Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

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bandulu
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#571 Beitrag von bandulu » 2015-06-29 21:53:22

Holla....

its so amazing.....i love your projekt....i'm always looking forward when i see new posts here...
Thanx for your full power work report. :unwuerdig: :D
the only good system is a soundsystem
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#572 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-13 4:37:20

It’s been a while, but things still go on at their own path in this end of the world.

The last two months I have had lots of work and very little time to work on the Merkabah, but something has been done anyway. I have taken also every time left for distracting me from my regular duties and, all in all, it has been not bad but a pretty exhausting time.

The old and faithful Africa twin needed servicing and minor labor so we worked on her Eduardo and me the whole morning some Saturday ago. In the afternoon I took the WR450 for a ride but the mountains were so dry and slippy that I fell despite all precautions, precisely over the only rock half a square mile around, and dented the poor muffler. The bike was not happy, nor was I, but I finished the tour with with no more damages.

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To test the Africa Twin, and to profit of the fresh next morning, Eduardo and I went each one on his own bike to the mountains by the regular asphalted roads. We ended up in Portillo, very near to the frontier between Chile and Argentina at 3500 meters over the sea level, some 70 kilometers East from San Felipe. It was cold, and the forecast was pretty intimidating, menacing with snow, but the famous hotel and the ski center were dramatically empty. The dryness and the lack of snow had almost ruined the season and you could see only rocks all around. The master cook accompanied us in the empty restaurant while Eduardo tried fruitlessly to normalize his body temperature with coffee. The guy complained about the weather and looked with a strange and nostalgic grin at the artificial snow track that had been unable to attract skiers. If things did not change it would be a disaster for all the people working there.

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Fortunately for them the clouds covered the mountains in few minutes and the snow showed up for the first time in many months. The cook and the administrator were happy then, but they almost kicked us out because we risked to be blocked by the snow or driven out of the road by the ice. We obeyed and left the place almost flying.

During the next week I could barely say hello to the truck because of the extra work and I could only make a little progress with the air piping. To clean the bloddy pipes was not easy nor fast and, moreover, the installation of the front winch forced to re-route the pipes through intrincated places between the supports and the steel.

When I was bending the pipes, testing for the best way, I realized that I could not paint the pipes properly once installed, nor could paint the frame, so I would have to paint the pipes before installing them and the frame before installing the pipes previously painted. Christ… I had to paint the frame before going on. It was a very hard moment because even if painting was something I should do anyway, it was a pretty hard task and the weather since our visit to the high mountains had changed a lot and it was cold and moisty most of the time. But I had no choice.

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It rained a little during those days and we profited on Sunday, when the sun reappeared, and went to the coast for a late lunch Eduardo and his wife,Carmen and I… with the bikes… natürlich. It was vey nice to see the land wet again. It had been a long period of dryness.

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The task for the next week, when possible, was to make order and to clean the frame for painting. As usual, it was a mess all around the frame and it took me quiet a lot to organize parts, boxes and tools.

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As you may have noted before, San Felipe sits in an almost desertic area, with tons of dust driven by the winds that cross from the sea to the mountains, impossible to avoid from settling on the long standing frame. Thus, the Merkabah was almost hidden under a thick layer of dust that I began to clean very slowly with brushes and clothes to prevent it to fly and go over the rest of the shop. Despite all the efforts and care I received more than one criticism from the people working there. Life is hard.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#573 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-13 4:49:33

That weekend I planned to work hard on the cleaning of the frame but Jaime, the guy next door came by with the new tires for the Montero. I had two weeks for holidays in a couple of weeks and I had decided to go to Brazil, accepting the invitation of the guys I met in the trip to the south the last October. So he accompanied me and we spent the whole Saturday morning at the tire shop for changing the tires and aligning the wheels professionaly. It was pretty boring but necessary as the old tires, even if not completely worn out, wouldn’t last and they were not appropriate for the trip to Curitiba, especially knowing myself and my tendency to get into trouble.

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The next morning I did not work on the Merkabah because we all, Eduardo´s family, Carmen and I and some cousins went to play with the recently fallen snow. Some years ago the snow was a common thing, but recently it has become a rarity. The hotel that two weeks ago was sadly empty now was full of guests and the ski slopes were filled by happy and careless guys. Some of us do not like to ski so nobody did. Of course our idea was not by far original and half San Felipe went up the mountains to play a little with the snow and there were cars and people eating sandwiches, drinking from big hot thermos and rubbing their hands everywhere.

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A couple of 6x6 Actros parked aside drove my attention and we went there to check. The axles and the suspensions were totally different from the old fashioned Merkabah, but I had a huntch that they wouldn’t last as long as the ancient Mercedes. They looked pretty… though.

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I swept and blew the most of the dirt that covered the frame the days that followed. Took out the tyres and let the Merkabah stand on the jacks to have a better reach to the bottom parts. The recycled plastic sleeves would protect the boxes and parts from squirts and blows.

