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Old 03-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #2551
Geek OP
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If I had an accident and wrote the van off today and they gave me $100k... I'd go buy the same vehicle: 144 tall.

Footnote: if I were not using this van as a daily driver for my business (i.e. a dedicated play toy) I would buy the 170".
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:40 AM   #2552
FreeTheBeast
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Cool2 What I heard...

I got my used Sprinter from my local Mercedes dealer. *The salesman said* that Sprinters made under the Dodge and Freightliner brands, while made here in the USA, were made to US specifications. We were talking about the rust on my van. From this I assume he meant that the German specifications for quality are higher. I don't know if this has any merit or not. I can't compare to the durability of European made vans. Interesting concept, none the less.


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I have rust specs appearing on my rear doors already

Where sand/gravel swirels behind the van and pits the paint - since there is no clear coat or anything I have little rust flecks appearing.

New paint my be on my schedule sooner than later to nip it in the but before any real damage occurs.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:58 AM   #2553
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeTheBeast View Post

*The salesman said* that Sprinters made under the Dodge and Freightliner brands, while made here in the USA, were made to US specifications. We were talking about the rust on my van. From this I assume he meant that the German specifications for quality are higher. I don't know if this has any merit or not. I can't compare to the durability of European made vans. Interesting concept, none the less.
Salesman talk... sadly the MB has been known for rust issues since forever. I still remember my friend driving his beloved 208 with 450k plus miles on it, original engine and second clutch, but the van was missing quite a bit from its rear panels etc... I guess these vehicles must have other redeeming qualities otherwise they won't sell any

I still think owners should complain more because it's not a cheap vehicle, and having vehicles 2-3 years old with surface rust is not acceptable in my books...


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Old 03-21-2013, 09:10 AM   #2554
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Originally Posted by FreeTheBeast View Post
I got my used Sprinter from my local Mercedes dealer. *The salesman said* that Sprinters made under the Dodge and Freightliner brands, while made here in the USA, were made to US specifications. We were talking about the rust on my van. From this I assume he meant that the German specifications for quality are higher. I don't know if this has any merit or not. I can't compare to the durability of European made vans. Interesting concept, none the less.
that's salesman chatter.
It is the same for european and domestic.

Fact about all sprinters:

If you buy the basic white - even a brand new one right now - it is just a coat of paint without any type of clear coat or anything. Any type of nicks (including gravel pitting from the tires etc which is what I have lots of because I travel a lot of dirt in mine) and you are on bare metal - which will rust quickly/easily.

If you buy a sprinter with an upgraded paint job ($600-990 option in a color at time of order depending on metal flake, etc) then they clear coat the paint after they paint it - so you end up with a much better lasting paint job.

I knew this fact going in with my white van - but I figured if I was going to wrap it for my business then white was the best color - or if I decided not to wrap it, the money I saved in my initial purchase price could go towards a quality aftermarket paintjob when the rust started to appear - which is why I have a bee in my bonnet right now

The bottom of the NCV3s (the stuff out of sight) is completely "gooped" in a kind of rubbery soft rhinolining'esque coating that nicely protects all of the underside. I don't know if the T1Ns have this or not.

You can see that rubbery coating on my van in this photo:


Hope this helps.


p.s. full disclosure: I've not bothered to wax my van (the damn thing is as big as a house.. it'd take 2 days ). A good wax coating would completely stop/fix my issues with gravel pitting leading to rust flecks.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:51 PM   #2555
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Replace the glow plugs every 50k



They can get nasty to remove if you're not careful. My plug #4 had its connection to the wire harness rusted and seized. Two of the plugs needed some persuasion to be removed from the engine head. I've seen it suggested in some manual that the glow plugs should be changed every 50,000 miles to prevent problems. They are not cheap, but better than the alternative.

I just had a thorough service done since I don't know when it was last completed. All glow plugs, filters, fluids changed. Had to replace the tail pipe. Leaf spring needed some service to realign and re-torque. And a state inspection. Now I know where it stands for maintenance. It's ready to roll for another couple hundred thousand miles (currently at 158k).
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Old 03-21-2013, 01:30 PM   #2556
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Can I just pull the plugs and lube/anti-seize them and put them back in?

My van is under warranty to 100k - I wonder how I could convince them to do it under warranty
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:24 AM   #2557
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Bluhduh P rated tires...

I thought I'd share this with you guys...

