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My Syncro 16 Reimo Hightop eTDI
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: My Syncro 16 Reimo Hightop eTDI Reply with quote

This will be my bringing it home and build thread for a 1991 Syncro 16 Reimo Hightop Camper.

There have been bits and pieces documented in the following threads:
- Any TDI experienced mechanics in Sacramento?
- Importing a bus from Canada (although in this case, importation is from Netherlands via Belgium, courtesy of Busman)
- Are you happy with your hightop conversion
- Post photos of the front of your van

Time to start putting more into place, because I'm off to Fremont California this Thursday to fetch the beast! First things first - name? I'm thinking either Humpy, Lumpy, Bumpy, or depending on the state of the body rust, Dumpy. My Westy is named Mossy.

Okay, now that i've offended a few folks with naming (you know who you are, 16CVs Laughing), next up will be some entries concerning the importation process, total sunk costs (complete transparency, so nobody repeats my mistakes), and of course - the ROAD TRIP HOME Dancing Of course, i've now jinxed everything with the cardinal sin of becoming excited about a one-way plane ticket combined with a new-to-me T3, we'll see how successful the trip is starting on Thursday Surprised To make things worse, my wife is accompanying me on the trip - oh boy! d'oh! Planned return trip is through Napa, Jedediah Redwoods State Park, Crater Lake, Bend, Portland, then Snoqualmie. AAA card is in-hand Pray

Some basic specs on this thingie:
- ex-military stock 16" syncro with Reimo hightop camper conversion
- eTDI conversion out of a VW Sharan, supposedly an AFN motor
- front and rear lockers into rebuilt transmission
- insulated windows
- diesel heater (?)
- 12V/220V fridge (ugh)
- 220V battery charger / shore-power (ugh)
- awning
- stock black bumpers (oooh, aaah - will swap out with RMW twin-peaks)
- fogs
- fugly hub caps Evil or Very Mad
- ISRI seats (are they any good?)
- electronic clutch action (you can see the mechanism attached to the clutch pedal)

Here are a few key pictures to make folks excited, and then i'll add more upon request and based on my own shots, including on-location throughout California, Oregon, and Washington.

Front:
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(at Busman's)
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Side Profile:
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I like a big butt:
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Interior:
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Two knobs are better than one:
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Engine bay:
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It is not perfect, there is some rust:
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I'll start providing updates on Thursday, wish us luck!
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TequilaSunSet
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the perfect name...

Beluga!

Look at that forehead and your hightop... and Blue is sort of in the pronunciation (you can thank me on Thursday) Laughing

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TequilaSunSet wrote:
I have the perfect name...

Beluga!

Look at that forehead and your hightop... and Blue is sort of in the pronunciation (you can thank me on Thursday) Laughing

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

If it was white, Beluga would work Smile The whale theme is also why i'm leaning towards Humpy. No, honest! Wink
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NoNameNeeded
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sure is a sweet tape deck! Wink
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NoNameNeeded wrote:
That sure is a sweet tape deck! Wink

According to Peter at Autotek, it is basically a space-filler. The TDI engine noise and road-noise makes the deck entirely ineffective Rolling Eyes
Another item on my list, and I somehow forgot to mention the high-end sound system in my bulleted list of highlights Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No offense, but please don't name it. That fad here is getting way out of control
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NoNameNeeded
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

luVWagn wrote:
NoNameNeeded wrote:
That sure is a sweet tape deck! Wink

According to Peter at Autotek, it is basically a space-filler. The TDI engine noise and road-noise makes the deck entirely ineffective Rolling Eyes
Another item on my list, and I somehow forgot to mention the high-end sound system in my bulleted list of highlights Laughing


One of the first things I did to my van after I got it was replace the worn out 90s stereo and speakers.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rad! I stopped by Autostadt West a couple weeks ago and was hoping to catch a peek at this but there was nobody around at the time. Looking forward to some day seeing this thing. I love the interior setup on it and that top has a great profile. Congrats on finally getting it in your hands.
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TequilaSunSet
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

luVWagn wrote:
TequilaSunSet wrote:
I have the perfect name...

