Our Syncro's future.

Hello Fellow Syncro's
I'm putting it out there to find some advice about my Ex Telstra 1991 straight Syncro Transporter.(no diff locks.)
I'm not  mechanically minded and all  mechanical work on my bus is by professional mechanics. So everthing hits my hip pocket.
My bus has just hit 25000 k's on the clock and recently on a trip to Sydney on the Hume Freeway, sitting on posted speed limits of 100 & 110kph noticed that she was gulping through the oil. (Shell Helix). There and back I think she went through about 3.5 litres of oil. Interestly  when around town  oil consumption  is not nearly so high. Also no black smoke is emmitted from the exhaust and except for the high oil  consumption the old girl gives me no grief.
I also think my petrol consumption has risen and the 880klm trip home went through 140 litres of juice which is roughly 16litres per 100klms. What are other syncro's averaging in fuel consumption?
Do the above conditions indicate that my engine is on the way out?
Could preventitive measures mean  new rings and seals? If so and replaced, how long can I expect the existing engine to continue before it would need a total rebuild.
Would it make better economics to replace the old engine  with a reconditioned  wasserboxer now to maximise the capital outlay and get another 10-20 years from the old girl.
I've just spent  nearly $2.5k on reconditioning the gearbox.
Or would I be better off to install a more powerful and fuel efficient reconditioned engine like a Subaru. I remember reading in one of the  e-mails some member getting 10 litres-per 100klms  from Brisbane  to Sydney with a Subaru donk.Then there is Bernt in Germany specialising in diesel conversions. Has anyone gone down this path? And with rising fuel prices has anyone out there converted to LPG.
Like most of you, I love my bus, but  lets face it, our  T3 brick Syncro's are hardly coefficient and  with only 4 road gears, cost money to run and to maintain and right now I'm trying to plan the most viable and economic future for the old girl.
I know this is all vague and wide encompassing but I,m sure it's something that some have already given considerable thought to, and others like myself are now considering.
In advance, thanks for taking the time to get this far in  reading my rantings and any comments relating to all or any of the above would be greatly appreciated.
Go Syncro's
Michael Rayner
Melbourne.


 
michael,
 
we're the two german syncronauts of the group who travelled australia for 8 months in 2004 with our syncro.
 
I also think my petrol consumption has risen and the 880klm trip home went through 140 litres of juice which is roughly 16litres per 100klms. What are other syncro's averaging in fuel consumption?
when we started travelling, the syncro had 159.000 km on the clock - no gearbox or engine rebuild.
when we finished we had driven 30.000 km and recognized an average fuel consumption of 13,5 liters/100 km, 1 liter oil consumption in 15.000 km and 1 liter coolant consumption in 30.000 km. the fuel consumption depended on the weather and road conditions. in "cool" climate and bitumen fuel consumption was around 11,5 to 12,5 liters, in "hot" climate WITH ONCOMING WIND and bitumen it was between 15 and 17 liters - both with around 100km/h. in the outback with "warm" climate and gravel roads it was between 14 and 15 liters most of the time when doing around 80 km/h. all of the time the syncro was laden with 2200 to 2400 kg.

Do the above conditions indicate that my engine is on the way out?
some of the persons of the group with technical knowledge might answer this better than we, we can only say that our manual says "up to 1 liter oil consumption in 1000km is still absolutely all right."

Would it make better economics to replace the old engine  with a reconditioned  wasserboxer now to maximise the capital outlay and get another 10-20 years from the old girl.
I've just spent  nearly $2.5k on reconditioning the gearbox.
Or would I be better off to install a more powerful and fuel efficient reconditioned engine like a Subaru. I remember reading in one of the  e-mails some member getting 10 litres-per 100klms  from Brisbane  to Sydney with a Subaru donk.Then there is Bernt in Germany specialising in diesel conversions. Has anyone gone down this path?
as it has been spoken about in the group earlier before: everything depends on each persons usage of the syncro.
 
we're just being in the same process. every person may have their own opinion about what is worth to do or not, but we have decided to do the bernd jaeger diesel conversion (which probably means to wait for another two years unfortunately). the syncro is a great thing which we hope is going to last for at least another 10 or 20 years. but within that time, spending 13,5 liters of petrol is a bit much (in germany the price for petrol is now being 2,08 AUD/liter, diesel is 1,84 AUD/liter and bio-diesel is 1,58 AUD/liters when we assume that 1 EURO is 1,75 AUD). 
not to be able to visit one of the great places of australia because we had a petrol engine and couldn't cross a river because it was a few centimeters to deep was unfortunate. (of course their's always rivers that are too deep to cross with a car at all.)
and tormenting the engine and gearbox for several kilometers in 1st gear in deep sand is not that nice too... 
 
only personal view, sorry. unfortunately not able to tell if the conversion is going to pay in the long run - with good luck eventually will.
 
regards
 
joachim and jasmin
germany
Michael
Well I've gone the diesel path. I have a Golf 1.9TDI in the
back of the Syncro now. Still getting things sorted out and it's a long
expensive route. The first thing that happened was that the Injector
Pump leaked, so a new one there ($2,100). Didn't bother getting it fixed
as I had heard of another person getting his fixed ($800) only for it to
have another problem 3 weeks later.

Because diesels need to run at lower revs it meant different ratio 3rd
and 4th gears. (about $1600) Got them in a couple of weeks ago and it is
much better to drive now. The original engine mounting wasn't done very
well so I got that redone, much better now. Need more sound proofing as
the diesel is a lot noiser than a petrol.

The advantage is that I drove home from Brisbane last saturday on a tank
of fuel. So about 700km on a tank.

I think if I was doing it again I would most likely go for a Subaru
engine. Was speaking tonight to someone who went the subaru path and he
is really happy with it, plenty of power and speed. Easily passes trucks
that he wouldn't have attempted with the old 2.1 engine. With that
conversion you wouldn't have to worry about new gears. In a diesel what
you save in fuel is easily spent in repairs and maintenance. I have a
diesel 405 Peugeot as well and it can get 5.3 l/100km on a long trip,
but same deal, high maintenance costs.

If you do any conversion find someone who has done it at least a couple
of times before so all the problems are sorted out, unless you are doing
it yourself of course. Mine was a one off. Not easy. Good luck

Bruce Black
Gracemere CQ

PS But I do like diesels !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!