Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1051 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-02-10 4:32:02

You guys really want to make me feel old. Hmm...

I still think that this particular truck could have been a really good base for Pairoa's 6x6 wohnmobile, though probably not in Chile because Iveco has not a big support here, at least not as good as Mercedes, and spare parts are more expensive and quite hard to find.

Anyway, if they are showing the same pictures from 9 years ago, it is probably a hoax and the truck has been devoured by rust already. What a shame.

Thanks for the reminder.


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1052 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-02-16 22:12:22


Here I am, again. After a few days I am still on the quest for repairing the big gearbox.

The available time for working on the subject has been, as always, pretty limited.

Things have been slowed down also because I was a little afraid about the availability of the spare parts that would eventually be necessary to replace when opening the gearbox.

Doubts began to dissipate when I found the gasket kit for the gearbox and the seller sent it to the shop without worries. Turned out that the parts of the ZF gearboxes were widely interchangeable, and the gears carried by the Merkabah were also used in a lot of other trucks and thus there still were some pieces around.
During the waiting time I fixed minor problems like the air supply to the front wheels that blew up when parked the truck for the last time. Seemed that I had forgotten to tighten the fitting up for good when assembled. Ops.
At some moment I decided to go on and removed the rear cover of the bulky 5S110GPA.

It came out pretty easy, though it was not nice to see that there was still a lot of crappy and gelly ancient oil in the bottom of the compartment. Not nice neither to take that thing off from the oil circuits.
Anyway, disassembling the entire thing was probably the best thing to do to clean it up completely, otherwise there would still remain dirt and bad vibes inside the box.

I removed the thrust washer of the rear drive shaft, but I was not able to take out the speedometer drive from the shaft as it was fiercely stuck. The snap ring that kept in place the big ball bearing went out easily but there was a stop and the bearing moved just one millimeter.
Tried to remove the cover but it was also pretty stuck, and I was not sure if I would damage something inside the box hitting the cover out harder. I felt very uncomfortable, and the parts catalogs and sketches did not help a lot as they do not explain how things are put together/apart.

Sprayed a couple of cubic meters of Rost-off and left.

A few days passed, and life went on. When I approached the gearbox again, I profited to inspect it a little more, still uncertain of taking a more aggressive approach about the intermediate cover.

Removed the shifting forks, and it was particularly difficult to take the 3rd and 4th fork out from the sleeve. The followers, sliding blocks or whatever their name is, were in pretty bad conditions, chewed by the sleeve itself. Ops.
The sliding sleeve moved freely over the synchronizer hub instead of being locked in place by the end pieces that were supposed to be pushed out by a set of six springs from the hub. Well, there were no end pieces nor springs around, they were all gone. I found a piece of polished metal that circled freely in between the hub and the blocking ring. I could not take it out so I assumed that it was the missing piece of the broken cone that I could not find anywhere.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1053 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-02-16 22:21:16

When inspecting the synchronizer sliding sleeves, they were all worn out, at least a little. Should change them all as I had to take the whole ensamble apart. Hmm…
The gears were not in their best days, but they would have to endure. That was the limit. Use and an excellent gear oil would have to do the trick.

One good day, I asked Don Pato’s opinion about the point at which I was stuck in, and he grabbed the big mace and a piece of wood and started to hit the flanges of the cover, at first pretty cautious and then with a little more determination until the piece of wood became a handful of splinters.

There was a gap, though. Then I thought that if someone had to break down the box it would surely better be me.

I got another piece of wood and the mace and hit the cover until it was completely out. It was the plugs that were stuck on each side of the cover.
Nico, the younger mechanician, helped us with the manoever as the cover came out with the planetary carrier, the shaft and the big bearings and gears in one piece and, believe me, it was pretty heavy.
Finally, I had access to the bottom of the main shaft and I could make something to free it and take it out of the box for servicing. But I felt quite disappointed when I realized that it was probably not the first time that somebody was wandering at those places. The knot of the security bolts of the thrust washer was far from being factory made, and there had been previous damage to the box. That was sad: my lady was not virgin.
Well… the lady was 42 years old and had plenty of kilometers. Hard to believe her virtue was intact. But still…

The size of the gear cluster was impressive, at least for me. Transatlantic ships for sure may have bigger gears, but this was huge enough.
Unfortunately, the sliding sleeve of the synchronizer mechanism was also worn out, and it had to be replaced. Christ.
So, there was a lot of pieces that needed replacement, and I had to make sure I had all the spares at hand before going on with the disassembly. I covered the gearbox and the exposed components and started the search for the right codes and numbers to have an idea of what to expect.

It was not easy task, of course. ZF gearboxes have a lot of aftermarket spares, some more easily available and at a better price without sacrificing quality, but each supplier has its own codification. Catalogs are not readily available, though, and you have to dive a little in the internet before finding the compatibility lists.

There is a quite helpful webpage for those who do not have access to the electronic parts catalog of their trucks, and so far has been very accurate. It is, and it is easier to use than the or You just need your VIN number, for any brand of truck.

I realized that there still is a big market of the Mercedes NG generation in Russia, Romania, Latvia and around. Maybe I should go there some time.

The good news was that, after a non neligible effort, I was able to find the majority of the spare parts in the local market. I just had to check directly if the availability was real, for the stocks change and the catalogs and the web pages do not tell you.
Then, I had hope… again.



