a 40 foot container. The upside was that there was now plenty of room for the moke and the shipping company only charged an extra $300 to load and secure it.

Once in Canada, my dad decided he'd get the moke registered so he could drive it in the summer. Given the age of the vehicle, it wasn't a problem that the steering wheel was now on the wrong side. My dad then had it registered with Collector Plates, which are cheaper. In order to qualify, the car had to be in an unmodified state and needed a series of photos to show proof and condition. Here is the moke as it looked in 2005 in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.













Collector Plates obtained


At one point while my dad was using the car, the local newspaper did a photo story about him and the car.  Much of the text of the article  was cut and paste straight off the internet, with things like people asking is that car street legal? or did you build it yourself? Unfortunately, I no longer have a copy of the article.

My dad, Ed, in Qualicum Beach.


My dad also took the moke to a show and shine meet of the Old English Car Club of BC. Afterwards he told me that he felt a bit ashamed at the condition of the moke relative to all the other highly-restored cars at the meet. I laughed when he told me and said "Yeah, but I bet you were the only one there with a Moke, and I'm sure lots of people came to look and talk about it". He thought that over and agreed it was true.




In the next instalment, Kudu moves to Perth...

Pete Power

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 01:58:48 PM »
Fantastic history, thanks for sharing.

Happy Mokin
Regards
Pete

1981 Californian 1275 Galv "Mighty Moke"

"Just because you're breathing doesn't mean you're alive!"

Canadian Moke

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 11:41:50 PM »
Keep the story coming!

Canadian Moke.

Halfpint

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2020, 07:38:58 AM »
Great story, Sure has traveled a lot.
HP
The happiest of people don't always have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

moke123

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2020, 09:58:19 PM »
After my family and I finished in Africa, I got a job in Perth in 2007.  The moke got shipped back to Oz from Canada with all our household stuff.  When it got re-imported, the quarantine crew must have used a high pressure spray to remove any possible soil and bugs because a few places where the paint was previously cracked were now stripped back several inches to bare metal.  Needed to be inspected for registration in WA and it passed first time.

The house we bought in the Perth  hills isn't very big, and didn't initially have a garage for the moke, but the view is fantastic and overlooks John Forrest National Park.  Shortly after we moved in, I built a shed/garage for the moke.  Had to squeeze it in between some big trees, so only 4.2 x 5.6m, but still plenty big enough for a moke.  Though as you know, sheds always fill up no matter how big they are!







Used the moke for many trouble-free years to pick the kids up from school, run local errands, and the odd longer trip.  The only thing I remember needing to replace during all that time was the radiator, which split along a seam.

Then came the downfall...long story short, I became mentally ill in 2015 and suffered from severe depression for about 4.5 years.  Around the same time my 17 year old son moved into the shed and the moke was forced to sit out in the elements uncovered for 4 years.  The paint, body and interior copped a real beating.  Then 6 months ago, life suddenly  improved!  I finally got the correct diagnosis (bipolar disorder i.e., manic depressive) and the right meds, and I am now back to the "normal" me. Thank god!  I have since renovated an older shed on the property and my son moved in there, and the moke has been reinstalled in its rightful home.

I have talked about my mental illness for two reasons.  Firstly, so you wouldn't wonder why I was such a numpty as to leave my moke outside uncovered for so long, and secondly to help bring mental illness out of the shadows.  I get the feeling one or two of you on here are not "normal" either!  ;) ;D.  Please don't feel it necessary to make supportive comments regarding my or others' mental illness.  However, if you do know someone with mental illness, or suspect it, please reach out and help them.  It's not their "fault" and is just an illness like any other. 

Anyhoo...this is a moke forum, so back to the subject we all enjoy...

Over the last few months I have begun preparations to restore Kudu and to upgrade his performance and handling for use as a street cruiser. Going to do a full bare metal resto.  The first thing I did was take inventory of all the parts I have been collecting over the past 20 years.  It's a lot.  I have everything I need and more, except for nuts, bolts and a few minor parts.  Will reveal the performance goodies in later posts ;D.

