Sprinter-Forum    
 

Go Back   Sprinter-Forum > T1N Sprinters > T1N Talk

T1N Talk General Discussions related to T1N Sprinters.


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-22-2019, 04:34 AM   #11
bobinyelm
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 146
Thanks: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
Vancompass fox for the rear.
I Googled them, and find they sell a variety of manufacturers for the T1N Sprinters:

https://vancompass.com/collections/sprinter-1994-2006

Which ones are you running?

Did you change the front struts (shocks)?

The bashing I get is mostly up front I think.

Bob
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 04:48 AM   #12
Zundfolge
1-2-4-5-3
 
Zundfolge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Woodacre, CA
Posts: 524
Thanks: 232
Thanked 241 Times in 144 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Is it passenger or cargo? Cargo with the one stiff rear leaf ought to ride a bit harsher than the pass version with dual springs. I've been trying to get my van to ride acceptably for my whole ownership of it (mine's a cargo) and the best thing so far has been Agile Offroad Fox rear shocks (similar to vancompass aforementioned). I also installed rear sumo stops which I honestly didn't notice much of a difference from (though many say they help greatly, I'm thinking that's the case for motohomes or heavy builds). I just replaced my front leaf, and have Koni struts.

Even with all of that, and about 45 psi F and maybe 55 R, this thing rides like crap. I live on a dirt road with bumps and potholes and coming home is annoying. I've pretty much given up now. I think it rides as good as it will ever ride. If I can ever stomach ~ $600 for new dual leafs I might do it, but for now I'll just kinda suffer - in a privileged white person kind of way that is...
__________________
'06 Sprinter ~270K
'83 Mercedes OM617 manual

https://nicktavasieff.smugmug.com
Zundfolge is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Zundfolge For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (10-22-2019)
Old 10-22-2019, 05:39 AM   #13
bobinyelm
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 146
Thanks: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zundfolge View Post
Is it passenger or cargo? Cargo with the one stiff rear leaf ought to ride a bit harsher than the pass version with dual springs. I've been trying to get my van to ride acceptably for my whole ownership of it (mine's a cargo) and the best thing so far has been Agile Offroad Fox rear shocks (similar to vancompass aforementioned). I also installed rear sumo stops which I honestly didn't notice much of a difference from (though many say they help greatly, I'm thinking that's the case for motohomes or heavy builds). I just replaced my front leaf, and have Koni struts.

Even with all of that, and about 45 psi F and maybe 55 R, this thing rides like crap. I live on a dirt road with bumps and potholes and coming home is annoying. I've pretty much given up now. I think it rides as good as it will ever ride. If I can ever stomach ~ $600 for new dual leafs I might do it, but for now I'll just kinda suffer - in a privileged white person kind of way that is...
It's a cargo van, so has the single leaf springs, so perhaps I am doomed o a really awful ride. On smooth asphalt roads, it's fine, of course, but it deteriorates to awful on almost everything else (I think I am singing to the choir when telling you that from your comment).

I as hoping the harshness was due to the dampers. The truly awful response "seems" to be from the front because maybe I am sitting right over them But the whole van shudders and crashes on front wheel contact, and frankly I don't notice what happens when the back tires roll over the imperfection (maybe I am too traumatized by the front to notice the rear so soon after).

I started reading reviews and saw for Bilsteins from Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Bilstein-22-2...pe=all_reviews

People made mention of the better ride and handling, but maybe their shocks were shot (whereas mine still feel like when the van was new).

$101 each seems reasonable, but I hesitate to try a pair in case they are no better, unless someone with cargo springs have tried them.

The rear Bilsteins are only $50 ea or so, but again, it's mostly the front that I notice so much.

My own Koni experience is with a British TVR that had TWO Konis on each corner and the car weighed 2000 pounds, so it was STILL. I also put a set on a Mercedes Benze 380SL but even on the softest setting they were quite stiff (but not abusive).

I've had Bilsteins on various BMWs over the decades, and they were pleasantly stiffish (but a very pleasant ride).

