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gwhomp
09-04-2013, 02:19 AM
Hi All,

My 05' Sprinter 118 has seen better days. Last week it was involved in an accident, as seen within the photographs attached(thankfully no injuries). Long story short, no 'collision' insurance. Thus I'm entertaining my options and currently in the process of creating a game plan. The van is at an RV storage yard (San Francisco/North Bay) making it difficult to get insight from any auto body shops. Any thoughts as to what I'm up against would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,
Mark

Thanasis
09-04-2013, 03:12 AM
This very unfortunate. On the bright side there were no injuries.
My T1N is at a body shop for a minor repair. I had a hard time finding a body shop that would work on it because most do not have large enough paint booths to accommodate Sprinters.
I managed to find one on East Bay, and took it in this morning. I was impressed by the professionalism of the folks who work there ,and their estimate was very reasonable.
The shop is called Falcon, and they re on 10th St in Berkeley, near Dwight Way (http://www.falconcollisionrepair.com)

Of course, judging from the photos, body shop repairs are going to be only part of what it would take to get your van fixed.
Good luck...

Thanasis

NelsonSprinter
09-04-2013, 03:43 AM
Any insurance company would consider that vehicle a total write-off due to the $20,000 POSSIBLE repair bill from a certified body repair shop needed to put the frame straight again.
Unless you can find a friend who works on rebuilds cheaply, you may be better off disassembling and selling off for parts .
If another driver is responsible for the damage, then a lawsuit could be worked on after you get a quote from a garage, to pay damages.

nctrailseeker
09-04-2013, 04:00 AM
Patience. Keep your eyes open for one with a bad motor, good price and do the swap. I now have a 2008 3500 170 wheel base that I found with a bad motor. Bought another van that had been hit in the corner, very much like yours, perfect motor. Changed myself. I now have less than $10k in it and just this past week put nearly 1500 miles on it without any issues. They are unbelievably easy to change the motor.

RedDino
09-04-2013, 04:20 AM
Bummer! Such a nice shorty!
I would love to buy the sliding door including the sliding window and the sliding window opposite of the door. Or just swap windows.
Good luck!
Matthias

gwhomp
09-04-2013, 04:45 AM
Any insurance company would consider that vehicle a total write-off due to the $20,000 POSSIBLE repair bill from a certified body repair shop needed to put the frame straight again.
Unless you can find a friend who works on rebuilds cheaply, you may be better off disassembling and selling off for parts .
If another driver is responsible for the damage, then a lawsuit could be worked on after you get a quote from a garage, to pay damages.

Thanks for the insight. Unfortunately, the damages can't be covered by another driver, as there wasn't one. It looks like Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco is the only 'certified' body shop. I'm curious what makes them 'certified' and why this would be a recommendation, is an insurance relationship? ...goggling around now & will call them in the AM. The situation is tough as the 118 passenger vans are few, far between, and holding their value. Thus, I'm playing through a lot of scenarios as a replacement is not presenting itself. Anyone have any experience correcting a bent frame?

surlyoldbill
09-04-2013, 04:45 AM
Looks like the road up to Muir Woods/Throckmorton.
I'm sorry to say that my intuition says it's probably totaled due to the frame damage (look at that front axle!).

gwhomp
09-04-2013, 04:49 AM
Looks like the road up to Muir Woods/Throckmorton.
I'm sorry to say that my intuition says it's probably totaled due to the frame damage (look at that front axle!).

Ya, on the way to Stinson Beach. Took a boulder to the passenger side wheel...hoping for the best.

ECU
09-04-2013, 05:14 AM
I could use a straight hood like that.

pacman_34
09-04-2013, 05:18 AM
Pm sent. Get a hold of me maybe we can works something out.

Thanks

EEJ
09-04-2013, 05:21 AM
Might have to get a bidding war going on those sliders if you decide to part it...

EEJ
09-04-2013, 05:22 AM
Also, it looks maybe possible that it has a factory sunroof? I would be interested in that as well!

surlyoldbill
09-04-2013, 02:35 PM
we're all circling like vultures...

vanven
09-05-2013, 01:35 AM
we're all circling like vultures...

Think of it more like "life giving" organ donation.

danthewolf007
09-05-2013, 02:38 AM
Call wayne rodd i know hes got body parts lol.

