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Metris Cargo 135 2020
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been lurking on the forum for a bit, considering a van upgrade from a Grand Caravan to something a bit more practical, did some research, my thoughts were to get a custom '21, but those are a good time away, bit the bullet, took delivery yesterday from an out of state dealer who had an extended cargo with some of the features I wanted. Had a test drive on local roads. Seemed OK. Did the paperwork. On my way I went.

The drive home was rather " mixed " it may be a series of small things but ... noise is .

Cup holders. Why are these for like 1 liter 1,5 liter bottles? Would not hold my phone mount one bit. Coffee mug. Dash cup holder is not practical for my phone mount either. Nor coffee. The vertical space is too short.

Voice control button on the steering wheel does zip nada.

USB port does not charge my phone.

Navigation is extra, did not realize ( forgot ? ) Other MB vehicles I have driven with NAV button have always had the navigation included via DVD or HDD. Not that I can't depend on a smartphone. But 99% of the time I put the radio on our other vehicles on area map. On extended trips I use both.

Driver side blind spot is big enough to hide a full size F150. Seat back for somebody 6ft tall. Mirror all the way out to the left. I really hoped that with the mirrors being wider than the typical MB, that would not have been an issue.

And then, once you go to highway speed the road noise becomes very intrusive. I had thought the partition would help, but that actually is another metal reverberating surface. I don't know where all the noise comes from, from under and behind. It sounds like being inside a jet airplane. I cannot drive closer to 80 because it sounds like a dryer tumbling stuff in the next room. Closest thing I can relate it to, is if you have a very aerodynamic vehicle and open a window at highway speed, get those air waves buffeting.

Going over some rough spots and bridge highway joints ... there's some sound bounces. Center of an thin empty wood floor bouncing on the bare metal?

Other than that, the engine and transmission had nice pickup and go. Filled the tank part way home, reset the trip meter, and it indicated 27.5 mpg for a slightly hilly stretch of interstate highway I frequent.

So, honestly, I have to say, fit and finish is below expectations when it comes to cabin comfort. I was not expecting dead control buttons, cup holders I need to fix and so much road noise. I was not expecting it to be passenger car quiet, but this is pretty loud. I would not want to have a conversation. People are going to drive these for many miles. Why is there 0 sound isolation between vehicle floor, seats mounts, factory partition? All just bolted together directly. Metal on metal.

The dealer also brushed me off regarding lashing rails. Pointing me to the sprinterstore online. No, they don't have these.
 

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reset the trip meter, and it indicated 27.5 mpg
it lies.

also be aware that the fuel gauge and range remain lie, too. fill up at 100mi range remaining or 1\4 tank left, whichever comes first, until you learn how bad the lies are and compensate for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Indeed. I incorrectly assumed I would be able to use it for phone control, but that's of course an Android Auto / Apple CarPlay feature.

Will be watching what she does fuel consumption wise and do some manual tracking.

Certainly going to need sound dampening, isolation ... and learn more about that.
 

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2020 cargo 126wb
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It’s a cargo van. You don’t expect factory insulation. You are about to embark on what will be a long enjoyable experience improving (in only the ways you want your vehicle to go) your new van. Speaking of which, it’s a good thing you got a new one. It makes the time and money you put in to it last a long time. That at least is my take. Search for my thread “a work in progress” and many other threads documenting new owners customizing their new rides. I hope you enjoy yours :)
 

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So, on the subject of the cargo retrofit... how many of you re-route the wire harness from the factory locations on your cargo conversion?
When I look at my Worker I can see where MB saved a few bucks on the wire harness routing.
For about 1 hrs labor they could have routed most of it within the frame, not on the inside of it.
Especially the wiring on the rear pillar that goes to the rear lights and water supply for the wipers.

I was too hesitant to to undo all the fittings and reroute it myself but geez!

I ended up building soffits and chases for all of it.
 

