Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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lura
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#901 Beitrag von lura » 2019-01-04 7:57:57

Happy new year to you too.
Good to hear, you will get power for the next steps, wenn it can drive itself. Good luck!
Gewinne Zeit durch Langsamkeit

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#902 Beitrag von cguenther » 2019-01-28 14:06:34

Hi Pairo,

i am following this thread throughout the recent years - great, please keep us updated, especially with this mentioned milestone: "Merkabah 1st drive" :-)

Concerning your efforts getting the electrics done: May i strongly recommend to do some documentation about wiring, wire-colors etc. At least how the pole-blocks in the cockpit have been wired?
Some years ago i did a complete rewiring based on 3 different harnesses from different model-years (covering approx 20years ob built-time) and finally decided to buy some harnesses from the scapyard in addition, to have the used (and documented in the circuitry) wire-colors available to complete the car.

maybe this is a bit to much for the merkabah, but at least some basic documentation will help you a lot, if it comes to diagnosing electrical problems in the outback.

however, i am absolutely impressed about the energy and longevity you have put into this project and hope things will continue to go on as planned. thanks for your pictures!

best regards
Carsten

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#903 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 5:33:43

Well… it is already time for an update. Thanks for the good vibes, first of all.

It has been both a good and a frustrating time. I have spent many hours working on the project but I think in the end I have done not too much, at least nothing clearly visible. As always, I have had many things to do in my regular working life and, at some point, I have privileged family and health instead of living forever at the workshop.

Since the last update, some time ago, I was busy with electrics, and I had to explore and fix many terminals and wrong connections to make all the systems work. It was necessary to follow many of the wire bundles from the beginning to the end to make sure they were all okay and that they were the right ones. And that alone was quite a job in itself.

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Finally, after a long while, I made all the warning lights, at least the circuits, work.

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At some moment I had to take my short holidays if I wanted not to loose them so I coordinated with my friends Renato and Pery a long trip to Ushuaia with the bikes. If you remember, we had met four years ago when I was on a solo trip to the south. It was a good ride and I discovered that my steppenwolf nature could be softened a little and accept company when travelling, moreover, I enjoyed a lot their company that time.

I made a little order, prepared the Beast and rode to Santiago where we finally met. They had already rode a couple thousand kilometers from Curitiba in Brazil, but they looked fresh and friendly, as I remembered them.

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Like me, they didn’t like the highway so I traced a route through the secondary roads down to the south, and we navigated Chile from the coast to the mountains, enjoying the most beautiful places and views we could reach given the tight schedule we had.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#904 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 5:38:51

We visited the region of the lakes, both in Chile and Argentina, and we enjoyed sunny and rainy weather as well. We also enjoyed, a lot, dinner and wine at every town we stayed the night.

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We went back and forth between Chile and Argentina depending on the route and we rode many kilometers of the Carretera Austral, again, and the Ruta 40, looking for places and views worth the trip. And there were many of them.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#905 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 5:43:37

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As usually happens in Argentina, particularly on the long and boring Ruta 40, a couple of times there was no fuel available, and we suffered a little trying to get the best mileage of the bikes, at 75 km/hr, to get to the next gas station.

The only one who did not feel uncomfortable was Renato. His R1200 Adventure had still 250 km to go when our tanks were almost empty. Hmm…

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#906 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 5:49:16

I said the Ruta 40 was boring, and indeed it was, but you could still enjoy some views of the desert you could not see elsewere. Every landscape has its own beauty.

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We made many kilometers of dirt road, good and tasty dirt road, but in Argentina we found a 75 km piece of road with the most slippery ripio you can ride on. We had to help a poor experienced Spanish rider that fell down because of the sea of pebbles. Renato also went down, just 15 meters before the end of the ripio. We laughed a lot at him, and so did he.

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Some say that you get old when you fall and your friends worry about you, and you stay youg when they laugh at you. That’s what bike riding do to your soul… you get younger of spirit, even if your body tells and shows otherwise.

Anyway, we went on, sharing stories and friendship, and visited a few national parks along the Ruta 40. Sometimes we were cooked by the heat of the desert and others we had to stop to dress up in rain costumes. Like in every trip.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#907 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 5:56:17

We boarded the ferry that crosses the strait of Magellan, knowing that I had no much time left for coming back to San Felipe. It had been a very good trip so far, no big hurries, but I felt a little uncomfortable because the time issue.

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That night, at dinner in the city of Rio Grande, 200 km from Ushuaia, I decided to start my way back home. That left me four days to arrive to San Felipe, and I had 3220 km ahead. So, next morning I got on the mighty Beast and rode the way back to the ferry and from there to the city of Caleta Olivia, 1100 kilometers of solo ride against a cross wind of 80 km in the middle of the desert. It was hard… though I really liked it.

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Next day I resumed the riding quite early but I didn’t make it to the border in Puyehue, some other 1000 km north, because of an indian strike that cut the road for a couple of hours and the custom closed fifteen minutes before arrival. To make it worse, fearing not to have enough fuel I bought an additional plastic tank that did not seal completely and ruined a couple of T shirts and all the food I had in one of the side boxes. Hmm… I slept in the best hotel I could find in Villa La Angostura, though… just to compensate.

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To make it short, I finally arrived to San Felipe two days later because I had to make the 40.000 km service of the Beast in Osorno, just other 1000 km from home, if I wanted to keep the warranty. I couldn’t find the right tires to change them, though, so when I came home you could almost see the air through the rubber.

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Two weeks. 8800 km. Nice company. Good weather (most of the time). The most beautiful places in both countries. It was a very good trip.

The return to work was quite abrupt but I could catch up with no big trouble the natural rythm of the rutinary life. The morning Sunday run with the dogs showed a fresh and new green look of the country, recently planted with new grapevines… and life went on.

