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wanted old topaz rescue advice help.

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Post by Dai Jinks Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:53 pm

Hi Topaz owners,

First time round for our family to own a campervan and we have just bought a 1994 VW Autosleeper Topaz. So glad I did with the little money we have. its in a shabby way and missing a couple of things as well as needing some repairs and general love. But we really love it anyway. Im new to T4 vehicles  but Im very handy with fabricating most things but need to source parts and bits of this and that if economical.

its the 2.4 d and goes like a slug in a wind tunnel and sounds that way too internally at the moment but it goes forward and on collection, I drove it 384 miles back home at top speed 50-68 mph. its a low miler.

several things are needed for basics to be back where they should be. Heres a off the top of my head list if anyone has any, I Mean ANY tips and experience to share;

I have yet to check any electrical or gas functions issues which is a seperate chapter ( i hope not).

first we have no bolster cushions at all, i understand there are 4 in total to make up the big double bed but we only have the single seat and the lounge seat.

Where do I get these from or the pattern to cut and make them my self? could someone send the dimentions?

The sliding door to the bathroom on the left has come loose at the bottom and dose not stay in, how do i get accsess to reattach it?

One of the top opening plastic double glazed windows is full of water, (which is nice for our daughter to watch bugs growing in) it has a small crack which i can seal but its slightly warpped outward because it was closed incorrectly and over time its be under strain. the gas strut that positions it is a bit faulty and so I need a new one. Where can I get one of those and possibly a new window (if not to much money, otherwise ill keep the mobile fish tank)? 

Has anyone ever switched the passenger captain seat for a double of another later T4? as it would be nice for 3 of us to travel up front.? I also need to new seat runners for the drivers seat as the last owner was quite small and had them rewelded more forward to be able to reach the pedals.

Ive noticed both rear window black panels are loose and come away from the wondow and are slightly warpped. they are still in one shape but some screw fixings are cross threaded. Are there merely a cosmetic covering design over the van body and do not affect waterproofing internaly? 

I want to fit a bike rack to the tail gate. Which one to get for 3 bikes so I can still open the door and do I need to up grade the gas struts to take the extra weight?

The black window covering on the tail gate window is peeling away ( proberly from the effects of the de-mister in the glass. How do you deal with this and renew or just remove it so it is clean again.?

Has anyone has one of these resprayed complete with new decals etc and at what sort of cost? as this ,I guess is the reward the vehicle deserves for service to mankind. 

ok enough 
any pointers, very much appreciated.

david
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Post by Guest Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:06 pm

I've got q topaz had the same problem with the bathroom door. I've just replaced  the runners .Had to dig out the panel pins holding the surround on the kitchen side to lift out the surround to get   to the runners Got some from ebay but had to modify them a bit to fit as both sides are slightly different.
I fitted a bike carrier the struts just about cope but I slide a piece of plastic pipe over when open to stop it coming down. Need to be careful not to open too far as will hit the roof. I can send dimensions of bolsters if you need them
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Post by strawy75 Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:11 pm

As mentioned to access the door runners take off the door surround. Carefully ease the panel pins out. I bought new runners but in the end cleaned and put back the original ones on as it was an easier fix. Have a bike rack on mine with no problems. I don't use the rear door much though. Only for access to gas bottle. Peeled off the black vinyl on the window, messy job as it flakes all over but worth it in the end. Just be carefull of damaging the heated rear window element. Managed to get the dimensions of the furniture cushions had existing recovered and the missing ones made to order.
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wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Empty Hey that's great!

Post by Dai Jinks Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:59 pm

strawy75 wrote:As mentioned to access the door runners take off the door surround. Carefully ease the panel pins out. I bought new runners but in the end cleaned and put back the original ones on as it was an easier fix. Have a bike rack on mine with no problems. I don't use the rear door much though. Only for access to gas bottle. Peeled off the black vinyl on the window, messy job as it flakes all over but worth it in the end. Just be carefull of damaging the heated rear window element. Managed to get the dimensions of the furniture cushions had existing recovered and the missing ones made to order.
Yes I see now. The sliding doors must be accessible. I removed the big draw today below the offside lounge seat as one of the runners had dropped. Tricky job if you don't remove the near side seat as I couldn't workout how to release the draw from the Dutch made runners. Anyway it's doable if you unscrew the runners from the draw itself and loft out.
Loads of extra space in there for safes and hide aways.
There's a round port hole on the top that can be removed to access the seat belt bolts etc.
I know plywood etc is relatively heavy these days for fit outs but it was good to see that these vans are so well built and made without a drop of MDF anywhere and the plastics are all excellent quality. Everything build in the analogue age.
Autosleeper have also been great with enquires and have called on people who used to build these for my questions so bravo! to that wonderful company.

I'm looking to but the correct rear roof vent in the toilet but unsure where to go look as there's all sorts out there. Also some draw down blind catches etc as these are broken or tired.

This is the AAB non turbo 2.4 engine which I like for simplicity but it needs refining and tweaks. Has anyone improved the sound levels to the cab and how ? It's ok but at 40mph plus it's on with the earphones and then it only goes up to 60 on the motorway.

Anyway thanks for the replies here, good to share tasks for the great and the good outdoors to come.
David7
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wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Empty Bolster dimentions

Post by Dai Jinks Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:10 pm

Bwheath wrote:I've got q topaz had the same problem with the bathroom door. I've just replaced  the runners .Had to dig out the panel pins holding the surround on the kitchen side to lift out the surround to get   to the runners Got some from ebay but had to modify them a bit to fit as both sides are slightly different.
I fitted a bike carrier the struts just about cope but I slide a piece of plastic pipe over when open to stop it coming down. Need to be careful not to open too far as will hit the roof. I can send dimensions of bolsters if you need them
Hi Strawy

What sizes are the 4 missing bolsters? And does that include any plywood backing ( if they have a backing that is?).
On the plan view of the cushion layout from autosleeper,
We need numbers 5,6,9 and 10 ( this last one is hinged).

