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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I thought i'd start a thread on here detailing everything were doing to our new van. Massively inspired to get on and do work on it myself after reading so many of your threads, so can only hope mine gives another story for people to read through and be inspired themselves. inspired to do what im unsure, but my advice at this point would be to do the opposite of everything I do.....

Anyway, first things first. Been after a vw van for years, always wanted a T2 Panel Van but never really had the time or space to work on it. Me and the mrs decided to put a 3 month trip away on hold and buy a van, spend some money on doing it up and use it to get in a few trips in and around the u.k and then hopefully after the vans proved it's reliable, over into europe and do some longer trips.

So, we started doing some research, looking into prices to see what we could afford and deciding what sort of van we wanted. Decided on a T4 for number of reasons, main ones being slightly (or supposedly) more reliable, more comfortable, better fuel economy and cost. I must of spent weeks scouring the forum, reading up etc.

Started looking early May for a 1.9td T4 and there were plenty about. Got let down on a few, messed about and lied too - seems the vw worlds not as friendly as I first thought, but before long found a t4 on ebay i was keen on. It was red, preffered colour, 1.9td 2001 with service history and lowish milage (117k) compared to some of the others we were looking at within our super tight budget. Only trouble was it was in Manchester and were down in Bristol.

Decided to keep an eye on it whilst looking at others, stuck in a bid at the end and won it.

Now, i'm usually super cautious about buying cars without viewing them,i.e I wouldnt do it. But the trek to manchester wasnt on the cards before the auction ended so I took a punt and well it bit me in the ass....

This is the van, pictures from the advert.







It was described as being good condition with a few surface rust scabs bottom of the front door. And one key scratch front passenger side and along the side door. No big deal, all manageable and something I can sort at a later date. However, there were plenty more scratches over the body and also a secuirty plate around the lock on the back door and additional yale type locks fitted to rear and side sliding door. None of which were mentioned on the advert or in conversation with the seller.

Long story short, deal was struck I was happy enough considering everything important seemed ok and these were all issues I can sort.

Left the sellers place and headed for home. All was well.... until I noticed the temp guage had stopped working about half hour down the road. Decided to pull into the services and check it out in the hope it was something simple. Jumped out had a nose and couldnt see anything. Fired it back up and it was working again. :*

Decided to head into the services for some lunch before the drive home, went to lock up and realized the keys I had, wouldnt lock the back or the side door. Phoned the seller up who basically told me a load of about there being another key in the glovebox and being able to lock it from the inside as a last resort.......GREAT. how often do people check keys / locks on a test drive? I know I never have but I was obviously niave on this one. Two options go back to see the friendly seller, or think f8ck it and head for home. Mrs talked me round, cheered me up with a bit of lunch and we headed home. Was all sold as seen so i'm not sure what,other than the obvious...... I would have got out of going back to his place. lucky we got the van cheap and had some money to spend on it straight away. live an learn anyway.

Got home and first thing was first, whip the wheel trims offT:

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Once that was done started working out what sort of layout we wanted and some basic plans for the van. started stripping out the back ready for some insulation, giving it all a good clean while i was there.

So it went from this.......





To this within the space of a few hours







Then decided i'd save myself a few pennies and tackle the bulkhead removal. Really didnt think it would be as easy as it was, literally drilled the heads off the rivets and it popped out. Took no more than half hour.

halfway out.....



fully out......



Once that was out spent a few hours giving the seats a good clean, hoovering out the back and cab, and wiping everything down ready for some insulation.

After reading a couple of thousand.... threads on here which helped no end, I'd decided to use a combination of flashing tape, foil backed insulation and then some of the recycled b&q quilted insulation. Pretty much got the whole van layered with flashing tape and foil insulation now, two layers on the roof skin. Just need to get wheel arches done and then ready for next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So tonight, picked the van up from garage after getting locks all sorted out. It now locks so I can get on with work on the interior.

Swapped the steering for a bargain i picked up on ebay, standard wheel just melted and badly worn. Fitted some replacement pedal rubbers (pain in the ass to get on!) and fitted my new Kenwood head unit which I picked up a while back in the sales. Cabs now looking a lot cleaner and fresher than it was when i picked it up.

