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89 Syncro
Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 08:44 PM

Gday all,been lurking around a while,started to finally work this forum out(computer illitaerate),so I thought I would start a thread on my Bus.
It is a 89 Syncro,complianced in 90,then taken to TRAKKA,who fitted carpets and windows I think.
I bought it from a guy who had only owned it for a few months,before him,one ownner who always looked after it.
I previously had a T3 panel,but wanted a Syncro.I saw this one,and chased the owner down the street,to ask him if he wanted to sell it.
It had AC,PS,Rear diff lock,tow-bar and a roo-bar and road tyres,when I bought it.
I bought it in November and took it away on Holidays in December.
Embarased a few Hi-lux that year!

vwjon - November 14th, 2011 at 08:48 PM

exellent ride! any off road pics? always nice to see another!

Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 08:57 PM

I have owned it know about 4 years and have done alot of work to it.
The first thing I did was replaced all four shocks with ARB,old man emus.
It had 16x7 Audi rims and road tyres on it when I bought it.I searched hard to find a tyre that wasnt going to scrub,and wouldnt muck the gearing up too much.
BFG All terrian was the norm.I thought they are too noisey.
I went with Yokahama Geolander AT 215/65/16.I have had them about three years now.Minimal wear,great on road,never been stuck off-road.
I used to pull the driveshaft out,and drive around in 2WD,get to my Holiday destination,then put the shaft in,and then go 4WDing.
I did this to save wear and tear on the VC.:crazy:
Then I fitted a German design decoupler,I now can switch between 2WD and 4WD on the fly.Brilliant!:lol:

Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 09:32 PM

Last year I installed an EJ25 from a 1999 Outback.
It is a bellhousing conversion that uses a combination of RJES and Small car bits
It took me 10 days straight,and I love it

Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 09:53 PM

No more WBX.
In and tidied up

Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 10:11 PM

I have now done about 20000k with the new motor,all good.Big improvement in performance and drivaibility.
Still will find me laughing my head off,over-taking other cars,in top gear,up-hill.:lol::lol::lol:
In my quest for better brakes,I fitted a bigger brake booster from an e30 series BMW.
It is the largest(10 inch)that you will find,that will go up under there.
Also fitted Passat 11inch ventilated rotors,with Audi twin-spot callipers to the front.Fluid pumps through stainless lines.
Old brakes.
New Brakes
Big difference
Stainless lines
This brake package is much improved from standard.

Andy - November 14th, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Hi Ben,
Great looking Syncro, looks like a lot of work there!! Did you do an exchange on the decoupler?
What's the colur on the bus? I'd also love to see what the inside/conversion looks like!

Surprised to hear what you thought on the Geolanders, I have a set of 215/75/15's for my T2, can't say I liked them. They have done ~35k km and 1/2 way worn. Also had a few flats with them and not impressed with the feel on the road. Curious why you went for 16" over 15" rims?

Love the old falcon too! :cool:

Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 10:29 PM

I have replaced all wheel bearings,front CVs and put in poly-urathane,one-piece, front lower control arm bushes.

I had been chasing a vibration at a certain speed,before and after the engine conversion.They were only there whilst the driveshaft was in place.I took the shaft to be balanced at Hardy Spicer,and they convinced me to build another one.
A shaft with a slip-yoke and bigger(more availible and cheaper) unis.
Top shaft,standard,small unis,rubber doughnut.
Bottom shaft,Hardy Spicer,slip yoke,bigger unis
This new shaft cured the vibration I had been chasing,but I now had one right on 100 kays.
I found out that the Subaru engine sat about 10mm higher than the WBX.I built a laser alligning tool,and lowered and spaced the rear of the engine.I replaced all transaxle and front diff mounts.Got the shaft re-ballanced and all vibrations stopped.Great!

Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Originally posted by Andy
Hi Ben,
Great looking Syncro, looks like a lot of work there!! Did you do an exchange on the decoupler?
What's the colur on the bus? I'd also love to see what the inside/conversion looks like!

Surprised to hear what you thought on the Geolanders, I have a set of 215/75/15's for my T2, can't say I liked them. They have done ~35k km and 1/2 way worn. Also had a few flats with them and not impressed with the feel on the road. Curious why you went for 16" over 15" rims?

Love the old falcon too! :cool:

Thanks Andy.
Yes,exchange decoupler from Florian Spier in the states.
I dont think I have any photos of the inside.It is pretty tidy.I always have seat covers on the front and the rocknroll bed.
Funny how I like Geos and you dont.I rekon there good.
I built the XC in 2000,its a great car,was my grandfathers,looks good runs 13.9s,not bad for a big old car.Ground -up resto,took two years.Spent heaps.
For Sale now,didnt think I would ever sell it.Need the room for another VW.Not the most flatering photo of it.

