Jimbo's T4 VAN PAGE

Being as I got fed up with being the outcast by the air cooled side of the VW scene, I decided to create my own T4 Community.

What started off as staying in touch with half dozen mates around a BBQ at VanFest 2005 ...

Is now the Biggest online community in the UK with over 65000 members (inc members from all over Europe, USA, Oz and even Russia ! )

So if you have a T4 or T5 and your looking to make the new age Surf Bus or Low Ride Custom etc. Do pay us a visit

Here are some of the links to my additional Forum areas which I am pleased to say, is really helping put the T4 on the Scene !!!






Why a VAN ?

In my quest to find the ultimate vehicle to cope with my hobbies it had to do the following:

  • Tow and launching the jet ski - and also double as a changing room
  • Comfortably haul a ton of scuba diving gear and up to four divers in comfort - & be a secure storage area to leave kit in
  • Be able to carry Two full size Motorbikes, spares and tools securely and out of sight (race days)
  • When going on holiday be able to be converted to a sleeper and carry pushbikes with comfort.
  • As an everyday vehicle to work etc, be just slightly different that it will stand out in a crowd, but not too "come nik me"
  • Be powerful enough to sit happily at a "Ton" (on the autobarn of course) & be capable of giving 40+ mpg when cruising/towing etc

To cut a lengthy search very short It came down one of Two vehicles: Toyota Crew Cab TDi or a VW Transporter 2.5TDi Although the image of the whole 4x4 pickup thing is appealing, the shear usability & mpg of the van easily wins the day.


The van I have is a VW T4 2.5TDi (5 cylinder) with intercooler giving just over 100bhp. There are various power chips and conversions to take it up to the 150bph mark but all at the expense of mpg, so will leave as is for now.

  Leaving the Vanfest 2003
Off to the I.O.M. TT Races. Van fully loaded inside and out
  Arriving for the Bowlease Cove Weekender "May 2003"Arriving for the Bowlease Cove Weekender "May 2003"

Van becomes Workshop & Lockup

for the weekend....


My first T4 was a 1996 1.9 tdi
Loaded and off to the 2000 IOM TT Races



Being as this page was getting very long - I have decided to split this into seperate years ....

To see the history of how YBY 508 has gone from this:


----- 2003 -----

First Day Home ...
Basic Boards ...
Not long before Mods are under way !


Just to prove this is an every day drive !



Arriving at the Isle of Man for TT 2003


No sooner unloaded, a group of Scotts appeared in the back, wanting a lift to the Pub ... How strange

One of them even offering to read a map !

Would you believe all this, 3 motorbikes, camping gear, tools, spares, and provisions for the week...




Fittted into here !!!


Admittedly, I was within a couple kilo's of the weight limit allowed for the Seacat Aluminum decking...




----- 2004 -----


2nd July 2004

Having owned the van for a couple of years now, it has almost become a part of the family !

So rather than use some boring old Roller for the wedding car, pressed the van into action....


Interior Part 1

The Bracing for the left side
Pre padding and trim
Fiber board then carpet
Just one half in here

Left is the finished interior which splits 50/50 lengthwise to allow a Motorbike one side and storage the other. When down is equal to a double bed (and nearly as comfy)

Goes well with one of Tony's new Styleline Interior Panels




Just after getting a window cut in the sliding door. Care of Tony at Styleline 01626 865568

Next job will be to tint the window to privacy spec (See out only)

Tony is also making me a set of panel's (Better than Caravelle) for the rear of my van....



October 2004

Having completely stripped the Van, first job is to insulate from top to bottom

Panels go in one by one...

A lot of time spent laying in wires which will alow connecting a second battery to power all the rear electrics

Final thing to finish will be the floor...




This is a pic of our new tent, free standing or attached to the side of the van, this allows sleeping in a warm van (off the floor) but having a large attached awning to store all the gear in. This then unclips from the van, zips up and drive the van away !

This should be ideal at the TT next year and camping weekends away with the Ski !


