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    Thread: 2003 Dodge Sprinter van project

    1. Moderator the brit's Avatar
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      10-03-2011 02:28 PM #1
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      A van has been acquired Skip to page 2 for the projects beginning. I changed the title to suit.
      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


      As mentioned in a previous thread I would like to find a cheap engineless Sprinter, and just so happened to ride my bicycle past two of them near Pittsburgh earlier this year. Well, I trawled through my bike GPS maps and guestimated where I saw the vans - I nailed it within about 2 miles of it.. I can only see one of the vans in Google Maps but of course don't know when the Street View car drove past.

      Is there anyone who lives nearby who could confirm if they're still there, or get me the phone number of the place that has them please?

      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Homest...4,,0,0.68&z=19

      http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Gulf,+...vania&t=h&z=20

      Thanks TCL

      Last edited by the brit; 02-13-2012 at 09:11 PM.
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    2. Senior Member kidshorty's Avatar
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      10-03-2011 03:24 PM #2
      are you talking about the place between that main road and the river? i.e. take a left off of the bridge and it is on your right? I can do it today or tomorrow. PM me your cell and I can get it done, I live right across that bridge and could probably eyeball it with a good pair of binoculars.

    3. Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      10-03-2011 03:32 PM #3
      Ohh I know exactly where that is (used to live in South Side). Had you made this thread two years ago I could have driven over there and helped you out. Man that specific area along the road there is such a dump.

    4. Moderator the brit's Avatar
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      10-03-2011 03:50 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by kidshorty View Post
      are you talking about the place between that main road and the river? i.e. take a left off of the bridge and it is on your right? I can do it today or tomorrow. PM me your cell and I can get it done, I live right across that bridge and could probably eyeball it with a good pair of binoculars.
      Hahah, I thought we might have someone nearby but that's amazing.

      It's the stretch of grass behind the trucks parked on the street, when looking at the street view. On the hill side of the road, away from the river side. I cannot tell if it's owned by the Gulf station, but my hunch is it's owned by the small brown building with the balcony that can be see in this street view photo. You can see one sprinter van sitting in the dirt there. When I rode past, there were two of them, all front panels removed with no engine/trans etc, sitting on the dirt/grass facing the road.

      Will send a PM in a minute, thanks. If it works out I'll be driving out to tow it back so will buy you a gatorade/beer or bring some East PA goodies etc.

      Quote Originally Posted by duke of chucchinchilla View Post
      Ohh I know exactly where that is (used to live in South Side). Had you made this thread two years ago I could have driven over there and helped you out. Man that specific area along the road there is such a dump.
      It look a bit run down. I was surprised by how many businesses etc were shut down and houses boarded up, being that close to PGH. It was my first time riding around there and I'm fascinated by the old towns with all the original buildings still in tact because presumably nobody had the money to invest in changing things once the heavy industries and jobs moved on.
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      10-03-2011 04:02 PM #5
      If kidShorty can't make it I'll probably drive by there later in the week as my office is in the Southside.

      I'll watch this thread for updates.


      And yeah...I used to see Chucch's 356 driving up and down Carson. I keep telling him to come
      back but he seems to have an aversion to leaving Texas.

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      10-03-2011 04:07 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by kidshorty View Post
      are you talking about the place between that main road and the river? i.e. take a left off of the bridge and it is on your right? I can do it today or tomorrow. PM me your cell and I can get it done, I live right across that bridge and could probably eyeball it with a good pair of binoculars.
      Why risk someone seeing you being creepy lol? Why not just walk over to the trucks, look at them up close, and try to find someone to get a phone number from

    7. Moderator the brit's Avatar
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      10-03-2011 04:08 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by sweetridebro View Post
      Why risk someone seeing you being creepy lol? Why not just walk over to the trucks, look at them up close, and try to find someone to get a phone number from
      I think he was commenting more on his proximity to the place, rather than preferred methods of viewing
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      10-03-2011 04:20 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by the brit View Post
      I think he was commenting more on his proximity to the place, rather than preferred methods of viewing
      Well you never know.

    9. Senior Member kidshorty's Avatar
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      10-03-2011 05:11 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by the brit View Post
      I think he was commenting more on his proximity to the place, rather than preferred methods of viewing
      correct

      but I am pretty creepy

    10. 10-03-2011 05:42 PM #10
      just tell them the internet sent you

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      10-04-2011 10:17 PM #11
      Just wanted to update and say thanks to Kidshorty for all his help. Photos of the van and various bits of important information went sent my way from PGH.

      With his help, I have talked to the owners who just happen to only be about 30 miles from where I live and we're going to try to work something out. The Sprinter has basically been given up on by the current commercial owners and the full drivetrain has been pulled, which should make a perfect candidate for me to convert to a full 5 speed, 5 cylinder VW LT35 spec. It's currently a mid '00s International branded Sprinter.

