2003 Mercedes Benz Sprinter

Sprinter 316

After erroneously buying the XF Falcon, and sinking several thousand dollars into it trying desperately to get it to do a job it just wasn't really suited for, I gave up and took out a loan to purchase the Sprinter in February, 2013. It turned out to be a fantastic purchase, costing us the reasonable sum of $11,500AUD.

It's a 3-tonne, 160HP medium-wheelbase, medium-roof Sprinter that was formerly an Ambulance for Ambulance Victoria. It has the venerable OM612 2.7L 5-cylinder Common-rail Turbodiesel, with the computer-controlled manual "SprintShift".

After almost immediately smashing into a Kangaroo in outback N.T., we fitted a bullbar to it and began the long road to diagnosing an intermittent turbocharger, which I finally repaired for good in June, 2013, almost immediately blowing an injector seal.

Since then, we were lucky enough to put on almost 200,000KM on it with very little mechanical failures. Sure, we replaced things like front struts, and I had a failure of some relays which should have already been replaced under recall, but it's been a spectacularly reliable vehicle and seen almost all of Australia, with not-unacceptable fuel economy.

It features a queen-sized bed with storage underneath, AGM backup battery with automatic charging solenoid, inverter, a TV with USB input that runs off the 12v, an Engel refrigerator and a bluetooth head unit.

It received a rebuilt alternator at 396,000KM and a new radiator, coolant level sensor and fuel lines not very long after.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the pilot vehicle work has all but dried up and I'm attempting to sell it as it's only appreciated in value since then (T1N body Sprinters are highly sought after for some reason).