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 Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build thread) 
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
widehatch wrote:
so are we going to see it at BNNTA??


barring some other catastrophic failure, yes.

Driving it to Nashville this weekend.. we'll see how it goes I guess!

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Where did you take it to "We Saw You Coming Auto Inspections" ??? I know the manager at the local Auto Tire. He would pass it while you are in the office.


Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:56 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
If he keeps more reasonable hours than Trogg I might have to take you up on that Dana.

What a cluster-f from Dobbs man. I've had really good luck with them in the past but I think there must be a new service manager now.

So I get it home last night, and I'm looking at the service ticket closely... everything talks about a front alignment only and "when rear alignment is not possible" WTH??
so I call today and guy #1 is all like "there is no adjustments on the rear" ?? that's news to me and tell him he's dead wrong and I even left a drawing in the van for them showing where the adjustments are and how much to torque the bolts to when they were done.

I wait for about 15 minutes for the manager to come on the phone, and he tells me some bullshit story about how it was all seized up and they couldn't get the rear loose and "there's 200,000 miles on the van sir" um, no... there's really probably about 500,000 miles on the van... but there's only fracking FIFTY on the rear suspension bolts and bushings.

So then he says it was good anyway.. well if was good then why were you trying to break anything loose?

Also they included an estimate on the work needed on inspection items, which was pretty laughable. $120 to fix the horn!!!
I was sure to blow it at them a whole bunch as I drove away.
Over $1,000 to fix what turned out to be a torn boot on the Rack & Pinion.
As if I would have ever considered them working on it anyway..

So... going forward.. I got home and installed the new VSS.
Today I can report that I'm now getting a speed signal to the ECU for the first time.. and the cruise control now works too! happy days!

I also adjusted the tachometer so it reads more or less accurately... maybe a few hundred RPM's off, but not enough to really notice on the large hash-marks of the gauge.


We leave for Nashville this evening... wish me luck!!

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:39 am
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Safe travels...

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Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:02 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Have a safe and fun journey/road trip to BNA this weekend. No issues! It'll be fun to see your Vanabeast at BNNTA.

Bill


Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:02 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
This weekend fortune has favored the foolish.

We set off Friday night for Nashville.. about 30 miles into the trip, just as I was gloating that we just passed a tractor-trailer, while going UPHILL, the power suddenly cut off. I thought the engine had totally died, but as I got onto the shoulder I hit the gas and realized that it was still in fact running, and we took right off..??? WTH?

as the trip went on, I found that every 6 miles exactly, engine power would suddenly shut down to idle, but would still be running. All I would have to do is let off the throttle and press down again and we'd continue on.
I also determined that I could prevent the cut-out if I manually let off the throttle occasionally.

So this continued all night until we stopped in Paducah for the night.

Next day I checked that VSS fuse and found it blown. The good news of course was that the new fuse had done it's job and blew before it took out the fuse to the whole ECU.

I put in a new fuse... and it blew immediately... FRACKK!!
I've got ANOTHER burned out VSS :(

I had one more spare, but decided to just make the 100 miles left to go and get to my mom's place and deal with it later.

Visited with my mom and sisters and brother-in-laws Sat (one of which had a ScanTool and reset my codes for me, the other gave me a brand-new Marlin lever action .22 model 39!)

Sunday AM I installed my spare VSS, and suspecting trouble with the aftermarket Cruise Control unit, I eliminated that from the VSS circuit, and played around with some settings.
the instructions for the Audiovox Cruise state that a VSS signal is mandatory, but also states you can run it only from the tach signal wire... but as it turns out, it WILL in fact function (and yes, I got it to actually work at highway speeds for the trip home) with ONLY the tach signal wire!

I had 2 instances of the power cutting out on me, but the cruise seemed to pick it right up. I haven't checked the VSS fuse yet to see if it blew or not, so there is a chance the 2 power outtages were weird Cruise Control hiccups.

The whole drive home went smooth, and was was more comfortable on my big toe with the cruise working. and it works pretty good too. if you pass and let off the gas, it will drop down a few MPH from your set speed but will pick back up again smoothly.

The highway power of the van with the 3.0L engine was nothing short of a miracle. Granted there are no Monarch Passes between here an Nashville, but you do encounter some pretty nice grades that would have had us struggling in the past. We flew right over w/out even taking notice.

Not even 220Hp can make a 5,000lb van feel sporty, but I can say that it feels like an "appropriate" amount of power.

Mileage was calculated at 18mph, cruising 70mph. That's with the crazy inconsistency of the Syncro tank filling though. Hopefully I can improve that down the road.

Got a few little odds and ends to take care of this week but it's looking real good for a BNNTA debut!!

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:38 am
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
:wink:
"meh , frackin' mordern cumPuders !!!" :roll: :wink:
all-in-all, it sounds quite Marvelous, Brian ,,, & i have No doubt that
u'll figure out all those VSS & cruise control & fused gremlins :mrgreen:
after all the amAzing shiite u've overcome to this point, already !! 8)
18x mazelTov's 2 u....db
- - -


Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:03 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Congrats on a semi-non-eventful break-in run to BNA and back! Now on to BNNTA!

