Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#241 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-10-17 0:15:22

The truck had been recently sold by the firefighting department for a miserable amount of money to a guy who collected all kinds of fire trucks. The men at the shop had fixed some minor details and they were waiting to deliver it soon. Bad news for one of the local 4x4 forum members, who was very interested on the Magirus for a project. It had only 33.473 km. but several oil leaks to check.

Well, I said that overconfidence played, again, tricks on me. I ordered the cardan joints by catalogue using the EPC, but the idiot never checked if they were the right ones, In effect, they were bigger. When I tried to assemble the cardan shaft the joints did not fit in the yokes. I grunted a little, then I laughed at myself and I went for a cup of tea. Eduardo saluted me as expected and then we planned to replace the cardan joints of the cardan shaft that goes from the box to the second axle for they were the right ones for it. We would have to replace everything including the yoke and use the cardan shaft left from Spare as donor.

I asked for the right joints and they arrived many days later. They were of brazilian make, not german, but I was told that even if it was written “made in Germany”, the parts from Diesel Technic are equally made in China. Actually I do not mind, if the technical requirements are met. Anyway, I would have to take the new joints to the turner and give him another scort of broaches to perforate the bearing cap. Hmm…

I spent the next few days cleaning the gearbox and the frame and every time it seemed that there was more and more dirt and grease around. I applied a lot of degreaser. I was planning to apply the product and let it act for some days while sand blasting the frame and the central console of the boggie and, only then, power wash and rinse the whole thing for good.

Every time I wore the orange gloves when applying the degreaser in every corner, hidden or at sight, they ended up full of grease and dirt.

I was busy doing that when I came to the right side mudguard support. I was tempted to leave it alone but it consisted of two separate pieces, and between them there surely was a not known amount of ancient dirt. I could not resist the impulse and I removed the shorter piece to realize that I was terribly right: there was a lot of rust and dirt inside.

I went to the other side armed with the tools to replicate the action, but to remove the support I had to remove the mudguard first. Many bolts broke; they were badly rusted. I profited to remove the hydraulic pump and the piping of the cabin. Of course there was rust everywhere and I spent a lot of time chiselling and power grinding before the steel was visible.

To work more comfortably I had to remove the shock absorber, and when the superior bushing got stuck I had to remove the spring-shock absorber assembly as well to be able to hit the bolt from the front. More work, more time.

As I was on the mood the next thing I did was to remove the step of the left side, welded long ago to the mudguard by some stupid neanderthalis chilensis. It was a pretty good feeling to take it out.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#242 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-10-30 21:41:38

After removing the step I removed the upper part of the mudguard and, at the sight of the state of the metal sheets, I remembered that the floor of the cabin on the left side would need a lot of work when the time came because of the rust. For the moment, I only wanted to have better access to the frame along the engine. I removed also the mudguard of the right side of the cabin. Here it would be necessary to work a little too, but less.

The neglectec bundle of wires was coiled and hung to protect it from the possible-future powerwashing and I made a fruitless attempt to remove the front cardan shaft. It was so stuck at the front and at the rear yokes that it did not even noticed my efforts. I did not fight any longer as it was already late for lunch that Saturday so I left it soaking on bolt-loosener and went on with the cleaning. I applied a lot of degreaser to the steering pump, it deserved it for sure, and went home.

I gave a last glance to the frame and it looked pretty good to me; if I could only get finished with the cleaning; it seemed eternal! Looking at the right rail you can see the slight lateral bend, some centimetres in front of the welding site (the welding was perfect!), that would be corrected when bolting the crossmember.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#243 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-10-30 22:26:26

As usual, my job and the events had left me just a few hours to work on the Merkabah the last weeks, and I was a little discouraged for the advances had been not noticeable. I needed a shot of energy or good news to make me smile, and the Boss helped me, like He always does.

The next time I walked into the shop I found out that the package I had been waiting for the past month was arrived. Directement de Tulles Cedex, la campagne française, the central tire inflation system had been finally delivered after been retained for 45 days at customs. The box was very discreet, despite the price of the content, pretty conveniently.

Slowly, as opening a Christmas present, I opened up the box and checked with the waybill; bad feelings are quiet contagious even if you are pretty faithfull. It was all there, fortunately. Actually the system itself was very simple, ready to plug and play, and no aeropacial engineer was needed for the installation. The quality of the materials and finition was quiet impressive; it would be impossible to fabricate myself such a similar system. With a big smile on my face I put the components back in the box and I searched a good place to leave the box until the time came to definitively install the system.

I have been asked a few times about why to get so many parts and pieces that can even loose the warranty before been installed and used. Well… because I already have a plan and I am a follow-the–plan-guy; I buy the things I need or shall need as I am able to pay for them and, more important, this way I force myself to keep up notwithstanding the adversities, the delays and the tiredness.

As I was working on the front of the truck, and the last winter rains had made impossible to go out to look for clean gravel for sandblasting, I profited to remove the brake chambers and the slack adjusters of the front axle. As expected, everything was coveder by a thick layer of dry and tenacious mud/grease mix, and the right slack adjuster was particularly hard to remove.

I took the rear sway bar and all its components to the turner for he could turn new plastic bushings; there were not replacements at hand… well, at least not at a reasonable price. He already had started to repair the brackets and promised to do a very good job… and I bought it. We would see.

I made some order and I realized that I had forgotten, among other dozen of things, to prepare and repair the inner covers of the drum brakes. If you remember from past pictures, they were dirty, rusted and a couple of them was frankly broken and had been repaired with bronze welding. I took the MIG welder, practicaly immersed in dust, and began to refill the holes and to replace the sparkling bronze. In the end I could rebuild the shape of the covers but it took me a couple of hours to get it right. Hard thing to repair… the bloody rusted metal sheet.

The eight shining half-covers went finally into a box and then onto the growing pile of parts ready for assembling. I felt relieved for a second but, when I looked around again, I saw many bolts and nuts that still waited for attention. Christ!
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#244 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-11-14 5:35:50

Hello everybody:

Well, let’s see which have been the advances of this little mad project that seems to have no ending.