Was sunny today, so took Kudu out of the shed and snapped a bunch of photos of how he looks in his current state.  Overall, he is solid and complete, but paint is peeling and surface rust has gained a foothold. Most of the welds on all of the guard extensions appear to have cracked, and one of the rear guards where the mud flap hangs from is damaged.
























The roll bar has fatigue cracks on the driver's side along the original pipe seam weld and also on the back brace weld.  Hard to see in these photos, but it looks like these same cracks have been rewelded once already in the past.  Considering buying or getting a new roll bar made.  There are also the typical fatigue cracks in the body where the main hoop of the roll bar bolts on.





Next one or two posts will be on things I have done on the moke over the last few weeks, then I'll be caught up.

Halfpint

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2020, 07:18:44 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story Graham, been a few twists and turns by the sounds of it.

The body seems to be in great condition, and the cracks will be fairly easy to repair.
Will you be doing most of the work yourself?

HP
The happiest of people don't always have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

moke123

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2020, 10:18:53 AM »
Thanks HP.  Yeah the body is still in very good condition when you look past the peeling paint and surface rust. Realistically it needed stripping back to bare metal anyway.  I will do as much of the work as I can myself.  My plan is to strip the bulk of the paint using a heat gun initially, then follow with stripper and/or mobile soda blasting for any residue.  Did a small test patch with the heat gun last week and it worked brilliantly.  I have high hopes for this method.  I don't have a welder or welding skills so will have a mobile welder come repair the cracks and fill in non-original holes in the body.  Will do panel beating and mechanical work myself, and possibly have a go at painting too.

Cheers, Graham

Steam

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 12:46:25 PM »
G.Day Graham and thanks for sharing  the story of you and your family and Moke.
Back and forth Canada Australia probably not many mokes have done that.
 I also worked at Porgera  Gold mine, what an experience we all had over in Enga Provence, we usually flew in to Mt Hagan and drove up to the mine but on one occasion I flew out and in to Porgera on the small runway perched on a small plateau half way up a hill. Also remeber the so called illegal miners, locals who were still minig the old fashioned way.
 Keep us posted with you progress.
Cheers Dave.
Cheers, Dave

moke123

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2020, 01:56:06 PM »
Hi Dave. 

Have moke, will travel!  I generally flew into Mt Hagen from Cairns, then caught a 28-man Russian Mil helicopter to site.  I remember the small airstrip you mention well.  We only used it occasionaly, but taking off was down a fairly steep slope with a flat section on the end of the runway. Kind of like an Olympic ski jump.  I never drove the highway from Mt Hagen to Porgera but have heard lots of stories about it.  The illegal miners at Porgera were already a safety and security problem when I was there 20 years ago.  Armed shootings between them and the police...illegal miners falling down pit slopes and getting killed...and one case where they kidnapped one of our dozer operators for 24 hours!  Its gotten even worse since then.  The highlands of PNG are a wild and interesting place!

Cheers, Graham

Steam

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2020, 07:20:05 PM »
G,Day Graham
 I was at Porgera a little earlier than you then, I was there in 1992 1993,  it was a life experience worth every minute.
Kepp us updated with the moke.
Cheers, Dave

moke123

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 10:19:56 PM »
OK.  Going to talk about some of the things I have done on the Moke over the last 6 months up to present in next few posts.  Not necessarily in chronological order.

About 15 years ago, I bought a couple of engines out of the UK.  The first is an MG Metro 1275 with reportedly 59,000 miles on it.  The second was a newly rebuilt 1380 motor, but I don't know how well it was rebuilt so going to tear that down at a later date and check it thoroughly before deciding what to do with it.  I also bought various other parts because they were cheap and would fit in the same shipping crate at very little extra shipping cost.  These included a new rear subframe (because mine is badly damaged), a used twin bolt front subframe (because I want to be able to rebuild the entire subframe, suspension, brakes, and motor as a unit), 4 sets of used disc brakes (because I wanted a set to replace my drum brakes and thought I could make a few bucks selling the others on Ebay), and misc small parts.

