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Author Topic: Selling your 2350 with dinette? Want to buy used.  (Read 11058 times)
sajohnson
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« Reply #135 on: March 31, 2012, 10:47:30 pm »

I a post above I mentioned factory installed auxiliary A/C units.  It turns out M-B offers one for the passenger van version of the Sprinter:

http://www.mbsprinterusa.com/build-and-equip/passenger-van/12#byoPackages

Obviously, it only works while the engine is running.  I can see why RV mfrs use electric A/C units -- they can serve double duty -- running off of shore power when parked and off of the generator while driving.

It would be neat if the RV mfrs were to offer an optional aux A/C unit that has it's own engine-driven compressor like the one above, in addition to the standard unit (which would still be required).  The aux unit would have the advantage of not needing 120 Vac to operate -- so the generator would not have to be run while driving (or in situations where running the generator is not allowed or frowned on) -- saving LP and keeping things quieter.  The regular electric A/C unit could be used when shore power is available.

I know -- pie-in-the-sky, but an interesting idea (to me anyway).

Sherman
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sajohnson
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« Reply #136 on: March 31, 2012, 11:16:28 pm »

The 3.0L and all other commonn rail diesels are not suppose to ilde but I do not know exaclty why that is.  Driving around the block or being able to "up idle" by using the cruise control setting as was the case on other diesels that I have owned is just not a feature on the 3.0L.  Perhaps Sprinter owners can share what the verbage says in their new Sprinter books.  In my 3.0L jeep book it is bold to not idle period.

Very interesting.

I'm not familiar with your particular model Jeep.  I see Chrysler is planning to make a diesel Grand Cherokee for 2013.  Is the 3.0L in your Jeep the same gasoline engine that M-B used in the 2008 USDM Sprinter?

The only info I have so far is the fact that M-B offers the "high idle preset" as an option.  It is specifically designed for long-term idling.  It would seem to me that if extended idling was harmful, M-B would not have that as an option.  After all, they have to warranty the Sprinter engine for 5 years/100,000 miles, and the emission controls even longer.

I do recall hearing that the I-5 in the previous model diesel _did_ have problems that were due to extended idling (EGR valve trouble maybe?).

After reading your post, it occurred to me that I could download the Sprinter owners manual from M-B and search it.  I looked for the word "idle" and found a grand total of two (2) in the entire 292(!) page manual.  One was the recommendation to let it idle for two minutes before shutting it down, to allow the coolant to get back to normal temp.  The other was something about the "Overrun cut-off".

The search continues...
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sajohnson
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« Reply #137 on: April 01, 2012, 03:05:42 am »

Go to Google and search for something like "does idling your car engine for long periods harm the engine"?  You'll find, as usual, a fair amount of discussion, but I think you'll find the majority view is that it can hurt the engine, the catalytic converter, and the environment.  My memory of the military is that the one exception are the big multifuel trucks which are better off if left idling rather than being shut down for short periods of time.  The most reliable of these answers probably come from people like Click and Clack on NPR or other practicing mechanics.  Check it out and see what you think.

Jerry

I took your suggestion and found this:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-235869.html

"I can't believe I actually found this Car Talk column (http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/NEW_COLUMNS/Archive/1996/January/09.html) that I recall reading in the newspaper eight years ago. Anyway, the Car Talk guys (who seem to know what they're talking about) answered a guy who wrote:

"While I was away on business, my wife locked her keys inside her car. She decided to wait until I got home to unlock it, but unfortunately, she didn't realize the car was running. Approximately 36 hours later, when I got home and went to retrieve the car, the engine was still running. ...Did she damage the engine?"

Tom: Not to worry, Frank. I can tell you're annoyed at your wife, but you don't have to be. The engine can take it. There are lots of cars that idle for hours and hours at a time. Just look at the police cars in front of your local donut shop.

