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photogravity
07-10-2013, 02:01 PM
Last week, I purchased a 2002 Sprinter and took it to the MD approved inspection station for them to do the obligatory safety inspection. As it turns out, one of the items they cited for replacement is a right ball joint. I was ready to have them replace it when Doktor A. returned my call and I mentioned it to him. Of course there's been previous discussion (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15656) on the topic, so I don't want to rehash that. I mentioned the tech bulletin that describes the proper inspection technique, but the station basically responded that 'the state of MD dictates the method on ball joint inspection and it fails using that method.' I tried to reason with the gentleman at the station a bit and it seemed like he might be willing to accept a differing method of inspection, but I still think he'll defer to the licensed inspector.

I am interested in hearing of others who have had success in 'educating their local tech' on how to properly inspect a ball joint on a Sprinter. Does anyone here have a success story in retraining their inspector on the proper technique? If so, I'd love to hear how you did it.

sailquik
07-10-2013, 02:14 PM
photogravity,
This was a State owned inspection station (like where they do emissions checks) or a independent shop with a state inspection license?
If it's the state owned shop, I'd get it inspected again at a different state inspection site and bring the write up on the correct method
in printed form for the inspector to read.
If it's an independent shop, try another one that works on Sprinters a lot and will know how to inspect Sprinter front ball joints.
It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get a state inspector to change his verdict.
And, yes, anything having to do with a vehicle in MD can get very arbitrary, very quickly!
Please don't ask me how I know this!
Roger

Old Crows
07-10-2013, 02:21 PM
One of the problems with one size fits all feel good State inspection procedures. Been through hassles with MD in years past over BS interpretations of their safety requirements. Compression motor mounts that can not separate, no way, no how although they can flex ... and are supposed to is a case in point.

Come to Texas where we can nick you once a year and you can deal with the high school dropout full employment & protective association.

photogravity
07-11-2013, 12:13 AM
photogravity,
This was a State owned inspection station (like where they do emissions checks) or a independent shop with a state inspection license?
If it's the state owned shop, I'd get it inspected again at a different state inspection site and bring the write up on the correct method
in printed form for the inspector to read.
If it's an independent shop, try another one that works on Sprinters a lot and will know how to inspect Sprinter front ball joints.
It will be very difficult, if not impossible, to get a state inspector to change his verdict.
And, yes, anything having to do with a vehicle in MD can get very arbitrary, very quickly!
Please don't ask me how I know this!
Roger

Hey Roger, this is a shop with an inspection license. I don't have time to argue with them on the inspection, nor do I have time to run to different shops for them to do inspections. At $85 a pop going from station to station trying to educate the techs only for them to fail it anyway can get expensive very quickly. In any case, as it turns out they are still saying there's an issue and I'm just going to have to take a chance with them screwing up the "repair" (quotes used of course, because it really isn't a repair, atmo). With that stated, the state safety inspection system has its merits, but every time I get a car inspected (fortunately I don't do it often), I get this sinking feeling that I'll be grabbing my ankles by the time it is all said and done.

As far as dealing with the state of MD, I know exactly what you mean. They have been the most arbitrary of all the states in which we have lived. Before moving back to MD, we lived in NY and even NY is nowhere near as difficult as MD when it comes to this stuff.

photogravity
07-11-2013, 12:22 AM
One of the problems with one size fits all feel good State inspection procedures. Been through hassles with MD in years past over BS interpretations of their safety requirements. Compression motor mounts that can not separate, no way, no how although they can flex ... and are supposed to is a case in point.

Come to Texas where we can nick you once a year and you can deal with the high school dropout full employment & protective association.

Actually, my brother was a MD inspector for many years and even he wouldn't really cut me any breaks on my inspections. I know in years past MD would allow a cracked taillamp so long as it didn't allow white light to pass through but that is not the case any more. if it has a crack, it is an automatic fail. Of course, Amazon has repop tail lights for $55 so I just placed my order, got it shipped and replaced it myself.

I am most definitely glad I do not have to deal with yearly inspections as is the case in many states. One and done is good enough for me.