Thank you.
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wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Empty Layout and cushion sizes.

Post by strawy75 Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:46 pm

wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Camper10wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Camper11
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wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Empty Exterior after respray

Post by strawy75 Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:03 pm

wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Img_2012
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wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Empty Original seat re-covered.

Post by strawy75 Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:04 pm

wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Img_2014
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Post by strawy75 Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:06 pm

wanted old topaz rescue advice help.  Img_2015
The furniture may be heavier than modern equivalents, however we decided to keep it as it is really well made. Painted the units and added vinyl inserts to bring up to date. The sliding doors were sanded down and covered in vinyl as well.
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Post by strawy75 Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:12 pm

I have replaced all my blinds, what catches are you looking for as I still have the originals.
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Post by RayP Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:05 pm

When I got my trophy 2.4D it was sluggish. This was what I did.
Take it to old-fashioned diesel guru what had kit to check injection timing.  He said it was just about right and sounded OK, as were timing belts.
Next, get nice and hot and gradually run it up the rev range over several hundred miles until it will smoothly do 60mph in third gear.  Generally keep the revs up rather than down.
Add some two stroke semi synthetic oil to fuel tank, say 100mm to half a tankful, to clean and lubricate the injection pump.
That's all.
My garage now says it does go well, though you can't expect miracles.
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Post by Dai Jinks Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:20 am

thanks very much rayP. thats the kind of tricks and advice I need to try out to blow the cobwebs away for the 2.4 unit. Ill have my garage look at the basics first as the PAS is guddering a bit on the right side too. 
Starwy. You have set a benchmark there that i just know i will not be able to emulate. lovely look you got there. As ive got young kids, time is not my luxury and I really feel that most of the original build and fit out are in place my Topaz be that 27 years of graceful aging but most of it will clean up with just slightly repaires and wax over.

you said the sliding door fix needs to have the surround removed to acsess the runners. is this the whole real wood architrave all the way around the apeture or just the bottom threshold ?
i assume, like any door surround, it is assembled in three mitred pieces - left upright, top head piece and the right upright. It looks very flawless in its build and thought it was one piece.

The catches you mentioned that i need are as follows in the pictures.( i will try to upload them by im a hammer and nails man so ..... might not work for me)
Anyway, the bottom and top catches on the sliding door window blinds (the cream plastic ones. I see that the top ones should slide out if the whole unit is removed and so on. but the bottom ones looked fixed somehow. Ill see. I need one left and one right of both top and bottom. name your price...

im also after a replacement top window opening incrumental adjuster strut thing. one of mine is not performing well, the plastic couplings are bent ...

interestingly the nearside top window is nearly full of water (up to the the small round clear gromet plug as theses a slight crack outside letting water in.
it hardly comes inside and just dribbles down the inside plastic paine and back out thru the lower rubber window gasket.

Im seriously thinking of keeping it there as it acts as a superb level. Also i want to add some harmless marine life it thats of no harm to them.
or just acrylic repair the thing.

What type of wind defenders have you put on the top of your front windows ? as i have issues with annoying whistling on the near side and heard that these things combat direct motorway wind coming in the cab.   

on a nice notice, i made an upper bunk today for our daughter who can fit sideways. used her old bed base ( posh one - John Lewis) and inset it down a bit from the upper shelves. had to cut down the length of a nice spring matress too so it all goes back up and over the cab without catching on the narrowing high roof profile.
anyway as always, so glad your both there and have been thru what i am experiencing.

sorry but failed to upload pics. will have to wait to the brains comes home to help out next time.

regards

dai
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Post by RayP Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:42 am

Just to make it plain, you need the DYNAMIC timing check, which typically needs a Sealey timing light and additional diesel timing converter box TL95, which your average garage may not have, it's expensive..
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Post by Dai Jinks Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:43 pm

strawy75 wrote:I have replaced all my blinds, what catches are you looking for as I still have the originals.
Hi yes please to the catches - cash waiting. I need near side top and bottom ones for the sliding door blind. Also one or two behind the cooker. Have you ever serviced the blinds as they are a bit saggy and one of the nets has a tear.?

Thank you strawy75

Dai
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Post by Autoslow Fri Mar 05, 2021 5:41 am

Hi Dai, ref the top hung windows. These are made by Para Press and are notorious for cracking and moisture entering - not to the extent of yours though! There should be a tiny 2mm drain hole in one of the corners - perhaps this is blocked. 
To inspect the window more closely, best to remove from the van. Ours doesn't have any side stays so removal was very easy - just needed to disconnect the middle stay then the window is free to swing up high. When swung to its full extent, gently push it back towards the van and it should release from its long bar hinge. That's how I removed our 2000 Topaz windows anyway. You can then use some Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure to sort the cracks - but dry the window out first. There should be 2 plastic bungs in the window to help with this (but again maybe different with an older Topaz). Our driver side window is so cracked we've decided to replace completely. You can only buy the window (not the frame) and this is V expensive. Only EECO Ltd seem to do them and I have just been quoted £257 + VAT plus £30+VAT for them to post it back. Add another £15 for you to post it there and you've got a bill of around £360 per side. Ouch.
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Post by Dai Jinks Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:33 am

Ouch!
I like aquariums a lot more now.
Thanks for the consise report, I'll be making the repair on that one.
Talking windows, my rear shower skylight has a broken outer lid. Water does not come in but it's held down with string etc.

Im unsure which one will fit into the existing aperture. Any know what  brand and size I should buy? 
The centre one has been replace and the handles have a more multi function use such as hold-in and push mechanism for more options.
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