Presentation and looking for a chassis

Link_cat

New member
Good morning to all,

After a long time of reading and reading the forum as a guest I decided to register and introduce myself.

I'm Link (obviously a nickname), I'm from Barcelona (Catalonia) and currently I have a renault trafic camper.



The van has become too small for us and we are thinking of travelling for long periods or even years. After reading two books about overland (How to Build the Ultimate Overland Adventure Vehicle and Motorhome self-build and optimisation) and we'd like to go for an old MB with no electronics. We are looking at 1017a or 1222a with fast axles. We are open to other possibilities, if you have any suggestions we would appreciate it very much!

We would like to spend over 20.000€ between the chassis, torsion frame and "empty" cell. In a few days we leave for the abenteuer allrad to get ideas.

The idea is a cell of 5,4-5,6 meters. The most experts, how do you see it? Too big?

Greetings and see you around!
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Hi Link. Welcome! I'd say you are well on your way to knowing what you want. Having read those two books and settled on an older Mercedes as a vehicle choice is a very good start. Now it's a case of finding the right truck. There are several good threads on here that are well worth the read through. People seem to have a range from 917, 1017's, 1617's and 1222's in the 4x4 truck options. I went with a 1222a because it is a truck I know, and I was lucky enough to find one in Australia. They have the bigger cab, and some have the hub reduction rear axle which is heavy but bullet proof. Mine has the later V6 diesel (which can be built to give anywhere from 200hp to 340hp). It has high range, low range and diff locks front and rear. Neil (Cloud 9) has an ex army 1017 with the straight 6 diesel which I believe is better on fuel. He has done big kms around the world and will be a fountain of information on his choice. Simon and Joan are running a 917 4x4 and are currently here in Australia. They are on Facebook and travel under the name of 'Traveling Babo'. They too will be happy to chat.

I'd be thinking hard on where you actually plan to go and how far off road you will be/want to be. The reason I say this is because temptation is to buy a short 'beefy' chassis, fit big 'off road' tyres and then never really utilize them. Will you take your 12 tonne home deep off road when you are miles from anywhere and traveling alone...? I worked for a UK company who runs a fleet of Mercedes Overland trucks in Africa and South America. I was lucky enough to do several years in Africa behind the wheel of 1617's and 2421's. These trucks were 4x2 and 6x4. They were on standard 11R 22.5 tyres and we went pretty well everywhere (beaches, tracks, game parks the lot). This is the reason I now have a 1222A on 315/80 R22.5's. They are a pretty standard tyre, and can be interchanged with an 11 R22.5, which can be bought cheaply anywhere in the world. Our living body is 6m long, 2.5m wide and 2.2m tall. I've gone for more length over height as I personally prefer a longer more stable truck. The length never posed an issue in Africa (even with the bigger 6 wheelers at over 8m long). I like having the option of 4x4 for those 'uh oh' moments where you are in some soft or loose ground and need that 'get out of jail' card. Make good use of this forum section and ask lots of questions, sketch out or mock up an area or plan so you know what you want and what space you can cope with. Read all the relevant threads on here to give you ideas, and most importantly, go find and drive each truck that is in your choice list. It's taken me several years to come up with my layout, and will take me another few to complete the build. As I go I discover new things, alter things slightly etc. I have taken lots of advice and ideas from the good folk on here and hopefully I've given some a few ideas and pointers too. Good luck in your quest. Take your time (hard tho that is) and pick the right vehicle for your needs. Cheers for now, Simon. (pic attached of Drago 4x4 Merc with 6m body in the depths of Africa).