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It looked good, the frame, especially from far, but it was evident that it needed deep cleaning before even thinking on painting. The Coca Cola, the diesel fuel, and the oil stains and other dirty stuff covered the primer everywhere, and the layer of dust had fiercely stuck where there had been some moist. A real mess.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#574 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-13 5:03:07

I sighed, crossed the street and entered the supermarket, got a few cleaning articles including a tooth brush and began to wash it all wholehearted. The worst part was of course the gear/transfer box.

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The old oil spill from the bogie yoke needed also a lot of solvent to disappear.

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When the frame was free of oil and dirt it was the turn of the waterblast. The plastic sleeves helped to contain the tsunami and it was not as disastrous as when I cleaned the frame before the gritblasting, but sweeping the water out of the place took a lot of time. I myself ended up soaking but happy with the result. The frame shone in the original light grey of the primer.

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Some of the bolts and nuts added when preparing the suspension rusted under the environmental humidity because of the lack of protection. I had to work on them before going on. Boring. Next time I would set it all to treat the frame and paint it sequentially and without pause between the washprimer, the primer and the paint, ha! What? You all knew already that it was the right way? Ah.

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Anyway, the time and efforts invested were worth of it. I powerblew every single space and surface and let it dry up for a whole day because the temperatures kept moderately low.

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Next step: masking of the engine not to allow the grey paint to reach it. I still hadn’t decided to paint the old V8 other than black. I liked the look of the pieces of masking tape stuck to the sway bar ready to be picked, like Silverster's teeth (who remembers looney toons?), and I took the picture just for the fun of it .

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#575 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-13 5:16:00

Well, what went next was basically six days of dedication to the painting of the frame, beginning with the interior surfaces to the external ones. It was really demanding and exhausting. Sometimes I couldn’t finish to paint a large piece and the sunlight was gone. The light was crucial because you could not distinguish easily between the light grey of the primer and the darker grey paint. The pictures taken with flashlight showed better where the paint was scarse or lacking so I took lots of them to check the quality of the coverage, especially on the hidden corners. I did my best but even then I had to repaint some parts, after cleaning again, of course.

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Alejandro took me a picture while I was busy with the front axle, and I was very comfortable there comparing with other locations. Hmm…

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The weather was not the best and the temperature and the humidity were not ideal for painting, but if I stopped and waited for the sun and the heat I would have had to wash and clean it all again, which I was not keen on.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#576 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-15 3:07:41

After several days devoted to the paint job I finished of spraying grey and time was up because I had to leave for Curitiba. The checking photographs showed some places where the paint didn’t reach, but the overall picture was okay. The final hand would have to wait to the arrival from Brazil.

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The oil leak reappeared pretty soon, but at least the oil run cleanly over three hands of polyurethane paint. It was a more classy leak.

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I dedicated the last afternoon prior to the departure to check the Montero. The criticisms rained, and they were justified because I left it for the last day. Following a tradition that began with the Terrano, the 4x4 soon showed his disagreement with the trip. New tyres, new oil, new filters, new coolant, and the same afternoon the most unreachable coolant hose began to leak. Theoretically it was necessary to dismantle the whole engine to get it but as I was not on the mood I fought to reach it and finally could change it removing only the carburetor and some other minor stuff. My hands suffered a lot but I replaced the infamous hose and others that looked like they were going to fail.

The forecast told about rain and snow that probably would force the closure of the nearest crossing to Argentina that same evening so we opted for the crossing of San Pedro de Atacama instead. That route would add lots of kilometers to the trip, but that part had never be an issue for us. So, the next morning, on a cool and rainy morning our heroes began the most uncertain trip so far.

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The short story tells about an old Montero that refused to go to Brasil; no Sir, he insisted and plainly warned us about. As there is a good reason for everything, after the last cough, the last incredible coolant leak, the last denial to start, we decided not to fight him anymore and changed plans. We were very near the Atacama desert at that point, some 1.500 km north from San Felipe, so we headed more to the north. I am not kidding; right after we took the decision to continue towards the north the Montero stopped to play tricks on us and never again gave any problem, not once more.

Just a few pictures… don’t be afraid.

Near La Serena city I found the right engine I was looking for in case the OM 406 of the Merkabah showed not to be as powerfull as needed. Some kilometers later we found the kipper trucks that actually use that type of engine, the “little” ones, according to the driver. I thought then that the swap may probably not be a good idea.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#577 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-15 3:13:47

There is a crazy mining activity in the north, and I had never seen so many trucks in my entire life. Hundreds of trucks at every place, but all of them new, not a single old Mercedes NG.

Approaching the northern border there are many profound canyons that cross the central valley from the mountains to the sea and they offered a magnificent view of the dense fog that almost every morning covers the coast in this season of the year, and Arica, the most northern Chilean city, surprised us with a lovely wavy ocean in the morning.

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We continued pass the border to Peru, for the first time in our lives. Peruvians are very kind, polite and respectful people and almost all of them, from king to lackey, very helpful, even if there has always been a historical bellicosity between our countries. The desertic and the hilly landscapes are quiet impressive, pretty extensive, and Chile, in comparison, is merely a handkerchief. They drive like animals, though, and I was always in pain thinking that someone was going to strike the Montero.

