Lowly the Lorry. . .

Lowly Update:

After wrestling (dealing with the learning curve) with my 3D printer I was finally able to successfully print the two rear sway bar shackles out of Carbon Fiber/Nylon:
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Sourced some bushings to help distribute the fastener-shackle loads and it was time to assemble:
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The assembled shackle with some of the assembly tools:
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I was able to source the necessary replacement rubber bushings from Jim at EuroTech (www.UNIMOGS.com) for all of the front and rear sway bar attachment points - so nice to have a source for these sorts of rare items!

With fresh rubber installed it was time to reassemble the rear sway bar components back onto the truck:
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- Sheik
 

VerMonsterRV

Gotta Be Nuts
Lowly Update:

After wrestling (dealing with the learning curve) with my 3D printer I was finally able to successfully print the two rear sway bar shackles out of Carbon Fiber/Nylon:
View attachment 676022

Sourced some bushings to help distribute the fastener-shackle loads and it was time to assemble:
View attachment 676024

The assembled shackle with some of the assembly tools:
View attachment 676026

I was able to source the necessary replacement rubber bushings from Jim at EuroTech (www.UNIMOGS.com) for all of the front and rear sway bar attachment points - so nice to have a source for these sorts of rare items!

With fresh rubber installed it was time to reassemble the rear sway bar components back onto the truck:
View attachment 676028
View attachment 676029

- Sheik
By shackles do you mean the upright links that went from the sway bar to the chassis? If so how strong is what you printed? If this is the part I am guessing yours were pretty rusted (poor design IMHO as the bottom end forms a nice cup), ours were. I had a local welding shop make some up. They are not super difficult.
 
By shackles do you mean the upright links that went from the sway bar to the chassis? If so how strong is what you printed? If this is the part I am guessing yours were pretty rusted (poor design IMHO as the bottom end forms a nice cup), ours were. I had a local welding shop make some up. They are not super difficult.
Jon,

Yeah, those linkages running from the underside of the chassis down to the sway bar are what these 3D printed parts are replacing. See post #256 of this thread for pictures of how badly rusted ours were; a terrible original design. Pound-for-pound the carbon fiber/nylon is stronger and tougher than aluminum. I figure the design I printed (had it been made from aluminum) would far exceed the strength of the rusted-out steel originals and with the CF/N being stronger than aluminum they should be good-to-go. Time and exposure to loading will be the ultimate judge!

- Sheik
 
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Lowly Update:

With the habitat box components due to arrive within the next week or so (timing is working out for Globe Trekker to deliver them rather than me having to make the trip up to Portland) I figured it was high time to start cracking on the sub-frame. All of the linear material has been sourced and gathered (C-channel, square tubing, etc). Now the fun begins of measuring 5 times, cutting once and getting the parts ready for welding into a heavy, stiff steel monstrosity.

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- Sheik
 
Lowly Update:

Work continues on prepping the subframe components before welding.
Layout for subframe and accessory mounting points:
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All holes and cutouts preferably need to happen before welding. Much easier to drill this many holes (well over 100) with a drill-press than a hand or mag-drill!
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For the larger diameter holes I'm using a couple different sizes of carbide tipped annular cutters - spendy but will hopefully result in reduced frustration.

- Sheik
 
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Sitec

Adventurer
Dependant on the hole sizes and finish required, I have had very good success with Milwaukee hole saws on the drill press so long as you run them slow, keep the lubricant on them and keep the swarf clear. I've drilled through 16mm plate with mine!
 
Lowly Update:

Took a couple weeks off to raft in Idaho with the family. Got back home with a deadline to get Lowly out of the shop for the incoming habitat components. Finally got the hubs painted, the sway bar bushings installed, the wheels/tires put back on. Time to tilt the cab back down and see what sort of wheel well clearance I had remaining; the front door steps and wheel well surrounds interfered with the larger size tires and had to be removed in order to get the cab back down.

Lowly finally made it out of the shop with his new shoes and freshly painted hubs:
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Looking like I'm going to have to increase the maximum height restriction in the windscreen due to his higher stance!
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Here comes the habitat - stay tuned!

- Sheik
 

Dave Anderson

New member
Let the story begin!

We just pulled the trigger on a MB 1120 4x4 Incident Response Vehicle at an auction in Wales, UK with the intent to turn it into a motorhome for an adventuring family.

We dub the truck "Lowly the Lorry".

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I hope to adequately record the upcoming madness for the benefit of those who are curious at just how many screw-ups a crazy scheme like this can produce. I'll be the first to admit that this project may not ultimately succeed, but I figure it is worth a try to create some memories, give me more gray hair and serve as another money pit.

I'm currently jumping thru the hoops of transferring money, obtaining insurance, locating a parking/storage facility & relocating the vehicle from the auction house property to storage via email and an 8 hour time difference. Let the insanity begin! If anyone out there has experience doing this sort of thing who would shower me with hints/advice/suggestions, I'm waiting with soap-in-hand.

Cry for help #1: is there anyone in the EXPO universe located near the Cardiff or Bristol area of the UK who has a place to park a lorry like this for a short/medium term while I get my head wrapped around exactly how and where we are going to convert this beast.

Stay tuned, this could be better than daytime television!

- Sheik
I like what I see so far... can't wait to see that awesome habitat on the back of this beauty.
 
