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The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN)
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:03 pm    Post subject: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

The moment after I sold my last Vanagon (an 85 Westy), I had plans to find a Syncro to start a build. The progression to the Syncro started years ago with an old bay that ran and ran and ran. Then I moved to a modern 83 aircooled Westy that I purchased site unseen, flew to Mayland from NH and drove home. After a week or two shake down my wife and I took a 3 week tour from NH to the Rockies and made it back safe a sound. During that little adventure I knew I wanted more power and the thought of a Syncro was in the back of my mind.

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Once we were back I started searching for a Westy that I could take the next few years to make it our own. I found one in New Jersey and once again purchased my southwest ticket for the drive home, and once again I made it home with no issues and the build began. We took this Westy up and down the east coast, through Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and points north and west, chased a tornado in North Carolina and lived in her for a week during torrential downpours while sightseeing in the mid Atlantic states.

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I sold her to a great couple in VT that will use the Westy as intended. As he was driving away I went inside and the search began. I knew this time the pull, curse, inner voice calling out that I wanted a Syncro was too great. I wanted one that was pretty bare bones that I could do what I want. A month later I found one in Pennsylvania, this time there was no southwest ticket, instead there was a Uhaul trailer cost to tow the rig back.

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Over the years I've learned on my own how to "fix" things mechanically, maybe not always done right but they held up. With my last Westy I used thesamba on so so so so many occasions but very rarely offer advice or input. So this build will be slow, long and drawn out but should be a freaken hoot to do with my 13 year old son. I'll try to post updates, fire truck visits and emergency room trips as much as possible.

So on to the Syncro. 87 tin top with rear locker that doesn't run. The 2.1 turns over fine but either gas, spark or the ECU is the issue. I will be doing an engine conversion (last Westy had the Subie 2.5 from Vanaru, but I'm waffling between another 2.5 or a Bostig) so I'm not going to waste time trying to get this one running, adding new parts, changing gas lines and so on. It'll soon be pulled so I can clean up the engine bay, pull the gas tank to reseal and put some new parts in. The body overall is in great condition, a few seam rust spots that haven't rotted through and one quarter sized hole in the passenger rear panel. I started pulling the windows out because of rust and again, not too bad, just a few little holes on the two rear windows, the main rear window and the windshield. I'm pulling all the window gaskets out and taking the glass out to have professionally tinted. The gaskets are pretty worn anyway.

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The interior is empty except for the two front seats and half a rear seat. The previous owner was going to do a pop top conversion and took out the headliner, panels, AC unit and so on. Most of the parts (all the AC stuff) and most panels came with the van, so a lot of the hard work was taken care of. The underneath is clean, very clean. No holes and minimal surface rust but no rot.

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The plan.. Well... No real plan, kind of take it as it comes. I'm going to start with the rust before winter hits. The Syncro will spend the next year or two (or three) on a non heated garage but at least it'll be out of the elements. I have my rust converter, my POR-15, some fiberglass, bondoglass, a grinding wheel and safety glasses, I think I'm good for a complete frame up restoration.

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After the rust has been taken care of I can take the winter to work on the interior. I want to have a Zbed, electric fridge and a little bit of storage and that's really it. I bought 100sf of FatMat so that's part of the plan as well.

Next will be the underneath. New bushings, trans shipped to AA (has a rear locker) sandblast and powercoat anything metal and while it's out POR-15 the underneath (still need to find out what else if anything i need to do). New suspension will follow as well.

OK, that's it for now. Should be an interesting journey.
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snwbrdr435
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet! Look forward to more!
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was very nice meeting and talking with you.
Great builder van, in good shape.
Enjoy Exclamation
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was great to finally meet you in person, you have a wealth of knowledge that benefits many of us here.

insyncro wrote:
It was very nice meeting and talking with you.
Great builder van, in good shape.
Enjoy Exclamation
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rust work has begun. Even though there is not much I'm doing it in stages. First stage is from the front door back from the floor to the roof, underneath will come later when the suspension is removed. I took the windows out and wire brushed some of the loose rust and used Eastwood rust converter. It turned a nice black so I guess that's the way to tell it's working. The window gaskets all had this nice black gooey tar like substance that was fun to remove, big globs in all the corners.