I had ordered the repair kit for the front sway bar taken from Spare that had to be put on the front axle, and it arrived from Santiago one of those days. As I had ordered it from the catalog (see EPC) I had a cloudy suspect that it could be wrong as were the cardan joints, so I took the dusty bar and tried to disassemble it to ascertain that they were the correct parts. Some of the plastic bushings did not look pretty good but they fitted perfectly, with no play. I disassembled all I could and made sure that it was the right repair kit but I could not remove the biggest bushings; they were still in working condition.

I went to the spring workshop to recover the new spring leaf that they had to temper before delivering. At the place there was a couple of trucks, one of them was a 8x4 Volvo from a mining company. It had only six months of use and it was already a mess. The guys had put supplementary spring leaves to over-overload them, and they had crashed the spring packs the same. The red Ford at its side shared a similar story, as did also the Merkabah; if you had paid attention, the spring leaf that broke was not an original leaf, it was also a supplementary one put for loading the truck with a lot of tons over the nominal payload to squeeze the payoff at every trip. Stupids!

I discussed my plan for lessen the stiffness of the suspension of the truck with the technicians of the workshop and, when they finally got the picture with photos, measurements and sketches, they agreed with my calculations and smiled at the idea. I profited that they went to lunch and took a couple of pictures of the shop where they fabricated the spring packs and leaves. They had a lot of work and a lot of experience and it was also reassuring listening to them say that they did not like to put more leaves in the packs because the beasts made the truck burst. They did it, nevertheless, but it is money that talked.

Back at the shop I inspected carefully the new spring leaf for the completion, as you can see on the pictures, were far from perfect despite the experience of the guys. I also found out that the length was not exact so, power grinder on hand, I finished the work Merkabah’s style and cut the surplus centimetres of the leaf. It was pointless to ask the guys from the shop to do so.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#245 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-11-14 5:42:08

When the leaf was ready, I took the original mother-leaves and the two shorter leaves that followed and settled them as the definitive configuration of the springleaf packs for the Merkabah. Remember that I wanted to soften the suspension but to preserve the capacity of handling the lateral stability of the rear axles. That was part of the job of the springs packs.

Assuming that the total weight of the home-cabin, full loaded, would be no more than 5.000 kg (individual components of the cabin, furniture, fresh, grey and black water, food and supplies, accessories and tools, spare wheel, motorbike, clothes, and 350 kg extra of anything that could be drown on board), the installation of the auxiliary pneumatic suspension, the front and aft sway bars and the shock absorbers, it would all work out pretty well, trusting that the resistances, the oscillation frequencies of the springleaf packs, of the air springs, and all the physics stuff worked as well.

I have read the recent thread on the subject in this same forum and I think that maybe this is all stupidity, as clearly stated by others, but isn’t it stupid already taking an almost dead dump truck to circumnavigate? We hope… and we will see. Any comments and criticisms are welcome.

Of course the spring leaves were all dirt and rust and the left supplementary leaf had been fabricated in the same carefree manner, so I had to do the same finishing job and clean all the springs. It seemed easy, as everything, but the truth is that it took a lot of time, effort and patience.

I was working with the springs when René and Karen came to visit us. They are a very nice couple with a dream of overlanding south and north America aboard their 4x4 Atego 2011. Unfortunately they have learned the hard way that if you want to do serious all-terrain overlanding you have to be well prepared and prepare your truck seriously. After their three-days-stuck incident at Atacama they decided to go on 14.00 R 20 tyres and to build a proper home instead of putting a nice looking but faint USA-made camper that falls apart at the first descent of a hill. René had worked a lot himself helping the contractors that fabricated the cabin. All the pictures are reproduced with permission, and joy, from them.

It was a pretty nice afternoon and both were very happy and amazed for finally they have met the Merkabah and saw with their own eyes all the work done, and wall the work to be done too...

Back with the spring leaves I finally came to an end with them. The result was quiet satisfactory but hanging the heavy Makita for many hours, again, left me tingling, aching, and hungry.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#246 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-11-28 0:03:02

After finishing with the springs I thought that it was time to get the things right and stop waiting for the best moment to get the gravel for sandblasting the frame. I needed to go on. Remember that I had to sift the thing myself so it was not an easy nor pleasant task.

I had to get the bike to the annual technical inspection because it was somewhat expired and, while I was happily waiting for the new papers, a gigantic Actros came along the lane for the trucks. I profited to inspect a little to see how the bundles of wires and tubing were set in the newer models, the sway bar, the suspension, the supports and everything. Everything in its right place. You must remember the exasperating chaotic mess that was the Merkabah before disassembling. Anyway, the truck went by and for a strange reason I was left thinking about the supports of the shock absorbers and the suspension. After half an hour I finally got the papers and the brand new tag and went back… to work.

That weekend there was no work on the Merkabah for my brother came to visit us. Sunday afternoon we accompanied him to the airport and, just for the fun of telling about the weird things that happen to me with some insistent frequency, when we went back to pick the bike from the parking place we found a pitbull on the rear wheel of the Honda. WTF!? Carmen and I said at once. We looked for an employee and we found after some time a tiny bald men on a bicycle that followed us to where the bike was. Ah! I will get the keys.- Were his only words and he left. He came back a few minutes later and skilfully took the pitbull off from the wheel. He waved goodbye with a smile and kept up riding his bike between the endless rows of cars. With no explanations left, Carmen and I looked at each other and laughed, with no idea of what was the reason for the event. We were not charged extra at the exit even if we stayed at least half an hour after we payed for the parking. Bo.