But if the front cargo spring is brutal (pounds to produce an inch of deflection) not sure if different shocks will help much, though a well-matched shock will damp the spring so it doesn't allow the tire to lose contact with the road (as mine does causing the tire to skip and shudder at moderate tire [pressure 3/4ths of rated pressure] ).

I've ridden in passenger T1N Sprinters, and they had a good ride, but had 6-8 people and their baggage on board every time to flex the springs a bit, so that leads nowhere productive. More weight improves my Sprinter ride as well, of course.

As for Timbrens, I would think they would help carry more load w/o bottoming so hard, but I wouldn't think they'd do much for empty ride unless weak shocks were allowing the axle to bounce up against the hard bump stop since there is inadequate damping.

Maybe more folks will chime in...

BTW, you said you replaced your front spring leaf. Why did you do it? Was it sagged, or were you just hoping it would improve the ride?- Thanks!

Bob
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 02:08 PM   #14
Midwestdrifter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 10,706
Thanks: 2,100
Thanked 7,078 Times in 4,469 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Its always hard when you have no weight in the back.

I would give vancompass an email, and ask what they suggest. Custom tuned fox 2.0 for the rear will likely help quite a bit. The front is harder, some brads of strut are better than others.

How much space is there between your front end bumpstop and the lower control arm? Can you fit a finger in there at least? Some folks report sumosprings bumpstop replacements for the front can help.
__________________
2004 T1N | Overland Conversion in Process Completed...For now... | 187,000 miles | 140" | High Roof | My Build Thread
Another Random Blog | http://VagariesAbound.blogspot.com
Midwestdrifter is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 02:39 PM   #15
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 25,199
Thanks: 12,978
Thanked 14,248 Times in 9,043 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zundfolge View Post
... I've pretty much given up now. I think it rides as good as it will ever ride. If I can ever stomach ~ $600 for new dual leafs I might do it, but for now I'll just kinda suffer - in a privileged white person kind of way that is...
My attitude is that my Sprinters are designed as commercial trucks, not sports cars. They also weren't necessarily designed to be a platform for RV conversion.

Not that you asked...
My opinion is that when a Sprinter truck is fairly heavily loaded (eg. - a full conversion) the dual leaf will provide less improvement. As opposed to some reports here, I really don't notice much difference between my cargo model and passenger when lightly loaded. Most times both are driven in a light load state. Both are 2500HC 140 WB with stock shocks.

vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. Publilius Syrus
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 06:51 PM   #16
bobinyelm
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 146
Thanks: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
My attitude is that my Sprinters are designed as commercial trucks, not sports cars. They also weren't necessarily designed to be a platform for RV conversion.

Not that you asked...
My opinion is that when a Sprinter truck is fairly heavily loaded (eg. - a full conversion) the dual leaf will provide less improvement. As opposed to some reports here, I really don't notice much difference between my cargo model and passenger when lightly loaded. Most times both are driven in a light load state. Both are 2500HC 140 WB with stock shocks.

vic
Hi Vic and Midwest,

Believe me, I am not looking for a sports car. I bought my Sprinter brand new in 2004 (a 2005 model) to replace my 1-Ton Ford E-350 van that rode like a car, and worked like a truck (the lack of standing room was a drag, plus it did only 20mpg with the big 7.3 liter diesel), and my hope was that the Sprinter would be a reasonably comfortable vehicle even empty. 99% of the time it has maybe 400# inside (the 30# of paneling, and the 150# cabinet and me), so it hardly stresses the springs. On smooth roads, it's fine, but the trouble is that with roadways not being fixed or kept in decent repair these days of economic strife for governments with tax shortfalls, what was an acceptable ride is now brutal (my recent end-to-end California drive put me over the edge). I guess the state is going broke and can't afford to maintain their highways, even with $4.29 diesel, but I digress. I figure I have a better chance trying to improve the van rather than waiting for government to fix the roads.

