O'erlanderwagen build

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
The goal is to add more offroad ability while maintaining onroad viability (no loud mud tires, excessive weight, etc).

potential ideas include a minor body lift (unlikely) http://www.gfg-shop.de/shop/product_info.php?info=p352_-Bodylift--40mm.html
and/or some kind of suspension modification http://www.gfg-shop.de/shop/product_info.php?info=p1023_-FOX---Racingshocks.html
- i like these fox shocks but the lack of info out there on this mod is always a risk.
I've been really happy with my BFG AT's; very quiet actually, no different than a regular car tire.

Fox info; http://www.benzworld.org/forums/g-class/1629977-new-orc-springs-fox-racing-shox.html
After hearing the susp geometry changes he now wants to make, I'm glad I went with OEM HD springs and Koni's (~1" lift over stock....bit less lift than the Fox's it appears), as I haven't seen a need for any geometry changes.
 

Jwestpro

Explorer
Many of the G55's were the same 722.6 tranny as I have. This 5spd is very strong and been around for a long time. I believe those with the 7spd auto's were having some issues, at least in the GL's?
Side exhaust of a G55 would get in the way
As I understand the years, the G55 has never had the 7 spd transmission found in the GL. The 550 G 2009-2012 did though.

The G55 2005-last year of it, 2011, had the 5 spd.

With 2012, they both (G550 and G63) went to 7 spd but they are not the same either, the AMG gets the "speed shift plus" from AMG of course.

I just sat in a 2013 G550 and the dash stuff is a big departure from previous models. The new factory receiver is well integrated too.
 

Jwestpro

Explorer
57”W x 83”L x 59”H (open) for the medium as I have. Yes, at 6' tall, I barely fit. They do have extra long which is 9" longer, and also Small and Large widths too. Of course carbon fiber if you fancy as well (if I could have found a used Carbon instead, I would have sprung for it).
ARB Series3 Simpson is 55" wide x 94" long x 51" high comparatively, so a bit longer yes, but a smidge narrower and less headroom.
However, I went with a fiberglass RTT as when it rains, it's far less likely that my canvas sides will get wet, whereas the ARB/EeziAwn/etc canvas will get soaked, and then you have to put it away wet = greater chance for mold. Plus, my RTT is a whole lot more aerodynamic than the canvas "bricks." It would be nice to have a covered changing room underneath, but I can honestly make the same by having some sides made for my Fiamma F35 (TacoDoc has all the measurements already).

I have the ARB version 3. There are pros and cons. I'm curious about your height claim, 59"??? Are you sure? < edit: I later realized his tent is the tall A-frame shaped Autohome, not the square/flat top version that is much shorter > Maybe that's underside to top outside but not inside floor to ceiling? The photos don't do it justice if this is true. I have not felt like mine is too short but if I could almost stand up inside a 59", that's would be useful for changing in privacy at a campground or bike race, etc.

As for the covered entry, under-space created, that's what I like about the ARB but I think I saw an awning attachment for the Autohomes that essentially gives you a covered sloped awning space too. The one thing the Autohome can't do is be smaller in closed footprint. The ARB when closed up uses about 1/2 the footprint which allows other things to be on the rack, if desired.

The rain thing.... these are really best for dry environments obviously, but not all of us outdoor people live only in dry places. While we had nearly 4 months of zero rain this past summer, it started raining a couple weeks ago and will now rain every few days at least a little until June ! So, on the wet tent thing, my ARB will in my opinion, weather a storm better, however there is a lot more surface area that will then be wet, and there's the over-fly too. Your clam shell design will get wet sides of course, but not the roof or as much material will be wet.

The Autohome is MUCH easier to open or close though. It takes several minutes just to unzip the cover on my ARB, then 15-20 minutes for full set up with window awnings out, etc. Another 15 to install the annex below the covered area. The annex is really cool space creation though and when set up beside the vehicle, the doors can all still be opened because the ladder is about 45" away from side.

Pros and cons, but they are both great to use. I do think the Autohome is a lot faster to set up for the quick overnight and morning departure though. My ARB is more of a set up and stay a few nights sort of deal.

You don't think my ARB is "aerodynamic" ? ?!!! ;)
 
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mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
I have the ARB version 3. There are pros and cons. I'm curious about your height claim, 59"??? Are you sure? Maybe that's underside to top outside but not inside floor to ceiling? The photos don't do it justice if this is true. I have not felt like mine is too short but if I could almost stand up inside a 59", that's would be useful for changing in privacy at a campground or bike race, etc.

