Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1021 Beitrag von MadBkr » 2019-12-21 17:05:28

Great work as usual! I have a question about the welded air tank, why didn't you test it with water and hydraulic pump, as i know if a tank weld fail at that pression is dangerous..

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1022 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-12-21 18:09:00

Hi, MadBkr:

Thanks for your words. Actually, 120 psi is not a big deal of pressure. You just loose pressure with a big hissing, but nothing brakes loose except, sometimes, a piece of tecalan.

It is a little different, though, when you talk about scuba air tanks. Those go with 200 or 300 bar (2900 to 4300 psi), and you don't want one of them fail and brake on your back 30 meters under water. It is mandatory to test them inmerse in water, 2/3 filled with water and only 1/3 of their air capacity available to test the pressure resistance.

More to come later.


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1023 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-12-21 19:24:55

Next day, after the regular run with the dogs, I felt on the mood for a ride on the dirtbike. Many weeks have passed since I visited the mountain tracks, and I felt pretty relieved that my skills, though amateur level, were intact, as I did not dress on dirt mode and went on unprotected. Well…nothing unusual... lazy guy.

The tracks were rocky and slippery, as the season demanded, and the air was dry and hot right at that time of the morning, but the riding was good, for the body and the spirit.

From that viewpoint, on the picture, you could see the building site of the new house on the Putaendo river valley, if you had eagle’s eyes.
I had to move the Merkabah a little forward, don’t remember why, but I took a picture of her when doing so. Still don’t know, but, anyway… this is the picture. I really like how she looks. Am I normal, doctor?
The time came when I decided I would not have to take the linings out again, so I needed to put the rubber door seals. Just finding them took quite a lot of time as they were in separated boxes and the very bottom of the piles.

I had collected a few meters of door seals from other trucks and got one from a Sprinter van that was exactly the same as the original seal of the Merkabah. The one from the Sprinter was longer than needed so I cut the part that showed some signs of wear and that was it. I installed it on the passenger side of the cabin, with some difficulty because of the thickness of the upholstered linings, but it went pretty good in the end.
On the driver’s side I used two pieces from different donors that showed no wear at all. The union between them was almost even, so very difficult to note. Good.
Before and after putting the seal doesn’t change much… but it does a lot, don’t you think?
Well, the next logical step was to put the doors back on the cabin, so I took the one that was more at hand and cleaned it from the tons of dust that had cumulated on it along the eons.
I then collected the pieces that were sparse all around the workshop. If you remember, the Merkabah was in very poor condition when I found her, dirty, rotten, lacking the window of the passenger side and many other miserable things that I prefer not to mention. After many years of patient research, though, I had collected many pieces from other sources and, at the moment, I had not only two but three windows, three sets of window frames, four ventilation window seals, three usable window regulators and a lot of other pieces to select from and use to assemble the doors. Good.
As you can see, I had not a lot of space to work, but I could do nothing better due to the lack of space and of will to move and order everything. Yes… I know.

The lock was pretty dirty, with a little yet pretty superficial rust, but after the classical love potion and treatment it looked very well.
The same could be said about the door handles, but their cleaning needed special attention, and that’s what they got. I could not find the original keys, though I did not look for them fullhearted. Eduardo suggested that I should bring the barrels to someone to make new keys. I took the bet, instead, that I would find the keys, somewhere.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1024 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-12-21 19:37:05

In the meantime, Hermann the upholsterer was working on the seats, and at some moment after a couple of weeks of delays, he delivered them. I chose to have them renewed in dark grey, and I think it was a good idea, looking at them on the cabin.
I had to assemble the seats and the bases, but I had not time to do it at that moment so I just covered the seats and went on with the doors.

Like always, I thought about just assembling the parts and go on with the project as fast as I could, but each time I took a piece I saw the need for cleaning, de-rusting and painting. The doors were not exception, and every piece had to be taken for a beauty treatment before even thinking on assembling.

The rubber parts were thoroughly washed a couple of times with tons of soap. Thumbs up for the quality of the old parts, as many of them looked and felt like new despite being fourty years old.

It was not the case of the ventilation windows, whose metallic frame was not in the best conditions, nor was the locking mechanism. The same with the main window steel frames.
Anyway, it took me quite a while to prepare the pieces and finally paint them directly with matt antirust paint. Not the same quality, of course, but easily repairable. WTF.

Unfortunately, from the four rubber seals for the ventilation windows, I found that only one was of the passenger side, the original seal of the Merkabah, and it was not in the best conditions neither. I installed it along with the ventilation window struggling a little against the rigidity of the rubber, trying not to ruin the seal. It went not bad, but it was pretty strange to have just one.
The next step was to insulate the door, and for that there were many square meters of aluminium foil and elastomeric membrane waiting from the Pleistocene at a hidden corner of the shop.

Having had the experience of the cabin, I cut and pasted the foil in little pieces covering the most I could within the reach of my hands. I did the same with the elastomeric membrane padding glued over it, taking into account the space needed for the window to move freely inside the door.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1025 Beitrag von MadBkr » 2019-12-21 20:33:17

pairospam hat geschrieben:
2019-12-21 18:09:00
Hi, MadBkr:

Thanks for your words. Actually, 120 psi is not a big deal of pressure. You just loose pressure with a big hissing, but nothing brakes loose except, sometimes, a piece of tecalan.
Thank you for the detailed explanation, today I Iearned something new :)
Also I'm waiting to see the complete cab with door

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1026 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-12-22 4:26:45

The job was not free from inconvenients, like the spillover of adhesive at the worst moment but, anyway, the job was slowly completed.
Once the insulation was finished, I grabbed one of the available windows and worked on the regulator rail. The old grease had become a rocky crust and took me a while to get rid of it and from the rust. I got a nice and smooth surface on the rail, but I had to scratch and sand a lot to get there, always afraid of braking the glass. Hmm…
I was also afraid by the maneuver to put the window and its frame back in the door, but it turned to be very simple once I got the idea and the tricks to get the regulator in the right position.

