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Sprinter Van: Skid Plates for Fuel Tank, Oil Pan, Engine Area

Last updated 2017-07-12 - Send Feedback
Related: Sprinter

Photographer and cyclist and Mac expert and software engineer Lloyd Chambers is available for consulting on general Sprinter considerations at his usual consulting rates via phone, or in person in the Palo Alto, CA area. Save yourself hours and mistakes by discussing issues up-front. More about Lloyd....

If you’re running these kind of tires for all terrain use, splitting open the exposed oil pan or gas tank on the Sprinter will ruin your day. Not to mention the engine and transmission. Also, the 2nd alternator sits quite low and needs protection also.

The about $1800 VAN COMPASS™ Mercedes 4X4 Sprinter Skid Plate System incorporates three plates that protect:

  • Engine and 2nd alternator and oil pan.
  • Transmission and transfer case
  • Fuel tank.

I’ll be bolting the complete system onto my 2017 Sprinter, since the areas I go have plenty of rocks many of which protrude upgrade, and the Sprinter has only about 9 inches of clearance.

VAN COMPASS™ Skid Plate system for Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 van

Description

As per VanCompass:

Explore with confidence in your 4x4 Sprinter with the Van Compass™ skid plate system. Designed to create a strong, smooth surface to slide over or bash into. The skid plate protects your vital drivetrain components when off-road situations get a little out of hand. Made of 1/4" thick 6061-T6 Aluminum and 3/16" high strength steel. The skid system is 100% bolt on with all the hardware provided. Engine oil changes can be performed without removal of skid system.

INCLUDED COMPONENTS:

  • 3/16" Steel Front Bash Plate, Black Powder Coat finish for corrosion protection
  • Engine Skid Plate - 1/4" 6061 T-6 Aluminum
  • Transmission/Transfer Case Skid Plate - 1/4" 6061 T-6 Aluminum
  • Fuel Tank Skid Plate - 1/4" 6061 T-6 Aluminum
  • Skid Plate Mounting Brackets - 1/8" High strength steel, powder coated black for corrosion resistance
  • All necessary hardware
  • Detailed color instructions
  • Total system weight 115lbs
VAN COMPASS™ Skid Plate system as installed on Sprinter 4x4 van

Skid plate details

Pictures below courtesy of Van Compass, that is, until I have the plates bolted onto my Sprinter and can show the rig in action.

VAN COMPASS™ Mercedes 4X4 Sprinter Transmission/Transfer Case Skid Plate (2015+)

About $450 when purchased separately:

Explore with confidence in your 4x4 Sprinter with the Van Compass™ Transmission/Transfer Case skid plate. Designed to create a strong, smooth surface to slide over or bash. The skid plate protects your vital drivetrain components when off-road situations get a little out of hand. Made of 1/4" thick 6061-T6 Aluminum; this skid plate is designed to take the hardest of hits. The skid system is 100% bolt on with all the hardware provided.

*This skid plate requires the use of our Engine Skid to properly attach to your van.

  • Transmission/Transfer Case Skid Plate - 1/4" 6061 T-6 Aluminum
  • All necessary hardware
VAN COMPASS™ Mercedes 4X4 Sprinter Transmission/Transfer Case Skid Plate (2015+)

VAN COMPASS™ Mercedes 4X4 Sprinter Engine Skid Plate (2015+)

About $650 when purchased separately:

Explore with confidence in your 4x4 Sprinter with the Van Compass™ Engine skid plate. Designed to create a strong, smooth surface to slide over or bash into. The skid plate protects your vital drivetrain components when off-road situations get a little out of hand. Made of 1/4" thick 6061-T6 Aluminum and 3/16" high strength steel. The skid system is 100% bolt on with all the hardware provided. Engine oil changes can be performed without removal of skid system.

  • 3/16" Steel Front Bash Plate, Black Powder Coat finish for corrosion protection
  • Engine Skid Plate - 1/4" 6061 T-6 Aluminum
  • All necessary hardware

I wrote VanCompass with the following and so it seems like it is ideal for my Sprinter rig, which has a 2nd alternator which sits about as low as anything down there.

Q: Is your engine skid plate compatible with a 2nd alternator installed? I'm concerned about two things: 1) whether your skid plate is compatible 2) cooling for alternator (drill out the plate just in case?) I plan on using that 2nd alternator to charge a 5200 watt-hour battery bank, so I am concerned about it insulating the 2nd alternator, assuming it fits. I presume that drilling some 1/2" holes or similar would help with some airflow.

VanCompass replies: “The skid plates will work with the second alternator installed. The is still a good gap for airflow around it. We have done a bunch of these to protect that altar from dirt and snow.”

VAN COMPASS™ Mercedes 4X4 Sprinter Fuel Tank Skid Plate (2015+)

VAN COMPASS™ Mercedes 4X4 Sprinter Fuel Tank Skid Plate (2015+)

About $700 when purchased separately:

Explore with confidence in your 4x4 Sprinter with the Van Compass™ Fuel Tank skid plate. The plastic fuel tank is in vulnerable position when driving over obstacles. This skid plate is designed to create a strong, smooth surface to slide over or land on. Made of 1/4" thick 6061-T6 Aluminum, This skid plate is designed to take the hardest of hits. The skid system is 100% bolt on with all the hardware and 1/8" high strength steel brackets provided. - For additional protection add the Engine and Transmission skid plates! INCLUDED COMPONENTS:

  • Fuel Tank Skid Plate - 1/4" 6061 T-6 Aluminum
  • Skid Plate Mounting Brackets- 1/8" High strength steel brackets powder coated black for corrosion resistance
  • All necessary hardware
VAN COMPASS™ Mercedes 4X4 Sprinter Fuel Tank Skid Plate (2015+)
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