Transporter Project advice.





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  1. #1
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    Default Transporter Project advice.

    Good day all. I havenít posted much for some time now. A new project directs me back - and hoping some previous experience from members might be offered.

    Iíve thoroughly enjoyed my last two Amaroks and other double-cab bakkies before, but a change to something different is dawning.

    Iím about to pull the trigger on a near-new 2020 Volkswagen Transporter T6 LWB 4-Motion Crewbus. Coming to the decision on this particular model was reached after much deliberation, but essentially it ticks most of the required boxes. Not all... but comes closest to.

    For immediate fit before delivery, the Seikel team will be doing the suspension lift, rocksliders and a frontrunner full roof rack.

    Obligatory tyre upgrade will follow - probably in the guise of a set of 245/65/17 BFG KO2ís - perhaps on the stock rim... perhaps not.

    The first advice I seek is around the tyres. Being a LWB model, I really need to maximize the lift to compensate for the poor break-over angle. The Seikel guide recommends going no more than a 235/65/17 - but my own experience is that these are often conservative and would like some real world experience of pushing the limits practically.

    The second recommendation I seek is that of a quality auto trimmer on the East-Rand. Being the transporter model, the interior is unfinished beyond that of fresh paint, and Iím weighing up the options between using a reputable trimmer to do a custom carpet job on the side panels etc, versus that of going the whole hog and purchasing from VW the complete kit of interior Kombi plastics to finish off the vehicle interior.

    Also - seat covers. Any experience on the best fit?

    The vehicle isnít going to be doing any overly challenging off-roading. More so a capable vehicle for long distance holidays, medium to rough gravel roads and the like.

    Anybody advice would be appreciated, not limited to the points mentioned.

    Thanks - Jason.

    (From this...)





    (To something like this


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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Nice vehicle.
    Suspension upgrade is essential.
    I will only fit the Seikel front and air bellows from Gremeltech at the rear, it is better than the Seikel coils.
    Please also for a permanent front recovery point, by way of removing the front fog light trimming, and drill a hole, and refit the trimming and fit the point permanently through that hole
    Koos Best
    Land Rover Discovery3 TDV6 S.
    VW T5 D/cab 4 Motion with slide on camper

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    When you negotiate the price keep in mind that the T7 Transporter will be released early 2021. Maybe they will be willing to knock off a couple of thousand since the new one is around the corner.
    Mitsubishi Pajero 3.2 D-ID GLX LWB

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Regarding the tyres, 235/65R17 is the maximum in my opinion. They already scrape the wheel arches on full turn, anything bigger is only going to be worse. I've seen 235/70R17 fitted to a Caravelle with Seikel lift only to be swiftly changed back to 235/65R17 due to scraping. The problem lies with the rim size, unfortunately we're stuck with 17inch or bigger.

    I agree with Koos on the suspension. The Seikel suspension is a bit overrated and overpriced in my opinion. I started out with the Bilstein kit but changed to the Monroe shocks after my first trip to the kalahari hoping that the ride would improve. Then at about 80,000km and just over 2 years the front shocks were completely shot. Got them replaced under warranty by Seikel but also had to replace the rear shocks which were almost done. Ride quality is great on tar, but very harsh on gravel. Depends on your daily driving conditions. The work ethic and knowledgeable advice from the Seikel team is unrivaled, I'm just not convinced about the product.

    Replace the fabric with leather from the start.
    Last edited by Stavats; 2020/06/23 at 02:47 PM.

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  9. #5
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    I agree with the max tire size being 235/65/17. I did a lot of searching before replacing tires and settled on this size. I think you can get a 225/65/17 if BFG is a must.

    Just a question. Is a LWB a must or will a SWB not work better given your break-over angle concerns?

