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Full Version: T3 SYNCRO - diesel engine conversion
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Chaps, this is my syncro which has served me well over the years.....

Love her to bits...……..
Although the 2.1 boxer motor is fine, I had a bad experience once before on a T3 Caravelle where the motor was looked after meticulously but it left me with a bearing knock on the side of the road...… so my 'faith' as it were in them is a little 'dented'...

I have been toying with the idea of fitting a VW 1.9 Tdi motor and have managed to get the BLS version which I want to transplant into this bus...…
I do have all the bits and pieces to make it work in the bus, from the computer box to the 'fly by wire' accelerator pedal etc etc
Fitting it isn't the problem, or should I say how to fit it.....

Ive had some good conversations with Stuart who has been a great help.....

So I have 2 options here;
1.keep the current bellhousing and acquire an adapter plate, flywheel and crossmember - this helps in that I don't have any issues besides buying the above parts - my problem is the motor stands upright and I will have to raise the floor at the back above the motor - something which im not keen to really do.
2. Use the bellhousing from a newish T3 bus which came out with the golf 1800 motor in. This has the special engine mounting bars which run from front to back AND I have the aluminium pieces which bolt onto the motor and the sump. The advantage of this is that the motor lies over at an angle and will look factory fitted. My problems however are these, starter motor sits on top and will fowl with the tank - this is minor and not insurmountable. My MAIN problem, which I perceive to be a problem is the oil running away from the oil pickup in the sump and losing a motor because the turbo sucks up the oil and the motor destroys itself. I must add that the motor has the uprated vane turbo, as well as a billet cam (just fitted) and other stuff to make it like new.

So that's my dilemma - looking forward to some inputs
Hi there, give me a call.. We have done a few tdi conversions into syncros. I am in Pretoria, 0836299951 Stuart
So we been working on this bus and the conversion ………..
Its going well BUT still a LOT of work to be done...…..

Gave me chance to take the gearbox out and clean it properly

I bought a late model VW T3 van with a buggered 1.8 petrol motor just for the bellhousing and crossmembers and engine mounts, all of which fitted the BLS 1.9Tdi motor, however two problems manifested themselves
1. the motor would lay at too much of an angle for the sump, and I could not source a sump for the engine from Germany.
2. The startermotor fouled with the fuel tank

I then went the other route and got a 'conversion kit' from Gilo Engineering in JHB

I took the complete package from Gilo which included the adapter plate, new flywheel and the crossmember which holds the engine as I was not going to use the parts from the 1800 T3 van.

I also took the liberty of galvanizing all the undercarriage protector frames

The motor and gearbox were 'married' but not before I had to do one or two minor modifications to the adapter plate
I used HT capscrew bolts, as the tolerances where the gearbox bolted onto the adapter plate would not allow for normal headbolts to be used. I thus countersunk the heads of the capscrew bolts.


The crossmember supplied by Gilo was designed to fit an older motor and they supplied a host of spacers.
I was NOT happy with that so ended up redesigning and altering the crossmember to carry the engine

We even had to 'remanufacture' the engine mounts supplied for the sides of the engine.

Took the liberty of cleaning and painting the whole undercarriage as well

Also fitted new 4 new CV joints at the back
Looking great
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