• SAVE MONEY, GO ADVENTURE

    Posted by Cody Patton

    2007-PRESENT, MERCEDES SPRINTER 4X4, BOTTLE JACK USAGE

    General Notes

    • Please refer to your owner’s manual for bottle jack location and function
    • This blog post demonstrates the functionality of the OEM bottle jack on a 2015 NCV3 4x4 Sprinter with the Van Compass 2” Striker Lift kit and 35” tires.

    Functionality:

    The point of this blog post is to show how to safely use the OEM bottle jack equipped with the NCV3 / VS30 Sprinter van platforms.  We often get a lot of inquiries and questions from our customers regarding what kind of jack they should buy to lift their vehicle up should they need to perform a tire change while out exploring off the grid.  Hi-lift?  Air Jack?  Floor jack?  Scissor Jack?  The simple answer we tell them is none of those are necessary as the factory bottle jack is actually a quality jack that is more than capable of safely lifting the vehicle.    

    We are not going to show you how the jack works.  For that, refer to your owner’s manual or to the image instructions printed on the bottle jack itself.  This is simply meant to be a guide on the bottle jack’s use and what we at Van Compass do to change a flat on our vehicles outfitted for backcountry travel.   

    The Mercedes sprinter actually has built in jacking points on the chassis designed to take the load from the bottle jack so it can be lifted safely.  The rear jacking saddles can be seen in the image below.

    Front jacking saddles are similarly shaped and are located just forward of the front mounting bolt of the suspension sub-frame.

    However, once a van is fitted with larger tires and a lift kit, those jacking points are often too high for the factory bottle jack to reach.  Furthermore, if it does reach, the jack tends to be at it’s upper limit of safe use which makes it a bit more unstable.  So here’s what you can do to safely lift your Sprinter with the OEM bottle jack should you need to change a tire out on the trail.

    The rear is very simple and straight forward.  Position the bottle jack under the axle, outboard of the lower shock mount and directly under the leaf spring perch.  This is the perfect position to safely raise one side of the vehicle to perform a tire change.  Directly under the leaf spring perch is exactly where the weight of the chassis is carried on the rear axle. 

    Lifting the front of the van can be a bit more of a challenge, but is still very doable with the factory bottle jack.  There are actually a couple of good locations to lift the vehicle from.  If you have a Van Compass skidplate system you can position it under the skidplate, directly between the countersunk center mounting holes.  However we do suggest using a piece of wood between the skidplate and bottle jack as to not deform the skidplate slightly. 

    Van Compass Skid Plate

    Another front lifting option is the large vertical mounting bolt for the lower spring plate.  We tend to use this method more as it lifts one side at a time as opposed to the entire front of the vehicle at once.  Center the jack under the large bolt denoted below.

    This mounting bolt is loaded directly into the strongest part of the suspension subframe where the lower control arm attaches.  Again, use this point to lift the vehicle just to the point of getting the front tire off the ground.

    Now for more stability and height when on un-even terrain or soft soil, a very simple upgrade to make the OEM bottle jack work even better is to purchase a Hi-Lift jack base: https://hi-lift.com/accessories/off-road-base/

    With just a slight modification, the jack will fit great in the hi-lift base and provide for a much more stable platform in the dirt. 

    Hopefully this helps people venture of the grid with a bit more confidence.  Save the money you were going to spend on a new jack and use it to go buy some diesel.  Get out there and have fun exploring with your Sprinter van, we’ll see you out there. 

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  • VAN COMPASS 4X4 SPRINTER SUSPENSION UPGRADES - EXPLAINED

    Posted by Mark Hesser

    Suspension offerings for the 4x4 Sprinter by Van Compass. 

    Van Compass Sprinter 4x4 suspension upgrades

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  • Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 2" suspension lift kit

    Posted by Mark Hesser

    Mercedes Sprinter Van Compass 2" lift on 35" tires

    The bolt-on Striker 4x4 Sprinter 2.0” suspension lift system provides clearance for larger tires and offers additional ground clearance under the van. Additional traction from larger tires and ground clearance helps to avoid obstacles on the trail to your remote campsite. 

    The Striker system retains the stock vehicle suspension geometry, payload rating and ride quality. All of the suspension lift system components are constructed of high quality materials here in the USA and are powder coated for durability and corrosion resistance.

    With this lift kit, 315/75/16 (35”) tires can be fitted with the following conditions met:

    • Removal of the front mudflaps
    • Slight trimming of the rear of the front fender
    • Trimming of the front bumper and front inner fender well liner.
    • Minimum of a 9/16” (14mm) wheel spacer be installed on factory steel wheels with 54mm of offset or any other wheel that has comparable offset. This is for tire clearance between the inside of the tire and the strut and rear inner fender. ** Sold separately 
    • Note; this could be omitted with an additional 9/16” (14mm) offset and aftermarket wheels.

    Van Compass 2" Sprinter lift kit suspension upgrade

    Mercedes Sprinter suspension upgrades

     

     

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  • Sprinter 4x4 Front Receiver Hitch Bumper

    Posted by Mark Hesser

    Add function to the front of your 4x4 Sprinter with the Van Compass™ front receiver hitch. Designed to hold items like bike/motorcycle racks or mount a winch on a receiver tube for vehicle recovery. Constructed from 3/16" steel plate and 1/4" square tube. Powder coated black for corrosion resistance. The hitch replaces and replicates the stock front bumper hidden under the plastic bumper. It protects the DEF tank like the factory bumper. Bolt on installation with no drilling required. 

     

    Mercedes Sprinter front receiver hitch bumper

    Mercedes Sprinter front receiver hitch bumper

    Mercedes Sprinter front receiver hitch bumper

     

     

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  • Striker 2" Lift Kit now available 2007+ Sprinter 2WD vans

    Posted by Mark Hesser

    The Striker Sprinter 2.0” suspension lift system by Van Compass™ will take you farther on your next overland adventure than you have ever gone before. The Striker bolt-on suspension lift system provides clearance for up to a 33” tire* allowing for higher ground clearance off-road helping to avoid obstacles on the trail. The Striker system retains the stock vehicle suspension and rake keeping the OEM vehicle geometry, payload rating and ride quality. All of the suspension lift system components are constructed of high quality materials here in the USA and are powder coated for durability and corrosion resistance.

    INCLUDED COMPONENTS:
    Front 2.0” strut spacer - 1/4” hot rolled steel
    Front 2.0” subframe drop spacers - 4140 heat treated chromoly
    Motor mount 2.0” lift spacer - 3/16" hot rolled steel
    Transmission 2.0" lift spacer - 6061 aluminum
    Steering shaft extension - 4140 heat treated chromoly
    Low pressure power steering hose extension
    Front and Rear brake line relocation brackets
    Rear 2.0” lift block - 1/4” hot rolled steel
    Rear sway bar links - 11/16" x .120 DOM and 3/16" hot rolled steel
    Rear lower shock mounts - 1/8" hot rolled steel
    Rear bump stop drop brackets - 1/8" hot rolled steel
    All necessary hardware

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