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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1054 Beitrag von lura » 2020-02-16 22:41:34

I'm sure, as hard as You work for the Merkabah You will reach the target to travel with it. Believe in it.

Gewinne Zeit durch Langsamkeit

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1055 Beitrag von Maximilian714d » 2020-02-17 16:21:02

Hello Pairoa,

Have you already found your spare parts?

Actually it's not that hard to find out the part number for Mercedes vehicles, motors and gearboxes...

If you know the name and full type number (Baumuster) of your gear box you can look for it on where you find the matching exploded wiew with all the part numbers.
Somethimes you find different numbers for the same part: a MB dealer explained me once that it is beacause the same part was produced during the years by different suppliers, so they have different part numbers (but are matching with each other).

I don't konw for ZF, but on my G3/60 gearbox there are the part number on every gearwheel and part... It makes it even easier.

When I was repairing my gearbox I had the problem that some parts were not available anymore at Mercedes: you can get these used or aftermarket, as you told...
I needed a synchronizer unit, I got it from quality looks pretty good, they produce in Italy and sell all over the world.

i hope these information can help you...


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1056 Beitrag von Walöter » 2020-02-17 20:10:25

Hi Pairoa,

Doyou have this catalouge with part numbers yet?
1269.026.629.JPG (21.29 KiB) 4052 mal betrachtet
Auffi, huift ja nix!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1057 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-02-18 15:30:26


I do believe! If not, I wouldn't be here!


Indeed, finding the MB number is not difficult, but the matching code of other makes is sometimes hard to get. Euroricambi is a good alternative, and that's what I am using so far.


No, I could not find that catalogue, at least not in open sources.

At present, I was able to find almost all of the parts I need for servicing the gearbox. I found a guy, an old guy who works at a parts store, who knows a lot about ZF old stuff, and he is helping me with the quest. Not very difficult.



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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1058 Beitrag von WolfS » 2020-02-24 13:04:49

Hi Pairoa!

What an epic story until this point! How about making a book out of it?! If would, 10/10, buy it!

Could you please also do the "turning circle" experiment with and without lifted rear axle?!

That would be great!

Kind regards,

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1059 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-02-24 17:28:15

Ah, Wolf... you can't imagine how bad I want to make circle tests, drifting and making eights with the Merkabah. That would be great indeed.

In any case, even if the third axle never leaves the ground and there is always contact between the terrain and the wheels, the drag is dramatically reduced when turning. Perhaps the turning radius does not change significantly, but the life of the tire can be extended if well and constantly applying the right pressure to the rear suspension.

A book. Thanks but, who else would buy it?



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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1060 Beitrag von alearg » 2020-02-25 19:13:01

I think you are going to get a hundred "me too" now...

Of course we look forward to a book when your epic journey will be finished. Actually, it might make a very interesting film too (And the fact that "nothing much" would seem to be going on is exactly the point!)


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1061 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-03-04 18:47:00


Alexis: thank you. I will think about the book. A film?

I have been reading a lot of threads on these pages and on other sites lately, especially those in seek for advice for buying or furbishing trucks for overlanding, and the more I read the more fortunate I feel for being driven by visions and destiny when it comes to decisions on what to and what not to do on this respect.

Some discussions raised by simple questions get easily hot and heavy, quite toxic sometimes, and overrun the original purpose of the question itself, and that scares me.

Life in general, and this kind of activities in particular, should give you entertainment, knowledge and skills through problem-solving activities, commitment, joy and satisfaction. Well… at least in my poor and humble opinion.

Anyway, I have been a little stuck with the gearbox issue, and I was afraid it was going to be like this.

From one side there is always the fact that I have to work to pay for the toys, like everybody else, and from the other the need to gather the parts to replace, and this gearbox is not pretty common, especially in this part of the world.

Surely, for some of you disassembling the gearbox may be a kid’s game, but for the subscriber it is not, of course. The challenge has been, so far, pretty interesting, though.

The poplars of the countryside avenue I use to run the weekends already show the yellow colour of the autumn, pressed by the severe dryness that affects the country since a couple of years.

The land is so dry that even the most resilient plants are dying, and the contrast between the deserted slopes of the mountains and the technified irrigation of the valley is quite dramatic.

There are no rabbits nor mice, and the eagles and other rapaces are coming to town to chase pigeons. This happened the last time back in the sixties. We are in trouble, as said long before.
But, but, but, but… the work on the project goes on, no matter what.

Once finished the quest for the spares I was sure I was going to need for repairing and servicing the gearbox, I went to Santiago to pick them directly from the sellers to confirm in situ if they were the right ones.

The Beast and her spacious luggage cases were ready to cope with the big bulk of the parts, but they were not so many nor so big in the end, but there was a lot of them anyway.
Unfortunately, not all the required spares were available in the local market and I had to ask for them abroad. Fortunatelly, though, friends are more precious than money.

