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  #1  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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Mercedes T1 vs Sprinter

Hallo!

I'm interested in buy a new overlander vehicle, as my W123 is becoming too small due to family extension
I often travel in other continents, plans are to go to Africa again, North America, South-America and so on.

I'm looking for a new one, for overland travels.

I am thinking about the perfect setup, and I got two possible contestants.
It will


a) T1 (309d, 310d)

b) Sprinter (312d, 313/316CDI)

I will go off-road, travel over bumpy stoney roads and travel through dust and and pour in poor diesel once in a while.

It must be very durable and capable. I need to trust it very well and if it breaks, some bush mechanic from a distant village should be able to help me, without a computer.

So I would like to know, how is the Sprinter in general and more specificly, the engine.
Are those engines, the OM602 and the OM611/612 as good as the OM617 for these kind of trips?


Pross/cons


309d/310d:

- goold old OM617 engine
- had to find 4x4 versions
- bad MPG


312d of 316CDI (2000-2006, not newer)

- more choice in 4x4 examples
- more choice and better examples with low mileage
- better MPG


Jurgen
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http://300td.org - The weblog of a W123 on veggie oil
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  #2  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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There are no many 4x4 and 3xx arround, when i look at in Switzerland at sample.

AutoScout24

I like the look of the 310 much more than the newer ones.



Your old "project" was really really cool, was on your blog severall times over the years!

Surfy
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  #3  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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any new vehicle will cause major problems with fuel outside europe. euro5 was bad enough, euro 6 makes it pretty much impossible unless someone else knows of a way of making it work, but the professional overland truck builders I have talked to can't
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  #4  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moggy 1968 View Post
any new vehicle will cause major problems with fuel outside europe. euro5 was bad enough, euro 6 makes it pretty much impossible unless someone else knows of a way of making it work, but the professional overland truck builders I have talked to can't
These overland truck builders have mostly no experience with newer models and Euro4 upwards. Because not many use them.

Here see you some of them get stranded and how they could solve it:

4x4tripping: Using an Euro5 Diesel car for an worldtrip?

The manufacturer usually had to be involved , or an specialist. They do a downgrade to Euro3 or less.

An Overland truck builder usually do other stuff, they have to train about, when more people start to use these newer models. What they do....

My little research shows that mercedes is better there, has experience how to resolve it, while VW users spend their money to clean (and replace from time to time) their DPF. In both cases it is hard to catch a guy even from the manufacturer who has knowledge about.

Surfy
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  #5  
Old 25 Feb 2014
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I've got a T1 309D, good robust vehicle.

Quite common with a factory diff lock in Germany, not so common with a 4x4 conversion. The diff locked version will go pretty much where a regular 4x4 will go without diff locks - sand will be the only problem.

The non electronic OM engines are good for one million kms if cared for. Easy to fix, everything mechanical, the turbo version can run hot in the tropics, but that extra power is really nice if you are running the vehicle at max gross weight.

Some good conversions (campervan) are available in Germany for the T1, extra high roof, shower, beds for 4 adults, etc.

I lived in a Westfalia James Cook 309D for 9 months, very easy as it was completely self contained.

Rust in wings and sills is a big problem.

Changes I'd make - diesel hot water/air heater, compressor fridge, diesel cooktop and get rid of the autogas tank for the appliances.

Sprinter - the T1N was almost a cosmetic update of the T1, parts will be more readily available. Far more complex engine, battery change requires a computer!!!
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  #6  
Old 26 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfy View Post
These overland truck builders have mostly no experience with newer models and Euro4 upwards. Because not many use them.

Here see you some of them get stranded and how they could solve it:

4x4tripping: Using an Euro5 Diesel car for an worldtrip?

The manufacturer usually had to be involved , or an specialist. They do a downgrade to Euro3 or less.

An Overland truck builder usually do other stuff, they have to train about, when more people start to use these newer models. What they do....

My little research shows that mercedes is better there, has experience how to resolve it, while VW users spend their money to clean (and replace from time to time) their DPF. In both cases it is hard to catch a guy even from the manufacturer who has knowledge about.

Surfy
and then it fails the emissions test in your own country!!
In the UK it is illegal to modify your vehicle in such a way as to produce more emissions than the manufacturers standard (either by modification or removal of parts)
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  #7  
Old 26 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moggy 1968 View Post
and then it fails the emissions test in your own country!!
In the UK it is illegal to modify your vehicle in such a way as to produce more emissions than the manufacturers standard (either by modification or removal of parts)
The EU had stopped these emissions-tests for car with ODB2 Interface (on board diagnostic system) at 2013. Because this diagnostic system would show problems with the emission.

Therefore nobody will know that your vehicle had not the Euro5 Upwards standard anymore. Because there is too no error after the professional downgrade.

Legal? For shure we travelers will enable Euro5 when we are back at home. We all take care for our planet!

Surfy
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  #8  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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emmisions, CATs and DPFs are now inspected as part of the UK MOT test.

I'm not saying it can't be done, just that there are other implications to think of.

It's a mute point whether euro 5 and 6 really help save the planet. It negatively affects fuel consumption, increases the use of raw materials in the build process, reduces power which tends to increase engine size, so increasing fuel consumption more.

The Government tend to be obsessed with tailpipe emissions, not whole life impact, probably because it is easier to make it look as though they are doing something when in reality they don't give a whatsit.

DPFs just move the pollution elsewhere anyway, so they self clean by chucking a load of shit out when you get on the open road, but then, the Government are only interested in London!!

