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  #1  
Old 07-31-2015, 09:50 PM
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Observation on Sprinters - they always seem to have a lot of body corrosion

Completely unscientific observation, but most of the Sprinters I see on the road are white, and being used professionally by some company or other. But many of them just seem to show a lot of rust on the body exterior. I guess I'm talking about older ones - but I don't know how old. The rust just seems excessive on the exterior of these things. Where I live we do use _some_ salt on the roads, but I'm not in a real snow belt area.

And OK, I know this isn't really diesel related, but I think they all use diesels, right?

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Old 07-31-2015, 10:10 PM
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My brothers is also very rusty.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:20 PM
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We have a Sprinter at the office of unknown age, 140,000 or some such mileage. It's white paint is kind of chalky but there's not a spot of rust on it.

Now, it doesn't get used a whole lot, only when we have to haul something that's too big for a normal van.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:29 PM
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2015, 12:28 PM
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Depending on the company, many commercial vehicles never get washed. When run through the salt and into spring, the salt continues to hold moisture keeping rust going.

The only time the salt gets washed off is in a spring rain storm but that stirs up salt on the road so it might be a while until clear water washes the vehicle.

Also, rust typically starts out as a stone chip / sharp edge of a panel, no one is looking after the truck touching up paint.

And, a commercial vehicle is likely to wear out / fully depreciate before it rusts out.
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Old 08-01-2015, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
Depending on the company, many commercial vehicles never get washed. When run through the salt and into spring, the salt continues to hold moisture keeping rust going.

The only time the salt gets washed off is in a spring rain storm but that stirs up salt on the road so it might be a while until clear water washes the vehicle.

Also, rust typically starts out as a stone chip / sharp edge of a panel, no one is looking after the truck touching up paint.

And, a commercial vehicle is likely to wear out / fully depreciate before it rusts out.
Couple points- the sprinters specifically are notorious rust buckets above and beyond anything else and their doors rust out in the middle of the panels badly from inside it seems. Not stone chips.

Commercial vans are far more likely to rust out before they wear out, you have that in reverse.
We are talking some of the most reliable class of vehicles there are. Designed for punishing endless use.

When i was shopping for my commercial van i wanted a first gen sprinter, but their body rust is a real nightmare. Ended up going with an express, which has superior corrosion resistance in comparison.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:47 PM
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Early US market sprinters suffer from the same rust problems as every other Mercedes from the late 90s and early 00s. MB's paint process was ****.
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Old 08-01-2015, 09:56 PM
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Yeah, every time you see an old Sprinter around here, it looks horrid.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2015, 10:54 PM
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Wear out in the sense that " this vehicle is too unreliable / needs too much repaired to be worth keeping ". I'm considering companies that buy new and turn over not the odds and ends that some get and keep limping along.
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2015, 09:46 AM
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Ours has been in the south most of its life but has surface rust. The paint is about the worst automotive paint I've ever seen. It's a thin single stage paint, no clear coat at all. It is chalky and flakes off, the rust is where the paint flaked off.
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  #11  
Old 08-02-2015, 11:34 AM
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Friends have a Roadtrek camper based on the diesel Sprinter chassis. They've traveled all over the (USA) nation but are based in central California. No rust on their vehicle that I've seen. I wonder if the camper company (they're in eastern Canada) puts another coat of paint over the factory paint?
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2015, 11:40 AM
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On the plus side, you could use your sprinter as an extra layer of rust proffing for your other car.

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  #13  
Old 08-02-2015, 07:24 PM
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It is mostly the way they are treated. VW Eurovans suffered the same fate...(we had lots of them around in Canada as a commercial spec diesel van).
I know of some well taken care of Sprinters, and they are mint/perfect. Normal washing and waxing/touch ups goes a long way to keeping them rust free. Peculiar is where the Sprinter rusts, the newer generation along the body trim in the middle, it must vibrate or hold a ton of salt as they would not be dented or scratched there. But in general just unloved and driven till they die that is why they are rusty.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:04 PM
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Speaking of rust, seems the 1970's Jap mini pickups all rusted away in <10 years in the east, but you still see them on LA freeways looking like they did in 1974. Depends on where you live. The change to galvanized sheet-metal in the 1980's helped tremendously. Today, body rust is a rare problem in states like GA, but nothing works for long in the rust belt.
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  #15  
Old 08-03-2015, 03:51 PM
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Here's our work "beater", Fruit-liner version. It's chalky on the outside, stinky and tore up on the inside but it runs and drives great.

I looked up underneath it and there's literally no rust.




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