Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

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Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 26 May 2017, 13:32

I have been quietly working away on this bus for some time now, I thought I would put up a thread to show the progress. I bought it off a guy in Somerset in 2015.

It is a 1987 T25 14” Syncro with a 2.1 DJ fuel injected Waterboxer. It has the twin differential locks and is fitted with 15” Mercedes steel wheels with Avon Ranger A/T tyres.
It was originally a medium blue panel van but at some stage glass was fitted and it was sprayed purple. It also has an LPG system fitted with a 100 litre tank.
Rust has developed in all the usual T25 areas, so there is a nice bit of metal work needed to get it back right.
It has an impressive 275000 miles on it and is on its second engine and gearbox, which I am told were very low mileage items fitted at 180000 miles.
There is a lot of history with it which is always nice to have. All of the shocks and CV joints were replaced shortly before I bought it.
It came fitted with some interesting bits, a Taifun quad lamp grille, Caravelle padded dash piece and little lids for the seat boxes.

My plan is to return it to its original colour and fit a camping interior (It is currently bare) . I am going to leave it as a tintop. I hope to have it as a weekend camper.

Here are some photos from the advert:

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Here it is being delivered:

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First I tackled the front panel. The lower front panel was rotten in various places so I decided to replace the entire piece since you can buy the replacement panels, So I ordered replacements.
While I had access in behind it I cleaned back to bare metal and epoxy primed it, followed by chassis paint.
The panel was a good fit.

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Then I attacked the passenger side cab step. This wasn’t too bad, one patch cut to size and it was back in action. I will come back and grind back the welds when I am doing the finishing off for paint.

The driver’s side was much worse, so I cut out the entire thing and welded in a replacement.

Apologies for any blurry photos. When I am working the quality of the photos is not considered high priority, I generally point the phone at it, snap, and then carry on without even checking the photo!


Here is the passengers side:

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Here is the drivers side step:

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The driver’s side seat-belt point was gone, so I cut out and replaced that too. The passenger side was alright upon closer inspection.

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Last edited by conor2469 on 27 May 2017, 18:47, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 26 May 2017, 13:34

At this stage I moved down the driver’s side of the van. I cleaned the seams from the cab door back, I scrubbed out all of the sealant and made sure there was no rust.
They were in perfect condition inside and out.

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However the seam halfway down the drivers side was very bad, this had to be completely replaced so I cut back 3cm either side of the seam and replaced both pieces
and spot welded them together again on the inside. I bought these side panels and cut the edge pieces off to use. I was very happy with the repair.

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Next I addressed the middle driver’s side window. The bottom and top lips had rotted out and needed to be cut back and replaced.

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On the back quarter on the driver’s side I have a lot of work. I started off fixing the window opening, it wasn’t as bad as the previous window.
There was a large section below the window that had to be replaced, it has a concave curve, I replaced it in two pieces, managing to retain the original shape.

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All high welds will be ground down and when I finish each panel individually before paint.


Next up I have to tackle the rear corner where the fuel filler is.....


We had a busy Christmas out in the garage and managed to finish off the repairs to the drivers side of the van.

Probably the largest repair on the van was the drivers side back corner. The rear seam was gone, as was the box section for the fuel filler and the piece in the rear door shut.
In the end the best option was to buy the entire panel and fit it. So that is what I did. I ordered a genuine VW replacement panel from Brickwerks. We repaired the internal fuel filler box and fitted it to the new rear panel. I also replaced part of the panel that is forward of the seam under the window. The small rear bottom corner panel was also replaced, that is the silver piece at the very bottom. These are prone to rust and cheap to replace.
In behind was cleaned back to bare metal and painted with lots of epoxy primer and chassis paint to protect it from rust, followed by a liberal coat of wax-oil in the box sections.

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Next I have to repair the bottom rear corner on the passenger side and part of the step where the slider door seal is.
Last edited by conor2469 on 27 May 2017, 18:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 26 May 2017, 13:34

Then I moved around to the far side of the van and inspected the back seam. I cleaned it out from the window all the way down to the bottom. Apart from one scab up near the window it was good until I got to the bottom corner piece, which was quite corroded. I had anticipated this and bought the piece required. So I cut off the old piece, cleaned the lips and punched the new piece ready for spot welding on. Here are some photos.

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I then gave it a good coat of primer. Next I just have to seal the seam.


