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flylikeabanana
02-27-2019, 06:05 PM
Hi all, first post.

I recently acquired a 2004 2500 and got a flat, and found that the OEM flat kit had disappeared under a previous owner. After doing some research here, I purchased a 3-ton bottle jack/jack stand combo off Amazon, but the head of the jack stand is millimeters too wide to fit between the flanges of the jack point. I'm considering my options, and the "playing it safe" approach is to return it and try and find a jack with an appropriate sized head, but part of me wants to modify the jack head or widen the flanges somehow. Anyone been in this situation and can offer advice?

Midwestdrifter
02-27-2019, 06:09 PM
You can just widen the saddle some if its really that close. I often choose to jack under the front subframe, or from the axle tube near the wheel. That is generally a lot easier. Though you may want a block of wood under the subframe.

flylikeabanana
02-27-2019, 06:32 PM
It's maddeningly close. I think I'll get under with a 2x4 and see if I can't widen them a little.

Midwestdrifter
02-27-2019, 06:34 PM
A big sledgehammer and a block of wood should make short work of it.

autostaretx
02-27-2019, 07:37 PM
Before you hammer it out ... verify that the jack can extend enough...

The Sprinter jack was kind'a unique in that (if i recall correctly) it has something like a 22 inch lift.
That far exceeded the usual floor jacks and typical bottle jacks that only went to 16 or 18 inches.

I suppose you could test it by putting a notch in a 2x4 and putting that between the jack and the lift point ... and then pump.
See if you can get the wheel actually off the ground (and then ask yourself if it would do it *without* the intervening 2x4)

--dick

Bobnoxious
02-27-2019, 08:01 PM
Do it proper, avoid hacking and bashing, grind the jack's saddle to accommodate vehicle's lift point. Here's a jack/stand combo. I would be reluctant to lift from anywhere other than manufacturer's suggested lifting points. They are provided for a reason. People deviate from the manufacture's recommendations and end up with hunk of junk.

autostaretx
02-27-2019, 08:22 PM
Item to like in Bob's photos: spray paint the jack points to make them easy to find (and tell other folks about). I used White paint.

Item i don't like about Bob's photos: the "flattening" of the otherwise "cupped" jack top with his "temporary wood spacer" ... that's why i suggested putting a *notch* into the 2x4.

--dick

Bobnoxious
02-27-2019, 08:31 PM
Item to like in Bob's photos: spray paint the jack points to make them easy to find (and tell other folks about). I used White paint.

Item i don't like about Bob's photos: the "flattening" of the otherwise "cupped" jack top with his "temporary wood spacer" ... that's why i suggested putting a *notch* into the 2x4.

--dick

No flattening just narrowing of jacks saddle 1/8th each side to fit inside lift point. Wood spacer was temporary.

Bobnoxious
02-27-2019, 08:39 PM
This photo's perspective is misleading, saddle not flattened.

Patrick of M
02-27-2019, 09:02 PM
The manufacturers jacking points are very high up, at my shop I lift the van with a trolley jack usually from some other lower point (that is obvious structural) , then sometimes use the Jack point for my jack stands, depending on what I’m doing/ what access I need.
Speaking of which no one reminded the OP not to depend solely on a hydraulic jack.
I know MB says only use their Jack points, and if you have a fully laden van, or a heavy rv conversion that is a definetly advisable, there are other ways to safely lift the van without deforming anything (plywood or rubber interface to ease the pain).
Just looked at Bob’s pics...I don’t have any of those fancy 2 in 1 jack stands, good idea though, real time saver.

autostaretx
02-27-2019, 09:02 PM
I din't think you'd flattened the saddle, merely that you'd filled it with the flat-on-top "temporary wood spacer"
(and only in the photo that had the pointer)

Patrick wrote:
"Speaking of which no one reminded the OP not to depend solely on a hydraulic jack."
Bob's final photo clearly showed additional bracing :whistle: (i use jack stands, myself)

--dick

Aqua Puttana
02-27-2019, 10:11 PM
The jacking points are provided to be used with the included OEM tire changing jack.

They are not the only safe places to use to lift the truck.

Even the hydraulic lifts at the Mercedes dealerships don't necessarily include using the OEM tire jack lift points.

