T3 Owners Handbook

I am occasionally asked if there is a source for the original Owners Handbook.  I don't know of any so I bit the bullet, scanned the whole thing and put it into a printable Word document.  Because it is a humungous size, I don't want to put it on the website and eat up capacity.  If anyone wants it, please email your address to me and I will send it on DVD.  It can be printed direct off the DVD.
 
Les
I also think that you can buy them from Bentley.

Volkswagen Vanagon / Transporter Owner's Manual: 1990, 1991
by Volkswagen of America
Softcover, 8 1/4 in. x 5 3/4 in.
Bentley Stock Number: RV90
VW Part No. WSA90155125021
ISBN-10: 0-8376-0897-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-8376-0897-6
Price: $29.95
Add to Cart



Volkswagen Owners Manual: Vanagon/Transporter: 1990, 1991

This is the original owner's manual that came in the glove box of the new vehicle. It contains operating instructions and a summary of technical data and maintenance procedures.

For repair manual information or technical training, please see products listed below.

Vanagon / Transporter: 1990, 1991 instrument panel
(click to enlarge)


VW VANAGON/TRANSPORTER 1990/91 OM
> Les Harris <leslieharris@optushome.com.au> wrote:
>
> I am occasionally asked if there is a source for the original Owners
> Handbook. I don't know of any so I bit the bullet, scanned the whole
> thing and put it into a printable Word document. Because it is a
> humungous size, I don't want to put it on the website and eat up
> capacity. If anyone wants it, please email your address to me and I
> will send it on DVD. It can be printed direct off the DVD.
>
> Les
>
Phill, Christoph,
 
You are both well versed in VW publications.  The one that I have (and presumably the one accompanying Australian delivered T3's) has the following on the spine:
 
      englisch 7.89     901.551.250.20
 
(Note that this is as shown - the word 'englisch' does not have an initial capital.)
 
(The Bentleys offering has a one-higher part number.)
 
The cover bears the following:
 
      Instruction Manual
      Volkswagen Transporter
      Volkswagen Caravelle
 
Interestingly, page 2 starts with the following:
 
This instruction manual is valid for all Transported/Caravelle models available ex-factory.
  • Caravelle
  • Kombi
  • Delivery Van
  • Dropside Truck
  • Double Cab
      with petrol or diesel engine
      Rear wheel drive and four-wheel-drive (syncro)*
 
          *note no caps
 
The word Vanagon does not appear anywhere.  This was probably the handbook for all English speaking and RH drive countries.
 
Phill,
 
What month/year did the Syncro go on sale in Australia?
 
Les
 
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

I also think that you can buy them from Bentley.

Volkswagen Vanagon / Transporter Owner's Manual: 1990, 1991
by Volkswagen of America
Softcover, 8 1/4 in. x 5 3/4 in.
Bentley Stock Number: RV90
VW Part No. WSA90155125021
ISBN-10: 0-8376-0897- X
ISBN-13: 978-0-8376-0897- 6
Price: $29.95
Add to Cart

Volkswagen Owners Manual: Vanagon/Transporter : 1990, 1991

This is the original owner's manual that came in the glove box of the new vehicle. It contains operating instructions and a summary of technical data and maintenance procedures.

For repair manual information or technical training, please see products listed below.

Vanagon / Transporter: 1990, 1991 instrument panel
(click to enlarge)


VW VANAGON/TRANSPORTER 1990/91 OM
> Les Harris <leslieharris@ optushome. com.au> wrote:
>
> I am occasionally asked if there is a source for the original Owners
> Handbook. I don't know of any so I bit the bullet, scanned the whole
> thing and put it into a printable Word document. Because it is a
> humungous size, I don't want to put it on the website and eat up
> capacity. If anyone wants it, please email your address to me and I
> will send it on DVD. It can be printed direct off the DVD.
>
> Les
>

> Les Harris <leslieharris@optushome.com.au> wrote:
>
> Phill, Christoph,
>
> You are both well versed in VW publications. The one that I have (and
> presumably the one accompanying Australian delivered T3's) has the
> following on the spine:
>
> englisch 7.89 901.551.250.20
>
> (Note that this is as shown - the word 'englisch' does not have an
> initial capital.)

