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What to look out for buying a Mog

Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
20
Likes
3
Location
Centurion
#1
Hi

We have taken the decision to buy a Unimog camper to tour southern Africa in the next couple of years as mentioned in the 'Introduce yourself' thread.:)

I am technically minded but have no experience in Unimogs and would like to get some pointers from all the experts as to what to look out for when buying one.
It will most likely be a 416.
Past experience showed me that each type of vehicle has its own technical issues to be aware of and things that needed to be checked carefully before buying a vehicle that can avoid frustration and expense.

I have also looked at the 'EVENTS' thread but found nothing for 2018. Are there any get togethers or other events planned?

Any advice will be highly appreciated.

Thanks.

Pieter
 
Joined
May 9, 2016
Messages
66
Likes
17
Age
36
Location
Sandton, Gauteng
#2
Hi

We have taken the decision to buy a Unimog camper to tour southern Africa in the next couple of years as mentioned in the 'Introduce yourself' thread.:)

I am technically minded but have no experience in Unimogs and would like to get some pointers from all the experts as to what to look out for when buying one.
It will most likely be a 416.
Past experience showed me that each type of vehicle has its own technical issues to be aware of and things that needed to be checked carefully before buying a vehicle that can avoid frustration and expense.

I have also looked at the 'EVENTS' thread but found nothing for 2018. Are there any get togethers or other events planned?

Any advice will be highly appreciated.

Thanks.

Pieter
Hi There,

I think you will be well-served by a conversation with Ferdi from Mogdoc, or any of the Unimog Freunde SA committee members.

https://www.facebook.com/Mogdocsa/
 

paulventer

Active Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
591
Likes
82
Location
Johannesburg
#4
Hi Pieter

Like with any 40 year old vehicle, it's not so much the mileage that determines condition of the mogs, but the maintenance they've had over their lifetime.

As a start, you'll want to do all the basic tests that you would for a normal 4x4 - see how she runs, brake performance, test 4x4, test diff locks.

In addition to the above, a good guide on what to look for can be found at http://www.unimog-forever.com/Grease/BGuide/eBGuide.htm

If you're not familiar with mogs, don't be alarmed if there is a lot of smoke on cold start-up. Mogs don't have glow plugs, so no pre-heating of the engine before a cold start is possible. The smoke should (mostly) go away once warmed up to operating temps.

Many of the mogs you'll find in SA will have very low mileage - it's not uncommon to find ex Buffels with less than 40k km on the clock. This is good in terms of wear and tear on engine and drive train, but not good in terms of rust. Often these vehicles have been stationary for many years with water/condensation in engines/gearboxes/diffs/portal boxes. It's not practical to open up all these areas to have a look for rust. My suggestion would be to properly go through the vehicle as per the buyers guide in the link above. Once you're sure it is the vehicle for you, arrange with the seller that you drain oils in the portals and diffs (and gearbox if shifting was rough or strange noises came from the gearbox) - you can then inspect the oil for rust or metal flakes. The cost of replacing the oils and then walking away from the deal is much less than a single bull gear in a portal box. Personally I would rather go for a vehicle with higher mileage which has seen regular use with an owner who kept up to date with maintenance on the vehicle, than to go for a super low mileage mog that has been standing for a decade or more. Unfortunately high mileage mogs doesn't necessarily guarantee that the mog was well looked after...

A chat with Ferdie as suggested by Dawid will be a good idea. Ferdi works on mogs for a living and often hears about mogs that come into the market long before they are advertised.

Enjoy the hunting for your mog and be patient - good ones come along every now and again.