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Old 11-14-2014, 09:54 PM   #1
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4X4 Sprinter review

http://m.nydailynews.com/autos/lates...icle-1.2005493 This may be the wrong spot for this but admin can move. Hope it's helpful.
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Old 11-15-2014, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

With EVERY picture I see of the 4X4 Sprinter one word always comes to mind - TRIPOD.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:21 PM   #3
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
With EVERY picture I see of the 4X4 Sprinter one word always comes to mind - TRIPOD.
Can you share your thoughts on pros and cons of a "TRIPOD" like on these pictures versus a lot more wheel travel to keep all four on ground?
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:06 AM   #4
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
With EVERY picture I see of the 4X4 Sprinter one word always comes to mind - TRIPOD.
Can you share your thoughts on pros and cons of a "TRIPOD" like on these pictures versus a lot more wheel travel to keep all four on ground?
-More uniform ground bearing pressure to reduce the likelihood of sinking a tire
-Better traction because coefficient of friction is not a linear relationship with pressure. As pressure (at the contact patch) goes up, grip does not go up quite as much.
-The transient affects of the load transferring from one tire to the other can easily upset the rig.
-Up to 50% less steering control and braking power.

Plus, the limited articulation is indicative of limited suspension travel, which also causes poor ride quality, and in extreme conditions can cause unsettled handling as the tires become the suspension.
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #5
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajaSportsmobile
With EVERY picture I see of the 4X4 Sprinter one word always comes to mind - TRIPOD.
Can you share your thoughts on pros and cons of a "TRIPOD" like on these pictures versus a lot more wheel travel to keep all four on ground?
Limited travel (tripod) equals limited off-road capability.

Good fit for Sprinter 4X4




Not such a good fit

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Old 11-17-2014, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

Nice pics Tap
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:57 PM   #7
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

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Originally Posted by carringb
....cut.....

Plus, the limited articulation is indicative of limited suspension travel, which also causes poor ride quality, and in extreme conditions can cause unsettled handling as the tires become the suspension.
carringb, do you mean poor ride quality for the road or the off-road? Not sure because the tires would lift off ground before becoming a major part of suspension travel.

If you mean poor road handling, I can see someone arguing the very opposite. Ideal road handling would not yield very much articulation for off-road driving. Likewise, a lot of articulation for off-road requires a suspension with relatively low spring rates, which leads to excessive roll. If springs are made stiffer then wheels lift off the ground anyway even if suspension had more travel left.

I guess you could have both with some form of active suspension, but I haven't seen much of that. So it seems to me that if set up for best road driving -- like the Sprinter -- the wheels will likely lift off the ground at times; and if set up for extreme off road driving with lots of articulation before wheels lift off ground, then it would probably roll too much for good on-road handling. And even if disconnectable sway bars are added, spring rates could still be too soft. I can see a good compromise but both have pros and cons.

I don't know the right answer for top-heavy vans. For a buggy I built when I was much younger which had a very low center of gravity, lifting a front wheel off the ground wasn't much of an issue. Granted, that was 2WD and rear heavy -- a completely different type of vehicle.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:34 PM   #8
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

Great pics for those who are visual learners! My wife and I were thinking ahead if we would get older and move to a Sprinter or Fords new van line and think…hard pill to swallow after the Econoline/SMB...I am so sad for the Econoline death…but sooooo happy I got one just in time. I am thinking that re-sale value for our Sportsmobiles has gone to the above average side due to avail… too....who knew it would end up such a win-win...
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:15 PM   #9
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance
carringb, do you mean poor ride quality for the road or the off-road?
Generally both. Example: Quigley vans.

The reason stiff suspension shows up in performance cars isn't because in inherently makes handling better. It's actually a side effect of maintaining proper suspension kinematics, reducing mass, and keeping mass low. On anything but the smoothest track surfaces, stiff suspension hinders handling when measured by maximum grip, as transient effects (wheel hop, jounce at the suspension travel limits, etc) take over.

That said.... long travel suspension can be fast on the track too:
[youtube:79a8244i]
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:36 PM   #10
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Re: 4X4 Sprinter review

I think the compromises with the sprinter 4x4 will be worthwhile for many of us. If you plan rock crawling in Moab to be your benchmark, then the sprinter 4x4 (probably should call it AWD) is probably wrong. But, if you want to get through inclement weather, up steep loose gravel roads, into remote campsites, and generally through 90% of the fire roads out there, the sprinter will be more spacious, ride better on the road, handle better, and last but not least, have far better Fuel economy.

Also, while traditionalists who love lockers and stuff will insist that keeping all four tires on the ground is essential, I find what some of vehicles can do with electronic traction control and a stiff frame (beneficial for other reasons) pretty amazing. In the end, extreme off-roading responds fundamentally to one thing: big tires. Those tires have horrible highway safety, ride comfort, and fuel economy. So, as you can imagine, I'm a sprinter AWD fan and want one badly.
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