Both my 2004 and 2006 have fully operational OEM hydraulic jacks/tools. I have used them on trailers, I have yet to use any on the Sprinters. That 2 stage high lift jack does work great on trailers BTW. I carry a small floor jack in each Sprinter complete with some blocking. The times I've needed to lift a Sprinter when not at home, those floor jacks have worked fine.

Personally I wouldn't get too hung up on exclusively using the OEM tire change jack points. That approach will leave many perfectly fine tried and true truck lifting methods off of your list. A Sprinter is afterall just a truck.

Added:
This for example.

108664

NOT this.

108665

Before anyone jumps in with "Don't lift on the axle tube", that official warning is included under the Floor Jack cautions.

108663


:2cents: vic

P.S. - Many fleet vehicles have had their jacks/tools removed as SOP. Not all missing OEM hydraulic jacks were stolen.

flylikeabanana
02-27-2019, 10:48 PM
My jack is precisely the one that Bob posted, and facing the jack saddle was definitely one of the options I was thinking about. I have access to a hammer though, not a grinder, but I'll hunt around and report back.

Bobnoxious
02-27-2019, 11:28 PM
Made some minor mods to jack.

autostaretx
02-28-2019, 01:24 AM
There was once a looonnnngggg thread about jacking on the differential pumpkin.
I'm amused to see that the "hoisting" chapter does NOT forbid it.

--dick :popcorn:

Patrick of M
02-28-2019, 01:53 AM
There was once a looonnnngggg thread about jacking on the differential pumpkin.
I'm amused to see that the "hoisting" chapter does NOT forbid it.

--dick :popcorn:

Was the long thread forbidding lifting via pumpkin? I sometimes lift cars by the pumpkin, don’t think I would lift a sprinter like that, although empty and in a rush to put winter wheels on, I might/might have?

autostaretx
02-28-2019, 02:03 AM
It was a looonnnngggg thread because it had proponents of both camps: "lift" and "don't lift".

No final "resolution", the two camps still happily exist.

(i'll see if i can find it)(watch this list grow....) ... done.
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=90965#post90965
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1325
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20493

Msg#7 in this thread ended up with a damaged differential:
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61664

--dick
p.s. this is about a 2008 and an MB tech saying "don't use the diff":
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33506

Aqua Puttana
02-28-2019, 04:48 AM
Again.

Yes Sprinters are damaged by people using incorrect jacking methods.

Shock mounts are damaged, body metal gets damaged, front structures get bent/metal tearing by not using blocking, differential covers get bent to the point of leaking because proper pads aren't used, etc., etc. All that stuff happens because the correct locations are not selected and proper methods aren't applied.

I have yet to see any documentation where jacking a Sprinter up using a properly padded floor jack cup against the differential case has caused axle tube failures. Please provide the data if you have it.

Back in 2010 I searched for any documented axle tube failures related to jacking the differential case. I found none. I have been asking for some documented axle tube/differential failures since 2010. I have yet to have anyone produce any data.

Lift your Sprinters however you wish. I have no problem with members telling others to apply caution and offering specifics as to lifting their Sprinter. I don't believe that fear mongering is productive.

:2cents: vic

My sprinter will be getting new tires in the next two weeks. Can someone point me to a thread showing the proper lift points?
From my earlier post here.

To safely use our Sprinter tire jack points you would need a special design post hoist. This design doesn't even exclusively use the tire jack points. (It must be official because the audio is in German.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR7t-oO2l5w

I suggest watching the above video for the general information and diagram it contains about Sprinter lift points.


From another thread. At the end there are 2 ea. PDF files. One for T1N. One for NCV3.




...


http://sprinter-source.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-1325.html
A 2007 discussion.
****
talkinghorse43
06-27-2007, 08:06 PM
Rear axle is okay (on the axle tube near the spring mounts), just not under the Differential Housing (or pumpkin). ("Thou Shalt Not" applied again?? - vic)
*****
Here's from the '03 service manual.

FLOOR JACK

When properly positioned, a floor jack can be used

to lift a vehicle. Support the vehicle in the raised

position with jack stands at the front and rear ends

of the frame rails.
*
vic edit: If you think they are telling you to only use the floor jack on the "front and rear ends of the frame rails" re-read the statement or we may then be on our way to another "Thou Shall" misinterpretation. They say "jack stands at the front and rear ends". If they are telling you to place the jack stands in those frame rail positions that means the floor jack needed to be positioned somewhere else to raise the vehicle so the jack stands could be installed in those positions. I'm thinkin' the differential would be a perfect place to raise the rear with a floor jack for this. You can't place the jack stands under the frame rails if the floor jack is already there in the way.
*
CAUTION: Do not lift vehicle with a floor jack positioned

under:

An axle tube.

