The 2000-2006 Dodge/Mercedes-Benz/Freightliner Sprinter cargo van may seem unique for its small displacement diesel engine and large hauling capacity. But, at the wheels, the brakes are very conventional. There are two brake systems on the Sprinter that came with the 2500 and 3500 models.
Both systems have four-wheel disc brakes, but the 3500, with a dual rear wheel axle, has larger discs and calipers in the rear. The 3500 version also has a dual wheel rear axle setup. Repair information and parts catalogs call these systems Single Rear Wheel (SRW) and Dual Rear Wheel (DRW). Keep this in mind when ordering parts.
Always check to see that the ABS and Stability Control Systems are functioning. Most Sprinters have ABS and some level of traction control standard, while some are equipped with optional stability and roll-over mitigation systems. Not repairing the system can put the driver in jeopardy due to the vehicle’s high center of gravity. If the ABS light is on, ask for diagnostic time to resolve the problem.
In TSB 08-028-06, Chrysler states that a burned out or incorrect type brake light bulb could result in unrelated DTCs in the ECM or ABS/ESP control module. Also, corrosion in the trailer tow connector, as well as on a taillight circuit board, may cause similar erroneous and/or unrelated DTCs.
When confronted with unexplained DTCs that affect various modules a technician should perform some preliminary checks to diagnose the condition. Check all brake light bulbs and verify that they are of the correct type (P21/5W – 12V 21/5W). The brake and park light are part of the same bulb. An incorrect type bulb may bridge these two circuits. Ensure that there are no broken filaments and that the sockets are free of any corrosion. Verify there are no bent connectors or conductors.
Many aftermarket brake pad manufacturers have come up with their own application-specific brake pads for the Sprinter. The majority of Sprinters are used in the city; noise and harshness are a major consideration for the engineering of these pads. Ask your parts supplier if they stock a line of fleet brake pads with an application-specific pad for the Sprinter.
The Sprinter has wear sensors on the in-board pad. The sensor must be replaced if the light is on. Always apply a thin layer of di-electric grease to the connector to prevent wiring harness problems. If the circuit shorts out, the wear sensor light will not work and the driver could wear down the pad to the backing plate.
The Sprinter requires DOT 4 brake fluid and Chrysler specifies it should be changed every two years regardless of mileage.
The front rotor specifications are the same for the SRW and DRW. On DRW models, adapter flange has to be removed to service the rotors. The flange bolts have a torque specification of 133 ft/lbs.
While the Sprinter is a large vehicle, the specifications for runout are closer to a small car. In the front, the lateral runout specification is .002”. In the rear, the specification .0007”. This is to be expected with a vehicle with four floating calipers.
In the rear, the DRW has thicker rotors when compared to the SRW. But the service procedures are the same.
The front caliper on both models are very similar. The caliper bracket bolt has a torque specification of 125 ft/lbs and 20 ft/lbs for the caliper guide bolts. Lubricate all guide pins and bushings.
The rear brake caliper bracket has a torque specification of 66 ft/lbs for M12X1.5 bolt and 125 ft/lbs for M14X1.5 bolt. Caliper guide pin bolts have the following torque specs: the guide bolt is 19 ft/lbs for the M8 bolt; and 22 ft/lbs for the M10 bolt.
When replacing the parking brake shoes, do not remove the parking brake cables. The shoes will come off when the springs are removed. To adjust the parking brake, remove the rear wheels. Turn the adjusting wheel through the hole of the wheel lug bolt until it is no longer possible to rotate the rear wheels. Loosen the adjusting wheel 3 to 4 teeth divisions. Check for any drag.