Springfield, IL Road Trip--- UNIMOG!!!

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saddamsnightmare

Active member
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Abilene, Texas
July 1st, 2010.

Gents:

Its gonna be balls to the wall for taking the old Unimog to Springfield, IL on July 3,4,5, and possibly 6th, from Reno,Texas. Uncle Sam has been kind enough to give me a posting as a GS0025-09/7 Park Ranger (I) with the National Park Service at Abraham Lincoln Home NHS in Springfield. MY report to work date is July 7th, 2010 at 0830, and its 750-760 miles from home. I had intended to take the M35A2 + M105A2 up on the first run, but I haven't located quarters yet in Springfield, and Uncle Sam will not allow the M35A2 to be parked in the Site's bus parking area while I'm at work, and the chance of finding reasonable & safe parking for an M35A2 W/convoy lights in an urban area during the day is, to say the least, slim.
So far, most Unimog experts I have inquired of, have said my 1963 Swiss S404.114 with 32,000 KM should be able to handle the trip length at between 70 and 80 KM/PH (47-53 MPH approx), with a 3/4 ton load or less, so now we get to see just how well a 47 year old Unimog takes the road running...... At least it should fit the parking space for a normal pickup in the park area.... I wonder who, in Springfield, can maintain a Unimog at a commercial garage,as I will have few tools and only the shop and operators manuals to go by....;-)

The route may be either from here (Reno) to Little Rock, then to Fort Smith,Ar, to Springfield, Mo., to St. Louis, Mo., to Springfield, IL, mostly two lane if I can handle and help it. Otherwise it will be Reno, Texarkana, Little Rock, Memphis and up I-55 to Springfield, IL. I figure three days at 250 miles per day may be all I and the Unimog can take, what with the engine doghouse and radiator tank in the cab....... Any members on the way, I might appreciate a phone number or address, should I have any problems, as all I will have is a cell phone and no computer access until I get situated in Springfield.....
Any suggestions as to route, sites to see, things to avoid.....??? AT least the Illinois State Troopers should find little reason to bother a truck going 50 MPH, save for the european tail lights (Swiss standard issue)......
Later the M35A2 and M105A2 will be making the trek loaded over one or the other variation of the above routes, nursemaiding my wife and her 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, at least she says, I won't be able to outrun her, and I won't be invisible in 686A tan, Convoy lights, and MERDC woodland/tan cover trailer......

Weigh in, I'll have to take a disposable camera and digitize it later for your edification, as I don't have a digital camera I want to carry with me.....

Sic Transit Gloria....[thumbzup]
 

DieselBob

Active member
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Location
Arnold Maryland
Well I can't offer any help from here but I wish you a safe and boring trip.

Uncle Sam has been kind enough to give me a posting as a GS0025-09/7 Park Ranger (I) with the National Park Service at Abraham Lincoln Home NHS in Springfield. MY report to work date is July 7th, 2010 at 0830, and its 750-760 miles from home.
Congratulations on the posting. Maybe see you there. We are heading there to see that very site on the 8th or 9th.
 

usafe7ret

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Location
Troy, IL
I don't know a bunch about these types, nor do I have a bunch of big tools to help work on them, but I can commiserate with you if you run into trouble in the St. Louis Metro area.

I'm on the Illinois side of the river and live just off of 55-70 at exit 18 in Troy, IL. We have several commercial tractor shops here, so if nothing else, I can give you a ride to one.

PM for phone # or email if you want.

Good luck and safe driving.
 

54reo

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
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Location
Chester IL
PM sent, I am just a bit south of STL on the IL side of the Mississippi River if you need help.
 

saddamsnightmare

Active member
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Location
Abilene, Texas
Diesel Bob:

I may not be on "duty" that early, as my start date is the 7th, but ask at the Visitor Center desk and tell them it's the NEW GS-9 from Texas that you're looking for. I leave tomorrow AM with a 1963 Swiss Cargo Unimog, so we'll get to prove if what the Unimog guys say is true, that a 47 year old truck should cover that ground OK! Have a safe trip out from Maryland, and boy, do I miss the Shenandoah Valley and the roads to Baltimore and Gettysburg.....

Thanks again,

Sincerely,

Kyle F. McGrogan
 

saddamsnightmare

Active member
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Location
Abilene, Texas
July 3rd, 2010 0844 hours.