Nouns have capitals, not adjectives in German. (or something grammatical like that)






>
> (The Bentleys offering has a one-higher part number.)


Special version for the seppo market. (spelling, legal etc.)
>
>> Rear wheel drive and four-wheel-drive (syncro)*
>
> *note no caps

syncro and quattro are never spelled with caps. (German grammar thing)





>
> The word Vanagon does not appear anywhere. This was probably the
> handbook for all English speaking and RH drive countries.

There are two Eglish versions, the US one and the world. There could also be a SA one maybe.




>
> Phill,
>
> What month/year did the Syncro go on sale in Australia?
>
> Les

I would like to know that one! It was around very late '86 or '87 from memory.

Phill
Phill,
 
I do have some diary notes and some commercial information from that time, so I will hunt them out and we will try to derive an introduction date.
 
Les
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook




I would like to know that one! It was around very late '86 or '87 from memory.

Phill

Hi Les,

 

That’s the one I have too –mine starts with 2.89 (and it is printed on the back not the spine.) so presumably mine is a bit older than yours.

It’s 152 pages in total.

 

When I got it out I saw the original Trakka instructions for the “Bronco”  which must be what they called our vans. Also another one which is operating instructions for the Trakka LWB “4 seat” camper.  . There’s also an operating booklet for the indel B fridge.

 

If you want them I can get them copied or scanned.  The instructions for the bronco are hand typed and not in fabulous condition but if you don’t have them they might be of some help. Let me know.

 

Cheers

 

Stu

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Les Harris
Sent: Tuesday, 30 September 2008 9:08 AM
To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

 

Phill, Christoph,

 

You are both well versed in VW publications.  The one that I have (and presumably the one accompanying Australian delivered T3's) has the following on the spine:

 

      englisch 7.89     901.551.250. 20

 

(Note that this is as shown - the word 'englisch' does not have an initial capital.)

 

(The Bentleys offering has a one-higher part number.)

 

The cover bears the following:

 

      Instruction Manual

      Volkswagen Transporter

      Volkswagen Caravelle

 

Interestingly, page 2 starts with the following:

 

This instruction manual is valid for all Transported/ Caravelle models available ex-factory.

·         Caravelle

·         Kombi

·         Delivery Van

·         Dropside Truck

·         Double Cab

      with petrol or diesel engine

      Rear wheel drive and four-wheel-drive (syncro)*

 

          *note no caps

 

The word Vanagon does not appear anywhere.  This was probably the handbook for all English speaking and RH drive countries.

 

Phill,

 

What month/year did the Syncro go on sale in Australia?

 

Les

 

 

 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 7:29 AM

Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australi a] T3 Owners Handbook

 

I also think that you can buy them from Bentley.

Volkswagen Vanagon / Transporter Owner's Manual: 1990, 1991
by Volkswagen of America
Softcover, 8 1/4 in. x 5 3/4 in.
Bentley Stock Number: RV90
VW Part No. WSA90155125021
ISBN-10: 0-8376-0897- X
ISBN-13: 978-0-8376-0897- 6
Price: $29.95
Add to Cart

Volkswagen Owners Manual: Vanagon/Transporter : 1990, 1991

This is the original owner's manual that came in the glove box of the new vehicle. It contains operating instructions and a summary of technical data and maintenance procedures.

For repair manual information or technical training, please see products listed below.

