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dongcheadle
08-14-2016, 02:02 AM
Hey everybody! :bounce:

A little background:

Van's are where it's at, i've been looking for a camping and roadtrip rig for about 2 months.... probably wasted hundreds of hours at work looking at everything from Eurovans, to Previa's to Aerostars to Coversion Astros/Safari Vans and test drove quite a few too.

Then i hit the jackpot and found a sweet deal on a 2004 Sprinter 2500 Passenger van Low Roof with Rear A/C and ~180K so I ponied up and snagged it.

Just went and had it inspected and smogged in Colorado and it failed, I should have drove it around a bit more before I went there since it was a Church van and had been sitting for a few months (i'm new to diesels, smogging and auto mechanics in general, I'm from Oregon and I've had a Jeep for 8 years that i did all of the maintenance on), but you live and learn :doh:

Anyway, I have attached the shops findings and wanted to get a few pointers from you guys... i'm not scared to do any of the wrenching myself, so I would rather spend the extra $$ and get quality parts to make my van last well into the Economic Collapse :shhh:

My plan is to make it into a Camper RV and live in it by next spring, as i've been forking out rent money every month and it just doesn't make sense to me anymore.

Thanks to anyone who shares their thoughts and opinions, I hope to be as versed in Sprinter Vans in the future as I am at Jeep Cherokees (gotta love torque-y engines that go forever).

:cheers:

-Garrett

Missouri Blue
08-14-2016, 02:48 AM
I'd replace the air filter, but the rest seem bogus without more specific info.

Someone more knowledgable than I will come along and answer.

But, If I lived in Colorado and just bought a Sprinter I'd drive to Linden Engineering near Denver? and have Dennis and his crew inspect it. Dennis is a very helpful contributor to the forum.

autostaretx
08-14-2016, 02:50 AM
"Little old van that only drove on Sundays"?

Did you pull off the black plastic injector cover and check for "black death"? (baked on leakage from the injectors' seals to the cylinder head)

The "oil seeping from charge pipe" could be a cracked resonator, split hose or seepage under the clamps holding the big hoses on to the resonator.

...and change the air filter

The various seeps are just going to take digging into...
Watch out for seepage where the wiring enters the transmission... not only can it leak, it can also wick oil up through the cable harness and contaminate the Transmission Control Module under the driver's seat. The fix is to replace the O-ring at the connector.

--dick
p.s. ... and i second the "go see Dennis" suggestion. Definitely.

surlyoldbill
08-14-2016, 02:51 AM
Oil in the intake is normal and by design.

Take off the injector cover (which is what I assume they mean when saying "valve cover") and take a look. There might be a leakey return fuel line or possibly Black Death.

I work on my van in my driveway, I'm not a mechanic and haven't had too much trouble other than diagnosis. This forum helps a lot.

lindenengineering
08-14-2016, 05:33 AM
Hey everybody! :bounce:

A little background:

Van's are where it's at, i've been looking for a camping and roadtrip rig for about 2 months.... probably wasted hundreds of hours at work looking at everything from Eurovans, to Previa's to Aerostars to Coversion Astros/Safari Vans and test drove quite a few too.

Then i hit the jackpot and found a sweet deal on a 2004 Sprinter 2500 Passenger van Low Roof with Rear A/C and ~180K so I ponied up and snagged it.

Just went and had it inspected and smogged in Colorado and it failed, I should have drove it around a bit more before I went there since it was a Church van and had been sitting for a few months (i'm new to diesels, smogging and auto mechanics in general, I'm from Oregon and I've had a Jeep for 8 years that i did all of the maintenance on), but you live and learn :doh:

Anyway, I have attached the shops findings and wanted to get a few pointers from you guys... i'm not scared to do any of the wrenching myself, so I would rather spend the extra $$ and get quality parts to make my van last well into the Economic Collapse :shhh:

My plan is to make it into a Camper RV and live in it by next spring, as i've been forking out rent money every month and it just doesn't make sense to me anymore.

Thanks to anyone who shares their thoughts and opinions, I hope to be as versed in Sprinter Vans in the future as I am at Jeep Cherokees (gotta love torque-y engines that go forever).

