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Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:48 am
by Steve Arndt
I finally decided to create a thread about my Vanagon. I picked up my 87 Syncro in 2005 for a Paltry $1,500. It had the driveline removed and needed a bunch of little things to get it on the road. After some time and a new driveshaft I had a running Syncro for under 2K. I've probably dumped another 15k into it the last ten years fixing everything as it breaks or falls apart :)

Here is a ten year old pic from back when I was pushing the limits and learning the van. I baby it a lot more now. That pic is on the way to my friends cabin at War Eagle mountain above Silver City.

The basic rundown as it is now;
87 Tintop Syncro non locker (plan to add peloquin dif upon trans rebuild)
2316cc Rocky Jennings custom engine
AA Trans sport lockup viscous coupler
Mercedes lightweight 11 pound CLK alloys x5
215/70R16 Nokian Rotiiva AT tires
Rocky Mountain Westy rear swing tire carrier (pics to come)
Rocky Mountain Westy rear hd bumper w hitch
Round headlight grill conversion w the usual headlight system upgrades

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:21 am
by turbobaja
What kind of HP/Torque is that engine making would you say? What kind of engine management?

I persomally like Tin Tops a lot more than Westys. But I don't mind tent camping either.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:31 am
by Steve Arndt
About 40% better than stock. Probably 130 hp, 150 tq perhaps.
Stock Digifant, with Vanistant/RJE vacuum throttle switch.
9.5:1 compression, ported heads, ratio rockers, custom cam, balanced.
I want to put the Vanistant/RMW tuned exhaust on it but that is 1600 bucks ouch.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:24 pm
by Jadewombat
Which CLK rims are you running?

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:22 am
by Steve Arndt
The lightweight CLK alloy, forged and 11 pounds as I recall.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:14 am
by Jadewombat
How did you get the plastic center cap to fit, spacers? My '66 is converted to 5 x 112 all around with disks up front and Wolfgang IRS kit rear. The dust cap up front and axle nut wouldn't allow a normal center cap so I fabbed up the spike ones out of 3" aluminum round rod (takes a lot longer though, :lol: ).

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Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:29 am
by Steve Arndt
On a syncro the front caps clear fine. On the rear you need small spacers and longer wheel studs for the caps to fit. I run without caps on the rear right now.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:35 pm
by Jadewombat
Gotcha. Wide the rear skirts I don't have room to add a spacer.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:18 pm
by Steve Arndt
Rocky Mountain Westy swing away carrier mounted. Dented corner made this difficult. I'll fix the bodywork some day...
Matching Nokian Rotiiva AT 215/70R16 tire and CLK alloy wheel.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:20 pm
by Steve Arndt
Took a trip to Shaffer Butte this week with my Loves (Van and Lady). Tried out my old Kelty Carport side tent.

I will put pics up of the new RMW rear bumper when I get it installed and the Bus Depot seat swivel. I also am on the list for a NAHT North American Hightop camper top kit.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:11 am
by turbobaja
Very nice. I've mounted a handful of those tire carriers on either side of these Vans. Little tricky to get the 5 holes placed and aligned in the jamb without buggering up the weather stripping channel a little. Multiple test fits and some time with a small burr bit and they usually mount up nice. I used to think it was crazy to hang a carrier and tire like that off the body sheet metal, but I think it spreads out the load well enough that it's not an issue.

What kind of interior are you thinking about with the Hitop conversion??

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:37 pm
by Steve Arndt
For the hightop I am going to finish the headliner with flexible carpet like speaker carpet or hull carpet. Reflectix/prodex insulation first. I want to get the van painted so I will just leave the top gloss white for starters. I'm going to build a small shelf cubby up front to hold stuff, nothing closed off and all motorhome looking like some guys. I want to keep my rear GL AC evaporator in the back so I will box that in with wood and try to make it look nice. Its about ready to fall and crash on my head again anyway. I don't plan on building an upper bunk bed at this time so it is just for double storage front/back and massive space to stand and mingle. I am going to build my own smaller kitchen cabinet setup. I'm keeping the full width GL bed/rear seat. For the kitchen cab I may make it easily removable and modular to pull the weight when not needed not sure yet. Going to go with a small tidy stove/sink like this one!!
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewto ... w=previous

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:05 am
by Steve Arndt
Rocky Mountain Westy rear bumper. These things fit nice. I may try to build my own front bumper but considering the quality and ease of install the RMW will probably be the way I go when funds allow.

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:27 am
by ajdenette
I was curious about the body mounted swing out tire carriers I have a feeling I will need one for my next build to hold the CLK like you have it Steve, have either of you seen any issues with the body after mounting a spare tire carrier like this?

Re: Steve's 87 Syncro project

Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:36 am
by Steve Arndt
ajdenette wrote:I was curious about the body mounted swing out tire carriers I have a feeling I will need one for my next build to hold the CLK like you have it Steve, have either of you seen any issues with the body after mounting a spare tire carrier like this?

No issues.
It actually makes the body stronger with the doubler plate inside and everything all tightened up. When closed and latched the vertical bending load is supported quite securely and strongly. I treat it gently when in the open position. I was skeptical at first myself. A customers van has both storage and tire swings so I got to play around with that van before committing to one for my van. With 28" tall tires and the stock space only fitting a 26" max I had no choice. I've already invested in a new sport viscous coupler so I don't want to damage that with an undersize spare. Everything is a trade off. To me this was the best solution.