Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#931 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-04-02 20:26:34

To check if the locks worked properly Carmen and I went to the mountains north of San Felipe. We took with us Deva, Amanda and Cachito.

The Montero climbed up like a spider and the locks did not jam. Good. Deva and the little dogs had a very good time exploring the dry lands. It was a good short trip.

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My back had been giving me some trouble again and I had to diminish the rhythm and the load of work, which only added more frustration to those days.

When I felt a little better I connected the air and electric circuits of the air suspension system.

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Soon as the circuit for the 40 liter air tank for the suspension was connected and the pressure started to build up a hissing was heard and the gauge hand stopped moving up.

To make it short, the tank leaked. Plop. The rust was worse than estimated. I took the tank out and checked it flat. There was a couple of holes that were clearly identifiable at 100 psi, but when pressure topped up at 120 psi there was another leak some centimeters away.

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I needed another tank or get this repaired. Followed Eduardo’s advice and asked it to be done by Maestro Chaleco.

Well, I wanted to go on so I connected the suspension control circuit directly from the rear four circuits valve and connected the solenoid valve block to the 24V supply.

It worked, strangely but it worked. The air bellies inflated under command though I had some trouble deflating them. There was surely something wrong with the connections but nonetheless I could do some measurements and checkings that put a smile in my face.

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In the back I could lift the frame seven centimeters from the stand point without any load on it. After putting on the Box and the bike, the water, the fuel, the strange rocks collection and half a dozen dogs this distance should increase.

The main purpose of the system is to make the ride more comfortable so the levelling will be of use only when parking, to allow us to cook and sleep horizontally.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#932 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-04-02 20:34:51

In the front I had forgotten to tighten the air tubes to the air shocks so I had to do it before having any effect, of course. Once ready, the bellies inflated when the proper button was pushed and the frame and the cabin lifted and tilted a few centimeters, not too much though noticeable.

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I had to be careful not to touch the steel beam of the ceiling. Probably the complete range was nearly the same as in the back of the truck. Good.

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Unfortunately, the left air shock, when inflated, touched the regular front shock absorber. There was only contact, not pressure, but there would surely be wear with time and motion. I would have to do something about it.

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All in all, I was happy to see the system work and the Merkabah move, even if up and down only.

The new bike had some minor problems and the odometer was near to the 20.000 km, time to make a major service.

I found out, though, that she was out of warranty because of the original time of purchase, more than two years, for only just one month. No point, then, to take the bike to the official dealer.

So, next weekend, after an opiparus lunch at Carmen’s aunt in the country, Eduardo and I serviced the bike ourselves, right there on the street, saving almost 500 euros.

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That sunday morning, after one month of zero activity, I went out for the classical run with the dogs. The body treated me pretty bad, but still reached the end point on the slope of the hill, some kilometers away from home.

The dogs also noted the effort, and their tongues hung out a little more than usual.

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The magnificent colours of the autumn had already started to paint the trees and the vineyards, and quiet a few dead leaves lay down at the foot of the poplars.

I really like autumn.

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The next week I contacted the young guy that helped me with the choice of the solenoid block for the suspension to find out what the problem with the valves was.

After watching the layout of the connections he suggested to plug the ports I had taken for deflating the air bellys. Actually, and I did not know that, the solenoid valves had two ports precisely for two actuators, and no need for a port to allow the air scape from the air shocks to the atmosphere. Ops.

Naturally, there were no decent plugs in San Felipe, so I had to go to Santiago to get the proper ones directly from the importer of the valves. It was the purchase of the year. Some 5 euros.

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Back in San Felipe, the plugs were cut to the proper length, with the proper instrument, and firmly pushed in place after struggling with all the stuff that crowded the confined space under the dashboard.

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Cranked the engine and waited a few minutes to let the air pressure build up and then checked all the circuits for inflating and deflating each individual air belly, and they all worked great, as planned long before.

