Mercedes Rear Suspension

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Post by JDS on Mon Oct 12, 2015 10:58 am

I have been following the previous posts about Air suspension broken leaf springs etc with interest. My vehicle is a March 2015 AS Mercedes Bourton. Mine is unusual as we have the Luton roof and the extra seats to make it a true 4 berth. The same as the Broadway EK but on a Merc 3500kg medium 3.665m wheelbase chassis. We had the van replated to 3800 kg from new which gives 2250 kg on the rear axle. A paperwork exercise only no modifications. This is the only one AS have built on the Merc chassis. We have had a few issues, but being sorted gradually.
From new the rear end has been low. AS noticed this during build and supposedly had been in touch with Mercedes who confirmed the spec of the rear suspension was correct. So as far as AS were concerned that was it. However I was not happy and started to look at air assist suspension but as others have found the only Merc approved supplier does not have a system for the Sprinter only the expensive full air system at £4000. Frustrated I took the van into Midland Truck and Van in West Midlands (main Merc commercial dealership). I discussed this with a Mr Hugh McGrath (Workshop controller) and who straight away had seen a similar problem a number of times on Sprinters. It turns out the incorrect leaf springs had been fitted. Within a few days the correct springs had been ordered and fitted. We had a bit of a problem (much to Hugh’s embarrassment) which has happened before as reported on the forum one of the leaf springs was fitted the wrong way round identified by the steering wheel being at 10 past rather than straight. So back on the lift and turned around. Apparently there is only 3mm difference between front and rear so an easy mistake.
The difference is tremendous, the rear has been lifted by approx. 50 mm and the suspension is now much stiffer with little wallowing at low speed. The pay off is that the ride is a little harsher but nowhere near as hard as our previous Broadway. Cornering also seems more positive.

So in conclusion if you have a soggy bottom it worth getting it physically checked by a good Mercedes dealer, who knows what he is talking about.

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Post by Bobskate on Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:09 am

I admire your tenacity but if you have a gut feeling that something is wrong you have to go with it. It's all rather worrying that AS did not pick this issue up. It all as thought it's made up as they go along!
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Post by Pete Taylor on Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:07 pm

Having been up and down this road with our Dec 2014 Stanton (ordered July 2014 with 3500kg, delivered with 3200 kg) I am firmly convinced that A-S are not only saving money by purchasing Euro-spec vehicles not normally available in the UK, not aware of the differences in rear suspension for 3500kg but also making it up as they are going along when anyone with a modicum of engineering knowledge. who does a bit of research. questions them.

I will not be a repeat-order customer, not that they give a * Inappropriate Word * ming about customers.

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Post by inspiredron on Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:06 am

Did you not notice the 3200kg on delivery? You had the option to reject the vehicle then, as I did with my 3300kg Lancashire with the 2012 style body instead of the 2011 style and 3500kg.

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Post by Pete Taylor on Sat Nov 07, 2015 7:37 pm

inspiredron wrote:Did you not notice the 3200kg on delivery? You had the option to reject the vehicle then, as I did with my 3300kg Lancashire with the 2012 style body instead of the 2011 style and 3500kg.
Rather difficult with holidays already booked for a few days after pick-up.
The dealer did not seem to really understand the problem and certainly did not understand or act upon my (written) specification when I ordered the vehicle. I think they were misinformed by A-S when they passed on my technical questions and, over a period of months, did not ever get to grips with the issue of payload until after delivery.

It's pretty clear that the Euro-spec SWB Sprinter rated at 3200kg is not fit for purpose with a coach-built body and resulting tiny payload. I'm surprised that A-S have not yet gone over to UK spec suspension, added the extra £1k to the price and thereby pleasing customers who want a short coach-built with useable payload. Given the cost of over £60k, an extra grand seems a small consideration to produce a premium, fit for purpose vehicle.

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Post by Maasai Warrior on Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:15 pm

Hi Peter, l can understand why you are fed up with AS and your dealer regarding such a fundamental issue. I guess you have considered writing to Auto-Sleeper's CEO?