    I have 2012 T5 LWB. It is HUGE... I got Gerbers in Kempton to build me a drawer system that converts into a double bed for the kids at night while still being able to use all 8 seats during the day.
    Last edited by JAPster; 2020/06/23 at 03:07 PM.
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  11. #6
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koos Best View Post
    Nice vehicle.
    Suspension upgrade is essential.
    I will only fit the Seikel front and air bellows from Gremeltech at the rear, it is better than the Seikel coils.
    Please also for a permanent front recovery point, by way of removing the front fog light trimming, and drill a hole, and refit the trimming and fit the point permanently through that hole
    Thank you Koos. I will certainly consider that - and little bits of information like the permanent recovery point, I am grateful to receive.

  12. #7
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom13 View Post
    When you negotiate the price keep in mind that the T7 Transporter will be released early 2021. Maybe they will be willing to knock off a couple of thousand since the new one is around the corner.
    Absolutely agree. I did the research on the upcoming 6.1 as well. Expect them here from November in Caravelle guise first, then others to follow. Indeed I am happy with the price on this T6.

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavats View Post
    Regarding the tyres, 235/65R17 is the maximum in my opinion. They already scrape the wheel arches on full turn, anything bigger is only going to be worse. I've seen 235/70R17 fitted to a Caravelle with Seikel lift only to be swiftly changed back to 235/65R17 due to scraping. The problem lies with the rim size, unfortunately we're stuck with 17inch or bigger.

    I agree with Koos on the suspension. The Seikel suspension is a bit overrated and overpriced in my opinion. I started out with the Bilstein kit but changed to the Monroe shocks after my first trip to the kalahari hoping that the ride would improve. Then at about 80,000km and just over 2 years the front shocks were completely shot. Got them replaced under warranty by Seikel but also had to replace the rear shocks which were almost done. Ride quality is great on tar, but very harsh on gravel. Depends on your daily driving conditions. The work ethic and knowledgeable advice from the Seikel team is unrivaled, I'm just not convinced about the product.

    Replace the fabric with leather from the start.
    Both my previous vehicles were kitted with Seikel products. Not to say I never had a problem, but the service from the team in sorting out is unrivaled as you say.

    Vehicle warrantee is always a consideration... so seikel it need be.

    Thanks for the tyre info too... be expensive lesson prevented.

    In leather... would have to be aftermarket as the vehicle is ďas isĒ. As per opening post, I really need to find a reputable upholsterer.

  15. #9
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAPster View Post
    I agree with the max tire size being 235/65/17. I did a lot of searching before replacing tires and settled on this size. I think you can get a 225/65/17 if BFG is a must.

    Just a question. Is a LWB a must or will a SWB not work better given your break-over angle concerns?

    I have 2012 T5 LWB. It is HUGE... I got Gerbers in Kempton to build me a drawer system that converts into a double bed for the kids at night while still being able to use all 8 seats during the day.
    I wanted a SWB initially. Trips to Namibia would be with dual rooftop tents, and so boot space is a big factor if not wanting to use a trailer.

    The break over angle is a limitation, though not so much a concern.

    Interestingly - the LWB T6 is fractionally shorter than myAmarok!
    The turning behavior is however very different.

  16. #10
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Kom die Transporters nou uit met Caravelle LED ligte?

  17. #11
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavats View Post
    Kom die Transporters nou uit met Caravelle LED ligte?
    Itís an optional extra as part of some light package...

  18. #12
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stavats View Post
    Regarding the tyres, 235/65R17 is the maximum in my opinion. They already scrape the wheel arches on full turn, anything bigger is only going to be worse. I've seen 235/70R17 fitted to a Caravelle with Seikel lift only to be swiftly changed back to 235/65R17 due to scraping. The problem lies with the rim size, unfortunately we're stuck with 17inch or bigger.

