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Old 01-10-2019, 07:17 AM   #1
TiredDog907
 
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Default Introduction and questions ...

Hello and thank you to all of the posters that have provided all of the awesome information on this forum! It is amazing the amount of info that is shared on here.

My name is Jay and I am up in Alaska. I have been lurking for a while and am finally getting ready to purchase a used Sprinter to start a conversion on. I was hoping to buy one of the new 4x4 models but I'm not sure I can bear to wait that long to get a vehicle. So I have decided to look for a 2wd 2014 -2016 144 2500 High Roof Cargo model and do the conversion over the next year or so. Seems like these can be found for $30-35k with under 45k miles on them fairly regularly, or at least often enough to be an option.

Long-term I am thinking of doing a multi-year road trip in the van and living out of it while exploring/biking/paddleboarding, but that will not be for a couple of years. In the short-term I want to use it to explore a bunch of things that are on my Alaska bucket list while I am here. I plan to do all of the normal conversion things, probably thinsulate insulation, 200-300 watt solar, d-2 heater, fan, medium sized ARB fridge, two small windows (I like the small sliders), and I'm leaning towards the Orton electrical system charging method.

I would welcome some opinions on a couple of things.

#1 is that after a bunch of research on here and the interweb I have narrowed my search to a Sprinter with the 2.1L diesel and the 7-speed automatic. Seems like it gets good gas mileage, there are no major complaints, and for a 2wd vehicle it should do well. Any negative opinions that I am missing or any reason to stay away from this combo?

#2 is I would like to get a suspension upgrade but is that best done after I have built out the van and it weighs basically what it will for the future? Or is it OK to get that done while it is still basically an empty shell of a van? I was thinking of the Agile Offroad RIP kit based on opinions on the forum.

#3 is I would like to eventually get one of the aftermarket bumpers with the swingouts for a tire and a box ... is Aluminess the only game in town for that? I know other people make bumpers, but I am drawing a blank when I look for something with a rear tire carrier and the ability to mount a box.

Thanks for any help and replies, I have searched tons for ideas and info on the forum but I am not finding much on these topics. Appreciate the help in advance!

Cheers,
TiredDog907
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:58 PM   #2
asimba2
2016 4cyl High Roof 144
 
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Default Re: Introduction and questions ...

Welcome to the forum. In short, the 2.1 diesel with the 7-speed is the best the NCV3 Sprinter had to offer. It's so good that it will prevent me from getting a new Sprinter as that engine is no longer an option.

Your other choices would a gas Transit that will get about 15MPG with conversion weight, the latest-gen 3.0 Sprinter that I'm guessing will get around 20MPG with the 7-speed , or the new 2.0 gas engine that I'm guessing will also get about 20MPG, but with unknown driving characteristics in a large van. Of course gas mileage isn't everything, but the 2.1 also delivers on reliability, performance and every other metric that is important to me.

I can't help with the suspension and bumpers question, but plenty here that can. Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:20 AM   #3
Mike DZ
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Default Re: Introduction and questions ...

On #2 - think you should do the build out first before making significant suspension mods. I think John and Jesus (Agile) need to have the final weight to do the best job tuning the shocks, but you can ask them to be sure
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:53 AM   #4
TiredDog907
 
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Default Re: Introduction and questions ...

I will give them a call tomorrow to see what they think and post what they say, thanks.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:48 AM   #5
TiredDog907
 
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Default Re: Introduction and questions ...

I emailed the folks at Van Compass and they emailed back that if you are having the Fox shocks installed, it is best to do that after the build so that they can be installed and tuned to the weight/distribution, which makes sense. I called the folks at Agile Offroad and asked the same question, but have not heard back from anyone in the know just yet. I will imagine they will say the same thing as Van Compass. Anyway, hope this info helps someone else in the future.
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