We arrived to the pretty interesting Arequipa and stayed a couple of days to visit it. After walking almost every street two times we left, heading to Cusco, some 9 hours away. Very impressive, long and interesting routes between cities, and you can see terraces and stone houses where you might think that only birds can live.

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You reach almost 5.000 meters above the sea when you travel to Cusco, and Carmen got “la puna”, the famous mountain sickness. Reaching the hotel in Cusco was really chaotic: the streets, where barely one car can pass, were two ways; it was the anniversary of the city and the main streets were blocked; I was at the extreme of my forces and my patience; the traffic was a mess and Carmen felt like dying, unable to help me with the maps. Complex situation. Oxygen for the guest at arrival, rest and sleep and the next morning we were back on the trail to discover the city.

Cusco is very beautiful if you talk about the historical and well preserved part of the city. The “new” neighborhoods are very crappy, but colonial Cusco is great. We didn’t continue to Machu Picchu, the famous stone village very near Cusco because of Carmen’s problem with highness, but we enjoyed our stay and walked and ate a lot during those three days. Just a few pictures, as promised, and the last one of a beautiful lake that showed up on the way back to Arequipa, at some 4.900 meters, just before it began to snow.

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We went not to Brazil but to Peru instead. The Big Boss had surely good reasons for that, but all in all it was a good trip. We made 6.400 km, took more than 2.000 pictures and quiet a few hours of video. Really worth of it.

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verzahnerchris
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#578 Beitrag von verzahnerchris » 2015-09-15 6:32:47

so cool

Chris :rock:
Wenn ich Du wäre....
Wäre ich doch lieber ich!

Alle sagten das geht nicht -
Da kam einer und wusste das nicht und
hat es einfach gemacht.

Magirus 110-17 - VW Golf Country

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Worktom2011
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#579 Beitrag von Worktom2011 » 2015-09-15 9:50:00

So beautiful, thank you for the story, Tom
:D
CU Tom

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#580 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-17 4:16:16

Glad you liked the story, Chris and Tom.

When I stepped into the workshop again, I found that the Merkabah had been useful, for a change, and Carmen’s secretary had put a little plant to grow on one of the brakedrums. It was a tender view so I let it stay.

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In our absence there had been rains and winds like in the old times in San Felipe, and the recently repaired roof did not stand the fury of the elements and leaked thouroughly. Fortunately I covered the frame with the plurirecycled plastic sleeves and the gear/transfer case remained protected.

Unfortunately one of the supports of the air bags rusted, probably because of a bad preparation before painting, and it should be repaired before mounting the suspension. The rest of the frame was okay and no more rust was found.

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My father had a lot of work those days measuring the big amount of snow fallen on the high mountains. I made a lot of jokes about the color of the helicopter he was piloting. If he fell nobody would ever be able to find him.

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I got back to my job, the regular one, and as usual after the holidays there was a lot to do so the project was left a little aside. The weather was still cold and moisty so no paint job was possible. I grabbed the pump for the cabin lift and disassembled it to see how bad it was, and it was really bad. The case had two of the four fixing points broken and the sealing o-rings had long passed away.

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The hydraulic piston was not that bad but the liquid content of the cylinder was truly crappy, not even similar to the hydraulic fluid it should be. When disassembling, one of the components got damaged and there was no spare available locally, so Eduardo took the assignement of looking for it and to look for a complete cylinder if there was no replacement.

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The whole hydraulic piston was so expensive that I almost fell on my buttocks when I heard the prize a few days later.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#581 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-17 4:27:29

One day a box came from Germany, most wanted box. Inside came the new special cross joints for the homokinetics of the front axle. I was very excited and hopefully waited them to be the right ones this time. I took the joints and the central body of the homokinetics and made a lot of measurements with the caliper. Christ… the joints were wider! Yes, the bearing caps were the right size but the arms were longer by two millimeters for the original Mercedes joint and one millimeter for the non original homokinetic. It was a serious inconvenient as the budget for this item was long ago terminated.

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Eduardo and I started to look for a solution and initially we thought of modifying the joints to make them shorter, but we would have to look for a very good and specialized turner to do it. The friend that had bought and sent the joints from Germany could neither believe it, everything seemed to be right.

I gave the problem a few hours to settle down and then I put it in the “To solve” box in my mind, then I drove my attention to more manageable problems.

The faithful Africa Twin was claiming for the replacement of the steering stem bearings for almost a year and urgently for a new chain, and the parcel containing the spares coming from England through the U.S.A. had recently arrived to Chile and was on its way to the shop. I thought it was the rightest of the times to address that matter so I asked Carmen permission to park the bike in the middle of the living room and began to disassemble it that same afternoon. We keep our life simple, and we seldom use that space of the house so it was not a problem to have the bike there for a while. The maid did not agree, though.

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The big girl looked not very happy, naked, in the middle of the house, but she was protected, warm and clean, and I was free from the interference of the dogs that live out in the yard. I profited to change the oil of the forks, to put a new chain and to clean every component at hand with care and love.