    I agree with Koos on the suspension. The Seikel suspension is a bit overrated and overpriced in my opinion. I started out with the Bilstein kit but changed to the Monroe shocks after my first trip to the kalahari hoping that the ride would improve. Then at about 80,000km and just over 2 years the front shocks were completely shot. Got them replaced under warranty by Seikel but also had to replace the rear shocks which were almost done. Ride quality is great on tar, but very harsh on gravel. Depends on your daily driving conditions. The work ethic and knowledgeable advice from the Seikel team is unrivaled, I'm just not convinced about the product.

    Replace the fabric with leather from the start.
    Regarding your comment on the shocks aren't they bilsteins? If so you can take them to Mikems and he can fiddle with the setting.


    He said that they are quite stiff from the factory. This obviously helps them with issues as the overdamping prevents overheating. Apparently with some special tools you can change the valves or oil or something to change the damping characteristics?

    I would find out about that as the bilsteins are excellent shocks.

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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by stephenplumb View Post
    Regarding your comment on the shocks aren't they bilsteins? If so you can take them to Mikems and he can fiddle with the setting.


    He said that they are quite stiff from the factory. This obviously helps them with issues as the overdamping prevents overheating. Apparently with some special tools you can change the valves or oil or something to change the damping characteristics?

    I would find out about that as the bilsteins are excellent shocks.
    Thanks for this, I will definitely contact Mikem. You can choose either Bilstein or Monroe shocks for the Seikel kit. I started with the Bilstein from new but after returning from the kalahari I went back to Riekert and requested the Monroes. I perceived them to have a softer ride but honestly it wasn't much better. The Monroes had to be replaced due to failure and I am now back on the Bilsteins. Before lockdown I was in contact with Gremeltech about air shocks.

    The biggest improvement I have felt is by running lower tyre pressures. I'm running 1.8bar cold at the moment which improves ride quality a lot, however I do not think this vehicle is supposed to run such low pressures on tar.

  21. #14
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Willemse View Post
    Itís an optional extra as part of some light package...
    Pity that I missed that during the time of purchase. The standard lights are very sub-standard.

  22. #15
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    I have 235/65/17 Pirelli Scorpions on and they have been excellent on and off-road. On full lock and going though a bump I have a slight scrape but it is livable, this on the standard suspension on mine . So I think on lift they will probably be OK. I would not go bigger as it will also effect power and fuel consumption.

    Mine is also the bare bus inside configuration but I have leather seats which ups the luxury somewhat. I have actually grown to accept and love the bare workhorse inside so I would not try and fit all the plastics. Drive it first for a while. Takla make GREAT covers which I had on previous vehicles and although expensive they are absolutely worth it.

    I assume you are also doing the sump bashplate and exhaust slider plate at Seikel if you are doing the suspension. I have that and can HIGHLY recommend that if you are contemplating some off road use with it, especialy on the LWB, mine is SWB.

    Here is a bit of a Tale of the Tape on mine thus far.
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...-4motion/page1

    CATS
    PS - I have sent you a PM regarding the suspension. Please contact me
    Last edited by Cats; 2020/06/24 at 03:36 PM.
    2015 VW Transporter T5.1 132kw 4motion DSG - (Shrek) My Bush-Bus
    2003 Safari Xplorer
    Previous : 1996 Colt Rodeo 3000 V6 (The Original! - SOLD) : 1998 Colt Rodeo 2.8Tdi (My first Diesel - SOLD) : 2008 Pajero 3.2 DiDc GLS (Sylvester - SOLD) : 2001 LR Defender 90 (Grizzly - Sadly SOLD) : 2010 LR Discovery 4 HSE (Snow White - SOLD) : 2001 Pajero 3.2 DiD GLS (Snoopy - SOLD but never forgotten) :2009 Pajero 3.2 DiDc GLS (Casper ,Old Faithfull, - SOLD)

  23. #16
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Right... so I got my bus. The family have dubbed her ďthe mountain goatĒ.

    Itís not the one I intended buying. That one had a low 10,000 kilometers on - but at least half of those were Namibian gravel road mileage. Not for me.

    It ended up being a brand new SWB version - less some of the perks the other had, but none the less.

