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Hi!

After selling my Defender 110 300tdi I have been looking at the Unimog 404 as a part promotional, part light expedition vehicle.

There’s a lot to like about the 404 - perfect (compact) size, classic and interesting looks, and the lack of power can be brought up to an acceptable standard with a swap. The only issue I haven’t found an answer to is the gearbox.

It absolutely has to be able to cruise with the modern traffic on the motorway at 110kmh/70mph but as per my understanding, the gearbox would overheat after a short stint at that speed. It also seems that oil coolers can’t solve this issue.

Is there a fix for this that I haven’t stumbled upon - either with rebuilding the box (there seem to be some projects in progress but no status updates) or in the form of a different box altogether (if that’s even possible)? I don’t expect the solution to be cheap, but rather looking for input if this could be done.

Thanks!
Mikk
 

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From what I've read it sounds like a couple people have paid to have the machine work done to replaced the bronze bushings with proper bearings, it was not a cheap or simple process and I havent found any proper documentation on how they did it or what they used. It seems the overheating issues happen primarily in transmissions with plugged oil channels, many people report being able to cruise at 55 for hours on end at acceptable temps.
 

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I owned a beautiful 404 for a number of years and I must say that there is nothing about any component of a stock 404 that is made to go 70 mph! I would strongly suggest looking around at the 1300/435 series your still not going to run 70 mph on the interstate but you will be closer. By their very design of the hubs on the Mogs they are not fond of highway driving and the geared hubs are an extremely strong point for off but a weak link for hi speed driving on road, the maintenance is going to be higher than you will want. In theory you could take a 404 body and mount it on a different chassis but in doing that you just eliminated every reason to buy a Mog in the first place. There is only a couple things on earth that a Unimog is not great at but driving fast on the interstate is NOT what they were ever envisioned doing!
 
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