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Waiting for some more POR 15 to come in from Amazon as I couldn't find any locally. Once that comes in today or tomorrow I'll use that everywhere I used the rust converter.

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Next step after that is to fill the holes with a bondo / fiberglass mix.
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any tips for removing the stuff from the ceiling? I'll eventually be using FatMat and putting a new headliner and the AC back up.

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insyncro
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fiber insulation will come right off, the adhesive holding it will not.
I sand it off with 60 grit.
Where protection, eyes, face and nose...the particles are fine and mouse urine can be soaked in the insulation, seriously, nasty stuff to inhale.
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mrddoublena
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:07 pm    Post subject: replacing old insulation Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
The fiber insulation will come right off, the adhesive holding it will not.
I sand it off with 60 grit.
Where protection, eyes, face and nose...the particles are fine and mouse urine can be soaked in the insulation, seriously, nasty stuff to inhale.



- I am actually going through this same process right now in my 87 syncro and have to get rid of that junk...luckily mine is a poptop conversion and i only have to deal with the front section.

- Question to insyncro...what would you recommend replacing the old insulation with? I will most likely be doing a lizardskin application to the lower half...using your posts as my bible.
_________________
Just trying to figure out this damn machine...
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little progress has been made in between the kitchen remodel. I have the outside rust all fixed, converted, POR15'ed and primed. I also took all the windows out to fix some rust and ended up sealing 3/4's of all the window area with POR15 as well. Figured that's the area all my Vanagon's had rust in, so might as well prevent it from happening again.

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Going to be starting on the inside soon, used the same stuff on the inside rust as outside. Took all the panels off to get in the inner parts where the rust starts and under the windows as well. All cleaned up, converted, POR'ed and primed.

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I have most of the ceiling glue/cardboard/whatever mix is on there off, need to take a grinder to remove the remaining and prime and put FatMat. I ordered a new headliner, so that should be interesting to put on.

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I drove to Vermont last weekend to pick up a Westy seat/bed. I was going to get a full length Z-bed but decided I'll be building the cabinets so I'll be going all the way back but only window height. I'll be picking up some fabric at a local craft store that offers some nice options and colors (that sounds so metro)...

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It's getting there..

Enjoy!
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also put my 20% down to be part of the RG7 Bostig group. I went back and forth between another Subaru 2.5 or the Bostig. In the end the Bostig folks are close by and have heard nothing but good vibes about them. And also just wanted to try something different, so now the search for a Zetec will start soon.
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:40 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

After sanding and grinding 99% of the felt stuff off the inner roof, time to clean up and install the FatMat. I have the headline on but not trimmed out yet. Putting the AC unit back up and once that is done the headliner should be finished up.

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Hopefully deaden some of the noise up front as well. Will be pulling the dash at some point to put some material behind there as well.

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The living area should be quieter as well. Thinking of filling the panel voids with a Napa closed cell can foam. I may put saran wrap on the walls and spray the foam over those, may be easier if I ever need to remove the foam. I sprayed a hand-full of foam out and let expand and dry, once it was "cured" I put it in a bucket of water for a week to see if it would take on any water. Presto magic, no water. Cut into it and still no water.

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Once I finish up with the foam I'll be putting FatMat on the floor and start the interior build out during the colder months here in the northeast.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

Looks good.

I started a Bostig RG6 and beyond thread for future conversions.
For now it is just to show enthusiasm about going Bostig.
Mid January we expect RG6 to ship.
I will cover a build of a low mileage Zetec with some more pictures and nuggets of information that I have compiled via my Bostig experiences.
Hope to see you.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=642557
D.
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:02 am    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

Got to love the folks at Van Cafe for their artistic skills and cookies.

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All4You
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

Popcorn

Getting ideas for my 86 tin top project. Mine is also very clean - but the window rust needs to be dealt with.

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Thanks for posting!
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

A bit of progress on the interior before the really cold weather hits the northeast. I picked up a rear bench from a fellow in Vermont, the foam and cover were pretty..... crusty.

