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Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka and most of a Syncro Panel Van as well.


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I took the prop off this last week, a few days before snow chaos, so sorry about that.

It drives a lot better without it, it's really confirmed it needs recon viscous coupler. I've got one on the way from Austria.

Brickwerks finally got the new wheels in stock as I need an extra steel to have a matchign size spare to keep in rotation, but these are slightly different in design and I can't decide whether it'll bug me like mad having one odd wheel and to get a full set or not:





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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I got a full set. 


Very disappointed with the wheels, really. Paint is cheap looking, the "seam" in the barrel is poorly finished, centre bore too small.

They're on and it drives well, but I wish I could find an old mefro wheel to make a set, they suit it better.






I do prefer the look of the other tyres, they're a lot less "monster energy" but these will be better off road.

They'll go on my works caddy if it snows again:



The new viscous coupling has arrived from Austria. Not cheap, but really good service - they sent it over before even asking for payment. Seems mad really.

I'll get it fitted over christmas.



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  • 2 weeks later...

What better to do on new years eve than strip the diff out of a van?


It came out pretty easily tbh! This van is super clean underneath, all the bolts flew out, not a spot of bother!

Just look at them!!!:



Wizzed around the case joint so I didn't tip a load of shit and much into it:


Quick tap with a dead blow mallet and its apart:


That's the viscous coupling right there. It just lifts out, and the new one plonks in place:



Note the missing spacer on top. I used a glue gun to stick it on:



(it's grease not glue obv)


All done, cleaned all the CV joint mount faces up and changed the oil too. Oddly, I got 1.9L out but it only needed 1.5l to fill it. It fucking stank.



Considering they are supposed to last around 80k miles, this one appears to be the original one and has done double that:



All back together, drives great! 

There's always something though - Any T25 with it's original plastic coolant hoses really needs them swapping. They have metal inserts in the ends to give the hose clamps something to bit on to. These inserts rust and work their way out, and the hose slowly works it's way off:



You can see where the knurling is - that's where the hose should ordinarily sit! Lucky escape.

I've shoved it back on, it'll be fine for now - I've pressure tested the system to 14psi and it's fine, but it will eventually work it's way off with heat cycles. I'll order a set of pipes and fit them when I get chance.

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  • cobblers changed the title to Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka - Front diff surgery

As ever, with one "fix" comes three more problems. Getting a bit tired of it now, I've spend a fucking fortune on this thing. It's nice to work on but I'm spending like £300 a pop at brickwerks every few weeks. 

First off, it was oddly intermittently losing power on the way home last night. I kept on driving for another 10 miles in circles near my house to try and work out what set it off. It seemed like bumps and sharp right hand bends set it off. It was very quick and back to normal immediately, and the tank is full of fuel, so I reckoned it was a loose wire on the ignition side of things.

This morning I had a ferret round and found this:


Not my fault, never even touched it! Must have been like it for years as it's packed with dust.


Cleaned it out, plugged it back in and then took the van for another good test drive. No more hiccups, but now I noticed a really annoying "CLANG" noise every time I change gear.



FFS. Rear prop UJ is baggy. It felt OK before I put it on. 

Obviously these props are rare as fuck and the joints are a bit weird so according to VW buffs I can't just turn up to "jeffs props" and expect him to sort it out for me.



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  • cobblers changed the title to Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka - More shaft issues
  • 2 weeks later...

Put a couple of new UJs on the prop shaft, it wasn't a bad job. Also greased the fuck out of the sliding joint under the guibo. Old joints weren't horrific, the inner races were fine, but each joint had one outer that was very dry and grim.


Back on, again:


No more bonging noises! Yes! 

Slight prop vibration? boo. 


While I had the tools out, I fitted a new speedo cable, as the old one was making an INCREDIBLE RACKET.

New cable made exactly the same noise, so I took the speedo apart to make sure it was all OK and not baggy or worn.



Compared it all to another I had, and mine was way better, like new inside TBH, I think it was a NOS replacement at some point.

So I disconnected the speedo cable from the diff, and took it down the road.

Noise is still there!!!!FFS! There's a speed dependant buzzing noise from behind the dash that comes and goes at anything over 30mph.

I've got to have the dash out soon, in order to do the heater blower fan and a few other jobs, so I'll see what the score is then.


Hopefully, in a few weeks, I won't have to work outside as I'm just working out the paperwork for some new premises for my business.




Fingers crossed. I'll chuck a cheap chinese two post lift in near the shutters to keep morale up, but the rest will have to be "electronics repairs labs" etc


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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I was right about the prop being out of balance. In the previous post I'd only taken it around the block, but at 45-50 it was very pronounced vibratrion

Whipped it back off (I'm getting bloody good at it now that I've worked out the combination of angle joints and adapters that allow me to gun the bolts off) and dropped it down to Wilson Driveshafts in Nottingham. They confirmed it was flipping miles out of balance, and balanced it up lovely, then put a coat of black paint over the grease etc. Not sure why they insisted on doing that, but hey ho.
Great bunch down there, I would recommend them with no hesitation.




Finally, 4WD without worry over binding VCs. 
Viscowerkstatt were good to deal with, but not the cheapest. They send you a VC upfront and then only ask for payment when you're happy. I managed to by fluke get away without paying any import duty etc so after I'd sent my old VC back I think it ended up costing about £450.

Took the van for a good run this morning on the way to work, to test out the 4WD, I'm so bloody lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world - all these lanes are within a mile of my house:






My "pickup bed tent" arrived last week so I got it fitted. I'll give it a try tonight:





I'm not 100% convinced, but we'll see how she goes.



