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66' Unimog 404
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey.

I recently bought my first Unimog. I plan to drive it a bunch around town and to trails 20-40 miles away via the interstate, up a pass. I live surrounded by steep hills and I hope to drive it weekly this winter / summer.

I chose the ALH VW I4 1.9 ALH, because:
It fits with minor modifications.
I can tune it to ~160hp / 250tq reliably (bigger turbo, injectors, bigger intercooler & ECU tune).
It's ~134# lighter than the M180, which will compensate for the PTO winch weight and make it easier to lower it in.
It's smaller which allows relocation of accesories from the side to the front.
It's reliable, high revving and fuel efficient (8-23mpg expected).
The wiring harness isn't too difficult if you send the ECU to a tuner and get some of it deleted (key lockout etc).

My concerns:
PTO shaft / engine fit. (It looks like it would fit, but I'll need to find out).
Poor location to work on it. (I live downtown and plan to put the cab, old engine & tool chest on the bed)

This is a big project that I don't have the skills to do. I have some mechanic skills and friends but I'll be learning a lot by doing.

I intend to log my building experience and hopefully others can learn from my success and failures. I hope to get some good advice. I'll be spending most weekends and some weeknights on this until it's done. I expect to take about 60 hours to get it done.


More pictures on the website: https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/paulrossdavidson.com/red/red.html
 

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1963 Unimog 404
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32 Posts
The ALH is a great motor. It is simple, small, and has loads of torque. It I remember correctly, it revs to about 5500 RPM which would result in a nice top end speed. I'm really interested to see how your build goes. I will be impressed if you can get it done in 60 hours.
 

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2015 Rubicon Unlimited (Let the shame be upon me!)
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there is video of a 1.9tdi powered 404 floating around, don't quote me but it might be the PD, and its power curve and revs match up to a 404 very well. Shop up in canada built it and from all accounts it runs around very well. The 1.9 is a great size and shape for the 404 and if I were 404 inclined it would be on my short list.
 

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85' U1300L Holset Turbo VA A/C, 66' Propane 404.1 rock mog, 1975 416 Doka, G500, Volvo C303
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there is video of a 1.9tdi powered 404 floating around, don't quote me but it might be the PD, and its power curve and revs match up to a 404 very well. Shop up in canada built it and from all accounts it runs around very well. The 1.9 is a great size and shape for the 404 and if I were 404 inclined it would be on my short list.
I think at this point any unimog should be on your short list. How long have you been Unimogless


As for the conversion, I don’t see someone with some mech skills and a few freinds pulling a complete conversion in 60hrs. Not saying it can’t be done, but that’s optimistic. Fab and design time to make it all work will take a lot of time by itself. That is unless there is an adapter I don’t know of. If that’s the case I need to know about it.
 

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1963 Unimog 404
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32 Posts
I'm an engineer. I could design and build a conversion kit for this engine pretty easily. The best version would be the ASZ with 129 BHP @ 4000 RPM and 229 lb-ft @ 1900 RPM. Will rev to about 5000 RPM, although the power curve drops of after about 4000 RPM.

Anyway, if someone buys me another 404 I'll develop the kit. GoFundMe?
 

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..... That is unless there is an adapter I don’t know of. If that’s the case I need to know about it.
Something must be in the air. Also just bought a 404 with the engine removed and found out that it was bad and too many parts missing to make it worth putting it back together.

Decided to use a Ford 300-I6 as my project - will open another thread with it shortly but would be interested of any adapter plates.
 

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Unimogs
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They are out there. I have at least one crazy Canadian with some mad skills! This one should be running around Ontario. With the modified TDI and 1:2 overdrive it's a pretty sweet rig. One of these days I hope to get a test drive!
 

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1960 404 and 1970 406
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45 Posts
Just wondering if this project is moving forward? Im thinking of doing a TDI swap also and am very interested in what your useing for adapter plate/flywheel.
 

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66' Unimog 404
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Discussion Starter #12
Just wondering if this project is moving forward? Im thinking of doing a TDI swap also and am very interested in what your useing for adapter plate/flywheel.
The project has been much slower. Work projects, traveling, socializing has all slowed progress down. I've built a gantry crane and the cab is almost ready to come off. I'll post pictures when I have actual progress.