Vanagon / Transporter: 1990, 1991 instrument panel
(click to enlarge)


VW VANAGON/TRANSPORTER 1990/91 OM
> Les Harris <leslieharris@ optushome. com.au> wrote:
>
> I am occasionally asked if there is a source for the original Owners
> Handbook. I don't know of any so I bit the bullet, scanned the whole
> thing and put it into a printable Word document. Because it is a
> humungous size, I don't want to put it on the website and eat up
> capacity. If anyone wants it, please email your address to me and I
> will send it on DVD. It can be printed direct off the DVD.
>
> Les
>

Stu,
 
That's interesting.  Do you have any idea of the date your Syncro was sold as a new vehicle?  Bronco was what Trakka called the conversion, as shown in the brochure in the data section of our website.  We both have the Trakka instruction book - we went through this some years ago - but we are both missing the wiring diagram page/s.  The Trakka LWB 4 seat camper has me stumped.  Does it refer to the T3?  I am not sure if I have the Intel book - don't think so, so I will have a look.
 
Les
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:45 AM
Subject: RE: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

Hi Les,

 

That’s the one I have too –mine starts with 2.89 (and it is printed on the back not the spine.) so presumably mine is a bit older than yours.

It’s 152 pages in total.

 

When I got it out I saw the original Trakka instructions for the “Bronco”  which must be what they called our vans. Also another one which is operating instructions for the Trakka LWB “4 seat” camper.  . There’s also an operating booklet for the indel B fridge.

 

If you want them I can get them copied or scanned.  The instructions for the bronco are hand typed and not in fabulous condition but if you don’t have them they might be of some help. Let me know.

 

Cheers

 

Stu

.

Hi Les,

 

I have the VAG service book which shows it was first registered 22/12/89.

 

The other Trakka document just says Volkswagen LWB “4 seat” camper so you would have to guess it is  Transporter.  It has some stuff on the olar panels and the hot water system and shower which I don’t think your Trakka has.  I’ll show you at the VW day.

 

Cheers

 

Stu

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Les Harris
Sent: Tuesday, 30 September 2008 10:20 AM
To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

 

Stu,

 

That's interesting.  Do you have any idea of the date your Syncro was sold as a new vehicle?  Bronco was what Trakka called the conversion, as shown in the brochure in the data section of our website.  We both have the Trakka instruction book - we went through this some years ago - but we are both missing the wiring diagram page/s.  The Trakka LWB 4 seat camper has me stumped.  Does it refer to the T3?  I am not sure if I have the Intel book - don't think so, so I will have a look.

 

Les

 

----- Original Message -----

From: stuart parry

Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:45 AM

Subject: RE: [Syncro_T3_Australi a] T3 Owners Handbook

 

Hi Les,

 

That’s the one I have too –mine starts with 2.89 (and it is printed on the back not the spine.) so presumably mine is a bit older than yours.

It’s 152 pages in total.

 

When I got it out I saw the original Trakka instructions for the “Bronco”  which must be what they called our vans. Also another one which is operating instructions for the Trakka LWB “4 seat” camper.  . There’s also an operating booklet for the indel B fridge.

 

If you want them I can get them copied or scanned.  The instructions for the bronco are hand typed and not in fabulous condition but if you don’t have them they might be of some help. Let me know.

 

Cheers

 

Stu

.



Stu,
 
Thanks.  See you at Cranbourne.
 
Les
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:45 AM
Subject: RE: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

Hi Les,

 

I have the VAG service book which shows it was first registered 22/12/89.

 

The other Trakka document just says Volkswagen LWB “4 seat” camper so you would have to guess it is  Transporter.  It has some stuff on the olar panels and the hot water system and shower which I don’t think your Trakka has.  I’ll show you at the VW day.

 

Cheers

 

Stu

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Syncro_T3_Australia @yahoogroups. com [mailto:Syncro_ T3_Australia@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Les Harris
Sent: Tuesday, 30 September 2008 10:20 AM
To: Syncro_T3_Australia @yahoogroups. com
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australi a] T3 Owners Handbook

 

Stu,

 

That's interesting.  Do you have any idea of the date your Syncro was sold as a new vehicle?  Bronco was what Trakka called the conversion, as shown in the brochure in the data section of our website.  We both have the Trakka instruction book - we went through this some years ago - but we are both missing the wiring diagram page/s.  The Trakka LWB 4 seat camper has me stumped.  Does it refer to the T3?  I am not sure if I have the Intel book - don't think so, so I will have a look.

