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Old 02-01-2016, 02:53 PM   #51
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Default Re: EGR cooler cleaning, was pretty easy

Originally Posted by NBB View Post
Just did this to my van.

Couple notes for next time, mostly for myself, since this is the first Google hit for "Sprinter EGR Cooler", and the OP did help.

1) OP is sandbagging by saying this job is "3 egr cleanings" - more like 10 or 20, IMO. But - not that hard to do..
Agreed. I can turn an EGR valve around in 30-mins. This job took me about 5 hours, start to finish, including a Lowe's run for a longer socket extension. Air tools helped speed that up quite a bit.


2) A 1/4" drive E10 socket off Amazon was clutch, a couple extensions and a universal are nice too. Google "Amazon Stahlwille 40TX-E10". A proper hose clamp tool is nice as well - Google "Craftsman Cable Operated Hose Clamp Pliers". The job will take you considerably longer w/o the equivalent of these tools, IMO.
I use metric sockets, have been fine so far. I used super-long needlenose pliers for the hose clamps, not too bad but not great.


3) OP mentions 12 bolts and the cooler is out - BS, you won't get it out that way, you won't even be able to reach all 12 mentioned bolts w/o removing the whole assembly. His pix clearly show he removed more than 12 bolts - he took out the whole cooler assembly - which is the right thing to do.

4) 6 E12 bolts, 4 front, 2 in back hold the front / rear castings to the engine. 12x E10 hold the heat exchanger to the front and rear castings. The EGR is 4x E10. The dipstick is 2x E10. The oil filler is 1x E10. The exhaust tubes are 6x E10 total, 4 front, 2 rear.
2-bolts on rear crossover tube.
2 "bolts" holding EBV actuator on.
3 rear bolts on cooler assembly
4 front bolts on cooler assembly
2 bolts on EGR mixer tube.
4 bolts holding on EGR
1 bolt for coolant tank.
3 bolts for cabin filter plenum
1 bolt for unidentified hardline (transmission fluid filler?)
12 bolts to disassemble cooler assembly.


5) There are 3 exhaust tube gaskets, 2 more for the heat exchanger, 1 more for the EGR. I suggest buying these ahead of time on the net. I bought local, paid ~$70. Yeah, they're just exhaust gaskets and if you're cheap you might get away with reusing them. But O2 sensors are nearby and are part of the warning for this problem - I just don't have time to screw around with air leaks getting in there and messing with the readings.
Van started hiccupping so bad on Saturday that I had to do the job on Sunday. No time to get the gaskets. I reused them, so far, so good.


6) TETRIS: To remove cooler assembly, remove all but the 12 heat exchanger bolts. Pull the assembly free a bit, rotate a bit as needed, and disassemble it in place. I really don't see how one could get it out of there as one assembly, don't really see how you're going to reach the 12 heat exchanger bolts w/o being able to shift things around.

7) You MIGHT be able to get it out in 1 piece by removing a metal bracket in the lower front, and/or the coolant reservoir. This looked like more trouble to me. I had an ALLDATA procedure that did not mention this lower front metal bracket, just the above bolts. My official Sprinter shop manual CD (waste of money) is only readable on Windows XP at this point, and who has that old stuff laying around anymore...

With coolant tank and cabin filter plenum out of the way, it pretty much lifts right out. I would probably remove the dipstick as well next time.


8) Cleaning the heat exchanger is BY FAR the most time consuming part of the job. I refilled a Simple Green spray bottle, then cut the top off the remaining 1 gallon jug and dropped the exchanger in there. Soak - rinse - soak - rinse - repeat. There was a F'N F-TON of carbon in that exchanger. Holy Cow! It took a long time to see the light through it, much longer for the blackness to stop.
Agreed. ton of crap in there. I used your cleaning method, with a hose instead of a pressure washer.

I only cleaned the exchanger, left the castings alone since it was just a surface coating, not very thick.


9) Pressure washer + simple green took care of the other parts. I removed the bypass actuator and pressure sensor before cleaning, left the door thingy in place. I also removed the rear temp sensor and O2 sensor and cleaned those up as well with a little water and some compressed air.

10) The sensors are fine, IMO, I'll post back if my codes come back. The blades on your EGR should rotate open. They are spring loaded, likely to protect the motor. IMO, 99% of EGR replacements are likely due to the tech being too lazy to clean the thing. I made up the 99% part. With the spring in there, I doubt the motors are burning out and you'd get a code for that anyway. The rest is just a dumb piece of metal. It's easy to clean, just take a few minutes.
The return spring is not strong enough to pull the valve closed when it gets dirty. I think it is either getting stuck open, or "slow closing." Engine controls think the valve is closing, but it isn't. Then, especially during a shift or air-handling transient, the valve slams closed and causes a turbo surge.


11) TETRIS AGAIN: 1) Place front casting loosely where it belongs. No bolts. 2) Place rear casting where it belongs, no bolts. 3) Insert heat exchanger, attach to front casting first. Torque it down, you won't reach the bolts later. 4) Now attach the rear casting. Torque it. 4) The rest is trivial.
I was able to reinstall the unit as one piece. The hardest part was getting the Exhaust crossover tube gasket and bolts in place. Had to do this from underneath. what a pain.

Your method probably made this part easier, but reassembling the heat exchanger harder.

I could probably knock it out in 4 hours next time. Hopefully there's no next time!
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Old 11-24-2019, 08:40 PM   #52
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Default Re: EGR cooler cleaning, was pretty easy

Not sure why this didn't dawn on me earlier, following a coolant leak and egr issues, I replaced egr but still goes into limp mode with codes 0401 or 0404 which I can reset and get up to highway speed before turbo stops...

I'm currently living in mine so finding a spot to do this will be tricky, does anyone have any photos of the removal process for the visually inclined?

Also any part numbers on those exhaust gaskets?

I'm not intimidated to tackle this, just want to have my ducks in a row so I'm not stranded in the boonies of the SE (if that's where I end up doing the maintenance).

Thanks again

Also I was in Denver about a month back and messaged Linden Engineering in Golden and got no response, so any live from the Sprinter Source forum is appreciated.

I have a few other issues to address soon too, but drivability is my main concern!
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:02 AM   #53
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Default Re: EGR cooler cleaning, was pretty easy


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