MillionMileSprinter
07-11-2013, 01:12 AM
if it has a crack, it is an automatic fail. Of course, Amazon has repop tail lights for $55 so I just placed my order, got it shipped and replaced it myself.

I remember when that happened...:frown:
I was in my kitchen and heard a POP! from outside and thought I saw the van shake as a car drove by.... I couldn't ignore my suspicion and walked outside to find that lens cracked and a white scrape in my new-to-me Sprinter's paint. :yell:
Passed PA inspection 2x. Man, MD IS tough. :thumbdown:

photogravity
07-11-2013, 02:13 AM
I remember when that happened...:frown:
I was in my kitchen and heard a POP! from outside and thought I saw the van shake as a car drove by.... I couldn't ignore my suspicion and walked outside to find that lens cracked and a white scrape in my new-to-me Sprinter's paint. :yell:
Passed PA inspection 2x. Man, MD IS tough. :thumbdown:

Yeah, man, that's for sure. They even made me remove the tint on the front windows. :thinking: All told, I sort of expected some of this stuff. The only issue that won't be unresolved when they hand it back to me will be a fuel tank leak. I'm sure it can't be too bad because I filled the tank and it sat in front of my house for 4 days without any sign of a leak. The guy at the shop said that if the tank wasn't so full, he doubts it would have even been an issue. They didn't want to drop the tank because they height of the van was an issue in their shop, and they didn't want to try to lower it without a jack and with a nearly full tank of fuel.

Tomorrow I'm going to have them put it on the lift for me to show me exactly where the leak is. I'll then drive it until the tank is nearly empty, look at the location where they say the leak is and if there is one, I'll go ahead and repair it. If there is no sign of a leak, I'll take it back in for them to sign off on it and get the final registration completed on the van.

Did I say anything about the fact that I really dislike getting vehicles inspected, registered and titled? :bash:

Boater
07-11-2013, 02:15 AM
In the UK we have an annual MOT, despite there being lots more sprinters here mine was failed (amongst other things) on both ball joints. The thing is when I changed them, one side had obvious radial play, the other side didn't but I was just playing with them in my hands, not using an MOT testers pry bar (although MB recommend not using a pry bar) so it may well have shown radial play when the tester checked it.

Remember it is only axial play that can be ignored when the tester (and authority they work for) understands and accepts the correct test measures, any radial play or rubber boot damage is still a fail.
It is not without purpose that I mention the authority - the UK authority (VOSA) won't fully accept MBs statement and have set an arbitrary 3mm limit on axial play - so the ball joint can still fail based on the statutory test, even though the vehicle designer says it passes!

Don't even get me onto other aspects of my MOT - I still haven't finished the welding that my van needs to pass it, in the meantime it is registered as off the road (SORN) and kept off road since it is un-taxable. I think next time I'll take to the garage that tested it last time, not the one I took it to last time! They seem to know something about vans!

surlyoldbill
07-12-2013, 02:43 AM
And I complain about CA and the smogging industry...

MillionMileSprinter
07-12-2013, 03:20 AM
The only issue that won't be unresolved when they hand it back to me will be a fuel tank leak.

FUEL TANK LEAK?!?!?! I don't believe them at all.
The front tint, however, I can believe. I knew it could be an issue here in PA when I put it on.
Remind me never to move to MD. :thumbdown:

photogravity
07-12-2013, 09:03 PM
In the UK we have an annual MOT, despite there being lots more sprinters here mine was failed (amongst other things) on both ball joints. The thing is when I changed them, one side had obvious radial play, the other side didn't but I was just playing with them in my hands, not using an MOT testers pry bar (although MB recommend not using a pry bar) so it may well have shown radial play when the tester checked it.

Remember it is only axial play that can be ignored when the tester (and authority they work for) understands and accepts the correct test measures, any radial play or rubber boot damage is still a fail.
It is not without purpose that I mention the authority - the UK authority (VOSA) won't fully accept MBs statement and have set an arbitrary 3mm limit on axial play - so the ball joint can still fail based on the statutory test, even though the vehicle designer says it passes!

