InssssssssVANity!!!!!!!......or ****** did I just fly to Maine to by a Sprinter!


Expedition Leader
First off, yes, I clearly have lost my mind and need cheaper hobbies!:coffeedrink:

I'm sitting in the Boston Airport right now waiting to get on a tiny plane to fly up to Maine to by a 2004 Sprinter. (3500 158" DUAL slider!)

If it works out....I will be spending the next several days driving it back to Denver, Co.

I didn't really need another van, or another project, but......I couldn't resist all the hype about these things so figured I would try one out! This will be my first diesel! Always wanted one, let's see if it stays that way!

I know some of you have followed my Eurovan project where I cut a giant hole in a perfectly broken van and then had to make it run:wings: If you haven't, you can find it here.!

Here is a quick picture of the van! you know about a much about it as I do! :snorkel:

I'm not totally sure of my route back to Denver yet. There is a bunch of snow forecast for the northern route so I might consider swinging south. I may also need some tires for this thing before I get it home based on he the pictures I have.

If anyone is along my route I'd be happy to stop and say high........or if I stop through no fault of my own I may need help :coffeedrink:



Looks like there should be plenty of room to do most anything in there!
If going across Ohio and need anything just shout! Outside of Toledo and maybe able to help if you need any
Safe trip and have fun!


Expedition Leader
To do this righteously you should head back through Canada and the UP! :smiley_drive:

Seriously considered that but this van has some fairly spent tires. I've been looking for a few days and can't find what I want yet.

.....also didn't bring my passport.


I'm the guy who shows up at the Canada-U.S. border and is like, "'Passport?' Haha, you guys gotta be kidding, right? Can't I just show you my Ralph's card or something?"

Well, since NYE in Montreal is out, this might make a nice detour, and what better vehicle to arrive in than a 5,000 lb. payload cargo van (if the tires are up to it)?!our_brewery . I haven't been but it's on my list.


Expedition Leader
Looks like you have the 15 inch dually wheels - it would be a good chance to upgrade them to the later 16 inch dually wheels - more tire choices and higher ratings.

You should do a post to the two sprinter forums to see if anyone has any available and perhaps hit a auto-dismantler to see if they can come up with a set of seven (!) for you. There are some guys in the Elkharht IN that do custom version of Sprinters who might have some wheels available that you could pick up possibly. You could even just go with four temporarily for the unloaded run home (perhaps). The front and rear wheels have to be the same or it will go into limp mode and won't shift and 35 mph max.

The new tires would be a bit taller than the existing skateboard wheels - but that is a good thing as the duallies usually have the higher (numerical) gear ratio. I doubt if you will carry the rated load in it so the higher cruise speed / lower engine RPM with the taller tires would not be a problem. You would also get better clearance under it.

There is also a great mechanic outside of Pittsburg you could drop by to have it looked over - look up Dr. A on the forums - he is a legend there and worth visiting. He also has built a number of custom sprinters - one with a westy pop-top - and was working on a manual tranny swap-over too last I heard. He might be able to help with rims. He also can do a quick tranny mod which helps to eliminate a rumble issue - although I found newer tranny fluids works pretty well.

Carry an extra fuel filter and bits to allow swapping it too - a turkey baster to fill the filter is advisable! Also check to see that the jack is still there - its under the passenger feet area in the front.

Glow plugs are a common problem - the glow light will stay on if there is a problem. Would be a good time to have them swapped as Dr. A has the tools to remove any that are stuck and break off.

Good luck and keep us posted on the travels.


If you're going to be cruising through Syracuse, let me know. I'm about 90 minutes north of there and I'd love to check out your new project.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk


Expedition Leader didn't make it that far today. Only drove the van about 120 miles.

After the landing on he the icy runway in the small plane we went to see the Sprinter! Great fun! Tires are summers, kinda bad, but Bette than I thought so at the moment I'm rockin them!

The Sprinter is pretty much what I expected. A few dents and dings, a few things that need fixed. Etc. There were a couple of immediate issues we had to fix before I could drive off. So that set me behind a few hours.

The seller runs an RV repair business and was a very nice and helpful guy. The heater controls don't work. There is heat, but the blower doesn't run on its own! So we wired in a quickie manual switch to turn the blower on so my wussy *** could have heat over the next 2200 miles.

Then we rewired the sweet Bose home speakers on the cargo divider to the cheap *** stereo! Replaced a few fuses and filler it with gas.

Seems the oil was over filled on the last oil change since I get a "oil hi" warning occasionally! Verified on the dipstick! Also needs glass.

The storm I was racing to avoid pulled a fast one on me and headed south to cut me off! Not having slept for about 2 days now I was pretty cooked after only 120 miles of rainy dark driving. Its still pouring rain!

Stopped to put new wiper blades on it, replace a few fuses, buy new remote key fob batteries and wipe up the interior a bit.

Has heated seats but they don't seem to work? Fuse is good! Any ideas?

I'll need some interior trim bits to clean up the interior. AC/heat vent trim pieces, center speaker grill!

Over all the Sprinter pulls strong, no more CEL, shifts good!

Here is where I am, some Mexican restaurant called......ah hell.....who cares!

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Expedition Leader
Now starts the great debate!

-walk out of the restaurant and sleep in the back of the van. I would be on just a sleeping bag, no mattress on the hard cargo floor and no heat!

-Get a $90 hotel room and sleep through enjoying it!

-Park in the hotel lot and sleep in the van..:coffeedrink:
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If you need a garage tomorrow morning to get things cleaned up, I'm in Kittery, ME; probably about 15-20 minutes from where you are.

Good luck with the trip. That Sprinter looks like an awesome base vehicle. I enjoyed your VW build for sure and look forward to what you put together with this.

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