Last edited by moggy 1968; 27 Feb 2014 at 16:57.
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  #9  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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This raises a question as to bothering to MOT a vehicle that you aren't going to use in its 'country of origin'.

As far as I'm aware the tax/mot status of your vehicle is irrelevant once outside of the UK, I was often in checkpoints in Ireland in UK reg vehicles that had nothing only insurance on them and the Garda (irish police) seemed happy enough with that.
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  #10  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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I've been asked for it in Europe when I've been stopped. How you would manage that returning from a long trip where the MOT has expired I don't know, same with tax as you can't tax without an MOT. there was a thread on it here somewhere and there was no definitive answer. It was a situation that seemed to be beyond the comprehension of DVLA!
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  #11  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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Whilst the UK is still in the EU we are rapidly heading for universal access for all enforcement agencies (VOSA (soon to be called DVSA) in the UK ) to records of MOT, operator licencing , etc thruout EU . With eventual ability to have a vehicle registered in country "A" to have a MOT test (or equivalent) in country "B , C or D" . Having a vehicle with DPF removed or other alteration is already an offence , and could result in PG9 ( use on road prohibition ) needing removal by recovery vehicle . There is already a requirement to have a home country MOT in force whilst being used in another country . Should an mot expire whilst overseas, then a vehicle returning to UK would legally only be able to be driven a reasonable distance to a pre arranged MOT test . Insurance would need to be valid at that time , otherwise the vehicle would be liable to seizure by police . HTSH
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  #12  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moggy 1968 View Post
I've been asked for it in Europe when I've been stopped. How you would manage that returning from a long trip where the MOT has expired I don't know, same with tax as you can't tax without an MOT. there was a thread on it here somewhere and there was no definitive answer. It was a situation that seemed to be beyond the comprehension of DVLA!
Oh don't get me wrong, I've been asked for it, but ultimately they couldn't do anything about it. You cannot be prosecuted for driving an untaxed vehicle outside of its country of origin because road tax is a national thing, not EU wide. Believe me if you ever have the misfortune to run across the Irish traffic squad, their whole purpose is to collect money from people and if they can do you they will.
Equally as yet they cannot tell if its tested or not outside your country of origin either. I would also imagine that given that car testing schemes/scams are national the same would apply once the vehicle was in basic roadworthy condition.
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  #13  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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I was pulled in germany by 2 unmarked cars late one night without my documents (V5 as well, I had the new owners slip but apparently that wasn't adequate). It was stupid but I was only in Europe for 3 days and I go over so often for short runs I suppose I just got a bit blase about it.

I don't know which bit bothered them most, insurance I think but they wanted MOT as well.

They cut my registration plates off and impounded my vehicle at the service station they had pulled me into. the next morning I had to walk to the nearest town (15kms away!) to reregister the vehicle on temporary German plates, get German insurance and then drive home.

The only reason I got off so lightly was my wife was pregnant and due to drop so the police let me off the alternative of impounding my vehicle for 5 days while they made the necessary investigations!

They were as familiar with UK docs and regulations as a UK copper. I asked why they pulled me, apparently they specifically hunt for UK registered vehicles on that stretch of road (main road from Northern Poland, the A2) as it is frequented by Eastern Europeans who often don't have the correct documentation.

paper MOTs aren't handed out any more so I don't know what they do now. Can't imagine they have access to the UK MOT database, but then, who knows these days! I don't know if they would even know that if I got pulled now, anyone fancy an experiment!!
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  #14  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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The OM617 (as you know) is pretty legendary but IMHO it will be far more stressed in the T1 than in a W123. The turbo version is even more stressed. The turbo version will generate a lot of heat and may well suffer bore wear and or melt pistons if used at full throttle for any period of time(which you will on any hill!)
I guess the agricultural nature doesn't bother you.

The OM602 is a huge leap forward in refinement, economy, power. I believe some suffer from a weakness in the head gasket department though. Nice and basic Bosch injection pump (not the 2.9litre version). Reputed to do 500,000km's if looked after.

I don't know about the OM611/612. I think they are the same as the OM602 and the 20 valve OM605 minus a cylinder.

Early Sprinters rust like crazy though.
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  #15  
Old 27 Feb 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moggy 1968 View Post
I was pulled in germany by 2 unmarked cars late one night without my documents (V5 as well, I had the new owners slip but apparently that wasn't adequate). It was stupid but I was only in Europe for 3 days and I go over so often for short runs I suppose I just got a bit blase about it.

I don't know which bit bothered them most, insurance I think but they wanted MOT as well.

They cut my registration plates off and impounded my vehicle at the service station they had pulled me into. the next morning I had to walk to the nearest town (15kms away!) to reregister the vehicle on temporary German plates, get German insurance and then drive home.

The only reason I got off so lightly was my wife was pregnant and due to drop so the police let me off the alternative of impounding my vehicle for 5 days while they made the necessary investigations!

They were as familiar with UK docs and regulations as a UK copper. I asked why they pulled me, apparently they specifically hunt for UK registered vehicles on that stretch of road (main road from Northern Poland, the A2) as it is frequented by Eastern Europeans who often don't have the correct documentation.

paper MOTs aren't handed out any more so I don't know what they do now. Can't imagine they have access to the UK MOT database, but then, who knows these days! I don't know if they would even know that if I got pulled now, anyone fancy an experiment!!
That's my point, insurance is the only one they are interested in, because that's the only one they can prosecute for. I wouldn't go anywhere now without the policy in case some 'keen' copper rings in the wrong details for your car. At least with the certificate you can force him to contact the insurance database again.
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