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Sprinter Ride Quality

tco1947tco1947 Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Dodge
I am looking at the Sprinter as a mini-motor home. I finally got to drive one the other day, a 2006 2500, 10 passenger with a high top. The ride was very rough. Are there any tricks to soften the ride up without messing with the outstanding (for a van) handling?



  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    some drivers have reported a real improvement with the Koni Shocks available for the Sprinter.

    Some also recommend the larger rear stabiliser bar available for Upscale Automotive (also on the web), but I think this is a handling thing and may actually reduce ride quality on rough/pot-holed roads.

    KenB :shades:
  • altered3altered3 Posts: 59
    Which model did you do the test in! remember that a RV motor home has different front axle and rear loadings larger stabilizers bars to compensate for the heavy rear and light front end.US Compliance plates for weights loaded and with both front and rear specs are suspect on the RV units They do not match to mercedes-Benz specs :sick:
    Motor home RV builders have a secondary manufactures licence and the original specs for front and rear loadings have been changed out side of Mercedes-Benz specifications as to the 3500 model range
    Sprinter van have both single and dual wheels again different load axle ratings, the higher the top the more the front axle loadings will be altered from 1460 1600 1750 1850, the latter 1850 KG was never offered for the US sprinters on a 3500 class Sprinter in the US Canadian Sprinters had the option of a 1850 front axle loading Note the axle hub is set by front stabilizer bars springs and wheel bearings steering knuckles upper and lower to keep the camber at the required settings under load.15' and 16' rims again alter the geometry of the vehicle if the suspension has not been set for the differnt rims.
    Altered Sprinter
  • I have a 2007 sprinter 2500 short wheel base. i am an electrician and my sprinter weighs in at around 8000lbs all the time. I wanted to know if anyone can suggest a permanent fix to raise the back end. It was around 19 inches from the back bumper to the ground empty now its 16.5 inches. also I have about 4500 miles on the van and get about 17-18 mpg. does the mileage improve over time.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    1, try to put more weight forward

    2, make sure rear tire pressure is not low (probably needs at least 75 PSI in REAR, 60+ in front). Adjust for handling, ride, load. Not so heavy, I run 55 front and 65 rear. Heavy I run 60 front, 75 rear. I have had no odd wear so far with no tire rotation in 36,000 miles.

    3, double check to make sure you are not overloaded (sorry I don't have th specs here)

    4, I personally like air ride shocks, but am not sure they are readily available here for the Sprinter.

    Yes, your MPG may rise a bit after breakin, check and see what rearend gear ratio you bought and report back here. If you got the low speed/high torque rear end (numerically over 4.00 to 1) then I expect your mileage is normal now and may go up as high as 20 MPG on the highway at steady speeds of 55-60 MPH.

    If you have the highspeed/low torque rearend (around 3.80 to 1) , then you might expect the mileage to go up to 19-20 around town if your stay off of the turbo-boost a bit and will eventually get 21 + MPG on highway (again 55-60 MPH).

    This is all a guess, as we really can't account for driving styles, loads, speeds, etc. I get 20-21 in town or on highway, but seldom stay under 70 MPH on interstate highway system (passenger van 4-6 passengers/luggage, keeping up with regular traffic, seldom speed, 2004 (5 Cyl.)).

    Another reminder concerning tire wear and mileage... Especially when making a left turn from stopped, the diesel will tend to kick in the turbo in the middle of the turn, this causes a mild but noticeable amount of front end plowing. This is a major source of uneven tire wear, lower mileage, and front end trouble. Resist the "urge to surge" through corners... When the turbo spools up, back off on the throttle a little and minimize the power/rpm bump. You'll probably shift a bit earlier and your maintenance will stay lower over time.

    Maximize mileage by take-offs that allow the engine to shift between 1800 and 2250 RPM... or at least this is the info from the guys who seem to have the best MPG numbers. 5 cyl. diesel engine seems broken in prior to 20K miles, don't know on 6cyl.