Don't even get me onto other aspects of my MOT - I still haven't finished the welding that my van needs to pass it, in the meantime it is registered as off the road (SORN) and kept off road since it is un-taxable. I think next time I'll take to the garage that tested it last time, not the one I took it to last time! They seem to know something about vans!

Vehicle inspections can be the bane of a vehicle owner, for sure. I'm just glad that I don't need to get it done annually. It's a total PIA. It looks like the MOT is nearly as bad as the Maryland Inspection stations when it comes to screwing things up.

photogravity
07-12-2013, 09:08 PM
FUEL TANK LEAK?!?!?! I don't believe them at all.
The front tint, however, I can believe. I knew it could be an issue here in PA when I put it on.
Remind me never to move to MD. :thumbdown:

I went under the van and there was signs of diesel fuel having leaked out and run down the inside the fuel tank on the side that is away from the van. I just climbed underneath, cleaned everything up with degreaser and took it for a drive. There is no sign of a leak. I'm thinking that, because I had recently filled the van and then parked it in the heat for several days, there was some seepage out of the gasket on top. They indicated that if I went back and they were able to see no signs of fresh leakage, they'll give it a pass.

Jasrxtx88
07-13-2013, 02:37 AM
Hey Roger, this is a shop with an inspection license. I don't have time to argue with them on the inspection, nor do I have time to run to different shops for them to do inspections. At $85 a pop going from station to station trying to educate the techs only for them to fail it anyway can get expensive very quickly. In any case, as it turns out they are still saying there's an issue and I'm just going to have to take a chance with them screwing up the "repair" (quotes used of course, because it really isn't a repair, atmo). With that stated, the state safety inspection system has its merits, but every time I get a car inspected (fortunately I don't do it often), I get this sinking feeling that I'll be grabbing my ankles by the time it is all said and done.

As far as dealing with the state of MD, I know exactly what you mean. They have been the most arbitrary of all the states in which we have lived. Before moving back to MD, we lived in NY and even NY is nowhere near as difficult as MD when it comes to this stuff.

I just bought a Plateau MH on a 2006 Dodge 2500 Sprinter chassis. I bought it in PA and it has a PA inspection. I just posted over in Sprinter Talk that I took it today to the local Dodge dealer and they failed it because of the yellow brackets and springs that are hanging below the steering components ("...could trap road debris, cause loss of control..". I have to admit it does look a little Rube Goldberg). So one of my options is to take it to the State Police garage over at the MVA in glen burnie and get an actual state police safety inspector to look at it. That might be an option for the OP. (it is located in a small building behind the main MVA building on Ritchie Hwy, Glen Burnie).

photogravity
07-19-2013, 01:39 PM
As it turns out, rather than fight with the garage about the inspection, I let them replace the ball-joint. Upon return, the ABS, ASR and CEL lights were on. :bash: I drive it and restarted it several times hoping the code would clear, but it didn't. Finally, I placed a call to Doktor A who indicated the speed sensor was probably knocked out of its proper position when they worked on the ball joint. He told me the best way to check it and to get back into its proper position and it went out immediately upon the next startup.

The next challenge was the fuel tank which had fuel that had leaked out the top of the sender unit. I ended up degreasing the fuel tank and drove it for a while to make sure there weren't any problems. I knew there wasn't an issue, but chose to just deal with it in my own way. A week later (this morning) I returned with the Sprinter, the mechanic/inspector did a visual to ensure there was no fuel leaking, and I now have a signed safety inspection certificate. :thumbup:

I'm soon off to Motor Vehicles to get my permanent registration. :cheers:

cdman1674
07-19-2013, 02:35 PM
Photogravity- So do they retest the ball joint after replacement or do they just accept the repair bill as proof it was fixed? I am asking because i don't think i have read on the forum if changing the ball joint removes the up and down slack?
Thanks:thinking:

photogravity
07-19-2013, 02:52 PM
The shop that did the inspection also did the repair, so I doubt they checked the ball joint after the replacement. That's a great question. Maybe someone else can chime in here.