What a nice feeling to lower and raise the window easily with the crank, like a normal window!
As soon as I could get some help from Alejandro and one of the regular customers of the shop, I installed the door back on the cabin. I planned to do it alone using the winch still hanging from the roof, but I thought it twice. Better safe than sorry.
But… there is always a big BUT: I could not close the door without striking the floor of the attic. I had to move the Merkabah again. The big issue was that there was a permanent air leak on the front wheel that obliged to crank the engine, build the pressure up and refill the tire every now and then, which I did not do during several days, focused on the door.

So, when I looked at the tire again, it was dismounted. Ops. Fortunately I had put the axle on a stand to prevent the tire go flat and damage itself, unfortunately that let me not be aware of the degree of the leak.
I had another tire, though, what for? precisely for this kind of situations. I changed tires, with not big problem, and installed the CTIS pretty straightforward, making sure there were no air leaks this time, or so I wanted.

Short story: I moved finally the truck forward and was able to close the door, but the regulation was not complete because the striker pin had a 7 mm Allen socket, and there was no bloody 7 mm Allen wrench anywhere. I knew I had a set of Allen wrenches at home, though, so I left it for another day, made some order, moved the Merkabah backwards again, changed clothes and went home with Carmen.
And, yes: the wrench was at home, hidden under a ton of boxes and bags.
The pressure on the front tire held, but I left the axle on the stand… just in case.
She looked good, the old ship. Just like a truck... or more like a truck.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1027 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-01 18:29:16

Hello everybody who wanders by these pages.

Happy new year 2020! This will be THE year. It is going to be tough, but it will be good.

Well… going on with the story, the door was finally regulated and the closure was very near to perfect. I turned to the door on the driver’s side then, of course.

Another ton of dust flew through the air of the workshop. I installed the ventilation window with the “new” rubber seal and it fitted perfectly, completely waterproof and very good looking. Still something did not fit about those seals.
And, again, I cut and glued many pieces of alluminium foil on the interior face of the door.
You can see how ugly the lock of the door looked before cleaning. A lot of old grease and rust was taken off from it, but it was worth the time and the tedium as it looked very clean in the end.
The lock mechanism also worked pretty smoothly, but the little lock that held the pull rod in place was missing. I looked all over for a replacement but not one fitted. I ended up fabricating a lock made of a couple of pieces of steel and two little plastic straps that went pretty good… and eternal.
Did I mention that my father is also a flight instructor? Well, turns out that unfortunately he was not able to teach common sense and alertness to his student who thought he was at a superior level and performed a strictly forbidden maneuver, fortunately with my father not in the cabin with him.

Result: he broke the R44. Ops.
What my old man actually did was passing the guy his luck and his incredible capacity for survival. He walked away unharmed. Cannot say the same of the helicopter, though.

Following the alluminium foil was the padding with elastomeric membrane, which I did in half the time it took me to do the same on the other door. Lots of adhesive and quick bonding. It worked well.
The problems came after that, when I moved on to the preparation of the window. I had, in the end, three interchangeable windows and a fourth regulator rail. The window I took was the best of the two remaining options, but the regulator was not my favorite. So, I had the great idea of swapping regulator rails as the one loose was in far better conditions. Hmm...
Taking the regulator rail out was not easy, but I did it without big trouble. The thing is that I could not put the other rail in place. It was too tight, and I was afraid of breaking the glass.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1028 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-01 18:45:38

I looked for help from the professionals, but they left early that Friday afternoon and would be back Monday morning. Plop.

The rail item dropped to the second place and so I took the regulator itself to accomplish the cleaning task that left it shining like new. Well… maybe not that much, but comparing with the spare you can see some difference.
While searching for pieces and parts, I tumbled on the spare of the rubber insert that filled the space between the front wall and the instrument panel. Like the majority of the used replacement parts, I did not remember where I got it from.

It was in far better condition than the original one and therefore it was quickly washed and put on place. I kept the old one in a box, of course. You never know…
That weekend we went to the countryside, as almost everyday, to see how the building of the house was progressing and profited to make some company and help Eduardo and his younger son, Roque, with the watering of the new peach trees. The dryness was already critical and the young plants needed regular watering turns, so Eduardo had to give them water, one by one, with the tractor and the portable sprayer.
After a while we left and I had to cross a ditch at the end of the rows, and, incredibly, the old Montero got stuck. I checked and the 4x4 did not work. It was not big deal for a 4x4, but without double traction the Japanese refused to get out of the ditch.
To make the story short, again, we took the tractor and a sling and the sling broke at the first try. Went to pick another sling, put it triple and dug a big pair of holes in the dry soil of the orchard with the spinning wheels of the old Valmet.

We went to pick the faithfull L200 and, surprise! the 4x4 did not connect neither. The same problem with the front locking cubes. Hmm… same failure at the same time… very absurd and suspicious.
It was already late when Marco, Eduardo’s cousin, pulled the Montero out without too much effort using his Landini 4x4 tractor.

Pretty weird situation. You know I do not believe in coincidences. The L200 fixed herself a few minutes later. The Montero was kept at the garage, untouched, for a few days, in punition. Eduardo said he would fix him when he had the time. The central 4x4 engaging system was then not functioning, at all.

