Removing the rear door panels on Crew and Passenger vans

The trim surrounding the door handle is flimsy, so be careful when you remove it.

If you have a Crew or Passenger van, it’s likely that you have the rear door panels installed. These have handy storage compartments in them.

If you want to insulate behind them or install a rear view camera in the license plate area, you’ll have to remove the panels.

Just recently we realized that we never described how to do this on the site. We’ve had several people ask how to take the trim off the door handle area, so here’s the missing information. Continue reading “Removing the rear door panels on Crew and Passenger vans”

Ordering a Sprinter – what all the options mean

Sprinter build site

When you order a Sprinter, there are loads of different options you can choose. Some make more sense for a conversion van than others. Some come in packages which are great value. Others come in packages where there’s little additional value at all (Mercedes branded flashlight, anyone?)

Here’s a list of most of the options you’ll care about, what they really mean, and whether they’re worthwhile having for a conversion van.

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Making foldable window shades from Low-E foil-faced foam

Low-E window coverings that will fold up.

We made some window shades for our van a while back using Low-E. They work great but they are a pain to store. We decided to make them fold so they’d take up less space.

We tried stitching them with a sewing machine, melting them with a soldering iron, just smooshing them together, but the best overall technique was to use a hot iron on the fold lines. This is how we made it work.

Continue reading “Making foldable window shades from Low-E foil-faced foam”

Adding an aftermarket stereo head unit to a Sprinter

Aftermarket stereo cable wiring harness construction

We gave in. Even after changing out the front speakers and adding a subwoofer, the Audio 15 stereo that comes as stock in newer Sprinters was just not up to the job.

We chose to replace it with an aftermarket unit from Sony that has Apple Carplay and Android Auto so that we can use our phones to provide navigation and music through the stereo.

The swap-out wasn’t hard, but there are a couple of sticky points along the way. Read on for the details.

Continue reading “Adding an aftermarket stereo head unit to a Sprinter”

Sprinter antenna replacement and repair

How about a shark fin antenna instead of the stock one?

We’ve already written about how flimsy the Sprinter’s antenna (aerial) is. We’ve repaired ours before after snapping off part of the housing when we caught the mast on something.

This time, we needed to remove the antenna from the roof to really glue it back together properly. Here’s how we did it, and some other options if you can’t make the repair work.

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Adding a subwoofer to the stock Sprinter stereo

Pioneer subwoofer close-up

The stock Sprinter stereo doesn’t have great dynamic range. It does relatively OK in the high end because it has separate tweeters, but the door speakers just aren’t big enough to reproduce low frequencies very well.

The head unit doesn’t have a dedicated subwoofer output so you have to get creative if you want to add better bass. Here’s how we did it.

Continue reading “Adding a subwoofer to the stock Sprinter stereo”