MB Truck vs Unimog

beanmachine

New member
If you can bring a starter for a 1990 MB 917 AF, VIN: WDB 676 182 153 570 00 (I am shotgunning all the usual suspects.)

At this point, we are planning to tow to OEXPO today. That will allow us to do our Saturday and Sunday presentations. They tell us we can remain on site until Wednesday, by which time we may have resolved more options.

Hopefully, we will see you there.

Twenty years with a US vehicle in Africa and South America and now I am busted flat in the US. :(


Oh, and horror of horrors, the milk brother broke - no cappuccino this morning. Beloved Spouse is NOT pleased. :oops:
DiploStrat,
So sorry about your troubles, but we saw that you did make it to expo. I don't have a starter but I brought a few of my favorite local to me brews I can bring by (if that's allowed, is that allowed? I'm a first timer). I know a good beer is sometimes the only immediate remedy.
If for some reason you want a USA registerable Unimog that can comfortably and relatively quietly cruise at 60mph (97kph), and is suitable for a camper, find and buy a U500NA. With proper options including EAS (electroautomatic shifting), long wheelbase, 33k GVW, CTIS, working gears, and at least H02 hydraulics. Hopefully with other useful options as well, like primary fuel filter/water separator.
I helped sell one here in Alaska this summer with all that stuff and very low mileage. I believe it sold for ~10% over new price, about $140k.
They are geared at 5.92 rather than 6.38, of course came with the UG100/8-9.57 gearbox with 0.736 8th gear.
So no need for expensive modifications. Portals hold 700ml; with temperature thermocouples it’s not too hard to monitor. Plus 14mm hex socket easily accessible to check fluid levels every 3-5k miles. Although I check anytime I see 2C difference between sides, or T>25-30C over ambient. You can also just check temperature with one of those Fluke IR “guns”.
Unfortunately, while we can probably afford that much, spending $100k+ on just the base vehicle would set us back a couple years getting on the road. As nice as the U500NA is, and it would be our first choice if we didn't have a budget it's just unreasonable for us now. We'll be selling our house and using the equity to build this truck and pay off all our debt.
Besides, other than CTIS, I actually prefer a standard transmission over the automated thing. I just think it has all the disadvantages of a manual but none of the advantages of an automatic.

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DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
DiploStrat,
So sorry about your troubles, but we saw that you did make it to expo. I don't have a starter but I brought a few of my favorite local to me brews I can bring by (if that's allowed, is that allowed? I'm a first timer). I know a good beer is sometimes the only immediate remedy....


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As it turns out, EVERYBODY will see our broken truck. They just won't see that it is broken. :D (Our parking spot was determined by the size of the three axle tow truck. Nice Volvo, BTW - lovely cab.)

We are not beer drinkers, but have a variety of wines and can offer a faux Irish coffee, should you wish to drop by after dinner. Had a lead on a starter that could be overnighted, but, alas, turned out to be the wrong model.

Looks like we will be towing back to DC on Tuesday to await a starter from Europe. The cat is not pleased, he had just gotten himself into travel mode.

 
DiploStrat,
So sorry about your troubles, but we saw that you did make it to expo. I don't have a starter but I brought a few of my favorite local to me brews I can bring by (if that's allowed, is that allowed? I'm a first timer). I know a good beer is sometimes the only immediate remedy.Unfortunately, while we can probably afford that much, spending $100k+ on just the base vehicle would set us back a couple years getting on the road. As nice as the U500NA is, and it would be our first choice if we didn't have a budget it's just unreasonable for us now. We'll be selling our house and using the equity to build this truck and pay off all our debt.
Besides, other than CTIS, I actually prefer a standard transmission over the automated thing. I just think it has all the disadvantages of a manual but none of the advantages of an automatic.
Or the opposite: no gooey torque converter; no need to use clutch pedal; no loss in mpg; just coast up to stoplight and use right foot pedal to go. I detest automatics with 3-5 mph crawl speed in 1st low range; I love my 0.5 mph crawl speed in 1st working gear.
 

beanmachine

New member
As it turns out, EVERYBODY will see our broken truck. They just won't see that it is broken. :D (Our parking spot was determined by the size of the three axle tow truck. Nice Volvo, BTW - lovely cab.)

We are not beer drinkers, but have a variety of wines and can offer a faux Irish coffee, should you wish to drop by after dinner. Had a lead on a starter that could be overnighted, but, alas, turned out to be the wrong model.