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At the workshop, when I could, I kept on with the electric work, trying to fix every connection and terminal to make things work. At any minute one thing worked and another light stopped functioning, as is common with old stuff. I realized that it was quite tight inside the console, more than I first imagined, and there was a lot of stuff going in there. But, slowly, I was going on, looking forward to see all the systems come together.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#908 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 6:06:58

Meanwhile, I had this strange feeling, a voice in my head that had accompanied me since the end of the trip. I wanted more autonomy on the bike. I did not want to worry if I could get to destination or not depending if there was or there was not fuel at the next gas station. And no more dealing with fuel canisters. So, as the passionate and light-headed guy I really am, I got a R1200 Adventure with very few kilometers and a shining-new look. Carmen just looked at me, with that special grin.

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The machine, with no special name until now, was quite surprising and riding it was like riding a car, very comfortable, and it had almost 600 km of autonomy. The Beast had a more nervous touch, a little wilder allure, more sporty look and so it was pretty difficult to put her on sale. Life is hard.

After a long period of bad luck (if such a thing really exists), my father got back to work and resumed his patrols on the high Andes looking after the guanacos, the birds, the flora, the water levels and all the things he uses to do when piloting his flying machines.

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The first weekend of December I invited Eduardo and his wife and together we rode to Viña del Mar to have lunch profiting that it was just the beginning of the summer season, with very few people around. It was a very nice moment, and a very good ride to celebrate friendship and to inaugurate the new bike.

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And… guess what? Carmen did it again and convinced me, the tricky way, to adopt another dog. Introducing you Buran, the restless new arrived to Pairoa’s foster house for semi-educated dogs. Yes… I know.

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We got visitors, once more. Joe and Stacey and the Heffalump came one day from Canada after a quite difficult trip to San Felipe thanks to the mighty GPS. The distinctive look of the forward placed spares preceded their arrival, and it was planned a short stop to service the truck. Fortunately, my brother in law checked the truck and diagnosed quite different, and a quite profound repair should be done if they wanted to keep the truck going the next thousand kilometers. Unfortunately, though, it was not the proper time as there was plenty of holidays including Christmas and just a few labor days to work on the truck.

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As I said before, instead of passing half the weekend working on the truck, sweating like a horse and struggling with wires and connectors, I preferred to ride with Carmen and make some miles with the new bike. Scaping the heat of the summer of San Felipe was a priority.

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At some point the work on the Heffalump began under Joe’s attentive look. An amateur mechanician himself, it was quite difficult for him to see his beauty get undressed by others, but that was the deal. Eduardo allowed him and Stacey to stay in the truck during the overhauling.

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One good day, those days, I wanted to make a test and connected pretty carefully all the electric systems, I mean very carefully, paying great attention to all the sides, polarities, colours, etc.

As soon as I connected the batteries there were a few sparks, more sparks than usual, and in a matter of seconds that took me to disconnect the batteries, there was plenty of smoke in the cabin. The new 24/12V converted fried. Smelling the smoke everybody at the shop showed up asking where was the fire. At inspection I realized that I had connected the wrong cables forcing 24V through the 12V exit. And that was it. How could I make such a mistake, paying so much attention? It was time for a pause.

I took the converter to the shop looking for redemption and resuscitation, but in the end the heat was so intense that destroyed the multilayer circuit plate so it was useless to pray. Got a new one, with a big discount fortunately, and installed it in the dashboard, without connecting it. Then I decided to quit electrics for a while.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#909 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 6:14:25

But… nothing happens at random, and it all comes together one way or the other. Eduardo approached to see how things were going and pointed out the stains on the front springpack. I had hardly noted it before, and it was oil coming from the exhaust. Rings were stuck, at least on one cylinder. Christ… too much time running the engine with no opposition, no torque. It was a big strike under the belt, and I noted it. From then on the mission was to get the Merkabah moving as soon as possible and put her to work, hard.

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At first I was urged but obviously the situation wouldn’t have changed during the weekend so I got the WR450 from her lethargic rest and went to the mountains. The heat was terrible so I went up there dressed like an office guy instead of putting on all the enduro gear. I breathed a fresher air, meditated about what happened, took some pictures of the valley of the Putaendo river and the desertic landscape and rode back home with a smile on my face.

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Next Monday I mounted the front wheels the right way, with a little but pretty valuable help from Joe, and asked maestro Chaleco to help me with the bending of the steering rod. At first we tried with the old piece to see if we could get the right curves there at the shop. After a few tries, a lot of heat and a lot of pressure, we reached the shape needed to avoid conflict with the new shock absorber and then I got the brand new piece to the press and applied the same treatment. It missed the support for millimeters, but it was enough.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#910 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 6:23:49

Joe and Stacey were stuck at the shop, the engine stripped apart waiting for completion and availability of labor hours. It was not a pretty great panorama for Christmas so we invited them to Valparaíso, and I think we had good time, knowing the good and the bad things of the pretty curious city.

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Those days were very busy regarding the regular work, so I could not do much more than hoping I would have more time later to continue with the plan.

Well… if I was going to make the Merkabah move by herself I would need a seat to drive her on. I took the old driver's side seat of the Montero, left apart especially for this purpose, and started to disassemble it to see how to adapt the supports to the floor of the cabin. After a while it was clear that it would be necessary to make a great modification of the base of the seat to adapt it to the truck, and it was not a priority at the moment so the old passenger seat occupied the place of honor. Nor Joe nor I did like very much the look of it, though.

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I also installed the locking mechanism of the tilting of the cabin, just to make sure I would not end up smashing my forehead on the pavement in front of the truck at the first braking.

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And, one day, the Heffalump was ready. Major moving components were replaced, some repairs and new shocks and tires, the usual. I accompanied Joe on the first ride and, though a little skeptical at first, after a few adjustments and a few more kilometers he noted the change in power delivery and the softness of the suspension. They are now on the deep south, sleeping with penguins and enjoying wildlife and nature. Wish them well.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#911 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 6:35:34

A few weeks had passed, and there was no really change in any aspect of the Merkabah. But something had changed, though. Maybe it was just me and my appreciation of things. After a few movements and preparation, and a little help from Alejandro, the supersized argentinien, I installed the fuel tank and secured it with the ad hoc straps. The fuel sender from the original tank of the Merkabah fitted pretty well though I was not pretty sure it would work after all the manipulation of the sensor. Anyway, at least I had a functional fuel sender and I connected the hoses to it. Later on I confirmed that there was no lecture on the fuel gauge of the cabin. Life is hard.