I have no heartache with the back suspension really. It's the front suspension when it hits damaged or poorly surfaced pavement, which I hit a LOT of in the last few days, prompting my attempt to improve things. As for the rear, I am OK leaving it as-is, or maybe trying Bilsteins which I hear are a tad more pleasant back there, and only $120/pair. The front is SO bad, I frankly don't even notice the back, though!

I was not thinking of a major suspension redesign (like going to $600 dual front spring leaves), but rather just hoping someone had found a brand or model front damper that was less harsh and would be a worth while improvement. Front Bilsteins are about $240 w/ tax/pair, of course. The anti-sway bar is pretty stout, so maybe contributes to the harshness when only one front wheel hits something (when both hit it, the bar just swivels of course), but overall, on undulations on smooth pavement, the spring rate feels acceptable-it's just sudden transitions (like strips or damaged pavement) the reaction is IMO unacceptable so I thought maybe others had faced it and come up with at least a way to improve it over whatever MB put on the vehicle originally (Sachs I suspect, but have not looked hard).

The vehicles are old enough now that I'd hoped some folks may have gone through a few sets of shocks and found one or another that was an improvement, and a "favorite."

On the space between the lower control arm and the bump stop, I just went outside and looked, and I was amazed to see I have only 5/8"-3/4" so the bump stop obviously gets used a LOT. A 1/2" suspension lift would go a long way to giving the spring "breathing room" for the damper to get is act together before crudely being met by the bump stop. A half inch lift wouldn't affect the suspension geometry, either. Makes me wonder why MB gave the control arm/suspension so little room to "work." Also makes me wonder if it's possible to get a different transverse spring, or have the stock one re-arched to give slightly higher ride height? I have a 8000# 2-post lift in my shop at home (I am 1500mi from there now), so working on the suspension should not be a big deal if there is something that will improve things. I just never felt the incentive to do so, but now that the van has 61k miles on it, maybe it's "time.". My hydronic heater gave up the ghost after being used maybe 10 times about 3 years ago (I never even tried it until moving from Texas to WA 3 years ago because it was never cold enough), and I DO want to look into removing the heater and figuring out why it won't start now, so maybe when I get back, I will put the vehicle on the lift and have at it (though I can't lift it but a foot before the high top will strike the cross beam of the lift which I didn't purchase the 2ft extension and cables for so am limited in that regard, but at least I can get it off the ground.

There IS an orange sticker on the tire side of the strut so I imagine that's the brand label. I admit to not having removed a front wheel in at least 10 years (30,000 miles maybe) since I replaced the front rotors and pads (that were like new at 30k miles on them- only 0.0015" runout on the worse one and not enough wear lip at the outside to even catch a finger nail), but would chatter when going down long steep hells towing a 3500# Casita travel trailer). I went to drilled and slotted rotors with super HD "fleet" compound brake pads, but there was absolutely no change in hot chatter. I never figured that out, either, so just lived with it until I sold the trailer after 3000mi of towing it (frankly I feared the transmission was not up to towing, anyway, despite the 5000# US towing limit (7500# overseas on the same model I understand).

Bob

Last edited by bobinyelm; 10-22-2019 at 07:09 PM.
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2019, 06:53 PM   #17
Mike DZ
2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Virginia
Posts: 953
Thanks: 110
Thanked 533 Times in 365 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

In THEORY Koni FSD front struts are designed to do exactly what the OP is looking for. I have no data, just marketing materials. Don't think lots of Sprinters are running the FSD, also known as Special Active https://www.sprinterstore.com/produc...van-2500-3500/

No affiliation to the store in the link, just the first one that came up in google
__________________
2016 View 24V (2015 3500) towing a 2016 Sonic Hatchback
Mike DZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2019, 03:50 AM   #18
billintomahawk
'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Tomahawk, Wisconsin
Posts: 1,073
Thanks: 1,039
Thanked 412 Times in 290 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Sweet Jesus,
Drop the pressures to 30 psi all around and drive, add it back 5 psi at a time using you carcass as a monitor.

When it gets rough remove 5 psi. Or maybe 3.

When you get loaded add air.

