1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

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ajdenette
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1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:28 am

Well after teasing about the purchase last year I figure it is about time for me to get a thread going on my latest Van which is once again a Project. :roll:

So I have wanted a Syncro Doka when I discovered them on Vanagon.com oh so many years ago (like late 90's) I had looked into importing one in collage but did not have the available funds when a running driving Syncro Doka sold on the European market for 3500 euro since then I have watched as prices have climbed and kept them out of my reach. Last year I found this Truck on TOS not running for a price I thought I could make happen after figuring out the money I approached my wife with my desire and to my surprise she said I could :evil: .

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So next I figured out how to transport it from Ontario Canada and found a place to store it until I had the time and garage space work on it at home My brother-in-law has a carriage house and a F350 Crew cab with a Diesel and I have another friend with a Car hauling trailer I talked a good Friend and my little brother to make the trek with me. While I was lining all this up I also was interviewing for a new job this truck gave me a little coverage for the interview saying I was taking it off to go get this but it cramped the schedule a little bit as I had the interview before we could hit the road and my little brother worked a full day. We ended up hitting the road late and drive to the middle of NY state Friday night after getting everything together stopping at about midnight for some rest. the three of us rotated through the driving duties getting to the truck at bout 3 in the afternoon. after looking the truck over a deal was made and it was loaded onto the trailer. next we turned around and headed back for the US boarder crossing at midnight it was quiet and easy they processed the paperwork and we were on our way.

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on the way home I was having nightmares about the truck and trailer rolling over trying to make it up the Hill to my brother-in-laws house as it is complicated and it was icy so a call was made and my grandparents allowed me to drop it in the barn where using 2 winches as there were no brakes the shifter didn't move well and the e-brake didn't work right to where my Westy had been sitting since 2005 before I pulled it out.

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:02 pm

So one issue was that the rear wheel was missing a stud and the threads on the others were in fairly rough shape so a spare hub was in order I had also intended to start on the brakes but I at least got this one assessed and realized they would need complete replacement

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this was all I managed to get done in the barn fortunately I didn't lock it up when I dropped it off as I lost the key by the time I got home so while working on the brakes I collected the 3 door handles to work on getting new keys made which I did I also freed up the fuel cap, the stuck treasure chest door and got the engine lid latch to work. I brought back the door handles and engine latch and re installed them before bringing it home

meanwhile My grandfather got tired of the electrical issues with his truck and replaced it my friend was interested in a cheap truck so he picked it up and I gave him some money for some use of the truck he fixed it up and has primary ownership but we did use it to go bring the Doka from my grandparents house to my house it was a long trip back as the Chevy is a 1992 2WD 2500HD with a V6 needless to say we took surface roads home.

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:31 pm

Once home I gave it a bath but first I spent a good amount of time pulling ass of the screws out of the bed that had been used to secure some plywood at some point I need to weld up the holes in the bed from the screws and the rivets that held the various wood to the bed over the years

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Once home and cleaned up I decided to grab a photo of my three vans before the Westy got put away for the winter:

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Being a Canadian Syncro the Speedometer is in km/Hr there had been a Syncro cluster on TOS clasifieds near a Friend so I payed the seller and he picked it up it was in worse shape than it looked in photos but fortunately I had picked up some MK2 clusters for the tachometers so the two MPH speedos got sent to Specialty Gauge to get the Vanagon speedometer rebuilt and use any MK2 components needed to get it working and set the mileage to match the body when it gets rebuilt.

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The add stated it had a rear locker but the photo in the Add showed no console the seller did pull the heater panel and show the locker knob and vacuum lines before I made the drive and I did verify the transmission had the locker when we loaded it up so that was good news. fortunately some time in the past I had picked up a locker console and had one to install. To help feel like good progress was made I took some time using the 1990 dash as a template and a for measurement reference I got the console installed.

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:54 pm

So some of you with a keen eye may have noticed the GL dash in the Doka it also hints to why there was no locker panel even though it had a knob and tubing behind the dash, turns out that this doka is a burn victim. I found out when filing the paperwork at the DMV when they ran the VIN through the insurance database that the Doka had at one point been declared a total loss by an insurance company, this is also why a number of other buyers had backed out of purchasing it after running a carfax or similar report. I was told about some minor damage that had been body worked poorly on the front end and that it had been parked due to a blown headgasket after looking things over I do believe it was running and driving after the dash fire was repaired.

