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…”
A weekend away with some fellow CampervanCulture.com subscibers turned into a mission when the vehicles suffered mechanical failures – 3 driveshafts, 3 cv joints, 3 cv boots, broken steering rack, one slashed tire and one snapped drop link!!
It was a case of bad luck for one of the vans owned by Syncro nut Alan Hayes in his RHD 1.9 mTDI panel van/camper that had most of the issues that contributed to us taking 13 hours to do the Strata Florida trail / greenlane in South Wales. We have got to give Freds Garage a big THANK YOU from CampervanCulture for bailing us out and coming to the rescue by allowing us to use the workshop and a ramp to get sorted as well as providing Alan with a steering rack, CV joints and good old moral support to get things moving again.
Freds Garage is run by a great bunch of guys and fellow CampervanCulture subscribers that do everything from MOTs to servicing and repairs on any campervan and can be found at,
Telephone: 01554 772 341
Despite the dramas a great fun packed weekend was had as its not always about the driving but the laughs you have with mates doing it…
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..
Russel then began to cut the outer away..
Spot welds for drilling out:
The inner and outer parts removed – worse than I thought it was!
New inner and outer welded and then “spot welded” together – treated below:
Here is the one from the other side chassis rail:
And the finished work, all waxoyled inside and treated on the outside
Thanks to Russel and Syncro-Nutz I won’t be worrying about this area again – I’d get under your van and check your chassis rails for any bubbling – inner and outer parts. Be prepared for a couple of days in a workshop as it is a good few hours work to drop and refix the front subframe.. Great opportunity for me to fit my Power Steering rack – more on that later!
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…!