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Old 09-27-2019, 02:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

I feel as though I lucked out when I blindly bought a retired FedEx unit (2004). It's been used plenty (333K), but it got a new motor and transmisson in 2015. It runs and drives very well. I've seen lots of similar vans for sale all around the country for around the same price ($5K.) Don't be afraid of higher miles. I saw a 2006 that was privately owned. They blew the motor at 100K and the trans at 200K (and then listed it for parts.). Low mileage and private owner doesn't mean it's a good unit or was treated well. There's always a bit of a gamble involved with these old vans, but they sure are awesome when they're running.
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:49 PM   #12
billintomahawk
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

Surf,
Here is the advice of a nubie sprinter owner and an old motorcycle mechanic and north woods 'back to the lander' who has run junk all his life. Maybe you know this but I'll write it for others.

Do you have a solid set of tools.
Have you ever worked in the dirt with tools, with a shovel, with a hammer?
Do you like to smoke pot every day?
Do you really want to learn diesel mechanics?
Do you know used car salesmen are never your friends?

Read this:

https://www.outsideonline.com/239940...e-difficulties

If you buy a used sprinter you will be doing all of the above but I'd suggest you quit smoking and clear your head.

Now how many vehicles have you crawled under?
Do you know how to check the brake rotors for wear with the wheels on, do you know how to assess the exhaust? Do you now how to evaluate tire wear and the age of tires?

You do? Good, do all that before you buy your sprinter. Pull the oil dip stick and look and smell, is it good?
Check the transmission oil level with the dipstick you brought with you because old sprinters don't have one.

Sit down and read the service records, no service records, don't buy.
When were the injectors last checked?

Now go for a drive, does it drive straight, does the cruise control work?
Do the brakes work
Most important, does the temperature hold at 185-190 F.

Now, does the emergency brake work?
That tells alot about the rear brakes condition.

OK, hook up your scanner after the drive and check for codes.
All OK? Check the lights. Now look at the battery and especially the terminals. look new and clean?
Check the ground strap connections.

Crawl under the vehicle again, is it bleeding?

There is no substitute for low miles and clean service records unless you are a certified sprinter mechanic.
And unless you are rich you will soon be one and if you enjoy that this forum is the best of the best.

I am encouraging you to buy a sprinter and join the collective.
You can check out my real life nubie sprinter adventure in the thread below my signature, it's pretty typical.

I have spent thousands of hours learning about and working on my sprinter.

bill in tomahawk
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Last edited by billintomahawk; 09-27-2019 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:58 PM   #13
Cheyenne
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

And check that the CEL, ABS and Glow Plug lights come on and then go out with the ignition turned on but not starting the engine.

If not then they may have been 'disabled' by cutting out or taping over to hide a problem.

Keith.
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Sprinter reference info site http://diysprinter.co.uk/reference/
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Old 09-27-2019, 06:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

I would add 2 things to the @billintomahawk post above. First, for some the pot every day keeps the frustration down and focus up, you make that call.

Second, have you ever owned this book... How many T1N owners here have or had a greasy copy of this in their life?? It sure seems like the T1N is the VW Bus of the new millennium. Mine was a 1971 Westfalia my dad bought new, I blew up the motor the first summer and learned how to put in a $399 motor from BAP!

VW.jpg
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O-ver-lan-ding = Let's see how much $h!t I can attach to my truck (van).

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Old 09-27-2019, 07:08 PM   #15
Patrick of M
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

If you are not experienced with ICE mechanics I’ll suggest this as a great into to ICE...https://wordery.com/motorcycle-basic...iABEgLFovD_BwE
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

Wow! Thanks for all the help. Great tip on checking the dash lights and did not know that the T1Ns did not have transmission dipsticks. There’s a dipstick tube but no dipstick?

@billintomahawk I have done all mechanical work to my own vehicles and a little bit on a motorcycle. I have plenty of tools and would definitely be doing any repairs myself with the help of videos and this forum. Ive owned a 86 ford 6.9 international harvester diesel van for about a year and got to know her pretty good, but that beast is a completely different animal compared to a newer diesel.

I don’t have a problem with fixing in the dirt or a parking lot, definitely not ideal but I understand that the time would come if your driving around the country. But I also am buying it because of the use that it will provide me, not because Im interested in it as a hobby or collector. Don't get me wrong I love the look of them, the diesel, and more simplified engine. But I would buy a brand new sprinter if they weren’t $50k+ and using the crap they’re calling reliable diesels nowadays.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:13 AM   #17
nutterbutter
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

In general, I HATE new fresh paint when buying something used.

It's a red flag to me in houses and vehicles.
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Old 09-28-2019, 01:43 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

Alright well, few things, maybe some opposing views etc.

While service records would be nice, the only records mine came with was a signed pink slip and a few phone numbers written on the back of the sun visor. I didn't really know too much what to look for in a sprinter but I did know vehicles and specifically diesels. Since it sounds like you have some experience with the diesel world, it will actually help you a lot. This may be a new and different beast but the principle is the same, there are just a lot more electronics to deal with. Depending on maintenance, those electronics can be helpful diagnostic tools, or electrical gremlins that can haunt you into selling the damn thing.

While it would take many hours to type out what to look for/at in a used T1N, and even if you bought one that checked all the boxes it can still blow a turbo on the way home; mainly I'd be in the market for a van that's rust-free, and well maintained - even if that is word of mouth maintenance - and in my opinion you can get a good sense of how well mechanically maintained it is by how well it was physically maintained.

I've always been skeptical of dealers over private parties for used vehicles. Sure, some are honest and offer good warranties.

Side note: I was once considering replacing my '97 dodge Cummins with an '03, stopped at a dealers lot and the worker dude was willy nilly rattle canning black the leaf springs and differential of a truck that I was interested in. Needless to say, I didn't spend much time there.

As some have said, part of this is luck. I feel I lucked out (though it's been said that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity), and have put about 100K on mine with relatively few major issues.

Since you have an audience here now, use it as an opportunity to post ads of vans you're interested in. Few of us are immune to the temptation to view a van on Craigslist and offer our opinion. There are things that some here may see that the sprinter unfamiliar eye wouldn't think to notice.

Yes bring a scanner. Grab the Autel AP200, connects to your smartphone assuming you have one. Speaks Sprintish. Not all scanners can talk to Sprinters. Directions for its proper use are in the scanner subforum. Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2019, 02:22 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

Here are ones that I feel are worth taking a look at. Mainly going off what the add says and kinda putting an assumption of what kind of owner is selling it. I would get the VINs before and see how long they have owned the van and I feel like that would give a little more light into the background of how the van has been treated.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2693962847810/


https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...3309626272974/

Talked to this guy says he has had a expedite driver on it all the states. Has a new turbo but he says that its beginning to smoke that heís not sure. I would like to get it for closer to $3k if the smoking issue isnít too major.
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...5261150729043/

https://jacksonville.craigslist.org/...967255401.html

Dealer doesnít show price but really like the dually
https://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/ctd...971103521.html

Quite a bit more expensive, but exactly what I would want.
https://westernmass.craigslist.org/c...982254858.html
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Old 09-28-2019, 05:03 AM   #20
Patrick of M
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Default Re: Tips for filtering through good/bad sprinters

You like to look of the dually?
Or is it the shorter gearing/slower highway cruising, extra weight, higher resulting fuel consumption?
This one looks best value to me.

https://m.facebook.com/marketplace/i...2693962847810/

Btw if you are using it for a daily driver the 158 is Looooong ,so parking in single space is not going to happen. The 140 will just about fit anywhere a car fits(other than height of course).
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