Hymer S660 rebuild

Discussion in 'Hymer' started by kands, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    The writings below are a summary of posts that I had on another website, following our purchase of a 1989 Hymer S660 auto. The story took place between February 2005 and May 2005. I hope that these words are of some help to someone, there is already one member of another site who discovered that they had the same problem as me and used this information to resolve the issues.

    When driving your classic (1989/90) Hymer along, is it normal to see the side wall moving slightly relative to the dashboard? Or should this be a solid object without any movement at all?
    The movement appears to be only about 5 mm and I notice it when cornering when the wall seems to shift outwards from the dashboard. I am assuming that the top is swaying out as the body rolls, but there could be some other explanation possibly.

    On Sunday I removed the dash panel to see what was beneath and found most of the screws that are supposed to hold the panel were loose or had worked large holes in the panel. I drilled some new holes and replaced the panel and when I drove the Hymer on Wednesday the moving wall seemed to be a thing of the past. I intend to have a new panel made and screwed / bonded to the mercedes dash and the Hymer front panel. This should fix the problem permanently. The boot floor is being replaced at the moment and it would seem that the problem has been caused by the rear window leaking and allowing water to lay on the boot floor. I am ordering a new back window so when that is installed this should be an end to the water problem.
    This has been a bit different to the vehicle I "thought" I had bought with lots of fairly major jobs to do, however at least the Hymer will be in very good condition when we have done so I guess it will all be worthwhile. We are looking forward to using it now.

    Of course I'll keep you up to date, it saves me going insane.
    I have been asked why we bought the Hymer, the choice was easy, we wanted more room than our Kon Tiki 600/5, with a fixed bed etc. Really wanted an American RV but couldn't find one that my pocket money would extend to that we liked. We sold the Kon Tiki and looked about and saw the 660 advertised. Many phone calls later we drove up to Wales to see it and loved what we saw so we bought it. Here the story begins........
    The layout is fixed rear transverse bed (very big and comfy)
    Long side sofa with a bit of an L shape that can make another double bed
    Hymer drop down over cab.
    The things we liked were in the above list and our wish list also included air con, generator and an auto box, guess what ? It had those too.
    The vehicle was built in 1989 and imported into UK about 1996ish, it is built on a Mercedes 410 extra long chassis with twin rear wheels, as I said it is automatic with power steering. Goes like a rocket (well a stationary rocket anyway) and seems to be good on diesel. Underneath it is solid as a rock and the engine, although agricultural, as in excellent shape. It has 180k ish Kilometers on the clock (well it did have but the speedo packed up and I've just got a second hand one that I've zeroed). There are very few marks about the body and generally it has been very well looked after. I am an engineer so I look for problems and like everything else "If ye seek then ye shall find" so I am very critical and when I find a problem it has to be fixed properly, hence all the remedial work that I am undertaking. First thing was oil / filter change and check all fluids for correct level and freshness. Replace exhaust which fell off as soon as we got home. Replace boot floor due to dampness having attacked it. Next job is to replace the back window as it has got water between the two panes and looks like someone has removed it sometime and not sealed the frame in properly (hence water in boot) then replace the dash board panel and secure it properly. We shall then be ready to fit a carpet throughout which will do wonders for it, trying to find a carpet that will complement the reupholstered interior (which is fantastic), that will just leave the little tidying up jobs like fitting a decent stereo etc.
    We don't know what it is like to use yet as we have only had it about a month and we planned to go away this weekend but I can't find a snowplough!!!! I'll let you know if we go and how we get on.

    Ok we went away in the Hymer, decided to go to the south coast at 9:15 on friday night, packed a few belongings including kettle, coffee, tea, milk, fresh water in a separate container and very little else other than washing kit and some fresh clothes and finally set off at 10:15. We drove south on the A 43/34 and had to pull into a service area for diesel south of the M4. Filled up, well put in £10 worth due to the price of £0.97/litre, and tried to start her up......The old non starting problem revisited me at 12:00 on a cold and unfriendly service area, so nothing else for it, jump underneath with a torch, locate the gearbox inhibitor switch and teach it what for. Mercedes parts learn very quickly when you hammer them, and it started like a dream, we were off again......
    Little later down the road my wife says she is so tired she has to go to sleep so we pulled into another service area, slid in among the lorries and got our heads down. Firstly had a wonderful cuppa then hit the sack, it was bloody freezing probably due in part to the weather and partly due to the fact that the Hymer had not been used for months, so we left the gas warm air blowing all night. Woke up thoroughly refreshed and toasty warm. Quick breakfast and a cuppa and we are on the road again. I must say that this is the first time I have slept in a service area and it was a different experience but the fixed rear bed is sooooo comfortable.
    Had a brilliant weekend and all went well.
    Tomorrow I'm of to Deepcar, they are selling me a new rear window assembly and they are going to fit it for me. They have given me a terrific price and I will let you all know how I get on when I come back. I will have them look over the Hymer to let me know about all the other problems I haven't found yet, hopefully a short list.
    Thursday it goes in to have the alarm finished off and the gearbox inhibitor switch changed, so it's all go now.