As for the covered entry, under-space created, that's what I like about the ARB but I think I saw an awning attachment for the Autohomes that essentially gives you a covered sloped awning space too. The one thing the Autohome can't do is be smaller in closed footprint. The ARB when closed up uses about 1/2 the footprint which allows other things to be on the rack, if desired.

The rain thing.... these are really best for dry environments obviously, but not all of us outdoor people live only in dry places. While we had nearly 4 months of zero rain this past summer, it started raining a couple weeks ago and will now rain every few days at least a little until June ! So, on the wet tent thing, my ARB will in my opinion, weather a storm better, however there is a lot more surface area that will then be wet, and there's the over-fly too. Your clam shell design will get wet sides of course, but not the roof or as much material will be wet.

The Autohome is MUCH easier to open or close though. It takes several minutes just to unzip the cover on my ARB, then 15-20 minutes for full set up with window awnings out, etc. Another 15 to install the annex below the covered area. The annex is really cool space creation though and when set up beside the vehicle, the doors can all still be opened because the ladder is about 45" away from side.

Pros and cons, but they are both great to use. I do think the Autohome is a lot faster to set up for the quick overnight and morning departure though. My ARB is more of a set up and stay a few nights sort of deal.

You don't think my ARB is "aerodynamic" ? ?!!! ;)
Hey Jim,

59" was from ARB's site, although they mentioned 3 sizes as well, and it wasn't clear which size the main specs were in regards to.

Very true on the Autohome being simple to raise/lower. It literally takes me less than 1minute to pop mine, lock the 2 gas shocks, and be in my sleeping bag. A few more minutes to close it all up and make sure the fabric is tucked into the shell.

PS--sell that LR3 and get a G already!! :elkgrin:
 

shaggag

New member
I've been really happy with my BFG AT's; very quiet actually, no different than a regular car tire.

Fox info; http://www.benzworld.org/forums/g-class/1629977-new-orc-springs-fox-racing-shox.html
After hearing the susp geometry changes he now wants to make, I'm glad I went with OEM HD springs and Koni's (~1" lift over stock....bit less lift than the Fox's it appears), as I haven't seen a need for any geometry changes.
that is a great consideration. how would you characterize the on road and off road performance of the Koni Raid HT's and OEM Red3stripe front springs and Brown2stripe rear springs now that you've been able to put a few miles on them?

and for the record, i was able to have the Falken Wild Peaks (285/60 18) installed this week and they're great if anyone was thinking about trying them.
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
that is a great consideration. how would you characterize the on road and off road performance of the Koni Raid HT's and OEM Red3stripe front springs and Brown2stripe rear springs now that you've been able to put a few miles on them?

and for the record, i was able to have the Falken Wild Peaks (285/60 18) installed this week and they're great if anyone was thinking about trying them.
Definitely firm, but poised on the road. Off pavement it's actually very comfortable, probably because it's the G's home ground, and this is with still running street pressures(45psi). If I were to lower tire pressures for longer trips off pavement, the ride would be even more comfy.
The amount of extra payload I can carry thanks to this susp is important to me, and beyond the 1" lift, is why after doing a lot of research on ClubG and P3, I went with the red/brown's(red/white's was my 2nd option but many said that white's without much weight in the back would be a bit harsh). My G currently weighs in at 6400lbs.
 

inkblotz

New member
....

I was disappointed that Bilstein didn't have anything beefier off the shelf. ORC has some built Bilstein's, but I couldn't find anyone else running them so decided to try the Koni's.
....
RE the Bilsteins. I was disappointed with the Bilsteins as well. I contacted them and they re-valved the shocks to my specifications for free. Lifetime warranty still in effect. Their high performance facility in California did the re-valving.

Mark
 

LaOutbackTrail

Adventure Photographer
Pardon my criticism, but I just went through this thread hoping to see some pics of this truck being used... but only saw one photo. Do you have any pictures (off-site galleries perhaps?) of your "O'erlanderwagen" doing the deed? I mean, that is the reason why you're pouring so much money into such an exquisite vehicle, right? To use it overlanding?

(please note that I have some sort of "issue," similar to tourrette's syndrome, which essentially prevents me from typing or talking without sounding like a smart ***, and I mean no offense!)
 
