VW T4 (1990 - 2003)

VW T4 (1990 - 2003)

History of the Volkswagen T4


When production of the Volkswagen T4 started in August 1990, also known as a Eurovan in the USA, it was a huge leap of faith that the fans of the rear engined Transporters would accept it. After a slow start the T4 has become a very popular model with VW fans, tradesmen using them as a works van, motorhome owners and people looking for a truly multipurpose leisure vehicle.

T4 was a completely new model using modern ideas, many taken from the Golf and Passat range. Being front engined, front wheel drive and having a monocoque construction, broke nearly all its links to 50 years of heritage.

T4 model variants

Built at the dedicated Transporter factory in Hanover, Germany, it was available in SWB (Short Wheel Base) or LWB (Long Wheel Base). The range (Excluding custom built models) consists of:

Panel Van (no side windows)
Eurovan (2 side windows, sliding door and opposite)
Kombi (windows but no rear seating)
Caravelle (5, 7, 8, 9 seat options)
Single Cab Pickup  
Double Cab Pickup  
Syncro (4x4 available all models)

Camper and commercial conversions

Again, as with its predecessors, it became a firm favorite with the vehicle conversion companies. It has been made as refrigerated vehicles, police and ambulances, taxis, disability vehicles with wheel chair ramps etc. It even became the somewhat unique Razor Back, which was built as a brewery delivery vehicle with lowering floor to load/unload barrels of beer.

Increasingly VW T4 vans are being converted into campers and day vans.  There are a growing number of garages speciliaisng in T4 camper conversions, such as Vanworx, but many owners prefer to choose a DIY conversion kit.

Production history and technical changes

1990 to 1995  Few model changes. The range was offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines.

1996  Major model revamp.  Changes include rear disc brakes, one piece rear bumper and the 2.5 litre TDi engine.

The Caravelle VR6 was introduced necessitating a longer nose to accommodate the new engine. The longer nose was used on the Caravelles thereafter, and the short nose T4 was used for the lesser models.

2003  Summer saw the end of T4 production in Hanover, to make way for it’s newer brother, the T5.

T4 engine numbers

The engine number is stamped on the front of the engine block.  On the Petrol engine the number is located below two of the spark plugs. The engine number is also shown on the timing belt cover and on the ID plate on the door pillar.  On the Diesel engine the number is located between the injection pump and the vacuum pump. And is also shown on the timing belt cover and on the ID plate on the door pillar.

AAB 2400cc 78 bhp Diesel
AAC 2000cc 84 bhp Petrol
AAF 2500cc 110 bhp Petrol
ABL 1900cc 68 bhp TDi
ACU 2500cc 110 bhp Petrol
ACV 2500cc 102 bhp TDi
AEN 2500cc 110 bhp Petrol
AES 2800cc 140 bhp VR6
AET 2500cc 115 bhp Petrol
AEU 2500cc 110 bhp Petrol
AHY 2500cc 151 bhp TDi
AJA 2400cc 75 bhp Diesel
AJT 2500cc 88 bhp Diesel
AMV 2800cc 204 bhp VR6
APL 2500cc 115 bhp Petrol
AUF 2500cc 102 bhp TDi
AVT 2500cc 114 bhp Petrol
AYC 2500cc 102 bhp TDi

T4 chassis numbers

The chassis number, or VIN, can be found on the top (offside) of the dashboard and is best viewed from outside.

This example chassis number, WV2ZZZ70Z2H131652, belongs to a Type 4 VW Caravelle/Multivan built in 2002 in Hanover. It was number 131652 off the production line.

Analysing the chassis number will reveal important information about the van...

WV ‘Manufacturer’
2 ‘Type of vehicle’ - 1 = Panel van, 2 = window van, 3 = chassis cab
ZZZ ‘Filler code’
70 ‘VW Transporter’
Z ‘Filler code’
2 ‘Year of manufacture’
H ‘Built in Hanover’
131652 ‘Production line number’
10th digitModel yearBuild date
M 1991 1st Aug 90 > 31st Jul 91
N 1992 1st Aug 91 > 31st Jul 92
P 1993 1st Aug 92 > 31st Jul 93
R 1994 1st Aug 93 > 31st Jul 94
S 1995 1st Aug 94 > 31st Jul 95
T 1996 1st Aug 95 > 31st Jul 96
V 1997 1st Aug 96 > 31st Jul 97
W 1998 1st Aug 97 > 31st Jul 98
X 1999 1st Aug 98 > 31st Jul 99
Y 2000 1st Aug 99 > 31st Jul 00
1 2001 1st Aug 00 > 31st Jul 01
2 2002 1st Aug 01 > 31st Jul 02
3 2003 1st Aug 02 > 31st Jul 03

Over 400 Volkswagen T4 parts and accessories online here...

3 years ago