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Steps taken since last blog, six. Steps back? Four.

The battery quest made a breakthrough with brave dash through Storm Dennis to the local wholesale battery specialist.

I’m really lucky in that a good provider exists in the town where I live. They are really helpful and knowledgeable.

http://bblbatteries.co.uk/site/exeter

I picked up a couple of YUASA 625 model 1200cca (cold crank amps)/220ah (amp hour) which will fit the trays width ways and provide the most power.

BBL had worked out that the power provide by the existing four batteries would have been 2000cca and 280ah. So, I needed to get close to that if possible.

They are 55kg each so they take some moving, and I wasn’t looking forward to getting them back out of the boot and lifted up in to the battery bay. I intended to buy a pick-up truck, but not got around to sorting that yet. Bet I wish I had when I come to lift those batteries out of my BMW!

TOP TIP

Prior to embarking on a project like this, ensure you have a suitable personal vehicle to do the trips and tasks such as moving large and heavy items. 

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Yeah, NOW it does haha.

And that brings me to the first step back. The weather finally dissipated enough that I took the chance to go and change the batteries. I needed to remove the two of the existing 6TN and replace with the 625’s. Fairly straight forward wiring as they need to go in series to make 24v (not series AND parallel like the four 6TN’s). I was confident.

Got to Rosie and saw that Storm Dennis had done it’s best to try and remove the canvas cover from the rear, so had to spend a few minutes re-rigging the tie down ropes fitted through the canvas. Then I spent a further few minutes undoing them and rigging them properly after I realised I had fastened them up wrong originally. I know what you are thinking, how do you fasten them up wrong? Exactly, my thoughts too. But now you are beginning to get an idea of where my capabilities lie, and where the gaps are. [Yoda voice] The learning curve is great in this one.

So, I just need to get the batteries out and put the new ones in. Pop the boot, and get the tools to take the existing pair out. No spanners. B*ll*cks. I’d meant to collect them from out of my garage. Well that’s a step back.

Returned home and couldn’t face going back out as the light was fading and the rain that had given itself and us a break, decided not to return to Rosie. No matter, more steps forward tomorrow!

Monday was leave work early and go to the Doctors day. As mentioned in Blog3, I must take a medical before applying for my licence and getting lessons. Fees vary, but my GP (local Doctor) charged £70.00. I went straight from work, waited, got called in and found I had forgotten both the form I had to give them and the payment (they didn’t take credit cards). Another step back. Damn, that was really stupid and avoidable. Twice. I was pretty cross with myself at this point. But the Surgery were really supportive (I think they could see how disappointed and cross with myself I was) and rebooked the appointment.

In the meantime, I studied the two books about building your own truck, and made enquiries with box builders and a local body shop. 

The box builders were approximately £10k to £20k depending on who built it (spec) and what I wanted (requirements). This is high level broad indicator at the moment so I know what I need to budget against. And this is the bare box only. That value doesn’t include the interior or any fitments/appliances.

I also made enquiries into painting the cab which turned out lower than I expected. Which was finally a good result.

Last night got a phone call from the Doctors, can I make it in with my form first thing and they will do the nurse part (eyesight, blood pressure, alive etc) in the morning and then I will see the Doctor at a follow-on appointment. As I had messed them about, and I really needed another win to help move forward, I agreed, and as I write this I’ve passed the first bit.

On top of the wallet bashing £340 for batteries and £70 for the medical, I found two, of the previously mentioned Michelin XZL tyres on ebay for £800. 

Project Overlander Rosie Front on from side

I realise that I have four wheels on the truck, however they are fairly rare and easier to get in singles/pairs than sets of. Plus, that’s about half price, even if they are a few years old.

I also found a pair of second hand MAN TGX seats from a breaker. There is nothing wrong with my seats but the TGX are air suspended, so an improvement. The downside is the cost of shifting them to me from the wintery North is more than the seats themselves! More thought on how to move things at the time I find them is required. 

Some progress me thinks.

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Tel : 079 4959 4266
Email : david@projectoverland.info

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