There was this little tube for the oil distribution coming from the center of the thrust washer on the back of the main shaft, for which there was no spare available except in Latvia, according to the internet. It did not allow to place any socket or wrench to loose the bolts for taking out the solar gear. Took me some days to decide to send it to hell and simply cut it with the powergrinder in order to go on with the disassembling.
I got a new gear puller, not the best nor the biggest in the market but at least a new one, and tried it on the solar gear of the rear of the main shaft. After struggling a little, the gear came out millimeter after millimeter. It was a big thing, and nothing broke. Good.
Got the secure ring and both the half locking rings out, only to realize that the whole main shaft, and thus all the gears and synchronizers, were fiercely stuck to the main roller bearing of the box. Christ, a momentary dead end.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1062 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-03-04 18:55:24

Heidi had a flat and I went to Santiago to repair it as there is no qualified bike tire service in San Felipe, at least that I trust on, and the guy found three nails and three thorn punctures in the rear tire. Six, in one week. Wasn’t it too much?
I repeated the pulling maneuver with the speedometer drive gear on the rear drive shaft, with no results.

Then, I applied the old receipt: heat.

Got the blowtorch, the propane-butane mix one, and heated up the gear, not too much, though.
Alejandro helped me and finally, after a couple of burnings and efforts, we removed the bloody gear from the shaft.

I was quite happy, until I found out that the next bearing was also fiercely stuck to the shaft, and there was no way to make lever remove it without damaging it.

Started to make plans and intrincate arrangements to apply extreme heat and cold to unstuck it, but the whole gear cluster was so heavy and difficult to handle that it became clear that any conservative solution was impractical.

I was a little frustrated, as you may understand. I just wanted to change the broken synchronizer ring and ended up tearing apart the whole damn gearbox. Had many of the pieces that needed to be replaced but was not able to disassemble the shafts. This is pretty common regarding servicing and repairing any gearbox, of course, but still.
Eduardo, watching my puzzled face, asked if there was the same bearing around and found one dealer that actually had it, one of good brand and other Chinese not-so-good-brand for half the price.

Which one you think I decided for?

Masked the whole gear cluster in leather, got the power grinder and threw sparks all over, again.

Then, there went 115 euros to the trash can. Hmm…
After carving a deeper groove in the inner ring for better grip and a little heating, the puller removed what was left of the bearing, and the synchronizer mechanism was exposed, finally.

I needed to replace the rusted sliding collar, but I still had to wait for the inner springs and followers to arrive from somewhere in the world.

Covered all with paper to keep the pieces as free from environmental dust as possible and left. It was late, as always.



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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1063 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-03-29 5:33:19

Hello all:

I hope everyone is okay. This madness around the damn coronavirus has turned our little world upside down, for the good and for the bad, a plain lesson to remind us, almighty humans, that we cannot take anything for granted and that we are, and always be, weaker than we think.

Anyway, among all the new and changing circumstances, I have been trying to keep the comfortable routine of working on the Merkabah as much as possible during the last weeks.

Of course, the delivery of parts, especially those from abroad, have suffered a delay of still uncertain reach, keeping progresses at a minimum pace.

I was pretty naïve regarding the amount of work and effort required to fix the gearbox, as seems to be my very deep nature, and everytime I looked at the piece of steel I realized that I had to disassemble more and more.

Probably more than one reader, those who know, could not help themselves from smiling at my initial attitude. Life is hard, though I keep going.

Last time I wrote here, I had disassembled the gear cluster. It was hot and dry in San Felipe, as always, but that Sunday morning things changed abruptly and there was a drop in the temperature and a fresh mist was waiting for me and the dogs at the countryside. Also, in a matter of just a week, there was a lot of leaves lying under the poplars.

Autumn was here.
I went to the workshop the next week and something weird happened when I walked through the lot of cars that usually are parked at the entrance. I heard something like a whisper, and something drove my attention to a white pickup truck that I had not even noted before.
It looked pretty good though it was not the model nor the year I liked the most, so it was pretty odd this sudden interest.

To make a story short, it was there since a couple of days and it was for sale, at a very interesting price because it had a serious problem with the DPF filter. The owner treated it like a lady and it looked, smelled and felt like new, though replacing the crazy expensive DPF was far out of his will.

When moving to the countryside, very near in the future, we surely would need a pickup truck and getting one was on the plans for a while. Eduardo had already received an offer for the truck but a brother is a brother, so he gave me the first chance, with a big discount of course.

I bought the pickup. Couldn’t do otherwise as she had spoken to me: take me home, Pairoaaa….

We made a regeneration test and performed some elegant mechanical and software tricks and the engine behave. It would probably not last long, but a bargain is a bargain, as a friend pointed out not so long ago. Anyway, we had a pickup, and Carmen baptized her as Blanca (White). Pretty original.

Well, one of those days the famous bearing to replace the one previously destroyed arrived from Santiago and so I went on with the disassembly of the gear cluster.
Lots of pieces to clean, so I unearthed the old “tray” cut from Spare’s fuel tank and washed them thoroughly. They truly needed it.
Some pieces showed a little wear, and surely needed replacement, but I preferred an acceptable working gearbox, far under the limits of normal operational stress, than an eternaly grounded truck waiting for exotic spares.
The real deal was to replace the synchronizer sliding collar and you can see clearly why, when comparing the old and the new.
I was waiting for the inner detents, which name changes with every translator, but the old ones, including the springs, looked and felt like new. With a little help from the guy next door, and Eduardo in the second attempt, I was able to finally set the sliding collar and the detents in position. It was a pain in the buttocks, though, and at least four hands were needed, and when you thought it was okay, the detents flew in the air. Hmm…

