Meet the Trot'n Turtle - Unimog U1300L Build

ekibike

Member
Great looking truck! My wife and I may be importing a vehicle from Europe soon and we'd love to learn more about your experience with this process. Who was your shipper? How was it dealing with customs? Any other tips/info?

Thanks!
 

letgonow

New member
After reading through your Synchro build (3X) I can only say

THIS IS GONNA BE GREAT!

don't know how I missed the initial posting though, and the pics are not showing up today, but the video is?

Have aviation plans taken a back burner?
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Well been a while since I did an update. The last few months I've been driving the Mog quite a bit but haven't had a chance to get any work done on it. Last week I finally recieved the mounts for the troop bed that I've been waiting several months for. With the new parts in hand It's time to start getting the troop bed ready to install.

Here's the long awaited mounting brackets for the bed.




First up get the bed up in the air so I can get under it. The tractor is small but man is it handy!






Here's the damaged front mount that we will fix shortly. This mount was damaged when the fork lift operator pushed the bed off the pallets and on to the ground when we were picking the bed up at the shipping terminal.




One side mounted up. We used the original hardware for now but will replace it with new hardware when we paint the bed.




Next up fix the bend front mount. My father and I measured the undamaged rear mount and fabricated a spacer to install in the front mount so we could set the proper gap. Here we are fabricating the spacer block.








With both bolt on mounts installed we started repairing the bent front mount. We first heated and bent the rear tab straight again to use as a reference point then installed the spacer and went to work on the front tab.










Once clamped we heated the tabs once more and let them cool with the clamp set.




The mount came out right on the money and should fit up perfectly. Now to clean the area up and get it primed :)




All finished for today :)




More to come.

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Yeah building up the MOG instead of a plane for now....The cost to fun ratio is just to far in the wrong direction. Can't wait to get this project rolling.

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Got to play around with the Mog a bit today. Helped a guy today that's been trying to winch a vintage house up onto a trailer so he can skid it over to a different lot. He placed a couple telephone poles under the house and over the past couple weeks he's been using an electric winch to try and pull it up onto the trailer. He's moved it a few feet but the winch keeps stalling out. I offered to give him a hand with the Mog so this morning we gave it a shot. I've been wanting to try the winch out so this was a perfect chance to play :)

Arrived on site




Cover off the fairlead. This swivel fairlead is very well built!




His electric winch was able to get the house to this point. His plan is to pull the house as high up on the trailer as possible then drag the house on the skids resting under the house.




A look inside the house. It's a good fixer upper :)




Time to get the Mog set up, out come the winching chocks. These babies are stout!








The guy had a home brew snatch block set up with a open sheeve so we looped the cable through the middle and anchored it to the trailer.




Winch brakes set and the house easily moved up the timbers. We used both winches at the same time, although we finished with just the Mog winch.









After winching the house up onto the skids we hooked the mog to the trailer and tried to pull it forward on the skids....The mog just spun it's tires lol. The owner will get a piece of heavier equipment to finish the job. Here the house is up on the skids and ready for something bigger than the Mog to move it to it's new home. :)




Quick video of today's fun. You can see the hydraulic pressure on the winch jumping up and down as the building lurched forward.


Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Swapped out the beds today.....Finally!! I talked with a guy who owns a large fork lift and he agreed to help me out on the bed swap, he was available today so we decided to make it happen.

First up....Mike and I disconnect the tail lights and start unbolting the RW1 box.




Mike removing the bolts on the center mount, lots of room to work under this baby!






I'll have to fabricate some new mounts to reuse the fenders and tail lights on the troop bed.




Setting up to pull the RW1 box, we played with a few different ways to attach the straps.








Driving the bushings out of the front and rear mount.




And getting ready to pull the box. The box pulled a little crooked due to setting the straps to clear the aluminum rain gutter at the top of the doors. Everything under the bed cleared so we just went ahead with the lift rather than messing with the straps again.




And the box is free from the truck! We had placed a couple pieces of OSB behind the cab as a barrier in case the box decided to play tag with the cab.






With the box free I moved the truck into the shop to get it out of the way for now.




Dad checking out the underside of the truck. Super clean other than some dust.




Moving the RW1 bed off to the side in preparation for the troop bed install.



And its new home for now....anyone need to buy a RW1 box in excellent cond?






The troop bed went on nice and smooth, a lot easier to install the troop bed than remove the RW1 bed. A bit of alignment with a pry bar/2x4 and the bed dropped right into place.








And back in the shop. Now to fabricate some mounts for the fenders and tail lights, get the bolts back on the bed mounts and then move onto fabrication of bumpers etc. Can't wait!




Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Got up today with plans to bolt up the bed and start fabricating mounts for the fenders, but it didn't go down exactly that way lol.

First up decided to install the bushings and bolts on the front and rear pivot mounts. Started with some metal shims to lift/align the holes to install the bushings. The fit is very tight and the alignment has to be right on the money to get the bushings installed.




One of the bushings. There is a bushing on each side of the pivot mount.




Bushing Installed.




When we removed the RW1 box we had to cut the rear bolt in half to remove it from the mount, it was installed from the rear and was trapped by the rear frame/hitch mount. Rather than remove a LOT of bolts to get it clear we just cut the bolt. Luckily the local bolt supply shop had a metric replacement in stock.






Rear bolt installed.




After messing with the shims to level the rear mount I got smart and brought out the Porta-Power.....Sooooo much easier. Here the front mount is pinned. Enter the next problem.




So the troop bed I picked up is off a U1350L and it came without the middle mounting brackets. I received the mounting brackets a few months later and bolted them up to the bed. Now with the bed mounted and the front and rear pivot points pinned the center mounts were about 3/4" to high and wouldn't seat all the way down. At first I thought I had the wrong center mounts, then I went out and looked at the mounts on the RW1 box. The center mounts on the RW1 box are about 3/4" lower than the front and rear pivot mounts, the mounts on the troop bed are all close to even.....Hmmmm.

