Mercedes-Benz 917 AF Renovation.


Hi Ian

Guess not.

I will get to it one day, i have thousands of photos, i just need to go through them and try to remember what and why i did things.

Its amazing how quickly you forget your rationale behind decisions.

Catch up soon



The box is made up of two and a half inch thick foam with a quarter inch plywood and fiberglass skin inside and out. It is incredibly strong. It is attached to a steel sub frame which is bolted directly to the vehicle chassis. No springs, no bushings, nothing, direct attachment with no allowance for frame twist. After 270 000km there is no sign of any failure in the chassis or box./QUOTE]

Just thought it was worth repeating. Im hoping to start on my truck next year and I keep agonizing over 3pt vs 4pt vs springs. And along comes Joe's truck with a Quarter Million KMs and doing great.

Sorry for the hijack. Truck looks great, congrats :victory:



I am also interested in what the finished weights are, we converted 917 and have ended up over 7.5t when loaded with kit, fuel, water and bike. Highest I have got is 8250 kgs. frustrating as 7500kgs is a the limit for my wife to drive it!
If only I hadn't used all that inch hard wood flooring!!


I am just under 9000 kg fully topped up. Truck is registered GVW 94000 kg.
I will update soon, however the house is sold and we have to get everything ready for the road. The truck hits the paint shop this week end, I am well and truly sick of the prep work!


Thanks for all the comments. One of the many things I have discovered here is I am not a blogger! We are hitting the road Monday going south. We plan to stay just ahead of the snow.
The truck is finally complete! I will update more (I really will) but as you can imagine things are quite hectic before a long departure. Air bags sorted, new paint job and a hundred little jobs done.IMG_1272.JPG


Right now we are in Hot Springs Ar, it is raining and we have good internet so its update time!
I will finish with the build and then go on to our experience with the truck.
I cut all connections between the truck and cabin electrical systems, then removed the old battery charger (only 10 amp), the security system and the computer that controlled all the cabin circuits. I disconnected all circuits and then retraced all wiring. The old wiring was poorly fused and connected, often just pulling on a wire to trace it would separate a joint.
With new Blue sea 230v breaker panels and a 12v fuse panel and a ton of connectors, switches, heat shrink etc I went to work.
The house batteries are 4 Trojan T145 6v , wired to give 12v, 520 Ah. all battery connection and connections to the Magnum 230v inverter were required to be 4/0 cable. Very difficult to work with and each connector has to be at the correct angle so all cables must be built on site. I used an excellent ratchet crimper from FTZ, I would highly recommend it.
All dc connections connect after the main shut off, after the shunt or at a post connected to chassis ground. All wires are fused appropriately.
The main system consists of:
Magnum 2700 w /125 amp inverter/charger
Suresine 115v. 300w
630 watts solar, Morningstar MPPT60
Stirling 24/12 battery to battery charger (the only connection between truck and cabin)
Trimetric 2015 battery monitor
4kw generator
24v portable emergency battery charger


Now for our experiences with the truck.
With the interior complete it is very comfortable inside (although not as palatial as Perky Mog)
rv bath.jpgrv bed.jpg
The double X-long mattress is great and even though we had a king before there is plenty of room. The bed is up high and has windows on 3 sides so ventilation is more than adequate.
The bathroom is a huge success. The water heated towel bar heats the room quickly and makes it a lot more easy to conserve water. 28"x48" is plenty of room. The toilet, a Natures Head composting toilet has more than lived up to its advertizing. The only smell we get is the occasional urine whiff. The urine tank must be dumped every 3 days, the compost must be renewed every 3-5 weeks. I will never deal with blackwater or a cassettte again.
The cabin electrical system is working as planned. Just over a month ago I removed the fuse for the battery-battery charger to see how the solar would perform on its own. We have only failed to recharge completely once in all that time so the fuse will stay out until needed, why burn diesel to turn the alternator when solar does the job?
The truck itself is fun to drive although very slow and quite harsh off road. We have had a few air line failures and a rad hose leak(clamp) but all non critical and easily fixed. The belts for the compressor/power steering are still squealing even after replacement. I will have to get someone to look at them.
The big problem was the starter. When the truck got hot (80C) the starter would not work. long story short, $1100 starter and 3 days on the side of the road problem fixed.starterchange.jpgnew starter.jpg
Note the great workbench the tires make!
Fuel economy. I was expecting 15mpg, our first tank gave 13mpg. Our second gave only 10 but we did use the Webasto a lot. The next tank was worse, we got down to 6mpg in Florida and I stopped doing the math, but did keep track of use. A few weeks ago I noticed we had done over 10000km according to the gps but only 7000km according to the odometer. I have now seen the odometer stick for over 10 min at a time. Last tank was 13mpg by the gps so not so bad.