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1064 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-03-29 5:52:07

I was about to put the speedometer drive gear back in when I had a doubt about the thrust washers: which was first, which the last? Christ, always the need for photographic tracks of what you have been doing. Of course I had many pictures of the disassembling, but I hate to have to clean my hands and look for them in the computer when I am in the middle of the process, dripping oil and grease.
After a while, the heavy gear cluster was reassembled and it all looked okay. I wrapped it in paper and left it aside. I still had to deal with the main shaft and the gears.
But a few days passed and I had not much time to work on the gearbox nor was I truly on the mood for doing so. Anyway, I did little though inevitable jobs like removing the old rock-hard gaskets stuck to the covers of the gearbox. I had to use a sharp chisel to take the things out, which made me think if they were actualy the original ones.
The next weekend we ventured ourselves, Carmen and I, driving Blanca in a trip to visit my father in Melipilla, when it was still safe to do so. It was well known that the DPF filter was ill and had been given some pills, but I needed to know if the pickup was reliable as she was.

She was not. We had to pull over a couple of times, allow for the exhaust to cool down and get to a gas station for a 10 mm wrench to disconnect the battery and reset the CPU to get to Melipilla. We did it, and back too, but Blanca needed a new DPF. Hmm…
One of the reasons for the lack of enthousiasm regarding the gearbox was the need for disassembling the transmission case from the planetary housing to take the transmission shaft and the gears out. There was not other way to get to the gears and pieces to replace the worn out and broken ones.

And the thing was even more complicated because the intermediate gear was placed in the way of the bolts that held the case and the housing together. Thus, the gear had to be removed prior to disassembling and, to do so, one big and ugly pin had to be removed as well, which seemed not pretty easy at all just by looking it.
I tried the Neanderthal method with some strikes with the mace and a bronze shaft but it did not move a tenth of a micrometer, obviously. It was a much more complex issue and needed an ad hoc extractor.

Another issue was revealed on the move: the need to stabilize the gearbox. It was not adequate to rely on the base of the planetary housing alone to keep the steel upright, as the transmission case had to be removed.

So, I grabbed some steel profiles and made a construct that fixed the housing to the trolley. It went pretty well and firm enough. Good.
Looking at the gearbox, though, I started wondering how much did the transmission case weighted itself, and began to think and worry on the maneuver for removing it using the portable winch, where to put it, how to remove the shaft and so on, when I actually had not even removed the famous pin to take out the intermediate gear. How easy to let your brain and guts take you over.
At some moment, Eduardo went to Santiago and picked up a lot of spares that the dealers had a rough time to send by bus or courier because of the growing restrictions to transportation there. Among them came the brand new DPF for the pickup truck. It was huge and, made with gold, platinum and many other precious materials, it was not strange that they charged so much for it. Of course, my brother-in-law got a huuuuuge discount. Blanca remained a very good bargain.
March is a very rough month here. You have to pay most of your taxes, the schools, the transit permits, etc. I tried to get the new permit for the Africa Twin and realized that the TÜV had expired four months ago. Ops.

Went to the TÜV plant and found this old 4x4 Mercedes, assembled almost twenty years ago by Eduardo from imported used parts. This and other four trucks still help to the harvest of avocados, carrying bins of fruit up and down the slopes where they are grown, with no problems at all. Made simple, made tough. Not made any more.
Of course, the Africa passed the technical tests almost by flying.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1065 Beitrag von Pirx » 2020-03-29 15:15:15

pairospam hat geschrieben:
2020-03-29 5:52:07
Went to the TÜV plant and found this old 4x4 Mercedes, assembled almost twenty years ago by Eduardo from imported used parts. This and other four trucks still help to the harvest of avocados, carrying bins of fruit up and down the slopes where they are grown, with no problems at all. Made simple, made tough. Not made any more.


thank you for these wonderful words! :wub: :) :blume: :positiv:

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."
Ein Unimog-Fahrer.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1066 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-03-30 2:48:00

Dear Klaus: they are very well earned words. Take care.

When I could I resumed the work on the truck, and I thought about the extractor for the bloody pin of the intermediate gear. Decided then to make a device to allow the use of the new pulling extractor and, to do that, I took the rods from some used shock absorbers, the center ring of the recently passed out bearing and a couple of pieces of thick steel plates.

Some cutting and drilling after, voilà! The new extractor stabilizer showed up, rated to who-the-hell-knows-how-much pounds of traction. Looked good, and tough too.
Oh. Let me introduce the last arrived to Pairoa’s foster home for dogs in need: Marrón (Braun). She had been abandoned and survived for a couple of weeks at the side of the road, living from trash. She was almost deaf and almost blind, and Carmen and I could not resist anymore and rescued her and took her to a non permanent home where she received veterinary care, love and true food for some weeks. She got better from the visual and auditive problems but did not recover completely. Once she was healthy, with all her vaccines and stuff, we took her home where she got a cold reception from the crew, at first. She is old, probably eight years old, and has a very nice temper. Carmen is pretty happy with her… and with me.
You see… this thing is pretty contagious too, though it has no cure… like the virus of the old steel.

Anyway, it was clear to me that probably the pin was fiercely stuck after four decades of being at its place, and maybe it would not survive the extraction. Accepting this reality took me quite a while, though. Only when I finally did it, I relaxed and confronted the gearbox.

