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New Syncro Owner Intro
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d_walküre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:00 am    Post subject: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

After many months of online searching and lurking, I finally found the Vanagon I had been looking for... a high top Syncro with Subaru conversion. I lucked out and got one with the exact top I wanted from NAHT, and as a bonus the PO put in a SVX engine. I am still learning the ins and outs of the SVX and reading up on others experience with the engine from this forum. But from the first few weeks of driving, I can tell it's going to have plenty of low end torque and drives very comfortably on the highway.

Introducing "Valkyrie" at its new home on Oklahoma! I am a Wagnerian opera buff, so the name is a perfect melding of my love of music and veedubs.

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

So far I have put new tires on her: Toyo Open Country A/T II 215/70R16...

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

...and, had a local company make a set of power steering hoses. I originally ordered a set from Bus Depot, but fortunately they were out of stock until the end of this month. I brought in my old fittings into a custom hose supply shop and after them ordering the parts and putting it together... voila! I had power steering for under $50 for the two lines. I enjoy a good arm workout as much as anyone else, but it was seriously getting old.

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

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

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

The van pretty much has everything I could want, but there are a few things that I would like to change. It has the interior from an 89 Westy, with truck fridge and sink/stove deleted.

Wish/project list includes:
1) Westy sink and stove top and face plate from a grey interior camper. Basically, bring the westy kitchen back to original, except keeping the truck fridge.
2) Finish the A/C install. The PO put in a front overhead A/C unit and there is a condensor from the previous system. But, I need to find a good used compressor for an SVX and have some A/C lines either custom made or somehow adapt it to work with VW evaporator and Subaru compressor... still reading up on this at the moment, but living in OK with wife and kiddos, A/C is going to be more of a need than a want.

I'm sure there are more projects on the way. Just haven't had time to go through everything with the van. Anyways, just wanted to say "Hi!" and thank you all for contributions to this forum. I am a happy happy happy Syncro owner now. Let the endless projects begin!! {insert Ride of the Valkyries music}

JesusV
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1987 Vanagon GL Syncro SVX NAHT "Valkyrie"
1993 Eurovan Weekender "Camper van Beethoven"
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Very nice! You're a Syncro caretaker now!
Enjoy.

Be careful with that transaxle. Most were pre-abused by non-maintenance and there may not be much left of it. VW specified that the gear oil need not be changed and many owners ran that program until the trans was dead, blowing their headroom for a second life after rebuild.

Some say that a 6-cylinder can "save" a transaxle because it's smoother, but you can definitely offset that (legendary?) benefit with a heavy foot. I'd put a temperature gauge on the transaxle ASAP so you can know when you're overloading it. A long gentler uphill at 75mph, or against a headwind won't be noticeable but the 90HP would have pulled down to 55 mph.
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

You may have a "weekender" Westy interior.
Bed, table, jump seat but no stove/sink/refer unit.

Many prefer not having the full kitchen.

Post some interior photos, let's see what you have.

Dave
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Good looking rig! Time to pull a few windows for rust treatment... Rolling Eyes Wink

- Dave
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d_walküre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:36 am    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:

Be careful with that transaxle. Most were pre-abused by non-maintenance and there may not be much left of it. VW specified that the gear oil need not be changed and many owners ran that program until the trans was dead, blowing their headroom for a second life after rebuild.


Thanks for the heads up! The PO took very good care of the van and had the tranny rebuilt by Matt Steedle with better gearing for the SVX. Not sure on the year, but it's definitely not the original gear oil. Tranny temp gauge sounds like a very good idea, though. Thanks!
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1987 Vanagon GL Syncro SVX NAHT "Valkyrie"
1993 Eurovan Weekender "Camper van Beethoven"
1959 Bug
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Squidfish
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:57 am    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

I remember see this van for sale recently -- didn't it have an amazing amount of stickers on the back hatch before? We need some more pics! Congrats!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Congrats. Looks awesome.

I changed the transmission fluid 3 times on my Syncro before I was happy with how it was coming out. 1-2000 miles in between changes. Cheap insurance.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Nice new toy!

I would replace the plastic coolant pipes, the passenger side pipe looks like is showing the red line printed on it at the edge of the rubber, and I see a drip mark on the rubber hose.
The insert are prolly starting to migrate, you can prolly feel it through the rubber.
It`s wet too in the area but that doesn`t look directly related.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Aren't you required by the Opera Law of 1876 to have a horned helmut as hood ornament?

Welcome to the Invanity. It's a good looking Syncro. Summers of fun ahead of you!

Regarding what has been said about the rust stains from the windows.
This is a known problem due to water getting in at the top of the 30 yr. old window rubber and trickling down to the bottom side of the window.
If you see a few bubbles under the paint along the window rubber, then sorry to say there is probably a rust hole under the rubber.
The front windshield is definitely a problem for this at the top outer corners. Water can get in easily up there.
You need to check these rust stains to see what is underneath. Unfortunately that means removing the windows to repair them.

