Hello, from Spain

daverake

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Hello there!

I'm nerw in the Mercedes Benz world. My wife and I bought a Sprinter which had served as an ambulance, our idea was to turn it into a motorhome. Unfortunately, 33 days after we were handed the van, it had a critical engine falure, which has driven me here in order to search for some advices. I hope it's ok to register here despite being from abroad.

Many thanks in advance!

Dave
 

00slk

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Hello and welcome
Sorry to hear about the engine failure.
Was it a private sale or through a dealer?
If through a dealer you should have some comeback, providing it wasn't sold via 'agreement'
 

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AJD

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Always good to have new members from across the sea
 
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daverake

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Hello and welcome
Sorry to hear about the engine failure.
Was it a private sale or through a dealer?
If through a dealer you should have some comeback, providing it wasn't sold via 'agreement'
Thank you so much!

It was something in between private and dealer. The van was sold by the ambulance company which was owner of the van, so, even though it is a company and it may be taken as a dealer, given its activity is not vehicle buying and selling, it works as a private sale. Even so, according to Spanish law, we should be given six month guarantee, but the problem is to prove that this failure (crankshift seized) is not because of material fatigue, but what in Spain is called "hidden flaw" which the seller was aware of.

Moreover, we would have to sue the seller and that may be more expensive than the vehicle legal value, and is better case scenario, not enough to cover expenses. Our lawyer told we can only appeal to the seller good will and ask for a partial reimbursement given repairing the van is 1.5x the value in which the van was sold. It's really a shame, because we aren't even sure if, in case repairing our Sprinter with a junkyard engine, we may experience the same failure again.
 

L John

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So sorry to hear you're having this problem.
First thing I'd do is check the oil level if yo hadn't already, then check how it looks on a dark cloth. If its light brown there has been water leaking into the crankcase.
Look for tiny metallic particles in the oil, either might help you claim it was a pre existing condition.
If yo cant claim on the seller you'd be better off selling for spares/repair and buying something else.
I knoiw it's not what you want to hear but costing more to put an engine in that the van was to but sounds like a slippery slope into the money pit.
 
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daverake

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So sorry to hear you're having this problem.
First thing I'd do is check the oil level if yo hadn't already, then check how it looks on a dark cloth. If its light brown there has been water leaking into the crankcase.
Look for tiny metallic particles in the oil, either might help you claim it was a pre existing condition.
If yo cant claim on the seller you'd be better off selling for spares/repair and buying something else.
I knoiw it's not what you want to hear but costing more to put an engine in that the van was to but sounds like a slippery slope into the money pit.
Thanks very much, L John. I really appreciate your sincerity. This is one of those cases in which the more you know, the less you know what to do, but the more elements to take a decission. Don't worry, we already have been told the same, and you all are right, because if we replace the engine and it does solve the problem, great; if not, it's just what you say, a fall into money pit.

Oil had just been replaced 1.000 kms before we bought it. I took a look at it the first day we had it and it looked perfect; but, obviously, I was not taking such a close look as to see tiny metallic particles. Appart from that, when I got to the mechanic with the van in the tow, first thing he did was what you suggest and he told me the oil looked as good as new.

We will keep on wondering what to do, but definitely will take your opinion in consideration! Thank you so much
 

Taffy7hfa

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Hi daverake, sorry to hear about your problem, assuming there was oil in the sump a seized crank is a pretty rare occurrence on a diesel.
 
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daverake

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Thank you so much for this information, Taffy7hfa. I'm not completely sure my description of the problem is correct. The thing is that at a famous Spanish Junkyard I phoned asking for an engine they told me all the Sprinters they got were because of an accident or because of the same failure as I.

Just to be sure, crankshift is the part that takes pistons up and down, isn't it?

I was told, yesterday, that one of the problems with 651 engine is that the oil pump did not pump oil enough into the sump, yet enough as to "deceive" the system. I honestly don't know if this may sound suitable or stupid o_O

 

L John

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Try to return it if possible but if they refuse (highly likely I guess), the next thing to do is take the oil filter off and examine that for debris.
If there's no metallic bits I'd strongly doubt the crank has seized, as Taffy, as long as there's good oil in there I just cant see it being likely.
There are many things that can jam or seize an engine and I cant see how it's been diagnosed as a seized crank without a proper internal inspection.
It may be a lot less severe that it appears.
I repaired a seized engine many years ago with very low parts cost and just a few days work.
Fingers crossed for you that it's not a seized crank.
 

L John

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Thank you so much for this information, Taffy7hfa. I'm not completely sure my description of the problem is correct. The thing is that at a famous Spanish Junkyard I phoned asking for an engine they told me all the Sprinters they got were because of an accident or because of the same failure as I.

Just to be sure, crankshift is the part that takes pistons up and down, isn't it?

I was told, yesterday, that one of the problems with 651 engine is that the oil pump did not pump oil enough into the sump, yet enough as to "deceive" the system. I honestly don't know if this may sound suitable or stupid o_O

The crankshaft sits low in the sump, yes its the part that's rotated by the pistons, that's where the oil is situated. Oil pumps are needed for all internal areas but the sump is sat in oil so a pump failure is not likely to seize the crankshaft as long as it was above minimum level.
 
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daverake

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Try to return it if possible but if they refuse (highly likely I guess), the next thing to do is take the oil filter off and examine that for debris.
If there's no metallic bits I'd strongly doubt the crank has seized, as Taffy, as long as there's good oil in there I just cant see it being likely.
There are many things that can jam or seize an engine and I cant see how it's been diagnosed as a seized crank without a proper internal inspection.
It may be a lot less severe that it appears.
I repaired a seized engine many years ago with very low parts cost and just a few days work.
Fingers crossed for you that it's not a seized crank.
Oh, sorry, my fault, I forgot to say the engine was removed and open, afterwards they diagnosed seized crank. Thanks for crossing fingers, anyway!!!
 

L John

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No problem. Did they show you which part had seized? Have you got any photos?
 

L John

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I know they said the crankshaft but there are many areas that are in contact and need to rotate freely.
I'm wondering which part of it has actally seized.
 
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daverake

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I'm afraid there's none in these that will help, but that's what I've got right now


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Blobcat

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Hello and welcome
 

L John

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Appreciate the photos, as you said they don't show the problem. The engine looks tidy and in decent condition though.
The crankshaft bearings do need oil pressure because the oil stops the parts from directly rubbing together, the oil causes the shaft to 'float' above the bearing on a layer of oil.
I'm still not convinced the shaft had seized but it's been properly opened up so the seized part should have been found if it was in the crank area.
 

abueloeddie

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Hi Daverake…..Sorry to hear of your car problems. Now, I’m not able to offer any mechanical advice but if you are have problems with the language, I can offer you an “Ad Hoc” translation assistance from Spanish into English.( and less accurately English into Spanish . I have been speaking Colloquial Spanish for about 50+ years ( after marriage to a Spanish lady and when Retirement loomed, I took an “A” level at a local polytechnic and wonder of wonders, actually passed with an “A*” grading. So if you are having problem in the ‘comms.’ department, drop me a reply in here and we’ll see how I can help
 

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