When I got into the shop I spent some time cleaning old paint from the Syncro fuel filler door trim. It is held on by two easy to access and remove Philips screws. Some lazy clod must have left it on when doing some paint work on der Thunderwagen and had gotten gold overspray on its leading and trailing edges. I spent a lengthy amount of time with lacquer thinner and a fresh razor blade getting the old paint off. After I installed the trim and put the van up in the air, I discovered a very small puddle of fuel under the fuel tank outlet. After way too much time screwing around, I solved the issue, but I had to drain the tank and that brought back memories of lying on the dissolving asphalt in Denver under der Thunderwagen in a puddle of burning fuel from head to thigh. Yikes!
After that, I called for my lovely assistant and she helped me install the left front shock and spring. Again, the new spring compressor made a massive difference in making the job much easier. I finished by buttoning up the left front suspension. The front end was essentially done. I was curious to see how the van sat, so I hung the rear wheels with a couple of lug nuts and set the van on the floor. Wow, it is so tall!
Once again, there are Syncro-specific differences to the engine setup. The engine and transmission sit lower in the Syncro since there needs to be room for the front of the transmission to clear the rear crossmemeber and allow for a driveshaft to bolt up to it’s forward output flange. The engine cradle and rear heat shield tin needed to be swapped, as well as the muffler saddles. Also, since I was converting from automatic to manual, I needed to replace the flex plate with a proper flywheel and clutch. Part of that process involves setting the crankshaft endplay (thrust clearance). The crankshaft pulley on the Syncro has a different seal designed for fording rivers — no joke (I’m realizing I’ve done very little write up on the Syncro and why it is a remarkable vehicle. More on that later). The setup has a special sleeve that is pressed onto the hub of the crank pulley and the seal is, obviously, different as a result.
With all that done, it was time to install the engine. Once it was in, I hooked up a few easy things, but it was late and I was spent.
Day Twelve Complete!