Aqua Puttana
07-19-2013, 02:54 PM
... I am asking because i don't think i have read on the forum if changing the ball joint removes the up and down slack?
Thanks:thinking:
I've thought the same thing.

Replacing with an OEM MB part might not fix the perceived "problem". I suspect that any aftermarket balljoint will be of a more traditional USA design so that the "problem" will disappear because the OEM style movement will go away.

I'm guessin' though so any comments based upon experience are appreciated. vic

lindenengineering
07-19-2013, 03:58 PM
Vic
Guys I have changed out a bunch of these.
We have used an OTC removal ball joint removal /replace tool with the lower wishbone insitu and with it removed from the frame and pressed out on a hydro press.

Yes they exhibit lots of "lift" when worn and you can feel it in the steering and when running over bumps.

Yes we use a bar to flex the suspension up and down to see the "lift" in the traditional manner.

When new they do not exhibit any lift.
Yes if you pry on them with excessive force you can see some internal deflection but it is different to wear consequences when present. In fact do enough of them and you will know the difference between internal cushion lift and that as a result of wear.

In any case I would recommend the use of a press and an adapter tool mandrel to replace them. The force required to press them out of the shoulder in the wishbone is often more than the in situ removal tool is designed to do.
Dennis

lindenengineering
07-20-2013, 05:22 AM
The funny side of a testers life.
Coming from the UK the dreaded MOT (comes from the old fashioned Ministry of Transport of the last century ) an approved safety test advisory first introduced by the Gov in the 1960's. Originally for basic requirement of safety conformity applicable to Brakes, Lights, Steering and Tires (Tyres).

Of course its has grown in complexity and government oversight and in fact morphed into an "Agency" which is another word for an over bloated government quango!
Funny we in the West like to look down our noses at lesser authoritarian Govs in the world and their Secret Police but we call them "Agencies" when they are up to doing the same thing!:hmmm:

Anyway I used to be one of those inspectors for the local authority. In this case Gloucestershire County Council in the early 70's. Of course in "them" days there were a lot of old rusted out cars running about, which prompted the Gov to introduce the tests in the first place!

One day I was asked to test this mid 1930's wreck of a Riley.
I failed it on brakes, steering, tires and holes in the floor. It was like a kiddies pedal car to describe it. In fact it was so bad that I issued a "red 'un" basically a failure to road test it as unsafe and it had to be towed to a repair shop or the owner's place of residence. This meant a tow charge which infuriated the owner who I latterly discovered a war hero having fought Rommel and his Afrika Corps at El Alamein with Montgomery's Desert Rats.

He lived in a council house and was on welfare but he kicked up such a stink about his bloody car that even our local MP got involved to "do something'!
In turn I was brought before the "management" who ran the place at the time by two retired ex British Army bods, and Brigadier and a Colonel. I was politely told that I was young, too enthusiastic in my job and full of excess of zeal.

Hence I was to pick the car up and re-test it in a more "favourable" light with an oversight by another fellow tester who was about my dad's age!
Having re-tested the car he said "Well Laad lets squirt some grease in them thar king pins that will take out the wear; Yes he will need a couple of tyres and I can adjust his brakes for him so that they will comply. The police workshops can put two bits of metal sheet down to cover the holes!
Having got all this done, test the brakes! In those days we used a Tapley meter to measure brake efficiency and record it on the test record sheet.
Ted the old guy tested the brakes in the yard, and yes they worked--- skids --compliance!
BUT
In the back seat were a stack of old batteries which I suppose the owner was about to weigh them in for cash. All the furious braking activity has tipped them over and acid was dripping out of the holes in the rear section of the wooden floor. Ted the old tester put the car on the pit to do a final walk through when acid dripped down his neck!