    Ok all.....Update.....
    Went to Deepcar and found Mick in the workshop and Innes in the office very welcoming, knowledgeable and helpful, not to mention friendly. This is what other companies should aspire to, proper customer service, high quality work and products and prices that do not scare you to death. The old window was torn out in no time and the new replacement fitted after careful cleaning and preparation. The old window had definitely been letting in water accounting for the boot floor rotting out, so that is now a thing of the past. Mick had a quick look around the van and pointed out a couple of small jobs but nothing serious thankfully, he was very busy that day but found time to fit a new door stay for me whilst I was there.
    The window looks superb and will certainly make the Hymer much better and the final bill was very comfortable to live with. I can thoroughly recommend Deepcar after my visit.
    Upon my return home I fitted new lamps into the various gauges which now light up at the flick of a switch and look very impressive, I also finished off the installation of new stylish interior lights to get rid of the old originals and tidy up / improve the interior lighting system. The new Sony remote controlled stereo is also installed and when I get a decent pair of speakers to go in the front (to match up with the Pioneers I fitted in the rear) we will have a good sound system.
    The Hymer is in the garage again having a Toad alarm / immobiliser fitted and should have the gearbox inhibitor switch looked at, I got a second hand one from a 300D Mercedes but the pinouts on the connector look different so i am not sure that this will work??? Whilst the Hymer is in the garage we are going to spend the weekend investigating / sorting out the movement of the front of the vehicle so by next week we should be ready for the much awaited carpet fitting and finally we will have finished the Hymer off to a good standard.
    Watch this space...............................

    Evening all.
    More news from the frontline. Spent the day Hymering..........
    Removed the dash panel this morning and had a seriously good investigation around the front end. Now understand why front end was moving around although don't understand why Hymer would have built it in this fashion.
    Ok here goes. The front of the Hymer is attached to the Mercedes bulkhead / dash panel by creating a steel box at each end of the bulkhead and welding some thin tin to the top of the box. Secured to the top piece of tin with ONE rusty screw is a piece of angle tin approximately 2-3mm thick that is screwed to the fibreglass section immediately below the windscreen again with a single loose screw. In all out of a total of approx 30 screws in the dash panel and associated periphery only six required the use of a screwdriver to remove them. I think you start to get the picture now guys.....
    Removed angle tin and refitted with new screws, two at a time, and it now connects to the top of the tin box, the upright steel post that is the front of the van wall leading edge and was never connected to any strengthening originally, and the front fibreglass section. Tightened all screws and swung off the front bed.....MINIMAL movement on the walls.... and this is without the dash panel being replaced yet. No groaning noises now either because the screws are actually doing their job. On Monday I will obtain a suitable piece of plywood, cut it to size and securely fit it to the front using stainless steel nuts and bolts and suitable self tapping screws and laying the whole lot onto a goodly bead of Sikkamastic. Panel ain't gonna ever shift again, so need to do all little jobs under there first.
    I'll let you know how this works out next week. Regarding the intermittent non starting (diagnosed by breakdown guy as a defective £200 gearbox inhibitor switch), well............. Wouldn't start at all today, so jumped under and started to fiddle with the plug on the inhibitor switch trying to get some voltage measurements, asked friend in cab to switch on ignition and there was a bloody great crack and flash next to my lughole. That'll do it I thinks to myself. Off goes ignition. in comes 13mm ratchet spanner and the earth bonding strap is tightened onto the gearbox.
    Climb out smugly and instruct assistant to "fire her up" whilst confidently strolling off in the direction of the coffee.... So all that messing around was as simple as a loose earth strap, ain't it usually the way.
    Got the front speakers ordered so that we can fit them into the new dash panel on Monday, got new headlight lenses coming so they can be changed whilst the front end is removed, forgot to mention that the three front panels (headlight surrounds and grille) are being sprayed on Monday, nice shiny paint for old Hymie.
    Well just typing this has worn me out so I'm off to bed people, guess I'll be dreaming about screwing Hymers back together tonight.
    Night all... Watch this space for more progress on Monday.