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At the shop, we gave the joints a third look. It was not possible that the pieces were larger than the specifications from the maker, so we pressed the joints in the workbench, a little, and the right length was attained. Great! We have solved half the problem, as for the original homokinetics they were still almost 2 millimeters wider than needed, preventing to put the Zegers locks at the propper groove. Then, Eduardo said: screw the grooves and put a washer to fix the bearing cap. Simple and brilliant, and very often used when the yokes have been struck and dented by the stones of the roads.

So, I took the central body of the non-original homokinetics and the correspondant yoke of the short shaft, the same brand of the new joints, and I installed the first of the joints with Eduardo's supervision. It was a complete relief to see it in situ, fully functional. It took me quiet a while, so I could only do that and then it was time to leave, but I left very, very happy.

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Happiness lasted only until I opened the new parcel for the Honda. The new aftermarket bearings were of two sizes instead of being the same and the spare keys were not the right size neither. The only correct item was the plastic cover of the left fork. At least it was something. But the races of the bearings, effectively dented as supposed, needed to be replaced yes or yes, and so the quest for the right, rare bearings began. The bike had to stand there for as long as it would take. No problem, according to Carmen. I really love her.

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At the shop, the next day, I spent the whole afternoon at installing the next joint and finally asembled the shaft of the left side of the truck. I worked very calmly not to dent the yokes nor to damage the delicate races of the joints. Every problem related to the assembling of the joints happened to me, loose needle bearings, etc., but I endured and at the end of the day the shaft was ready. Good.

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The weekend came and as I prefered to have Eduardo near in case of trouble and not to work alone I focused on the cleaning of Africa Twin, nasty but very rewarding work. We, Eduardo and I, went out Sunday morning and enjoyed the green of the hills after the rains, but I had a flat and Eduardo’s battery died abruptly, so the trip lasted less than expected.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#582 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-17 4:39:11

That Monday I finished to install the last two joints and I was done with them, for good. The next day I bought the right washers and, as proposed, I put some weld stitches to fix the washers properly. A little grinding and that was it.

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The following task was to replace the inner races, something I probably should have done before putting the cross joints in, but I preferred to handle the shafts with the old races not to damage inadvertently the new ones. Taking the worn inner races out was not pretty difficult but slow, as I wanted not to damage the shaft with the grinder. To remove them took me all the time I had available that afternoon.

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The next time I heated the races up a little bit more than 100° C, as the manual says, and tried to drive them in to the bottom of the shaft, without even reaching half the way. The first race got stuck right at the beginning. I needed a helping hand and a better driver. Hmm…

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I was gathering the pieces I needed to fabricate an ad hoc driver when the time to go home came. Fortunately Eduardo could find the original bearings for the steering stem of the Honda and I took them before leaving.

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Work was hard that night so I woke up pretty late and dedicated the rest of the day to the assembling of the Africa Twin, two weeks parked in the middle of the house already. The stem bearings worked perfectly when properly adjusted and I finished to put the whole machine back together past midnight that Saturday. She had never been that clean before.

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When it came the time, the Monday that followed, I fabricated the driver with a couple of steel tubes and one of the old races and then went to pick Maestro Chaleco to help me. He knows his stuff and so he heated up the steel in such a way that I could drive the races without overheating them. It was not easy, but in the end the races were mounted and I was happy and pretty tired. Covered all up with plastic film and then went to dinner out with Carmen.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#583 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-17 4:51:52

On the way to the restaurant I checked Whatsapp and got very good news: the panels for the Box had arrived right that morning and they were at the Casales brothers yard. That was good news indeed. After almost two years of paperwork, designing and planning the panels were finally in Chile. Great.

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With the shafts almost ready I had to think on putting the new kingpins in the yokes of the axle, and even if the manual did nor talk about the need for it, I planned to have a little help with the press made up rudimentarily with the 30 ton jack. As the original horizontal bar passed away as part of the block-welded kingpin, I looked around for an useful replacement and cut a McPherson shock that was lying somewhere in the shop. It worked perfectly as a counter force, but the arms of the press were a little short to allow the new kingpin to get in. No problem! Just the grinder, a piece of scratch, the magic of the welder and the press got stretched.

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I said that the shafts were “almost” ready because one of the thrust washers got loose when taking out the cross joints. They had been welded to the yokes before, don’t ask why or when, and so I had to re-weld the one that got loose. I did my best to weld it perpendicular to the shaft, and I think it came as good as it could, taking into account that it was already deformed by the previous welding. Whatever…

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Another week passed and I could barely make those scarse progresses regarding the project. Very busy times. Sunday morning Eduardo and I went to make a little promenade on the bikes, honoring the promise of leaving Sundays only for family and leisure. The nature was awake because of the near springtime and the last rains, and clear water came down the creeks that were dry for the last ten years. A green blanket covered the ever-brown hills around. It was a very nice time, and Eduardo was becoming more addicted to the bikes each time.