Ray: As long as the cooling system is working properly, the engine should be able to idle indefinitely. So no damage at all was done to the car..."
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #138 on: April 01, 2012, 08:07:20 am »

Sherman:

For the record, Jeep for two years( 07,08 and a little 0f 09) put the 3.0L M-B in the Grand Cherokee (exact same engine that is in the Sprinter).   Jeep all so sold the 3.0 M-B in Europe for close to 10 years. The new 3.0 that will be coming in 2013 is a Fiat/V.M. Monturi designed and manafactured and is supose to get nearly 30% better MPG's compared to the 3.0 M-B.  i found your article on the Sprinter's center of gravity interesting, i would like to see scientific tests on a 11' RV vs's a cargo van based Sprinter.  I was not aware of the optional "idle up" feature but that would be a goood feature.  Once again I know for a fact you are not to idle a 3.0L M-B diesel.  Are you aware all so that after 100,000 miles the particulate matter filter must be replaced at uwards of $3000...do alittle research on that subject at your M-B dealer.   Thanks
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #139 on: April 01, 2012, 04:22:18 pm »

Sherman:

I am speaking specifically about diesel engines not gas and not about the old 5 cylinder M-B diesels that do not have PMF (particulate matter filter) on them.  Again, the 3.0L Mercedes should not sit and idle for it will over heat the PMF (particulate matter filter) as well as the intake gets very plugged with re-circulated crud.  I do not have my Sprinter manual any more but I know there was a warning in the 2009 manual to not idle the engine.  Go to http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?+c11031 (hope I got that all right) and see what is being said...thanks
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« Reply #140 on: April 01, 2012, 06:56:19 pm »

This is what I found on another forum concerning the "high idle switch:  and I quote
Another option for the Sprinter is the OEM, "high idle" switch. Something that is included in all semi trucks, where you can idle it up.

The Sprinter option takes it to a prset 850rpms. It is most common on ambulance conversions, and those using the truck for other commerical purposes.

I believe the pricing on it is about $850.00 amd needs a dealer install, because it alte[/color]rs the ECM program. [/font]"

So that should settle some of the questions?
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sajohnson
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« Reply #141 on: April 02, 2012, 03:15:44 am »

Here's something else (FWIW):

This company: http://www.goexpediter.com/sprinter-expediter-van-price.htm sells a rear aux A/C unit for the Sprinter van and says:

"Hanvey "Monster Cool"  rear cargo area interior air conditioner.  42,000 BTU motive powered air conditioner for temperature sensitive carriers.  (Sprinter will idle approximately 3-4 hours on a single gallon of fuel to power the "Monster Cool" while generators with roof top air with only 13,500 BTU will only give you hour hour or less on a gallon to power much smaller BTU rooftop A/C units)."

Wow!  If true, that's a huge difference in fuel consumption -- 42,000 BTU for 3-4 hours vs. 13,500 BTU for one hour or less, for one gallon of diesel.  I mentioned these aux A/C units in another post but I didn't realize the difference in efficiency was so dramatic.

Of course,this doesn't answer the question of whether it's advisable to idle the Sprinter for extended periods -- Hanvey doesn't have to warranty the engine or pay for repairs -- but I wonder how many of these A/C units they'd sell if M-B recommended not idling for more than 2-3 minutes.  They'd be all but useless.

I'm wondering if the warnings about idling from various sources are referring to the stock idle speed, as opposed to the 'high speed idle' factory option. 
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sajohnson
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« Reply #142 on: April 02, 2012, 03:32:40 am »

A bit more interesting info, from Sportsmobile:
http://sportsmobile.com/2_sr_heatingcooling.html

See, "Running Your Air Conditioner -- When Parked or Driving".

Just a bit of the text:

"You can run your roof 110V A/C for about 3 hours when parked with your engine at normal idle   600 RPM with an inverter. After about 3 hours you would need to turn the roof A/C off so that the auxiliary batteries can recharge. See above for recharging. The Sprinter van's starting battery is isolated with Sportsmobile's battery separator. Note: in some states it is illegal to leave your engine running in an unoccupied vehicle.

To increase your run time at idle we recommend you order Sprinter's hi-idle option when you order your Sprinter...".

