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My Syncro Project Begins
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: My Syncro Project Begins Reply with quote

Well, picked up this Syncro a while back and only recently really started making progress on it. Clean overall, rebuilt transmission, and solid base to work from.

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First order of business was to fix some problems. The left rear axle had broken three of the CV bolts to the outer hub, and the other three had backed out shortly thereafter, so we put in new axles - on both sides.

Tack welded a few broken exhaust mounts (planning an engine swap, so won't be on there forever). Obligatory oil and filter change. Obligatory new wipers. Swapped the small coolant hose from the bleeder ring to the #4 cyl (head) as it had cracked and started leaking.

Removed the non-functioning, but battery draining (after 2 days) alarm system. Removed the amp and subwoofer from under the middle bench seat (not connected correctly anyway!).

Threw a PVC pipe rear-hatch strut lock on to hold the hatch up when open.

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Removed the chrome bumpers, replaced with black ones (though I need a new left rear bumper mount, as this one is bent upwards a touch). Need to fab a rear hitch to go inside the bumper.


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Replaced the stock steering wheel with one only slightly smaller and slightly thicker grip from an early Audi 4000. Much nicer feel.

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Decided I would still like a subwoofer, but not out where it's in the way. Looking at the ones I had sitting around and the one that was under the center bench, decided to make that one fit under the rear bench/Z-bed. With a little bit of a cut off the corner of the box, it fits perfectly. Yes, I know its no longer a sealed enclosure, but it was so small, I don't think the dimensions were right for resonant frequencies anyway.

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Ordered some new tires yesterday (215/70r16 General Grabber AT-2) to go with the wheels I'm picking up tomorrow. Mercedes forged CLK wheels. Think I will powdercoat them gunmetal.


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After enlarging th ebolt holes and lug nuts from Loogy, should be rolling on those!

Next should be to replace the front heater core, valve and blower motor, rear cutting board spacer lift, and get some rubber matting to replace the carpet, and Werksberg door and interior panels!
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SyncroGhia
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a nice straight syncro.

It always amazes me how small the stock 185/14 tyres look on a syncro Laughing

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MG
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me too - except those are 197/75r14's!!!

Hope the big tires fit the front without having to lift it too much. Will likely go with the moog/S10 springs before too long anyway.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good looker.
Welcome aboard.

dylan
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buspor63
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, another Syncro refurb thread! I like to read what owners are doing to their GL's to trim them out.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a twin to mine, right down to the roof paint issue, and the snappy chrome inserts in the window trim.....

What's the story on the "black bumpers"? Did you just powdercoat stock ones, or are those actually something aftermarket?

DougM
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like mine when I first got it.
Looks like a great canvas to work with!
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I'm pretty excited and hopefully the build can come together quickly. Part of the drive to get the van was my growing family, and spending time owning a 73 Panel van. These VW Vans are super useful, but AC and real heat, and AWD is a good thing here in the mountains, esp with a newborn. Required, really.

I'll post as I go - small thanks from me for all the info and help I've gotten from the Samba community.
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, the black bumpers I picked up from Richard at www.oeveedub.com
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sanchius Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: My Syncro Project Begins Reply with quote

greggearhead wrote:


Decided I would still like a subwoofer, but not out where it's in the way. Looking at the ones I had sitting around and the one that was under the center bench, decided to make that one fit under the rear bench/Z-bed. With a little bit of a cut off the corner of the box, it fits perfectly.


Very nice, alot of sensible mods. You might want to consider moving the sub box to the other side of the vehicle. That spot, closest to the door, is the most prime underseat real estate. The downside is that this would put it right next to the ECU, which may not be happy with the vibrations. I'm thinking of mounting my sub in the rear drivers-side quarter panel.

You're in CS. Do you ever get up to the Denver north metro area? If so, I have a spare heater box that you can use as an exchange if you want to prepare your heater box beforehand (install the new core, rebuild the flap seals, possibly modify the blocking plate [link 3 below, I modded mine], possibly install a recirc function, possibly modify to allow a modern radio to fit in the dash slot), without having the syncro down for some period with the dash torn apart.

Here's my list of front heater rebuild links back from when I redid mine:
http://www.benplace.com/dash.htm
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=265457
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2...p;start=21
http://www.vanagain.com/heaterv1.htm
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/archive/index.php/o-t--t-295888--.html
http://www.vanagonauts.com/Heater-Blower-R&-R118.htm
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=294872&highlight=
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=266831&highlight=relay+vent
http://gerry.vanagon.com/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0802B&L=vanagon&P=R12529&m=320245

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=163417&postorder=des
http://www.vanagon.com/info/articles/owners-manual/vent-controls.html
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=329618&sid=973d770d0848408597b8a56faf9a6b62

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=344654&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
http://gerry.vanagon.com/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0907a&L=vanagon&D=0&P=16483
http://community-2.webtv.net/VanStuff/VanagonWestfalia/
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Thanks for the time to reply with the info and links, and for the heater box offer. I just might take you up on it.

I've been buying and selling car parts and parting out cars to pay the bills, so I do get up to Denver and surrounding area failry often.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very clean van, nice.

