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Discussion Starter #1
Thought I'd introduce myself and my new project, I'm Doug, and after years of wanting a van on and off, I was down at the beach this easter with mates who have a T4 and a T5 and decided it was about time!

It was quite a hard hunt, I wanted a not-white LWB panel van, with barn doors and a single slider and spent ages on the classifieds and ebay. As I'll probably change the engine, I was happy to have a non-runner and didn't really care if it was petrol or diesel. After viewing a couple of sheds, I took a punt and went and had a look at Vanessa, my factory black 2.5 petrol:



Shes impressively tidy, never been a builders van and has got factory e/w, e/m and c/l :) Needs a bit of rust sorting around the screen and one one of the doors, but compared to the others I looked at is amazing.

Currently shes running on 4 as one of the fuel injectors has fallen apart, although she still drives pretty well! While I'm hunting for a new injector I'll just fit LPG and see how it goes. Long term I may fit a TDI or a 1.8T, depends what comes up really!

My planned list of mods is pretty standard:
- clear indicators
- eibachs/bilsteins
- alloys
- bed/storage
- leisure battery/inverter/split charge/etc.

First on the list is re-bushing the gear linkage, then tweaking the setup so I can get first without having to push the stick down, then giving the whole lot a going over with a polisher and compound.
 

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After a couple of weeks of nasty weather and lots of work, I've finally got a chance to make some progress on the van :)

This is how shes looking now, still needs a clean but I got the clear indicators on which transformed the look of the front end:


This weekend I had a bit of a van mission, got LPG fitted - it starts fine and idles happily, but pinks above about 3000 rpm. Going to try changing the leads, cap and arm, then maybe fit cooler plugs. If anyones got any experience of this, please say!

LPG mixer on the end of the throttle body, secured with grub screws and sealent:


While I was waiting for the sealant to dry, I re bushed the gear linkages (see here: http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=186449) did the short shift mod, then decided to pull the old ply floor out to see how bad it is underneath. Turned out there was only a couple of crusty bits that are going to need plating, all the rest is in surprisingly good condition considering one of the side windows leaks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just realised that I never got around to updating the build thread! I've had the van for about 18months now and have done a bit more to it :)

The LPG issues were sorted after I got the van tweaked and signed off by a LPG fitter, it turns out the pinking was caused by the missing maf - the van uses that to set the timing.

Next up, we started using the van, with an airbed in the back and started thinking about the build. I started off with the standard RnR/side units plan, but my gf veto'd a 3/4 width bed and I didnt want to block the rear access (it seems pointless to have a van that I cant use as a van). Eventually we settled on a L-shape bed, with a narrow unit under the passenger side rear windows and a narrow unit across the bulkhead. :D



Sorry about the drawing, obviously neither of these are too scale




Along the way, I realised the side windows were leaking pretty badly, so I took the van up to a well known van window fitting company. They removed all the side windows, then declared the van inoperable because the original window fitter had butchered the appertures and cut too much metal to hold the new bonded ones. So they left me to put the side windows back in myself. In the rain. :confused: It looked like the only way to get this fixed was to have metal welded into the apertures and new windows bonded in, so I stuck waterproof tape around the holes between the window and the van and got on with building a rough van interior, so we could use the van for the summer :)

Building the sliding frame:


Sofa/Bed installed:


Ready to be tested:


It would have been nice to get the van soundproofed and insulated before I did the build, but there wasnt any point until the windows got sorted, and I really wanted to have the van useable, even if it wasnt pretty. Looking back I'm really glad I did this, the current build has served as a prototype and has made us come up with a list of things that we want to change for the next one :)



The general design of the bed works pretty well, the back panel drops in to turn it into a double width/kingsize length bed, with storage for 3 surfboards underneath. Because the build is up against the bulkhead we have about half a meter of boot behind the bed, which I can get 3 mtbs across with the wheels off, or space for the awning, clothes bags, wetsuits, etc. With windsurf kit its quite cosy, but I dont do as much windsurfing as I'd like and when I do there is generally only me, so its not too big an issue.

