Category Archives: Mechanical

Westfalia Pop Top Skylight Dismantling & Reassembly

This video is to mainly show you how to replace the operator on a VW T25/T3/Vanagon Westfalia pop top camper van. More often than not the plastic rollers snap off with age but fear not, now we have new ones on the CampervanCulture.com web shop if you click here. We do pretty much every part for a pop top roof so if it is broken we are the first place you should try with prices that are rarely beaten.

There is also a little extra gadgetry and insight into other products that we are working on right now at CampervanCulture.com.

Westfalia Pop Top Skylight Dismantling & Reassembly from CampervanCulture.com on Vimeo.

Gowesty 2wd lift springs fitting.

These days people are using their T25/T3 vans for travel rather than sitting in a field at a VW show doing not very much at all. In the past lowering vans was a trend that hung around for a while but with limited ground clearance these vans were useless for anyone looking for adventure and good wild camping opportunities.  At CVC we have been watching what people have been doing in the USA for quite a while and last year we became the UK and EU importer and distributor for Gowesty in America. As a result we have been selling lots of Gowesty lift springs for the T25/T3 van and as we are the only people selling these springs in the UK and Europe we figured it was about time we filmed how to fit them yourself for when you buy a set.

It really isn’t that hard and can be done in a day as long as you have a decent spring compressor. The lift springs can be found right here,

If you have any questions then please ask.

The only way is up!

Fitting Go westy 2wd lift springs. from CampervanCulture.com on Vimeo.

Fitting a VW T25/T3/Vanagon Westfalia pop top roof canvas.

There are a lot of roof canvas options out there all around the world, they all have various pros and cons, some fit some don’t. We are always on the look out for quality products to add to our own web shop so you guys can buy with confidence.

We put the GoWesty roof canvas to the test and in our personal opinion it is one of the best fitting roof canvases we have fitted so far. The fitting instructions say to remove the roof but this is not always an option if you are used to working alone so we made this video to show how to fit a canvas with the roof in place. We contacted Gowesty yesterday and got them to add some roof canvases to our regular pallet we get sent over so they will be on their way to us today and will with us in the next 12 days depending on what mood the customs lady we deal with is in this end.

If you like this or any of our other products please feel free to check out our web shop

If you would like to pre order please send an email to al@campervanculture.com and a deposit can be taken.

GoWesty roof canvas from CampervanCulture.com on Vimeo.

Fox shocks - fully adjustable-1

Fox shocks & Gowesty Springs – a few months in…

Background

I have fairly recently fitted a set of Gowesty Camper Products progressive springs and Fox 2.0 shocks to my van. It took a lot research before i decided on a shock and spring set up due to a few reasons which i will explain.

Jargon (Techy stuff)

My main reason for looking for a new set of springs was that for sometime i had been running spring spacers to lift my van. This is a very common way of gaining some ground clearance on a syncro, It’s a great cheap way of gaining some ground clearance, but it has its compromises.

By adding spacers you are moving the position of the spring which gains you ground clearance, however the range of movement in the spring does not change, it is just moved in relation to the other suspension components.

I wanted to fit a set of springs that would give me the ground clearance i required  without any/bare minimum of spacers The Gowesty progressive springs seemed to fit the bill. I have fitted the 2″ lift version on the rear of my van and zero lift to the front (i’ll explain why in a minute). Continue reading

Gearbox & Front Diff Check Up With Aidan Talbot

MASSIVE THANKS have to go out to Aidan Talbot

I’ve just been up with Aidan recently and we pulled out both my front diff and gearbox and gave them both a good going over. I had a massive gearbox failure last year and had to buy a replacement box from our friend Jason in Denmark (thanks again Jase). I needed my van back on the road as quick as possible at that point so Aidan just gave it a good assessment and it was found to have Pinion bearing wear.
So this time it got stripped down properly and rebuilt to Aidan’s exacting standards. I must admit its given a real sense of confidence, at least i know i’ve done everything i possibly can to prevent anything going wrong whilst we are away in Morocco.

I asked Aidan to take the front diff to bits also as i wanted to know firstly if there was anything wrong in there, but secondly i wanted to know if there was anything that could be contributing/causing the ‘prop ringing’. The front diff had a few little surprises as it happens which made me very happy that it got taken to bits for a check up.

Oh and please excuse the state of my face in the movie, my engine bash plate fell on my face when we we’re removing the gearbox….hurt a bit that did!

Here’s the video of the front diff:

Gearbox movie to follow……

VW T3/T25/Vanagon Syncro gearbox detective work.

This is definitely a video for all you Syncro nerds out there…

This is the first in a set of gearbox videos made by the new third member of the CampervanCulture team, Mr Alan Hayes that some of you might have spoken with on our Facebook page already. A big thanks to Aidan Talbot the UK’s Syncro gearbox rebuild guru who allowed Alan@Campervanculture into his workshop in LLanfyllin, Wales for a while to talk us all through what happens inside your gearbox when it stops working.

“After suffering a significant gearbox failure I needed to get a working gearbox back together and here’s the story about what happened…”

 

T3 Syncro Gearbox 101-Part1 from CampervanCulture.com on Vimeo.

Repairing the rusty chassis rails on my Westy Syncro

A while ago I noticed some bubbling rust on the outer part of my from chassis rail just behind the front suspension… To the untrained eye (mine!) it looks like a simple cut and weld in plate job…Alas it is a bit more involved as there is also an inner strengthening part which is spot welded to the outer…

I visited syncro specialist Syncro-Nutz up in Scotland for fellow syncro lover Russel to have a look at. Turns out the inner part was rusted pretty badly too and the entire front subframe with diff etc needed to be dropped to provide access..

