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  #1  
Old 28 Oct 2006
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MAN / VW 8.136 FAE - anyone know anything?

Hi Guys, first post so go easy!

As part of my search for a base vehicle I've come across these MAN/VW ex-military 4x4 8 tonners (GVW). 8.136 or 8.150 FAE or FAL.
Does anybody know anything about them? Reliability?
Cheers,
Steve.
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  #2  
Old 23 Nov 2006
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Truck

Hi Steve, sorry i cant help you with any info about the truck, but i can understand your plight as i was in the same position not so long ago myself. I was trying to gather information about various trucks that i could use as the base for an expediton vehicle. I eventually settled on an ex army bedford MJ 4x4 as this suited me well. The truck is a low milage (18000) example and they are of a simple construction, have a great reputation for reliability and are prety robust machines and best of all are quite inexpensive to buy, the fuel consumption is also not to bad 15mpg on tarmac is achievable. The down side is they are basic in the cab with few comforts, are really quite slow so long motorway miles would be a chore. anyway i thought i`d just say Hi and wish you well..........Marty
P.S. let us know how you get on.
P.P.S. take a look at this site for help/advice on the camper build
http://www.sbmcc.co.uk/
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  #3  
Old 23 Nov 2006
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Thanks Marty.
My thinking so far revolves around four base vehicles, two of which I have eliminated (I think )

1) Bedford MJ - Eliminated because of the cab and lack of power steering. It's a planned 3 year full time trip with 3 of us up front so comfort is important).Power steering essential for my wife.

2) Man 8.224 (newish) as used by Unicat - my preference really but eliminated because of the scarcity of used examples (that I can find) and the exorbitant fees for carnets on such an expensive vehicle.

3) Man/Vw 8.136/8.150 - basically the forerunner to the new Man 8.224 above but lots of examples and can be had for about £5,000 upwards. Downside, geared for 87kmh max speed and about 10mpg. Still in the running though.

4) Leyland/Daf 45/150 4x4 as used as the military general sevice 4 tonner (10 ton+/- GVW). Exellent examples from military storage but despite the fact that they are very common I am struggling to get second opinions or decent drawings/specifications. Still in the running so will keep trying.

Anything that cannot accomodate permanant beds, shower & toilet is ruled out. I don't want to circle the globe but lose a family!

Any ideas folks?

Steve
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  #4  
Old 23 Nov 2006
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If you want three in the cab The bedford is no use to you, might squeeze a seat in but it`s never gona be comfy. Out of curiosity what age is the yougster ? my yougest is still at school so we plan to wait a few years (3) so he can take some time out of education then travel with us if he wants to, but there are so many variables that it`s real hard to make definate plans. Have a look at this site http://www.witham-sv.com/infopage.php?ID=1103&Overide=1 this is a unimog but they also supply daf and bedford trucks all ex military
regards........marty.
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  #5  
Old 23 Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyboy
If you want three in the cab The bedford is no use to you, might squeeze a seat in but it`s never gona be comfy. Out of curiosity what age is the yougster ? my yougest is still at school so we plan to wait a few years (3) so he can take some time out of education then travel with us if he wants to, but there are so many variables that it`s real hard to make definate plans. Have a look at this site http://www.witham-sv.com/infopage.php?ID=1103&Overide=1 this is a unimog but they also supply daf and bedford trucks all ex military
regards........marty.
I visited Withams the week before last Marty. Excellent Leyland with only 13,000kms but I missed it. I also saw that Unimog 'in the flesh' there. Again it's lack of cab comfort that knocks the 'Mog out.
Our daughter is seven now and we need to be done for when she starts senior school at 11 so we have to decide on the vehicle & get on with this.
Steve.

Last edited by ClassicCruiser; 23 Nov 2006 at 17:02.
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  #6  
Old 23 Nov 2006
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that leaves you with a few years of lea way with the youngster to have your adventures, hope it all works out for you steve. When you get your truck send me a message and keep me posted, i`d be intrested to hear from you.
cheers.............marty.
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  #7  
Old 23 Nov 2006
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I knew someone who drove a daf from NL to uganda with no problems.

