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Thread: Tales of a horsebox conversion...

  1. #1
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    Default Tales of a horsebox conversion...

    Just brought this over from *the other side*, in case people are interested in converting a box van

    -----------------------------------------------------------


    Some of you may remember my thread about the slight *ahem* mistake I made on ebay the other week - for a reminder the thread is here.

    Well, we are now the *cough* proud owners of a Mercedes Atego 815 and this is my thread to chart the progress in case anyone else is daft enough to do the same


    To start of this journey of conversion, I have a couple of tips that we have picked up so far:

    1. Just don't... it's more stressful and expensive than owning the bleedin' horse.
    2. If you decide to buy a lorry to convert off ebay, think hard about whether this is really the best way to buy it. Especially if you value your sanity, your life and your car.
    3. If you have decided that you like life on the edge and have bought a box of the infamous auction site, please take a friend/OH with you - they will calm your nerves (or in my case scare the livin' be*esus out of me). Make sure people know where you are going and preferably avoid a NW London location on a Friday evening. If you don't, at least keep windows up and doors locked, engine running with the car in gear and handbrake off. And make sure your OH doesn't fart in fear in said locked car
    4. Again, just don't

    In case the link to the ebay page stops working (I think they only hang around for 30 days) this is the blurb for the Atego:

    Mercedes Atego Box with DHolland, Full flap alloy light weight heavy duty tail lift. X reg. This truck would make a beautiful horsebox or race car transporter. Its measurements are21ft by 8ft by 8ft6inch high. It has a full flap tail door. This truck has had one owner, long mot and tax and LEZ compliant. It gave its life transporting computer components so hense low miles. Full service history and very tidy truck indeed.

    Good points: Full flap hydraulic rear door

    Air Ride Suspension

    LEZ Compliant

    Taxed and Tested

    Ready for Work Today


    The only true bits are top two sentences of the 'good points' But thankful for small mercies it is T&T, if only for a couple or three months! As for low mieage - Hmm 600k km

    I attach a picture of the interior to show how clean and tidy it is but please bear in mind we have emptied the numerous food wrappers and tissues out. The glimpse of the anti-bac in the bottom left hand corner just about sums it up

    The middle seat was the cleanest of the three and is so far the only one still to be cleaned as OH can't get the cab to tilt (cable snapped) to unbolt it off. The others have gone through the washing machine and subsequently killed it (well that’s what I told my OH, but I think it was more to do with the fleece rug I put in to wash before hand )

    More to follow
    Last edited by Elly Koopman; 19-02-2010 at 17:56.
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  2. #2
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    I think I probably ought to point out that OH thinks we are going to be able to put the aged one on and ship her over to the Royal London.

    Which is in 16 days.

    To give you an idea of what we’re up against, here are a couple of photos of the lorry as it is at the moment:







    It is being sent off to EA Horseboxes on the 24th to have the bulkhead put in and we are buying the DIY kit for the horse area so OH can fit it out when it gets back on the 27th…and fit the external grooms door…and fit the windows…

    Will update as we do more
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  3. #3
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    Just a little update

    For those wanting to know how it's going, please refer to #1 of my tips in the first post. For those that can't be bothered (which frankly in the heat at the moment I can't blame you) if goes along the lines of 'Don't, it's too stressful'.

    Yesterday I spent 6 hours trying to find the best value for the various parts that we need. Now, it was decided that I'd do this as I have been a buyer in a past life and so have built up the knowledge to get the best deal according to quality and leadtimes. As far as I'm concerned, if a door costs 100 but takes three weeks to deliver I don't consider that as good value as one that might cost 130 but can be delivered in 2 days time. This is because I have learnt that time costs money.

    Last night I showed my OH my various workings and in 10 minutes we were like this:


    In typical DIY'er fashion OH announces that he can do it better/cheaper/quicker and spends all night trying to prove that he can find a better deal than me.