    Hi all.
    Continuing saga of our Hymer 660S.
    Ok Got the ply wood to make the dash panel 12mm thick marine grade, cut to seven feet by three feet. Laid the old dash panel on top to mark it out, noticed that what was left of it was approx 8mm so I think the new panel will be substantially better. Cut around my marking with a jigsaw and test fitted, great fit, so cut out holes for fresh air vents and front speakers. Fitted sound deadening material to underside of dash panel, marked out the fixing holes, and predrilled. Fitted panel onto a generous bead of very sticky sealer / filler and screwed down onto merc dash. Fitted new stainless steel nuts and bolts to the leading edge next to the windscreen and fitted the air vents and speakers. Tested stereo and found pathetic wiring to the unit, not even fused, and carried out required repairs. Stereo now sounds fantastic.
    The three panels came back from the paint shop and are now refitted, the front of the Hymer is looking absolutely fantastic now, all new and shiny!!!
    Driving the Hymer home was just great....All the squeaking and groaning had stopped, all the wall movement had stopped and the whole thing felt better to drive with noticeably less drafts coming from around the dash.
    All we are waiting for now is the correct headlight lenses to arrive, although we can still use the MH with the LHD lights, and the carpet fitter. The carpet fitter has promised that he will come around on Thursday (tomorrow) evening with the carpet and fit it for us so that when we go away on Friday it will all be done..... Here's hoping...
    So apart from redecorating the rear wall around the window, the paper tore off when I removed the black duck tape that had been used to cover up the bodge job on the back window, we are just about done with the repairs (he says hopefully) and we can start to polish it and use it.
    I think I'm going to redecorate the rear wall with a slightly padded car headlining material because I cannot fin an exact match in vinyl paper to that which is already there, so I think it would be better to use a nice new material similar to the roof lining in the MH already. I would appreciate any comments from people before I do this.
    So we are going to go away at the weekend for the first real test of the vehicle in anger, hope it's sunny or at least not too cold and wet.

    Well we did go away in the Hymer and it performed very well. We have enjoyed using it after so much extensive surgery and it is now all worthwhile.
     
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  2. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: Post the photos too Keith (Kands). :Wink:
     
  3. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    Sorry John, that is virtually all the pictures that I have mate. As I said on another thread, I nearly always remember to take pictures after the job is finished..... Unfortunately with the rear boot floor I forgot to take any pictures of the finished job, and it was a beautiful bit of carpentry too, carried out by a real professional cabinet maker, put the original floor to shame I have to say :Smile:
    Anyway I hope that there is enough detail there for you all to get an idea of what we did to the Hymer.
    I imagine that the family that bought it have had some wonderful times with it, shame we will never know :Eek!:

    Keith
     
  4. jkm

    jkm Deleted User

    The screws holding the Ducato Hymers Dash suffer from the same problem. When I bought my first one way back in 1987 I had to tighten / relocate the screws every few months, cannot comment on the post 2000 ones as we changed over to the Arto. Never noticed any movement relative to the walls though.

    John
     
  5. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    Hi JKM
    I think the problem with the "apparent" movement relative to the walls was caused by the whole dash and structure securing the dash to the front frame was loose and so the dash was floating around and giving a weird visual.Once the dash and the side structures were sorted out properly and securely all movement stopped and it was solid.
    Hope this helps

    Keith
     
  6. JAY KAY

    JAY KAY Read Only Funster

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    Hi all,

    We have a 2004 Hymer "B" classic and nothings changed we are suffering the same problem and thanks to Kands detailed post I will solve the problem over the winter but it would appear that it would have to be glued rather than rely on the screws holding it all together.

    John D.
     
  7. Harley Dave

    Harley Dave Read Only Funster

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    That'll be when a Hymer morphs into a Eura Mobil then will it (glued not screwed)

    Merry Christmas everyone!!
     
  8. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    Hi John (Jay Kay)
    Not sure of the construction of yours but............. I would be reluctant to glue anything to well in case you ever need access in the future :Wink:
    With our S660 (A Class Mercedes base) I used high quality fixings, mostly stainless steel, and for the leading edge of the dashboard I used stainless nuts and bolts to clamp the dash panel onto the front panel where there was a reinforced ledge for the purpose. I used a flexible sealant to bed the dash onto so that it gave a little more strength and also provided draft exclusion, the air that used to rush into the cab from around the dash was unbelievable :Eeek:
    If you need any help or advice please feel free to PM me, the job is not as daunting as it first appears, just take your time and carefullt consider each step.
    Hope this helps

    Keith
     
  9. JAY KAY

    JAY KAY Read Only Funster

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    Hi Kands,

    Many thanks for that, I will take your advise and use the nut and bolt routine as I do not want the old girl to morph into a Euromobil yet :Rofl1:
     
  10. lumberjack

    lumberjack Read Only Funster

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    photos

    hi, how do I look at the photos mentioned on the thread, when I try to look it says I do not have permission?.
    Thanks
     
  11. sersol

    sersol Read Only Funster

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    Hi,I'm not sure that you can the op is no longer a member on this site so the pictures may have been "pulled"
     
  12. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    Lumberjack, you have a PM.:thumb:
     
  13. pieterv

    pieterv Read Only Funster

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    Hi,

    If this PM solves the problem of not being able to view the pictures, then could I have PM as well, please:Wink:?

    Pieter
     
  14. zaskar

    zaskar Funster

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    Dont know if it will, but happy to oblige.:thumb::BigGrin:
     
  15. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    The photos do not exist on this site as the original poster is no longer a member and they were removed.
     
  16. forfein

    forfein Read Only Funster

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    Hiya

    Just joined the site, and just saw this post.

    Doing a "Trawl" to see how to rebuild my Hymer.

    Any chance of that " PM " in the previous post please? :thumb:

    And any chance of someone identifying my Hymer from this Pic:-


    [​IMG]

    Thanks
    Geoff
     
  17. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    talk about raising the dead... the original post was from 2007:Rofl1:
     
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