Have you thought about Iveco cargo 4x4

Graeme
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  #8  
Old 24 Nov 2006
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Gissa truck, mate

Hello Steve, I've been having these considerations for years now, and they go round and round.
Congrats on deciding to actually do it, that's a big step in itself.
I don't want to discourage you, but don't underestimate the time it takes to get a truck ready; Rob, a member of this forum who's gone to ground, built a lovely camper on an MJ but it took him much longer than he initially imagined.

The choice of base vehicle and the configuration of the vehicle depend on lots of factors, some of which are completely contradictory.

Fuel consumption: if that's a worry go smaller or get a new truck with a common rail engine. Most people cry NO to electronics but I know a family who have been travelling (Africa & now eastwards) since early 2003 in a nice new MAN without any electronic troubles.

Looking at the cost of a newer vehicle to reduce consumption:
If you compare a 10 MPG 8.136 with the 13 MPG 8.224 (what my friends run)...
At this stage I have to go metric: you save 7 litres per 100 km, if you saved 5000 pounds at purchase you have to drive nearly 143000km before the trucks have cost you the same amount of money. Do that sum with a spanking new truck and you've done a RTW before they cost the same (of course, reduced cab noise and aircon could be reasons to go newer, but they can be added)

Cruising speeds: improved by putting the biggest tyres that will fit, or going and hammering hard on a dealer (How are you getting on with that, Quintin?). And anyway only a problem in Europe, and once you're on the trip why are you on a motorway anyway? (Convoying with a TLC/LR can cause tensions sometimes)

Of your four candidates, as a (British educated) mechanical engineer I have developed a deep down mistrust of British manufacturing and build quality (remember the Leyland years? it took BMW a lot of work to get the LRs back up to standard) so for me the MJ and the Leyland are non-starters (sometimes literally ;-)
Have you considered Magirus? There are some inexpensive ex-fire trucks available in Germany and you'll find similar sized Magirus air cooled engines (& spares) all over the world (mostly in static generators). I presume you've combed Philipp Aus Dem thingy and mobile.de?

Going a little lighter I was intrigued by some of the ads I found at http://www.dimensioneavventura.org/vendo.htm (there's a class A motorhome on a Daily4x4 chassis and a rare 4 berth Mog with cab & body rigidly joined)
and also http://www.lt-4x4.de/ all mod cons in a less "in your face" package that's cheaper to run.

Big disadvantage of class A motorhome config: if ever you RoRo your truck unaccompanied, you need to block off access to the living area or risk losing the contents. Solution: take a cruise with the truck, you're on holiday after all (Grimaldi allow this, others?)

If my wife weren't hammering sense into me (and my weekends weren't filled with tiling/plumbing/roofing etc.) I'd probably already be mounting a recent(ish) MAN/MERC/RENAULT engine into a Tatra 813. Available in the Czeck republic for as little as 3500 EUROS, tougher just doesn't exist! A Renault Magnum 380 or equiv. with 1Mkm costs around 6000Euros and has all the plumbing necessary. (I'm told they get around 9MPG at 40 tonnes MGVW, the Tatra weighs 12T empty...)

Finding the space and lifting gear is another story.

I like Tatras! There, I've come out with it! Rigid chassis (= cheaper body mounts), protected transmission, 100T towing capacity (= tough transmission) independant suspension (= more stable on rough terrain), low CoG, I could go on.

She's right though, it would be very, very noticeable.

Oops! Lunchbreak over.
Let us know how you get on, what you decide etc.
Happy daydreams
er, sorry, preparations
Luke
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  #9  
Old 24 Nov 2006
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Agree about the tatra,very sturdy indeed. But disagree about MJ (ok i`ve got one) brittish army have used these for decades and are still in service, others have come and gone the daf being one and there about to cahnge the ivecos but are still using old bedfords (not for much longer though) That speaks volumes about the truck. At the end of the day you pays your money and makes your choice. Any half decent truck, looked after will take you on your travels. Don`t get bogged down with the truck and camper build,after all it is only a means to an end, it`s the trip that counts.
marty
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  #10  
Old 24 Nov 2006
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I have to agree with luke on the build quality of british stuff being quite poor. a friend of mine who was in the british army said when they went anywhere they had enough spares in the convoy to build another one, adding that the army doesnt care what it costs to run/maintain its fleet. you on the other hand wont have the back up of mr blair and our taxes!. look and ask some of the overland companies what they use. another friend of mine worked for dragoman and they use two wheel drive Mercs. Have you ever considered two wheel drive with a diff lock?