The pin had a plug with a 7 mm Allen bore that obviously wore out when tried to remove it. I shrugged and used the ad hoc bolt extractor, but it simply broke at the first attempt. I then got the powerdrill with a big bit, made a big hole and carefully welded a bolt to what was left of the plug. It worked, and the thing came out at the gentle turn of the wrench.

I worked a little more with the bolt, did a better welding of the plug at the tip, stretched the bolt a little, reinforced the extractor and made a serious try to extract the pin.

The pulling force was not very big, though the welding of the stretched bolt gave and broke with a big clank.
Had to reinforce the welding, and I was sure that anything else would brake except the bolt. I was right. I applied more torque, very slowly, helping out with some little strikes in the opposite side of the pin, and this time the thread of the pin gave and the bolt, the stabilizer, the extractor and Pairoa ended on the floor.
It was clear that the pin would offer a good fight, but I was not on the mood to continue with the struggle. I would make an impact extractor, a big one, to force the pin off the housing, but I decided I was done with that item until new order.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1067 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-03-30 3:01:44

What to do next? Well… there was a ton of things to do, but I had been stumbling on the pivoting lower steps for a while so I thought that it was the next item.

If you remember, the steps were the first thing I took out from the truck when I brang it to San Felipe. They were probably the worst looking parts of the Merkabah and the first to be disassembled and flattened out. And now they were the last ones to be repaired and put back in. Life is not easy.

The step of the side of the driver was in poor condition, put apart in a box after a few hours of love and care, many years ago. It had been destroyed, welded and half repaired who knows how many times, and mine was just the last attempt to preserve it.

The job was far from perfect, but I judged it was okay at that time, and who am I to question what I thought?
Coupled the mesh to the powerdrill to have more control and less revs and worked hard to clean the metal from all the rust and dirt I could. It went good in the end, finishing the cleaning with some more fine instruments.
There were also the plates of the upper steps that needed some attention. I had two pairs of each side, and the best ones still had some of the original zinc coating, which we all know is not very prone to be painted on. I gave them a hand of 120 sand paper followed by the powerdrill metallic mesh labor, hoping it was enough scratching the surface to give substrate for the paint to grab on.
And then another Sunday morning dawn came and the dogs almost tore the windows down claiming for the run.

There were very few people around, as it should be. I completed the 14 km circuit and only crossed roughly half a dozen cars, which I liked pretty much because not everybody pays attention when passing by your side and especially by the side of the dogs.
Running under this circumstances was the perfect thing to do, probably the most healthy and solitary activity in the world.

By the way: I miss hugs. Do you?

Back at the shop, next Monday, I dedicated my attention and time to fabricate the pieces that were missing to complete the steps, like the prismatic shaped stoppers.
The need to restrict going out for shopping or for whatever reason was increasing as the pandemic spread all over, so I limited myself to go from home to work, to the shop and back home. I had to use whatever I had at hand.
I really like having power tools and, of course, using them.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1068 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-03-30 3:06:58

Long ago, the lateral rods of the lower step of the side of the driver had been replaced by some tortured pieces of bolts, and the plastic bushings probably passed away long before that. The lack of bushings made the steps move pretty inconveniently, and they would surely be very noisy when the Merkabah moved.
Trying to fabricate the bushings from plastic was highly unlikely, so I got some rusted nuts and shaped them with the powergrinder and the lime until they fit and stood firmly in place, preventing the step from moving haphazard. Little though important detail.
When I thought the steps were ready for painting, I gave them another cleaning hand.

Then, I covered the Merkabah with the same plastic sheet I made the first blasting chamber with. There was no more place to paint as the shop was full of cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles, and the painting chamber was occupied as well.
The poor truck looked very well and ready to go, but lacked its guts. Oh, I really wanted to take the Merkabah out for another ride!
The rest is pretty known: a few hands of primer, wait for it to dry up to spray the other side. Let it all dry for at least one day, sand the edges and the imperfections and apply the black matt paint, on both sides. Boring stuff… and cleaning the paint gun, uff.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1069 Beitrag von fap » 2020-04-12 11:26:19


I then decided to start working on the second axle and with a little luck I could paint both the axles at the same session, without having to clean the paint gun twice. I started to wash the axle with gasoline to remove the grease and the dirt of the surface and the corners of the axle just to be able to approach it. After consulting the manual and a technician from the Mercedes dealer in Santiago I got the guts to remove the aft short shaft to change the retainers that leaked. I feared that I would not be able to put the shaft back in but of course I was worried for no reason; Mercedes engineers designed that thing to be served as easy and fast as it was possible. Please, remember that I am not a mechanilal


Hi Pairo.
First, thank you for sharing your work with us.
I was wondering if you could clarify a little about how you arranged the seal on the other shaft and what tool you unscrewed the nut. I would be very grateful for this information.
You can also reply to private messages for me not to spoil your topic.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1070 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-14 5:29:26

Hi, fap:

Wow, that was very long ago. It was even hard to find where the quote came from.

I will send you a PM.



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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1071 Beitrag von fap » 2020-04-15 16:12:07

Hi, Pairo
Sorry I didn't put that aside, but that's on page 8.
First of all, thank you very much for sharing your efforts with our readers.
Thanks again and I'm waiting for your reply, because I too need to replace the seal.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1072 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-15 23:31:29

Sorry, guys. I could not put images on the PM so I will answer fap here.