Mad as a wasp, Ted tore out of the pit heading to the mens' rooms; recovered agreed with my original test, wrote another red 'un and cussed out the two old soldiers running the show!:thumbup:
Suffice to state that we never saw that bloody awful Riley ever again and everything fell silent--Until that is I failed the Ford Lotus Cortina belonging to the local Chief of Police--It didn't make him too happy--especially getting a red 'un twice!--:laughing:

That zeal will get yah every time!:thumbup:
Dennis

photogravity
07-20-2013, 05:43 AM
Dennis, great story! I'll remember this story the next time I have a car inspected and be happy that I don't have a jalopy like the Riley.

I know this sounds crazy, but as I was searching for a van I actually thought that a Bedford CA would be an interesting machine. Alas, finding one on this side of the pond is pretty much impossible, so I said never mind. I just have this thought that old English bikes ought to be carried in an old English vehicle of some sort.

lindenengineering
07-20-2013, 03:57 PM
photogravity.
Alas the CA and the successor the CF have all gone the way of the platform they shared notably the Vauxhall Victor, aka Luton Oxidizer!
Finding one in serviceable condition today would be a rare find. That stated it, would be a tight squeeze to get some old Brit iron into the back . The van didn't have too much headroom; in fact quite cramped inside.

Now if you are looking for a curio van WITH headroom then look no further than the Citroen HY in diesel or pet-rol (gasoline) power.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz8cx1RIYTM
These were made in huge numbers and were the van of choice across the EEC in the 1960/70's.

Wandering around in France and Spain they pop up everywhere in back yards and fields now languished or abandoned for something much newer like "le Sprinter". In Spain of course the ever present eternal words of international electro - mechanical frustration like "Oh Dios mio furgones Sprinter" arrgh!:hugs:

I had one when I studied in France, scrounged from a acquaintance who owned a wine and beer store. Painted in burgundy red (what else?) and grey it was a superbe van WITH front wheel drive no less. I kept the wine & cheese decals on it, it suited the moment or le bonne heure:thumbup:
Dennis

Team Illuminata
09-09-2013, 01:35 PM
I used to live in England and hated the MOT tests with a passion. Now I live in Michigan (no testing at all) and fear for my life with a passion whenever I look at what sheds I share the road with.

photogravity
09-11-2013, 01:19 PM
I used to live in England and hated the MOT tests with a passion. Now I live in Michigan (no testing at all) and fear for my life with a passion whenever I look at what sheds I share the road with.

I am of the opinion that safety inspections have their place, but over-vigilance as I encountered by the inspector where I took my Sprinter seems to be the norm here in MD. Fortunately, I don't often buy and sell cars, so I avoid a lot of that nonsense and frustration.

Boater
09-11-2013, 02:10 PM
I am or the opinion that safety inspections have their place, but over-vigilance as I encountered by the inspector where I took my Sprinter seems to be the norm here in MD. Fortunately, I don't often buy and sell cars, so I avoid a lot of that nonsense and frustration.

You have only reported on the balljoint issue, which to be honest I am not convinced was necessarily down to over-vigilence. The inspector has to follow local laws/procedures if they supersede the manufacturers recommendations and whilst no doubt many Sprinters have balljoints replaced unnecessarily, they do sometimes need it so unless you have plenty of experience with Sprinter balljoints, or know they were replaced recently, I don't think it is really worth arguing about.

It looks as though you got a long list of other items to fix which may justify your view of over-vigilence?

At the end of the day, all these tests are snapshots - they don't ensure every vehicle on the road is roadworthy, but they do help to keep some of the un-roadworthy ones off the roads, which is Team Illuminata's point.

photogravity
09-11-2013, 02:56 PM
You have only reported on the balljoint issue, which to be honest I am not convinced was necessarily down to over-vigilence. The inspector has to follow local laws/procedures if they supersede the manufacturers recommendations and whilst no doubt many Sprinters have balljoints replaced unnecessarily, they do sometimes need it so unless you have plenty of experience with Sprinter balljoints, or know they were replaced recently, I don't think it is really worth arguing about.

It looks as though you got a long list of other items to fix which may justify your view of over-vigilence?