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Post by GWAYGWAY on Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:07 pm

I am a bit confused about rear suspension on the sprinters UK specs etc.  What is UK spec and why is it different, cart springs are springs why cost more and what difference?
The 3860kg models with the longer wheelbases are described as wallowing but so are Hymers with the same chassis. Would air assistance make it better? when paying so much for a chassis surely MB would get it right. Or are AS underspecifying the chassis when ordering from Germany.
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Post by Jaytee on Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:16 pm

Hi Dave,
How interesting and well done persevering. Mine was the one with broken spring.
I am now quite happy 'ish' with the harsh ride but am forever looking underneath checking the springs shrugg
So, out of interest would you be kind enough to ask Hugh what part number springs they fitted? The Mercedes dealer I take mine to refuses to look beyond the spec that was originally delivered.
Thanks muchly, John.

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Post by Pete Taylor on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:25 pm

GWAYGWAY wrote:I am a bit confused about rear suspension on the sprinters UK specs etc.  What is UK spec and why is it different, cart springs are springs why cost more and what difference?
The 3860kg models with the longer wheelbases are described as wallowing but so are Hymers with the same chassis. Would air assistance make it better? when paying so much for a chassis surely MB would get it right. Or are AS underspecifying the chassis when ordering from Germany.
The "euro spec" purchased by A-S affects much more than just the springs. UK spec has (or had in December 2014), for example, multi-function steering wheel and computer plus a load of other techy stuff. It is not possible to buy a Sprinter in the UK from M-B with the down-market spec used by A-S, according to my Merc commercial dealer.

wrt springs on the swb chassis/cowl, they (A-s) are specifying one which I believe, from experience, to be marginal for the Stanton application. There are several configurations of rear springs for each of the swb, mwb, lwb and xlwb chassis, depending upon payload/application. They range thro' single leaf, twin leaf, single with helper and iirc double with helper.... at least! So, your "cart springs are springs" comment is, for the Sprinter, perhaps an over-simplification?   hugegrins

Semi-air suspension has transformed my van's handling around roundabouts, etc.

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Post by JDS on Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:35 pm

Jaytee wrote:Hi Dave,
How interesting and well done persevering. Mine was the one with broken spring.
I am now quite happy 'ish' with the harsh ride but am forever looking underneath checking the springs shrugg
So, out of interest would you be kind enough to ask Hugh what part number springs they fitted? The Mercedes dealer I take mine to refuses to look beyond the spec that was originally delivered.
Thanks muchly, John.
Hello John, I did speak to Hugh at the time and he didn't disclose the part No. I think the new ones fitted are C3 (does that make sense). He swapped the fitted twin leaf springs for heavy duty single leaf springs. i am very happy with the ride having now done a few more miles a definite improvement. I think you were unlucky with your springs and must have been part of a poorly heat treated batch. When I asked Hugh about broken springs he said he had not experienced that, only the occasional one that may have struck a large pot hole. I dont think you will have any more problems.

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:06 pm

Dave, According to their Option specifier brochure, MB do three springs for the  Sprinter.
C33 - Twin Harder for use with high centre of gravity vehicles, AS specify this.
C38 - Single  for use with 3880kg weight vehicles - AS should specify this for the bigger MH but they don't.
C39 - Dual rate two leaf for added comfort, variable springing for varying weight vehicles.

There are various other suspension variations for front and rear they quote as well.

Your change was probably from C33 to C38.

Put you VIN into this link and it will give you the MB original build sheet for your chassis.
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Last edited by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by JDS on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:08 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:Dave, MB do three springs for the  Sprinter.
C33 - Twin Harder for use with high centre of gravity vehicles, AS specify this.
C38 - Single  for use with 3880kg weight vehicles - AS should specify this for the bigger MH but they don't.
C39 - Dual rate two leaf for added comfort, variable springing for varying weight vehicles.

Your change was probably from C33 to C38.
Thanks for the info Peter.

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:10 pm

JDS wrote:
PLOUGHLIN wrote:Dave, MB do three springs for the  Sprinter.
C33 - Twin Harder for use with high centre of gravity vehicles, AS specify this.
C38 - Single  for use with 3880kg weight vehicles - AS should specify this for the bigger MH but they don't.
C39 - Dual rate two leaf for added comfort, variable springing for varying weight vehicles.

Your change was probably from C33 to C38.
Thanks for the info Peter.
 See edit for further info.

