Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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pairospam
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#661 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-07-06 3:35:57

Eduardo’s predictions became true, all of them, and Terral was really ill. Major surgery was needed and René was not happy at all. He fought back at his best, but the battle was not one that he could win and the engine, the injection, the turbo and many major components of his truck had to be dismantled for repair. He helped the mechanics to do the job with a sad grin, but soon he realized that he was lucky that he made it until that point without regretting being stuck at some lost spot in the middle of the Amazonas.

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After a few failed attemps I finally went through the hoses issue and the correct combination of fittings and lenght was delivered. They were a little long and I should install a couple of supports but they were okay after all.

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New support also for the rear 4-circuit valve. The former one was a rusted piece of steel welded to the frame, and now it was a rusted but grinded piece of steel bolted to the frame. Just a little change, but it works better that way for me.

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And, after almost ten years, my father and I flew together again. We went to the mountains where the family has had for generations some acres of rocks and… rocks. He stepped on the land he used to play during his youth many decades before. We went there with his brothers, one of which owns the R44, and they also had not been there for a long time. It was cold but a magnificent winter day. It was a very pleasant and meaningful trip.

Returning home there were very nice views from the heights, until we reached Santiago and dove into the horrible smog that covers the city most of the time.

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At the air field there was an old Unimog that looked as if somebody wanted to protect him from the elements, with only partial success. I wished him well and passed by on my way home, hoping that he was still in use and in good health.

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That Sunday I felt much better of my back so I took the Yamaha for a little ride to profit of the ¨little summer of Saint John¨ and, obviously, I ended up at the end of the trail, covered by sweat and dirt but happy.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#662 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-07-06 5:16:55

Even if I had repaired the air actuator of the split of the gearbox, I was not completely convinced of how good it would work, so I ordered a new one and the next Monday morning it was delivered. Good… and safer.

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I made another support for the front 4-circuit valve and continued with the arrangement of the tecalan circuits, trying to put them in the most orderly fashion I could. Soon I realized that more supports and less plastic brackets would be of use.

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When I was measuring the length of the tecalan for the air supply of the tire inflation and the suspension control systems, René asked very politely if I would accept an advice. Of course! – I replied. Put both control valve manifolds inside the cabin – he said, and then explained why it was better IHHO. Hmm… it was not what I had planned, but I bought it. What are plans for if not to change them on and on?

Next on the list (what list?): install the new hydraulic cylinder for the clutch. Actually, it was the original setup, but somewhere in time someone decided that it was somewhat better to have some servo valve to actuate the clutch.

I knew from the beginning that the horribly conceived and horribly built support would have to fly away, and this was the right moment. To take it out it had to be destroyed. That bad.

After covering the surroundings with some pieces of cloth and leather stripes, not to damage the paint, I worked with the recently re-re-re-repaired power grinder. I felt some kind of pleasure when doing so, you filthy piece of steel…

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But, when it was on the bench, I felt some kind of pity for it. Damn! This insane love for old steel! Okay… it could be of some use, and I would recycle it, at least partially.

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It was late when I left the shop. The frame, covered for protection against the dust and eventual heavy rain leaks, looked far better than in previous times, but there was still a long way to go. Patience, my friend… patience - I told to it and to myself as well.

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I kept my mind and made up a new support for the actuator of the clutch, strong enough according to my guessings, using the base of the old support. Looked much better, at least, and in case of necessity it could be removed without destroying it.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#663 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-07-06 5:41:55

From the remainings of the piping I rescued a copper piece and adapted it to fit the connectors to complete the hydraulic circuit for the clutch. Seemed to be okay.

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And, from the non-existing list, the next was the diesel tank fuel-sucking stuff. Do not know its name. Two were available, but none was complete, so I took the best from both to have at least one half-good and cleaned it up to the bone. I needed the original piece from the tank of the Mekabah to take the float lever and thus have the actual fuel level. I would see after that later.

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When I had the time, I moved on and took the hydraulic pump to lift the cabin from its lethargic dream. It had been repaired by others many months before and the welding was a little imprecise though strong. A little flat grinding and the four bolting ears were even. Then, the classical beauty treatment and the pump shone under the flashlight. Yes, it was already late.

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The pump´s guts followed and they went back into their box very clean, waiting for the new o’rings and retainers to arrive.

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At its new place, the pump had enough room to stay and to be used, though the hoses would need to be taken a little apart to allow the lever to be applied. Not bad, all in all, and I really liked the idea of having the pump more at hand than before.

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As always, any comments, criticisms, tips, OMG, WTF or whatever are frankly appreciated.


Pairoa

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Slarti
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Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#664 Beitrag von Slarti » 2016-07-06 19:57:24

Pairoa,

You make a lot and I'm always surprised to see what you go through. My very sincere respect for your work...

Cheers, Hajo

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#665 Beitrag von waYne » 2016-07-06 21:10:50

Hey Pairoa,

I hope you are not feared, that one day the Truck is finished and you are bored and you don't know what to do with your life ;)

Keep up your work, nice to see the efforts!

Cheers!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#666 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-07-07 5:52:14

Thanks, Hajo. I do my best... or almost.

