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Old 10-29-2007, 04:19 PM   #1
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Sprinter 4WD/AWD/Offroad-RV Vendors Around the World

Here are the email addresses of two German vendors who build 4WD and AWD systems for Sprinter vans:

www.iglhaut-allrad.de
www.oberaigner.com

And here's a South African vendor that builds a Sportsmobile-style Sprinter camper and appears to specialize in Sprinter off-road suspension systems:

www.sportsvans.co.za

Please post any Sprinter 4WD/AWD/off-road-camper websites you might have, especially items using a Sprinter RB. It's nice to look at the possibilities while awaiting a 4WD system from Sportsmobile.

Thanks for your postings.
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:08 PM   #2
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Here is a recent article about one of the Iglhaut-Allrad SA conversion Sprinters. They don't look as offroad capable as many of the E350 Sportsmobiles but it gets a good review here. With Sportsmobile teaming with Dynatrac I would expect they would develop good solution but the Sprinter unibody chassis may limit some of their options.

Sprinter gets Supervan workout

Fri, 05 Oct 2007

"The only thing wrong with this yellow 4X4 Sprinter is that it does not belong to me!" were the words of motor sport legend, Sarel "Supervan" van der Merwe after he took to the Kalahari Desert for a demonstration of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4.

"When I originally saw the Sprinter, I thought it was a fancy game-viewing vehicle. But after testing it on the dunes, my attitude changed altogether. This is a serious off-roader with capabilities that most off-road enthusiasts would wish a vehicle to have," claimed Van der Merwe.

The only Mercedes-product on display in an event for Mitsubishi Tritons was the 4X4 Sprinter, which transported a group of Mercedes-Benz truck customers to the Spirit of Africa event. Here, it was given a workout by Van der Merwe, a driver renowned for his rallying and racing abilities.

Driving up a steep dune some 150m high a technical exercise that required him to keep the wheels in the tracks while applying the correct amount of power. Although being far heavier than the Triton, the Sprinter's power and torque features saw it able to complete this obstacle without any difficulty.

After everybody looked in amazement at what the Sprinter was capable of, the teams thought it would be easy to drive up the dune in their Tritons — more than 1.5 tons lighter. Much to their surprise, several did not manage it.

"With the emergency services and disaster management in mind, we as a manufacturer take their needs extremely seriously and for this reason, have established a unique partnership with Iglhaut-Allrad SA, who maintain that our vehicles be adequately prepared for these conversions," said Gert Grobler, Product Manager, Mercedes-Benz Vans.

The current test demonstration vehicle is the Sprinter 313 CDI, but the model chosen for the Southern Africa Sprinter 4x4 is the new Sprinter 315 CDI, introduced in March 2007. The four-cylinder engine will give a power output of 110kW and 330 Nm of torque to the vehicle with a wheelbase of 3665mm.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:37 AM   #3
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Here is the email address of another German vendor for Sprinter 4WD systems. Be sure to click the British flag for the English version.

www.achleitner.com

Prior to this forum's harddrive crash, Frank from South Africa said this company, and the three companies mentioned above, are the only Sprinter 4WD/AWD system vendors worldwide.

Hey Frank, can you repost your comments regarding the differences between these vendors from your experience? I think the slant was on suspension systems and handling center-of-gravity but any comments will be appreciated. And don't forget that link to your Sprinter 4x4 pictures!
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:24 AM   #4
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sprinter 4x4

hi everybody and thanks for your warm welcome it took the whole day to register again. so lets start over again
Iglhaut sprinter 4x4 conversion starts at € 20000 plus options like difflocks. but the front spring cracks. the vehicle is very noisy and they blame it on the tires but it is the front spring knocking on the diff housing and the shocks knocking on the body. Iglhaut was approved from MB but not anymore!

achleitner has the better system with coil suspension in front and that was the reason why they never got MB approval and they called it Mantra. now they busy with the approval and it looks like they get it. the only problems reported was that in the beginning during design stage some vehicles fall over. but that is done. the achleitner system is copied from the Iglhaut front axle and then modified to coils. price starts at € 21000

the oberaigner is a straight forward 4wd without fancy stuff and is supplied to MB as the MB factory 4wd. as MB relies on electronic esp/asr/abs there is no difflock available. and it works. price about
€ 10000. the advantage of oberaigner is the low weight of the components.

center of grafity? well the sprinter body is very light and only panels. with the added weight underneath the centre of grafity drops but remember the added ground clearance! and that is the point "real men need real groundclearance"

the yellow sprinter in the article is my sprinter i build at Iglhaut. now they show it but they dont know how i did it! ha ha ha

i find it not a good idea from sportsmobile to invent the wheel new because with an factory approved system you have no warrenty problems, no testing, and rest assured it works.
i dont know in the us but legislation and registration problems is costly.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:36 AM   #5
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sprinter 4x4

i forgot the yellow sprinter is a 316 CDI. the 316 is not available in South Africa and that is why they lay about it.

