Truck Update 10/15/17

After reluctantly selling our refurbished LMTV last spring, we have kept an eye out for another expedition truck option. This time, we are hoping to get a vehicle that was a little more complete so it would be less of a project and we could get on the road sooner. We have had our eye on expedition truck options for years. There are always pluses and minuses with each option, but this time, we plan to go with a Mercedes 435.

Today, Michael traveled to check out a prospective truck. It looks like it will be a great option. We have a lot to talk about over the next few days.

Mercedes 435 Expedition Vehicle
Mercedes 435 Expedition Vehicle

Truck Update 11/11/17

After a good bit of paperwork, and a very long drive, we now have a new expedition truck. We have a good list of things to address after the drive, but overall, we are really happy with the truck. We are still working on where the truck will be stored long term, but for now we have a cozy spot to work on the truck and start upgrades.

Mercedes 435 Expedition Truck
Mercedes 435 Expedition Truck

Truck Update 11/19/17

In our first week of owning the truck, we’ve learned a lot. We spent some time cleaning the truck and looking it over. Mostly, we have just been reading on the net and in the mechanics manuals learning about the truck. We cleaned out the inside of the cab (it was very clean), and we unspooled the winch, inspected the cable, and carefully rolled it back onto the drum. Oh, and the first thing we did was make the Mercedes grill emblem silver again.

Pressure Washing U1300L
Pressure Washing U1300L

Truck Update 11/26/17

  • New marker light covers (replaced olive drab with sliver)
    • Grote 46282 (red), Grote 46283 (yellow)
  • Ordered new passenger side view mirror
  • Ordered new driver seat belt (generic DOT approved 3 point from Amazon)
  • Ordered diesel engine pre-heater
    • Webasto Thermo Top C Diesel Heater 12V 5KW 1311551A
  • Ordered transmission and axle fluid
    • Transmission: Redline Synthetic MT-85, 75W-85 (GL-4)
    • Hubs/Axles: Redline Synthetic 75W-90 (GL-5)
  • Ordered new batteries
  • Disconnected winch
    • We discovered the ground for the winch was bypassing the master cutoff switch
  • Removed grill
  • Researched front portal axle vent upgrades
  • Started adjusting steering
  • Researched tire balancing
  • Removed spare tire
  • Started measuring locations for under bed storage boxes
  • Test fist tire chains on Continental MPT 81 365/80R20 tire
  • Cleaned out habitat storage lockers
  • Began cleaning habitat interior
  • Removed convoy target/marker
  • Traced air leak to dash instrument cluster
    • Removed instrument cluster

Truck Update 12/3/17

Things we did this week:

  • Disassembled dash instrument cluster
  • Disassembled duplex pressure air gauge
  • Found location of air leak on gauge (base solder joint on bourdon tube)
  • Re-soldered, pressure checked, and calibrated bourdon tube
  • Re-machined pressure gauge mounting collars
  • Reassembled instrument cluster
  • Reinstalled instrument cluster in truck
  • Cleaned, paint prepped, and painted battery tray
  • Designed, fabricated, welded, and painted battery hold down
  • Measured cab ladder areas

List of things we received this week:

  • 2 new batteries (NAPA BAT 7256 Size: 6TL)
  • 6 quarts of battery acid (likely not enough)
  • Webasto engine coolant heater (Thermo Top C 12V 5KW 1311551A)
  • Transmission fluid (Redline Synthetic MT-85, 75W-85 (GL-4))
  • Hubs/Axles fluid (Redline Synthetic 75W-90 (GL-5))
  • Replacement driver side seat belt

Things we ordered this week:

  • Battery hold down studs
  • Material to make a replacement hazard light button for dash
  • New higher lumen headlight bulbs (Hella H4/9003/HB2 24V Halogen Bulb)

Truck Update 12/10/17

Things we did this week:

  • Filled batteries with acid (As expected, we had to order more acid. One 6TL battery takes over 6 quarts)
  • Charged batteries
  • Sanded and painted passenger side view mirror mount
  • Measured coolant hose diameter on engine
  • Finished vehicle registration process
  • Mounted new license plates
  • Measured hazard light button dimensions
  • Machined hazard light button (using 3/4″ fluorescent red cast acrylic rod)
  • Installed cab air filter assembly
  • Painted headlight covers

List of things we ordered and/or received this week:

  • 3/4″ fluorescent red cast acrylic rod for hazard light button
  • Battery hold down bolts (McMaster Carr, 9 1/4″ long)
  • 5 new Continental MPT 81 365/80R20 tires
  • 24VDC to 12VDC converter to run diesel engine coolant heater
  • Cabin air filter bracket (4258300014 SBU Air Filter Bracket)
  • Cabin air filter (Mann Filter CU 1836 Cabin Filter)
  • Cabin air filter mount hardware (6M-1.25 screws and 8M-1.0 nut)