So I checked the downpipe last weekend – seemed better than before (now with the sealant), but there was a little bit of a leak still. I’ve since done a bit more sealant-ing, and am planning to give it another whirl this weekend (it seems to take ages to set).
I’m hoping that this might be just seal it enough to get it through an MOT. It’s not intended to be a permanent solution, but hopefully just enough to bail me out of my currently shitty car situation: broken audi, syncro not ready yet..thank god the bike works 😉
As a long term option I wonder if a minimal turbo setup might simplify the pipework somewhat…plus I have basically all the kit needed sat right here from when I was going to turbo the polo. will have to give it some thought.
Its the actual switch that bolts to the gearbox for a rod change box. I’ll post a pic when I get home later to clarify. I have one brand new one which I’d rather keep and a known working used one. I’d just want what it’s cost me, £70
Oh cool – that sounds useful. I really *ought* to already have whatever I need since it was a working syncro when I took it to bits and I haven’t thrown anything away so the switch should be attached to the loom or the box or whatever. I might even have two since I think I’ve got two of those boxes, but sounds like something to check and remedy if it’s awol or I can’t find it, which is also entirely possible.
I’ve been a bit run ragged with work recently so haven’t even had time to test whether my high temp rtv gasket thing worked yet, but I will make a note to check for the switch when I do. I’m well overdue some garage time.
In other news…big day, sorta. I’m going to freeze any further spending on the audi since it’s a bottomless pit of despair and instead just use the bike for now (winter yay!) and focus all efforts on the syncro. At this point I think it’s probably easier to get my rather ratty but essentially functional syncro to a level of reliable function than the silver money vortex.
so I think now it’s bike and syncro, or bust. It’s the car I want and the bike I want. I think this is vaguely where I need to be.
I’m just looking at the syncro on the cctv and am realising that it should be pretty much all the best qualities of all the mk2’s i’ve owned, wrapped up into one car, with one of the most fun engines vw ever made (imho). *Excite*.
If the exhaust issues persist, I wonder whether it might be possible to make a nicer, more reliably-mating downpipe with something like a 2-into-1 collector and a couple of tight bends. As a process it might be a bit more repeatable than my current downpipe and could perhaps use stuff like v-bands to allow some adjustment. I don’t know if anyone round here has a plasma table, water jet or similar, or whether an engineering place could make a copy of the gasket out of 6mm steel but I would imagine that would make a much better mating surface than what I have now which I think might be 4-5mm.
ha – just over a year on since my last post, how time flies. And on the surface it might seem like little to no progress, but from other angles it might be massive progress.
My best friend got sick last year and died early this year and honestly I’ve been kind-of a mess ever since..which sorta explains where I’ve been the last 18mo. That was till about a month ago, where I seem to have turned a corner and since which time I’ve been hustling hard with work and pushing myself to get stuff done with the bikes + syncro.
The audi is now gone, breaks my heart to sell it for peanuts after the thousands I sank into it but thus endeth my most expensive vehicle lesson to date, and I’m trying to focus on the future.
Whilst going to pick up my latest bike purchase I realised that I really only have a very limited amount enthusiasm and resources for cars (vs bikes) so what I do have needs to stay 100% focussed on the syncro, which means realistically there’s no room for the audi. The audi was sold a few days later.
It’s not that I don’t like cars anymore – I absolutely do, but realistically the space, time, physical effort and cost involved with restoring and tuning cars is way more than I can really get into in my current circumstances, state of health and available time, which have just not really measured up to give me the sort of results I was hoping for, resulting in disappointment.
I got into working on cars because of rude golfs, big turbos and shiny exhausts etc but it’s taken all my effort and resources to just keep on top of the basic stuff – so it’s mostly been replacing broken clutches, restoring engine bays (idk how many I’ve done now) and replacing rusty sills. With the bike/s – they use less space, the engines are smaller and simpler and cost less, and as a result it’s meant I’ve actually been able to get stuck into more advanced tuning stuff which has been really rewarding and suits my budget and circumstances much better. They’re easier to transport and I can fit way more of them on the drive before my partner complains 😉 also – however fun I thought sliding around in cars was.. well somehow that’s actually even more fun (also terrifying) on a bike, albeit somewhat more perilous lol. I’d never trusted myself on a bike (with good reason) but for better or worse a couple of years ago that genie got let out of the bottle somehow and I’ve been on 2 wheels ever since.
The syncro is the one exception. My teacher, my tormentor, my heaven and my hell..I don’t plan on buying another car than the syncro, and whilst I’m happy on 2 wheels, I do still want to finish what I started with the syncro. Plus it’ll let me move bikes more easily on the trailer 😉
The money from the audi has funded building a front to my car port to turn it into the beginnings of a sort of workshop, which should hopefully mean I can get things like the tig welder set up more permanently. that should allow me to do more work with stainless, which is something I’ve always wanted to do, and possibly also give me a better space to potentially work on tuning other people’s bikes, which is something which has cropped up a few times recently and is a road I would really like to follow.
As it happens the workshop/tig thing also fits quite well with the syncro situation – because with now having the space to focus on it, I washed it at the weekend and realised that the downpipe does indeed still seem to be leaking (arg!), which means I’m going to have to either stick some gunk over the leak and hope the mot man doesn’t look too closely (this has already not worked once), or (more likely) go the turbo manifold route i.e. turbo manifold + weld together some bends with v-bands = nice downpipe which I can route exactly where I like.