At the end of the day, all these tests are snapshots - they don't ensure every vehicle on the road is roadworthy, but they do help to keep some of the un-roadworthy ones off the roads, which is Team Illuminata's point.

Actually, it really wasn't a long list. Given that the van is 11 years old, I expected some things would need to be done. As far as the list, here's what the inspector failed:


right ball joint
front brake rotors
leaking fuel tank (didn't have a leak)
cracked tail light lens (no white light emitted)
tint on front windows (70%)


If the fuel tank and taillight lens don't qualify as over-vigilance, I'm not sure what would. My brother was, until recently, a MD inspector for many years and would regularly pass cracked taillights so long as white light didn't show through the lens. MD inspection only requires that taillights not emit white light, however the inspector was insistent it be changed nonetheless. I relented on the balljoint since it wasn't worth the fight, though I was not happy that they returned it with the ABS, ASR and CEL lights on. I ended up repairing that myself because they weren't resourceful enough to reach out to someone that knew how to fix it. Returning a vehicle to the owner with the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree when it had no lights on when it went into the shop is unacceptable. Another issue that I have is the shop attempting to create extra revenue for the shop by "flagging" issues that shouldn't be flagged. It's disingenuous or even dishonest, depending on perspective.

Team Illuminata
09-11-2013, 03:12 PM
I am or the opinion that safety inspections have their place, but over-vigilance as I encountered by the inspector where I took my Sprinter seems to be the norm here in MD. Fortunately, I don't often buy and sell cars, so I avoid a lot of that nonsense and frustration.

I have some MD stories I could share too.

Boater
09-11-2013, 06:23 PM
Just found your notes about the fuel tank, that does seem odd - sounds like you presented it with evidence of a leak the first time round, although the evidence was wrong? Like I say these guys can't run any tests to find out if there is a leak or not, only go by what they can see. In the UK evidence of a fuel leak can be a reason to abort the test due to it causing a possible hazard to tester, vehicle and shop!

Tail lights are another odd one, I think, but I'm not sure, that the UK rules now don't allow any cracks even if you can't see white light. I also have a feeling that repairing with coloured tape is no longer acceptable here.

So I can see what you mean, but it might just be a sign of the times rather than one poor inspector!

As for returning it with all the warning lights on, that wouldn't be allowed here either since March this year - at least some of those have become a mandatory fail (emissions related at least!) so the shop would have had to sort them out to issue a pass!

As for the dodgy items for fails (in the UK we also have an advisories section - items you aren't failing for but which you are recommended to attend to, so they put extras in there too) I think everyone hates that and most people have suspected a shop of doing it at some time. Fortunately we still have a right to remove the vehicle from the test centre to a place of our choice where it will be repaired before being re-tested (test centres don't have to have workshops), so far I have never had a failure for anything I couldn't do myself, well except the Sprinter balljoints and for those I took the wishbones off and took them to a garage to be pressed out and in whilst I dealt with the rest of the list! I suspect we will always have that right to avoid corrupt shops making extra business, but since most people are now scared to try and do any work on their own car the tactic must work most of the time.
I always take my car to an MOT centre and then do any work myself, my colleague takes his car to his usual trustworthy shop and then has them take the car to a test centre - when the test centres are dealing with other shops rather than individuals they seem to flag up fewer issues because there is no profit for them...... now am I just a conspiracy theorist or do I have good reason to agree with you on this point....???

To be fair, my Sprinter came back from its test with the ABD light on (I thought I had successfully put it out) and an advisory for it - but only because the garage didn't know what it meant, being related to ABS (same sensors) I'm sure that should have been a fail now! I have discovered why it was coming on now, drivers rear sensor was no-where near the tone ring - I will need to replace both sensors before I get re-tested, all down to the discoveries I made taking the axle off to get at some rust!
I can't even remember all the things wrong with mine, I remember it failed for "steering lock ineffective" - a new rule introduced the week before my test, grrr!!!! A lot of the "excessive corrosion in prescribed area" is actually down to a PO repairing rust but not doing the welding in the approved manner - all patches have to be seam welded all round even if they run to a flange which was originally spot welded. Spot welding is only allowed if the entire spot welded panel is replaced - daft, but its the rules, although some testers obviously haven't noticed it in the past and I didn't when doing work to it before (all my patches were acceptable!).

