Category Archives: T6

The spare parts list

Compiled by Ian Crawford

Accelerator Cable
Allen Key
Aluminium Tube (to fit INSIDE fuel hose if leaking).
Battery Earth Strap
Battery Tester (6 x LED’s)
Brake and Clutch Fluid
Brake pedal Return Spring
Bulbs (Various)
Cable Ties
Carburettor Return Spring
Clutch Cable
Condenser for Distributor
CV Axle Boot Cap and Grease
Distilled Water
Distributor cap + (rotor arms x 2)
Distributor Contact Points
Dynamo Carbon Brushes
Fan belts x 2
Feeler Gauges
Fuel Hose & Clips Fuses (Various)
Hacksaw Blades
Handbrake cable (2 x needed)
Insulation Tape x 4
Magnetic Dish Holder
Magnifying Glass
Multi-Meter + spare PP3 battery
Pill Pot containing
a) Matches,
b) Lighter,
c) Flints,
d) Water Purifying Tablets,
e) Sweeteners,
f) Sewing Kit,
g) Safety Pins,
h) Buttons
Plastic Wire Ties
Rocker Cover Gaskets x2
Shorting Links + Micro Switch & Croc Clips
Spark Plugs
Stanley Knives
Starting Relay + Fuse Tools (various)
Tyre Pressure Gauge
Tyre Valve Cores
Voltage Regulator
Walking Boot Laces (waxed)
Wine corks

Website Manager Nick agrees with most of these. However a wine cork is not something he has ever needed.

The engine battery

Prompted by a member called Robert who was asking, sharing in case it helps anyone else.

Robert had an issue with his starter battery and wanted to replace it but of course is space constrained in an older vehicle. His 72Ah battery was the right size, but how many Amp Hours do you need?

A standard 1.6 litre air cooled engine requires a starter motor such as the Power Lite one from JK. That one is a 1.4 kilowatt starter. Converting kilowatts to amps you need to change 1.4KW to 1,400 watts and then divide it by the voltage, in our case 12 volts.

1,400 / 12 = Around 120 amps.

For two litre engines, you will need a little more. For a customised engine, who knows?!

If you look at The battery charge quick reference guide you know that you do not wish to flatten the battery completely as that will break it. Ideally avoid going more than 30% depleted.

If you know that you never use more than a minute on the starter motor to get the engine into life, that is 1/60th of an hour. Running that 120 amp starter motor for an hour would be 120 amp hours, so 1/60th of that is 2 amp hours.

As long as you have no current leaks and are not sitting in your vehicle draining the battery with a stereo, a fridge, lighting or other circuits on the starter motor, as you can see, a minute to start the engine on a 1.6 litre air cooled engine will drain 2 amp hours out of your battery. Even the smallest and cheapest car batteries will cope with that, but for peace of mind, don’t buy the cheapest battery in the shop!

SpaceCamper rearranges the Volkswagen camper van for light, open design

The SpaceCamper LightOpen's table/cooktop can also be used outside

German camper van converter SpaceCamper offers some of the most versatile, well-packaged Volkswagen Transporter campers we’ve happened across. Its also built one of the fastest camper vans on the planet. Now it’s expanded its lineup with the LightOpen, spreading the camping equipment around the cabin for an even lighter, more versatile recreational vehicle layout. The LightOpen can haul the family to and from work, school and sports practice, go camping, and work as a mobile office, all with little to no conversion in between.

SpaceCamper already offers Light and Open models, and now it mashes them together, creating the LightOpen van. We’ve seen a lot of multiple personality vans that work as campers, everyday people haulers and/or cargo vans, including the recent Pössl Campster, but the LightOpen does it more effortlessly than most.

Like the SpaceCamper ClassicOpen, the LightOpen includes sliding doors on both sides for easy loading and indoor/outdoor access to key equipment. Like the SpaceCamper Light, the LightOpen offers exceptional flexibility for use as a camper, everyday commuter, cargo hauler and rolling office.

