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Wow, some proper info on the T5 4motion at last! I've been finding it really hard to source anything.
I agree genuine info is hard to find.
my 2012/2013 180 4motion is in need of new tyres.the front look like they could manage another 4000 but the rear are just about on the wear
bars.nexen tyres and van has done 11000.they are wearing evenly across tread.

I have been told that its a common problem? Friend used to have same problem with his golf R32.
will try and swop round at half life on new tyres.T:
 

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I am very interested in this thread as I have just upgraded my Kombi from a regular T30 to a T32 4Motion (64) with DSG
The T32 came with 255/55 18 ATs which makes it sit higher than my old van. I am needing to use it off road in woodland same as Timberwolf. The T32 has about 12"/300mm clearance under the sills with what looks like standard suspension but I am wondering what clearance is recommended for going down rutted muddy tracks. I will be putting skids underneath but dont know if I need to be putting a 35mm lift kit on as well.
Clive
 

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Good lot of posts here on experience with 4Motions. Mine is 2006 T30 2.5l.
I dont agree with the post about poor performance on snow - on Toyo mud&snow tyres mine kept v good traction on snow here some years back while others were stuck or struggling.
I'm often driving on wet tracks & sodden grass (rural Wales!) and lose traction only when the tyre treads fill with mud & surface is v wet so in effect trying to drive on slicks. Answer was to switch to AT tyres (Goodrich) for the winter & that solved the problem - these tyres are designed to throw out the mud. Mind you, drive over someone's lawn & they'll wreck it. Some so-called AT tyres are better on really bad terrain than others. So I think tyres are the limiting factor for traction on a T5 4Motion.
I find there is enough ground clearance - thought of raising it, but that's expensive (& is a 'modification' so increases insurance) & I havent really found the need.
Re towing (thinking of the post about towing an Airstream) mine has been impressive towing 3-ton trailer (over limit) on hilly tracks as well as tarmac - the 5cyl engine has a lot of torque, low 1st gear, & good traction - never stuck when towing. I wonder if the later 4cylinder engines have the same low-down torque.
Like you, this Kombi gives me the multipurpose vehicle I need & I dont know what else would do so much. If I had to change, to what? -thought of a Land Cruiser, but not same space as a van, & v expensive. LRover- not so reliable, & less space. T5.1 & T6 4Motions sell for a hell of lot of money, & I read not so good reports about them, not the 4Motion-ness but the rest of these later Ts. Reckon the T5 is a classic.
 

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I have taken T5 4Motion to the Arctic in winter twice, driven plenty of gravel roads and find traction is superb and comparable to any other 4x4 short of something like a G-Wagon or my previous Pinzgauer which both have front diff-locks. Limiting factors off road are clearance, wheel travel and gearing. Clearance can be improved with a lift kit, but travel in the suspension is limited which will result in wheels lifting off the ground. It is in these situations that cross axle diff locking or electronic control of wheelspin through ABS sensors and brakes (EDL) will keep traction. The lack of a super low crawler gear means harder work for the clutch in super slow maneuvering. Remember fitting larger diameter tyres will effectively raise the gearing so exasperating the problem.

My set up is standard ride height and BFG AT2 tyres in standard size.

I think the only thing I would add for more rough road use is under body protection.

Final thing is wading... the air intake as standard is pretty low down, there are after market kits to raise it, but I haven't bothered as going in water deep is asking for a wet interior and I think I'm happy with that limitation as I had plenty of deep fording fun when I had the Pinzgauer.

I think a T5 4Motion will do you just fine :)
 
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