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I went to a local fabric shop that the median age of the people that worked there was close to 80, but so much knowledge. They helped my with what I needed to get and one of them used to own a Westy back in the early 80's (bought new) and traveled around the US with her late husband.

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The end result after scrubbing the frame and wood down, repainted and re-upholstered I think came out pretty damn good. So many different fabrics to choose from, I decided to go with the classic that matches the blue front seats.

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After the FatMat install, I needed carpet. A little 3M spray and in they went.

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Putting the dash back together with the carpet and floor mats really make a difference, starting to see progress.

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Next will be the cabinet build. I have a few different plans I've drawn up, but nothing solid yet. I'm not going to have a sink, maybe a stove and a spot for an electric fridge. Will also need a spot to hide the deep cell battery, separate fuse panel and power inverter.
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All4You
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

Looking good! How did the closed cell foam spray work out?

I thought about that but seemed messy. Went ahead and bought some of this:

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Seems pliable enough to squeeze in with tradeoff of being thin.

Also, did you lay insulation material over the FatMat on the floor. I'm probably going to use the stuff the came stock. Seems durable and effective.

The cushion came out really well. Keep it coming.
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All4You
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

Forgot to mention this but seeing that you like your local fabrics shop, and have some skills, you can probably make some nice custom door panels from MDF and a fabric/vinyl of your choice.
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

All4You wrote:
Looking good! How did the closed cell foam spray work out?

I thought about that but seemed messy. Went ahead and bought some of this:

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


Seems pliable enough to squeeze in with tradeoff of being thin.

Also, did you lay insulation material over the FatMat on the floor. I'm probably going to use the stuff the came stock. Seems durable and effective.

The cushion came out really well. Keep it coming.


I ended up using great stuff instead of the Napa closed cell. Both seem to have the same properties to not take on water. I also used a similar filler material as what you have pictuered. I "borrowed" some foam packing material from work that also doesn't absorb water and used the great stuff behind and on the sides, came out pretty nice but I am putting the panels over to hide the pink foam. Didn't want to see that every time I open a cabinet.

On the floor I'll be putting 7mm pergo with a rubber type backing over the FatMat.

Is your 86 gutted and you're starting from scratch as well?
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Atadloco
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:05 pm    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

All4You wrote:
Forgot to mention this but seeing that you like your local fabrics shop, and have some skills, you can probably make some nice custom door panels from MDF and a fabric/vinyl of your choice.


Good call, I was thinking of some type of different door panels. GoWesty should be having their Christmas sale soon, so I may just buy the ABS panels for the front doors.... maybe...
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: The yet to be named 87 Syncro build (or TYTBN) Reply with quote

It's been a little while since the last update, but things are moving along. Not too much done on the Syncro over the winter, but I did manage to redo my kitchen (in the house, not the Syncro).

I started framing out the cabinets, not quite sure if I will continue on with the rear cabinet and headbanger, or just look for a wrecked Westy and strip what I need. Once I complete the finish work I'll post what I've done. Mostly just for storage, if I end up getting a fridge it'll be the electric box fridge that I can place behind the passenger seat.

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Pulled the motor and trans a few weekends ago, everything on the inside looked pretty clean, and only two small metal pieces came out when I drained the trans. Will soon be shipping to Mr Gas in Colorado to rebuild. Will just be sending the transmission at this point, once it is running I'll see if the VC is working properly, if it is keep it, if not, go with a decoupler.

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The engine bay is mostly clean and rust free, will still clean it up and fix and surface rust and Por15 the entire bay and gas tank area. haven't pulled the gas tank yet.

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Going with the Bostig conversion, picked up a low mileage Zetec for cheap money but didn't have many of the parts (exhaust manifold, throttle body, injector harness). Sourcing these parts from local yards has been pretty easy. Once I have all the parts going to strip the engine down, replace any parts that look a little warn and make it look puuurrdy..

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Next up is getting the engine ready and the transmission sent out. After that the gas tank comes out and the real fun will start.
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