Key to the LightOpen’s flexible, spacious design, SpaceCamper breaks down and shrinks what might otherwise be a large, space-devouring kitchen block, moving food prep amenities around the van cabin. A 25-L compressor fridge creates a different type of center console, giving the driver and front passenger access to cool drinks and snacks, a feature that could prove handy well beyond camping, to road trips, kids’ soccer games, hiking or mountain biking trips, and countless other uses. This refrigerator can also slide back into the main cabin, giving all passengers access.

In another twist on the camper van kitchen, SpaceCamper integrates the two-burner cooktop into the removable folding table, providing meal preparation and dining space. The table can be used inside or out, and without a kitchen block limiting its size and placement, it is larger than tables in other camper vans. It also doubles as a desk when work, not food, is what’s on the menu.

Another interesting feature of the LightOpen is the housing of both a flip-out side table/outdoor worktop and a sink in a console next to the rear bench. The compact sink slides out for indoor/outdoor use and slides away when not needed, saving space. A similar console on the other side has storage space and its own side table/worktop.

In the end, SpaceCamper has taken all the standard amenities of a camper van kitchen – cooktop, counters, sink and refrigerator – and spread them around the cabin to create a freer, more functional space with seating for five people. This setup is also an advantage when it’s time to sleep because the folding mattress stretches the width of the rear cabin, creating a 5 x 6.6-ft (1.55 x 2-m) bed, versus the 4.3 x 6.6-ft (1.3 x 2-m) bed in SpaceCamper models with more traditional kitchen blocks. A pop-up roof adds a second bed, making the LightOpen a good option for families.

The LightOpen’s equipment is compact and spread out enough to make the van a practical everyday driver for five people. The rear bench and under-bench storage drawers can also be removed easily, turning it into an open cargo van.

The SpaceCamper LightOpen prices in around €69,000 (approx. US$77,250) built atop the VW T6 Transporter Caravelle Comfortline with 148-hp 2.0-liter TDI engine and including standard equipment and options with the pop-up, sleep-in roof and the layout described above.

Source: SpaceCamper

Improving fuel economy

Following on from last week’s article, this week we are talking about improving fuel economy.

Now that you know how to calculate fuel economy, let’s look at ways to improve it!

Improvements before you start the engine

  • Remove anything in the vehicle that is not required. Lighter vehicles use less fuel. Take it out!
  • Pump up the tyres to the manufacturers recommended pressure. Soft tyres create friction and use more fuel.
  • Ensure that the engine is well maintained and running well. Properly adjusted points / electronic ignition uses the fuel better and wastes less, good carb adjustment uses optimal amounts of fuel. It all adds up!
  • Similarly the drive train / brakes / hubs / wheels can create friction and drag slowing down the vehicle taking fuel to overcome it.
  • Remove the top box or roof rack if you do not need it. Aerodynamics makes a big difference even to a vehicle shaped like a loaf of bread!

Improvements once you are rolling

  • Drive safely and conservatively.
  • Stay within the speed limit.
  • Slower is better – every 10mph above 50mph will reduce your fuel economy by 10% on average. Enjoy the journey!
  • Find a route where there is constant speed – a few miles more around the outside of town with no slowing down is probably less fuel overall than going through the middle with the constant speed changes.
  • Accelerate smoothly without taking the engine to the red line.
  • Try not to accelerate up a hill if it is safe to do so.
  • Accelerate down a hill up to the speed limit if it is safe to do so. Remember being on a bicycle and how you used to get up speed downhill ahead of that big hill? That is the same principle of conserving energy!


  • Keep a diary of the fills. Monitor how things change through the seasons.
  • Observe any big changes and understand why – does one driver have a “heavier foot”? If so, is your biggest fuel saver asking them to be a passenger?!

If EVERYONE makes just a 1% change to their fuel needs, it will save 10 litres per person per year. 1% sounds like nothing but that is 3 billion litres per year in the US and 7 billion litres per year across Europe.

Helping yourself

If you are spending £1,000 per annum on fuel, a well thought out strategy and a £200 service can actually work out cheaper overall but reducing the fuel used / money spent. Drive sensibly, maintain the vehicle well. Not only are you saving fuel and helping the planet, but you are also keeping the vehicle in better shape, making it last longer and stay in better condition.

Fuel economy explained

You have a vehicle. It does not have “fuel economy”.

You have fuel. It ALSO does not have fuel economy.

