Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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Iain_U1250
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#631 Beitrag von Iain_U1250 » 2016-03-02 14:12:26

Thinks seem to progressing on your truck again Pairo, even though it might seem slow, every bolt you tighten up is one step further in. If you have to re-do something, then it is better done in the workshop that on the side of the road in the desert :) The amount of work you are doing on your truck is incredible, and your attention to detail is to be admired.

I've just finished the "maiden voyage" in my truck, and it has been worth the 6 1/2 years it has taken me to build it. Time will come when you are on the road and will look back being glad you have fixed everything, so you don't have to worry when you face a road of 600km where you don't expect to see another vehicle and the temperature outside is 50 Deg C or above. :)

Regarding your camper box and the mounting system. If I were you, I would stay with whatever Mercedes Benz recommend as far as mounting a rigid box to the chassis goes. People's opinion on how to mount a box are not worth much if it doesn't work, and there have been too many tales of people using a non factory designed mount only to have it fail or destroy the camper box or even worse the chassis. MB spent a lot of money, with some top engineering minds to come up with a design that will work in all conditions the truck is expected to encounter over a design life of more than 500,000km. The chassis is designed to flex as part of the overall suspension, and to restrain it in any way other than the way the engineer's designed it, could result in problems some where down the road. Whilst it may save some time and money now, it would be something you regret a few years from now.
Iain

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Unimog U1250
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKPlQW ... KTQ/videos

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pairospam
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#632 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-03-02 19:57:11

Hello Iain:

Glad to see you here again and thanks for your words and your concerns. I have been silently following you on Expeditionportal, enjoying your reports, the pictures and the videos of your first trip aboard your Unimog.

As I said, or wrote, before, I am simplifying things but no oversimplifying them. I am going back to basics, actually. The system I designed, primarily four-point and then five-point pivoting stuff was, at no moment, reccommended by the makers of the Merkabah, but it obviously makes sense.

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I am now precisely following Mercedes-Benz indications on how to build the subframe for the Box, and I have read them all many times, as well as Scania's, Renault's and Iveco's. Basically it is the same and I just stuck to them as much as I could.

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Merkabah's frame is a double reinforced one, not made to twist much, so the subframe makes sense on its own. I am not inventing anything new this time.

Keep the reports, the pictures and the videos coming.

Many greetings to you and Trish from San Felipe, at a little less than 50° C.


Pairoa
Zuletzt geändert von pairospam am 2016-03-03 5:15:34, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.

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Iain_U1250
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#633 Beitrag von Iain_U1250 » 2016-03-03 3:21:14

Glad you are following the MB handbook. I have read a couple of time on Expedition Portal about people who make their own mounts for their camper box following people's "advice" only to have the chassis or subframe break a few years down the track and they then have to fix it and remount it, and in one case, get a new chassis. These failures seem to be on the lightweight Japanese trucks though, not on the properly designed MB chassis though :)

Keep up the good work, you will soon be at the fun part, getting all the systems working again one by one, until you are ready to drive it out down the road. When I changed the oil in my gearbox, it was dirty, though nowhere near as bad as yours. I put 10lts ( 2/3 full) of a cheap thinner SAE30 oil in and just idled the gearbox for a few minutes to flush out all the junk, then let it drain out for a week or so before putting in the proper synthetic gearbox oil.

I pulled up at a traffic light next to a big 2626 tipper truck when we were driving our Unimog, it made ours look tiny :)
Iain

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fredrikarnell
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#634 Beitrag von fredrikarnell » 2016-03-04 0:08:13

Nice to see you back Pairoa! And informative as always with great pictures.

We are currently in Morocco with our MB 1017 AF, still following your story with excitement :)

Take care,

Fredrik

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#635 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-03-06 4:32:49

Iain: as it is said everywhere… mine is bigger than yours, he, he… It would have been a good idea to wash out the shitty tar of the gearbox with a thinner oil but, anyway, the idea is to run 1000 km and then change the oil again.

Fredrik: Thanks for the greetings. Really outstanding the pictures on your blog and quiet fun the trips you have been in so far. Hope this one be fun and interesting as well.

I said that my back stood, but not for long. I am writing this from bed, in pain and very frustrated because I had many things to do instead of being here doing nothing but lying and waiting for my spine to heal. Anyway, life is hard… but it is still beautiful.

The day after assembling the front suspension I had a couple of hours to work on the Merkabah, and I tried my best to treat properly my back while doing it. Only little things were left for completion of the front axle assembly, and I proceeded very calmly and thoughfully.

But, even the simplest task ended up being a pretty difficult maneuver. I had to install the new wheel mounting bolts on the left wheel hub, and had to use quiet a big amount of force striking them with the sledgehammer. I did not remember that it was done like that, and finished the tenth bolt sweating like a cow.

Just to put the cover of the drum brakes needed to clean each thread out of rust and paint to screw the bolts properly, and it took quiet a lot of time and effort. Then, fitting the springs of the brake shoes was neither easy, especially the right side ones where I had to take the covers in and out again to put the springs. A pain in the ass, really.