:cheers:

-Garrett

Garret
What did it fail the smog test on?
Read important.
Denbnis

dongcheadle
08-14-2016, 11:37 AM
Thanks alot, I love the van and i feel better after hearing from you guys... i just got a little leary and scared that i bought an expensive lemon when i heard the diagnostic from the shop... i dont regret buying it, i just shouldn't have blindly trusted the seller as much as i did, he seemed honest and a guinine good guy (plus i heard church van and thought well maintained and babied)... i guess hindsight is 20/20 and ignorance is bliss :hmmm:

Is Black Death, as bad as it sounds? The van drives great and has plenty of power, its really fast and i have to be careful or it will creep up past 80mph way too easily. There is some turbo lag though, but once it hits ~3K rpm it takes off like a big silver rocketship!

The shop said there was thick carbon on the intake, they equated it to 4th of July snakes burnt inside the manifold. Can i use Seafoam and suck it through the vacuum line, I did this on my Jeep and it blew white/gray smoke out of the tailpipe... thoughts?

lindenengineering
Dennis,
It failed the 50MPH test, see attached. I would have rather took it to your shop but im up in Longmont and wanted to get it registered and plated Monday :(

Also, I am planning on taking it out for a 3000 mile roadtrip at the end of the month, so some guidance on what repairs and maintenance I should focus on would be appreciated. Is there anything different about oil changes on diesel sprinters? I'm not opposed to bring it in to have it done, if you recommend... but i would like to do it myself and save some $ for a new turbo.

Well on the bright side, at least the transmission is strong... should i investigate the transmission any?

-Garrett

lindenengineering
08-14-2016, 02:34 PM
Here's a suggestion.
Install as GENUINE air filter and use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the air filter box--simply because in most cases here in Colorado its often like a mini sand box inside!

Remove the O2 sensor and clean the tip, especially inside the tip shroud.
When the engine runs dirty often from very short trip cycles the sensor gets filthed up and can't trim fuel properly.

Run a can of BG245 through the fuel system by bunging a bottle full into the tank.
OR Luiqi Moly pt # 2005 available from Car Quest!
Try the rig and see if it reduces the black smoke at all on traffic light pull aways.

Now at this point things get tougher to fix if you don't have scan tools reading live date but the rig is easy to get compliance. Plus you need technical familiarity with the van !

Overall its a fair statement to make that these MB Sprinter rigs run very well even with sensors that are not reading quite right but are often just a heartbeat away from a limp mode!

Now its fair to also state the later V6 powered 906's are the same except the exhaust treats the extra carbon emission contamination until it stifles itself up!--You are just adding more carbon to the lovely cleaner air we enjoy in this state!:laughing:

Often by some close scrutiny with a scanner in live data & the reason is more often than not staring you in the face!

Now I had two in for service last week seemingly good runners from a customers's point of view (no complaint just a basic service) but an initial road test showed some black smoke here in Golden and a bit of a sluggish power delivery.
The first was an aftermarket air filter so choked it was like a Chinese pagoda roof as it had deformed under the suction from the engine! The scan showed it as well since the turbo couldn't make it reach max boost of 2000 millibars. A simple filter change and it was like Fangio's Maserati at the lights!

The other was a lady customer who transport English Setter dogs--they were aware that there was a fug at the rear of the van. Would start howling!

That one was a MAF sensor and and atmospheric sensor not reading correctly at 780 millibars! (Sensor should be 814 millibars in Golden.),
Both figures blatantly out of spec but it ran great! (quite well at the first impression ! )
But changing out the sensors with a basic service and all the fug was gone, furthermore the van was like Fangio's MB at the German Gran Prix!
(Bloody marvelous!):thumbup:

So try the simple bits and I can tell like many you don't want to have a professional look at it, but you might have to to get compliance!
So don;t go throwing list of expensive parts at it!:thumbdown:

Present it again after some simple remedials plus an oil change and see what you get!
Also take it to Dynoman Diesel Henderson ! (need to make an appointment)
He is on Hwy 85 south of Brighton and only does diesel emissions NO repairs!
A straight shot for you in Longmont!
All the best
Dennis
Mechanic

lindenengineering
08-14-2016, 02:44 PM
As post script
Do you have the screech! (Like a new years celebration whistle)

A screeching noise when under power like at about 30 to 50 mph!
Often caused by a blown exhaust manifold gasket at the front of the engine!.
Take flash light and look at the area of concern! --it will have a carbon patina over the effected area!
Dennis

Midwestdrifter
08-14-2016, 03:06 PM
As dennis says, a dirty air filter will cause excessive smoke in some cases. Clean the O2 sensor with some carb cleaner and a soft brush.

If a K&N style oiled gauze filter has been installed, throw it away. Then clean the MAF with some MAF spray cleaner. If its a regular filter the MAF probably doesn't need cleaned.

surlyoldbill
08-14-2016, 05:48 PM
Ditto on Midwestdrifter. MAF cleaner and air filter change. When replacing the air filter, be very careful to fit the foam rim as you close the box lid, as it often will pop out of the channel or deform and not have a good seal.