Beluga!

Look at that forehead and your hightop... and Blue is sort of in the pronunciation (you can thank me on Thursday) Laughing

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

If it was white, Beluga would work Smile The whale theme is also why i'm leaning towards Humpy. No, honest! Wink



You could always call it "Wednesday" or HUMPDAY!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Don't harsh my mellow...


Last edited by TequilaSunSet on Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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BavarianWrench
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks Cool. Not having an upper bunk leaves tons of storage. It is a nice set of cabinets. Best of luck on the road! You and the wife will have a good time.
Enjoy! Looks like an awesome platform.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool!
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BavarianWrench wrote:
Looks Cool. Not having an upper bunk leaves tons of storage. It is a nice set of cabinets. Best of luck on the road! You and the wife will have a good time.
Enjoy! Looks like an awesome platform.

Thanks, I agree - we shall see on this first experience how the interior works out. I like the full standing height of my pop-top, and often just use the upper bed as a shelf once I arrive somewhere. But this does have it really beat for storage space.

One key issue may be the height of bed-deck, which is raised either because of engine-lid, or because of the z-bed platform they used. Issue will be that with the raised bed-deck, AND the upper cabinets, could be a real head-knocker. In my existing westy, i took out the upper cabinet, put in better speakers in boxes, but left an "aisle" down the middle for me to sit up and not whack my head every time Smile
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christopher Schimke wrote:
Cool!

Thanks Chris! You can see it when i'm picking up my new T3T wheel hw (gotta replace the steel rims), and the yet to be released "sweetums" product Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tjet wrote:
No offense, but please don't name it. That fad here is getting way out of control


So are the negative attitudes towards other's ideas and passions.


O.P. - Don't rule out Grumpy!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool high top syncro.
Looking forward to the build.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the pics and post

now that you mention the whale theme
Im on board with Humpy

as in Blue Humpback Whale..

clever, worthy of a custom plate Smile

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Have a fantastic adventure!

Looking forward to more pics
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moar pics!

I'd like to learn more about the electro-mechanical clutch setup.

Also looking forward to your real world assessment of the driveability of the engine with the current gearing/tire size...what gearing does it currently have installed?
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
thanks for the pics and post

now that you mention the whale theme
Im on board with Humpy

as in Blue Humpback Whale..

clever, worthy of a custom plate Smile

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Have a fantastic adventure!

Looking forward to more pics

Hey Jon, thanks! Unfortunately, up here in WA, the only whale on our license plates is an Orca. I don't think this thing quite has the Orca feel Think
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


We leave tomorrow EARLY morning, should be a good mini-adventure. I fondly remember fetching my current 87 Westy 2WD from Winterpeg ~12 years ago, and driving it back to Seattle in 2-days. This trip will be a bit more leisurely.

Will be hitting you up for various info on rims, tires, inflation, gearing, etc. after I get it back and prepare to refresh it over the next few months.

Cheers,
Brian.
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
Moar pics!

I'd like to learn more about the electro-mechanical clutch setup.

Also looking forward to your real world assessment of the driveability of the engine with the current gearing/tire size...what gearing does it currently have installed?

Electro-mechanical clutch - Yes, me too Smile

Not sure on tire-size for the 16" steelies, but current gearing is apparently as follows (following a gearbox refresh, cut/paste):
- oiling plates
- hd high ratio 3rd and 4th gears installed
- final drive ratio converted to 5.43 (0.70) to increase highway cruising speed to 100kmph, while retaining good fuel consumption.
- new drive shaft installed at same time
- all 4 axles and all 8 cv joints replaced in 2013
I have no idea what any of that means for driveability/gearing, nor in general since i'm a syncro n00b. Rolling Eyes

Mechanic has been test-driving the heck out of the thing with some good sized round-trips on a rolling permit, to ensure the vehicle is road-ready for the long 1000-mile plus journey. He mentions going faster than 70mph is too loud, but not sure if that is exhaust, engine, intake, gearbox, etc. Hey, it is a diesel. I'll be happy if i can drive ~65 everywhere safely with the hightop, but still have gearing power to make it up hills without losing lots of speed, perhaps in 3rd gear.

