Sprinter-Forum    
 

Go Back   Sprinter-Forum > General Forums > The Competition

The Competition Discussion of other vehicles similar to the Sprinter; Transit, Promaster, etc.
Subforums: Write-Ups


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-06-2018, 12:36 AM   #1
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 22,248
Thanks: 11,082
Thanked 12,114 Times in 7,731 Posts
Default Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

I really like my 2004 cargo T1N. Even at 322,000+ miles it has yet to let me down. (Knocking/touching wood furiously as I type )

I liked the 2004 so much that I bought a 2006 passenger model. So for 2 years now I've owned 2 each Sprinters. One set up for passengers, the other more for cargo.

While we were towing our boat to Montreal Quebec with the 2004 I commented to my wife that maybe I made a mistake. Our 2006 at 170,000 miles is in generally great condition, but it is 12 years old now.

I recall that while driving the 2006 in some areas out west (Death Valley being one of them) I was feeling pretty isolated and questioning whether being in those places while driving a 12 year old van at what would be *normally* considered high miles for a vehicle was really the best choice for my money.

Even with my maintenance screw-ups the 2004 continues to be reliable. Certainly the 2004 would have provided the service that we needed for the past two years rather than owning both a 2004 and a 2006. (Let's hope my 2004 learning curve saves the 2006 from similar experiments.)

So to the subject of this thread.

Being that the 2004 is still running strong, was buying a 2006 T1N a good idea vs running the 2004 basically into the ground and then replacing it with a petrol powered newer, but used Euro style van?

So far buying the 2006 has worked fine for us... there is some real joy to be had by owning both a passenger and cargo Sprinter at the same time. That said, it does add expense to maintain an extra Sprinter. I really am interested in forum comments.

vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >326,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >172,000+ 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 06-06-2018, 01:50 AM   #2
Graphite Dave
Dave Orton
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Occidental, Ca.
Posts: 6,854
Thanks: 1,157
Thanked 4,239 Times in 2,410 Posts
Default Re: Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post

I recall that while driving the 2006 in some areas out west (Death Valley being one of them) I was feeling pretty isolated and questioning whether being in those places while driving a 12 year old van at what would be *normally* considered high miles for a vehicle was really the best choice for my money.
The biggest change for me was the elimination of the fear that the Sprinter would quit some distance from a Mercedes service location and if someone could fix it. That nervous thought is now gone with the gas Transit. Maybe just a mental deficiency on my part but it was real.

Besides the maintenance issues, the primary difference would be a better driving vehicle. Even between the NCV3 Sprinter and the Transit there is a difference. Suspect more so with a T1n.

It is interesting to read the posts on the Transit site compared to the Sprinter site posts. Far less posts about problems. Hard to determine if that is because there are fewer problems or just that the vehicles are newer. Possibly they are just more robust? Part of the reason is the Transit sales are mostly gas so the inherent problems with a diesel of any brand is the emission software and hardware.
__________________
Sold 2008 diesel NCV3 144" WB high roof DIY conversion
2015 gas Transit 148" WB high roof for another conversion
Graphite Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Graphite Dave For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (06-06-2018)
Old 06-06-2018, 02:21 AM   #3
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 22,248
Thanks: 11,082
Thanked 12,114 Times in 7,731 Posts
Default Re: Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
... Part of the reason is the Transit sales are mostly gas so the inherent problems with a diesel of any brand is the emission software and hardware.
Not an insignificant issue in my mind.

There are many times here where emissions systems/components are the cause for problems. There are fewer threads about mechanical failures (worn bearings, valve jobs, rods) than there are about other systems (sensors, DPF's, BlueTec, manifold runner swirl valves).

Many sensors are needed for modern engines. Some of those are specifically dedicated to emissions controls. Fortunately my T1N's have less emissions controls and sensors than the more modern Sprinters.

vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >326,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >172,000+ 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.

Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 06-06-2018 at 02:25 AM.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 04:46 PM   #4
glasseye
 
glasseye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,155
Thanks: 671
Thanked 1,372 Times in 740 Posts
Default Re: Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

In 08, new NCV3s were going cheap. At the time, I was ready to buy. My five-year lust for a Sprinter was about to be consummated. The lots were full of NCV3s and the recession meant there were few buyers. But which way should I go? The tried and true T1N? Or the shiny new NCV3?

I drove both and LOVED the NCV3's ride. "Like a station wagon", I said to myself. But the 9800 mile 04 T1N I found on Ebay Motors was simpler, $13K cheaper and appealingly to me, smaller.

What to do?

I asked Andy. He unequivocally directed me to the T1N, pointing to increased computerization and emission controls as a self-repairability negative, not a positive. For someone living far from Mother Merc as I do and for someone intending travel far off the beaten path, his advice made sense. "Dance with who brung you to the ball", he essentially said. So I did. Seldom have I been more indebted to such good advice.

Nearly 140K miles later, Frito has never let me down. What few problems I've had have been easily self-repaired. HKPierce, a knowledgeable forum member if there ever was one, recently probed some of Frito's innards, palpated a few hoses and crawled under for a look. "Excellent", he essentially said. "No problems on the horizon". Dennis said pretty much the same thing as both Andy and HKPierce said when he met Frito two years ago. T1Ns are a better reliability/ self-repairablility bet than NCV3s. The evidence continues to mount as Merc does everything in their power to inhibit repair by anyone other than their own dealerships. My Epson printer suffers from the same detestable business model. Curse them both.

In April, I ran down to Death Valley to get warmed up for my most recent solo adventure: I just got back from a run from SE British Columbia to the east coast of the US. The fact that I was willing to embark alone on a 6000 mile round trip across the continent in an 18 year old van is testament to my confidence in this remarkable vehicle.



All that said, If Frito were to die tomorrow, it'd be a Transit for me. Silver star be damned. That F-150 driveline is just too convincing an argument.
__________________
"Frito" : the potato chip truck
04 Hi-Roof 140 cargo.9800 miles by PO
150K miles in 10 summers. Fuel, filters, oil, tires, bulbs, batteries, front brakes, serp belt and tensioner, upper charge air hose.
I waited five years for this.
Absent this forum, I'd never have bought a Sprinter.

Last edited by glasseye; 06-06-2018 at 04:56 PM.
glasseye is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to glasseye For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (06-07-2018), MillionMileSprinter (06-06-2018)
Old 06-06-2018, 06:43 PM   #5
CJPJ
2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0L
 
CJPJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Contra Costa California, Douglas County, Oregon
Posts: 3,234
Thanks: 3,249
Thanked 1,555 Times in 1,016 Posts
Default Re: Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

Vic hi. You are probably the best to evaluate the trip reliability.
Take your 04 service records; all the servicing and repairs that were done.
Did any of the needed repairs happen without a warning; would have stranded you? Or was there indicators so the vehicle could continue driving - enough to not be stranded.
Or was there ever a breakdown that happened like flipping a switch and the vehicle stopped, stranded you.
Your 04's realibity over time; likely will be similar with the 06.




I can say; ".. every time I turned the key - it started and I could drive it."

Last edited by CJPJ; 06-06-2018 at 07:53 PM.
CJPJ is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to CJPJ For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (06-07-2018)
Old 06-06-2018, 08:03 PM   #6
surlyoldbill
 
surlyoldbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: richmond, ca
Posts: 6,970
Thanks: 2,358
Thanked 2,459 Times in 1,692 Posts
Default Re: Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

I was in the same boat and decided to sell while it was still in good shape.
I think any NEW vehicle should be reliable for at least 100k if not 200k miles, regardless of brand, so I bought a new van.
I have a friend who liked my T1N Sprinter so much that she bought two, and hasn't had too much problem with either ( SHC campervan with 28k, HC wagon-to-office with 36k) but was stranded in Montana for a week waiting for some cooling system part to arrive when they were towing to MN.

Even at 250k with my T1N, I would not have hesitated or made any special considerations before getting in and driving all the way across the country. But it was MY van, and I put all but 20k miles on it, so I knew what was good and bad.

