Volkswagen T4

In August 1990, Volkswagen took a daring step forward with the launch of the Volkswagen T4 Transporter, also recognized as the Eurovan in the USA. Despite initial scepticism among devotees of the classic rear-engined Transporters, the T4 soon gained widespread acclaim. Embraced by VW aficionados, skilled tradespeople utilising it as a versatile workhorse, motorhome enthusiasts, and those seeking an adaptable leisure vehicle, the T4 quickly emerged as a beloved model. Stirring up the Transporter lineage, the T4 adopted contemporary concepts inspired by the Golf and Passat series. Departing from its 50-year heritage, the T4 boasted a front-engine layout, front-wheel drive, and monocoque construction.

Variants of the Volkswagen T4 Model

Manufactured at the specialised Transporter facility in Hanover, Germany, the T4 was available in both Short Wheel Base (SWB) and Long Wheel Base (LWB) versions. The diverse lineup included:

Eurovan (2 side windows, sliding door on opposite side)
Panel Van (windowless design)
Kombi (windows without rear seating)
Caravelle (offering seating options of 5, 7, 8, or 9)
Single Cab Pickup
Double Cab Pickup
Syncro (4×4 capability available across all models)

Also Referred to As:

Known by various names such as T4, T4 Transporter, Eurovan, Caravelle, Short Nose, Long Nose, 888, and 1000.

Production Timeline and Technical Evolution

Spanning from 1990 to 2003, the T4’s production history witnessed several notable milestones. Initially, the T4 range featured a choice of petrol and diesel engines. In 1996, a major overhaul introduced significant changes, including rear disc brakes, a unified rear bumper, and the introduction of the 2.5-liter TDi engine. The Caravelle VR6 model’s introduction led to a lengthened nose design to accommodate the new engine.

The T4’s legacy culminated in 2003 when production concluded in Hanover, making way for its successor, the T5.

Fuel Types and Engine Variants

The T4’s power options encompassed both petrol and diesel, with engine sizes ranging from 1900cc to 2800cc. Some notable engine codes and specifications included:

AAB: 2400cc, 78 bhp (Diesel)

AAC: 2000cc, 84 bhp (Petrol)

AAF: 2500cc, 110 bhp (Petrol)

ABL: 1900cc, 68 bhp (TDi)

AES: 2800cc, 140 bhp (VR6)

Camper and Commercial Transformations

Continuing the tradition of its predecessors, the T4 became a favoured canvas for vehicle conversion companies. Adapted into refrigerated vehicles, police and ambulance units, taxis, and wheelchair-accessible transports, the T4’s versatility knew no bounds. Notably, the Razor Back, a unique brewery delivery vehicle with a specialised lowering floor for beer barrel handling, added to the T4’s distinctive legacy.

Today, the T4 experiences a resurgence as enthusiasts and owners increasingly explore camper and day van conversions. While dedicated garages like Vanworx offer specialised T4 camper conversions, many individuals opt for DIY conversion kits.

VW Chassis and Engine Identification

You can pinpoint essential details about your T4 through its chassis number, or VIN. The chassis number, located on the dashboard’s top (offside) and best viewed from outside, can reveal valuable insights about the van’s origins and specifications.

Digits 1 and 2:

These initial characters ‘WV’ consistently indicate the manufacturer.

Digit 3:

A singular numeral designates the model of the transporter:

1 = Panel van
2 = Window van
3 = Chassis cab

Digit 4:

The ‘ZZZ’ code, always in place, holds no significance.

Digits 5 and 6:

The unchanging code ’70’ specifically identifies the vehicle as a VW Transporter.

Digit 7:

Another filler code ‘Z’ holds no particular reference.

Digit 8:

Of utmost importance, this character (or digit for 2001 to 2003) within the chassis number indicates the manufacturing year of the bus:

M = 1991
N = 1992
P = 1993
R = 1994
S = 1995
T = 1996
V = 1997
W = 1998
X = 1999
Y = 2000
1 = 2001
2 = 2002
3 = 2003

Digit 9:

This ninth digit reveals the manufacturing plant of the bus:

H = Hannover
X = Poland

Digits 10 through 15:

The final sequence of numbers uniquely identifies the bus and reflects its position in the production line.

VW T4 Engine Identification and Specifications:

Engine numbers for T4 models are etched onto the front of the engine block. In the case of Petrol engines, this number is situated below two of the spark plugs. The engine number can also be found on the timing belt cover and the ID plate on the door pillar. For Diesel engines, the number is positioned between the injection pump and the vacuum pump. It is likewise displayed on the timing belt cover and the ID plate on the door pillar.

Engine Code | Capacity | Horsepower (BHP) | Engine Type

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