View original topic: Another 86 Syncro restoration Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
bluefirefly Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:11 am

Well, since it is snowing outside, this post is coming sooner.....

We did a long drive in the mountain, about 400kms (250 miles), took a lot of tools and everything in case but no problems, well almost since the van did want to start after a light wash back in the city and no water in the engine compartment, gas pump working and ignition working (I still feel pain in my elbow when I checked it...) still didn't know what happened.

So, back at the trip, little mountain roads, gravel roads and back by the highway (was kinda tired, I didn't want to make it longer), it took us 6 hours total, half on it on gravel road.

First off road for the van (other than construction site to check tires fitting) but we got stuck right away (kinda did it on purpose), 1 rear wheel was spinning, nothing from the front (I guess I need to read more about it, I thought the front wheels will pull the van with 1 rear wheel spinning, I was wrong), I engaged the rear locker, nothing.
I had to take apart the control at the dash, a hose was pinched, went well after that:

Some snow on the gravel road, all lakes, poddles on the side are frozen even with the sun, but it is windy and cold, we are 1800m elevation (over 5000 feet).

Little lunch inside the van, too windy to get out for it:

and back on the road:

and we saw another nice van, but not a VW, a Delica with a crystal lite roof, I love those:

At the end of the day, happy of our trip, hope we are going to do more.
Paint didn't like those gravel roads, I should have put my mud flaps on before....
Not sure about fuel consumption, I have a hard time to fill up the tank, I almost overfilled it but the gauge wasn't full so we put only 45 liters in it (about 12gal) so this gave me 11l/100kms (about 22mpg) with those big tires (kms are from the GPS since tires give us about 10% lower reading on the speedo), not sure if it is real since we went from 1000m to 1900m elevation (3000' to 5700'), back at 1300m and up again at 1900m, windy almost all the time and 120kms/h (75mph) on the highway.

bluefirefly Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:38 pm

Here a progress made this week, not much, it is getting cold and day are really getting shorter.
Got snow today and temperature are going to be barely above freezing temperature so I think it is going a driving weekend if we can plan something.

This is the result of last weekend gravel road trip, I should have done that before....

paint chips both side (my poor crapy paint... but there is undercoating under the paint at that place, no rust), this is the solution:

hard to see on this shot but all 4 mud flaps are in place.

I didn't put back push rod pipe protectors, one side is a little hard to because of the exhaust (and I think Tencent said it might not fit, I didn't even try anyway) but no excuse for the left side, no exhaust pipe there (of course, I had a skid plate under the motor during the gravel road trip but it is not convenient for now, still some work to do on the van, exhaust problem, trans...) so I made some, fast made but next year model will be better, weld together:

sorry, pics aren't great,I took them in the evening with flash, not good.

We got our rims and snow tires back this week, the van look more "normal" with regular size tires (215/70-16):

I am really surprised with those tires, the speedometer is almost good a low speed but right on at highway speed, I thought those tires were a little oversized but the GPS confirmed the speed, I'll be able to follow the odometer for maintenance purpose (at least during the winter).
Of course, more important, the van can go inside the garage, this is a big plus for maintenance during the winter.

I had to work on the exhaust again, another exhaust donut replaced, it seems I cannot do more than 700kms with them (at least the right side one) even less if it is highway speed driving, but I got answer by Mike from RMW and I am still waiting for his OK to post his answer.....

I got a little coolant leak and after I checked the coolant concentration (it was only good to -17C, not low enough) I decided to replace the expansion tank (had a little crack in but it wasn't leaking), problem with a broken and none working coolant level at the same time and of course added none mixed coolant inside, I'll check this weekend but I should be good now:

After that, all electrical inside is done, new oil temp and pressure gauge is plugged correctly, the GPS is plugged too under the dash so I don't need my bad lighter plug but I still have a problem with my flasher relay, making noise depending of my current draw, really bad sometimes.
I didn't find anything, I'll try to find a "old school" realy with out electronic to fix that.
Another electricla trouble with the coolant level, it is not working properly, sometime flashing all the time, sometime not but if I unplugg it, still nothing. It seems I cannot trust it, again, I'll see that later, I'll keep an eye on the water temp....

The space under the back bench is covered, aluminium again and I made a little door on the right side to store the air compressor and some tool (warning, bad pic again):

A little hard to open the door, I'll fix that again next year, during winter it is a "if I have no choice I'll fix it policy" only and the van will be for weekend purpose, not a daily driver since I have only 10kms to go to work, not enought to get full motor temperature.

