All things Sprinter (Mercedes, Dodge, Freightliner)

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by mark883, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    As a wild idea, with older Sprinters becoming slightly more affordable, and more inmates acquiring one (if you have the means, I highly recommend one), I thought I'd kick off a Sprinter thread. Mainly, to keep us from crapping into the middle of Geek's fine 'Building an Adventure Van' thread.

    So, to kick it off, here's a pic of my Sprinter (bought thru advrider, ironikally), committing a high sin, in the eyes of some BMW riders.

    [​IMG]

    As far as I'm concerned, Sprinters (Vans in general) do have a place in adventuring.
    Let's say you're taking an adventure ride deep into Mexico with some buddies from Texas, in late October. If you're from the say near Toledo, Ohio, its entirely possible that your weather looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Taken at noon near Indy, it was cold (40*), windy (25 mph), and raining as well. Driving a Sprinter in high winds is an adventure in itself, but not really that bad. Plus, I found it easily cut one day off my trip to Texas. This is like fast forward on a VCR- you get to the good stuff quicker. And, 24 mpg average over the trip isn't too bad. Once properly set up, I won't have to find a hotel room, either. The protection from crazy interstate drivers is nice too.

    So, if you've ever done this to your Sprinter:

    [​IMG]

    because of this, in your Sprinter:

    [​IMG]

    maybe, this thread is for you. Or, at least you can whine about it, and we'll maybe give you a shoulder to cry on. :cry

    Nah. Fat Chance. :lol3


    WARNING: Everyone will want to borrow your van. Or get you to 'help' them while they borrow your van.
    #1
  2. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Reserved for future use, or links, or FIYs, etc.


    Geek's Building an Adventure Van thread. If this build doesn't make you commit one deadly sin, well, you probably don't believe in deadly sins. Or you hate vans.

    Vans! The all-purpose, all van thread at ADV. Sometimes devolves into VW lust, with their ramblings, but hey, that's OK. Check out the 70s vans! Cue the slap-bass funk music!

    Sprinter-Source.com Probably the place on the web for Sprinter info. Not ADV level-crazy, but lots of good info and worldwide help. There's a few inmates that hang out over there. Even a wiki for general info.

    Uni-mog Thread. Any MB owner should bow in awe to the Unimog. They can do anything except pass a fuel station.

    Stalker-Vans.com All the best tips and tricks. Member discounts on candy and puppies. (haha.... just kidding. I hope.)



    Any other good Sprinter or Van related threads, let me know, I'll throw them in here, for easy of future use. Just in case this turns into some 'Is Mexico Safe'-like 300 page rant & roll.
    #2
  3. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    [​IMG]

    Excuse my ignorance, is that a flywheel?
    #3
  4. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Yep. With 27X,XXX miles. Commonly called flex plate in Sprinter circles. Noted defect on 02 & 03s, I believe. Thickened up after that, and swappable to the new part. Easily done, if you didn't have to remove the transmission. :bluduh

    Mine took out my crankshaft position sensor, and promptly quit running.
    #4
  5. RedRocker

    RedRocker Native Texican

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    :eek1
    #5
  6. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    :lurk

    :freaky
    #6
  7. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

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    Ouch that flex plate don't look right! So sounds like the new ones like my 2011 have that weakness resolved?
    #7
  8. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    I have a turbo resonator on order for my neighbors 2006.
    #8
  9. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    Another known weakness on some year Sprinters (not old-timers like mine.) They lose boost, and you get limp home mode and other weird things.

    Anorak- you're kinda the resident MB genius / guru around here, aren't you?


    Anyone should know, Sprinters, like any vehicle, have their issues, but when they're good, they're good.
    #9
  10. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    From what I've heard, they were almost twice as thick, starting in '04, and those can swap into a 03 or earlier.

    Evidently, there is no recall on these, but they are a VERY well known weakness. Kinda like MB's own little final drive problem.
    #10
  11. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv € Fl Keys Fishing Guide €

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    It's a German thing ya know.....:rofl

    Great thread BTW :lurk
    #11
  12. Jamming

    Jamming Desert RAT

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    I drive a 2012 MB Sprinter at work, I like it but I don't have to pay for it, maintain it or pay for the fuel. :lol3 I will say one thing, we have the extended roofs and its flat scary in crosswinds.

