Value for a 2004 118" Cargo?

melboyogi

New member
A newbie here: I'm looking at a friend's 2004 118" 2500 Mercedes Cargo, 150k miles about.... Transmission flares slightly between 2-3rd gears (sorta common I've heard and maybe not terminal?) he's asking $8k. It's very clean, stock, red color. Is that a good price? ALSO: Comments welcome on the trans. issue: I've seen remanufactured units with warrantees on eBay for $1500... Thanks all! :thinking:
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
Sounds good, but without seeing its condition or hearing specifically what is happening to the transmission, the price can go up or down.
 

melboyogi

New member
Well, (as I mentioned) it's a 2004 118" wheelbase, cargo configuration; it's very clean (meaning good to great condition; new tires no dents or interior damage/tears or cracks) and has around 150k miles and the transmission flares between 2-3 gears. So how much more info can I add?
Just looking for a general idea on price? As far as the transmission symptom(s), I have seen a few posts on various sites referring to this issue. I am under the impression that it is not un-heard of, though may not be common. My scanty research is not enough however to get a firm grasp of the reality of the trans "issues". Hence my inquiry to the members here. I must say, I'm a bit surprised my query has not received more replies.:thinking: as it is, ANY info would be interesting. Thanks!
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
I'm guessing that you're looking at buying your friend's Sprinter?

What do you mean by transmission flaring? Rumble Strip Noise at a certain RPM?

Have you checked for "black death" or injector leakage underneath the plastic engine cover?


I already told you that value sounds good. However, I can never give you a firm answer unless I checked it out myself and understand what you mean by, "it's in good condition." There's a lot of people on craigslist that say it's in good condition. That's until I see for it myself.

Aqua Puttana has a good checklist for buying used Sprinters. If it's your friend's Sprinter, just come to a comfortable price. Price is all subjective.
 

A.Hayes

Member
Here's the thread that Sikwan is referring to:
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5174&highlight=tips+buying

What part of the country (world?) are you in? If you're not mechanically inclined, it certainly helps if you're lucky enough to live near one of the regional Sprinter gurus. You could probably also arrange a complete inspection of the vehicle before you buy.

If you're just talking about RSN with the tranny (see blue search bar above...), I'd say $8K is a good deal, but then again, prices vary widely across the country.

Good luck.
 

melboyogi

New member
Jeez, you're making me work here. Condition: Good condition in the opinion of my friend,who is a professional, award-winning, Jaguar V12 E-type restorer. I saw the van last summer in person and I thought it looked new. I'm a car buff/restorer too.

The transmission "flares" between 2-3 gears: meaning the engine revs up before the 3rd gear grabs. Then, no problems. Not a slip exactly because it doesn't lose drive force to the rear wheels like your traditional slipping symptom; the correct term is flare for this phenomenon.

Location: I live in the SF Bay area, going to my friends shop in Portland, Or. to pick it up and bring it here.

Thanks!
 

A.Hayes

Member
The transmission "flares" between 2-3 gears: meaning the engine revs up before the 3rd gear grabs. Then, no problems. Not a slip exactly because it doesn't lose drive force to the rear wheels like your traditional slipping symptom; the correct term is flare for this phenomenon.


Thanks!
That tranny behavior doesn't sound like RSN to me. Try Upscale Auto (aka Sprinter Store) in Tualatin, OR just south of Portland if you want a well respected shop to have a look.
 

melboyogi

New member
OK guys one last time, please: I don't know why this is so hard? I am wondering if this sprinter with one known problem is worth the asking at $8k, if it needs some Trans tinkering OR a reman unit install. It seems to me to be a SIMPLE question for anyone who knows the vehicles- which I don't (I'm learning!). So far it seems no-one read my original post and tried to answer the original, simple, general question for what it was. I got one answer from someone who needed "to see it"... So I was thinking, maybe they have never seen a Sprinter??? JUST kidding!

So for a rough idea on the value, I'm trying to keep it simple: In the location I mentioned, in the condition I described and with the transmission issue I described, (In other words, assume that it's very clean and nothing else is wrong, runs great etc...) is $8k a fair price for this van?

Thanks again...:thinking:
 

sodaparis

New member
I did a search on autotrader with keywords "sprinter" and "118".
15 results with prices between $7995 and $29000 with an average of $13,900, Most of them had > 150k miles.


I can't speak to the trans issue but the price seems fair if it's in good condition otherwise.
 

sodaparis

New member
To add to my previous post, I live in the Portland area and there is one 04 118" sprinter cargo on Craigslist, its listed at $9500 and only has 440,000 miles on it, although it says it was "babied"
 

hulagun

Haulin' A** since 1974
FWIW, this forum is not full of expert professional Sprinter van appraisers. I'm kind of surprised you got the nice and wise responses that you did, with your badgering. :bash: LOL

But everyone here is cool and wants to help. I bought my own 118" cargo Sprinter just this year and I'm happy to share a couple things that may help you decide.

If you search on this forum you can find some of my spring 2012 posts regarding pricing for 118" cargo T1N vans. :professor:

Rust is a concern with Sprinters. Portland is a wetter climate, eh... so unless your friend parks it inside it could have non-obvious rust started. It's not white... that is a plus, it means it may be less rust-prone than white ones.

Some folks love red paint and add value for it. Some do the opposite.

Sprinter vans can have rodent or DPO or other damage to the wiring. They have a sophisticated electrical system that is good until it isn't, then it's a PITA. Be wary of nonfunctioning electrical ANYTHING.