Good… for once.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#933 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-04-02 20:40:09

In the meantime, there were no news about the brake cylinder quest. I had just to wait.

What to do next? Well, I went to the shop some day and got the control panel for the CTIS from its box and added a little chaos to the already messy central console installing it in the middle of the wiring.

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This time the connection between the control panel and the valve block was pretty straight as there was an ad hoc military plug that made life quiet easy.

I connected the right power circuitry, checked the pressure control valve, that was actually closed, ops, and waited the regular twelve minutes to let the air pressure build up. The system worked properly, delivering 110-115 psi from the tank number three to each tire through the 6 mm tecalan tubes across the frame.

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The CTIS was programmed to work between inflation pressures of 25 and 100 psi so I hoped there would be no problems, even if reaching 100 psi would take its time, especially when trying to get it on all the tires simultaneously.

Deflation would also be quiet slow, but… what the hek.

Well, the Frenchs had done their job, and I needed to do mine to make the whole thing functional. The rotors had to be installed, and it seemed the proper time to do it.

Originally, I wanted the supports made by some CNC cutting shop, but I felt on the mood to fabricate them myself.

Got a piece of metal sheet and cut a template from it. I wanted something quiet simple, but I beveled one side of the support, just a little, enough to give it a little asimetrical look, just for the fun of it.

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I then looked around, as usual, to find the piece of material to work with and, after some dusty research, I found the right plate of steel which I knew I was going to use at some point in the future, a few years in the past.

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It felt good to grab the powergrinder and throw some sparks around again. Fabricating things, even small pieces and supports, gives me a big sense of satisfaction. Yes… I know.

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The attitude when cutting, though, did not pass inadverted and my back protested a little that night.

It was late when I cut the last of the supports from the 5 mm steel sheet. Maybe it was a little too thick, but I liked it. I had to drill the holes for the rotors and for the bolts to fix them to the wheel hubs but it was time to go and I was really tired because I had worked overnight that same morning.

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Made a little order, swept the whole floor from steel dust and dog’s hair and invited Carmen and Eduardo and wife to take a coffee out. I went to bed pretty early that night, for a change.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#934 Beitrag von tooFATtoDRIVE » 2019-04-02 20:40:28

Great to hear from you again. We were missing your updates. Keep it on with your project!!!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#935 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-05-07 23:35:34

Hello, and greetings to you and to your project, tooFATtoDRIVE.

Just a few words to keep this thread as alive as I can. It has been quite strange times, pretty busy, as usual, and a little bitter too.

I’ve done only minor things, always waiting for the brake cylinder to arrive from somewhere in the world. The bloody thing ended up being a pretty hard to track bastard.

The supports for the rotary valves, which were supposed to be a simple job, required a little more development and work and I devoted to it the few hours available, seems a long time ago.

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Going on with the CTIS installation, I started to work out the support for the delivery of compressed air to the rotary valves on the wheels.

I had seen a few options, and I wanted to have a steel tube that followed the front wheel motion in travel and rotation, not touching the steering nor the traction mechanisms for fixing it, though, and a fitting that came out from the side of the fender was not my idea as it was good for the rear wheels but not for the front ones.

So, I decided to use the support for the air brake as a base for the support of the air tube and made a very rude template with which I could work to make up a serious piece. Naturally, there were a few scrap pieces of steel ready to work with.

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That Sunday morning run with the dogs, many weeks ago, led me to explore some trails that crossed a few irrigation ditches dug in the slope of the mountains near San Felipe. Zulu went down and could not get out by his own. I ended up covered with mud and dust trying to take him out. It was a good run.

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Back at the shop, a few days later, the tube I was going to use needed also some craft so I wandered a little by the workshop and found something I could use to make a mold: a discarded garden chair.

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Then, after a little powergrinder cuts and a little welding the air tube mold was ready.

