Shortly after being sold by the French in 1992, the truck couldn't be
started. It ended up in a salvage yard in Germany. The bed was removed
and a few parts were cannibalized. Many other disfunctional trucks were
parked around it, and there it sat, rusting, for 7-8 years. I had the
opportunity to buy it from Dirk Rautenburg at a very good price as a
'project' truck. If problems with the truck were too severe it would
become a parts truck. In either case, this was my opportunity to take
apart a 404 Unimog and see how it was made!
After arrival in Littleton, the engine was started, sounded reasonably
functional, and a bad clutch was diagnosed. The tranny and running gear
seemed to be ok. The truck was stripped down to the frame and most parts
(including complete cab) were sand blasted, repainted, and reassembled.
The brake system was cleaned and bad parts replaced. Every reservoir was
drained, flushed, and filed with regular 75W90 lube for "re-break-in" (and
was replaced later with Amsoil 75W90 synthetic). A new clutch assembly
was installed and components like starter, generator, fuel pump, carb, etc,
were disassembled, checked and/or rebuilt. That work took about a year.
I wanted to build a special bed so having no bed at the time of purchase
was not an issue, and actually made shipping easier. The bed construction
is still underway so this page will have updates for some time.
Keep weight down and maintain low center of gravity
No restriction to frame flexing
Smaller than normal bed, both in width and length
Bed not to flex (to allow carrying camper body, etc)
ROPS system which will not restrict articulation of frame or
significantly reduce ability to pass trailside trees, rocks, etc.
Good balance of the truck when supported only on wheels on opposite
Centrally mounted (frame mount) winch with access front and rear
Easy winch access for clearing cable problems