Dear waYne: the only thing I fear is to have too many things to do and not all the time I need to do them. When the Merkabah is finished there is already a Blazer 6x6 waiting for completing her transformation; after that I have a house to build; then, the spaceship and, finally (for now), the time machine.

Kind regards and thanks for the encouraging words.


Pairoa

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#667 Beitrag von Iain_U1250 » 2016-07-12 11:12:24

When you get it finished, you should pack up the family and drive it, and then all the other things will become less important. There is so much to see and do in this world, and never enough time.
Iain

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

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Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#668 Beitrag von JStefan » 2016-07-13 20:41:44

I'm not worried about Pairoa, what comes after Mercabah. Carmen has a lot ideas...
Saludos e un beso para ustedes.




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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#669 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-07-26 18:53:25

@Iain: surely when the truck is finished I will be tempted to live in it and forget about all the rest. Then I will start to think on changing this and that, to adapt and improve the other and, that way… forever.

@Stefan: Dear old man, you are right: Carmen is absolutely clear about what is coming after the Merkabah. Me… I am just a dreamer.

Well… from what I can remember, I got the pipes for the hydraulic jack, that hung from the roof on the attic, and played a little until they were curved and straightened as they needed to be, and placed correctly where they went, shining like new, as I like it all to look.

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Then I went out and got the retainers and o’rings for the pump. The old gasket had passed away since prehistoric times so I had to make a new one. When I had all at hand I assembled the pump and gave the final retouches to the pipes. They were a little short for the new location of the pump so it was necessary to put a couple of hoses to get to it.

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Jumping from this to that according to the time available to work on the project, I put some new tecalan lines but it became clear that it was necessary to make some supports to hold up the lines tight in orderly fashion.

A couple of pieces of steel-garbage were the donors this time, and after a few hours there were new supports for the air lines.

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Sunday after lunch Eduardo got permission from wife and we went to make a few kilometers ride. We wanted to go to a new place, a magnificent gorge where you can even rent a helicopter to practice heliski, but when we arrived the gate was shut and there was nobody there to ask. Moreover, it looked as if it was completely abbandoned. No snow and no rough riding this time, guys… so turn around and enjoy the road back. Anyway, it was a good ride.

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There still were no news about the fittings for the pressurized air systems, so I went on with something left in the oblivion for very long time: the exhaust. The muffler had been rebuilt a couple of years before and left aside, as almost everything else. I could not find the original clamp, missing since the last order attempt, so I decided to fabricate a new one. Found a couple of pieces of Spare’s frame and cut two stripes of steel. Shaped and welded properly they would be a very resistant clamp, even better than the old one. So I started to hammer and hammer until both pieces were ready and I welded them. Ah… I love steel… so fun to work with!

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I was at it when a package arrived from Santiago containing some fast connectors for the tecalan lines, a cutter, and all the reduction fittings from 22 to 16 mm I could get. I finished to drill some holes on the new clamp and then pre-installed the reductions and the nipples for the brakes of the rear axles. I then completed the 12 mm braking circuits and the only items still missing were the collars for the fiitings, all the collars, and I had no alternatives yet.

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The exhaust, yes. I went on and rescued the front exhaust pipes from somewhere under a lot of dust and found out that the diameter of the pipes was the same of the receiving pipes of the muffler. Hmm… no way to put one into the other.

Well, a little cutting, a little hammering and a little welding followed by the regular grinding and voilá… the adjusted pipes were ready.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#670 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-07-26 19:01:38

In the meantime, the young guy from the hydraulic workshop got ready the hoses for closing the circuit of the hand pump. Good.

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Eduardo and René were working ond the assembly of the engine of Terral, and my brother-in-law was making a very paused and carefull labor, as usual, so I wanted not to disturb with noise and dust, though I needed to clean the exhaust pipes. They were covered by a thick crust of dry mud, rust and petrified oil, pretty disgusting and ugly.

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I made the attempt of taking it off using some ad hoc hand tools, but it was pretty annoying, slow and demanding. No way. I took the pipes outside along with the power grinder and the metallic mesh and closed the gates. When I finished, one hour later, the pipes were clean and my hands tingled, but there were no complaints except for taking the sunlight out when closing the gates. Good too.

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For what was worth of it, as usual, I gave a hand of heat resistant paint to the pipes and let them rest for a while. Then, cleaned the brackets and the bolts and painted them all too. What about the muffler? It got some love and a little paint as well.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#671 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-07-26 19:11:15

Those days the assembly of the 6-in-line proceeded calmly until late at night, piece by piece. René, naturally, wanted to get it finished as soon as possible but Eduardo could work on it only a few hours per day, and that was the deal.

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One real problem appeared when I inspected, for the tenth time, the rear exhaust pipe. It was dented to the extreme, its lumen reduced to less than one half, and it showed the scars of previuos injuries and repairs. I liked the poor pipe, don’t know why, but I liked it, as happens with every single original piece of the Merkabah, so I decided to rescue instead of replacing it.

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I cut it open in order to flatten it out more easily, and I would weld it closed thereafter. René looked and shook his head calmly, as he often does. Why do you waste your time with that Pairoa? He asked. I tried to explain him that I could probably have someone fabricate the pipe, though I should have to waste more time trying to find the same pipe and someone who could give the pipe the same curve and the same edging, and that it would never be as fun as doing it by myself. But I couldn’t make him see from my perspective, nor did I put too much energy in that. It is just a matter of choice.