I think that using the "weakest" van for daily driving is a good diea, and saving the "strongest" one for extended trips far from home.

I really liked my T1N, and contemplated that if I found a low mileage one I should get another one, but as you say, there are YEARS involved, not just miles. Rubbery and plasticy things have a way of aging regardless of use. I saw one yesterday that looked brand new...
__________________
Former owner of Surly Mobile:
2003 140shc 2500 passenger model, now owner of Transit T250 148MR 3.7
mobile design office, cargo hauler, family shuttle, action adventure base
surlyoldbill is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to surlyoldbill For This Useful Post:
Aqua Puttana (06-07-2018)
Old 06-07-2018, 03:54 PM   #7
Aqua Puttana
Poly - Thread Finder
 
Aqua Puttana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The Falls of Niagara, USA
Posts: 22,248
Thanks: 11,082
Thanked 12,114 Times in 7,731 Posts
Default Re: Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJPJ View Post
Vic hi. You are probably the best to evaluate the trip reliability.
Take your 04 service records;
...
You mean these?

Record02-2004.jpg

Record03-2004.jpg

Record01-2006.jpg



You present a good perspective.

Actually both the 2004 and the 2006 were purchased used with very little service records included. The one "no records" secret that has worked on many vans for me... the T1N's were in medical transport service, as were my B series Dodge vans. Medical transport service does hint for at least regular basic maintenance and probably less "cowboying around" driving style (to quote my Oklahoma raised uncle).

As I get familiar with the vehicle and miles pile on the initial lack of service history becomes less of a concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJPJ View Post
...
Did any of the needed repairs happen without a warning; would have stranded you? Or was there indicators so the vehicle could continue driving - enough to not be stranded.
...
To date I have never been stranded. (knock/touch wood )

The only real issue that I had with the 2004 was an LHM event which traced to a other than Bosch branded O2 sensor. (Refer to my above mentioned post #3 emissions sensors problems comment.)

I keep up on maintenance. I am not as obsessive as I once was about it. I firmly believe that over maintenance can often be in the area of diminishing returns, and can even result in actually creating extra problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surlyoldbill View Post
...

I think that using the "weakest" van for daily driving is a good diea, and saving the "strongest" one for extended trips far from home.
...
That is the plan. I still will jump in the 2004 for long trips if that is the better platform. The 2004 is more in cargo mode than the passenger 2006.

One possible issue with less frequent use. I'm firmly convinced that too little use is often more harmful to vehicles than regular use. I try to not let the 2006 sit unused for extended time periods.

Eventually the 2004 will not be worth maintaining. I'm not really looking forward to that day. I'm rather spoiled by owning two Sprinters.

vic
__________________
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >326,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >172,000+ 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.

Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 06-07-2018 at 05:13 PM.
Aqua Puttana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2018, 05:20 PM   #8
surlyoldbill
 
surlyoldbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: richmond, ca
Posts: 6,970
Thanks: 2,358
Thanked 2,459 Times in 1,692 Posts
Default Re: Is a now generally old T1N the best idea for me?

I kept my "service records" in columns on the blank pages in the owner's manual.
I've heard from the buyer of my '03 a few times through forum messages (that I saw weeks after they sent them); van was doing great although he hit a deer and had to do some repairs to the front, and he asked about the #1 injector bolt length. That's the one where I snapped the hold down bolt re-installing it without cleaning the threads very well, and had to use a 6x1mm helicoil and shorten the bolt by .5-.75" because I could not find tooling to get far enough down into the well. All was disclosed and talked about when selling it, he must have forgot or didn't save the printed "good, bad, ugly" list. I guess after another 50k miles or more that injector started to leak a bit, which means my helicoil fix lasted over 100k. Actually, STILL working, but the copper seal needs to be replaced.
__________________
Former owner of Surly Mobile:
2003 140shc 2500 passenger model, now owner of Transit T250 148MR 3.7
mobile design office, cargo hauler, family shuttle, action adventure base
surlyoldbill 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 10:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.