Decided, as I'm suppose to be heading to cornwall for the weekend it might be a good idea to sort out the back of the van, so I can atleast drop the floor back in temporarily and get an airbed in there. finished up the first layer of insulation allround, and then cracked on with breaking out plaster, screed and god knows what else from the floor. took me a good 2.5 hours to do, but results are well worth it.

Also attacked all of the screw holes with a wire brush / drill attachment to get rid of any surface rust and tidy them up, then applied some kurust. hopefully this will prevent anything getting worse once the floors laid properly. so its all clean, insulated and ready for the weekend.

Last job i need to tackle is a binding front brake caliper. hmm.....if only i can get those wheel nuts off.......

I'll get some more pictures up tommorrow.
 

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don't get disheartened, I'm sure you will iron out the niggles. Once you get the bumpers done it will look great! Best colour IMO too. Keep us posted on updates
 

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Discussion Starter #5
so, its nearly been a year since i last updated this thread, and guess what..... I'm still not finished!I: Combination of been massively busy at work, trying to fit in plenty of riding and various other things have pretty much taken all my time. However, since reading back through this, there's been plenty of progress and changes.

So, last update i was having trouble with sticking brake calipers on the rear and not being able to get the wheel nuts undone stopped me from fixing it, sorted by buying a 3ft extension bar. Stripped the rear calipers down, wire brushed all of the baked on dust and free'dup the pistons. Fitted new discs and pads while i was there.

Next step was starting to make up panels for the inside. The originals were hardboard and pretty battered so I bought a few sheets of ply, templated the orginals and then replaced. In between a couple more trips away I managed to get hold of some left over altro non slip flooring from a mates pub. Happy days. Laid this roughly for the time being until i'd got all the panelling finished off.

By now I was getting bored of the ride height and all of the constant visits to the forum seeing everyone else's van looking a lot better thought it was time to get it lowered. Weighed up the options, and for the money i thought i'd give the cmc -60mm springs a shot. Spoke to colese on here, who was only too happy to help and got it lowered.

Much better :cool:



At this point, the clutch was rattling like crazy when ever you pressed in the pedal. A call to Jez at Zmok and a visit confirmed i'd need a new clutch. unexpected and disapointing, but spending for the longterm really as its something i know is now sorted.

Carried on with the panelling work, adding some speakers to the rear panels which i mounted using some MDF spacers I made. Once all the panels were cut to shape, decided it was time to start and add some carpet. Got my order in with MVM and a day or two later, I had a delivery with seemingly enough carpet to do my entire flat never mind the van. I can't reccomend this stuff enough to be honest. Rediculously easy to work with. Just as a side note, as I'm typing all of this its basically the same as every other build thread I read when I was doing it all.... I apologise for being boring and doing the same as everyone else - seemed like the best way at the time.

Anyway, on with the build. Started working around all of the panels carpeting them all in the mvm anthracite carpet. Started off with the sliding door panel too get a feel for it and worked on from there. Tips to others doing this, make sure you allowspace around the panels when your cutting them for the carpet. Massive error on my part when doing this and made everything else in the back, that little bit harder. Also, for the larger panels, you will need two people. One person to keep the material tight, the other to spread the carpet on and make sure there's no ripples or bubbles. All in all the panels look fairly tidy, and considering the lack of skills I was handed at birth, i'm happy with all of it (will be redoing the slide door panel at some point though...)

By now, the girlfriend was getting bored of sleeping in a "carpeted box" so some windows were needed. Decided to go for two, despite loving the look of a plain panel van, it was intended to end up as a camper so windows would make it a lot more comfortable and homely when sat inside.

Booked in with Tidy T's after plenty of research and messing about trying to find someone closer. Took a day off work and made the long drive up to lutterworth. After being dropped into the local town for the day, getting back to the workshop was a huge suprise at just how much difference the windows made to the appearance of the van.





You can see in these pictures the condition of the paintwork, staining, faded and old sign writing still visible. Decided this was something i'd need to tackle in the near future.

Windows lasted all of a month or so before the sealant used failed and the windows could be pulled out by hand. Will at Tidy T's couldnt of been better in sorting the problem for me though, and it's apparent it was down to a bad batch of sealant as a few others have had the same issue.