Go Cascadia!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:01 am    Post subject: warning, loooong post ahead Reply with quote

A quick rundown on Syncro Gearing

The "final Drive" of 5.43 is what we call the Ring and Pinion. There is one in the rear Transaxle, and one in the front Differential. Most likely those came stock on your van.

the 0.70 is a taller 4th gear. An excellent choice.

My Tdi makes too much noise above 3000rpm and I don't go above that for long.

I also have a 5.43 Ring and Pinion and a 0.70 4th. With my 245x75x16 tire, rated for 3048 pounds at 80psi. They produce [email protected] in 4th. I use 32psi front, 40psi rear.

if you give me your tire size as listed on the sidewall, I can tell you your gearing speed at 3000rpm in 4th. Please also give me your tire max load in pounds and max psi, listed on the sidewall, and I will give you a recommended inflation for front and rear.

to figure out your 3rd gear (there are two choices), determine how fast the van goes in 3rd at 3000rpm and I can tell what gear is in there.

My 1.08 3rd produces 45mph @ 3000 rpm, with my tires, and [email protected]
the alternative 1.14 3rd would give me [email protected], again with my tires.. Tires are part of the gearing calculations. Even without knowing what gears are installed, as a rule of thumb, 3000rpm is ok for cruising for hours at a time, 3500rpm only for short hill climbs. You will quickly discover that 3000rpm is pretty loud and 2500rpm is much more relaxing, but it may not produce the cruising speed you need. With my tires, 2500rpm gives 58mph in 4th.

I recommend you stop at a truck scale, and determine how much your van weighs. if possible weigh the front axle separately (by driving half way onto the scale), or by using a 2 platform scale that trucks use to separate the cab weight from their trailer weight. I used a 2 platform Truck Scale, it cost me about $12 to get an official weight printout from the scale operator. My front axle weighs 2300 pounds, rear 2700. I use 8psi more in rear than front, I recommend you do same as it improves handling in curves, and crosswinds.

65mph is a reasonable target for your gearing, depending on tire size.

I sometimes use 3rd uphill to go 53mph @ 3500 rpm, but it is not only loud, it creates more heat from the Turbo. It causes my intercooler fan to come on. More reasonable for longer climbs is 3200rpm, which is 48mph with my tire.

Definitely get me your tire max load and max psi right away so we can get a good tire pressure ballpark. I inflate to VW specs to carry the GVWR of 5512 pounds, even though my van weighs 500 pounds less. Safety margin of extra inflation. IF your van weighs more than 5512 lbs, we need more tire pressure.

With my BFG AT KO tires, my inflation puts 2 of the tire tread blocks on the ground. If you use more air than necessary, only 1 tread block will touch, and this makes for a harsh ride. If 3 full tread blocks touch the ground, I would say you are under inflated. This only applies to BFG AT Ko tires.

You will have tons of power in 3rd to go uphill, thanks to your excellent 5.43 Ring and Pinion. You just need to limit RPM to about 3000rpm and accept whatever speed that produces.

Watch your EGT closely (do you have an Exhaust Temperature Gauge, I hope so). If you are going uphill in 4th and you see any more than 1250F, you should slow down, and shift to 3rd. 1250F is my do not exceed EGT (except for very short periods of time, like 5 minutes). EGT in 3rd at 3000 rpm will be about 200F lower than in 4th

My EGT at 65mph flat highway is 1000F. You can maintain that temperature all day long.
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