I found another leak on the transmission, a weird one, oil is leaking from the ... starter :roll: !
I guess it is going to stay like that until spring.

I still need to test my front VC, I think I have a problem with it, I was thinking about our trip and the small offroad part, I shouldn't have got stuck that easy, I need to look at it, may be this weekend.

PDXWesty Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:45 pm

Replace those clips with screws. I lost a flap due to the clips failing.

bluefirefly Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:52 pm

PDXWesty wrote: Replace those clips with screws. I lost a flap due to the clips failing.

Thanks a lot.
It seems you'll have me working outside in that cold after all :lol:

I won't be too happy to lost one, but I really don't want to see a car passing me with the flap in his grill....

bluefirefly Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:38 pm

PDXWesty wrote: Replace those clips with screws. I lost a flap due to the clips failing.

Thanks for the advice, I wasn't not able to do it before today but I am not using the van too much anyway, I lost 3 out of 6 already.
I did as you said, screws are in.

bluefirefly Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:55 pm

Lot of problem this week, I wasn't sure about the front VC, got stock last time for almost nothing, I was worried about the VC being open.

So, I did the test that some adviced, rear wheels up, 2x4 in front of the front wheels and granny gear.
The motor cannot idle, it dies. I need to put some gas (may be 1200 to 1300 rpms), nice and easy and I can see both rear wheels spins and the van want to go above the 2x4 so everything seems to be good, I am happy.
I got a used VC today, should receive it next week, it will be spare.

Does anyone know if it is easy to get parts to rebuild them?

The other problem was a coolant leak, the level sensor I bought last week is leaking from the plug, nothing I can do.
So, I put back the old and cracked one with RTV for now until I get a replacement.

Van is looking better and we'll be happy to work on it tomorrow, trying to get all last things done before snow and cold get really here.
Inside led lighting, new coolant sensor and replace the exhaust donut again because we would like to go hiking in the mountain on Sunday.
After taht, some interior plastic and find some boxes to organize everything we have to keep in the van "in case"....

T3 Pilot Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:42 am

I found that the coolant level sensor is a weak link in the system. The new one that I installed leaked from the beginning so I took it out and wrapped the threads in Teflon tape. Leak stopped.

I still carry a spare.

bluefirefly Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:03 am

Syncro Pilot wrote: I found that the coolant level sensor is a weak link in the system. The new one that I installed leaked from the beginning so I took it out and wrapped the threads in Teflon tape. Leak stopped.

I still carry a spare.

You are 100% right about it.
I did same as you about the teflon tape on the old and broken one.
The new one didn't need teflon tape but started to leak at the plug after 4 days I think.
I just got another new one yesterday (and order a cheap one as a spare too), hope it is going to be fine, I start to be tired to work on the same problem 3 days a week.....
I think I'll do the same and put tape on it at the beginning, cost nothing...

Have a nice day.

bluefirefly Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:35 pm

So, as usual a 10min job ended up to be an hour.
When I tried to remove the not leaking but cracked coolant level sensor, the exterior of the body broke inside the pressure tank, I had to take it apart:

I had to cut it in place without damaging the thread on the new tank, not fun.
The new sensor went in with some teflon tape, no leak, I only hope this one is going to last.

We weren't happy with the light inside the van so I bought some leds in band:

It is a nice setup, waterproof and soft, can go anywhere and there is 3M glue at the back.
The best part is you can get the lenght you want, minimum is 5cm.
I got 50cm, checked the current, got about 230mA so about 3W from the battery.

We decide to put it on a aluminium flat since we might move it around in case it doesn't work like we want.
Of course, we'll put velcro on the flat:

Here it is inside the van, wonderfull!
There is even no needs to keep other lights on, cannot see them on or off.
I am pretty sure we'll buy more, we need light in the trunk.

That was a good day after all.
We put back some plastic pieces inside the van, more brackets for the front bumper and a big outside cleaning so we are ready for the mountain on Sunday.

ALIKA T3 Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:22 pm

Those coolant expansion tanks all crack on the same spot.

The one you bought is a Meyle brand,it's a piece of shit BTW :cry:


bluefirefly Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:02 am

ALIKA T3 wrote: Those coolant expansion tanks all crack on the same spot.

