Even with standardization within runs, there are many variants of the Unimog 404 with different combinations of engine, cab, cargo, and optional equipment.
The Unimog was built in West Germany following WWII as a hybrid farm tractor and truck suitable for gathering the harvest and bringing it to market. It was designed with some thought to military uses that would follow the eventual lifting of post-war restrictions.
The Unimog was designed to use four wheels of the same size, as opposed to the standard tractor design which uses smaller front wheels.
The first model, the U 25, was built in 1947 and had a 25hp diesel engine (Hans Feil reports that the Unimog was introduced in the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd on 10 Oct 1946). In 1950, French occupation forces made the first military order for the U 25.
In 1953, the designation changed to U 401 or U 402, depending on whether the Unimog had a short or long wheelbase.
The U 411 followed the 402 around 1956, and had at most a 34hp engine.
The Unimog 404 is an enlarged version of the 411. The 404 was produced from 1955 through 1980, with development models possibly as early as 1953. Engine variants ranged from 80-110hp from the factory, with higher horsepower possible with engine modifications.
Many Unimog 404s were sold to military groups, mainly in Europe and Africa. Known armies that have used the Unimog 404 include (then) West Germany, France, and Angola.
The Unimog 404 had the largest production run of any Unimog model. See Unimog 404: Number Built for details.
There have been several models since the 404. A partial list: U900 (406), U1250, U1350, UX100. See Unimog Models for more information.
Box configurations included radio van (generator and inverter), ambulance, and fire engine (smaller box than radio van, water pump and storage areas for hoses and equipment). Double cab was probably only offered with a short plank bed cargo area -- 84in long, 82in wide -- with an 8 person side facing troop seat.
Here's a list of recommended Safari/tropical expedition options for the Unimog-S 404 with the M180 engine.
The most common 404 is a cargo carrier (pritsche) with a 2.2 liter gasoline engine. This was a NATO/West German Army (Bundeswehr) standard vehicle.
Since manufacture, many 404s have been customized by their owners. Diesel and camper conversions are especially popular.
The 404 came with engines capable of up to 110hp. Higher horsepower is possible by modifying the engine or swapping it with a more powerful one from a Mercedes automobile. See the Unimog 404 Engine Guide for more information.
For information on the maximum speeds of 404s, see Unimog 404 Maximum Speed.
width: 84in length: 194in height: 86in (cab height: 63in) cargo bed: 118in x 78in (84in x 82in with double-cab) wheelbase: 2900mm (114in) turning radius: 42.6ft empty weight: 6393lb gross weight: 9700lb tires: 10.5 x 20 (DOT) fuel: 2 x 15.9 gal ground clearance: 15.7in fording (w/o equipment): 80cm (31.5in) traverse angle (side slope): 42 deg approach angle: 45 deg departure: 46 deg climb: 70% descent: 90% avg mpg (gas): 10-14 (US gallons) trans. gearing forward: 14.93/8.23/4.47/2.46/1.52/1.0 reverse: 20.12/11.09
Despite its high ground clearance, the Unimog is very difficult to roll. It can handle a 42 degree side slope. One enthusiast managed to roll a Mog, but only by driving it over a car. Name omitted to protect the guilty, but it wasn't me. Really.
For more information on the maximum speeds of 404s, see Unimog-S 404 Maximum Speed.
Following are sections on maintaining a 404 and running it in extreme conditions.
Also, I have put together a list of miscellaneous parts with part numbers and specifications.
Description size part number Water pump front pulley 134 mm 180 200 32 05 Water pump rear pulley 115 mm 180 200 23 05 Idler pulley 118 mm 180 200 31 05Also, two 9.5 x 900mm V belts are used in this configuration.
Aside from engine swaps, one of the most common conversions is to turn a radio box (kauffer) into a camper. Step-by-step overview.
Here's guide to lifting a radio or ambulance box off of the frame of a Unimog 404
Mark Peterson reports that in California pre-1965 vehicles do not have any smog requirements imposed on them - 1965 - 1967 vehicles are "PCV valve only".
DOT:Department of TransportationSummary: vehicles manufactured 25 or more ago appear to be exempt from the many DOT NHTSA requirements. Vehicles manufactured less than 25 years ago are subject to more stringent requirements, mainly regarding bumpers and passive restraint systems. With very few exceptions, people who wish to import the more recent vehicles will have to bring these vehicles into compliance, and these modifications may cost several thousand dollars. That's assuming a DOT designated garage is willing to do the work.
NHTSA:National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The key is bringing the vehicle in compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (49 CFR 571, not for the faint-hearted).
According to the US Department of Transportation, National Highway Transportation Safety Association's web site VEHICLE IMPORTATION GUIDELINES:
As a general rule, all motor vehicles less than 25 years old, must comply with all applicable FMVSS [Federal motor vehicle safety standards] and be certified by the original manufacturer to that effect in order to be imported into the United States on a permanent basis. Federal law prohibits importation of a motor vehicle not certified as conforming to the standards, except under the conditions prescribed below. The regulations defining the requirements for importing a vehicle can be found at Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 591 (49 CFR 591), "Importation of Vehicles and Equipment Subject to Federal Safety, Bumper, and Theft Prevention Standards."The document goes on to say that bringing a vehicle up to safety standards may be very expensive, and that you should consult with a Registered Importer before you try to import a vehicle. Finally, the document lists Registered Importers who specialize in European vehicles. There aren't many, and they are concentrated in California, New York/New Jersey, and Florida (none in New England, one in New Mexico). The agency also lists all Registered Importers that they know about (not just Euro specialists).
If a vehicle that is not certified to meet U.S. standards is less than 25 years old and entering on a permanent basis, it must be imported by a Registered Importer (RI) or the importer must have a contract with an RI. A vehicle imported in this manner must enter under a DOT bond. The bond will be released after the vehicle is brought into conformance with all applicable safety standards.
The NHTSA document doesn't contain the text of the law (49 CFR 591). For that, you can do a search from the US House of Representatives Code of Federal Regulations. Alternately, you can view the full text of 49 CFR 591 in all of its mind-numbing glory.
If you want to do the work yourself to bring the vehicle up to US specs, you must become a Registered Importer. Read 49 CFR 592 for details.
The Land Rover FAQ has a section on importing vehicles that summarizes the importing issues.
Another source of the occasional Unimog advertisement is Land-Rover Owner International, a UK-based magazine. This is available from large newsstands in the US for about $8 an issue. See this section of the Land Rover FAQ for subscription information.
The German magazine OFF-ROAD has an average of 6 ads per month in the classifieds.
If you have suggestions for other newsstand publications, let me know.
There are also specialty magazines and newsletters that are harder (well, impossible) to find at newsstands. I will add these shortly.
Other books of interest are: Das Grosse UnimogBuch (lots of pictures and text), 40 Jahre Unimog (over 600 pictures, little text), and Unimog Firetrucks (Der Unimog in der Feuerwehr, two volumes, lots of pictures and modifications).
Book und Bild also carries other Unimog literature including: information on camper and diesel conversions, and the history of the Unimog.
Buch und Bild
Fax: (within Germany) 0 72 25/47 79