I put in the fender to get the right measures and clearances and placed the tube six centimeters over the tyre. There were some comments about the risk of getting the tube hit by mud and stones when offroading. I was clearly aware, but I really wanted to put the tube in that position.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#936 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-05-07 23:43:52

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Probably I was going to have problems if the mud was too deep or sticky, or both, but if that was the case my problem would not be strictly the clearance of the tube. Anyway, the way I was going to fabricate and display the air tube would make it easy to take out and repair if needed. Or so I thought.

I followed the same method for the rear air tube. One single metal tube would feed both the second and the third axles wheels from inner parallel tecalan tubes, and the installation would be pretty much easier.

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After having what I thought was the convenient design I went out to get the ad hoc tube to build it, but I could not find a metal tube strong enough at any shop in San Felipe. Hmm…

When I was welding the pieces of chair, at some moment the automatic shading screen of the welding mask stopped working. It was the batteries, but the damn thing was sealed. I hate this crazy trend to make disposable tools, disposable cars, disposable phones and disposable whatevers just to get the business going, despite of the amount of trash left behind. I really hate it.

I opened it, carefully, made my way through to change the batteries that powered the shading screen and glued the thing back together. Doing so I gave the mask at least a couple of years more of use.

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Unbelievable, the amount of plastic and electronic components on that one little disposable device. We humans are very sick.

Well, I went to pick the spacers for the supports of the rotary air valves to Verardo’s workshop. They failed the first time and left the central hole excentrical. This time they had done right and they looked perfect. How difficult could it be?

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As mentioned before, I have had tons of extra work the last couple of months and no time, nor the right mood, neither. I had planned to take the Merkabah out the last days of February, but the brakes issue told otherwise. It was very frustrating, and still is, forgetting to make plans.

Anyway, at least I could resume the regular Sunday runs with the dogs. The poplars were patched in green and ocre and the fallen leaves created the yellow carpets I love on both sides of the road. I like autumn, didn’t I tell that before?

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It was not easy to find a suitable solution for the connection between the rotary air valve and the inflation valve of the tyre itself. It had to be detachable with ease to allow the replacement of the tyre if needed, though not prone to get struck by a rock or manipulated by other people, and it should work without the valve core to speed up the deflation/inflation time.

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I tried a few ways, and finally opted for modificating the existing caps and give a chance to the simplest design, with fast tecalan connectors. As everything in this project, and everything in life, it was a compromise between many options.

The damned inflation valves had a quite complicated thread on their own, though, and there were no available fittings to deal with them. Franz, the air conditioning man, former turner and pretty skilled welder guy, would help with the connectors.

Some day, the replacements for the 3/2 valves arrived. They were made in Germany, good quality brand, as requested, but they were new design, non serviceable or repairable. Again, the trash/economic culture.

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The same week, the spare for the indicator column switch was also delivered. The original one was still functional, but when used it sounded and felt as if something was going to brake at the next touch, and it would be clearly difficult to repair in the middle of a trip. Better safe than sorry… trash culture.

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And the weeks passed, and still no news about the brake cylinder, and no time for working on the Merkabah.

We had a pretty sad time, quite recently, because one of our dogs, Ecco, the big, young and gentle german shepperd, died from peritonitis after a struggle of many days despite operations, ICU care and all the resources at hand.

It was a big strike. Pets become a part of the family, and no matter if you have a dozen dogs and cats, the absence of one of them is deeply felt in your heart. Carmen was devastated at first, though the pain slowly subsided along with a growing feeling of acceptation and gratitude for the time spent together.

Not his best picture, but the most expressive one. We really loved him.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#937 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-05-07 23:52:29

When I had a little free time, I got the roof lining from its hideout and prepared myself and the working place for repairing it. If you remember, I took it from a doomed truck in a scrapyard a few years ago because it was in far more better shape than the original lining of the Merkabah.

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Well… it was a lot of years since that, judging by the thickness of the layer of dust deposited on the lining.

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After removing half a ton of dust, the outer suface showed up and, in general, it was pretty healthy. There were, though, obvious tracks of misuse and abuse on some spots and on the edges where there was more wear, especially on the inner surface.

