VW Syncro Westfalia - Build Log with Pics

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Hodakaguy, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    Nice pics! Thanks again for the thread - picked up an 03 Westy in Des Moines last week, going to piggy back on some of your ideas to get mine right for me :thumb
  2. ducnut

    ducnut Long timer

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    Those night pics are really cool!
  3. Ragin Rabbi

    Ragin Rabbi Semper Fidelis

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    Hodaka, even more awesomer now!

    I asked earlier about interior pics, they were great!! BUT, what about something a bit more personal? What about pics of how it is packed? It appears that on the roof over the cab, there is a spot for stuff, are there tie down point or a basket or something? And I guess while moving, bags of clothes can go behind the back seat? What about a cooler for food (the fridge doesn't look big enough for a weeks worth, is it?) and that type of thing?

    There's a four wheel drive Westie up here near me sans motor, cheap. I haven't scoped it out thoroughly, so I can't comment on body condition, but I am really jonsing for one now! I also looked at the Subaru 2.5 diesel, hmmmmm....
  4. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Yeah the Suby diesel would be sweet...but for a cost/parts availability standpoint it's pretty tough to beat the 2.5L.

    I'll have to get some pics of the van packed next time I'm ready to head out with it. In the overhead storage box I carry three chairs, a ground cloth, small axe, small saw, hammock, straps etc.

    When on the road I place most stuff (cloths etc) behind the rear bench seat. The fridge works great but isn't huge, it's pretty easy to carry a couple days or more worth of food in the fridge then we just stop as needed and replenish with whatever sounds good while on the road.

    I'll post up some pics when I get a chance.

    Tom
  5. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    A couple pics from this weekend.

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    Hodakaguy
    Shaggie likes this.
  6. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Time to get back to working on the Syncro! I have several more projects that I want to add still....Safari roof rack with extra lighting, back up flood lights, Snorkle Intake system with Donalson Filter assy, and Rock Sliders. First up.....Rock Sliders.

    I like the looks of the Das Mule rock sliders but decided to fabricate my own. I will be replicating the Das Mule setup and adding my own twists to their design. Not only will the rock sliders offer protection for the lower rocker panels but they will provide a strong secure jacking point which will be nice with the lifted height of the Bus.

    Here's a picture off the net of the Das Mule Sliders...Nice!

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    First up...purchase the materials. Made a trip to the local steel supply this morning and picked up some 2x2 square tubing 3/16" thick, some 1.25" seamless 1/4" thick tubing, and some 2" x 3/16" flat bar. This setup will be nice and stout!

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    Next I cut the two pieces of tubing to the right length and then laid out the ends for cutting.

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    Ends Cut

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    Cutting the end caps, still in rough form here.

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    End Cap welded in place.

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    More to come....

    Hodakaguy
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  7. ducnut

    ducnut Long timer

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    You do the nicest work on the web.
  8. 850 Combat

    850 Combat Been here awhile

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    I sold my Synchro Westy in 2011. I wish I hadn't. I was also unaware of how much they had appreciated.

    Frankly, I prefer driving the 2WD. The extra ride height in an already top heavy car doesn't make them better on the road. I had to replace front axles and CVs, expensive and hasd to find. Ihad to replace the VC, 1100 dollars. Should have gone with a locking coupler I suppose. The rear diff lock liked to stick if not used often. Had to replace the gas tank sending unit. Super expensive at the time, but available again, I guess. Replaced the drive shaft with aftermarket too. Cured the vibration.

    Mine, it turned out, had been splashed about in the sea on some beaches, and had minor rust that seemed to me that would become major over time.

    They are surprizingly capable off road. I had an Exolorer get stuck just trying to park by me on the beach.
  9. slugsmasher

    slugsmasher Been here awhile

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    That is the most baddest ass Vanagon I have ever seen, wow. Thanks for sharing the build with us.

    I have a '90 Carat that I love. It gets me to the trailheads and actually handles really well for a brick. The lowered springs and bilsteins help. I always liked the functionality and possibilities of the Synchros but could never justify the purchase. Now that I see how much they sell for I should have got one just to have it 20 years ago. Keep up the good work.
  10. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Thanks for the kind words...although there is a lot of awesome work being done out there!

    Hodakaguy
  11. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Thanks guys, I have a vision on how I want it to look when I'm done with it...it's getting closer :evil

    Between the stiffer springs, urethane bushings and the fox shocks set to a stiff setting the van handles beautifully on the highway. It really is a pleasure to drive and even handles windy conditions very well. I've been in vans with the stock suspension and there defiantly is a huge difference.

    Hodakaguy
  12. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Not a lot of progress today being Turkey day :-), I did manage to get the other three end caps welded and blended in.

    More to come soon.

    Hodakaguy

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  13. eric1514

    eric1514 MAGA

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    When you cap off a hollow tube like you've done, is trapped moisture and rusting a concern or it a big 'so what'?
  14. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass Henny Youngman had it right

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    Capping things off beats any alternative of dirt, salt, and moisture eating things alive. I've lived in the NE for half a century and know this too well.
    Keep it up Hodakaguy. I have the steel waiting for the same thing. What's that saying about something being the highest form of flattery? You are an excellent teacher.
  15. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    The bars were capped in a pretty low humidity environment and with the thickness of steel it won't be a concern. You can go the extra step of coating the inside like they used to do with tubing on airframes etc. Once capped you can drill a small hole and pour in some linseed oil, roll it around to get a good coating on everything then drain the excess and seal it back up.

    Hopefully I'll get some more work on the sliders done today, feel free to copy away :freaky

    Hodakaguy
  16. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    I have seen lots of steel handrails on SkipperLiner houseboats expanded. They were built in Wisconsin and then lived on Lake Powell in AZ. I think they were thinner though.
  17. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Managed to get a little work done on the mounting parts today.

    First up I removed the factory mud flap and positioned the slider to check for needed clearances. Pretty dirty under the mud flap, I'll hit it with some buffing compound later.

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    Starting to cut the mounting parts. I looked at several ways to mount the sliders and decided to use a combination of the Das Mule setup and my own, I'll fabricate the lower brace pieces after the initial pieces are welded in place.

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    Drilling the holes in the brackets.

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    Heavy wall seamless tubing will slide into the jack mounts and ultimately support the sliders. Here they are cut to length and correct angles applied to one end which will allow the sliders to sit level once mounted.

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    Here I'm inserting a threaded nut that will clamp the tubing into the jack point. I've drilled holes on each side of the nut to add Rossette welds for extra strength at this connection.

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    And welded in place.

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    More to come...

    Hodakaguy
  18. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator Super Moderator

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    I had to pass this thread along to the Bustripper group on Facebook. :hide
  19. Hodakaguy

    Hodakaguy NorthWest Adventure Rider

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    Cool :freaky

    Hodakaguy
  20. ian408

    ian408 Administrator Administrator Super Moderator

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    They're a bunch of guys who travel in VW Buses. Their most recent trip was Route 66. And Alaska this last summer.

    Check out the link. Pretty awesome. The lead tripper lives over the hill in Santa Cruz and is a pretty cool dude-does a lot of sailing related journalism too.