The next Monday afternoon, armed with the shovel and my improvised sifter, I went under the burning sun of November to the Aconcagua riverbed and asked at two different sand processing plants if they had the gravel that I needed but no, they had not. I would have to get it myself, as expected. Paying extreme attention to not being smashed by the huge front loaders that humbled around, I and the little Fiat Fiorino went looking among the piles of material in search of the most promising one. Finally, after almost two and a half hours, two and half kilos of dust over my hair and body, two and a half liters of sweat, I was able to fill almost half the big bucket with fine gravel, almost without dust thanks to my newly registered technique of sifting “al voleo”. Never mind. There was dust in it, of course, but not enough to cause trouble, I guessed.

While I was throwing gravel to the air, waiting for the wind to wipe the dust off and trying to catch it back, I saw at the distance, far away, a yellow thing that drove my interest immediately. It was the cabin of a truck, and it was pretty familiar. Hmm…

When I got enough of sifting the bloody gravel I left and stopped by that yellow object and it was in fact an old Mercedes NG tipper, half buried in the riverbed and slowly rusting in time. I inspected the wreck a little and found out that maybe some parts could be of use for the Merkabah, especially the supports for the suspension that otherwise I would have to fabricate myself. I asked about the truck but nobody wanted to deal with the truck so they addressed me to the women who ruled the place. I forgot almost immediately her name but it sounded something terrible coming out from the mouth of the employees. It all seemed pretty challenging, but it would have to wait; I did not have time at that moment.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#247 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-11-28 0:13:08

Back in San Felipe, after drinking a freezing but welcome Coca Cola, I bought another polyethylene sleeve because I could not find the bags where I carefully had put the plastic sleeves used before for sandblasting the axles.

What was left of the day I spent to get ready the sandblasting chamber (!?), quiet a boring job, and the time came to go home, to take a pretty long shower.

A couple of days passed before I could wear the white overall and start sandblasting the frame. When I finally did it, I did it seriously and spent three hours throwing little rocks and dust around. The system worked out well enough but the compressor did not stop working all the time, as usual. Every few minutes, though, the gun was jammed by a shity mix of water from the condensation of the air in the compressor and the dust that contaminated the sand.

The progress was slow, very slow, but the end result was worth the effort, especially if it was only the first blasting hand. The corners and places reached by the sand were cleaned easily but there still were some locations where the rust would prevail, so I would have to think about another strategy for priming and painting them. I cleaned only superficially the most accessible areas to leave the rest of the job to the powergrinder. I sandblasted also the rivets for they fracture the most the filaments of the metallic brushes, and any help is welcome when it comes to hold the heavy Makita.

The consumption rate of the gravel was high, though, and I stopped only when the container was empty and all the gravel was on the ground or filling the holes of the frame. I sweeped the floor and recovered the gravel, but it was half gravel and half dust. I had to clean it to be able to recycle it. More bore.

The next weekend I dedicated some hours too to sandblasting and made another little progress. The gun tended to jamm more often than previously, I was really pissed off for that, and one of those times I stood up to disassemble the nozzle to clean it, but I did not realize that I was under the rail. My head struck the steel quiet violently. You can actually see stars circling around your head, it is true. Hard a thing, that piece of steel. It still hurts when I remember.

Slowly, but firmly, the project was going on, as was the layer of dust that escaped from under the plastic sleeves and slowly covered everything parked at the workshop. Ops.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#248 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-11-28 0:19:23

I read about the project of Peter and Margot and their 6x6 MAN wohnmobile, the Mounty, and I asked them if they wanted to share some construction tips with me. Peter answered surprisingly fast and sent me pictures and information, happy to be able to help me. He already knew about the work done to the Merkabah. Great guy, Peter.

I had been ruminating the need to make radical changes to the design of the living cabin of the Merkabah for a couple of months. I was not convinced about the reinforcement frame of the floor panel of the Box neither about other less critical but important features of the design. Peter’s ideas for his amazing truck were the last kick to convince me to do the changes and began to “dig in”. I have already said that coincidences do not exist… everything happens for a reason, even the smallest thing.

Many hours after, the new design for the base-panel frame of the Merkabah was ready, easier to build, a little heavier, more stable, thinner than before with more height available inside the Box, and I would even be able to build it myself with the construction methods used to produce the classic sandwich panels, but easier. At no point the steel would be exposed out of the polyurethane foam. I would also produce a second sub-frame to better stabilize the Box and to anchor it to the truck’s frame.

Other major change would be the reduction of the width of the Box, from 250 cm to 240 cm, that I had been considering represented some travelling advantages and minor living disadvantages. I would need more time in front of the computer to do the necessary changes to the multiple components involved, though, and I had not enough at that moment.

The remaining usefull hours to work on the project I spent as an alien, covered in white, the air compressor working non-stop, sandblasting the frame.

I am always preaching about the safety precautions that must be observed when working with power tools, but you can not preach without being yourself an uncontended example. As the Boss stands me nothing wrong, not once, He gave me a big lesson, one of those you cannot easily forget.

When I finished sandblasting, not because the job was done but because the sand was finished, I wanted to continue the cleaning with the metallic cup brush and the powergringer. But the idiot did not find nothing better than putting on again the white paper/plastic overall, for the dust, and taking off the shirt, because of the heat, and the result was, naturally, a disaster. With a little wind the overall waved and the brush got it and I had a pretty intense but brief round with the mighty Makita. I won the match when I unplugged it, ha!... but I was left with a series of painful bruises that I knew would not heal pretty fast.

It was a clear and plain lesson, and a potentially more severe one. I just could say ouch! and ended up doing pretty light tasks the rest of the day as the peeling was particularly rough. Please, do not attempt to do it at home and always observe the safety precautions.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#249 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-12-06 22:00:55

Hello Gemeinschaft:

I am a little confused. Looking at the number of visits to the thread this is probably one of the most visited of the website, but one of the less commented so far. Thanks for the encouraging words expressed from time to time by some of you, but sometimes I would like to know more opinions, especially if you think I am doing something really stupid or nonsense, just to have some feedback, warnings, councils, tips, anything. German, italiano, français, swahili… whatever the language might be it would be appreciated.

