UNIMOG Colorado
Rocky Mountain Moggers

So you've bought a Unimog

So you've bought a Unimog. Now what?

The first thing is to properly identify what you actually have. This is very important in getting the correct spare parts, technical information, etc. The key to all of this is the complete chassis serial number, or VIN.

If you happen to have the Data Card for your Unimog, that's great. The information is all there. If it's missing (It was with the original set of owners manuals in the glove box, or door pocket) then you'll need to get it off the frame. It is permanently stamped in the right hand, front frame rail. You can see it by looking in the passenger side, front wheel well.

Just to say "it's a U900" doesn't really help. The Unimog 406 series model we most often call the U900: a 406.121, has at varying times in it's build history been known as: The U 65, U 70, U 80, U84, and U900. It can be found with engines ranging from 4.59 liter to 5.675 liter. Across the production span the various engine models have been:

312.954 4.5 liter 48 kW (65 HP) with glow plugs
352.902 5.675 liter 59 kW (80 HP)
352.919 5.675 liter 48 kW (65 HP)
352.984 5.675 liter 59 kW (80 HP)
353.902 5.675 liter 62 kW (84 HP)
353.940 5.675 liter 81 kW (110 HP)

On top of all these variants, there were even some, less than a 100 units, produced with the OM321, 5.1 liter engine (81 kW).

The "U 900" Unimog has been sold as models:

406.121 Closed steel cab,
406.120 Open cab
406.130 Open cab, traction head unit
406.133 Closed cab, traction head unit
406.142 Open cab
406.143 Closed cab
406.145 Closed cab, double cab (crew cab)

The J.I. Case marketed MB4/94 was a 406.121 with the 353.902 motor, and Case supplied rear deck, ROPS, FOPS and rear hydraulic system.

Within the above models, they can be found with different transmissions, different braking systems, varying hydraulic and PTO configurations. You can find open cab models with closed cabs, as the open cab was used as the basis for several special cabs.

All of which are why the entire chassis serial number is so important. Telling the parts guy, "I just got a new U900" doesn't really mean much of anything, other than it has a 94" wheelbase. Unless it's a traction head. Then the wheelbase may be anything depending on the installed equipment.

It's not that the parts guy doesn't want to help you. With many items, he cannot, without the specific details of the unit. Even something as mundane as an oil filter element, requires the chassis and engine information. There are three different oil filters that are possible on a U900 with an OM 352 motor, depending on the engine serial number.

While we typically think of the 406 series when we say U900, it actually continued with the 417 series in three different closed cab models:

417.101 Disc brakes, 353.902 or 353.940 motor 417.106 Drum Brakes, M366 motors, 356.912 or 366.939 417.201 Disc brakes, 353.902 or 353.940 motor

You can see why when you say; "I have a Unimog U900" it doesn't mean a whole lot to the parts guy.

Do something nice for your parts supplier. Always have your full chassis number when ordering spare parts for your Unimog. Your parts supplier will love you for it. Heck he'll probably put you on his Christmas Card list. :)

We used the U900 for an example, but this same "label" confusion applies to all models of Unimogs. Become friends with your chassis number. It will serve you many times over, when ordering parts.

-Jack Russell

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