Change oil with the right oil, not the cheapest oil. Mobil-1 0-40 european formula is about $25 for a 5 quart jug at Walmart (you need 2 jugs for the 9 quart oil change). Others will chime in about how they have had no problems with this or that oil, but why try to save $5 on an oil change just to prove that some other oil will work? Maybe because this is a new-to-you vehicle, you might want to change the oil again early, like at 5k miles. I go 10-12k miles between changes, about every 6 months for me.

Black Death isn't so bad. This forum has revealed that it is definitely not a death sentence. I had one injector do it, and it only took an afternoon to clean it up and replace the injector. Often the injector itself is just fine and can be reused. Write-ups and T1N posts will give more information.

surlyoldbill
08-14-2016, 05:51 PM
Oh, the tranny should be serviced every 120k; fluid and filter change. The o-rings for the control can be replaced then, too. Complete fluid/filter kits can be purchased via ebay. get a new gasket if you pop the pan to change the o-rings.

dongcheadle
08-15-2016, 10:08 PM
Thanks guys,

I did the oil change yesterday, not bad though it took me a while to find the filter and there wasn't alot of room to get a wrench on it, ha i did spilled alot of oil on the sidewalk trying to pour the bad oil back in the jugs... the air filter is being shipped along with a transmission filter and gasket.

Should i swap out the Fuel Filter and Cabin air filter(s)?

Anything else for peace-of-mind... I think it should pass emissions fine, but should i burn through the tank of gas with the BG245 in it, before re-testing?

surlyoldbill
08-16-2016, 04:23 AM
dong, don't try to use gas in this van, it will destroy the engine. :smirk:

The cabin filter isn't that crucial, especially if it hasn't been on dirt roads. The fuel filter can be problematic when messed with or changed, so don't do it unless you have to, or have time to check it and re-do the connections several times over several days. getting the sensor-less filter eliminates 2 of the 6 connections that could allow air into the system. Sometimes on older vans the filter intake hose gets cracked, and you have to cut .75-1 inches off it to get back to good hose. The water drain on the side can deform the round side and cause air leaks if tightened too much. The water sensor on the bottom is a spring loaded push-in turn 1/4 affair, and it can get cross threaded if you're not careful. Some brands of filters (Hastings) are just enough wrong size connection at the output to let air in. The Hengst and Mann have worked for me.

lindenengineering
08-16-2016, 04:49 AM
Thanks guys,

I did the oil change yesterday, not bad though it took me a while to find the filter and there wasn't alot of room to get a wrench on it, ha i did spilled alot of oil on the sidewalk trying to pour the bad oil back in the jugs... the air filter is being shipped along with a transmission filter and gasket.

Should i swap out the Fuel Filter and Cabin air filter(s)?

Anything else for peace-of-mind... I think it should pass emissions fine, but should i burn through the tank of gas with the BG245 in it, before re-testing?

Quote:-
the air filter is being shipped along with a transmission filter and gasket.

Why ship & have to wait ?
Curious when MB dealer in Loveland is literally on your doorstep!
:thinking:
Dennis

Midwestdrifter
08-16-2016, 03:08 PM
2004-2006 have an in tank pump, so they do not suffer from air infiltration like the 02-03 models. They also self prime with the ignition on, which is quite nice. :cheers:

dongcheadle
08-16-2016, 04:01 PM
Quote:-
the air filter is being shipped along with a transmission filter and gasket.

Why ship & have to wait ?
Curious when MB dealer in Loveland is literally on your doorstep!
:thinking:
Dennis

I don't have plates on the van, so i can't legally drive anywhere... i have been getting rides to work, as i wasn't expecting to fail emissions.

Do i need to burn through the tank of diesel with the cleaner in it? or an i go re-do the emissions test as is?

Midwestdrifter
08-16-2016, 04:10 PM
If the filter was bad/dirty replacing it should reduce opacity. :idunno: The cleaner will not have much impact on smoke production. These common rail diesels are not like older IDI models. They don't normally suffer for carbon build up around the injectors and combustion chamber/pre chamber.

dongcheadle
08-25-2016, 03:14 PM
Thanks guys,

It failed the second time, but the technician tried a 3rd time and it "cleared up" on the dyno and i got a pass!

About to head off on our roadtrip... thanks again everyone, you will be hearing from me once i get home for more preventative maintenance and interior modifications.

DC