At the shop, the next day, I made some little things and finally decided to assemble the seats and install them for good.

I connected the cables and assembled the bases and the seats, lubricated the mechanisms and made sure everything worked. Then, I put them back in the cabin and bolted them to the new bases. Christ… they were very heavy! But they looked and worked well. I had to protect them from the dust with plastic bags, at least until I could put the driver’s door and get some more elegant covers.
A little intrigued still, I gave another look to the rubber seals of the ventilation windows, paying a little more attention as they were very similar one to the other, and yes, I had made a mistake and took the left side seal for a right side one. I had them both as spares, of course, stupid.

I got quickly to take the old and cracked seal out of the door, and it did brake during the merciless maneuver. There was really no other possible result, as it was in its last breaths. The seal was then replaced by the good one, which looked pretty healthy. There were no marks nor fissures all around the contour of the window. Big difference.
Profiting of a dead time during the Saturday afternoon, when the sun was hitting with all its might, I took the WR450 for a ride on the mountain tracks. I like to go at that time as I am pretty sure nobody else is going to be there, cooking himself, and thus the risk of a collision accident is much lower.

Big lesson. I went up a climb with not enough speed and the rear wheel spun free due to loss of traction on the dusty soil (and old tires), the bike drifted and stalled and I went down the hill in the middle of a big cloud of dust. The funny thing is that I could not stop tumbling and rolling down, asking myself many times: why cannot stop?

Well, the climb was very steep and the track quite eroded. There was not firm step to stop me from rolling.
I broke the brake lever, the sharp edge cut my middle finger later on, I got some bruises and erosions, though I felt happy to be able to return home. Of course I went out without the protective gear, not wearing even gloves. Bad. Not again.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1029 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-01 18:56:42

Don’t remember how many times I have said: not again, but anyway, as I wrote before, I tried to reassemble the window and the regulator rail with the rubber profile with no luck, so I brang it to the same guys that installed the winshield. They explained that it was a machine that pressed the rail, and that not me nor them would be able to get the pieces together without a big risk of breaking the window.

So, they applied liquid rubber to the rail and inserted the window. And that was it. Just wait twelve hours to install. They didn’t charge me anything though I got a big bottle of cold Coca Cola for all of us and then I left.
The next day I cut the excess rubber with a knife and rushed to install the window in the door. No big deal this time, having had the experience with the door of the passenger’s side.

I waited for a little help and made an attempt of installing the door on the cabin, but the door did not fit. What? It touched and scratched the edges of the cabin, taking off some of the paint I tried not to ruin during all these years.
Could not understand why it was happening as it was supposed to be as easy as the installation of the door of the other side, until I paid attention to the hinges. Christ… the lower one was the other way round.

The difference was not very big, but it was clearly the reason why the thing did not work.
Alejandro helped me to take the heavy door out again and changed the side of the hinge. Then, always with the valuable help of the big argentinien, reinstalled it. This time everything fitted and there were no more conflicts with the frame of the door. Good.

I cranked the engine, the mighty V8, just to see how the interior of the cabin was affected by the soundproofing I had applied to the roof, the motor tunnel and the doors. Evidently, there was a big hole in the rear wall that let the engine rumour get in, but, in comparison, it was far more comfortable to sit there and hear the half mufflered noise.
When I was at home, later that day, I took a couple of polyestirene plates that were left after an insulation work on the roof of the house and made a cover to close the passthrough. Pretty rough, but a cover in the end.

The next day, I put the cover and set it in place with just a little masking tape. Great.
But I did not crank the engine again. Nope, I went on with the doors. Really don’t know what the plastic sheets that cover the holes of the frame of the door are for, but I cut some polyethylene pieces and glued them. They looked not so bad and maybe they could be of use for deadening the noise in some degree. Don’t really know, but I did it.
Following, I got the linings and the handles and all the pieces that had to be put back on again and cleaned them for good.

The linings came from other truck as the linings from the Merkabah were long passed away, and I think that all the handles and knobs had had the same fate.

The lining was not in perfect state and had to be repaired, as well as the main door handle but, anyway, the final look was not as bad and, definitely, much better than the original look of the truck when it came to my hands.
I repeated the procedeure on the door of the driver’s side, including the polyethylene covering, and the job was finally done when the locks had to be rethreaded to put the refurbished knobs.
Took some time to adjust the doors on both sides to fit perfectly when closed, and only after finishing I turned the mighty V8 on again with the doors shut and the rear wall closed down.

Perfect. The deadening of the engine noise was incredible, and the feeling was almost the same as being in the Montero. When revving up, naturely, the noise increased, but remained at a very acceptable level, enough to have a calm conversation. If it was an argument about which kind of music to select, then no level of environmental noise could quieten the yelling.

Of course, the real test would be at 80 km/hr, at near 2.000 RPM on a bad road… but for now it was okay to me.

Curiously, the noise is like water, always trying to go through the smallest hole and fissure it can get. There were some spots where sound still leaked, like around the base of the articulation of the gear shift and at some other spots where there were holes.

I did my best to cut the noise at some of them until it was time to go home, or work… do not remember.
Zuletzt geändert von pairospam am 2020-01-01 19:39:47, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1030 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-01 19:08:23

Eduardo had bought some time ago a Ford Cargo truck from someone who could not pay for its repair and had begun to restore it when Eddie, the painter/mechanician, got sick and left for Ecuador, again. The poor truck was then left in the oblivion for a couple of months until that day, when he came to an agreement with another painter to finish the job. The crane would surely prove to be very useful in a near future, and Joaquín, the painter, laughed at the idea of finishing the truck before the Merkabah.
Next time, I took from the attic the old rear-view mirrors. One of them was broken but still usable as it was the weekend, with no new mirrors available. One of the support tubes was also in very bad shape, but when it referred to the supports for the doors, there were bigger problems.