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Continue reading

Syncro 16″ 2.1i Demonstration by special guest Syncro Simon.

We love our Syncro’s and we love being diesel. However more than a few love their Syncros for their factory engine that came with it and the 2.1ij petrol flat four WBX isn’t to be sniffed at.. The MV was listed as supplying 95bhp whilst the the DJ with its 112bhp is no light weight on the road. Lets introduce a fella from the UK who goes by the name SyncroSimon on various VW forums who is passionate about his ex-Finnish army factory 16″ hightop syncro. It started life a very different color and now has an excellent home built custom interior that takes him away from home on many a wild camping Dad and Lad weekends.

Simon is at home ploughing through the snow in his 16″ syncro when the rest of Devon is to scared to venture outdoors down those narrow lanes.
SyncroSimon has fitted extra gauges so he knows exactly what his engine is doing whilst he is driving. He has taken some time out to explain what is happening on his 2.1i when it is cruising along and the behaviour that is to be expected from the engine in question. Check out his 2.1 injection demonstration a real must for all the Wasserboxer injection nerds out there…if we are lucky he might share his wing mirror indicator mod next time…!

x

Fitting my new VW T3 T25 Vanagon Syncro-Nutz Side Rail ‘Rock Sliders’

This is a product from Syncro-Nutz, Scottish based VW specialists.

I have wanted some decent ‘rock sliders’ for my Westy ever since I bought it, I used to have some aluminium ones that just bolted through the jacking points – they were weak, poorly designed and bent when using them to jack the van up. When I heard Syncro-Nutz hade made a set I decided to indulge and splash out on a set.

These are very nicely made, really well designed and most importantly – easy to fit! They come powdercoated and also have the aluminium chequer plating which is fitted to the shape of the van. For the ultimate finish I am going to fill in the slight gap between the body and the aluminium with some Sikaflex or Tigerseal to prevent any road muck (salt!) getting up anywhere above where the sliders are…

Despite being called rock sliders, it is unlikely I will be sliding over rocks with them, a full kitted out campervan is hardly a rock crawling vehicle, but the piece of mind they provide for basic protection for the offroading I do is a bonus on top of looking awesome. They also make great steps for loading things onto and off the roof AND protecting against those careless drivers who swing there car door open against you in the car park – much better they hit your sill bars than your paintwork!

These would be equally at home on a 2wd van as well as a syncro. You can either use a bottle jack or switch to a hi-lift / Jackall for jacking after fitment. They have have tabs for using with the farm jack to stop it slipping around. A nice improvement would be somewhere circular for a jack adapter to fit through.

Fitting was quick and easy – watch for yourself.

Adding Additional Gearbox and Prop Protection on my Syncro Westy

For some time now I have worried about the cover plate which hangs down on my syncro gearbox. It it the lowest part of the box, and almost the lowest part of the van. One slight catch when passing over a rock and we are talking nasty damage! Has been on my list for ages to make something up however I found that Syncro-Services in Germany made a special custom aluminium protection plate which covers this vulnerable area along with additional protection plates for the prop.

I ordered a set from Germany so I thought I’d film the fitting. To make it easy to see, and also much easier to drill I removed the bash plate from the van, however you could quite easily mark up and drill and fit this without removing (even easier if you have a lift or ramp to work on and not the floor!)

All in all, an excellent quality item, well thought out, easy in to install (make sure you have a nice fresh drill bit). Also love the additional wings on the side of the rear plate for extra inner CV joint protection.

If you want a set, get in touch with Dina at Syncro-Services, located in Germany but ship worldwide!


(Excuse the traffic noise in the video, only had a driveway to work on!)

Fitting Rear Shock Extensions and Front Ball Joint Spacers to the Westfalia Syncro

If you have raised the suspension on your van, you may well find the knock effect is the you require rear shock extensions and front ball joint spacers.

Here we have the rear shock extenders, which attach to the campers rear swing arm, and lift the syncro lower shock mount – which avoids the syncro rear shock topping out. Available from www.futbus.com.

Also, up front we have fitted syncro specific upper ball joint spacers, there several different suppliers out there, these ones also came from futbus.com, they are the same as available at gowesty.com

Both of these have been on the Westfalia for a few thousand miles now, and have been no problem at all. Don’t forget, if you have raised the suspension on your Syncro to get the alignment / geometry checked over!

VW T3 Syncro wishbone spacer & rear shock extender fitting.. from CampervanCulture.com on Vimeo.

How to refit your T25 front window / windscreen / windshield

Most long term van owners know the feeling, you get in the van, and you have damp carpets in the front after it has been parked up,  or worse still you are driving in heavy rain and you can feel it dripping onto your foot! Yep, the those little rust bubbles under the windscreen seal are worse than you thought – time for the window to come out.

Rubber shrinks and hardens over time, most of our vans our at least 20 years old now, that is a fair old while sitting in sun wind and rain. Removing and replacing the window is actually easier than you’d think – although you have to be careful that is a big old piece of glass. I managed this by myself first time I did it (like the Autoglass guys do), however, it is easier with friends.

If I am replacing the seal, I like to cut around the inside with the stanley knife  – otherwise you need to leverage the old one out – which makes risk of breaking it higher. Once you have popped it out, you can deal with the rust and or welding, then it is time to put the glass back. Ideally go for an original seal if you can find a supplier who has one – new seals are far tighter than the older ones you have just taken out, so can require a bit of work . You can also get windscreen sealer – but if you have a good new seal you probably won’t need this!

We used a piece of nylon cord or washing line -insert it all the way around the seal and cross the bits over where they meet.

A little hint I picked up is to use some kind of silicone based lubricant to help the seal lip slip over the metal, we had some Tyre Black lying around so used that, worked pretty well.

Grab your VW front window rubber right here..