The Why

Let’s make this personal – I own and regularly use a 1991 Vanagon Syncro Westfalia Campmobile. When the original 2.1L waterboxer (WBX) engine began illuminating its oil pressure light on highway offramps, I selected and installed a 2.5L high-performance WBX engine from a major Vanagon parts retailer – their best engine, at the time. When … Continue reading The Why

1991 VW Vanagon Syncro — Update

Since I completed the conversion process, I discovered that my gearbox was in unhappy shape. In the interest of keeping the spiraling costs of the project in check (ha!), I decided to forgo having the gearbox gone through. I did this for two reasons: 1. I'd driven the donor from Maine to Colorado and aside … Continue reading 1991 VW Vanagon Syncro — Update

1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — To the Alignment Shop and Beyond

I called my favorite local tire store, American West Tire Pros, and made an appointment for an alignment at 1:00. That gave me some time to finish up a few small things that were left. There were two brackets for the new rear bumper that I needed to install, as they use two of the engine … Continue reading 1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — To the Alignment Shop and Beyond

1991 VW Syncro — Driven in and out of Shop!

I got the day rolling by finishing the engine install. I took extra time sorting the wiring harness routing and also discovered more Syncro-specific changes I needed to make. The airbox mounts to the body and, with the engine sitting lower, the intake boot between the air flow meter and the throttle body needed to … Continue reading 1991 VW Syncro — Driven in and out of Shop!

1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — Engine In and Getting Closer

When I got into the shop I spent some time cleaning old paint from the Syncro fuel filler door trim. It is held on by two easy to access and remove Philips screws. Some lazy clod must have left it on when doing some paint work on der Thunderwagen and had gotten gold overspray on … Continue reading 1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — Engine In and Getting Closer

1991 VW T3 Syncro — Final Welding, Transmission Install & Loose Ends

Overnight, I'd remembered that I hadn't installed the Syncro-specific engine cradle yet (the engine and transmission sit a bit lower in the Syncro), which means I could bolt on the entire skid assembly since the engine/transmission guard mounts to the engine cradle. Getting it all bolted up located the crossmember mounts to be welded in … Continue reading 1991 VW T3 Syncro — Final Welding, Transmission Install & Loose Ends

1991 VW T3 Syncro — Transmission & Fuel Tank

I decided to get a late start in the shop. The previous day's struggle with the shock left me feeling depleted. I was meeting with a new client and felt the shop wasn't looking as presentable as I'd like it to, so I spent a good part of my first stint out there cleaning up. … Continue reading 1991 VW T3 Syncro — Transmission & Fuel Tank

1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — Subframe Madness

I started the day out by drilling out the two broken fasteners in the differential. My technique is to center punch the broken fastener and then use ever increasing diameter drills until the broken bolt is so thin walled, that it can be wound out with a pick or pliers. Sometimes I have to collapse … Continue reading 1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — Subframe Madness

1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — Exhaustion

My 107° marathon had a cost and I was paying for it today. It's good to get some rest. A couple of times I tried to go out to the shop and make some progress, but other than hanging the rear bumper and installing the clutch pedal cruise control switch, everything else was a half … Continue reading 1991 VW T3 Syncro Conversion — Exhaustion