Once again, Sportsmobile doesn't have to warranty the engine or pay for repairs out of warranty (unlike their customers).  Still, I'd think M-B (or their attorneys) would have a thing or two to say to them if they were advising owners to do something that would harm the engine or emissions controls, since it's M-B that has to eat any repair costs during the (rather long) warranty period.

I'm still looking for solid objective info, but figured I'd post some of the more interesting things I come across.
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sajohnson
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« Reply #143 on: April 02, 2012, 03:59:18 am »

Well this doesn't sound good...

"Also, a recent conversation with the head of Sprinter engineering at Mercedes Benz, we were informed that they dont recommend idling the engine unless its equipped with a high RPM idle control. This control runs the engine faster to keep it hot. He added that even with a high idle system, the engine should never idle more than 30 minutes."

As Homer Simpson says, "D'oh!"

I found that here:
http://www.wagntails.com/html/prodinfo/sprinterfaq.htm

They convert the Sprinter into a mobile dog grooming van.

Not _directly_ from M-B but getting close.  It does seem to confirm my theory that extended idling is ok with the 'high idle' system but not with the stock, lower, idle speed.  Even then, 30 minutes isn't very long.  Hopefully it's enough to charge the coach batteries.
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #144 on: April 02, 2012, 01:46:04 pm »

Sherman:

I must say your line of thinking is different and here is why I have concluded that:

1.  Forum posters recommmend that you contact Stuart Bailey at PC, like Stuart, not like Stuart, it makes no difference but I can tell you he knows his RV's thru and thru and I would listen to what he says.  Stuart stated he could not personnally justify the $12,000 up charge for a Sprinter and he recommends the Ford.  You concluded you want the Sprinter.
2. Forum poster brings up the center of gravity issue on a narrow wheel'ed Sprinter.  Poster who is and enginner gives us all a super physicis 101 lesson on center of gravity theory and concludes that a Sprinter would be far more tippy compared to the E-450.  You conclude you want a Sprinter.
3. Forum posters brings up the issue around not being able to idle a 3.0L diesel M-B engine becuase it will do harm and warranty will not cover any resulting dmage.  You speak with M-B engineer who says to not idle the 3.0L for more than 30 mins no matter what.  You conclude the 3.0L can be idled for and extended period of time.
4.  Service and warranty work on a M-B Sprinter based RV can be and issue that I have experienced. You call M-B and they give you the company line... the only 3 M-B dealers here in NH will not service Sprinters and any other dealer accross the country that was built to servcie cars will not service Sprinter RV's that are different comaperd to commercial vans.  You conclude that service will not be and issue.

Many posters on this forum have had more than several motor home (me for one) and I can tell you we have all seen and experienced every darn pitfall of RV'ing you can.  Everyone wants to see you in and RV now and as satisfied with your ulitmate purcahse as you can be and if a Sprinter based RV fits your needs then that is great please just go buy it.  I have never seen a better quality forum then the PC site, I have yet to see a post that does not include correct information and that is not found on other sites.  My Sprinter based chassis just did not work for my needs and it very much might work for you,  but please just have open eyes and apapreciate the fact that posters are just attempting to explain certain issues around the Sprinter.  I just do not want you to end up like I did by wanting the Sprinter do be more than it is able to deliver and that sinking feeling that it just does not meet the bill.    Best of luck, thanks
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sajohnson
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« Reply #145 on: April 02, 2012, 02:07:43 pm »

This is what I found on another forum concerning the "high idle switch:  and I quote
Another option for the Sprinter is the OEM, "high idle" switch. Something that is included in all semi trucks, where you can idle it up.

The Sprinter option takes it to a prset 850rpms. It is most common on ambulance conversions, and those using the truck for other commerical purposes.

I believe the pricing on it is about $850.00 amd needs a dealer install, because it alte[/color]rs the ECM program. [/font]"

So that should settle some of the questions?

One would think so, but apparently not.

I'm very surprised that M-B sells this high idle kit as an option but does not indicate how long the engine can safely be idled.

The closest I've found to a solid answer is what I posted above.  The grooming van company that supposedly spoke with a M-B engineer who said 1/2 hour max.  If true, that's not very encouraging.

I'm going to try and get a straight answer directly from M-B, or at least an authorized Sprinter service center.

