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Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk Common features found in Sprinter RV's and Conversions.


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Old 07-07-2011, 04:15 PM   #1
niamh
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Default Front Suspension HELP!!!

Hi

Can someone PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP me!!

I've recently finished a van conversion on a Sprinter lwb Box Luton 313cdi. It is now my home of which I absolutely adore. She isn't your typical conversion/camper more like a brightly coloured wendy house!

I have the problem of constant weight and therefore this problem arising on the front suspension of her bottoming out, the wishbone touching the bumper stops! I have upgraded the back suspension from single leaf springs to double leaf springs and this seems to be good except their is squeaking. I am told this is because it needs new bushes...... is this true?

I have upgraded the front shocks to heavy duty front shocks, now this is where I am unsure, I replaced both front shocks at the same time but didn't replace the strut mounts at the same time as the shocks, it would've been about a week to a week and a half later. As I am living in it I had to still drive her around, not far or much, the knocking noise (which I think I can decifer between that knocking noise and the bottoming out noise) was herrendous. Anyways changed the mounts a week later. She is still bottoming out and in places I feel she shouldn't be....... like going round corners (although this noise may be a bit of knocking, I can't quite tell) and over drains etc way to sensitive.
I am unsure if the new heavy duty shocks just aren't doing the job or if because I didn't replace the struts at the same time as the shocks, I have damaged the new shocks in which case all I need to do is get new shocks and it'll be fine???

If someone can please advise me what to do!!!
1) Is it likely I damaged them and just need new ones, and if so will the new struts I have already be fine or will I need new ones of them again?
or
2) Do I need to buy even heavier duty front shocks, like for off roading, and if so where can I get them and if anyone knows what part number, if this is even possible????
3) Do I need new bushes on the rear leaf springs to stop the squeaking???
4) Is it something that if it can't be sorted I can just keep driving or will it cause some more serious damage of some sort or be dangerous??

I sincerely hope someone out there can help because I am getting worried now, especially after spending a year on this project and now living in her thinking it may be all over!
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:29 PM   #2
Altered Sprinter
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Default Re: Front Suspension HELP!!!

Welcome to the forum. Question is your cab over chassis Luton box a home made variant as campers have an optional high center of gravity, on these models. plus H/D stabilizer bars.
Being a 3 series what is your allowed GVM ,have you weighed it? One way to check this is park on a dead flat road. crawl under the van and measure the distance standing between the base of the rubber stop and the suspension frame Arms.
This photo is the clearance you need to have.

DSC00643 (Large) (Custom).JPG
Check your front stabilizer bar rubbers, and links for degradation as well.
Richard
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Front Suspension HELP!!!

How much weight did YOU add to the front of this vehicle? Like are you hauling gold bars in the front of that box? The bottoming out is NOT a shock problem........ typically it would be a spring problem but I am guessing this is a used truck and then any of the suspension components could be at issue.

Forget the rear squeak until you find out why this is bottoming out. Rear bushings are marginally inexspensive relaitve to you tearing something up with this bottoming out issue.

This have coil overs?

Good luck!

Larry
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Front Suspension HELP!!!

The shock absorbers do not provide any load support and are there to dampen oscillations. Assuming it is a T1N sprinter (2000 to 2006), One thing to check is the transverse spring. It may be one of two types, one is made of carbon fibre (non metalic)and the other type is made of steel. The steel ones may be made of one or two layers. There is a possibility one of the two layers has cracked. There have been other instances of this where a luton cabover is involved. Use a magnet to detect which type is installed. Do a visual check for cracks in the spring.
One thing is for sure, the current condition is not normal.

Hope this helps,

Cheers

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Old 07-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Front Suspension HELP!!!

Hi Niamh,

My eighteen month old daughter shares the same lovely name with you!

The squeaking at the rear could either be your rear anti-roll bar bushes or leaf spring bushes. Anti-roll bar bushes more likely. You can see them easily - the anti-roll bar drops down where the axle is. Cheap parts but perhaps an hour and a half labour per side to fit.

I think it's pretty unlikely that you will have damaged the new shocks in such a short length of time.

The problem with continuing to do drive it as it is: the front suspension travel sounds like it's being compromised too easily which isn't a good thing. When it bottoms out like that you momentarily don't have any suspension. That's a potentially dangerous scenario. You really need to find someone to help you figure out what's going on and try to help you find a solution that is dynamically suited to the vehicle - but it reads like it could just be too heavy at the front.

I think you should weigh the van next. Find a weighbridge, fill the tank then get the total weight (both axles), front axle weight, rear axle weight. Then compare these figures to the data plate, which you should find on the driver's seat base. On a 313 euro data plate there should be "3,500" which is your maximum total weight, then two other figures "1" and "2". "1" is your front axle weight maximum and "2" is your rear axle weight maximum. See how your weighed figures compare to the data plate figures. It sounds as if you might be at or over the limits, and/or may need to redistribute the weight in the body particularly if you have overcab storage (a possibility in a luton body).

Be nice to see some pics of all your work!
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Last edited by mean_in_green; 07-08-2011 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:25 PM   #6
niamh
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Default Re: Front Suspension HELP!!!

Thanks guys,

I have been round numerous garages today and finally found someone that new instantly that it was the front transverse leaf spring!! so on the way to getting sorted! Don't suppose anyone knows of a place I can buy them from???
The mechanic said to get a front transverse leaf spring for a 4t mercedes like the 416 and that I should get long stroke front shocks too. so if any of you have a good link because as of yet I am out of luck!

You've all been great and I understand even more!

I have just tried to upload some photos but it didn't work. I am on a dongle and think I have to wait till I am on wifi.

so you'll have to wait for them!

:)
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Front Suspension HELP!!!

You might try sending a private message to SprinterUK on here Niamh. Chris is a parts man with a main dealer in Birmingham.

If you assess your axle weights first though you'll get a true indication whether uprating the spring is a good idea or not (if indeed it's possible to do that, I'm not sure that it is). It could be that just replacing it with one the same but new will be fine.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Front Suspension HELP!!!

Heard there's a place in Paddington London that supplies and fits front springs for about 800, a mate of mine that's a mechanic said its a hell of a job and he never wants to do it again.
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