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Project Overlander Rosie Dash Battery Warning

When I left you last, I was fretting about the EDC code.

I’ve since been researching and (thanks to someone who shall remain nameless in print, they know who they are and I’m grateful) I’ve got my hands on a copy of the Vehicle Handbook.

That lists the fault codes. Due to flat batteries and removing two to see if they will take a charge, I can’t even jump start her to read the bloody code!

Aaaaaand the batteries won’t take a charge which means I’m going to need to replace the batteries. Simple enough right? No. Of course not. Have a look. 

The original set up is four 12v type 6TN Hawker Armasafe AGM batteries made by Enersys. 

These are wired two in series, to make 24v and the second bank the same connected in parallel giving a reserve bank. 

TOP TIP

These batteries are HEAVY like 40kg apiece. Be careful when taking them out.

There are two schools of thought here;

  1. Remove the four 6TN’s and replace with 2 x 625 type HD 12v batteries wired in series (24v). These 625’s are huge and one takes up the space of two 6tn’s. They fit in the trays and the clamps easily hold them in place. Replacement cost between £130-£170 each (+vat). So that’s an outlay of between £312 to £408 inc vat.
  2. Replace the existing with four new 6TN and keep the set up but then add a variable that allows the back- up bank to run independently. Thus giving 12/24v feed back to the habitation box. This would feed in to the converter that’s receiving feeds from the solar PV’s (once fitted). You can see there is an electrical box between the two banks so that probably has something in there to facilitate what I want to do. 

However, the cost is £175 each, but of course there are four, plus the tax. That’s £840! 

Bugger.

So; it’s decision point. I need to save as much as I can now, because the build cost will spiral (they always do). I know that the four works in my preferred set up (more of that in a later blog) so it does become an investment further down. Plus I have saved some £2,750 on the purchase price of the truck. But that’s being eaten in to at a great rate as I begin to buy parts.

In the meantime, I’ve been down to where the truck is stored (unsurprisingly it won’t fit on my driveway – UK drives are much smaller, as are the cars that normally fit on them) to have a good look round. 

Project Overlander Rosie Front on from side

Walking around her I can see the truck is in the main, in good condition. The chassis is in excellent condition and all the vital fluids in good order. The only downsides I can see at this stage are;

  • Both front wheel arch protectors have surface corrosion where stones have pierced the powder coating and water has got underneath. This has led the entire surface oxidising in to rust pretty much losing entire the powder coating.
  • Tyres are worn to about 25% left (including the spare). Apparently, the stock tyre (a Continental 14.00r20) can be re-cut. That means I just need to get these recut, rather than replaced. Which is great because a quick check shows they are £800 each!
  • The canvas has seen better days, but it’s going along with the hoops, tail and drop sides, so not a massive problem.

In my research I have noticed one factor, that a lot of people who drove or experienced these trucks off-road, said they were a bit crap. From my days driving Land Rovers I know tyre choice is important and I noticed in the manuals that there was an optional Michelin XZL in a whopping 395x85x20. Now this XZL is the tyre that nearly every Expedition truck is running. They are of course, NOT cheap. Indeed, more expensive than the German Continental tyre fitted, but they are widely used for a reason. More investigation needed before I shell out for new tyres me thinks.

As I can’t start her, I can’t investigate the rattle, however it sounds to me in the brief time I had with it like a fairly common noise when a panel is left unlatched or similar. The engine runs fine and when a few rpm are dialled in the rattle stops.

When she was running, the engine, brakes, gearbox and diff locks all worked fine. Military vehicles are similar to the work vehicles where I am. One careful meticulous owner with a full service history and one hundred careless drivers. The cab is in a good state, so someone kept it clean. Overall, I’m not overly worried. Apart from the EDC Diagnosis. Research has led me to believe it’s either a fuel filter issue, a battery issue or I need to invest £2,700 in a laptop, MAN software and an OBD (On board Diagnostics) cable. Yikes.      

After the walk around, I climbed up in to the cab on drivers’ side and luckily, I was wearing my baseball cap or my bald nugget would have been scarred. The air con unit sits directly over the driver and reduces the head room considerably when you swing up and in through what is actually a small doorway for a big truck. Was this thing built for Oompa Loompas? 

Project Overlander Rosie Door Open looking at drivers side

Once the stars stop, I can have a look around. There’s plenty of space in here and moving the seat back fully, I’m comfortable and not crushed against either the steering or the air con pod above my head. 

Moving over to the middle seat which sits fixed on the engine cover bulge. This folds down and has a metal plate on the rear of the back rest allowing you to stand on it and look out through the hatch in the roof. It’s bucketing it down outside, so undoing that can wait.

Of note the cab (other than where the air con sits) is huge and I can stand fully upright in it. After tripping over some weird random metal bracket in the floor (for a missing hot plate brew up device no less), I notice that there is an abundance of storage areas in the cab, including rifle brackets in the doors and big space behind the seats with carabiner clips for bags and stuff. Seems there are bolt threads up there for either armour or something. Handy for mounting storage lockers?

There is so much space in here, between the carabiners in the back and the threaded holes it would be easy to sling a hammock in here and kip in the cab! 

The other thing to note is that the cab is made of steel sections and the roof looks chunky as a Cathedral buttress. I’m relaxing with the whole idea of the project being too much for me as I notice a familiarity. If a Land Rover is vehicular Meccano, then this MAN/Rheinmetall cab is Meccano turned up to 11.   

I was pleased to see quite an abundance of thick foam heat/sound insulation stuck to the cab roof. It’s not enough however, and I know I will need to add some more sound deadening, especially the engine cover where the centre seat is currently, because that area the cab is woefully thin and exposed to noise and heat. 

But on the plus side, there is a specific place for the stereo to go. Blanks in the dash top for some stock speakers and loads of room for the pair of 6x9 full range speakers that came with a car I bought a while back.

I’ve also been able to move the stack of jerry cans out of the garage and onto the truck. I’ve carted those things about thinking ‘they will come in handy one day’ since I got divorced.

And now they have, they filled the jerry can holder brackets nicely!

Who’s the hoarder now then eh!

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

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