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I had primed the steering arm but I could not find the grey paint can so I decided to install it anyway. Of course I found the paint soon after installing the part, but I decided to go on and keep the efforts and time to make the Merkabah run as soon as possible. I would take it out and paint it later.

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Then I aligned the front wheels following an idea of Joe that was pretty useful and accurate using just a pen a some meters of masking tape. Good.

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But, when I mounted the front wheel of the driver’s side I did not pay attention and the air valve got pinched. The next day the tire was flat, not completely, but from the original 100 psi it went to 30 psi. It was a good exercise, first of all taking the wheel out and adjusting the position of the valve, and then trying to inflate it. Even if the compressor of the workshop marked 120 psi it was not possible to reach 100 psi, fairly it went up to 70. Hmm… it was a bad sign for the CTIS, set to reach 100 psi at most. Maybe it would be not possible to get the desired pressure with the system fully functional. We would see.

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Well, the next I did was to fill the brake fluid reservoir and bled the circuit of the clutch pump with the aid of Eduardo. It worked pretty well and the clutch worked pretty well though it was a little hard to push on the pedal. I expected that because the actuator was a little underpowered in my humble and poor opinion, and there had to be a good reason why there was a servo valve in its place when I got the truck. In any case, it could be replaced if it was a noticeable inconvenient in a near future.

The big problem came when I tried to bleed the brake circuit. No way. The pump did not work. It was necessary to fill the master cylinder BEFORE mounting it. Ops.

I tried a few tricks to force the purge the air in the pump as to apply positive pressure to the reservoir, to apply vaccum to the exit lines and a few others that did not work, even if made pretty meticulously using the best I had at hand. Finally, after a few dedicated hours to it, I gave up. I did not want to take the pump out and deal with the mess of all the corrosive brake fluid inside the cabin, no Sir.

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The bib remained in place and I left all the hoses and lines connected. It was pretty frustrating, but I decided to pass on the parallel task and got my hands on the air pressure item.

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To make the story short, I began with no air at all after what I thought it was a perfect assembly of the air pressure circuit. I connected, reconnected and tested every connection just to make sure the different valves worked, to check for leaks, and so on from the beginning of the lines.

Among other issues, I discovered that I had connected the wrong ports of the servo brake valve. Ops again. Once corrected, I had air pressure building up in one braking circuit, but still no pressure in the second one. Everytime I had to check, the mighty V8 cranked pretty smoothly and it was music to my ears, but everybody at the shop protested because the exhaust smoke was poison to their lungs and sand to their eyes. Oh, susceptible people!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#912 Beitrag von Pirx » 2019-01-30 8:10:59

pairospam hat geschrieben:
2019-01-30 6:35:34
The big problem came when I tried to bleed the brake circuit. No way. The pump did not work. It was necessary to fill the master cylinder BEFORE mounting it. Ops.
Hola Pairoa!

Reading this line, I am really wondering. You are talking about a Mercedes-Benz 2626AK, a heavy duty truck. There shouldn't be a hydraulic brake. I didn't check documents or manuals, but I am 99% sure that there should be a pure air brake, no hydraulics!

Could you show some detail pictures of what you call the brake circuit and the brake master cylinder? I have a feeling there is something going terribly wrong!

Pirx
Der mit der Zweigangachse: 15 Vorwärtsgänge, 3 Rückwärtsgänge, Split, Schnellgang, Differentialsperre
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"Immer bedenken: Hilfe ist keine Einbahnstrasse, Geholfen-Werden ist kein Recht und es liegt an jedem selbst, inwieweit er sich hier in der Gemeinschaft (die im Extremfall so einiges gemeinsam schafft) involviert und einbringt."
Ein Unimog-Fahrer.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#913 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 14:32:46

Hola Klaus!

Nope, I think there is nothing terribly wrong, just the fact that I need to make the hydraulic pedal pump work without removing it. The truck came with it.

I tried to replace that pump with a only-air circuit, but there was no place to install the air brake pedal.

Here's the EPC diagram:

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#914 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 14:43:47

Well, it took a lot of time to test, check and solve every little problem regarding the air circuits, and I only had a few hours to work, and just a few days of the week, so the Merkabah had to keep on waiting for the final moment. And it seemed it would hardly come.

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Going on with the checking of the air pressure circuit I went pretty far and checked every valve and connection. There were too many places where there could be air leaks and malfunctions. One of the worst errors was that the air ports of the relay valves were wrongly connected too. How did I commit such mistakes if I supposedly followed the indications of the manual? Don’t know, but I did, and it was a lot of time and some effort, especially for not to feel so stupid.

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Once the right connections were ready the major leaking was stopped and I got pressure for both the primary and the secondary brake circuits, and pressure built up for the CTSI and the air suspension system as well. Good.

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But… the fatidical but… I could not get any lecture for the circuit of nothing less than the rest of the systems of the truck, namely the gear shifting, the differential blocking, the exhaust brake and the air tanks purging. There was a continuous hissing coming from under the cabin and in between the rails of the frame when the four circuit protection valve opened to deliver pressure to this circuit. Everything was leaking, and pressure built up enough to make the governor and the double air purge only when this circuit was excluded. Can you hear it? On the picture? Ah?

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So, why not to just check and fix it? Well… to do that I had to tilt the cabin forward, to take out the supple that impeded the locking mechanism of the gear shift rod to get stuck and block the tilting, again, and connect the hydraulic circuit to the locking mechanism.

So, that’s what I had to do, and precisely what I did. Quite boring. Ah, and I was still waiting for the new hydraulic cylinder to come. But that was a nother story.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#915 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 14:55:41

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Anyway, when checked, practically all the connections leaked, at every valve. The worst one was the gear shifting valve, on the very side of the gear box. The leak was massive, though the valve worked when isolated and applied pressure directly from the compressor.

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But… again… when the gear shifting mechanism was assembled and I tried to shift gears, I realized the shaft was blocked, immobilized, solid as a rock. Christ! I feared the worst, thinking of when I pulled the cabin up the first time with the winch, and the shift rod was locked to the base of the shift lever. Maybe something broke and the gear box was useless, even the short lever at the top of the shaft was bent. It was not a happy moment, especially after eight years of restoration.