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Back at the shop the expectations were big. The manual said that the kingpin had to be driven in the axle with the shaft and the steering knucle already in position, and that was far more complex than putting the kingpin firstly and then mount the rest. Hmm… When removing the old kingpin Stefan was able to take the knucle and the shaft out before the kingpin, so there was a clear possibility that it could be repeated in the opposite way, giving the chance to better control the process and to use the press.

I needed to be certain of this so I tried first to slide the right side shaft into the axle housing to test if the kingpin would impede to position the steering knuckle and the shaft together. I never got farther than making the try as the shaft did not go into the axle housing completely, and half the inner race stood out. I tried with the shaft of the left side and it was the same. Tried and tried but I could not drive it in more than that. Eduardo thought that it may be because I had not blocked the differential as told in the manual.

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I removed the pressure switch and preloaded the cylinder of the differential lock with a bolt, which I had to go out to buy, but it made no difference, the shafts did not get totally into the axle housing. Maybe it was the inner races, expanded when driven around the shaft? Christ!

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Time was running and I had to go to help a colleague so I cursed like an old Italian and wrapped it all in plastic and left. I felt a little frustrated as it seemed that I would never be able to assemble the damn front axle, but after a while I smiled again, thinking on happier subjects. This thing would not beat me, no Sir.

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Three days passed before I could do any more attempts to go on with the shaft issue. The forecast missed again and it did not rain so the envelope was just a waste of plastic and love. Didn’t matter, though.

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Worktom2011
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#584 Beitrag von Worktom2011 » 2015-09-17 9:19:41

Strong earthquacke in your region Pairoa,
Hpe you are fine, let us know.
All the best, Tom
CU Tom

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pairospam
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#585 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-09-17 15:27:56

Thanks for your concern, Thomas. Yes, we moved a little, for a change. There is not much to be sorry of, fortunately.

I must be one of the few guys that love earthquakes. They happen when they want and you can do nothing about it, why to fear then?

Activities have been suspended in my work because of the need for cleaning. I am profiting of doing things for the Merkabah. Something good for something bad.

Cheers.


Pairoa

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Iain_U1250
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#586 Beitrag von Iain_U1250 » 2015-09-23 9:09:03

Glad to see you are making progress on your truck and everything progressing, keep up the great work :)
Iain

Brisbane, Australia
Unimog U1250
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKPlQW ... KTQ/videos

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Hauke
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#587 Beitrag von Hauke » 2015-09-24 16:29:30

Motorbike repairing in the livingroom, my wife would kill me!!

Still very interesting your postings!
Gruß aus Hamburg
Hauke

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LutzB
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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#588 Beitrag von LutzB » 2015-09-24 18:54:31

Hauke hat geschrieben:Motorbike repairing in the livingroom.........
Is there a different way? Where else? :smoking:

Lutz
We come from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow (Immigrant Song, Page/Plant)

Mit den Menschen ist es wie mit den Autos, Laster sind schwer zu bremsen.(Heinz Erhardt)

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#589 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-11-03 4:53:32

Before this goes to the second page I better update the thread.

Well, going on with the story I can tell that a few days after the last earthquake I got the time to grab one of the steering arms and take it to the little shop at my workplace. Don Víctor was very helpful, as always, and with a little heat and the press we took out the old pin and replaced it with a new one. The heating up was not too high, but it was enough to ruin the paint. Future works for the poor Pairoa, when re-painting the whole axle.

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Finally I was convinced that it would be not possible to install the steering knuckle before installing the kingpin, so the stretched press would be of no use as it was still too straight.

I picked the pieces of steel I had at hand with the appropriate length and width and welded them with not much care except for the strength of the welding, no consideration for the aesthetics this time. The result was an abomination pagode-style. The knuckle would fit in and the pressure that could be reached should be enough to drive the kingpin to the bottom, at the first attempt, I hoped.

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Yes… it was awfull… but tough.

Then I took the superior bushing and drove it into place with one of the old pins as driver. It is funny but I was really nervous when doing it, thinking of the possibility of ruining the delicate bushing; it would have been a major disaster at this point. Remember that they cost a little fortune and there is no stock here in Chile. Fortunately it was just my nerves, and there were no problems at all, and they looked very nice once in place, the bronze shining over the grey.

Before sliding the shaft in I checked how the special rubber seal fitted and to my eyes it was too thick, but as it was pretty elastic I thought that it will squeeze and adapt as needed. Hmm…

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I looked for until I finally found the steering arm, the one with no arm with the name I cannot remember, that I had been unable to find for weeks. Of course it was in the proper box, marked “steering arm with no arm”. I took it to Victor’s shop and replaced the pin more easily this time.

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Trying not to harm my back and with a little help from Alejandro I put the right side steering knuckle in position, not an easy maneuver, and the rubber seal proved to really be too thick and prevented the knuckle to get in completely. Bad. Took the knuckle and the shaft out again, cut the seal in two halves, put the shaft and the knuckle back in, with no help this time.