516339
 

Link_cat

New member
Hi Link. Welcome! I'd say you are well on your way to knowing what you want. Having read those two books and settled on an older Mercedes as a vehicle choice is a very good start. Now it's a case of finding the right truck. There are several good threads on here that are well worth the read through. People seem to have a range from 917, 1017's, 1617's and 1222's in the 4x4 truck options. I went with a 1222a because it is a truck I know, and I was lucky enough to find one in Australia. They have the bigger cab, and some have the hub reduction rear axle which is heavy but bullet proof. Mine has the later V6 diesel (which can be built to give anywhere from 200hp to 340hp). It has high range, low range and diff locks front and rear. Neil (Cloud 9) has an ex army 1017 with the straight 6 diesel which I believe is better on fuel. He has done big kms around the world and will be a fountain of information on his choice. Simon and Joan are running a 917 4x4 and are currently here in Australia. They are on Facebook and travel under the name of 'Traveling Babo'. They too will be happy to chat.

I'd be thinking hard on where you actually plan to go and how far off road you will be/want to be. The reason I say this is because temptation is to buy a short 'beefy' chassis, fit big 'off road' tyres and then never really utilize them. Will you take your 12 tonne home deep off road when you are miles from anywhere and traveling alone...? I worked for a UK company who runs a fleet of Mercedes Overland trucks in Africa and South America. I was lucky enough to do several years in Africa behind the wheel of 1617's and 2421's. These trucks were 4x2 and 6x4. They were on standard 11R 22.5 tyres and we went pretty well everywhere (beaches, tracks, game parks the lot). This is the reason I now have a 1222A on 315/80 R22.5's. They are a pretty standard tyre, and can be interchanged with an 11 R22.5, which can be bought cheaply anywhere in the world. Our living body is 6m long, 2.5m wide and 2.2m tall. I've gone for more length over height as I personally prefer a longer more stable truck. The length never posed an issue in Africa (even with the bigger 6 wheelers at over 8m long). I like having the option of 4x4 for those 'uh oh' moments where you are in some soft or loose ground and need that 'get out of jail' card. Make good use of this forum section and ask lots of questions, sketch out or mock up an area or plan so you know what you want and what space you can cope with. Read all the relevant threads on here to give you ideas, and most importantly, go find and drive each truck that is in your choice list. It's taken me several years to come up with my layout, and will take me another few to complete the build. As I go I discover new things, alter things slightly etc. I have taken lots of advice and ideas from the good folk on here and hopefully I've given some a few ideas and pointers too. Good luck in your quest. Take your time (hard tho that is) and pick the right vehicle for your needs. Cheers for now, Simon. (pic attached of Drago 4x4 Merc with 6m body in the depths of Africa).
Wow! First of all, thank you for the time you took to reply! The world of overland trucks is very small and sometimes it is difficult to find first hand information!

About offroad/onroad use, I'm not especially interested in offroading, we would like to be able to go through bad roads but without complicating ourselves at all. Some sites recommend a box less than 6m long, I'm between 5.4 and 6m, I really like the following distribution (but maybe without the central sofa, include a door to communicate with the cabin and put the shower close to the bathroom)

516407

I've also seen the @smontic (also i bought his ebook) truck and I really like the layout, including the door between the chassis and the box. I don't know if for -10 tons would be possible. For now i will start to look all the forums threats, thanks again to read me! Get in touch!
 
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Sitec

Adventurer
Hi Link. No problem at all. That is what we are all here for. Idea sharing. It's interesting that you've found that layout picture. It was the first that I found and liked. So much so we have based our plan roughly on it! :)

517095

This is a scale drawing based on our 6m long by 2.5m wide body. We are building in cab access, compost toilet, chest fridge/freeser x 2, seperate shower etc. We have also gone for 2 separate single beds with a central infill as we both have different mattress preferences. If you are not going for serious off road, then length is ok. Keep researching and make every decision wisely.
 

Neil

Observer
Wise and Sound advice from Simon.

There is no such thing as a stupid question so never hesitate to ask.

Every one of us has been at the stage you are now.

Remember there are many ways to do things and all of them are right if it works for you.

Good luck and enjoy this exciting stage, the path gets bumper along the way

Neil
 

pairospam

Observer
Just to say welcome to this particular world.

