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  View original topic: T4 Syncros...are they 4x4s or All Wheel Drives? Goto page 1, 2  Next
Andy P Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:37 am

My family's current daily driver is a '67 Bus and it has been fitted out with child points and the like.
But we often need to do a fair bit of freeway driving and even with a Bay disc conversion, IRS conversion, single side plate Beetle box and a 1600dp with dual Kadrons, extractors, compufire ignition and an external oil cooler it isn't real happy doing continual trips back and forth.
And the tribe isn't small either.......the missus & 4 boys - the youngest being 7 weeks.
What we really need is a newer vehicle with between 90k and 130k on the clock and I'd love it to be a VW.
Problem is I also hunt and need something that will haul me along dirt roads and in some situations up some pretty nasty slopes.
I know that T3 Syncros are very capable and have seen the pics here and on Euro sites but T3 Syncros are almost 25 yrs old and most have done about 200k miles.
As a result many need extensive repairs, either engine or suspension or otherwise.
I've been looking at T4 Syncros and while they're a bit soulless I can live with that.
What I want to know is how well they go off road.
Are they more All Wheel Drive (aka 4Motion) than 4x4?
Can they cut it in nasty stuff and steep terrain?
Does the less ground clearance really make them a problem?
I'm looking for real world experience here, guys.
If the T4 Syncro can't do it then I'll probably buy a Land Rover Defender.
But please keep the info about Syncros.
I'm asking here because I know you guys are serious VW fans.
I went on another VW forum and a guy into Beetles told me he didn't like new VWs and I should buy a Toyota 4x4 instead! :evil:
So a little help? :|

D Clymer Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:05 am

We don't have them in the USA, so I can't comment about their offroad performance. However, I can describe the Syncro system to you. They use a viscous coupling system identical in principle to the T3 Syncro system. The T4 Syncro would run as primarily a front wheel drive van until wheel slip occurs and then the viscous coupling starts to distribute torque to the rear wheels. The main ingredient missing from these vans is the locking differential. It wasn't even an option. All of the offroad capable T3s have diff locks on the rear and sometimes front differentials. With the diff locks lack of wheel travel isn't a huge issue. Without locks, limited wheel travel will severely limit the rough terrain traction. I have a feeling the T4 Syncros are excellent in snow and slippery terrain that is not too rought, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do well in rugged terrain. I'd hold out for a good example of a T3 syncro.

David

kevtherev Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:10 am

Quote: I have a feeling the T4 Syncros are excellent in snow and slippery terrain that is not too rought, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't do well in rugged terrain. I'd hold out for a good example of a T3 syncro.


damn right there mate

mmmmm diff locks...
scare a landy, buy a T3 syncro.

syncrosimon Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:51 am

Some say that the T4 has a free wheeling clutch in the gearbox which effectively disengages the 4x4 most of the time. The VC is much softer than on a T3. They are definate soft roaders, with no underbody protection and no low first gear or G gear. (but the first gear is low enough to make pullling away in 2nd a better prospect)
All the UK T4's I have seen have rear difflock, and the ones with ABS have a crude form of traction control just on the front axle.

My parents have one, they love it for towing their caravan onto wet grassy campsites. The 15" wheels allow BFG muds to be fitted which is what the guy below needs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmvzp0qC-WM&feature=related

They are not my cup of tea, the team that developed the T3 syncro did so because they loved it, and wanted to play in the Sahara in it. The T4, like most modern vehicles was designed in an office mainly by people not commited to the syncro ethos (whatever that is) and it shows. It is competent and there is nothing wrong with it, and in many waays it is easier to live with than a T3, but hey, thats not what counts really.




Andy P Thu Jul 23, 2009 8:15 pm

Soft roader, eh? :-s
Nuff said.
I really would like a T3 but, as I said, getting one that hasn't done a LOT of miles is the problem.
It'll be a little while before we have all the money together anyway.
Perhaps we'll get lucky and find a minty T3 Syncro that's right for the job and the right money.

Rudeboy 69 Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:55 am

The thing I know about the Syncro is that it was originally invented by the Austrian company Puch (not pronounced as the little black object being chased during an ordinnairy hockey game).

They made old Type Two's with the system later known as Syncro to see if it could be done, making a four wheal drive system for the Transporters back in the Day.

They succeeded, obviously, and went on th modify the syncro system to the T3 Transporters too. And of course the system went on to the t4 when it came, too.

As I now own a T4 2wd, I am currently looking for a '93 Syncro to see what it is all about. Rigging it with a bullbar with proper headlights and a winch on, some proper tires and a 2" raise on the suspension. A snorkle could be nice for the really long tours around, not that i would take the car for a dive but you never know 8)

As for handling I imagine the T3 Syncro is better in terrain than the T4 untill otherwize proven. I have seen T3 Syncro's bumrush a Land Rover Defender 90 without any difficulty in terrain. The T3's had rear axle difflock, one a front axle diff lock aswell. In my imagination you need the diff lock's as they make the somewhat crude four wheal drive system from Puch a whole lot better than it is without any lock's. I am lucky enough to have shot gun in a T3 Syncro offroading now and then, so I have some ideas about what the T3 is all about.

