Truck Update 12/17/17

Things we did this week:

  • Test fit hazard light button
  • Test fit headlight cover
  • Installed new passenger side view mirror
  • Reduced diameter of hazard light button
  • Reviewed alternative location for fog lights
  • Welded battery hold down
  • Painted and fit checked battery hold down
  • Started laying out cargo area on back of truck
  • Clean, paint prepped, and painted interior of battery box

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

  • Ordered sand ladders (Marston Mat)
  • Ordered dash light bulbs (24V 2W BA9S)
  • Ordered and received more battery hold down bolts (McMaster Carr, 9 1/4″ long)


Truck Update 12/20/17

Things we did over the past 3 days:

  • Unmasked battery box
  • Wiped down battery leads
  • Started installation of new driver side seat belt
  • Removed middle seat belt
  • Removed fog lights
  • Continued to free up retaining nut on power steering
  • Tensioned air compressor belt
  • Painted mounting rings for fog lights
  • Final installed driver seat belt
  • Removed passenger seat belt
  • Reinstalled passenger seat belt with correct high strength hardware
  • Relocated fog lights to under side of winch
  • Removed tray under passenger bench
  • Installed new structural hardware on front bumper mount
  • Removed old fog light wiring
  • Topped off batteries with acid
  • Researched fuel supply location for engine coolant heater
  • Painted mounts on back of fog lights
  • Tested fog lights
  • Ordered dyna beads (20 oz. for 365/80R20’s)
  • Ordered filtering valve cores
  • Retapped and made hardware kits for fog light mount
  • Ordered passenger side look down mirror (Grote GTE-28763)
  • Ordered 24V to USB converter
  • Ordered backup camera
  • Ordered 2 California compliant NATO diesel jerry cans
  • Ordered 1 jerry can holder
  • Replaced grounds on fog light mounts
  • Machined grounding insulators for fog light mounts
  • Made new wiring harnesses for fog lights
  • Received dash light bulbs
  • Mounted fog lights
  • Secured winch cable down passenger side frame rail
  • Miscellaneous chassis paint touch up
  • Removed front bumper step

Truck Update 12/23/17

In the past 3 days, we have:

  • Modified jack stands to more securely engage
    • Milled improved tooth profile
    • Removed rounded end from engagement paul
    • Added witness marks to verify correct engagement
  • Put truck on jack stands
  • Removed wheels (unlike all the other military trucks we have worked on, all the lug nuts are right hand thread)
  • Took wheels to tire shop to have tires removed
  • Refined layout of real tire mount area
  • Received rear view camera
  • Sandblasted forward bumper step
  • Primed and painted forward bumper step
  • Made new hardware kit for forward bumper step
  • Picked up rims from tire shop
    • 20-inch Steel rims weigh 74.6 pounds each
    • 1 Continental MPT 81 365/80R20 weighs 154.2 pounds
  • Received 2 California CARB compliant NATO jerry cans (Wavian) and 1 jerry can holder
  • Went to 2 truck stops – there is no machine tire mounting available for 365/80R20 tires that we know.
  • Purchased 2 more liters of battery acid to top off batteries

Truck Update 12/25/2017

In the past 2 days, we have:

  • Received 24V USB adapter
  • Received sand ladders (Marston Mat)
  • Final topped off batteries
  • Cleaned & inspected brake assemblies
  • Installed 24V USB adapter
  • Measured brake disc & pad thicknesses
  • Touched up paint on underside of front bumper
  • Reinstalled front bumper step
  • Final installed new hazard light button (with new bulb)
  • Installed 2 new California CARB compliant NATO jerry cans (Wavian)
  • Double checked interior dimensions for floor plan discussion

Truck Update 1/3/2018

Over the last 9 days, we have:

  • Received dyna beads (20 oz. for 365/80R20’s)
  • Received filtering valve stems
  • Received down looking mirror (Grote GTE-28763)
  • Took wheel rims for sandblast and powdercoat
  • Picked up wheel rims
  • Ordered and received rivet nuts (McMaster Part Number 98560A576) for down looking mirror
  • Ordered axle vents (Von’s Mog)
  • Ordered used U1300L jerry can mount
  • Sealed small joint gap in finished powder coated rims with acrylic enamel

Truck Update 1/7/18

  • Received headlight bulbs
    • These headlights can take R2, R4, or H4 bulbs. We’ve had all 3 in the truck, and they all fit. The R4’s don’t clip into the clocking key, but otherwise work fine.
  • Removed headlights, replaced headlight bulbs, reinstalled headlights and headlight covers
  • Installed down looking mirror (Grote GTE-28763) using 1/4-28 rivet nuts  (McMaster Part Number 98560A576) and Inconel (corrosion resistant) aircraft bolts
  • Prepped and painted axle hubs
  • Reinstalled fuel tank strap (we had removed it to do other work)
  • Touched up paint on inside of rims where the rims were supported during powder coat

Habitat Update

In addition to our regular truck refurbishment work, we have been working hard behind the scenes planning our future living space floor plan. When we got our truck, it had a custom built living habitat module designed and built for the previous owner.

Our original plan was to completely change the floor plan and re-work the interior. After we got the truck, we realized that although the box didn’t have the layout we wanted, it was actually pretty nice inside. Instead of gutting a perfectly good habitat box, we recently sold the box that came with the truck, and over the past few weeks, we designed a new habitat box that meets all of our specific needs.

A few days ago, we ordered the new habitat from Total Composites. It is similar to other boxes that they have made in the past, but this one is specific to our dimensions and floor plan. The habitat box will need assembling and does not come with any interior.  Over the last two years, we have accumulated a lot of the items for the interior.

Fuchs Mercedes 435 Side View
Fuchs Mercedes 435 Side View

Our New Habitat Specs

  • Exterior Dimensions: 11’5″ long, 7’2.5″ wide, 6’11″ tall
  • Interior Dimensions: 6’10.5″ wide with 6’4″ standing head height
  • Walls are 50mm thick composite sandwich panel
  • The ceiling, floor, forward, and and aft wall are 84mm thick composite sandwich panel
  • Steel / composite hardpoints embedded in floor and back wall for mounting
  • Habitat is mounted to a Mercedes torsion free subframe
  • Door, windows, cargo access hatches and roof hatch from Tern Overland

The windows are European style, double glazed acrylic, top hinge, with integrated blinds and screens. Two large roof vents and solar panels are on the roof. In total there are 7 screened openings for excellent cross flow and natural light.

Fuchs Habitat Details
Fuchs Habitat Details

Floor Plan Details

Our new layout incorporates a pass through from the cab into a combined bathroom entry. There is a raised permanent bed in the back of the habitat with a large storage area underneath the bed accessible from the outside. The center of the habitat is a large open area dedicated to a kitchen on the left side and a project/work/eating area on the right side. The spare tire and cargo are mounted to a custom frame on the back of the habitat.

Fuchs Habitat Floorplan
Fuchs Habitat Floor Plan