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Post by Liam on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:23 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:
C33 - Twin Harder for use with high centre of gravity vehicles, AS specify this.
Peter,

Not sure this is strictly correct.

I have a Malvern (MB rated at 3880kg) LWB variant which has a single leaf spring and the vehicle vin details quote;- "C33 - Rear Spring Harder"!?

Confusion reigns.

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Post by JDS on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:38 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:
JDS wrote:
PLOUGHLIN wrote:Dave, MB do three springs for the  Sprinter.
C33 - Twin Harder for use with high centre of gravity vehicles, AS specify this.
C38 - Single  for use with 3880kg weight vehicles - AS should specify this for the bigger MH but they don't.
C39 - Dual rate two leaf for added comfort, variable springing for varying weight vehicles.

Your change was probably from C33 to C38.
Thanks for the info Peter.
 See edit for further info.
I had already been on this site previously and it states C33 Rear Spring Harder. It still states that after the change so I guess it is not updated by Merc.

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:44 pm

Liam wrote:
PLOUGHLIN wrote:
C33 - Twin Harder for use with high centre of gravity vehicles, AS specify this.
Peter,

Not sure this is strictly correct.

I have a Malvern (MB rated at 3880kg) LWB variant which has a single leaf spring and the vehicle vin details quote;- "C33 - Rear Spring Harder"!?

Confusion reigns.

Liam
Yes, mine is single but quoted as C33 as well, but MB spec brochure quotes as twin, that is why I said AS specify C33, but they should specify C38. Presumably C38 is more money than C38? Maybe it is MB VIN document is wrong. Mine says C33, with IT4 - 3.5 tonnes, but later says XL8 - 3880 kg weight variant? May be we have got C38 after all?

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Post by Jaytee on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:54 pm

Mine has the single Spring and C33 Spring called up on the build sheet so am 'presuming' that in the 2013 models the C33 was single Spring scratch head The C33 Spring is only rated to max axle load of 2250 I think from memory and AS's thinking is that you won't exceed that and I must admit even at just under gross weight with full water etc my back axle loading was only 2120kg so perhaps they are right. It does also say in the spec that the C33 gives a harsher ride unless fully loaded and that is correct as when I am down on weight it is a bit like driving on solid rubber tyres.
Touch wood it has been fine since replacement and the ride is level when grossed up.

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Post by Lordy70 on Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:58 pm

Hi everyone
New on here, read this with interest though as the bourton is the model I want but as jds has it with Luton and 2 travel seats in back. So basically JDS if you feel like selling it, I want first shout :-)
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Post by Burford Duo on Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:23 pm

Hi I have an Autosleeper Burford Duo also on a Mercedes chassis. The large overhang is causing the rear to sag, and looks ridiculous with the driving experience to soft. I have emailed Autosleeper 3 times with not 1 reply. Do I need to replace the rear leaf springs. Help solution needed.
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Post by mikethebike on Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:23 pm

Burford Duo wrote:Hi I have an Autosleeper Burford Duo also on a Mercedes chassis. The large overhang is causing the rear to sag, and looks ridiculous with the driving experience to soft. I have emailed Autosleeper 3 times with not 1 reply. Do I need to replace the rear leaf springs. Help solution needed.
Hi. For a new vehicle its a talk with the dealer first.
A faulty spring set up,unless it has just dropped.

regards

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Post by Burford Duo on Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:42 pm

It's a 2015 Mercedes, mercedes recommend fitting 5 ton leaf springs, £1300
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:58 pm

Burford Duo wrote:It's a 2015 Mercedes, mercedes recommend fitting 5 ton leaf springs, £1300
Put you van VIN into this link. It will tell you what suspension upgrade the chassis cab was built with.

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Post by Burford Duo on Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:31 pm

Hi PLOUGHLIN, That works but the information not helpful. Rear axle 741421 C 922493.??
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:59 pm

Look at the SA Codes, it should give the options ordered by AS.

Like C33 - rear spring harder

       CF6- front spring and damper reinforced.

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Post by Jaytee on Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:41 am

That 'is' interesting that Merc should recommend 5 tonne springs scratch head. From memory the C33 were about 2.25 tonne? Will be interesting to see what code you come up with Burford Duo.

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