Category Archives: Mechanical

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..

Screen shot 2011-03-24 at 07.55.03

Fitting an ex-BT D2 eberspacher diesel heater into a van

Nothing too exciting today, helped a mate by fitting an eberspacher D2 diesel 12v night heater to his self build Westy Syncro.

Stripped off the wiring loom and tidied up, cut a hole in the van floor – waxoyled, t-pieced in the fuel line for diesel supply, fitted intake and exhaust then installed the control panel / timer..

doka_header

Alternative Syncro Camper – Camperising a Double Cab (DOKA)

A fully kitted out Syncro camper is fantastic, if not the ultimate in luxury 4WD camping or “glamping”. Jed started out his Syncro life with a Double Cab (Doppelkabine = DOKA), which is used for work in his business as a plasterer. They make an excellent platform for a daily workhorse and surprisingly comfortable camper.

With the addition of a multivan rock and roll bed and swivel bases, it is possible to sleep comfortably in the cabin – add a rooftent and you have a vehicle that can sleep 4 or 5!

The multivan seat was bought from a fella called Tony, known as alfieboy on some of the VW forums, watch out for good bits on his ebay account.

A reproduction westfalia front table and leg can be bought from Niko on brickyard, see more info on this brickyard thread.

Some pictures of the DOKA in use:


Cooking up on the dropside

A tea break on a sunny day.


Camped out on a beach under the stars


Putting the tent away after a sleep on the beach


Making up dinner on the dropside after a days kayaking

Tools to take when away in your Syncro…

When you are away on holiday, for a weekend, week, or even a month! You don’t want a simple mechanical failure to ruin things. A rear wheel bearing failed whilst away last year, I had a spare in the cupboard and with some adaptation of tools we managed to change the bearing in a village car park and continue the trip!

Changing the rear wheel bearing on a T25 T3 Vanagon Westfalia Syncro

Over the years of owning Syncros I’ve built up a toolkit, if I am away on a trip – parked in a field, forest or even a town carpark. I like to have the tools with me to deal with those basic mechanical issues..

My top things to take away are:

1) Hammer – aka adjuster, loosener or remover.
2) Decent Breaker Bar 19mm with a 46 mm socket (I have a 1/2″ knuckle for mine, those 46mm hub nuts can be tough!
3) Spanners, usually the full range from 8 – 22mm.
4) Block of wood (mine is cut from a railway sleeper). Great for working, and bashing things on, or using as makeshift axle stand in emergencys.)
5) Molegrips – a good last resort for stubborn items.
6) Lengths of wire and a multimeter
7) 1/4 3/8 1/2 ratchets with range of sockets.
8 ) Gas powered Soldering Iron
9) Extendable Magnetic Pickup stick.. you don’t realise how useful until you need it!
10) Mobile phone with telephone number of an experience Syncro mechanic, or access to the club80-90 technical forum

I try and take along any tool that’d I’ll be happy to use to make a fix in the field. With some effort you can pack all your bits away into quite a small space:

I have adapted my raised bed on a platform with simple drawers underneath for tool storage – we’ll cover this on a later post.

Anyone else have any tools they like to take with them..?