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Old 03-12-2017, 04:48 PM   #21
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They do good work but are busy. Sprinter vans everywhere on the property. Be prepared to leave yours for a couple of days. Price is not unreasonable.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:55 PM   #22
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Wrinkledpants: - Consider switching to axle ratio code AR3 4.18 Axle Ratio.
I was hoping to do that, but the options list at the bottom of this document
http://assets.mbvans.com/Mercedes-Be...y-Brochure.pdf says that the 4.18 axle ratio is not available on 2017 4x4 models. My build manager in Fresno said he was going to try anyway. Do you have any more details on this??

Thanks,
Tom
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:23 AM   #23
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I was hoping to do that, but the options list at the bottom of this document
http://assets.mbvans.com/Mercedes-Be...y-Brochure.pdf says that the 4.18 axle ratio is not available on 2017 4x4 models. My build manager in Fresno said he was going to try anyway. Do you have any more details on this??

Thanks,
Tom
Tom,

Mine is a late 2016 model, so perhaps there was a change for 2017 in availability of that option(?) I'm also a 3500 chassis, so maybe 4.18 ratio is allowed given the higher cargo capacity. Either way it's not that large of a jump - @7%. As a reference, the two ratios available on a Jeep Wrangler jump from 3.21 to 4.10, and while noticeable (22% jump) it's not a night and day difference. I suspect driving the same pass with the 3.92 and 4.18, the biggest difference would be that the 3.92 likely downshifts more often and sooner.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:37 AM   #24
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Very interesting build you have going, following along with great interest.

Does Agile have any kind of a picture/diagram of the Sprinter fuel tank? My grey tank is already mounted on that side, but I am always interested in the details.
Not yet. They said it hangs about as low as the main tank + skid plate. It's about the length of the main tank, so not much room for a gray tank on that side, unless it was a custom unit tucked really close up front.

He said he'll send me some photos this week of the install, and I'll pass those along if they don't mind.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:43 AM   #25
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Wrinkledpants: A couple of thoughts below on your build spec sheet. Very similar to what I spec'd on my 3500 a few months ago:

- Consider switching to axle ratio code AR3 4.18 Axle Ratio. It's better in the mountains (I'm up the road from you in Winter Park and it makes a difference having driven both).
- Nice choice on the FF8 Overhead Storage Slot - the pre-wire of 12v+ constant, 12v+ ignition, and ground is well worth it. I'm running Nav, 360 camera monitor, and future rear view mirror mounted electronics off of it.
- Two items on my "I wished I had added now that I own it" list are F49 Heated Front Windshield and H88 Rear Heater coolant lines - both of which you already have. You'll especially like F49 when there's ice on your windshield. The van takes a while to heat up even with the aux heater in really cold weather.
- LB9 Illuminated Exits are also money well spent. The height of the van does not allow the overhead lights to cast much light on the ground when the doors are opened because of the angle. This is a great solve and well worth it in muddy or snowy areas.
-T12 - Sliding Door- Two Stage Opening - I would instead just go with one of the aftermarket door track mounted stops. The factory one is mounted overhead of the door and really gets in the way of a clean ceiling over the door or interferes with an overhead cabinet if you so choose.

I would also consider adding the following:
- JW2 - Deactivation Lamp Monitoring Failure ($21). This allow you to switch the fog lights to LED units without having to add resistors or other "fixes" to avoid throwing a code.
- ED4 - no cost option to swap the starting battery to a higher quality AGM battery. Same output, but much better vibration resistance.
- SZ7/SZ8 - adds cargo nets to both front seat backs (this may already be included in a 2500 van, but I had to add to my 3500.
- RM1 - Tires Mud & Snow - These are actually full on snow rated tires vs M&S tires. $123 is the cheapest set of snow tires you'll ever buy and make a great winter set on the factory wheels for those upgrading to off-road tires and rims.

I too am going all electric (A/C, water heater, microwave, induction cooktop, etc) and have worked directly with a battery manufacturer, inverter / charger company, and alternator / regulator company to design a fully integrated system that (hopefully) avoids the pitfalls so many others have had going to a high capacity Lithium system. Happy to discuss off-line but might be helpful as we have very similar intended uses for our Sprinters.

Hope some of this helps. Look forward to following your build.
I don't think we'll go with LEDs for fogs. I tend to prefer the more yellow hue of the fogs than the bright white LEDs.

That axle option isn't available on the 2500 4x4. I'm guessing it's because the 3500 is a 7500 lb towing capacity compared to 5k on the 2500.

I also couldn't get the ED4 option.

Good feedback on the 2-stage opening. I'll check with Brian to see what feedback he has on that.

What setup are you going with for lithium? So far, I think we'll likely do a Lithionics 400 AH, Magnum Hybrid 3Kw inverter, and I believe balmer has a lithium-based regulator for the alternator.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:19 PM   #26
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:35 PM   #27
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I'm just lurking here but wanted to say thanks for the info. Living in AK I'll be dealing with
cold weather for sure. Also with the snow, and darkness solar will not be a good option either.

So this purchase was basically done through Sportsmobile where they order it, receive it, modify it, and then you pick it up?
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Old 05-28-2017, 12:07 AM   #28
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I'm just lurking here but wanted to say thanks for the info. Living in AK I'll be dealing with
cold weather for sure. Also with the snow, and darkness solar will not be a good option either.

So this purchase was basically done through Sportsmobile where they order it, receive it, modify it, and then you pick it up?
That's how it usually happens, however you can buy a stock van yourself and take it to them for modification. In fact, if you bring SMB-West one of the old Econoline vans, they can still build one of the old highly off-road capable 4WD vehicles they are so famous for.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:25 PM   #29
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That's how it usually happens, however you can buy a stock van yourself and take it to them for modification.
I am guessing SMB makes money on the sale of the rig, and then the modifications on top of it. Or do they eat the profit on the sale through them to get your business (lower purchase price) knowing the will recoup that multiple times over for the build out?
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:55 PM   #30
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SMB doesn't up charge for the vans. What they invoice you for is what you'd pay if you walked into a Mercedes dealer.

They charge for the conversions. You essentially pay for a basic conversion (interior prep, walls, wiring, plumbing, etc), and then add the options you want. If you want a custom layout that you design, you still pay for the basic plan because you're going to need all those things listed above. The options they charge are for the installed price. If you want an Espar D2, the heater unit itself is $800 on Amazon, but it's a $4k option from SMB because of the install.

They'll install whatever you want, though. If you want a specific part or functionality, just email them and see if they'll do it. Some things are just too complicated or outside the scope of what they're comfortable doing, but others are just a simple request. They'll give you a price for that thing, and then it goes on your total invoice. Either you buy that thing and have it sent to them, or they'll source that thing on your behalf.

It's not entirely that much different than building a home in a subdivision. The developer has a basic price for the home (lot prep, foundations, structure, etc), and then you pick the options (door locations, windows, paint, flooring, appliances, etc). If you have special requests (increase garage space, change a wall configuration, etc), they'll quote you a price for it. If you request something that is beyond the scope of what they want to do, they'll say so.

They have price guides on their website. Build your van on Mercedes builder website to get a cost estimate for the van, and then use their price guides to choose your standard layout (or design your own). You can estimate your build within a few percentage points of what SMB really charges just by going this route.
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