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Eduardo wrinkled his nose and moved his head negatively when I told him the news. Probably you will have to take the gear box out to fix it, Pairoa – were his fatidical words. And, like Luke Skywalker, I yelled loudly: Noooooooo….!

Before going home, after a nice and refreshing drink, with cold head and analyzing more calmly the situation I stared at the Merkabah and wondered, for the millionth time, what was her trying to teach me. She looked almost ready but refused to go. The errors of the past keep coming to your present, someone said, so face them and solve them.

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That afternoon, my father sent a picture of his working day. He had recovered almost completely from all the health problems he had cumulated the last six months, and he was able to fly nine hours a day taking cargo back and forth, a really stressful job, at his 74 years. That, of course, gave me some perspective, and the approach to the setback shifted to a more gentle mood.

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Next time I stepped on the workshop I worked out the eventual necessity of taking the gearbox out, and, though doable, it meant a colossal effort and the disassembling of a myriad of parts. There had to a be a better way. And so, I started to disassemble things to see if I could get to the blockade of the shaft.

I took out the cover of the shift case just to discover that it was full of greasy crap, trapped there for years, surely long before I bought the Merkabah. It was a pretty nasty work to clean the expired oil and just to realize that there was no way to access the mechanism from there.

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There was the lateral cover of the box, and I was sure I could take it out and fix the problem. Eduardo was not so sure and no one at the shop was neither pretty optimistic about it. But I had a reputation to keep so I drained the oil of the box and put my hands on it.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#916 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 15:02:23

I removed first the cover of the bottom of the shift case and, clearly, it was the same case. I cleaned the cover for good and went on.

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The 3/2 way gear shifting valve went out to give me some more room in the pretty crowded space. I would have to check it later to see why it was not functioning properly, and as I inspected it I realized that one of the pins was locked in the open position. A few movements and some cubic centimeters of RostOff and the pin moved freely. Good, but it was far from over with it.

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As a measure of precaution I put a couple of wires to suspend the cover from in case it was so heavy I could not handle it securely. Then I unbolted the cover and removed all the external stuff that impeded to move it free from the body of the gearbox. It was actually pretty simple and, sliding it on the longest bolts, I could see the shifting fork and the shifting rods though it was them that did not allow me to remove the cover. It was apparently very difficult to move them from their position, as Don Pato, the more experienced mechanic of the shop, judged. Hmm… the idea of having to remove the whole gearbox was not completely overcomed.

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But I was convinced that the guys that invented this all had, at the right moment, thought about such kind of inconvenient and designed and planned things to solve problems the simplest way. So I made some moves, not saying desperate moves, and the cover went out free in my hands. It was not very heavy, and as soon as it was out the gears appeared, showing a quite sad vison of old and ill decanted oil and superficial rust.

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Once on the bench, the bloody cover did not look so menacing, and I discovered that it was quite a simple mechanism. The problem was also quite simple, as forwarded by Eduardo and Don Pato. The force of the pulling of the cabin made the shifting shaft spin too much and the pin of the shifting dome became trapped on the lateral aspect of the dome, and that was it. No way to unblock it from the outside.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#917 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-30 15:08:40

Ater all these years some superficial rust had formed on the pin, naturally, but a little more of RostOff and the pin was able to move freely and thus the shifting shaft began to move free again. Good.

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With a big smile on my face I cleaned the best I could both the cover and the gearbox from the crappy rests of ancient oil and prepared all to close the gearbox again. I made sure that the shifting rods were at the right place before bolting the lateral cover back, and wished it well.

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Then I assembled the shifting mechanism, at the very end of the adjusting length of the shift rod and the terminal as the position of the lever moved backwards at least one inch when unblocked. Ops.

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You can see how the once perfect paint scratched and bruised on the bolts and nuts. Probably it would remain that way forever… maybe.

I tried the shift lever in the cabin and the gears seemed to shift perfectly, rough as a truck, soft as the last time I drove it. Good. But it was late, and I had to go to work. I made order, swept a little, and I still had that smile on my face.

The next day, Saturday if I remember well, I suspended the three axles on the jacks to see if the gearbox actually worked. In no case I wanted the truck to be put in gear with no brakes to stop it. It would en up in the mountains, kilometers away, with nothing to stop it in the middle.

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I checked again and the gears shifted pretty well, so I cranked the engine and pushed against the clutch pedal with force. The cardan shaft stopped spinning in between the engine and the gearbox, I slowly but firmly put the first gear and released by the millimeter the clutch and… nothing happened. What? I tried other gears and no movement of the wheels at all.

Was this lack of motion due to de lack of air pressure to push the lever of the high-low gears? I pulled it with my hands but I couldn’t move it. Christ, what a disappointment. I really wanted the wheels to move, just to complement the great day it was the day before, and I doubted the air pressure could move the lever I was not able to move myself.

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Soon after I undressed and went home. The rest of the weekend I tried to get rid of that uneasy feeling. It was difficult to think on something broken inside the box. Probably was just a matter of gearing or whatever.

Next Monday I was pretty early at the shop, and after a short test Eduardo encouraged me to use a lever to move the bloody lever. I followed instructions, with a lot of care, and something moved and clicked, and the lever remained at a backwards fixed position. I cranked once again the mighty V8 and the wheels finally spinned at its command. The high-low gearing was simply in the neutral position, and yes, the air pressure was necessary for the mechanism to work.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#918 Beitrag von Pirx » 2019-01-30 16:50:08

pairospam hat geschrieben:
2019-01-30 14:32:46
Hola Klaus!

Nope, I think there is nothing terribly wrong, just the fact that I need to make the hydraulic pedal pump work without removing it. The truck came with it.

I tried to replace that pump with a only-air circuit, but there was no place to install the air brake pedal.
OK then!

So it is a "pure" air brake, but it is hydraulically actuated (just the way from the brake pedal to the air brake valve is done by hydraulics).

