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Old 02-26-2007, 09:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unimog Ownership

I have been interested in Mogs for a long time now and always wanted to own one. I have been planning a ground up M715 build up for a while but realize that I don't have the time or place to currently do such a build up. I feel that a Mog is the best option because they are so capable out of the box and just down right cool. I have been doing a lot of reading and searching and have come to the conclusion that a 404 will be best for me. I just have a few questions about them that Iím sure almost all of you have experience with...

-Costs: I figure that I can pick up a good condition 404 for around $15,000 but I am unsure of the cost of ownership. The few times I have met people with Mogs on the trails they say that they are easy to take care of and they are very serviceable. Anyone have any insight or experience with maintaining a Mog and what is involved?

-Driving on streets: I understand that the Unimog was not designed to be a daily driver by any means but I would like to drive it around the streets and on short trips from time to time. Is it possible to travel at ~50mph for say 300mi with a gas 404?
-Any general comments about the challenges or the benefits of ownership would be great. I was looking at just buying from a seller on EBay because it seems like the easiest option. Anyone have other good sources?

-Gears and tires: I have heard a lot of talk about installing the crawler gear box into the 404s but I am unsure how that works and what it involves. Is it set up like a doubler? Is there a write-up anywhere I could look at? Looking at most of the 404s for sale they have smaller narrow tires. It seems like they could really benefit from a bigger set of swampers or Ag tires. How big of a tire will fit and how does the Mog handle them?

Thank you for any info and helping to get a newbie started in the Unimog world. I canít wait to buy my first Mog and get it out on the trail
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Old 02-26-2007, 10:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not a 404 guy (I have a 416) but I'll throw out some comments...

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-Driving on streets: I understand that the Unimog was not designed to be a daily driver by any means but I would like to drive it around the streets and on short trips from time to time. Is it possible to travel at ~50mph for say 300mi with a gas 404?
This is no problem with a 404. With the proper tires, transmission cooling and engine HP, a 404 will go 70 MPH. I guess there is some issues with portal box heating at speed with standard drum brake wheels (they limit airflow).

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-Gears and tires: I have heard a lot of talk about installing the crawler gear box into the 404s but I am unsure how that works and what it involves.

I believe it's as simple as bolting it up to the bottom of the transmission. If it works like the newer diesel Mogs, it throws a reduction gear before the main ratios.

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Looking at most of the 404s for sale they have smaller narrow tires. It seems like they could really benefit from a bigger set of swampers or Ag tires. How big of a tire will fit and how does the Mog handle them?
There are plenty of people running 37-39" tires. I think the width is only limited by how much bodywork you want to remove and what kind of backspacing you have on your rims (and how much HP you have to turn them...).
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Old 02-26-2007, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Crawler gears are RARE these days. Odds are you wont need them anyway. Their for things like pulling a 20 ton train with your 4ton mog.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I live in the Chicago, IL area and go to school in Dayton, OH. I will be relocating to the Denver area or somewhere on the west coat in 2008.

Thanks for the replies so far. I really didn't know that a Mog could cruise up to 70mph on the stock engine.

Can anyone talk more about the upkeep required on a 404 or any other ownership experiences.

Thanks,
Brett
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies so far. I really didn't know that a Mog could cruise up to 70mph on the stock engine.

Can anyone talk more about the upkeep required on a 404 or any other ownership experiences.
Unless you live somewhere where all the roads are downhill, you won't be cruising at 70 MPH with the stock engine. The stock motor seems to be happiest running about 50. It will go faster but you will be winding it up. I can't (won't) comment on the longevity of the transmission at higher sustained speeds but that issue always starts a debate. I have gotten used to driving 50 MPH and hills will make sure you can't go much faster. Any more than 1 1/2 hours drive and the mog gets trailered.

As far as maintenance goes, it is 1950s technology and it does require simple routine maintenance. Find all the 8000 lube points and a simple tune up and you are good to go.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Unimogs rule! You will love your Mog and for 15 grand you will get the ultimate 404.1 no problem. You will probably find a nice one for about 8 grand. Now if your really nuts get a 406 or 416 diesel, those will be 15+ and are just amazing vehicles. Any Mog you get will basicly outperform any vehicle dollar for dollar with no modifications other than tires and maybee a bigger battery. I love my old 406, the Jeepers laughed at first now they just stare in amazement as my 11,200lb. Mog rolls over 30" trees and climbs up almost any hill effortlesly. Service is , like said earlier very easy and straightforward. I love my 406 as a daily local driver, it gets great fuel mileage and is very comfortable. I just use it in the summer when there is no salt on the roads. I cruise a couple hundred miles to PA to wheel a few times a year and really look forward to taking back roads and really seeing things at 45mph. It is a different mindset at the slower speeds, very relaxing and fun. Go for it, you will not be dissapointed.
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the insight... This is all just confirming what I had in mind. Not only are Unimogs the coolest looking 4x4s they do seem to out preform just about anything offroad. To think for 8 grand I could get a beat up wrangler

Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems that 404s and other Unimogs don't seem to lose their value unless you really mess them up.