A body side sill.

A steering linkage component.

A drive shaft.

The engine or transmission oil pan.

The fuel tank.

A front suspension arm.
****
Note that the differential housing is not listed in the above MB list. - vic

Here is a T1N document thanks to autostaretx.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=22835&d=1271903222

20101103 edit:
Here is a NCV3 document thanks to JD Caples.

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=27767&d=1288802419

Bobnoxious
02-28-2019, 05:15 AM
Vic, following manufacturer's safety recommendations should not be construed as "Fearmongering." I have, as well you and others, have lifted many vehicle's from the pumpkin without damage. However, in my case, the vehicle's were much older and more stoutly constructed in contrast to today's vehicle constructed and scaled to reduced weight. Many pumpkins now have plastic covers.

There's at lest one post documenting a pumpkin leaking as a result of a tire shop lifting at the pumpkin.

Video was certainly informative but too fast paced for my low bandwidth visual cortex. So, I took screen shots of the alternative lifting points.

pfflyer
02-28-2019, 01:44 PM
I can say Bob's solution of milling/grinding a little off the jack/jack stand saddle works. It doesn't take much effort or heat generated to get the excess off. The curve of the jack/jack stand saddle is close to the factory jack point as well.

Aqua Puttana
02-28-2019, 02:42 PM
Vic, following manufacturer's safety recommendations should not be construed as "Fearmongering."
Suggesting that the factory tire change jack points are the only "safe" place to bear a jack...

I have, as well you and others, have lifted many vehicle's from the pumpkin without damage. However, in my case, the vehicle's were much older and more stoutly constructed in contrast to today's vehicle constructed and scaled to reduced weight.
Supporting data? (Pun intended.)
Documented examples of damaged Sprinter axle tubes?

Many pumpkins now have plastic covers.
...
Sprinters don't.


There's at least one post documenting a pumpkin leaking as a result of a tire shop lifting at the pumpkin.

Again.

Yes Sprinters are damaged by people using incorrect jacking methods.

Shock mounts are damaged, body metal gets damaged, front structures get bent/metal tearing by not using blocking, differential covers get bent to the point of leaking because proper pads aren't used, etc., etc. All that stuff happens because the correct locations are not selected and proper methods aren't applied.
...

Video was certainly informative but too fast paced for my low bandwidth visual cortex. So, I took screen shots of the alternative lifting points.

108768

The takeaway from your second screen grab should be that if using a floor jack with padded cup, the frame rails are perfectly fine to jack against to lift a Sprinter... not to imply that there aren't many other industry standard safe choices too.

To repeat.
Mercedes has a very specific list for where NOT TO jack a Sprinter when using a floor jack. Of course that list isn't all inclusive. They specify not jacking against axle tubes. If the differential case is a problem wouldn't it make sense for them to include that along with the axle tube comment? It is all the same assembly.

Jack as you wish. Carry on.

:cheers: vic

flylikeabanana
02-28-2019, 05:25 PM
I remembered I had a grinding bit for the dremel. I was incredulous that the little guy would do it and it took a pretty decent amount of time but I managed to shave down enough to fit after about 20 minutes or so and shaved me a trip to the shop. Going to echo pfflyer's success here, thanks Bob!

white whale
07-17-2019, 07:01 PM
and one more.... is there a front jack point in the middle to use the OE bottle jack to get both front wheels off the ground and then bring back onto proper stands to support.

Aqua Puttana
07-17-2019, 07:52 PM
and one more.... is there a front jack point in the middle to use the OE bottle jack to get both front wheels off the ground and then bring back onto proper stands to support.
Absolutely not.

I use a 3" x 4" hardwood block to bridge the front cross beam flanges when I lift using a floor jack. Even with a hardwood block a bottle jack is not safe in that position.

:2cents: vic

Bobnoxious
07-17-2019, 08:17 PM
and one more.... is there a front jack point in the middle to use the OE bottle jack to get both front wheels off the ground and then bring back onto proper stands to support.

Pictures?

marklg
07-17-2019, 08:54 PM
Here is what I have found to be the best for me:

For the rear, I put a floor jack under the three sides of the metal frame member supporting the spring shackle and a tall jackstand under the curved piece it fits.