Put the two together and you do have fuel economy.

Did you know that electric vehicles actually pre-date petrol / gasoline vehicles? The major downside even a century later is that electric power does not have the same energy density as a gallon of fuel. Your starter battery in your vehicle, whether it is a 2 seater light weight sports car or a large 4WD truck, will be somewhere between 20 to 50 pounds in weight / 10kg to 25kg.

Put that battery into an electric vehicle and even the most modern and lightweight electric vehicle will travel no more than about 6 miles. (Modern vehicles are approaching 150Wh per mile) and that is very optimistic. Take that same SPACE occupied by the battery and a petrol / gasoline engine will travel 40 miles / 60 kilometres conservatively. Take that same WEIGHT of the battery and you will travel far further. A starter battery of 50 pounds in weight (25kg) in a modern petrol car could travel more than 300 miles!

Due to this energy density, oil based vehicles, either petrol or diesel have dominated the market. They are however not overly efficient.

The above diagram of a passenger vehicle using the American EPA Urban cycle definitions shows that only 12% of the energy from the fuel ends up driving the wheels. A massive 62% of the energy is lost as heat.

Checking fuel economy

Fill up your tank as full as possible (initial fill). If you are using a classic vehicle, avoid supermarket fuel as some owners have found reduced fuel economy and other issues. Choose the RON fuel for your engine as applicable. Note the first odometer reading.

Drive normally and at a suitable point – ideally later in the tank not sooner to reduce the error margin, fill up again (second fill). Note the second odometer reading.

For those of you in America, you just filled up in gallons. For those in Europe, if you want to stay in litres then great. To convert to UK gallons, divide the number of litres by 4.56. So 45.6 litres is 10 UK gallons. Gallons are smaller in America!

(Second odometer reading) – (First odometer reading) is the distance travelled between fills. The fuel added in the second fill is how much fuel you needed to travel.

(Distance travelled between fills) / (Second fill) = Fuel economy.

Talking about a Volkswagen transporter, the older vehicles will be towards the 15 miles per UK gallon (12 miles per US gallon) or 1.6 miles per litre. More modern vehicles can get towards 50mpg (40mpg in the US or 11 miles per litre) and custom engines can make a big dent in this figure!

Some modern calculations are litres per 100 km / 60 miles. This is also valid but for this, the lower this number, the more efficient! MPG means a higher number is better.

Next week, we will be discussing improvements in fuel economy.

Type 2 T6 Buying Guide

Bringing us firmly up to date, the T5 finished production and the new T6 was launched in September 2015. The change in overall look is not as significant as previous model changes, which is why you will find the club rondel features 5 vehicles as from the front the T5 and T6 look incredibly similar.

Sleek, modern, powerful and with plenty of driver aides, the T6 is an incredible motorway muncher with everything from the frugal 84bhp diesel engine up to the 200bhp engines available as both petrol or diesel. Gearboxes are 5 to 7 speed as per the T5.

If this model interests you, here is a buying guide:

transporter_6__van_presales_flyer t6_passenger_carriers_presales_flyer        

smart fortwo Humiliated by VW California Camper Van and Atom 3.5R in Drag Race

op Gear is known for caravans, track footage, the British pride associated with the Atom, and making fun of slow cars. We’ve got all of those here, as a brand-new Volkswagen California camper van meets the basic smart fortwo and an Ariel Atom 3.5R on an empty piece of tarmac.

The Atom could win this race in reverse. But this isn’t the basic one; it’s the 3.5R, the most extreme thing they’ve made since the crazy V8 and a comprehensive evolution of the super-lightweight formula.

At 350 horsepower, this car has 150 less than the superbike-derived V8 model. However, it’s faster, taking 100 miles per hour in under six seconds. The 2-liter four-banger from the Civic Type R is supercharged and has been matched to a close-ratio, rally-spec Sadev six-speed sequential box, operated by wheel-mounted paddle sifters.

The smart fortwo is one of the slowest cars sold in Britain. A 1-liter naturally aspirated engine sits under the trunk floor and sends just 70 horsepower to the back wheels. Meanwhile, the VW California is like a much heavier version of the T6 van, and it uses two turbochargers to extract 180 ponies from a 2-liter diesel block.