Still works as a van too :)

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Meant to update this with the next lot of progress, mostly over the last year we've just used the van, lots of surfing trips to Cornwall, up to the lakes for a weekend and lots of weddings - my theory is that I'd spend £100/night on the hotel at weddings, so if I go to a bunch of weddings the van will pay for itself in no time :)

The big step forward was getting the windows sorted, I went to a windscreen guy not a van company, he looked at it and said 'get one, we'll give it a go', so we ordered a window and he stuck it in, pretty much filling the gap around the glass with windscreen glue. It doesn't look as nice as a normal van, but it's now waterproof and 6 months on the windows are all still stuck in place.

It's been good using the van for a year with a build that I don't particularly care about, we've come up with a list of stuff that we want to change for the next one, which is nice as it's not much of an investment to change (the current build took about 4 days and £200 or so). A big surprise is that we don't sit around in the van all that much, but carrying 3 people is pretty useful, so I'm thinking about getting the double seat retrimmed to match the s2000 drivers seat instead of fitting a swivelling passenger seat.

Stuff that's going on the list for the new build:
  • Sink (for washing the salt off after surfing)
  • Stove (originally didn't see the point of a fixed burner as we mostly cook outside, but it's a pain having to unpack stuff to make tea in the morning)
  • Somewhere for the tea and coffee and mugs to live (ditto)
  • Bin (for the tea bags and beer caps)
  • Table (for when I'm working from the van)
I'm getting pretty excited about changing all this, got lots of bits of van stacked in boxes and the new engine is almost ready, but work is too hectic to think about it just yet, hopefully I'll get on it in early May...or maybe it'll wait for another year!
 

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Quick update, first proper drive with the AUQ, goes so much better than the old petrol lump and thats with the IC getting no airflow at all :)

Failed the MOT on a bunch of minor stuff, but all the brakes, suspension and wheel bearings passed just fine :) retest next week then proper test driving :D
 

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How you getting on with that engine conversion? Looks like a mission!!

Does anyone ever fit mk6 golf R32 lumps in t4's?
 

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Its going really well so far, put about 4000 miles on the 1.8T and it drives really well, pretty much like a car. Its still not massively quick, compared to the rest of the fleet, but for a van its really good :D Howto for the engine conversion is here: http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?p=2642733

Not heard of anyone fitting a R32 (mk4, mk5 or mk6), although a bunch of people have talked about it over the years. Personally not a huge R32 fan, love the noise but the weight/fuel consumption puts me off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I really should start updating this thread more! After the first few months of near full-time work on the van, it pretty much stopped and I just used it for the year. The engine conversion has been rock solid, I had an issue where the brake vacuum hose collapsed (it turned out it wasn't vacuum hose, despite being sold as it) which meant I lost the brake servo assistance.

I decided to go green:


This wasn't my first choice of colour, but I managed to get some genuine BBS CHs in 17" (didn't want to go 18", they look nice but I like a comfy ride) for a good price from a chav . After a while the green on black grows on you, but I'll probably get the sprayed when they start to get tatty.

I used the van a fair bit for mtb and surf trips after that:


Im slowly building up a list of stuff that I want to change on it, but its hard to find the time right now, the priority is using it and having fun.
 

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I really should start updating this thread more! After the first few months of near full-time work on the van, it pretty much stopped and I just used it for the year. The engine conversion has been rock solid, I had an issue where the brake vacuum hose collapsed (it turned out it wasn't vacuum hose, despite being sold as it) which meant I lost the brake servo assistance.

I decided to go green:


This wasn't my first choice of colour, but I managed to get some genuine BBS CHs in 17" (didn't want to go 18", they look nice but I like a comfy ride) for a good price from a chav . After a while the green on black grows on you, but I'll probably get the sprayed when they start to get tatty.

