T1N front coilspring with compression spring

Mat AF3

New member
Does anyone installed just a compression spring on the struts to lift the front end on a sprinter 95-2006 generation ?
Right now I'm in Mexico on a panamerican road trip. Sorry if my english is with mistakes it s a foreign language to me.
I've got a 2001 camper Laika Kreos 3002 based on a Sprinter chassis cabin 313 CDI 4 cyl 2200cc manual gearbox 2WD.

I found few solution on specialized website :
on carsupport.nl in Netherlands but they don't ship in Mexico
in the USA with in sprinter store. they sell a front strut coil over suspension kit at $1700.

I've mesured the koni struts installed and I've been looking on internet for compression spring that could be installed directly on the strut
I've found on Lee Spring website a reference at $34 :

Has someone already installed this kind of solution ?
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
I have not seen anyone who offers this for the T1N (early sprinter).

There are two issues.

First, you would need a wheel spacer, or the tire would rub on the spring.

Second: The upper strut mount is NOT designed to have the weight of the vehicle on it. So this type of spring is supplementary only.

What are you trying to accomplish? If you want more ride height, you can add a 7mm spacer block to the leaf spring preload block.
 

Patrick of M

2005 T1N 2500 (NA spec)
Like MWD says, adding a spacer block(s) will get you higher, for less money/almost any latin American suspension shop should be able to set you up quickly, especially Mexico. Fwiw port towns are usually the best for fabricating, though a nice agricultural center will also do and probably less expensive.
Nice specs on the rig btw... Wish i had a manual.
 

Mat AF3

New member
I have not seen anyone who offers this for the T1N (early sprinter).

There are two issues.

First, you would need a wheel spacer, or the tire would rub on the spring.

Second: The upper strut mount is NOT designed to have the weight of the vehicle on it. So this type of spring is supplementary only.

What are you trying to accomplish? If you want more ride height, you can add a 7mm spacer block to the leaf spring preload block.
Hi,
thanks for your quick answer.

The offers i've found in Europe for supplementary pre load :

https://www.amireseau.fr/pdf/KF1801 Notice.pdf

During my trip in USA I've changed the 15" for 16" to higher the clearance. And there 225 R16 BF Goodrich K02 installed.
As a result there is a gap of 35mm between the strut and wheel. A compression spring can be installed without wheel spacer.

As a negative result the tire rubber touch the cabin on top when there is a hidden "topes" on the road here or when at 50mph I cross a brigde in bad statement
The main idea I try to accomplish is to increase the pre load on front suspension in order to have more clearance on the front wheels and avoid the front tire to touch the cabin

3 weeks ago I've changed by myself the iron front suspension for a fiber glass one imported from Europe. I've changed it because it was 19 years old and 100 000 miles so it could loose it heigh. Also The 4 koni struts were ajusted to the hardest hydraulic position. The result is better than before but it still touch mailny because of the total weight of my van.

About the 7mm spacer block to the leaf spring preload block installed :
Do you have a picture or more detailed where you install it ?
 

Attachments

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
When you installed the new leaf spring, did you notice the two rubber/plastic blocks on the top of the spring? These provide the spring preload. You can put a plastic/metal spacer to make these taller. This increases preload. An equivalent amount of material needs to be removed from the lower spring block.

Here is what the spring seat/block looks like.
1592332338504.png



You are looking for about 12-15mm between the bump stop and lower control arm for normal ride height.

There was a company in the USA which sold a custom heavy steel spring for the front. It is designed for heavy RVs.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
1. USA Different

When you're looking to buy parts, make sure you're getting the parts for your Sprinter and not a USA Sprinter. The USA equivalent Dodge Sprinter had various changes, including for some models, a higher clearance for 16" wheels. The extra almost 2" was from a spacer bar in the front and differently curved leaf springs in the rear.

So, USA Dodge Sprinters may have different length struts and shocks.

Just an FYI.

2. More Clearance

Vancompass.com sells a 2" lift kit which might work for your Sprinter but you'd have to check with them. That extra clearance would help with your larger wheels and tires.

They also sell SumoSprings which replace the original bumperstops. The SumoSprings are longer than the original bumperstops and help with front end weight.

3. Some FedEx and Airstream Westfalia Sprinters came originally with a steel leaf spring rather than the composite leaf spring. It sounds like you had the original steel leaf spring and replaced with the composite leaf spring.

NOTE: Whatever you do, double-check that it fits your Sprinter. As noted above, USA Dodge Sprinters were different than other Sprinters.
 

Mat AF3

New member
Than
When you installed the new leaf spring, did you notice the two rubber/plastic blocks on the top of the spring? These provide the spring preload. You can put a plastic/metal spacer to make these taller. This increases preload. An equivalent amount of material needs to be removed from the lower spring block.

Here is what the spring seat/block looks like.
View attachment 144218



You are looking for about 12-15mm between the bump stop and lower control arm for normal ride height.

There was a company in the USA which sold a custom heavy steel spring for the front. It is designed for heavy RVs.
Thanks for the detailled to increase the preload on the spring leaf.
 

Mat AF3

New member
1. USA Different

When you're looking to buy parts, make sure you're getting the parts for your Sprinter and not a USA Sprinter. The USA equivalent Dodge Sprinter had various changes, including for some models, a higher clearance for 16" wheels. The extra almost 2" was from a spacer bar in the front and differently curved leaf springs in the rear.

