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Old 08-09-2017, 12:48 AM   #1
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Aluminess Front Bumper

Can anyone who has this bumper installed give me any feedback? I know the ARB bumper I installed on my 4Runner with WARN winch worked, but the sensors for the airbags were an issue.

Mercedes Sprinter Winch Bumper | Aluminess
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:50 AM   #2
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Have the Aluminess winch bumper on my Sprinter, really like the bumper, no issues. If you have the distance warning sensor it gets relocated behind a plate that Aluminess builds in, if you have factory foglights they need to be replaced with 55 watt halogen lights or with LED's with resistors, and you want to be sure you get the design that addresses the air scoop issue (talk to Kyle at Aluminess about this or look in my build thread).
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:13 PM   #3
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Be aware that this bumper cannot attach to the Sprinter's unibody with the same strength it can to a vehicle that has a frame. I've been told by SMB and Van Compass that pulling too hard on one would rip the bumper off the vehicle. It is likely o.k. for helping get out of mud or sand. Trying to use the winch like a hoist to pull a vehicle up an exceptionally steep grade that the drivetrain and tires can't handle (like I see some Jeeps do on YouTube) is almost surely going to pull it off.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:44 PM   #4
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Fitz/TomH,

Thanks for your input. One of my concerns is also the airbag issue. When I raised this issue with my insurance company after retrofit of a similar ARB bumper on my 4Runner, they had serious issues with the new bumper concerning the air bag sensors.
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Old 08-10-2017, 07:53 AM   #5
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1. No issue with State Farm regarding the insurance.
2. I researched this at the time, I simply don't remember the details! As I recall, the airbag sensors are inertia activated and not mounted to the front bumper. Check this to satisfy yourself.
3. Call Kenny at Aluminess and ask him. He will give you a knowledgeable answer.

Also, I am in complete agreement with TomH's strength comment above. I see a winch on a Sprinter as an insurance policy to help you get out of a situation where other more built out/capable rigs would be able to drive through unassisted. The more I use the Sprinter off road the more impressed I am with its capabilities, but I am not deluding myself that it can or ever will be a capable rock crawler. That is simply not what it is designed to do. I have a winch and I will use it cautiously when the Sprinter needs a bit of a tug, and I will never double up the line with it as I have many times in the past with previous rigs.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:35 AM   #6
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Fitz,

Thanks for your input. If the airbag sensors are not compromised I may put one on. I would use it on logging roads for backcountry skiing in the winter if get stuck in the snow. That is the main reason. I've found that just a bit more pull get's me out of a deep channel in the snow if need be.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:20 AM   #7
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Backcountryguy,

We have similar use cases in mind. I want to be able to help myself when needed, not encourage myself to get into situations where I have no business being.
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:43 AM   #8
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The bumper won't impact the air bag sensors themselves, but it will impact the force required to trigger an airbag launch. Since they sensors are essentially accelerometers, having a large bumper that doesn't have any give will transmit more force to the vehicle during an impact. If you hit a rock offroad, you may trigger the airbags, but not have any frontal damage. If you had OEM bumpers, you may have to replace the bumper, but no airbag deployment.

This is kind of the trade off with any large offroad bumper replacement. You don't see people deploying airbags left and right offroad, but from a hypothetical perspective, this is the tradeoff.

You don't need a bumper for offroad rescue. A winch can be installed behind the bumper. The big benefit of a bumper like that is to resist damage from hitting trees or rocks.

Like Fitz - we'll do a winch at some point to get out of small situations. We won't have a bumper, though, as I want to maintain those crumble zones in an accident (on road).
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:52 PM   #9
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Wrinklepants, good information, thanks. How will you install the winch if not on the Aluminess bumper? I looked at this some time ago for my 4Runner and the only way to get a solid mount that was good when I really needed it (in deep snow, truck in heavy ruts) was have it already installed on the ARB bumper, winch controls in cab.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:04 PM   #10
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Agile Offroad has a flush-mount install. And since the bumper cover is cheap, I don't have any qualms about replacing it in the event it's damaged offroad. But, I would guess the chances of that are pretty low.

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