      The body actually looks pretty good condition wise. It's missing the front bumper, lights, grille etc which suits me as I'd like to run the full VW body. It's a low top which isn't my first
      choice, but it is the full length with double barn doors which is great.

      Photos to follow if and when I get things worked out, likewise with a build thread at some point.
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      10-05-2011 09:30 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by benjaminobscene View Post
      lol

      cant wait!

      For parts from Europe

      allegro.pl - poland

      http://allegro.pl/listing.php/search...string=VW+LT35 lt 35 parts galore

      mobile.de - all over EU
      Last edited by dubb_head; 10-05-2011 at 09:33 AM.

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      10-05-2011 09:44 AM #14
      In for pics later. Good luck with the build!

    14. 10-05-2011 10:11 AM #15
      Sounds interesting will be watching this thread

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      10-05-2011 11:20 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by mouseOfMars View Post
      And yeah...I used to see Chucch's 356 driving up and down Carson. I keep telling him to come
      back but he seems to have an aversion to leaving Texas.
      haha. Yeah, I'm kinda stuck in Dallas now (house, fiance, dog), but hey at least I get to drive the 356 year round...or at least when it's not 100+ outside.

      One of the last pics I took of the Porsche before it left Pittsburgh for Texas via a Porsche shop outside Philly...at 18th and Sarah St. That reminds me, I should do an update thread/new pics on that thing..




      Back on topic, congrats on the van! Thinking about that dumpy site further, I think I even remember seeing that thing sitting there...at least a year and a half ago and I think I even remember seeing it driving down Carson St., but then again it could have been another one in the fleet. I do remember seeing a lot of rust but again that could have been another van. Either way it doesn't matter since you're going to 'restore' it into a Volkswagen LT.
      Last edited by chucchinchilla; 10-05-2011 at 11:26 AM.

    16. Member alleghenyman's Avatar
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      10-05-2011 08:23 PM #17
      I applaud the eccentricity of your projects.
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      10-05-2011 08:30 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by duke of chucchinchilla View Post

      That's a great shot.
      Any chance of a high resolution version?

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      02-07-2012 07:55 PM #19
      So... the owners of the PGH van aren't getting back to me, so the search continues..

      Today two popped up on Craigslist within 400 miles, and the blue one is PERFECT except the price is nuts. http://www.nationalcarmart.com/newan...rinterVan.aspx




      If it was a couple thousand cheaper, I'd be all over it.

      It's the same price as this much much cleaner version, but I'd prefer the extra size and also it would be perfect with the front damage as I'd like to swap all that bodywork anyway:

      http://baltimore.craigslist.org/cto/2825483932.html
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    19. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      02-07-2012 07:58 PM #20
      Woof. That blue one is rough.

      What about school systems or other fleets that may be dumping?

      What front end will you be swapping on?

      Chris
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      02-07-2012 08:08 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      Woof. That blue one is rough.

      What about school systems or other fleets that may be dumping?

      What front end will you be swapping on?

      Chris
      I wouldn't mind the rough if the price was taking it into consideration. The plan is to swap on a full VW LT35 front end, preferably with a matching SDI engine with a manual transmission.

      I was hoping to have found it earlier than now, so ideally I would run the stock engine and transmission through the end of this year with any luck.

      edit: Generically made 'video' is hilarious, haha:

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      02-07-2012 08:10 PM #22
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      02-07-2012 08:12 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      Already have the owners phone number, haha. It went from $300 to $3000 in the first 24 hours of listing, so I suspect it's going to get up to $7k+. Just checked ebay, and it's over $4k now with 5 days to go.

      The downsides to it are that it's a dually 3500 which has the narrower inside due to the larger wheels tubs. I'd rather have the standard rear, and also the windows on the body behind the B-pillars (which I could add myself admittedly). Upsides are that it has the towbar already, and the trans has been rebuilt with a warranty.
      Last edited by the brit; 02-07-2012 at 08:15 PM.
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    23. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      02-07-2012 08:21 PM #24
      Having driven the dually and the single wheel version, I much prefer the way the dually drives. In crosswinds, it makes all the difference. But I suppose its harder to put sweet wheels on a dually.

      CHris
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      02-07-2012 08:25 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      Having driven the dually and the single wheel version, I much prefer the way the dually drives. In crosswinds, it makes all the difference. But I suppose its harder to put sweet wheels on a dually.

      CHris
      I've put a bunch of miles on my single wheel version in Europe and was really happy with it. I have not driven a dually. I'm basing my bias on:

      Better gas mileage.
      Simpler for maintenance.
      Cheaper for tires.
      The 3500 exceeds the 10,000 GVW so I would need to stop at weight stations (I believe. Maybe I could underrate it on the registration.)
      More common in Europe, so swaps may be easier if I need to swap the whole rear end.