The lower supports were hand-made, ugly though still useful, but one of the upper supports was broken. Hmm…

I was cleaning the threads for the supports on the doors when, suddenly, I remembered something, kind of an image in my memory: Spare the truck had all the supports, the original ones, and I had never taken them out.
Went on with other stuff until it came the moment to leave. Later, at home, I looked for the pictures when there still was an actual truck and pictures that showed the cabin as it rested in peace at the cattle in recent times, and finally found some that confirmed my guessings.
Next day, I took some tools with me and rode to the cattle, ready to fight with the bloody supports I knew were going to fight back pretty hard.

And, yes… there they were the original MB supports for the rear-view mirrows. You can see how bad the weather and the time had treated the paint and the steel of the cabin of the poor truck. Yet, there were always something the old Spare could collaborate to the project with.
It was a struggle, as expected, to remove the supports from the neglected cabin. The bolts were badly rusted and fiercely stuck. To make it worse, on the right side there was just a little space to move because a shed was built just by the cabin. I had to drill some of the bolts, but there was no place to put the powerdrill where I needed it most.
Those days were the hottest days of December, so it was an effort and a suffering, sweating like a cow in between the wall of the shed and the cabin itself.

In the end, though, the supports came out and I brought them to the shop where they received the proper beauty treatment before painting.
The supporting tubes were also treated and, from the four I had, I was able to rescue the two needed to put back on the truck. Good.
Searching for pieces in the piles of boxes, I found the second license plate of the Merkabah. Did not even remember that there was a second plate around. It was quite bent and discolored. Here you see it in the process of being restored. Ordering a new one is a PITA so, welcome.
When the paint of the supports dryed up I could not wait to install the rear-view mirrors, which was not so simple as I had to adapt the tubes from one truck to the the supports of the other. Anyway, I installed both mirrors, the good and the broken one, momentarily.
Eduardo passed by, shook his head and passed me one of the mirrors of the red Ford Cargo truck, that was in far better shape than the mirror of the Merkabah. He had plenty of spares.

With 41º C around in San Felipe I felt grateful for the gift and not having to go out to look for a new mirror right at that moment.

From then on, there was a subtle change. Every little piece I added to complete the cabin felt, strangely though consistently, very meaningful. I Installed the left mudguard, with all the work involved as it is not that easy as you may think, and then got the spare of the lens of the turning light. Removed the old and cracked lens, put the bulb on and replaced the old lens by the new one, and it felt like it was a ceremony. Strange.

The ensamble looked pretty good, though the rubber seal was not in its better days.
I was fully aware of that strange feeling, so I opened every box at hand until I found the I.D. plate that I had removed from the cabin at some moment, with the same ceremonial mood, when the disassembly came to an end and the serious renovation started.

The plate was careful cleaned and screwed back in place. Ah… pretty good feeling. The end, or the beginning of… something. Bo.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1031 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-15 19:40:41

Hello, once again:

Good things to show. I am happy, so far.

After the ceremonial nonsense I decided that it was the right moment for putting back the sun visors. Obviously not the original visors as those were badly broken when the Merkabah came to me, but a couple of visors from one of the multiple donors.

I had to clean them with a lot of water and soap to get rid of the ancient dust, but there was also some green paint, sprayed on them who knows when, hidden under the thick layer of dust, and it did not come out. Ops.
Installing the sun visors was necessary to know how much space was left for putting the support for the screen of the rear/side/front view cameras, and there really was not much place left in between them. That meant that the screen should be mounted on the front and not in between the sun visors, which I did not like too much.

A lot of things happened those days, and not all related to the project so I could not do much progresses even if I wanted very bad to take the truck out again and fix whatever problem might arise.

I installed, finally, all the mudguards. Lots of bolts and washers and a non-original rubber seal. The look of the truck changed, for the good, though it then became pretty difficult to work near the engine, and there were lots of things still to do under the cabin. Hmm…
Picked the steps again, for the first time after the episode of the striking of my big toe, and tried to figure out the best way to proceed. They needed further metal work and a good plastering and painting job to match with the rest of the truck.
Joaquín, the guy who was reassembling the red Ford Cargo truck, approached and offered himself for doing it. We struggled a little for the price and we came after a while to an agreement. I then forgot about the steps and passed to another subject. Glad to do it.

The reverse gear light switch definitely stopped working. I tried to find a spare but could not get it at any place locally. The only place in the internet where I could find a few samples did not ship them to Chile so I had to ask a friend to order one for me. Not the first time I have had to ask for this kind of help, you know.
Going on, I replaced the original column switch for the new one bought a few months before… or is it years? I had to take out, again, the instrument panel, which I did not like too much as I only wanted to close things, not to open anything again. Anyway…
I recovered the upholstered panels for the central console and assembled them. I definitely wanted to close the console, knowing, though, that I would have to re-open it many times when connecting the alarm and the rest of the circuits.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1032 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-15 19:51:12

Putting the lateral panel of the side of the driver had one big flaw, wich was the need for taking the knob of the hand accelerator out of the way. Not big deal, if it wasn’t so uncomfortable to contorsionate to unbolt and bolt it in such a tiny gap between the steering wheel, the seat, the pedals and the console.

