Would you buy this Sprinter?

dallaswyoung

Active member
I have the opportunity to buy a 2008 Sprinter, with 238k for under $10,000. It has been meticulously maintained with records. My wife’s boss bought it and had a company build it out to do mobile x ray scans so it’s built out like an office. It comes with a bunch of electrical in the back that will be removed prior to sale.

The plan for the van is to pretty much gut the build out to a blank slate and have a very minimalistic adventure van for my wife, 1 year old, and dog. Do you think I’ll run in to any issues removing the front and rear walls to open it up? What about the ceiling

After it’s opened up first mods would be a 2 seat transit bench, a maxxair fan, some sort of rear AC (run off the car battery?), and drivers side window and rear windows. Maybe some small solar and inverter down the road for coffee, laptop charger, etc.

Thanks in advance and I look forward to learning all that I can from the forum.
 

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45Kevin

Well-known member
I don't know much about the NVC3s but intimately knowing a vehicle's history is priceless.

Probably wouldn't have much trouble stripping the current configuration.
Upside is you probably have a bunch of electrical work already done.
 

dallaswyoung

Active member
I don't know much about the NVC3s but intimately knowing a vehicle's history is priceless.

Probably wouldn't have much trouble stripping the current configuration.
Upside is you probably have a bunch of electrical work already done.

I’m not too sure what I’m getting myself into with the electrical. Currently doing some research on a small battery bank and inverter system that runs off the alternator, so I’m open to suggestions on that as well!
 

vreihen

2014 NCV3 170" cargo with OM651
With all of that X-ray exposure over 14 years, I suppose that you won't need to wire a night light..... :)
 
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Reactions: ECU

Kajtek1

1922 Ford T. No OBD
If you ask if 15 yo vehicle can give you trouble, you probably are very young.
When 238k miles on MB diesel is not much, at such mileage original injectors, HP fuel pump and few more items might need replacement.
I think $10k for clean van is a bargain, but stash some money on saving account for upkeep down the road.
Would it be OM651 engine, that would be really nice, but I think they come later to USA.
 
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eralimited57

2008 Sprinter 2500 170 Extended High Top 3.0L CRD
One thing you want to do is to remove the engine coverS and look for black death.

Also see if the check engine light is on and if so have it scanned. There may also be a log of check engine light history stored in the ECM that may be worth looking at.

See below:

 

dallaswyoung

Active member
One thing you want to do is to remove the engine coverS and look for black death.

Also see if the check engine light is on and if so have it scanned. There may also be a log of check engine light history stored in the ECM that may be worth looking at.

See below:


Thanks! No signs of Black Death. No CEL. I’m getting the maintenance records later today so I’ll know more, but the owner is very detail oriented and it’s been very well taken care of which is why I could consider buying it with 240k miles.
 

borabora

Well-known member
A well-maintained NCV3 without Bluetec could be a bargain. But don't buy it if you can't afford the occasional expensive repair. There is still plenty of stuff that can break. Have the van professionally checked out.
You won't be able to run any type of rear AC off the engine without very major modifications that might cost more than the van. You could add several thousand dollars worth of batteries, a charge system and an electric AC but that would not be "minimalistic."
 

dallaswyoung

Active member
A well-maintained NCV3 without Bluetec could be a bargain. But don't buy it if you can't afford the occasional expensive repair. There is still plenty of stuff that can break. Have the van professionally checked out.
You won't be able to run any type of rear AC off the engine without very major modifications that might cost more than the van. You could add several thousand dollars worth of batteries, a charge system and an electric AC but that would not be "minimalistic."

Thanks for your reply. I’m a boat captain and wired my boat which should help when it comes to the van, hopefully. I’m thinking 2 AGM batteries on a B2B charger from the house battery, to an inverter and 12v blue seas fuse block for future options like a maxxair fan or water pump.
 

MillionMileSprinter

Millionmilesprinter.com
Some believe that the 07-09.5 pre bluetec NCV3 is pretty close to the perfect sprinter.
Smother and quieter than the T1N, but without all the bluetec stuff that can be extremely expensive to maintain.
That, along with all the service records makes a pretty great deal.
Make sure you perform the oil cap dance test to check for piston ring blowby.
I see LOTS of Sprinters and that one looks like a good deal, but be SURE to set aside a few $K for unexpected repairs or maintenance. ???
 