You get to make these kinda calls in this life. I don't care what the side of the frikkin tire says.
We learned a long time ago racing motorcycles on and off road that you can screw up the best suspension in the world with the wrong tires and too much air.
Seen it over and over again.

I'm probably all wrong but try it anyway just to make an old man happy.
Stiff little truck tires suck.

bill
__________________
billintomahawk
2002 T1N Freightliner
OM 612 2.7L
Transporter 1 Neu 154HP
2500 140"WB, low top
Tank, the repurposed van
https://www.sprinter-source.com/foru...ad.php?t=76877

Last edited by billintomahawk; 10-23-2019 at 04:03 AM.
billintomahawk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2019, 01:27 AM   #19
bobinyelm
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 146
Thanks: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by billintomahawk View Post
Sweet Jesus,
Drop the pressures to 30 psi all around and drive, add it back 5 psi at a time using you carcass as a monitor.

When it gets rough remove 5 psi. Or maybe 3.

When you get loaded add air.

You get to make these kinda calls in this life. I don't care what the side of the frikkin tire says.
We learned a long time ago racing motorcycles on and off road that you can screw up the best suspension in the world with the wrong tires and too much air.
Seen it over and over again.

I'm probably all wrong but try it anyway just to make an old man happy.
Stiff little truck tires suck.

bill
I have been running less around town with decent results, but at highway speeds tires tend to build heat when "underinflated" (the Explorers tires had that problem), so I thought cutting the max load PSI by 1/3rd was a reasonable amout, but frankly I have hated the ride comfort of the Sprinter from Day ONE of ownership, and thought this may be the time to finally spring for shocks (no pun intended).

I don't think MB put the wrong tires on the Sprinter (figuring it was made to be loaded), but even at 6800 pounds (the approximate empty weight with 400# inside plus full fuel) maybe I don't need 50psi in the tires. I just went to a Goodyear tire inflation chart and it said that 40psi for a 235/75-16 truck tire should be adequate (that would give each tire a 250 pound margin above an unsafe pressure for each tire, which unless I lose 4psi per tire should be safe.

Maybe 30psi as you suggest is safe, but given the age of the tires, and the weight/pressure charts, I'd rather try 40 and suffer a worse ride I suppose.

Maybe nothing can make the Sprinter ride decently, so maybe it's time to just live with it, or take my 1 ton Cummins dually since it rides fine empty with 60psi. I get 25mpg plus on the highway (6spd manual) but I took the Spinter cuz it has a bed and I saved on motels.
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2019, 01:33 AM   #20
bobinyelm
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 146
Thanks: 1
Thanked 21 Times in 18 Posts
Default Re: What Shocks to Use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike DZ View Post
In THEORY Koni FSD front struts are designed to do exactly what the OP is looking for. I have no data, just marketing materials. Don't think lots of Sprinters are running the FSD, also known as Special Active https://www.sprinterstore.com/produc...van-2500-3500/

No affiliation to the store in the link, just the first one that came up in google
I saw those, but without direct experience I would be hesitant to drop $500, hough I've heard good things about Bilsteins, though they are not the same technology.

I wrote Mark at sprinterupgrades.com yesterday and he as well suggested Konis, along with Sumo bumpstops (that are presently unavailable) and new rubber blocks for the stock spring as with 61k miles and 15 years on it mine are likely shot, and the spring possibly sagged. I don't know it it's advisable to have my existing spring re-arched to gain a modest 1/2" bit of ride height.

I think the 5/8" space between the bump stops and the control arm is too little, so he also suggested my spring may be sagged out with 61,000mi and 15 years, but the van "looks" the same, though I might not have perfect memory.

Here is (hopefully) a link to a photo of he gap on my Sprinter:
https://www.screencast.com/t/dshZ9NHyy or:
http://www.imgurupload.com/images/20...r-Font-End.jpg

What is YOUR gap under the bump stop for reference, BTW?

Bob

Last edited by bobinyelm; 10-24-2019 at 07:33 AM.
bobinyelm is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 01:58 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.