So more reading up on the forum, whilst carrying on with the inside persuaded me the steel wheels now looked a little bit lost and something else was needed, never been a fan of big wheels so whilst nosing through a classified ad by colese, I spotted these....



Also gave the bodywork a bit of a going over with a rotary.... very carefully panel by panel, it made a massive difference. Bit of a risk in doing so, however, a respray was always on the cards eventually in order to get it how i want it. this as a temporary measure was well worth doing.

Halfway down one side done T:;



So now with windows, lowered and new wheels I was fairly happy with how it looked on the outside.



 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I left the outside like that for the time being, and got back on with the inside.

Managed to buy a couple of audi a4 cabriolet seats off ebay for £70. Pretty much as new condition, so set about fitted these to the subframes. Not the easiest option admittidly with the seat runners being miles wider than the original bases, however after plenty of drilling, filing and swearing the seats were mounted to some steel flat bar and the bases. really comfortable seats, just a shame there too high. This is still something i need to sort out and i just need to find someone in bristol who can weld to cut down the bases and reweld them. Also added a momo wheel and boss at this stage. Made it feel a lot less van like to drive and all a bit tighter.

With plenty of carpet being left over from doing the panels in the back, i tackled the door cards. Carpet bottom half with matt black plasticote top halfs. again same as a few others have done already. But, looks good despite issues with plasticote. Also sprayed up the plastic a pillar trims at the same time, leaving the handles grey for a bit of contrast.

Decided to do something a little different with the visors and the door handles....





and covered the headlining in the cab in some suede material I got off ebay cheaply



Overall - chuffed. However, the sunvisors, didnt look perfect as the edges of the comics used were starting to peel despite being lackered. so whipped these off and replaced with a set from a carravelle with a built in mirror. door handles have lasted fine though. I love them. will try and get some pics of the cab area tommorrow.
 

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Love it ! its amazing how these vans hook you in ! My Van is an ex works van and it also had massive welded lock plates on all doors plus every panel has had a beating at some time i am sure it will get better in time as a plus it has low ish miles and full service history. enjoying the build thread keep up the work.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
OK, so I've got a bit of time before heading out to do a bit more on the van i'll try and get this a bit more up to date

So after the cab was feeling a lot better, no more smelling like a builders van I got back into sorting the rest of the back end.

Bed was ordered from mark at autobeds, custom made to allow me to fit on it without my legs hanging over the end. Decided on a 3/4 delux due to wanting a run of units down the side of the van. All covered in black leatherette with a nice stitched panelling design on. Over the moon with it to behonest, only thing i'd of liked to see for the money was it powder coated instead of being sprayed to be a bit more resilient to scrathes /chips but this is something I might sort myself one day. Some pictures of it below.

Next on the list was sorting out some units, really couldnt decide the best way of going about this. Read about everyone else's opinions, saw pictures checked the bank balance and decided doing ikea units in stages was the best compromise. They might weigh more than the van itself by the time there all in there, but being able to buy them in stages when i had enough spare cash was a massive plus point for me (plus - where's the fun in getting someone who knows what there doing to do it all for you....LOL:)

so, first up, the tall unit at the back. decided to work back to front so I could get all the electrics in, and then fit the rest of the units around that. Standard arrangement but with a couple of fan doors and then a smaller one at the bottom for better access with the bed in place. Bottom door is basically fixed closed, can only be opened when the beds out.

So, this was the starting point



which we then had to shape to the panel behind, took a few attempts but got there eventually







and with the doors on the front (still in protective film)



Just noticed the transition from carpeted metalwork appears half way through! sorry about that, been a while since i did this stage so i'm out of sequence a bit.

Anyway, sent the van off at this stage to Jez again from Zmok. as before, couldnt of been happier with his work and adviceT:

Full install, with mains hook up, 240v charger, split charge, couple of sockets - 12v's & 240v, wiring for Ikea Dioders and a couple of switches. Also ran a wire and a switch for a fridge (phase 2 plans...)

Couple of pictures of what I was left with...



And the sockets / switches;



So van was back from him, wired and tested, next step was to finally cover up the insulation on the ceiling. tracked down a couple of replacement headlining boards, covered with the same faux suede i used in the cab, ran the cabling through for the lights and fitted longer clips and the refitted.





