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969 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

I've decided to put up a build thread of my beloved T4, starting from the day he arrived on my doorstep.

I hope you enjoy reading and following my progress, just as much as I've enjoyed the journey.


  • Day 1: The Arrival
  • Window Fitting
  • Ply, Insulation, Carpeting and Flooring
  • Fixing the Clutch Pedal Bracket
  • Roof Lining
  • Door Cards & Window Winders

(Where possible/appropriate, I've linked to items that I think will make life easier for any newcomers to the scene that may be having a hard time selecting certain products!)

Day 1: The Arrival.


969 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Windows In

I decided to call in professional help for this stage of the build. Fitting windows is not something I felt comfortable doing myself, especially considering I am far too precious over my T4.

Dean at VanDoc comes highly recommended from me T: Customer service was top notch (from initial contact, through to quoting and then arriving to carry out the work), extremely professional and his work is top quality.

I did have a bit of a fright when I heard a bang and then this sticking out the side of my van...

Fear not! Dean to the rescue...

The end result...


969 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ply, Insulation, Carpeting and Flooring

Following the numerous threads dedicated to this subject, I felt I was well prepared for this stage of the build.

  • "]Carpet and high-temp spray adhesive from Mega-Van-Mats (If you are unsure how many metres you might need for your build, contact MVM. They were really helpful with the questions I had). I have a SWB with half bulkhead and 11m was enough to cover it all.
  • Insulation (following advice on this forum, I went with recycled plastic)
  • Flashband - I ordered three rolls, think I only used two though.
  • Aluminium foil tape
  • Decent scissors (to save on stanley blades)

I started by removing all of the ply, I reused some of the boards that were of a decent quality - but a number of them needed replacing so I used them as templates. (Apologies, I have no photos of removing and cutting ply).

There happened to be a bit of rust on one of my wheel arches where some sort of frame was drilled into it. I took it to a local body shop and got them to cut/weld a small piece of metal there. Top job but no pictures.

Next, remove the head lining... not as easy as you'd think! You can try using an allen key, but sometimes that doesn't work.

Where the allen key fails, you'll need to get a drill involved.

Top Tip!
If you do happen to destroy any of the plastic fixings when removing the head lining. You can get replacement ones. I decided to go for the clear/hidden roof clips from MVM. They're great to use because they are blind fixing. Simply attach them to your headlining, then cover over them with your chosen fabric. They then just slide up into the existing holes T:.
Likewise, if you snap any of the black clips that hold the diving head lining strips, you can get replacements.

Flash Band
Next stage was the flash banding... Again, I followed the advice on the forum and applied the flash band to all outer panels, a few strips on the roof and wheel arches.

I used the sandwich technique to insulate.
Foil - Insulation - Foil.

Follow these steps until you've done the entire van, including roof.

Top tip!
Do not block the slam vents! You'll see I left mine open.

Carpeting the ply
This stage was pretty fun!

The carpet from MVM was very easy to use, although it eats through stanley blades! Investing in a decent pair of scissors is my top tip, once I did this things went a lot smoother.

Top Tip!
Spray the adhesive from a distance, sounds fairly simple, but you want it to look a bit like a spiders web when it lands!

Another Top Tip!
The nozzle (on the MVM supplied cans) is adjustable, so if you find the adhesive spraying in clumps, try twisting the nozzle slightly.

Start with your ply. Spray with glue on the side you want the carpet to go.
Get some extra pair of hands and remove the ply, then lay the carpet down flat. Spray the carpet.
Lay the ply over the top of the carpet.
Trim the excess around the back.

Top Tip!
The carpet really is very stretchy. To get nice crisp corners, do not be afraid to use some elbow grease and really mould/bend/contour the carpet into shape.

Carpeting the metalwork
I found the easiest way to do this was in one length of material...
Start spraying the bare metal from the top corner of where you will start. Then spray the back of the carpet. Apply the carpet.
Once that section is done, get back underneath the carpet, and spray the next section of metal/carpet. And so on...
Cut out the section where the ply will go, and you're done.

I went for a modular effect, rather than one large length of ply. So you can see here the effect I'll have once the boards are screwed on.

