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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
HI

i seeking some advice about the V-class, we need one for our son who uses a powered wheelchair, at the moment with have a peugeot 807 , but we really want a v-class ,so we can add a fold out ramp and he can drive into the back, then we can turn the middle row of seats round so his 2 brothers can face him, so he does not feel left out as he is only 6yrs.

went to look at a T reg 220 cdi ambiente yesterday with a dealer, its done 80,000 miles and was well tired inside and out, and i really did not enjoy driving a diesel, just a personnal thing i guess. Amazing how photos on the web make things look so much better:)

We are now considering a petrol model ie 230 or 280 as we dont do that many miles really , mainly school runs. Just wanted some advice on these 2 versions really, what to look out for , did all models have air suspension? or can you buy them without this ( something less to go wrong im thinking). whats a good year to buy from is 2002 ok? do any models have rear reversing sensors?

we are going to trade our 807 , should get £7000 for it, 2004 executive model. and will now add few grand to get a younger model.

sorry this is long winded, just wanted to speak whats been going round in my head.

hope you guys and gals can help me with any advice:bowdown:

cheers
viti:thumbsup:
 

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Dear Viti,
Just a quick note about the air suspension. I wouldn't worry too much about having it. It will go wrong - I doubt there is anyone out there who has not had the valves fail. But, £500 gets you a well designed pump and valves in a water tight box from a company in Germany. Easy to fit yourself - just two bolts, two push in pipes and three electrical connectors. When working the air suspension is really very good indeed.
As a V220 CDI (auto) owner I am not sure I agree that the diesel is so bad to drive. The seats are uncomfortable (but we are small) but the van drives fine. Personally I don't drive the van to its limits - it is too uncomfortable for the passengers and consumes too much fuel.
The V280 is very thirsty, even with relatively few miles it is going to cost a fair bit to run.
I know that the facing seats at the back of the V-Class are an attractive feature (and they are the reason we bought one) but my advice is to look at other vehicles. I think my purchase of a V-Class is still my worst ever car buy. The van is covered in rust along the bottom of all the doors and even on the boot door. The engine leaks fumes into the cabin, the glow plugs (at least two) have gone and the seats are uncomfortable and are extremely heavy to move. It is - I'm afraid - the stereotypical Spanish built car.
There must be other vans out there with rearward facing seats.
Greetings,
Christof
 

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Vito 111CDi 2004
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There's a few vitos already converted for wheelchair use hovering around ebay the last few months so I would have a look there too.

Cheers

Adam.
 

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For your requirements, the V230 would be better suited as the V280 are prone to mechanical problems owing to the less reliable VW engine/tranny. Look for a proper serviced one (quite rare). As C says, don't worry too much about the air suspension as the German replacement (V-Klasse) sorts it for good and gives you excellent comfort and options of dropping the rear level if using for wheelchair or ambulant access. Accommodation-wise, nothing beats the V Class!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for you thoughts so far. Can i just check with you. So if i buy v230 i should get one with the air suspension and replace it with the v-klasse parts if it goes wrong, or do you mean get one without air suspension and then get the parts to do it myself?

what models and year do not have air suspension? is there a website you can link me to for the spare suspension parts, which year car should i buy, should i get the best year for my money.

thanks
 

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Here is the site I bought the air suspension parts from:
V-Klasse-Presser.de Ersatz und Zubehör für den Kompressor / ENR der V Klasse und Vito

I wouldn't make the suspension a deciding factor in the purchase. If you find a V-Class you like - and it has air suspension - just factor in the cost of repairing it! You may be lucky and not have to replace it for sometime. But, just about everyone has. Springs are fine too, but I happen to like the air suspension. We load-up the van with camping kit, boats and bikes (5 on the back) and the air suspension just sets the level correctly. But, I certainly wouldn't convert a spring-based suspension to an air one.

Do pay careful attention to the bottom of the doors and the boot lid. Many V-Class and Vito vans show lots of rust after only a few (>5) years. It seems to have nothing to do with how owners treat them, rather they are poorly made. Whether it is the metal, paint, preparation or careless treatment post painting I don't know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for that link, i will keep it safe.

do they give instructions in english:) also when the suspension breaks, can the van still be driven?
 

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The German suspension pump/valve kit is very easy to fit - there is really not much need for any instructions. There are two air lines to connect, a few electrical connectors and a couple of bolts. I can supply you with more details when/if you need them.
As the suspension fails the van gradually sinks lower - with care it can still be driven for some time. But, without a working suspension it is easy to damage the van.
Don't worry about the suspension issue yet - first find a van that has a good service history, no signs of rust, functioning glow plugs and one previous trustworthy owner!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok thanks for your help:thumbsup: we will continue looking , does not seem to be many about at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Can i just ask, what does the air suspension light on the dash board look like, as ive been told to do this check , when i go to see a car

Turn the ignition on and check that the air suspension light comes up on the dashboard. You should also be able to hear the suspension pump whirring. Start the engine. The light should go out and the pump should stop whirring. If the pump doesn't come on, doesn't go off or the dashboard light flashes, the pump needs replacing.

if the lights not on, i would not even know if its a spring or air suspension car, what side of car do i look under to see the compressor

thanks
 
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