Of course at 17 years old, mine has plenty of scope for failing without adding extras on!

Boater
09-11-2013, 06:24 PM
Just a thought, do you think MD inspectors might be using our MOT testers manual :bounce:

Team Illuminata
09-11-2013, 06:29 PM
Just a thought, do you think MD inspectors might be using our MOT testers manual :bounce:

I think they're using.....

photogravity
09-11-2013, 06:50 PM
Just a thought, do you think MD inspectors might be using our MOT testers manual :bounce:

Great response Boater. You're probably right about the source of the manual. I'll ask the shop to provide the source of the manual the next time. :smirk:

pgr
09-12-2013, 12:11 PM
photogravity.
Alas the CA and the successor the CF have all gone the way of the platform they shared notably the Vauxhall Victor, aka Luton Oxidizer!
Finding one in serviceable condition today would be a rare find. That stated it, would be a tight squeeze to get some old Brit iron into the back . The van didn't have too much headroom; in fact quite cramped inside.

Now if you are looking for a curio van WITH headroom then look no further than the Citroen HY in diesel or pet-rol (gasoline) power.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz8cx1RIYTM
These were made in huge numbers and were the van of choice across the EEC in the 1960/70's.

Wandering around in France and Spain they pop up everywhere in back yards and fields now languished or abandoned for something much newer like "le Sprinter". In Spain of course the ever present eternal words of international electro - mechanical frustration like "Oh Dios mio furgones Sprinter" arrgh!:hugs:

I had one when I studied in France, scrounged from a acquaintance who owned a wine and beer store. Painted in burgundy red (what else?) and grey it was a superbe van WITH front wheel drive no less. I kept the wine & cheese decals on it, it suited the moment or le bonne heure:thumbup:
Dennis

They're still around!

Team Illuminata
09-12-2013, 12:39 PM
They're still around!

Nice. A friend of mine round here has a few restored and unrestored examples. He is French though.

Dingo
09-12-2013, 03:57 PM
Afernoon Boater ,

Just put a class 7 through it's test last week ( poor soul , it was not a sprinter )
Anyway , you will be pleased to here that VOSA have informed testers to pass & advise anything that is clearly not an immediate fail .

So cracked lamps & no white light Pass but advise
no nailing throttle to the floor & taking a reading from the huge plume that appears suddenly .

I had questions regarding a tipper body , spoke to testers & got proper clear answers made test prepe a doddle compared to two years ago , then everyone was failing every little thing they could

sprintguy
09-12-2013, 04:31 PM
Ok. lets clear up the "loose ball joint issue". Sprinters do in fact have life time ball joints (unless all the grease escapes from a boot rip). WHY? I challenge anyone who knows about geometry and physics to look at the front suspension. The orientation of the ball joints and the loading factor of the front transverse spring along with placement of the isolator/tension bushings, allow the ball joints to be pushed into the socket of the joint, when weight is applied to the wheels , you can drop either wheel into a hole and the force transfer from the spring will still add enough tension to keep even the "floating wheel" ball joint compressed into the socket. Now if we remove the weight from both front wheels the tension/force of the front spring acting on the lower control arm is removed , hence the "loose ball joint" . there is a proper inspection and write up about how this system functions in WIS, so for those of you that have access to MB Sprinter WIS find it and have the robotic inspectors and careless state officials read it and have an interpreter present to explain the document in a more non scientific way , and then maybe state inspections will go easier for everyone . Including the euro inspectors , who should know better. NO STATE can override manufacturer equipment checking procedure (in the USA) . Thats just the inspector being scared of repercussions. Go to your local MB dealer and have a service representative print out the document, bring it to the station and ask if the inspector would fail the vehicle for being "as designed".