    Would I buy one? I'd have to say yes. Its nice to drive and pretty decent power and MPG.
    #12
  13. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    I had forgot about that one. When I saw the above pics, I had flashbacks to the several thousand I spent each year I owned mine. Always something breaking on it. As much as I loved it, I got out while I was still fiscally afloat. Most of what hadn't gone bad yet was the really expensive stuff, the $6K and up repairs.

    They are awesome vehicles if you can afford to run them. Mine exceeded my expectations for what it would do at times, but realize, no matter how cheap a used one appears to be, they are not cheap vehicles.

    The good news is that for routine maintenance, they aren't too bad. It's only when something goes boom that it becomes a problem. Especially if you don't have a place near to have it towed.
    #13
  14. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    I should have posted the 'and when they're bad, they're bad' in full disclosure.

    The best thing about the Sprinter, is its a Mercedes. The worst thing about the Sprinter, is its a Mercedes.

    Gee. Its Friday night. I need to get out more. :lol3
    #14
  15. leeinmemphis

    leeinmemphis Long timer

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    I spent the afternoon today putting a shelf in place of the OEM headliner. I am now debating how to finish out the interior. I'll try to get some pics soon but just wanted to poke in to follow others experiences.
    #15
  16. Mr. J

    Mr. J Banned

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    always wanting to add links to my "favorites" list, i got the first three and then tried this one. so then i searched with Bing. got this site:

    http://www.momspective.com/slap-my-ass/

    so now i'm reading away on "well slap my ass and call me shirley" dot com, and find this link: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...a.1700902724076.96569.1283178508&l=e189c5cd97

    i'm not a friend of facebook, but i started checking out the vans full well understanding that Expo White is a factory color and it's expensive to properly paint a vehicle other than a stock color what with door jambs and all.

    from the above link, i checked out the second picture nine rows down. so up pops a box with viewers' comments.

    interesting addmission from the young lady in the photo; the rest is up to YOU! :eek1
    #16
  17. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Ironically, I kinda decided today that we need a new van. Sprinters are high on the list. Of course, I come to ADV for my research:rofl

    This would be a work van to replace an aging Ford E(F?)150 Cargo van. Mostly used for Farmers Markets for my bakery, but we're getting into catering. This wouldn't be a high mileage vehicle. Mostly, around town stuff. Gas mileage, while relative with these type of vehicles, is hight on the list. Head room is just awesome in Sprinters.

    They're so much more expensive than a regular old cargo van. Why would I go Sprinter, besides the cool Euro thing:lol3
    #17
  18. spagthorpe

    spagthorpe Long timer

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    There is no reason. You also said that it wasn't going to be a high mileage vehicle, but gas mileage is a big priority?

    To me, there are some things the Sprinter really excels at....

    It will haul more shit than just about anything else. You can put ~5000lbs in a Sprinter, and it'll get around with it just fine.

    The head room for some purposes is hard to beat. Even if you put a extended roof on a E350, it's tough to do anything about the doors. For a camper, the door thing isn't a big deal. It helps a lot for loading bikes for example.

    The turbo diesel loses little power if you live in a mountainous area. You can drive the thing over 14K passes in CO easily.

    Comfortable, but loud. The seats look pretty harsh, but in 50K of driving, I never once felt uncomfortable, sore back, etc. A lot of noise comes into the van. It's a tin can. I insulated the walls, ceiling, and had mats on the back floor. It was better. Hard to do much with the driver floor for noise, and there is a lot. Same with wind noise. Great visibility with the big windows, but the aerodynamics mean a lot of noise. I solved this with a loud stereo.

    They rust like nobodies business. If you want something you can almost watch rust out on you, then a Sprinter beats all other vans. A lot of people consider the white paint in a Sprinter to be a layer of primer rather than an actual paint. I'm curious how they hold up in other countries, because around here, I rarely see them that don't show rust on the sides, tail lights rusting out, rust around the fuel doors, etc. I'm completely serious here... If you buy a used one, you really might consider setting aside some case to get it painted when you get it to give it a better chance. There are some people on the sprinter forum that did it with good results.
    #18
  19. Hardware02

    Hardware02 Long timer

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    On the noise issue - Geek detailed how he used an insulation product of some type to reduce interior noise in his lengthy (but excellent) adventure van thread.
    #19
  20. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    Another note for "cargo haulers" - the Sprinter's walls are practically pop can thin.

    Plan on putting in some decent interior walls as you can dent the body work by glancing at it.
    #20