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Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
10-24-2016, 11:35 AM
Post: #1
Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
I bought my Bus 10 years ago, at that stage stock standard. What a joy! But with 295000km it was soon time to say goodbye to the wbx engine. I had a 2,0 l longblock engine installed. Never had a problem with it although it was never smooth and I always wondered about the engine mountings etc. but drove it for a couple of years. Been all over Botswana, Namibia etc etc.
Then!!!!!
3 years ago returning from a trip I decided, on the spur of the moment, to return home (George) via the Swartberg pass and Oudshoorn instead of the longer tarr road way. Mistake no 1????? Halfway up the pass I found the engine temperature going up very fast. I stopped and flip the switch that I had previously installed to bypass everything and bring the cooling fan straight on. Full blast!!! that should solve it!! But Oh dear no fan!!
As it was a place impossible to turn I waited for the system to cool down and the started the engine to proceed to the first place that I could turn around. I have hardly gone a very small distance when the heat gauge once again soared. Stop and wait again.

By now dearest one of many years, who has just enjoyed an excellent trip with me, some how forgot that and started " I told you not to take this road into the bundus".
Respond: " But my love this is not the bundus and this is what the bus is for, to explore when you have the opportunity"

After about two hours of cooling down and heating up (Myself, my dearest and the bus) I found a place that I could pull off and turn around. That accomplished, my dearest, now outside the bus as hot as hell from the sun and other reasons, myself and the bus contributing of course to this dilemma we are in. ( the fact that the bus ran backward a little during the turn around manoeuvres and came to rest against the wall added a degree or two.) By now some water was lost due to overheating. So I opened the back to see if I could find the reason for overheating so very fast, I thought it should take a little while longer at least????? Now to open the engine bay is feat in itself. Take out the fridge, take the bed and mattress away and, and, and!

OK found the problem! The v-belt driving the water pump is gone??? How is that possible! The fan and the water pump?? Ok. So out comes the toolbox AND the spare belt I always take with. By the time I fitted the belt my dearest was some degrees cooler than myself.
We started down hill to go home the long way around as my dearest wanted all along. "did you fit the belt correctly? Why does it make that odd "pfff pfff' sound"?

Eventually we got home pfff pff and all. And that is where my nightmare started.

Almost three years am many thousand R later I have received the bus back from the workshops. (various).

The first one:

"Uncle I have tested the engine and think you have "blown a top gasket". How is that possible I never told him about the incident on the pass, and I actually thought that my dearest's temperature was quite a bit higher than mine. But her gasket seems to be OK? In any case it was agreed to strip the engine and see. This was done only to be informed that it would be better to overhaul the engine because high temperatures can cause unseen damage. Agreed because the next trip to far away places was already in my mind, and the last thing I want is to be stuck in the dunes of the Kgalakgadi with a stressed out engine! Uncle, you need to replace the mountings and the water cooling bottle as the top has a small crack in it. OK.
The gearbox front oil seal also leaks a bit of oil. Now lately the bus din't like his fourth gear too much and had a tendency to jump out of fourth just as you cruise nicely. Not a big problem but the it does bother when you have to keep it there with your knee. So OK while we are at it open it up. The outcome? Uncle you see the crown wheel and pinion and some washers and, and, and. Ok overhaul the gearbox. After some months a crate arrived full of parts and gears etc. Sorry uncle but we cannot get the spares needed, it will only be R900.00 for stripping and quote. And the quote R26000.00. Wait let me do a little home work before you continue. In the meantime just put everything together again. Ok uncle that will be R1450.00 for assembling the gearbox. WAIT.
I found another gearbox from Francois in Uitenhage and decided to use that instead.
Ok after 2 years the engine was now overhauled, the gearbox sorted out. Now only a new clutch kit and ring gear as a section of the old ring gear was worn. Everything was fitted together ready to be installed. As I by now had some doubts about the quality of workmanship at this well known workshop (established about 15 years ago) I went for a friendly chat and look over of the engine/gearbox etc on which I have by now spent about R38000.00. "What are these things on the gearbox" I enquired. Those are the actuators for the difflock and to disengage the drive shaft when you do not want to drive in 4x4. I distinctly remembered each had 2 small plastic "nipples" on them to connect pipes to. These were now broken off. I searched all over but could not find new ones to replace them. Not to worry uncle we will take them to Servius he always repair them for us. OK

At last the engine and gearbox was installed. BUT!! Uncle the clutch slave cylinder and master cylinder is worn and must be replaced! OK.
Uncle this bush and sleeves on the gear linkage is totally worn out. Ok replace them.

The trip planned long long ago now draws near and my dearest is a bit anxious about every thing and "maybe we should make some other plans, I doubt the bus will be ready".