Carl
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Dingo
09-12-2013, 04:50 PM
In the UK we now have automated vehicle testing ramps for single person testing , the van remains pressing down on it's tyres & the front wheels sit on powered platforms that shake the vehicle side to side and any movement shows up / can be seen by the tester .

A bit worrying to watch 3.5 tons ( 7,000 + Lbs ) of van lurching around on the ramp . Once it passes this section , it moves onto having the front end jacked free of the ramp & additional tests performed ( checking for torn / split gaiters etc)

I have had a tester fail a sprinter due to front ball joint play , when i was told , i informed him of the tech update from VOSA & MBtech bulletin . He rang & checked the facts were right , amended his fail sheet & handed me my test certificate

It also pays to be POLITE & not raise your voice , Most testers when faced with a customer presenting facts will double check the validity before saying FAIL :thumbdown:

You do get the odd bottom oriface ( A-HOLE )who takes pleasure from your misery when you get a failure certificate :bash:

Boater
09-12-2013, 05:02 PM
In my case the boots must have got damaged because one had a lot of play in all directions, the other was a bit tighter but probably still too much.
I'm sure the tech bulletin says VOSA and MB/Daimler have agreed to set a 3mm limit on axial play because VOSA insist on having some kind of measure?

I did feel slightly screwed because the local garage had to take it elsewhere because they can't do class 7 which means I didn't get to speak to the actual tester but was told it was over the 3mm.
However since the actual test garage's name is on the fail cert I will take it drectly to them next time, I nearly took it to them last time because I know they handle more commercials than the local garage.

Dingo
09-12-2013, 05:07 PM
I have begun to use my local council testing facility . They do not perform any repairs & all the testers have stated that if they fail , it needs to fail as they do not benefit from any sort of repair work .

Best still as they class me as "trade " i get get discounted fee's 50 for class 7's

winners all round

MillionMileSprinter
09-12-2013, 05:43 PM
I have begun to use my local council testing facility . They do not perform any repairs & all the testers have stated that if they fail , it needs to fail as they do not benefit from any sort of repair work .

Every state in the US is different. Here in Pennsylvania, the repair shop and inspection station are the same thing. Not all repair shops are Official State Inspection Facilities, but all Inspection Facilities are repair shops, too (at least that I've seen). It's really a conflict of interests and always bothered me in the past. Now that I have Sprinter and I do all my own work, and the local repair shop/inspection station knows I do my own work and freely confesses they know nothing about Sprinters, so I'm not worried. I know my van much better than they do. Occasionally they find a burnt out bulb or say the wipers are too old, but nothing major.
It's so important to find a good, honest mechanic. I know people who are told they need new brakes EVERY YEAR by their inspection station. They don't know any better, so they pay for new brakes and pass. Such a shame... :thumbdown:
Years ago I had *just* replaced the front brakes on my Corolla not a month before inspection and the inspector told me I needed new front brakes. I called his bluff and he said, "oh, sorry, we must have checked the wrong box on the form. Never mind..." :thumbdown:

Old Crows
09-12-2013, 06:07 PM
Every state in the US is different. Here in Pennsylvania, the repair shop and inspection station are the same thing. Not all repair shops are Official State Inspection Facilities, but all Inspection Facilities are repair shops, too (at least that I've seen). It's really a conflict of interests and always bothered me in the past. Now that I have Sprinter and I do all my own work, and the local repair shop/inspection station knows I do my own work and freely confesses they know nothing about Sprinters, so I'm not worried. I know my van much better than they do. Occasionally they find a burnt out bulb or say the wipers are too old, but nothing major.
It's so important to find a good, honest mechanic. I know people who are told they need new brakes EVERY YEAR by their inspection station. They don't know any better, so they pay for new brakes and pass. Such a shame... :thumbdown:
Years ago I had *just* replaced the front brakes on my Corolla not a month before inspection and the inspector told me I needed new front brakes. I called his bluff and he said, "oh, sorry, we must have checked the wrong box on the form. Never mind..." :thumbdown:

Inspection stations & repair shops wedded together. Goes with the State selling booze from "state stores" ..... And a sponsoring substance abuse center down the block! :bash: