Changing The Sliding Rail on a VW T4

 
I’ve been trying to make my VW T4 look as mean as possible by blackening everything chrome or clear. So far I’ve debadged the grill and tinted the lights and removed and painted the rear badges and as you can see it’s working, as my van looks almost as mean as a bloomin’ tank!

VW T4 Red Black Bumper
 
Since day one, the chrome sliding rail has always drawn my eye and now amongst tinted windows, black side bars and black alloys it’s been a real silvery eye-sore to me. It just had to go. So a few months ago I set about saucing an additional sliding rail from a scrappy. I managed to pick one up for a bargainous £10, I took this rail and got it powder coated in a matte black. I was advised to go down the matte route as a gloss one wouldn’t stay shiny for long. Powder coating cost £20 so this mod only cost £30 plus a little work – cheap as chips.

To remove the rail you need access to four nuts that are located on the other side of the panel. This can cause problems if your van is already insulated, lined and carpeted. As I’m redoing all the lining and carpeting in my van as well as insulating and soundproofing it. It seemed like the perfect time to make this swap. Before you go loosening any bolts though you first need to remove the door.

VW T4 Sliding Rail Removal
 
You can get the door off the van on your own, but I strongly recommend that you get a friend or two to help you manuver the door around. Transporters are precious and you don’t want any nasty scratches. I threw a blanket over the sidebar and the wheel as to ensure that they weren’t scratched by the door during removal. Here is how to get the door off:

  1. Remove the black rail cap at the back end of the rail, it is held on with one screw so is easy. (photo down below)
  2. Set somewhere up ready, where you will carefully place the door. Open the door slightly.
  3. Have a friend or two support the weight of the door. (Make sure they know what they have to do in a min.)
  4. The door is attached to the van at three points: a high groove near the roof (you see this from inside the van), a low groove near the sill (this is the part you will disconnect), the sliding rail.
  5. Unscrew the three screws that hold the lower part of the door into the groove at the bottom of the van.
  6. Once this is detached the door should drop out of the groove at the top of the van.
  7. Now you and your friends need to carefully slide the door to the back of the van.
  8. You will need to give the third slider a bit of a wiggle to get it out of the sliding rail. Pop it down.

T4 Sliding Door Removal
 
Now you can get in the van and undo those four nuts. Then all you have to do is remove a final bolt which is on the exterior of the van at the front end of the sliding rail. Once this is removed you should be able to pull the rail off the van.

T4 Sliding Rail Removal
 
With the rail off the van you can now replace with your cool new powder coated version and repeat the steps in reverse to put it all back together!

VW T4 Black Sliding Rail

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