I used the van a fair bit for mtb and surf trips after that:


Im slowly building up a list of stuff that I want to change on it, but its hard to find the time right now, the priority is using it and having fun.
Hi What size tyres do you have on you 17"wheels? I am running 235/40/17 on mine. Looking good.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi What size tyres do you have on you 17"wheels? I am running 235/40/17 on mine. Looking good.
Cheer! Im running 235/55/17 103W Hankook Ventus Prime's, on 8.5 x 17 rims. Little bit wider than I would like, with hindsight I'd probably put 225s on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Its been an entertaining couple of weeks. First of all this happened 50miles in a run up to york:


So I've been running around in the van :) I got the broken audi recovered back home, spent an hour doing some rush fixes on the van, checked the fluids and set off again. First rush fix was bolting the fire extinguisher down, so it wasnt rattling around, then fitted an underseat sub so I can hear the radio on the motorway - its not hifi but it helps and it solves the issue until I have time to pull out the interior and do a proper build, bolted the throttle pot down properly after it fell off a week ago and checked all the fluids :)

Since then, I've put another 450miles on it, averaged a comfy 28mpg of mostly motorways with the cruise on 70 or 50. Its been very well behaved, drives really rather nicely, but along the way I've been mentally writing a snag list of stuff that I want to fix because its bugging me!

Stuff to fix (in the order I thought of it while driving up the m1):
  • Uprated headlamp loom
  • Wire up DRLs
  • Fit pressed metal no plates
  • Paint the intercooler grille
  • Add ducting plates to the side (if the IAT becomes an issue)
  • Fit cold air intake
  • Box in the air filter
  • Fit a silver badge
  • fit lowering plates on the back
  • replace the sliding door roller
  • fit a custom water Y piece to fix the self bleeding
  • fit slimline fans
  • wrap the engine wiring loom (it seems to have proven itself :))
  • fit the pi and sony stalk interface
  • Get custom 3" downpipe made
  • fit new clips to hold underbonnet soundproofing on
  • make clamp for boost pipe on top of engine
  • fit a shorter altenator belt
  • fit longer 5th gear
  • sort the dropped drivers door
  • fit speakers to the front doors
  • soundproof front doors
Then I went to leave the hotel after a stag do on sunday morning, being all smug at my awesome turbocharged van being so reliable after the super busy week, turned the key and it just went 'clunk'. So I tried a few more times and eventually it started - guess I should add 'rebuild starter motor' to the list too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Big progress on the van - I fitted a new starter motor. Love this engine, fired straight up and sat ticking over perfectly, as if it hadn't been parked up since the end of April!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After months of neglect, the van is finally getting some attention in the run-up to pod (and hopefully a couple of weekends away too):


Its had a brake squeal from the front end for the last year or so, goes away when you turn the steering a tiny bit, which points to slight play in a wheel bearing. Despite going through the MOT just fine, it was driving me nuts on the motorway, so I decided to pull it apart, and re-do the front balljoints, track rod ends as well as the wheel bearings. While it was apart, I had a look at the lower wishbone bushes and decided to do them as well.

Que lots of messing around - I decided to try and do the balljoints wihout the special tool, because I'm tight, after glaring at them for a while I realized it wasnt really an option so ordered the special tool, along with a m14 spline key. Wheelbearings were completely textbook - despite not being any play you could feel, they were noisy and felt worn. Not bad for 260k thou :)

The wishbone bushes were another matter, the rear bush one one had been incorrectly fitted so the wishbone was badly corroded:


My mate cleaned it up while I drank tea and took photos:


Along the way I've fitted the correct alternator belt to fix the sequel when it was cold, just an inch shorter and the problem is totally gone, swapped out the badge for a silver one, and fitted a new gear knob :)

Next up, bolting it all back together, fixing the oil leak and removing the bulkhead....
 
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