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Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus
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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Last weekend I finally got my hands on a donor Syncro for my build I have been planning since I was thirteen years old. To make a Syncro out of my 1976 non-walkthrough bay bus. It will be know henceforth as Dugong after the relaxed marine mammal.

With that said, I pulled the donor, a heavily rusted 1986 Syncro, apart and now I am getting staged up for some real engineering.

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This is will be the build project, as you can see it has been sitting and will need help. Luckily for me, I have been collecting parts for years!

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Transaxle has severe corrosion on the case and will likely need to be replaced, currently hoping the locker is in good condition!

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Got rid of this engine immediately, was a runner but was beyond salvageable due to corrosion.

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Front crossmember and diff appear in be in much better condition that the transaxle.

Updates should be somewhat regular depending on my weekends.
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"If I wanted a restored truck the most cost effective way is to buy one already done. My truck is special to me and the journey has enriched my life. VW people understand". -Glideking

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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Had the chance last night to play around with the front beam, luckily I have a spare one laying around.

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The layout, the front beam will need the torsion tubes to be separated by a few inches rot allow enough clearance for the outer CV joints.

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Checking out various axle shafts I have hoping a combination of some will work.
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"If I wanted a restored truck the most cost effective way is to buy one already done. My truck is special to me and the journey has enriched my life. VW people understand". -Glideking

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71whitewesty
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Cool project! Have you seen the thread on here of the other synchro/bus conversion?

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=675755&highlight=syncro+bay
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Watching along with everyone else on here... Popcorn

Kris Balfe is an amazing guy, get on the phone with him after you study his thread, he did the heavy legwork just recently Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:18 am    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Seeing as I recently removed my engine with a floor jack, I'm exited to see where you go with that tractor Wink


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Spike0180
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:06 am    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Love it.

Do you have more details? Do you plan to essentially keep all of the bay metal and try to work the 4x4 system around the current infrastructure or do you plan to replace the floor/rails with the syncro? What about the radiator? What about (name whatever you have thought of I suppose)?
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tristessa
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:06 am    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

VW didn't need a radiator to do a 4x4 Bay:

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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:23 am    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Hello all,

Before we all get to excited, it will be watercooled but it certainly wont be a 2.1! I will be installing a 1.9 AHU with a mechanical pump for maximum simplicity. The riadator will most likely be mounted horizontally on the belly (protected by a skiplate/scoop I imagine).

Secondly, I will not be using the underpinnings of a Vanagon to do this conversion, I plan on modifying the front beam suspension/steering to work with the front diff. As for the rear, the torsion bars will simply be moved outboard to allow room for the nose cone of the transaxle and driveline.

Updates will come as I move along.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Are you sure its not Dewgong? Wink
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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Made some progress this weekend, pulled the Syncro out of the garage and put in the backyard for now.

I also began deconstructing the wiring harness to reuse the wiring later on, there are miles of the stuff in a Vanagon and it is all quality German!

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Pulled it out on a trailer as it no longer has front wheels.

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The tractor makes a second appearance as it picks up the Syncro!

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Removed the brake master cylinder bracket in preparation for cutting of the front beam.

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Cut the beam right down the middle of the bump stop tubes, this will facilitate spacing apart the torsion tubes to allow clearance for the front axles.

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Here we see the Syncro front CV on a factory 2WD bay bus spindle, the nuts on either end represent the ball joint positioning. My plan is to simply flip the lower ball joint upside down for more clearance, this idea will require some more thought, but it s a starting point for the 4WD steering knuckle.
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"If I wanted a restored truck the most cost effective way is to buy one already done. My truck is special to me and the journey has enriched my life. VW people understand". -Glideking

"Always remember: others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself" -Richard Nixon
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

👍🏼🛠🛠
You are going to be very happy with this in the end.
Im guessing you have seen the conversion Jorg did on his bay? I considered going this route with my split window. The Isuzu rodeo has a knuckle that may work.. I was looking at using an Audi knuckle with the bolt in bearing meshing it to the bay window. Also in my first attempt I used the front beam from a T4 which worked pretty well. In the end I decided to use the entire chassis for ease of replacement parts. Good luck on your project.


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✊🏼
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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Well Kris, you may be thinking I'm already on top of this, but truth is a happened to have a scrap Isuzu Trooper II in my backyard and when I got home I pulled the knuckle off to see if your idea would work and it actually may!

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Another quick mock up, getting some steering ideas going.

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The Isuzu Trooper knuckle I had in my back yard, maybe a winner?

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Clearance is there between the lower ball joint and the axle, but not much.
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"If I wanted a restored truck the most cost effective way is to buy one already done. My truck is special to me and the journey has enriched my life. VW people understand". -Glideking

"Always remember: others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself" -Richard Nixon
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Sweet!
Ill let you do your thing, but more than happy to share ideas and experience if youd like.
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Well this is certainly something! Excited to see how this all goes.
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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Without modification the Isuzu hub MAY BE a no-go. Measure out some dimensions, the syncro wheel bearing is 80mm diameter and 42mm deep. As seen by the photos below, this is cutting it close. Other bearings may be available, further research is needed.

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Diameter leaves very little wall thickness in the knuckle.

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Depth is way off, at barely half the correct thickness for just the bearing, not counting the seals (sealed bearings are obviously an option, but still lacking enough material).
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"If I wanted a restored truck the most cost effective way is to buy one already done. My truck is special to me and the journey has enriched my life. VW people understand". -Glideking

"Always remember: others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself" -Richard Nixon
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Dang.
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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Decided the Isuzu hub was not really in my favor, back to the original idea of making a knuckle or having one cast later on. I went ahead and pulled apart the knuckles and spindles and made a drawing.

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Only way to get anything figured out is by pulling it apart, right?

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Keep in mind this is a early design drawing, but it combines the stock bay spindle and the Syncro Knuckle into one. With this layout, the front beam torsion tubes will be spaced an additional 47mm apart and it will retain the original downward facing ball joints on both trailing arms.
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"If I wanted a restored truck the most cost effective way is to buy one already done. My truck is special to me and the journey has enriched my life. VW people understand". -Glideking

"Always remember: others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself" -Richard Nixon
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KrisBalfe
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Nice. 👍🏼
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merlinsbus
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Last weekend was busy with a camping trip, but Friday was spent emptying Dugong, it had been my storage for all the parts (I have double of nearly everything from a totaled 1974 I scrapped years back). Cargo floor has a lot of small holes, front floor panel is rotted as are both inner and outer rockers, upper sliding door track, and left battery tray. There are many other minor rust spots that will all need attention, luckily I stored this bus covered and on concrete otherwise it may have been much worse off after all these years.

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Original wiring is in near unmolested state, perfect. Not perfect, the dog legs and floor!

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As you can see, I have extra doors, infact all the doors on the 1974 were in great condition and shall be used on Dugong (too bad the date codes won't align anymore)

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As this bus was a weekender camper the floor also has some man made holes in it, a new floor may go in altogether depending on how much access I will need for the Syncro transaxle fitment.
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"Always remember: others may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them and then you destroy yourself" -Richard Nixon
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Project Dugong - Syncro Bay Bus Reply with quote

Popcorn
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