Unimog,
I know just what you mean about enjoying the back roads. I'm sure it is a great experience cruising in a Mog. When I do pick one up it will be driven around IL and IN to the offroad parks and such and then pulled out to CO and UT once a year. And I'm sure it will be a blast to drive around town too!
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I found a set of crawler gears for $1200 on the Unimog exchange about 6 months ago. I think I was lucky to get them. Installing them is as easy as removing a cover plate on the transmission and bolting the crawler unit in it's place. Then you just put the handle in position through the boot and into the unit. It was the easiest mod I'd ever done on a vehicle. I do mostly rocks so in my opinion the crawler gears are a must for the kind of wheeling I like. Whether you need them or not depends on the kind of wheeling you do.

A stock 404 will only go about 50 mph. Mine had 42" TSL's with beadlocks on it which was quite a load for that little engine. It's slooooow. Smaller tires would probably be in order for most folks but I still don't think you'll see speeds in excess of 55 mph, especially long distance. A slight grade will kill any speed you have going. Best advice I can give you on top speed is that which I read somewhere when I was looking into buying my first mog - "it's a fast tractor." Don't expect too much in the way of speed and you won't be dissapointed.
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Did I read that right, 70mph not 70kmph??? OK, who put the blower in their sled, I want one too. I do love my mog but it is a "tractor" not a street vehicle.

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Old 03-01-2007, 10:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Fastest I've been able to go in my 404 radio box mog is around 65mph. That was on a slight downhill grade. I wouldnt want to drive that fast for very long in it though, as the noise and unbalanced tires are a bit scary. On the flat, mine will hit 55mph fairly easily if there is no headwind. I've driven it in rush hour in Phoenix and it does ok with that too.

As for comfort, I find the 404 to be surprisingly decent on the road. The coil springs give a very smooth ride. Steering with no power assist is reasonable, though if you plan on doing any rock crawling you will want to look into adding a power assist of some sort. Braking is OK, but mine does not have power assist brakes, so you gotta stand on it to stop. The engine IS noisy as all hell though, so it will need lots of insulation. At 55mph, the noise is loud enough that you have to yell to talk to the passenger. And thats with the soft top version.. the hard tops are noisier I hear.

The best I can describe driving mine is like driving a 1950s moving van. Its slow and big, but very very different. On road, it handles reasonably well, and the refinement is apparent in the steering and suspension. Very precise. Offroad, you point it where you want to go, select the gear and go. It crawls up anything I point it at.

Working on the mog, some things are easy, and some things are a royal PITA. changing a transmission is one of the hardest jobs on a mog, as everything must be removed.. The cab, axles, engine, etc. On the 404, the wheel hubs are a PITA to remove and will require building some form of hub mountable hydraulic press. On the flip side, the engine is easy to work on. With the hood up and access panels off in the cab, you can get to the whole engine to wrench on it. I swapped in a new head on mine with the engine in place with no issues. Maintaining it is easy. There are grease zerks EVERYWHERE, and all oil check and fill points are documented in the available service manuals. I just check and fill every month or two if I'm driving it a lot.

They are very neat vehicles. If you look around you can get some real deals on them. I scored mine for $3500 and it just needed a head and seal replacement work on the portals.

If you like attention, a mog will get more attention than any other vehicle on the road. I get comments from everyone while driving the thing running errands around town.

One advantage to the 404 that no one has mentioned yet.. Surplus 404 parts are readily available and actually very inexpensive from surplus channels such as www.expedition-imports.com or www.swissarmyvehicles.com . For other model mogs that were not used in the militaries around the world, parts will be more expensive to get. The main reason I went with the 404 was due to parts availability. Hell, you can get a complete factory fresh engine, with all accessories for $1700 for the 404.

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Old 03-03-2007, 04:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I live in the Chicago, IL area and go to school in Dayton, OH. I will be relocating to the Denver area or somewhere on the west coat in 2008.

Thanks for the replies so far. I really didn't know that a Mog could cruise up to 70mph on the stock engine.

Can anyone talk more about the upkeep required on a 404 or any other ownership experiences.

Thanks,
Brett

Well. Brett, if you want to come down to cincinnati I'd be happy to show you what 60mph feels like in my 406!
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The fastest i have ever gone in my 416 is 58 down a big downhill grade,and i will never do it again.It was all over the place.Get it on a tow rig then you can get it to go 70!The mogs are not a go fast truck, there the get there no matter what truck.I love my mog, but i found out the hard way,if you drive it on the street, you better have some time to get there. Hope you find a good one!!
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Old 03-03-2007, 09:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You can buy an essentially new U500 demo for 80K, with factory warranty. It's on Ebay. It cruises at 65, top spd 70 (governed), 6.4L diesel, 260hp, 700ft-lb, 395/85R20 XZLs, 26000 GVW, 8spd trans with electropneumatic shifting and working gears (5.77 ratio).