Arriving at camp site for the

2004 Bowleaze Cove Jetski Meet


On the Show and Show at the

Van Fest 2004




----- 2005 -----




Seats from a Lexus, electric & heated !

(Luxury and Style)

...and before you ask, no, it was not an easy job, especially wiring and matching to a captain seat base...

Got my wheels back from the Wheel Referbishers (Cheers Andrew) & Re-pollished the rims, these have been specifically made for my T4 & I have had the spokes painted from grey to Black

Can't wait to see how it looks....

Just finished fitting Caravelle Door panels, with some decent speakers of course ...

A one off A-Frame Nudge Bar and the first outing on the new wheels

... Next is a lowering kit !

Yes I know, another new toy, Tom Tom Sat Nav ... How did I survive without this, even matches the dash in Night Mode




Hooked up to the Awning on May Bank Holiday ...
... in "Poole" for the SSA Jetski meet.


Awarded First Place in the Show and Shine VW Club - ahead of some rather put out T25 owners >8 )


The Vanfest 2005

Show and Shine


Pics c.o. Brent


----- 2006 -----

With the Success of the T4 Forum, I think this is going to be quite a year for the T4 !


Arrival of the T4 Mafia on the folks drive over Christmas ...


Interior Part 2

With the addition of Max to the family the Van is evolving into something more substantial care of a T5 interior !

My new helper ...
4x Chassis rails for T5 R&R bed/chairs/table
Sound Proofing the floor over bracing
Quick mock up, to check it all fits >8 )


Bringing the floor up to level
The Parcel Shelf folds to make headrest
and the tripple seater folds to complete a full length bed
Minus the two single T5 seats
The T5 Caravelle Table, was worth it for this alone !
Now Max has outgrown the buggy, has his new sleeping bag area when the R&R down
When not camping, Van converts to Limo - Nb additional light from rear Sunroof


Servicing, ready for the Summer

Full Service inc the dreaded Cambelt
Replacement of broken Coil Spring
New -60 lowering springs
Looks great, but mudguards and towbar nearly on the floor ...


Mine and Bruvs Vans
At Cromer Sea Font
Picnic in the Woods
Camping at VanWest
Van used to transport Mountain Bike
... and motorbikes
Cruise Control
Addition of the K&N

Rear View mirror 7'' Wide Screen LCD

Additional Sunroof

Fitting of the Spoiler, from Holland

Adam's old Projekt Zwo 15'' wheels - I have had these blasted and powder coated, then fitted with my old steelie tyres - don't look bad for a set of "Winter" wheels & add to the stealthy look :o)


The Vanfest 2006

The first outing of the new Club Banner and "Reserved" T4 Forum area

The T4 Forum Camping Area was "40" strong in 2006

Awarding the best T4 Forum Van (as vited for by the Owners) this went to Steve Ratboy.

Line up at the Show and Shine 2006


All be it a very old pic of my Van at Vanfest (2004) the Herts VW club printed a six pager article on my Van

.... not bad for a Predominantly air cooled club :o)

Above is a pic of a meet, me and Dave went down to - spur of the moment trip (300 mile round trip for the evening)

Just one of my regional meets set up through the Forum - This is the Dorset Branch (November 2006)


----- 2007 -----

The start of 2007 was a feature on my T4 in Camper and Commercial Magazine ... Below is "The" shot of my Van going through the Hatfield Tunnel

This absolutely top pic is care of Graig Sheer who is also a member of my Forum called Kernewek


Another three pics from Craig Sheer






Good Start to the year - a full feature and a technical article in two VW Mags !!!

Dec/Jan edition - Four Page feature write up and pics care of Craig Sheer
Feb edition - Half page write up in the first T4 article to hit the mag


A quick mock up to see how a side exit exhaust might look ....
.... and to go with the whole Old Skool look, some RWL tyres
The tripple seat removed and testing to see if its poss to get 1 bike and 2 kids in for TT07
Kids could even amuse themselves !
Another combination of the twin seats ....
Debadged and Black VW logo
CB Radion fits nicely in the Console




Feb 2007

Stainless Exhausts system minus the CAT
One of the Rear sections being completed
Two Twin 3'' outlets .... (Striaght tho)
with the 5cyl Turbo sounds great !