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Mr Green gets his hackles up whenever I accuse the fine, upstanding mercedes engineers of lying, so let me just leave this: German prosecutors fine Daimler almost $1 billion for breaking diesel rules a fine for almost a Billion US Dollars for lying.
I don’t actually always get my hackles up; they lie all the time. However, that particular headline is misleading. The Mercedes Bluetec System as installed on vehicles in the US becomes inactive below a certain temperature because urea injection only works with a heated tank below that temperature. The details of this system, including the fact that the system shut itself off below that operating temperature, was included in the filing of how the bluetec system worked; because the US document readers apparently didn’t care or didn’t read the details, the system was approved by the EPA.

After Dieselgate, the regulators decided to suddenly actually read how it works (which is public information; Mercedes even explains this in the owners manuals of vehicles so equipped), and proceeded to accuse Mercedes of “cheating”, and that is what they are being fined for. It is different than the VW situation because there was no dishonesty involved. The systems are non-compliant below a certain temperature; the documents submitted to the EPA on the systems explained that point, and the EPA approved it. They have now decided to retroactively unapprove it, and the politics of this situation have thus far not had MB appeal the decision on the basis that it is, in fact, unreasonable regulatory action.

VWs deactivation system was not documented, not submitted to the EPA for approval, was hidden, and was specifically designed to operate the system outside of specifications at all times it was not being tested. Claiming MB did the same thing is disingenuous at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have reframed my expectations a little bit and started on the adventure.
Got my phone mount sorted ... jammed it in a cup holder wrapped with foam liner.

Ordered my first upgrades: Floor mats. Roof bars. And my first box of sound deadening material.

I will note, that my initial noise panic was while I was driving through the Boston area which is not known for its fresh & smooth paving, excellent overpass joints, ... :)

When you roll your seat belt up, do you get sharp metallic clanking sounds?
Despite the interior covering up the metal, I do.

I really suspect that my extra noise discomfort stems from this extended load length partition. Sounds like a tin can. I half way plan to take it out and see what noise I get then. But, I want to test a couple sound dampening ideas I have first :)
 

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For floor mats, I got the weathertech floor liners. I am very pleased with them. Omac in Houston sells Metris roof rails but they no longer ship them because of the length. Because of that I imagine many were returned damaged also. If I remember correctly, you can arrange your own shipping. Luckily I live in Louisiana and I have a brother in Houston I've been needing to visit. In the next few weeks I'll be driving over to pick up a set.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have the WeatherTech mats on order. Had them on a couple other vehicles. I seriously wish they'd go up 3-4 extra inches behind the pedals. That is their only fault / shortcoming.

Stumbled onto an " alternative " brand of roof rails and accessories: Malone. Which apparently is a Maine base company. So shipping was 1 day. Square bar akin the original Thule ones, with a universal clamp system for vehicles with factory roof rails. Should be able to get these things fitted over the weekend, with hopefully a tight fit.
Sent them an email before my order, asking about the clamping system vs MB rails, if I'd need anything else, ... but supposedly should fit just fine. Fingers crossed. May order a second set if I want to go for three bars. But, the factory rails actually don't look to be as flat as the roof? So, installing three may give you a hump in the middle.
 

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I have reframed my expectations a little bit and started on the adventure.
Got my phone mount sorted ... jammed it in a cup holder wrapped with foam liner.

Ordered my first upgrades: Floor mats. Roof bars. And my first box of sound deadening material.

I will note, that my initial noise panic was while I was driving through the Boston area which is not known for its fresh & smooth paving, excellent overpass joints, ... :)

When you roll your seat belt up, do you get sharp metallic clanking sounds?
Despite the interior covering up the metal, I do.

I really suspect that my extra noise discomfort stems from this extended load length partition. Sounds like a tin can. I half way plan to take it out and see what noise I get then. But, I want to test a couple sound dampening ideas I have first :)
Curious as to what sound deadening material you got and where you got it. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
From online reading, 80 mil butyl sound deadener seems to be the first step, peel & stick and then fine rolled to exposed surfaces.

People may be familiar with most familiar with the Dynamat brand.
Noico seems well reviewed.

Local retail car parts stores have nothing for sound deadening, carpeting, ... sad. So ordering online.

