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  #21  
Old 11-19-2019, 10:29 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cu4whln
Soo .. I am thinking of this exact route. you have a build thread somewhere? My Chero is an original 401 rig .. all original.. BUT - I am thinking of selling the engine/trans/chassis off and doing this. Thoughts ?
Yeah, my build is in my signature. For the time, effort, and money I have in my rig and I have a 3 speed auto, old brakes that are just about adequate, a transfer case that is unsupported (QTrack), and it is not really that reliable. For the amount of money I have in my rig (probably close to $5k for engine, efi, and other work in my thread) I could have gotten a wrecked truck to swap chassis. That nets a whole lot more than just a 300hp/400lbft 401. It nets a 6 speed auto, better brakes, newer/supported transfer case, newer steering, etc. then sell the chassis (401 goes for big bucks alone) and that helps offset the cost.
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  #22  
Old 11-24-2019, 09:58 AM
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cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
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Location: Canton, Mi USA !
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Yeah, my build is in my signature. For the time, effort, and money I have in my rig and I have a 3 speed auto, old brakes that are just about adequate, a transfer case that is unsupported (QTrack), and it is not really that reliable. For the amount of money I have in my rig (probably close to $5k for engine, efi, and other work in my thread) I could have gotten a wrecked truck to swap chassis. That nets a whole lot more than just a 300hp/400lbft 401. It nets a 6 speed auto, better brakes, newer/supported transfer case, newer steering, etc. then sell the chassis (401 goes for big bucks alone) and that helps offset the cost.

Thread Hijack.. sorry. I have read your thread before of course. Well, I think I am headed in this direction.. sort of. I am thinking of the infamous LS / trans route in the original frame. Full chassis swap is a major undertaking. Not sure I am up for that these days.

I am planning to tow our old camper on a 6,000 mile trip with the wife. Need reliability, tow power and ease of repair if required. Don't need to worry about break downs on a 6 week road trip. Some areas of RT 66 are pretty bleak these days. I found out Novak makes an adaptor to put a Dana 300 behind the 480 trans. That way I can keep the pass side drop axle.

Now back to the normally scheduled build thread . . .
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1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness" [Sold]
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2005 Unlimited Rubicon - Built
2001 XJ : Driver 2016 JK 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief

Round 2- LT Swap: 'Da Chief:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=188457

"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2019, 08:36 AM
blauvelt blauvelt is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Nov 19, 2019
Location: TEXAS!
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[quote=melford1972]

A fine machine Mr. MeLford, the contrasting belt line trim really makes the prairie gold pop. Looking forward to your impending build thread.
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2019, 10:58 AM
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lkmarsh lkmarsh is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Nov 21, 2008
Location: Modesto CA
Posts: 1,217
Love the early build threads, too. Frame swap makes sense to me. The donors have fuel tanks
at the back of the frame? I'll be watching this.
My 69 had no stainless or vinyl on the sides, and the roof rack was long gone. So was the clock, nice score there.
Yours is the first shifter I have seen with the top release button, the others
all pull to the left to release. Tilt wheel?
Mud89, beautiful maroon color, I have the same GM mirrors, and are the turn signal clear covers aftermarket? They look great.
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Seemed like a good idea at the time...
69 1414x Wagoneer 350/TH400 DD & Ski Ride
68 Chevelle wagon 350/BWT50
68 Impala wagon 327/400
73 Cougar droptop 351C/FMX Garage Queen
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  #25  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:05 PM
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melford1972 melford1972 is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jul 31, 2019
Location: CA
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiserjeeps
Great find. Looking forward to the swap and outcome. I have a 69 X model in of course avocado mist ser 301289. I should probably get started on it soon.
Nice to see another X.

Thanks, Kaiserjeeps. When I'm done, it'll be no Sadie, but I'll still try to make you proud. I'm already referring to your thread a TON. Thanks for documenting all of that. You start your X yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rang-a-stang
Sweet ride!!!