If the trans is acting up it should throw codes. Some codes can ONLY be read by a Sprinter dealer or specialist. Or - maybe it just needs the ATF replaced (NOTE: with the CORRECT type of ATF) or topped up.

If the van is truly clean and running well, then the $8k price (which seems like a possible good deal but as you didnt post photos or list the options, it's hard to judge...) probably leaves room to replace the trans if it is bad and still be well worth your investment.

These little 118" T1Ns are fairly rare and quite fun to drive, although the cargo versions are noisy and bouncy. The 118's are great for city dwellers like me with limited parking space but they are small. If I had room to park one I'd prefer a 140" wheelbase for hauling stuff.

Good luck. :thumbup:
 

melboyogi

New member
AAARIGHT! :rad: Excellent- thanks for the opinions... I'm sold on the thing already, it's just a good brick of money for me and I don't know Sh*t from Shinola with these critters! I just needed some objectivity- and good advice. The owner is a good friend and very knowledgeable wrench but he's been a bit flummoxed by the trans trouble himself. We're looking for a low-mileage drop in or reman with some kind of warranty. Any thoughts? Cheers and thanks again for the tips. (The Badger!!!) lol!
 

hulagun

Haulin' A** since 1974
...he's been a bit flummoxed by the trans trouble himself. We're looking for a low-mileage drop in or reman with some kind of warranty. Any thoughts? Cheers and thanks again for the tips. (The Badger!!!) lol!
About that, ask your friend (or badger him...) whether he has had the van hooked up to a proper Diagnostic Reader or done a proper service on the trans using the correct fluid. If either answer is no, you might wanna stop shopping for a new transmission and get the cheap thrills out of the way first. :idunno:

If he insists on transmission replacement shopping... :hmmm:

ps - see that "thanks" button down on the lower right of this message? hint hint :cheers:
 

Boater

New member
The bottom line is that no-one here recognises the tranny symptoms you describe (which is rare here) and therefore no-one knows roughly what it might cost to fix, so can't really give you any further advice in that respect.
Do the auto boxes on these double de-clutch?

Several people have said $8000 seems like a good price but have qualified that with not knowing the repair costs for the tranny, I guess you could look up the price for a new transmission and use that for the outside buget for a repair (sounds like you are competent and equipped to replace it yourself if you needed to). It looks like you aren't going to find anything else for less, and the chances are it will have more miles and not be in as clean condition - at least you can trust your friend in that respect, the only unknown quantity is the gearbox. Any other similar sprinter for $8000 might be hiding imminent engine failure, although the milage is no indication of that - several members have over a million, depends on how well serviced a van is.

Don't you have something like parkers over there to give you a guide price?
 

vanven

New member
A newbie here: I'm looking at a friend's 2004 118" 2500 Mercedes Cargo, 150k miles about.... Transmission flares slightly between 2-3rd gears (sorta common I've heard and maybe not terminal?) he's asking $8k. It's very clean, stock, red color. Is that a good price? ALSO: Comments welcome on the trans. issue: I've seen remanufactured units with warrantees on eBay for $1500... Thanks all! :thinking:
8k is probably fine. You need to spend some time with his maintenance log. Did he change ATF at 80k with new filter and MB spec fluid (incl TC)? Does your friend own an ATF dipstick? If he has one and has been looking after things I would feel beter. I have no experience or expertise re trans flaring in Sprinters but this can be a very bad omen in other vehicles. He should have changed differential fluid at the same time. Look at tires to make sure they are D load rated. Many owners put wrong tires on Sprinters (C rated). Oh yea... check the ball joints.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...Oh yea... check the ball joints.
When you check the ball joints make certain that the proper MB test criteria is applied or you'll likely replace perfectly good units. Over here in NAFTA land I'm convinced that many perfectly fine ball joints and turbo compressors get replaced because improper troubleshooting or test methods are employed by otherwise good, but Sprinter unfamiliar, mechanics. Good luck. vic


View attachment BalljointCheckGI33.00-N-039932_Ver_3.pdf
 

melboyogi

New member
Ok, Badger here, I bought the van and LOVE IT! I ended up trading my 89 Trooper and 7500 greenbacks. Now, for the needy part of my post: It definitely Flares BIG time going up from 2-3 and back down from 4-3, it revs and clunks hard into 3, unless I rev it during the shift to match the engine speed. If I baby it 2-3, it locks in fine, no slipping/flaring. Added to this symptom is the RSN you guys talk about... (Absolutely PERFECT name for this) And it can get loud... I drove over some pretty good grades on I-5 South from Portland to Ashland and going over some of those grades, it made a lot of noise when staying in 5th at 65-70mph uphill, pushing pretty hard. Downshifting to 4th helped it seemed- the engine seems to like the power band around 2700-3100 a lot. Looks like I got around 30mpg? Is that in the realm of possibilities? Also, got a bit of diff whine on decel., so maybe pinion gear/tooth alignment is out of whack. There is an intermittent check engine light, the code reads, "#5 Glow-plug Circuit". Anyhow, it's a super sweet ride and I'm glad I went for it. Ripping the curves on I-5 in total confidence, even in the rain. I'll post some pics when I have some... Thanks again for the pointers all and please chime in with your thoughts on the symptoms.... I will be getting the trans fluid checked on Monday as soon as a Mercedes dealer around Ashland or points south can look for me. Anyone know a good one here-abouts?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder

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