Work on the chassis

In autumn 17 the work on the chassis started. Part of the work was done at the end of the completion process.


Engine / gearbox / tires

  • New front protection plate for the engine, because the Mercedes Vario unfortunately has a plastic oil pan
  • Replacement of the standard valve by a Rölex valve to protect the oil pan
  • Removal of the speed limit of 80kmh (vehicle will be registered as an RV and not as a truck anymore)
  • Replacement of all fluids and filters
  • As it is too expensive to replace the short transmission for a longer transmission (in order to reduce rpm revolutions per minute) we decided to install larger Michelin tires XZY 9.5 R17.5.
  • Also we gave up to tune the engine up to a torque of 700 NM and 190 HP (via chiptuning). The Vario can pull a trailer of up to 7.5 tons weight, so the max weight of the vehicle and the trailer is 15 tons. Which means, that the Vario has enough power.

Driver cabin

  • Removal of the flooring and replacement with noise-reducing materials
  • Burglary protection for driver and passenger doors

Chassis optimisation

  • Sandblasting of the chassis, anti-corrosion treatment and new painting in black
  • Sandblasting of the tire rims, anti-corrosion treatment and new painting in black
  • Heavy duty shock absorbers by MARQUART, to reduce swing movements of the vehicle while driving
  • Relocation fuel cooler: Such a fuel cooler is typical for army vehicles designated for high outside temperatures (to avoid bubbles in the diesel); we will keep this cooler, but it is relocated to make room for the entrance ladder
  • Removal of the heavy trailer hitch and of all power connections to the trailer to save weight
  • Removal of the spare tire holder under the chassis; spare tire will be placed on the rear side of the body
  • Exhaust: moved forward to make room for an additional diesel tank

Photos before chassis painting

Photos after painting

Larger tires

We replaced the tires sized 215/75 R17.5 by new Michelin XZY 9.5 R17.5. These new tires are designed for onroad and offroad. In addition, the tires have an approval for use during winter. On the other side:  New rims 6.75 x 5.17 are required. Rims are painted in black.


Important: This tire format is approved by the Swiss vehicle inspection.


The following photo illustrates the size difference to the old tires. As a result, with the new tires we achieve nearly 4 cm more ground clearance and a 10% reduction in rpm.