You can see how crowded it was inside the console.
A few adjustments, some neoprene foam applied to the edges for a tighter closure and voilà… the panel was on.
The round openings on the panels would be covered by fake speaker covers housing a simple black foam air filter to trap the dust. I discarded the idea of adapting a polen filter instead. The simpler the better, and many AC systems do not necessarily need a polen filter to work. Hoped this was one of them.

To close the instrument panel for good, I had to move the air gauge of the CTIS circuit farther laterally and use its place to accommodate the oil pressure gauge as its tubing was too short to allow for the panel to swing backwards easily. Simple? Not at all.
Then, the chaotic wiring for the stereo was addressed to and after a while I came up with a neat arrangement that allowed to install the device with not too much issues.
The cover of the passenger side was prepared and put on with not too much struggle as I had more room to work on, and the central console was closed for the first time.

I designed the console especially for being easily serviceable, the lateral panels fixed with only four screws very at hand in case of need. Of course it would be not as easy as planed, but in the end it seemed to be a very good solution.
My friend Hugo, after successfully testing the driveline and the engine swap of its highly modified Volvo 6x6, finally mounted the cabin on the chassis and made some moves to see how the train-looking whonmobile behaved. He was pretty happy with it.
It was now a matter of a challenge of which truck had the thicker layer of dust on top.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1033 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-15 19:57:28

Speaking of dust, I went to pick the covers of the dashboard from the attic and had to fight tons of dust and big and ugly venomous spiders to get them out of their hideout.

Fortunately, I had the pieces wrapped in plastic film and that made easier to work with them.
I had three samples of each, with only one in pretty good condition. Unfortunately, the ashtrays, all, were broken and I had to choose the better one and repair it the usual way, with heat and speaker mesh. Went good in the end.
After a while, the covers were in place and I chose the better from the two plastic covers of the steering column available, cleaned it and put it back in place. I had not the proper product to clean the covers so a little hand of soap and water was judged enough for the occasion.

Looked good, uh?
No, not al all! You could hardly see through the winshield because of the dust. On purpose I had let the dust cumulate to help to protect the interior of the cabin from the sun, but it was time to get rid of it so I got a clean cloth and dusted off the winshield and, as I was at it, the whole cabin except the roof, not to embarrass Hugo too much.

I made order around and cleaned the path to let the Merkabah get out of the place easily and cranked the engine to check if it was everything okay. It was, and, checking for the gears to shift properly, I moved the truck towards the wall to facilitate the exit maneuvers.
Then, and only then, the Merkabah was and looked ready to go out.
Ignacio Casale, my almost cousin, went out for the first time on a trip with the Atego after the adaptation of the living Box that came from his old MB 1017.

He said it all worked okay and the truck behaved very good. He went with some friends to the south where only 4x4 vehicles can go, long and solitary beaches with no people around. Pretty good place for trucks like ours. Good.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1034 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-15 20:05:01

And the day came when Carmen and I went to the workshop, with Yogi bear’s picnic basket, for the first official drive on the Merkabah after nine years of restoration.

Taking her out of the shop was pretty easy this time. Expectations?
As the steps were not ready yet, Carmen had to use the portable steps inherited from René Larraguibel to get in the cabin as it was pretty high for her.
She was pretty happy but also nervous. What if the truck exploded suddenly? Or something dropped off? She remembered when the Merkabah came from her previous place, dropping parts as she moved.

We went to get some fuel to feel more comfortable. I had put quite a bit of diesel last time but the tank was so big that I was afraid that the fuel sender could go out of the fuel when testing the truck in the field. Carmen laughed at my face when had to pay for the bill. Hmm…
The thing went pretty good and nothing exploded or broke on the way to the countryside. There were some initial issues with the gears, as usual, but rapidly I felt used to the lever and the ride was exciting and funny. There were noises and some bumps here and there and I took note of them to fix later, but it was a good brief trip.

We had to keep the windows open because of the lack of AC though the noise level was quite acceptable. We turned on the stereo and the picture was complete.

The truck, as always, drove a lot of attention and everybody turned their heads to follow us with amazed gazes.

We parked at the place of Carmen’s aunt just for the fun of it and got something very good for lunch.
Then, we went to the building site of the new house in the country to check all the systems and to have some fun.
Apart from looking pretty good, the truck was, in general, okay. The air suspension worked properly except for some issues with one of the valves during inflation. The CTIS was known to be functioning. The steering was quite easy in the dirt and the differential blocks, after some initial jamming, worked well. It was very funny to see the wheels spin even with minor slopes as the truck went unloaded and the terrain was dry and soft as the desert. I had to connect the blocks pretty often to go on through minor obstacles but… that’s what the blocks are for.

The cabin suspension and the seats were also pretty comfortable even if the truck was pretty bouncy due to the lack of load.

Checked the unfinished shed/shop where the merkabah would be parked when the build ended, and it was okay, with enough space to work on her and to park and work on another car. Good.

We spent the whole afternoon there, Carmen watching me go back and forth and round and round, crossing ditches, inflating and deflating things, with a funny smile on her face.
We had a long and nice chat too, drank a lot of tea and ate cookies and homemade bread, took many pictures and enjoyed the moment. Alejandro, the supersized argentinien, joined us before sunset. He scorted us back to the shop, pretty late in the night, and helped to move the trucks and cars to park the Merkabah back in place. Great help, of course.

It was a good day.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1035 Beitrag von querys » 2020-01-16 16:44:14

pairospam hat geschrieben:
2020-01-15 20:05:01
after nine years of restoration.
unbelievable! Congratulations for your power of endurance!
Jetzt auch mit Baublog:
1222 AF BJ 1986

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1036 Beitrag von Jac0b » 2020-01-16 18:54:45



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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1037 Beitrag von macherknox » 2020-01-16 19:15:29

I am following your journey for quite some time! I am impressed of your stamina and motivation.