The 1719A looks pretty good to me according to your perspectives, but you are the only one to be certain. Seems it had suffered more from sun exposure than heavy work. The advantage of being in Europe is that you can find spares more easily if you want to make it not only functional but beautifully restored. Make sure those 45.000 km are real and that it has not been driven through the time machine, though.

Good luck with your project.


Pairoa
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Hi guys! What do you think about this?

Is a 1719A , maybe is so heavy and takes a lot of fuel! Before ask to the seller about the engine and the axles, what do you think? It's a good option to start?

Hi Link. I can see you are on a mission to find a truck. As Pairoa said, you are in the right place to look for something. Re the 1719A, I like it... but there a few things I can see that you should consider. First, I think it will have the early OM 421 V6. These never sounded brilliant, and didn't like to be thrashed, so you'd want the 'fast axles' on it or you'll be flat out at 90kmh. The later OM 441 sounds quite different, and I'm told is a stronger engine. Secondly. Consider the wheelbase. Is there enough length in the chassis for your chosen box? Mine is 4.2m wheelbase from memory, allowing a 6m box.... and lastly. That truck is nice and cheep..., so definitely worth consideration. The cab can be updated with later doors, windscreen visor and fresh grill and wind deflectors making it look like a later truck. It also has hub reduction axles front and rear. These are super strong and give you better ground clearance than other options so a good + point in my opinion. Something like that vehicle have a limited sales market, so I'd go and have a look at it, drive it, see how it feels, and then leave. Go and look at some other options, and then make a decision... They say never to buy the first vehicle you see, and it's good advice. The first truck I saw was a 6x6 V8 monster like Pairoa's and though an amazing truck, it would have been too big and long for us on small bush tracks here in Australia. The truck we have now is still a little 'big', but we plan to spend a lot of time in it so are happy with the longer wheelbase and 6m body. Good find with the 1719A, and good luck in your decision. :)
 

Link_cat

New member
I will try to go for points and keep it organized, so it remains in the forum for the future, and can serve for all those who in the future also need information!

The 1719A looks pretty good to me according to your perspectives, but you are the only one to be certain. Seems it had suffered more from sun exposure than heavy work. The advantage of being in Europe is that you can find spares more easily if you want to make it not only functional but beautifully restored. Make sure those 45.000 km are real and that it has not been driven through the time machine, though.

Good luck with your project.
Hi Pairospam! Nice advice, right now I'm not in a hurry to find the chassis, but I want to be sure and make the right decision. I'm looking at the market to learn more in detail some models and features.

I'm in Europe, and in a way it makes things easier (but this particular vehicle is 3500km...)

Thanks again for your time!

Hi Link. I can see you are on a mission to find a truck. As Pairoa said, you are in the right place to look for something. Re the 1719A, I like it... but there a few things I can see that you should consider. First, I think it will have the early OM 421 V6. These never sounded brilliant, and didn't like to be thrashed, so you'd want the 'fast axles' on it or you'll be flat out at 90kmh. The later OM 441 sounds quite different, and I'm told is a stronger engine. Secondly. Consider the wheelbase. Is there enough length in the chassis for your chosen box? Mine is 4.2m wheelbase from memory, allowing a 6m box.... and lastly. That truck is nice and cheep..., so definitely worth consideration. The cab can be updated with later doors, windscreen visor and fresh grill and wind deflectors making it look like a later truck. It also has hub reduction axles front and rear. These are super strong and give you better ground clearance than other options so a good + point in my opinion. Something like that vehicle have a limited sales market, so I'd go and have a look at it, drive it, see how it feels, and then leave. Go and look at some other options, and then make a decision... They say never to buy the first vehicle you see, and it's good advice. The first truck I saw was a 6x6 V8 monster like Pairoa's and though an amazing truck, it would have been too big and long for us on small bush tracks here in Australia. The truck we have now is still a little 'big', but we plan to spend a lot of time in it so are happy with the longer wheelbase and 6m body. Good find with the 1719A, and good luck in your decision. :)
Every time I enter the forum I realize how much wisdom there is, and how little I still know!