I don’t really see a way of making the existing downpipe design much better (whilst mating to the original manifold) in the space available with the equipment/skills I have and whilst the turbo manifold solution wouldn’t be ideal from a gas flow/primaries-length pov, it should work reliably, plus it sorta paves the way for perhaps putting a turbo on it at a later date. I have a couple of turbos sat here and most of the other bits for a conversion so that’s not outside the real of possibility – and it would potentially simplify the exhaust pipework even further (e.g. side/bonnet exit).
At the moment the syncro is also a patchwork of colours – and whilst it’s not intended as a permanent solution I’m probably just going to fill and smooth and fill it as best I can and then spray it matt black (prob with cans even). It’ll be kinda crappy but still better than being 30 different colours, and I was sorta wondering about a post-apocalyptic vibe for it anyway (see pic). Once it’s got an mot then I can worry about making the paint nice if I feel like I want to go that way.
I have got 2k paints and the equipment & skills to spray them, and have done so several times in the past with a pretty decent level of success (in a makeshift booth on the driveway), but my partner is ill and part of that is a crazy hypersensitivity to solvents and smells, so 2k is probably out of the question for that reason if nothing else.
Priority needs to be on getting the syncro road legal and matt black from rattle cans will work just fine for that. I can rent a booth or whatever as needed if I feel the urge later.
er… that’s about it – I guess let’s see what happens next. I’m very happy with the current fleet, not looking to add any more currently, just focus on working on and improving what I have. Hopefully that works out somewhat…
Sorry to hear about your friend, sad times.
Good to see your back on with the syncro, look forward to some pics.
thanks. Yeah tbh I’ve not lost someone that close to me before and it hit me harder than I knew was possible.
Anyway on a lighter note…here’s the syncro as she stands now. Still on the “all terrain” wheels (vauxhall astra rims with mud and snow/winter tyres). I’ll probably be swapping them back to some nicer alloys soon.
Pic is from the cctv camera and I have a screen permanently showing that picture so now I always have a pic of the syncro visible when I’m in my office, which is a nice gentle reminder/encouragement to work on it.
At the moment the thing which is bugging me the most and is probably the easiest to fix is the red doors, so will probably look to get them matt black as first thing.
The downpipe fix will need some budget and the tig welder set up to sort so that won’t be right away, but I’m a good way through fencing off the car port to become a sort of workshop, and one of the motivators behind that that is to mean I can do stuff like get the tig welder out of our hallway and the gas bottle out of my office into some sort of more permanent setup outside so I can use it more easily.
so whilst things have been stagnant for a while on this, I’ve made some changes with work which, whilst it took some time to sort out, now means I’ve got more time and budget for the syncro \o/.
Barring a clutch swap my main bike is now pretty much “done” (after blowing up the engine and rebuilding it) which should also mean more time for the syncro.
So the exhaust is the main “insurmountable” (definite mot fail) thing but last night I went on a bit of an ebay deep dive and I think I’ve found pretty much all the pieces I’d need to go the turbo manifold route. I thought I’d have to make things like the T3->vband adapter but I actually found those too (for relocating turbos in tight spaces apparently).
So I should be able to go: turbo/log manifold->T3flange, t3 flange->90deg right-> 2.5″ V-band, then 2.5″->2″ vband reducer…and from there it should be doable with 2″ pipe and a couple of bends (I think). There will likely be a couple of bits which need tig welding but it should be minimal and I should be able to do most of it with a couple of well-placed v-band sections, plus they should allow some movement/flexibility too which is a bonus.
I even found a tool to separate the pipe/resonator which is in place currently and I’ve tried unsuccessfully to remove previously.
I was half tempted to go turbo, bonnet exit with tractor flap and throw the entire exhaust system away but the engine management was the sticking point there more than anything else really. Could possibly go with a boost sensor and additional injector but that’s yet more untested variables in the mix. hmm.. sounds more like an “after MOT” type conversation.
Besides if it’s all already using turbo bits then adding the actual turbo in later should perhaps be easier, right? Need to stay focussed on mot…
Good to see you back.
Thanks, good to be back 🙂 Looking forward to some syncro action soon!
Bizzarrely all the bikes are pretty much working now and I have this time which is free and I can do whatever I like with.. it’s rad! I read about that on the internet once I’m sure.
I need the syncro rolling since I am hoping to frequent various dirt tracks with the bikes soon and apparently they’re often quite inaccessable so the little syncro should get a chance to show what it can do 🙂
The exhaust seems like the only sure mot fail but I’m liking the path through it still. Will start collecting the parts as soon as funds clear.
Where is the exhaust going to fail?
same spot as before – the downpipe flange that I made yonks ago. I tried sealing it with high temp rtv but it makes bubbling sounds like it’s melting and doesn’t look like it seals properly.
There may also be other leaks but that seems like the main culprit. It looked like it was ok for a bit and then…nope. Seems worse than before the rtv too now so yay. The stock manifold was never really going to be a nice solution so perhaps time to move on.
A downpipe made out of off the shelf adapters & pipe with v-bands should be better in a few ways hopefully, and also maybe easier to work on and get into place. we’ll see I guess.