Lowly the Lorry. . .

thebigblue

Adventurer
So yours ia a ET 100 with a 8 hole rim, would anyone know if this ET will be the same on a slightly older 10 hole aksel on ie. a 1986 MB 1222A?

I was quoted EUR 290 ex TAX for a 10" by 20" ET114 at GABO, with a spring ring, and powder coated black, but not sure about the ET since I have no truck (yet).

Thanks
 
Lowly Update:

Spent the past few days gutting the inside of the cab. Its been an exercise in patience trying to remove fasteners that are thru-bolted, working solo with the cab sometimes tilted to gain access. Its amazing how steep it gets inside the cab with it tilted - feels like one of those carnival fun houses!

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I'm trying to be diligent not to tilt the cab with loose tools inside as to not have one drop onto the inside of the windscreen and shatter what I can only guess is an expensive piece of glass here in the USA.
Quite cavernous with everything removed.

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Amazed at how much stuff came out of that cab!

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Not shown is all of the wiring harnesses I have yet to extract from the walls and ceiling that ran to all of the light and communication equipment on the fire truck.
Finally some appreciable progress!

- Sheik

PS: found a British 2 Pound coin when pulling out one of the rear seats; this truck is already paying for itself!
 
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Lowly Update:

Back in post #120 of this thread I came to the realization Lowly's VIN plate was missing from the truck (likely taken off for a respray of the cab's paint before auction and never replaced). Thanks to a heads-up by EXPO member grizzlyj about the VIN number being stamped on the right-side frame rail behind the front wheel I was able to help the insurance, registration and customs officials verify Lowly's VIN versus his paperwork to get me through several bureaucratic hoops. Even with the frame stamp and its success thus far, I know it is only a matter of time before some border agent with an inferiority complex decides to demand a VIN plate before opening the gate. So, we opted to sell our firstborn child in exchange for a replacement VIN plate that is pretty darn close to a dead-ringer of the original (thanks to EXPO member Mog for example pictures).

First stop was Aluma Photo-Plate Company in Houston, Texas ( https://www.alumaphoto-plateco.com/products/vin-tag-replacement.html ). They are able to reproduce blank replica plates that match stock plates. They even had a sample picture of the Daimler-Benz plate on their previous work webpage. A hefty cash till "cha-ching" later and I had a blank replica VIN plate in my possession.

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Notice there are no numbers on the plate. Aluma Photo-Plate was able to laser etch anything I requested, but did not provide the "authentic" raised lettering needed to pacify hard-nosed customs agents.
Next stop was A.G. Backeast in Grand Junction, Colorado ( http://datatags.com ). They provide a raised/reversed stamping service for just this sort of thing and came through in spades after an even heftier cash till "cha-ching".

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Both businesses were great to work with and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend their services. With my as-close-to-original VIN plate in hand, it was only a matter of drilling a couple of thru-holes in the plate and mounting it on the jamb below the driver's side door (utilizing the missing plate's mounting holes)

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Checking this off my list proved costlier and more complicated than I expected, but this little aluminum plate will pay for itself in peace-of-mind the next time we are forced to cross check our paperwork and VIN plate. Bring on the customs agents!

- Sheik
 

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mog

Kodiak Wrangler
Looks great. Man, that was a lot of work for a little (but important) thing. One suggestion from my years as a document forger for Mossad, you should age it a little with dirt build-up around the raised letters and a little corrosion on the screws and very edges of the plate, so it fits the age of your truck.
dp.jpg
 

Bruce Lee

New member
Hi all

I had to get a new vin as the plate was different to the chassis number, several phone calls to Mercedes and I think £70, got a new one, easy.

Enjoying your build, I must finish mine soon!

Bruce
 
ASSISTANCE REQUEST:

Looking for any EXPO members who reside in British Columbia willing to help me out in exchange for a deposit into their PayPal account.

I'm needing to renew my vehicle storage insurance for Lowly truck in absentia. BC allows this but requires a representative be present at an ICBC office.

It would require the willing BC resident to coordinate with me in the next week to appear and sign for Lowly's insurance at a pre-determined ICBC office.

I'm more than willing to compensate for the assistance. Please personal-message me if this is something you can help with.

- Sheik
 

4x4for9

New member
Hey Sheik

I’m new to this forum but I have a question about why you chose to import the truck to the East coast instead of the West Coast. By the time you factor in the fuel, food and lodging wouldn’t it be worth it to just pay the extra to bring it around closer to where you are from? Everyone I have spoken to seems to think it is healer to ship by sea then by land. Did you find something different?

Your adventure was a great read! Keep up the progress!

Thanks,
4x4for9
 

DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
To complete the circle, I ordered five wheels from Fabian Heidtmann, mounted them with General Grabbers and they are wonderfully round! the square tread plows a bit in mud and snow and there may be a case to be made for the Michelin or Goodyear tires in the 385/65x22.5 size, as they may have more open lugs, but they are about $200 more per tire.

