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Which choice of engine, Ducato or Mercedes?


altona56

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Having had less than favourable experiences with the Fiat Ducato 2.8 JTD and not wishing to thank them with my further custom, I am now inclined to switch to a Mercedes 2.9 TDI engine, again on a Hymer.

Wise move or simply jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

I would value your opinion.

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Thank you for your wellcome, Flicka.

At my time of life (...so little time...) I like a certain amount of comfort, so Ford is out, I dont think they are available on an A class Hymer anyhow.

Have you heard anything about the Merc. reliability. either positive or negativ?

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Hi Klaus

I don't have any experience of the Merc's, but have extracted a couple of comments from previous threads & given you some links to Sprinter related threads which will give you some info.

No doubt some Merc owners will be along to comment further.

 

Extract 1 "For anyone else who may be interested he told me that the 316 engine ceased production in 2008 to be replaced by the 315 (makes sense doesn't it?) for 2009. The 316 was Euro 4 compliant, the 315 is Euro 5 complaint - perhaps that's where the "5" came in. Both units are based on a 4 cyclinder 2.2 litre engine. The 316 developed 163 hp and the 315 has been throttled back to 150 hp. (Perhaps achieving Euro 5 requirements was simply a re-chipping job?). Both units provide 280 nm of torgue @ 2000-2400 rpm"

 

extract 2 "I will stick to Mercs then!

Only problem so far with the current one was a cracked flexible pipe at the low pressure fuel inlet to the fuel filter, it drew in air and made it a bugger to start. Now sorted its once again "the business".

 

Aparently there is a correct procedure for replacing the fuel filter but most garage mechanics take a short cut to save time and bend this pipe back rather hard to make space to remove the filter. This is why it was cracked. (Sounds plausible and is what I was told as it was fixed under waranty)

 

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=19793&posts=8

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=18016&posts=8

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=18941&posts=11

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=19670&posts=12

 

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We run a Kia Sedona which is the 2.9 Merc diesel engine and box.

Had it for over six years now, never faultered in all that time.

Towing a heavy and large caravan we clambered over the Swiss alps without problem, 120,000 miles on the clock, uses no oil at all, absolutely faultless.

From UK to Spain several times towing caravan without taking foot off floor for most of the way, absolutely great.

 

Merc every time for us

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We have a 2.3jtd Iveco engine in our 04 Ducato, at 40,000 miles it's returned 30mpg and not missed a beat (so far). I would think that, from the reports on this and other forums, your main concern would be the gear box if you are looking at the newer X/250.

I drove a Merc Sprinter for 6 years and it has clocked up 250,00 miles with no engine problems. However the weak point is the electronics especially the ECU monitoring the ABS and ASR which cost about 700 to replace and does not seem to last very long.

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First off, many thanks to all you worthy gentlemen for offering your wellcome contributions! Please, don't stop.

Now, as I am considerind the purchase of Hymer S700 fom th UK, year 1999, miles 60K, does ECU monitoring of ABS + ASR apply this early? (I humbly admit being blinded and impressed somewhat by the techno speech!) :-S

I live in the Algarve where technical excellence is difficult to obtain but the people are so pleasant, its easy to forgive them.

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Flica,s last two comments were mine. However we are on our second Merc MH now with the 2.7 litre 5 pot engine. Apart from the fuel pipe problem its been as brilliant and smooth as the previous 2.9 we ran for 11 years without fault in our Scout.

 

The 3 litre Iveco engine which is also used in the Fiat range is a 4 pot and also has no cam belt to fail. Good engine, shame about the gearbox. The 2.8 JTD had a cam belt to worry about.

 

Merc manual box in Scout was faultless

Merc full auto box in the Concorde has also been faultless.

 

The general level of engineering used in Merc vans is a level above that in Fiat Peugeots. If you want to do your own checks then look at things like alternator and wiper motor mounting brackets etc. But it all comes at a price.

 

C.

