Truck Rebuild    Year 5 - April 2015 - November 2015
Its been a year.

How time flies. Some of it engaged in wall staring fatigue. Occasional bursts of energy.

This is one such burst. Time to take the roof off and seriously begin rebuilding the sub-frame.

Cracked in Mongolia and a few "on the road" repairs its time to repair properly.

Which basically means complete dismantle of body then replace the sub-frame.

There's a mudguard in the foreground. And a couple of spare cassettes for the vacuum loo that came from someone who no longer needs them. With a couple of spare bases - useful as no longer obtainable.

A clever jacking arrangement to make removing the roof easier than with trestles. Not very successful, it lacked a bit of stability.

First side removed.

The Sikaflex was cut with a multi-tool.

Very useful, the offset allows access to the corner joints.

Easier than expected.

And then there were two.

Sides that is.

Leaving the fridge plus disconnected pipes and wires.

Lots of them.

The floor was a bit more difficult.

The multi tool wouldn't quite reach and some places were inaccessible.

But simply peel it off the sub-frame.

With the help of a jack.

Lots of cracking noises. Felt like one centimeter at a time, for a week.

But this is also the Sikaflex that kept the sub-frame glued to the floor and prevented things falling off.

Amazing stuff really!

As things under the floor became visible it was obvious why the vacuum loo stopped on one occasion and was likely to stop at some future time.

Inspect everything as its dismantled and fix as necessary.

At last the floor is released from its prison.

The fallen angle of the rear of the sub-frame can be seen.

Along with the side arms that cracked in sympathy.

Allowing the sides to bow.

And .... well, you get the rest ..... never ending until it would eventually have collapsed.

It broke in front of the pivot plate.

Most odd.

This is after I ground out the welds holding rails to pivot plate.

The 12mm wire rope through the centre of the two main rails, used to keep it all in tension as a temporary repair, has been removed.

I wondered how I ever installed it.

Grinding out other welds was a bit tedious.

And hard on the arms that have lost a lot of muscle tone.

So one weld per day.

Pacing is good.

A bit of remedial scraping and painting of the chassis.

My arms just don't work like they used to. Painting underneath at arms length while lying on the ground is not as much fun as it once was.

Then add the newly manufactured sub-frame supports.

A change in design to 6 sprung mounts over a 2m distance (4 shown here) and 2 original sprung supports at the front of the body.

This allows chassis twist without over stressing the body.

I hope.

The two new main rails in place. With 6 sprung mounts.

Just checking alignment.

Of course it all fits .... !

In between the heavy work the beginnings of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery.

An Arduino with a 4D screen.

I'll make a separate page for the electrics. Really replace diesel cooktop (which failed when glow plug replaced, again, on return), add 240v for cooker and appliances like bread maker, double solar, and replace lead acid with Lithium.

Lithium is lighter for same energy storage with more sustainable power. The power is useful for providing 2kW to the cooker. 

A bit of remedial fibreglass repair.

Where the steel stake took a gouge out on the Tibet / China border.

This maintenance is full of happy memories.

But I can think of better ways of remembering.

This is my first attempt at fibreglass repair. Easier now its horizontal.

The second attempt is the rear wall where the max trax dug holes in the fibreglass.

A bit of welding.

"Dan the mobile welder".

Most of a day.

But there it is.

All ready for tanks, then floor.

Shades of deja vu.

Its a nice feeling seeing it come together again.

A spare wheel is now suspended from the sub-frame rather than two hung vertically off the rear.

Its wound up with a small chain winch - heavy, from wreckers. I had a bit of difficulty finding calibrated chain to fit. I found some "almost" which had elliptical links and squashed each link to match the winch.

Plan is to have a roof rack and spare tyre (no wheel) for the odd occasion when it may be necessary.

Then the new floor arrived.

Slid across from delivery truck to ours.

No lifting required.

But of course it has to be lifted to get the Sikaflex (glue never seems an adequate label and adhesive is too anonymous) in between floor and sub-frame.

The old trestles were reconstituted!

Then the 300Ah (12v) of Lithium battery arrived.

The inadequate Chinese starter batteries can be retired.

The LFP batteries are a tad taller.

So dig a hole in the floor.

The bottom of the hole is the skin removed to dig the hole. A bit of glass and resin will seal the edges.

How easily that flows off the tongue now that I have embarked on other fibreglass repairs.

And so add the ends and sides.


But pleasing to see.

The holes in the floor magically line up with the requirements of cables and pipes.

Then the seats.

A bit tedious cleaning old Sikaflex off.

The fancy arrangement with the rope was to pull the side in and keep it vertical while the Sikaflex set.

Not much pressure required.

Similarly with the weight at the back left corner.

More maintenance.

The space heaters needed a bit of cleaning.

I wonder what our lungs are like?

Eventually the day arrived when the roof could be fitted again.

Back to the original trestles with pulleys rather than the jacking arrangement I tried.

The pulley blocks have three pulleys which meant the proportions of skill and strength were shifted away from strength.

Et voila.

Almost the end of a big circle.

Just a rebuild of the door and a few remaining finishing tasks.

The steps have been modified slightly so that the top step is the same height as all the others.

Achieved with some laser cut steel with a couple of slots for the top of the steps to locate in.

But isn't it nice when the kettle can be boiled again.

Shiny new induction cooktop in place. And working.

Much easier to use than the diesel cooktop. But that served its purpose while solar and inverter prices came down over a few years.

Brisbane to Braidwood        Year 5 - December 2015 - January 2016

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