Would you buy this Sprinter?


New member
Looking at purchasing this Sprinter due to lack of availability elsewhere. I know the earlier Sprinters are notorious for rust, interested to see what other people think

316 Cdi
4x4 (main reason for purchase) to convert into overland camper
195,000 miles

Mainly concerned about the rust patches are how flush the doors are in the photos
(sorry, not sure why the photos are not embedded into the page...)



A&P Mechanic (RET)
Have the vehicle evaluated by a knowledgeable tech with dealer level or equivalent diagnostic equipment. Negotiate price based on diagnosis/prognosis. Offer 20% + off asking price. If they balk, politely hand them your phone number and simply walk away. A deal that may not look good today maybe doable next week.
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Well-known member
Looks like a rough gem.
With a little TLC, blast and paint by our in house Mexicans with the final blow over by the Laotians in paint and it would probably look quite presentable.
Fleck paint, trick finishes, and glitz is no problem for these Oriental magicians.
No MB swank badge engineering OK PLEASE!:lol:


A&P Mechanic (RET)
Looks like a rough gem.
With a little TLC, blast and paint by our in house Mexicans...

In my youth, I used to paint cars. Well, actually only a couple, way too much work! Then one day, I was passing Earl Scheib paint shop and the lightbulb went on.

I would take a customer's car, strip it of wax etc, do a quick wet sand, take it to spray and wash for a good hose down then off to Earl Scheib for $79.99 paint job. $10 extra if they wanted "Cadillac" Diamond Gloss paint. When I got the car back, do a quick detail job paying attention to overspray. Charge customers $400.00. $350.00 if they paid cash. Less work to money ratio.


Caveat emptor!


New member
Where are you located? How much for the van?

It better be cheap. Does not look like it was taken care of.
It's in Europe (hence the old 4x4). Sprinters are everywhere over here, even the 4x4 T1N sprinters are everywhere too (mainly the shorter models). Most of them are old beat up cargo vans which are very popular in Europe. There are not very many LWB 4x4 Sprinters though, if they come up they're usually quite expensive, or have just been completely eaten away by rust, this Sprinter kind of fell in the middle. In Europe, the sprinters are likely much cheaper than in the USA. For a 4x4 with some rust they're going for about $5500USD, up to $9000USD for a reasonable condition, maybe a little panel damage but no real visible rust. For a mint LWB T1N 4x4 with low miles they're upwards of $15000USD. For 4x4 I think that's still cheap for what you'd be paying in the USA.

This van is a fair price I think, but it's more how difficult that rust will be to take care of and what a mechanical inspection will tell. I don't have the trained eye for rust, so looking at these pictures to me just looks like it will need a wire wheel and some primer, which is why I'm interested in what others think.

I'm not too concerned about the paint job itself, I'd be taking it back into Africa to continue a RTW trip after ditching the motorcycle so the patchier the paint job is on the outside, the better


The rust might be worse than you think. At the very least it has eaten away and perforated the lower doors, and there will be more damage that is not immediately visible. If appearance is not a big concern to you, have the mechanical and structural integrity checked, give the rust some superficial treatment, and head to Africa. The van will probably allow a lot of dust inside. Good and complete repair of the rust damage would be expensive.


New member
If you don't care that it doesn't look like a show car, you can kill and patch the rust and be fine (assuming the mechanicals are decent). For a camper build, a banged up body with bondo shouldn't be an issue. As I said, if it's not going to be entered in car shows or used as a moving symbol of your (supposed) socioeconomic status, you're fine.


Well-known member
Needed for Africa!
Why no nondisclosure, because that puts a whole different light on it all !
Really it doesn't matter what the body/coachwork is like ! The question is what is more important? Like does it run and is it likely to keep running until the terrain kills it!

My brother sells UK MOT failures to Africans, mostly Nigerians and Ghanaians who drive/ship them down to their respective countries and flog them where there are a lot of willing customers hungry for anything that moves!

The popular stuff are Toyotas (like minibuses) and the Sprinter /Ford and Dodge vans.
Really its where the candy arsed German stuff made for the Eurozone goes to die!

And if they are on their last legs they sink & disappear into the glutinous mud like you find in the DRC. The last time I was in Kampala I saw a red 4WD Nissan PU completely digested in the mud during the rains.
In any case when it dies as it most surely will, it will end up recycled as a static chai stand, Cutter an Rice restaurant or maybe a clinic !
Yes I have a great photo of my daughter (surgeon) stitching up an African's severely lacerated leg in the back of a Mitsubishi gutted minivan.

Any doubts then watch this -


Well-known member
Yes quite a film an the typical problems of getting around in the DRC when it rains.

Without diverging too much off topic the DRC is a very typical overview of Africa which to me is a very infectious place. Once you live there you are never the same again!

The DRC of course is very wealthy in minerals and precious stones basic resources but in spite of that desperately poor due to strife civil war and what I call political/monetary vultures. Like Mobutu Sese Seko who renamed the place Zaire.

The Congo of course is famous for the breakaway Province of Katanga, Mioses Tshombe. Partrick Lumumba and the UN. The famous shooting down of the plane carrying (in mysterious circumstances) of the UN Sec General Mr B Dag Hammarskjold over now what is known as Ndola now in Zambia.

One of the things I got from most African politicians is they considered Britain always tried d to create little Englishmen of its African colonists but in doing so always created an efficient civil service. And ran a compulsory education system by locals which when Independence came allowed us to function as a little Englishman with little fracture in power.
I suppose its a shame that Nigeria even today is till trying to get itself onto its feet!

If you find that clip interesting try this
The dare devil pilots of Columbia
Cheers Dennis


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