Went with Siless that is still a bit better value, and it does not have any ugly printing or branding on the surface, for when it used on surfaces that will remain exposed.

Amazon prime order, delivered in a couple days. Siless 80mil 36sqft. $50.
Comes in a square box. Everything folded in sets of three sheets tri-folded.

Used the first box to deal with the seat base & lower partition. Actually went through it pretty quickly. Started by applying strips in the recessed areas on the partition but that was too optimistic and not enough coverage. Had to cover more fully. Tested full coverage on the dreaded little box between the seats. Bingo! No more tin can sound.

I am pondering on a thin layer of foam over the butyl, as an extra measure, and to even things out a bit before carpet.

Will share some pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A few photos.

Factory partition with extended load through. The seat bases are enclosed metal boxes with the rear half going to the rear partition and front half being available for extra batteries, or so. Between the seat bases there's a two panel metal partition enclosing the cargo bit. This part is especially loud. On the outside there is a plastic flap hiding the open areas under the seats.

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Inside view of extended load area. Metal shield protecting battery on the right.

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Removed two pieces that go between the seats (vertical bit done on left, horizontal bit right). Wax paper removed from the butyl, ready to apply, was just giving it a bit of sunshine so it would be a tick warmer, stickier and more malleable.

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Just applying small strips in the recessed areas on both sides, was essentially ineffective, so removed the partition to have easier access for full coverage. It was fastened with a series of 10mm and T25 bolts.

Plan is to cover the cabin side up to the glass area, under the seats, center beam, ... and see what happens then.

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Current status ...

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So, a couple areas will be double covered, due to first starting with strips in the bumps that went either way. The idea that 25% coverage is effective, may hold true for some areas and some applications, but not for this partition thing.

I will have an extra box of this stuff tomorrow.
And I envision ordering more, as the rear has essentially no sound proofing.

I drove the van as pictured above yesterday, no partition ... and the sound was unbearable around 45-50 mph. Loud drum buffeting, that I had experienced nearing 80 mph the other day, with the partition in.

I do have a box of sticky butyl + foam sound deadener coming in as well, which I intend to use in strips on top of the corrugations under the bouncy wooden floor, and likely underneath those corrugated plastic liner panels.

Dark grey automotive carpeting is on order, to cover the silver in the cabin and cargo area.

Crossing fingers the end result will be pleasing to the eyes and ears.
 

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You have an interesting combination of features in your 135" cargo. I see you have full OEM panels, so the first thing I'd do to quiet it down is remove them, put your 80 mil butyl sound deadener on the sheet metal, and then put the panels back in. Once you have some proper batting (I used Thinsulate 600) remove the panels again and fill cavities with the batting.

What you are doing in the area between the seats I have never seen done before. Keep up ;the good work and the excellent pictures. Since you have the partition in your van, I know it did not come with the duct between the seats for heated/cooled air to be delivered to the cargo compartment, so your floor doesn't look like mine. I am curious to see what it looks like without that option (H00).

A quick and dirty solution for the bouncy wooden floor is to remove it and put some thin pieces of "Pink Panther" insulation all over the floor, then replace the floor. I did that and it helped. Every little thing I did to quiet my new cargo van down helped some. there is no one spot that offends more than any other.

Good luck, and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Here's a few extra photos :)

The floor from the console to the back slopes down, not flat, then makes a dead stop for the partition box, which is made out of two stamped plates, with 7 screws between the two of them holding them in place.

Top down, front.

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Top down, rear.

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Beam detail, looking under.

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Driver side, under.

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Passenger side, under. Cover on.

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Cover off.

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Passenger side, under seat, side cover open.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, the plastic panels (which sound like plastic drums) in the cargo area will be removed, for sound deadener to be applied to the metal skin.

I'm hoping for the upper ones, which have shallow depth, I may be able to deploy the butyl + foam deadener. Without further material. If need be, a roll of that 3m batting is on my shopping list.

The lower parts have a depth of several inches. I still have to explore dealing with those large cavities (read about a few options). In the back of my mind is something creative to deal with the wheel wells and those unused cavities. :D
 
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