Friday, 17 October 2014

Galvanised Chassis

Well the sub chassis came back from the galvanisers, as always it didn't run smoothly as they spotted a little remaining paint on the brackets and wouldn't dip it. So a quick blast over to Liverpool armed with blowtorch, grinder and Nitromors and they gave it the ok.
My mate Mog on the fork lift
Lots of nuts and bolts to sort
That's the winch under the blue plastic still not happy still with the finish on the brackets so intend to sand them down and paint them.
New springs in "Bright Red". High tensile bolts due in tomorrow

 I have made some good progress this week but again have been a little frustrated by small details like re cutting the threads on the wheel holder nuts..( I broke a die that I borrowed from a friend) and still didn't cut the threads. The guys ordered bolts for my new springs that look great but the bolts were too thick 14s instead of 12s and too short 180 instead of 200. Then turns out you can't buy 10.9 12s at 200 so I am having to have them made. 
I have re fitted the sliders for my step.  The sliders will support a landing stage and the ladders (little Jumbo) will fix to three sides.
We have now cut the threads on my wheel holder but had to do it by hand using a lathe box one on me

If anyone is having a part galvanised and it has a threaded section I would suggest painting the threads so the galv wont take then remove the paint afterwards by using Nitromors.

I should sometime next week be in a position to measure for my body panels but that will need a decision on the windows and door. looks like a sleepless weekend

Monday, 6 October 2014

Twisting my Chassis

What a great title, sounds like a visit to a 1970s disco!  Fortunately for my back it wasn't and it was a test I have been dying to do on the truck.
The two chassis rails on the MAN are designed to twist over rough ground as an integral part of the truck suspension.  When I build my camper body on the back I don't want all of that torsional stress pulling it apart so I am installing a torsion reducing subframe. (If you want to see a great explanation of this look here Steven explains it and more better than I ever could) The principle of mine is fixed at the back and using springs to allow twist.  My worry is to allow enough twist to avoid damage and still give an acceptable ride.
I am waiting for a slot at the galvanisers for my sub chassis and needed to remove all of the fixings so used the 15 ton hoist to twist.
Yes that wheel is 450mm off the ground.
I am not just playing about I measured the deflection with and without the springs.
This was my biggest surprise without springs the two chassis parted 104mm at the front with the rear wheel 450mm (where the other two adjacent wheels were about to lift) from the ground.
With my current spring set in place the front set bottom out at 35mm separation at a lift at the rear wheel of 250mm. This was interesting as the strength in the sub chassis lifted the other two wheels and the whole truck came swinging towards me.  NB must ensure the hoist is vertical next time.
Another thing I have to watch for is that the chassis doesn't ground out on my new fuel tank.  This is how close it got at max with no springs 2mm,
too close!

More boring detail.....only read if you must
I have 6 sets of springs down each chassis rail
The deflection without springs (1 at the back to 6 at the front) is ;-
Position   1            2            3            4            5            6
Gap         10         25          43          65          86          104
As a result of my testing I am happy with the compression strength (is that the correct term?) of my springs.
I need longer springs to give more movement at the front 4 spring hangers
I would like the front springs to bottom out at about 80 mm this will give a range of movement to allow cabin protection but not hit the fuel tank or battery box.
I have ordered a set of double height springs ...WATCH THIS SPACE

Monday, 29 September 2014

Pull Out Step part 1

I decided not to go for a drop down door (against advice from a few) my rational being higher security and lots of work required to drop the door in the position I wanted it (it would mean moving the battery box and air tanks)  This means I need a step system and I decided after seeing loads at Bad Kissingen to use Little Jumbo ladders.  I want them to fit the truck in three directions forwards, sideways and backwards. but also want a quick simple permanent ladder.
I hope the following makes a little sense:-
Framework for slide out pod with industrial sliders at each side.
Quick step which unbolts for full access to the battery box.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Winch Wheel Bike Holder

