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Lieutenant Van a VWLT build
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rmcd
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:34 pm    Post subject: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

This is a build thread for a 1995 VW LT40 4x4 high top van.

For my birthday present this month the US Custom and Border Protection folks finalized the vans interrogations and we have been officially issued the illusive US Customs and Border Protection Entry Summary 7501 form which is required if you want to legally register a foreign vehicle in the US. Without this executed document you will have imported a giant pile of rust and shame. Ask me how I know? More on that later.

Im not big into naming cars, but in this case the name Lieutenant Van or LT Van seemed waaaaaaay too obvious not to use. So, meet Lieutenant Van. And yes. Im to going spell Lieutenant incorrectly every time.

Meet Lieutenant Van as he looked on the ground in the Netherlands when I purchased him 09/28.

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


From here out Im going to use the term VWLT so that things related to the VWLT are searchable on the Samba. If you search LT on the Samba as it returns nearly all of the posts since 1943.

Im going to do my best to document the processes to purchase, import to the US, link Archie/Veronica-style to VWLT resources scattered about this world wide web thing, as well as, document all the money, knuckle skin and stupid Im going to throw at this hunk of rust.

Ive built a few vehicles over the year from Lemons race cars, basket case old Triumph motorcycles and an 87 Syncro panel van camper conversion as seen here Syncro panel van camper build
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=575458&highlight=

Ive learned a ton of lessons while building the Syncro that will be directly applicable to this box. Different this time is I will pawn out some of the work as Im too broken to be contorting myself under a dashboard.

There are few of these beasts in the North America as they were never shipped here. There were nearly 5 million of these things built from 1975 to 1996 (or MK2 into 2006) in endless configurations. I specifically targeted the 4x4 of which there were only about 1500 built. I NEED 4wd cause Duh?! And I think it is a requirement that everything merica needs to be big, stupid, 4x4 and super sized. I certainly require more super size than my Syncro can provide and a toilet.

VWLT wiki like information here.
https://vwlt.co.uk/about-the-vw-lt/
https://vwlt.co.uk/wiki/484-2/vw-lt-series-1-buyers-guide-1975-1996/


Here is the thread that ruined me in 2015. I have kind of known since then that I was going to be selling or trading in my Syncro for one of these.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...p;start=20

And here is the classified advertisement that really ruined me. Thanks Chris!
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2350269


Online VWLT Resources.
There are many VWLT resources out there and ironically a couple builders of LTs right here in the North America. The VWLT knowledge is contained in German language websites, Facebook groups and here on one of the best resources. Kudos Tim!! http://vwlt.co.uk/

I will endeavor to provide links to resources I have found useful.

I will update this as long as it stays editable.

Facebook Groups.
VW LT Owners Series 1 (VOLT) 1976~1996. https://www.facebook.com/groups/voltowners
And lots of documents here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/voltowners/files
https://www.facebook.com/groups/voltswapmeet

VW LT 4x4 World Fan Club. https://www.facebook.com/groups/vwlt4x4worldfanclub

VW LT MKI Owners of the Americas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/954334161249254

Replacement sheetmetal parts in the UK. VW LT Mk1 Body Panels and Spare Parts. https://www.facebook.com/vwltspares

Busman. https://busmaneurope.com/info-pages-europe/infolt/

And again. The VW LT Owners club site. http://vwlt.co.uk/

Tips from Buss Marius.

The worldwide best place for spare pars is https://www.brickwerks.co.uk/lt-parts.html
Another prowider is Werk34.de They just introdused a few new items for the LT, Light guards: https://www.werk34.de/en/water-cooled/lt-95/bumpers-radiator-grill-attachments/
Then German ebay is a good place to search fore NLA, used parts.

We have two LT folks in the US that Im aware of. Im working with Chris DeLong. He is located in the NW and he has several in his collection and services LTs in his shop. https://www.finetuningperformance.com/

Shown in this map are garages all over the EU.
https://busmaneurope.com/info-pages-europe/ltgarages/

Here is a pretty good website that discusses the details of importing a vehicle (or motor) in the US. I will try to put this into context by explaining my experience.
https://www.cbp.gov/trade/basic-import-export/importing-car


On to the build. Lieutenant Van Build. Fear, Loathing and the Chicken Tax.