Graeme
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  #11  
Old 24 Nov 2006
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Actually Dragoman generally now tend to use 6x6 and 4x4 Mercs but that's a small point however they use Mercs not Bedford TMs or other cheap ex-mod vehicles; presumeably because of reliablity and spares availablity issues. Generally though this is a tough call because modern trucks are astonishingly reliable, need precious little servicing, but are impossible to fix when they go wrong. A mate of mine was driving a newish Scania to one of the 'Stans when the starter motor died in Ukraine. He only got sorted because some kind soul he met took his old starter to a bus depot and 'swapped it' with one in a serviceable bus! On the other hand, trucks like Marty's MJ are dead easy to fix just about anywhere and by just about anyone. The problem is that you can only get 2 in the cab and they're slow, noisy and pretty basic. I have to agree with Luke though that there is much to be said for those old air-cooled Magrius trucks. Not only are there plenty for sale in Germany but they are cheap and very reliable. In the end though it comes down to money. If you can afford a nice newish MAN it'll be so much more comfortable, easier to drive etc, etc

Luke I (finally) got the axles done this week. Only taken a year! Couldn't find any second hand crown wheel and pinions and had to spend £2,500 on new ones. Merc truck spares are ludicrously pricey and my experiences of local Merc dealers here is unprintable. However it's sorted. The top speed is a tad higher (90km/hr max) but the main thing is that I can go at 70-80 without constantly worrying about red-lining the motor...and I've discovered first gear! Very pleased....but rather skint

Q
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  #12  
Old 25 Nov 2006
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Hi Q, you better hope your new kit does`nt go wrong on the road ! £2.5k and a year to get it sorted. That 2.5k represents a fair chunk of the total price of my full rig ! But your right, if money were no object i`d also go for somthing more modern and the MAN trucks have got a good reputation, unfortuatley i live in the real world where compromises must be made, which takes me back to my earlier post, the travel is what i want to do, i just happen to want to do it in a truck because it suits my needs. For me it`s not about the truck. Everyone will make their choice of vehicle based on their own like/dislikes and buget I suppose. What about these http://www.russiantruck.co.uk/index.html Russian trucks, most of them are petrol but you can also get diesel versions. The zil and ural 6x6 trucks look awsome. Does any one have the lowdown on these ? could be an option for you Steve .
regards......marty
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  #13  
Old 25 Nov 2006
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I travelled with a mate who had an old '63 maguirus air cooled 6 cyl 7ltr. anyway it was realiable, but noisy and uncomfortable. very basic, his wife and kids travelled in my merc when they wanted a break from the noise!

Why not go to main dealers and ask which models have not got loads of electrics and management gizmos. they will be older but as long as its a good one who cares.

Graeme
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  #14  
Old 26 Nov 2006
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Hello again chaps,
Thank you very much indeed for all the useful posts - keep em coming

Sorry I didn't respond to your posts yesterday - I was away looking at trucks!
Nothing of interest as it turns out - saw a Leyland/Daf 45/150 ex council gritter but although it was 4x4 as described it had merely been converted to 4x4 by adding a transfer box and extra shaft. Suspension etc. was as per the standard road spec. Ho hum.
I agree with the points on both engineering and the length of time for fit out, but I'm also an (ex) professional engineer and owned a boatbuilding company so I am going in eyes wide open.
To be honest, my preference would be a newish Man with a Unicat type body. I can match (exceed) that standard but it comes down to the rediculus cost of Carnets and the possibility (likelyhood) that at some time we will have to leave the vehicle in storage for a month or two whilst we return home to check on the business etc.

