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  #1  
Old 10 Mar 2009
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Essex Uk
Posts: 35
Chassis Role Advice for a novice please

Hi
I am new to this part of the forum and need some advice.

Let me just mention I know very little on overland vehicles but intend to build one in the near future. I am in the thinking and planning stages at the moment.

My thinking was to buy an ex military truck ( 7.5 Mtrs ish ) and build a body onto it.

However, I have now discovered how naive i am.

My problem is one that i am sure has come up before .

Chassis role and distortion.

Obviously bolting a rigid box to a chassis that is designed to flex and twist will cause problems with stress being transferred into the box.

Q.1 What type of chassis / suspension. should i look for that is best able to cope with chassis twist

Q.2 What can be done to alleviate the stress ie are there and special mountings i can use to help the situation. ( if so who supplies them )

and lastly

Q. 3 I have yet to buy the vehicle . I hope to have a 4 wheel drive truck base with a 5 mtr body on the back . Can anyone suggests suitable models or more importantly ones to avoid. Although I intend to take this vehicle through Africa and Asia i do not intend to do any serious off roading as such if i can avoid it

I hope someone can offer suitable advice

Many thanks

Neil
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  #2  
Old 10 Mar 2009
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Finland
Posts: 13
I'm by no means an expert but here are some thoughts:

You want to mount the cabin on a torsion free subframe. My english is not so good but I try to explain. This is sort of a hinged support for your cabin that allows the chassis to move independently from the cabin (or what ever bed you might have).

For example in my Unimog the bed / cabin is hinged from the front and rear and rigidly attached from the sides at the center. When the rigid attachment points move up and down with the suspension the bed tilts from side to side around the hinges. I hope you get the idea.

As for suitable trucks a few pop to my mind.

Fiat / Iveco ACL 75 and ACM 80 and 90
These, I believe, are equipped with portal axles which gives lots of ground clearance, but also usually makes the truck a bit slow.

Magirus Deutz 168M11 FAL and M 232 FAE and 110-16
Don't know anything about these, but they look good to me. Maybe a bit on the big side?

Steyr 12M18 4x4 looks capable. How easy it is to get parts for these around the world I don't know.

WV / MAN 8.136 FAE
Not sure if these are big enough for 5m cabin.

Long wheelbase Unimogs. 1300/L37 or something similar if you want to have a 5m long cabin.

MAN makes good ones aswell. Can't remember the models though. Very popular for OEM overland camper companies.

Personally I would choose something from a manufacturer who has well stocked service agents in those parts of the globe that you plan to visit. My choice is Mercedes in the form of an Unimog.

Now that I look at the list above they all seem to be quite off-road oriented so there might be better choices for you. I hope this gets you started anyway.

Edit: Choosing an Overland Campervan. this is a good read about the subject.
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  #3  
Old 11 Mar 2009
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: South Africa
Posts: 46
Check out this blog, they did exactly what you are thinking about:

OverAfrica - Torsion-free mounting

Converted a Leyland DAF GS 4-tonner
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  #4  
Old 15 Mar 2009
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: london
Posts: 175
Hi
lots of info on the hubb, for some pics for a bedford build check out this site
Our first problem (twisting chassis) | Travelling 4x4

has some good pics especially one of chassis twist

Stephen Stewart from unimog.org mounted his box with springs with no probs you can get them from

Service Metals Commercial Vehicle Fittings Catalogue

I went for a smaller truck 40.10 w 4 ton and still wonder if I made the right choice won't know until next sept when I have been on the road for couple of months. Is it to small!

Size of living accomadation versus fuel economy, shipping weight and and the ability to towed out by smaller vehicles

good luck Mark
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  #5  
Old 15 Mar 2009
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 38
same issues

I'm going through the same issues, and seam to round and round them. I've found some ex-army communication boxes which I plan to convert. Here are some of these going at the Witham Tender this week. I'm going down on Saturday if you want to meet and share thoughts.

Josh
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