 

Les

 

----- Original Message -----

From: stuart parry

Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:45 AM

Subject: RE: [Syncro_T3_Australi a] T3 Owners Handbook

 

Hi Les,

 

That’s the one I have too –mine starts with 2.89 (and it is printed on the back not the spine.) so presumably mine is a bit older than yours.

It’s 152 pages in total.

 

When I got it out I saw the original Trakka instructions for the “Bronco”  which must be what they called our vans. Also another one which is operating instructions for the Trakka LWB “4 seat” camper.  . There’s also an operating booklet for the indel B fridge.

 

If you want them I can get them copied or scanned.  The instructions for the bronco are hand typed and not in fabulous condition but if you don’t have them they might be of some help. Let me know.

 

Cheers

 

Stu

.



Wonder if others have seen this article in the on line trading post which is the closest I've seen to a T3 twin cab syncro  replacement
 
http://client.zeroin.com.au/ct/627843:1142038703:m:3:143785508:90A82B43D12A223A77001D491F16
511C



Not sure I could ever get to love it though, even if they included a panel van in the future variations.
 
Cheers
 
Roger


 



Make the switch to the world's best email. Get Yahoo!7 Mail.
The time has come to sort out my drivetrain.

I need to get a VC as mine is passive. Is there a source in Australia
or do i just go overseas?

I think i'm going to go standard as I can't really afford a decoupler
though i'm tempted by Busman's Sport VC plus decoupler.

My driveshaft (tailshaft) is also suffering from vibration issues and
the UJ's feel a bit notchy so i will replace.

Does anyone have a source for these in Australia along with the rubber
donut? I seem to remember there is a BMW part that is an exact fit.

I thought i'd try replacing all this myself and if that doesn't stop
the vibration, i'll get it balanced.

Any other thoughts recommendations appreciated.

Cheers

Gary Cookson
Gday Garry,

Murray Lee on this forum comes from Sydney and he's the only one I know
has recently had installed a new VC, so he'd be worth asking details
about supplier and installer.

Heh Murray, I've just dobbed you in .... sorry m8y ....... lol

Cheers.

Ken


--- In Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com, Gary Cookson <gary@...>
wrote:
>
> The time has come to sort out my drivetrain.
>
> I need to get a VC as mine is passive. Is there a source in Australia
> or do i just go overseas?
>
> I think i'm going to go standard as I can't really afford a decoupler
> though i'm tempted by Busman's Sport VC plus decoupler.
>
> My driveshaft (tailshaft) is also suffering from vibration issues and
> the UJ's feel a bit notchy so i will replace.
>
> Does anyone have a source for these in Australia along with the rubber
> donut? I seem to remember there is a BMW part that is an exact fit.
>
> I thought i'd try replacing all this myself and if that doesn't stop
> the vibration, i'll get it balanced.
>
> Any other thoughts recommendations appreciated.
>
> Cheers
>
> Gary Cookson
>

Hola, Les long time no speak!

I picked up my syncro last week which is good, but unfortunately had some problems, which is not so good.  Note I have an instruction Manual for the Volkswagen Transporter / Caravelle wich covers the syncro, with the englisch and 891.. no's, so I gather that's the owners manual you are referring to?

Great van, very happy despite the problems, not surprised considering the price.

