View original topic: One-Way Flight & A New Syncro
BCgee Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:40 pm

Finally pulled the trigger and bought a Syncro! Equally awesome, a one-way flight and 1000mi+ road trip home was surprisingly uneventful.

The van: 1987 Syncro Tintop, swapped Weekender interior, rebuilt transmission, SVX heart, and a track record with lots of little maintenance and upgrade items.

The Trip: Bay Area to SW Montana: over Tahoe/Donner Pass, through the Nevada desert, and last through Yellowstone and snowy roads.

No Issues. None. Karma and the Force were with me, obviously. For those interested in tactics, I kept it KISS: speed to no more than ~65, let everything breathe and cool down daily, check fluids routinely, and listen more to the van than the stereo. Never had to open the Bentley (yes, it flew with me for the trip).

Added spice factor for the trip were broken odometers and nonfunctional gas gauge. Indeed, I carried a 5 gal Jerry can of 91 in the passenger bay.

Grateful for all the knowledge and tips gleaned here on TS; will try and document some of the future tweaks/projects and keep the sharing going. Also, FWIW a great experience buying from a Sambanista 👍

Cheers from Montana

Steve M. Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:47 pm

Congratulations...but I need snow on your roof before I believe you! :lol: :lol: :lol:

SyncroButter Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:57 pm

Congrats and welcome to the fold!

dobryan Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:59 pm

Schweeet. :D

jimf909 Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:12 pm

Neato, well-done and welcome! Enjoy.

uberaudi Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:45 pm

Congrats! Nothing like a road trip to kick off van ownership! What part of Montana? There are quite a few of us in/around the Bozeman area.

Bills85Westy Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:05 pm

Scott Shelleyís old van. Nice!

Looking forward to following your future projects.


Vnyd Dog Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:53 am

Congrats! Great looking van. Must have been a great drive home, especially in winter. How'd she do up and over Donner Pass with the conversion? I remember when we'd drive ours up to Truckee, loaded up for ski trips, on the stock motor with all 90 ponies we'd be in the slowwww lane, with semis passing us! That's no longer a problem however...

oldskewlsk8ter Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:58 am

Iím glad someone got it. Iíve been contemplating it since he put it up but wanted to wait until my truck sold so I didnít have to dip into savings! You got a helluva deal...congrats!

benandmj Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:08 am

I wanted that van! Congrats

Mathew Zelezen Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:09 am

Enjoy!.. and start saving up!
They like to lul you into a false sense of security and then WHAMO!
Hahahaha. Seriously though, congrats.
I live in Truckee and that Pass is no joke for us stock engines.. sounds like a great trip!

joetiger Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:12 am

Congratulations! I love that van. One of best Monstaliner jobs out there.

SyncroButter Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:36 am

joetiger wrote: One of best Monstaliner jobs out there.

I was just thinking this too, the monstaliner job is not usually my thing but on this vehicle (particularly that color) it really looks "right." Very nice!

BCgee Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:08 pm

Appreciate the kudos, all!

For the record an SVX is like cheating when it comes to tackling hills - seriously have to watch the lead foot tendencies given the huge smile on your face passing semis and minivans. Already looking into how to add a tranny temp gauge to protect the newly rebuilt Mr. Gas investment.

As for the Monstaliner paint job, I agree, most times it would detract, but with this Syncro it simply works! Even better, the Wife thinks itís nice and is voluntarily talking about hightops and artistic tweaks 👌


dobryan Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:38 pm

If momma is happy then everyone is happy.

redrocksteady Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:35 pm

Congrats, beautiful van!

Sodo Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:17 pm

BCgee wrote: Already looking into how to add a tranny temp gauge to protect the newly rebuilt Mr. Gas investment.

From Temperature Control (electric) - Manual Transaxle gearoil cooler

Fresh and experimental location for the temp sensor shows the temperature of hot oil coming off 4th gear so you know if 4th gear is getting hot, without having to wait for the temp 110 lbs of steel, magnesiun, and oil to average. Members 87VanWes and Jalan have done it. I will do it soon on my van. Too soon to proclaim it as "the best location" but it's our current darling.

I'd dump out that break-in oil as often as you can tolerate, & keep doing it until the magnet clears up.

BCgee Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:01 pm

Sodo wrote: I'd dump out that break-in oil as often as you can tolerate, & keep doing it until the magnet clears up.

Appreciate the tip, Sodo! My paranoia is already high and regular fluid maintenance is the cost of admission as far as Iím concerned owning an SVX Vanagon.

FWIW Mr Gas apparently threaded a new 1/8Ē sensor plug on the last build; will probably start with figuring out how to install an appropriate sending unit et al, then consider oil cooler or squirt magic. If you or others have suggestions on a good sending unit/gauge kit or particular components please do share.


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