This is something to plan out as it is going to be more effort then you think especially if there are rust holes to repair. Rust is a can of worms.

Personally what I have done for my own Syncro was to get a plastic syringe with a fine flexible tip on the end. I fill it with "OSPHO" and at the top of the windows I emptied a full syringe of Ospho under the rubber seal so that it travel along the rubber to reach the bottom where the water has collected.
You need to be there waiting for it with a roll of paper towel to trickle out as you do not want the Ospho to run down a good paint job. Ospho is a rust convertor that does work to chemically convert the rust. At least it is a way to treat the rust hidden under the rubber seals. It will react with a nice clean painted surface so you do not want that to happen. Underneath the rubber is is not visible and does more good then harm. My opinion anyway.

After a day or two depending on the weather being hot enough to dry the Ospho then use "Fluid Film" in the same manner. (It comes in a spray can much like WD-40 with the little red tube). You get the red tube under the seal and spray it so it too will trickle down following same path the water /Ospho followed. "Fluid Film" is a mixture of Lanolin and Mineral Oil that creeps really good into places you cannot. Like the places water will get into to create rust.
It is not a fix for the rust damage, but it will slow it down until you can find time to repair it.
You can also fill the under the top corners of the window seals with sealent to prevent water from getting in. Silicone sealent is not recommend, but a good automotive window sealant is.
It is what I do. It is better then doing nothing because it is just going to keep spreading if you do not do anything.
My 2 cents on it.
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Last edited by Steve M. on Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Now you have to buy some red T-shirts to match!
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charleslabri
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Where do folks typically mount the temp gauges?

Sodo wrote:
Very nice! You're a Syncro caretaker now!
Enjoy.

Be careful with that transaxle. Most were pre-abused by non-maintenance and there may not be much left of it. VW specified that the gear oil need not be changed and many owners ran that program until the trans was dead, blowing their headroom for a second life after rebuild.

Some say that a 6-cylinder can "save" a transaxle because it's smoother, but you can definitely offset that (legendary?) benefit with a heavy foot. I'd put a temperature gauge on the transaxle ASAP so you can know when you're overloading it. A long gentler uphill at 75mph, or against a headwind won't be noticeable but the 90HP would have pulled down to 55 mph.

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d_walküre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Post some interior photos, let's see what you have.

Dave


Hi Dave! Here are some pics of the interior in all their Westy glory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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JesusV

1987 Vanagon GL Syncro SVX NAHT "Valkyrie"
1993 Eurovan Weekender "Camper van Beethoven"
1959 Bug
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Why would they pull the sink???

Contact dabaron here, he's in Philly but has an extra Sink / Stove.

Dave
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Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Congratulations! I had the honor of meeting that van at Syncro Solstice about a decade ago. It was one of the reasons I wanted one for myself. I'm glad it went to an enthusiastic new owner.

Found a pic...Seven vans back.

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


...and more:

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

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

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

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

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'86 NAHT Vanagon GL Syncro/ supercharged ABA 2.0 "Pigpen"
'19 Golf R
'02 Beetle GLS

"get metaphysical with it. if it's simply a means to get to and from places, it will let you down. if it becomes your zen, it can't fail you." -dabaron

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:59 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

As a fellow svx driver, use the power only for good, like maintaining speed on hills. Never for evil, like smoking your tires. Razz
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d_walküre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

Sodo wrote:
Very nice! You're a Syncro caretaker now!
Enjoy.

Yes! I'm a fan of old houses as well (currently taking care of a 1930 Tudor) and always saw myself as the home's caretaker, rather than "owner". I am beginning to realize that's the case with these vintage automobiles.

dhaavers wrote:
Good looking rig! Time to pull a few windows for rust treatment... Rolling Eyes Wink

- Dave

Steve M. wrote:
Aren't you required by the Opera Law of 1876 to have a horned helmut as hood ornament?

Welcome to the Invanity. It's a good looking Syncro. Summers of fun ahead of you!

Regarding what has been said about the rust stains from the windows.
This is a known problem due to water getting in at the top of the 30 yr. old window rubber and trickling down to the bottom side of the window.
If you see a few bubbles under the paint along the window rubber, then sorry to say there is probably a rust hole under the rubber.
The front windshield is definitely a problem for this at the top outer corners. Water can get in easily up there.
You need to check these rust stains to see what is underneath. Unfortunately that means removing the windows to repair them.

This is something to plan out as it is going to be more effort then you think especially if there are rust holes to repair. Rust is a can of worms.