    At the moment we have a couple of options:

    Option A - Get Ed @ EA to do virtually all of the work on the horse bit, leaving OH about 4 days to put in the partitions, rails and rubber floor. This will cost us 3600 ish.

    Option B would be to have Ed do the majority and OH do windows, door, partitions, rails and rubber floor in 5 days. This will cost us 2800ish

    Option C is for Ed to put in the bulkhead and for OH to the horse area, windows, door, partitions, rails and rubber floor in 6 days of which only 3 of those days are full days. This would cost us 2300ish

    I personally want to go for option b - while money is not as tight as OH would have you believe, there is a big difference between A & B, and not between B & C...

    But OH is adamant he's going to do the work...and I can see me making a mercy dash to try and find a box to beg/borrow/steal in time for Royal London. If we end up hiring it could cost 400-500 quid which could have gone to Ed to get the horse area done

    I'm kind of tempted to go behind OH's back and ask Ed to do the horse area as well, leaving more time for us to sort the partitions out (2nd hand ones as OH didn't want to pay 220 each) so need to strip them back and repaint and put on pads, to get the windows ordered and delivered etc.

    On the plus side, I have ordered the grooms door from Vehicle Window Centre for 169 which included VAT & delivery - Bargain!

    Whether OH will think so is another matter

    And I just wanted to put on this smiley below as it made me chuckle

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    Some pics of HO at work

    Box goes in on Monday for the bulkhead to be done, and OH is adamant he's going to do the horse area. Horse might not be able to see oout though as we've yet to agree on windows




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    Well, OH has been a very busy boy indeed and here are a couple of pics to show the progress

    Sunday (30th August -1PM)


    Approx. 7PM


    8.30PM - As you can see we were working by candlelight...


    Monday (31st August) - 1PM


    7PM
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  6. #6
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    There is a little bit on the bulkhead still to do as the roof curves and we decided it'd be easier the fill it with small bits, rather then try to cut a curve into the white board

    We still have to do the following

    Windows and door should be arriving tomorrow morning (Tuesday 1st September), partitions have to be fitted including the rails they hang on and the ramp need rubber putting on.

    And another little tip - if something seems to good to be true, it really is too good to be true. There is always a catch. Every bl**dy time something goes pete tong.

    Ramp rubber we had bought (becasue it was a bargain - ha ha - on ebay) is made up of two mats that are completely different, so now having to go through ebay to get it sorted.

    By Wednesday morning...
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    This morning I had a bit of an accident - tip number, err, 6? Don't put pop rivets in your pocket and then sit down . Picture of offending article

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    Ramp feet have now arrived and in total they weight 5kg!!! Might not sound alot, but it still adds up! Picture to show the size of them - the magazine underneath is to give you an idea of the size of them!!!

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  9. #9
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    ^*$$%&**%"!!!!

    Windows & door not here so thought I'd phone up and see where they are and guess what? Still being made, and are to be put on carrier tonight for tomorrow delivery, but not guaranteed morning delivery unless I pay 25 extra - well they can s*d right off

    So I am now looking at a 8 hour 320 mile round trip to go and pick them up - but they might be able to get the driver to meet me somewhere up the A1, but it depends if they will be ready or not for him to do this!

    And ramp mat guy hasn't bothered to get back to me so now off to where I know they have them *hopefully*


    I want to cry
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  10. #10
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    Little update:

    7.30pm Wednesday 2nd September 2009 - less than 24hours until we need to get the horse on and while the partitions are in, you might just be able to see a lack of windows



    OH stayed until early hours of Thursday to get in the grooms door (well I helped him with that bit, but had to leave at about 11pm to get packed and do all my lists etc.) and the windows in...

    2am Thursday 3rd September 14 hours until we need to get going and OH announces that he has drilled all the holes in the frames of the windows and he has cut out 1 hole for a head window and marked up for the others... I am panicking as it has taken him 3 hours to do that and we have another 6/7 windows to fit
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