1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — Interior Electrical

There isn’t much to actually see here, but this was a fair amount of work. Basically, my van was a 2WD, automatic, Wesfalia with cruise control. The donor was a 4WD, manual, 7 passenger without cruise control. I wanted to have as clean an installation, electrically, as possible (automotive electrics are a bit of a fetish of mine) and this meant swapping the main wiring harnesses from the two vans. Where this got a bit tricky, and required some study of the shop manual, was the subtle differences between the two van’s feature sets. I had to rework the cruise control to account for a clutch pedal cutoff switch and no automatic transmission. I also had to rework how the refrigerator received its 12v power source.

in addition to the electrics, I had to swap the speedometers, as the Syncro and 2WD have different ones. Along with this, I had to install the Syncro-specific speedometer cable. The 2WD speedometer cable is driven from the left front hub, but the Syncro’s cable is driven from the front differential.

Once all this was done, I reinstalled the dashboard, gauge cluster and steering wheel. The last part of the job was installing the Syncro control panel trim.


Syncro Control Panel Installed

The donor van had the optional locking rear differential, hence the single knob. I’m adding a decoupler to toggle between 2WD and 4WD as well as a front differential lock, neither of which were offered on US bound Vanagons. Once those parts are picked up this week, I’ll add the control switches and have a true “triple knob” Syncro.

Day Three complete!