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The truth is that everyone at the workshop laughed a little while I endlessly hammered the steel, but they all showed something more like a little respect for the job when I was stitching the newly-formed pipe.

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And, finally, Edi the mechanician-painter arrived after a long journey from Ecuador. He was very happy to come back and work at the shop again, and he would help me with the cabin as soon as Terral was out of the way. These were pretty good news.

That weekend I did not step on the shop. It was cold and almost raining, and there was a lot to do at home on saturday. Sunday morning started to rain seriously and did not stop until midday on Monday. Good for the trees and the plants, good for the mountains, good for everyone, but there is always someone who complains.

After my regular duties I finished to weld and grind and weld and refill and grind again the rear exhaust pipe. Unfortunately the welding made the pipe to corrugate a little again, ruining the beauty of the flattened surface. The corrugations were irrelevant, of course, but I wanted it to be perfect. Yes… I am pretty aware of my illness.

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When the pipe was ready I repaired and cleaned the brackets and then sprayed a little paint on them. Finally all the pieces of the exhaust system were ready… or not? No, actually one of the big clamps was still missing, and I had completely overlooked it. Of course, the muffler needed two clamps to be suspended from!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#672 Beitrag von lura » 2016-07-26 23:12:55

It looks like you are a captivator doing a good job with welding eqiupment.
I like these kind of restauration :D :D

The damp will come back, wait a moment and you find it.

Oh, how do I know this kind of problems.
Gruß
Bernd

Gewinne Zeit durch Langsamkeit

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#673 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-08-14 22:06:25

@Lura: I am not absolutely sure what captivator means but it sounds like a compliment, so thank you. And, yes… the problems I face here are the problems the guys find all over the world when building they dream trucks.

Only few things to report so far.

As the search for the final pieces of the brakes and the air pressure system proceeded with no news, I continued working on the hardware until late at night, sometimes finishing with a friendly coffee or a hot chocolate cup at Karen and René’s. They were happy and enjoying the new layout of the dining/living room. They got permission from Eduardo –with a little help from a friend- so they were sleeping in the truck during the labour days, while Terral was refloated from the deep darknesses of the Atlantic salt water.

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And, finally, one of the guys I asked for some samples sent the collars that were right for the fittings of the Merkabah. They were the right ones, yes, at last. They were brass collars instead of alluminium and they were not exactly equal, but they fitted perfectly. I was quiet happy and I asked him to send a lot of them.

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Eduardo finished to assemble the engine and had René to paint it. As I mentioned before, the truck made it to San Felipe only by miracle, and the overhauling included, among other stuff, new turbo, new pumps, new clutch, replacement of all the seals and a deep cleaning to take the corrosion out. Some pieces of cloth and lots of sand were found in the carter, partially blocking the oil sucker, or whatever its name is, and even the piston rings had not replaced when the engine was repaired in Brazil. You could see René´s eyes opening wider and wider at the disassembling, at the edge of panic. Now it was time to put it all back where it belonged and connect everything to make it live again. My brother in law was, as usual, absolutely confident, as you can see.

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I took all the fittings and the valves and the hand pump out and spread them on the bench, cleaned them once more and prepared them for painting. I knew they would get a little scratched during installation, but it would be more difficult to do a good paint job once installed. Moreover, I did not like the tecalan hoses to be painted on. You know… always a matter of choice.

Sooo… paper, care, masking tape and patience. The very known recipe that took me the whole afternoon, without even getting close to finish the job. René and some other regular customers of the shop looked at me and what I was doing with the same amused grin. Hmm…

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And, one friday afternoon, Terral the truck got its engine running. It crancked not like the Merkabah, of course, because it needed a little more time and revs until the injection was ready, but when it did, it began to roar and remained at idle vibrationless and pretty nicely tuned. René´s smile had no room in the shop and the news spread like fire on powder on facebook. Good for him and Karen.

On our side, Edie and I agreed and shook hands, and the next Saturday we spent the whole day working at the shop. As Terral was still there and would still be until finishing a lot of minor details, making difficult to work on the cabin, we focused on the doors of the Merkabah. It was really cold for our standards, and we got to work pretty tough and fast right on arrival to disassemble one of the doors, just to warm us up a little.

The door of the copilot side was better looking than its opposite, but after a few caresses it became evident that it was necessary to apply a lot of medicine to get it right. Edie started with the rough part and the blams and pows while flattening the steel echoed by the shop.

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Once I finished to prepare and mask all the fittings I had forgotten the day before, and the temperature raised as the day went on, I sprayed washprimer on all the pieces. I decided not to prime the fitting stuff but just to apply the washprimer and the grey polyurethane paint directly on it. Should be enough. The supports would receive the full treatment, though.

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After some time I turned the pieces upside down and sprayed more washprimer, I helped Edie with the door and then it was time to go home.

Sunday was a do-nothing day. Good.

Monday afternoon, time to continue. I went directly to prepare the right amount of grey paint and then applied it to the already washprimed pieces and parts. I was on the third hand and there still was half the paint I had prepared. God, I hate to waste paint!