 

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Hello Klaus,

 

Nobody else has asked about your problems with the Fiat 2.8JTD, and I am curious because it is widely accepted that this is one of the finest engines available and in many ways is superior to the later 2.3 and 3.0 units. Whatever problems you had, I believe you are very much in the minority but do please tell.

 

In any case, the Mercs of 1999 vintage are relatively simple and are easy enough to repair when something goes wrong, so once you have had your target vehicle inspected and if all seems to be in order, you should be able to buy with confidence. Parts are more expensive and less widely available than for Fiat and there are fewer aftermarket substitutes too, but you should need less of them.

 

I cannot imagine why anyone would want to even consider a front wheel drive A class camper anyway. Stupid idea, and bound to disappoint.

 

There are some A class vehicles built on Iveco Daily chassis too, and it is a pretty solid vehicle while also being rear wheel drive.

 

Nick

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There have been both rear axle and Agile gearbox issues with Iveco based A class beasts. Cathargo and Concorde have both to my knowleded suffered problems. But the 3 litre engine seems fine. I was going to have an Iveco based tardis because the Merc option became unavailable but circumstances meant we ended up with another Merc, albiet 2 years old with 5800 miles on the clock. No regrets.

 

C.

 

 

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Clive,

 

Good points, well taken sir.

 

The 3.5T Daily has had some differential problems which do not affect any of the heavier chassis, also handbrake cables sticking on 3.5T as well. All others unaffected. We run several 6.5T Daily vehicles with 3.0 engines and they have been simply brilliant.

 

The Agile gearbox was one option to steer clear of. It was jerky and inconsistent on the early examples but a sofware change and refinement mods for 2008 mean that like it's sister the comfort-matic on Fiat vans, it is well sorted now. The other advantage on the Daily is that you can get the Agile on all versions of 2.3 and 3.0 engines as opposed to the Fiat Comfort-matic which is only available on the expensive (but sublime) 3.0 variant.

 

So, in summary I would suggest that a Iveco Daily with a GVW of 4.5T or more, with a manual gearbox and 3.0 engine would be a solid buy, but avoid 3.5T chassis and anything with Agile before 2008 or it will drive you mad.

 

Nick

 

By the way, we have had a new Renault Master on test for a while and I will post our findings next week. Not all good news, I am afraid.

 

 

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euroserv - 2010-07-31 3:42 PM ................By the way, we have had a new Renault Master on test for a while and I will post our findings next week. Not all good news, I am afraid.

Yes please Nick.  I should be interested in what you have found.

Re the OP, I don't think Hymer have used the Iveco chassis (except possibly under an S liner?), so I think his choice will be strictly between Fiat or Merc, unless he chooses to turn away from Hymer.  The downside to the Merc, IMO, is its relatively narrow track when surmounted by an A class body.  It just looks wrong, which persuades me it must be (very basic engineering principle I am not qualified to apply :-D).  However, there are now some AlKo RWD wide rear track chassis around, though I do not know if Hymer are building on them.  So that's half the problem solved - all they have to fix now is the front end!

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Guest JudgeMental

Nick, maybe you could say in advance of you review (new Master) is it as wide as the Fiat? wondering about suitability of it for a PVC.

 

although have more or less decided to go for the 3 litre auto Fiat (your fault :D where do you live again?(lol))

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flicka - 2010-07-30 10:31 PM

... the 316 engine ceased production in 2008 to be replaced by the 315 (makes sense doesn't it?) for 2009. The 316 was Euro 4 compliant, the 315 is Euro 5 complaint - perhaps that's where the "5" came in. Both units are based on a 4 cyclinder 2.2 litre engine. The 316 developed 163 hp and the 315 has been throttled back to 150 hp.

 

Flicka,

 

The Merc system of numbering is really easy once you understand it:-

The first digit is the Max chassis weight in Tonnes. The second and third digits are the horsepower of the engine in multiples of 10 HP.

So if you take a 313 then this means it is a 3 tonne chassis with a 130 HP engine. Likewise a 416 will be 4 Tonne chassis with a 160 HP engine.