I'm an engineer. I could design and build a conversion kit for this engine pretty easily. The best version would be the ASZ with 129 BHP @ 4000 RPM and 229 lb-ft @ 1900 RPM. Will rev to about 5000 RPM, although the power curve drops of after about 4000 RPM.
Anyway, if someone buys me another 404 I'll develop the kit. GoFundMe?
How big does the 404 need to be? ;)



The ASZ (European) version would be great to have if I could find one in the US. I'm settling for an ALH. I'll put in a VNT-17 turbo, 502 injectors, tune and something something intercooler for ~150-160hp ~250ft-lb. I'll probably put in dual valve springs and maybe some other minor mods while we're in there.
I'm not sold on putting the intercooler in front of the radiator or cutting any part of the body if I can get away with it.

If you want to work together on it let me know, it could be fun to make an alternative for the long gone om617 adapter kit, and set the 1.9 up as the next go to diesel swap.

I might be replacing the transmission. If that happens it might be easier to set up.
 

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66' Unimog 404
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Discussion Starter #13
Engine in the house

I finally bought a cheap TDI Jetta for sale Portland. (dead auto transmission, oil pump leak, bad glow plug) and resold it to junk car removal guys.

I made an error in how long it takes to pull an engine out of a Jetta. I was expecting ~3-4 hours. It took me about 20 hours straight. Level 3 fun was had.

Now it's in my living room.

I've thus far managed to only break one bolt (on a little exhaust manifold heat shield) and striped one valve cover bolt.
I cut a slot through the stripped valve cover bolt. I just need a broader, thinner screwdriver head to fit in it, or a better idea.

I'm compiling a list of parts needed for the rebuild. I'll replace the crank bearings, piston rings, oil pump, timing belt, bolts and whatever else comes up.

I'm back and forth with myself about how much I want to upgrade the engine.
I know I'll get an ECU tune and upgrade the turbo | injectors | FMIC for about 150hp/2xxTQ.
Not sure about a thicker or thinner head-gasket, and if I should upgrade the head bolts or get a bigger intercooler, valve stems, double valve springs, better turbo, tank lift pump.
 

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1960 404 and 1970 406
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Im in about the same place you are,got the motor sitting on a table right next to the mog motor.My son and I measured up everything and drew up the adapter plate on autocad.We cut a sample plate on our plasma table just to check rough fitup and tilted the motor 11 degrees towards the passenger side.I sent the cad file to the machinest today and hopefully in a week or so should have plate back.If it fits up good and the degree of tilt is correct then I need to draw up a new flywheel and have that machined or I may try to use our lathe to cut it myself.One thing im stuck on is the starter,we need a reverse rotation starter from the vw one since our starter is now going to be on the motor side not trans side.Ive been told that the audi a4 has the same flywheel pattern as the vw and is motor side just dont know if the gas one will turn over our motor.Another friend told me they make the a4 in diesel so I have to look that up.If my plate works out ill share the file with you and you can have a machinest close to you carve one up.thanks Earl
 

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250GD Wolf
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Just leave the Unimog as 24v, it will turn that starter no problem! (a few times at least...) I'm kidding. Kind of, I had a mid-40's Massey Harris that was converted 12v but had the stock, 6v starter, never died and cranked really fast. Not sure that was a good idea but that's how it was when I inherited it.
 

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1963 Unimog 404
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32 Posts
I finally bought a cheap TDI Jetta for sale Portland. (dead auto transmission, oil pump leak, bad glow plug) and resold it to junk car removal guys.

I made an error in how long it takes to pull an engine out of a Jetta. I was expecting ~3-4 hours. It took me about 20 hours straight. Level 3 fun was had.

Now it's in my living room.

I've thus far managed to only break one bolt (on a little exhaust manifold heat shield) and striped one valve cover bolt.
I cut a slot through the stripped valve cover bolt. I just need a broader, thinner screwdriver head to fit in it, or a better idea.

I'm compiling a list of parts needed for the rebuild. I'll replace the crank bearings, piston rings, oil pump, timing belt, bolts and whatever else comes up.