      Feel free to correct me if any of these assumptions are wrong
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      02-07-2012 08:31 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by the brit View Post
      I've put a bunch of miles on my single wheel version in Europe and was really happy with it. I have not driven a dually. I'm basing my bias on:

      Better gas mileage.
      Simpler for maintenance.
      Cheaper for tires.
      The 3500 exceeds the 10,000 GVW so I would need to stop at weight stations (I believe. Maybe I could underrate it on the registration.)
      More common in Europe, so swaps may be easier if I need to swap the whole rear end.

      Feel free to correct me if any of these assumptions are wrong
      Whoa. I've had much heavier vehicles and not had to stop at weigh stations. Or worst case scenario, you could register it as an RV.

      Buy the super nice expensive tires that have the proper load rating and go 250k miles.

      Drive them both, and see what you like. A single wheel certainly has its advantages.

      Chris
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      02-10-2012 01:11 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      It's up to $6,600 with two days to go and reserve not met!


      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      Woof. That blue one is rough.
      I had a friend of a friend go check it out today and he said it's actually pretty straight looking. The trans seemed to shift okay, the engine sounded like a engine and all the electrics (windows, locks, lights etc) worked well. Bad points are rust, mileage, my wife hates the color. Good points are I already got a 30% discount offered, and it's a double barn door which is awesome.

      I'm working out the logistics of either a one way car rental to get out there, or using my Hertz Gold points to do a free weekend rental but then i'd need someone to drive back..
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    27. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      02-10-2012 01:31 AM #28
      If it were anywhere near me, I'd have you find me a $1000 240DL and I'd drive it out to you.

      This thread needs some action. Make it happen!

      Chris
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      02-10-2012 02:22 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      If it were anywhere near me, I'd have you find me a $1000 240DL and I'd drive it out to you.

      This thread needs some action. Make it happen!

      Chris

      Just got the one way Hertz rental down to $84. The returning location is 5 miles from the dealer, so I can use their free 'drop off' service to take me there

      I'll call the dealer in the morning for some final negotiating, and as long as that's okay, it's on
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    29. 02-10-2012 09:52 AM #30
      Should I pick up spray paint on my way home from work today?

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      02-10-2012 09:57 AM #31
      Wow, my friend and I made jokes not over a month ago about buying that first van you looked at in Homestead.

      He owns a swb Dodge Sprinter. It's converted to run on WVO and he put Ronals on it, haha.
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      02-10-2012 10:39 AM #32
      I love these things. That is all.
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      02-10-2012 11:00 AM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by benjaminobscene View Post
      Should I pick up spray paint on my way home from work today?
      Yes, yes you should. Also, metal and argon/carbon dioxide, and a towing package for it too Leaving around 5am in the Hertz rental car if you or anyone else wants in a silly snow-forecasted road trip.

      Cleveland, OH TCL GTG OMG? Maybe Drew will be there..

      Quote Originally Posted by The Igneous Faction View Post
      Wow, my friend and I made jokes not over a month ago about buying that first van you looked at in Homestead.
      He owns a swb Dodge Sprinter. It's converted to run on WVO and he put Ronals on it, haha.
      Yeah, those things are probably going to rot (even more) there I've talked to a couple of other Sprinter guys who know about the axle-less one there too.

      Cool that your friend is running WVO. I would love to do that to a van in the future.

      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      I love these things. That is all.
      Me too
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      VW Fox 16v
      02-10-2012 04:40 PM #34
      Rental car is secured. 2011 Chevy Aveo. Woah, let's not get too crazy there..!

      | œ Orchid Euro Importation œ |

      Currently driving or working on too many cars...
      | '93 Fox 16v - PVW | '99 Greenland Polo Diesel | '89 Rallye Golf | '83 Golf GTi RHD | '75 Swallowtail |
      | '82 Caddy 1.9D | '85 VW LT Car Transporter | Mk2 Jetta Limo | '90 Jetta 8V | '96 VW LT35D | '03 SpintLT35 | '02 GTI 337 | '03 GTI 20v |
      | '09 Aprilia RS125 | '81 Kawasaki AR80 | '59 NSU Quickly | '64 Honda Cub C65 + '65 C105 | Trek Madone 7.9 | Trek Crockett 9 |

    34. Member KeiCar's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jul 22nd, 2002
      Location
      Philly (now) <--> Bangkok 5555555 (later)
      Posts
      10,514
      Vehicles
      2001 Accord coupe V6 / 2013 Toyota Yaris / 2007 Kawasaki Ninja (DOA), 2005 Team Associated RC18t
      02-10-2012 05:03 PM #35
      I think your bumper has herpes...


      Might wanna get another rental.. just saying
      Quote Originally Posted by Adam Carolla
      "It shouldn't be called a radar detector, it should be called a rape detector. This is my own little electronic rape whistle."
      (ง'̀-'́)ง

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