A huge thank you all the guys at

Predator exhausts

Especially "Mark" for the attention to detail and transfering my ideas into reality, if your looking for something like this give him a bell on 01707 334090




View from inside my T4 through the awning at BMF Rally 2007

Many people have asked me why the hell have you put a T5 interior into a T4, well its simple, I want the functionality and flexibility of a T5 in the shape of a T4.

So, what was needed in the van for a weekend at the BMF motorcycle show rally a couple of weekends ago:

A full size Motorcycle.

Two kids and their seats.

All the camping gear ie Tent/Gas Cooker/cylinders seats lights etc

Enough Food/drink for the entire weekend

Duvet's and sleeping stuff

Tools and spares

Two full size Push Chairs


The list goes on and on anyway, this was the first time I tried this seating arrangement and have to say it worked well.

Just goes to show, you don't have to give anything up for a weekend away even if like me you have a SWB !

Latest accessory forthe T4 is a 1996 Eriba Puck - This is ideal for the Kids and leaves me the Van interior again !


The Vanfest 2007

This year was great - Vanfest gave us an entire field to ourselves

Great to see Henk and his Dutch Buddies make it over again and a

HUGE thanks to everyone who donated prizes for the Raffle and especially to Rod for organising it.



The T4 Forum Camping Area was "100" strong in 2007

Back in the Show and Shine for 2007


See a Video one of the members put together VANFEST


2008 aiming for 200 T4's !!!!


Admitted into Intensive Care ... on the windscreen
Repaired as good as new !
and set up at the Stafford Classic Bike Show


WInner fo the Herts VW Show and Shine ... 3rd year running !


New Bike Carrier due to Spoiler on Roof - and Max helping wash the old mans Van


Best parts of my T4 travels in 2007


Essex Banch meet just along from Southend

The Holton Classic Show


Show and Shine at Vanfest


Dubs at the Beach


Cromer Branch Meet

Highlands of Scotland Branch Meet


Secret Santa at the Ace Cafe


T4 Line up at the Christmas Bristol Meet








Trip to see Henk and the Dutch Forum

Make the T4 Forum into Full on Club !

200 T4's for VanFest 2008


This is a pic from the Ace Cafe London - I now have a poster up there to advertise the T4/5 meet

This will be followed by a mystery cruise round London

and a poster from a mamber of the Herts VW Club


So the Mods start early this year, as my bonnet needs a respray I decided to have a play with Air Ducting for the K&N & the Intercooler



The opposite side to this is where the Pollen Filter gets its fresh air

so I am ducting fresh cold air in for the K&N this side.


All will be clear when it returns from the Paint Shop ....

Air Vent in place working and new Wind Deflector


To see what happened at the Ace Cafe Click below

T4 Forum Cruise

and a couple of UTube video's

Video 1

Video 2


THis will be re-run on Saturday 20th September, but with more Vans, warmer weather and lighter evenings !


Bumpers and Wing Mirrors in for painting
Cleaning the inlet Manifold and blocking the ERG Valve


Shiny Bumpers seem to finish the look I am after, final addition is a pair of Side Bars in Black (of course)

The Whole Gang at Mikey's North Devon Meet

And the boggert Line up of T4 and T5's yet ....

This is the the crew which went to Holland to meet Weitjewel (the Dutch equivilent to the T4 Forum)


I am now pushing for 200 Forum Vans for VanFest 2008


Early at the Ace Cafe (Sept 08 Meet)
Start of the Cruise
Many thanks to everyone who turned up, was a great laugh cruising the streets (and tunnels) of London
On the Beach at Portmadoc (North Wales)
Flying the Flag


To the right is one side of my Lights upgrade H.I.D.

