Originally Posted by Xtremjeepn
In the USA the T4 van was called the "Eurovan" and came here with 2 engine. I came to the US in 93 as 2.5l 5cyl. Winnebago imported the long wheel base version in 92,93,94,95,97 also with the 2.5 and made the full camper version. The Eurovan came back to the USA after the facelift as a "long nose" from 99 to 03 and came with the VR6 (99-00 with 170hp 12v and 01-03 with 201hp 24v) Winnebago also made full campers of those in a lwb. (VR6 only available as an auto in the USA and the 2.5l in auto or manual ) The 2.5l had a timing belt as you point out. Th VR6 is chains.
VW claims the chains are "lifetime" but end user experience shows that they need replaced at some point around 150k miles.
In the rest of the world the T4 van got all kinds of diesel versions 1.9, 2.4, 2.5 etc. Also came in syncro 4wd in other parts of the world.
I had a VR6 Jetta, and didn't recall such issues with a chain. Of course, that was a while ago, and that car got badly hit at 40K mi., and I sold it.
But, obviously, you picked your van up at a very good price. Did she not run because the chain tensioner was having issues? Or, was it making nasty noises that scared the previous owner into dumping it?