My Tatra T815 VT 8x8

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Rusty Loads

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Many thanks to T-815 who let me pick his brain because I was completely ignorant on Tatras. Best advice was that the crew cab on the 815 puts the motor to the rear. So: flat floor in front seating area (4 seats) and a quieter ride. The 19L V12 twin turbo is behind you. A conversation can be had while you are on the highway. Another surprise was the road speed-literature said 80 kph. I had it up to almost 100 and it was not as loud as I thought it would be-still safe rpm. That was with the stock bias ply tires and the fact it has hub reductions. Using the hand test prolonged highway didn't appear to heat the hubs up too bad. A set of Michelin XZL's is on deck ready to go. Pictures show functional 80's technology NCB system, dash and box off view which shows mid-mount winch. Winch is driven from rear of transmission. Includes tensioner, power in, power out, brake. Controlled from inside cabin-no remote of course.
 

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muthkw25

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What a great find! Where did you pick this up if I may ask? Does the 815 require you to double clutch or are they all syncros?
 

Rusty Loads

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Someone will probably shoot me down who knows better-I believe it does have synchros. The closest trans I have used that is similar would be the one on a French Mack. (midliner) The Mercedes trucks in the 80's were similar too. 5 speed stick, It can be driven as a straight stick but she still likes the clutch-not like a Fuller or Eaton trans where once you get out of first the clutch is not required. Each of those 5 speeds and reverse can be split. To achieve the split the clutch needs to be put to the floor to actuate the air solenoid. So each gear has a low/high. You also have a Tortoise/ Hare selector that you switch when stationary. I wouldn't call the Tortoise a super crawler like the one on a Unimog but it's more of a regular crawler or working group. Effectively 20 speeds forward and 4 in reverse. I imported it myself. Was not easy..took about a year.
 
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PaFarmer

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That truck looks to be in very nice condition. I enjoy the European trials they run with Tatras and the like.
 

Rusty Loads

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Have you driven a Tatra before and/or knew what you wanted or did you just take a gamble?
Never drove one or saw one in the flesh. Grew up around a lot of different vehicles but never anything Czech. Owned Unimogs since 1989 and they are different than most of what you see here in North America. I think gamble would be the right word, some people might say naive or worse. The truck was in very good shape except for one thing: It did not move at all when it arrived. It came over ro-ro and one of the stories I have heard (unconfirmed) is that they get the largest truck and use it to drag all the non-moving stuff off the boat. It may have worked when it was loaded but she-a-no-move when I got it. We went through a lot of examination and hypotheses until we arrived at the clutch. Completely smoked down to the rivets. Ok-take clutch out and put in a new one. Truck still did not move. We then realized the clutch plate that came with it was installed backwards. D'oh. Might have been a young military mechanic in training who did it -who knows. After we got that sorted she ran fine. Learning curve for sure on these things. Had about 900 hours on it and 33,000 KM's. Almost no rust-but we are cleaning up what little surface rust there was. Rear box was sandblasted and painted. Cab is being done now-getting a light scuff and paint and I am replacing 90 percent of the rubber trim/ weatherstrip in cab. It is a 1985. To answer earlier question it came from the Czech Republic.
 

Rusty Loads

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I have the dozer blade to mount yet; maybe this summer I will get it hooked up. Missing a few parts and still trying to figure out the PTO output at front of motor. Here is a picture of the same truck with dozer mounted. As if the approach angle wasn't bad enough already! I guess what it can't negotiate it just pushes through it anyways.
 

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marchplumber

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VERY nice truck! That was definitely a "leap of faith". Glad you were able to get her to motivate on her own power. I have always been enthralled with that style of truck. Also like the Kraz 255B. Thanks for sharing.

God bless,
Tony
 

Rusty Loads

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Thanks for the encouragement guys...or should I say enabling? :D yes-leap of faith it was. Rusky stuff is intriguing too, but for me the Tatra suspension was something I had to check out first. People may not realize because of the way each side pivots and is driven at the same time by the ring and pinion of each set there is a stagger from side to side. ('half axles') -I think the Pinzgauer has the same arrangement as people from the same family took part in the design of each. Left side wheel set is slightly ahead (2 or 3 inches) roughly of the set of wheels on the right. I found that a little freaky at first.
 

MarkM

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That is one serious ride. Just how long is that thing? It looks about 35'

Big thumbs up!

Mark
 
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Rusty Loads

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New Boots Goodyear AT2 16.00 R21

Wheels sandblasted and powder coated, new bead lock rubber and new innertubes. New CTIS valves. So far tires feel smooth on highway. Goodyear 16.00 R21. Original tires were bias ply. Polish branded tubes sourced in Germany required much reefing on valve stem nut to seat and not leak air. 4 tires had to be remounted because of leaking. Next time I will look for original Barum product from CZ. Bead lock rubber feels a bit cheaper too-not laminated. AND 1/4 inch too wide which makes it difficult to put together CTIS valves...tolerance for those is tight.
 

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marchplumber

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Thanks for the update! Sounds like a bunch of work to put new shoes on the girl, but they do look nice! How has the maintenance been so far? Fairly low required or high? I do find those trucks purdy incredible!

God bless,
Tony
 

Rusty Loads

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Hey Tony-I haven't put many hours on it to be an authority. I have a few minor issues now....high / low in main gear box has slight air leak....My low range isn't working (probably a loose wire or defective solenoid). One of the 2 starters is not working so I need to get that working. Around zero C (32F) she started well but any colder and you would want the 2nd starter. No glow plugs. Can't use conventional block heater because it's air-cooled. This is all fine for now because I don't want to use it in the salt/ cold weather. Merry Xmas.
 

marchplumber

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Merry Christmas and ANY info you want to share I'd be darn happy to go through. Second starter? How is that mounted to engine? Opposite side of flywheel? Looks purdy in her new dress, 383, too!
 
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