Mercedes-Benz Forum - View Single Post - Pre delivery musings, anticipation, confusion, etc
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Member
Date registered: May 2009
Location: Near Oxford, UK
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Thumbs up Pre delivery musings, anticipation, confusion, etc

Dear all,

Last week we dropped the hammer and agreed to purchase an ex-Bundeswehr U1300L with the OM266 motor. We are currently awaiting it getting registered, MOT'd, etc, for UK. Should take 4-6 weeks they said. Then it's time to go pick it up and start building a camper outta' it.

This means that I'm now sitting here twiddling my thumbs and thinking about what I can do in preparation of its arrival. I thought I'd share my thought in the hope that you might have some input on it. If something has been extensively discussed before and you don't fancy answering it again, just tell me to search for it. This is sort of a semi-social thread mixing facts, information, and generic thoughts.

Pick up.
The truck is 2.5h away on the motorways, at car-speeds, so I thought that I'd ride my motorbike up there and have them load it up on the flatbed so I can drive the truck home. I have no idea how I'd get the bike down when I get back home, but I'm sure it'll be solved somehow. Maybe I'll let gravity fix it.
I was also going to take some stuff with me so that I can keep an eye on things. I was going to bring the infrared thermometer so I can check the temperature of the portal axle hubs. And probably some hub-oil and tools to top it up. Any idea where I can find out what oil I need to get, and what tools I need to top the axles up? Anything else I should bring with me?

Axle breathers
Talking of axles, I've been checking out the axle breather kits. AV has got one that's quite cheap (very relative term when it comes to Unimogs, innit?! ), but they don't have the reservoirs?! The one from has got the reservoirs, but they're twice the price?! Then there's Von's, but they're not for the U1300L (435)? Any other ones?
I was actually thinking of fabricating some myself. As far as I can tell, I need some stainless steel pipe, some plate and some tube. Some banjo bolts and washers. I've got a TIG (and a MIG) welder, so that part is no problem. Or am I trying to over do it?

Whilst in that region, we're thinking of fitting new tyres from the get-go, so we'll get a bit lower rpms for the cruising, but above all, I don't want to start fabricobbling stuff and then find out I've made the tolerances around the wheels too tight and I'll have to re-do stuff.
At the moment, we're thinking that 365/80-R20 is "big enough", but also economical (to buy) enough, light enough, and easy enough to get hold of, and doesn't screw up braking or anything like that. Are we on the right track with this? Also, is there any tyre brands and/or types to avoid.
We are thinking of buying used tyres for now. The 'Mog will probably stand quite a lot for its first year or two with us as we'll be building the camper.
I've had a few reads on the forum about tyres, but what I have managed to remember is just confusing, and I've probably just forgotten most of what I've read.
Please feel free to post a pic of your setup and tell me what tyres and sizes you've got, so I have some reference about what it would look like. Thanks!

We've ordered some used manuals, so we should be able to fumble through most of the stuff we need to do when it comes to taking care of the 'Mog. However, I have no idea what tools to buy. We've got regular 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" sockets and spanners to go with it (along with a lot of other tools) but we don't have any large tools, or super long breaker bars. I also don't think our torque wrench goes high enough to torque the wheel nuts or anything like that. My thoughts was that we need to get a 1" socket kit and a "large spanner (wrench)" kit, and a long breaker bar and a torque wrench that will handle the wheel nuts and those things. Does that sound decent? Any thing else?
Oh, and we were also going to get a set of axle stands and a hydraulic bottle jack.

As we will probably end up having the spare on the roof of the truck cab, I was wondering if I should fabricobble a crane with an electrical winch on already at this stage. That way I could use it to lift our motorbikes up on the flatbed, and all other things that I might need. When the camper is built I'd relocate the mounting hardware to a suitable place, but for now I'd probably stick it to one of the front corners of the flatbed. I would make it detachable/demountable/foldable/etc so it can be stored away. Does anyone have any tips on this? What sort of winch should I use for it? Anyone built anything similar? I remember seeing a company that manufactures cranes, but I can't remember the name at the moment, and I'm pretty sure I cried a bit when I saw the price.

The vehicle
When I test drove the vehicle, I noticed the 4 to 5th gear shifting was a bit of a problem, so i was going to change the oil in the gearbox as soon as possible and then check out that the linkage is working as it should. If you have any recommendations on what oil (in UK) we should get and if you have any tips on how to change it, that'd be much appreciated.
I also noticed on the paperwork (the German army document we got with it) that it's a 100kW/134bhp engine, yes, it's an OM366 and there is a turbo under the bonnet (hood). I thought the turbo OM366 engines were 130kW/177bhp? How did I miss that? Can we tweak our engine to give more power? Should we have someone do it for us? Anyone know of a company that would do that near Oxford-ish in UK?
Other than that, the vehicle is very tidy, and has got very little surface rust in the cab. We are paying way too much for it, but through hard experiences we've learnt in the past that paying more for a good vehicle and recovering from the financial burden takes less time and effort than trying to bring a lemon up to scratch.
So we're now hoping that it is as good as it looks and that we weren't just fooled by some new paint. We're obviously not expecting to buy a brand new vehicle, it's 30 years old (we don't know the exact age, btw).

I was also thinking that it's probably a good idea to change the windscreen seal as I don't want it to start rusting there. I'm sure there's a bit of rust, but I'm hoping we'll be catching it before it's got too bad. Any thoughts, tips or tricks on this?

Anything else I can prepare whilst waiting for the vehicle?!

Attaching a pic...

Looking forward to your comments and
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