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I looked among the big boxes on the attic and found the Jost trailer coupling. I cleaned it for good and then it received a few hands of grey stuff. I applied carefully but generously the polyurethane paint and when I finished there still was a lot of paint in the paintgun. It finally went in the trash can, with some cursing words to my poor judgement on what “right amount” means.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#674 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-08-14 22:17:52

Almost at the time of closing the gates and go home Alejandro came in with a package from Santiago. Great! The collars! Crap! The wrong collars!

In effect, the guy sent a different type of collar, not the same as the samples he sent before. They were useless, and it was late, oh… Christ.

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I would have been depressed if it wasn’t for the invitation of Karen and René for dinner out. Terral went for a ride, its first ride after the overhauling, and René took it to the riverbed of the Putaendo river. He was fascinated by the performance of the truck after all the modifications and improvements made by Eduardo, and he made the beast run over pretty rough terrain to test it. Karen was pretty happy too and so the invitation to celebrate. We ate sushi, for a change, as there was no other restaurant open late on Monday. Sorry for the low quality picture.

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“If you want something done right you gotta do it yourself”. Wise words. As soon as I got out of my duties, that included preparing lunch, I got the Africa Twin and rode to Santiago, directly to the toolshop to take the wrong collars back personaly.

There had been an error at the beginning of the delivery chain and the collars that came from China, or wherever, were not the type asked for, though they had the same code and were the right ones for the Merkabah. So, someone’s mistake was my blessing, and I profited to ask for a lot more than actually needed… just in case.

It was late when I got home, caught by the heavy traffic of the big city’s rush hour. I really hate to go there in labour days, and if it wasn’t for the Africa Twin I would not even think on doing so.

Anyway, it was worth the effort as the collars shone on the dinner table by the side of a hot cup of tea with honey. I lost the working afternoon, though. Life is hard. Sorry for the turned picture.

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Next day, Thursday, I finished with the painting, which took me all the time I had. Friday, the day I usually have more time to dedicate to the project, I was pretty busy with work issues so not much to do. Saturday, though, Edie and I gathered again at the shop and worked practically non-stop from 8:00 to 18:00 hrs. I helped him with the flattening of the worst dented parts of the door and then with the covering of the holes drilled for popping out, with a little weld afterwards.

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Do you know what is worst and most annoying than masking the pieces for painting? Taking the masking tape off of them. A real pain in the ass.

While I was trying to get rid of all the masking tape applied to the myriad of pieces that were painted on the days before, Edie worked the plaster the way he knows well and sanded and sanded and sanded.

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I couldn’t do much on my part, but something was done. Due to his maniacal obsession with sanding and details Edie finished one side of the door only, and I sprayed it with washprimer to avoid rusting with the environmental humidity. It looked quiet good, the famous door.

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And a new week started, the 256th from the beginning of the project, if I remember well… but who cares.

I made some order and got the battery tray/air tanks holder disassembled for cleaning. The components had been chosen for their useness and not for its state, and most of the steel was covered by a crust of old paint, rust, dry mud, oil and the usual mixture. I used the power grinder to take it out from some of the pieces but the cloud of dust that formed did not please anyone at the shop. The battery tray itself was in the worst condition so I took it out and cleaned it at the open on the street.

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It was already late when I started, and it was dark when I realized that the abrasive disc was burnt out and decided to stop. I was badly covered by a fine ocre dust and Carmen encouraged me not to change and go home to take a shower directly. And so I did, leaving a trace of dust behind me and the Africa Twin. I was quiet dirty indeed.

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Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#675 Beitrag von JStefan » 2016-08-15 0:40:54

Pairoa, i know so well how it fells.
Go on.

Saludos a Carmen
Mucho suerte par el Proyecto.


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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#676 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-04 17:17:29

Here I am, as always, late with the uptdates but never stopped working on the project.

On a short morning run I found this old NG aside the road. It looked not too bad but of course not too good neither. The point is that it carried an OM V10 on the flat bed that strongly drove my attention and, a few meters away, I found the truck that I thought was the source of the engine. Beeing towed by another truck, that MB looked even worse. Unfortunately my dogs were attacked by other dogs from a house that had the gate open so I could not take pictures nor follow the destiny of the poor Mercedes. Later, riding the bike, I could not find one nor the other.

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Saturdays were working days left exclusively for the Merkabah. I finished the cleaning of the battery tray and got it primed along with a big lot of little supports and other pieces while Edie worked on the copilot door.

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Once done with the paint I took the little air tanks out and removed all the layers of old paint, primer and everything else and left them shining in their nude steel. The dust was dispersed by the fresh winds of the spring that were beginning to blow.

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When I finished I applied some washprimer to avoid premature rust and profited to spray some washprimer to the door that Edie was preparing. After a few retouches to correct some imperfections I primed the door, and then other imperfections were revealed. It was a never ending story, but Edie’s confidence was reassuring. A little more Platinum plaster, more sanding, and that´s it! – He said.

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We left the right door primed and took the pilot’s side door. It was in clear poorer conditions and we had to struggle a lot just to disassemble it because the bolts were all fiercely stuck by the power of rust.