Congrats for this important milestone in the revitalization of the truck.
Best regards

neues Mitglied
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1038 Beitrag von alearg » 2020-01-20 15:42:02

I arrived at this site by accident and subscribed to this thread specifically to follow your story, which I enjoy immensely. If it takes another nine years to build the living box (I hope not), so be it. Rest assured that we will be following your every step and will be cheering all the way.

Best of luck and... carry on!


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1039 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-22 21:40:59

Thanks for all the encouraging vibes, guys. Pretty welcome.

And this story goes on, with ups and downs as always. I was happy, really happy, though I was pretty aware that there were still many issues to deal with before the Merkabah was completely ready to move on to the next step of building the Box.

Exhaustive tests had to be conducted and many kilometers be driven before being sure that there was no mechanical problem to be addressed to before putting anything on the frame and close the access to the drivetrain and the air pressure circuit for good.

Looking at one of the first drawings made even before the truck was brought to San Felipe, it felt good to see that all of the jobs planned for the transformation of the former tipper truck were executed and all of the additionals had been installed so far, even the CTIS that was not originally in sight.
Probably the only extras not taken into account were the telescopic stairs, just in case Carmen was not on the mood to climb into the cabin, which were carefully mounted on the fuel tank with tape, as you can see.
Joaquín had almost finished the steps, just waited for the paint to dry up before making some retouches and then paint them definitely. He had also made a lot of progresses with Eduardo’s Ford Cargo, menacing to have it ready long before the Merkabah. I just returned him a smile, knowing that it could be perfectly true.
I finished some minor details and started to see how to proceed with the rest of the works planned to complete the cabin. I had a hard time deciding where was the best position for the rear/sides camera monitor while I waited for a window in time to take the Merkabah out again and check for some suspension noises and a particularly worrying noise coming from the drivetrain.
When the time came, I cranked the mighty 402 OM again and took the truck out from the shop. As always, a few cars had to be moved out of the way to give room for it.

I mounted the GoPro under the cabin to check for suspension issues and to see how it performed. After adjusting the lifting cylinder height there were no more bumps related to it and all seemed to be okay. It was pretty clear that the difference in driving comfort, with the additional cabin suspension from Spare the truck and the sprung seats from the Montero, was paramount when comparing with the more rigid original system. Good, and it would surely feel smoother when the Box was mounted.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1040 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-22 21:48:31

But… the damn but… the noise coming from the drivetrain was pretty annoying and sinister. It started at 60 km/hr, and was worse when retaining, like waves of noise and tremor coming from the hungry guts of the beast. Christ! The gearbox?

I completed the self made test circuit, including some rough dirty tracks, nothing too much rocky, though, and went home with a pretty bad feeling.

I spoke to Eduardo about the issue but he was terribly busy at the moment with the harvest season and some problems at the the shop because of spare deliverying issues so we could do nothing at the moment. The Merkabah went back to her parking place, waiting for an accurate diagnosis.

What could have happened? Probably too much time resting, unmoved, filled with tar instead of gear oil, could have ruined the bearings.

Suddenly, a bad feeling, a really bad feeling: did I put the oil back in when I took the side cover of the box to free the jammed shifting rod? Ops. I could not remember doing so. I was on my watch so no possibility to go check directly. I looked for the picture documentation of the process and there was not a single frame showing me or anyone pouring the oil back in the box.

Could have happened that I have ruined the gearbox? Hmm… I have done worse.

That was not an easy night, as you may imagine, in spite of Carmen’s calming words on the phone.

Next day, being almost confident on my common sense and practical memory, I had lunch with Carmen at the shop and only then, very calmly, I checked the oil level of the box. The dipstick marked full. Hmm…

That was good and bad news. There was still a problem to get to. Was the box actually the source of the noise?

I chased after Eduardo for a couple of days until he could free the way out of the shop and accompany me on the Merkabah to see what the heck was going on.

When we reached 55 km/hr the noise and the vibration started, and seemed to be worse than before. Definitely, after a few kilometers it was clear that the gearbox needed some checking if I wanted not to be left alone in the middle of the Serengeti with a rare, scarse, expensive and broken gearbox.

To make me feel sadder, I realized that I had forgotten a couple of wrenches on the battery tray and they were lost during the test trip. Ops.

Well… it was the right moment, I said to myself, before putting on the subframe of the Box or whatsoever.

As a friend wrote me these days: Restoration is always a journey… Hell, yes…

Taking this as an opportunity instead of a drawback, I put my impossible-dirtier-gear on and began to clean and make order around, above and bellow the Merkabah. Nasty job, especially with almost no wind and 40º celcius and the horrible mess I had been perfectioning up the last months.
I estimated the weight of the gearbox around 500-600 kg, or even less, so one of the trolleys would be enough to handle it with no much trouble. With the powergrinder I divided the tandem once used to carry the cabin back and forth and then studied attentively the necessary moves to lower the box free from the frame. Would be not easy, but not too complicated neither… or so it seemed.
Once again I emptied the gearbox and, luckily, the oil showed no signs of frank subsequent damage.
I disconnected the air pressure lines and the few electric wires coming to and from the box and went under the frame with heavy tools to disconnect the cardan shafts. Guys, it was quite hard and uncomfortable to work down there, in between all the stuff that initially was not in and sweating like a cow because of the merciless summer heat of San Felipe.

The shafts did not cooperate neither, as it was pretty hard to remove the nuts and the couplings free from each other.