I put my speaker box in the same place, but I have a Propex under it. It depends on the speaker, but my sealed box is half the size of yours and still meets the volume requirements. It's so short that I cut a relief in the bottom of the box for the speaker magnet!

Another thing I have done with the hatch struts is to bend them outward slightly while the hatch is all the way up. Then the friction keeps them up just fine. Kinda ghetto but it works. Very Happy

I need new tires soon; let us know how those General ones work out.
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good ideas on the speaker. Ah, never thought of it in terms of more useable real estate. The ECU mounting plate on the other side isn't even screwed down (damned PO's) so I can probably work something out. It should fit over there just as well, and free up the space on this side for tools/spares, etc. I won't have room for a propex right now, and we have a popup camper trailer I will actually tow with the Syncro when its all 4 of us (has a furnace and a fridge and a stove, etc etc).

On a good and slightly sour note - took it out for its first real interstate travel today - did great, was only about 60 miles total. On the big hills, the lack of power (6500-7500ft altitude) does cause some slowing. Does have some Syncro droan/vibes at speed, but not bad. Might eventually have a custom driveshaft made (done that a number of times with rock-crawling Toyotas). Ran good overall, and my first refuel netted 16.3mpg - not bad because I tend to use the whole rev range to grab the torque for the next gear - lots of steep hills here in Colorado!

On the sour note, I used a couple tack welds the other day to hold the muffler in place, as one of the retention straps was missing, and the other one was loose and bolt rusted. After picking up a couple cases of Micro Brew Beer from Bristol Brewery (Dock sale - Yeah!) pulling away, there seemed to be more exhaust rattle again and a bit of that pfft-pfft exhaust leak sound. The muffler has pretty much let go from around the tubing.

I'll turn it into a positive. Being that it will take just a bit to get the Subie motor and do the swap, I will remove the cat and muffler and replace it with a free-er flowing setup in the next week. Hopefully free up a few ponies while not getting too loud, and maybe throw in some 1.25 ratio rockers to get a couple more HP to offset the increased tire size. New tires arrived today!! =)
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, more good and bad news. The name for this Syncro might become S&S or sweet and sour, as it all seems to come good and bad together.

Drove the back way to Confer, CO to pick up the wheels this AM. Out early, before the sun was up, and had some great views and gorgeous scenery. Van was doing well, minus the exhaust rattle. I checked tire pressures yesterday, before my I25 trip at speed, so wasn't too worried, but it started steering sluggish right before reaching Conifer, and after stopping, I saw the left front tire half-flat!

Well, I was in front of a King Soopers, so ran in and got a can of fix-a-flat, and a mini-compressor, as I left mine at the shop when I threw some extra tools in this morning. (The spare tire was a different brand and slightly smaller dia. so I thought this was the best choice).

As a put on my work gloves and start shacking the can, a construction truck and trailer drives by, then swings a U-turn and pulls up. Gas-powered air comressor on the trailer! Guy jumps out and says, "let me help you!" He aired me up in seconds, and pointed me to the Big-O-Tire about 1/2 mile away, who FIXED IT FOR FREE. I picked up a screw, and it was in the outer shoulder. Guy behind the counter laughed when I told him I just got new tires yesterday, and the wheels in the back of the van were for those tires! Fixed it and wouldn't accept any money.

ANYWAY - got home, wheels look great, tires look great, but I think I will pass on powdercoating them to get them on in a hurry. Might be later today if the lugnuts show up! (Thanks Loogy!)

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Also got this cutting board at Kmart. $11 - whatcha gonna do? I called a plastic fabrication and supply house 2 blocks away, and they said $36/sq ft for 1/2" so I said no. Silly.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a fun start to build!
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the benefits of living in Colorado (or anywhere you consider beautiful landscape) is that a drive can be made longer and more enjoyable, taking the long way round. Here's a few pics from my drive the other day to pick up wheels when I got my flat!

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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stock muffler inlet had completely seperated from the muffler - rotating around inside the muffler, etc. Tailpipe was about to do the same thing.

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Quickie mock up to make sure the big pieces would fit...

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Welded up:

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Hope it's not too loud!!
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, exhaust sounds good. It's a Thrush Turbo muffler (not as good as a Dynomax Super Turpbo, but better than a 100% stock muffler and only cost $27) - it definitely sounds a little throaty when you open it up, but at idle and low rpms sounds almost stock.

Now for rear 'lift' spacers and to fix one of the exhaust donuts that's rattling Brick wall
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greggearhead
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting to note - The factory steel wheels and 195/75r14 AT tires weighed 38lbs, and the 16" CLK wheels and 215/70R16 tires weighed 42lbs. 4lbs heavier, which really isn't bad at all for that large of an increase in rolling diameter. Fingers crossed the old 2.1 just hangs in there and plugs away til I find an SVX.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

greggearhead wrote:
Interesting to note - The factory steel wheels and 195/75r14 AT tires weighed 38lbs, and the 16" CLK wheels and 215/70R16 tires weighed 42lbs. 4lbs heavier, which really isn't bad at all for that large of an increase in rolling diameter. Fingers crossed the old 2.1 just hangs in there and plugs away til I find an SVX.


I really like the direction you are going.

These CLKs are my 2nd favorite rim, second to Ronal R9s.

I drive an SVX powered Syncro....its fun.

dylan
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