That Sunday Carmen and I went to have lunch to the beach at our favorite Italian restaurant in Viña del Mar. The pasta was delicious but unfortunately there was a lot of people and a lot of cars jamming the route by the coast. Anyway, there was a pale sun that shone through the evening mist at sunset that rewarded all the time we spent on the row. It was a good trip, and a most wanted one.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#677 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-04 17:30:36

Don't know what happens with the pictures but they come in different sizes though they are treated and stored the same way. Picasa web have changed something and it is not as easy as before. Hope it gets fixed soon.

Well, days passed and I tried to go on as fast as I could, but every task required a lot of time, as always. I painted the pieces primed the past weekend, including the myriad of bolts and nuts and some fittings left in the oblivion.

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I dedicated some hours of labour time to fabricate a couple of struts to fix in better way the topcase of the Africa Twin. I modificated it some time before and put it a little higher so it was a little sensitive to overloading and vibrations that would eventually destroy both the support plate and the case. I think I did the right job, not as easy as it may seem, and the case was pretty stable after finishing.

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René and Karen showed up to take Terral to continue with their trip, and I profited to take René’s word and drove the recently reborn truck to make a little promenade to test its performance in rough terrain, of course. René got a little nervous so I think that the truck did some things that it was not used to do, but all in all it was a good ride. Maybe felt rougher because the tires were overinflated at 100 psi.

The Merkabah should be softer, I said to myself.

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I put the supports so tightly packed that the paint job was by no means perfect, so I had to paint them again. Yes… I know. I also painted the frame with another layer of grey paint where the tray was going to be installed. Once installed it would be too difficult to do so properly.

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There was a missing muffler clamp, remember? Well… I did the same operation and fabricated a clamp from a couple of steel strips of Spare’s frame. Looked good and fitted perfectly when finished and painted.

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And it was Saturday again. Edie and I disassembled the door completely and then I helped him to flatten the dented front-lateral part of the door. We took it downstairs and bolted it to the cabin and found out that the front edge was in conflict with the pilar. The problem was that the pilar was bent, probably since the crash that dented the side of the face of the truck. Edie was not happy at all because it was not easy to correct the bending, some 12 mm. Eduardo showed up and said that the best way was to get an hydraulic Porta-Power and apply the forces from here to there to straighten the pilar.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#678 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-04 17:41:32

I listened carefuly to what both experts in their field counceiled, and then looked for the right pieces of steel I needed. And then: Pairoa’s Porta-Power!!!!!

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Twenty minutes and lots of clangs and clings later, the door edge and the pilar followed an almost perfect 8 mm-distant parallel curve from top to bottom, and Edie was very amused by my hard-headed mood.

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We took the door back upstairs and Edie continued to flatten it out and to inspect it in detail. There were many minor cracks that needed to be addressed to so I applied a little welding with the MIG welder and then, very carefully, the powergrinder. Edie finished the job with fine sanding and plaster.

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I had to wait for him to finish with the sanding to re-paint the air reservoirs. I applied a lot of hands, not caring too much for the eventual drips, and there were some.

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Next day, I resumed the long morning runs and my back stood pretty good. The temperature was subzero when I left home though it became very pleasant when the body started to build up its own heat. You can see Chico and Zulu accompanying me on the solitary road, the morning was cold but magnificent and clear.

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And, yes… Monday again. Time to assemble the exhaust system. I aligned all the pieces and worked out the way of putting it all together without making too much efforts and avoiding to ruin the grey paint. Of course it was not easy nor fast, and I had to fabricate the front support that was still missing. Christ… I forgot about it too!

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But that was not all, no Sir… there was a conflict between the front right exhaust pipe and the front support of the diesel tank. Originally there was a curved support for the cylindric tank of the Merkabah, and the pipe had plenty of room, but now things were different and the tank and the tank holder were straight vertical. So I had to take the support out and fabricate an spacer, which I did making pretty much attention to leave the surfaces of the spacer even in order to make the perfect contact between it, the support and the frame. The tank would carry 520 liters of diesel so it should be perfect to distribute the forces evenly.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#679 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-04 18:25:58

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The new spacer and supports needed to be painted so I gathered a lot of other items that needed to be painted too and prepared them. So boring, as usual.

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My father kept flying and was hired to make some snow measurements up in the highest mountains of central Chile. He sent me beautiful pictures of some Andean lagoons and of a rare encounter with a rare mountain fox called Culpeo, an endangered species, that came in close to see if someone shared a piece of sandwich with him.

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I had to go to Santiago, again, to see in person if there was someone who could sell or fabricate the missing bolts of the cardan that goes between the engine and the gearbox. They were so special that not even the official Mercedes dealer had them as spares. Finally, after several kilometers going from one store to another I found a machineshop that could fabricate them with the proper specifications. They charged a monstruosity, but at least I would have them in my hands in a couple of days.

I also found the right guy who made me a pair of copies of the key of the topcase, and then went to buy some wool for Carmen. After driving almost 100 km only in downtown Santiago, I sat for a moment at a Starbucks and watched the frenzy city people going from one place to another, almost all of them with the cell phone stuck to the ears or the eyes. The coffee tasted delicious and when it was over I got on the bike and pointed the bow to San Felipe.

