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Old 06-25-2012, 05:17 AM   #1
Hodakaguy OP
NorthWest Adventure Rider
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Eastern WA State
Oddometer: 2,096
VW Syncro Westfalia - Build Log with Pics

For years I've wanted a Syncro Westy and a few months ago I was lucky enough to pick up a clean low mile (47K) one owner 90 Syncro My father and I split ownership on the Syncro and decided to build it up to be our camping vehicle.

I'll add photo's of the process as I start modifying and doing maint on the Westy. We decided on a list of items that we wanted to add/change to fit our plans.

Engine: I changed the fuel lines, fuel reg, plugs and wires and the stock engine runs like a champ...But. Looking for reliability and a little more HP for high elevation travel we decided to do a engine swap. After doing quite a bit of research we settled on the Subaru 2.5L. My wife drives a forester with this engine so I'm well familiar with it (rebuilt the heads etc a couple months ago).

Conversion Kit: I decided to go with the Rocky Mountain Westy kit. I like the design of the engine mount, exhaust system, etc. Can't wait to start the installation process...more to follow soon.

Other Items: Install a Propex heater, Upgrade the cooling lines, Upgrade suspension and shocks, install a SA Grill, Bumpers/Tire Carriers and other small misc items.

Here's a couple pictures of the Westy in stock form.

A couple weeks ago I picked up the first of the big parts, a 2006 Subaru 2.5L with all the needed parts. The engine has 60K miles on it, I will go ahead and install a new timing belt, water pump, idlers etc while the engine is on the stand. Yikes! 41lbs of wiring!!

More goodies arriving. Received the Fox Shocks and new 16" wheels/BFG's.

6-22-12 I'm suppose to be working on a couple house projects today...but I woke up early and was able to sneak in a little Syncro play :-) Decided to get the new tires installed to see what they looked like, I won't be driving it much till the engine/suspension gets installed so the larger tires shouldn't be a problem for now.

The original owner had the vehicle undercoated when they bought it, it really did a decent job in keeping corrosion at bay under the bus. It did spend quite a bit of time in Alaska on gravel roads so there is some rock chip damage along the bottom rocker panels, I'll be addressing that after we get all the upgrades installed.

Nice little lip forming on the rotor, looks like new rotors will be in the works. I'd like to do a big brake upgrade, might just re-build stock for now and do that down the road.

Not Bad...can't wait to see it with the new suspension bits installed!

Power Windows. I'm not a huge power window fan in older vehicles, when we purchased the Syncro the passenger side window wasn't working, although the drivers side was working great. Fast forward a month and both windows were inoperable. To make matters worse the AC is out of charge and I don't want to spend time fixing it till after the Subaru swap. Eventually I'm going to replace the power windows with manual it's in the 90's and something needs to be done!

I decided to remove the drivers side regulator and have a look at what's going on.

Door Panel removed.

Plastic removed. There are some good threads on regulator removal/repair on Samba...Thanks!

All the plastic parts look to be in excellent cond.

And here's the problem. The rivet broke that holds the black plastic guide on the bottom of the regulator. The plastic piece is in great shape...this might be a easy fix!

All good here.

And here's the problem. When the rivet broke it allowed the tension on the cable to relax...allowing the cable to turn itself into a rats nest! The cable is shot. All the plastic parts in the gear box seem to be in great shape.

I took the assy to a couple bike shops today to see if they could make another cable for it but they couldn't....after doing a little looking at some industrial supply shops I think I might be able to make up my own cable. All the cable that I found was slightly smaller than the OEM cable, and I couldn't find any cable ends/crimps that were small enough. I'll try and fabricate my own ends and solder them to the cables.

More work tomorrow.

NV 2012 - In Memory of the Crewmen RR: CLICK HERE
Adventure Is Out There - NV RR: CLICK HERE
Riding Through History - NV RR: CLICK HERE
And Then There Were Four - OR RR: CLICK HERE
My VW Syncro Westy Build Thread: CLICK HERE
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