That leaves us with a couple options, either extend the center mounts (lots of work) or lower the front and rear pivot mounts until the center mounts rest fully down. A quick search on google showed that the brace that bridges the frame where the pivot attaches is different on the troop bed than mine. The RW1 box is made by Wackenhut and it looks like they supplied the front and rear braces as well, which turns out to be at a different height than the Mercedes unit.




Here's a shot of the front brace, the tab on the end of the brace that mates with the frame is off centered by a 1/2". We flipped the braces over and pinned the bed in again which lowered the bed some, better but still to high on the center mounts.




Time to modify the two braces to match the stock troop bed height. We will remove the tabs and relocate them so the center mounts sit fully seated.




In the vise and ready to remove the mounting tabs.




Porta-Band made quick work of removing the tabs




Shimmed the tabs to the required height and tacked them in place.




Required difference between the stock and modified mounts.




At this point the tabs are just tacked in place, we installed both braces in the truck and verified the correct fit on the center mounts then removed them again to fully welded them up. Fit is right on the money, center mounts seat nicely now. We also loosened all the bolts slightly on the center mounts so we can square everything up.






With the fit verified it's time to weld the tabs in place. My father getting ready to perform his magic!






And the tabs securely back in place. Will paint the braces then get them installed and hopefully move on to mounting the fenders and taillights soon :)



Hodakaguy
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Got up this morning and bolted up/aligned the bed, now on to the fender mounts. Of course the fenders off the RW1 box are different than the Military fenders that was used on the troop bed, more mods :). We discussed a couple options for mounting and ultimately decided to fabricate some adapters and use the stock troop bed mount bolts. Eventually I would like to change the rear fenders out for the round units and this will allow me to easily unbolt these and install the round units once I source a pair.

Fabricating the parts for the adapters, there is also a few parts in the mix for the supports that we are going to need to modify.






Welded up




Painted and Installed. We used a few washers to shim the mount for an exact fit as the bed is slightly tapered here.




And one side bolted in place. We could have trimmed the fenders down and raised them up into the bed to help close the gaps on the corners but I thought the fenders would then be to high overall. We will fabricate some corner pieces to give the fenders a finished appearance. Still have to modify and install the fender braces as well.



Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Great work. What are your plans for the camper portion?
.
Jack
Right now I'm thinking about running a Four Wheel Camper on the back, one that I can share with our other truck as well. I really want to be able to easily remove the camper and have a flat bed truck when I'm not using it for camping.

Hodakaguy
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Time to get the fender mounts finished up!

Now that the fenders are mounted the supports need to be modified as well. My helper heating up the support in preparation for a bend .




Supports are in place.




Next up mount the storage box on the bed so I can see how far out I need to build the tail light brackets. After holding the box up in place we found that one of the box mounts interferes with my newly fabbed fender support. I cut the offending mounting tab off the box and will make a new mounting tab to clear the fender support later.




And mounted




Here's the gap at the top of the fenders that need to be filled in, when they were on the RW1 box they looked flush and you didn't see the gap.




Here's the paper pattern, we will use this to cut the steel pieces to fill in the gaps. I'll get some 1/16 steel and form the pieces soon, will look a lot better with them in place.








After the fender work I decided to mount up the fresh air intake filter that I've had in the parts drawer for a while now. This filter will keep the fine dust out of the cab when running the heater blower.

The fresh air intake for the cab.




The intake is set up for the optional factory filter assy, you just need to drill out the two mounting holes.






Installing the filter support bracket. The bracket goes behind the plastic and is inserted through the opening into the fan area, it's slightly larger than the opening and has a little spring to it but needs the help of some channel locks to slip it in place.






Heavy duty air filter. Should help when out in the deserts of NV.




And all mounted up.





Hodakaguy
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
Right now I'm thinking about running a Four Wheel Camper on the back, one that I can share with our other truck as well. I really want to be able to easily remove the camper and have a flat bed truck when I'm not using it for camping.

Hodakaguy
Sounds like a plan. Should have plenty of room to but storage boxes all around the 4WC.

Time to get the fender mounts finished up!

After the fender work I decided to mount up the fresh air intake filter that I've had in the parts drawer for a while now. This filter will keep the fine dust out of the cab when running the heater blower.

The fresh air intake for the cab.

The intake is set up for the optional factory filter assy, you just need to drill out the two mounting holes.

Heavy duty air filter. Should help when out in the deserts of NV.




And all mounted up.





Hodakaguy
That's brilliant! I put the cabin filter on my Chevy and what a difference it makes. The interior stays spotless during our desert travels and well pretty much always now. I love it.
.
Jack
 

Hodakaguy

Adventurer
Time to get the tail lights installed so I can drive this puppy again. I looked at several options for mounting the lights and ultimately decided to mount them directly to the bed. I like the looks of the lights mounted in this location and they will be well protected by the boxes that will be mounted in front of them.

First up remove this mounting bracket that I have no use for.






Fabricating the parts for the tail light brackets






Got temporarily side tracked here and mounted up the larger box on the drivers side :)




Ok.......back to fabricating on the brackets. Making everything out of 1/4" steel, should be plenty strong.




And all welded up.






Mounting plates welded on the under side of the bed. The lights will bolt to the bed, eventually I'll upgrade the lights to LED units and fabricate new bolt on mounts at that time.




Test fitting the brackets












Now to get the brackets painted and run the wiring. I have plans for a license plate mount but will wait until I get the drivers side rear box mounted.


More progress tomorrow.

Hodakaguy
 
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