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Old 08-13-2016, 10:17 PM   #41
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End of Week 3 Build Update

Everybody likes pictures. These aren't the most exciting to look at, but they help tell the story.

The wiring is going in, here is the view from the back looking in:



This shot is representative of the care being taken. Grommets, tie-backs, thought-out wiring routing:



I included this last shot because it makes me feel good to see the front seats covered while the build is happening all around them. Proper protection is important, seeing the seats covered makes me feel better that the little details are being taken care of.

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Old 08-14-2016, 07:54 PM   #42
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Looking for some advice regarding breaking in a new Sprinter diesel engine.

According to the manual:

Breaking-in notes
The first 1000 miles (1500 km)
For the service life and economy of your vehicle it is crucial that you break in the engine with due care.
* Therefore, protect the engine for the first 1000 miles (1500 km) by driving at varying vehicle and engine speeds.
* Avoid overstraining the vehicle and high engine speeds during this period, e.g. driving at full throttle. Do not exceed 3/4 of the maximum speed for each gear.
* Do not change down a gear manually in order to brake.
* Try to avoid depressing the accelerator pedal beyond the point of resistance (kickdown).
* The shift ranges 3, 2 or 1 should only be engaged when driving slowly, e.g. when driving in mountainous terrain.
After 1000 miles (1500 km), you can increase the engine speed gradually and accelerate the vehicle to full speed.

We are planning to outfit the vehicle and spend the first night in the area close to SMB in case we need to return the following morning, this will put the first hundred or so miles on in varying driving conditions, but after that we are heading 1,300 miles on the freeway to San Diego where we have an appointment with Aluminess to install the front bumper and nerf bars. I would like to be at the Aluminess shop Monday morning, thus that means 1,300 freeway miles in three days during the initial break-in period.

I'm thinking do not exceed 3/4 of the maximum speed for each gear translates into a maximum speed of 60 mph and driving at varying vehicle and engine speeds means no cruise control and up and down lots of off and on ramps as we roll along.

Any words of advice? I only get one shot at this....

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-14-2016, 08:45 PM   #43
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You will get a huge range of feedback for "breaking in an engine."

IMO - you have two ways you can do this. One - follow the manual to a T. If that is your preference, simply take back roads to Aluminess. My guess - that will accomplish all of the bullet points in the manual.

A more liberal approach would be to simply drive it to San Diego like you would any other car. I would avoid cruise control as it may hold a gear into a fairly high-load situation. This isn't a race motor or some other high-strung motor that requires a specific break-in procedure. MB has been making diesels for a long time, so they probably have more data than anyone else (smaller engine builders) when it comes to break-in procedures and long-term impacts.

I wouldn't put too much thought into this. All those bullet points essentially come down to no high-load situations and no high-RPM. If you get to the kick-down switch, it means you've requested 100% load and wish to get there faster by changing gears. If you shift manually, you risk being at a high RPM. Engine braking often means high RPM.

If it were me, I'd do 500 miles off the interstate, and the rest on the interstate. Change the oil at 5K miles. Call it good.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:20 PM   #44
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Wrinkledpants,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I agree with your thoughts, especially about MB having the historical data, but this is my first diesel so I'm looking for all of the quality input I can get! I think the real moral to this story is to not let my wife drive until there is at least a 1,000 miles on the rig!
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:49 AM   #45
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I'd just drive it like anything else. I don't suggest abusing it, but I work for a huge company who buys a ton of Sprinters. They roll off the truck or are delivered by contracted drivers to their destinations, then are driven like race cars from day 1 as soon as they are put in route use. The accelerator is essentially an on/off switch. It's on the floor or unused. This probably goes for 3/4's of the Sprinters on the road since they are used in fleet service and the person who pays for them isn't the person driving them. There is no time or really much care for proper break in.

I can imagine this is pretty exciting and I'm not trying to sound careless but I wouldn't overthink it really.

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Old 08-16-2016, 06:49 PM   #46
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86Scotty,

Thanks for providing your experience with this particular vehicle, it's hard to beat knowledge of the real-world conditions. It won't be hard to comply with MB's recommendations while still getting where we are going, I'm just surprised that the manual had so little to say on the subject. We will take it easy and treat the accelerator gently as we head west and we will make plans along the way for many more trips in the future!
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:38 PM   #47
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That's a pretty standard break-in procedure for any motor. The manufacturing conditions now are so good that there isn't much that needs to be done compared to 30 years ago where you'd have all sorts of metal high spots that needed to be worn down.

That's roughly what you'll find from Porsche on all their motors, for what it's worth.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:54 AM   #48
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I have always been one to use both the front and rear receivers for a variety of things - winches, baskets, extensions, motorcycle haulers, etc.

For towing, the MB manual for the Sprinter 2500 lists the Maximum Permissible Nose Weight TWR as 500 lbs. (227 kg) and the Trailer Load GTW as 5000 lbs. (2268 kg).

SMB is installing an Aluminess rear bumper with the Deluxe box and the tire carrier as part of the build. Looking at the Aluminess web site I could not find a tongue weight rating for the bumper mounted on a Sprinter. This prompted the following message to the always-helpful Kenny at Aluminess (I am really looking forward to meeting Kenny next month!)

Quick question: What is the tongue weight rating of the Aluminess rear bumper that SMB is putting on my Sprinter as part of the build? Looking at a hitch carrier for my 155 lb Honda CT 70 that I want to sometimes put on the back....

Kenny's (quick) response:

The tongue weight of the hitch is rated at 300 lbs, but there are some things to keep in mind. The tire, box, and whatever is in the box has to be taken off of that number since it is now essentially mounted to the hitch. If you use an extension it reduces the remaining weight by 50%.

We are currently working on ways of beefing up the hitch in order to increase that tongue weight. When you come in to have your front bumper installed we can add these gussets and reinforcements to increase your tongue weight.

And my reply:

I'm glad I asked. I was thinking in terms of the 500 pound rating that is stated by MB. Please plan on adding the gussets and reinforcements when the van is in your shop.

Just another detail to think about when moving up to an Aluminess (or any other) bumper. I've known about the de-rating when using hitch extensions for a long time, with the boxes and the spare tire on the back it's almost a given that one will be required when using the rear receiver. I'm glad this was caught now when modifications to the rear bumper will be easy to do at the same time the front bumper is installed.

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Old 08-17-2016, 12:45 PM   #49
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Fitz, Kenny is a consummate professional. Rest assured you're in good hands. Exciting to see things coming along with your build. Can't wait to see the final product.
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:40 PM   #50
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Fitz,
Thanks for getting me all that info. Like following this post, so much to learn and so many decisions.
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