INSIDER INFO: V-DUB SPEAK

How many times have you been on a forum and all the natives seem to be speaking ze lingo? Wish you knew exactly what they were getting at??? Well wonder no more, my friend, here we have a comprehensive decoder to help you chat V-Dub with the best of ‘em…

Aftermarket 

This is the part of the automobile industry concerned with the manufacture, distribution, retail, and installation of all vehicle parts, chemicals, tools, equipment and accessories for vehicles, after the sale of the vehicle by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to the consumer.

AFM 

Short for Air Flow Meter. This is the silver box next to the air cleaner box on vans with fuel injection. Its purpose is to measure the volume of air entering the intake system, allowing the computer to adjust the amount of fuel needed. 

Barndoor 

Nickname for the VW vans made prior to March 1955. The main characteristics were the oversized engine lid, that was around twice the height of a normal VW van's engine lid. There was also no rear cargo hatch and no ventilation eyebrow above the windscreen. Parts and accessories for this model are also named thus, for purposes of identification in the market place - for example "Barndoor middle seat".

Bay window 

Nickname for the VW vans with the large single-piece windscreen made from 1968 to 1979. So called for the 

Bulli or Bully 

The nickname the Germans gave to the original VW van, meaning "work horse" or beast for pulling heavy loads.

Camper 

A model of VW van which has been converted to include interior live-in features such as a bed, stove, cupboards, or refrigerator. 

Cat 

Short for Catalytic Converter. This is a section in the exhaust system which helps convert emissions into less toxic, less harmful fumes. 

Conversion

Various different internal layouts and specifications with a variety of purposes and levels of luxury were factory fitted into the basic VW van by several different independent companies, often named after their location, such as Westfalia or Wolfsburg. Van parts and accessories for specific conversion types are often named in a similar way in order to identify them. For example, a Wolfsburg middle seat has six legs, while a Hanover middle seat would have only four. 

Crew cab 

Another name for the double cab pickup truck.

CV joint 

Short for Constant Velocity Joint, a small circular device at an end of the van's axle. These allow the axle to move up and down while turning in order to drive the van, and need to be keep greased to function properly. Worn CV joints make an unnerving knocking sound.

Deluxe 

These were early passenger models of VW van and were top-of-the-line with the highest spec trim and interior features. They originally had either 13 or 15 side windows depending on the year of manufacture, and later came a Deluxe version of the microbus. They had a smarter interior, trim on the bumpers, and polished aluminum body mouldings. 

Devon 

A British maker of VW van camping conversions. 

Dormobile 

Another maker of VW van camping conversions. 

Double-cab (Doppelkabine in German)

A half ton VW pickup truck with three doors and seating for five or six. It is fundamentally the same as the single cab, bit with a single access door on the passenger side and an additional bench behind the front seat. 

Double door

Not to be confused with models having twin doors that open up on one side, this refers to a van with cargo doors on both sides of the vehicle.

ECU 

Short for Electronic Control Unit, the computer that controls the fuel injection system. 

EFI 

Short for Electronic Fuel Injection, the computerised metering and squirting of fuel which replaced the carburetor system. It was introduced into VW vans in the mid-1970's. 

Hightop 

A Transporter model with a raised roof, allowing for greater head room and space inside the van. 

IRS 

Short for Independent Rear Suspension, a type of rear suspension that allows the back wheels to move up and down independently of one another vertically in order to compensate for bumpy road surfaces. 

Kombi 

As the name suggests, the Kombi is a combination of  both passenger and commercial vehicle, where the rear seats can be easily removed to alternate between functions. A mid-range model of the VW Transporter which is neither a straightforward commercial van nor a deluxe model. It usually has seats, three windows down the sides, a rear window, and some side paneling. Kombis were often used as the basis for camper conversions.

Left hooker

A left-hand drive vehicle.

LPG 

Short for Liquified Petroleum Gas, the type of fuel used by camper stoves and refrigerators.

Microbus 

Also known as the T1 Transporter or Standard and was a typical mid-range passenger van. It had the same window configuration as the Kombi, but with a higher spec interior trim, including a headliner and full internal panels, and was available in seven, eight or nine seater versions. Microbus decribes any Transporter with a split windscreen, rounded body shape and standard two-tone paint design.

NOS 

Short for New Original Stock. This means an original unused vehicle part or accessory. In the strictest sense, it refers to parts that would have been available from the original manufacturer at the time the van was first on the market. . 

OE 

Short for Original Equipment.

OEM 

Short for Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Owl 

A nickname for the Microbus. 

Panel van

A model of van with no side windows other than those on the front doors. There was an choice between having the standard rear window or opting for a solid rear hatch. Panels were an entry-level vehicle, usually commercial. They were also used as the basis for several camper conversions.

Pickup 

This VW van model has a flat load bed and no fixed roof over the rear part of the vehicle. Canvas tents to cover the rear flat bed area were available as an optional accessory. Available as either a single or double cab.

Rat look

A vehicle that has either aged naturally or has been deliberately made over to look battered, rusted and generally worn, torn and ratty.

Rear hatch

The opening found at the back end of many VW vans.

Rock & Roll 

This is the type of bed most often found in VW campers, which also functions as a seat with a back. It  can be pulled out and rocked into a horizontal position to form a bed.

Safari windows 

A type of factory fitted or replacement windscreen for the Microbus that hinged outwards for extra ventilation. It was a most popular accessory in very hot countries.

Samba 

The Deluxe version of tbe microbus. As well as having 21 or 23 windows, this model sported a large fabric sunroof and eight skylight windows set in the roof line.

Single-cab (Pritschen-wagen in German)

The two door version of the VW pickup truck with seating for three and fold-down side gates. 

Slammed

Lowered suspension on a VW van or camper.

Splitty

The VW van made from 1949 to 1968 who's front windscreen is split into two halves. Otherwise known as a Split-Window or Split-Screen. 

Standard 

The upper mid-range model of the VW van, who's interior components were smarter than the Kombi, but not as luxurious as the Deluxe model. Standards have headliners, while Kombis and Panels do not. 

T1 

These were the first generation of Type 2 Transporters, made between1949 and 1968. 

T2 

The second generation of Type 2 Transporters, manufactured from 1968 to 1979. 

T3 or T25

The angular-bodied third generation of Transporters, made from 1980 to 1990. In The US it is known as the Vanagon, elsewhere it is called a Caravelle or simply Transporter. It is known as T25 in the UK.

T4 

The forth generation of Transporters, from 1991 to 2004.

T5

The fifth generation of Transporters, from 2004 to the present.

Transporter 

Any of the smaller VW Type 2 trucks and vans. 

TRAKKA 

An Australian manufacturer of camper conversions. 

Tranny 

A nickname of the Transporter, or American slang for 'transmission'. 

Type 2 

Any VW Transporter van. The Beetle, which was the first vehicle produced by Volkswagen was known as the Type 1. As the VW van was the second type of vehicle produced, it became known as the Type 2. 

VIN 

Short for Vehicle Identification Number, a unique number that identifies each individual vehicle. This is usually found in multiple places on the vehicle, the most common place being under the windscreen just in front of the driver and intended to be seen from outside. The VIN can also be found on the frame rail underneath the van by the front edge of the sliding door. 

Vanagon 

The American name for the T3/T25 Transporter, distinguished by its angular shaped body and large windows and windscreen. Also known as the Caravelle. 

Walk-through

Not to be confused with the Double Door model, the Walk-through van has two separated  front seats, with a gap in the middle, in order that a person in the front seat can walk through to the back of the van.

Wasserboxer 

The engine used in the water-cooled T3 from the German for 'water'. 

Wedge 

A nickname for the square bodied T3/T25 models. 

Weekender 

Originally available on the T3/T25 Transporter, this term describes interior accessories that allowed the owner to easily transport seven people during the week, yet provide sleeping space for two at the weekend. It included a rear bench that folded into a double-bed, fold-out table, and privacy curtains. This package bridged the gap between the passenger van and the fully camping-oriented Westfalia interior. 

Westfalia 

The primary independent camper conversion company used by Volkswagen. Although it was the leading conversion company, it was only one of many interior converters who transformed the basic VW Transporter into a camping vehicle. Each company had its own distinctive style of conversion.

Westy 

Nickname for VW vans which have the distinctive and well-loved camper convertion kit installed by the Westfalia company.

Wolfsburg

This model edition has a higher spec trim, and was probably intended to enhance sales late in a model's year. Trim upgrades (usually without any extra charge) can include some options such as power mirrors, power door locks, and power windows, etc.