Sprinter Transmissions

minicoopersminicoopers Member Posts: 26
I see that Mercedes Benz offers a manual transmission for Sprinters exported to South Africa. Does anyone know what would be involved in getting a 5 speed manual gearbox (G28-5) ordered or installed in a U.S. sold Sprinter?


  • kenbakerkenbaker Member Posts: 239
    An act of God... or a diplomatic waiver for a vehicle brought in by a foreign government (found out about that on another Sprinter Forum).

    DC/MB only ship automatics to the US. Not sure why you prefer a standard, the automatic is very good on performance, power transmission loss is minimal (economy is high for an automatic), the computer control is optimal in most cases, the downshift includes lockup on the automatic and aids in braking effectively. Automatics typically have HIGHER towing specs as the torque convertor allows easier startup of heavy loads and less "shock" on other components.

    With lockup in all gears except 1st, your mileage penalty is minimal, for many drivers the automatic will get better mileage, longer miles between services, and fewer other mechanical troubles. Of course, you may bet against the automatic and win in your particular situation.

    Your Dodge or Freightliner mechanics are not trained to repair all of the possible variations sold world-wide. :surprise:

    KenB :shades:

    PS (just a joke my friends and I have...) Thinking of hauling your mini-cooper inside your new Sprinter? ;)
  • sunworkscosunworksco Member Posts: 1
    Where are you located?In the USA you can use a Tremac 6-speed manual transmission.Since the Mercedes engine was optioned as a manual trans , you can adapt a manual to it.I plan to marry the two components.This will be simpler,less costly,less weight and more energy savings.The Tremac is a heavy duty type of Ford trans.Don't use the lesser.
  • minicoopersminicoopers Member Posts: 26
    Do you have a source for a new Tremac 6-speed manual transmission? I tend to favor manual transmissions especially on smaller 6's and DOHC 4's.
  • gillesc1gillesc1 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone experienced noise coming from the transmission?
    What could be the cause and should I worry about it?
    My Sprinter is a 2006, 3500 with 5 cylinder engine and
    automatic tranny.
    The noise which is somewhat of a growling, happens at slow speed just prior to a gear shift when in heavy traffic and accelerating very gently.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Member Posts: 239
    Many people have reported this behavior and some have been able to reduce it a bit. This is sometimes called RSN or (Rumble Strip Noise)... because it someitmes sound like the sound from running over rumblestrips on the road...

    Things to have checked:
    1) transmission fluid level (requires special tool as the dipstick is NOT included on your vehicle). Also, this requires a Computer-Read temperature reading for accuracy.
    2) If it has always been yours, it should have the correct fluid, but if not, it may have incorrect fluid (it must be fully synthetic ATF, MOPAR or Mercedes Benz rated). Also, the transmission fluid changes are critical and whomever you have do them MUST use the correct Fully Synthetic ATF fluid matching the M-Benz specs or you can expect odd behavior and shortened life for your tranny.
    3) Does pressing the accelerator gently make it worse, and more throttle (quicker time to get to speed) reduce the effect? If so, this is pretty normal, but can be reduced by getting the correct level and insuring the correct fluid is in use.
    4) an aftermarket )? rear ?(, I think, drive-line bracket is available that is stiffer and transfers less of the vibration to the frame/body... not a bad idea, but I tend to think it is better to reduce the cause, than to reduce the effect. Then again, a thin support member could be allowing a bit of oscillation that enhances or even causes the problem to be noticeable.

