If I had all of the answers I'd be a very rich man indeed!
As it is, I seem to have all the information I need about idling the V-6 in the Sprinter chassis. M-B in Germany says up to one hour at the stock idle speed is ok, and that should be enough for my needs. If not, I know it definitely is possible to get an authorized Sprinter dealer to install the M-B high idle option.
I do find it interesting when there is conflicting information about any subject though. There may be one or more reasons for that:
1) There are plenty of people who think they know better than engineers and damage or destroy equipment as a result.
2) There are times when 'real-world' experience is truly different from what the engineers had counted on.
3) Information doesn't always get disseminated well within an organization.
4) Sometimes well-intentioned employees will give out false or inaccurate information without realizing it.
5) Mfrs want to please the customer and sell their products, but they also have liability and warranty concerns that may influence their answers to questions.
6) If information is not in writing, and must be passed on verbally, it can quickly get corrupted.
As I said, I have enough info for my needs. Unless I have a strong reason to believe otherwise, I am going to go by what Neal S. @ M-B USA said -- one hour max. at normal/stock idle speed. Who knows, if enough people question this, M-B engineering may come out with a revised, written statement -- something that will be added to the Sprinter owners manual. I'm very surprised that there is currently nothing in writing about idle time, both with and w/o the high idle option.
In Mel's defense, he did not come across like a know-it-all. At no point in our conversation did he say or even hint that he knew more than the M-B engineers -- he simply relayed his real-world experience as a shop foreman in a large Sprinter repair facility. What he _did_ say was that he was curious as to why M-B would limit the idle times, since in his experience it isn't an issue. He intends to check into it further at M-B USA headquarters when he is there in the near future because he realizes there may be concerns he is not aware of.
Mel and I actually spoke about the DEF/urea (which I was aware of). It came up in our conversation because we were talking about how the various Sprinter engines (I-5, V-6, V-6 w/DEF) might react differently to idling and how that might explain some of the conflicting stories and info. The DEF is a big improvement in that it allows the Sprinter V-6 to put out significantly more torque and hp while producing fewer emissions. M-B sized the DEF tank so that it only needs to be filled every 10,000 miles, with every oil change. From what I've read, filling the DEF tank costs about $8.
Does Ford publish any information about idling the V-10?
Does Ford offer a high idle option?
Any idea how long the V-10 can be idled, both at stock idle rpm and high idle (if available)?
It may be able to be idled longer since gasoline engines tend to maintain their operating temp better.