VS30: Watch out for your diff if getting tyres changed

andyje

Member
I took my 2019 sprinter in for new tyres this week, and after I got home I had a new oil patch on the drive where the diff was leaking oil.

It was pretty obvious the tyre place had jacked up the back of the van by the diff, and bent the rear cover plate.

It's a fairly thin pressed thing, and it slightly protrudes below the level of the diff body itself.

They took care of the replacement, but at the sprinter dealer, the service team told me it's common damage. Pics to show:
 

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dddrks

Member
Yikes. I’m due for a tire rotation and stories like this motivate me to do it myself vs. saving time and taking into the local tire shop.
 

jjmcclure

2020 HR 144 4x4
Thanks for the heads up. I am too paranoid to take my car to the big shops, have not rotated the Van tires yet, but I think I will...
 

andyje

Member
Me too, Jim - it feels as though every time my bike or van is in the garage, it picks up damage from clumsy mechanical work or damage.

In a slightly related note, I found Van Compass and Owl Vans here in the US make a bash guard for it... it's pretty exposed. The lip is certainly proud enough to do pick up damage from rocks if you venture off road a bit.


 

Eric Experience

Well-known member
andyje.
The cover is not bigger than the housing, the problem is jacks have a flange that protrudes above the main lift plate. Of cause the problem is mechanics do not read instructions. I Make a protector for diffs but I am in Australia. Eric.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
andyje.
The cover is not bigger than the housing, the problem is jacks have a flange that protrudes above the main lift plate. Of cause the problem is mechanics do not read instructions. I Make a protector for diffs but I am in Australia. Eric.
The particular damage in the picture does look like one of the jack cup ears caught the flange, but I agree that the cover design could have been less proud aka more recessed to the differential casting. Although the cover is level with the bottom casting, so the real problem is the jack cup ears catching the cover as Eric Experience mentioned.

The T1N diff cover is similar. Commencing 2008 I have been using various floor jacks to lift using the differential. Most often I use a chunk of plywood as a pad, but I have also used a hardwood block. A suitably long hardwood block can catch both the round casing cover area and the differential body, but I don't make that SOP.

:2cents: vic
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
You will find many old T1N threads on the pro's and con's of lifting the Sprinter by the differential "pumpkin"
The books, of course, all say "DON'T!!"

--dick
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Since you brought it up.

You will find many old T1N threads on the pro's and con's of lifting the Sprinter by the differential "pumpkin"
The books, of course, all say "DON'T!!"

--dick
What books?

Maybe all say "DON'T" when using the OEM tire change jack. [All operator manuals anyway.]

For those who might be interested, there is some discussion for the T1N Sprinter is here. Post #75.

The "Thou Shalt Not Jack a Sprinter Differential" Myth

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/index.php?threads/3301/page-4#post-90965

vic
 

andyje

Member
Perhaps another picture to demonstrate what I mean by the plate being proud of the body of the diff. I did not say it was bigger, I said it slightly protrudes.

This photo is taken with the camera parallel to the ground and you can see the plate flange/lip is the lowest point. Of course I’m not advocating for careless jack work, but just to give a perspective on the vulnerable position of the plate.
 

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Ferrets

Active member
A tire place that screws up changing tires is like the oil change place that screws up changing oil.
Lucky they did not use a bottle jack on your uni-body frame rails or bumper cover.

So what changed between the above referenced pumkin lift thread from 2010 and the following 2017 thread ?
 
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Wrinkledpants

2017 144WB 4x4
It’s why I only go to dealers for work. Our local MB dealer is $120 for oil changes, $90 to mount tires, and $40 to cross rotate. Plus, I get a nice place to work while this happens. I know it everyone lives next to a dealer, but I’ll never take the van to a quick-anything place.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

So what changed between the above referenced pumkin lift thread from 2010 and the following 2017 thread ?
Nothing in my opinion.

I saw no pictures of the actual damage to the cover in that thread. What likely happened was that an ear on a floor jack cup caught the cover and bent/distorted it. That is a known failure. Nobody I have seen argues that point. The remedy is to not use a bare floor jack cup that leaves the ears and cup rim sticking up. A padded jack cup as described in the many other threads avoids the problem.

Those that don't feel comfortable with jacking their Sprinters using the differential for lifting shouldn't use that common and convenient method. I have yet for anyone to produce an official Mercedes document that cautions against lifting using the differential other than sections related to the OEM tire change jack. To date nobody has provided a documented differential jacking related example of the axle tube socket assemblies failure where they attach to the differential.

Be careful with the frame when jacking your Sprinter though. :dripsarcasm: :dripsarcasm:

SprinterImproperJacking.jpg

:2cents: vic
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder

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