Top Tip!
Don't be afraid to use scraps of carpet to hide joins. I found, particularly along the base of the tailgate, that sometimes a join is needed because you can't do the carpeting in one large section. In this instance, I used a scrap of carpet, cut it to size and then gently rubbed it toward the join, eventually it covered the seam and you couldn't even tell the join was there.

The bulkhead was fairly easy to do, one large piece of carpet and plenty of adhesive. The contouring was achieved by using the back of plastic screwdriver (to avoid carpet burn).

I was more than pleased with the final result, and what a transformation it has made!

Finally, the floor! Pretty straight forward.

The cut in my floor was done length ways (from tailgate to bulk head) due to the width constraints of the ply available to me.
I went to a carpet store and chose a length of vinyl that I liked.
Using the ply, I drew around it to make a stencil onto the vinyl and cut it out (slightly larger than I needed).
The ply was then drilled into the floor.
Using some adhesive glue to give it some tack, the vinyl flooring was then laid down.

As the vinyl is one large sheet, I didn't feel the need to then screw it down as well. A Rock n Roll bed and units will be more than enough weight to ensure it is held in place, although the high temp adhesive has done a great job so far.

Ply/Insulation/Carpet/Flooring Complete

Thanks to everyone for their advice on ply/insulation/carpeting, and to my Dad for the amount of time and effort he put into helping me complete this phase of the build!

1,056 Posts
That looks excellent, I'll have to come and see you when I have carpet T:

969 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That looks excellent, I'll have to come and see you when I have carpet T:
Please do mate, will be good fun to do it again T:

Mint mate, just simply mint! Top job, well done!
I think your thread has just convinced me to DIY my carpet
Thanks guys. Zesty, it is such a satisfying feeling to complete the carpeting phase yourself. It is also one of the biggest parts of the conversion project, but not as difficult as you'd first imagine. If you want any further tips or have any questions, feel free to give me a shout. Although I'm a novice, I will help where I can.

Neat and tidy. Interior layout is what i'll be waiting to see!H:
Cheers T: Although the layout is going to be pretty standard as I will be carrying passengers. So it will be a full width RnR bed with some sort of pod system infront of the bulkhead.

Beautiful van...and the interior will be stunning...I bet you have a very understanding wife ;) LOL:
Hmmm, I wonder who this biased opinion has come from! :)

969 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Clutch Pedal Bracket

Following a short drive, I noticed a squeak had developed whenever I applied pressure to the clutch bracket. It was only squeaky for the first few mm of applied pressure. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a few mm movement in the bracket, it ever so slightly leaned to the left whenever pressure was applied. (t4vanman, the producer of the bracket, posted this link which shows a side by side of the broken and fixed pedal).

A bit of research later (the majority of it thanks to this forum), I either needed a clutch pedal bracket, or a reinforced clutch pedal bracket. This has all been discussed in length on the forum, but a general rule of thumb is;
  • Clutch Pedal Bracket - Usually used as a prevention before they break (or if you notice the squeak) (current price: £12).
  • Clutch Pedal (reinforced) replacement - Usually used when they break (current price: Varies depending on distance, etc).
    Trev, aka Wind Welder is offering an amazing T4 pedal box replacement service. He will provide you with a reinforced replacement, and fit it (taking your damaged one away).

This quick how to is based on the first of that list, the Clutch Pedal Bracket. Service was excellent, ordered on a Wednesday, posted on a Friday morning and arrived Saturday morning T:

The vehicle is a 2.5TDI (probably the most difficult of models to fit this bracket to).

What's In The Box
I'm a bit annoyed I didn't take a picture of this before it was all fitted.
But you get
1 x Bracket (very sturdy, nicely finished)
1 x long 13mm bolt
3 x 13mm bolt
1 x large washer
3 x washers
1 x nut (to be used with the largest 13mm bolt).

Tools Needed
I will say, tools are the most important thing!! I originally tried using a large ratchet spanner with extension to get to the bolt in the engine bay. However, the air intake was blocking the way because the tool was too large. I tried again the next day, with some help from a friend who had a decent flat ratchet spanner. The job was made so much easier!

Anyway, as seen in the picture, I used a long 13mm spanner, 13mm flat ratchet spanner,
and a 3/8 ratchet with extension and 13mm swivel socket (no blue stuff for me unfortunately).

