Regarding your Koni dilemma-

Your Early 2500 ’02(140″/ 158″) was

originally equipped with 15″ wheel. In mid/later ’02, marketing/sales

pressure forced MBenz to fit 16″ wheels and tires to 140″/158″ 2500 US


Tire availability as well as aesthetics likely forced the

issue. In Europe low center of gravity and low loading height is

paramount-also 15″ load rated tires are everywhere.

When MBenz converted the 2500 mid/long Sprinter to 16″ wheels MBenz

didn’t “just” mount larger wheels. They raised the vehicle about 30mm.

In the rear this was achieved by more extreme “manufactured curvature”

of the rear leaf.

They also reshaped the wheel well opening and added

the plastic wheel well trim. In the front they added channeling to the

front suspension subframe to raise the front roughly the same 30mm.

The steering column was lengthened an equal amount and the steering

rack was modified(but not dimensionally).

The now raised(in relation

to wheel center) upper strut mounting location required longer strut

housings and center shafts. This is where your dilemma comes into the

picture. The Koni (3500) F. strut has an almost 11″ long strut

housing(measured from top of outer housing to center line of upper

mounting bolt(chosen as index line).

The OEM 3500 strut is about 3/4″

shorter(than the Koni) and your original 15″ 2500 mid/long strut was

about 9 1/4″ in length-almost 3″ shorter. Your Koni struts are indeed

“bottoming out” but not internally. The top of your Koni strut

housing(cylinder) in hitting the upper strut mount steel “washer”.

This washer is cone shaped and is well below the shaft’s threaded 


This bottoming occurs before the internal shaft can damage

the adj. mechanism inside the shock housing. You can check these

dimensions by crawling underneath and pulling down the dust cover on

the strut. Measure clearance between strut top and that cone shaped

seat for upper mount.

Compare this dimension to clearance at your

suspension arm bump stop. Hopefully when your spring was replaced they

used all the correct spring seat part#’s and didn’t complicated that

issue as well. Doktor A