T1N Dual Slider Lunacy!


I figure its about time I make a place for me to post details about my Sprinter and its own specific lunacy. :crazy:

Before I start you should know that I'm a hardcore gear head that has built about every type of vehicle on earth over the last 3 or 4 decades.(note, that is actually me in my avatar) A little over a year and a half ago my wife told me we were having a baby!!:thumbup: Which was the perfect excuse to by the VW van I had always wanted. Deciding between a Vanagon and a Eurovan was tough as each had their own merits. Some made more sense for hauling around a newborn baby than others.

Being a cheap skate and a car guy that believes that cool vehicles are built, not bought, I purchased a couple of Eurovans and built one good one from the ashes. :cheers: If you are really bored, here is the build thread on Expo. (not for the faint of heart)


I love(d) the Eurovan so much that I decided to sell my Dodge pickup and buy a Sprinter to build next. Not really sure why:idunno:, but hell, I like the process and the pain I guess:lol: Gives me something to do:laughing:

If you really can't wait for me to get this thread caught up over here, you can read the one on Expo.


Soon, I hope to have this one up to date and hope it adds....ah....something entertaining and useful to this site.

This is what I started with. A 2004 dual slider 158" with 270K on the clock. Cargo van with heated seats fully adjsutable, 7 day timer, power locks, windows, cruise. Victim of a bad respray, bad tires, etc.

I drove it like a mad man from Maine to Denver!:lol:

...and tore into it and this is roughly what it looked like a few weeks ago.

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Quick summary so far.

-New 16" NCV3 wheels.
-New 235/85/16 BFG ATs with minor front fender trimming.
-Green Diesel Engineering Tune to make up for the larger tires!!
-Merc grill and Dodge debadge. Just felt the lines of the van look better the way it was originally designed.
-Custom single Recaro/Recaro back seat/fridge combo for baby seat. Will probably change out for dual real Eurovan seats as the camper build progresses. But needed at least a temp spot for my daughter.
-Wood laminate floors leftover from Eurovan project.
-New dash vents on driver and passenger side.
-rebuilt climate control unit.
-added diagnostic wire to 7 day timer...then rebuilt the Espar.
-New aux coolant pump.
-New Windshield.
-New Jeep TJ Fog lights.
-MaxxFan Deluxe installed in the rear. Remote mount on front console.
-12 feet of Yakima tracks installed on roof, added some Yakima rack.
-Welded exhaust back on and extended the tail pipe out the side since it will be for camper use now.
-oil change...duh.
-Rewired stereo, added front speakers, fixed other issues with it.
-Added water bottle cage to passenger seat.
-Removed cargo partition.
-New rear bumper corners. (old ones were cut for a lift).
-Fixed door handles on both sliders, replaced the drivers outside slider handle(due to cheap PO).
-New small mirror on drivers side.
-New blower resistor....didn't seem to need it, but oh well.
-Fixed heated seats. Torn wires.
-New wiper blades.
-New washer squirter mount between firewall and wiper.

Lots of work left to do. Right now I've just been sorting out the basics.
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Van Guru
Just skimmed your build/adventures on the expeditionportal. Nice work and vision. What's your plan for electrical?

Thanks for posting the Saturn pic. We towed an 97 S-series wagon behind our motor home and developed a love for them since. Here's my 95 wagon. Great little get around town gas sipper.



New member

I found this on craigs a loooong time ago, if i had known it was that clean throughout i woulda bought it!! Very nice lookin and im glad you made it home! Sweet build, stayin tuned!


Thanks guys.

I'll get more pictures and updates posted soon.

My plan for it is an "Outside Van" style family adventure van.

Our electric needs will be pretty simple. Just need to be able to charge phones, iPads and the occasional camera battery. All lights will be LED. Probably add one good house battery split off with a continuous duty solenoid to isolate it when the key is off but charge when the key is on. This simple set up has worked well in my Eurovan. Maybe a solar panel to help out but we have never taxed the setup in the Eurovan.

No need to power silly things like TVs, microwaves, etc. We travel and explore when traveling. Eat out, eat fresh.