The one you bought is a Meyle brand,it's a piece of shit BTW :cry:


Morning man

Don't be sorry, usually vendors sell those for $60 and I found this one in Canada for $17, I was kinda sure it might not last 25 years like the old one....
But since I don't have leak with the old one, I might keep it and clean it in case.
I am more disappointed by the coolant level sensor for $27 that started to leak after 4 days....

I was looking at both of your threads (it is cold outside so I have more time to read...) you are doing a hell of the job.

bosruten Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:09 am

The snow touched down here yesterday! I am staring at the sheepskin seat cover you have.... :idea:. Also, a guy in Calgary sells Propex and I really want one, but Christmas is coming and it ain't just about me anymore(or so I'm being told). :cry:
Glad to read your van is running with just the little bugs to work out! I still have pictures of your van that the PO sent me...I can send them to you if you like.

jimeg Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:10 am

I enjoy reading your thread.

ALIKA T3 Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:59 am

Thank you :P

bluefirefly Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:46 am

jimeg wrote: I enjoy reading your thread.

We tried to put as much pictures as we could to help others if they want to go that route.....
This winter will be more easy, we hope we'll drive it only but I still need to have that exhaust problem figured out.

bluefirefly Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:20 pm

We received those parts yesterday (and front bearings but that will be for next year...) and that distributor is looking so nice, I am sad to put it in the van:

The neutral connector is different, but not a problem because the old one is above the coil when in place in the motor compartment so it is like new:

I didn't want to replace the connector since it is in good condition but both for the positive needed replacement:

Not sure why those plus and neutral are doubled but no time to look at the electrical drawing, I am sure there is a good reason.

During the restoration, we replaced all rubber pads on all pedals and I am not happy with the clutch, it is really slippery when wet (might be my shoes too....) so I add some "anti-slip" material on it (almost emery-cloth with tape) but pictures will be for tomorrow.

We bought a led stripe (like we add between the 2 front seat on the ceiling) to get light in the trunk but I am not sure how to plug it, the door switch at the back isn't working at all so I might go with a separate one, fortunately this weekend if the weather is still good.

For the distributor, I'll wait until I get my new timing light, should be this one:

Until then, nothing major to do on the van.

On the last fill up, average 15l/100km (about 16MPG), I am not really happy especially at 100km/h max (about 60mph) but it was mountain road, it might be why.

bluefirefly Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:54 pm

Yesterday I added some anti-slip material on the clutch pedal:

and this evening, another Led strip to get light in the trunk:

I'll redo this next time, I wasn't able to get the Velcro to glue on the strip , kinda silicone, I had to attach it with tie-rap...
But I can see now, it was the goal.

bluefirefly Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:51 pm

A little trip in Waterton last month, it was cold and that place is a ghost town during the winter.

Right above the roof in front of the van, this is USA:
Glacier National Parc, Montana:

bluefirefly Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:26 pm

I found some time today to do some testing on my current alternator since I received the new one and a DC clamp meter last week.

With everything in van turned on (fan, defrost and all lights with 100W bulbs everywhere ,even inside those auxiliary lights), at idle (1000ish rpm) the alternator gave me about 75A and 105A at higher revs. Not bad for a $80 alternator from Ebay that is suppose to be 90A, only warm after 20min....
But, when I take the voltage at the alternator, I still get 13V but my gauge is giving me less so I checked directly on both batteries, only 12V.
Not sure why since I added a 2Ga cable from the alternator to the starter and I added a 00Ga from the starter to the battery.
I need to look at it, I added 1 ground cable 0Ga on the left side of the trans too so, may be I should add another one from the frame to the motor.

So the new alternator is suppose to give me 100A at idle and 140A total.
But there is a little problem already:

Not time to look at it today, I might be able to move the pulley the other way. Otherwise, I need to take the pulley from the old alternator, it seems it is the same shaft diameter.
I would love not to have the water pump on the alternator belt (it has been an issue in the past already, alternator failing, killed the belt, small over temp, blown old coolant hose, stuck.... only 3kms from home) but I cannot adjust the water pump itself, too bad because with the pulley like that, I think I am in line with the steering pump.

More later....

ALIKA T3 Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:20 pm

yep,swap the pulleys.

I got a GL 1988 with a rebuilt alternator,the pulley was wrongly shimed :roll: ,belt was crooked :lol:

I corrected it,that's good.

Everything should be standard

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