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Old 09-28-2016, 11:54 PM   #31
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The post on the Sprinter Forum is great. I look forward to some challenges in my Sprinter off road. It certainly isn't built as heavily as my SMB but it also will not weigh as much when it's fully built. Factory stock the Sprinter cargo van weighs about 5800#. My build will add less than 2000#. The SMB weighed about 9000#. Maybe the lighter weight will translate into added agility off road!
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:36 PM   #32
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Here is what happens to a Sprinter when it is not on flat ground (aka a planar surface). This is known as tripodding.
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:50 PM   #33
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When the vehicle tripods, there is no resistance to the lifted wheel and it will slip. Sprinter have limited slip differentials, so you get limited traction to the axle.

Also, as the vehicle moves, it pivots. Here is a YouTube of a Sprinter creeping forward in tripod position and then pivoting.



Now, I don't know about others, but I surely don't want my vehicle doing that.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:03 PM   #34
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Here are some images of what the Ford Econoline SMB does when it meets a non-planar surface. The articulating (floating) axles allow the four wheels to maintain contact with the ground and usually maintain more traction as well as avoiding tripodding and pivoting.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:22 PM   #35
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I used to own a Kubota tractor with 4x4 and a differential lock. This particular tractor had a low center of gravity, widely spaced front wheels, and ag tires. I used it on hillsides with fallen trees and large rocks/small boulders, not the place you take most farming tractors. There were innumerable times that the tractor wound up on a sloped and contorted surface and couldn't move. Usually, shifting to 4x4 would get it out, but it also wasn't unusual for the vehicle to be unable to move. Straightening the wheels and locking the differential was like magic. It was as though the thing suddenly had tank treads. It may as well have been on flat dry concrete and just drove right out. That differential lock was a life saver. There were a couple of times I got into a bottomless clay mud pit and all 4 wheels dug themselves down, high centering the frame atop the mud. It then took a winch to pull it out of the quagmire.

In my gut, I just worry that the LSD on a Sprinter cannot do what an air locker can do on floating axles.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:27 PM   #36
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The Econoline in this YouTube is a Quigley, not a SMB. Still, this gives you an idea of the climbing ability of a 4x4 Econoline.



Disclaimer: this is the short bed Econoline. The long bed has a much smaller angle of departure and would drag the rear bumper.
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Old 12-22-2016, 08:54 PM   #37
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Quote:
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When the vehicle tripods, there is no resistance to the lifted wheel and it will slip. Sprinter have limited slip differentials, so you get limited traction to the axle.

Also, as the vehicle moves, it pivots. Here is a YouTube of a Sprinter creeping forward in tripod position and then pivoting.



Now, I don't know about others, but I surely don't want my vehicle doing that.
Nobody isn't going to make the argument that a Sprinter is even remotely as capable as a Ford that's had its entire driveline replaced with heavy duty offroad running gear. The owner of SMB made comment that the Sprinter will do 80-85% of what the Ford will do.

With a low-speed transfer case, an EDL system on the front and rear axles, and a beefy chassis, the Sprinter is far more capable than most would give credit for. Our Cayenne can get places that a Tacoma can't, despite the Tacoma haven't an articulation advantage. There is a lot more than articulation that goes into how good something is offroad. If you're rock crawling, articulation is king. But, I don't think any Sprinter owners are under the assumption that they can rock crawl this van.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:17 PM   #38
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I'm glad you like your Sprinter. There are a lot of features I wish I could take from the Sprinter and incorporate into the Ford. Two things I notice about this video are that 1.) there are no rocks at all, and 2) the basic contour of the ground is completely flat (i.e. there are no hills at all). The only obstacle is nothing more than substantially large potholes. You can encounter these conditions on a lot of dirt roads that have not been graded. There is just no way I would take any vehicle into a situation where it would tripod and pivot like the one in the video. This thread is about what a Sprinter can handle and what it cannot. I'm happy you like your vehicle, but I do think the video speaks for itself.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:39 PM   #39
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Seems like it would have been more prudent for that Sprinter to just drive around that big hole.
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:56 PM   #40
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I'm glad you like your Sprinter. There are a lot of features I wish I could take from the Sprinter and incorporate into the Ford. Two things I notice about this video are that 1.) there are no rocks at all, and 2) the basic contour of the ground is completely flat (i.e. there are no hills at all). The only obstacle is nothing more than substantially large potholes. You can encounter these conditions on a lot of dirt roads that have not been graded. There is just no way I would take any vehicle into a situation where it would tripod and pivot like the one in the video. This thread is about what a Sprinter can handle and what it cannot. I'm happy you like your vehicle, but I do think the video speaks for itself.
I don't own a Sprinter.

The Sprinter has an independent front suspension where the Ford has a floating axle. No disrespect, but the short comings and capabilities of each are well established. Ford vs Sprinter is Apples to Oranges. Ford has true rock crawling capability. The Sprinter does not. If you need that true rock crawling capability, then the Ford is your huckleberry.

No offense, but I question whether you've actually been offroad in any of the places you linked, because places out here in the west are littered with all kinds of vehicles getting into places you'd never imagine.
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