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Old 04-24-2017, 11:03 PM   #21
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

We Just Finished our 8th Conversion of a 2wd Sprinter to a 4x4 Sprinter. SUCCESS!!!! We will offer a conversion for Public, Parts, Labor and WARRANTY included but be prepared to spend over $20k. But it will be done and Price will go down as we get more Efficient.
Interested Email. Richard@sprinterstore.com in OREGON.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:38 PM   #22
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

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Originally Posted by SprinterMechanic View Post
We Just Finished our 8th Conversion of a 2wd Sprinter to a 4x4 Sprinter. SUCCESS!!!! We will offer a conversion for Public, Parts, Labor and WARRANTY included but be prepared to spend over $20k. But it will be done and Price will go down as we get more Efficient.
Interested Email. Richard@sprinterstore.com in OREGON.
With Sprinter drivetrain parts from overseas?
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:02 PM   #23
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

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Originally Posted by SprinterMechanic View Post
We Just Finished our 8th Conversion of a 2wd Sprinter to a 4x4 Sprinter. SUCCESS!!!! We will offer a conversion for Public, Parts, Labor and WARRANTY included but be prepared to spend over $20k. But it will be done and Price will go down as we get more Efficient.
Interested Email. Richard@sprinterstore.com in OREGON.
Where are these lucky owners?? Where's pictures?? Richard, you just may have made my day. E-mail inbound when I get home tonight...
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:20 PM   #24
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

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Where are these lucky owners?? Where's pictures?? Richard, you just may have made my day. E-mail inbound when I get home tonight...
I am tracking one of them down in Alaska, the best place to be test and well we haven't heard from them in so long i would say its a successful one,

Another one California, and and. I am learning that no one really thought of documenting this for the future, but i am sifting thru old files of over the last 10+ years of these.
I am pulling all the records and compiling a Documentary/Reference/Resume pictures, and hopefully lots of video and interviews of all that has been done, so maybe my 8 was off, as of now i can only possibly confirm 5 leads, so you got me, i was really excited and was going by what we could call fish stories from mechanics.

Lets say 5 for now, but I havnt talked to the Staff that is no longer working for us yet.
lots of pics on old computers too. i will find, yes yes (yoda voice)
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:07 AM   #25
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

When i attended a PNW Sprinterfest down at SprinterStore/Upscale Automotive, they had two 2wd-to-4wd conversions in process up on the lifts.

I'll see if i can find the photos i took... (egad.. that was years ago...)
As i foggily recall, i think they used US-brand (i.e. Jeep, GM) chunks for part of the conversion

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Old 05-03-2017, 11:00 AM   #26
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

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Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
I would be curious to know what it takes to put the Tcase section onto a sprinter NAG1 trans.
That can't be done. The trans is a one piece casting, and the sprinter casting doesn't have the mounting points for the tcase. You would need to either use the ML trans and tcase as-is, or pull the guts out of the sprinter trans and put them into an empty ML trans housing. I believe the output shaft coupling can be changed over.

Option one isn't viable because we do know that the sprinter trans is much heavier duty than the ML trans, even the OM612 powered ML270 trans. eg the K1 clutch pack is 6 plates in the ML270 and 10 plates in the sprinter. Also we haven't confirmed yet whether the sprinter and ML even have the same gear ratio set. There are 2 different sets, large NAG1 and small NAG1. You wouldn't be able to interchange these. We can test this by putting a sprinter TCU into one of Eric's scrap ML270s or vice versa, we just haven't got round to trying it. If the TCU doesn't give any slippage errors, then we know they are the same ratios.

I saw you asked about running the sprinter front diff in AWD mode, it should be ok because there were AWD versions of the 4x4 T1N available. And I'd guess they used the same front diff. Would need a VIN lookup of a AWD sprinter to be sure so we can see the diff part numbers. Actually these have been posted in the AU section recently.

Which brings up the next point...