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But, always a “but”… the Africa Twin started to cough at 5000 RPM. WTF? Couldn’t get over 90 km/hr because of the irregular detonations. The presumed diagnosis was carburator issues in the first place so I made her drink a whole can of MTX. Unfortunately it did not solve the problem. Driving in the city there was practically nothing that could be noted, but the problems began when requiring more power and always over 4500 RPM, hmm…

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I went on preparing many pieces and parts for painting. It was quiet a pain in the ass, as always, but I did it quietly and tried to make it perfect. Though, no matter how perfect I wanted to do it, there was always a little corner or edge that was lacking of proper painting, as discovered when examining piece by piece. That meant to repaint the pieces, and thus wait four to five days to let the paint dry and harden.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#680 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-04 18:38:16

Well, when the time came I gathered the supports and the rest of the bolts previously painted and started to assemble things and bolt them to the frame. It felt good, particularly putting the new battery tray in. Of course there were many issues and had to be very careful not to damage the paint of the bolts too much, but in the end I cared not a lot for it.

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I had to make spacers and supple the front exhaust pipes to fix them properly to the frame according to the new position demanded by the support of the big diesel tank.

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Saturday morning, pretty excited by the will-to-progress. Helped Edie to flatten out the door side a little. He patiently though consistently hammered the metal sheet to get the best line in order to use the less amount of plaster possible.

Among other things I got both brake valves and put them side by side on the crossmember of the frame, but Christ… they still had each an unplugged 22 mm port! Of course I knew it was necessary to plug the ports, but I had forgotten… for a change. I took the Africa and toured the whole city looking for the right Allen-type plugs as the valves sit side by side with no space in between. The plugs were unexistent so I bought a couple of pretty expensive brass bolts, cut the hexagonal head short and made a groove to handscrew the thread to the valve. The result was quiet satisfactory and after a while the valves were finally in place, though the whole issue took me actually a couple of hours.

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As the day went on I did many but minor progresses regarding the braking system, each detail taking a lot of time to resolve, as usual. Edie continued repairing and flattening the door. At sunset we left and Carmen and I went out for dinner. I was pretty tired.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#681 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-04 18:47:58

But, tired or not, I promised myself to go out for the Sunday run with the dogs, no excuses, so I dressed up early and took out Deva, Zulú and Chico and, for the first time after almost four years I went to run on the mountains. It was pretty good to be back on the dirt bike trails on my own feet without the back pain. The dogs were pretty happy too but they ended up exhausted and slept the rest of the day.

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Re-routing the pipes and the hoses meant to have new supports everywhere to get them fixed and avoid conflicts with the present structures, and each new support was made especially for its purpose and took its own time to be built. Patience…

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The experiment with the supple worked and it gave at least 15 mm of clearance between the exhaust pipe and the diesel tank support. Enough... I hoped.

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To protect the 20 liter air reservoirs I put some pieces of rubber profile and a couple of rubber strips between the tanks and the clamps and secured them to the battery tray. Naturally it was pretty hard to do because the idiot forgot to put the rubber protection when calculating the length of the threads. In the end, after taking the tanks out three times, doing lots of efforts, I had to stretch the threads by welding some extra bolts. Hmm…

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The mighty V8 needed to run and it seemed to be the proper occasion, with the exhaust system complete and assembled. I made all the connections and put the batteries on the tray, very carefully because of the paint and my back, and made an attempt to crank the engine. Two revs and then nothing. I insisted only once and decided that it was a matter of power. The batteries ran out of charge after two months, I thought. Borrowed the super-charger from the neighbor, left the batteries charging and went home as it was already late.

Well, the next time I tried to crank the engine, batteries topped off, it was the same, but I saw smoke coming from the hydraulic pipes. Christ! I forgot to ground properly the engine and the electricity was finding its way through the metallic mesh of the pipes. I corrected the error and the engine started at the first attempt. My brother-in-law shot me one of his famous glances, and I answered with my famous shrug. Ops.

I left the engine at idle but had to turn it off because there was no wind and thus no ventilation. When the V8 warmed up the amount of exhaust smoke diminished a lot, but everybody in the shop had ticking eyes.

What is the difference between this and the last picture? Nothing very apparent, but lots of meters of tecalan, many hoses and connectors, most hidden in between the frame rails. I put some of the new supports and put the air brake circuit back on making some changes on the distribution pattern that seemed to be more logical. This time every terminal had its pressure collar and was ready to be tightened when ready, but I left the final touch to the very last moment of the assembling of the air and electric systems. I do learn… sometimes.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#682 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-04 19:48:24

Have you heard about the poem: Do not fall in love with a woman who loves animals… because it is contagious. Well, I went out for a late walk with four of our dogs, and came back with five. Delta was alone, frightened and hungry in the middle of the street. She looked at me, directly in the eyes, and I could not resist. We stood until two in the morning caressing her and cleaning her from tons of fleas and tics. She was so humble and grateful! After a few days she deployed her personality and was already part of the clan, as you can see her, shining fur and pointy ears, leaning on Casiopea.

