Chassis and Drive Train

October '99

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With the cab rebuilt and painted it was time to strip down the hard cab Mog which would be used for the chassis and drive train. Since there wasn't much left of the cab worth saving I decided to remove it in pieces with the "blue tip wrench" Before cutting up the cab every piece of trim and hardware was removed and saved for the rebuild.

After removing the cab I started repairing the bed structure. Between the two trucks there was one good spider frame and one bed platform but no sides and no cylinder. I found four good bedsides in Canada from Bernie at Starke Diesel and had them truck shipped to work. The existing front panel was shot so it was cut off and one of the two rear bedsides was welded in place. I had the bed frame sandblasted and I was able the strip the sides in two 4'x4'x10' stainless caustic and acid tanks I built for stripping parts at work. It has always been very handy to work in the manufacturing business!

I primed and wet painted the bed frame and powder coated the sides at work. Note: when using a non-automated system always make sure your parts are well etched (passivated) before powder painting. Mine were not and I ended up stripping and re coating them two years later.

Loading and unloading the cab-less Mog on the rental trailer was done by starting it in gear with a remote starter switch and killing the engine to stop or change directions. Nice to have enclosed drive shafts when you're standing on one to drive. I hauled it to work one Saturday to have the bed sides painted while I steam cleaned the engine and chassis prior to disassembly.

With the bed painted it was time to pull the engine to clean it up an try to fix a major oil leak. The farmer had actually fabricated a sheet metal catch pan under the bell housing with a drain plug to hold the leaking motor oil. Creative.

April 2000





The engine in my U65 is an OM312 rather than the later OM352 and uses glow plugs rather than direct injection. Being the first year of production these two trucks were not only different from each other (492 units apart) but much different than the later U900. With the pan off I found that the engine had no rear main oil seal. It was designed with a left hand spiral groove cut in the crank to 'pump' oil back into the pan. With much help from Jim Ince at Eurotech Services I was able to stumble through a gasket-only overhaul. Turns out the farmer had recently rebuilt the engine and transmission before giving up on the trucks. Lucky for me, the massive oil leak was due to a loose plug in an oil pressure passage behind the flywheel. Things were looking up at this point.

The running truck had a six puck metallic clutch disk that had ruined the flywheel and the pressure plate surfaces. I was able to split the engine and trans in the parts truck and pull out a good looking organic disc and rebuildable pressure plate and flywheel. Valley clutch in Irwindale took the two sets of parts and made one set that looked like new.

The front half of the frame was cleaned and stripped and I found that the passenger side shock mount had been broken off and rewelded a few times. I cut off the patch job and transferred the straight mounting bracket from the parts truck using a stick welder for good penetration.

A fresh paint job, new gaskets and seals and a rebuilt clutch and the engine was ready go back in place.