Sherman
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ragoodsp
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« Reply #146 on: April 02, 2012, 02:38:47 pm »


Sherman:
Please re-read your link to the Sportsmobile web site....is clearly states that the "idle up" option must be ordered from the factory on your spected Sprinter.  Dealers can not install this option at the dealership level.  I am not sure you will have much luck ordering a Sprinter chassis and having it delivered to your favorite upfitter for the coach to be attached....ain't going to happen fella.   Thanks
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sajohnson
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« Reply #147 on: April 02, 2012, 05:07:29 pm »

The plot thickens -- I just called Freightliner of Hagerstown (MD) and spoke with their service dept.

They said that with the high idle option the Sprinter can be idled indefinitely ("until the fuel runs out").

They said much of the confusion about whether or not idling is ok is because it is not advisable to idle for long periods of time at the stock idle speed.

They also said they can install it.

I also have calls in to:

1) M-B Sprinter USA (877) 762-8267
2) Sun Motor Cars (Mechanicsburg, PA) (717) 691-3333
3) M-B of Catonsville (MD) (410) 788-7744 

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lghjr
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« Reply #148 on: April 02, 2012, 07:32:15 pm »

Sherman,

Propane is cheaper, EVEN, if you have to fill everyday (you won't), than trying to get something for nothing out of the M-B.  M-B overhaul for owner induced problems probably would not run more than $8-12K.  That little computer will tell the diagnostic technician everything he needs to know about "what happened", and it will stand up in court for warranty claims.  Besides that, trust me a lawsuit for that piddlin amount will cost more than the out of pocket expense for an overhaul.

Go with the proven, there is a reason for the "why" they built it that way.

There is an old, very old joke about how much it costs to run a motorhome, goes something like: if you have to ask you can't afford it.

Another side of the same coin is that through several RV's I have never found one yet that had everything I wanted or could do what I wanted in every hypothetical situation.

Sans that, I am not sure what you are looking for.

The four sources you cite for more info are basically used car salesmen and I am betting that in short conversation they will tell you what ever YOU want to hear.

Good Luck on that search for Nirvana.

L. G.

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sajohnson
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« Reply #149 on: April 03, 2012, 06:36:07 pm »



1) Neal S. @ M-B USA (800) 222-0100 got the answers to the idle time questions straight from Germany and left me a voice mail:

With high idle option idle time is 1.5 to 2 hours.  The rpm is programmable (if necessary) by dealer using "Century Diagnostics" (M-B proprietary equip., $22,000, for anyone considering DIY).
 
With stock idle, maximum idle time is one hour.

I just called and confirmed the above with Neal, to make sure I understood him correctly.

2) Mel Condon, shop foreman @ Sun Motors, Inc. said:

He would need the VIN to give an accurate quote but that they can do the high idle option.

There are two option codes from M-B -- one indicates that the Sprinter is pre-wired for the module, the other indicates that it has the module installed.

Mel said that if the cooling system is working properly, the Sprinter can idle indefinitely.  Sun Motors has many customers with Sprinters who are contractors and let them idle for hours at a time and they've never seen any problems.

I told him what Neal had said about the idle time and Mel said that he would be going to M-B USA headquarters soon for training and would try to get the question of idle time settled.

3) Sheldon, service advisor @ Freightliner of Hagerstown gave me some (steep) prices for the high idle installation at their shop:

The Sprinter does not need to have cruise to have the high idle installed, but there are two sets of prices:

W/ cruise:

A)  With M-B code EB5 -- $417.43
B)  With M-B code EB8 -- $1,450.44(!)

Without cruise:

A)  With M-B code EB5 -- $588.60
B)  With M-B code EB8 -- $1,621.61(!!)

Sheldon said again that with the high idle the Sprinter can idle indefinitely.

The safe bet at this point would be to assume that Neal has the right info.  If that's the case, then I'm inclined not to bother with the high idle because that's a lot of money to spend for just 0.5-1 hour additional idling time. 

I'm curious as to what Mel will find out -- I'm guessing he'll get the same answer Neal did.
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