Syncro Conversion Process
These are pictures of
one of the VW
Westfalia Vanagons
that I converted to a
Syncro (four wheel
This is the starting! Take a well used 1983 2 wheel
drive water cooled Westfalia Vanagon.
You need to find a good Syncro donor, I found this
one in the local paper. It was hit and rolled when
someone ran a stop sign. Although it was rolled, had
a broken axle, bent rims and multiple broken
windows I still drove it home 15 miles! I had already
started to strip it at this point.
The first step is to cut the front
suspension off of the 2 wheel
drive vanagon.
There are many steps I have left out and many pictures I didn't
post. This is not a task for the weekend warrior mechanic! This
is a massive task and if done incorrectly it could cause loss of
life and limb. Please do not try this unless you are competent.
You can e-mail me for more info if necessary. I have dealt with
many issues in the conversions I have done. If you choose to
do this you should try to have the complete Syncro at your
disposal and convert a 1986 or newer Vanagon. The wiring
and many other things are interchangeable.
Here is the most
recent project. This is
a 1985 two wheel
drive Westy that had
a bad engine.

Here is the finished
product, a beautiful
1985 Syncro
This is the front end of the Syncro after I cut the rack &
pinion mount off. I chose to cut through the frame and
grind the excess material off. This enabled me to keep the
structural integrity of the part. I have seen this done where
the part has become weakened by someone cutting it off

This is the Syncro R&P mount welded/bolted to the 2wd

This is the Syncro front differential and suspension, it bolts
to the 2wd chassis using 4 existing holes towards the rear
of the assembly. The six front holes need to be drilled, you
can use the existing sway bar mount holes too.

Aligning the springs and shocks prior to installing the upper
control arms.

Here the front suspension is installed.        

The hardest part in my opinion, of this whole project was
the fuel tank installation. It is a tight fit!! You need to either
cut the Syncro tank mounts off and use them or fabricate
some. It is best to use the stock mounts.

I decided to change out the complete wiring from the
Syncro as well as the radiator and many other updated