Looks like we will be towing back to DC on Tuesday to await a starter from Europe. The cat is not pleased, he had just gotten himself into travel mode.

What time do you consider dinner? As a southerner dinner is the noontime meal and supper is the evening meal, we will definitely stop by after supper for a bit of a chat.

Or the opposite: no gooey torque converter; no need to use clutch pedal; no loss in mpg; just coast up to stoplight and use right foot pedal to go. I detest automatics with 3-5 mph crawl speed in 1st low range; I love my 0.5 mph crawl speed in 1st working gear.
I'm only going on "internet knowledge" vs your actual knowledge. I thought you still had to clutch for every shift and the only thing the trans did was move the shift lever, that doesn't seem like an advantage but what you describe does sound useful. Alas, I doubt we'll be willing to wait long enough to save up the money to spend that much. We're in a position in our lives that we've both been itching to get on the road for years and are finally at the point to start now.

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DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
As a semi-southerner, I am aware of that usage. ;)

We were unimpressed by the food offerings, 30 minute wait for a hamburger that was so rare that we had to take it back and zap it. (The fish, which had run out, was reported to be much better. So we will probably go to the Happy Hour and then head back for a light supper at 1800. Any time after 1900 should be perfect. We have no beer, so BYOB.
 

beanmachine

New member
As a semi-southerner, I am aware of that usage. ;)

We were unimpressed by the food offerings, 30 minute wait for a hamburger that was so rare that we had to take it back and zap it. (The fish, which had run out, was reported to be much better. So we will probably go to the Happy Hour and then head back for a light supper at 1800. Any time after 1900 should be perfect. We have no beer, so BYOB.
We will also be visiting happy hour then leaving for a meal as we are interested in trying some more local places so we'll be after 19:00 for sure... Maybe we'll run into each other at happy hour, who knows

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Sitec

Adventurer
If you can bring a starter for a 1990 MB 917 AF, VIN: WDB 676 182 153 570 00 (I am shotgunning all the usual suspects.)
Hi fella. So, is the starter burnt out or is it just the solenoid pack? It might be worth pulling it off at the show and pulling it apart and see what has failed... It's got to come off anyway. Put a bolt in the heavy +ve wire with any others that are joined to it and then tape it up and cable tie it safely somewhere safe... Thenif the starter is not fixed, find a way of using an airline and get another truck to air you up an hour before you plan to leave. Tow start the truck and save the tilt tray fee. As long as the air is up, you can bump/tow start it. It's one of the reasons we've fitted an external air fill point. Just an idea! Good luck at the show, and sorry to the OP for the thread hijack! :)
 

Iain_U1250

Explorer
I'd also pull the start off and check the solenoid, it is just clicks and not turn over then its the solenoid contact, I had a one that was not set up properly and the contact got chewed out. Starter itself was fine. Files the black bits off with a steel file, (don't use sandpaper as it leaves carbide grit residue, which gets into the copper and then you will be back to square1 with a faulty contact ) Either way you will have to pull the starter motor out, so might as well give it a go, saves a tow truck.
 
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RoamIt

Active member
Just got back from Expo East, met Fred and his wife Denise. Very helpful, let me sit in their rig and we chatted about this and that on MB firetrucks. He did mention that he may be able to get the starter rebuilt. But it's his story to tell.
 

beanmachine

New member
Just got back from Expo East, met Fred and his wife Denise. Very helpful, let me sit in their rig and we chatted about this and that on MB firetrucks. He did mention that he may be able to get the starter rebuilt. But it's his story to tell.
We were supposed to drop by this morning, but didn't catch them and had to head back home early. Caught him after a talk on Saturday and he was a wealth of useful information.

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DiploStrat

Expedition Leader
For those following. We are home again with the lovely new starter. Just don't ask about the PITA that it is to replace it!

For those in the Charlottesville area, you need to know: https://a1towingandauto.net/ And, as a bonus, Agron has twenty-five years of experience working on old Euro trucks. Highly, highly recommended!
 

Bruce Lee

New member
Hi Bean

I also love Unimogs to drive, great fun, but something no-one has mentioned here is that they are very tall, which makes climbing in and out of the cab and the habitation a chore, travelling in the bush a pain and driving across inclines scary.

I have an 814 DA which is a bit too slow, but does what I need.

I think a truck is better suited to what you want. But whatever you get, being on the road is the thing!

Bruce
 
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