Well-known member
I would love to remove extra seats and make more open space for my family, but then I would like to have enough seats to be able to take my all department to the Happy Hour.
Best solution I can thing about would be to buy another one and have someone following me around in case I want to switch.:idunno:


Nice... I actually appreciate the post where you list allot of the more normal things you have done to the van, such as heater blower resistor, wiper blades, windshield, vents, etc... We all have to deal with the normal things.


I should probably change the title to "Ghetto Fab Sprinter Build":crazy:

I've been trying to keep this build cheap since I don't really need the van and its really an extra extra vehicle at the moment. With this in mind I've been keeping my eye on Craigslist. Specifically the "free" section.

It was fairly obvious from scenes like this one that I needed some carpet in the van. Neither one of my dogs like to lay just on the wood floor unless its really hot out.

You can see how much free wood floor there was around him, but he is trying to stay totally on the random carpet square:idunno:

Yesterday I scored some carpet from an office building remodel. Rubber backed commercial carpet. Most of it in pretty good shape.

About 3/4 of the stuff is a grey/tan mix and the last 1/4 is just tan. Actually ties the colors of the van together well.

Here is a piece laying on the wood floor in the van.

I also had some "extreme tile adhesive" laying around from another project that was never going to get used again. So for the total cost of the gas to go get the carpet I was able to do the rear section of the van where I left off with the wood laminate.

We have enough of this stuff that I think we will cover most of the side walls of the van with it. Should help keep the noise down and make the inside of the van feel a bit more comfortable. Once things like beds and cabinets get made you won't notice as much carpet.


Decided that even though I haven't found a second seat base yet I would go ahead and mount one of the new seats.

Painted the metal structure of the seat base the body color of the van to match the front seat bases. These new seats should make it much easier to move around the van. The single middle seat was always in the way.

It was dusk, so the picture doesn't show the color well. But with the grey seat and the red/grey base it matches much better. I also repainted the kick plates in the step wells. The seat on the drivers side of the van is just sitting there.



I've been moving slow on this build for a few reasons. One of which was to figure out exactly how we planned to use this van. (And studying other builds).

One of my design thoughts was validated yesterday when a friend found himself stranded with a flat tire. Made for a nice little 4 hour errand I hadn't planned into my Friday :coffeedrink:

The need to use this van as a utility vehicle/motorcycle hauler is going to dictate the way it ultimately ends up being built.



A big draw to the Sprinter for me was the utility of it...being able to haul/move a variety of things efficiently and comfortably. My plan is primarily passenger van, but that includes short trips around home base as well as the longer family trips. In a pinch, it'd be also super-convenient to load material from the local home improvement center. Not a huge selection of vehicles that can span such a wide variety of use scenarios!


Finally had some time to work on my close quarters engine photography skills. (Or the only way to see the leak at the back injector is with a cell phone camera)

The van had a bit of "Black Death". Basically an injector leak on the rear most cylinder ........duh.......it could never be just the front cylinder :lol:

This is what my Black Death looked like.

Lots of oven cleaner and crazy use of tools outside their intended use and you get back to a sealable surface. (Actually cleaned some more beyond this picture, it was just the last one I had after delegating several)

The parts were $3, shipping was $6!

Van is MUCH quieter now! Should also have more power(time to flex that Green Diesel Engineering tune!), better fuel mileage and not smell like diesel anymore!

I also charged the AC which seemed to work great tonight.......we will see if it stays working in the next few days!


Finally tracked down a second Eurovan refrigerator/cooler seat base. These things a nearly unobtainium!

This landed on my porch last night so this morning I dove right in! Cut off the factory VW seat mounts and started fabbing up my own mounts for the conversion van seats I got off Craigslist.

Little cutting, welding, grinding, drilling and painting later and we have a second seat base.

With the seat, its 95% complete here. I need to get some more appropriate hardware to bolt it down and install the seat belt.

This is what I now call my "Dualer" or "Dooler". Since there is a functional fridge/cooler under each seat. Just need to add a house battery system and plugs under each mount to power them.

I'm going to add some floor lighting (as soon as I find the appropriate lights) in the holes left from the center mounted seat set up.

Next I'll get a table mount and swivels for the front seats.


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