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I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender
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Broseph Stalin
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
My Vanagon is lifted, so I used a lower shock mount from a BMW as a shock extension. You can see it in this pic; just below the fuel filter.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I wish there was a way for the EVC. I'm nerdy about this because I like to offroad in this sweet campmobile.

I've been researching EV shocks and springs, T4 Syncro included. Looks to me the T4 Syncro has the exact same suspension as a 2WD. Therefore no way to retrofit more ground clearance via a Syncro suspension.

This front shock shows about four inches of shock travel.

https://www.serial-kombi.com/en-GB/transporter-t4-...ly-n313365

This rear shock shows about four inches of shock travel.

https://www.serial-kombi.com/en-GB/transporter-t4-...ly-n313366

Four inches travel is what I measured with the Bilstein HD4600's. Sure would be nice to have six inches travel with the front shocks, but I've found the lifted EVC does well crawling over rocks and through gullies.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

I keep wondering how to get around lifting the front more than with just the torsion adjustment. The problem is that the axles end up sitting on top of the subframe at full extension. I suspect that anything beyond this will require lowering the subframe, or notching it out for clearance. The rears are a lot like a Vanagon, so there are ways to tweak it beyond a typical shimmed spring lift, but there's welding/cutting involved.
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Broseph Stalin
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I keep wondering how to get around lifting the front more than with just the torsion adjustment. The problem is that the axles end up sitting on top of the subframe at full extension. I suspect that anything beyond this will require lowering the subframe, or notching it out for clearance. The rears are a lot like a Vanagon, so there are ways to tweak it beyond a typical shimmed spring lift, but there's welding/cutting involved.

Yeah, looks to me the T4 has zero options for wheel travel when lifted. It's easy to lift the body via the torsion bars and rear pucks, you get great approach and departure angles, but not much we can do with the suspension.

I googled, found this https://www.vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?p=6449975. They found what we do, raise the body, nothing for suspension.

I saw there is a Seikel lift kit, https://seikel-uk.com/product/t4-syncro-lift-kit/ but it's just a body lift kit with Bilstein HD4600's like you and I have. T4 Syncro has the same Seikel lift kit, just a body lift like we've already done with rear pucks and torsion bar adjustments, same Bilstein 4600's.

Well, the T4 is the best version of VW campers I've owned. Has engine power and braking power. The bigger discs on the '03 are nice. It's a nice offroad machine with the body lift.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

Proving again that I'm easily amused. Minor updates. I added a couple meager shelves to the slider door, since it's otherwise dead space. I'm thinking of making my own slider panel and incorporating three actual cubbies into the design. I'm obsessed with space.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Also, here's our local group of van fanatic's new sticker.

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I'm still building the diesel heater cabinet, and should be welding on the mounting tabs next week.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
I'm thinking of making my own slider panel and incorporating three actual cubbies into the design. I'm obsessed with space.

Totally with you on this!


Quote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I like the simplicity of what you've done here, and the lines of how you've done it. Sweet / simple / functional. Smile
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

I had a dead windshield washer pump, so in the process of diving into the engine bay I noticed a couple things. One is that the hood struts are getting weak, and I found out why:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The other observation is that the foam around the air intake gills acts like a sponge in the heavy rain we've been having here, and that it also traps a lot of road detritus in the fender well. You rust belt folks should clean this area out annually. I think I'll revisit that foam piece this summer and try to find a way to clean and reseal it with some kind of flexible sealant so as to mitigate the water absorption.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


On the topic of space; now I'm looking to cleverly use up a lot of it. I'm seriously toying with the idea of converting the van to a custom full camper interior. The concept is to use the driver side for cabinets in typical Westfalia fashion, but to make my own out of lightweight extruded aluminum framing and bamboo facings. My remaining question is whether to shorten the existing sliding rear seat/bed, or replace it with a customized fixed 'rock n' roll' seat like in the Vanagons. I'm still on the fence about this, but currently leaning toward the latter option. Thoughts?

