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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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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 Ubelix.de 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?

Tyres
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!

Tools
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.

Crane
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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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 12:51 PM
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One thing I would suggest about the 4-5 shift, is driver self-training. The gear oil and the linkages are important, but one thing to keep in mind is to not rush the shift from 4-5. You are essentially shifting a non-syncro box at that point, so rev matching and a slight pause in the shift action goes a long way to smoothing out the process.

I've mentioned this before, but when test driving brand new U1650's at the Henne dealership in Martinsrieth, on a warm day in June, the salesman made every shift from 4-5 without any problem. No Noise, no clunk....nothing. When I hopped into the driver's seat, even after he coached me, it took a while before I got the hang of 'The Pause'. He kept slowing me down, and it sounds simple, but it took a while. It was embarrassing, to be honest. He winced. I got it, but not immediately.

I drove 3 brand new trucks, and each one was the same - He was perfect, and I was on a learning curve. That experience, in 3 trucks with no wear on the components, made it clear to me that there is a knack to it.

The 4-5 shift involves a blast of air that shuttles a non-syncro collar across to change the gear range. It has splines, but it is catch-as-catch-can, as far as meshing up, from what was explained to me in Germany. Rushing the shift only puts pressure on the collar, and if you wait and give it a chance to settle into place (sounds odd, yes), you might achieve what the Salesman in the Former East Germany had mastered.

It was a good lesson for me, and the fact that the new trucks would readily grind for me showed that worn or maladjusted components were not necessarily part of the equation.

That was a warm day, in the 70's anyway. If you get down to zero or thereabouts....all bets are off.

Start in 5th.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 01:58 PM
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Unless you have non standard axles Vons breathers fit right up. I have 1990 1300L Ambulance (end of the production run) and Vons tubes bolted right up.

Per the resident Unimog expert in my area (Unimog Center in the US), the army frequently intentionally dented the lip of the windshield channel at the two lower corners with a round rod to allow water to drain out of windshield channel. When I accidently broke my windshield early on in my ownership, things were a lot more crusty behind the rubber than I would have expected but mine didn't have the dents. He imported a couple of others at the same time and I think they had the dents. I did have a few rust throughs and the metal lip was crusty in one corner . I dented the lip but expect not as much as the german techs did. I then cleaned it up, etched the rust, filled the pinholes and hit it with air cured polyurethane. Its been a year and no trace of leaks. At some point I will repaint it and will pop the windshield and see how everything is holding up.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRUKTOR View Post
One thing I would suggest about the 4-5 shift, is driver self-training. The gear oil and the linkages are important, but one thing to keep in mind is to not rush the shift from 4-5. You are essentially shifting a non-syncro box at that point, so rev matching and a slight pause in the shift action goes a long way to smoothing out the process.

---8<-- snip -----

It was a good lesson for me, and the fact that the new trucks would readily grind for me showed that worn or maladjusted components were not necessarily part of the equation.

That was a warm day, in the 70's anyway. If you get down to zero or thereabouts....all bets are off.

Start in 5th.
Yes, I'm aware of this and it's good to hear it again. I'm quite mechanically adept and have a lot of mechanical sympathy, so no doubt I'll get the hang of it (and hopefully my better half too), but I still want to cover my bases and give the gearbox as good a chance to survive. Oil, maintenance and adjustments are much cheaper than a rebuild.

Thanks! Anything else you can think of is much appreciated!
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
Unless you have non standard axles Vons breathers fit right up. I have 1990 1300L Ambulance (end of the production run) and Vons tubes bolted right up.
Brilliant! Thanks for that. I'll have a second look at them. I need to figure out how much I'd be stung on the import duty and all that before I can take the plunge.

I'm still quite keen on building my own kit as I'm a cheapo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
Per the resident Unimog expert in my area (Unimog Center in the US), the army frequently intentionally dented the lip of the windshield channel at the two lower corners with a round rod to allow water to drain out of windshield channel.
---8<-- snip ---
I did have a few rust throughs and the metal lip was crusty in one corner . I dented the lip but expect not as much as the german techs did. I then cleaned it up, etched the rust, filled the pinholes and hit it with air cured polyurethane. Its been a year and no trace of leaks. At some point I will repaint it and will pop the windshield and see how everything is holding up.
That's interesting. Totally new to me. However, I don't really understand where the dents should be and what sort of direction? If you've got a photo, I'd love to see it. Cheers!