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Initially I was thinking on caring for her, sterilize her and then giving her in adoption, but soon I realized that she was going to stay with us for long. Moreover, Casiopea was accidentally killed by a car a few days later and Delta helped us to take the pain of loosing her.

While I was putting the tecalan I realized that I had forgotten to put the odometer cable, among other stuff, so I opened the box where the bundle of 6 mm tecalan for the actuators was, on purpose, hidden. It was hard to liberate the cable from the rest of the pieces and hoses but finally I could route it along the frame, re-routing many of the tecalan that had usurpated its place.

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Sunday morning I put the sport shoes, took the dogs and went out for a long run, flat this time. The air was fresh and the peach trees were beginning to announce the spring. Great, and the back stood very well 20 km. At the farthest point of the run, though, I found Maestro Chaleco and his cousin, talking about this and that during the pause of their pretty long bycicle trip. Both are 80 or more. I felt pretty old in comparison.

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I went to the cattle and rescued the fuel probe with the lever float sensor from the original diesel tank of the Merkabah. It was still in one piece and supposedly working. We would see after cleaning and installing it. But I had a lot to do before distracting me… again.

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The way I had connected the servo valve did not convince me at all. I did not like the steel pipes arrangement so I shortened it by cutting the pipes and replaced the last portion with a couple of more flexible hydraulic hoses. They were a little long due to a measurement error, but it was by far a better solution.

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The turner delivered the cardan bolts from Santiago, pretty gracefully made in super-hyper-alloy, and the issue was finally case-closed. Good.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#683 Beitrag von Rastlos18280 » 2016-10-04 21:26:56

Pairoa,

I admire your dedication and patience with this project! I know I would have given up a while a long time ago. It'll turn out great in the once you're done and you will know EVERY nut and bolt :rock: !!!

All the best,

Rastlos

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#684 Beitrag von Pirx » 2016-10-04 21:40:56

pairospam hat geschrieben:Among other things I got both brake valves and put them side by side on the crossmember of the frame, but Christ… they still had each an unplugged 22 mm port! Of course I knew it was necessary to plug the ports, but I had forgotten… for a change. I took the Africa and toured the whole city looking for the right Allen-type plugs as the valves sit side by side with no space in between. The plugs were unexistent so I bought a couple of pretty expensive brass bolts, cut the hexagonal head short and made a groove to handscrew the thread to the valve. The result was quiet satisfactory and after a while the valves were finally in place, though the whole issue took me actually a couple of hours.

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Hola Pairoa!

This solution could lead to some problems. The original plugs are designed to seal between the valve and the head of the bolt, not in the thread. But now you cut the head off, so you got to get the thread air tight. Maybe this will not last for long.

Anyway, it seems your project comes to a point, where you can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now get the driver's cab ready, fix the living box on the back of the Merkabah and ride into the sunset! :)

Greetings to Carmen and you,

Klaus
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

#685 Beitrag von a90 » 2016-10-04 23:01:25

Thanks again Pairoa for sharing.

Much appreciated.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#686 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-05 3:45:43

@Pirx: thanks for your greetings (Carmen says hola too!) and your precise comments.
Yes, air leaking was a big concern so I used teflon tape, a lot, when tightening the neo-plugs, but you cannot see it in the picture. Hope it holds, especially in the hand brake relay valve that keeps constant high pressure to liberate the Maxis instead of the service brakes that work on the base of a sudden rise of pressure. We´ll see.

@a90: my pleasure.

More to come.


Pairoa

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#687 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-05 4:10:54

Time went on and I dedicated my efforts to put in place the rest of the components of the brake system. Some hydraulic hoses were recycled as they were in pretty good shape and the new ones were arranged in the best possible way according with the new location of the pipes in relationship with the winch. Had to try many ways, it was not easy nor fast as it seems.

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It is always good to have a surplus of air connectors and fittings as it was necessary to drive some air to the maxibrakes to allow the yoke of the pushrod to align with the slack adjuster. It was fun to apply some pressure and see that there was something moving in the truck. Believe me, it was fun.

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Things were beginning to get pretty crowded so I realized that I could wait no more for the electric wiring harness to be placed and secured along with the tecalan. I deployed then the big bundle and passed it through the crossmembers of the frame, struggling against the stiffness of the ageing coverings. It was a mess at the beginning, as expected, but soon after I began to understand the order of the cables. Many plugs and connectors were in quiet bad shape, as I was well aware of before, and a whole different work was just about to begin.

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My father was very busy at that time, flying back and forth measuring the snow deepness at the top of the mountains and doing some other strange jobs as counting guanacos in wildlife reservations. He took this picture of a beautiful lagoon located very near the limit between Chile and Argentina, pretty high in the Andes range. Unfortunately the water level was very low compared with other years, as there is almost no snow on the mountains, as you can see. This is going to be a pretty tough year for farmers and for electricity generation, hmm… Can you see the white tiny helicopter?

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To help me with the repairing of the harness of the Merkabah I brang the original wiring harness of Spare, the hard-to-kill MB, stored along with all its dirt in a box somewhere in the attic. But, firstly, I had to clean the cables and the connectors, very time consuming and disgusting job. When they were at least clean enough to handle them I commited myself to the repair of every wire and pin.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#688 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-05 4:19:34

The weekend came and Edie and I gathered again and worked together for a while to get the left door ready. He did the flattening and the plaster job and I helped him a little and then I applied many hands of primer for him to continue to plaster and sand the door. He also worked on the passenger door, and if you passed the finger on the surface you could feel it as it was made of glass, perfect, terrific work!