After a couple of days of work, the place was clean, the cardan shafts aside or down and away, half the supporting nuts of the gearbox had been removed and the fuel tank was ready to gently being moved away to accommodate the portable winch to lower the gearbox on the trolley.
Eduardo was a little worried because we would probably need to get some special and strange tools to disassemble the box. I was not… if we needed, we would find them.

By the way, if someone has any idea of where to find the disassembly/service/repair manuals of the ZF 5 S 110 GPA gearbox it would be very, very appreciated.

I have already written to ZF for help but no reply until now.

Greetings from Chile.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1041 Beitrag von lura » 2020-01-23 0:22:16

Well done, do You have a long breath, a "langem Atem" like we say in german. Good look for your project forward.

Gewinne Zeit durch Langsamkeit

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1042 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-23 14:39:17

Eine große Hartnäckigkeit, according to the ones who know me, Bernd.

Thanks for your support.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1043 Beitrag von Rumpelstielzchen » 2020-01-24 14:12:54

Maybe it would be worth checking the Universal Joints of the Cardan shafts before doing a huge job on the gear box?
I had bad sounds in the past as well, and in all cases it had been the Universal Joints, that would be a lot cheaper than a ZF gearbox... good Luck!
Gruß Alex!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1044 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-27 4:04:23

Thanks, Alex. Good advice.

The joints have been checked and/or changed long ago but I will make then being re-checked. Also the differentials have been checked, known source of terrible sounds.

More to come when possible.


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1045 Beitrag von landwerk » 2020-01-27 8:26:55


Are the cardan-shafts balanced ?


my Deutz Jupiter 6x6 was also very loud and screamy under load changes or low loads on the drive train.

We never found anything.

Is ist possible to create a sound file or Youtube video with the noise...

Maby someone knows this noises and can give "the hint" ?

Liebe Grüße


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1046 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-30 5:39:07

Thanks for the advice, Oli.

Actually, I was pretty sure where the noise was coming from, and Eduardo, my brother-in-law, confirmed my suspicions with a lot more of confidence, of course.

The rumour was characteristic as coming from working shafts and gears inside the gearbox, and so I had not much doubts about taking out the big and heavy thing out of the frame.

Made sense: it was the only part of the truck that had not been removed and serviced, cleaned, repaired, flattened out or/and painted since the beginning of the project.

With the aid of the guys of the workshop I removed the diesel tank that was ¼ full, pretty heavy, and then took out one of its supports to allow for the gearbox to be rolled out under the framerail on the trolley.
Then, I got the portable winch and maneuvered in between truck and cars with perfect pulse and steering skills and placed it right where it was needed. Everything fitted perfectly for the job by the millimeter, better than planned, but I started to pump and the hydraulic cylinder gave up without even make too much effort. What?

The winch was useless, though they had used it recently to remove the engine from the Ford Cargo. Hmm…
I made a try with the little winch but it was too narrow for the trolley to get in between the legs. I then tried to swap the hydraulic cylinders, but I needed to make a new base to put the working cylinder on the dead winch. It was already late so I shrugged, drank something cold, made order and accompanied Carmen to some late family meeting.

Saturday in the afternoon, a very, very hot afternoon, I cut some pieces of steel, welded and drilled a little and fabricated a quite improvised base/adapter for the supposedly good cylinder.
Of course… it was not my best job, but it worked. The winch was in useful conditions and the strength of the cylinder was theoretically enough for dealing with the estimated weight of the gearbox… or so I thought/wanted.
Anyway, I applied some force and the pressure stood. Good. I removed pretty carefully the remaining bolts that kept the gearbox from falling and the winch stood, though a little drops of hydraulic oil began to ooze from the piston. Ops.

Some minutes and a little help from the neighbor later, the gearbox was standing firmly on the trolley.
To make it rest flat I had to remove the draining bolt of the lower part of the box, knowing that it would be a mess. In fact, the rest of the new oil came out along with some remaining mélange of prehistoric lubricant and a little water. Water, hmm…

But it was time to leave because Carmen and I had an appointment for dinner, though I felt happy to leave the gearbox lying on the ground. It was enough accomplishment for the couple of hours I had left to work that day. Well… three and a half hours, to be honest.

The next morning it was already hot at 9:00, almost 28ºC. Yes…a little late for the run… but I am becoming a little lazy with ageing. The dogs were quite happy, though, even if they slept the rest of the morning, pretty exhausted.
In the afternoon, the temperature was high enough to surrender to the AC of the Montero and leave Heidi at home. Bad weather for motorbike riding, or so sentenced Carmen.
On Monday, as soon as I was able to go to the shop, I jacked the truck up for the few centimeters needed to clear the way out of the gearbox from under the frame. Finally, the big piece of metal was out after a few efforts. Christ, it was a heavy bastard.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1047 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-01-30 5:53:46

I hung the box again from the winch to put it in a horizontal plane, but when trying to do so the hydraulic cylinder gave up and there was a massive leak of oil from the pumping mechanism. Ops. It broke, again. It had been repaired previously, but certainly not with the best spares and the right mood.

The winch stood for a while, though, so I blocked the box in the desired position and, under Eduardo’s recommendations, began to clean and disassemble it.
The first move was to take the lateral cover out and to expose the main gears and the shifting forks. Did not remember having seen anything wrong when had to remove the cover before but, obviously, I was not looking for trouble with the gears.
When the guts were at plain sight, it was still evident the superficial rust on the gears and the presence of some clots of ancient oil but, fortunately, the cause of the problem was clearly evident: the follower ring of the synchronizer for the 3rd and 4th gears was broken, and I mean really broken.
I felt fortunate because the broken piece was located at the front of the gearbox and I needed not to disassemble the whole beast to get to the synchronizer, it explained the noise at higher speeds and, also, was the reason for the difficulty to engage the higher gears. It was not me!

