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Old 01-29-2011, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default weight limits

My '06 Sprinter cargo (long and tall) has a GVW of 8550 lbs. A sticker on the door frame says to never exceed 3500 lbs of cargo+passengers. Can I modify the suspension to increase the weight another 1000 lbs? The rear only has 1 leaf spring. Would it simply be a matter of adding another spring to each side (and putting on tires that could handle the increased load?) What about the front?

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Old 01-29-2011, 02:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: weight limits

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Originally Posted by campedersen View Post
My '06 Sprinter cargo (long and tall) has a GVW of 8550 lbs. A sticker on the door frame says to never exceed 3500 lbs of cargo+passengers. Can I modify the suspension to increase the weight another 1000 lbs? The rear only has 1 leaf spring. Would it simply be a matter of adding another spring to each side (and putting on tires that could handle the increased load?) What about the front?

Thanks!
Campedersen, There's more to increasing the weight capacity than just installing another spring. The van is a totally engineered system. Consider the weight distribution, the extra load on the braking, and the integrity of the shell. for starters. Loading pallets of freight on the floor is different than hanging heavy cabinets on the walls or ceiling.

There are some great posts on center of gravity issues. You can use the search bar at the top to locate them. Weight needs to be distributed evenly to not upset the handling of the vehicle. Too much to the rear and you get the reaction many try to overcome by installing expensive shock absorbers. Loading the rear make the front wander.

Loading the top is sometimes compensated by sway bars, but only to a degree.

The front spring is a composite unit, and I have not read anything that offers an increased front load capacity. I stopped in to a couple of excellent spring shops to discuss the front end when I thought that was my problem. Their solutions were the same. Adjust the load to keep the vehicle balanced.

A far more reasonable solution might be to pay careful attention to the selection of materials you intend to use. Furniture is heavy. So are mattresses and appliances. 7.5 gallons of water(1 cu. ft.) weigh 62 lbs. Batteries can add 200-300 lbs.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: weight limits

Thanks for your knowledgeable reply. We are carrying produce to a farmers market, so we can't do much about choosing lighter materials (produce is mostly water). But we definitely can make sure that we balance the load, keep heavy things on the bottom so as to maintain a low center of gravity, etc. The problem is that we sometimes have loads of 4000 lbs at the height of the season. How much "wiggle room" is built into the GVW limits?

Aside from the tandem rear wheels, what is it about the 3500 that allows it to carry more weight than the 2500?
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: weight limits

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Originally Posted by campedersen View Post
Thanks for your knowledgeable reply. We are carrying produce to a farmers market, so we can't do much about choosing lighter materials (produce is mostly water). But we definitely can make sure that we balance the load, keep heavy things on the bottom so as to maintain a low center of gravity, etc. The problem is that we sometimes have loads of 4000 lbs at the height of the season. How much "wiggle room" is built into the GVW limits?

Aside from the tandem rear wheels, what is it about the 3500 that allows it to carry more weight than the 2500?

Some of the expediters might be able to help with answers on the 3500. And they can address issues on hauling heavy with the 2500. It wouldn't be my style to say you can push the weight, but I do know that keeping the heavy stuff low and more toward the front will be beneficial.

When the season comes in, take a load to the local truck scales. MB recommends 30% of GVW be carried on the front axle.

If you search on suspension upgrades or Roadmaster, you may find some useful info. Also try center of gravity; that may lead you to some of the posts I got involved with.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: weight limits

I wouldn't for the risk of snapping the suspension components or rim or lugs. Causing a collision will make you liable for other's injuries/damage as insurance doesn't cover a modified vehicle unless passed by MTO inspection. Ask a Mercedes Benz Sprinter repair facility on what can and can't be done.
A better idea would be to ask yourself: " during peak season, what do you always return back with?", and don't load up with so much of it, or realize that you don't have the right vehicle for your purposes

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Old 01-30-2011, 01:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: weight limits

I was talking with a Sprinter tech who mentioned that the frame rails could use some reinforcement bracing. He claims that the rails get torqued out of shape if hauling over the hitch limit. I often tow around 5000lbs but I also use a trailer brake.

Anyone ever hear of this before.

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Old 01-30-2011, 01:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: weight limits

Tow a 1000# payload trailer on those few days you need excess capacity. If it is really only a few times a year, rent one.

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Old 01-30-2011, 06:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: weight limits

You can learn more about Sprinter suspension up-grades here, http://sprinterstore.com/sprinter_suspension.htm These products are specifically designed for the Sprinter and not a generic one part fits all. We do have an up-grade for the front spring as well. If you have questions, give us call and we will be happy to help.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846
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