Sprinter 4WD Conversion Idea, GMT-800 IFS.

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Driveshaft dropped off with a "good-ol-boy" cross town. Just a guy with a 4,000sq/ft pole barn and shafts lying everywhere. It should be done "2 or 3 days" Which basically means, eventually...

Started flaring brake lines. I think I am going to make a 2" stub line to adapt from the bubble to the inverted flare. I need to make a bracket to hold the coupling, so a trip to the junkyard may be called for.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Brakes are mostly done. Might need to bleed them again. Got everything tied up and torqued down. Hopefully my flares on the steel lines don't leak...


I got lazy and just welded the new brackets on top of the old ones.



The brakes sure are pretty with the zinc coating.





Still waiting on the driveshaft. It supposed to be ready this afternoon. Fingers crossed I measured right. If all goes well I can test drive tonight or tomorrow.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.43
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Sur...
by Dave Canterbury
From $9.99
Motorcycle Messengers: Tales from the Road by Writers who...
by Lois Pryce, Mark Richardson, Carla King, Sam Manic...
From $9.99

Buddha.

Lurker
Might be worth it to grease up where those brake pads make contact with the clips, and under the clips. Half the brake jobs I do around here are done prematurely, not because the pads are wore down but because of rust. The caliper mount rusts under the clips and the brake pads over the clips rust too causing rust jacking, now the pads are too tight and stop floating on their mount like their supposed to. The caliper slide pins seize up too of course, but those come greased, probably.
Recently on my Chevy I had to buy new calipers and their included brackets(not available separately), as well as new rotors and pads. 135k on the original pads and they still looked great. The slide pins were seized though causing a pulsating brake pedal and I ended up just replacing everything.
 
Last edited:

shade

Well-known member
With all of your welded additions and travel plans, have you considered adding a 12V welder to your kit?
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
With all of your welded additions and travel plans, have you considered adding a 12V welder to your kit?
I was looking at an ultra compact inverter welder (arc type). Might be able to run that from my 120v supply. Otherwise it's hard to get enough current on steel with 12v direct. 24v or higher would work.
 

shade

Well-known member
I was looking at an ultra compact inverter welder (arc type). Might be able to run that from my 120v supply. Otherwise it's hard to get enough current on steel with 12v direct. 24v or higher would work.
It may be overkill for your uses, but I know you'll end up far from support.

Have you ever had to limp somewhere and ask to borrow some time with their welder?
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
It may be overkill for your uses, but I know you'll end up far from support.

Have you ever had to limp somewhere and ask to borrow some time with their welder?
Not yet, at least the limping part. I try to use bolted connections where reasonable, easier to dismantle. The MB suspension it fairly robust which has helped. If push comes to shove I have fixed some pretty busted stuff using a double plate and a bunch of small bolts/rivets. Though sometimes you just need to tack a bracket on, and there is no room...

Of course if we are talking true last resort, a ground cable and arc handle with long leads could be wired to a couple batteries in series. It would be a pain to wire up, but that's better than nothing sometimes.
 

shade

Well-known member
Not yet, at least the limping part. I try to use bolted connections where reasonable, easier to dismantle. The MB suspension it fairly robust which has helped. If push comes to shove I have fixed some pretty busted stuff using a double plate and a bunch of small bolts/rivets. Though sometimes you just need to tack a bracket on, and there is no room...

Of course if we are talking true last resort, a ground cable and arc handle with long leads could be wired to a couple batteries in series. It would be a pain to wire up, but that's better than nothing sometimes.
I was thinking that with this major drivetrain overhaul, you no longer have the ability to order or scavenge replacements for the custom work you've done, so having the ability to perform solid field repairs may be more important in the future.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
It stopped raining, so I got down to business. 5 minutes to bolt up the driveshaft, 30 seconds to remove the chocks, and 1 minute to tie up the brake pad sensor wires.

The shaft angle sure doesn't look right from this side, but the angle finder shows it true.


Did a test drive. No issues to report. Less driveshaft vibration than before, no gear noise. No issues with the 55 tooth tone rings, trans shifts fine and no LHM. My steering wheel is slightly more to the left, so I need to double check the axle placement. The E brake is about 75% there, It holds on a 25% slope, but I need a bit more for my usage, should just be an adjustment. Otherwise I need to modify the transfer link for more travel.

Anyone that has filled the lube on one of these axles, does the fill go to the top of the fill hole? Or is it by volume?


Of note the driveshaft guy said he had a very hard time balancing the shaft. Something about "Chinese" tubing being different thickness on one side? Not sure if I buy it or not, but it runs smooth, so no complaints from me. The good news is that with the shaft being about 72 C-C, I can use a number of GM and ford driveshafts, which are in that length.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Its nice that ARB supplies a fitting to stack their locker solenoids. Unfortunately all their fittings are metric or BSP threads (best I can tell). Plus the air lines are all 6mm. A 1/8" NPT tap can be used to open them up enough to use NPT fittings.



I am trying to decide how high to place the diff vent in the rear. Up front I can run all the way up the firewall. In the back I would need to run into the cabin, which isn't desirable. Though I guess something in the D pillar might be possible, but that's a lot of tubing.
 
Last edited:

Recommended books for Overlanding

Overlanding the Americas: La Lucha
by Mr Graeme Robert Bell
From $20
The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road: 4WD Self-...
by Robert Wohlers
From $59.95
Motorcycle Messengers 2: Tales from the Road by Writers w...
by Jeremy Kroeker, Ted Simon, Lois Pryce, Billy Ward,...
From $9.99

shade

Well-known member
I totally forgot about those thingies. I wonder how they handle big elevation changes? There is a fair bit of air in these diffs. Worth a look at least.
I've heard that they can eventually deteriorate & leak, but that can happen with anything. I'm not sure how much volume they can manage.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
I've heard that they can eventually deteriorate & leak, but that can happen with anything. I'm not sure how much volume they can manage.
Should just be a matter of some ideal gas law math. Of course the temperature rise could be an issue.
 
Top