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mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
RE the Bilsteins. I was disappointed with the Bilsteins as well. I contacted them and they re-valved the shocks to my specifications for free. Lifetime warranty still in effect. Their high performance facility in California did the re-valving.

Mark
Were these ORC's Bilstein's Mark?
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
Pardon my criticism, but I just went through this thread hoping to see some pics of this truck being used... but only saw one photo. Do you have any pictures (off-site galleries perhaps?) of your "O'erlanderwagen" doing the deed? I mean, that is the reason why you're pouring so much money into such an exquisite vehicle, right? To use it overlanding?

(please note that I have some sort of "issue," similar to tourrette's syndrome, which essentially prevents me from typing or talking without sounding like a smart ***, and I mean no offense!)
In the few months I've had the truck more complete, I've made it to the Oregon Dunes Nat'l Rec Area a few times. The beadlocks/ARB EZ deflator/compressor work great. Also, ExPo's WA Overland Rally which was mild. Few pics;
photo04-vi.jpg
photo05-vi.jpg
DSC1508-vi.jpg
DSC1513-vi.jpg
DSC1523-vi.jpg

Done some scouting for future dispersed spots as well, but didn't take any pics of the trips. I know, less trips overall than I envisioned this year, and nothing uber remote yet(I have many on my list and am now better equipped with some needed materials for those kinds of trips). Summer's are really busy for my business(ie events on the weekends = no time to travel) so still hoping to get out at least one more time before year's end. I tried to put together a SE Oregon/Hart Mtn/Alvord Desert trip with some local G's and Rover's, some on the way to Death Valley, but no one would commit. Maybe next year. Ended up at Brown's Camp last weekend with some Cruiser's/buggies, but left my rig at home as we just fixed my lockers today(so happy they're back to functioning as designed--vacuum leak) so I probably will at least head out and do some exploring this weekend. One Euro-inspired pic from Saturday;
530925_10151151662736309_351504215_n.jpg

I'll try snow camping for the first time this winter so we'll see how that goes.

I'll update the thread with pics of trips as they happen.
 

LaOutbackTrail

Adventure Photographer
Thanks! Really, I just wanted to see the G put to good use! :)

This looks like an amazing campsite!

Not that I'll be up that way any time soon, where is it?
 

mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
Thanks! Really, I just wanted to see the G put to good use! :)

This looks like an amazing campsite!

Not that I'll be up that way any time soon, where is it?
More pics to come for sure. I don't want to disappoint you. :)

Wow that WAS an amazing campsite. It's up at Wenatchee Lake in WA. For anyone heading up that way, PM me and I'll give you more specifics. The site had a direct view of the snowy peak(seen above my hood in pic), and was on this jetty surrounded by trees which made it our own little private paradise. Direct access to the lake of course for canoeing(camp host graciously loaned us his). The best part was actually watching the wave of a red ant colony march around the fire pit, infiltrate a black ant colony, capture their unborn(to make them future slaves), then transport them back to the red ant colony where other black ants(slaves) were helping direct the red ant troops into their home. Nature is just astonishing.

PS--Fantastic article by Scott here, soooo true(keep in mind my biggest gripe with my G is my 13mpg average)! http://www.expeditionportal.com/vehicules/58-other/1599-want-to-buy-a-defender-of-70-series-in-north-america.html
 

otiswesty

Regular guy
Nope, just the proper size/offset wheel; 16x7.5" 37et Hutchie. Perfect fit w/o any spacers! :chef:

PS--did you sell your Tectite G yet? How's the blue one? We need to take a snow trip!
Yes, the Tectite G 500 went right away to a colleague of mine.
The Blue G5c is almost done. It has been a fun and easy project with alot of future potential.
Here is a pic camping by the Imnaha River last summer on a trip with the old Westy.
 

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mk216v

Der Chef der Fahrzeuge
Yes, the Tectite G 500 went right away to a colleague of mine.
The Blue G5c is almost done. It has been a fun and easy project with alot of future potential.
Here is a pic camping by the Imnaha River last summer on a trip with the old Westy.
Awesome.
G5C? Do tell more...!
No pic Doc. :(
 

otiswesty

Regular guy
Picure

Yes, the Tectite G 500 went right away to a colleague of mine.
The Blue G5c is almost done. It has been a fun and easy project with alot of future potential.
Here is a pic camping by the Imnaha River last summer on a trip with the old Westy.
The pea green love machine got out for a bit too
 

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