According to the factory, the MG Metro motor produced 72 HP (54 kW), compared to the Moke's 998 at 39 HP (29 kW) and 1275 at 54 HP (40 kW).  The MG's increase in performance comes from higher compression (10.5 to 1) vs the Moke's 998 at 8.3 and 1275 at 8.8, good flowing head (through a better factory casting, with apparently 6% greater flow than the Cooper S head), larger inlet valves (33.7 mm), good flowing alloy intake manifold, good flowing cast iron exhaust manifold (apparently almost as efficient as an LCB), and lastly, the sportiest camshaft that the BMC Group ever fitted to an A series production car.

My current 998 has compression values of 90, 50, 50, 90 psi.  Surprisingly it still runs not bad, but then its the only 998 I have ever driven so really don't what it should feel like.  I had at one stage a few years ago pulled the head off.  The head gasket looked fine, with no signs of blowing between cylinders 2 and 3, although one of the exhaust valve heads had a big triangular chunk missing out of it.  Replaced the head gasket and put on a good head that I had. Compression values didn't really change.  Without any further investigation I assumed the low compression was due to rings and/or worn bores.  In comparison, the MG Metro engine should feel like a rocket once it goes in!

About 6 months ago I started looking over the MG Metro motor.  I began by pulling the head off.  Head gasket was fine.  Bores had a bare haze of rust in places but passed the fingernail test.  The tops of the bores had a very slight ridge.  I stripped the head and found that the valves and seats were a bit pitted and some of the valves were a bit loose in their guides.  After humming and hawing and calculating the cost of a full engine rebuild (approx. $2,600 for parts and machining) vs the cost of a head rebuild only ($550 for parts and machining), I decided to just rebuild the head and then try the motor as is.  This goes against my usual inclination to completely rebuild anything mechanical.  However, funds are tight at the moment and I have time on my hands, so took the less expensive option.

Head off to inspect bores


White paper to reflect light, otherwise couldn't see the haze of rust very well to inspect it, even with a torch


Head being disassembled


Timing cover off to replace single row chain and tensioner pad


Had the head machined and replaced the guides and some of the valves.  Reassembled it and put it back on motor.  Sorry, no photos of everything nice and clean before I reassembled it.

I took the pre-engaged starter motor apart and inspected it.  All looked good.  Brushes were fairly worn but left them as is because I may replace the starter with a different style to be able to install a front mounted radiator in future.  Also replaced the metallastic bush on the back of the gearbox where the rod change steady rod mounts (thanks Maddog for the how to).

Next post will be diff rebuilding.  Off for a late supper of pork chops now.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 12:07:18 AM by moke123 »

moke123

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2020, 12:38:27 AM »
When I first inspected the MG motor I noticed that the pot joint shafts going into the gearbox had a lot of play in them.  Both axially (in and out) and laterally (side to side).  There was also a fair bit of slack when turning one pot joint before the other started turning in the opposite direction. Have since taken the diff out and apart.  One of the fibre thrust washers had completed disintegrated and disappeared.  The bronze thrust washers were still pretty good.  The diff pin was worn but not badly.  The side cover bushes where the pot joint shafts run through are badly worn as are the bushes in the crown wheel and diff carrier.  Crown wheel and planet gear teeth look fine.

Plan is to replace the fibre and bronze thrust washers, diff pin, planet gears (good practice), the 4 bronze bushes, and the diff bearings.  The new bushes will need to be reamed once they are pressed in.  Will get a machine shop to do the reaming.

Diff parts still to be cleaned properly and/or replaced


Side cover bush


Crown wheel bush


Diff carrier bush


Wasn't paying attention when using my 3-legged puller to remove the first diff bearing and split the bearing cage :-[ so will need a pair of new expensive bearings as this style is NLA as far as I know!  >:(


At this stage I need to order parts before I can continue with the diff rebuild.

Steam

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2020, 08:39:54 AM »
Sounds like a good plan going on.
You will be pleased with the MG Metro engine, they do go well.
I found that they tend to overheat with a standard radiator and need a bigger option.
Cheers, Dave

Terry

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Re: Kudu's Restoration
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2020, 12:47:43 PM »
Hi,

what ratio is the diff or is it suitable for a Moke?

Terry
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