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Old 03-31-2013, 04:30 AM   #1
CGV Rama
 
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Default NCV3 Sprinter for use in Baja California and California

Dear Sprinter forum:

I am very interested in purchasing a Sprinter and very close to it.

There are a couple of issues related to my purchase I wish to vent out with your wonderful forum.

I am planing on buying a 2013 Mercedes 144" low roof passenger Sprinter. We only have the small engine available here (I am based in Tijuana, Mexico) and I figure I could eventually chip the CPU for more power if need be it. The model is a 311 CDI with an OM651 engine and 116HP @ 3800rpm with a 6 speed manual tranny. The model is very bare bones and has very little electrical add ons.

I will be using it for moving people to natural areas in Baja California and California, traveling with my family to these places and probably a trip or two a year to central or northern Mexico. And occasionally hauling landscaping supplies and plants in the Tijuana metro area.

My first choice was a VW TDI Transporter (we have these available in Mexico) but the lack of a lift kit because of differential issues and no 4x4 conversion possibilities in North America eventually made me realize this was not a vehicle I should consider taking on dirt roads.

It looks like the Sprinter has better clearance and doesn't have that darned oil pan issue that all VW TDI's have. And the price difference is very small around 2000usd for the 9 passenger Transporter vs the 16 passenger Sprinter (both with full AC). I will remove one or two rows for cargo space eventually.

I have been looking at the 4x4 conversions that http://whitefeather4x4conversions.com does and they look very interesting. Although a conversion for my possible 144"er is in the low 20k's. Not chump change especially in this downtrodden economy.

My questions are? do you think I'm wacko or do you think this is the vehicle for me?

Is there a lift kit on the market to give it more clearance? Can I use bigger wheels with the lift kit for additional clearance and traction?

I read the thread that Analartist started with regards to the "talk me out of buying a Sprinter" and it looks like the Sprinter is quite the cult vehicle. I can really relate as I use to drive a 84 VW Vanagon that was a money pit but was oh so comfortable and practical. Although it also seems that nothing comes close the Sprinter.

I am the owner of two VW TDIs, so I am very familiar with the electrical gremlins that these vehicles usually have. Beside the fact that VW dealers know very little about these vehicles, I wouldn't trade them for the world (well maybe a newer model). I love their spunkiness, the torque, the fuel economy and the fact that I don't spend money on spark plugs, rotor, distributor and cables associated with a gasser.

MB Sprinter dealer is actually a couple of blocks from my house so that is a big plus. I pass buy it almost every day and the Sprinters tell me they want me to take them to the backcountry.

There is a 4x4 NVV3 passenger Sprinter on sale now at Whitefeather. Although it might be a little more than I can afford. It looks very nice and if money was no object, It would definitely be what I am looking for.

http://whitefeather4x4conversions.com/inventory/

So I'm thinking I would buy it brand new and start building it little by little.

Regards and congratulations on a great forum!
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: NCV3 Sprinter for use in Baja California and California

Taking into consideration your circumstances i think that you would be better off with a Toyota
Hi-Lux Troop Carrier.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: NCV3 Sprinter for use in Baja California and California

I know about Toyota's great reliability, and if there was a good diesel van with clearance made by them I would jump on the idea. But their van is ugly, small and a gasser. I did found this on the web.

http://www.outbackimports.ca/

A 4x4 toyota hiace sounds interesting even if the steering is on the right side.

I doubt that I could import this to Mexico legally.

And there are no Toyota Hilux trooper carriers available in Mexico. And besides I dont believe in SUV's. Their just cars on stilts. They don't have any more carrying capacity and they are really thirsty MF. Probably the only interesting thing would be the 4x4. But I do need to move 8 or 9 people at a minimum for botany and naturalist tours.

Thanx for your suggestion anyway Amboman.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: NCV3 Sprinter for use in Baja California and California

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGV Rama View Post
I know about Toyota's great reliability, and if there was a good diesel van with clearance made by them I would jump on the idea. But their van is ugly, small and a gasser. I did found this on the web.

http://www.outbackimports.ca/

A 4x4 toyota hiace sounds interesting even if the steering is on the right side.

I doubt that I could import this to Mexico legally.

And there are no Toyota Hilux trooper carriers available in Mexico. And besides I dont believe in SUV's. Their just cars on stilts. They don't have any more carrying capacity and they are really thirsty MF. Probably the only interesting thing would be the 4x4. But I do need to move 8 or 9 people at a minimum for botany and naturalist tours.

Thanx for your suggestion anyway Amboman.

What about the 7 liter ford 4x4 excursion?... really nice except it sucks diesel
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: NCV3 Sprinter for use in Baja California and California

You guys have talked me out of it!!!!

I will be scouting a used E350 7.3 with a Quigley 4x4 conversion.

These things fly like crazy off Ebay and Craigslist so if I cannot find one I will go for the Ford Excursion 7.3 4x4.

If Mercedes Benz feels like building a dependable Sprinter with 4x4 capabilities I'd love to buy one. But for now I need something dependable that wont cost me an arm and some private body parts (as we say in Mexico) for 4x4 capabilities.

Thanx for the insight you guys and if you are ever in Tijuana and see some mexican drooling over your sprinter, it just might be me.
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