It’s been a long time coming but here is a post to present my own workvan, my trusty 1988 Mercedes-Benz 609DA42.

still with naked roof and stock the ORRW fleet in early 2020

Bought just before corona hit in 2020, it is a 609DA delivered new in France. For the French market, the DA means that it’s a 3.5T van as opposed to the 5.6T DC variant. So no truck license needed but almost no payload. From the serivce history I have, I’m probably the fourth owner (1st: work/delivery van? 2nd: campervan/racetruck with karting in the back. 3rd: temporary home while house was being built. 4th: me).

The spec sheet of the van

Its a bog standard 609 with pretty much no options, not even powersteering. It has 465000km at the time I bought it and of course, some rust on the lower skirts.

I’lll spare you all the details but it didn’t stay stock for long, courtesy of the green 811D below and lots of other parts.

With the donor 811D in the Bavarian Alps

Now it has :

om364a (24700km) with reworked pump from Zonsbeek dieselservice: 145PS/500Nm (dyno tested), I still need to put the intercooler on, I have it already.

g3/55-6/8,5 gearbox (very rare six speed for the LN1)

225/75/17.5 tires

HL2/5.6 in 41/13 (3.15 final drive)

“Stufe 2” anti-roll bars in conjunction with Marquart shock absorbers, and 6 leaf spring in the back (2 thick and 4 thin)

Auxillary diesel tank (100L) so 170L total.

Conversion back to 5.6T max weight / 9.1T train.

The combination of those parts means that the van now pulls much harder than before, even at my normal driving weight of 5.5T. I can cruise at 100kph@2000rpm and max speed is 120kph@2500rpm. I can also pull a 3.5T trailer without problem. Furthermore, anyone who drove a standard 609d knows how much they constantly roll on the road and never really stettle; not anymore. The van corners much flatter and steers much more directly.

As of June 2023, the van has 528000km.

Pulling the BMW when its diff broke

On top of that, the van has a complete solar installation (720W panels and 240Ah/24V) -meaning the beer is always cold- and a loading hoist and 2 Ford Transit roof racks.

The van will not win any beauty contest (even though most of the rust was taken care of by yours truly), but it is mechanicaly in top shape and allows me to drive across Europe quickly and reliably.

Pulling a 407D

hoisting stones