Well, as I was still not able to work hard the day after the round with the mighty Makita, for the skin was still a little sensitive (it hurt badly), I went to talk to the owner of the broken yellow Mercedes. After a while and after explaining to her the whole story, we agreed about the price and the right time to cannibalize the unlucky truck. I would have to work on Sunday to cause no trouble to the sand plant work and, more important, to be not troubled by the personnel of the plant, especially her ex-husband. Ops, again.

The turner had finally ended with the cardan joints and the new grease spots were ready. As the grease was contaminated by metallic debris I took out the bearings to clean it all before reassembling, comfortably seated at the office of the shop. I realized that the retainer was damaged but Eduardo pointed out that it was not big deal so the job was not wasted, fortunately. I put the bearings back again, with a very expensive grease, and bought a couple of bolts to seal the ancient grease points and left it all ready to take it to Victor’s workshop to reassemble the cardan shaft.

A couple of days passed before I could use my right arm properly and I was pretty bored watching the time go by and the project delayed more and more. As that was precisely the lesson I stood, and stood, while the Merkabah and a colleague talked in some secret language about wanderings only them knew about.

When the pain was tolerable enough I took one overall (a thick one), tools, the power grinder (the small one), Eduardo’s Mitsubishi L200 and the noisy generator and went for the yellow old Mercedes. Unfortunately I had a lot of work that Sunday and I arrived to the sand plant late in the afternoon and not in the morning as I wanted.

I checked the wreckage and began by removing the front sway bar, that was the more exposed. The idea was to put it on the second axle, even if it was not contemplated in the original design. I still am not convinced about the idea as the truck will travel with only one quarter of the load that it was designed to carry, but modifying so radically the suspension maybe would require it, as does the air suspension of the newer 6x4 models. Anyway, I would make a profound research on the subject and, in any case, it can always be helpful as paperweight if not installed.

When I finished with the sway bar I wandered about the cabin and I suddenly got aware of the very unpleasant fact that some little but pretty bad tempered wasps had decided to nest on the mudguard of the truck, precisely where I leaned to get up to the cabin. In a second I was bitten twice, on the face and on my forearm, God, quite painfully. I stepped back and stood still, waiting for the rest of them not to come after me with the same intentions. Fortunately they didn’t, but the warning worked; now there was no doubt about who ruled there.

Unfortunately the wasp that bit me on the face received a reflex tap and could not tell anyone about it, but the venom inoculation was limited, fortunately. In the forearm the bite was completed, though. Ouch.

I waited for the nervous buzzing creatures to calm down and when the pain subsided I got into the cabin from the other side caring not to bore them again. There were some things that I wanted to take from the old Mercedes and a few dozens of little bugs would be not enough to persuade me to go home.

After some manoeuvres in the cabin, a few ups and downs to pick tools and remove objects, I went down to work on the frame. I was able to take out three of the supports for the shock absorbers, struggling against the rust and the uncomfortable positions, but the right aft one was almost buried so I could not even get close to remove it. I could neither remove the supports of the shock absorbers/brackets of the axle because they were heavily stuck and it was necessary to dig a little around them. I did remove the diesel tank to get the supports that were in better shape than the supports of the Merkabah and of Spare, but the light faded away.

To make the story short, I went back to the shop late in the evening, with a couple of little boxes full of used spares, light bulbs, buttons, connectors, little supports, plastics, and I even took out the tachometer and the cluster for the oil and air pressure that looked okay. The turning lights lever looked also okay and the gum was perfectly preserved, so it accompanied me to the shop too. Of course, also the diesel tank was part of the booty. What the hell for? I still don’t know, but surely I would find a good use for it, meanwhile it would keep the place under the cabin from been occupied by anything but what belonged to the project.

The day after I had almost forgotten the lesions made by the Makita, but the bite sites were swollen and ached as hell.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#250 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-12-06 22:05:59

Feeling pretty uneasy, I inspected the Merkabah from upside down, covered by a thick layer of dust, grease and grease remover from the engine to the gear box, and I had a new burst of rage and frustration, fundamentally directed towards myself. To make things worst, I found out that the heat resistant paint with which I had painted the engine did not resist humidity and the bell housing showed stains of rust. Bad, pretty bad… and ugly.

I took a bucket with fresh water and tried to clean it all up with a big plastic brush, trying to control the water spout not to allow to sink all the spares and pieces lying on the floor by the truck, but it was quiet ineffective. I then grabbed the powerwasher and washed all the frame exposed, the gear box and part of the engine. I stopped from time to time to bail the working space, but it ended up a mess the same. Anyway, the pool that resulted was pretty shallow and nothing really important was left wet, I think.

After powerblowing the excess of water, the frame and the box showed their cleanest face in thirty years. Do you remember how dirty were they when the truck came from its original home in Talca? Well, it was no so good to realize that the paint and the steel were in so bad shape even. I would have to sand-blast everything, as espected, before even thinking in priming.

I had already looked for a replacement for the gravel and the sand that I have used before, because the dust produced during the blasting was actually provoking trouble in the shop. I was told to use steel grit, that can be more easily recovered and reused many times because it doesn’t fragment easily, so much less dust is produced during the blasting and, best of all, you can ask it with a precise granulometry. I did not want to use quartz because the quartz dust is terribly abrasive for engines and covers everything one kilometre around and, of course, I did not want to go harvesting more fine gravel, ever.

