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Old 12-16-2018, 06:42 PM   #1
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Default good or bad dodge sprinter

Hi ,I am looking at a 2006 sprinter with the M/B 5 cyl diesel .about 90,000 miles on it. It is a cube van that i am hoping to convert to a camper . I have read some blogs and it seems like people love them or hate them . the one that stuck out was a head mechanic with a fleet of them ,and he said they were good . it seems that they are the same as my Rialta in that using the correct oils and maintenance is most important . Is there members out there with first hand experience they could share with me ? Thanks Richard
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:25 PM   #2
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Hi ,I am looking at a 2006 sprinter with the M/B 5 cyl diesel .about 90,000 miles on it. It is a cube van that i am hoping to convert to a camper . I have read some blogs and it seems like people love them or hate them . the one that stuck out was a head mechanic with a fleet of them ,and he said they were good . it seems that they are the same as my Rialta in that using the correct oils and maintenance is most important . Is there members out there with first hand experience they could share with me ? Thanks Richard
I have owned RVs based on both the T1N and the NCV3 platforms. There are tradeoffs. The T1N is vastly simpler and lacks the very troublesome emissions systems of the NCV3. It is likely significantly more reliable. OTOH, when driving a T1N, you will never forget that you are driving a truck. Noisy and not very refined. In comparison, the NCV3 is much, much more refined and pleasant to drive. Expect expensive and inconvenient emissions problems.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:34 PM   #3
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thanks avanti . guess i am looking at a T1N then .I called a friend this morning that I remembered has One .it a 2005 ,he said in 400,000 k the motor has not been touched other then the alternator. couple miner transmission problems. He said the problem is rust and he will need to scrap it in a year as it has gotten so bad. I will check the one I am going to look at carefully for the rust worm .Thanks Richard
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:42 PM   #4
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Yes, there are severe rust issues with T1Ns. However, they appear to be limited to the "basic white" paint option. From what I can tell, any vans that came with a "premium" paint option (including the premium whites) hold up better.
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:39 PM   #5
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Unless rust is an issue, a 2006 with only 90,000 miles would be quite a desirable piece of machinery.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:46 AM   #6
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Unless rust is an issue, a 2006 with only 90,000 miles would be quite a desirable piece of machinery.
Agreed. That's becoming a rare find.

From my experience, in the used Sprinter market, the T1N is the most desirable for durability and simplicity.
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Old 12-18-2018, 11:47 AM   #7
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Husband and I own a 2006. One of our two mechanics believes that it's the most reliable Sprinter MY ever produced. The other one works only on T1N Sprinters (no NCV3s), so that ought to say something.

That general robustness being the case, it's pushing 13 years of age. We've had no major malfunctions (about 70,000 miles on it now) but the normal end-of-life burden of belts, hoses, and gaskets is upon us.

One of the barriers to reliability I've encountered is an unspoken assumption that, if you are driving a 12-year-old van, you probably don't care all that much about breaking down. I travel internationally, up to 3,000 miles per trip, and I boondock as a solo female. I care overwhelmingly about my van breaking down because I'm staking my life on it - I care to the point where I try to pay preemptively to replace or upgrade everything that could go wrong on the road. But I've had tremendous trouble identifying what that list should consist of, because that's not the expected usage paradigm for this type of vehicle. That's not the way most owners think.

For example, my latest annoyance is that the transmission's electrical interface plug started leaking oil 16 months after I had MB service the transmission. This is more serious than it sounds, because if the oil manages to wick up into the transmission control module, it can put the van into permanent limp mode until fixed. I went into limp mode last summer in the mountains after dark because a 2-week-old turbo hose blew off the engine (bad clamp). One hundred miles I had to travel to get out of those mountains, at speeds sometimes not able to exceed 20 mph. That's not just inconvenient - it's dangerous.

My husband's theory is that, at more than a decade beyond the last production year, the tools used to make T1N Sprinter replacement parts are getting so old by this time that they are no longer producing tight specs. And that's part of the reason why we have failures on newer components where we should not.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:17 PM   #8
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I would say that I think your husband is correct on some of the tooling issues, but only if they kept producing those parts at the original manufacturers. Many of the OEMs drop even carrying any of the parts for older vehicles, and if they do carry them they have switched to 3rd party suppliers. GM and AC Delco are a very prominent example, and many of the dealer parts are from AC Delco. It gets really fuzzy who makes the stuff as they will often say that they are Genuine GM parts, but be in a Delco box. The new vendors will generally source at lower cost producers, allegedly to the same OEM specs, so the parts are likely made in totally different facilities, in different tooling, and in different countries.



In reality, it doesn't matter which, or both, reasons apply as the net result of lesser quality parts in the later vehicle age years does certainly seem to be reality in many cases.



I just went through this with waterpumps on my 22 year old Buick Roadmaster. Original (gear drive) pumps were said to last over about 100K miles. The AC Delco replacements that came later and were made in Mexico were not quite as good, but no longer available now and they are probably made elsewhere and not labeled with a country of origin. The newer versions are said to be OK, but the Mexican sourced ones were better. The pure aftermarket pumps are essentially all from China now and are the only thing available besides the AC Delco. Evan the higher end parts suppliers use them, including NAPA. The life on them is pretty consistently stated at 0-25K miles.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:35 PM   #9
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Don't know if this is relevant here but we used to have a 1998 Ford Contour. The water pump was a known failure item and the Ford OEM part purchased from the dealer had a plastic impeller while the NAPA aftermarket part had a metal one. I don't remember what the price difference was, but it was nothing compared to the labor to have it installed. It's been too long ago for me to state where the parts were manufactured, but the point is that OEM is not always guaranteed to be superior to aftermarket.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Richard Van Koughnett View Post
Hi ,I am looking at a 2006 sprinter with the M/B 5 cyl diesel .about 90,000 miles on it. It is a cube van that i am hoping to convert to a camper . I have read some blogs and it seems like people love them or hate them . the one that stuck out was a head mechanic with a fleet of them ,and he said they were good . it seems that they are the same as my Rialta in that using the correct oils and maintenance is most important . Is there members out there with first hand experience they could share with me ? Thanks Richard
I had one. I had 5 windshields put in to keep up with the rust behind the glass.
I also had 5 transmissions because of the rumble strip noise, then I found out how to fix it, go to George's diesel web site, he shows you how to fix this problem. It's simple but you will need a new filter and transmission pan gasket and oil.
Best running diesel I had with 22-24 mpg. New ones get 15 don't let them tell you it will get higher. It won't happen.
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