Lowly Update:

The Globe Trekker habitat has arrived!
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Thanks to the WuFlu and it resulting disruptions/shortages in the aluminum supply chain the delivery date got pushed back a couple times (the edges of the Globe Trekker habitat are aluminum extrusion with a cleverly designed thermal brake). Due to the proximity of my location to Globe Trekker's world headquarters, delivery was provided by none other than Bill and Garrett, two of the three gents responsible for Globe Trekker. They unloaded a clutch of supplies and loaner tools before verbally walking me thru the process and finer points of assembly they've learned.

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We purchased this habitat knowing full well we were early adopters of this company's product but so far I can't say that has been a negative in any way. This is habitat #3 for Globe Trekker and their approach to the materials used and where the components are constructed results in a lower cost, quicker lead time and higher component quality product than other options currently on the market. Quality of assembly is left entirely up to yours truly (quite possibly to the consternation of Globe Trekker) but that remains to be seen! The anodized aluminum extrusions were then unloaded with the help of Gramps and a couple representatives of the BlandOverland crew.
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Panels were then unloaded and stacked in the correct order for ease of assembly.
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It was great to meet the Globe Trekker gents, introduce them to Lowly and pick their brains on assembly best practices. They have some interesting ideas in the works for products to make the complete DIY habitat build possible. Big thanks to everyone who helped with the unloading process!

COST:
Custom size (roughly 8' x 8' x 16') Globe Trekker Rectangular habitat including adhesive and delivery - $21110

This was a huge chunk of the Lowly budget, but a necessary one and a product that I believe whose design will allow for ease of further buildout later on.

Now that the habitat components are in-hand I'm back on the computer, solid modeling the final design tweaks to the subframe and continuing on with flushing out the design of the habitat's interior.

- Sheik
 
Lowly Update:

Had a bit of rework to do on the long C-channel components of the subframe due to assumptions I made about how it was to mate up to the habitat floor. I should have waited but was eager to try and stay ahead of the habitat delivery; strikes and gutters.

With the habitat components in-hand and final measurements made I was able to flush out the final design of the subframe and get all of its individual components ready for welding. Layout and tacking is currently underway. Despite the subframe components being "over designed", this sucker is going to curl like a potato chip if I don't take preemptive efforts to minimize distortion of the frame as it gets welded up.

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- Sheik
 
Lowly Update:

The integrated, hydraulically powered winch necessitated a "rail on" style subframe for the habitat, rather than a more desirable 3 or 4-point subframe. In an effort to limit torsional stresses being transmitted into the habitat from the truck's chassis through this subframe I designed it on the beefier end of the spectrum. This includes 7 pieces of 3"x3"x0.25" wall square tubing to act as side-side ribs on the subframe that line up with side-side stiffeners imbedded in the habitat's floor that the subframe will bolt to (see picture in previous post). These beefcake pieces of tubing add a lot of weight and take up a lot of volume. I try to get a twofer out of everything I design, so my idea for these square tubing ribs is to also utilize them as housings for U-shaped "outrigger" sliders. These sliders will deploy 48" out the side of the truck and, with a couple pieces of honeycomb panels, will help create a 4'x12' deck off the side of the truck. Here is a solid model screencapture of the outrigger sliders (white) nested into the subframe ribs (grey).

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Seen above, the sliders will be isolated from rattling around in the subframe tubing using a UHMW guide track on the bottom (dark blue) and 2 UHMW edge cap on the top (light blue).
The sliders will be pinned in place using retractable spring plungers like the one seen below.

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The UHMW components have arrived but the guide track needed its bottom corners radiused in order for them to slip inside the subframe tubing.

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I set up my table router with the appropriate roundover bit and spent an hour making plastic snow. The results will hopefully prove adequate.

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With the addition of the deployable deck along with an appropriately sized awning, the livable floorspace of Lowly's habitat will increase by roughly 40%. Here's to hoping it works as intended!

- Sheik
 

joeblack5

Member
Nice work, uhmw expands 5 times as fast as steel , do not try to maintain high tolerances. How are you keeping sand out of the bearing surfaces?

Good luck
Johan
 
Nice work, uhmw expands 5 times as fast as steel , do not try to maintain high tolerances. How are you keeping sand out of the bearing surfaces?

Good luck
Johan
Thanks for the reminder on the differences in coefficients of thermal expansion between the two materials. I plan on providing quite a bit of slop between the aluminum sliders and the UHMW track. The track will be a slip fit inside the steel tubing at average ambient temps and be held in with fasteners.

These assemblies will be open ended so there is high probability of sand/grit contamination between surfaces. Hopefully the sloppy tolerances will reduce/eliminate binding and an occasional slider removal and water rinse or compressed air blow-off should provide adequate to keep all in operating condition. Trying to keep it as simple as possible!

- Sheik
 
Had the pleasure of hosting the Vermonster and its occupants Jon and Heather for a night as they made their way thru to visit the Redwoods. So glad to meet up with other people who have equally crazy ideas as us. We just wish we were as quick in the conversion process as they were! They did a fantastic job on the Vermonster; definitely something to aspire to on our build. Looking forward to meeting up with them again in the future (hopefully at some remote backcountry spot while traveling in a fully kitted out and completed Lowly).

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- Sheik
 
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