I'm back and forth with myself about how much I want to upgrade the engine.
I know I'll get an ECU tune and upgrade the turbo | injectors | FMIC for about 150hp/2xxTQ.
Not sure about a thicker or thinner head-gasket, and if I should upgrade the head bolts or get a bigger intercooler, valve stems, double valve springs, better turbo, tank lift pump.
I wouldn’t spend too much “upgrading” the engine for more power. It makes plenty of power and torque. Squeezing more power out of any engine reduces the safety margin. If you are replacing components I would focus on durability. Simplify your systems. Eliminate the stuffs that aren’t needed in this application. Remember, mogs aren’t about speed or “power”. They are all about gearing. With the TDI you will have the torque to maintain speed on reasonable inclines, and you will run out of gearing before you run out of power.

If you have money to burn, you will be much happier spending it on tires, lights, winches, etc... If not then you may have bought the wrong truck :wink
 

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1963 Unimog 404
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How big does the 404 need to be? ;)
How big do you want the conversion kit to be?

Seriously, i would love to help you but there isn't a hole lot I can do from UT. Let me know if you have questions. I have pulled my 404 apart many times.
 

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66' Unimog 404
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Discussion Starter #18
Back from the dead, just in time for Halloween.

I could spot no wear on the bearings or rings, so I don't think the engine was ever oil starved. I changed the rings, bearings and added ARP head-studs and replaced the water pump, pulleys, thermostat and maybe something else I forgot. I was concerned that I'd screw up the timing so I had Chris and Fine Tuning (VW shop) do it for me.

I got a mechanically controlled fuel injection pump off a 2.5 land rover engine and put it on. Got the governor modified by a Chris so it'll theoretically do ~5,000 rpm.
I think I’ll control the VNT with a second cable from the gas pedal with some sort of max PSI adulator.
Once I sort out the turbo control. I should have a mechanically controlled engine. Non-ecu control isn't recommended for drivability, but I think it'll be cool.

2606793


I got a "VNT-18" hybrid turbo from gottuned in Poland and am waiting on some new gaskets / bolts to install it. Injector nozzles are in the works.

I’ll sort out the intercooler when I have a better idea of mounting things. I think I might get a black one and have it next to the front skid plate. I’ll probably use an ebay one, with semi-flexible mounting that I could pull up a bit when it’s in too much danger of getting crushed.

I missed about six things that caught on the cab so we were raising and lowering the cab like we were playing ping pong with it. The cab was heavier than I thought. It’s probably over 400lbs. My plan was to cut out a big nasty slot in the driver’s floor for the steering column to fit through, but my friend said he thought we could tilt and turn it enough to clear the steering column and the parking brake handle. We got most of the way there, but I still had to cut a 10" slot to get the steering column through the bottom.

2606801


Got the cab and M180 out. I set the TDI in place to see what clearances will look like, and because I can’t keep in in my apartment anymore.

2606789


I think I'll make a U-shaped cradle on the lower sides of the engine to the front engine mount. And I'll fabricate replacement struts to go from the bell-housing to the engine.


I have a few thoughts about how to mate the engine, but I’d appreciate any input.
I could use a VW bell-housing, flywheel & clutch and get an adapter plate welded to it. I'd use an input shaft adapter to bring the input shaft forward into the VW bellhousing.

A VW wouldn't fit into the unimog bell-housing as you can see from the picture.

2606802


I could just use an adapter plate and cross my fingers that the Unimog clutch will hold 350 ft-lbs of torque. I’d need to get the flywheel balanced and use a new clutch plate. It would be nice if I could find a upgraded clutch that fit the Unimog.

With the cab off, it's now a priority to get this project moving.
 

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1960 404 and 1970 406
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45 Posts
Glad to see you back working on it,I have the first adapter plate I made that was 1/2 inch thick but went to 3/4 because the mog input shaft was bottoming out in the tdi crank recess where the pilot bearing goes.You are welcome to have it just pay the shipping maybe you can just cut 1/4 inch off the input shaft and all will be well,or just copy it to 3/4.My plate has an 11 degree tilt towards the pasenger side that would help keep the injection pump from protruding too far into your right leg.I ended up drawing a new flywheel up and had that machined and it wasnt cheap and it pretty heavy,like 30 pounds heavy.Give me a call if you would like to chat Ill be posting hopefully tomorrow as im supposed to pick my body up from the paint shop.Hope all goes well Earl 609 685 1456 oh and im on the east coast so im 3 hours ahead
 

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Those are very strong engines. Some mild tuning and removal of the emissions equipment and the power skyrockets. Good luck with your project.


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