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the headliner was also aparently destroyed in the dash fire it looks like the windshield seal was re used but i'm betting the windshield itself is replaced. I was able to order a replacement headliner from Rock Auto so I will have to let you know how it fits when I install it it will need some sound deadening before that gets installed as even closing the door the is a lot of tin can noise

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:08 pm

while the last owner had possession of the Doka it seems to have lost its engine cover so I did not get one of those and need to resolve that issue I have sourced bolts and new emblems for the back as I had none of those either. At Transporter Fest this year there was a gentleman who had the unfortunate event of a tree falling on his Syncro and single cab as such the Syncro was for sale he was kind enough to let me take some measurements and photos of his wood slats and engine cover

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after debating it I have decided to forgow the wood slats in the bed I will likely weld up all the holes and line the bed. in the Samba Galery are more photos of the slats and some relative dimensions.
Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:19 pm

I tried to turn the engine over but all I did was loosen the pulley bolt so I figured the bad headgasket had resulted in water in a cylinder and locked up the engine its time in Canada had not been kind to the engine, the exhaust was rusty the spark plugs were corroded and tough to get out I tried the Marvel mystery oil with no luck so decided to pull the engine

On the way out

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Engine out:

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Parts coming off of the engine

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Engine out of the engine bay felt good

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as I began pulling parts off of the engine I got to the starter and that gave me a look into the bellhousing to see a lot of corosion I also removed all 4 fastners holding the two together but they stayed stuck as a unit then there was torching and lots of chisels and screwdrivers to separate the two it took a few hours just to get the gap starting and moving it around the bellhousing

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in the process of fighting with rusty bits and trying to geth the engine and transmission seporate and working on the asumption that the engine was stuck I did not have a lot of hope for the block and got a bit rough with it.

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:35 pm

while the Doka was up on the jackstands I had pulled apart the rear brakes and had all the parts to build them back up and get the ability to roll it around and stop it while in there I also found that both rear springs had broken coils so spares out of my stash were grabbed and installed

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I built them up and got my best two drums turned and installed but the one I used on the drivers side kept locking up when I tried to tighten it down to the hub, while doing this I did end up finding the e brake cable was seized at the bushing under the floor on top of needing both cables the only original part to the e brake system is the handle as I used a balance bar from a spare cable so I could swap it out all at once. it turned out one of my 2 best drums was a bus drum and even though they look identical and have the same internal dimensions the outer lip on the Vanagon is bigger and the smaller lip on the bus drum kept binding on the backing plate so new drums were ordered from Napa.

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now that there were drums and an E brake was done it was time for some wheels, last year a good deal on 4 Vanagon alloys with good tires came up cheaper than I could get tires for it and since I still need to deal with a driveshaft before I worry about running in Syncro (it came with 2 dismounted shafts in rough shape) these will be it for now. when I bout it it have 4 mixed very rough tires that didn't hold air well and were badly cracked in fact when we went to pick it up I brought some spares and good I did as it had one that did not hold air due to a nail. once I got it home I put it on 4 tires as old as I am that have been moving from project to project as they roll well and hold air though the crack in them are getting large.

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So excited that it finally had wheels and brakes onto the ground it went with the fresh tires I adjusted the brakes and torqued down the axle nuts. just in time to help a friend with a patch to his floor. this also gave me a chance to cut some metal for the 2 floor repairs I need to do on the Doka.
Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:45 pm

Knowing my Syncro's and especially ones from the salt zone now was the right time to pull my gas tank though I have removed one other from my parts van this will be my first time re installing the Syncro gas tank, I know I have a lot of clean up to do but I was happy to find solid metal behind tha tank and not Swiss cheese though the tank straps did come out with no tools.

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one of the next projects will be removing the bellhousing from a spare bad 2WD transmission I had picked up to install on my spare 2WD transmission but think it will be better off on the Syncro transmission I did just pick up a bus bellhousing in good shape to rebuild with the clutch arm from the Syncro bellhousing to be able to finally fix that

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new fuel tank straps for this one pair I need to get to a friend who needed them and one set for another project we will see what happens with that.

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and the pile of parts I have been gathering and pulling out of my spares to build up this Doka man there is a lot of work ahead of me.

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:00 pm

So this came up on the book of faces the other day so while I have everything apart and access to everything some one asked about the Syncro doka breather system so I thought I would include a post with that same specific info. This set up is for a north american 2.1 MV engine in a Doka, this set up uses the same stock air box coupling and I believe dust collector

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from other photos I have seen there is an added piece in the box section for the bed that sucks from behind the cab there is also a mounting tab for the elbow that is in the lower corner I sill need to get the bolt out but broke the elbow removing it.

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I was able to find a new elbow on Ebay from OE245 unfortunately the tube that connects the box section to the elbow broke from handling due to its condition so I will need to try to find a new one of those

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Sat May 02, 2020 10:45 am

So with lots of Shut downs Due to Covid19 I had 2 weeks off, Unfortunately I chose to store my Westy at my Brother in laws house for the winter and with a shelter in place order and demand for Self quarantine if I go get it I have time to dig deep into the Doka. With some nice days on hand I decided it was time to take the Bus bell housing, the parts transmission, the spare transmission without a bell housing and the Doka transmission and attempt to make 2 usable Vanagon transmissions. The Doka transmission had heavy corrosion on the inside of the bell housing and the clutch arm would not move, but the parts transmission moved easily so the primary goal was to put the good bell housing on the Doka transmission and while I was in there I also re built the locker actuator and got that back in working condition.