If I were to do this again, I would buy a totaled RAM 1500 4WD, shorten the chassis and do an entire chassis swap. Since you mentioned mostly GM stuff, maybe get a Tahoe or Suburban and do a chassis swap. It would cost alot less in the long run.

Rang, I seriously considered going this route, but think I’m still going to run with the 5.3 Vortec swap into the original chassis for two reasons:

1. I read a build thread where someone went this route and they ran into issues with alignment and fitment of things like the steering column/brake pedal and the Jeep firewall and dash. When it comes to fabrication, I’m a relative noob, so that scared me away.

2. I want to keep this truck as close to original as possible so that if my son ever want to “undo” the swap years from now, he can go back to the original engine/trans. As I mentioned, I’m a recovering Mopar guy (and they are ALL about numbers matching down the individual hose clamps). So maybe there’s some of that in there too…

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkmarsh
Yours is the first shifter I have seen with the top release button, the others
all pull to the left to release. Tilt wheel?

Lkmarsh, yeah, it has the tilt column. But someone snapped the turn signal indicator off inside of it. Hope an EZ Out will get it out easily. Didn’t know that about the shifter. When I switch to the 4L60E transmission, I’ll figure out what I’m going to do about the shifter then. Shift pattern is different than on the TH400, so I’ll either grind a gate in this shifter or go with something custom and try to get it to look stock. Cross that bridge when I come to it.

So, it’s been a while since I updated. Life has been getting in the way, as it has a tendency to do sometimes. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and is enjoying the Holidays.

This morning I said goodbye to the blue 72 Wagon that this one will be replacing. Felt kind of strange watching it headed down the street on a trailer after all of the time and work I put into it, but it’s headed to a good new home where it will be loved and driven.
IMG_3723 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

So last weekend I finally got a chance to go up to Central California (where I’m from) to spend some time with the New Jeep. I live in SoCal, but will be doing most of the build up there. (Place to store it, a good excuse to see my mom, dad, and childhood friends more regularly, etc.)

Here’s what I found:
IMG_3633 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

IMG_3632 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

IMG_3628 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr
Console lights even work!

The supposedly “dead” motor ran for most of the day (more on that later). It was kind of nice to be able to drive it around for a bit with the original motor. I took it by a few shops in the Visalia area and got a range of prices. Settled on a good shop that is going to do the bodywork and respray the entire truck for me in prairie gold. They do really good work (concourse level), but they also know that I’m looking to build a driver, so they didn’t try to sell me a crazy paint job that I will be stressed out about dinging. AND they had a yellow J20 IN THEIR PAINT BAY that they had just finished spraying earlier that day. I took that as a sign.

The floors are in good shape! The weatherstripping is completely shot and the windshield is cracked, so the truck leaks and the carpets were soaked. But lo and behold when I looked under the carpet, things were surprisingly clean on the passenger side. And on the drivers side, someone had already cut out and replaced part of the rotted floorboard. So that’s one less item on the to-do list.
IMG_3637 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

The body is in worse shape than I originally thought. The rear quarters and inner fenders are completely shot (which I knew), but the rear end had also been in an accident. So bodywork is going to be more extensive than I thought. Good thing I’m not going too crazy on the paint. And there’s also a place where the driver’s side front quarter is bowed out — looks like a tire blew out or something and messed it up. The body mounts mostly looked okay though.
IMG_3645 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

IMG_1220 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr
A little bit of frame damage. And the spare tire is missing — which is okay because that's where the gas tank is going to go.

The wiring harness is a MESS. Which is what I expected. I've never rewired an entire car but looks like I'm going to get to learn.

The suspension needs to be completely replaced, which I knew. But once I got under it and looked at the leaf springs, I couldn’t believe how de-arched they were. Crazy what 50 years of sitting can do.
IMG_3644 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

I’m not a big fan of closed knuckle front axles, so I found a front Dana 44 from 1979 NT Cherokee. I will be converting it to 5 lug so I can run the stock rims and regearing it.
IMG_3687 by Geoff Ledford, on Flickr

The rear axle has 3.31s, so I’m undecided if I want to just regear the front to match that, or if I want to swap both front and rear to 3.73s. I won’t be wheeling this thing (mostly driving it on fishing trips, which means freeway and fireroads) so 4.10s aren’t necessary. Anyone have any advice/experience with gearing for an LS/FSJ?

