1993 Volkswagen LT 4x4 - volksmogen

My 1993 Volksmogen LT 4x4 - Novemvber 2008

Quick Links to all items found on this page:

I imported my 1993 model year Volkswagen LT 45 4x4 in the late spring of 2007 when it turned 15 years old to meet Canada's import regulations.  The LT is basically the Vanagon's older big brother tipping the scales at almost 3000kg and a GVW of 4600kg.  The LT has the best features of most European 4x4s with it front and rear differential locks coupled with old fashioned North American leaf springs and high range / low range transfer case.

My reason for getting the LT was that it was bigger than the TriStar that I was driving, I could haul two quads in the rear of the truck and myself and six other people in the cab of the truck if I wanted to.  I've always been impressed with the Unimog, but the old 404 series of the Unimog was too slow, too loud and too 1950s looking for my liking.  The newer u1300 series of the Unimog was nice, but to find one that seats more than three people would cost a lot of money and the 80km/h cruising speed just didn't make sense on roads where people drive at 110km/h so for me, the LT Double Kabine (DoKa) was the obvious choice seeing how I enjoys Volkswagens so much.

The first thing that I did when I got it back to Canada was make it pass the BC out of province inspection after the injector pump promptly killed itself so it was rebuilt by NW Fuel Injection in Surrey BC.  After the truck was running for a bit, I was noticing that the 8 and 10% hills of BC made the truck run a lot slower than it did in Germany.  I turned up the boost from 0.70 bar to 1.05 bar and increased the fueling to match the 25% more power made a big difference!  With with an estimated 120hp and 175ft.lbs of torque the truck moved along pretty good!  To keep an eye on things I installed a few gauges.

After that it was time to make it ready for the back country by installing a fuel can / pannier holder and bull bar

I decided that the 235/85R16 tires had to go.  I didn't like the split rim technology and I wanted more ground clearance.  I decided on installing some 9x20" Unimog 406 rims as it was the same bolt pattern as the LT 4x4 and some BF Goodrich All-Terrains in 285/65R20 format.  My first set of Unimog wheels came from Mross Import in Langly BC, according to Hans the wheels he had were "take offs" and the set of four could be had for $500 - the rims that I got were certainly "take offs"... from a 1960 something vintage 404 that was half way in the wrecking yard as they were very bent and out of round - after lots of phone calls Hans took them back, then after about six weeks of phone calls and threatening to take him to court, he finally give me back $400... and a promise to send me the other $100... that was three months ago and not a sign of my hundred bucks.  So a word of warning - unless you don't want the possibility of after sales support, don't buy from Mross Import / Unimog Canada.  According to my tire calculator, the original 80.5cm / 31.7" tires gave me a 100km/h speed of 3540 rpm.  The new 87.6cm / 34.5" tall tires lowered that to 3240 rpm which made the interior that much quieter at highway speeds.  In order to accomplish installing the 285/65R20 tires, I installed a mild 2" suspension lift.  The 235/85R16 tires will eventually find their way to my 1986 Westfalia Syncro!

LT 4x4
My LT 4x4 after the installation of 285R60LT20 tires - Summer 2007

I had to make a trip to Alberta to pick up my 1990 Golf Country TDI which ate it's injection pump.  Although the original European trailer ball on the LT was 2", the U-haul trailer I was renting wanted that ball to be 16" off the ground and not the 24" that it currently was!  My solution was to build a new rear bumper that also incorporated a winch.  I also installed a new office chair for the trip - thank you Uncle Heiner!

At end of the fall the front end of the truck started to make some noise.  So, we though that it was the New Process 241V transfer case finally packing it in as it made a lot of noise in 4WD mode.  After a bit of research the Jeep Cherokee 242J transfer case was an almost direct fit plus it gave me a full time "open differential" 4x4 option like the Audi quattro system... cool!  Unfortunately the transfer case wasn't the source of the noise it was the front differential.

LT on Yanks Peak
My LT 4x4 on Yanks Peak, BC - Summer 2008

Just before Christmas 2007, the front differential was making a lot of noise.  After opening the front differential we noticed a lot of metal in the oil and the crown gear was very worn from the pinion that was misaligned due to a very bad pinion bearing... after discovering that the R+P was $1800 plus about that much again in bearings and labour it was time to go big or go home... so Unimog axles were the route to go seeing how I have Unimog wheels.  Seems everyone has 404 axles for sale, but for the LT they are just to narrow for these and they have crappy drum brakes - reason 729 why I don't like the 404!  The later Diesel power 406 / 416 had disc brakes {two calipers up front!!} are were slightly wider than the 404 axles.  They are 1cm narrower than the LT so close enough to a perfect fit - so I will install Unimog 406 axles on my LT 4x4. 

As of January 2009, I am still in the process of tweaking the u900 axles that I have installed - seems that the professional drive shaft builders in Prince George, Coast Power Train, don't want to stand behind their work.  So, I am building by own drive shaft using Audi 5000S and Porsche 930 components.... stay tuned!

Return to Hasenwerk