 

I would guess the 316 has dropped back to 315 for Euro 5 as the emissions equipment will 'strangle' the engine and reduce it's output by 10 HP.

 

Hope this helps.

Keith.

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altona56 - 2010-07-30 9:15 PM

 

Having had less than favourable experiences with the Fiat Ducato 2.8 JTD and not wishing to thank them with my further custom, I am now inclined to switch to a Mercedes 2.9 TDI engine, again on a Hymer.

Wise move or simply jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

I would value your opinion.

I have always been a Merc man and thought they were the best thing since sliced bread until I experienced the new 3ltr Fiat engine, it is in a class of its own, quiet and oozing refinement and power. Its been a good choice for me as Autotrail stopped building on the Merc chassis.

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Rolandrat, thank you. Valuable observations of yours, made to make me think again.

Its just that I dislike Fiat's Problems with the timing belt, with the 5th gear, wth the throttle pedals (losing power) and with the general contempt in which they seem to hold their customers. (I owned a yar 2ooo version of a Hymer 644G, may be too old to warrent a reply to my letter to their Italien H/O ?)

Also, it must be admitted, good service availability here in the Algarve is as rare as hens teeth, I believe the saying goes.

And further, being a good Kraut, I asked myself: where is your loyalty?

 

As you can see, I am still pondering... *-)

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altona56 - 2010-07-30 9:15 PM

 

Having had less than favourable experiences with the Fiat Ducato 2.8 JTD and not wishing to thank them with my further custom, I am now inclined to switch to a Mercedes 2.9 TDI engine, again on a Hymer.

Wise move or simply jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

I would value your opinion.

 

Having had both, it would be a Merc every time. Its not just the engines, Fiat engines aren't too bad at all, its the other stuff thats rubbish, gearboxes, electrics, electrical components, wheel bearings etc etc. How many fleet users have Fiats? answer, not many, how many fleet users have Merc's? answer a lot more. Its a no brainer.

 

After the bomb drops there will be cockroaches and Merc vans left.

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Hi Klaus,

 

Like many others who have replied above i think this is a “No Brainer”; while the latest FIATs may be a vast improvement(?) on previous FIATs they still have so many faults and this with a platform which they say they developed specifically to be the best available for this purpose! Look around the world, when someone wants a vehicle they can depend on they choose Mercedes be it in remote African desert, Outer Mongolia or the South American jungle. You can always get a Mercedes fixed where-ever you are, and mostly by a specialist commercial vehicle department which is often open 24/7, not some car “fitter”. FIAT make (some) great small cars but Mercedes make fantastic commercials. Smooth torquey engines plus fantastic proper automatic gearboxes. We are very pleased to have just bought a Hymer A class built on the 2.9 Sprinter to replace our James Cook and continue the 14 year run that we have had in Mercedes powered motorhomes..

 

I had a FIAT once; never again!

 

Regards,

 

 

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The Merc system of numbering is really easy once you understand it:-

The first digit is the Max chassis weight in Tonnes. The second and third digits are the horsepower of the engine in multiples of 10 HP.

So if you take a 313 then this means it is a 3 tonne chassis with a 130 HP engine. Likewise a 416 will be 4 Tonne chassis with a 160 HP engine.

 

I would guess the 316 has dropped back to 315 for Euro 5 as the emissions equipment will 'strangle' the engine and reduce it's output by 10 HP.

 

Hope this helps.

Keith.

 

Keith, that has me confused as my 315 was built in September 2008 is a 150 hp Euro 4 engine and was 3880kg as supplied. I have now had it up-rated to 4 tonne by sv-tech without any alterations other than the paper work which would I suppose mean that the chassis was originally more than 3 tonne surely.

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Yeah its Merc for me to.

 

I also have the 315 Sprinter David and it just gets better with every passing mile.

 

I know most people are not looking to do very high milage in there vans but anybody who has been to an auction and watched the buyers scramble around and pay crazy money for a high milage Merc rather thah buy other vans.

cant all be wrong

 

cheers

 

Dawki

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