The Unimog and I are going to be setting out on one of the above routes here in about an hour. Everything goes well I should be passing St.Louis on the 5th of July if I can get the groundspeed and the Mojo from the truck to make 250-300 miles per day. My cell phone has a digital camera incorporated in it, but I may rely also on a disposable and get the resulting photographs digitalized after the trip. For the Steel Soldiers members who have so kindly sent me their numbers and information, I hope I do not have to call for help, but it's wonderful knowing in this time and place that there are God's noblemen like all of you out there. I will try to visit folks in the St.Louis/Sprinfield area after I get in and settled, to divvy up a coupla pizzas.... Odd thing is both the Unimog (2007) and the M35A2 (Decommission at Peru,IL in 2005) came here to Texas in 2007, and they are returning in 2010 to Illinois....

Thanks for the many kindnesses,
here goes a chance to see if Unimogs really can fly (well, crawl, actually) over 750 miles.....

Thanks, and Cheers,

Kyle F. McGrogan:smile:
 
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saddamsnightmare

Active member
3,566
13
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Location
Abilene, Texas
July 4th, 2010 1937 hours

Cape Girardeau,Mo.


Gents:


I left home yesterday about 1200 CDT in Reno, TX and I arrived at Lonoke,Arkansas last night about 1800 hours, making 260 miles @ 50 mph. I stopped at Turner's Military Surplus by Red River Army Depot, Mr. Turner was loading his M38A1 for a parade and the shop was closed, but he was kind enough to sell me a shovel for the M35A2 for $9.00! I recommend the man to all our members on here for being a fellow Steel Soldier. Today I stopped and got pictures of the Elvis Presley Bouldvard Visitor Center in Memphis,TN with the Unimog, and also the Unimog & wall in front of Elvis House, also picture of the riverfront at Fort Assumption Park in Memphis. Pictures will be added when I get a computer that is mine...
The Unimog has developed a leak in either the left rear axle outboard seal, or the left rear gear tower seal. The axle was overfilled by the former owner and only acted up due to the heat and stress of the trip. I'm goning to stop here tomorrow morning and look up a mechanic to check the oil levels when the axles are cold. The Unimogas holding between 80 to 84*C on the temperature gauge, but she's now up to 88*C, indicating friction in one of the gear towers, and the only on showing signs of distress is the left rear one. Nearest parts are in California, so I will have to limp her the last 220 miles tomorrow at about 45 MPH unless adding gear oil relieves the stress on the axle seals....
The Mercedes has been running well other then the oil leak, yesterday I had to cut her back on downgrades as she wanted to run at 55-56MPH, too fast for a long trip. The irony is that the M35A2 was set up for this trip, only lack of parking caused her to be left at home and the unprepared Unimog substituted. I was thinking of getting rid of the Unimog, that may not happen as this trip has proved they are pretty tough little trucks....

I'll try to post more tomorrow night. I go on duty at Abraham Lincoln 0830 Wednesday morning, July 7th, if the Unimog goes that last little distance.:-D
 
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54reo

Well-known member
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Location
Chester IL
Kyle, good to see you are making decent progress.

Cape Girardeau is only an hour south of me, if you end up needing anything let me know.
 

saddamsnightmare

Active member
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Location
Abilene, Texas
:smile:July 5th, 2010.

54Reo:

Maybe an hour by conventional car.... Unimogs are lucky to hold 50 MPH on the road! I looked up the seals and fluid levels in the Unimog manual, the repairs will likely have to wait until I get to Springfield, as the portal tower will have to be removed from the axle. My options are to get gear oil added at a truck shop here and see if the seal's still leaking. The axle was way overfilled, but it may have shoved the seal on the gear tower loose some, as the Unimog's behaving like it needs lube in the portal unit. They are very simple machines, and they will tell you what they want. I think Chester's on the east side of the Mississippi, I'd go that way, but most roads seem to be secondaries, and I am not familiar with the area. I may bring the Unimog down to Cape Girardeu for a visit later to see if she's fixed. I'll keep you posted as best I can on my progress through the "road Trip" column, otherwise I will call if it gets too much worse.

Thanks again and the kindness' are appreciated.

Cheers,

Kyle F. McGrogan
 

Biggles

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Pawnee, IL
Hopefully you're here by now let us know. I thought I gave you my phone number if you need anything but If you don't have it feel free to PM me.

Biggles
 

DieselBob

Active member
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Location
Arnold Maryland
Update. I met Kyle at Lincoln home NHS. Kyle and the unimog made it to the assigned LZ in good shape. He wanted to say thanks to everyone for the support and concern. He will post some pic of the trip as soon as he has access to a pc and get the pics off his phone.

PS: I would encourage anyone that has not visited this site they should do so. A great piece of American history.


Regards
 

saddamsnightmare

Active member
3,566
13
38
Location
Abilene, Texas
replying for saddamsnightmare, as he currently doesn't have access to a computer. He made it safely from Texas to Springfield, Illinois without misshap. He appreciates all the support from the people on this site. Thank you!
 
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