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Old 11-12-2020, 10:26 AM   #1
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My thumping Sprinter

My 2012 Sprinter (Itasca Navion J, aka Winnebago)has a clunking noise in the rear of the chassis. It is most noticeable after a hard stop, when I let off break and start to accelerate I hear, and mostly "feel" a subtle thump in the rear. Feels like something torques out of position when braking and then moves back when accelerating. Reminds me of torn motormount I have in a car years ago, but of course that thump was in the front.

Recent visit to Mercedes Benz for service I aske them to look around for something loose, or indications fo something moving. When I picked up the service manager said, almost with a snicker, the tech said that when these vehicles get older and some miles on them the parts just develop some slack in them!!! What a BS answer. Perhaps when thirty years old with hundreds of thousands of miles, but 8 years and 70,000 miles sounds like BS to me.

Any thoughts on culprit? I may take it to the local Freightliner dealer and see what they find. But open for ideas, and fixing myself if possible.

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2020, 10:47 AM   #2
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Remove bowling ball from rear storage compartment. Test fix. Report back.
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Old 11-12-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trode View Post
My 2012 Sprinter (Itasca Navion J, aka Winnebago)has a clunking noise in the rear of the chassis. It is most noticeable after a hard stop, when I let off break and start to accelerate I hear, and mostly "feel" a subtle thump in the rear. Feels like something torques out of position when braking and then moves back when accelerating. Reminds me of torn motormount I have in a car years ago, but of course that thump was in the front.

Recent visit to Mercedes Benz for service I aske them to look around for something loose, or indications fo something moving. When I picked up the service manager said, almost with a snicker, the tech said that when these vehicles get older and some miles on them the parts just develop some slack in them!!! What a BS answer. Perhaps when thirty years old with hundreds of thousands of miles, but 8 years and 70,000 miles sounds like BS to me.

Any thoughts on culprit? I may take it to the local Freightliner dealer and see what they find. But open for ideas, and fixing myself if possible.

Thanks

I've never owned a sprinter, but I have had a couple of vehicles where this occurs. In my experience, both times it was caused by slightly excessive "play" in the rear differential gears. If true then your service manager was actually correct. I've also learned that it's typically a minor issue and excessive play is preferable to a set of gears that are too tight (causes friction and more wear than slightly loose). The only action I would take is to change the differential oil (if it hasn't already been done) while checking for excessive metal shavings in the differential. This (having the differential open) would also provide an opportunity to check the gear lash which may be adjustable via replacement of shims if appropriate.
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Old 11-12-2020, 02:10 PM   #4
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Unless your shifting out of gear, on your hard stop, the driveshaft will still be sending some torque to the rear differential. They will be no chance for a clunk from excessive gear lash.

What you are doing in a hard stop is putting a bit of wrap in the front and rear spring components. The front and rear brakes are not perfectly balanced.

When you let off the brakes, things unwind and spring components, with 70K miles, will be loose and clunk.

Like the dealer said, normal.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:32 PM   #5
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Unless your shifting out of gear, on your hard stop, the driveshaft will still be sending some torque to the rear differential. They will be no chance for a clunk from excessive gear lash.

As I said I've had 2 (still have one) vehicles that do this when accelerating from a stop (without shifting out of gear).
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:33 PM   #6
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Sprinters are required to have the U bolts that retain the axle to the leaf springs torque checked at the first oil change (thats in the maintenance requirements manual, I was looking at the 2011 version), I'll bet yours have never been done. For some reason they will work loose, letting the axle move on the leaf spring slightly. 19mm nut. On my older 2006 chassis the torque was 125 lb/ft. Worth checking.

If they are found loose, the nuts should be replaced. The manual calls for new nuts any time they are loosened such as for axle removal, so I would replace them if found loose.

Charles
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CharlesinGA View Post
Sprinters are required to have the U bolts that retain the axle to the leaf springs torque checked at the first oil change (thats in the maintenance requirements manual, I was looking at the 2011 version), I'll bet yours have never been done. For some reason they will work loose, letting the axle move on the leaf spring slightly. 19mm nut. On my older 2006 chassis the torque was 125 lb/ft. Worth checking.

If they are found loose, the nuts should be replaced. The manual calls for new nuts any time they are loosened such as for axle removal, so I would replace them if found loose.

Charles


Iíll check that thanks
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Old 11-14-2020, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Unless your shifting out of gear, on your hard stop, the driveshaft will still be sending some torque to the rear differential. They will be no chance for a clunk from excessive gear lash.

What you are doing in a hard stop is putting a bit of wrap in the front and rear spring components. The front and rear brakes are not perfectly balanced.

When you let off the brakes, things unwind and spring components, with 70K miles, will be loose and clunk.

Like the dealer said, normal.


I agree, lots of torque at idle so in my mind I think it is something mechanical in drive train, suspension. Differential didnít come to mind, which is why I originally told service manager to look for evidence of something moving.
Response about axle u-bolts sound worth looking into.
Thanks
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:31 PM   #9
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thumping sprinter

After replacing the anti sway bar on our 2018 view I developed a thumping noise that was being caused by the hanger bracket. contacting the anti sway, I added a large diameter washer between the hanger and anti-sway (one on each side of the anti-sway) This eliminated the thumping in our Sprinter.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:23 AM   #10
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We have a 2017 MB Sprinter. Recently I notice a slight movement in the front suspension after letting off the brake. It almost feels like the calibers were torque loaded while the brake was held but returned to a "normal" position after release. It is similar to the kind of feeling we would get when we let up on our brakes and the electric brakes on the trailer would release a second later.
Not had time to look under the chassis to see if anything appeared loose or has shifted. Perhaps the leaf spring bolts should be inspected.
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Old 11-25-2020, 05:32 AM   #11
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Check for missing generator mounting bolts. I have posted previously about the discovery of mounting bolts that were short and engaged by just two threads. 2008 View on 2007 chassis.
Good luck to all and have a blessed Thanksgiving!!!
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