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It was necessary to drive the shaft in using the rubber hammer to make it go the whole way in until the shaft itself and the steering knuckle were properly set. Then, I put the superior steering pivot and after a few tries it was possible to make the steering knuckle spin, but far from the smoothness I should have expected after changing both pin and bushing. Probably it was necessary to put the inferior steering arm to complete the mechanism and let it move along the steering axle smoothly. I hoped I was right.

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I was starting to feel that I was deliberately avoiding to speed up the steering knucle issue so the next day I went to the shop, dressed up and set all up for installing both the new inferior kingpins. Remember that I struggled a lot using many strategies, more or less fortunate, and that thanks to Stefan’s experience we could take them out soundly, but only after a major effort. I was terrified by the idea of kingpins stuck halfway with no option to take them back out without ruining them.

The kingpins remained in the freezer the whole previous night and they stayed in a cooler-box while I prepared all the stuff and heated up, slowly, the lower joint fork of the axle housing, trying not to cook the other parts.

I grabbed the kingpin and was surprised when effortlessly drove it almost to the top just with the strength of my hand. Plop. I put some pressure with the oriental neo-press to make sure it went full in and to avoid it to slide back, and was able to see the ice that formed on the subzero surface of the pin evaporate as a wave of heat made its way down the pin. Cool.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#590 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-11-07 21:11:44

While the pin slowly got stuck in its definitive place (hopefully) I put the proper bushing in the steering knuckle arm, then installed the new retainer and filled it all with graphite grease. Took out the horrid press and the pin did not move.

When the pin was cool enough I put the steering knuckle arm. The knuckle movement did become smoother, not as smooth as expected, though. But there was something that I had forgotten completely, focused on the pin issue: the vertical adjustment of the steering knuckle. Ops.

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When checked, the vertical play of the knuckle was nearly 5 mm, something not acceptable, of course. The fact was that the thrust washers (marked 35 on the picture) were not included in the repair kit, and this little detail eluded me… for a change.

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The whole thing went to hell because it was not possible to go on without the washers and the sliding blocks, one of which was missing even before I bought the truck. I did not put the left kingpin in to keep it at hand in case I had to fabricate any of the pieces. Made some order, changed clothes, fed the dogs and went home.

I was fully refreshed the next time I went to the shop, ready to deal with some problem I faced some days before. The left side steering knuckle arm had gotten a lot of rust and when removing what once was called a bushing and sanded a little the cavity the new bushing almost danced in, coming in and out just with the strength of the finger, and that was not supposed to happen.

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Following some advices, I poked the bushing with a pointy punch to make the union firmer, and it worked, making the driving of the bushing harder than the one on the other side. Even more, I used a lot of threadlock for my peace of mind and for what was worth. It went okay.

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Took out again the left shaft, put in the previously cut sealing ring and I put it back in the axle housing, with all the boredness that this implied. Good. I put the steering knuckle back in, with no pain this time, and installed the steering arm, and that was it. That’s the farthest I could go at that point.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#591 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-11-07 21:18:32

Sunday morning I went to feed the dogs of the shop and profited to try to make some progress as I was already there. Measured and made some drawings of the thrust washer and the sliding block I needed to fabricate and went on to see what more could I do.

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The thrust pieces of the wheel hubs hid under a thick layer of dust and plastic, resting in peace since the beginning of times. Very carefully I undusted and unwrapped them only to discover that they were not as clean as I assumed I had left them over, who remembers when. Cleaned them up, again, and removed the old retainers to replace them with the new ones, which were also waiting since eons in their boxes. But they were not the correct retainers, they were smaller. Ops, and again ops. I had ordered them according to the EPC, for a change.

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The retainers went back into their boxes, maybe forever this time, and looked for the rest of the pieces of the wheel hub, wrapped as well under a dusty mass. To be sure of the correct side I confronted them with the pictures taken when disassembling. I wanted not to take the pieces of the wrong side.

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It was all okay but unfortunately one of the tab washers was pretty deformed and useless so I would have to replace it (the manual says to replace both but… you know).

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Collected the brake pad supports and profited that I could bolt them directly on the hub to put the one of the right side of the axle in place, but when I was tightening the last bolt I saw the races for the oilr retainers of the hub, until then covered by plastic and masking tape. Christ… they were badly marked, rusted and worn out.

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Out with the support, again, and a vain effort to sand the surface of the race with #400 sand paper was all I did before calling Eduardo to give me a hand and his opinion.

The veredict was brief and conclusive, and also expected: change the races, man. The one on the right side was in poorer condition and caused the leaking that made the brake pads slip.

That was the sad good bye to my wills of assembling things on Sunday, and the hard punishment for violating the previously stablished activities for the weekend. Made order, cleaned a little, changed clothes and then went for gnocchi with nuts sauce to fight the frustration.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#592 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-11-07 21:29:21

I made a lot of attempts by phone and by internet to get the pieces but I could not concrete anything at the distance so I profited of a free afternoon and went to Santiago to try to solve the problem directly with the dealers, with poor results of course.

