Four Wheel Drive Moke

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4XMOKE
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Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Wed Apr 10, 2013 22:28

The story to date is rather long and contorted, this is a version in brief.........
I've always had a fatal fascination with technical things, there more complex and less likely to work the better!
I came across a prototype Austin Ant gearbox, four wheel drive for minis (sort of) it's not quite that easy, and this one was made worse by not having a compatible rear diff with it.
After much deliberation as to what to put this 'box in to get it working, I decided that a Moke was the only realistic option. I looked for an MOT failure requiring new floors as I was convinced I'd have to do a fair amount of cutting and rearranging to get the mechanicals in. Despite extensive searching, I found nothing suitable.
The 24 hour ferry trip to IMM'95 in Sweden put me in close proximity to Roger Hill who was intent on raiding Australia's stock of Moke parts and redistributing them over here. I enquired as to the availability of used body shells in Australia and on the strength of four polaroid pictures (no internet then) I bought a March 1980 Californian Moke body. Six weeks shipping time later, my project took a major leap forward as I trailered my Moke home.
I stripped the gearbox to bare cases and with an empty engine block on top of it, offered it upto the body shell. Despite the engine on the Ant being tilted backwards by 15 degrees, it all looked like it should fit without much cutting to the Moke at all. But I needed a matching rear diff......
After in depth discussions with JKD, a price was agreed to manufacture a crownwheel and pinion to match the transfer box, the diff housing I would make with the guts of it being standard mini.
Whilst saving up the required funds, Neil Tusson from Canterbury called me up to bring my attention to a full set of Austin Ant running gear for sale, for little more than the cost of the proposed crownwheel and pinion, and this would give me a spare gearbox and the rear radius arms. I was having it no matter what!
When I eventually got to speak with the owner of these parts, I found he also had the Ant body. I thought oh no, I can't rob it for parts, it needs to stay together. Until I saw it! The body was missing it's doors, screen rail, tailgate, bonnet and B post, what was left was crumpled down to sill level, scrap. Somewhat relieved not to be destroying an important prototype, I eventually paid half of what the crownwheel would have cost, result!
Masses of bits I had, time I had none. All this was mothballed for several years until pestered by long time mini friend Ed Simms, I thought I'd better get it all back out and try to make something of it.
This is where the story takes an unexpected turn......
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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grantourer
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by grantourer » Wed Apr 10, 2013 22:37

Sounds brilliant, when do we get the next instalment?
Regards, Graham & Judith
1981 Aussie Moke
1989 Portuguese Moke
1992 VW T3 Multivan LLE No 2113

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4XMOKE
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:10

As soon as I get a minute. That piece took four attempts, the first version was just way too long, you'd still be reading it now! It also laid the blame for this all squarely at the feet of several moke club and mini club members! They got off lightly.....
Stand by
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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4XMOKE
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Thu Apr 11, 2013 21:22

........I now had one prototype Ant gearbox, one complete set of pre-production Ant running gear, a very bent Ant body that I fortunately kept for reference measurements when I started fitting bits to the Moke. With all this in the workshop I thought I'd better read through all my notes on what was what, what needed making, what needed sourcing etc. It also occurred to me that it wouldn't be a bad idea to speak to the two people that I knew already had Ants and to try and locate the other surviving Ants that I'd heard rumours about previously.
First chap had sold his but gave me the new owner's details. Second chap had done the exact same! None of my other leads got too far until I met with the other two. We had a bit of an Ant fest and compared notes, pictures, stories and contacts. Between us we have now located, or accounted for fifteen of the original twenty four Ants produced. The most interesting point from my perspective was that there was an Ant in a fairly poorly state that might possibly be for sale.
Now, my intention was to build a four wheel drive moke with a gearbox from an auto jumble, that got a bit easier with the parts from the Ant.
My Ant body was damaged down to sill level, the Ant for sale had lost it's floor but was ok above that. Temptation was just too much, I hadn't had plans to rebuild an Ant, but this was just too good to pass by. I now had a distraction from the Moke!
I was a bit worried when I bought it that there was insufficient transmission parts to continue with the Moke, and with the prospect of another Ant saved it wouldn't be right to use parts on the Moke that really should be on the Ant. Oh well, back to a standard Moke then!
Piece by piece, I've been going through the available parts seeing what's serviceable, what's worn or bust, and what's missing. Good news, enough parts to continue with the Moke, and build the Ant.
The Moke presents challenges, a lot of them! But the Ant, now that's a whole other case and deserves a write up of it's own, which will follow once I've written sufficient about the Moke.
I've now had the Moke and transmission for roughly eighteen years, time is getting on and the project isn't, or hasn't. This is how it stands at present. 1980 Galvanised shell completely bare but with all covers, grill, screen rail and bonnet, no welding required. Serviceable Ant transmission only requiring a propshaft of the right length to be made. One shortcoming of the Ant transmission is that it's only three syncro, I'd certainly like to convert it to four syncro and if I could achieve that it would make sense to go to five speed to make motorways comfortable. Not an easy modification as although the internals of the four speed are the same as a mini, the casing and linkage are distinctly different (pics to follow). I have a moderately tweaked 1300 engine to go in it, nothing too special, just enough to overcome the drag of the transmission!
The building blocks are all present, it's the myriad of smaller parts and fittings that I'll have to get during the build, lots of them!
If current plans play out, the Moke will sit about 40-50mm higher than standard, other than that it shouldnt look too different, until you get underneath or open the bonnet. The whole idea is to produce a "what could have been" Moke, not to make an ultimate off roader. All these parts were available to BMC/Leyland and so it could have been tried, but never was.
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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4XMOKE
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:49