I ordered a couple of sacks of 20 kg of 0,7 mm angular steel grit, in hope that my father’s old blasting gun and the chinese compressor were able to blast and clean it all.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#251 Beitrag von Slarti » 2012-12-07 0:02:51

Hi there,

I hope your battle with power machines and insect wildlife did not diminish your enthusiasm. All the best wishes for recuperation and healing from here.
pairospam hat geschrieben:Hello Gemeinschaft:

I am a little confused. Looking at the number of visits to the thread this is probably one of the most visited of the website, but one of the less commented so far. Thanks for the encouraging words expressed from time to time by some of you, but sometimes I would like to know more opinions, especially if you think I am doing something really stupid or nonsense, just to have some feedback, warnings, councils, tips, anything. German, italiano, français, swahili… whatever the language might be it would be appreciated.
Probably you may have noticed that everyone here has more projects than action in his own judgement. So the persistent project work with so much perfectionism in getting things built up after grinding down to the metal has my (I might say our) deepest respect and I suspect we all are keen to see, how it will work out. :rock:

My suspicions with wrapping things in celophane were, that all the cleaned surfaces will rust anyway, but I know nothing about your climate there, so I refrained from bringing up this point.

I wish my little projects would continue in the pace you purport :unwuerdig: . But perhaps it is because I have a running vehicle and you hunt your dreams... :spiel:

Anyway, I like reading this as a break out of the winter lethargy into your summer activities and enjoy it. All the best with your reconstructuion and don't get insecure about what you are doing...I think it is a little towards perfectionism (as Merhabha already survived things with a lot less attention), but that's up to you entirely.

All the best, Hans

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lura
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#252 Beitrag von lura » 2012-12-07 1:16:15

Most times I can't believe what I see. The first look at the lorry: Hey a little bit to work.
But later: oh what project and how many parts can go out of order!!
I think, the MB is after your project like a new one. "echt klasse" to say it in german.

Good luck for the next steps.

Bernd
Gruß
Bernd

Gewinne Zeit durch Langsamkeit

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HildeEVO
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#253 Beitrag von HildeEVO » 2012-12-07 21:46:35

Look down, my next post!

Chris
Zuletzt geändert von HildeEVO am 2012-12-08 21:36:59, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
Die echten Abenteuer sind nicht im Kopf, sie sind da draußen!

Ve-ge'ta-ri-er <[ve-] m.; s-, -> Bed. i.d. Sprache der Indianer, schlechter Jäger

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Hauke
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#254 Beitrag von Hauke » 2012-12-08 8:22:50

This Truck will become better than a new one!!
Gruß aus Hamburg
Hauke

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#255 Beitrag von Lassie » 2012-12-08 11:07:33

Dear Pairo,

whenever you add another post to your thread, I am left here in front of my computer with my lower jaw hanging down and saliva drooling over my keyboard.
Honestly said, I am overwhelmed by all the work, dust, dirt, rust, energy, persistance and effort you put in your baby. I have to admit, that I - as probably most of the people here in forum - would have not the guts, the time, the infrastructure and finally not the willpower to endure such a longlasting project.

There is only one smiley here which can vaguely express my feelings:

:unwuerdig: :unwuerdig: :unwuerdig: :unwuerdig: :unwuerdig: :unwuerdig:

I would be very happy to meet you and Merkabah sometimes on or off the road and I am sure we would have to pour down some beers.
Please continue to document your work!

Wishing you a fast recovery from the Makita-accident and enjoy the upcoming x-mas season!
Best regards from Dhaka, Bangladesh

Juergen
... was würdest du tun, wenn du keine Angst hättest ?

Die höchste Form des Glücks ist ein Leben mit einem gewissen Grad an Verrücktheit.
Erasmus von Rotterdam

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spongebob
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#256 Beitrag von spongebob » 2012-12-08 12:00:23

hello Pairo!

i like it when it is written as a kind of "blog" without too many useless interruptions. keep it like that, it is ok with me ;)

i myself, too, am moisturing my desktop screen everytime i am reading your blog :eek: :lol: ....... my biggest :unwuerdig: :unwuerdig: :unwuerdig: to you!!!
a man and his project..... this is what many of us here are dreaming of and some really do and some don´t.
when i bought my truck, i thought it would need me some little moves to get it done......... now after having rebuilt half the truck, i know better :D ;)
.....therefore i can understand your makita-accident very good :cold: ..... had some similar painful little accidents, too. ....nearly cut off one finger after a cutting disk broke :wack: ....and one day a cord of my hoodie-cap got into the drill of such a power tool...... and thank god ripped off just before it could sling too tight around my neck :eek: ...... that was my big moment of stupidity :lol:

yes Pairo, keep on rebuilding the truck, don´t give up before it is completely finnished :rock: ;)
we want to see it run!

best wishes
robert

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HildeEVO
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#257 Beitrag von HildeEVO » 2012-12-08 21:36:02

Hi Pairo,

2-nd post, because my first post is trash. I cancel the first post an try to answer in my own words without GoogleTranslator!

I can only agree with Lura and Slarti. It's really impressive what do you do with a used truck! It will be better as it was new! Be shure al of the members of the comunity will give you their absolute respect! You'll get my biggest respect!

I wish my truck would get so much attention as I prepared it.

But don't be afraid about so less feedback. All of the members are also in building and rebuilding their trucks, also me too! So sometimes I only lookd the pics and think "wow, what a man! Unbelievable!" Second, my einglish is not so perfect and it's hard to read so much in the post from you. I only read it partially. Primary I think it's only a documentation of the restoration

Intersting for me is the situation to find spare parts. To give feedback, how to reconditioned parts and what a work you've to do, it's hard. Next we don't know which tool's you have. But I think you've a good basis fpr your work and you've good guys around you for help!

You are such a perfectionist, I would lost the pleasure at the time! I'm more the type Like "Quick and dirty!" ;)

If you have specific questions and need answers for this, post this outside of this post in a separate thread!

Please let us know how it goes on!

Greetings Chris

P.S. I hope my own englisch is a little better than the GT! :blush:
Die echten Abenteuer sind nicht im Kopf, sie sind da draußen!

Ve-ge'ta-ri-er <[ve-] m.; s-, -> Bed. i.d. Sprache der Indianer, schlechter Jäger

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Slarti
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#258 Beitrag von Slarti » 2012-12-08 22:55:00

HildeEVO hat geschrieben: P.S. I hope my own englisch is a little better than the GT! :blush:
No need to be ashamed. (Will sagen, mach nur weiter so, das war doch tausendmal verständlicher als vorher!)