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Sparkplug, one of the guardian dogs, stared at me with that odd look, as always, making me company while struggling against the steel and the bones.

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Looked for the new brake chambers and the slack adjusters and assembled the whole stuff on both sides. Then I asked for help and placed properly the diesel tank on the supports. It was so big that at a given moment I feared that it would not fit in between the front and the middle wheels. Well… almost… only a few centimeters were left at the front and at the rear of the tank, but they were enough.

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Just for the fun of it, I set the batteries and cranked the engine. I made a few short videos and left it at idle until everybody at the shop became blue with the exhaust gases. Oh, I really like the sound of the mighty V8!

The other little job was to put the new brake drums in, and Alejandro helped me with it. I was more concerned about his physical integrity than mine because he has knee issues due to his overweight but we managed to put both drums in without big trouble.

Some little strikes with the sledgehammer and the drums were at their place, finally. They fitted perfectly, as presumed. Remember that they were made in Brazil for other trucks and that the seller chose them especially for me by measures and not by code. In fact, they were slightly different one from the other. Who cares.

I searched among the boxes and got the inferior plates for the air springs and the painted conic bolts. I installed them and… that was it. After almost 18 months and many, many problems… the front axle and the front suspension were finally finished, ta-taaaaaan. I kept for me that special moment and took a brake… with a painkiller.

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I was almost okay when I got home that afternoon, two days ago, I swear, but Carmen opened the street door at the same time that I opened the gate, and the dogs ran out, crazy and happy to see us both. We have quiet a lot of dogs, as you know, and not all of them are fiends, especialy the females, and Deva, my german shepherd, caught the little Panchy by the goat right in front of me. I instinctively bounced and grabbed her by the jaws and lifted her to make her let go the smaller dog, and that was the cherry of the pie. Enough… claimed my back. From then on I had to rest.

Feel a little better now, but knowing that I have many interesting things to do and practically all the components I need to begin with the assembling of the different many systems of the Merkabah makes me feel more stupid and frustrated. But everything happens for a reason and I am trying to take this episode as a lesson. Hope it works.

thjakits
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#636 Beitrag von thjakits » 2016-03-07 4:33:48

Pairo!!

You are complaining a LOT about your back!!

What is it?

Just cramped muscles and/or a few misaligned vertebrae or already some hernia and worn away cartilage or worse??

I am asking, because like most rotor-drivers, eventually I also got back pain and just put it off as a casualty of the job (...ask your dad, he probably can tell you all about it...)

Finally we (.....my wife ALWAYS has/had a tight back...) went to a Physiotherapist to get fixed - now of course not all of them are equal, but this girl showed us a super-simple and swift move!

You get all kinds of cracking noises and you expect a shot of pain, but ......only relieve!! :totlach:

I am afraid you already know all this - but in case - let me know and I describe the exercise!

Once you know it you do it in less than a minute, in bed - before you get up and after you go in for the night!!
[For us it is part of our lives, like religion - we don't stretch/un-crack - something is missing, like coffee in them morning....]

Cheers,

thjakits :D

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#637 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-03-07 22:42:42

thjakits:

You are absolutely right, I have been complaining too much. I apologize, really.

If you have some magic move, please PM. I will be glad.

More to come when possible.


Pairoa

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Lassie
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#638 Beitrag von Lassie » 2016-03-07 23:26:20

Hi Pairoa,

as yoga teacher I can recommend some easy exercises like lower back flexes, cat stretches, cat-cow, spinal twists, etc...

I had some serious back problems by myself and have most of them under control with moderate exercises. No need for weird poses ;)

Best regards
Jürgen
... 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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Lassie
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#639 Beitrag von Lassie » 2016-03-07 23:26:20

Hi Pairoa,

as yoga teacher I can recommend some easy exercises like lower back flexes, cat stretches, cat-cow, spinal twists, etc...

I had some serious back problems by myself and have most of them under control with moderate exercises. No need for weird poses ;)

Best regards
Jürgen
... 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

thjakits
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#640 Beitrag von thjakits » 2016-03-08 1:55:59

Hey Peiro,

apology for what?? If the back hurts it hurts and is a lousy reason for having to stop progress!!

Okay - I am NO Yoga teacher or magician, but this helped me to avoid any more serious back pain for the last 8 years or so:

I do this twice a day - BEFORE I get up and after I am going to bed. BUT of course if it helps, just get down on the floor in the shop or under your truck at ANYTIME you please! :D


So - here it goes:

A] Lay flat, hands by your sides, no pillow, breathe deep x2

B] Keep the legs closed and raise/lift your knees to your chest as far as you can, do NOT force anything - do NOT use your hands/arms to pull the knees in - ONLY whatever you manage to do with the legs only! Hold for some 3-5 seconds and stretch out and lay the legs down again...

C] Now, pull the heels of your feet as close to you buttocks as you manage, knees bent all the way - heels as close as you can, again NO pulling with your hands/arms!

