VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there!

This forum was recommended to me by a T4 surf van owner that I met in a car park. My lovely wife and I have been married for nearly 9 years and have 6 young children and a 7th currently under construction, so we need to change our current 8 seater for a 9 seater. Over the last 4 years we have had a Chrysler Grand Voyager 3.3 V6 petrol which we loved and a Nissan Serena 2.0 petrol which.... well, let’s just say it is functional...

Having looked at the 9-seater options, my wife wants a new T5 and the bank account says we will look for a late 90’s T4! I normally spend months trawling spec’s and reviews before buying a car, but I am having trouble finding answers to some of my queries about the T4 series, so here I am. If anyone can help with any of the following points, I would be really grateful: :cheers

1. We have always had petrol cars before and are forced to have an automatic as wifey has only got an auto licence. The fuel economy of our V6 auto Voyager was a travesty of Shakespearian proportions (18mpg), but it did depress the value and make the model cheap to buy used. I have heard that the 2.5tdi is the best economy and power, that the non-turbo diesel is more reliable in the long run, but then I am also tempted to buy a cheap petrol model and fit an LPG conversion. I would really be interested in some fuel economy figures and how the different engines are to drive with an auto box. In a year we probably average 4000 miles round Milton Keynes (roundabouts’r’us!), 4000 miles on motorway and 2000 miles on country lanes.

2. Since my wife really wants a T5, it is important to find a decent looking T4. There seem to be two different noses, but I have seen Caravelles of the same year with both styles. Is there a rhyme or reason to which nose is fitted to which model, and is it possible to perform a simple “facelift” by changing the bumper/lights as it is on some cars?

3. We occasionally end up having to give relatives or friends a lift. I have heard that up to 11 seats is possible – I assume this is only in a LWB model? Do the seats clip/clamp in and out or is it a bolt in job?

4. Because we have young kids and often drive to Spain for family holidays, air con is essential, but I cannot seem to get reliable info on when it was introduced and on what models?

5. Our budget is always treated with care, so I am interested to know if owners find them easy to work on and how affordable parts are?

6. We have a history of buying high-mileage cars, so are there any common problems to look out for?

I know I have asked loads of questions, but the T4 looks like the perfect car for us and I would like to make sure we make a good choice of model and spec. I would appreciate feedback that owners could offer to any of the questions above, and look forward to getting a T4 myself!

Many thanks,

Martin T:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
1- Have been dwn the lpg route & wouldn't do it again, it's outdated technology now & a limited number of places to refill. If you don't do many miles a year petrol is o.k but anything over 12k a year & the diesel will pay for itself, particualry if you ever tow anything.
Having run most models would always go for 2.5tdi now.

2 - Don't know the answer to this one but why change it seems a lot of trouble. You can get facelift kits for both.

3 - Anything more than 9 seats would have to be lwb & not a Velle. Many of these are not factory built but window van conversions. If you go this route checkout who did the conversion. I have extensive experience of coachbuilders, check to see if they were VW approved. Only ever buy one with properly fitted seats, either in VW or Unwin track, not side facing & have correct seat belt anchorages.

4- It was an option on most T4 Vans & Window vans & standard on some Velles the GL up I think.

5- Easy to get good value parts from specialists advertising on here, all top blokes. Look out for oil leaks from bottom of engine or crackcase, a lot of labour involved to fix.

6 - As with any motor check for a full service history, well looked after these will go on for a long long time. Oil & filter changes are key. suggest you check the auction sites for an ex Local Authority or Health Authority vehicle. They are usually good spec & serviced regulalry. They may have a side step or lift fitted which you may want to dump/or sell on ebay but are usually sound.

Hope this helps & come on get involved.

Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,100 Posts
welcome to the forum - whew thats some listT:

2.5 tdi is the one for me T:

autos are a bit of a no go I: never heard any good reports on auto boxes-very tempramental

never heard of an 11 seater??? would this not need a tacho and only drivable with a psv licence ?? someone else may be better to answer that one

long noses were fitted to vw caravelles from 96/97 upwards,you see both long and short noses but the short nose ones are vw transporters converted to window vans by a specialist company,

may help a bit T:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,273 Posts
You could buy basically any van that fitted the other criteria (auto, aircon, right shape (btw - the 'long nose' was 2003 as far as I recall), engine type, etc, etc, etc) and then have the rails fitted to allow for the seats in the back.

Unwin rails are £35 for a 12 ft length, with the feet £29 each. The bespoke 'minibus seats' can be bought new for about £300 each (double or triple) and then the whole lot EASILY fitted to any floorpan. (I'm assuming a triple (at the very back) then two rows of doubles is all you need - giving you space down the side to get to each row of seats?? Or a triple and then 4 singles (to give you a centre aisle?)

If you keep looking on E Bay, you could get an entire minibus worth of seats, probably with the rails, for a couple of hundred quid - and if you bought a caravelle to convert, you'd easily get that back by selling off the original seating......

The minibus seats are all custom built and come in a variety of coverings, but all have integral inertia belts so are ideal for the kids.......

Hope that helps.... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hi guys,

Brilliant! Thank you so much for all the effort you guys put into your answers - very helpful indeed! I agree about auto's being temperamental, but since my lovely wifey refuses to sit a manual test, bless her, I will have to live with it!

The info about the different noses was very useful, and the unwin rails/seats! I will definitely watch out for oil leaks too!

What sort of mpg does the 2.5tdi manage? I assume that the benefit it has over the non-turbo diesel is just performance, or is it a very different design?

Thanks guys! T:

Martin
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,208 Posts
Hi there,

Long nose fronts appeared on Caravelles from '96 onwards and on panel vans as a run out model (888 special X pack) in '02/'03 only. Contrary to what has been said Long wheel base Caravelles do exist (t4 only) available with up to 12 seats.

hope that hepls a little T:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,095 Posts
Welcome to the forum, good luck with your search for a van, it sounds to me with all them kids you need a bus. T:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
LOL:

Yeah, you might have a point about getting a bus! Quite unusually, my wife and I both wanted a large family and we have been very lucky in that I have been able to set up my own business working from home so I am around more for the kids as well. We've got boys who are 8, 7, 5 and 3, then girls who are 22mths and 8mths and one due next February :D

:mw

Sounds like a post-'96 2.5tdi LWB is what I need!

Cheers, T:

Martin
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top