At the VW service centre where I had a look at it initially, they were having problems with the starter motor.  So they put a 'new' one in.  They continued to have problems with it so they put a new computer in it.  Anyway then then they reckon it went fine.  I then picked it up from the seller and drove to Straddy, thinking that it was running a little rough but figured I'd get our mechanic to give it a bit of tune up.  Next day however I couldn't start it.  It ticked over and lights came on but no start.  Tried calling the VW garage but he's gone away for about a month. So my neighbour who is a very good full time mechanic had a quick look and said the starter motor wasn't new just probably reconditioned, he fiddled with it and it starts now.  Still seems to be running strangely though, I seems like its getting too much fuel (?), it idles OK but in 2nd and 3rd seems very throaty and shudders a bit.  Anyway the mechanic is going to go over it on monday and will give it a general tune and going over.  I don't think it's anything serious, he didn't seem to think so and has worked on these cars before.  (said the coolant is sooo expensive for syncros).   I took it for a test drive around Brown lake which is very sandy and it drove well..  Note - I couldn't get the rear diff locked, pulled the button out but no light went on.  I jiggled the steering wheel side to side while going slow as the instruction manual says but no joy.  Any tips for this?   I'll get the mech to check this out too.  Anway didn't get bogged even in all wheel drive which is good.  Intending to get some all terrain tyres so that will help.

Ciao, Lucy



----- Original Message ----
From: Les Harris <leslieharris@optushome.com.au>
To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 10:20:00 AM
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

Stu,
 
That's interesting.  Do you have any idea of the date your Syncro was sold as a new vehicle?  Bronco was what Trakka called the conversion, as shown in the brochure in the data section of our website.  We both have the Trakka instruction book - we went through this some years ago - but we are both missing the wiring diagram page/s.  The Trakka LWB 4 seat camper has me stumped.  Does it refer to the T3?  I am not sure if I have the Intel book - don't think so, so I will have a look.
 
Les
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 9:45 AM
Subject: RE: [Syncro_T3_Australi a] T3 Owners Handbook

Hi Les,

 

That’s the one I have too –mine starts with 2.89 (and it is printed on the back not the spine.) so presumably mine is a bit older than yours.

It’s 152 pages in total.

 

When I got it out I saw the original Trakka instructions for the “Bronco”  which must be what they called our vans. Also another one which is operating instructions for the Trakka LWB “4 seat” camper.  . There’s also an operating booklet for the indel B fridge.

 

If you want them I can get them copied or scanned.  The instructions for the bronco are hand typed and not in fabulous condition but if you don’t have them they might be of some help. Let me know.

 

Cheers

 

Stu

.


Answers inserted in blue.
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

Hola, Les long time no speak!

I picked up my syncro last week which is good, but unfortunately had some problems, which is not so good.  Note I have an instruction Manual for the Volkswagen Transporter / Caravelle which covers the Syncro, with the englisch and 891.. no's, so I gather that's the owners manual you are referring to?

That's probably the right one.  It will have a part number on it.  Let me know what the number is.  If it's not the Australian edition, I can send it to you on CD.  In any event, read it thoroughly.  There is a lot in it that you need to know.

Great van, very happy despite the problems, not surprised considering the price.

At the VW service centre where I had a look at it initially, they were having problems with the starter motor.  So they put a 'new' one in.  They continued to have problems with it so they put a new computer in it. 

There are lots of things that talk to the ECU (computer) and any signal input that is off what it should be can cause problems.  The ECU determines when the spark plugs fire and how much fuel to inject at each pulse.  This in turn is determined by the signals that tell the ECU what the outside temperature is, what the engine temperature is and similar.  Generally, the procedure is to ensure that the input signals are correct before replacing the ECU.  If the incoming signals are correct, the ECU can be reset by a couple of specialist places in Australia.

Anyway then they reckon it went fine.  I then picked it up from the seller and drove to Straddy, thinking that it was running a little rough but figured I'd get our mechanic to give it a bit of tune up.  Next day however I couldn't start it.  It ticked over and lights came on but no start.  Tried calling the VW garage but he's gone away for about a month. So my neighbour who is a very good full time mechanic had a quick look and said the starter motor wasn't new just probably reconditioned, he fiddled with it and it starts now. 

There aren't any new starters left but a reconditioned starter is quite OK.

Still seems to be running strangely though, I seems like its getting too much fuel (?), it idles OK but in 2nd and 3rd seems very throaty and shudders a bit.  Anyway the mechanic is going to go over it on Monday and will give it a general tune and going over. 