I wasn't happy with the position of the winch as the fairlead wasn't up to the job and the tyre lifted in the wrong plane.
This was the original position, we reverted to plan A and lifted the tyre directly off the winch which needed two supports with a gap for the cable
Graham welding the new arms.
Winch in situ with the bike rack base.
Checking that the bikes fit....I will turn the handlebars through 90 degrees
The bikes are high up so I intend to use the little jumbo ladders from the entrance to access them.  This needs a drop down support to facilitate.
Brackets for support.
Support in dropped position which I will locate with some kind of pin mechanism.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fuel System part 3

I still had to sort out the stainless straps for the new fuel tank.
I got the lads at Precision Welding to weld receivers (that I had turned in a local shop) to one end then threaded bar to the other.
 These needed bending to fit then the threaded bar locating at the bottom of the brackets.  I wasnt happy with the first attempt as the nut abutted the bracket at an angle so we took them off and welded angled tubes to the brackets.  Great idea (thanks Gary).
The truck is now safe to drive again for the first time in ages :-)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Fuel System part 2

I posted a while ago that I had a Separ filter in the wrong place.  I have now fitted it to the side of the battery box
MAN fit different size fittings and pipe to the feed and return in the fuel system.  I spent ages trying to find suitable fittings and pipe...not available from MAN!  Eventually I was rescued from my despair by a man called Andy who has a great little company called Lancashire Hose......sounds like a stocking shop :-).  They custom made a feed and return pipe with properly fitted ends...Top Quality

I have read lots of issues with fuel and water pipe leaks on many websites particularly as we tap into and change the system for our trucks.  I think Andy is your man if you don't want them to leak.
Time to rest my right arm....priming that fuel system and filling that filter was the hardest bit.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Front Mudguards

I removed these from the truck to give access to the front axle.  They were bent weathered and had suffered from overspray.

First job I set too with my ancient Black and Decker paint stripping gun to straighten them, this takes time and it is best to work on the inside as the heat can mark the surface.  The process however worked well.
I then searched on the internet about bumper restoration and didn't turn up much....I decided to try a repaint with kit from Halfords.
I cant rotate the pic, sorry
I am a fan of sugar soap as a degreaser/cleaner so started with that,then the wipes then the primer which you dont spray on but use to wipe off!
A few coats of paint involving another trip to Halfords for another can and I am more than pleased with the results.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

More Rear Axle

Big gap in work on the truck over the summer....can you believe folks go on holiday at this time of year......oh yes so did I.  The axle is now looking in better nick

I think the prep work was worth it

Front axle...back axle....oh yes now the bit inbetween.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Rear Axle

Still hard at it at the moment cleaning up the rear axle with the needle scaler.  I keep saying the rust isn't bad and it isn't but its still hard work bringing each patch back to bright metal and sound paint.
 I have ended up almost stripping the front of the rear axle
The wheel hubs are not too bad, I hope to start re painting soon

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tyre Porn

Look at that tread....look at those nip...nobbles

Dont look very big when stacked on a pallet

Got the front one on fits the 110 offset measurement was just right.  The new nuts are due in tomorrow.

they are a good deal bigger than the old ones

The top is about 3 inches higher....well on twenty two and a half inch wheels I cant use metric can I

Back wheels off and ready for some hard work

life as a snowplough has taken its toll but its only surface rust

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Front Axle

Whilst waiting for the wheels I decided to have a go at the little bit of rust on the front axle.

Looked like this at the start

I started with de-greasing soap a scraper and wire brush but the lads introduced me to a needle scaler.

Its a fantastic tool but it did expose more rust than I thought was there, better to find and deal with it now than have it lurking under the paint.

After a good deal of hard work, lots of noise, rust converter and chassis paint the job looks like new.
I am using chassis black so I can see where I have been once I have sorted all of the rust on the chassis I will coat the whole lot with chassis paint then waxoil.

Wheels due in next week, I didn't fancy taking all four wheels off at once so will put the new front ones on before tackling the back axle.