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Old 03-03-2007, 10:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Well. Brett, if you want to come down to cincinnati I'd be happy to show you what 60mph feels like in my 406!
Yeah I was kinda thinking that 70mph sounded too fast to be true. I have normally heard that about 50-55 is the top speed limit. If you are serious about giving me a ride and showing me your Mog I will drive down in a heartbeat. I have never ridden or wheeled in a Mog, only seen them on the trail and done countless hours of online research. I am dieing to be a 404 owner hopefully pretty soon here.

Thanks for all of the great info about Mog ownership, it is truly helpful to hear from real owners. Keep it coming if others have anything to add.
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Old 03-03-2007, 10:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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You can buy an essentially new U500 demo for 80K, with factory warranty. It's on Ebay. It cruises at 65, top spd 70 (governed), 6.4L diesel, 260hp, 700ft-lb, 395/85R20 XZLs, 26000 GVW, 8spd trans with electropneumatic shifting and working gears (5.77 ratio).

Charlie
I have seen that truck. Looks like a sweet ride. New Mogs look really sweet but I they are WAY out of my price range right now. Maybe someday. I think the old Mogs are cooler anyway.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:00 AM   #17 (permalink)
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... I think the old Mogs are cooler anyway.
and they will actually fit on most jeep trails. The newer ones you would have to mount running chainsaws around the edges of the cab to cut a path for you to fit thru the tree's etc. Ok.... I guess you would need some kinda rock augers too. Boy would the environmentalist just LUV YOU!
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:43 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Yeah I was kinda thinking that 70mph sounded too fast to be true. I have normally heard that about 50-55 is the top speed limit. If you are serious about giving me a ride and showing me your Mog I will drive down in a heartbeat. I have never ridden or wheeled in a Mog, only seen them on the trail and done countless hours of online research. I am dieing to be a 404 owner hopefully pretty soon here.

Thanks for all of the great info about Mog ownership, it is truly helpful to hear from real owners. Keep it coming if others have anything to add.
Yea, PM me your phone number and I'll give you a call and you can come down for a little wheeling! I know i'll have it out and about on March 24 for the Scenic Road Rallies 4wd event. I will be a stream crossing monitor. That weekend would be good. Also, it will be at Kings Jeep in Mason Ohio on April 14th for some event they are having. Check later for starting time on the Kings Jeep event.
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Old 03-03-2007, 02:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The fastest i have ever gone in my 416 is 58 down a big downhill grade,and i will never do it again.It was all over the place.
Must be something wrong with your steering or suspension. I cruise my 416 for many miles at a time at full throttle, which is ~63MPH. Drives and steers just as well as my Rover at that speed.

And Forged, if you read my original message, you'll note I didn't say anything about a stock engine
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Old 03-03-2007, 05:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've gotta agree with discosaurus on this. My 416 looks to be almost identical to shawnmogs and cruises about the same as discos (fast axles, too?) and my only complaint is I can't do 70 or more. Although if I had shawnmogs' tow rig I would probably go that route, too.
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I've gotta agree with discosaurus on this. My 416 looks to be almost identical to shawnmogs and cruises about the same as discos (fast axles, too?) and my only complaint is I can't do 70 or more. Although if I had shawnmogs' tow rig I would probably go that route, too.
With "fast axles" you can do more than 70. I would guess you run the stock ratio 6,5-1
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Old 03-04-2007, 12:35 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yea, PM me your phone number and I'll give you a call and you can come down for a little wheeling! I know i'll have it out and about on March 24 for the Scenic Road Rallies 4wd event. I will be a stream crossing monitor. That weekend would be good. Also, it will be at Kings Jeep in Mason Ohio on April 14th for some event they are having. Check later for starting time on the Kings Jeep event.
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And Forged, if you read my original message, you'll note I didn't say anything about a stock engine
My bad. Can you talk more about possible engine swaps or upgrades? It must be nice to have your Mog running so nice at higher speeds. I don't have a strong towrig right now and won't be able to afford one for a little while so it would be nice to have sustained speeds over 55mph.

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With "fast axles" you can do more than 70. I would guess you run the stock ratio 6,5-1
Are the "Fast axles" available in the 404s? I have heard of them on the later model mogs, but never have on the 404s
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Are the "Fast axles" available in the 404s? I have heard of them on the later model mogs, but never have on the 404s
No. Fast axle did not become available till the next generation of axles after the 404. No the next generation mog axles dont easily bolt up to a 404. Much is differnt.
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My bad. Can you talk more about possible engine swaps or upgrades? It must be nice to have your Mog running so nice at higher speeds. I don't have a strong towrig right now and won't be able to afford one for a little while so it would be nice to have sustained speeds over 55mph.

No problem, Your original message talked about cruising in the 50-55 MPH range - my message addressed that. Other people evidently thought I was saying a bone stock 404 would do 70.

Like I said, I'm not a 404 guy - so I'll let other people who know more about 404 hop-up speak.
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Old 03-04-2007, 05:51 PM   #25 (permalink)
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With "fast axles" you can do more than 70. I would guess you run the stock ratio 6,5-1
They're fast axles, nowhere near 70 though. I had eurotruck run the numbers. I'm running 14.5 conti e6's (44's). Would that have any major effect?
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