Boater
09-05-2013, 08:57 AM
I would say the body work is relatively trivial (although possibly expensive), but you need to get a crash repair expert to survey the chassis because the chassis rails are about in line with the apparent extent of damage and you probably don't want to be putting it back on the road with possible hidden chassis damage or a twist in the chassis which may upset the suspension enough to give you uneven tyre wear or something.

Talking body parts - the inner wing, inner wheel arch and floor plan would probably need to be straightened and/or rebuilt from scratch.
The sill in way of the step, outer wheel arch, outer wing, slam panel and front chassis cross member are all available as replacement panels (in Europe, not sure how easy in US).
Don't even look at repairing the door it is too difficult, and keep your fingers crossed that the lower part of the A pillar behind the inner wheel arch is mostly good (the lowest 4" is included on the wheel arch repair panel, so you want it to be good above that).

Mechanical damage - who knows?
You will probably need a wishbone (lower control arm), and hopefully you will have bent the track rod rather than damaged the steering rack but you'll need to investigate. The ARB may also be bent. The strut will need looking at - the floor mounting point for the strut would be a nightmare to re-build, that may turn out to be your practical limitation. I reckon the hub carrier/steering knuckle is a casting so I would probably want to find someone to carry out some NDT on that to make sure there are no hidden cracks (or replace it to be safe). If the ARB got shunted it might have caused damage to the suspension on the opposite side so don't forget to check there.
The engine mount is on the chassis rail that I am concerned about, hopefully the rubber part will have prevented the engine getting shunted but you will want to go all over and test all connections for leaks. I'm not sure how your engine is laid out, but mine has the turbo over the chassis rail so that would need checking for damage and might be worth changing the oil feed and return pipes for peace of mind. Obviously the turbo is bolted to the exhaust manifold so presents another path where the impact could have been transmitted to the engine. Outboard of that, bearing in mind that in the UK it would be driver side so things may be organised differently, is mostly the air cleaner and windscreen washer reservoir which are fairly trivial (but nothing is cheap for MB!) - the brake servo must be on the other side in the US because it will be behind the pedal.

A van is mostly steel, it can be cut and welded (if the law allows repair of the chassis) and other parts can be replaced, what limits whether it is repairable or not is the cost relative to replacing the whole vehicle. Although you don't have insurance to cover it, you probably ought to get some estimates and do the comparison yourself. It looks as though you will have little trouble parting it out if the maths on fixing it don't work out for you!

MillionMileSprinter
09-06-2013, 03:20 AM
If I were in your situation, I would consider a few options:
A MB body shop will cost you around 20 grand.
Anyone else will cost you between 5 and 10 grand. The 5 grand job may end up costing you more in the long run with CELs and mis-alignment issues, but you get what you pay for.
There's also the option of offering it to a high school auto shop.
I personally would consider parking it in my driveway and looking for another van with high miles or a blown engine or bad tranny. Even a cargo van with those issues will do. Then I would swap EVERYTHING good over from the wrecked van.
These are just some thoughts.
But looking at your door and how everything is all bent up behind the rear wheel makes me really wonder if it will ever be able to be properly aligned. But I'm no expert.
Good luck.

surlyoldbill
09-06-2013, 03:25 AM
T2T knows what he's talking about, has recently gone through the bodywork repair conundrum. GW's van looks like it will have significant chassis issues, though. I think these vans were designed to crumple just like regular passenger cars, so the impact may have affected parts all the way over on the other side and to the back.

Thanasis
09-07-2013, 03:40 AM
... I had a hard time finding a body shop that would work on it because most do not have large enough paint booths to accommodate Sprinters.
I managed to find one on East Bay, and took it in this morning.
The shop is called Falcon, and they re on 10th St in Berkeley, near Dwight Way (http://www.falconcollisionrepair.com)
Thanasis

It turned out that my experience with FALCON was not good, and I DO NOT recommend this shop.

gwhomp
09-08-2013, 06:06 AM
It turned out that my experience with FALCON was not good, and I DO NOT recommend this shop.

Thank you all!

Thanasis, thanks for the heads up with Falcon. I just met with them on Saturday, will proceed with caution. A few shops have made the trip out to the van, feedback and estimates should be coming in shortly. All options are being explored and considered. 'IF' there is hope and the concerns stated by Boater are addressable, a salvage van will most likely be purchased.... One step at a time and getting educated daily. Oh ya, getting married in a week. This has been a really crazy time!

Thanks again, the support is priceless.
Mark