And then right before I tucked her back into storage, something in the drive train broke. White smoke came from under the truck (although not from the exhaust pipe) and the headlights started to flicker. Initially, I suspected the head gasket. But popped the hood and the transmission dipstick had popped out of the filler tube (wasn’t like that earlier in the day), so maybe the torque converter blew up? (But that doesn't explain the flickering in my mind.) In any case, it was late, dark, and cold, I didn't have time, patience, or tools to dig into it, and I’m going to yank the motor/tranny anyway. So I let it cool off for a few minutes, started it up again (success!), and put her back into storage.

So now that I have a better idea of where I’m starting, the plan is to go up in early January, pull out the motor/transmission (which I’ll hold onto), and get the engine bay ready for paint.

Last edited by melford1972 : 12-19-2019 at 06:01 PM.
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  #26  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:33 PM
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rws31 rws31 is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Dec 10, 2016
Location: Florida
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If your a recovering Mopar guy then you have to go Hemi power.

I am considering a Hemi swap into our 88 Ramcharger but the passenger side drop front shaft also throws a monkey wrench into that. I believe, haven't confirmed it yet, but I think you might be able to replace the input shaft in t-case of a pass drop of a 241D case with the one from a drivers drop newer 241D case so the pass drop case will bolt onto a 545rfe trans behind a Hemi. Both are 23 spline and the only difference I can see is the output shaft length on the 545rfe vs the A518rh/727.

All my info on this is on my old laptop. I could dig it out, need to anyway, and try to find it. When I was ready to do it, I was going to contact a reliable transfer case builder to see if this was possible.

If I had not already had all the drivetrain, ours would have a hemi cause I too am an old Mopar guy. I'll be watching.
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89 GW, 454, 700R4, 241C, 411's with posi's, 9" rearend, 2500 stall, lifted, and lots more to do.
1988 Ramcharger
1999 International 4700 Crew Cab 4X4, custom step side bed
2003 Durango 4x4
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2008 MB E320 Bluetec
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  #27  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:09 PM
lkmarsh's Avatar
lkmarsh lkmarsh is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Nov 21, 2008
Location: Modesto CA
Posts: 1,217
3.31 gears will work with your trans and stock size tires, but you won't like towing with them.
Bigger tires, overdrive trans, and towing or mountain driving, better off with 3.73 gears.
When I wired my 69, I replaced everything, one circuit at a time, starting
with a newer fuse block. Relays for the tailgate, headlights and fog lights.
If you do this you can get rid of the rat's nest hanging off of the ignition switch.
Be very careful with the connector on the back of the instrument cluster, the pins will pull out if not.
Happy Wrenching!
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Lyle

Seemed like a good idea at the time...
69 1414x Wagoneer 350/TH400 DD & Ski Ride
68 Chevelle wagon 350/BWT50
68 Impala wagon 327/400
73 Cougar droptop 351C/FMX Garage Queen
04 Impala LS - Wife's DD
73 Wagoneer parts donor

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  #28  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:16 PM
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babywag babywag is offline
out of order
 
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If you plan on a 4l60e with that LS swap go with 3.73
I put 3.73 gears in my caprice wagon and was perfect choice.
Had I gone with less would have been disappointed I think?
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  #29  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:57 PM
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rws31 rws31 is offline
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Location: Florida
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With stock tires, I'd be tempted to run the 3.31's. I'm not to familiar with the power of an LS but if they have the torque and power that everyone rants about, they might be just fine. You already have the 3.31 so why not give it a chance if your not planning on much towing. 3.73 will be good for power but at what cost to MPG. Stock tires to me would be no more than a 3.54 gear.