Kajtek1

1922 Ford T. No OBD
..
Make sure you perform the oil cap dance test to check for piston ring blowby.
You must be coming from Ford family?
Such test on Fords is oil cap reversed on oil fill hole, or when brick is blown away from the same hole- walk away.
For Mercedes my criteria are napkins, paper towels and cardboard.
All my MB engines would allow napkin to rest on crankcase hole with engine idling.
I advise to check further when paper towel gets blown away and walk away when cardboard flies.
 

dallaswyoung

Active member
Update. I just got the service records from the owner from when she bought the van brand new. In the last 4 years it has (in addition to regular oil changes, fuel filter, cabin air filter) new AC compressor and condenser, brake pads and rotors, tires (new), battery, alternator, headlamps, vacuum pump, serpentine belt, belt tensioner, rear main seal, power steering cooling lines, water pump, shocks and struts, EGR pressure sensor, fan clutch, radiator. There’s a ton more service records to go through but it looks like it’s been very well taken care of.
 

Kajtek1

1922 Ford T. No OBD
well... well maintained Sprinter would not need all those parts replaced in this period, although quite possibly the PO was milked by the mechanics.
Still sounds like you have original injectors and HP fuel pump. Check the pricing as that is something that you will need down the road.
If I am not mistaken, the MY also is DPF equipped, what is another expensive wearable as well.
 

dallaswyoung

Active member
well... well maintained Sprinter would not need all those parts replaced in this period, although quite possibly the PO was milked by the mechanics.
Still sounds like you have original injectors and HP fuel pump. Check the pricing as that is something that you will need down the road.

Thanks. I’m not sure if it matters, but the van was driven all over the state so it’s mostly highway miles.
 

MillionMileSprinter

Millionmilesprinter.com
You must be coming from Ford family?
Such test on Fords is oil cap reversed on oil fill hole, or when brick is blown away from the same hole- walk away.
For Mercedes my criteria are napkins, paper towels and cardboard.
All my MB engines would allow napkin to rest on crankcase hole with engine idling.
I advise to check further when paper towel gets blown away and walk away when cardboard flies.
A brick? What are you talking about?

And if you are saying that a ~14 year old vehicle with 200+k on the motor shouldn't have any more crankcase pressure than enough to move a napkin, then well....
Let's just say your response strains credulity.
And no, no Fords in the driveway. Just Sprinters.
 

eralimited57

2008 Sprinter 2500 170 Extended High Top 3.0L CRD
Some believe that the 07-09.5 pre bluetec NCV3 is pretty close to the perfect sprinter.
Smother and quieter than the T1N, but without all the bluetec stuff that can be extremely expensive to maintain.
That, along with all the service records makes a pretty great deal.
Make sure you perform the oil cap dance test to check for piston ring blowby.
I see LOTS of Sprinters and that one looks like a good deal, but be SURE to set aside a few $K for unexpected repairs or maintenance. ???
I would have to agree with this synopsis that being: "Some believe that the 07-09.5 pre bluetec NCV3 is pretty close to the perfect sprinter.
Smother and quieter than the T1N, but without all the bluetec stuff that can be extremely expensive to maintain."


The blur Tec'd Sprinters are nortorious for having issues with the DEF heaters, tanks, CELs, Start countdowns etc etc and its not just the expense involved but the headaches that go along with it that the owner has to deal with.

I once went into the Mercedes Sprinter service department and the service advisor mentioned that the single most issue they see Sprinters come in for on a regular basis has to do with the Blur Tec systems.
 

aksotar

2017 4x4 144 Cargo
read up about AC and batteries… then adjust your plans….
for “minimalistic” I’d go with good insulation (helps for both heat and cold and sound deadening) and ventilation (roof fan)
it should be fairly easy to remove the walls and ceiling, adding a real seat will require work (properly mounted seat and proper seat belt mounting)… window shades (the insulated kind) work great for heat and cold (AND privacy)
now, read up about solar, batteries and energy audits, also charging as an aux battery from your alternator… having a house battery will make a tremendous difference in your actual use, having power for lights, recharging electronics, fans, an AC/DC type cooler and even an Espar or Webasto heater without having to start your engine to warm up.. solar on top also shades the roof..
as far as the vehicle age and issues.. well, it is what it is.. sounds like it’s been well maintained and has records so thats a plus… only Owners with similiar Vans and mileage can give you a more realistic idea of what to expect… things wear out no matter how well maintained…
 
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