2022-02-04 16.51.50.jpg

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  • cobblers changed the title to Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka - BESPOKE CAMPER CONVERSION
26 minutes ago, Jim Bell said:

Make sure you double check the handbrake is on before you go to sleep mind. 

T25 handbrakes have a habit of randomly going "CLONK" and popping off. Happened on all the other ones I've owned, caught me out once or twice. This one seems fine, I probably won't die or owt.


14 minutes ago, Asimo said:

And park into the wind!


Hmm.. I might give testing out my weird chinese tent a miss tonight

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10 minutes ago, MJK 24 said:

If you’re lady doesn’t like the palatial Boxer, I can’t see her coming anywhere near this bacK to basics VW?!

You're right she's 100% not interested in ever staying in any kind of tent.

I go camping, she stays at home, she doesn't mind - we both have our own lives, not like those couples who do everything together. I thought the boxer would make it more comfortable and she'd come out with me a bit more often, but she's just not that bothered. 

I have however seen this for sale today:

Image 2 - VW Transporter t25 Syncro Overland Campervan - 4x4 - Newly Refurbished Gearbox

Unfortunately its 18.5k and they don't want a pickup as a part-x. Hmmm

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Sounds like the ideal time to test it - you'd be better finding the weaknesses now than when miles from home.

Have to admit to being pleasantly surprised how livable my van is even in the depths of winter - provisio there being that I have a power hook up so I can run the heater!

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7 minutes ago, Matty said:

I'd have the pickup over that any day of the week

The pickup is definitely cooler, that's been mildly pineappled. But it'd be more practical for me. 

What puts me off (other than the fact its 90000 miles away and loads of money) is it's the 1.6TD and they are fucking horrible old rattly donks. 

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The seller of that van did me a video of underneath it and round the usual grot spots, and TBH it's made me realise how spoiled I've been with the last couple of T25s I've owned. It's not hanging or owt but it's got loads of MOT spec patches and thick black underseal slazzed over muck and crispy seams etc.

No way I'm selling this unwelded Doka to replace it with that. I'll get one of them roof tents to satisfy my off road camping needs

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I have so many questions ha.

Van is looking ace first and foremost. What brand is that tent you have in the bed of the pickup? Is it specifically for that purpose. I have found a supercheap rooftop tent on Facebook if you want me to send you the link. It's like £200 but its down south. I would buy it but don't want to go all that way to fetch it. 

Can we see more pics of the caddy it looks good?

Where about are you based as those lanes look phenomenal?

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The pickup bed tent is "Guide Gear" but they only sell them in the USA, so I imported it. It's for sale if you know anyone! £100 

Last night I picked up a 2nd hand "Tuff Trek" roof tent for a fairly good price, so I'm gonna go with that. The truck bed tent was OK but I don't think I can be bothered putting it up and taking it down. It's only a 15 minute job but I'm pretty lazy and I'm always on my own camping in windy conditions so it'd end up blowing away when I was trying to put it up.

I live in hope valley in the peak district, so much lovely countryside all around us. We don't half pay for the privilege though..


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21 hours ago, cobblers said:

The pickup bed tent is "Guide Gear" but they only sell them in the USA, so I imported it. It's for sale if you know anyone! £100 

Last night I picked up a 2nd hand "Tuff Trek" roof tent for a fairly good price, so I'm gonna go with that. The truck bed tent was OK but I don't think I can be bothered putting it up and taking it down. It's only a 15 minute job but I'm pretty lazy and I'm always on my own camping in windy conditions so it'd end up blowing away when I was trying to put it up.

I live in hope valley in the peak district, so much lovely countryside all around us. We don't half pay for the privilege though..


Yeah does look great there.

My bro was after something like that I will let him know cheers.

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14 hours ago, MJK 24 said:

What’s the attraction of roughing it in this old Volkswagen when you have a fully insulated Peugeot with all mod cons etc?

I suppose it's along the same lines of "why go camping in a van when you've got a nice house". The Peugeot is ace, but it's sometimes too cushy and it's too easy to forget where you are - half the time I might as well have just stayed on the drive as you just get settled in and don't even look out of the window - I can just rack up, put the heater on, get my laptop out and sit on the internet completely isolated from the beautiful place that I'm visiting.

Also I keep finding spots to camp that the Peugeot wouldn't be able to get to (or the campsite owner doesn't allow motorhomes) and with summer coming up and everywhere getting busy I want to keep my options open as much as possible.

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  • cobblers changed the title to Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka - Roof tent + Snow

I ended up winning a roof tent on ebay fairly cheap so decided to go down that route instead of the pickup bed tent, I thought it would be quicker to set up but TBH they both take about 10 minutes.

Got a set of brickwerks roof bars. They're really good, and if you cut them down an inch you can mount the rails underneath the bracket rather than above and they sit an inch lower. 



At first I could really feel the "weight" up there, but I reckon it's mostly in (above?) my head. I was worried it'd really affect my MPG but it actually improved from 19mpg on the tank previous, to 20.5mpg on this latest one, so it can't be that bad. The main downside is that I don't think I can fit through the drive-through anymore, although that's probably for the best TBH.

Had a bit of a play in the snow and ice on the way to work this morning, great fun!



Van is going strong lately, it's been my daily for a few weeks since I've had to lend my Caddy to my mum. I love driving this thing.

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  • cobblers changed the title to Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka and most of a Syncro Panel Van as well.

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