The ML tcase has a fully open diff. Couple that with the sprinters open front diff, and (poorly ASR controlled) open rear diff, and you won't be going very far offroad. A RWD sprinter would go further. With ML tcase all it would take is for one of your front wheels to break traction or become airborne, and then you would be stuck as all the torque would go to that wheel.

You would need to use the ABS controller from a ML270 to get the 4WD function (its like ASR but on all 4 wheels). Not sure what other systems would think of that, but it could be tested out before hand with a bit of work. Or you would need to somehow lock the ML centre diff. I think Eric has had a look at locking it before, but put it in the too hard basket. I know when the ML was new they ran one in the Dakar rally production class and they locked the centre diff somehow.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:17 AM   #27
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

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That can't be done. The trans is a one piece casting, and the sprinter casting doesn't have the mounting points for the tcase. You would need to either use the ML trans and tcase as-is, or pull the guts out of the sprinter trans and put them into an empty ML trans housing. I believe the output shaft coupling can be changed over.

Option one isn't viable because we do know that the sprinter trans is much heavier duty than the ML trans, even the OM612 powered ML270 trans. eg the K1 clutch pack is 6 plates in the ML270 and 10 plates in the sprinter. Also we haven't confirmed yet whether the sprinter and ML even have the same gear ratio set. There are 2 different sets, large NAG1 and small NAG1. You wouldn't be able to interchange these. We can test this by putting a sprinter TCU into one of Eric's scrap ML270s or vice versa, we just haven't got round to trying it. If the TCU doesn't give any slippage errors, then we know they are the same ratios.

I saw you asked about running the sprinter front diff in AWD mode, it should be ok because there were AWD versions of the 4x4 T1N available. And I'd guess they used the same front diff. Would need a VIN lookup of a AWD sprinter to be sure so we can see the diff part numbers. Actually these have been posted in the AU section recently.

Which brings up the next point...

The ML tcase has a fully open diff. Couple that with the sprinters open front diff, and (poorly ASR controlled) open rear diff, and you won't be going very far offroad. A RWD sprinter would go further. With ML tcase all it would take is for one of your front wheels to break traction or become airborne, and then you would be stuck as all the torque would go to that wheel.

You would need to use the ABS controller from a ML270 to get the 4WD function (its like ASR but on all 4 wheels). Not sure what other systems would think of that, but it could be tested out before hand with a bit of work. Or you would need to somehow lock the ML centre diff. I think Eric has had a look at locking it before, but put it in the too hard basket. I know when the ML was new they ran one in the Dakar rally production class and they locked the centre diff somehow.
Very good info, thanks. I was also thinking about using a 4x4 sprinter T-case, basically the complete drivetrain, minus engine/trans. Obviously the Tcase would need to controlled somehow, and a 4x4 fuel tank would be needed.

The open center diff is definitely a concern. I don't plan on any hardcore offroad, but lack of traction control on the front axle could be a deal breaker. If the 4x4 sprinter ABS module would run without issue, that would be ideal.

I am leaning more toward transplanting the 4x4 sprinter drivetrain from the Tcase to the wheels. Other than controlling the Tcase, and possible ABS integration, there would be no modifications to factory harness, and thus less chance of a software issue. A custom driveshaft from the trans to Tcase would be required.

Regarding the ML NAG gear ratios, the Vancompass guys have a sprinter running a 4x4 setup out of an ML. They used the ML trans/tcase assembly with the sprinter TCM and valve body. So at least some of the ratios are the same. Not that I am considering doing this, but it it might be possible to rebuild a sprinter NAG inside a ML trans housing.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:32 AM   #28
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

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Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
Regarding the ML NAG gear ratios, the Vancompass guys have a sprinter running a 4x4 setup out of an ML. They used the ML trans/tcase assembly with the sprinter TCM and valve body. So at least some of the ratios are the same. Not that I am considering doing this, but it it might be possible to rebuild a sprinter NAG inside a ML trans housing.
That is good info, yes me and Eric would be looking to transplant the Sprinter NAG1 guts into one of our MLs next time a ML trans dies. Would be good to get the stronger internals.