He will need to determine the signals going into the ECU.  It should never shudder.  The signal values are all covered in the Bentleys manual.  This manual is the original VAG manual, now printed under licence by Bentley in the US.  The best recent price that I can find is about $AU180.  This might sound expensive but it is a lot less expensive than guessing!

I don't think it's anything serious, he didn't seem to think so and has worked on these cars before. 

The ECU is the same as the ECU in the two wheel drive T3

 (said the coolant is sooo expensive for Syncros).  

Don't EVER run anything other than the VW specifies coolant.  The coolant also circulates around the long studs that hold the heads to the crankcase.  The wrong coolant or plain water allows the studs to corrode right through.  Stud replacement is a long, painful and expensive job.

I took it for a test drive around Brown lake which is very sandy and it drove well..  Note - I couldn't get the rear diff locked, pulled the button out but no light went on.  I jiggled the steering wheel side to side while going slow as the instruction manual says but no joy.  Any tips for this?  

The diff lock actuator is attached to the RH side (driver's side) of the diff housing, above the drive shaft.  It is operated by a vacuum actuator.  (The "switch" on the dash is a vacuum valve.)  You have to first establish that you are getting vacuum to the actuator.  If not, find why and fix it.  If vac is present, it is probably the actuator shaft that goes into the diff housing.  They accumulate gunk over time and will seize up.  When it is functioning properly, it pays to engage and disengage the lock at least once a week so that the shaft stays clear of accumulations.

I'll get the mech to check this out too.  Anyway didn't get bogged even in all wheel drive which is good. 

Not quite sure what you mean.  It is a full time all wheel drive - assuming that the VC is functioning - unless there is a decoupler fitted.

Intending to get some all terrain tyres so that will help.

The best tyre is probably the B F Goodrich All Terrain but they have ceased manufacturing the 14" version.  Knowing that this would probably happen, I had a set of 15" wheels made (to the correct offset, which is VERY important) and have been able to continue to use the B F Goodrich.  I suggest that you ask the Syncro_T3_Australia group for recommendations for the 14" wheel.  Beware of el cheapo tyres.

Ciao, Lucy


 

From my research on tyres the only 14" all terrain tyres available in a reputable brand are Toyo. They were expensive last time i found anywhere that had them. A problem if you are travelling and wreck one.

There are others from Kumho and Nankang but they tend to be mud terrain tyres so too agressive for general road use.

You can get standard light truck tyres with a fairly agressive looking tread but they are not all terrain. They are pretty cheap though.

If you don't want to get wheels made there are 15" Mercedes Steel wheels that are a straight fit if you can find some. I have some so i can give you a part number which might help. They come up on ebay.

Les has a contact for getting your stock steelies remanufactured to 15". 

There are also Mercedes and Audi alloys which can be made to fit with varying degrees of difficulty.

Some links 



A member from this list BenT has a page or two as well






Intending to get some all terrain tyres so that will help.

The best tyre is probably the B F Goodrich All Terrain but they have ceased manufacturing the 14" version.  Knowing that this would probably happen, I had a set of 15" wheels made (to the correct offset, which is VERY important) and have been able to continue to use the B F Goodrich.  I suggest that you ask the Syncro_T3_Australia group for recommendations for the 14" wheel.  Beware of el cheapo tyres.

Ciao, Lucy


 



Thanks Les, the mechanic has sent the starter motor off to be rebuilt and is replacing the spark plugs which were pretty ordinary apparently.  Then a tune up and a test drive around to investigate the shuddering.  I will talk to him about the ECU too which could explain that?  (Note the shuddering is not all the time and the Mech didn't notice it)  I noticed it sporadically while driving in heavy traffic and low gears.   Cheers, Lucy.


----- Original Message ----
From: Les Harris <leslieharris@optushome.com.au>
To: Syncro_T3_Australia@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 1:05:38 PM
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australia] T3 Owners Handbook

Answers inserted in blue.
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, October 10, 2008 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: [Syncro_T3_Australi a] T3 Owners Handbook

Hola, Les long time no speak!