Then the big day I can get the bus and take it home. Yes uncle we have tested the bus and everything is 100%, but the temperature is a bit higher then expected. WHAT, That was the reason I originally brought you the bus because it was overheating. Now the bus goes to Auto electrician who replaced a relay and a "resistor". I thought those were small things inside a radio??

The bus was delivered at my home. The plastic bumper extension piece inside broken off but luckily left inside the bus and the sliding door handle now also broken off. Small problems I HAVE GOT MY BUS BACK.

Let's go for a ride, even my dearest looked forward to that. After spending about R45000.00 on the bus it must now be as good as new.

Started the but could not get it into gear!! After "dubble clutch" a couple of times and GROUUUUUGH into reverse to back out into the street with my dearest having the faraway look in her eyes. In the street into neutral, dubble cluch, dubble cluch.
GROUUUUUGH into second gear (impossible to engage first gear) GROUUUUUGH, third, GROUUUUUGH fourth and then eventually onto the N2 towards Mosselbay. "did you give them the new engine and gearbox mountings you bought" asked dearest. The noises that come from the back together with shudder suggested otherwise. We limped back home GROUUUUUGH, GROUUUUUGH, GROUUUUUGH,

My loving bus and dearest now both at home. YOU WANT THE BUS, YOU CAN HAVE IT. I AM DONE WITH VW SYNCRO!!!!!

however I will keep my dearest!!!!
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10-24-2016, 12:14 PM
Post: #2
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
Hi Tarentaal10

Sad to here your bad experience with your bus. It is a pity the quality of workmanship on vehicles today is so bad. My guess is that the workshop that you used do not have a clue and have fleeced you out of your hard earned cash. Don't give up and rather send it to someone that is recommended on this forum. You have invested too much on it to give up now.
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10-24-2016, 12:25 PM (This post was last modified: 10-24-2016 12:29 PM by Gerard W.)
Post: #3
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
Hey Tarentaal, I understand your pain. I've paid a lot of school fees since buying my bus in February this year. Also getting an engine rebuild at the moment, but this one I trust.

Where you from, because it sounds like the same type of workshop that had previously done a rebuild on my bus' engine.

Ah ! See on another thread you from George. Yip looks like the same handy work, engine and gearbox.

My bus used to belong to BennieBez. Maybe you know it ?
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10-24-2016, 09:29 PM
Post: #4
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
sorry to hear about your hassle tarentaal, please forward me pic of the syncro, i will be keen to buy it and fix it properly, thanks stuart 083 629 9961,

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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10-25-2016, 08:47 AM
Post: #5
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
Syncromad where are you situated? Maybe we can make arrangement to get my bus to you to sort out? Would you be willing to do that?
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10-25-2016, 09:49 AM
Post: #6
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
(10-24-2016 12:14 PM)Camperholic Wrote:  Hi Tarentaal10

Sad to here your bad experience with your bus. It is a pity the quality of workmanship on vehicles today is so bad. My guess is that the workshop that you used do not have a clue and have fleeced you out of your hard earned cash. Don't give up and rather send it to someone that is recommended on this forum. You have invested too much on it to give up now.

Agreed, you've been doing this for too long not to have a Syncro. All the best in getting it fixed and having many more happy miles with it.
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10-25-2016, 03:16 PM
Post: #7
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
(10-25-2016 08:47 AM)tarentaal10 Wrote:  Syncromad where are you situated? Maybe we can make arrangement to get my bus to you to sort out? Would you be willing to do that?

Hi Tarentaal, i am in pretoria, so a bit Far, but we can do it if you like, send it to me with a car carrier, some like Peter Benn Motors,

Give me a call and we can chat, 083 629 9951

stuart

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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10-25-2016, 08:00 PM
Post: #8
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
Hi Tarentaal. I can only highly recommend Stuart and the Syncro Hospital in Pretoria! I had the WBX and they made my Golf engine conversion when the WBX packed up. The Golf engine works like a bomb!
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10-26-2016, 08:57 AM
Post: #9
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
Thanks for all the encouragement chaps. It seems like all of you are really in love with your syncro's. I have decided to keep mine but take it to one of the persons recommended by you. Will keep you posted.
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10-26-2016, 01:01 PM
Post: #10
RE: Syncro bus - Fed up with it!!!
(10-26-2016 08:57 AM)tarentaal10 Wrote:  Thanks for all the encouragement chaps. It seems like all of you are really in love with your syncro's. I have decided to keep mine but take it to one of the persons recommended by you. Will keep you posted.

That's very good news !! Have mine for 15 years and eventually swopped the 2.1 for 2L Golf ! Frans in Uitenhage sorted my fuel injection and electrics out in less than half a day and we went to the Gariep Saamtrek the next day ! Not looking back and can also reccommend him anytime !!
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