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My 1976 Riviera.......syncro
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:59 pm    Post subject: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

In response to another thread about how many hacks one bus can have, more than you could imagine.
I regret not starting a build thread at the time I started the build as another site made me realize so maybe if you want to see a fool meander down the rabbit hole this thread is for you.
A brief history on how this came to be...
Having driven nothing but split campers for the majority of my life I had never thought I would be driving anything but, then my son came along and something began to change. Long story somewhat short I sold off my splits and purchased a 1976 riviera from Tom Toms in Moab. Got it running and loved the way it felt, even the spirit of the bus. Old habits die hard though so I began buying bays like mad, built and drove a 77 Westy and back burn'rd the Riviera. The Westy just didn't have the feel I was lookin for and I sold it, landed in a vanagon. Loved the heat! The way it drove reminded me of the feel of a split and comfort of a bay...
Now I have always taken my buses of the beaten path and suddenly an old friend showed up in a tin top syncro. This was the beginning of the end, I needed a syncro. I also always missed that Riviera so my dumb drunk ass came up with the brilliant idea to make my riviera into a syncro.
The first attempt was using a eurovan t4 front end with a chunk of the center removed and other misc modifications involved, building a rear end out of imagination, vanagon parts and magic. I got as far as having all four wheels on the ground and driveline mocked in before the realization hit me that I abuse my buses and am not a mechanical engineer. Scrapped this idea, bought a split and drove it for a summer, then another vanagon westy to try to fill that hole. That didn't work and my Riviera just kept burning its embers in the recesses of my mind. Plan B. Bought a syncro tin top, built a new garage and began the work of cutting it down to its chassis, built a makeshift lift in my garage that could hold the bus 3.5' off the ground without touching any of the undercarriage and began removing everything I hoped I wouldn't need. I feel pretty safe in the assumption that I am at the summit of this project and about to start the downhill slope to camping and snowboarding with the family. Feel free to have a look, chastise me or whatever you like.
Thanks,
Kris.

I'll post a few pictures but if you've got time to kill...
https://www.facebook.com/kris.balfe.5/posts/1331906980157124?hc_location=ufi




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This was my first attempt

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This is where we are at now, I'll update as I go if there is interest in the project
Thanks for looking.
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KentPS Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Shocked

After reading that first post, I'm never going to complain about my Riviera.
That's quite an undertaking! Can't wait to see the progress.
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Stuartzickefoose
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:09 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Back from retirement to watch this...Wink

When it's done we shall talk again...give me a call anytime to bounce ideas around!
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notchboy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Kris,

Really? You know we are chomping at the bit here to see this beast going. Laughing
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:50 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

The current hurdle I'm facing is clutch and brake pedals and going ons.
I removed all of the undercarriage supporting all the levers and such ( plan E) and was hoping to install them in approximately the same location. I was pretty happy with the booster location and began patting my self on the back, because I'm pretty much done at this point right? Wrong.

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Once I fit the skid plate my miscalculation was obvious

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That's easy enough to fix...

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Just notch it and move the support up a bit, God I'm a badass. I'll be
Driving in no time!

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Just take this thingy and attach it to the booster, pedal to thingy and we are on our way.
What a fool I am, turns out you can't just place levers Willy nilly and expect them to do your bidding. The geometry was way off. After many attempts and different placements
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I found a system that would work....ish with gussets,angles,pivots,springs and stops abounding. Basically it would look like shit and probably function similarly.


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From the ashes...
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

notchboy wrote:
Kris,

Really? You know we are chomping at the bit here to see this beast going. Laughing


I probably should have made a thread, if for no other reason just to look back at all of my foolishness. I hope to be driving it this summer, but would be happy if it's done by fall.
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wcfvw69
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Holy crap Shocked

I'm exhausted looking at all the work. One thing for sure, when you get it all figured out and dialed in, it's going to be badass.
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Last edited by wcfvw69 on Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MorkC68
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

superb project Kris, keep the updates coming! Hope you get it running successfully Smile
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orwell84
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:23 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

This thread is a best advertisement for a Subaru swap that I have ever seen...
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

orwell84 wrote:
This thread is a best advertisement for a Subaru swap that I have ever seen...


I'd been playing with the idea of a Subaru swap, even bought a 2.2l
But decided on the 2.0 aba, just bought a Jetta with 87000 on the clock for it
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Initially I'd thrown this idea to the wayside pretty quickly even though I liked the idea of the brakes being set up the same way in my bay as they were in the syncro. It just seemed like there was an issue with space, but after my attempt at getting the booster and pedals set up more like the bay went astray I decided to create space.
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That is as ugly as it looks

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I saved a bunch of odds and ends from the syncro when I cut it up and this piece happened to be kicking around in my metal box.
The first plan was to research the likelihood of running a Jetta booster and master in the bus because the size would not have been so much of an issue. Gave up on that pretty quickly because it just didn't feel right. Considered running the vanagon booster and bus master with a remote fill mounted on the dash.
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Feeling pretty good about the fit and dash in and out about 10 times confirmed the vanagon booster and master will fit like a charm

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I will need to fit the vanagon speedo cluster though, but that was always on the table
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Hot rodders like to use a brake booster from a mustang (8")I think, it's a smaller diameter that may work underneath if you choose to go that route again.
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

TDCTDI wrote:
Hot rodders like to use a brake booster from a mustang (8")I think, it's a smaller diameter that may work underneath if you choose to go that route again.

Thanks for the heads up. I looked into those, and even the side mount under dash and remote boosters were on the list. Biggest problem was the pedal assembly. All of the bay frame is removed and the steering arm/box run right in the space where the levers would be. Everything lines perfectly this time.
Fuck yeah. Until the next problem I suppose.
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

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This is definitely a big check off of the list. Vacuum line and hard lines hooked up. Should all be finish work from here on out. Other than wiring.
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:29 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

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Fuse block location settled.

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Steering roughed in

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Pedals situated and functional
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I'm so high right now.
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

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Just a little bit of work lately.
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Spike0180
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Looking sweet man. Build Build Build.
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Globespotter
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

You realize you are [email protected]!t crazy right? Looks like fun!
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roland
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

Are you going to paint it? please dont paint it.
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: My 1976 Riviera.......syncro Reply with quote

KrisBalfe wrote:
I'm so high right now.

But we're all enjoying the trip!
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