Bell housing off and starting to disassemble the differential lock actuator fortunately the piece of hose installed at the factory was still in place and sealed the vacuum actuator well and all of that came apart easily I did have to grind off the through bolts to get it apart.

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All of the hardware that was not re usable:

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I did eventually disassemble all of these pieces the bracket and sleeve are not reusable in my opinion but the shaft and the spacer were the spacer was re used but a new SS shaft was installed.

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Here is the locker actuator going back together with the new parts, I did not find the seals in Van Cafe when I ordered the parts so I went the the hardware store to get standard o-rings, I have since learned where the proper X seal is I do need to decide if I should replace the shaft seal with the proper one or leave the O-ring. I lubricated the O ring when installed and the shaft moves in and out with the actuator using my vacuum pump for brake bleeding and it only takes about 13 to 15 inches of vacuum to actuate it.

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I did not want to remove the differential so I was unable to replace the input shaft with my best one but I did clean it up well and put grease in the seal for the bell housing on re assembly.

Here was a funny shot of the parts I was working with, the parts transmission with a bad pinion (heavily pitted) and the three bell housings being utilized.

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This is the transmission all put back together and sitting waiting for everything else to be ready to go back together.

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I though I was done working on the transmissions, the Doka Transmission on the left, the parts transmission in the middle and the now usable transmission on the floor. Feeling accomplished I headed in for the night cleaned up and climbed in bed. While lying in bed it struck me I forgot the input shaft in spare transmission it was sitting off to the side where I put it out of the way and did not make it back into the box. The next day I put it back on the bench opened it back up and installed the input shaft, it is now set off to the side should I or some one I know need it. I do have another spare transmission that is currently on loan to chojinchef as his trans needed some love but he wanted to keep the van mobile.

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Alex

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doc
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by doc » Sat May 02, 2020 11:44 am

Very cool project!

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Mon May 04, 2020 10:38 am

Thank you Doc I am really looking forward to driving this but have a long way to go, with RI shut down due to Covid19 it is giving me a lot of time to work on it that I probably wouldn't dedicate to it otherwise.
Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Thu May 07, 2020 10:07 am

Next up I decided to clean up the gas tank and get it ready to re install, the plug for the gauge sender was broken off and the entire plate was very rusty so time for replacement. upon removal of the sender I found everything inside very rusty so the level sender needed to be replaced along with the split ring I had one broken vent nipple as well. Once the sender was removed I found gasoline varnish that is tar like, to clean everything I found online that Acetone would break up the varnish so I pulled the swirl pot and the in tank filter to clean it up and get better access.

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Here is the Sludge that the acetone broke up and came out of the gas tank

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Here is everything I used to refresh the tank

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Here is the split ring as installed straight out of the package one of my studs snapped and the inside was rusty so I am replacing them. I learned when installing the last set in my 1990 Syncro the studs didn't line up well with the tank or the sender this shows how they overlap a bit so before final install I ground down the ends so they fit right

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Using a new sender from Bus depot looks like the VW symbol was removed from the sender

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and here is running all of the lines on the top

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Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Thu May 07, 2020 11:27 am

I spent a lot of time wiring cleaning up under the dash some one has fixed it all up enough to get it running and driving but there were some things that still needed to be cleaned up. While I was working on all of the under dash wiring and checking things out I added headlight relays and added all the wiring for future a future fog light install with relay fuse and switch installed and wired up and a positive wire waiting to be energized. I had to fix and add much of the radio wiring, there was some installed but much of it in very rough shape and with a lot of it cut out. I had to re built the diff lock wiring as the end wash chopped off after the dash fire and the switch was just tucked up behind the heater duct, I decided to buy the small car interface board as I did not have a connector even though I had a factory board and console. I also added the wiring needed for the map light in GL dash that was installed after the fire.

While I was in there I chose to add the wiring for a seat belt warning light from my parts van and updated the simple brake light that it had before to go along with the US light setup. I don't have any photos but I took the components from one harness and moved them over to the Doka and now have a working door chime relay for the key in the ignition door open and switch in the seat belt warning light as came in US vans.

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Also while the Dash was out after trying the wipers I chose to pull the wiper linkage and clean and grease the pivots that freed it up a bit and should make them work better as well.
Alex

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ajdenette
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Re: 1986 Canadian Transporter Syncro Double Cab

Post by ajdenette » Thu May 07, 2020 11:42 am

With the condition of the Engine that came out of the Doka and even more so the condition of the parts of the engine that came out of the Doka are in rather rough shape lots of rust to try and clean up I opted not to use those parts at this time. I went through all of my spare parts and took a spare Syncro block I picked up a while ago and am preparing to build that up for use in the Doka.

The engine that came out of the Doka:

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cleaning up rusty parts first a coat of Cold Galvanizing spray to try and protect the base metal after wire wheeling the rust off, after that dries painting with some fresh Orange paint:

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Cleaned the layers of Grease and grime off of these parts the Intake will get painted orange:

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New parts and some cleaned parts gathering for building and assembling the engine.

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Alex

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