[EDIT] I guess I should mention that I'm at liberty to entertain the idea of making the van interior less flexible because we have two vans, and this one is going to become our dedicated camper/road tripper. The other van is a Vanagon with the same interior layout as the MV models without the poptop.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:19 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

As a follow up, I just swapped out that leaking hood strut with one I pulled from the '01 Jetta donor for the TDI in my Vanagon. Its extended length is the same, but the body has a larger diameter and the unit seems significantly stiffer. I just replaced that one for now, but you can really feel how weak the other is, so I may go ahead and do both.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

Casey - are you sure that isn't a critter in the well area? Yuck.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

I should check the vacuum. There was a lot of stuff up in there.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:33 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

I'm in the middle of replacing the seat heaters AND installing a diesel aux. heater...AND, we're leaving for Salt Creek Recreation Area tomorrow afternoon, so no pressure.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

That blue is so pretty. I was torn between that and the COLORADO red when I plonkeddown the cash for my only new car in my life, the 2002 T4 EuroMaxiBus.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

We had a great time up at Salt Creek, although my project delayed our joining the group by a day. The seat heaters work awesome and the diesel heater was a game changer...until it wasn't.

Because I was so rushed, corners were cut and safety was nudged down to a third consideration--sue me!

First off, my van isn't (yet) a diesel, so I had to figure out where/how to mount the fuel tank. I have a design in the works that both slides and articulates under the van, but I didn't have time to make that a thing. Instead, I screwed it to a plastic cutting board and temporarily mounted it above the engine battery. No problems were encountered.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Note that I mounted a house battery fuse panel there, so I could easily tap into that circuit without gutting the interior.

The heater is installed under the van and plumbed into the rear heater housing. One concern expressed with this approach is that the heated air could potentially blow directly on the rear heater core, which would serve as a heat sink and reduce thermal efficiency. I took this into consideration and glued a thin steel lid from a candy tin to the floor, which allows it to deflect heated air upward and away from either the heater core or the diesel heater inlet. The polyurethane glue is flexible, so the steel deflector can lean over and deflect either or both heat sources.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Astute T4 fans will recognize this temporary exhaust outlet source.

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The heater worked awesome during our ~33F degree night and morning. Unfortunately it shut off after about a half hour in the morning and gave an E-01 error code.

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This turns out to be a low voltage error. After I got back home, I diagnosed the battery isolator relay as defective, which explains why the house battery was dead flat.

The project items that did deliver during our trip were the seat heater matrices I installed. Very nice even heat and the el cheapo seat covers worked really well for a $15 investment.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Lots of work to be done, but overall I'm pretty pleased with these latest additions to the van.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

Thought I'd share a couple other updates to the updates.

I ended up using the double switch provided with the seat heaters, but the housing is slightly smaller than the openings in the dash. I cannibalized an old Audi C4 defroster switch to create a spacer that kinda made up the size difference, but it recessed the switch a bit.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Also, I've long been annoyed that my shifter gate slider thingee was mostly missing, so I decided to tackle that today. Once I opened the shifter assembly, I found the "thingee" had broken up into many smaller pieces over time. The thingee is just a bit of thin flexible plastic, so I set about to finding a suitable replacement material. IKEA to the rescue...again! An old place mat with black and white stripes was a perfect donor for the thingee. I used the good part still attached to the shift rod as a template and cut out a strip. It looks and works perfectly.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


While I was in there, I found that the weird (and probably expensive) light bulb was dead, so I fashioned up a red LED replacement. It works ok, but the light output is a bit too much, so I think I need to add more resistance to tone it down.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: I've joined the dark side: 2001 Weekender Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing all of these updates. I really enjoy seeing your progress.

Related, I did see on the Eurovan Owner's Unite facebook group there was someone making replacement shifter gap cover "thingees" like what you replaced. Not that you need that info right now, but just adding for others.
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