At your suggestion(s), I've added the Iveco Cargo & Mercs to the list but old 60's Eastern block types are a non starter on comfort, noise & spares grounds. We will have a Uk contact for spares but I want to keep it as simple as poss' for them.

I still like the looks of the Man/Vw 8.136 as per my original question but despite the fact that there are hundreds available, I've yet to find anybody who has driven one. I reminds me of my old Mercedes GWagon which we regulary offroaded in Morocco.

The new Iveco Cargo 4x4 with up to 220 bhp looks tempting though! I suppose it will come down to what I see on the day I'm really in the mood.
The absolute latest for having the vehicle ready to fit out is Easter 2007, but I would rather have something purchased in the next month or two so that I can do detailed plans for the fit out rather than the general ones I have.
Steve

Last edited by ClassicCruiser; 26 Nov 2006 at 13:53.
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  #15  
Old 27 Nov 2006
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Hi Steve,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicCruiser
it had merely been converted to 4x4 by adding a transfer box and extra shaft. Suspension etc. was as per the standard road spec.
That's what most 4x4 trucks end up being. A spring being a boingy thing the manufacturers often simply downrate the max load on the 4x4 version. It's the shocks and their mounts that receive the most attention and are upgraded.
And the cab mounts. I know MAN have a specific Africa spec cab pivot/mount to deal with the extra vibration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicCruiser
I'm also an (ex) professional engineer and owned a boatbuilding company so I am going in eyes wide open.
To be honest, my preference would be a newish Man with a Unicat type body. I can match (exceed) that standard
Wow, you could be a handy person to know :-)
Now you're out of boats have you considered trucks? The very existence of Unicat, Action Mobil, Langer & Boch etc. etc. proves that there's a market at the top end of the price bracket. There must be a mid range market too, at the moment virtually anything below the prices of the big firms is a self build.
The absence of base vehicles is of course a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicCruiser
but it comes down to the rediculus cost of Carnets
The amount you deposit depends on the value you declare, it bears no relation to how much the vehicle cost you, or for how much you have insured it for. The insurers don't compare notes with the RAC (about that, at least)
Within reason, of course. The purchase price of the truck (if 2nd hand) is acceptable, that way if the RAC ask for proof it's only worth that, you've got a receipt. You could add the coachbuilders price for the box, but if you start costing up your own time spent fitting it out, you soon reach Unicat values.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicCruiser
old 60's Eastern block types are a non starter on comfort, noise & spares grounds.
I'm going to leap to the defence of my dream truck, It's an emotional thing.

The model I want (need?) was built 1978 - 1984 (or around there).
Comfort & noise: the seats can be changed and one can add layers of sound proofing. I haven't looked at the relative cost versus a more modern truck. Obviously it'll never be as plush as a modern rig.
Spares: it would be arrogant to say that Tatras just don't break, but as an example the 6wd support truck from the Loprais team is about to start its 14th (I think) Dakar next year on its original engine, chassis and transmission.
The race truck has been pushed to 850 hp for a production spec of 350, not the best example.

More practically, Tatra has recently been bought by Terex, who have since sold hundreds (thousands?) to the US military under the American Truck Corporation brand (with cummins engine and Allison auto box - nice)
This means that not only can you get spares wherever the USSR had gone and meddled, but now also wherever the US has sent "advisors" (usually a marine corps contingent)
And that covers pretty much the entire world these days.
Anyway that's an aside, really

Sorry I can't tell you more about the 8.136 except that it'll do the job, just not at 130 km/h on the motorway.

The EuroCargo 4x4/Eurotrakker are super, but remember the carnet if you buy new!

For your detailed plans I think you'll find that you can bolt a 4-5m box onto most of the trucks you're looking at.

Marty is right in a way, sometimes it's better just to get out there and not worry so much about the truck. I've lived in a van in the past, but I'm not the only one who's going to be living in our truck, and in the interests of family harmony there has to be the shower, the permanant bed, a decent kitchen, the aircon/heating and (discovered during 7 months around WA) an automatic washing machine.
That's no problem with a HGV

It must be old age creeping up on us, to "need" all those comforts, when we plan on going where there just aren't any.

Happy plans
Luke
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