As for the sprinter front diff AWD vs 4x4, I have found 2 NIN numbers for you. Unfortunately the lookups dont specify the part number for the front diff, but the VINs can be used with EPC to find the part numbers...

T1N 4x4 part-time 4x4 with diff locks (ZG3 SA code)...
http://carinfo.kiev.ua/cars/vin/merc...ck?su=eckkrg-g

T1N AWD (ZG1 SA code)
http://carinfo.kiev.ua/cars/vin/merc...ck?su=18-8dg2p

I still think the ML tcase with the sprinter front diff and AWD sprinter ABS module (or ML ABS module) would work well. You could find out the AWD sprinter ABS part number the same way as above. The problem with the part-time 4x4 sprinter is the constant noise from the remote tcase bolted to the floor. Having the ML integrated tcase should make it a lot quieter. The ML also has a super low low-range gear, like 16:1 on 1st gear overall iirc.

PS Not sure why you think you would only have 1st gear in low range? The ML shifts through all the gears (rather quickly lol) when in low range. EDIT: I see now from that other thread, they are doing this to prevent the electronics from freaking out. I don't see why they can't just wire up the MLs AWD control box into the sprinter CAN? Coupled with the ML ABS controller it should all just work as if it thinks its in an ML.

PPS i can help you with a 4x4 fuel tank. We could swap your 100l US tank with my 96l 4wd tank. Win/win

Last edited by owner; 05-03-2017 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:11 PM   #29
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

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Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
Regarding the ML NAG gear ratios, the Vancompass guys have a sprinter running a 4x4 setup out of an ML. They used the ML trans/tcase assembly with the sprinter TCM and valve body. So at least some of the ratios are the same. Not that I am considering doing this, but it it might be possible to rebuild a sprinter NAG inside a ML trans housing..
Ahh wait, I just read that thread, and they used an ML430 donor. That is a V8 powered car, and from what I've read all MB V8's apparently use the "Large NAG1" ratio set. So we are still none the wiser except that from what they posted the Sprinter looks like it may also use the "Large NAG1" ratios. I'm pretty sure the ML270 uses the small NAG1 its a 722.661. I will get round to testing it one day at Erics by simply swapping TCUs and seeing what happens. Its just the ratios BTW, the casing is the same, they just call it large/small for some weird reason.

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Old 05-06-2017, 01:39 AM   #30
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Default Re: 4WD Conversion Proposal

Regarding the gear ratio question. I believe the only module that has any visibility of gear ratios in the trans in the TCM. In theory, as long as the TCM program matches the trans, there won't be any slippage errors.

Doing some reading in the function description in the workshop manual(s), It seems like many of the T1N modules don't do much complicated bi-directional communication with the others. The TCM for example gets request throttle date from the ECU, and speed data from the ABS/ESP controller, and it reports current gear over canbus. However, are these mostly regular broadcasts over CAN? Or are they requested by a specific module? I believe they are regular broadcasts. If this is the case, and the broadcasts conform to a standard (same address/header data) then swapping modules from other versions of the T1N should in theory not cause compatibility issues. This applies specifically to the 4x4 ABS/ESP module.

The other question is how the modules are addressed on the CANbus. At startup the ECU/Cluster etc are looking at the canbus to see what modules are connected. If some are missing, they will report a relevant error and/or CEL. Are all sprinter ABS modules addressed the same? Do they announce or report their identity using the same "name". My experience with other vehicles, and my reading suggests that they do in general.


Another question I need to answer, is how the Sprinter 4x4 transfer case is controlled. Which module handles it? In order to get four wheel traction control, the ABS controller must know that 4x4 is engaged.

I have been unable to located a factory service manual for the 4x4, if anyone has one, please post it up!
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