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English   Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses - part 2
17.06.2014 von admin

Panel vans are frequently extended

Bodyshell production is on three lines. Typical bodyshell work for panel van conversions includes enlarged entries and large apertures for passenger doors. Reinforcement and cutting work for air conditioners, roof vents, skylights or destination displays is also carried out here, and wheel arches are lowered to provide more legroom in the passenger compartment.

The striking rear-end extensions of GFRP have an integrated tubular frame and are only mounted on the rear of the longest panel van version. These models also have window apertures enlarged towards the rear. The rear-end extensions reflect the styling features of the Sprinter, and are perfectly integrated into the overall design.

Models of ribbed construction: Cataphoretic immersion for perfect corrosion protection

For vehicles with a ribbed bodyshell structure, the body is completely prefabricated and delivered ready for assembly. As with the large buses from Mercedes-Benz, cataphoretic immersion priming dependably protects the structure against corrosion. Cab conversions for large passenger entries are carried out in the same way as for panel vans.

The Sprinter City 77 is a special case: this three-axle model with space for up to 40 passengers has its own low-frame chassis. It is produced as a complete ribbed structure including the mountings for the independent rear suspension before being joined to the Sprinter tractor unit.

In the next stage the crew install the rear end, roof and GFRP side panels of vehicles with a ribbed body structure. These parts are bonded in place with adhesives. Apertures are then cut for roof vents and air conditioning units as with panel vans.

Paintwork: Carefully applied individual colours

All new and modified body surfaces are painted – in the case of panel vans with a rear-end extension e.g. the extension and the directly adjacent areas, but not the tractor unit. Parts added as modifications to the original body, e.g. entries, are also painted. Window apertures in the body are carefully masked by the personnel before painting. They also prime and paint the seams and structural ribs.

As the next stage, the body is cleaned and degreased before being treated with filling compounds and ground smooth. After further cleaning it is primed, and a filler coat is applied. Only then is the cover coat applied. Metallic paints are always given an additional coat of clear varnish, and a clear coat is also available with non-metallic paints on customer request. The painted body is then polished to a high sheen. There is an almost unlimited choice of individual paint finishes: In addition to over one hundred listed paint designs, Mercedes-Benz is able to cater for almost any colour request, including the detachable parts. These are separately painted by hand, with a high-quality surface finish. Multi-coloured paint finishes are a day-to-day occurrence in minibus production, as are customer-specific vehicle decals.

For perfect corrosion protection, the painted buses are then transferred to vacuum pressure cabins. This is where the cavity sealing is applied, and the underbody protection completed and sealed with a layer of wax.

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