D] Now, turn both legs left (or right) until the lower knee touches the floor/bed! The important thing here is to keep your SHOULDERS on the floor/bed - this is the main trick of this movement/stretch - the shoulders have to be flat on the floor/bed!
(All this means is: you rotate your hips about 90° left/right, which also means your spine will twist 90° between your neck and your hips....)

E] Hold your knees on the floor/bed for 3-5 seconds, return them upright and then lay them down the other side!
Do this slow and deliberate. If you feel like, do it one more time left/right!

F] If you didn't hear any cracking or popping noises on the first side, you should hear AND FEEL something when you go to the other side! You might think "SHIT!! Now I have broken my spine, HTF do I get a wheelchair up into the truck :mad: ?!!"

BUT - it really feels GOOD and you feel tension going away!

Basically you re-align your vertebrae and relax muscles that tried to protect your spine from going worse (and therefor these muscles are all tensed up and hard)!


Actually the description is longer and more complex than the whole move!

Just go through it once or twice step by step and you got it!

As I said - for me this became religion and I do it 2x day - no more back pain!

MAXIMUM 1 minute if you switch twice!!



Hope you get it crackin'!! :cool:

thjakits

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pairospam
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#641 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-03-08 4:45:20

Ouch...

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#642 Beitrag von thjakits » 2016-03-08 5:43:57

...shouldn't be an "Ouch...!"

...should be a "Aaaaaah! :D "



thjakits :cool:

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#643 Beitrag von thjakits » 2016-03-08 6:03:12

Damn....!

Forgot about the final move!!

G] When you are done rolling your hips left and right - with your heels still at your butt, do a "bridge" as good as you can - raise your hips as high as you can manage with the shoulders on the floor/bed - 3-5 seconds and THEN you are done!! :blush:


Happy crackin' !!


thjakits :cool:
Zuletzt geändert von thjakits am 2016-04-14 0:16:31, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#644 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-04-13 3:37:31

Hello again.

Feeling better now. I have been doing some little things, going pian piano to allow my little pretty body to heal, and it has been okay so far.

During the days in bed you have plenty of time to think on what you have done right and what you have done wrong, which can be as exhausting as a heavy exercise. I had company all the time, with very helpful counceling on some technical aspects I had not considered before.

Anyway, I ordered some ideas, planned the next steps, and revisited some aspects of the project that needed a new approach. Many paper leaves and half a ton of graphite sticks were used, as always.

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After receiving some advices and giving them a little thought I found out that all the people see clearly what sometimes remains hidden to me. Again, I was trying to push the project a little further, risking of taking inappropriate decisions. In few words, I had to finish the truck, completely, and only then, with the Merkabah finally jumping on (or sinking in) the dunes, I will decide wheter it is better to have a four-five-thousand pivoting system or an auxiliary subframe to support the Box. Until then, no Box.

Do you remember that I was waiting for someone to work on the cabin? The applicants were too expensive, too inexperienced or frankly poor qualified. Well, when I was lying there, almost dying of boredness and suffering with the last hot days of the summer, Carmen appeared with extraordinary news: Eddison, from Ecuador, contacted her because he wanted to come back to work at the shop. He was the guy who aided with the repair of the mudguards and did a good job, and he is a very fine person, very trustable and correct. The good God still loves Pairoa. He always sends the right people at the right moment, and helps to clear the vision and keep the faith.

My father, on the other side, was (is) working full-time and had no time for assembling the Box. So… no more pointless discussions.

Things to do next: brakes, pneumatic systems and electrics, in that order. Eddi would take care of the cabin meanwhile and I would only paint it when ready.

I checked dimensions and the way things would have to work to plan for the installation. One of the most irritating things, amongst many others, of course, was to decide where to put things according to the new layout. Pumps went now between the rails of the frame as well as the 20 liters air reservoir, and both the CTIS manifold and the pressure regulator manifold for the pneumatic suspension were not pocket sized precisely.

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When I stood up, finaly, there were lots of things that I had to do first so the truck was left for the last. It was useful, though, and helped to keep my back in its recovering path.

I went to the shop, finally, and set a higher bench to work on to minimize the need to bend the back. The trestles and the discarded emergency stretcher were at hand right for that purpose.

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Moving very carefully, searched among the many piles of boxes and collected the pieces I needed to put the brakes back in place and back to work. If you remember, the brake system of the truck had been heavily modified and there were loose tecalan pipes all around and it was hardly recognizable how the brakes worked, in other words… it was a mess.

I have looked among the hundreds of pictures taken when the truck was complete and made lots of sketches trying to figure it out. No damn way.

Found many parts that belonged to Spare, the old truck that continued to supply pieces that will live a second life through the Merkabah, but I could not find many of the original pieces of my truck. I missed the parking brakes relay valve and the dual brake valve. Where were they? There was a foreign relay valve adapted to make the parking brakes work, but I wanted not to use it again. I aimed at restoring the original brake setup of the truck, and servicing the original valves seemed relatively easy.

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Found also lots of little supports and connectors, cannibalized from some Mercedes carcasses you already have heard about. They just needed the beauty treatment so I grabbed the rear service brake relay valve and opened it for servicing. It was not that bad, not too much dirt or oil, at least not as I expected.

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Looked around and, as there were lots of pieces and parts, I decided to better start orderly from the very beginning, with the overhauling of the brake and the clutch pumps. From then I will go on with the air/hydraulic servo brake valve, the relay valves and so on.

The pumps looked miserable, all of them, even to my eyes, and when I removed the rubber cap of the brake pump of the Merkabah there was a big crack and the edge of the cylinder was broken. No extended life for that pump. Hmm… Fortunately there was Spare’s pump and, even if it looked worse than Merkabah’s, eventualy could replace it.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#645 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-04-13 3:52:15

Asking for a little help from Eduardo I disassembled both brake pumps and selected among them the elements that were in best condition or were the appropriate ones, as the three-pin pressure sensors for instance, which I was not sure if they worked.

It was not fast, due to time and rust, but I could do it without harming my back in the process. Good.

Once the internal elements were out I cleaned them, figured out how they worked and hoped that there were repair kits or individual spares available. We would see the next week.

Then, there was a final touch of cleaning with the mesh, and the master brake cylinder was left ready for painting.

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The trailer 5-way valve was truly a mistery to me. More than probably the connections were done not by the manual, and so it was not easy to understand how it was working… or actually not working. Anyway, Google and Youtube are quiet powerful tools to get things right and a few clicks were enough to find out that it was indeed not set properly for working.

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The next day I walked into the shop and changed clothes. I intended to find the missing parts even if I had to remove every single piece or box . And I did. The rest of the pumps and valves were in a box right in front of me, at the floor level. Hmm…

The servo brake valve looked massive but was lighter than I remembered. The tecalan tubes still in place were marked and I followed their path along the braking circuit which helped to understand the mess a little bit more.

The front brake valve was also there, badly covered with grease and dirt. It looked really sad but after a cleaning bath it would shine again.

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I thought in the same terms about the relay valve for the parking brakes, then I took it to make a more accurate inspection and, Christ, it was blocked! All the ports were plugged on purpose and it was by no meanings functioning. Why? Maybe it was out of service and the former owner simply relied on other valves. That was the reason why it was impossible to understand the brake layout of the truck. There was no way to know, looking from the outside, how it worked.

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Saturday in the afternoon I just passed by the workshop, made some pictures, measured this and that, took notes and went home. Too soon to get 100% back at work. I painted the brake pump with caliper high temperature paint just for the fun of it and knowing that it would probably not last long in contact with the brake fluid.

Another week, another opportunity to make progresses as I felt progressively better. It was the turn for the clutch pump so I disassembled it, cleaned the pieces and selected the best looking ones. As with the brake pump I hoped that there were repair kits. I put it all in a box a passed to next piece.

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The servo brake valve was a little more complex and I honestly did not like the idea of disassembling it. Eduardo encouraged me to do so, so… I grabbed the wrenches and started to unbolt here and there.

It was quiet dirty in there. Old grease, water, diesel and a few stains could be found, but nothing broken or seriously damaged when I opened it, though the front cap was broken and the rubber seal was worn out. I checked, and Spare’s valve was not the same model so I had no spare cap. Hmm… and double hmm…

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#646 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-04-13 4:00:08

I cleaned the valve, more or less, and put the pieces together. I would have to find the proper repair kits or individual seals to service the valve, and it looked it would be not easy. There were some new valves availables on the internet, not original ones, of course, so the idea of putting a brand new pedal brake valve, with only air to make it work, started to blink in my little head.

The little Mercedes shop had a repair kit for one of the relay valves, and it was the only available at that moment, so I took it and brang it to the shop. After cleaning and replacing the seals and putting a lot of grease as recommended by the manual I gave it a little more cleaning externally and put it apart. I wanted to try to rescue the plugged relay valve then so I took it and gave it a good shower and brushed it with a very powerful cleaner.

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It was late already, like always, so I left it all on the bench, cursed silently and went home.

The master cylinders for the brakes and the clutch, both painted and shining, waited they turn to be refitted, but it seemed that it would take longer than expected… as expected.

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Well, time went on and I wanted to work on the truck but I had some other priorities so it had to wait a little. I wanted to recycle every component if possible, as for the rest of the project, so, when I went to the shop next time I took the plugged relay valve to inspect it. After a little cleaning it was clear that it was out of order, lightly though visibly worn out.

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The front brake valve was taken to a cleaning bath and disassembled. Its components were okay and there was only to clean it properly and change the seals. Good. It was pretty scarse and very expensive, at least here.

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Verardo called at some moment and I went to see the steel profiles I had ordered a few weeks before to fabricate the subframe of the living Box. He brang them from Santiago profiting of a trip to pick some supplies for his machine shop. They were pretty solid and heavy, but they would have to wait until a final decision about the way things would be done was taken.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#647 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-04-13 4:10:55

Back at the workshop, I grabbed the 4 circuit valve of the Merkabah, disassembled it and watched the steel pieces heavily corroded and the plastic/rubber ones worn out. Hmm… Took the valve from Spare, same brand, different model, and it was pretty much the same though the valve from Spare was better looking in general. As I was at it, selected the best parts from both, knowing that I would have to regulate the opening pressure for every circuit once refurbished, and waited for the time to go to the shop to ask for spares.

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Well, I went to the little Mercedes shop in San Felipe and brought a new relay valve for the rear service brake and the repair kit for Spare’s 4 circuit valve. The last would be used for the air circuits of the CTIS and the pneumatic suspension.

I got also the repair kit for the brake and the clutch pump. It all looked perfect, but when I was ready to assemble the pumps I asked Eduardo to give them a third look, just to be completely sure, and he found, deep in the interior of the cylinders, minuscule imperfections. The pumps, both, were dead. Plop.

I had made a search before, looking for the pumps, but they were not easy to find and there were so many variants that I was not sure of which one to ask.

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Wasted not much time at complaining and started to service the old 4 circuit valve. I did a very good job, frankly, and replaced all the components in bad condition of the towers, but it came so difficult to replace the front seal that I finally broke the plastic cap at the third attempt. Enough. No more f……cking old stuff. Got my things and went to work.

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The next day I sat in front of the computer, with the cell phone in one hand, and made a brief research and a few calls. I forgot about working on the Merkabah for the rest of the week.

That Saturday, pretty early, we borrowed Eduardo’s L200 and visited the veterinarian with five of our dogs. At present they are seven, and counting. It was hard to put them all in the truck as they are not trained, they are happy street dogs, but we did it and they received all their vaccines and medicines and so on. We looked like gypsies, and the barks could be heard from the distance.

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My knowledge of the basics of pneumatics and air brakes had been continuously growing and every day the sketches and layouts for the systems of the truck were also growing in complexity. I only hoped to have enough space to route the pipes and place the fittings all around.

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And the autumn finally came to San Felipe. The temperature abruptly descended and the 4th april it rained for the first time in the year. Oh, I really like the autumn, even if I have to look the rain fall through the window of my office.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#648 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-04-13 4:18:07

The boxes I was waiting for arrived that same Tuesday, but I could not get to see them until next day. It was all there, or almost: new pump, new actuator, new valves, a tread valve, double air dryer and automatic purge valves for the air reservoirs.

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The air tanks will sit in the middle of the frame, very hard to reach by hand, so I decided to do the commanded regular purge by means of piloted valves.

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When I wrote that I had all I needed to start with the assembling of the brake system I was obviously wrong, as always, but it is part of the game.

The old and faithful Montero was brought to the shop, finally. All the spares and parts had arrived and the time for repairing had come. During the trip to the far south the winshield broke, we crashed with another truck in the middle of a sandstorm, the transmission suffered from travelling long distances with the 4x4 engaged, my back suffered with the worn out sit, one of the cooling hoses broke, the heating collapsed, the sunroof leaked and so on. The good old Mitsubishi needed attention and he would be in the ICU for a while.

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Pretty soon I discovered that, even if it wasn’t a bad idea in the end, replacing the brake servo valve to install a full-air brake system was impractical because of the limited space, so I sent the tread valve back and ordered a new servo valve and a new brake valve to stay with the original system. The clutch would be restored to the original as well and thus the new pump and actuator.

As I had to wait for the parts to arrive I had no choice but to start from another point: pressurized air, then. I grabbed one of the battery trays and made a few cuts to narrow it by 10 cm. Welded it back together and drilled the holes needed to bolt the double air dryer. This type of dryer is required for both the CTIS and the pneumatic suspension manufacturers. In addition, the valve manifold for controlling the pressure of the air bellies has an air treatment unit on its own.

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I also needed a new air governor to let the air dryer cycle as it should normally do. I found the right type at the little Mercedes shop, but I asked the original Brand to be ordered from the dealer. Too many compromises so far to get into a few more using alternative hardware for important functions.

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pairospam
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#649 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-04-13 4:25:05

Once the tray was ready I had to think on how to bolt it to the frame. The idea was to gain space right behind the batteries so the tray had to be placed forward from its original location, and there were some bolts and curves which were pretty inconvenient obstacles.

It was already Saturday when I took a few pieces from the remnants of the frame of Spare to make up a couple of supports. Cut and drilled a little, measured, put them together using the infinitely useful brackets, some stitch welds and voilà… the supports. Yes… three hours later.

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At this point I felt pretty well though my back was still not completely silent, as I love it to remain. I invited Carmen and we rode to the mountains, to the frontier with Argentina. We visited a monument put in place more than a century ago, the Cristo Redentor (the Christ of Redeption), just at the edge of the Andes range in between the two countries, at 4.000 meters. There was jus a little snow but it was pretty cold and windy, not a problem for our intrepid heroes and the mighty Africa Twin. Had lunch at the Hotel Portillo (Christ… how expensive!) looking at the Laguna del Inca and ran back home before sunset. Pretty good ride.

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Next Monday, I prepared and welded the pieces for good, paying a lot of attention to the quality of the welding because the tray would be quiet heavy when loaded. In the end, after a long while, the supports were almost ready, just needed the holes to be drilled for bolting the battery tray. I could just get to there before it was time to leave.

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waYne
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#650 Beitrag von waYne » 2016-04-13 8:39:51

Good to see you back in business and doing new efforts for finishing the Truck.

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JStefan
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Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#651 Beitrag von JStefan » 2016-04-13 17:27:02

I like the pic were you are lying in bed with nearly all of your Gang.... :-)
Saludos e un picotear para Carmen. Nos vemos
Petra e Stefan de Colombia


1 Reise, 2 Menschen, 3 Achsen, 4 Pfoten, 6 Jahre.... www.tvware.de
1 Reise, 2 Menschen, 3 Achsen, 4 Pfoten . . . . seit 2009 on the road .... www.viajantes.de

a90
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#652 Beitrag von a90 » 2016-04-13 21:48:57

Thanks again for the updates, let's hope your back will be ok from now.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#653 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-05-31 23:13:19

Well, it is not nice to see this thread pass from the front page to the second page, but life is not that easy, and to keep the story up to date takes a little effort that I cannot always make. But, here I am, again. Not big news, not many news, but some news in the end.

Thanks for the greetings and good vibes. My back is still holding, with ups and downs. Ageing and abuse have their price.

This has been a time of big expectations and little achievements. I thought of making big progresses but, instead, I found many problems and had less time than ever to work on the truck.

One day, the new servo valve arrived, both the hydraulic and the pneumatic components (sold separatedly, of course), and I hurried to finish the battery tray to fit the air brake system. When bolted, there still was some angulation between the main axle of the frame and the tray, but I did not care too much as I was not keen on fabricating new supports nor to modify them.

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The double air dryer fitted very well and also looked very good, at least to me. There was enough space to install the governor, but I would need to fabricate an ad hoc support as well. Of course, the pieces of the frame of Spare supplied the steel needed and, after a little cutting and bending, there was a nice support to hold the governor in place.

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Same thing with the support for the new servo valve. It moved from the outer side of the frame on to the internal face of the beam, so it needed a new fixing. This time a little welding, the support of a discarded valve and some bolts did the job.

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The general idea was to put every valve and connector at their place to distribute the fittings and to calculate the length of the polyamide tubes needed for the whole layout. I would clean the components to recycle them as needed. It was clear that, even if I had many valves and connectors, they would probably not be enough. I would complete the picture and then I would paint it all in one long session, or so I hoped.

I installed the valves and the servo, playing a little with the connectors and the fittings as I went cleaning them on with the mesh. There were really lots of them, but I still needed to get the inserts and the collars for the tubes. Hmm…

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#654 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-05-31 23:25:40

One afternoon, the new brake pump arrived from the Mercedes official dealer, at a cost that I prefer to forget right now. Christ…it hurt! And the old one looked so good…

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The cleaning and the selection of the fittings and connectors went on for many days, as it was a quiet slowly progressing task. I had to take out and put in many time the valves to try some different ways to set the future tecalan paths. I cleaned the front relay valve and its fittings again and set the proper tees for the different braking circuits.

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To calculate more accurately how much polyamide tubing would be needed, I used a quadriculated model of the frame on Sketchup, and it worked pretty well. Draw every line that would be installed in each circuit and I came up with precise amounts of tecalan, at least theoreticaly. Mr. Würth was charged of getting the tubes.

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Slowly, piece by piece, the polished components of the air circuits went in position, waiting for the whole thing to be finished. At this point of the story I had given up on thinking that this had to be a super-fast stage of the project; should never have thought that way, actually.

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But, I also had to think of other things to keep my mind clear, so I kept caring for my other objects of affection too, and changed the rear tyre of the venerable Africa Twin. After only 10.000 km it was heavily worn out and I needed the bike to be prepared 100% for the next weekend.

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I continued rescueing and cleaning fittings and tees all around the next days, making each time different combinations. Asked for more connectors and pieces everywhere in San felipe and Santiago but nobody had the millimetric fittings I needed. They said that they were too old, and they offered me a lot of combinations of 5/16, 3/8, ½, and other stuff in inches that I could hardly understand, nor wanted to. I would have had to change it all. No damn way.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#655 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-06-01 4:01:28

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So, I looked for the guys that fabricated the connectors and fittings and all the stuff some 40 years ago and, fortunately, they were still in the business. Unfortunately, though, I received only an answer from their partners in the USA, but they only had elements in inches. The guys from Germany did not answer me.

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Waiting for the reply, and a little bored of cleaning things with the mesh, I took the pedals and fixed them. Both springs were a little exhausted and they refused to work properly, so I drilled new holes to fit them and it worked pretty well. Of course I looked first for new springs, but there were no spares around.

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One of the followers of the local thread wrote to me those days, telling that he had a very nice and well preserved MB 2534, almost same era of the Merkabah. The truck had crashed and turned over recently and he offered any pieces that could be usefull for the project. Naturally, I asked him if he could sell me all the air brake connections and fittings. He said he would see after that.

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At the store, I asked for the most resistant hoses for the brakes, and the seller raised one eyebrow before disappearing behind the desk. He soon returned with some meters of a blue hose and a few very expensive brackets. Maybe it was not the best type of hose for that application, but clearly it was a pretty tough hose.

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The given weekend I went to a meeting of big trail bikes and participated in both the racing and the skill competitions, just for the fun of it. The final goal was to test the new Africa Twin, an actual off-road test, introduced for the first time to the local market on that occasion. Nice piece of machine, but not as nice as my old and faithful lady, and there was no love between me and her. I decided to keep the old model for a while and rode back home. She protested a little, burning an unusual amount of fuel, but at the end of the day she was happy and grateful to remain being the queen.

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Not having had enough, the next day I got the WR 450 and took her for a nice ride up on the mountain tracks. The new grass that covered the slopes and the cloudy sky gave a fresher look and a fresher feeling to the ride. The yellow and ocre colours of the autumn spotted the valley here and there. It was a very pleasant moment.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#656 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-06-01 4:08:12

Back at the workshop, I wanted to hang both 20 liter air tanks to the battery tray, but I had no more plastic pieces to put in between to hold them stay and safe. I decided to fabricate a pair of supports made of steel using a piece I had collected some time ago from the pile of trash from Verardo’s machine-shop. I marked and started to cut until it was late.

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At home, I needed to make some servicing to the Africa Twin, but the requisite was to wash her before getting her into the living room. She was so dirty that I had to wash it on the street. It is actually not allowed, but the amount of water needed was so big that the little garden would be left as a mud stadium. Anyway, the odometer was blocked and the prolink needed some adjustments so I gave the bike some hours of loving care.

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And, to make a long story short, I cut the steel tube and some other pieces, drilled and grinded, welded and so on, and, in the end, the tanks were firmly fixed to the tray, and the air fittings could be pre-installed to keep up with the plan. The whole work took me three days, though.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#657 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-06-01 4:16:13

Mr. Würth delivered the tecalan tubes as promised, and I felt very frustrated because I still had no response from the Voss guys, and I had found nobody yet to fabricate the collars needed to tighten the nuts. The available bronze collars were of no use, so I decided to recycle the ones I could recover. The gas torch was very useful for this purpose, though slow. The problem was that I needed more collars than I actually had, and not every collar was in condition of being reused. Hmm…

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The remaining manometers arrived from the USA. I needed them to complete the dashboard control of the pressurized air systems, and eBay was very useful and trustable, as usual.

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I made some tests trying to solve the problem of the air brake circuit with local solutions but the situation did not get better. There surely were some more alternatives but I have had no more time to look for them at that point so I started to feel a little frustrated. Then, I drank a huge cup of tea, plenty of honey, and took the hydraulic pipes. I would make them fit on the frame, to make a change.

The long pipes were taken out when the frame was naked, but now there were many things on the way, including the engine and its supports, the struts of the sway bar and the air springs. There was no way that I could put them back in with all the curves and bendings they had and, moreover, the lengths had changed as the valves moved from their original position, and the front winch occupied the first centimeters of the space.

When I was straightening the first of the pipes, it broke, naturally. The steel was not meant to be curved and then de-curved, no matter how carefully and warm it was done. Fortunately, Eduardo has the tool to adjust the mouth of the pipe to make the connection, so I kept on after some tests. No other pipe broke, though, and, just before leaving, I got to put the three lines in place with no big problems.

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And it was Saturday again, the right day to continue with the project, alone in the workshop, but I had a call from work and then Hugo, a good friend from the self-making allrad wohnmobil guild, announced visit for lunch. He came on his brand new Super Teneré – Oh, Christ… still the dooming temptations!- and we had a very good time, talked about lots of things, related and no related to the trucks, and agreed on how the projects become everytime more complex, more slow and expensive, just for the fun of it.

He bought his Volvo thinking on small and versatile - not quiet like the Merkabah! he laughed -, and soon discovered that there was not enough space for his family and the ATV. In few words, he ended up building a stretched monster just a few centimeters smaller than my truck, and he has had as many troubles as myself doing the job, though he still was working on the 6x6. Yes, we laughed a lot at ourselves.

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Monday morning I showed up earlier in the workshop and found that Terral, René’s expedition baby, was there for the scheduled servicing. The poor truck suffered a lot because of the salt bath in Brazil, more than initially thought, and Eduardo was charged of trying to rescue him from that and other damages. We would see.

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By the way, all the pictures are used under permission (and with joy).

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Iain_U1250
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#658 Beitrag von Iain_U1250 » 2016-06-18 1:09:49

Glad to see you are up and working on your truck again. The pneumatic and hydraulic systems the Mercedes Benz have designed are very complicated. I could also not find the metric collars for the air lines, and ended up replacing all of them with the push on fittings. Bild They are much easier to find, and makes life a lot easier when routing the pipes, as you can easily change your mind, just hold in the collar and pull the air line out.