These highway tires can be aired down a bit for dirt or sand, but they are not the same as MPT tires with beadlocks. Fabian guesstimates that you can go down to about 30 psi for sand, but your speed will be limited to about 20 kph and no sharp turns - these wheels do not have safety ridges!

The entire process took about six weeks from order to delivery to Baltimore, MD.

Fabian has a lot of experience with adapting Mercedes LKW for overland use and is a joy to work with.

 
Hey Sheik

I’m new to this forum but I have a question about why you chose to import the truck to the East coast instead of the West Coast. By the time you factor in the fuel, food and lodging wouldn’t it be worth it to just pay the extra to bring it around closer to where you are from? Everyone I have spoken to seems to think it is healer to ship by sea then by land. Did you find something different?

Your adventure was a great read! Keep up the progress!

Thanks,
4x4for9
I was in a pretty tight window of time between purchasing the truck and getting it out of the UK to avoid the rather large Value Added Tax. The research I was able to conduct on exporting the truck to North America forced my hand: the truck was too young to import directly into the USA (wasn’t aware of temporary USA import at the time) and it had to go on a RORO ship. None of the RORO ships leaving Bristol were destined for Vancouver, BC so I was forced to go to Halifax.

Had I know about the (and had the time to petition for) temporary import into the US and found a RORO ship headed from the UK to the US west coast, I certainly would have gone that route.

But then the story wouldn’t have been nearly as entertaining. . . . .

- sheik
 
Lowly Update:

Its been awhile, but then not much has been happening truck-wise.

The big news: ground has been broken on a 50' x 50' steel building on my parent's property that will serve as Lowly's chrysalis.

Lowly was able to participate by acting as a log skidder, dragging downed trees into the open for firewood cutting purposes. His 4wd and recovery winches both came in handy.

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He even had a cheering section!

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Stay tuned for further truck & shop construction updates.

- sheik
 
Lowly (Shop) Update:

The 50'x50' cement pad for poured in early summer. We used my other Mercedes and a borrowed triple-axel flatbed to haul in all of the material for the steel building. Some of the loads were so long and heavy the resulting reward load distribution on the trailer would lighten and "wag" the back of the Sprinter van while driving - quite unnerving!

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Its just my dad and I working on the structure so far - progress has been slow due to busy summertime activities.

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The "free if you haul it" scissor lift is a truly janky relic. Due to its propensity to suddenly auto-collapse, we've mainly utilized it as a crane to stand up the various columns and hoist the rafters into place using a pretty nifty rope hoist and homemade A-frame off the front of the lift. We named the museum piece "Jack".

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Once the columns were placed and the horizontal perilns installed, we brought in a smaller and orders of magnitude more trustworthy scissor lift to help with all of the overhead installation. We named it "Jill".

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A bit more work to lock in the structure's skeletal rigidity using cable cross-bracing and we'll be starting the unenviable task of installing the insulation, siding and roofing.

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Stay tuned!

- Sheik
 
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Sitec

Adventurer
Having to build the shed to build the truck.... I feel your pain and anticipation of the wait to start the truck build! :) Looking good tho!
 
Having to build the shed to build the truck.... I feel your pain and anticipation of the wait to start the truck build! :) Looking good tho!
Sitec,

Yeah, a massive project to complete before another massive project can begin. Not in a big rush because I'm still playing the waiting game for Lowly's 25th birthday before we can really get him out and start exploring. Hoping to get the shop completed this autumn so we can really start cracking on the truck revamp this winter & spring.

- Sheik
 

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yoggie

Member
I just found this thread, what a great read! I look forward to all of the progress you will make on your build this winter once your work building is complete!
 
To complete the circle, I ordered five wheels from Fabian Heidtmann, mounted them with General Grabbers and they are wonderfully round! the square tread plows a bit in mud and snow and there may be a case to be made for the Michelin or Goodyear tires in the 385/65x22.5 size, as they may have more open lugs, but they are about $200 more per tire.

These highway tires can be aired down a bit for dirt or sand, but they are not the same as MPT tires with beadlocks. Fabian guesstimates that you can go down to about 30 psi for sand, but your speed will be limited to about 20 kph and no sharp turns - these wheels do not have safety ridges!

The entire process took about six weeks from order to delivery to Baltimore, MD.

Fabian has a lot of experience with adapting Mercedes LKW for overland use and is a joy to work with.

Thank you DiploStrat and VerMonster for the info and links to Fabian. Will be contacting him to get pricing shipped to Oregon along with some dimensions of the rims (actual width and flange offset).

The masochist in me is still intrigued at building my own set of wheels using blank rims, water jetted centers and MIG welding. Anyone out there in EXPO world have a say in this line of thinking?

- Sheik
 
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