Picture taken straight from Kev's Horace build thread (well worth a read).

Locating and removing the bulkhead bolt
Probably the hardest part! Hopefully the pictures will help.

Looking directly at the engine bay, I've highlighted where the 13mm bolt is. You need to remove and replace with the the longest 13mm bolt and largest of the washers.

Here is an image from the left of the brake servo. You can see I've underlined two bolts... the one you need is approximately 3-4 inches to the right.

From the right of the brake servo, you can clearly see the (replaced) bolt.

Top Tip!
Tie some string or para-cord around the tools you're using and then around your hand so you don't drop anything in the engine bay. Also tie some string around the replacement 13mm bolt, just incase you do drop it whilst trying to screw it in!

That is the hardest part done T:

Attaching The Bracket

Fixing the bracket to the clutch pedal is pretty easy.

Locate the tip of the new bolt (shown in the picture by Kev's finger). Above this bolt, are two 13mm bronze coloured bolts. They need to be removed to allow the bracket to fix into place.

Picture taken straight from Kev's Horace build thread.

Top Tip!
Press the clutch in by a couple of cm to help with alignment.

Replace the two bronze bolts with the two of the bolts and washers supplied in the pack.
Finally, the nut and final washer should be used on the large bolt poking through the bolt head (that you replaced at the very start).

Once in place, the bracket should look like this.

And that is it! The bracket definitely makes a huge difference, there is now no movement in the clutch pedal when pressure is applied. Even if you haven't noticed any problems, for the sake of £12, I'd get one of these fitted anyway!

969 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Roof Lining

Finally got round to sorting out the roof

The shopping list:
  • 2 x Double duvet covers (unless it is the same pattern in which case you can use one side for the front panel, and one side of the duvet for the rear panel).
  • High Temp spray glue
  • I think I used around 25 - 30 "invisible" lining clips. These clips can also be used for the strip trim aswell.
  • LEDs (I went with the highly recommended Ikea Dioders).

So, first thing to do is to separate the two sides of the duvet cover. I decided to painstakingly un-stitch mine as I wanted to use the left over fabric to also cover my joining trim strips aswell. However, you could just cut them and save yourself some time.

Next, drill some holes big enough to feed your lighting through.

Lay your head lining out, and attach all of the invisible clips.

This next stage is the hardest part, and best done with an extra pair of hands if you can find someone willing to help.
Apply the adhesive to the duvet cover and the headlining. Leave it until it goes tacky.
Slowly cover the head lining and press out any bubbles/creases.

Do exactly the same with the joining strips (unfortunately I didn't take a photo of this stage).

Feed the lighting through the holes you made,

... and hey-presto. All done!

To fit the headlining back into the van, make sure you know where all the holes are! If you haven't already, cut the carpet away so you won't be trying to bash the clips into a covered hole.

It should end up looking something like this...

I haven't yet hooked up the wiring to my lights (because I don't know how, I'll most likely be paying in beers for a friend to do it or pay an auto-electrician).
However, the invisible clips used to put the headlining back into the van are really easy to remove (with a bit of care), so if you need to take it down, it won't be a problem.

969 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Door Cards & Window Winders

My shopping list:
3 x Matte black Plastikote
1 x White plastikote
2 x plastic primer
2 x M8 Bolts, washers and nuts
2 x Skateboard wheels and bearings
1 x Bottle of sugar soap

Before I started this project, I was super nervous about totally messing up my doorcards. For some reason, I must have thought they were made fro ice cream cones or something. However, they've stood up to a lot of bashing, dropping and general abuse really well!

Remove the door card:
Start by removing the window winder. Then there is one screw under the wing mirror (inside). One plastic screw to the far side of the locking pin (don't forget to spray this bit of plastic), and finally there are three bolts inside the door grip (inside). (All screws are annotated one the image). To remove the window winder, ensure window is fully wound up, you'll see a free spinning circular piece at the read of the handle, push that directly up. You'll hear it click and see it move. Then just pull the handle off.

If you take just one thing from this tutorial... PREPARATION. It is all down to the preparation. My cards have been on a couple of days now and they're holding up OK. I'm hugely pleased with how they have turned out, and it has really made a difference to the cab.