About engines, I asked the seller for engine information (I didn't know what engine they had in general). I would like to find an efficient engine (consumption), I understand that are good options the OM352A, OM366A and OM366LA. Did I forget any? Which of these do you recommend?

On the wheelbase, my idea is to put a box between 5.4 and 6m. I also asked the seller for the wheelbase. Do you know if there is a table with the measurements between axles and box? I think that I need 4.5 for a 6m box.

Of course it's a good advice to go and try the different trucks, but I am very far away (I do not have to cross the ocean like many of you ... But it's very far!)

Get in touch!!!
 

VerMonsterRV

Traveler
The engines you mentioned are the inline 6's. We have the 200hp OM366LA in our 1120. So from memory trucks with the inline 6 are the 1017, 917, 1120, 1128. I am sure there are more (maybe a 1124 and 1224). I specifically sought out a truck with the OM366 and although I have no other reference (Sitec has way more experience with these trucks), I think it is a pretty nice engine. Also I think some of the Mogs have these engines but I am not up on those. If you also look for the AF variant they are more likely to have faster axles (which are needed).
 

Link_cat

New member
The engines you mentioned are the inline 6's. We have the 200hp OM366LA in our 1120. So from memory trucks with the inline 6 are the 1017, 917, 1120, 1128. I am sure there are more (maybe a 1124 and 1224). I specifically sought out a truck with the OM366 and although I have no other reference (Sitec has way more experience with these trucks), I think it is a pretty nice engine. Also I think some of the Mogs have these engines but I am not up on those. If you also look for the AF variant they are more likely to have faster axles (which are needed).
Thanks for the info. Do you know how i can see if it have fast or slow axles? Maybe with the vin number?

Enviat des del meu Redmi Note 7 usant Tapatalk
 

Sitec

Adventurer
Hello again. So I had a look on the net, and there are still a lot of choices.... I even found the truck I was going to import to Australia.. Still for sale. Shipping and LHD is what stopped me. Not a prob for you! :)

 

Sitec

Adventurer
This is one of the pages I used to look through when I was hunting. There are a lot of trucks here, some rough, some clean. There are a few that are clean, low KM and on the right tyres. Not many with the longer wheelbase, as most were short tipper trucks. The first truck you saw (1719A) is very cheep, and you would have to view it before buying (even if it involves a long drive), as it prob wants quite a bit spent on it. If buying from a dealer, you can specify that it is roadworthy, and get them to cost in delivery to you. Makes the process easier. If I was in Europe, I'd be taking a trip to a few of the big truck yards... Gassmann have lots of 4x4 trucks, and being a large company 'should' be good and look after you.

Re Engines. The OM421 is an early V6, the OM441 the later V6 (around 200hp to 340hp). The OM422 is the early V8 and the OM442 is the later V8 (250hp to 500hp from memory). The OM352, OM 366 etc are in line/straight 6 cylinder engines. I drove a 1617 with a 170hp straight 6 for quite a while. It was underpowered in our over engineered truck, but a smooth, quiet and reliable engine. It was also better on fuel than the larger V6 and V8's. I went with the later V6 as a) it was what I could get, and b) I want to add the turbo, intercooler and fueling from my spare truck and turn it from 220hp to 300hp. I'm hoping that the power increase will give me better fuel consumption whilst also giving me the power required when I gear the truck up, and when in sand etc. Keep searching, and don't rush!!!

 

VerMonsterRV

Traveler
To add to what Sitec mentioned about the OM366. In factory trim it came with either 170hp (OM366A, turbo), 200, 240 and 280hp(all called an OM366LA, intercooled turbo). Although at this time our power seems ok (the 200hp OM366LA) I did inquire with a company in the UK about a power upgrade (about $4,000 for an injector pump upgrade to give up to 270hp). I also requested on getting the fastest ring and pinions available (ours are not the fastest, one of the faster but not the top), the cost was about $5,000 in parts (would yeild a 13% increase in top speed).
 
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