Getting the syncro back on the road

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by fusername » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:40 pm

have a light with an advance knob? I want to sell my extra one! Also you coming out to t-fest? You know I;ll be there. Hopefully with a new roo bar on my bus, feels nakid without it.
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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:07 pm

Wow 2 and a half years since any posts to this thread, I have been driving and using the Vanagon and have done some repairs. well I guess I need to put together a good update and split it across a couple of posts.
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:32 pm

Fortunately I have mostly been enjoying my Vanagon and putting it to work while enjoying it I did get some action and fun shots

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We found a new apartment in January of 2015 that had washer and dryer hook ups but no machines so my wife and I bought a set and I was able to pick them both up and slide them right into the Vanagon picked them up in New Hampshire to avoid tax and brought them to Rhode Island.

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This is one of many instances but she is great for moving large numbers of tables for the Church as well

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My father and I found a good deal on an anvil but it had to be loaded and moved by hand weighing about 450 pounds and not wanting to lift it more than needed the low loading height of the Vanagon off we went.

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Unloading it was easier with the crane

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Last edited by ajdenette on Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:52 pm

I was a little worried about the health of the engine when moving and driving the van heard as at one point I was blowing oil all over the back of the van fortunately I found a lose dipstick and after re seating it I resolved the oil all over the hatch though the engine does consume a bit of oil it is still going strong.

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I had some prity bad vibrations with the stock drive shaft so I decided it was time to pull it and do some exploration here are some pictures of the internal bushing that is an issue with the stock drive shaft and why some will always vibrate even after replacing the u joints and re balancing it

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Here is the male end of the drive shaft you can see the pitting in the steel

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I pulled the drive shaft out in the Summer of 2014 and took the van to the white mountains hiking with a group in November, I tried driving up a snowy road to get to the trail head my first time driving in 2WD in the snow in a Vanagon with the fairly old Vanco tires well the first attempt I made it a 100 feet up and lost traction. I backed down added some more weight and tried a bit of a running start and pushed it a bit after it got fishtailing I kept tenuis control but one of the guys was a little white after I ended up sideways on the road a little in the ditch. I turned the van around and went back down the road and we used the other cars to ferry everyone to the trail head and left the Vanagon in the parking lot at the bottom. My wife bought me a driveshaft for Christmas to at least get me back to 4WD after that.
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:07 pm

I do occasionally tow the boat trailers posted earlier in the thread with the Vanagon I had picked up a nice straight trailer hitch off the van I cut the roof off of and had been using that, my grandparents are getting a bit old to lift their Kayak onto the top of their Westy and coveted my trailer hitch. There was the bent trailer hitch around that my uncle had bent so after their pestering I gave in and told my father to pull my trailer hitch and install it on their van and that encouraged me to build a new hitch. I decided to upgrade to a receiver hitch and cut up the bent trailer hitch to use the mount tabs, bought a 1.5x1.5 square tube with .25 wall (a little thicker than needed the original was thinner and this is a little thick here it is all welded up and drying with some fresh paint. The next day on the way to a show I became the emergency tow vehicle for all the beetles and dune buggies and had to install the hitch. I didn’t use it but it is now installed and ready to go.

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The reciever is not cut exactly as purchased from tractor supply and spaced off the recess in the rear valance to pull things in as tight as possible (I will need to get some pictures of it installed)
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:59 pm

Back about a year ago in the beginning of July the gas pedal came loose, this had happened before when the original rivets rotted away I had replaced them this time I fear it was a bit more severe.

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I also found the whole area of the drivers floor was pretty rotted

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After cleaning the rust up the holes are identified and I started making patches

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Welding in the patches

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Welding and grinding all done

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I painted the floor with some silver Rustolium both top and bottom, I replaced the accelerator cable at the same time and now the gas pedal is sticking a bit if I stomp it when it sticks everything is fine but it is getting a little annoying and I really need to find the source of the issue.

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I believe this is the source of the rust inside is due to the rust on the bottom of the winshild.

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I recently picked up a Vanagon nose for the sheet metal the bottom of the windshield I have started cutting it up. I also used this as a chance to practice removing sheet metal for future body work, I started by removing I will get some pictures together of my progress as I was having fun and concentrating and did not get any pictures while I was working
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:52 pm

Getting ready for state inspection they told me last time that this section of frame rail was not looking good and if it got worse they would have to fail it so I felt it prudent to repair it prior to inspection, this is what the frame rail looked like:

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This is what the frame rail looked like after I ground it down to clean metal

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This was the patch piece I thought it looked like a polar bear

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Starting to weld in the patch

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I fully welded in the polar bear out of a thick piece of metal I believe it was 8th inch thick for the inner partch

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After grinding down my welds I made a top piece and drilled a number of holes for plug welds and also welded the entire perimeter I felt it was a good structural repair.

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After this I painted it and added some undercoating to protect it and keep it looking good yet another picture I should get of the finished product.
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:13 pm

Finally time for the latest repair I have made the passenger side step was very rusty and I was yet again able to see through the body work and some heavy rust so out came the grinder and sheet metal shears and the rust was opened up

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I used my spot weld cutter that I had practiced with on the nose and cut the extra flange off of the patch panel and started working on fitting it in

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Opened up and I also discovered a hole opened up at the top rear corner of the step and in at the base of the A pillar so it was time to fix it all up everything prepped for repair

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Some welding happening

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All welded up from the top side

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I welded both top and bottom to seal everything up and give it as much strength as I could and added a coat of paint. I also welded up all of the holes for the rubber step pad and will be doing the bed liner treatment instead and plan to do the same on the driver’s side.