    I have had the problem, but not much (2004, 2500, 2.7L CDI)

    KenB :shades:
  • dmj6151dmj6151 Member Posts: 6
    I am looking for a manual transmision also
    In Europe they drive 1 mil. km with no problems. This is my 2.nd sprinter and both had problems with the transmision @ 250 000mi. Mercedes did not design a heavy duty transm and the one we have are to sensitive for us. A manual transm. would have solve everithing.
    In general american mechanics are not god on sprinter, they don't know much.
    I own a sprinter since 2001, and had lots of problems, i fixed them all of them, including changing of the flexi plate.Besides, they over charging the custommers.
    About maintanance, a manual transmision would req. just a new clutch, depending on the driver also, so at the end,it is not a big deal to changa a clutch.
    Sprinters are not to be sold for US in my opinion, comparred to Ford or GM transmisioin, wich you drive 600K with same oil in the transmision. Please agree with me , i will not buy another sprinter. ?? ask me, i know much about sprinters.
  • kenbakerkenbaker Member Posts: 239
    I agree with some... Long distance drivers would probably prefer a standard transmission option for their needs, and a clutch replacement now-and-then would be the most common repair. An occasional pressure plate, flywheel, throwout bearing, clutch master or slave cylinder, all simple to replace.

    I don't agree with Fords and Chevys going 620K miles with original oild/grease/trans fluid in them... that is not so in my experience. Fluids need changing.

    That is now an issue for me in the Sprinter. I have friends who work on Mercedes here in Oklahoma and they are in touch with the Guys in Edmond Oklahoma (Silver Star, I believe) who have rebuilt Sprinter trans on EBAY regualrly... they recommend 60K mile Trans Fluid changes for the life of the trans and are looking to trial at least one trans cooler for the Sprinter as well.

    I believe that MB and DC were looking for ways to recommend these changes (instead of the one change at 80K miles), but were reluctant to re-neg on their original promise. Does anyone know the spec for the trans used behind the new V-6 Diesel?

    Over charging is a real problem at least according to many reports on this and similar forums I have been on for the last two years. Technician knowledge of Sprinter issues is all over the map, and I am certain that some DODGE dealerships have been slipping non-Sprinter-qualified techs into Sprinter repairs and maintenance to (finally) get them out the door. Good techs are hard to find all the way around. Good techs are craftsmen and people with the drive to be a craftsman have many high paying options these days.

    Craftsmen in the past were the top of the heap, still can be. But engineering, computers, medicine, etc. rule the top.

  • dmj6151dmj6151 Member Posts: 6
    I don't agree eighter with not changing the transmision fluid, but my point was that most drivers that i know don't experiment transmision problem with their ford or gm like we do in sprinters.the exemple i give you was one of them that did not change the transm. oil yet and still roling with no problems he is still driving the vehicle daily, now he has over 650k i belive; mountain, highway, all type of driving in expediting. This is not a story i read, it is my cousin,in Romeo Mi.
    Now all sprinters i know, was damaging at 250k or litle over.
    I spoke with the deallers and they said what is the big deal of changing a transmision @250k? Well it is, for a name like Mercedes to go a third less than an american car.
    Thank you
  • kenbakerkenbaker Member Posts: 239
    Yes, a maintained Trans should last more than 250K miles now.

    In the past, the highly regarded FORD C6 (heavy duty) was good for about 120K before first bebuild, they should be much better now due to improved fluids, better control (electronic), electronic torque convertor lockup should have helped as well.

    I can't rememmber whether our old FLM (ford/lincoln/mercury) C6 died from T-C problems, valvebody problems or bands/clutches... but it was actually guaranteed after rebuild better than the factory warranty at that time. I do remember that the fix required a new T-C, but it may have been a casualty of other failures.

    Mercedes maintains that the Mean Time To Failure, properly maintained, for a Sprinter (about %50 failures) is over 400K miles... I think that is not right for american market... perhaps it is the transmission that brings the numbers down as you propose.

  • jerry97jerry97 Member Posts: 1
    my 2003 sprinter 2500 conversion van has developed a noise like your #[3] c hater on light acceleration what did you do to fix it? thanks jerry97
  • dmj6151dmj6151 Member Posts: 6
    My transmission went bad 2 months ago, @270k. I changed the fluid every 80-90k, and still went bad.
    Now i hear a noise in the engine, can't point to it. It is when the engine is started in P or Drive, and it increase the noise while accelerating and vice versa when decelerate. It is not the belt or pulleys witch i must change them @120k.
    For the transmission they over price the cost and labor, ( i bought it my self and did it on my driveway),(1600 for a used one with 70K on it).