Moreover, it was very good to know that the box did not explode having those pieces of metal broken inside, as did happen with the gearbox of the old Terrano 4x4.

There was still to check if there were some other problems though everything else seemed to be okay at inspection, and I felt pretty confident that this crappy situation would be easier to fix than many of the other issues we have had with the truck in the past.

After discussing the next steps and what would happen with both the portable winches, I closed the box temporarily, just to avoid the dust to go in, and made order. Did not want to allow the chaos to grow at will as always. Keeping a little control of the environment is pretty useful and healthy sometimes.
The main problem was identified, right, then came the job of finding the proper spares. Ideally all the synchronizers, rings, followers and hubs, should be changed at once profiting the gearbox was grounded and open, but for a rare fourty years old gearbox having all the pieces at hand could easily become a very troublesome journey on its own.
16301.jpg (29.66 KiB) 2566 mal betrachtet

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1048 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-02-05 21:20:48

Just a few words:

I did not get an answer from ZF or anybody else, but that was of course no impediment for going on with the disassembling of the gearbox.

I took out the front flange and discovered a lot of dirt that cumulated along the eons in all the places it could get. Took me quite a while to clean it up.
Initially, I thought that taking this big ang heavy thing apart would be a very tough task, with all these nuts and big bolts around but, surprisingly, it was really straightforward. The bolts were big but it was actually pretty easy to remove the front cover.
When the interior was exposed, it was clear that opening the gearbox was the best thing to do, as there was still a lot of ancient coagulated oil clogging the lubricant circuits inside it. Just changing the oil and driving the truck was not enough for having the transmission system clean and lubricated. Probably it had been too long like that.

Again, took me some time and a lot of clean clothes to get rid of the jelly oil and clear all the intrincated grooves of the front cover, and the picture shows just the beginning.
To remove the cover, it was necessary to align the little roller on the side of the main driveshaft with the proper groove on the oil pump mechanism of the cover itself, which I had not idea. The roller was aligned when I pulled the cover out just by chance, if not, I would have never been able to remove the cover without braking something. God still loved me.
I was thinking on how should I remove the main shaft, thinking of getting some special sort of extractor, when I just tried with a little pull, and suddenly I had the shaft in my hands. So far, the gearbox revealed itself to be very simple to service and repair, though big and heavy.
Of course it was like this, if you think that it had been engineered and built in a time when building forever was the main focus, when the reputation and the quality was the main driving force of the companies. You know that, since those days, the vision had changed a lot, and now the products are not built to be tough, durable and easily repairable. Hmm…

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1049 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-02-05 21:28:00

Anyway, when the shaft came out, there was a metallic sound of something falling inside the gearbox. It was the follower ring of the synchronizer, or what was left of it, falling apart. It was broken in many pieces, five to be exact, and they kept together just by the grace of the grooved synchronizer body itself.
The spacer ring showed the signs of being helping to keep the pieces together for who knows how long.

It is still hard to believe that the Merkabah could run with a synchronizer reduced to these conditions, but she did.

I got all the pieces of the broken gear and closed the gearbox. There were some little pieces of metal missing, but I could not find them in the middle of the remaining swamp of oil. It was late and, for a change, I had to go to work. So, I covered the box and left, thinking on how to get the proper spare parts.
The next time I went to the shop, a little package was waiting for me with the reverse switch that one of our good friends had sent to me from Germany as I could not get one here in Chile.
It made me feel very happy, and a few moments later the follower ring of the synchronizer was delivered too from a store in Santiago. I checked if it was the right one, and my happiness was complete. It had been hard to find it locally, always afraid of wrong codes and misleading information through the EPC.
Anyway, I said I was pretty happy… until then. I had even found the right set of gaskets and all the oil retainers and spacers to replace the old ones but, when I tried to put the synchronizer ring in, I realized that there was no way it could fit in. There simply was no place to maneuver, and I needed those crappy 6 milimeters.
Christ. That hurt… at least a little. The broken piece fell apart easily, but the spare, in one piece, did not fit.

Eduardo and I tried a variety of methods, including loosing the shifting forks with a little pulling and levering on the main shaft to make room for sliding the edge of the ring of the synchronizer in between the body of the synchronizer and the gear of the countershaft. No bloody way.
Despite my wishes it seemed that there was no other way to repair the gearbox: I would have to disassemble it completely. Hmm…

It was not a matter of time or will, as I really thought it was the best way to make sure all the gears, shifting and moving parts could be checked, cleaned, repaired and replaced if needed, but I was quite uncertain that all the spares would be at hand to accomplish the task.

This is today’s main concern.

Please, send advices, tips, good vibes and ZF gearboxes manuals. They will, indeed, be very appreciated.


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Deja vu

#1050 Beitrag von tooFATtoDRIVE » 2020-02-09 19:24:51

pairospam hat geschrieben:
2011-04-20 15:42:34
..... I found this fire-fighter Magirus forgotten in a corner of an airport in Belgium, with only 40.000 km and some rust from the centuries. An almost german friend, Niels, acted as intermediary and made some progress with importation, but the wheels were in so bad shape that needed replacement just to arrive to port for shipment. I thought a lot about her and made lot of drawings and designs, but I desisted with not much fighting.
Blast from the past....

It seems this truck is for sale again, this time in Denmark... almost 9 years after you mentioned it the first time round... ... -587784-vd ... 1110&h=832 ... 1110&h=832 ... 1110&h=832