It also weighs around 2.5 tons, so it exceeds the weight of the smart and the Atom combined. However, the TDI engine produces 4.4 times the torque of the smart, so it’s actually faster.

When you lose a drag race to a refrigerator on wheels filled with camping equipment, you know it’s time to build a better city car… smart. There’s no conceivable benefit for having such an underpowered engine in this day and age. It’s not like the fortwo is cheap either. At £11,150, it’s more expensive than a Dacia Sandero with a dCi engine. Heck, you can get a Renault Zoe EV for £13,443 and never pay taxes.

Read more:




Transporter T6 initial review

[metaslider id=2366]

Volkswagen reveals the new Volkswagen Transporter T6 in Amsterdam. UK sales start later in 2015

The new Volkswagen Transporter has made its full debut in Amsterdam ahead of arriving in the UK later this year. Shown in panel van, Caravelle MPV and Shuttle minibus guises, the T6 Transporter has arrived 65 years after the original T1 ‘Splitty’ made its debut.


Key highlights of the new Hanover-built Transporter include sharper design, a more premium interior, improved dynamics via the option of an adaptive chassis, more convenience with power seat and tailgate options, better efficiency with standard idle-stop, greater convenience via new radio-navigation systems with online services, and more safety via VW’s latest driver aids.

Sporting the latest VW design language with a full width grille and headlights that wouldn’t look out of place on a VW passenger car, the latest Transporter is said to be more car-like than ever. Higher-spec models can be specified with full LED headlamps and daytime running lights on the exterior, plus a host of safety and security features already found elsewhere in the VW range.


For example a Driver Alert System that detects if you are tired, a post-collision braking system, adaptive cruise control, and useful features like an electric tailgate and reversing camera are all on offer.

Inside, anyone familiar with Volkswagen’s latest cars will feel at home. With plush materials on higher-spec Caravelle models and infotainment systems lifted straight from the likes of the Polo, Golf and Passat, the new Transporter feels just like an overgrown VW passenger car.


Engine-wise, the familiar range of VW diesels will be available, with Caravelle, Shuttle and California models being offered with Euro 6-compliant powerplants. For now, the Transporter panel van has Euro 5-compliant units which VW refers to as “EA288 Nutz” internally. Volkswagen says that the engine was developed for long, durable service life and will be offered in EU6-emissions-standard markets.

t6 engine


On paper, the transversely-mounted 2.0-liter diesel family is anything but “nutz,” offering The engine range is extensive, from 83bhp all the way to a 201bhp unit. A 7-speed DSG gearbox can be specified on higher-output models. All the diesels are 2.0-litre TDI units and claim to be 15% more efficient than those in the current T5 Transporter. New 2-litre TDI engines offer from 84bhp to 204bhp; four-cylinder petrol variants are also 2-litres, delivering 150 or 204bhp.


All have a stop-start system fitted as standard – VW says this could reduce overall fuel consumption by 15%. saving a litre of fuel per 100km on average across the range.

A long wheelbase version will be available as will a high roof derivative. A passenger side sliding door comes as standard, with a driver’s side sliding door available as an option. In terms of carrying capacity, the panel van cargo area ranges in size from 4.3m to 5.8m3 load volumes depending on the model chosen.

The California camper van version will join the range towards the end of the 2015, shortly after the panel van arrives in the UK. Caravelle and Shuttle passenger carrying versions make their debut in the fourth quarter too.


Also unveiled at the launch of the new Transporter was a ‘Generation Six’ special edition of the new van.-  a market-launch exclusive that includes available two-tone paint job and optional 18-in retro-design “Disc” alloy wheels, plus standard LED front and rear lights, chrome package, tinted windows, and fog lights with cornering light. The interior of the Multivan Comfortline-based SIX features two-tone Alcantara seats, fabric floor mats and contrast stitching on the steering wheel and gear shift leather. The SIX also comes equipped with various drive and cabin technologies, including ParkPilot front and rear, Side Assist with electric folding mirrors, Adaptive Cruise Control, and a Composition Media infotainment system. It’s currently unconfirmed as to whether or not we’ll be seeing the special Generation Six here in the UK.