    Personally, i don't recommend Sprinter anymore. This is my second one. And the cost of the vehicle plus the cost of maintenance is really not profitable, unless $ means nothing to u.
    Today, no mater who u are, can do the no headache way, buy a GMC gas for 22-23, and u will be out of trouble for a easy 4-500k. (personal known reference).

    Thanks Daniel Jurge
  • mcinnismcinnis Member Posts: 4
    Our Sprinter has 3500 miles and a tranny sensor oil leak. There is no way to check oil level to be sure we are not over filling with ATF. Are dip sticks available in aftermarket?
  • dmj6151dmj6151 Member Posts: 6
    ("should be much better now due to improved fluids, better control (electronic), electronic torque convertor lockup should have helped as well")
    1.If the American Vans, GM and Ford 2000 built, are going 5-600 k mi. with no problem ( with same trans. oil), then a Mercedes (considering the name ) should go 7-800 k mi with no problem
    2.The fluid ,can not help the poor quality parts in the transmission (my opinion).
    3.With triptronic option (semiautomatic transm.) the life should be much longer: no jamming or rough gear change is occurring when you manually control the gears.
    4.If Chrysler acknowledges the short life of the sprinter transmission, they should have already come up with a better solution, redesign them, or lower the price of the transmission ($9-$10,000 for part and labor is ridiculous).

    My opinion still is not to buy a sprinter. Instead, buy a gm or ford, install a high top roof, and you have a domestic sprinter, where any Mr. John can fix it, if you can't do it youself.
    I still have my second sprinter as long as it is running (million repairs already, Flex plate again, etc ....)
  • dmj6151dmj6151 Member Posts: 6
    yes, any dodge dealer can order you an after market oil dippstik, i don't like the quality of the wire is to thick but it works. If you have 3500 mi, let the dealer fix it, don't touch it since it is under manuf. warr. (my cost $ 65)
  • kurt6kurt6 Member Posts: 22

    Check at very hot transmission operating temp,in park,motor running,on 100% level
  • mcinnismcinnis Member Posts: 4
    where do I find an appropriate dip stick?
  • cabondscabonds Member Posts: 1
    i have a 2006 dodge sprinter van .have had numerous major problemsand now i have a lot of black smoke coming out of the exhaust when taking off or accellerating plus diesel fumes seem to be coming up through the floorboard or somewhere causing a diesel smell in the van .any ideas on what could be wrong?
  • toutsontoutson Member Posts: 1
    My 2006, 2500 Sprinter has been downshifting while driving down the hiway. All of a sudden it will slip out of drive to 4th or 3rd gear. I would have to maually hold the gear shift to the right for it to stay in the Drive gear. I took it to Dodge and they said my 4th gear was broken. Warranty on tranny good for 36,000 miles and I have 51,000. They said they could replace the transmission for $5000 which then comes with a 100,000 mile warranty. Really had no choice to purchase the new tranny.

    Got it back today and the tranny slipped aga :confuse: in wanting to down shift. Took it back to the dealer and one of the techs mentioned it might be the gear shifter mechanics
    blah blah etc.. I have a sick feeling I paid for a new tranny and it was not the problem in the first place. I could not go anywhere else for a second opinion as this is the only dealer in town that works on Sprinters.