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I continued repairing the harness, replacing the wires that were stiff or damaged and taking out the sticky and ugly sheathing. Loomed it all in new corrugated plastic tubing wrapped in isolating tape. To obtain the original wires in good shape I had to disassemble the electric harness of Spare, which took me quiet a long time not to ruin the wires themselves. Many cables were the same colour, but the majority was different from Merkabah’s according to the electric diagrams of the trucks. Did not matter.

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The bigger wires, those that go bolted to the batteries, showed some damage too so I went out and bought a few meters to replace them. Chri$t!. Maestro Chaleco helped me a little with the O2 torch and welded the terminals to the cables in professional fashion.

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After many afternoons I reached to repair the whole wiring harness, doing my best for achieving a good result. Which went where? Labeling was a great help.

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Once electrics were ready, or almost, it was great to arrange the cables and the tecalan together, like if something important was going to happen. Really, the feeling of making few progresses in different aspects of the projet was quiet powerful. I used garden wire to fix momentarily the pieces between each other to easily make changes; they would be replaced by nylon ties when all the work was checked and re-checked and everything occupied its definitive place, hopefully.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#689 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-05 4:30:09

There was a long weekend due to the independence day celebration, and invited Eduardo to make a little touring on the bikes. It was fun, and I showed him some routes he did not know before, but the Africa Twin accelation problems grew worse when coming back from the trip, forcing me to ground her until solving the problem that seemed to be related with the ignition system.

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I borrowed the GS650 from him because the Montero's TÜV (something like that) had expired one month before, ops. He, reluctantly, gave me the key and his huntch proved to be right. At a semaphore, the bus that was in front of Carmen and I inadvertently moved back with no time for me to get out of its path. It caught the front wheel, smashed the fairing and broke the mudguard. Fortunately the driver stopped before passing over us, but the mudguard and some brackets broke. Ops.

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The next time, I brang the Africa Twin to the shop and, for the tenth time, disassembled her to look for the problem. I removed and checked all the components of the ignition system, changed spark plugs, but found nothing wrong. Alejandro came close to chat a little and touched, just playing, the fan of the radiator, and realized it was loose. Why did he approach and touch the fan, when he knows that I am not pleased the Africa to be touched by other people? Nothing happens for no reason. Thanks to him I could prevent a major failure of the fan, though I had to disassemble the radiator and half the bike to reach for the central nut and tighten it. Anyway, the acceleration problem diminished, but persisted. Hmm…

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Once the bike was reassembled and tested… yes… it was late. I was alone in the shop. Closed and went home.

Going on with electrics, I wanted to connect the front winch to the batteries to get it ready to use, but the original cable was a little short for the job. Following Eduardo’s advice I took some meters of the cables inherited from the discarded medical equipment, made them double and replaced the whole winch cable instead of making an intermediate connection fixed to the frame or whatever. After a few hours the installation was complete and original-looking, or almost.

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Naturally, there was a rear winch to install too, so I had to prepare another, longer, cable and used some more meters of corrugated wire loom tubing and even more meters of insulating tape. In the end I was quiet fast at wrapping the looming tube but I saw in Youtube some chinese dedicated cable workers and I felt humble again.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#690 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-10-05 5:04:44

And it was Saturday, again! I was waiting for Edie to continue working on the doors, but he said that it was okay and better leave them like that until the time came to give them a little finish and paint them, and that it was time to work on the cab. Great! We spent a few minutes to clean it from all the garbage, boxes and half chucked pieces that had been slowly filling its interior. At the very bottom, though, there was a thick layer of dust that needed to be swipped and, finally, we blew it. Edie was also happy to work on the cabin, probably sick already of sanding the famous doors.

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There were still a lot of bolts, screws, plastic caps, little supports and pieces that needed to be removed. Edie knew his job and shared with me some tricks to loosen and take out some of the pieces that were left in place because I was not able to remove them before. The central glove-box, for instance, that blocked also the removal of the front linings. I had to drill four holes at the bottom of the box to reach the securing screws, impossible to loosen otherwise. I was ready to sacrifice the box, but Edie contributed to the salvage of the original piece, even if I was not going to use it.

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Once the interior was clean of every detachable, unscrewable piece, Edie began to work on the windshield rubber gasket, very slowly and carefully with a screwdriver. He was quiet concentrated and talked about the time he had to take out the windshield from a big bus when he was working in Spain (he had worked in Europe and in the USA) as a bet. He won the bet, of course.

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After a while we removed the windshield and finally the cab was completely naked and ready for the next step.

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But the rubber gasket was hiding a nasty surprise: rust… lots of rust. I was not truly surprised but I was hoping the damage to be less extensive. Edie did not care for it and took the power grinder, changed the disc and began to clean the rust from the metal. There were many spots where the rust had eaten the steel, particularly in the superior horizontal portion of the frame but there were also a few spots in the lower part.

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