The new T6 models are powered by a new-generation TDI family that modest output levels between 83 and 201 horsepower. VW will also offer 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol options with outputs of 148 and 201 hp. With the help of a standard stop/start feature, the engine lineup could reduce fuel consumption by an estimated 15 percent.

The driver can expect some help when putting the engine to work, starting with a new adaptive chassis system that dials suspension in according to three selectable modes: comfort, normal and sport. Available driver assistance technologies include Adaptive Cruise Control, Light Assistance front controlled headlight management, and Driver Alert System. Hill Descent Assist is available on models equipped with 4MOTION four-wheel drive.

The Transporter interior also gets some interesting goodies. The available 6.3-in touchscreen infotainment system features new proximity sensors that change the screen from display to input mode as one’s hand approaches. The optional electronic voice enhancement system works like a seamlessly integrated PA system, amplifying the driver’s voice over the rear loudspeakers so that he or she can be heard while keeping both eyes on the road. A newly-available electric tailgate system pops the tailgate open or closed at the push of the key fob and driver-door button. A heated windshield is also on offer.


Immediately recognisable as a Transporter, Volkswagen says the T6 design is sharper, more precise and higher quality thanks to lines, beads and edges that run the entire length of the vehicle.

“The entire body now has the appearance of being all one piece, as if milled from a solid block,” states a VW media statement.

Once again three derivatives form the van family: the basic Transporter commercial, the flagship Multivan people-mover and, in between, the Caravelle multipurpose vehicle, which will be available for the first time in Highline spec.

It’s not clear if the 2014 Tristar concept’s powertrain – combining all-wheel drive with a 150kW/450Nm 2.0-litre diesel and seven-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission – will be available.

All 4MOTION all-wheel drive models will be available with Hill Descent Assist and of course there’s traction/stability control with trailer stabilisation.

In terms of comfort and convenience there is the option of a new adaptive chassis control system with comfort, normal and sport modes for the electrically adjustable shock absorbers, plus Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC).

There’s also an electric tailgate that in its most basic form offers power closing, but comes with a fully automated function.

New safety features include optional radar-operated ‘Front Assist’, which warns of an imminent collision. Combined with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the system can slow the vehicle to a stop, while a ‘City Emergency Braking’ feature provides collision avoidance at speeds of under 20 mph.

There’s the ‘Automatic Post-Collision Braking System’ as standard, but further options include ‘Light Assist’ automatic high-beam, ‘Driver Alert System’ drowsiness detection and electronic voice enhancement, which can amplify the driver’s voice for rear-seat occupants via the sound system.

All T6s will be fitted with a Bluetooth hands-free system and the 6.33-inch monitor employs proximity sensors that switch the system from display mode to input mode when front passengers move their hands close to the touch-screen, which offers USB and SD media storage.

In Europe, the ‘Discover Media’ and ‘Discover Media Plus’ navigation systems will be equipped with Car-Net’s Guide & Inform services.

The Transporter has been Germany’s top-selling van in Germany for decades, with the T5 finding two million customers globally since 2004 and around 12 million VW vans being sold in the past 65 years.

Models that concentrate on load carrying will again feature a barn-door-style tailgate, while passenger carrying variants are equipped with a lift-up hatch, with either electronic latching or automated operation available on higher-spec models.

All-wheel drive Transporters can be optioned up with hill descent control.


The Germans from Wolfsburg have officially presented the all-new, sixth-generation Transporter family. The presentation was organized in Amsterdam, and we got to see many possible configurations, from the premium Multivan to the basic T6 Transporter commercial van.

The design evokes that of the Passat in many ways. The VW emblem is a little bit larger as a nod to the original Bulli while horizontal lines connect to slightly narrower headlights


Prices are on a par with the previous model or slightly lower. For a few models, the prices are even considerably below those for the comparable prior versions. The price list for the Transporter in Germany, for instance, starts at €23,035 (plus value added tax for the 62-kW TDI/Euro5), while entry into the world of the Multivan begins at €29,952 for the Multivan Conceptline with 62-kW TDI (incl. value added tax, Euro6). The previous Startline entry-level model is replaced by the upgraded Trendline trim level at a price of €34,301 (gross).