So, USA Dodge Sprinters may have different length struts and shocks.

Just an FYI.

2. More Clearance

Vancompass.com sells a 2" lift kit which might work for your Sprinter but you'd have to check with them. That extra clearance would help with your larger wheels and tires.

They also sell SumoSprings which replace the original bumperstops. The SumoSprings are longer than the original bumperstops and help with front end weight.

3. Some FedEx and Airstream Westfalia Sprinters came originally with a steel leaf spring rather than the composite leaf spring. It sounds like you had the original steel leaf spring and replaced with the composite leaf spring.

NOTE: Whatever you do, double-check that it fits your Sprinter. As noted above, USA Dodge Sprinters were different than other Sprinters.
I thought that the Dodge Sprinter were only renamed to avoid extra taxes in the early 2000's in USA.

My van is equiped with a equivalent of Sumosprings installed before doing this trip.

I will continue to work on the idea that an extra spring can increase the preload and lift a little this van.
As i'm not a engineer but a mechanic, I don't if this 394mm (free length) spring will fit when i will compress it to nearly 320mm to install it with the nut in the cabin.
305mm is the mesure available from the top to the bottom strut installed on the van ( this is the space available for the spring)
Also this almost 90mm compression will increase the wheel clearance and no idea how much.
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
All T1N sprinters sold in north america (except 3500 and 118" wheelbase) came with 16" wheels. All 3500 and 2500 vans were lifted 25mm from the european versions. This was accomplished by changing the spring in the rear. In the front the subframe had a spacer welded where it bolts to the frame. The North american vans all use a strut that is 25mm longer than the euro version.

The vancompass lift kit will work without issue on your 3500, if you want another 2" of lift. This will not change any issues with bottoming the suspension, if they exist.

How much compression/bump is available on your van at ride height? You can measure the exposed strut shaft to get an estimate. If its less than 2.75", a bit more lift would be helpful. If its already 3.5" or more, I do not recommend more lift. You need at least 2.5" of droop/down travel for a good ride. The front suspension has about 7" of travel total.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I thought that the Dodge Sprinter were only renamed to avoid extra taxes in the early 2000's in USA.
...
Not exactly. The extra taxes were related to complete trucks imported into the USA. It was not related to brand name. In my opinion Sprinters being imported into the USA under the Dodge name was a combination of the Daimler Chrysler relationship and Dodge seeing an opportunity to phase out the B Series vans/wagons. The [Sprinter] cargo models were shipped as "parts" and assembled in the USA to avoid import tariffs aka taxes.

Some front strut information is here. It may be worth skimming.


vic
 
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Mat AF3

New member
All T1N sprinters sold in north america (except 3500 and 118" wheelbase) came with 16" wheels. All 3500 and 2500 vans were lifted 25mm from the european versions. This was accomplished by changing the spring in the rear. In the front the subframe had a spacer welded where it bolts to the frame. The North american vans all use a strut that is 25mm longer than the euro version.

The vancompass lift kit will work without issue on your 3500, if you want another 2" of lift. This will not change any issues with bottoming the suspension, if they exist.

How much compression/bump is available on your van at ride height? You can measure the exposed strut shaft to get an estimate. If its less than 2.75", a bit more lift would be helpful. If its already 3.5" or more, I do not recommend more lift. You need at least 2.5" of droop/down travel for a good ride. The front suspension has about 7" of travel total.
I understand now why the european sprinter have only 15" wheels.
This van is the equivalent of a 2500 in the USA with 4 wheels. The 3500 if I'm not wrong has 6 wheels.

My van is not park on a flat surface now. the front right wheel is half on a inclined sidewalk
I've mesure the front exposed strut shaft with
on the left 8,6cm / 3,38 "
on the right 8,2cm / 3,22"
the mesure you gave me are the same for a 2500 and 3500 version ?
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
the mesure you gave me are the same for a 2500 and 3500 version ?
Yes. 3500/2500 have the same front suspension. It sounds like your front end isn't overweight.

Can you bend/adjust the body metal to stop the rubbing? Where is the rubbing at? Will a wheel spacer help?
 

NelsonSprinter

Former Nelson BC Sprinter
All T1N sprinters sold in north america (except 3500 and 118" wheelbase) came with 16" wheels. All 3500 and 2500 vans were lifted 25mm from the european versions.
Not in my experience. All 2002-2003 118" were without the frame spacer, lower by 25mm than 140 and 158"
Most 2002-2003 140" wb 2500s had 15" wheels along with 3500s and 118wb when sold. Most today have 16" from used sales.
 
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Mat AF3

New member
Yes. 3500/2500 have the same front suspension. It sounds like your front end isn't overweight.

Can you bend/adjust the body metal to stop the rubbing? Where is the rubbing at? Will a wheel spacer help?
2 type of rubbing
rubbing on the blocks / tread done by a weld on top of the tire ( see picture)
rubbing on the inside soulder of the tire when it touch a surface in between 2 holes ( see picture)

I've painted again to avoid the rust close to the ocean.
 

Attachments

Mat AF3

New member
That seam which is cutting the tire can safely be hammered flat.
this weld is thick and I've tried once to make it flatter without success
Another option could be to add a spacer of 1 or 2mm to the bumperstops (sumosprings style) to limit the max height of the front wheels.
 

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