Well, the procedure for replacing the retainers of the second axle should be pretty straightforward, assuming the axle is out and you are working comfortably standing. Would be better if you change the retainers of the front and the rear, though.

First of all, get the retainers.
Clean the axle and all the parts involved.
Take care of the position of the retainers at all times.

Remove the superior lock of the srew collar to the axle housing and unscrew the screw collar tapping gently the knobs with a blunt chisel like the one shown in the picture or whatever. You can get or make a special tool if you want, though it should be not very tight.

Take gently the through drive shaft out and disassemble the parts by unscrewing the locking nut.
Change the retainers contained in the screw collar. Reverse the procedure for assembling.
And that’s it.



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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1073 Beitrag von fap » 2020-04-16 16:58:09

Thanks a lot Pairo.
Your work on the truck has helped me a lot.
Thanks again for the help.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1074 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-16 23:50:53

My pleasure.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1075 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-23 0:39:39

Hi all:

No big nor pretty good news so far, just some news.

During this odd period of hiding from an enemy that you cannot even see, I have made some more attempts to remove the pin of the intermediary gear, fruitlessly.

After trying the less cruel way, I threaded the pin to allow for a bigger bolt to get in and welded to it the sliding hammer I made up a couple of years before for other minor jobs.

Seemed the proper and only way to extract the pin, actually.
The piston pin used as hammering load was not heavy enough, though, so I ended up welding more and more pieces of steel to increase the mass, but it was useless.

The added weight made no difference. The whole gearbox menaced to fall in pieces at every strike, but the pin did not move and I smashed my fingers more than once during the violent and soundy process.
Once again, I gave up momentarily and focused on a different subject not to get depressed.

The steps were almost ready, so I put myself into the job of installing them. Lots of adjustments, lime work and re-painting. If you remember, I disassembled the steps completely to flatten them out and the re-welded them. Some adjustments were expected, so.

Anyway, after a couple of days I installed the step on Carmen’s side of the cabin. It looked pretty tall. I invited her to officialy step into the cabin, for the first time using the ad hoc steps, and see how difficult might it be. She has some knee issues, so it could become a very annoying problem.
She did it and after a few efforts she sat on the seat, even if it actually was not pretty easy. In spite of complaining she said it was okay and that she would practice to get used to it. Oh, I love her.
So, I took the other step and installed it on the driver’s side. After a while the job was almost complete. There was a problem, though, because the cabin was slightly displaced forward on its “new” front suspension respect of the original situation, so the steps were almost in contact with the bolts protruding from the rear aspect of the bumpers. They would touch and probably wear out when in motion so I went out to get some carriage bolts thinking that they would be more flat, but they were almost as bulky as the bolts, hmm…
I grabbed the powergrinder and ate up the head of the original bolts, enough to have some grip and to leave some free space between the fenders and the steps. Would they touch in motion? Probably, but I would address the problem when the Merkabah moved again.
Next: air conditioning, the never-ending issue.

I wanted to change the V-belt tensioning mechanism proposed and built some time ago, when I installed the compressor. Was not convinced that it was the best option due to eventual problems regarding the positioning of the belt itself.

Took a piece of rope for aiding with the removal maneuver and unbolted the support plate to take it and the compressor in one piece, like always. The compressor touched very gently the floor of the workshop, for the tenth but surely not the last time.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1076 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-23 2:06:40

I was expecting to find a lot of oil from the lack of closure between the carter and the oil filling tube, but in fact there was no gap. There was indeed a lot of oil, but it seemed to come from higher latitudes, like the crankshaft front end seal, for instance. More unhappy news, hmm…
Anyway, I left the oil issue for some improbable future and focused on the support of the compressor. The plan was to build some sort of sliding mechanism between the compressor and the main vertical plate to adjust the V-belt with a long adjusting bolt.

Removed the compressor and chopped all the aditaments for the pivoting adjuster and left only the big surfaces.
The parts that held the compressor and the horizontal basal plate would become the support itself that would slide on the vertical plate along a few guiding grooves. Easy.

During the weekend, instead of going to play with steel at the shop and following the reccomendations of staying at home, I profited to service the big bikes. They were just at the right mileage, and I wanted to get an eye on the cardan shafts of both the GS and the GS Adventure.

That meant, first of all, washing the bikes pretty meticulously, and that’s what I did.
When exposing Heidi’s cardan shaft at the final drive, oh, big and ugly surprise: there was a lot of water and mud around. The drain was not working, and maybe the previous owner had gone deep in water some kilometers ago. The mud was a mixture of dirt, water and oily remnants of lubricating stuff.
After some liters of WD40, tons of clean cloths and a lot of patience with a couple of old toothbrushes, the pieces looked much better and there was no rust nor damage or play in the cardan mechanism. I greased it all, with a lot of clean and profumated new grease, and put everything back in place. Changed the oil of the final drive, the engine oil along with the oil filter, the air filter, and then the sun was gone.
Next morning, I got The Beast and replicated the procedure. The cardan shaft, though, looked much cleaner, so clean that there was almost no lubrication at all between the splined yoke and the coupling yoke. Hmm…
I cleaned everything for good and covered it all with the same fresh and smelly grease. Changed also all the oils and the filters, and checked everything else. Oh, I really like those bikes! The sound of the engines, with their typical tickling of the valves, got a new, clearer tone with the new oil.

