31 Aug 2010
Join Date: Aug 2007
Sale - Mercedes 917 AF 4x4 Expedition Truck
This truck was purchased by me from a quarry in Germany in September 2009 and driven back to the UK, where it was registered. In Germany it was fitted out as a quarry crew transfer bus with seats, lighting, and heater. The vehicle had a technical derating to 7.49t in Germany prior to my purchase and this de-rating was carried over to the UK registration. It means that it can be drive on a standard car licence and as a ‘technical’ derating there were no modifications undertaken to the truck which means it can be uprated again if required. The plan was to convert the truck into a motorhome and travel to Iceland as a proving trip before taking a sabbatical and driving to Cape Town.
I have spent a number of year researching different trucks, Unimogs, DAFs, etc and this was by far the best for condition, design of rear box, and cost.
Some Specs and Details:
Three Seater Cab
Mercedes 5.9 litre Turbo Diesel (same as unimog and known the world over)
186,000Km (115K miles)
Standard 6 Speed Mercedes main Gearbox (G3/60)
Two Speed Transfer box (High and low range)
Four Wheel Drive,
Diff-locks front, rear and on the transfer box.
Contentinal MPT80 14.5R20 wheels and tyres, good for on and off road.
Air brakes to four drum brakes.
Rear box has a flexible chassis mounting with steel frame and aluminium skin. Box is fitted with a working Websto Diesel Air Heater, lighting, and insulated with polystyrene foam. The internal dimensions of the rear box are 2.3m wide by 4.45m long. The roof is pitched and is 2m at the lowest point and 2.2m at the centre. There are currently 6 windows and 2 skylights fitted, as well as a full height locking access door.
Other equipment as part of the sale:
Mercedes Wis-asra (computer based parts and maintenance manual)
High-toque wrench for taking wheel nuts off.
Tyre inflation hose, runs off air brake compressor.
The truck was given a German MOT in September 2009, which is allegedly stricter than the UK HGV MOT. The truck drove back to the UK without any problems. Average fuel consumption on the 741 mile journey was about 20 mile per gallon.
The truck had some work completed on it prior to my purchase, new leaf springs front and rear, 2 new brake actuator one front, one rear, and a change of oils.
Only two know problem which are both minor, a minor oil leak from output shaft on the main gearbox. I believe it is just a bearing o ring seal that has gone and is repairable without removing the gearbox. The other problem being the road speed sensor on the transfer box. The connector between the sensor and gearbox has broken, this was repaired with epoxy at some point but broken by me fiddling about underneath. Just needs the epoxy taken off and a new connection joint fitted, or re-epoxyed. I was planning to fix the oil seal and sensor when I replaced the flooring in the box.
On import to the UK I was going to MOT the truck and register it as a HGV, but for simplicity I ended up registering it as a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ on advice from the DVLA. After conversion (bed, cooker, table and seat) it can be registered as a motorhome and given a standard car MOT. Currently the SPV road tax is free and vehicle insurance was £170 fully comp.
For an overlander, it needs a bigger fuel tank, water tank, bed, table, and seats, stove and your away…..
You may ask, why is it better than a unimog? Well, it may not have the ultimate off-road capability of a unimog but the engineering is much simpler and similar to local Mercedes 4x4 trucks that work the rough trans African or trans Asia routes. This means spares are available and the bush mechanics know how to repair them. Need I say more… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90tuvuAJKYA …. Mercedes !
Secondly is the cost, it is in very good nick compared to some Unimogs I’ve seen, is cheaper and comes fully prepared with a well build rear box. The aluminium sheet on the side is easy to remove by drilling out the rivets, so you can add or replace windows where you please….
Why am I selling it you may ask, well my house got flooded in Novemeber (I live in Cockermouth) which has restricted the time I had available to work on it over the winter. Now I’ve started a new job with the prospect of working in the United States for a year, maybe two. I can’t take it with me and I now don’t have the time to convert it, plus it’s not going to do the truck any good sat in a farm yard for two years! I’d therefore like to see it go to a good home and get used as intended, Overlanding!!!!
This is why I went for a Mercedes … YouTube - Truck from Al Kofra Libya to Sudan
I estimate that with about £2k invested in equipment and hard graft, the truck will be perfect and worth considerably more when finished. Examples on Mobile.de go for £30K +
Asking Price - £9,000
I don't think for a minute that anyone will buy this off-spec but I live in Cockermouth in Cumbria and the truck is currently stored nearby, viewings by arrangement are more than welcome, just drop me a line, come and view, see if you think it's worth the money.
Ask what questions you like, payment will need to be cash or UK Bankers Draft.
01900 825859 (evenings)
note: broken window in the picture has been repaired