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View Full Version : Any way to gain an inch of clearance on front of 2005 3500 Sprinter?


rlg999
09-01-2013, 04:43 AM
I've tried searching the forums, but I seem to be missing any information on the possibility of adding an inch or so of clearance on the front of my 2005 3500 158 tall body sprinter. I added some larger tires, 215 85 16, and they clear ok on the front, but if I had another inch of height, it would make me feel better. It seems like it is jacked up in the rear, I guess to compensate for carrying a heavy load in back. My intended use is a rv conversion, and I only have maybe 1000 lbs total added to the weight of the van. Is there any kind of aftermarket spacer that could be put on top of the strut, or if I have the means available to make such an adapter, is it even a possibility? I realize that doing such would require a front end alignment, which I am due for since putting on the new larger tires. Would adding a spacer throw off the camber or toe so much that it couldn't be brought back into spec? Do different year sprinters have different length front struts? I think that I read somewhere that someone said their cab/chassis sprinter had spacers up front, maybe it was another model, not sure. Thanks in advance, I have already learned much from reading the posts here. Just finished cleaning up an injector seat and replaced the washer and bolt before I got a worse case of black death, thanks to this forum. Getting ready to do a transmission filter and drain once my dipstick arrives this week. So much to do, so little time.

sailquik
09-01-2013, 05:52 AM
rlg999,
OK, WHY do you want to raise the front of your Sprinter another 1 inch?
Is it because:
The interior floor is not level, and you find it hard to sleep with your head or toes higher?
Could you orient your bed across the Sprinter to eliminate this feeling?
You don't like the rakish look of the Sprinter being a little lower in the front so it will level outwith a bit more load in the back.
Have you considered lowering the back vs raising the front? MB specs many different rear springs for Sprinters based on the weight the carry.
If you are having trouble with the floor not being level when you are parked, have you considered a set of the plastic RV leveling blocks (or make your own out of a piece of 2x10 lumber).
Roger

owner
09-01-2013, 06:19 AM
You can reclaim any lost front suspension travel using this method, I got back an extra 10mm, so nearly half what you're after...
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24487

Who knows, you could probably gain the remaining 15mm by packing in a hard spacer behind the rubber preload block.

rlg999
09-01-2013, 12:04 PM
Sailquick,
Since I put larger tires, 215 85 16, instead of the tiny factory 195 70 15, the clearance near the rear of the front tires and the fender well is much less than it was before. I can slide my hand between the back of the tire and the wheel well, but it is a tight fit. Having another inch of height would give me a little extra room to prevent scrubbing of the tires if the struts are compressed any further. Lowering the rear is not an option, because then I will have clearance issues with the back tires. I know on the 2500 sprinters that came with 16 inch tires, they seem to sit higher in the front than my 3500 does. Can someone verify for me if 215 85 16 tires fit on the T1N 2500 models without clearance issues? Not sure if the front suspension is totally different between the 2500 and 3500 models though. My van has 260k miles on it, so maybe it is the rubber spacers that owner mentioned in his post above. I didn't know that there were preload spacers on the front leaf spring which could possibly be worn out. It has nothing to do with camping or the floor not being level, I can park on blocks, rocks, or whatever is handy to make the inside level once parked. With the stock tires on the van, the clearance from the ground to the bottom of the front tow hook was only 10 inches. Not sure if that is the standard height or not. With my new tires, clearance is now a little over 12 inches to the tow hook. Thanks for the info.

surlyoldbill
09-01-2013, 02:51 PM
Few people have enjoyed switching to larger diameter tires than factory spec. There isn't much clearance to begin with. It's better to stay with the factory spec, in my opinion.
I thought only the 118 came with 15" rims? Are the 3500's different from the 2500's?

Thanks for clarifying, I thought you wanted to raise the axles another inch for ground clearance, not the body for tire clearance.

skill3
09-01-2013, 03:30 PM
I have a 2006 118" 2500 SHC and a 2005 158" 3500 SHC and both have 15" wheels. The 3500 uses 195x70x15 tires.