Pirx

P.S.: I wish you success to solve the gear box problems soon!
Der mit der Zweigangachse: 15 Vorwärtsgänge, 3 Rückwärtsgänge, Split, Schnellgang, Differentialsperre
---
"Immer bedenken: Hilfe ist keine Einbahnstrasse, Geholfen-Werden ist kein Recht und es liegt an jedem selbst, inwieweit er sich hier in der Gemeinschaft (die im Extremfall so einiges gemeinsam schafft) involviert und einbringt."
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#919 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-01-31 4:50:23

Sorry, Carsten. I left you in the oblivion.

Do you mean these?

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I had made a lot of schemes and diagrams, and corrected and replaced a lot of them as long as the installation proceeded. Without the sketches I would surely be lost.

Thanks for your words.

And thanks also to Pirx. I am working on the subject, as you will see.

Well, as you may guess, I was pretty happy after making the wheels move when, suddenly, I smashed my knee against the exhaust tube of the truck when I was descending from up the frame. Ouch.

It was a plain strike, right in the patella. It was hard to stand the pain, pretty hard, it hurt a lot. I though the bone was broken but there was no haematoma nor bruises. But it hurt, and it went on like that the rest of the day and the whole week, getting worse day by day.

Anyway, I was decided to take the Merkabah for a ride as soon as possible, so I went on with the less demanding task I could perform without moving too much. I needed lights if the truck was going on the street, basic, and I got a piece of steel and cut it in two pieces of the appropriate length. Drilled a couple of holes on them and got an old and useless piece of cross member and amputated the pieces I wanted, not to have to drill again any more hole that afternoon. Then a little welding and voilà… new tail lights!

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The old tail lights were stored in a box on the attic, this time I remembered it. I made a quite simple connection, wire to wire, and all the lights worked including the brake lights. Great.

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As you see, and like Joe stated a few days before, standards change.

A couple of bulbs was burnt out and I could not finish to install the lights on the driver’s side. It was hot like hell in San Felipe and there was no wind, the typical refreshing afternoon wind. A mug full of freezing Coca Cola was of no help. At that point the knee hurt really bad and I decided it was time to leave.

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I missed the Sunday run with the dogs because my knee still hurt, though I could manage to ride the venerable Africa Twin for a nice afternoon promenade with Carmen.

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The next Monday I got some bulbs and completed the tail lights. I would have to put a support for the license plate and get a reverse light, but I would have time for that. The problem still was how I would deal with the air leaks and the malfunctioning valves.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#920 Beitrag von a90 » 2019-02-01 20:22:46

Wow, what a work done !

Amazing to see such a perseverance.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#921 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-02-05 15:45:22

Hi, a90. Yes… it’s been quite an effort so far.

Let’s continue.

I removed the gear shift valve, even if I wanted not so much to do it. I disassembled it and found that it was full of a dirty and slimy thing. The components seemed to be in very good codition, though, and I could not believe it, when put back in place, it didn’t work at all, and kept on leaking considerable volumes of air. Hmm… old stuff… always the same.

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A few days later I had to go to Santiago and profited to visit the Casales at their shop. They had decided to sell their old 1017 and kept the living Box. They had been trying to install it on their Atego 1623 4x4 but it was already six months since the start of the efforts and there still was no final date to take the truck for a ride.

Francisco was still working trying to adapt things using the scarse time he had left. He had been busy following his son, Ignacio, with the assistance truck in the Dakar Rally in Bolivia, Argentina and Peru.

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Unfortunately this year Ignacio, who won the last year in quads, had to abbandon the Side by Side competition for mechanical reasons and did not get to the finish line.

The Casales’ patio is a very nice playground for those who like trucks. There was also the "old" SK with which they first competed in the Dakar back in 2019 and 2010. They had it rented to an energy drink firm in Uruguay and was standing there, silently, for almost a year with no clear future.

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There was also the brand new MAN, waiting for the time they would finally assemble the sandwich panel box, Merkabah’s twin, on its frame. I got into the cabin and crancked the engine. The feeling was near to a limousine comparing with the noise and shaking, though not so tremendous, of the Merkabah.

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It was a world apart. But, it was Euro… don’t know… 16? 30? and full of sensors. What would happen if one of them stopped working in the middle of the bush, or far in the mountains, or if the fording was a little too deep? Maybe a little too much delicate for my taste. Oh… but it looked, sounded and felt great.

Making it short, I spent the rest of the day making a lot of kilometers trying to find the correct fittings to replace the leaking banjos of the valves and the air distributor. Many of the stores and shops don’t have web page or/and it is poorly developed so I had to go there to ask personally.

In the end, after enjoying Santiago’s hottest summer afternoon, I could not find what I wanted, but I did find the front Begrenzungsleuchten, which were not available from the official dealer when asked, a few years ago.

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And time passed by. And the summer heat in San Felipe did not stop except for getting each day heavier and heavier. This is at 12:00 o’clock, when temperature is just beginning to raise.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#922 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-02-05 15:57:43

I felt kind of desperate because the air leaking at the valves and distributor was still an issue and pressure could not build up in the system. I tried what I had at hand to help with the tightness, but it naturally did not work as expected. I needed to replace the banjo and racord bolt system because the ports were old and deformed, just what needed to let the air flow through the sealing washers. New valves were expensive, at least those of known brand, and difficult to get from local dealers.

At the same time, I had a lot of trouble trying to find a replacement for the 3/2 gear shifting air valve. According to the official dealer there were no more available. Hmm…

I found one, Mexican made, pretty similar but just looking at it made me pretty suspicious. The guy asked Euro 160 for the valve, and that convinced me to walk away from the store, hands empty.

I googled under different angles and, after a few tries, finally found a spare in Temuco, a city 1100 km south from San Felipe. The guy at the phone asked only Euro 56 for it. Good. I payed and just waited for the valve to arrive in a few days.

I went to Santiago for other purposes in the middle of the week and profited to visit a store where I finally found the millimetric elbows I needed to replace the banjos.

Unfortunately they had not the M10x1.0 measure for the manual valves so I just got a lot of M12x1,5 brass, pretty expensive fittings with which I arrived home just in time to have dinner with Carmen.

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Did I mention that I like a lot riding the R 1200 Adventure as well? The wider fairing protects you from the winds and the cold air, but keeps the hot air from the engine and the exhaust in the turbulence behind and under you, though, making the ride pretty hot during the warm hours of the day.

You can image how bad I wanted to install the new fittings, and you also know that I had to wait quite a few before stepping again on the workshop. Anyway, at some point I put the new fittings on the air distributor under the cabin and they looked pretty good.

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I got the portable compressor and fed the circuit to make a test and looked for the leaks I knew were going to persist. And they did, as you can see, but only at the banjos’ connections.

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Bubbles were still forming with the last amount of air that scaped fom the circuit when the new gear shift valve appeared. Not the original brand, but pretty good looking.

Without thinking it too much I removed the old piece and installed the new one at its place. The original valve had a blocked pin in the open position, despite my efforts for cleaning and fixing it.

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Eddie occupied the portable compressor so the truck needed its own air supply. I excluded the circuit for the manual valves of the cabin and pressed the start button, full of confidence in the crispy and quick response of the mighty V8, but this time it coughed a few times and then just nothing, only the useless efforts of the starter. Bo.

I thought it was just a matter of fuel level. Sixty liters were barely enough to submerge the tip of the fuel sender in the tank so I bought twenty more liters of diesel and poured them into the tank. I pressed a few times the feeder pump of the injection pump and just a few seconds after the engine started like nothing had happened.

Among the screams and yells of protest because of the exhaust gases, the pressure started to build up and the gears shifted pretty solidly. I could not shift to reverse, though. Hmm…

Well, there was another issue to address to. At least the gear shift valve worked without air leaks.

Also, I could not get enough pressure in the secondary brake circuit though it was okay a couple of days before. I checked the whole circuit again looking for leaks but could not find one significant enough to explain the problem.

Thanks to the eBay world, again. If it was not for it I could not get the little pieces that are not longer available locally, like the pretty rare washer that went into the articulation of the accelerator. Good.

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That day I had little wins to celebrate and issues to be worried about. I had not enough air pressure in the seconday brake circuit nor pressure to free the truck from the maxi brakes so even if I was able to bleed and make the hydraulic brake pump work I wouldn’t be able to take the Merkabah for a ride.

Before going home, and only for the fun of it, I installed the front grille and the front cover. That way the truck looked almost like it was near completion. Dream on, Pairoa.

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And it was Saturday, again. At midday I went to the shop ready to spend a few hours working on the Merkabah, not sure of the results of the efforts to put in it as I was running short of resources to fix the many problems the project was facing at that moment.

I needed to approach the brake issue from another perspective, but meanwhile I purposedly looked for the license plate of the truck that was still bolted to the original front grille in a corner, covered by dust and dog’s hair.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#923 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-02-05 16:08:56

Thinking about the idea of the changing standards, an accommodative shift under some not very propicious circumstances, made me feel uncomfortable so I decided to do things the way I was doing before the fast and the furious came.

I grabbed a piece of discarded metallic sheet and made with it the simplest license holder I was able to immagine. Initially I planned to leave it like that, but I took care of the finitions and sanded and grinded it, instead.

I then sanded and prepared the supports of the tail lights for some cosmetic anti-rust black priming as well, not to leave them in their precarious state, and loomed the electric connections. Back to standards.

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Masking the frame was mandatory, of course, as I was too lazy to take the supports out from their place. Well… I am human after all.

After spraying some black primer I plugged the circuit fot the CTIS and the air suspension directly on the distribution four circuit valve and connected all the other air pressure circuits, relying only on the manometers of the dashboard. I checked and rechecked and changed some connections, among them the air lines that ran from the new gear shift valve to the pneumatic actuator. Of course they were on the wrong side and I had to check with the first pictures I took of the truck when I first brought it to San Felipe to be certain.

Took not many pictures as I was more interested in getting somewhere than documenting the process.

Anyway, I played a little with the tecalan and the connections untill I finally judged it was all set up for a test. I then connected the batteries and before cranking the engine I went up on the frame to purge a little the diesel feed pump, in case there was again air in the circuit. When I pressed the pump, though, there was a squirt of diesel coming from the hose that goes from the pump to the cylinders. It was broken, and there was diesel fuel all around. That was the reason for the last failed start of the engine and now the ripping was clearly evident.

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I replaced the rubber hose for a piece of 6 mm tecalan, knowing I would have to change all the hoses for a rubber hose of better quality pretty soon. Cleaned a little and cranked the mighty V8 with no problems this time.

Well, actually I cranked it many times later as I was adjusting and tightening here and there.

Finally, after a few minutes running, the system buit up regular pressure in both primary and secondary circuits and also in the circuit of the hand brake and the manual valves. It was a relief hearing the discharge sound of the governor when the global pressure reached 115 psi.

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The gears shifted pretty well and the high and low ranges were on the right side, though still could not shift the reverse.

The differential blocks also worked well though there was a mechanical sensor that did not function. It was pretty amusing to see the truck, all wheels spinning, going nowhere.

Made some adjustments between the gear lever and the gear shift rod and that gave me more lift of the gear shaft making the reverse engage pretty smoothly. Finally, the Merkabah was, theoretically, able to move by herself… if she only got functioning brakes…

Eduardo showed up at some point to look for some tools and we discussed about the best way to purge the brake pump, the bloody hydraulic master cylinder. As stated before, I did not want to take the cylinder out, fearing the resulting mess with the circuits filled with highly corrosive brake fluid ready to flow on the floor of the cabin.

But it was useless. He convinced me to take the pump out and purge it carefully on the bench before mounting it back in place.

I looked again the object of my anguish and that made me more nervous. I would need to work more comfortably to minimize the risk of undesired drips so I removed the driving column to have more room to move.

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Then I removed all the brake fluid I could suck off from the reservoir and the pipelines. The bib was, again, of big help.

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Do you remember the plastic sheet I made the blasting chamber with? Recycling is the magic word. I cut a few pieces and arranged them not to let any single drop to reach the paint of the floor of the cabin, or so I wanted.

But it was already late and I had to stop thinking and doing and went to pick Carmen for a family dinner at the countryside.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#924 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-02-05 16:59:49

A few days passed and I had to work like every human being because someone had to pay all the expenses of the project.

At some moment I got a couple of hours in between appointments so I run to the shop and assembled the renewed tail lights and the quite lightweight plate holder. I believed it was strong enough to hold on until the Box was assembled and put in place.

After a few cosmetic retouches it all looked okay, at least to me and hopefully to the traffic agent as well.

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Then, pretty carefully, I removed the brake pump. There were some drips but nothing serious. All the cautions and preparation were worth of them. I really don’t like brake fluid and its effects on the paint.

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As I needed a reservoir for the brake fluid to purge the pump I looked for Spare’s reservoir. I knew it has to be somewhere.

I found it hanging from the roof, covered with dust and pretty dirty in the inside. Took me quite a while to clean it for good and when I finished it was time to go to work again.

I was getting closer.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#925 Beitrag von Pirx » 2019-02-19 12:14:02

Hola Pairoa!

You told me, that you have still problems to bleed the brake circuit. As we had just discussed a similar problem in the forum, I remembered some hints and tips for that.

You could try to bleed the circuit "backwards", means filling the liquid at the brake cylinder and bleeding the air at the pedal cylinder. This proved to work in several difficult cases.

Suerte!

Pirx
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---
"Immer bedenken: Hilfe ist keine Einbahnstrasse, Geholfen-Werden ist kein Recht und es liegt an jedem selbst, inwieweit er sich hier in der Gemeinschaft (die im Extremfall so einiges gemeinsam schafft) involviert und einbringt."
Ein Unimog-Fahrer.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#926 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-02-19 19:33:36

Well… getting closer but not there yet.

Hola, Pirx! I tried what you mention, but did not work. Thanks anyway.

A few days passed, and I had to do other things. When I finally could put my hands on the isolated pump, or cylinder, as you may like, I purged the air the way everybody tells you to do it, and it worked pretty well according to me.

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I installed the pump back in place and connected all the fittings trying not to loose a single drop of brake fluid, with no 100% success, of course. The thing is that I repeated the “normal” purging procedure and, again, did not work. Hmm…

It was pretty disappointing not having brakes with which to stop the truck, as you may understand.

Then, I decided to check everything, including the hydraulic pipes and, guess what… one of the circuits what obstructed. Christ, completely obstructed.

I looked for the site of obstruction and it turned to be near one of the connections between the long pipe and the new piece of flexible hose, precisely the most difficult to reach in the inner face of the frame rail under the engine.

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After unclogging and washing out both brake circuits, using a lot of brake fluid and liters of fresh water to wash the frame and everything around, I repeated the procedure trying to purge the whole circuits backwards this time. In the end there was not a single bubble of air in the circuits, but the brake cylinder refused to pump the fluid with enough pressure to make the system work.

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Eduardo and I were not able to think other cause than the pump itself. It seemed that, somehow, the new brake cylinder was broken or malfunctioning. It was not good news, but I shrugged, again, and passed to other item to profit of the couple of hours I still had left to work on the truck. I would think later in getting the repair kit.

Since a couple of days I was thinking of greasing all the stuff that needed greasing before making more tests and make the wheels and the cardan shafts spin without full lubrication.

So, I went under the frame and removed all the Abschmiernippels (love the name in german) and replaced them for new ones. There was a lot, some of them covered by paint, others protected by masking tape. I changed them all, anyway.

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Of course, next, I got the grease gun and applied grease everywhere, making sure it was enough, or more than enough. Cleaning the excess of grease took me twice the amount of time than greasing, though.

That Saturday we had visitors and got to take a dog to the veterinarian, no place for working on the Merkabah during the weekend then.

Carmen and I went to the workshop briefly in the morning to feed the guardian dogs and a couple of cats, and the truck was there, as usual, waiting for the time to run. That moment seemed to be so far away, and at the same time so close.

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My old man, on his part, did not stop working, and kept on sending me pictures of desertic landscapes of the north of Chile, high in the Andes range. The cactus that you see in the picture is nicely called “mother in law’s seat”. You may guess why.

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Well, at some moment I remembered that there was one occasion when Domagoj, from Croatia, wrote that he had a similar truck and was having a hard time to purge the brakes. I looked the mails of that time and found the picture of the answer I got for him from one of the followers of the Chilean forum. There was a description of the procedure to bleed the brakes together with the clutch circuit. What? I looked then and found the same instructions on the same page of the manual given to me by one of the members of this forum. Ops. I had not checked it myself.

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Anyway, apart from the auto-recriminations, I did not understand how the described procedure could work if they were two independent circuits, but… what the heck.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#927 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-02-19 19:46:46

I went to the workshop, when I could, and found nobody to help me at that moment because they were pretty busy.

So, I went to other thing and checked the differential lockers looking for the reason why they did not work as supposed. I had fixed the electrical circuits for the warning lights and there was a couple of sensors not working and I had brang new ones but, mechanically, there was something wrong. Both rear axles lockers and the central differential did not function.

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Do not ask why but I did not check the mechanism before in all the three axles, only in the front one and, as it worked well, I forgot about the issue. Wrong.

I removed the air line and the sensor of the inter-axles locker cylinder and found it was kind of dirty inside. I removed the whole cylinder and realized that the dirt was more than simple dirt an it needed a very profound cleaning. The piston was simply stuck by a mixture of mud, rust, solid ancient oil and neglect. Christ! Not even 120 psi of air pressure would make it move.

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I gave it the classical toilette treatment and, of course, removed also the locker cylinders of both rear axles to find that they were in the same miserable status, more or less.

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Though a little damaged by some superficial rust, the cylinders were rescuable with love and carefull sanding and the rubber seals were practically like new (old well-done stuff!) so after some care and a bit of grease they were potentially fully functional.

I also found that the shaft regulation for the three lockers were out of range and they would not work if assembled like they were set, hmm… Were the rear lockers really working when I bought the truck?

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A phone call and had to go to work, real work, though. It was late when I finished so instead of returning to the workshop I went to bed. Plop.

The next morning, Saturday morning, after some tries with a couple of wrenches and a screwdriver I got the desired regulation set and happily assembled the lockers.

Removed the front locker as well to make sure it was okay and found just a little dirt inside. No further regulation needed.

Cranked the mighty V8 and waited 6 minutes for the truck to build up enough air pressure. At the turn of the knob of the valve for the central locker the old sensor blew up with a loud bang and had to replace it with a non functioning sensor but one which could stand the pressure.

And… voilà! All the lockers were functioning. Nice to hear the mechanism working and see the warning lights lit up.

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I made a brief video where you can see the Merkabah standing still with all the six wheels spinning, backwards, at the same pace. Odd but satisfying.

Another sudden call from work and I had to leave. My brother in law was not available to help me to bleed the brakes anyway, so I quickly made order, swept a little, dressed up and… went to work, again.

The rest of the weekend was pretty busy and full of regular work issues so no time for doing anything else.

And as I write this, still haven’t had an opportunity to see if the procedure for purging the brakes, clearly explained in the Mercedes manuals, is of help or not.

Jinx, the old bad-tempered cat, solidary with the cause, was always pretty concerned because I could not fix the brakes, as you can see.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#928 Beitrag von cguenther » 2019-03-06 18:27:41

pairospam hat geschrieben:
2019-01-31 4:50:23
Sorry, Carsten. I left you in the oblivion.

Do you mean these?
Hi Pairo,

... yes, exactly. I somewhat expected you documenting your electrical wiring this way, but now you proofed it :-) Perfect, good job!
In latest 10 years, the addtional effort will pay for itself.

best regards
Carsten

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#929 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-04-02 19:32:04

Hello again.

Hope you all are okay. It’s been rough times here, with lots of things to do and little time for the Merkabah mixed with some health issues.

The brakes problem is still unsolved.

We tried the way the Mercedes Benz manual tells to purge the brakes without success. I made a lot of attempts to fill the circuits up and to purge the cylinder in situ but nothing worked. I changed the whole content of brake fluid of the circuits a couple of times to be sure it was all clean, checked this and that method, but nothing worked.

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To make it worse, it was the beginning of a series of unfortunate events that made life and the project look pretty dark and discouraging.

Soon after leaving the workshop one good afternoon a young lady stroke her Peugeot against the rear bumper of the Montero.

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Of course the heavy 4x4 barely noted it but the damage of the car was pretty big and it was quiet an annoyance and was very inconvenient going through all the legal paperwork.

At home, fortunately, the restless new dog, Buran, found his place among the crew, and there finally were some moments of peace.

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Another day, trying to fix this and that, the security valve stopped working. I disassembled the quiet simple mechanism and curiously it was clean and in perfect state. I reassembled and reset it at a slightly higher pressure and tested it on the truck. It was okay, and never discovered what was wrong with it.

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The load of regular work had been pretty heavy during the last couple of months (and still is) with long overnight working hours and no time to go out and run during the weekends, and even the dogs had resented it. One weekend, profiting of some rare free hours, we took some of them for a walk out in the country and we ended up on a steep mountain slope.

They kept up my pace pretty well, even the little Cachito, not used to make such efforts.

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The view of the Putaendo valley was very refreshing, though the temperatures during the day were near 37 degrees Celcius. It was a good and welcome break.

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Another good day I was looking for the owner’s manual of the GS1200 Adventure under the seat and the key got locked in place. I had to disassemble half the bike to get the whole piece out to be able to fix the problem.

I could not explain myself how the locking pin got over to the block position where it was. Hmm…

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Regarding the brake cylinder: I took the piece out again, always fearing the brake fluid leaking all over the cabin and everywhere, and Eduardo asked me to let him disassemble it.

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pairospam
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Registriert: 2010-11-22 14:27:25

Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#930 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-04-02 20:15:22

He did it, carefully as always, and checked the rubber pieces and seals. According to him they were too soft, probably ruined by the time they did not work. He also criticized the make of the cylinder, of Chinese origin.

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Conclusion: get a new, good quality, repair kit for the cylinder or find a new, good quality, cylinder.

The task was not minor as there were just a few dealers that worked with old trucks, and all of them had Chinese aftermarket replacements.

TRW was the brand in focus, and there was one of the regular Eduardo’s providers that offered to get one, though he warned us that it would take some time. Hmm…

I was at some moment doing minor labors under the frame of the Merkabah when I realized that there was a major oil leak from the engine. I had been cranking and running the engine a lot lately to build up air pressure and so it became clear that there was a problem with the seal of the end of the crankshaft. Christ, that meant to disassemble half the engine.

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Eduardo checked it and said that it was not a big deal for now, but it would need replacing of the seal at a given moment in the near future. The news did not add any happiness to that journey as you may suppose.

Well, the count on bad news and events was growing by the numbers, and I was able to move the truck but not able to stop it even if the maxibrakes were full functional.

I decided to go on with the electrics and the air pressure, little but important jobs still not finished, while waiting for the new brake cylinder to arrive from somewhere in the world.

The new, the third one, 24-12V divider/transformer went out of its box and was placed in its corner of the dashboard, clearly identified which was one and the other terminal.

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After connecting the divider I checked all the circuits already finished and they all worked well.

The eBay world continued to provide the parts that I could not find in place or which prize exceeded regular budgets, like the new bulbs for the differential locks, that came from Israel. Israel?

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I was precisely checking the locks after replacing the bulbs when one of the new 3/2 valves blew out with a loud hissing. What?

I had bought a couple of those which were the only available in the market as they were too old and, naturally, they were of Chinese make with no brand, and they lasted even less than ten cycles.

Checked the valves rescued from Spare the truck and they looked pretty well from the outside, but when disassembled they showed internal rust beyond repair. They were dead.

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No original good brand valves were available after a heavy search so I ordered a new couple from Albania. Albania?

And, going on with the unexpected, one weekend we went to the beach and used the 4x4 to get out of trouble in the sand. There was no problem and the old Montero behaved as usual but the front left lock jammed three times on the way back home. The mechanism had some wear so both locks had to be replaced.

Eduardo ordered the new parts and did the job himself. I guess he no longer trusted my skills to do it. Hmm…

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While he worked on the locks I went to take the bikes to the annual technical check, kind of TÜV, and to pay the annual driving fee. Wow. Owning and driving big bikes is clearly not a bargain.

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