On the trip through Russia I learned the limitations of Passepartout. One limitation was the Automatic gear and the other was the 2-wheel drive. How could this be solved? From a fellow Exclusive camper driver I hear of a garage in Steenwijk that has converted a T4 2×2 to a 4×4. In September 2015 I drove down there and found a large workshop full of Volkswagen spare parts. Several lift bridges with cars in various phases of reconstruction and a tall bearded car mechanic called Pieter. He specialized in everything Volkswagen. He buys damaged cars and sells them on as spare parts or refurbished vehicles. I showed him Passepartout and agreed on an all in conversion price of €4500 (including the wreck of €2300) but excluding all extra required new/replacement parts.
The start of the process was to find a suitable donor bus. This had to be a similar long wheelbase bus with a 4×4 drive system and preferably also with a differential lock. After a fruitless month of searching on the German site Mobile.de I discovered that you could also include damaged cars in the search. This dropped the price of the cars on offer. In November 2015 a bus with a broken down clutch was located in Austria just over the boarder with Germany. I borrowed a VW bus and trailer from the garage in Steenwijk and drove up and down to Austria in 28 hrs.’ together with my brother in law. Not only was the clutch of the bus broken but also the rear section of the driveshaft was removed. We found this inside the bus so assumed it was removed in order to tow the car. Later it appeared that it also was damaged since the rubber “Hardysheibe” was missing. This part and a second hand rear axel joint with ABS ring were found at a car wrecker near Schiphol.
It took Pieter some 2 weeks to make the conversion, install a tow bar and chip tune the engine. On 21 December I drove away in a 4×4 camper! It felt a lot more powerful not only due to the chip tuning but also it was no longer automatic and the particle filter was removed. Diesel consumption was therefore more or less the same as before.