Thanks!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:31 AM
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Some Mogs Need axle breather kits, others not. it is a bit of a miracle!

Observe the oil levels and then decide.

You can easily prevent the loss of oil, by means of a hose with a larger cross-section as a vent.
if the diameter is larger than it can bridge the foam bubbles,
they burst and the oil runs back at the edge of the hose.

In addition, some of them have a small expansion vessel
made of gutted gasoline filters looped into the (larger) air vent hose.

https://www.google.de/search?q=benzi...=1561127230130
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MagMog View Post
Some Mogs Need axle breather kits, others not. it is a bit of a miracle!

Observe the oil levels and then decide.

You can easily prevent the loss of oil, by means of a hose with a larger cross-section as a vent.
if the diameter is larger than it can bridge the foam bubbles,
they burst and the oil runs back at the edge of the hose.

In addition, some of them have a small expansion vessel
made of gutted gasoline filters looped into the (larger) air vent hose.

https://www.google.de/search?q=benzi...=1561127230130
Interesting. Thanks! I'm just very afraid that I screw it up once - forgetting to check the levels and they run dry that is - and then the portal gears are all damaged.

Any idea what tools I need to check the level? I am assuming the level needs to be at the lower (larger) bolt (as the upper one is the breather) as per Truktor's post #6, 10 years ago in this thread:
https://www.benzworld.org/forums/uni...iver-gear.html

I really should read through that thread properly.

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:56 AM
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As far as the windshield gasket, rust, drains on the corners, and so on :

Yes, the windshield gasket can be a rust farm. The corner dents are one solution, to a degree. The thing is, the rust can occur all around the perimeter of the windshield, even top dead center, and in my mind, two dents on the lower corners cannot insure enough drainage to prevent moisture from being trapped along the top edge.

The two lower corners are the worst, but not the only problem areas. The cab in general, has a number of rust traps, judiciously spread around to all corners.

So, adding dents has been a technique, and the factory eventually started adding dimples in the sheet metal in the lower corners to promote drainage. The photo of the red truck shows Hellgeth's work in retro-fitting what is essentially the factory dimple. This is a more elegant solution than an Army mechanic with a hammer and a steel rod, but it is also more involved. Photo originally from Scott at E.I., poached without any conscience.

So, I checked some photos of the most recent square cab, and it appears that the factory may have moved on from the dimple solution, and have instead modified the gasket. The most recent gaskets show two notches in the gasket itself. Now, it is possible that these notches are there in addition to the dimples, but in some shots it looks like it is just the gasket .

I kick myself for not focussing directly on that corner when I was in Wörth, crawling all over the UHE parked out front in the display area.I seemed to have taken photos of everything except that. Next time...

So, if it were me, I'd see if the newest gasket will retro-fit an earlier cab, and if so, I'd start with that. A fresh gasket is a good idea in any event - I was surprised to find that my gasket held a good amount of water on the Glass side after a drive in the rain.

Now, anything that opens up the corners for drainage, whether it is dimples or notches in the gasket, also potentially opens the door for water to be force-fed into the gasket channel while driving in a heavy rain. If it can come out, it can go in, I think.

I would see about a new gasket, and hope the MB's latest solution is the best one.

Of course, clicking the photos open will give you the best views.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 02:52 PM
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I went and looked at a number of files on the next-to-the-latest UNIMOG, the UHN. Some show nothing, some show a dimple in addition to a notch in the gasket, and some it is hard to tell what is going on...it is such a small detail.

Because you can see dimples and notches together in some shots, I would not be surprised if that is the one and only solution. It may well be that once MB employed both of them they have stuck with them, and the shots that appear to show a notch in the gasket without a dimple to go along with it are just not clear enough to show the dimple.

Photos are good, but they have their limits.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Truktor, that's brilliant! Thank you for that very thorough analysis. It's much appreciated. I will definitely look into doing this if/when the windscreen comes out for a new seal. I've owned a Land Rover Defender, so I know what a bad windscreen seal can do to the bulkhead to one of those.

So many things to think about. Tools, 100kW engine, cranes, etc, etc, etc. ������

Thanks for all the input, chaps! If there's anything in my original musings that you have some thoughts about, I'd very much appreciate your input.

Cheers!
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