I picked up my syncro last week which is good, but unfortunately had some problems, which is not so good.  Note I have an instruction Manual for the Volkswagen Transporter / Caravelle which covers the Syncro, with the englisch and 891.. no's, so I gather that's the owners manual you are referring to?

That's probably the right one.  It will have a part number on it.  Let me know what the number is.  If it's not the Australian edition, I can send it to you on CD.  In any event, read it thoroughly.  There is a lot in it that you need to know.

Great van, very happy despite the problems, not surprised considering the price.

At the VW service centre where I had a look at it initially, they were having problems with the starter motor.  So they put a 'new' one in.  They continued to have problems with it so they put a new computer in it. 

There are lots of things that talk to the ECU (computer) and any signal input that is off what it should be can cause problems.  The ECU determines when the spark plugs fire and how much fuel to inject at each pulse.  This in turn is determined by the signals that tell the ECU what the outside temperature is, what the engine temperature is and similar.  Generally, the procedure is to ensure that the input signals are correct before replacing the ECU.  If the incoming signals are correct, the ECU can be reset by a couple of specialist places in Australia.

Anyway then they reckon it went fine.  I then picked it up from the seller and drove to Straddy, thinking that it was running a little rough but figured I'd get our mechanic to give it a bit of tune up.  Next day however I couldn't start it.  It ticked over and lights came on but no start.  Tried calling the VW garage but he's gone away for about a month. So my neighbour who is a very good full time mechanic had a quick look and said the starter motor wasn't new just probably reconditioned, he fiddled with it and it starts now. 

There aren't any new starters left but a reconditioned starter is quite OK.

Still seems to be running strangely though, I seems like its getting too much fuel (?), it idles OK but in 2nd and 3rd seems very throaty and shudders a bit.  Anyway the mechanic is going to go over it on Monday and will give it a general tune and going over. 

He will need to determine the signals going into the ECU.  It should never shudder.  The signal values are all covered in the Bentleys manual.  This manual is the original VAG manual, now printed under licence by Bentley in the US.  The best recent price that I can find is about $AU180.  This might sound expensive but it is a lot less expensive than guessing!

I don't think it's anything serious, he didn't seem to think so and has worked on these cars before. 

The ECU is the same as the ECU in the two wheel drive T3

 (said the coolant is sooo expensive for Syncros).  

Don't EVER run anything other than the VW specifies coolant.  The coolant also circulates around the long studs that hold the heads to the crankcase.  The wrong coolant or plain water allows the studs to corrode right through.  Stud replacement is a long, painful and expensive job.

I took it for a test drive around Brown lake which is very sandy and it drove well..  Note - I couldn't get the rear diff locked, pulled the button out but no light went on.  I jiggled the steering wheel side to side while going slow as the instruction manual says but no joy.  Any tips for this?  

The diff lock actuator is attached to the RH side (driver's side) of the diff housing, above the drive shaft.  It is operated by a vacuum actuator.  (The "switch" on the dash is a vacuum valve.)  You have to first establish that you are getting vacuum to the actuator.  If not, find why and fix it.  If vac is present, it is probably the actuator shaft that goes into the diff housing.  They accumulate gunk over time and will seize up.  When it is functioning properly, it pays to engage and disengage the lock at least once a week so that the shaft stays clear of accumulations.

I'll get the mech to check this out too.  Anyway didn't get bogged even in all wheel drive which is good. 

Not quite sure what you mean.  It is a full time all wheel drive - assuming that the VC is functioning - unless there is a decoupler fitted.

Intending to get some all terrain tyres so that will help.

The best tyre is probably the B F Goodrich All Terrain but they have ceased manufacturing the 14" version.  Knowing that this would probably happen, I had a set of 15" wheels made (to the correct offset, which is VERY important) and have been able to continue to use the B F Goodrich.  I suggest that you ask the Syncro_T3_Australia group for recommendations for the 14" wheel.  Beware of el cheapo tyres.

Ciao, Lucy