Happy days. Not perfect by any means, but i'm happy with it for the time being. some of glue soaked through a section of the material so there's a couple of dark spots.

Next, decided what i was going to do with the unfinished window frame, wasnt happy with the cut leaving red paintwork exposed and i'd rushed to trim carpet to be able to see through the window so didnt leave enough material to tuck down between the window and the body, so I made up a surround.



and covered



Back onto the rest of the units now, these last 3 were easy in comparison to the two tall ones, with only a small amount of trimming on the next one along.

decided on 2 x400's and a 600 all with drawers fitted. The first of the 400 is now dead space - not sure what I'm going to do with this yet, but this meant the doors on the next two would open fully and leave me with a small space behind my seat for a table / sub / something. drawers in all the units seemed logical as its good space to use for odds and sods.

these were all built and fitted within a few hours on a saturday.



 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
In between finishing off that run of units, and that update I decided I wanted some new shocks for our planned trip to scotland at the end of May. Plenty of reading the forum as per usual, some off site research and I decided I'd give the sachs HD's a go.

For the money, there AWESOME. no other way to describe it. such a difference to standard, planted, less roll, firmer ride yet still super smooth and not crashy over the bumps. Had these fitted by si colese who's pretty impressed aswell. glad i chose something a bit different to the usual billies / gaz. Link to a thread with a few comments on them in;

http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=185507&highlight=sachs

http://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=182084

they are massive aswell



role on scotland trip, its going to be a nice drive.

anyway, so pretty much up to date now, spent yesterday cutting a worktop (fun....) and fitted the last of the doors. this left me here last night



loving the grey doors, and the worktop i chose, silver / grey with aluminium edging goes well with my free flooringA:

just need to fit catches today and it's pretty much done unit wise. decided against the push button catches everyone else uses as i fancied a cleaner look and something a bit different. so chose some tiny ikea grab handles and fitted these to all the doors that open. two top units left to do.

Also re-did my egr blank yesterday as the original had blown through the blanking plate! Buy cheap buy twice and all that. It's now completely removed and blanked both ends with plates from autobeds.

Van's now running properly again and not sounding even more like a tractor than it usually does. Not convinced i noticed any difference fromdoing the blank originally, but it can't do anyharm.

I'll get some proper cab pictures and finished back end pictures today and update later:ILU:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Mot day tommorrow. Fingers crossed. Everything that I can do for it has been sorted over the past year or so, new discs and pads on the front now aswell



So anything that comes up will be news to me! Should be fine anyway, past at the same place last year and there were a few more issues then.
 

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Looking good mate.
Im at this stage now picked up my units from ikea yesterday.I have opted for 2 x 600 wall units down the side of the bed but with sliding doors.This shouldI:give me access without messing with the bed.
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looking good mate.
Im at this stage now picked up my units from ikea yesterday.I have opted for 2 x 600 wall units down the side of the bed but with sliding doors.This shouldI:give me access without messing with the bed.
Pete
sounds good mate T:

Get some pictures up when your done. Be interested to see how they work with the layout, as i've now got one unit thats completely unacessable. I knew this would be the case, so made sure it was only a 400, but still, some form of acess to it would be good. even contemplated cutting out the side of the unit next to it to gain access but didnt really want to loose the rigidity or shelves I've got in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
well, was MOT day yesterday and it passed with only one minor advisory which is a freyed front section of the handbrake cable. T:

to celebrate, fitted a pair of carravelle front windows (slight green tint) to replace the originals as they were scratched by previous owner, and also started fitting my curtains from veedubtransporters. Look really good once fitted, despite looking a little like a 90's Kappa tracksuit in the bag, once there up and stretched i'm more than happy with them.

Plans for the weekend are an oil / filter change, replace a broken engine mount and finish fitting the curtains. hopefully the weather stays half decent.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So, whilst the girlfriend was making the tea, popped downstairs and fitted the last of the window curtains (still have the cab divide to do). As above, there from veedub transporters and for the money, there perfect.





Must apologise for the picture quality, really need to start using a camera instead of the phone.

Also ordered up a new handbrake cable following on from the MOT which should be here in the next couple of days hopefully. :ILU:
 
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