    Anyone else out there with this kind of problem.
  • grillsgrills Member Posts: 1
    Mine is at the dealership now with the same problem with only 8000 miles. Did you ever find out what the problem was?
  • dmaillouxdmailloux Member Posts: 1
    have a 04 2500 sprinter 118Wb with 250,000 miles - last night starting to drive from park heard and felt a poping/snap after that the trany will not shift out of 1st and you cannot change the shift indicator from anything then "D" have discovered that closes auth. dealer is over 600 miles away - is there something i can do local or have to transport to dealer thanks - :sick: :confuse: :cry:
  • twinboytwinboy Member Posts: 5
    i have a 03 3500 148WB with 208K just having the same problems you have the trany will not shift out of 1 st gear and shif indicator only stay on "D" all the time and i could only drive it under 20 miles per hour. Did you ever have your problems fix? If yes, can you tell me what they did to your Sprinter since I told it to a local AAMCO dealer and told me it might need a rebuild trany and it cost around 3000 to 5000 to do it and they also told me that trany is the same as the Dodge Ram i don't know it that true or not. Do you think it is worthy to rebuil that trany. thanks
  • twinboytwinboy Member Posts: 5
    edited April 2010
    I have a 03 Sprinter with 208K on it and the trancy wont shift out from the 1 st gear when it drive and the shift indicator always stay on 'D" and i can only drive up to 20 to 30 miles per hours. i took it to a local AAMCO dealer and they told me it might need to rebuild the trany and it cost around 3000 to 5000 They said the Sprinter has the same trany as the Dodge Ram is that true or not? I try to take it back to the Sprinter dealer and they told me it cost me at least 7 to 8k to rebuild that trany. i'm wondering is it worthy to do it or just stay away from it. Also someone told me never rebuild a trany if there's problems with it just get rid of it. Can anyone please give me some advice please. Thanks
  • wilfredovwilfredov Member Posts: 1
    Hi i have a 2007 Sprinter 3500 with 49k miles, this past Friday i experience the problem of the first gear getting stuck and doesn't go more them 30 MPH, today i called the dealer and they don't know what is going on yet, i have to tell you you'll get your money back with this truck just with the advertising, it ketches people att, i am a bit concern now, if i get this truck fix, and now the i see other people are having the same problem, i'll tell you as soonest is fix i get rid off and get a ford. no choice but i am not taking other chance with an other sprinter, unless Mercedes extend the warr on trans up to 100k i don't see this happen but we never know.

    i just wanted to share my thought.....
  • quickhitch11quickhitch11 Member Posts: 1
    The noise you refer to we call RSN or Rumble Strip Noise. Most times it seems to be caused by low fluid in the transmission. I was able to purchase a dipstick which i keep under my passenger seat when not checking it. You have to know the temp of the fluid when you check it, the temp will corespond to level. I found the chart in a service manual. I have 160k on my 2005 2500 long tall body. Had done the trans service myself @ 80,000. Fluid, filter (drained torque converter) new gasket, and 8.5 qts of fluid fron my Freightliner Dealer. I find them to be cheaper on ALL PARTS!! Also from a shop i talk to in Oregon they have a brace available for some extreme cases of RSN. I do almost all my own service on mine, and i love the truck. HOWEVER the paint is another story. Chris
  • sstrans_722sstrans_722 Member Posts: 1
    Silver Star Transmission sells universal dipsticks for 45.00 and we ship overnight.
  • clubfootclubfoot Member Posts: 2
    Recently bought our '04 Sprinter. Removed cap for transmission fill tube to check trannny fluid level. Guess what- no dip stick. Is there some way else to check fluid level?
  • dmj6151dmj6151 Member Posts: 6
    They don't have a lvl stick.
    I bought a aftermarket custom made, i never used it.
    I can resell it.
    Tip for sprinters prior 2006.
    Transmission is burning the oil to fast. I installed a small trans. radiator, (boughed from Autozone) between the front radiator and the transmission. ( cut the hose, hock it up, and add about 1qt or what capacity).
    If you drive in hot weather condition, mountain area, or haul heavy like 2000 + lbs , this is a problem you can fix.
    1-st sprinter 250 k
    2-nd sprinter 355k
    Maintained and repaired by me.
    [email protected]
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