the side for the pics
www.sportsvans.co.za/pics.html

ps. the fat guy in front of the yellow sprinter is me
ha ha ha
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:37 AM   #6
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Frank ... thanks for pictures and information. How much lift does Iglhaut and the other companies add to the Sprinters to increase ground clearance and accomodate the larger tires?
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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Also is there any concern about raising the center of gravity of the already tall Sprinters, with rollovers or handling?
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:16 PM   #8
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sprinter 4x4

the groundclearance is normaly increased on the T1N and NCV3 about 100mm 4inch
i can increase the ground clearance about 150 mm 6 inch which also increase your carry capacity by up to 2 tons 4000 pounds.
but the most important is your tires. on the T1N the 16" gives you an additional inch and that makes it under your lowest point the rear axle 320 mm about 12 -13 inch
but if you fit 16"rims with 265 70 16 tires you have to modify the wheel arches.
on the NCV3 it gives you about the same ground clearance but adjustable according to requirements.
as higher your suspension it gets harder but for normal driving better performance.
at about 300 mm 12" you have the best mixture bedween softride carry capacity and off road axle articulation.
never mind rollover almost impossible. with 285 70 16 and raised suspension to 300 mm 12" you beat in road holding any standart sportscar. because of the low top weight of the sprinter( just panels)
and the added weight (front diff, steel parts, transfercase) you have a low center of gravity. once in the mountains i went around a corner and my yellow sprinter went to the left side thar the co driver picked up stones from the street with out stretching his arms. but i was shitting myself and the sprinter didnt even lift a wheel.
may be i still have the video of this act. when i got it i upload it to my web site,with the pics
remember german engineering
ha ha ha i have to brag a little
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:00 PM   #9
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Frank says above that Iglhaut 4x4 systems are not approved by Mercedes Benz anymore. On website www.4x424.com I came across this 2006 article about their Sprinter all-wheel-drive system. Though outdated, I thought I'd post it for the tire and clearance data to enhance such discussions above.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4

Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles introduces the Sprinter 4x4 permanent four-wheel drive. The Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Van Division of DaimlerChrysler SA identified a need in the southern African market for an all terrain vehicle to meet the demands of their customers. Partnering with a Mercedes-Benz approved dealership and preferred body conversion company Messrs. Iglhaut GmbH has provided an opportunity to meet this demand.

Iglhaut GmbH has recently imported their test vehicle for demonstrations throughout southern Africa. While the Iglhaut team is preparing to open local workshops here in Gauteng, the Sprinter 4x4 will be touring the country and giving demonstrations to various industries, namely the emergency services - ambulances, fire engines, disaster management rescue units, telecommunications and electricity suppliers, and tour operators.

The Sprinter 4x4 is based on a standard Mercedes-Benz Sprinter panel van and/or chassis cab, which is converted by Inglhaut to customer specifications. The basic drive train used is the same as the standard Sprinter. However, the front axle has been converted into a driving axle together with 3 diff-locks and transfer gearbox, including low range (i=2,5). The vehicle is fitted with tires ranging from 265-285-315 X 16-inch wheels, dependent on the application and usage of the vehicle. The Sprinter 4x4 has a five-speed manual gearbox with permanent four-wheel drive.

This conversion with their wheel changes gives maximum ground clearance of 315 mm, making it a real off-road all terrain vehicle. The approach and departure angles are dependent on the wheelbase. The Sprinter 313 CDI with a wheelbase of 3,550 mm has a front approach angle of 39 degrees and a departure angle of 29 degrees.

Orders for the Sprinter 4x4 can be placed through the local Mercedes-Benz dealership, who will also stock the various parts. No specialized tools are required as these are standard Mercedes-Benz stock items. Artemus Trading Ltd of Pretoria will stock the special parts required for the 4x4 conversion and will carry a surplus for spare parts.

"Although there are a number of 4x4 vehicles on the market, the Sprinter has the advantage of space and is easily adaptable to many different applications," said Gert Grobler, Product Manager, Mercedes-Benz Van Division of DaimlerChrysler SA.

Safety features are standard and include ABS (anti-lock brake system), integral ASR (acceleration skid control) and ESP (electronic stability program) to improve driving stability. The Sprinter 4x4 comes standard with parcel shelves, side panels, a fire extinguisher, a grab handle at the entrance, and an emergency exit. Airbags for the driver and front passenger are standard.

The bottom line is safety systems help overcome critical situations, but the laws that govern the physics of driving still apply. Drivers need to learn how to use the systems properly. For this reason, many companies insist that their drivers attend a safety training course, and Mercedes-Benz will be instrumental in conducting specialized 4x4 training courses for these units.