A 28in tire with 3.31 gears with a .70 OD will put you at about 2000rpm at 70mph
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89 GW, 454, 700R4, 241C, 411's with posi's, 9" rearend, 2500 stall, lifted, and lots more to do.
1988 Ramcharger
1999 International 4700 Crew Cab 4X4, custom step side bed
2003 Durango 4x4
1982 CJ7 4 banger
2008 MB E320 Bluetec
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  #30  
Old 12-19-2019, 08:31 PM
Kaiserjeeps's Avatar
Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
304 AMC
 
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Location: Mooseville Northern Idaho
Posts: 2,456
I am excited for this build. I too put in a Dana 44 converted to 5 lug in place of the Dana 27 closed knuckle. I am looking forward to seeing you move ahead. It is to bad that it will be so far away from home. That can be a hindrance and can require careful planning before heading up to work on it. And no I have not started on my X yet. I am up to my eye brows on an engine conversion in an old John Deere bulldozer. My old engine had several cracks in the block and is now an anchor. I am messing with a big yellow snowball. After this, a little work on a guest bedroom. Then I hope to move the X wagoneer to the shop. But I will be watching your build thread here for motivation. Just looking back through the pictures really makes me want to get moving on it. You have a really good starting point. It does not look bad at all.
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Am I done yet?

Holy Moly, I am done.....

Most users ever online was 656, 06-30-2007 at 09:50 PM.
I was there! Still waiting for my Tee shirt...

1969 1414X Wag,
71 project J truck FOR SALE
1970 J truck long bed bed FOR SALE
1970 Wagoneer Not Sadie
1983 FJ60 wagon
CJ-5's
83 CJ-7 excellent shape FOR SALE
And soon... Another M715! echo... echo...
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  #31  
Old 12-19-2019, 09:31 PM
melford1972's Avatar
melford1972 melford1972 is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jul 31, 2019
Location: CA
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiserjeeps
I am excited for this build. I too put in a Dana 44 converted to 5 lug in place of the Dana 27 closed knuckle. I am looking forward to seeing you move ahead. It is to bad that it will be so far away from home. That can be a hindrance and can require careful planning before heading up to work on it. And no I have not started on my X yet. I am up to my eye brows on an engine conversion in an old John Deere bulldozer. My old engine had several cracks in the block and is now an anchor.

Wait, what?

An engine conversion in an old John Deere bulldozer?

That is some next-level stuff right there... Next thing you'll be telling us that you're restoring an Alvis Stalwart.

Yeah, it kind of sucks that the yellow Jeep is so far away. But EVERY build has constraints of some kind — whether they're time, budget, or whatever else. The distance is just something I have to work with. And no one is holding a gun to my head so I don't have to be in a rush. If this takes 2 years to build the way I want it, so be it. I've got time (and a very patient wife) on my side.

Thanks everyone for weighing in on the gears. The new front Dana 44 has 3.07s in it, so I have to at least change that. So I will probably just do them both and just be done with it. I plan to run a slightly larger tire and will be doing quite a bit of steep mountain driving. (I used to work in Sequoia National Park and spend a lot of time up there during the summer.) Appreciate everyone's insight.

Last edited by melford1972 : 12-19-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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  #32  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:09 AM
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bkilby bkilby is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Jan 10, 2016
Location: Burbank Ca.
Posts: 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by rws31
I am considering a Hemi swap into our 88 Ramcharger but the passenger side drop front shaft also throws a monkey wrench into that. I believe, haven't confirmed it yet, but I think you might be able to replace the input shaft in t-case of a pass drop of a 241D case with the one from a drivers drop newer 241D case so the pass drop case will bolt onto a 545rfe trans behind a Hemi. Both are 23 spline and the only difference I can see is the output shaft length on the 545rfe vs the A518rh/727.




Sorry to hi jack. Send me a PM rws31. I have the pass drop 241D you need.
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  #33  
Old 12-20-2019, 12:58 PM
Kaiserjeeps's Avatar
Kaiserjeeps Kaiserjeeps is offline
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Join Date: Oct 02, 2002
Location: Mooseville Northern Idaho
Posts: 2,456
And I thought an Alvis Stalwart was an old tractor!

That is the coolest video ever

I wish!
__________________
-----------------------
Am I done yet?