But so far I have only seen T3's with more than rear axle diff lock, and the two "best" equipped T4 Syncro I saw in an ad, had only rear axle diff lock mounted. Here in Norway a T3/T4 Syncro is not far between but as for T4 Syncro with diff lock's, they are definiately far between.

As I have been "window shopping" a T4 Syncro with Syncro for some time, I have only seen one with a raised suspension and diff lock but that one was a 2003-model and way above my level of shopping, money wize :wink:

The day I have a T4 Syncro, wich might not be in a too distant future, I shall get parts to modify it into expedition level. When reached a proper level of mounted kit, I shall go off roading with it and get back to y'all with pic's and a short brief on how I experience the handling. Luckily I have a standing offer to test a T3 Syncro with diff lock fore and aft, and the owner shall be in the same off road track as I, so I get to compare the two.

all the best,
Yngve S
Oslo, Norway

Andy P Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:29 am

I'll be very interested in your findings, Yngve.
Steyr-Puch have a reputation of building fine offroaders.
The Haflinger is one of the best examples.

RGS Paul Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:34 am

Here's a thought. Since you are in Oz can you get a late model South African T25/T3 with the Audi engine? They are right hand drive so should be set up for you. You might be able to get one that is a lot newer then the German/Austrian vans with fewer miles. Plus there were some other nice upgrades during later production. Just a thought.

Paul

Andy P Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:26 am

I wouldn't even bother with a T25.
They've seen too many miles.
I'd be aiming for a late production T3 Syncro with a few miles as possible.
Better still would be a good T3 with a Subaru H6 conversion.
That flat 6 has tons of potential.
But that costs serious money and isn't necessarily reliable.

taigagreen Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:14 am

Andy P wrote: I wouldn't even bother with a T25.
They've seen too many miles.
I'd be aiming for a late production T3 Syncro with a few miles as possible.
Better still would be a good T3 with a Subaru H6 conversion.
That flat 6 has tons of potential.
But that costs serious money and isn't necessarily reliable.

The SA-made T3 syncros of later model years came with audi inline-5 engines. No need for a subie engine then?

T4 syncros: they basically have the same system as the T3. Difference is the T3 being rear-engined and the system primarily rear wheel drive, whereas the T4 is the opposite. It does not match the almost perfect weight distribution of the T3. But there are quite a few T4 syncros in use on bad roads and light terrain. The T4 can be made very capable, but it will cost... Nice engines though!

www.seikel.de offers upgrades for drivetrain, suspension and more.



This prime example (Seikel equipped) is from a spanish forum.






Here's a review of a Seikel-T4 (translated from german via google):
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=no&sl...38173.html

Pic from the test/review.


Andy P Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:01 am

I have seen the Seikel T5 conversions on YouTube and it's seriously impressive.
BUT there are 2 serious issues with me getting an Audi powered T3 or a Seikel T4:
a) I live in Australia and all of the Syncros here came from Germany.
b) I'd have to import a Seikel from Europe or, at a stretch, the UK and that would make it horribly expensive.
Now, the reliability issue I mention about the H6 conversions is the quality of the conversion and the condition of the components in the rest of the car.
There is a T3 Syncro on Aussie Egay at present with a '95 Audi A4 1.8l 20 valve efi 4-cylinder conversion.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160351639387&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
If you read the page it cruises at 110 but doesn't have the low down torque for long hills......talk about a dumb choice of motor!
Anyhow, my point is that while there are options in Europe and even in America there aren't here, worse luck, and none of our Syncros came from South Africa.
Otherwise I'd be on the lookout for a T3 Syncro DC.
There were 2 Syncro DCs imported here full stop and even standard T3 DCs are few and far between.
Funnily enough I know of a T4 Syncro DC right here in Town.....but it's a 5 seater!
I'll tell ya, I love Buses but a Landy is looking good. :|

yardbug Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:27 am

Considering I was a Toyota guy before I got into VW's (I'm still a toyota guy) I would get a 75 series Landcruiser.. seats a dozen people, diesel, front and rear lockers and true 4x4. world known reputation of being the toughest thing out there. Considering they never sold them in the states and you live in oz, that's why i chose that.




Andy P Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:31 am

No offence, but did you actually read my first post in this thread?

yardbug Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:10 pm

Yes, you said you would probably buy a Defender if you didn't buy a syncro. So I offered what I believe to be a better solution to the Defender.. Seems someone else suggested a toyota as well..