    A top-cylinder lubricant and Cetane enhancer like RED LINE (RL-1 or RL-2, can't remember) is recommended by some. I use Diesel Power, especially in the winter to eliminate water, waxing, emulsion, filter clogging, and to lubricate due to the tendency of winter diesel to have more kerosene (lower lubricity).

    KenB :shades:
  • Thanks for the info. I have the CRD model. not sure of the gear ratio. I was going to ask the dealer to put 3500 springs on or ask a suspension shop to add a leaf.
    i have my tires set at the factory setting. 60 in back and 47or48 in front. i will try raising these to the 60 front and 75 in back.
    My low tire pressure light wont go off. I wonder if increasing pressure will help. I have an appointment for 11/14 at the dealer.
    the top cylinder lubricant you suggested is not recommended by dodge per the owners manual. you have had good results with it?
    thanks again
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Yes 2007, good results
    DIESEL, not Gas...
    I have very good results, no hard starts in cold weather, slightly better mileage (with Power Service Diesel, white bottle w/Red & Black lettering in winter). Power Service (Silver/gray, for summer cetane boost.lube). Both are (ASTM I believe) listed to be equal to a 50/50 mix of #1 and #2 diesel, so I don't see them as a threat to the Dodge (or Mercedes) claim not to need diesel additives. Both have their proprietary Slick Diesel additive for lubrication.

    RedLine's similar product is highly recommended even by MB Sprinter owners in countries that get them directly from Mercedes instead of second-hand from Dodge/Freightliner.

    I am most concerned with our extremely variable fall/winter/spring weather in Oklahoma. We can be hot/humid/cold/dry/wet/etc. on just about any day after October and until April. I have lived here almost all my life, I have seen 87F in the afternoon and 17F before midnight on the same day... so condensation, emulsified water, and clumping parafins in diesel can be a real challenge here.

    Though not required, some of us feel that the extra lubricant is good insurance for versions designed for regular diesel and now run on low sulphur diesel... Anecdotal, but consistent, experience of people using the products that test (Power Service, Red Line, Amsoil, etc.) for wear and other appropriate tests is that they can increase pump life and (sometimes) improve Cetane rating or even mileage.

    At best, I maybe get a single digit improvement in mileage... as in 21 MPG instead of 20 MPG.

    Not related, but similar... In my book it says to do one Transmission filter and Trans Fulid change at 80K Miles (and never change it again)... now the service sheet from Dodge recommends the Trans Fluid change on a (shorter) schedule that includes the life of trans, not just one time. This information was easy to find in posts on the Internet well before Dodge changed their tune!

    CRD? not familar... maybe you mean CDI (Common-rail Direct Injected)?

    Is this what you mean?

    KenB :confuse:
  • The back door has "crd" written on it.

    any info on the low tire light.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    sorry 2007,
    no experience with this feature on any vehicle make/model.

    KenB :shades:

    suggest to join Sprinter_Forum (on another site)
  • The higher air pressure you recomended made the ride better and made my low air pressure light go off. thanks for the suggestion.

    please explain the upper engine lubricant you mentioned earlier. you told me a few types, i want to make sure i get the right one for this time of year.

    thanks again
  • kenbakerkenbaker Posts: 239
    Easily available in my area is Power Service Diesel Fuel Additive (white bottle, red and black lettering).

    Look at Power Service website for details, and recomendations on type for the time of year (temp range) you are in.

  • I am building a mini motorhome/camper on a 2003-140-2500 Sprinter. We love
    the van and its performance but wife suffers of a chronic Sciatic nerve condition
    and we find the ride very bumpy and harsh. Are the passenger vans also this
    hard?, do they have different rear and front springs? Please can someone suggest what I can do to improve the ride?. The van weight is 4600 pounds
    unloaded and when I finish placing all the camper gear possibly will weight
    5500 pounds, the tires are 16 inch rated E and inflated to 70lb. I plan
    to install lighter tires inflated at 40lb. I would like to change the springs if possibly. This van has one single leaf springs in front and rear. I believe the passenger vans have two thin leafs. Please advise. I am new to the forum. You can respond to: Thanks.
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