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Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka and other 4WD VW transporters - MEDIC


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There's a guy selling the whole pvc /canvas back end cover kit and kaboodle reporduction brand new but it's well over a grand! I need to put some more miles on this MOFO before spending that kind of money on it, just to see what other massive bills it throws at me!

EG It's dripping coolant off the engine block at the moment, which isn't ideal but I used it to knock a few grand off the price on account of there being a fairly real chance of it needing the heads off, which involves snapping the studs and basically just sending the engine off for a rebuild.

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Plates came, they are very good. I put the front one in the middle, and also took the "112i" badge off because I didn't like the look of it. 








I went for my weekly mooch round various areas we want to move to, on the complete off chance that there's a "for sale" or "to let" sign outside a house. No luck as usual, but I took the van "OFF ROAD" on a little green lane. Didn't take the piss because I was on my own and would be well in the shit if I got stuck. 


The diff lock works, thankfully!



The suspension is pretty great TBH, you can beast it through big massive ruts and it doesn't feel like you're going to snap owt.

One casualty from my trip:


Bastards! I noticed a clicking when I was out there, but daren't pull it out til I got home. It's a good job too because it pissed air out.


And that's how we leave it today, on a bottle jack with the wheel in the back of my Caddy.

I absolutely love this van and have just ordered a few hundred quid of service bits and whatnot.

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I decided I wanted a revcounter, and this is what many many hundreds of pounds worth of "VW T25 revcounter" looks like nowadays. Described as "Good condition for age". These clocks alone cost more than my first entire T25






Now I repair this sort of shit for a living, but these are pretty fucked by absolutely any metric. Yes, they're par for the course and a lot of clocks are about this bad, but by no stretch could you call them "good condition".

The seller reckoned only the temp gauge doesn't work (ironically this is a dead easy fix - just because of the missing nut in the last picture) but the oil pressure warning and backlighting are also fucked, and the main connector housing is missing so it'll just fall off continuously. 

I'm going to give the seller some grief over them and try and get some money back because they're falling to pieces and missing parts. I don't want to send them back because there are literally no others available anywhere.


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45 minutes ago, Asimo said:

PS. Loose the pineapple-spotlight roof bar thing?

The spotlights don't have wires or bulbs in them so they're going to at least be replaced.

I will probably keep the roof rack to sling my spare tyre on, on account of there being a diff and some driveshafts in the way of where one would normally go.

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I made the best out of a few sets of clocks, and set about fitting them to the van.

It was so filthy inside that everything I took off needed cleaning, so a quick wipe round the dash turned into a full on seats and cab mat out jet wash fest.




The cab mat took four passes of neat TFR, stuff scrubbing brush and hot water jet wash to get it clean. 




Most of the day, three cans of interior shampoo and half a litre of Autoglym vinyl and rubber care later:


It's a much nicer place to be. The seats would still benefit from a wet vac, but it's worlds better than it was.

I also snowfoamed the minging engine bay, and put a new fanbelt and a few pipes on





Here's a quick picture I got someone else to take  to check the revcounter calibration:


it's running about 10% too high, which is pretty good considering it was running 110% too high to start with, and I had just tweaked the adjustment pot by ear. According to calculations, 50MPH indicated should be 2700RPM. However with these tyres, 50mph on the speedo is about 57mph actual.

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Steering wheel arrived, from a B2 passat. It's very very similar to a proper VW Caravelle PAS wheel, but at 20% of the price.  And now my disklok fits!



Unfortunately the rubber at the top has gone "bendy" and come away from the frame. Has anyone had success injecting some glue in to bond it back on? It's not terrible but I'd like to improve it.

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1 hour ago, cobblers said:

It's "gelande" which is german for terrain which I reckon is like "off road" mode, basically its a mega low gear for crawling about to save you slipping the clutch. Like a low range sort of thing. It feels about 60% of first gear and it seems to go over absolutely anything at just a slight tickle of throttle

Hence the G in G-wagon. 

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On 8/31/2021 at 8:53 PM, cobblers said:

Unfortunately the rubber at the top has gone "bendy" and come away from the frame. Has anyone had success injecting some glue in to bond it back on? It's not terrible but I'd like to improve it.

The same thing happened to my Scirocco and as an interim 'fix', I've just fitted an old style vinyl steering wheel glove.

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Have you had your broken instrument cluster apart completely?

Random question because if it has the blue main beam indicator I'd be really curious to see whether it's an LED or incandescent lamp just with a filter.

VW used very, very early silicon carbide based LEDs on a handful of models - the only place out in the real world I've ever heard of them actually being used.

Obviously as a bit of a lighting geek they're something that I've been looking for forever!

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3 hours ago, Zelandeth said:

Have you had your broken instrument cluster apart completely?