In the first place I passed by the Casale’s to see and touch the panels. The quality was outstanding, and I suffered a little knowing that they were already there and I was not able to start with the fabrication of the box until the truck was ready, or at least moving on its own wheels, and it seemed that such event was getting every day a step farther.

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To replace the races the conical bearings had to be removed, meaning to ruin them, and they were big, heavy and expensive, and they looked pretty healthy. I truly wanted not to replace them, even if somebody had done it somewhere in the past just looking at the marks on the hub.

And, as everything regarding this truck, the bearings were special and nobody had them in stock. The guys from SKF said that they were going to import them, but just in November, two months later, and the races definitely did not exist. The same story for the sliding washers of the steering knuckles.

The scenario was not pretty charming, as you may see, but I least I found the tab washer and the correct retainers for the hub.

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Came back to the shop to undust some more pieces of the wheel hub to be sure that all the rest was there when it came the definite time for assembling. Found the spares of the retainers of the brake cams and put them in the brake supports. Then I cleaned a little the brake shoes, just the right amount to make them look presentable, not to paint them. It was useless and I was not on the mood, not this time.

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I managed to scape briefly to see Verardo, my friend with the machine-shop, and asked him to fabricate the sliding washers for the steering knuckles. He passed the measures on to Pimentel, the turner, and he made them pretty precisely. Pimentel himself did some hardening treatment and I went to pick them to install them the next day. I hoped that the sliding washers, the pill-shaped ones, had the right width, but surely I was aiming too high.

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Saturday morning I went early to the shop and brang the kingpin that stood the hole night in the freezer. I set it all up quickly and heated up pretty slowly the lower joint fork of the axle housing with the torch because it was cold and I wanted not to mess up with the steel. Less frightened this time for the risk of jamming, I grabbed the subzeroed kingpin and gently drove it up to the collar. Better safe than sorry, I installed the press and applied some pressure waiting for the temperature to be even and the pin to get caught at its place. Good.

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While this happened, I grabbed the powergrinder and cut the edges of the thrust washers to let the oil reach the bottom of the steering knuckle arm and lubricate the sliding surfaces. I then installed the washers in the steering arms. They looked pretty good.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#593 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-11-07 21:44:53

I put a lot of graphite grease here and there and bolted both steering knuckle arms. So far so good, but then I applied the specified torque with the big torque wrench that was almost forgotten in a hidden corner behind the diesel tank and the right steering knuckle became more and more stiff. Damn! The sliding block was too thick, by nearly 0,5 mm. Loosened the bolts and took the steering knuckle arm out, again, to recover the piece.

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I repeated the torqueing maneuver on the left side and the steering knuckle rotated freely, but when the axial play was measured it was almost two millimeters. Christ, so boring, but if not… I would have been tooooo easy.

Verardo gave me the idea of using Würth’s liquid steel to repair the worn races as a quick but temporary solution to the delayed assembly of the wheel hubs. In summary, there were no races in stock and if you needed them you had to fabricate them or order them from Germany. Bad. To extract the races you had to ruin the bearings, and there were neither in stock. Hmm… it wasn’t an easy situation... and, Christ, I felt so tired.

Finally I decided to give Würth a try. First I would polish the races with fine sandpaper, then I would clean the micropores caused by rust with metallic brushing and apply a fine layer of liquid steel to fill the pores. Once dry and hard I would sand the races and give them a polished new surface. Simple, doable, fast.

As it was still early for Saturday’s standards I got hands into it and sanded a lot with #400 sandpaper with the hard but safe rag-stripe technique. After one hour the left side race looked not so bad but, even after two hours of carefull sanding, the right side race looked not as good and you could bet that the hub ran out of oil for many kilometers. Looked like it would be a tough work for both liquid steel and oil retainers.

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A phone call for lunch ended up the working session and the Merkabah stood alone the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, in the afternoon, I took the WR450 to fill up the tank. I hate to waste time filling up before starting a trip, and last time I had used the bike the fuel lever was on reserve. It was cold so I dressed up accordingly and went to the gas station, but the brisky and spirited handling of the Yamaha made my hands tickle harder and harder and, as usual, I ended up on the hills, sweaty and happy. Ah… being a hot-blooded is a very difficult condition!

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Well, the thing is that the week that followed I was very busy and had time only to briefly scape from work to Verardo’s machineshop and ask him to make the sliding blocks and washers for the steering knuckles according with the measurements that I had made before. Pimentel, the turner, was charged with the job and I left very happy. Well… a little.

A few days later I went to pick the pieces and took them to the shop. Of course the measurements were not as precise as expected but at least they were close. Pimentel modified one of the sliding blocks, the thicker one, in the mechanical lathe and I would sand the other to adjust the height.

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At the shop, again, I used a lot of patience and wore out the tip of my fingers sanding the sliding blocks and testing them until they were properly adjusted and the tolerance of the steering knuckles play was achieved. Good. I was setting up the place for applying the liquid steel to the already prepared races when Eduardo came and gently but firmly grabbed me by the arm and took me to the office.