Gruß, Hajo

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#259 Beitrag von pairospam » 2012-12-09 0:17:45

Wow, guys...

Many thanks for your words. I have tried to show the process of overhauling, modifying and building as completely as I could, and tell the story as simply as possible so anyone with minimum english knowledge can understand it. English is not my mother language either.

I am the only one to be ashamed because some of my parents came from the Schwartzwald, I have done german language classes, with excellent votes, I have wandered through the streets of Köln, Düsseldorf, Leverkusen, Schlossburg, Freiburg, Ulm an others, and I have forgotten almost everything. Yes... twentyfive or more years ago, but that doesn't count.

I am not unsecure about what I want to do with the truck, instead, I am pretty confident about every modification and invention I have planned and immagined, but that precisely is my point. What I fear is to be too much confident. Accidents happen when you are too confident.

Believe me when I say that I do not want to be so perfectionist, I would rather be "quick and dirty" as you tell, HildeEVO, and ride the truck as soon as possible, but I cannot do otherwise. It is bigger than me.

The project will go on, God willing, never mind, and there will always be a couple of beers in the fridge in case any of us meet somewhere out there.

Thanks again.


Pairoa

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Slarti
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#260 Beitrag von Slarti » 2012-12-09 16:16:11

pairospam hat geschrieben:I am the only one to be ashamed because some of my parents came from the Schwartzwald, I have done german language classes, with excellent votes, I have wandered through the streets of Köln, Düsseldorf, Leverkusen, Schlossburg, Freiburg, Ulm an others, and I have forgotten almost everything. Yes... twentyfive or more years ago, but that doesn't count.
Out of interest:
Can you still understand or make sense of written German?
A positive answer would mean, the barrier for replies would diminish and perhaps you train a little for regaining that skill???

Regarding over-confidence: I can't see a problem there, as you are aware of the danger :happy:

So long, Hajo

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#261 Beitrag von MoePorter » 2012-12-21 18:10:42

Been following a long time...I'm not a gearhead so can't contribute meaningfully to the vehicle rebuilding side of your wonderful obsession, I mean project...Except to encourage, encourage, encourage.

Building boats & vehicle boxes is something I've done for 30 years so maybe I can contribute to that part of your project...

Now about your sketch for the base panel of your box - I'm unclear if you intend a structural sandwich panel OR a steel frame clad with sheathing.

A structural sandwich panels load is carried by the top & bottom skins, requiring a suitable structural core material to effectively transfer to loads to the structural skins. If this is your intention the steel frame is entirely unnecessary. In practice by the time the load overwhelmed the skin strength the steel frame would fail as well. Much better to make a true structural sandwich panel with structural foam/balsa core or a combination of lesser strength foam and wood stringers in a grid pattern. The wood stringers work well for "home built" panels because they glue well & screw fasteners provide your clamping pressure.

If on the other hand you are intending to build a metal framed box with interior & exterior sheathing...disregard the structural sandwich stuff...the skins are just there to keep out the weather & look good on the inside.

I will warn you to avoid making a steel framed composite structural panel - not that it won't work but it will be very heavy & a waste of good steel. The main strength of the panel should either come from the frame OR the composite panel - it's very inefficient & makes no structural sense to combine them...Carry on! Moe

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#262 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-09 4:43:32

First of all, sorry for the delayed answer. I wish you all a very good and happy new year.

@ Slarti: I found my old worterbuch so I can now make an effort to remember and glue ideas to understand German, again.

@ Moe: thanks very much for your comments. It is true that a pannel sandwich with a steel frame inside is practically nonsense, but I want the strenght of the steel for I need to handle the bike and the spare on the overhanging of the cabin that, on its own, sits on the frame of the truck over a four point mounts that nobody is able to make me sure that will not bend, no matter wathever kind of frame twisting calculations may be made. I think of gluing the steel frame, the PU foam, the plywood and the glass fiber sheats all together the same way GRP-PU pannels are fabricated just because it is easier to do whatever is known and because I want to glue the lateral, frontal and back pannels to the base so all the components of it must be solid to stand the forces, specially on the edges.

Moreover, I want to fabricate now a subframe, bolted to the base pannel, to help withstand the eventual twisting forces of the truck frame, just in case.

I have been very busy the last weeks. More to come.

Cheers.

Pairoa

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#263 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-09 17:36:12

Well, well…it’s been a while since the last update, as I said before, and I think it is time to picture some of the things that had been going on around the object of my obsession.

Some time ago I had ordered steel grit to continue to clean the frame. While I was waiting, just to make time, I took the brake chambers of the front axle and disassembled them, and found out that they were dirty but in very good shape, not as the rear ones that claimed for pity.
Only the little rubber bellows were broken, hardened by the elements and the time passed over. I could find no replacements, even if they were listed as spares on the Wabco catalogues. If anyone in the forum knows where to find them the brake chambers would be very grateful for their survival depends on the availability of these bellows.

I was contacted by a man from London who travels the world on his Tatra 6x6. He knew about me on Expedition Portal. He came from southern Argentina and was about to arrive by ferry to Puerto Montt, somewhere in the deep south of continental Chile, and told me about his trip plan from there to Santiago. I found his plan incredibly poor so I made up a nice trip plan for him to visit and enjoy many of the natural beauties and landscapes that must be seen but that are scarcely known to visitors. Fortunately he followed the first kilometres of the route and really enjoyed the trip, but at some point he took the wrong way and ended up manoeuvering hardly between two big coigüe trees on the eastern slope of the Villarrica volcano. The truck is 12 meter log so it took him an hour to turn around and continue his trail.

The guy from the metal grit store recommended to use 0,45 millimeter grit instead of 0,75 mm. grit for blasting the frame. Of course I (this only time) followed his recommendation and at some point the grit arrived to the shop. Initially I felt that it was too small but when I started to blast the rear of the frame the results were spectacular; the gun jammed less often, the dust was dramatically reduced and, the more important, all the metallic grit could be recovered from the ground and reused by picking it up with a couple of magnets. The process was slow but it was worth of it. The air compressor, not designed for that use, worked endlessly while blasting, though.