The biggest single question before I take the project any further is suspension. We all know that Mokes use subframes with rubber donut suspension. Relatively short travel and not what you could class as over pliable! The Ant is a different set up all together. No subframes, steering rack integeral to the gearbox! long travel, very pliable torsion bar suspension. Basically, the whole engine/transmission/front suspension bolts directly to the body, albeit with some pretty big rubber bushes. The rear diff bolts directly to the body as do the radius arms and torsion bar, no rubber mounting at the rear at all.
Ants are not renown for being the most pleasurable of vehicles to drive, especially when distance is factored in, as the Moke is being built as a family fun vehicle that could well end up being driven all over europe the suspension could make a huge difference to road noise and comfort. Decisions, decisions........
I do like the way Leyland Australia built the shortened down rear subframe on their prototype 4x4 Moke, simple, but clever. The problems for me would come at the front end in trying to get the Ant transmission into a subframe, elephant into a mini springs to mind, it just won't go no matter what velocity you launch your elephant at!
I can quite see this project going through several developement stages, you can guarantee which ever option I go for won't really work and once driven I'll have to change it to the other, there is a law governing that process!
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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grantourer
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by grantourer » Fri Apr 12, 2013 16:05

Hi, why not look at some of the Honda/Vauxhall conversion subframes. ther might be some inspiration from them.
Regards, Graham & Judith
1981 Aussie Moke
1989 Portuguese Moke
1992 VW T3 Multivan LLE No 2113

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4XMOKE
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Sun Apr 14, 2013 18:49

I have no problem designing and fabricating a subframe if it's required, what I am having trouble with is deciding whether to use mini based suspension with rubber donuts (a more Moke like ride and handling but limited travel) or to use all the Ant suspension with it's much longer arms and torsion bars (much longer travel but it won't handle anything like a Moke), both ways have benefits and drawbacks.
One of the biggest problems I face is getting the exhaust into the tunnel. The rear of the transfer case follows the angle of the toe board and fits up to within an eighth of an inch of it, it's about nine inches wide and ten inches high, it covers the full font of the tunnel opening. On the Ant the exhaust routes out through the inner wing and along the sill, the sills are sloped and there are no panniers as on the Moke. I don't want to hang the exhaust down bellow floor level or have a stack up through the bonnet, or run inside the offside pannier. There will be a way to sort this, I just haven't found it yet, I think it will come when I start jigging things up and finallising positions of components.
When I figure out how to get pics and text posted up together it'll be a lot easier to understand the complexities of this installation.
There's nothing easy about matching Ant and Moke together!
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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4XMOKE
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Sat May 11, 2013 22:01

The decision has been made........ To attempt to install the Ant transmission into mini subframes rather than try to install the Ant suspension complete.
Although this has it's own set of nightmares to overcome, it does meant that the Moke will still handle and drive like a Moke. If I fitted the Ant suspension, it would no doubt be a better performer off road, but it would loose the characteristics of a Moke. I shall at some point have a complete Ant so I can see no point in having two vehicles with the same characteristics. The other hugely valid point is that mini subframes go straight into the Moke and are a good starting point from which to assess mounting points and figure out what needs modifying and making.
Taking pointers from the Australian 4WD Moke for the rear subframe and making things up as I go at the front should be distinctly quicker to produce than trying to use the Ant suspension, therefore a working trial attempt shouldn't be too far off timewise. A pair of used subframes have now been procured to allow battle to commence and once things are tested and proven the final version will use new subframes modified accordingly.
If anyone has good photos of the rear Australian 4WD Moke subframe please post them here.
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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Tim
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by Tim » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:17

I have some pictures of the Quadra Moke's rear subframe (Spider probably has heaps), but I'd guess that you really want pictures of the factory 4WD not the quadra?

Tim
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4XMOKE
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:56

Tim, I have some ideas for the rear subframe, but as Leyland already went there I'd like to figure out any pitfalls to save time. I have one or two pics of it but not really enough to conclude what they did and why.
Any pics of the Leyland Australia 4x4 moke rear subframe would be useful.
I have at last made a start on the front subframe by hacking into a scrap one to see what can be done. Shoe horns and lube at hand!
Pics when I have something useful to show......

Roger
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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Tim
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by Tim » Tue Sep 24, 2013 0:01

Roger, the only pics that I'm sure about are ones you've seen Image
Image
Image

I vaguely remember seeing some other ones - much older in and B&W - also of a car on a hoist but can't remember where now.

Tim
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Tim
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by Tim » Tue Sep 24, 2013 0:18

Here they are, 'borrowed' from Swemoke's blog, I wish I knew where he 'borrowed' them from originally. I do remember seeing them in an old book or magazine.

Image
Image

Tim
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4XMOKE
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by 4XMOKE » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:01

Tim, thanks for the effort and posting those. You're right, I've seen these before. What I really need is some side on profile shots without the wheel on. I like the idea of the shortened trumpets but have some concerns as to the mounting position of the donut. Anyone else got any pics of this please?
Roger
My other car is a Moke......
My other Moke is an Ant....

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swemoke
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by swemoke » Thu Sep 26, 2013 20:32

Tim wrote:Here they are, 'borrowed' from Swemoke's blog, I wish I knew where he 'borrowed' them from originally. I do remember seeing them in an old book or magazine.
Tim pictures is "borrowed" from the book Mini Moke Ultimate Portfolio pages 68 and 69 8)

//Thomas

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Tim
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Re: Four Wheel Drive Moke

Post by Tim » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:56

Ah yes, I'll have to find my copy. That's a good collection of 4wd moke stuff in your blog Thomas.

Tim
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