Holy Moly, I am done.....

Most users ever online was 656, 06-30-2007 at 09:50 PM.
I was there! Still waiting for my Tee shirt...

1969 1414X Wag,
71 project J truck FOR SALE
1970 J truck long bed bed FOR SALE
1970 Wagoneer Not Sadie
1983 FJ60 wagon
CJ-5's
83 CJ-7 excellent shape FOR SALE
And soon... Another M715! echo... echo...
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  #34  
Old 01-24-2020, 10:38 PM
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melford1972 melford1972 is offline
230 Tornado
 
Join Date: Jul 31, 2019
Location: CA
Posts: 10
Progess!

So last weekend I finally got a chance to get up north to do some wrenching on the truck. The trip from San Diego to Visalia was eventful (connecting flight from LAX to Fresno was delayed for 4 hours, so I hopped in a rental car with two total strangers and hauled @$$ over the snowing Grapevine right as the CHP was getting ready to shut it down)... But that's probably for another post, or maybe a travel message board.

On Saturday, the job was to yank the Buick 350, radiator, heater box, blower motor, and most of everything else (minus the brakes) out of the engine bay. I took lots of pics.


Starting point, after pulling the hood off. Just look at that wag sag! My best friend from high school (that I still talk to a few times a week) helped me get the motor out ... a testament to trucks and friendships that endure the passage of time.


Somewhere along the line, someone swapped the intake and carb. I don't think Edelbrock was OEM in late 1969.


Found this lady perched between the engine block and the firewall. In this pic, you can't really see the red hourglass, but it's there. Fortunately, I think the PO hit her with some bug spray, because she was dead. Still pretty scary looking though.


Everything was going smoothly. Too smoothly. Bolts that I figured were seized backed right out after just a tiny bit of PB blaster. (Fan clutch bolts were stuck, but only for a few minutes.) So I started to get nervous. And then when I got to the last bolt on the bellhousing (which OF COURSE was right under the tranny breather/lines) we found this little surprise. One of the POs (I think I'm number 4?) replaced the regular 5/8 bolt (tools I had) with this — a hex head bolt. And guess what was literally the ONLY tool that I didn't have?

You can tell from these pics that we were working in a shop, but all the mechanics' tools were locked up for the weekend. And we didn't want to drive all the way back to town to get more tools.

Fortunately, my buddy that was helping me had a quick idea. I found the 5/16" allen key that fit the bolt (not enough leverage to make that bolt budge and not enough room to add a pipe/handle for leverage) and we found an extra 5/16" socket. A quick cut-off wheel and a few tack welds and we were back in business.






After unbolting the engine mounts (which were suspiciously loose), we had it ready to come out.


Moment of truth!




Getting the heater core and blower out was almost the hardest part of this whole thing. To this day, I pulled a screw out of the firewall on the inside under the dash and I have NO idea where it came from. (It was kind of hard to see what was what due to the factory A/C.) I went back over and over and counted the holes and the number of bolts I ended up with and I swear I ended up with one extra. Maybe I'll figure it out when I'm putting it back together?


As I was putting the hood back on, I noticed this color under the Prairie Gold. And once I saw that, I could see it peeking out from under the paint elsewhere too. Maybe this is primer? Or maybe this was a factory respray? (Looks suspiciously like a green color to me, and most 1414X came in Avocado mist.) Anyone have any insight here? Made me curious, so I snapped a pic.


Crazy to see how much the dead leaf springs re-arched as soon as the engine was out of it. I was thinking that when it's all said and done, that's just about the right stance for the build I'm doing.

And that's where she'll sit for a few months. My wife and I are due to welcome our second child into the world in a few weeks. So I'm going to be home-bound for the next little bit. In the mean time, I'll be taking care of a newborn, trying to manage a toddler, and looking at this thread and counting the days until I get back to work on her.

Last edited by melford1972 : 01-24-2020 at 10:44 PM.
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  #35  
Old 08-13-2020, 09:41 AM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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you back on the road these days? How's that rig treating you?
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11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
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