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There were also signs of failed or poorly performed repairings but, all in all, nothing too serious.

To help with the restoration I brang the original lining, or what was left of it. It would eventually be the donor of pieces to reinforce the “new” lining.

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I made a couple of patches with MDF wood for the damaged flat front part of the lining, and used a couple of wooden boards and the hand presses to get them in place, but obviously it was not the best way to do it. I would have to get proper presses, hmm…

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To repair the edges of the lining where the glove boxes were fixed was another story. I decided to go for a reinforcement made of steel as I felt it was a far more durable and definite way to get it done.

Of course, doing it with steel plates would be more laborious than making a wooden frame glued to the edges of the lining, but I thought it would be a better way and I did not trust the capacity of the old and worn out lining edges for gluing.

Anyway, I got the proper steel plates, cut out the profiles and welded some perpendicular reinforcements. It came out pretty robust and lightweight, but the steel was not malleable enough to allow a few flanges to fold and grab firmly the edges of the lining without making too much bulk.

So, I looked around and found a piece of discarded bodywork from the ancient Blazer 6x6 conversion project which metal sheet was perfect for the job. I cut a piece of it and got a few strips that were shaped and welded to the metal frame.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#938 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-05-08 0:02:23

The frame was then put in place, with a generous provision of glue, and the flanges carefully though strongly folded. It was a very good solution, according to me at least.

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One of the corners of the opening of the lining for the roof hatch was broken and the best way to repair it, always according to me, was to reinforce it with its similar from the original lining of the Merkabah.

Cut the ad hoc piece and reduced it until I was almost certain that it would not interfere with the contact points of the lining with the framing of the roof of the truck.

I then glued it and left it pressed for the entire night. The day after I completed the repair with wood glue to bond the separated layers of the lining to make a stronger edge.

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There were some parts of the lining that also showed wear and the layers of wood/paper from which the lining itself is made needed local reinforcement, so I got the wood glue and applied it, most generously, to all the edges and surfaces where the lining was worn or/and uncovered by paint.

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In the end, I was pretty satisfied with the result and went to talk to the upholstery guy who told me that he could receive the lining of the roof in a couple of weeks and not before.

As I was on the mood, I got from the attic the rear wall lining and started with the repair of it. I left the roof lining on the frame of the Merkabah, hoping it would not deteriorate by any chance before taking it the upholstery shop.

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The rear wall lining had suffered far more than the roof lining, for obvious reasons, and there was a big hole on the driver’s side, near the bottom. The bottom edge was covered by some oily, dark substance, probably from dirty tools leaning carelessly against it along the centuries.

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Anyway, the cleaning and the restoration began and I was happy to be at it at that time. I like to work with wood, and the job was quite challenging. I was terrified, though, that someone could accidentally strike or brake the terribly fragile lining, or the dogs have the idea to chew it just to be sure it was not eatable.

The labor on the rear wall lining also included the modifications to make it fit with the frame of the passthrough from the cabin to the Box and the removal of the curved edges that accompanied the disappeared rear windows, now replaced by insulating stuff.

Unfortunately, the edges of the frame of the passthrough did not meet the lining flat, as I would prefer. Instead, they were paired with curved shapes that forced me to plan wider cuts that would need wider supples and further work on the edges. Life is hard.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#939 Beitrag von Lassie » 2019-05-08 21:04:40

Dear Pairo,

My sincere condolences to the passing of your dog.
We have gone through the same...

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This was Rocky...

Best regards from rainy Germany
Jürgen
... was würdest du tun, wenn du keine Angst hättest ?

Die höchste Form des Glücks ist ein Leben mit einem gewissen Grad an Verrücktheit.
Erasmus von Rotterdam

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#940 Beitrag von pairospam » 2019-05-09 5:54:34

Thanks for your kind words, Jurgen.
Most appreciated.

And the same to you for Rocky.

Pairoa and Carmen

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