Andy P Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:30 pm

And then underneath I said "But please keep the info about Syncros."
So, if you have a suggestions or a yay or nay about Syncros then good.
My overriding preference is for VWs.
If that isn't an option for me then suffice to say, my choice will be from the Land Rover stable, not the Toyota one.
Toyotas are good but they're expensive to buy and regularly punished.....mostly because they are good 4x4s.
Land Rovers on the other hand are very able, cheaper because they tend to be a cult car and I'd just as happily stay out of the Toyota vs Nissan rivalry that goes on here.
Besides, I like Landys and have always had good experiences with them.
I see the constructiveness of your recommendation but if you'd had the same advice given to you, often when it was unwanted, you'd understand my reaction.
But I digress.
Let's get back to Syncros, eh?

dredward Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:53 pm

There is a T3 Syncro on Aussie Egay at present with a '95 Audi A4 1.8l 20 valve efi 4-cylinder conversion.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160351639387&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
If you read the page it cruises at 110 but doesn't have the low down torque for long hills......talk about a dumb choice of motor! :|[/quote]

Mine has plenty of low end torque to take any grades. With more then double the original hp of the wbx. The stock 2000-2003 U.S gti/gli 1.8t makes 174 ft.lb. peak torque at 1950 rpm and max 180 hp at 5500rpm.with just a chip these #'s jump to 209hp and 247ft.lb.'s of torque. Please explain why you think this is "a dumb choice of motor".
I've seen the #'s of all the swaps out there and for what available to me this is the best option out there. These motors can easily be modded to make seriouse hp(300-400hp) in a daily usable rpm range..

Andy P Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:45 am

dredward wrote: Mine has plenty of low end torque to take any grades. With more then double the original hp of the wbx. The stock 2000-2003 U.S gti/gli 1.8t makes 174 ft.lb. peak torque at 1950 rpm and max 180 hp at 5500rpm.with just a chip these #'s jump to 209hp and 247ft.lb.'s of torque. Please explain why you think this is "a dumb choice of motor".
I've seen the #'s of all the swaps out there and for what available to me this is the best option out there. These motors can easily be modded to make seriouse hp(300-400hp) in a daily usable rpm range..
Dredward, if the owner of the vehicle says it doesn't pull up hills who's word am I supposed to take?
Frankly I was surprised it didn't develop more torque as a good twin cam efi motor is very capable, even under 2.0l.
But this feller is obviously not either making the most of his motor or has it running in a less suitable set up.
Do I doubt that the Audi motor could really deliver? No.
But I can't do anything but go on his comments.
And how am I to speculate that the conversion he has done is up to scratch?
Again, if this car limited in torque at low revs, as the owner suggests, I have to judge it a poor choice of engine.
I'm also wary of serious modifications and conversions, especially when my wife has to drive them every day.
People say "It's just a simple switch" but having seen these "simple switches" it rarely is without it's pitfalls, especially if you weren't the person who owned it when it was done.
For those with conversions who have made them work I congratulate you.
I just need to have one standard family car that my wife doesn't think could break down at anytime and something with an engine conversion will only worry her.
I suppose I really should've made this clear earlier. :|

taigagreen Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:09 am

Andy P wrote: I have seen the Seikel T5 conversions on YouTube and it's seriously impressive.
BUT there are 2 serious issues with me getting an Audi powered T3 or a Seikel T4:
a) I live in Australia and all of the Syncros here came from Germany.
b) I'd have to import a Seikel from Europe or, at a stretch, the UK and that would make it horribly expensive.
Now, the reliability issue I mention about the H6 conversions is the quality of the conversion and the condition of the components in the rest of the car.
There is a T3 Syncro on Aussie Egay at present with a '95 Audi A4 1.8l 20 valve efi 4-cylinder conversion.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160351639387&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
If you read the page it cruises at 110 but doesn't have the low down torque for long hills......talk about a dumb choice of motor!
Anyhow, my point is that while there are options in Europe and even in America there aren't here, worse luck, and none of our Syncros came from South Africa.
Otherwise I'd be on the lookout for a T3 Syncro DC.
There were 2 Syncro DCs imported here full stop and even standard T3 DCs are few and far between.
Funnily enough I know of a T4 Syncro DC right here in Town.....but it's a 5 seater!
I'll tell ya, I love Buses but a Landy is looking good. :|

How expensive would it be to import directly from SA?

Andy P Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:52 am

Let's say I was amenable to a SA import.....and I'm not really sure I am based on some of the issues that you can run into when importing from anywhere.
SA imports cost around the AUD$3000 mark.
Mind you to find ads on the net is difficult.
Can you chuck me a few links?

taigagreen Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:55 am

Andy P wrote: Let's say I was amenable to a SA import.....and I'm not really sure I am based on some of the issues that you can run into when importing from anywhere.
SA imports cost around the AUD$3000 mark.
Mind you to find ads on the net is difficult.
Can you chuck me a few links?

I only know this one: http://www.syncrohospital.co.za/



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