I just got back from my local tire shop. I replaced all four tires with new ones. The rear tires that were on the van when I got it looked new. The front ones were dry and cracking. I thought I only should replace the front tires...until the tire guy showed me the rating on the rear tires. They were P rated (passenger car), not LT rated (light truck) like it should be for a vehicle of this capacity. That could have been extremely dangerous.

And...because I was unaware of the rear tire rating, I inflated them to 70 PSI as per the sticker on the B pillar. P rated tires should only be inflated to 41 PSI.

All sorted out now. These ones are LT rated - Firestone Transforce AT.

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Old 03-22-2013, 09:36 AM   #2558
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I thought I'd share this with you guys...

...until the tire guy showed me the rating on the rear tires. They were P rated (passenger car), not LT rated (light truck) like it should be for a vehicle of this capacity.
Good catch...

However, LT rated doesn't mean much- I always go for E rated tires, as in 10 ply.



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Old 03-22-2013, 10:05 AM   #2559
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I run e-rated as well... but I load the van pretty heavy at times.

My van weighed 5440lbs completely stripped/empty.

Geek screwed with this post 03-22-2013 at 10:10 AM
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:26 PM   #2560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeTheBeast View Post
I thought I'd share this with you guys...

I just got back from my local tire shop. I replaced all four tires with new ones. The rear tires that were on the van when I got it looked new. The front ones were dry and cracking. I thought I only should replace the front tires...until the tire guy showed me the rating on the rear tires. They were P rated (passenger car), not LT rated (light truck) like it should be for a vehicle of this capacity. That could have been extremely dangerous.
And...because I was unaware of the rear tire rating, I inflated them to 70 PSI as per the sticker on the B pillar. P rated tires should only be inflated to 41 PSI.
Heavy duty applications (high pressure) are going to have metal valve stems, to support the higher psi. That's an easy giveaway to what you're dealing with.

Quote:
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All sorted out now. These ones are LT rated - Firestone Transforce AT.
That's a very heavy tire and are commonly used on 3/4T-1T trucks, around here. We've got a pretty good Firestone tire shop that ensures that customers get the correct tire for the application. Kudos, to them.

My friend has those on his Superduty that he uses to pull trailers (owns a trailer biz) all over the midwest. Last night, he was telling me he weighed his truck and it showed just over 8200lbs. He says those tires wear like iron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko View Post
However, LT rated doesn't mean much- I always go for E rated tires, as in 10 ply.
At least, with an LT tire, you're getting heavier sidewalls, which are more stable than a passenger tire. Furthermore, the weight rating is going to be much higher, irregardless of what ply you choose.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:32 AM   #2561
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeTheBeast View Post
I thought I'd share this with you guys...

I just got back from my local tire shop. I replaced all four tires with new ones. The rear tires that were on the van when I got it looked new. The front ones were dry and cracking. I thought I only should replace the front tires...until the tire guy showed me the rating on the rear tires. They were P rated (passenger car), not LT rated (light truck) like it should be for a vehicle of this capacity. That could have been extremely dangerous.

And...because I was unaware of the rear tire rating, I inflated them to 70 PSI as per the sticker on the B pillar. P rated tires should only be inflated to 41 PSI.

All sorted out now. These ones are LT rated - Firestone Transforce AT.

that can be a bit dangerous! Glad you caught it. I had the same thing happen to me several years ago on a used F350 that I bought. I assumed I needed to do some suspension work on it because it drove like crap but turns out it was just the sidewall flex. Once I put on proper tires it drove great. I suspect you will notice some handling improvements on the van too.
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:41 AM   #2562
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It's been quite a while, so i thought somebody should chime in:

Geek, you suck.




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Old 03-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #2563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek View Post
Can I just pull the plugs and lube/anti-seize them and put them back in?

My van is under warranty to 100k - I wonder how I could convince them to do it under warranty
No, there are some really queepy specs. Even the type of anti-seize is different. I wish I could find the details on SprinterSource. Try Dennis (lindenengineering) on Sprinter Source. He appears to be guru and is in your neck of the woods.




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Old 03-23-2013, 07:17 PM   #2564
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Cool2 Can you see it?

I pretended my Sprinter was a snow banking today. It's in camouflage.




Route 112 - The Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:26 PM   #2565
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Nice!

I've done the same a few times






...but this guy's van has us beat - took this photo up in Ward at 9000 feet.




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