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Thread: Wanting some first hand advice. Mercedes Unimogs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Batemans Bay mostly, and Brisbane
    Posts
    251

    Wanting some first hand advice. Mercedes Unimogs

    I'm thinking of buying one of the ex-ADF U1700 vehicles at some point in the coming year.
    This vehicle https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/fors...450/1140798206 has also caught my eye.
    I'm familiar with Benz diesels, but there are things with Unimogs that need to be looked out for.
    Anyone here willing to share their knowledge and advice on these??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Townsville Nth Qld
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    462

    unimog

    My Opinion, after working on them in the ADF for many years. Nil major issues that i recall. Most issues were what I would call maintenance issues, worn parts ,leaking seals et. Saying that of course engines and gearboxes will fail. Not an everyday occurrence and most were caused by steering wheel attendants not conducting first parades. If you do buy one, the must carry spare is fuel filters. as they effect performance when they start to block.

  3. #3
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    May 2003
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    Sunny Coast QLD
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    I must've passed a dozen or more coming back south from Gympie,,
    some towing a dog trailer some empty,, all were happily sitting on the speed limit..
    "How long since you've visited The Good Oil?"

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Ormeau, Gold Coast,Queensland
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    8,680
    thats interesting.

    I drove them sometimes but we were never allowed to drive them at the speed limit.

    We were always ordered to drive at 'convoy' speed which was usually 80.

    It may have been because of my type of license but I dont know and never drove one at 100-110.....I didn't think they could go that fast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Batemans Bay mostly, and Brisbane
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    251
    Quote Originally Posted by Bazzle218 View Post
    My Opinion, after working on them in the ADF for many years. Nil major issues that i recall. Most issues were what I would call maintenance issues, worn parts ,leaking seals et. Saying that of course engines and gearboxes will fail. Not an everyday occurrence and most were caused by steering wheel attendants not conducting first parades. If you do buy one, the must carry spare is fuel filters. as they effect performance when they start to block.

    I understand that the vehicles that come up at auction have been sitting for extended periods- years. Seals dry up and so forth. How hard is it to replace portal seals? that's one job I have some people mention. I'm guessing it involves removal of the portal housing/gears and replacement of the inner seal, and the lower outer axle hob seal.
    Is fuel economy roughly five km to the litre unladen?

    thanks for sharing the observation Pedro TS - always good to know that these will sit on the 100km/h threshold. the one I mention in the Gumtree listing above apparently has fast axles. The seller states that low low first is 80 meters per hour....slightly faster than a snail...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Burra NSW
    Posts
    759
    Im running a Ex ADF Mog for work in forestry and earthmoving, have owned it for about 4 years..some thoughts for you are:
    That they are incredible off road with a load,
    They will not sit on 100km/hr comfortably, or really at all..80km/h is its sweet spot.
    Parts are readily available and not expensive (compared to trucks and earthmoving equipment)
    They run a complicated air system that means a busted air line can limit or stop some functions.
    A simple front or rear output shaft oil seal requires the whole axle assembly to be removed from the vehicle, things like this might be rare, but mines gone at 60,000km and ive got to get in this week and get it sorted..not an easy job.
    All in all they are an incredible vehicle, but remember they are more like a tractor not a truck, so it depends on your application..If I was going around Australia, I would fit a class overdrive as a priority and intercooler/turbo/exhaust upgrade. Without these, they are tiring to drive anything more than 300km. Having said that, recently I did about 13hrs straight in some serious off road work and the truck was in its element..
    I have no connection to the business, but Ben from Mog Central in Queanbeyan has been very helpful and parts have been easy to access.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Knaresborough North Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    840
    'They will not sit on 100km/hr comfortably, or really at all..80km/h is its sweet spot.'

    Makes sense as until very recently the speed limit for trucks in Europe was 50 mph on a freeway and 40 mph elsewhere so as this is the maximum they will have been designed for

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Melrose SA
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    2,732
    We ran them at a tour company I worked for back in the 80s and 90s
    They would sit on 100 kmh if this was done with the wrong lubricants in the portals the bull gears would fail if you had to replace all 4 it cost quite a bit.
    The gearboxes in our application were not long lived usually about 80000 ks
    Brilliant off road and are quite tractor like.
    Great vehicle but back in that era they were quite expensive to maintain
    On the other hand the Merc 911 were pretty well bullet proof but not as capable
    No portals simple truck gear arrangement but bulletproof

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Sydney
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    815
    Quote Originally Posted by djam1 View Post
    We ran them at a tour company I worked for back in the 80s and 90s
    They would sit on 100 kmh if this was done with the wrong lubricants in the portals the bull gears would fail if you had to replace all 4 it cost quite a bit.
    The gearboxes in our application were not long lived usually about 80000 ks
    Brilliant off road and are quite tractor like.
    Great vehicle but back in that era they were quite expensive to maintain
    On the other hand the Merc 911 were pretty well bullet proof but not as capable
    No portals simple truck gear arrangement but bulletproof
    I worked on them in the SADF in the 80ís. Agree with others comments. The air system was the Achilles heel and then gear boxes, but that was mostly operator abuse. They are very strong and extremely off road capable but donít expect to be overly comfortable driving them.
    Phil B

    Custodian of:
    1974 S3 swb wagon (sold)
    1978 S3 swb canvas
    48 749 '88 4x4 Perentie
    1985 County with 4BD1T

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