115513

In the front, a floor jack under the frame behind the wheels:

115514

And a tall jackstand under the curved piece it fits in front of the wheels:

115515

I also add RV jacks to other places on the frame just for belts and suspenders.

https://www.campingworld.com/ultra-stacker-jacks-set-of-4-85164.html

I have a total of 5 things holding it up, two jackstands, two RV jacks and the floor jack whenever I am under the vehicle.

Regards,

Mark

billintomahawk
07-18-2019, 02:25 PM
If you are a skinny old man, for working underneath, driving up on a couple of pieces of 2"X8" front and rear is wonderful.

A large plastic tarp positioned first makes backsliding so easy.
Don't forget new batteries for the headlamp.
Or rechargables.

https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-KJ17MCC82A-eneloop-Adapters-Individual/dp/B00JHKSLSW/ref=sr_1_6?crid=PV909EH5CMHK&keywords=enelope+rechargeable+batteries&qid=1563456468&s=gateway&sprefix=enelope%2Caps%2C345&sr=8-6

bill in tomahawk

autostaretx
07-18-2019, 07:41 PM
For those that don't recognize them ...

Mark's "jackstand" points are where MB says to position the bottle jack.

His "floor jack" points are where MB says to position a four-point lift:

115603

--dick (who prefers cardboard under his back instead of just a tarp.. the gravel doesn't poke through)

marklg
07-18-2019, 09:13 PM
For those that don't recognize them ...

Mark's "jackstand" points are where MB says to position the bottle jack.

His "floor jack" points are where MB says to position a four-point lift:

115603

--dick (who prefers cardboard under his back instead of just a tarp.. the gravel doesn't poke through)

Absolutely right, but I found Mercedes explanation very hard to understand. They said you can use a floor jack but don't put it these places. They didn't say where you can put it. After a lot of head scratching, I put them in those places but it was very difficult to determine if it was consistent with their recommendations.

Regards,

Mark

Aqua Puttana
07-19-2019, 02:59 AM
Absolutely right, but I found Mercedes explanation very hard to understand. They said you can use a floor jack but don't put it these places. They didn't say where you can put it. After a lot of head scratching, I put them in those places but it was very difficult to determine if it was consistent with their recommendations.

Regards,

Mark
I suspect that it relates mostly to legal implications.

In my experience there are many, many suitable places to jack up a vehicle, but what is appropriate and safe can change with conditions/situations. Experience and common sense can go a long way.

In over 8 years of ownership I have yet to use the OEM tire change jack points or the OEM tire change jack for lifting my Sprinters. The OEM tire change jack fixtures are tool specific and don't necessarily lend themselves for use with a roll around floor jack or the jack stands which I use.

:2cents: vic

Rock Doc
07-19-2019, 06:55 PM
Having just read this thread (and a useful one it is), I recently purchased a Sprinter jack on eBay for my Jeep. The Sprinter jack has a 24” lift (great for my heavily modified and lifted Jeep), and in many situations is safer than using a HiLift jack. The Sprinter jack I received was complete with the entire tool kit (including the threaded recovery eyelet, screwdriver, wrenches and tire tool in the cloth bag), and even included the mounting bracket—which was useful for securing in my Jeep. It looked as if it had never been used. It was about $128 including delivery charge, compared with $238 to order it from Mother Benz. Actually, not a bad price for a unique premium jack. (It’s definitely above Harbor Freight quality!)

Seeing this thread mentioning that many work trucks have missing tire changing tools, I wonder how many of the eBay Sprinter jacks may have been pilfered to supply the eBay market... ��

Rock Doc
2014 Pleasureway Plateau TS in 2013 Sprinter 3500

marklg
07-19-2019, 08:12 PM
Having just read this thread (and a useful one it is), I recently purchased a Sprinter jack on eBay for my Jeep. The Sprinter jack has a 24” lift (great for my heavily modified and lifted Jeep), and in many situations is safer than using a HiLift jack. The Sprinter jack I received was complete with the entire tool kit (including the threaded recovery eyelet, screwdriver, wrenches and tire tool in the cloth bag), and even included the mounting bracket—which was useful for securing in my Jeep. It looked as if it had never been used. It was about $128 including delivery charge, compared with $238 to order it from Mother Benz. Actually, not a bad price for a unique premium jack. (It’s definitely above Harbor Freight quality!)

