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Thread: U500 VS 2450/L38 (new vs. old)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Happy Valley Oregon
    Posts
    148

    Default U500 VS 2450/L38 (new vs. old)

    Looking to do one or the other as the base for a build.

    Would love to hear the discussion of one vs. the other.
    And, to Doka, or not to Doka?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,405
    Are you planning on trying to register either one in the US? If so, you will be stuck with a pre-1988 U2450 (under the 25 year rule) vs. a relatively newer (up to 2006) North American spec U500.

    Charlie
    Unimog U500 with Unicat camper; diesel BMW X5 35d, diesel BJ40 Landcruiser and diesel M37

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    3,159
    The biggest consideration is that they are very different concepts, the U500 being a fully modern, technologically-advanced truck with the U2450's much-simpler design being 20+ years older. There are advantages to both depending on the proposed use, though the U500 would clearly be the better choice if travel involves signifcant U.S. highway use.

    We had a modest thread about the U2450 camper EuroTrucks had for sale a while back:

    http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/27268

    that includes a link to pictures and specifications, should that be worth anything.

    Having a double cab on any camper is a tradeoff. It's certainly nice to have the cabin room, but if you don't need it for more passengers, you'd probably rather have either 3-4 more feet of cabin space or a 3-4 foot shorter truck. If you want a U500, it may be moot . . . there were only a couple of NAFTA U500 DoKas, made by adding an expensive aftermarket fiberglass cabin and I've no idea where they went.

    The number of U2450s in the US is pretty small; U500s aren't exactly plentiful but there are more of them here. U.S. U500s have an advantage in (at least theoretically) being serviced by Freightliner dealers; you will be more on your own with an older Mog.

    Good luck with your investigations. I suspect that with the expertise of the people available here, we could write many pages on why you might want one or the other, so if you have specific questions, post them up and I'll bet they'll get answered.
    Mike Hiscox

    2003/2014 Sprinter 2500 mid/tall custom conversion
    2012 Porsche Cayenne TT on Duratracs
    2008 Lexus GX470
    1989 Yamaha FJ1200 sidecar rig


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    432
    Well if you can figure out how to get it into the US, this one was legally brought into Canada:

    http://alberta.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ404692115

    1998 U2450 L38 104500km's, $39,000CAD
    -Trev
    1977 Unimog U84 "bagger"
    250GD "Wolf"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    356
    Why are you asking on a forum how many seats you want in the cab?!?!? Surely you know how many people you'll be taking?!

    A USA spec U500 has a faster top speed than Mercedes designed the older mogs to go.

    A U500 has a very slightly longer wheelbase as it comes, and dzzz on this forum has proven you can extend its straight chassis rails. The U2450 does not have straight rails (and does have torque tubes), and according to folks who should know on Benzworld its a much bigger deal to extend it.

    You can have a 4m long camper on either without stretching which makes for a permanent double bed/dinette/shower room camper if thats what you want, a DOKA with less room means the permanent bed will no longer really be a possibility unless you put quite a big overhang on quite a (relatively) long truck . As with all things it will end up as a compromise, will a long wheelbase and long overhang and tall camper box compromise your reasons for looking at a Mog?

    Broadly speaking without a chassis stretch or big overhang the DOKA seating leaves camper sleeping for only two inside. This camper is almost an exception since with a 60% max overhang the box could be 2' longer with spare tyre elsewhere, but it looks like a squeeze!

    http://www.opensens.com/unimog.htm

    Personally I would really like the benefits that a U500 brings like an auto (clutch) box and vario steering, but unless I would be planning on staying close to home I think they're an unneccessary liability. As is the big curvy screen. You can rebuild both trucks to the same mechanical standard, you'll need a similar inventory of spares to take with you, you'll have similar problems if something mechanical breaks, but one stays simple the other still has bells and whistles. On a quiet dirt road broken down miles from anywhere the diagnostics on a U500 could tell me a list of possible things to look at (as far as I know anyway), but the electrical stuff surely adds another layer of stuff to break in itself?

    Being in the UK means I could have a new Euro 5 mog, or any other mog and maybe a wider choice of people to work on either, but I'd still go old
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    6

    Default Have you thought about a Daf?

    Have you thought about a Leyland Daf?

    Very low milage (500 to 20,000) 20 year old Ex military chassis available for approximately 5000 to 8000. My vehicle was like new!

    Good Luck

    Tony

    DSC_0662 5.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    London
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by grizzlyj View Post
    ........................................

    A U500 has a very slightly longer wheelbase as it comes, and dzzz on this forum has proven you can extend its straight chassis rails. The U2450 does not have straight rails (and does have torque tubes), and according to folks who should know on Benzworld its a much bigger deal to extend it.

    .....................................
    Hi,
    Sorry for digging this thread out of the grave but would you be able to point me to the forum thread about this extension, if it existed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Middle of Nowhere, Outer Skin of Space Ship Earth, 1 A.U. from Sol, Outskirts of Milky Way.
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    6,059
    Quote Originally Posted by tooFATtoDRIVE View Post
    Hi,
    Sorry for digging this thread out of the grave but would you be able to point me to the forum thread about this extension, if it existed?
    Which extension? The U500 or the U2450?

    Dunno about the 2450, but there was some discussion of the 500 here:

    http://forum.expeditionportal.com/th...-Frame-Stretch

    If I recall correctly, Don's U500 was stretched one meter in strict accordance with Mercedes' frame stretching specs. I seem to recall that was the max allowed in the manual.

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    London
    Posts
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by erwin z View Post
    Its 1.2 meters
    .
    frame stretch.JPG
    What publication is this page from?

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