Bill Bowman


Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:47 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Work continues in order to prepare the Subagon Syncro for BNNTA and our anniversary trip in a few weeks..

This week I installed the new Truckfridge TF-49 to replace the ho-hum Dometic. The Dometic did work as well as one can work but all that really means is that at best it would cool the inside to about 35-40 degrees below whatever the ambient temp was in the bus. It would also barely work on 12v but they really draw too much power to be practical that way regardless.. they consume about 8A on 12v I think!!!

A modern compressor-driven 12v is vastly superior and more efficient.. and will maintain cool internal temps no matter what the outside temp is doing. With a good Aux battery a TF-49 can run up to 3 days w/out any charge and if you add even a modest solar panel that can be extended almost indefinitely.

We're usually driving at least part of every day so the battery life wasn't a huge concern. The longest stretch I'm ever off-grid is usually BNNTA!

It's really amazing how well the TF-49 fits in a Westy. Very little modifications are necessary.

Once the Dometic is pulled out, one of the first things you'll want to do is seal up the old flue vent on the outside. Now, if your name is Roy Jonas that would probably mean cutting a precisely-fit die cut (with a die you made from scratch) patch panel to the hole, TIG welding and smoothing and a 3-part finish paint job.
But, I'm a kludger so I just traced out the flu cover on some sheet alum. from Home Depot and cut it out with tin snips, then sandwiched it inbetween the seal the flue cover with some silicone sealant and screwed it back onto the van.
Done.

Cabinet prep merely involves removing the front panel from the old fridge, and doing some very minor trimming. You pretty much only have to make the rounded Dometic door corners into 90-deg corners and then do some minor clearancing around the edges for screw heads that poke out of the sides of the TF-49. The bezel of the fridge will nearly cover the rest of the panel.

Sort of like the TARDIS, the TF-49 is smaller on the outside than the old Dometic, but larger on the inside. To that end, we have to install some supports under the fridge to raise it up to the top of the cabinet housing. I used some 3" angle steel I had around the garage, cut and bolted them to the sides.
I also screwed in some standard 3/4" think wood strips along the sides and one on top. this gives you something to screw the old Westy face panel into, and then the flange of the TF-49 screws into that.

The second obstacle is the original Westy 120v power outlet in the cabinet. it faces into the sink side and is a standard-depth metal outlet box. it pokes too far into the fridge side and will keep the TF from sliding home. Here I just replace the single-duplex outlet with a standard double and mounted a right-angle box in the sink side. The extra outlet will provide power to a marine battery charger I'll be installing down the road.

With the angle steel brackets bolted in, and my wood backer strip, you slide the new fridge home and feed the 12v/120v outlet cords through the OG openings. Standard 120v outlet cord goes into the outlet, and the 12v cord with connector goes to your fuse panel..

Image

Next up is the Westy fuse panel that's mounted on the outside of the kitchen cabinetry behind the rear seat. It uses the old style VW ceramic fuses where the rest of the van takes modern blade fuses. I wanted to replace this not just so that I can carry just one type of spare fuse, but also for future expandability.

A generic fuse block from NAPA fits the bill fine:
Image

(it's not really as crooked as the pic makes it look)
One fuse for the fridge, the other for the sink pump. Future lines will be run for added 12v power outlets and a solar charge controller once we get that set up.

I'll also be adding a Ground wire terminal stud at some point to run everything too.

Work progresses, but I still have to fix the passenger side power window motor, install the e-brake cables and the driveshaft!
My ECU and associated relays are all still just dangling around under the back seat. Still thinking-through a custom mounting scheme & cover.

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:13 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
SUBAGON VANARU!
Congrats on "best re-engineered" and thanks for the home-brew.

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Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:23 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Yep, Brian that thing is pretty f'n sweet.


Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:25 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Looked real nice B.


Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:56 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Way to go Brian, congrats on taking home the trophy at BNNTA! Well-deserved! Can't wait to go for a ride in her...

Bill


Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:40 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Thank you all for your compliments and votes, sincerely!! And especially thank you to John Lago for *not* showing up this year so I got TWO unexpected awards!

This work was done purely for my own and Diane's comfort and travels but I have to say it does feel pretty nice to get some validation for all the hard work. Diane was very thrilled as well to hear the news. She was getting pretty near the end of her tolerance I think and now that it's all coming together I think it's helped a great deal to see the value in doing this project.

Still more to do - we leave for Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada in less than 3 weeks!! :shock:

Hopefully she holds together until then and carries us through the trip.

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Brian W. | St. Louis MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch-Top Westy
'73 Thing
'87 Vanagon Syncro Westy / Subaru EZ30d conversion


Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:04 pm
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Post Re: Syncro Maximo Destructo! (AKA Brian's Syncro build threa
Very impressive, Brian ,,, the van conversion & the brew !!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:58 am
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