- Posted by Shannon
- On August 30, 2017
- 0 Comments
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Our next project worthy of a blog post is the new 2017 Iveco Daily 4×4 build.
New to the market and a very versatile vehicle used mainly for commercial on-road jobs, 4wding and touring our great country. It has a huge 5.5T GVM, diff locks, 7 seats, 24 speed transfer case with ultra-low 1:101 rock crawler ratios and a short wheelbase all standard to name a few.
Problem is, you go and spend all that money on the vehicle and there’s no decent trays around at the dealership or anywhere else for that matter. That’s where we come in.
The client has approached us after securing the vehicle with the Iveco dealership in Sydney. He’s specified us to build his tray to his sizes and have it fitted before he takes possession of the truck, so through liaising with the dealership, an itemized quote accepted and arranged to be included in the purchase price of the truck.
This was all done over the phone and through communicating by email, not once did I meet the vehicle owner throughout the process.
Once our in-house designs have been approved by the client it was time to get cracking.
Some of the features that will be incorporated into the build are things like twin Viair 440C 12v compressors with twin air tanks, one piece mudguards, 3oomm high 3mm side boards, custom laser cut stainless headboard with built in work lights on wireless keyring fob, 5mm alloy treadplate floor with flush mount stainless lashing rings and a durable professionally sprayed Dulux Luxathane 2-pac polyurethane paint finish.
Here we are setting up our jigging table to weld up the headboard component. Using this table keeps all our work flat and square throughout the welding process. We are going with a stainless steel headboard because we want our trays to last. The first thing to rust on jobs like this is the laser cut patterns, perforated sheet or mesh. No matter what you do, the paint is always thin on the profile cut edges. The best way to knock that problem on the head is to make it from stainless.
Here’s most of the steelwork/chassis complete. Not one piece of steel is left open. All joins are mitred, or welded shut to stop the ingress of water, mud, sea salt or whatever which could dramatically reduce the life of the tray and rust away from the inside out.
Next was to insert the headboard in-fill panels. Giving the headboard its strength, it also gives us something solid to fix the alloy treadplate to. Again, no open ends. The 6mm alloy treadplate deck has also been cut and trial fitted.
The flooring sheets were then plasma cut to allow for the 8 x 316 stainless steel flush mount lashing rings. Having these mounted within the tray does away with the need for tie rails or your straps rubbing or bending in your sideboards.
For the air system we are using twin Viair 444C the new black series air compressors rated to 200PSI with twin air tanks. Everything will be mounted under the tray with the Nitto couplings mounted on each side.
The laser cut stainless headboard is then welded in. We added a kink to the bottom of the sheet to give it a bit of dimension and also for the flood lights. As the truck is so huge we figured at that height the flood lights would shine over your head. With this small design adjustment they will now shine into the tray.
Lastly before it heads off to the blasters is test fitting the toolboxes and mudguards. Now because everything has been drawn on CAD, I have already assembled this tray in my head and on screen if that makes sense. Down to every last bolt. This gives us the ability to make parts individually and as long as you keep to the drawings, when those parts finally meet, they fit perfectly together, with all angles matching and holes lining up etc.
Next was to take delivery of the truck. We had the dealership deliver direct as its still unregistered at this stage and needs to be weighed with the new tray. Whilst the tray is getting blasted and painted it gives us a head start on the wiring and removing the standard back bar, tail lights & mudguards etc.
Here’s the tray after blasting back to bare metal and 2 coats of high fill epoxy primer. We have also caulked every seam and metal joint. We do this to give the tray a longer lifespan otherwise any joint between two metals that isn’t fully welded doesn’t get sufficient paint therefor over time water/moisture will make its way in and get under the paint and start rusting.
Before the top coats are applied, the whole tray is rubbed back by hand to remove any dust or imperfections in the paint. It also reduces orange peeling (the bumpy texture of an orange peel) in the paint.
Lights fitted and headboard in.
The tray was then hoisted on, matching up perfectly to the chassis mounting plates previously measured at the dealership.
Here is almost a full week of wiring and plumbing. Getting the air tank in and compressors connected up and the wiring of all the lights and accessories to the factory loom took quite a while.
The tanks, gauges and nitto outlets are mirrored on both sides for easy and versatile access. You can also get a sneek peek of the massive 1-piece mudguards installed.
After test driving the trucks lights in the dark we have noticed because the truck and tray sits so high, there is huge blind spot with the reverse lights on the back tailboard. They will be great for seeing down long driveways etc but for parking this monster on the street or 4wding at night we felt it needed something else. At no extra cost to the client, we have added 2 x LED flood lights under the truck. They are angled to point directly on to the back of the wheels and shoot out the side a bit too. Due to the excessive current draw to the reverse circuit we had to re-wire these up with another relay and separate power feed. Although this wasnt on the job sheet or been allowed for, we felt rather than have an unhappy customer saying to his friends ahh the reverse lights are shit, we knocked the problem on the head and just fixed it anyway. I believe going that extra bit sometimes pays tenfold to your reputation of someone who takes pride in their workmanship.
Next up, tray sides. The customer has specified he wants 300mm high sides. Which we agreed would be proportional to the size of the tray.
Again, no expense spared here on quality or hardware. Rust free heavy duty alloy sides, 3mm thick, stainless steel hardware and capping.
Toolboxes on, sides on. Not much left to go now…
After some viable feedback from some Iveco Daily 4×4 owners who have stumbled across this blog, they have highly recomended I change the way the tray bolts to the chassis. There was nothing wrong with how I bolted it on but as this vehicle is highly capable off road, the tortional twist in the chassis rails is quite large, so if I dont install some sort of flexible mounts, the possiblity of the chassis twisting off road and cracking the welds in the tray are high. So i have taken on board their suggestion and installed some spring loaded bolts – similar springs used in an engine valve, when the chassis twists, these springs will compress and the tray will lift off the chassis mount but not go anywhere, when the vehicle is done flexing, the base plate will simply sit back down on the pad and be held down by the springs again. With 16 springs in total, its stong enough not to move or make noise when driving but still flexible enough to allow some relief from the stress.
And lastly was to install the 6mm aluminium tread plate deck, flush mount spring loaded lashing rings, mirror stainless access doors on the air tank controls & mudguards.
Unfortunately on the day we finished and the Iveco dealership came to pick it up, it was raining.
If you are wondering about the number plate, this truck is going in the Sydney 4wd & Camping Expo next week (Oct 2017) and will be unregistered, it needed something there because it looked weird without it.
We also did the signwriting for the new owner free of charge. What a good bunch of blokes.
Speaking of good bunch of blokes, what good would a new truck with compressors be without a set of new ratchet straps and air line accessories. On the house. Gift with purchase. A thankyou for choosing Shannons Engineering.
Shes not the most streamline or good looking vehicle on the road, but its a purpose built truck. It would climb any mountain and tow anything and carry 5 mates and a massive payload.
Well that about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed the read.
If you’d like to see this truck in person, it’ll be on display at the Iveco stand at the Sydney 4×4 Expo – Eastern Creek NSW October 13-15 2017. Details here – http://sydney.4wdshow.com.au/index.phtml
A big thanks to Iveco Trucks Australia & Suttons Motors for the oppertunity and the business.
If you are interested in purchasing a truck give this legend a tingle and give us a mention.
For all your marine and boat sales or enquiries, who else but Lejen Marine!
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Thanks Shannons Engineering team.