Random question because if it has the blue main beam indicator I'd be really curious to see whether it's an LED or incandescent lamp just with a filter.

VW used very, very early silicon carbide based LEDs on a handful of models - the only place out in the real world I've ever heard of them actually being used.

Obviously as a bit of a lighting geek they're something that I've been looking for forever!

has it actually ever been verified that VW did indeed use Silcon Carbide blue LED's anywhere

or is it just one of those rumours floating around that no ones actually been able to verify like the top speed of a Model 70 LOL

because as im sure you know those Early blue LED's where stupidly expensive at several pounds for a single one

so id be quite surprised if Volkswagen used them given their immense cost, but I am very curious to know myself for the same reasons! :) 

as like you I have also heard about it, but I dont think iv personally seen it verified yet



but back on topic sorry! LOL the Van is very cool I look forward to seeing how you continue get on with it :) 

its pretty cool to see a Non camper one and one that is 4x4/AWD at that too, looks quite badass/serious :) 

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That's what I found too, when dismantling the clocks in a scrapyard in the late 90s, purely to try and obtain a blue LED for less than the £8 that RS wanted. Had I ever found one, I suspect the breakers yard would be mightily pissed off with me for ruining a set of clocks for just one LED! I wonder if any did have the elusive LED...

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Mr Cobblers,

I have a 1986 Scirocco and 11 years ago, I fitted it with a diesel mill.  Relatively straightforward but I’ve been 11 years without a rev counter.

I understand the diesel rev counter takes its signal from the W terminal on the alternator.  I’ve run a wire from there into the dash but at this stage, my skills are found wanting!

Could I employ your services to right this wrong?!

Please help!

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12 hours ago, cobblers said:

@Coprolalia has done the same and is sending me his petrol clocks to tweak to diesel spec - a few resistors need changing to calibrate it to read from the W terminal output instead of an ignition coil negative. 

I’ll try and get the clocks out and post them to you over the winter!

Thanks for the help!

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  • 1 month later...

I had horrific CV joint noise that had very rapidly got worse, the PO mentioned something about fitting a new shaft recently but because it's lifted, the stock shafts struggle and aftermarket ones are shite to start with.

I bought some porsche 944 CV joints which for some reason are a direct fit, and also allow a lot more articulation.

This driveshaft has a 2018 date code on it, and the van has done about 1000 miles since then:


What crap! That said most of the damage is because it's twisted too far.

The porsche joints are a bit wider, proper OE german made and will hopefully last more than 1000 miles.



Drives a lot better for it!




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Well this morning the rear heater matrix chose the one time I have ever sat in the back of the van to explode and fire a gallon of hot coolant all over my legs and feet. Not too bad I suppose, I was parked outside work so it couldn't really have been in  a better place, and I was wrapped up with thick trousers and boots on so I wasn't injured.

I presumed parts would be unobtanium and expected to have to blank the heater off, but a new OE matrix and valve were £60, so I'll replace it. It does come in handy for an extra bit of heat on really cold days.






The failure was obvious:



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A guy on another forum got me a bit worried about the matrix popping, that the coolant system could be pressurising up, I checked it all and the pressure cap works fine and hadn't let anything off, but I was still a bit worried.

The new matrix came and it fitted easy and bled up without issue. I've borrowed the tyres off my work van for this for now, and I took it for a good 60 mile run in all conditions and at high loads to get the cylinder pressures up. Thankfully it seems absolutely fine.

Found this lovely road about two miles from my house - I think I'll be here regularly:




Bumped into two groups of walkers and they were both incredibly pleasant, which was a nice surprise after my last encounter where I thought someone was going to try and do a citizens arrest  😅


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Sweet! Not sure how I missed this thread originally, think I was away.

One of these has been on my radar for a while but I don't suppose I will ever get the chance unless I sell something else first. Such a cool vehicle and probably one of the most capable 4x4 vans around without spending insane money even now.

Let me know if you fancy some lanes around Derbyshire way sometime :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

After the debacle with the exploding heater matrix, I thought I best go over the cooling system a bit and make sure it wasn't pressurising up etc, so I gave it a good hard run and then left it idling outside work for 45 minutes with the fan cycling, it seemed fine however as I was nosying round the back end I noticed a crack in the header tank:


They all do that sir etc, but I've had one of these explode on me before while stood just next to it, so I was very keen to get away from it!


While sat watching the engine ticking over, I noticed a slight "chuff" noise and one of the HT leads seemed to be rattling. Sure enough, one of the spark plugs was finger tight.

I treat it to some new boujie genuine VW spark plugs and a not so boujie non-genuine header tank. I've also got a radiator to fit, because the threaded bleed nipple on the existing one is siezed.







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  • cobblers changed the title to Cobblers's VW T25 Syncro Doka and other 4WD VW transporters - MEDIC

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