The Beast was for sale since a while, but the local economic situation since a few months ago and, of course, at present, led me think that I would probably have to keep her forever. I did not dislike the idea, though.

Anyway, when I stepped again in the workshop, Eduardo’s Ford Cargo had its engine back on and functioning. They made even work the crane and the hydraulic stabilizers, and everybody was amused playing with the joysticks.
The Merkabah, on her side, remained silent, distant and apart. She was not sad nor angry, though, just silent… and waiting.

Regardless of the mood, there were still some issues with the truck and for instance, both front tires had gone flat and dismounted from the rings. You can see it clearly on the picture of the driver’s side steps. This was due to a permanent loss of air from the unadjusted valves located in the gap between the rings and the brake hubs, pretty difficult to reach. I was aware of it and before removing the gearbox I put the front axle on the stands.

Also, there was an oil spill from one of the rear wheel hubs that, fortunately, came from the plug. Tightening the plug was the simple solution, but I had to thoroughly clean the tire from all the oil.
Well, I studied and planned many ways of doing the cuts for modifying the support for the AC compressor, and ended up with the less destructive way, I think.

Made a lot of measurements and marks and, finally, grabbed the powergrinder. Then, thousands of sparks filled the air.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1077 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-23 2:22:59

The vertical plate was separated from the portion that held the compressor which, in turn, would become some sort of gliding support for the compressor itself

The vertical plate would be fixed to the engine block, as previously, but I considered necessary to reinforce it with another fixing point, four in total. The carter had already a 10 mm bore available so I got a long threaded tensioner, the only one in the sales store, to make use of it and, fortunately, the piece was perfect for the job.
To complete the support for the compressor itself I only had a piece of a plate of steel, maybe a little too thin to my initial thoughts. Re-thinking it, I considered it strong enough for the job so I cut and welded it. Turned out pretty good and the whole ensemble looked and fitted very well.
Taking care of keeping the original measures and position of the support, I welded some other pieces of steel and a couple of nuts to make the threaded adjusting mechanism up, hoping it would allow to move up and down the compressor smoothly by the gentle turning of a bolt.
The old and faithful Montero went into a major servicing. He was gulping antifreezing liquid and needed replacement of hoses, liquids, bearings and so on. Don Pato put hands on the labor and found, as suspected, a broken engine head gasket and other minor problems.

When the service was over, though, the traction problem was the next in the list. After a while, Eduardo and the mechanicians found out that the Japanese jewel needed a replacement of the transfer case if he wanted to remain being 4x4. What?

Yes. Seemed that Pairoa and his unstoppable desire of going out of trail and engage the double traction had finally ruined the chain driven mechanism. That was the reason why the mighty all-terrain got stuck in a ridiculously easy trench in the country. The problem was that the spares were even more expensive than the whole box itself. Hmm…

A “new” transfer case was readily available, though, and the poor Mitsubishi would have to wait for it just a little while with his guts lying on the floor, but still, it was not precisely what I needed at the moment. Fortunately, we had the Navara as backup, or so I thought.
The work on the support of the AC compressor progressed pretty slowly due to my critical desire of doing the best job, allowing the less possible pitch play of the compressor when adjusting the V belt.

I carved the grooves for the guiding-fixing bolts with the powergrinder, but finished them by hand with the limes to allow for just the minimum necessary slack. Pretty slow and boring.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1078 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-23 2:35:09

When the next weekend arrived, it was the turn for the Africa Twin’s non-scheduled but mandatory servicing. I had forgotten how annoying to take the protecting bars and the bulky skid plate out it was, but I did it pretty quickly and almost by heart.
To get to the oil filter, though, I had to struggle with a ton of pasty half-solidified chain lubricant that filled the entire space around the chain sprocket.

You can see the place when it was already half clean, and when it was decent enough to grab the filter. Lubricating the chain every 500 km is a good thing for the chain, but not for Pairoa. Point for the cardan driven BMWs.
Whatever, I changed the oil, the oil filter, checked and cleaned and lubricated this and that and decided to change the chain and the final sprocket, but unfortunately I had only the chain at hand so I would have to order for the sprocket to be imported, which could take quite a while.

After reassembling, I took her out for a little ride, and it felt pretty good. I still love her rude ways and the pretty silent V2 engine.

Next Sunday morning I pushed myself and the dogs a little farther and added a few kilometers to the usual route following some of the mountain tracks up near San Felipe.
On arrival, they ate half-hearted and then slept for the rest of the day, all except for Buran. He is always full of energy, no matter how kilometers he ran.