(High Intensity lights)

This powers special bulbs up to 6000 Watts of power

giving a very clear blue light

Excellent Mod !


In the run up to my Remap, did as much as possible to free the engine up

1/. K&N Filter

2/. Straight through big bore exhausts - No Cat

3/. Blocked up the ERG Valve (Recirculation system)

4/. Decoked the Plenum chamber and inlet manifold

5/. New MAF (Mass Air Flow Meter)

Then off to RSD (Road Sport Development) for a Ottinger Remap

Ottinger is the German VW approved remap specifically for these engines

With the above mods power output now to 135bhp but massive torque increase - which for towing is where its needed.

Final Mod - I have rewired my Black Box back in on a switch - (Care of Ashley)

This gives another boost at the flick of a switch, giving approx an additional 15bhp


Big Thank you to Danny and the team at Road Sport Development





With the ever increasing size of the Forum taking up more and more time,

taking time out to work on the Van is getting tricky along with everything else.

Plans for 2009 then:

240V Hook up

Change of Wheels and tyres (all I will say for now, they will be BIG)

Change the Seats for Caravelle, but recovered in Leather and HEATED !


Chilly Start to the year -


The Seat Project is now well underway, purchased an old pair of Caravelle front seats, got them Re foamed to firm the edges up.

and getting them recovered in Black leather with grey pin stripping and stitching.

The final topping will be heated seat elements !



Seats have been done, very pleased with the results

Black Leather, new Foam and Heated seat elements from a Mk4 Golf.

Will be getting the rear R&R done in June with a bit of luck.



240V mains in via the fog light, (left) with a the socket cut into the side panel inside (right) which feeds a saftey contact breaker switch for mains in the van.

This is primarily for powering a night storage heater for camping events at the begining and end of the season.



Having done the low profile tyre bit and shaken the old fillings out,

I finally managed to track down a set of BFGoodrich tyres to fit on my 15''

This is the look is the look I have been after - Old Skool


Low profiles are out - Big and Chunky is in :o)




Even Max's Flyer get a bit of the Chunky Tyre action



and finally for now ...

This is going to be a new competition on my Forum, "T4 Teddys on Tour"

Keep an eye on www.vwt4forum.co.uk for details.

(Amend this link to the Teddy Pages)


The next Mod - Although I did this myself, the idea came from a member on my Forum Andy (321) from the Isle of wight.

One think that I really couldn't stand on the T4 Dash is that enourmous Hazard light switch.

So a Turbo gauge in the exact same blue as the dash, fitted into the space (with a bit of imagination of course)


As for the new hazard light, I can take the credit for this idea, I found a 1998 VW Pasatt Hazard light Switch which just so happens to have exactly the right connectors and is the right size for one of the dash blanks .... RESULT !


Next on the todo list is to find somewhere for a very large air cylinder for the air horns ...

Suggestions welcome ?


Modifications to my Black Van may have to go on hold for a while as ther is an addition to the Jimbo Camp of another slightly larger T4

I have started its own page for anyone wanting to follow the Mods on this




Here is a group shot from the Forum's first ever Show, I held this at Beaulieu Motor Museum, the theme this year was "DISCO"


T4 FEST 2009



With the addition of the Camper to the Jimbo household, I decided to sell the T5 Tripple R&R bed (as little or no use now) and fund covering of the two single seats.

This also mean I get my Van back to being "my" toy and the real reason I got it in the first place.

Having owned it for 9 years now, I still enjoy driving it as much as the day I got it - lots of plans for the future now :o)



Latest Mod was one that seemed like a good idea at the time ... I got a good deal on a Double Din Head Unit - but soon found out why most people don;t do this:


A normal head unit rests on a cross member which is structural to the dash - anyone, not one to shy away from a challenge, I have cut this out and building braced "box" to fill the gap for the Head unit to fit into.

Anyway - All said and done, now itsdone and installed I am very pleased with the results


The illuminations of the unit match the rest of the dash spot on as well







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