Remove the door cards and spend a decent amount of time washing them, drying them, then washing with sugar soap (or thinners or something similar) then wash again one more time. They'll discolour slightly, but that is a good sign as it shows all the protective layers that VW apply at manufacture have been removed.

I removed these insulated plastic bags. They were grimey, and contained water. The door is considered "wet" anyway, (it's technically an outside part of the vehicle). I replaced the sheets with a bit of foil roll and flash banded the door. Not sure what difference it will make, but I did it for piece of mind.

This topic has a lot of mixed views. Many don't use it, and seem to have fine results. However, for the same of less than a tenner for two cans of grey plastic primer, I decided to give it a go.

I was advised to rub down with a scotch pad (the type you find on top of a sponge is fine) inbetween coats. It soon becomes apparent why, lots of little flecks come off etc.

I decided to go for two light coats of primer, then a third to touch up the areas that were clearly thinner in places.

I waited 24 hours for the primer to dry before moving onto painting the parts.

Again, I used a scotch pad inbetween coats. Each new coat was applied within one hour of the one before it. I went for three coats in the end.

Window Winders

These were pretty easy to do. Just spray the parts as above. Once ready to assemble, I put the bolt at the front of the winder (through the skateboard wheel), then the wheel/bearings, then a washer, then the handle assembly, then the nut. I've also capped the nuts with black plastic covers to stop the nut from scratching against the door card if too much pressure is applied. (Given the weight of the wheel, it makes the handles feel a little flimsy, but doesn't affect the movement or operation of the winder).

Put the door card back on:

I left 24 hours after the final application of paint. All patchiness had cleared up and they looked really smart!

I found it was best to attach all rubbers and seals before putting the door card back (like the one that protects the glass when the window goes up and down).

Then it was just a case of assembling the door cards in the reverse sequence that I used to take them off.

Very happy with the results!

I have found that the paint seems to pick up 'skin scuffs' quite easily. Such as if your knuckles rub against the paint, it leaves a chalky residue. However, the paint seems pretty hard wearing and the marks just wipe away.

For my first attempt, and having never used primer/spray paints before, I'm really pleased with how they have come out. The whole thing cost less than £40 to do, and just a few days work (to allow time for the paint/primer to dry). Even if you have to touch it up every 12 - 18 months, I think it is a small price to pay for the positive transformation it makes to the cab area!

Thanks to everyone who has provided me with hints and tips during this process! T:

59 Posts
Van looks good mate. Top tip for removing factory headlining fixings, put a screw into the middle and pull with pliersT:

969 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
like your door card job

Well doneA:
Thanks! Not quite as good as some of the others on here... but I was really pleased with how it has come out. Over a month on, and it is still looking good. A wipe with a soft cloth and water is good as removing marks. It's also taken a bit of a beating (slamming into my feet, mainly!) and is holding up well.

Van looks good mate. Top tip for removing factory headlining fixings, put a screw into the middle and pull with pliersT:
Nice tip! I've found the invisible clips are pretty good replacements. Plus, they make taking off the headlining easy (especially if you have covered it).

The carpeted bulkhead looks excellent mate
Cheers! I didn't want to remove it, so making it look half decent was a top priority!

1,056 Posts
Ehup bud
Is your cruise control I fitted still saving you pennys?

969 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Ehup bud
Is your cruise control I fitted still saving you pennys?
Yes mate! I believe it is... The CC is still being utilised at every opportunity haha. The wiring around the dash etc is starting to get on my nerves though, one side of my headlights stopped working the other day - The wiring that leads to the bulb holder (for dipped beams) was some how corroded. I had to snip the wire and somehow jam it in where the exisitng wiring was. I'm useless with electrics, so no idea how long it'll last!
There's also all sorts of wiring running in my engine bay where the aftermarket headlights were installed (and obviously not installed very well).
I found loads of chopped cables inside my dash, including an old Nokia handsfree kit! However, your 20 minute install is by far one of the best mods I've had done on the van T:

1,056 Posts
Some soldering required then, I remember seen one broken one I pointed out while I was in there.
If and its quite an if but if you ever take your dash out for any reason maybe paint etc then let me know in advance and I'll drive over and solder/heatshrink/repair all the broken or dodgy looking green wires I can find also measure for resistance in any sneaky looking ones. T:
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