The support, yes. Well, I gave it the final retouches, checked how it worked, and used every last microliter of the only can of paint I had left over to spray both pieces and the bolts and nuts.
Next day, I mounted the compressor and the support and tried to find the rope to help with the maneuver of installing it, with no luck. I then picked the heavy and hard to handle piece of steel and aluminium and installed it by hand. There was no way of bolting first the vertical plate and in a second step the compressor, saving weight and efforts. It was hard, but I did it with no problems, though.
I bolted and secured the support to the block and to the carter and then used the adjusting bolt to move the compressor up and down, smoothly as expected. Good.
This way, the whole thing looked and worked pretty similar to the systems proposed by Mercedes for these trucks and, definitely, it was more solid and firm than my own original proposal, and the V belt tension adjustement was by far more easy. Thanks Pirx for the picture and the idea.
Nothing is that easy, of course, and the upper slip was limited by the presence of the hydraulic pipes, which got as close as 3 mm to the compressor pulley. I had to move them from their position and get them towards the interior of the frame beam, which may sound pretty easy, but working under the engine in a quite uncomfortable position, in a confined space whether for the hands whether for the tools, is not easy nor amusing.
Anyway, after some contorsions and head strikes, the AC compressor was definitely in place. I announced the good news with drums and cymbals, but nobody judged it as relevant as I did. Felt pretty sad.

I got the shoe lashes from the old pair of blue shoes and measured the length of the V belt. Got my helmet and rode to the store where I got a brand new dented and pretty expensive belt. I went under the truck again just to find out that it was by far too short, and that the shoe lash measurements were worth trash.

Went again to the store and asked the guy for the two next longer belts, just seconds before he closed. Back at the shop, the longer one was still too short so I would have to wait for a couple of days before asking for the right belt.

In the meantime, at the next door, the Navara was at the ICU. One of the issues that had helped to lower the selling price was that the clutch was at its last breaths. It worked, but I preferred to replace it before it failed, and Don Pato was charged with the job of taking the engine bell housing out for doing so.
He complained that he had to disassemble half the pickup to remove the bloody bell housing, and I can give proof of that… but he is always complaining.

That was quite a weird moment, if you think, as the Merkabah, the Montero, the Terrano and the Navara, even the 6x6 Blazer, meaning all Pairoa’s cars, had no gearboxes on. Hmm…

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1079 Beitrag von Rumpelstielzchen » 2020-04-23 9:13:49

Hello Pairoa,
its good to see that you still love the good old Africa Twin! Mine is also still there and just passed TÜV (bi-annually Tech inspection) without any problems, but unfortunately I do not have enough time to ride her regularly. Its a pity, and I am always remembered when I follow your thread... :-) :-)
Best wishes!
Gruß Alex!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#1080 Beitrag von pairospam » 2020-04-29 22:51:35

Me, again. Hope everybody is okay.

@Rumpelstielzchen: unfortunately, the restrictions to travelling even in between cities is of no help when it comes to riding the bikes properly, but try not to forget to use the Africa Twin. They are pretty sensitive, as you may know, and they will remember you at any time that you had disregarded them. Females…

Had to enlarge the servicing of the bike and ended up stripping her up for good. Felt good to do so. You are right... I love her.
17088 1.jpg
Few words. Something pretty strange and good happened the last few days.

I continued with the list of pending items as I had been so far unable to remove the pin from the gearbox, smashing from time to time the sliding hammer with nothing but aching hands in return.

The next item was to adjust the gear lever.

When I repaired the long telescopic lever, some time ago, I overbent it and the gear lever in the cabin ended up practically leaning on the gauges of the central console.

The adjuster was at its limits, and I wanted not to heat up the lever again to straighten it a little. So, I took the threaded end of the adjuster and decided to stretch it up. Though, at inspection, it seemed better to make a new one, so I took it to the turner. Oh, I really want a lathe of my own.
Next item: the oil leak coming from the rear aspect of the engine.

This was one of the most annoying and dirty issues, considering the amount of work to get to the rear end of the crankshaft and the oil retainer that most probably was the cause of the leak. I really wanted not to disassemble anything of the mighty V8 as it looked and felt quite like some sort of failure. Yes… I know.

Well, the absence of the intermediary cardan shaft made the necessity an obligation so I decided to get at it, but somehow things were pretty straight and doing it was, in the end, pretty easy.

The critical question was how to lift the engine. The portable hydraulic winch had been repaired but it was hard to get it near the engine at the right angle.

Planning the moves, I looked around and up and found the chain-driven winch that hung from the roof of the shop, neglected there since I put the cabin back on the frame, a couple of years ago.

To make a story short, I put a couple of pieces of lumber, shaped ad hoc, in between the frame rails and the exhaust manifolds, and made a pile of wooden pieces in between the front axle and the carter. I moved the winch from its position for a better pulling angle and then lifted the engine, applying only the right amount of force before the roof collapsed and the ropes broke, and tackled the engine just two millimeters up with the aid of the pieces of wood, enough to be sure that the V8 was suspended.
With the supports freed from the massive weight of the engine, I removed the clutch cylinder and took the rear supports out and then, suddenly, the bellhousing was completely exposed. Without thinking it too much, I removed the bolts and in less than ten minutes the bellhousing was safely lying on the floor and the pressure plate was exposed on its turn.
Carefully, I removed the bolts that fixed the plate to the flywheel but despite the precautions the clutch disk slipped from my hand and fell soundly to the floor, hitting my left foot and the front cardan shaft before getting to the ground. Fortunately, it did not suffer any damage, neither did my foot.

I was starting to inspect the flywheel, which rear side was completely free from oil, when I heard Carmen shouting out loud from her office that it was late and we had to go. Ops. The whole maneuver had been so easy and apparently so quick that I did not notice the passing of time.
Used a couple of bolts to secure the pressure plate in situ, made a quick order and left. Actually, it was late and we had lots of things to do.