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Old 11-08-2009, 04:50 PM   #1
businessgypsy
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Default Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

Thanks to all for the great body of reference here. Next Thursday 11/12/2009 I am flying into Phoenix to pick up a new '08 3500 144wb cargo (21 odo miles) that I will drive back to Southwest Florida (2500 miles).

Non standard options:
  • 220a alternator
  • aux battery
  • heated driver seat w/12v outlet and prewire for accessories
  • rear step
  • back, slider (single right slider) fixed windows
  • rubber rear floor

Not my dream build, but I'm stealing it. Will slowly evolve into a camper/office or something like that. I'm having a Mercedes retrofit cruise control installed at the dealer, Airpark Jeep/Dodge. I've also requested and received assurance that all applicable recall notices and service bulletins will be addressed. I sent a list of the two recalls I could find to let them know I would be checking.

Thanks to Chris Case (owe you a beer in FL!), I have a build sheet showing a manufacture date of March 2008. That means it's been sitting, in the desert thankfully, for a year and a half with no use. Apart from putting a dryer/cetane boost additivein the first tank to combat probable condensation in the fuel tank, are there any other essential checks or potential problems that I should have on my radar screen due to the long idle period? FYI, I am a pure innocent (i.e. ignorant) concerning dually setups and diesel engines. My goal is to stack the odds in my favor for a successful return trip.

Here's my list so far:
  • - Address potential condensation in fuel w/additive.
  • - Check all hoses and belts for cracks and wear.
  • - Photograph engine compartment in detail to help identify any new leaks/fluid accumulation during trip.
  • - Verify fluid levels.
suggestions from members so far (edit 9pm 11/8/09)
  • - keeping the speed (RPM) down
  • - bring a heavy blanket and zip ties and hang it behind the front seats to keep the noise from the cargo bay from deafening you on bumpy roads.
  • - check tires and spare for cracks and inflation
  • - vary rpms when breaking in
All advice and experience gratefully received. I bought direct, but the ebay listing is here.

Thanks in advance, Dean

Last edited by businessgypsy; 11-09-2009 at 02:21 AM. Reason: add content
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:22 PM   #2
72chevy4x4
 
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Default Re: Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

maybe someone with more knowledge would speak up regarding this, but I would suggest keeping the speed (RPM) down-cruising at 75 is a pretty high rpm for the engine's first 2000 miles of breakin.

bring a heavy blanket and zip ties and hang it behind the front seats to keep the noise from the cargo bay from deafening you on bumpy roads.

congrat's and enjoy!
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

Dean, I recently bought an '08 here in Phoenix. FYI, these local dealers bought these vans from defunct California dealers. There is nothing wrong with that, but wanted you to be aware of your vans origins. Mine was bought at Tempe Dodge who bought it at an auction from Union Dodge in Orange County. You can tell the origin dealer by the window sticker at the lower right hand corner in fine print. I was told by the dealer that "although the van has sat for some time, there is no need to worry" My concerns were with the oil. I believe the three main Sprinter dealers here, Bill Luke Dodge, Earnhardt Dodge, Tempe Dodge, and Airpark Chrysler have and usually interchange their inventory with one another. It seems to me that the 3500 trucks were the most discounted ones here. Due to the economy, most businesses have gone out of business or are putting off major purchases. I bought mine for 27k out the door. Last I checked, Bill Luke had nothing in Sprinter inventory and Earnhardt had 2500's available. The deep discounts were for the '08 lineup.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

Dean, you are stealing it!

I'm sure you meant to add this, but while you're checking hoses and belts for cracking, check the tires for the same thing as well. Make sure your spare's properly inflated too, of course.

They say you should vary the rpms when breaking it in, no long droning highway blasts, that kind of thing. But I can't say it harmed my Sprinter any (from dealer lot in Chicago to home in Houston, interstate all the way).

Great buy, welcome to the club!

D

PS- Gee, I wish I got to spend my summers in Portland!
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:16 AM   #5
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Default Re: Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

Dean,

Where in SWFL are you from? I am in Ft. Myers... I have an 08 170 extended... I'm building an RV.... if you need any cabinet work etc. done?... I am working with a friend who has extensive boat interior building experience real nice work and reasonable cost. Any tips I could share with you send me an email..... rldemarco@comcast.net

Enjoy the new van!
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandlerazman View Post
...FYI, these local dealers bought these vans from defunct California dealers...I was told by the dealer that "although the van has sat for some time, there is no need to worry" My concerns were with the oil...
Checking happyfamilyvan's post on a conversation with a Dusseldorf Sprinter engineer, I'm struck by the fact that he insists that the oil not be changed due to factory additives essential to break in. So, I'll probably just ensure the level is good. The build sheet provided by Chris Case shows that this vehicle was indeed ordered by the Santa Cruz, CA school district, but Ah-nold couldn't make the deal stick. This was the last of fifty three the salesman claimed to have sold. He was let go the day after I wired the funds, having sold himself out of a job. Bad luck for him and the school district, but good for me, I hope. I plan to add enough positive energy to balance the equation
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Düsseldorfer View Post
Dean, you are stealing it!

...while you're checking hoses and belts for cracking, check the tires for the same thing as well. Make sure your spare's properly inflated too, of course...Gee, I wish I got to spend my summers in Portland!
People with gray hair and no wives get to do all kinds of fun stuff. Thanks for the tips!
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Picking up new '08, has been sitting a long time. What to check?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkd718 View Post
Dean, Where in SWFL are you from? I am in Ft. Myers... I have an 08 170 extended... I'm building an RV...... I am working with a friend who has extensive boat interior building experience real nice work and reasonable cost. Any tips I could share with you send me an email...
Thanks so much, I'm on the north side of the Caloosahatchee, looking at all the 30 story condo penthouses in Fort Myers. All they get to see is me. Not moving real quickly on the reno, but I really appreciate the steer.
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