    1st up - straight from the dealership to the tyre shop. Fitted the 225 BF Goodrich option. Looks good!





    On that note... anyone looking for a brand new set of original tyres... happy to cut someone a bargain!

    On with the show. The shallow boot meant fridge options were limited. Either I go boot rack system, or we lose a seat. Opted for the latter.







    Worked out really well. Had to remove the seats and flooring to add Bradleyís for the fridge to tie down on, but was easily sorted.

    As suggested, permanent recovery point up front.



    Next up is a frontrunner booking. Full roof rack and rear ladder. Will only be next week.

    More than likely having the seats recovered in leather once I find a reputable company.

    On the bus... itís a pretty cool thing I must admit. Really puts a smile on my face whenever I look at it. Just screams fun times!

    Seikel have no stock of suspension at the moment. Waiting for the arrival. Iím really keen on a The Koni/Eibach version... letís see!



    Will post as I go.

  24. #17
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Cool Bananas!!!!

    Enjoy - And so us bus Fanatics gets one more member!! Love it.

    You will enjoy it immensely I am sure. Love the fridge in the second row with the two side seats.

    CATS

    PS - I think we must definately try and do a VW 4motion/Syncro bus event some time to get some of us together.
    2015 VW Transporter T5.1 132kw 4motion DSG - (Shrek) My Bush-Bus
    2003 Safari Xplorer
    Previous : 1996 Colt Rodeo 3000 V6 (The Original! - SOLD) : 1998 Colt Rodeo 2.8Tdi (My first Diesel - SOLD) : 2008 Pajero 3.2 DiDc GLS (Sylvester - SOLD) : 2001 LR Defender 90 (Grizzly - Sadly SOLD) : 2010 LR Discovery 4 HSE (Snow White - SOLD) : 2001 Pajero 3.2 DiD GLS (Snoopy - SOLD but never forgotten) :2009 Pajero 3.2 DiDc GLS (Casper ,Old Faithfull, - SOLD)

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  26. #18
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    Default Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cats View Post
    Cool Bananas!!!!

    Enjoy - And so us bus Fanatics gets one more member!! Love it.

    You will enjoy it immensely I am sure. Love the fridge in the second row with the two side seats.

    CATS

    PS - I think we must definately try and do a VW 4motion/Syncro bus event some time to get some of us together.
    Yes!! Let me be done a little
    further first! Not too long though.
    Last edited by Jason Willemse; 2020/07/02 at 05:52 PM.

  27. #19
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Willemse View Post

    1st up - straight from the dealership to the tyre shop. Fitted the 225 BF Goodrich option. Looks good!
    Hi Jason.

    Hope you have many enjoyable miles with your bus.

    Do you mind giving me an indication of the price for the BFG's. I recall them being quite a bit more than all the other AT brands available when I fitted the Goodyears in 2017.

    I bought my bus with 109000kms on and seemed like it was still running on the original shocks. I replaced them with Koni Heavy Track in the beginning of 2017 and are very happy with them. I will get them serviced in the next year or so. Could not get Koni Raid for the T5 at that stage and not sure if it is available.

    Also decided to fit Powerflex bushes at the same time as I bought everything from the importers and they did the fitment for me as well.
    Alfa 159 - die dors ene, met 6 silinders
    Fiat 500c - SWAMBO se pink'e met 'n swart pruik, en make-up
    VW T5 4Motion - cause there ain't no Italian 4x4 kombies

  28. #20
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    Default Re: Transporter Project advice.

    Baie geluk. Ek hou van die yskas in die middel agter. Ek wag self vir 'n special op yskaste, my 2003 National Luna het die emmer geskop.

    Saggies trek aan daai tow hook, hy is nie 'n herwinningspunt nie. Ek het 'n paar herwinnings gedoen uit sand en dit het gewerk, tot ek later opgemerk het my impact bar het mors-af gebreek op die chassis mount.

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