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In short terms, he gave me a quiet severe scold for what I was doing, and pritched about the efforts made so long, about partial repairs, about the bad heating treatment of the parts, the uses and misuses of the liquid steel, the races, the oil, the wearing forces, the sure leaking, the big mess… and all for the hurry… at this point of the story. Not in my workshop! He finally sentenced.

He was obviously right, and I was the only hurried dum, liked it or not. So, with nothing else left for considering, everything had to go out and only new pieces for the axle from then on.

I stepped out of the office, pissed off but gratefull, and disassembled the steering nuckles, again, to recover the washers and the sliding blocks. Called Maestro Chaleco who showed up after lunch with his load of experience and a brief smile that lacked of any criticism. He took the oxygen stuff and heated up the little steel pieces until they got some special color that he judged appropriate and drowned them in oil under Eduardo’s watchful eye. There was no need to add carbon or anything else according to him, and we stood to what he said.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#594 Beitrag von pairospam » 2015-11-07 21:52:03

We then went next to the Merkabah and I took the steering knuckle bearing out with some little strokes. It broke, of course. Using the more humble gas torch Chaleco heated up the race but it didn’t move. He thought that a special chisel at home could be of help so he left me staring at the famous race. Took the powergrinder and made a little notch in the border of the race and heated it up again. When it was near 100° C (spit test) I hit it tangentially with a blunt chisel nealing on the notch until it began to rotate. I pushed it slowly until it came out. Good.

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The bearing of the opposite side went out without any effort, which I did not like either, but made things easier. Heated up the race, also, but disregarded the notch and stroke directly the edge of the race. Eventually it gave in and came out with the last hit made by Chaleco’s sharp chisel.

To my eyes, and also to Chaleco’s, the left bearing was perfect, but Eduardo pointed out some little imperfections. Out… and no f…cking discussions! I said okay.

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Chaleco extracted the races off the bearings from the wheel hubs by welding a piece of steel to them and then simply hammering them out, not without a little struggle, though.

In the end, the result was a couple of bearing races, two conic needle bearings and two retaining races, all crap. There was no turning back, and it was just a matter of finding and getting the right spares or finding someone who could fabricate them.

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I assembled the steering knuckles and torqued them, again, for the last time I hoped. Went to pick the connecting tie rod that hung from the roof at the attic and spent quiet a while cleaning the threads for the tie rod ends, filled with rust, dirt and some paint. When they were clean and the tie rod ends could easily be screwed in I aligned the wheels, handcraftedly but pretty precisely, and tried to install the connecting rod. No way; the classical redundant quarter turn that impeded to get to it. Took it all out and simply amputed the first centimeters of the tie rod ends with the powergrinder. Put them back in and there was no more drama. Obviously, once the truck would run on its own wheels, it would go for professional alignment.

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There was some concern about the drag link and its relationship with the auxiliary shock absorber, and when I put the former in position the concerns proved to be right. There was a clear conflict between both elements. Ops. The drag link had to be bent to avoid striking the support; just another job for Verardo.

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Some may ask why there still was the drak link hanging from the Pitman arm after all this time, well… because I wanted not to use the usual method of striking the Pitman arm, and because I was too lazy to make my own extractor until now.

That weekend it was a long one because of the 12th October, the Day of the Race, or whatever it means to anyone. I was really tired because of the extra work and I was supposed to rest and enjoy doing nothing, but I exhausted myself running eternally with the dogs through the fields and disassembled, again, the Africa Twin for servicing the aft suspension. When done, we went to make very nice rides and enjoyed a lot the trails and the views of the green valley from the soft hills. It was a nice weekend. The problems with the Merkabah had to wait until the next week... or month.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#595 Beitrag von a90 » 2015-11-07 22:45:43

Very nice to see all this progress, keep posting please !!

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#596 Beitrag von lura » 2015-11-07 23:11:55

It's always interesting to read. I can't believe the problems with the forks of the front axle. It looks like at a 9-ton-Magirus Deutz firefightercar with 60.000 km on the counter. But your lorry had to work much more in stronger conditions than a german firefightercar. So it's not a comparison.
Gruß
Bernd

Gewinne Zeit durch Langsamkeit

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#597 Beitrag von Iain_U1250 » 2015-11-08 10:59:45

After seeing all the problems you had rebuilding your front steering joints, it makes me realise how lucky I was to just only have a few problems with a couple of little hard to find grease seals for my king pin re-build. That only delayed the progress by a couple of weeks, finding the right bearings seem like quite a problem. Have you tried a proper Mercedes Benz dealer in Europe, there are quite a few bearing on the Unimog that the SKF/FAG said were special order, but were off-the shelf from an MB dealer.
Iain

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Unimog U1250
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKPlQW ... KTQ/videos

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#598 Beitrag von a90 » 2016-01-16 20:51:18

Any news Pairoa ?

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#599 Beitrag von pairospam » 2016-01-17 1:40:42

I am working on it.

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Re: Mercedes 2626 AK 6x6

#600 Beitrag von fredrikarnell » 2016-01-17 15:44:32

Great! We are looking forward to your next update, of course!

Take care.

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