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Old 05-13-2020, 10:55 AM   #1
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Mouse vs Sprinter

Several years ago, I had a check engine light on my 2015 Lounge. It turned out to be an air cleaner stuffed with a mouse nest. Mercedes at Georgetown removed the nest and put hardware cloth over the air inlet at the cost of several hundred dollars.

I have been dragging my feet, thinking I should mouse-proof the 2018 GT in the same way and always finding something else to do.

This morning, I started my 2018 GT and was greeted by a graphic on the display informing me that I had a dirty air cleaner. I opened the air cleaner box to find two-hands full of weeds. There is only 6800 miles on the rig and the air cleaner, itself, was almost clean as new.

I still have the "dirty air cleaner message." I'm not sure whether it will reset after driving or whether I need to take my OBD reader out to storage and try to reset it that way. I have a call into Mercedes Georgetown to see if they can give me some advice.

It is nice that the 2017 chassis has this display instead of just lighting the check-engine indicator.

I have some hardware cloth. I'll pull the grille tomorrow and mouse-proof the intake.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:10 AM   #2
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Mouse proofed

I didn't find the hardware cloth that I thought I had, but I found a sheet of expanded metal that I like even better.

I went out to storage early this morning to mouse-proof the air cleaner. It probably took 10 minutes to remove the grille ... 4 push pins, 2 Torq screws, and depress 4 latches.

The expanded metal cut easily with a tin shear. The width of the metal was perfect. I had to cut one notch in the aft end to accommodate a rib in the plastic by the air box. I Held the metal in place and marked it with a Sharpie pen. From there, it was just cut along the line, drill 4 small holes in the plastic, and mount the metal with 4 screws.

These photos were taken before I temporarily removed the grid to spray it black.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
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Speaking as a retired auto industry professional, I am concerned with your fix. As a general rule, oem air intake systems are none too free flowing as is. You have reduced intake area by some 30 to 50%, just by looking.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Speaking as a retired auto industry professional, I am concerned with your fix. As a general rule, oem air intake systems are none too free flowing as is. You have reduced intake area by some 30 to 50%, just by looking.
I think it is much less reduction than that. Just about the same reduction that Mercedes shop made on my 2015 Sprinter using a wire mesh. The intake is in a high-pressure area with RAM air through the grille and the turbo is pulling air. There is a LOT more resistance through the air cleaner element itself.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:47 PM   #5
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Ok, it's up to you, but I anticipate low power under high load situations and false premature 'air cleaner" messages and maybe map/baro codes thrown.
There is a reason why the furnace bug screens are dome shaped. That's what you need to do here....and go back to a thin wired vs relatively large opening hardware cloth.
Not familiar with the space you have there, but a wire "box" would be easy to make.
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Old 05-14-2020, 01:49 PM   #6
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You do understand that, turbo or not, the system is always comparing barometric pressure with software anticipated vs actual manifold pressure?
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:11 PM   #7
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You do understand that, turbo or not, the system is always comparing barometric pressure with software anticipated vs actual manifold pressure?
The area I covered is substantially larger than the following ductwork. The resulting area is not even close to being the smallest place in the duct.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:26 PM   #8
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The area I covered is substantially larger than the following ductwork. The resulting area is not even close to being the smallest place in the duct.
Ok, you know MB layout specifics better than I do. Every mfr and model is somewhat unique. Just trying to help prevent any unusual events for you.
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Old 05-14-2020, 04:54 PM   #9
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I would agree with dznf0g. The mesh itself creates turbulence which reduces air flow significantly. We did extensive air flow studies on this while I was design engineer at CASE. It's not only about the total open area. Even so mice can squeeze through incredibly small openings. Ask our cat.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan


P.S. Want to know the easiest way to extract a mouse from under or behind the furniture? Shop vac!
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:28 PM   #10
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John, no worries, there will be enough air in cylinders with your installed task. The combustible mixture in your Mercedes engine is designed with extra air margin, will be sufficient, and will not damage it neither affect your power characteristics. You have done a good job.
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:45 AM   #11
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I have a hard time imagining that a hardware cloth mesh of 3/8" or larger grid would reduce air flow. But if it is a concern you could install the grid over the air inlet only during periods of long activity (winter storage).
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:38 AM   #12
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Irish Spring?

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Originally Posted by Pahaska View Post
I think it is much less reduction than that. Just about the same reduction that Mercedes shop made on my 2015 Sprinter using a wire mesh. The intake is in a high-pressure area with RAM air through the grille and the turbo is pulling air. There is a LOT more resistance through the air cleaner element itself.
Deterrent:
What about some bars of Irish Spring soap sliced or shaved with a cheese grater and distributed under the drop line of your coach...maybe a few extra under your engine bay?

Recognizing mice also love to eat wiring...
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