As mentioned above. I need more space. Not just cause Im an aging fat dude, but because Im an aging fat dude that has to pee a lot. And one of the goals is to Live within versus Live out-of my van. The Syncro is a bit small for that. Further, I think Sprinters, NVs, Transits look cool but I prefer this approach. In the end I think I will spend a fraction of the cost to build a Sprinter and have a much cooler ride that is also recycled.

However, before I could pee with the frequency I have become accustom to I first I had to find one that I could afford.

The VWLT Van is in the US legally as of yesterday (01/26).

As I regain my strength from the ordeal, I will share more details of the steps I took to make this happen so others may learn. No human can do this by themselves. It requires $$, planning and hiring specialists. And if you screw it up you can expect to pay north of 25% chicken tax, excessive declarations costs or have your vehicle crushed.

Below are a few pictures from the Busman pre-inspection. Mike is the first person you will absolutely need to hire to make this happen. He was instrumental in this process and without him there is zero chance you will be able to pull this off from outside EU. There were three cash offers standing in line behind Mike on Saturday morning the week this van was listed. Mike negotiated the deal, performed the inspection, personally engaged with the seller to insure this was a real offer, provided 80 detailed photos and managed the van until it was on a RORO ship.

https://busmaneurope.com/search_yourself/

Here are some VWLT Van pictures.
When I look at these I keep hearing the Scottish character from Austin Powers Movie saying Im soooo sexy.

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


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


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


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



Now some VWLT porn for inspiration.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_search.php?...ts=summary

https://info-vw.blogspot.com/2017/12/volkswagen-lt-40.html

And here are the Busman pre-inspection pictures of LT Van.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_search.php?...ts=summary
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VW LT40 build.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=749359&highlight=

Syncro panel van camper build. Taking Offers.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=575458&highlight=


Last edited by rmcd on Tue Feb 16, 2021 10:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

That's just wrong...so wrong.

It needs to be in my driveway.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Awesome. I want one.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Love it!

Let the fun commence.

Popcorn Popcorn Popcorn
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4Gears4Tires
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

This is going to be awesome. I hope you have a warehouse to work on it!
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Let the stupid begin! Thanks for taking us along.
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erste
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Popcorn
Yes!! Those bumpers look really good.
Look forward to seeing where you take it.
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T3messie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Puh.

Happy welding. Very Happy
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16CVs Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:02 am    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

The nice thing about those vans is there is so much room that you can drop a SBC and a 700R in there and roll on forever.
All of the cool and none of the heartache.

Looking forward to the build.

Stacy
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Earl Bay
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:30 am    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Actually just wanted to know what a lemon race car is?

Nice LT, they seem to get rare, especially the 4x4 ones
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tjet Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Very cool Cool

How does it feel driving it compared to your Syncro?

How loud is the engine/trans being up front?

I've liked those ever since I saw this video...


Link


A really rare military version here (outfitted with portal axles)


Link

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:32 am    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

You can carry a lot of Subaru blocks to the scrapyard for cash , in that.

Nice build, subscribed!
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[email protected]
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 5:50 am    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Bad ass. Looking forward to it. BMW diesel? Look at this:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8WhbkhYDBtQ
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pnwkayaker
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

It's been what, 18 hours since the first post, and there have been no more updates? What are your priorities?

Nope, I'm not interested, not a bit... Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Popcorn
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rmcd
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Earl Bay wrote:
Actually just wanted to know what a lemon race car is?

Nice LT, they seem to get rare, especially the 4x4 ones


https://jalopnik.com/biggest-engine-at-lemons-short-bus-drifting-academy-313852

This was the first one we built. When we ran 24 hours of lemons it was more about building a crap can parade float and then entering it in a two day demolition derby with 100 cars bumper to bumper.
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VW LT40 build.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=749359&highlight=

Syncro panel van camper build. Taking Offers.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=575458&highlight=
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vwhammer
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Mercedes OM606 with a mechanical pump swap and an HX35 or 40 on it would make plenty of sauce to get something like that moving.

One of the Cummins R2.8 crate engines would be pretty nice as well.
Wouldn't be as powerful but it would be enough.
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Pretty normal daily driver build
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

An OM605 would also be nice. But, I'd probably just go with a 2.5 TDI with bigger injectors and an ECU tune.
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goldtooth
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

Love where this is going...
nate
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Lieutenant Van a VWLT build Reply with quote

You can tar and feather me now, but I would put a Ford/Chevy 4WD solid axle driveline under any LT and be done with it. I drove one for the summer of 1987 radiating out from Berlin to Italy and France, needed more oooomph.
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