Fixing the cooling system leak

The fix of the cooling system leak in the fuel pre-heater was completed today at the Scania workshop in Echandens with the replacement of the leaky stopcock.

Although replacement of the part itself was not difficult, we decided to have Scania do it, because its location between the exhaust manifold and the injection pump made it difficult to access. Moreover, the stopcock was tightly mounted, and we did not want to damage anything by trying to remove it without the proper tools.

The leakage seems to have stopped, but we’ll check on it closely over the next few days to be sure.

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Road Test

When the main preparations were finished, it was time for a serious test drive to take the truck in hand and make sure everything was in order. Two weeks ago, we set out on a 3-day road test, the interesting part of which took us through the Gorges of the Tarn, the Mont Aigoual, and the Gorges of the Ardèche.

We covered over 1000 km, on steep, winding roads to put the engine and gear box through their paces. We also tested out the sleeping arrangements, camping near Yssingeaux, Sainte-Enimie and Vallon-Pont-d’Arc.

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Rear axle

You’re never fully dressed without a smile.

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Auxiliary Fuel Tank

We mounted a 630 liter auxiliary fuel tank in the truck bed to have sufficient autonomy for several days of driving in the dunes. Since we don’t know yet how much the engine will consume in those conditions, we can only estimate how many kilometers we’ll be able to travel before we need to find a gas station. With the main and auxiliary tanks both full, we may be able to drive up to 1,600 km before needing to fill up the tanks.

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Sleeping Arrangements

A sleeping and storage area was created in the personnel cabin. We removed the bench seats on both sides and attached slats to the metal support arms to create a structure that reinforces the panels on which the mattress lies. The area under the bed serves as storage for clothing, cooking and camp supplies. Use of three hinged panels allows them to be raised for better access to the stowed items.

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Paint Design

Just for fun, we added a splash of color. The design is reminiscent of the original Swedish army camouflage patterns, but by using bright colors and minimizing the patterns, the allusion remains subtle and the dominant impression is more harlequin than military.

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Military camouflage colors are not a welcome sight everywhere, so repainting was important.

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Lifting the personnel cabin onto the truck bed

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Preparation for the first voyage started in the spring. The first item of business was to clean and protect the chassis: removing the worst areas of rust, applying a base coat to protect the metal and then painting with the final layer. We painted the chassis black.

Once the work on the chassis was completed, it was time to place the personnel cabin on the bed and bolt it into place. The cabin weighs 500 kg, so we needed a mechanical lift to hoist it.

Because our truck had not been fitted with a cabin, the spare tire had been mounted onto the front of the truck bed. When the cabin was moved into place, we realized that the tire bracket would need to be removed into order to place the cabin correctly on the bed and bolt it into place.

Once the cabin had been mounted, general maintenance could begin. We replaced all the worn cables and hoses, and performed a complete oil change of the motor (25 liters), the gearbox/transfer case (32 liters), the axles (4 liters per axle) and hubs (0.5 liter per hub).

The work was performed with the help of a friend who owns a garage specialized in the preparation of 4×4 vehicles for rock crawling and cross country rallies.

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Audioboo of the Erg Machine

Listen to an Audioboo of the Erg Machine!

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