I recognise a lot of the components in your air system, seem like MB likes to keep with standard systems.

I am writing this whilst sitting in bed ( still early in the morning) right on the beach, almost 5000km from home and now having 23,000km on our little truck. All you efforts you are making now will be worthwhile.

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Iain

Brisbane, Australia
Unimog U1250
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKPlQW ... KTQ/videos

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#659 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-06-27 6:35:28

Well, your reassuring words are always welcome, Iain. Sorry for the late reply. Your “little truck” looks fantastic and I am glad you are on the road again. Looking at the videos and the pictures on your blog makes me re-think on the idea of a trip to Australia. Thanks for sharing.

Had been trying to make the most, little steps at a time, to go on with the brakes and the pneumatic systems of the Merkabah. The new layout of the piping needed more and different supports and I fabricated some with the pieces of junk collected from everywhere. No big deal, no big achievements either.

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While I was at it, Terral the truck received some attention as well. One of the gadgets that went to hell with the salt was the rear winch, and René found no better than replacing it with a bigger one. I helped him to take out the broken and it almost fell on my feet. Damn heavy thing, less powerfull than mine but a lot heavier. Warn versus chinese, so… you see.

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I had to order some flexible high-pressure hoses to replace the rigid hydraulic pipes, but the guy needed to adapt the fittings already existing because there were no new parts available so it was the death sentence for the old pipes. But, there were not enough fittings so I had to get some more as fabricating them was expensive and, frankly, I did not trust the quality.

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Terral’s heavy duty winch arrived and it fitted, barely, in its place. Initially René proposed to trade winches as I still had the rear winch in its original box but, making some “little” adaptations, he and maestro Chaleco would make it fit properly.

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Time was very scarse those days, and I just played with the hydraulic pipes to cut and adapt them to the new position of the servo-valve. Nothing brilliant, and very time consuming.

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To make it worst, I had extra regular work that weekend. When I finished my duties and had some time to relax, I made a little solo trip to the mountains and, for a couple of hours, I felt happy and free. Some light rain completed the ride and the trails felt as if they were there just for myself and the mighty Africa Twin. When I got back home for lunch, Carmen looked at the smile on my face and smiled back. We prepared together a very delicious meal.

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I had to go to the cattle to get more spares for the hydraulic system. I was looking for the piping of the venerable Spare, and found it under a mountain of wood made with old peach trees from the orchards. Can you see it between the branches, behind the museum grain thresher? Well, I had to work a little to get in there and disassemble it to get the fittings. I took them to the shop, cleaned them a little and then took them to the guy who would fabricate the hoses. I kept the connectors, though.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#660 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-06-28 6:19:15

To keep going, I started to cut and place the tecalan hoses here and there, always waiting for the proper collars and inserts to show up. Working with the tecalan was not as easy as I thought, and keeping them in order, with the right curves and the proper fixing needed a lot of attention.

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And, after a pretty long process, I finally got my professional license. The red letters marked by the arrow tell that I am now certified to drive non-articulated trucks wherever and whenever I want. The problem is that I have no truck to drive yet!

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When I decided to keep the old Africa and not to buy the new model I also decided to have her functioning at 100 %, so I ordered a new rear shock and the repair kit for the Prolink arm that was showing minimal but present play. One day, the shock and the spares parts arrived, all from different sources, and, as I still had no news about the collars and the fittings for the truck, I disassembled the old bike, again, and replaced the old with the new parts.

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Lying there on the floor, working on the bottom of the bike, I saw a man come and put some parts on the floor and a radiator leaning on the cabin of the Merkabah, which I did not like very much. To make the story short, he bought at an auction, some years before, an air conditioning kit for one of the MB trucks of the company he was working for at that time, but he never installed it. Eduardo heard about it and asked him to go to the shop to show it to me as it could be useful for the truck.

The kit was complete, compressor, hoses, fittings, radiator, expansion bottle (or whatever its name is), and the fan. It was all brand new, jut showing some dirt and marks of poor handling and careless storing. I asked him to put a price for the whole thing and he said some like 40 euros. Nothing more, nothing less! - he quoted. Are you sure? – Eduardo asked, and the answer was positive.

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I had not enough cash in my pocket so I borrowed a few bills from Eduardo and payed the guy. He looked pretty happy for finally getting rid of the stuff. He left and we all, including René and the mechanics, stood looking at each other, amazed by the fact that he had no f..cking idea of what he had between hands. I got a couple of boxes and put the nearly 2.500 euros A.C. kit at rest aside the truck, and finished the servicing of the Africa Twin. It felt good to ride her with new shock, and not only because of that… as you may understand.

Days passed and no big changes in the situation: few time, little progresses, no spares for the brake system. Put the new hoses that replaced the metal pipes and they looked pretty fine, but I found out that there was a mistake, and the protection bar that bolts under the fender would need further modifications. But that would come later…

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