Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Anyone Know Much About Transit Vans?

Just a thought, since you were so brilliant (and quick!) at identifying the Fish and the Moth!

At some point (when funds allow!) I want (must!) replace my N reg. Transit 100 LWB with a larger capacity van. Preferably something that doesn't struggle up hills because it's carrying a full load.

I had been thinking of the Iveco Daily, having been advised to avoid the big Merc. Sprinters as being roomy but not good on the weight issue.

Then driving home from Bodelwyddan the other night I had a rear tyre blow out at 70 on the M6 near Stoke, and was quite impressed that the old girl stayed on the road and (almost) driveable to a point of safe stopping (off the Motorway, long stretch of well lit 3 lane road).

The RAC engineer was actually quite complimentary about the van, saying that the old Transits were very reliable and mechanically sound even if rusty, but he said the new ones were not as good.

So, if I decide to stay with Transits and look for a Jumbo version (ideally with the 4 wheels at the back!), does anyone know when they stopped being reliable? Or was he wrong?

Of course, any other information and advice welcomed.

The Penguin


Anonymous said...

All depends if you are looking for new or not. A second hand old shape sprinter will carry 1500KG and has more than enough power to wheel spin in 2nd gear fully freighted.
The new sprinters (post 2006)and the Iveco will only carry 1300kgs.
you will get a 2001/2003 sprinter for around £1500 and £4-5K for a 2006.
The sprinter is the way to go

Harri said...

Not too much help, but they are a favorite with the pikeys.

What about a Vivaro, i can get 18% discount as well ! ex Gm employee see !

microdave said...

I had the misfortune to have to drive one of those for a few years. Noisy and gutless, but handled astonishingly well, and I couldn't break it....

It had old tech mechanical injection, which has now been replaced with electronically controlled "common rail" systems. Obviously these give huge improvements in performance and emissions (Got to save those Polar Bears!), but the cost of replacement injectors and pumps is frightening.

I helped out at a friends engine shop, and was surprised at the number of Mercedes Sprinter cylinder heads that came in. It seems that in a car they last for ever, but when thrashed by van drivers they suffered valve & seat problems. But then you will probably treat it more carefully...

Anonymous said...

Our 52 reg Sprinter has now done 210,000 THRASHED miles, with a variety of stupid drivers and has had nothing more than pads, various body repairs and last week 1 new injector which cost £119 + vat. I picked it up from the garage and was still amazed at the acceleration.
We are replacing it this Autumn,and were thinking of buying new, The guy we get our trucks from advised us to get a 56/06 Sprinter.

The Penguin said...

I bit the bullet and now clog up our street with a 416 CDi 2001 2.7 litre Sprinter with the 4 whels at the rear.

Seems OK except for a seriously crap gear change, can't get it to find 5th at all, and 2nd and 1st rather iffy. Hope my local mechanic can sort that out. Goes like stink though, and once I've scrubbed the oil out and relined the rear, should carry the load without noticing!

Anonymous said...

Well done, now you need to look at the plating certificate(fixed in the cab somewhere) and check the Gross vehicle weight(GVW) If it is more than 3500KGs you have a problem. You will require either a downplating certificate or an operators license and Tachograph. They are seriously good vans though, have you noticed the heater control that does nothing,but put a red light on? That is a fluid heater, If the temp drops to a certain level overnight it will keep the engine fluids warm enough to stay liquid. great if you go to Norway or Greenland.

The Penguin said...

Going the downplating route!

Anonymous said...

I feel let down you made NO rude comments about a plating certificate! You should piss 10 years casual use out of it, but get parts from ebay, MB prices are ruinous. Well done you!

banned said...

Dunno about the new ones but I seem to remember spending my entire Scouting career ( 8-16years 1970s ) rumbling around the country in the same old Transit kept together with blu-tac and bits of string by 'Eric'.

Captain Swing said...

Transits are good vehicles although some are a tad underpowered if you are going to load them to the max.
My advice would be to avoid Iveco(unreliable) and Mercedes (spares are very expensive).
I would stick with a transit but go for a 3-4 year old LWB high top with the 120HP Turbo Diesel-I have driven one and it pulls like a train.
Seriously though test drive a few different vans with different engines before making your decision.

Captain Swing said...

Whoops-didnt read your earlier post DOH!
Good luck with your Sprinter.

Anonymous said...

Transits got gutless for two reasons..

1/..Ford changed from Lucas diesel pumps to the Euro crap Bosch pump: This is what renders trannies gutless on hills.

2/..Euro Regs specified emissions that forced ford to use the "Euro injector" which cut down the smoke but killed what little performance the old girls had left.

Ford did introduce a small turbo on some models which helped a bit. Great vans, ruined by bloody EU.

The Penguin said...

Well, after three solid days of graft the Sprinter has been cleaned and fitted out with the requisite racking and shelving to carry the stuff I need for events. 500 or so fence-pins, miles of rope, a small marquee, large red burgundian "medieval" tent, family camping tent, seemingly miles of cable and adaptors, enough piping to run 8 stand-pipes over a quarter mile or so, bedding, camping equipment, signs, etc.

Now I need to talk to my mechanic about the gear change!