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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by turbobaja » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:23 pm

Awesome to see a 1 family Van still being enjoyed and kept on the road. You're earning every mile now. With the driver's floorboard rust, I wonder if it had a leaking clutch or brake master at some point in time. Seen it eat the paint off a few Vans, then the water leaks keep things wet and it doesn't take long to make swiss cheese. I wish they would have built these Vans with the brake/clutch masters and fluid res out behind a headlight or under the floor with an access panel or something. I've done a 2wd auto to syncro conversion on a couple Vans and swapping out the pedal cluster is probably my least favorite part of it...
Karl

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by fusername » Sun Jul 03, 2016 5:48 am

yeah they all rust out there, Bob used to stock those pedal rivets as a kit for customers even tho he only did mail order engines, the issue was that common.

so looks like you got all your practice in, come on up and take care of my step and batt tray willl ya!
give a man a watch and he'll allways know what time it is. give him two and he can never be sure again.

Things are rarely just crazy enough to work, but they're frequently just crazy enough to fail hilariously.

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:53 pm

A few updates to whats been going on with my Syncro, on September 10th I attended the annual Westies at Watkins Glen and watched vintage racing weekend we watched some great races and got some track time at the end of the night below is a video of out time on the track. we had 27 vw vans on the track 24 of them were campers and only 3 of us were tin tops one split (one of the tin tops) and 2 syncro's one of them was mine.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX4M9bV ... e=youtu.be[/youtube]
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:48 am

On the way out to Watkins Glen my parents headed out a day ahead in my Grandparents Westy but only made it about half way there before blowing a large cloud of coolant out the back end. turned out to be the plastic version of the head bleeder loop coolant flange had developed a fissure.

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my father tried patching it with RTV but that just blew out, I had him use the epoxy from the shefter repair kit I have yet to install to patch it better and was able to make it to a Walmart parking lot after 2 12 mile trecks to the auto parts store (fortunately he was able to score a couple of rides)

so after my friend met me at work we headed to my parent’s house where I pulled a metal flange off of a spare engine cleaned it up on the wire wheel and since there was about 4 hours of driving before we would get to my parents added a coat of paint to the clean part

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At 10:00 at nightwe met up with my parents who had spent a night in a Walmart parking lot the night before and were not interested in doing that again, we assessed the repaired part and decided not to push it to the camp ground as It was leaking some so we decided to install the steel flange and drive to Watkins glen that night and figure out camping when we got there. Turns out the check in was still open we got our tickets and settled in for the night at 2:00 AM. Racking started at 8:00 AM but track cleaning woke me up at 6:00 a bit tired we spent the day watching racing chatting with people and checking out the car show.
Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:59 am

After a long day in the sun and watching the races we finally lined up for our laps on the track at about 6:15 PM. The coordinator of the event Joel made sure we would get 3 long laps on the track not just the one lap of the short corse the group of motorcyclists was doing ahead of us. I do have some stills from out time on the track to go along with the video above. We did three laps 2 after getting out there and then a stop at the start finish line then one last lap before heading off.

27 vans lined up waiting for our turn on the track
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Me driving and concentrating
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Some pictures Joel got of us on the track, he has been doing the event so long he preferred to watch us all on the track and get some shots track side
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Pulling up to the start finish line with a huge grin on our faces (all drivers had the same huge grins)
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And some shots of the last lap where we all grouped up
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Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:10 am

So for a while now I have been hearing a strange heavy jingle on bumps from the left rear wheel I had briefly looked for its source but had not been able to locate what was so loose Finally I took a bit deeper look thinking something was wrong with the bottom of the spring and found something inside sitting on the top of the control arm in the spring:

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Turns out that the top pigtail of the spring has broken off and after looking at the other side I found the top pig tail for the passenger side still stuck up on the bump stop. After removing both loose pieces so that nothing happens to them I have found a used set of spring online and picked them up. I need to start spraying the shock bolts with penetrating oil in preparation for removal once the replacement springs arrive.

After the long drive with only 1 working front speaker and the tape kit and old head units sound quality I really wanted to upgrade the radio I had the old head unit from my Forester that I liked with IPod capabilities sitting around so in it went all I needed to do was run a switched power wire from the fuse box as the old radio didn’t have one and this one does not turn off as nicely as the old one did.

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Also my company is preparing to move to a smaller building so there is some house cleaning going on there was a compressor in the back corner of the warehouse not in use and not going to be used so I put an offer in on that and brought it home. Still need to do some wiring and plumbing but it is going to handle anything I will be doing.

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Alex

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Re: Getting the syncro back on the road

Post by ajdenette » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:40 am

So some work on the Vanagon this weekend, after the trip to Watkins Glen where my parents lost the coolant and needed to get into the engine compartment but had a bunch of gear on top and no access if it had been a fire they would not been able to get to it. My mother realized some in engine fire suppression would be some good insurance as we often have a lot of gear in the hatch over the engine in our Vanagon's so my parents ordered up 2 blaze cuts and my father got some fire extinguishers so we installed a fire extinguisher in my Vanagon this weekend and a Blaze cut in the engine compartment.

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Alex

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