Seeing this thread mentioning that many work trucks have missing tire changing tools, I wonder how many of the eBay Sprinter jacks may have been pilfered to supply the eBay market... ��

Rock Doc
2014 Pleasureway Plateau TS in 2013 Sprinter 3500

Check it out before you need it. Mine looks never used, but it didn't compress back down without help.

Regards,

Mark

Nautamaran
07-19-2019, 09:40 PM
Check it out before you need it. Mine looks never used, but it didn't compress back down without help.

Regards,

Mark

My van’s jack doesn’t self retract either, which I’ve always written down to its design... Are they meant to self retract?

Aqua Puttana
07-19-2019, 10:35 PM
... Are they meant to self retract?
Not completely, but they retract less easily if they are at all air bound. If there isn't any trapped air they stay compressed well.

:cheers: vic

Rock Doc
07-20-2019, 05:48 AM
Check it out before you need it. Mine looks never used, but it didn't compress back down without help.

Regards,

Mark

Already used it a couple of times. It works fine! However, a friend who also has one for his Jeep has to keep a strap around his to keep it from auto-extending when it’s stowed.

Rock Doc
2014 Pleasureway Plateau TS in 2013 Sprinter 3500

Nautamaran
07-20-2019, 06:33 AM
Not completely, but they retract less easily if they are at all air bound. If there isn't any trapped air they stay compressed well.

:cheers: vic

Already used it a couple of times. It works fine! However, a friend who also has one for his Jeep has to keep a strap around his to keep it from auto-extending when it’s stowed.

Sounds like your friend needs to top up his fluid?
Mine stays down once it's compressed, but it does take a solid push to put the piston down...

-dave

TOASTER.13
07-20-2019, 04:11 PM
Is there a problem with using a floor jack under the Curt receiver hitch to lift the back of the van to change or rotate the tires? Our van (LTV Free Spirit) has the extra skirting around the bottom that makes accessing the factory jack points impossible with a floor jack. The factory jack will work for roadside repairs.

BrennWagon
07-20-2019, 04:51 PM
Is there a problem with using a floor jack under the Curt receiver hitch to lift the back of the van to change or rotate the tires? Our van (LTV Free Spirit) has the extra skirting around the bottom that makes accessing the factory jack points impossible with a floor jack. The factory jack will work for roadside repairs.

That sounds like a bad idea to me. I’d check with the manufacturer of the RV to find out what they recommend or if the side skirting can be popped off for maintenance

Aqua Puttana
07-20-2019, 04:53 PM
Is there a problem with using a floor jack under the Curt receiver hitch to lift the back of the van to change or rotate the tires? Our van (LTV Free Spirit) has the extra skirting around the bottom that makes accessing the factory jack points impossible with a floor jack. The factory jack will work for roadside repairs.
I personally would never jack against the trailer hitch. Just as a basic reference, the typical hitch tongue weight rating is 500#. The cross bar alone isn't up to the task of lifting the Sprinter. Not to mention any of the frame attachments.

If you're not willing to jack against the differential, with a padded floor jack you should be able to jack one side at a time using strong points and place jack stands under each side of the rear axle tubes.

MB advises against jacking/lifting against the axle tubes, but a jack stand placed under the axle tube in a static situation is fine. I would never jack against the axle tubes using a floor jack.

:2cents: vic

OldWest
07-20-2019, 05:07 PM
May have missed it in this thread, but in other threads, some poster suggested painting the various jack points.

Could do two colors in neon paint, one for the bottle jacks (jackstands too) and another color for the hoist (floorjacks too).

Nautamaran
07-20-2019, 05:37 PM
May have missed it in this thread, but in other threads, some poster suggested painting the various jack points.

Could do two colors in neon paint, one for the bottle jacks (jackstands too) and another color for the hoist (floorjacks too).

:thumbup:
It’s a shame there is no industry standard scheme for this. One for “HERE” another for “NEVER HERE” (like “Rescue” and “No Step” on aircraft) would be handy for service providers that rarely see particular vehicles...

Then MB could have simply painted the pumpkin green or red and we’d have to argue about something else! :bounce:

-dave

Aqua Puttana
07-20-2019, 05:47 PM
...

Then MB could have simply painted the pumpkin green or red and we’d have to argue about something else! :bounce:

-dave
There's always oil. :thumbup::thumbup:

:cheers: vic