I had been obliged to take my holydays if I wanted not to loose them, the last two weeks of December and, as Carmen could accompany me anywhere because there was too much work at the workshop I decided to stay and dedicate myself full time to the project.

It was Saturday night, after the second day of grit blasting, when René and Karen showed up with their just released truck, named oddily Destructor at that time. They were pretty tired after working on the truck the whole day so they parked in front of our house, ate a little and then went to sleep in the truck. Needless to say that nobody could take them out of there ever again.

The next day, after an opiparus breakfast, photo and measuring session. The cabin and all the features were pretty nice even if there were perfectible minor details and the sink was not in place yet, but René had a kilometric smile and nobody could whipe it out from his face. They left for La Serena, 360 km to the north, after taking a delicious San Felipe ice cream.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#264 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-09 17:41:33

I went back to the shop and retouched the frame with grit blasting and power brushing and prepared it for priming. I made no pictures because I wanted to finish before sunset. Just taking off the “blasting chamber”, sweeping and blowing everything to diminish the dust took me more than one hour. Then I apllied two hands of washprimer and finally I sprayed polyurethane primer until there was no more left. The result, in comparison with the original state of the frame, was spectacular. The disgusting mix of rust, old paint, oil and mud was left behind and the structure looked clean and shiny. Good.

At first I thought that it might be ridiculous and pointless, but I decided to protect the recently reborn frame from the dust and dirt that would be generated by the blasting of the adjacent front part of the frame, so I wrapped it in a paper pijama. It was hard to do but I thought it was worth.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#265 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-09 17:47:24

Before going home, late in the evening, I reassembled the tent and it was all ready to continue whit the cleaning trip from tail to mouth of the frame. It was one of those days that you contemplate your work and seems that you have done tons of progress after been stuck for eons. The joy of Karen and René was contagious too.

Next Monday, already in my forced holidays, I went early to the shop with Carmen and straight to the gear box. I started to spray grit on the steel as soon as I could and it, inch by inch, grateful, began to glit in its new clean skin. The process, though, was very slow, slowed even more by the complexity of the surface and the many angles and hard-to-reach corners.

The thing was going on, anyhow, blasting and re-blasting the box and the frame from nine to seven, and then, one day, Jago Pickering, his wife Lucie and their three lovely kids arrived. We had booked the servicing of the Tatra with my brother-in-law Eduardo before Jago left for Perú to follow the Dakar race carrying tourists. The Tatra 6x6 was impressive and the buggie hung in the back gave it and odd and exotic look that no one passing by could ignore. The truck was a former tipper that was stretched and reconditioned, as the Merkabah.

Eduardo, the Czech manual in hand, checked out everything and organized the work to be done. The truck features, with the central back-bone shaft and the semi-independent suspension, was quiet simple and effective but needed special attention and care.

After having lunch with the English travelling family in our favorite place I went back to grit blasting, more enthousiatic than ever. That night and the ones that followed the Pickerings stayed with us chating until late in the morning and parked and slept in front of our house as did René and Karen.

The truck began the servicing the next day and, while the fluids and filters were changed and some bolts were tightened here and there, the Tatra and the Merkabah looked strangely distant even if their cabs were almost touching each other. I got it later: she does not speak Czech and he does not speak German, of course.

We took the Pickerings for a tour and went to the hills that surround San Felipe and to the countryside to visit Carmen’s orchards and to show Jago where the Tatra would be kept as he had asked us to do so for a couple of days. Lucie and the kids would leave to England while the Dakar and Jago would accompany them for Christmas.

We took them to the airport the next morning and the Tatra sat where the Merkabah once waited for her disassembling and overhauling, so long ago.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#266 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-09 17:53:16

René and Karen arrived that evening in their way to Santiago, unluckily late to meet the Pickerings that were pretty impressed with the pictures of their truck. We went to the country and René inspected the 6x6 from upside-down (Jago was already warned). They stayed with us again and we made late, again, that evening.

The next day, Christmas’ eve, René and I went back early to the country to pick the truck to continue with the servicing and the repairs. At the wheel of the monster the world seemed to belong to you. The driving was pretty simple, though, and the air driven gears were as easy as a car shift. My experience with truck does not go beyond what I have driven the Merkabah but strangely I felt very comfortable and confident taking all these tons where I wanted, and the distances and calculations of forces and weights were neither foreign. In other words: I really enjoyed driving the f…ing beast! The picture shows the smile on my face and René’s sunglasses as I forgot to carry my own.

René took his truck and parked it in front of the workshop. Both machines were the feast of the curious that passed by. I took the Tatra to the place where the tyres would be changed and rotated and then René and I made some fixing work on the Atego, right there on the street as there was no place to do it in the shop. My hands tingled of desire to finish with the grit blasting but I enjoyed pretty much dedicating the rest of the morning to René and Karen.

The Atego and its owners left for Santiago after a while and I went to pick up the Tatra. I photographed every aspect of its exterior, among others the pivoting rear bumper that looked pretty solid but weighted a ton. I did not take any picture of the interior due to the major mess; Jago had to finish repairing the vacuum toilet and many other things to be able to accommodate his customers and he left it half way before he left. Late in the evening, after many hours of blasting and recovering the grit and blasting again, I took the truck back to the country and Carmen accompanied me that time. She really liked the feeling too. Good. Now that the Michelin XZL were all mounted the Tatra had its definitive expedition-allterrain-Dakar look.

We had a nice Christmas dinner and I did not touched steel the 25th December. I resumed the blasting endless labor the 26th and frankly I was sick of it but I endured, despite the heat and the growing visual difficulty due to the grinding of the mask viewer by the rebounding grit.

