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Thread: Merkabah: MB 2626 AK 6x6 tipper to expedition truck conversion

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Norwich, CT
    Posts
    267
    subscribing

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    752
    Thanks for starting a great build thread, I look forward to more. I totally agree we all think we are crazy,(perhaps we are). Its nice to have this online support network.
    1993 Mercedes-Benz 917 AF
    joemorrisphoto.com
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    462
    Wow what are great build.
    I can't wait to read and see more stuff about your truck. Keep the updates coming thanks.

    Pete and Kel

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    San Felipe, Chile
    Posts
    91
    Thanks for the encouraging words. My internet provider is a little lazy and my time scarse so please a little patience.

    I continued to work on the design of the Merkabah, initially with some modified blueprints and after a little I began to play with the countless possibilities given by 3D modelling. I started with a rough model found on Sketchup and went on from then.

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    It was January of 2011 when I went on with the disassembbling of the V8 of the Merkabah, also extensively photographed, and every piece was left in some box trying to keep an order too. The general state of the engine was good, mainly regarding the coolant circuit. Some parts were worn out, some looked okay.

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  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    San Felipe, Chile
    Posts
    91
    The injection pump was apparently in good shape and it was sent to the injection lab together with the one from Spare.

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    There were minor damages everywhere, as you can see on one of the blades of the fan. I let the block lean on one side to remove the pistons and the crankshaft. At the inspection I could see that it was not the first visit but everything seemed to be all right. The pistons were okay and the sleeves in shape, just a little dirty. The cranckshaft was also healthy, by fortune, but you could not say the same about the camshaft, the cam followers and the camshaft bearings. At least we knew the reason for the low oil pressure in ralenti.

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  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    San Felipe, Chile
    Posts
    91
    After many interrupted hours of work the block was completely naked. When we could we took it and the camshafts from Spare and from the Merkabah to a very reputed machine-shop in Santiago to take off the camshaft bearings and replace them with new ones. Nothing could be done to save the old camshafts so I had to buy a new one and took it to them also to complete the assembling.

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    I worked a little on the right footstep taken from the cabin of the Merkabah, trying to remove any sign of rust and old paint and flattening out the seriously bruised metal sheet. The results were less satisfying than expected, but given the circumstances the job was judged good enough.

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    By that time, I met the Casales, a couple of brothers that ran their MB truck for the second time in the Chilean-Argentinian version of the Dakar rally. Coincidentally we shared some common history, relatives and friends, and the passion for steel, grease and camping. I took from them seven used and very rusted rims from who knows wich european army truck; well, not so rusted and perfectly rescueable rims. They had used similar rims twice in the Dakar and did not have any trouble with them.

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    I bought also six of their GoodYear 14.00R20 tyres to initially stand up the Merkabah and later on I would pick two more as spares. For the rally they imported a full container of such tyres and they were selling at a very convenient price those they did not use.

    The short bed of the Mitsubishi had room for only four of the massive tyres at a time so I had to go twice to Santiago to pick them up. I could not resist to put them aside the truck when I brang them to the countryside to keep them in a shed. The normal tyres looked like toy wheels. I remember also picking the rims and taking them to a sandblasting shop near San Felipe a few days later.

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  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    San Felipe, Chile
    Posts
    91
    Ops. Double post.
    Last edited by pairospam; 01-25-2014 at 03:13 AM.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    726
    Those tyres are massive - just what and off-road truck needs
    Iain
    Brisbane, Australia
    Land Rover Defender 110
    Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6
    Unimog U1250
    videos

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    San Felipe, Chile
    Posts
    91
    Yes, Iain_U1250... it is the only way to go.

    A very big decision had been postponed until that moment: the colour of the Merkabah. I made a flash trip to the paint-shop to take many samples and drank many cups of tea while discussing the issue with my wife, Carmen. We have very similar tastes so the decision was, of course, all hers. The Merkabah would travel the whole world dressed in SY-5263-P.

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    There were many problems with the sand blasting but finally they delivered the rims and the rings after a couple of weeks. The work had to be completed by hand but it was not that bad in the end.

    I primed the rims and the rings at the workshop, in a very tight place. Priming only took me three days. I used the old little compressor that lasted only a few hours of non-stop work before dying in the middle of the painting session. Had to buy a bigger one and after many problems with it I finished to paint the rims at 2:00 A.M. in one session.

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    When the rims were ready I made the tyres mounted on them and rushed to put them in the Merkabah. I put all the six wheels, heavy as hell, in the afternoon. The look of the truck changed dramatically and for the first time the Merkabah got its “all-terrain” allure, and I loved it, but I ended up exhausted.

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    I put also a lot of energy and dedicated a lot of time to the design of the Box, and particularly to define the measures and materials of all the components. The interior layout was actually not very innovative, with the dining place in front and the fresh water reserves underneath, the kitchen and ward cabinets in the middle, bathroom and shower separated and facing each other, with the main bedroom in the back, over a big utility space. The measures were the longest and widest they could be in allowance to the Chilean laws and for that given wheelbase, 640 x 250 mm. The height could not surpass 380 cm or I would not be able to go through the oldest tunnels and bridges.

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  10. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    726
    I'm jealous of the amount of space you have. We spent a lot of time sorting out our interior, even going to the point of building it out of plywood and spending a whole day in it. I'm not sure how far you are with building your camper box, but looking at your design sketches, we have a few suggestions based on our experience.

    What we found in many campers is that they are very claustrophobic. Cupbaords at head height, and the lack of big windows makes even the biggest ones feel tiny. We were fortunate to be able to sit in two big Unicats, a GXV, a massive custom MAN 6x6, Earthcruisers and ATW campers and all the caravans and winnebago type RV's at the camping shows we could find. Sadly, in nearly all of them we both felt very crammed in, and were worried about living inside our little truck for extended periods of bad weather.

    We decided to only have one full height cupboard, and limited the overhead lockers at the front and rear only. We built a raised section in the middle of the ceiling to create a feeling of extra space and height. The lack of things at your eye line makes it feel big. We have sat down with four people inside the back and chatted for almost three hours. Trish and I sat on the bed, and our visitors on the seats. At the end, our visitors remarked how big it felt inside, despite it being only 3.4x2.1x1.9m
    Iain
    Brisbane, Australia
    Land Rover Defender 110
    Land Rover Discovery 3 TDV6
    Unimog U1250
    videos

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