Personally what I have done for my own Syncro was to get a plastic syringe with a fine flexible tip on the end. I fill it with "OSPHO" and at the top of the windows I emptied a full syringe of Ospho under the rubber seal so that it travel along the rubber to reach the bottom where the water has collected.
You need to be there waiting for it with a roll of paper towel to trickle out as you do not want the Ospho to run down a good paint job. Ospho is a rust convertor that does work to chemically convert the rust. At least it is a way to treat the rust hidden under the rubber seals. It will react with a nice clean painted surface so you do not want that to happen. Underneath the rubber is is not visible and does more good then harm. My opinion anyway.

After a day or two depending on the weather being hot enough to dry the Ospho then use "Fluid Film" in the same manner. (It comes in a spray can much like WD-40 with the little red tube). You get the red tube under the seal and spray it so it too will trickle down following same path the water /Ospho followed. "Fluid Film" is a mixture of Lanolin and Mineral Oil that creeps really good into places you cannot. Like the places water will get into to create rust.
It is not a fix for the rust damage, but it will slow it down until you can find time to repair it.
You can also fill the under the top corners of the window seals with sealent to prevent water from getting in. Silicone sealent is not recommend, but a good automotive window sealant is.
It is what I do. It is better then doing nothing because it is just going to keep spreading if you do not do anything.
My 2 cents on it.

I forgot to mention rust repair and a repaint are also one of the first projects to be tackled. The PO applied LineX around the bottom 3rd of the vehicle which I hadn't seen before, but is pretty robust looking. I plan to first peel off all that. Mine is coming off pretty well... i have heard horror stories about how difficult it can be to remove, but smooth sailing so far.

Plan to take that off, attend to the common rust-prone areas (windows, rear seams, etc...) and then prime paint Guard Red. Lame, I know. But really I was wanting a Vanagon/Porsche conversion. I'll have to settle for the paint, and not the performance.

Thanks for the advice, tho! I'm am going to look into the OSPHO treatment to hold me off until I can attack it properly.

ALIKA T3 wrote:
Nice new toy!

I would replace the plastic coolant pipes, the passenger side pipe looks like is showing the red line printed on it at the edge of the rubber, and I see a drip mark on the rubber hose.
The insert are prolly starting to migrate, you can prolly feel it through the rubber.
It`s wet too in the area but that doesn`t look directly related.

Indeed. One of the pipes does have little wetness to it. I wouldn't say drip... it doesn't mark it's spot. But, it is definitely a concern.

Squidfish wrote:
I remember see this van for sale recently -- didn't it have an amazing amount of stickers on the back hatch before? We need some more pics! Congrats!

There were an impressive number of stickers on the back and inside. Thought it was appropriate to do a tabula rasa since it's got a new life in the southern part of the US.
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JesusV

1987 Vanagon GL Syncro SVX NAHT "Valkyrie"
1993 Eurovan Weekender "Camper van Beethoven"
1959 Bug
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d_walküre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

joetiger wrote:
Congratulations! I had the honor of meeting that van at Syncro Solstice about a decade ago. It was one of the reasons I wanted one for myself. I'm glad it went to an enthusiastic new owner.

Those are some great pictures. Thank you! Looks like it got a new bumper since then Smile
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JesusV

1987 Vanagon GL Syncro SVX NAHT "Valkyrie"
1993 Eurovan Weekender "Camper van Beethoven"
1959 Bug
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d_walküre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

vino de vano wrote:
As a fellow svx driver, use the power only for good, like maintaining speed on hills. Never for evil, like smoking your tires. Razz

Good advice Vino! I have been temped Twisted Evil But the cost of new tires quickly quelled that urge.
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JesusV

1987 Vanagon GL Syncro SVX NAHT "Valkyrie"
1993 Eurovan Weekender "Camper van Beethoven"
1959 Bug
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Why would they pull the sink???

Contact dabaron here, he's in Philly but has an extra Sink / Stove.

Dave


Since that's obviously a transplant interior into a converted tintop, I'd guess because they didn't want to deal with the plumbing but did want to maximize storage. I get the plumbing can be as simple as two jerry cans and a foot pump. but still, it's something.

Nice looking van, have fun with it!
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d_walküre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: New Syncro Owner Intro Reply with quote

mikemtnbike wrote:
djkeev wrote:
Why would they pull the sink???

Contact dabaron here, he's in Philly but has an extra Sink / Stove.

Dave


Since that's obviously a transplant interior into a converted tintop, I'd guess because they didn't want to deal with the plumbing but did want to maximize storage.

Nice looking van, have fun with it!

One could also probably fund the Westy conversion by selling the sink/stove. They seem to go for a pretty penny.

It would be easy enough to just throw in a Coleman stove and run it off of those propane cans. But if I already spent this much on the van... might as well do it the way I want it.
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1987 Vanagon GL Syncro SVX NAHT "Valkyrie"
1993 Eurovan Weekender "Camper van Beethoven"
1959 Bug
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