Pickering arrived from the airport late in the evening the same day and the next morning I took him to the country to pick the Tatra. It was a relief that he did it, for that of “in the foreign…”. While Jago worked inside the cabin, Eduardo did the final mechanical touches and I was at strife trying to peel the bloddy wide rails of the frame that were the ones left for the last. We were all busy when a man with a huge backpack came in; it was John Hill, the guy who would assist Jago and be his co-driver during the Dakar tour. Thin in his fifties, with three university titles, a girlfriend in Buenos Aires and a freak love for bikes, he came from his native Colorado to Argentina on his KTM Adventure.

Well, even both guys working together could not put order in the cabin so I made the photo shooting and measured everything in the middle of the surrounding chaos, because I thought it could be my only chance. After the shooting, guess what… yes…I resumed the grit blasting.

At dinner we spoke of steel, engines, travels, love and dreams, and the wine glasses and the chat, a strange mix of Spanglish, lasted very long.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#267 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-09 18:11:27

Early next morning, the bike and the Tatra seemed to understand pretty good each other in front of the house. Maybe Japanese and Czech are similar. Who knows.

And Jago and John left for Lima as late as a well planned trip can be, after a lunch in the middle of e-mails and communications and electronic data problems. When they left, finally, I dove again in my obsession.

The evening of the 29th December I decided that it was enough. Almost two weeks of practically non-stop grit blasting and ten days of insufficient sleeping were too much for my holidays. So the next morning Carmen and I grabbed the new little tent, the camping gear, some clothes and the Montero and left. We headed north, tourist pace, and did the internal route trough the many valleys and mountains that traverse the country and visited some cities that Carmen did not know before.

We pulled over and camped on a secret hidden place at the side of the road at sunset and the next morning we resumed our trip after the tent dryied up. I spotted an old and tired unimog and I could do no other than stop and cry with it, while Carmen shook her head like saying “This guy has become really crazy”.

We arrived to Punta de Choros, almost 600 km. from home, and, as expected, there were only few people. We celebrated the New Year, to which I barely arrived, exhausted from the driving, the bad night before and all the work on the Merkabah. The next day it was evident that I was not the only one that was tired, as Carmen did not reach the 12th page.

I show you just a few pictures of the place that are worth seeing, especialy for the little fox, one of the few that still live there.
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#268 Beitrag von Pjotr » 2013-01-09 18:18:33

pairospam hat geschrieben:In other words: I really enjoyed driving the f…ing beast! The picture shows the smile on my face and René’s sunglasses as I forgot to carry my own.
Enjoying your story very much - just lurking, of course - I feel I just HAVE to comment on that pic: it is by far the best illustration of the smile we all know too well... Imagine what your face will look like when driving the Merkabah at last!

Best wishes

Hans (The Netherlands)
Kontrolle ist gut, Vertrauen ist besser.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#269 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-16 6:07:29

Hello again.

@ Pjotr: I cannot wait to see my face when driving the Merkabah! All my friends are warned because the smile will occupy both lanes of the road.

When I got back to the shop, with a renewed mood and vision, more practical and objective I guess, I judged that the work done so far was good enough. So, I took out the blasting tent and with the power grinder - the little one as the Makita’s axle bent while struggling against my adamantium-covered skin – made some retouches where needed. Then I spent almost two hours sweeping the dust and recovering the grit from all around the truck. I estimate that only a minimum of grit was lost, less than 300 grams of forty kilograms, during the whole blasting process.

On the picture you can see the residual dust lying on the floor after picking up the metallic grit with the magnets. It was slow and boring but the amount of dust that went out on the air during the blasting was notably reduced. Where was I that I did not use metallic grit from the beginning? I don’t know, but it is by far a more suitable and advantageous solution than sand blasting.

It was late when I finished with the retouches and with the cleaning, and the noble machine stood silently there, as always, waiting for the priming and the begining of the next phase of the project. The next day some visits would come so she would remain untouched until the day after. Patience.

At lunch time (a little later, actually) I met our friends René and Karen and Kurt and Michele, a nice couple from Switzerland that tour the world aboard Finca, their MAN 8-224 4x4 expedition truck. It was a very good lunch and after it we went to the workshop to see Carmen and to carefully inspect the truck.

René proudly showed us his recently installed orange board and the ad hoc cushions and blankets, and frankly they looked not so bad, to my taste of course. The Atego had been rebaptised as Terral, as some kind of special wind that sometimes blows far north, wich I celebrated a lot as I found that Destructor was a quiet an innapropriate name for an overlanding truck.

The swiss guys and their funny strong accent were very nice and they had no problems in making themselves understood in a mix of English, Spanish and their odd Swiss-German.
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pairospam
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Registriert: 2010-11-22 14:27:25

Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#270 Beitrag von pairospam » 2013-01-16 15:54:49

The living cabin was really well made, with very good details and finishions, and they kindly showed us every aspect of the exterior and of the interior while the camera shot and shot again. The most impressive aspects of the truck were the electric installation, rebuilt entirely by an electric engineer friend of them, and the amazing order in which Michele and Kurt stored everything, from equipment and spares to the tooth brush. Something worth of imitation.

They told us that they had booked the servicing of Finca for the next week in Santiago, with the official dealer of MAN in Chile. As I knew that the firm was the most expensive place in the whole continent I advised them to make the servicing with Eduardo, that way I would be in peace as I was sure that the servicing would be done much more than appropriately at a reasonable cost, with the geniality and dependability of my brother in law as the main prize. They agreed, finally, and the servicing was scheduled for the the next week.

It was late when both trucks left, one heading north to La Serena and the other back to Santiago.

The next day, the Saturday, I started early, blowing and cleaning again the frame and the box. The grit has the bad habit of showing up after you have blown many times the same bloody corner. Then I swept again and without stopping I prepared the washprimer and sprayed generously everything at sight. A few minutes later two hands of polyurethane primer covered it all again. In the end I was exhausted from the effort of contorting and creeping around, over and below the frame to reach all the aspects of the surface.
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