Andy - November 14th, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Great looking ride. Will be hard to part with. At least it's making room for a VW ;)

Thanks for the pics and info, good to see the work getting done. At least it seems like parts are available which is encouraging.
The T2 is a very different beast, so could just be the different ride. I had Hankook's on prior to the Geolanders, quieter, better life. I did a lot of dirt roads, but not a lot of serious stuff, so never had issues on grip (generally got stuck due to limited wheel travel). Have stock wheels with Michelin Agilis on currently, they are a wonderful tyre.

On the interior, just curious to compare. I'm a T3 novice, but surprised at the differences internally, like spec level, type of AC etc. The body of yours looks like a factory windowed van, not a coverted panel van though.

Ben386 - November 14th, 2011 at 11:26 PM
New Years day last year

I always liked this South African grille,replaced headlights and grille today.Took for a run tonight,much improved lights.

Andy - November 16th, 2011 at 03:09 AM

Hi Ben,
It does look really great!! Good info on the tail shaft.
So the lights make a big difference? What bulbs are in them? I was wondering if fitting new high out put halogen bulbs in the original lights would be enough.
If your happy to post, what did you pay for the lights/grill and tail shaft?

Ben386 - November 16th, 2011 at 09:01 PM

Andy,the bulbs I am using are Narva plus 100,supposed to give 100% more light,no increase in heat or power consuption.Will put some relays on the lights before I go away.
The tailshaft was a little dearer than two new standard replacement unis(there is two listed,be careful,not the cheap ones,max 1500rpm)and a balance.

Andy - November 17th, 2011 at 12:26 AM

I will get some of those bulbs and see what they're like. Would be nice to not need spotties.
My tail shaft looks fine, but as it's original it's only a matter of time! Another good reason to look into a decoupler like you have.

What off set are your rims?

frog - November 17th, 2011 at 07:03 PM

I've got an 87 1.6td F+R diff lock Autohomes camper.
I also have had vibrations at 65kmh from the drive shaft.
I had it balanced but still no good so I got one from gowesty in the US.
I am yet to put it in but I did install a new VC as the old one went lame.
I'm real keen to get the decoupler too, Did yours come with the dash vacuume knob and lines up to the actuator at the box?

Ben386 - November 17th, 2011 at 08:34 PM

Frog,the decoupler was a complete kit,that included everything needed.
German Design from Florian at 
Give him an email.Very realiable source.
Have you tried the GoWesty fix for vibrations?
All buses that come in to them with vibrations firstly,get the trans and front diff mounts loosened then driven for some time,then tighten up,on the ground.This is suppose to allign front diff and transaxle.Didnt do anything for me,but has fixed a few that I know of.
Most probably play in the yoke,where the unis fit,not actual play in the unis.
Remember too,when removing the shaft the front diff mounts are to be loosened to save the unis from damage.

Ben386 - November 19th, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Audi 16x7,ET42.

Ben386 - November 21st, 2011 at 07:25 PM

Today my quest for smooth gear changes ends.
I have fitted my  gear shift repair kit(or slippers).
They were easy to fit,did them in the car,although instructions stated otherwise.
They are epoxyed on ,with 4mm rivets that go through exsisting holes.
I have also recently replaced the ball-socket,at the bottom of gear stick,rear gear shift linkage and the gear stick,as it snapped.
I have also adjusted clutch pedal free-play.:crazy::grind:
The gear shift is now smoother and firmer than ever.
Last week,I also replaced the bailey channel rubbers and window scrapers.Nice to have no wind noise in the cabin!
Next week,engine service,relays on headlights,new rear bumper fit.

Special Air Service - November 22nd, 2011 at 07:17 PM


More details on the brakes please mate.

What mods were needed to fit them? what model passat & audi did they come off? Have you still got the factory drums on the back? Factory master cylinder just with the bigger booster?


Ben386 - November 22nd, 2011 at 09:36 PM

The calipers are Girling and can be found on the following cars.Audi 80 93-95 quattro,Audi 200 87-91,A6 94-98,quattro 93-95,S4 93-95 sedan.
There is a small amount of machining and a 8mm spacer plate,with some new bolts.
The rotors are 11 inch ventalated Zimmermans from a 96-05 Passat.
You could go scrounging round wreckers,or... 
like I did.
Factory master cylinder with the bigger booster,drums on the rear,better for 4wd.
The brakes just bolt-on,had to make up some steel pipes,then bought stainless lines.
The brakes are heaps better than standard.
A definate for heavy campers.

Andy - November 22nd, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Thanks for the info Ben, certainly making a good post for T3 and Syncro owners. Much of the stuff I'm hope to do over the coming years.
That's a big offset compared to stock isn;t it (ET30?) Was reading QLD laws recently, and they don't allow much variation to stock without an engineers certificate.
Great to see pics of the shifter fix, I've heard about it but never seen pictures. Where the old blocks badly worn? And what do they run in? Mine is all firm, so hopefully a while before it needs work.

Was the brake up grade required for the engine upgrade also?

Ben386 - December 19th, 2011 at 06:30 PM

Got around to installing the relays on my headlights today.
Installed them behind the glovebox.
I now have a full 13.9v at the headlights.
Hat head here I come!