Once the 4x4 conversions of the Mercedes-Benz panel vans or freight carriers has been undertaken by Iglhaut, the body conversions can only be done through recommended Mercedes-Benz convertors, who are SABS approved. They offer a wide variety of conversions to suit specific requirements, including ambulances, fire engines, mobile workshops, motor homes and eco-tourism buses, among others.

"Our body-builders specialize in the conversions of all Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Vito vans, and are fully equipped to ensure the necessary safety measures are adhered to. They also ensure the conversions keep in line with our stringent body-building directives," said Gert Grobler.

"The Vito and Sprinter vans are ideally suited for any conversion due to the flexibility of the interior design, and can acommodate many types of conversions," added Grobler.

The Sprinter 4x4 vans come in hi-roof versions, and are ideally suited for conversion purposes, as persons can stand up stright and avoid neck and back injury. Easy access is gained through the convenient wide-opening sliding doors and the double-opening rear doors. Several anchorage lugs in the rear are securely mounted for additional safety, and all seats are fitted with integral three-point belts, two or four-way head restraings. A tow hitch and winch can easily be fitted to the front and/or rear of the vehicle.

Iglhaut GmbH is based in the Wuerzburg area of Germany, and have been in operation since 1965. They recently celebrated forty years of operation as a successful Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle and passenger car dealership, and twenty-five years experience in the off-road market. The two workshop/sales/service outlets, situated in Marktbreit and Kitzingenin, have unsurpassed expertise and knowledge in the conversions of the Sprinter 4x4 vehicles. Iglhaut is the preferred supplier of quality 4x4 Sprinters in all configurations for DaimlerChrysler AG in Germany.

The Iglhaut factory is based in Marktbreit Germany and conducts a serious program of ongoing testing on the Sprinter 4x4 units in extreme conditions. With a full staff complement, the vehicles are produced to extremely high standards.

"We are delighted with the opportunity of this unique partnership, which also provides an opportunity of passing on our skills and expertise in the training of technicians locally," said Michael Iglhaut, Dealer Principal of Iglhaut GmbH. The new South African factory will commence their first phase of operation on November 1, 2006. Artemus Trading Ltd will initially train 10 young technicians who will be sourced from local technikons, and will received theoretical and practical training to the exacting standards of the Iglhaut GmbH technicians in Germany.

"We are aware of the harsh southern African conditions and the local units will be converted to these conditions," added Michael Iglhaut. "The Sprinter 4x4 is a real off-road vehicle, not to be confused with the standard all-wheel drive available from the factory in Germany." The 4x4 Sprinter is a purpose built unit, expecially designed and built after many requests from the emergency services in the various provinces and other Quasi government divisions to give them an all-terrain vehicle with high ground clearance in a van execution.

Iglhaut GmbH supplies off-road vehicles to a number of high-profile customers all over Europe, including the Red Cross. They export to Iceland where the conditions are treacherous and mountainous, as well as to England andAustrailia. production of the Sprinter 4x4 in Europe has reached 150 per year and Iglhaut expects to manufacture a similar quantity in South Africa.

"Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles are aware that the need for services in the informal settlements are imperative, and are confident that the Sprinter 4x4 will be able to gain immediate access due to its agility and speed. Even in permanent four-wheel drive, the Sprinter 4x4 can travel at high speed when required. With emergency services and disaster management in mind, we as a manufacturer take their needs extremely seriously, and for this reason have established this unique partnership with Artemus Trading Ltd and will maintain that our vehicles be adequately prepared for these conversions," said Grobler.

The current test demonstration vehicle is the Sprinter 313 CDI. However, the model chosen for the southern African Sprinter 4x4 is the new Sprinter 315 CDI, which will be introduced in March 2007. The 4-cylinder engine will give a power output of 110 kW and a more than adequate 330 Nm of torque. The wheelbase of 3,665 mm is best suited for a wide variety of applications, ensuring a comfortable ride, and is the ideal fit for the 4x4 conversion.

Full detailed information on all Mercedes-Benz vans including full specifications, dimensions and applications can be discussed directly with Artemus Trading Ltd. However, all orders will be placed through the MercedespBenz local deal network.

END OF ARTICLE
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:07 AM   #10
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approval

yes Iglhaut was approved from MB for the T1N but approval for the NCV3 is pending. fact is that only 50 to 70 units is produced in germany
this article was written last year for my yellow Sprinter and as you can read above it is a 316 CDI
the only approved and prefered supplier of Sprinter 4x4 is Oberaigner and he supplies the factory.
but at that time Iglhaut was the only one prepaired to open up in RSA and that was the reason Daimler and Iglhaut came together.
remember all data given in the article is not correct and is for reference only and for the T1N. the vehicle esp is disabled because of the difflocks. requirement of daimler germany.
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