I made a trip up North to pick up a used camper interior for it.
It has the kitchen unit with sink and three ring hob, wardrobe, overhead storage, swing out table and a 3 way electrolux fridge. It should clean up very well:

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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby syncropaddy » 26 May 2017, 16:16

Hi Conor. Where abouts are you in Ireland? North or South?

I have some Syncro bits and pieces I am about to get rid of so you might have first dibbs on them. If you are in the South, I really, really hope you declared the van to the Revenue when you brought it into the country. They have changed the rules on imports in the last 6 months and have got very tough. If you live in the North ignore that last bit !!
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 26 May 2017, 18:02

Hi Paddy,

Yeah I am down in the south. Yeah I've dealt with revenue in the past, so I'm not worried about them.
Out of interest, What bits do you have?
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby syncropaddy » 26 May 2017, 21:22

conor2469 wrote: Yeah I've dealt with revenue in the past, so I'm not worried about them.
What bits do you have?


I dealt with them in the past as well and two weeks ago. Trust me, its all changed! Went to VRT an '87 UK reg Merc that was in the shed for a year and landed a €1200 back tax and a €720 VRT bill. I couldn't prove when it came into the country but they could !! Be careful!

See pics of what I have


http://imageshack.com/a/img922/9696/anfNgA.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/5231/fGpCea.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img922/6330/F4ovAo.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/1661/V0LM73.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/4254/bEPavy.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/2913/KjARd6.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/5581/9tLIDw.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img924/285/xsB17A.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img923/9607/OlFeiV.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img924/1562/PTP32I.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img922/903/i11TZG.jpg
http://imageshack.com/a/img922/5125/rD5SqW.jpg
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 26 May 2017, 21:58

syncropaddy wrote:
conor2469 wrote: Yeah I've dealt with revenue in the past, so I'm not worried about them.
What bits do you have?


I dealt with them in the past as well and two weeks ago. Trust me, its all changed! Went to VRT an '87 UK reg Merc that was in the shed for a year and landed a €1200 back tax and a €720 VRT bill. I couldn't prove when it came into the country but they could !! Be careful!



Yeah I have brought in a few cars over the years, I know what they can be like! I paid in a peugeot 205 a few months back, although I had everything I needed, proof of arrival etc. I have a delivery docket for the syncro, I just need to fill out the delivery date :lol: . As far as I'm concerned the day it arrived in the country is the day it drives out on the road for the first time.

Thanks for all the photos, I'll have a look through.
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby irishkeet » 27 May 2017, 05:21

looking good Conor, o lot of hard work :ok
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby boatbuilder » 27 May 2017, 07:11

Looks good so far, just had a close call with Revenue. I think my van was in and out of the UK and Ireland a few times. When I bought it it was UK registered, but I found an old set of Irish plates inside the van. The V5 form was nowhere to be seen and I couldn't contact the previous owner. So I just filled out a form, got it signed by a solicitor and lo and behold the VLC arrived in the post. Only problem is that it had the make and model as "unspecified" and the engine was 1600 and I had changed it to a 1.9. The motor tax office wanted me to pay 2500 euros in back tax as I hadn't declared it off the road when I bought it in 2010. There was a way out of that though. Then they suggested I contact revenue "if I wanted" to get the make and model rectified as that could mean extra money due for vrt or whatever or even more back taxes.
So I'm just leaving it as it is.

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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 27 May 2017, 10:39

irishkeet wrote:looking good Conor, o lot of hard work :ok


Hey thanks, not much welding left thank god!


boatbuilder wrote:Looks good so far, just had a close call with Revenue. I think my van was in and out of the UK and Ireland a few times. When I bought it it was UK registered, but I found an old set of Irish plates inside the van. The V5 form was nowhere to be seen and I couldn't contact the previous owner. So I just filled out a form, got it signed by a solicitor and lo and behold the VLC arrived in the post. Only problem is that it had the make and model as "unspecified" and the engine was 1600 and I had changed it to a 1.9. The motor tax office wanted me to pay 2500 euros in back tax as I hadn't declared it off the road when I bought it in 2010. There was a way out of that though. Then they suggested I contact revenue "if I wanted" to get the make and model rectified as that could mean extra money due for vrt or whatever or even more back taxes.
So I'm just leaving it as it is.

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Yeah I have no faith in them at all, as far as I am concerned they will do whatever they can and use every angle to extract as much money as possible from you.
I was importing a syncro Jetta and they didn't have it on the system. They rang me 3 days later with an import duty of 3000 (Same as the golf rallye at the time.) I refused to pay and they said that I have 30 days to get the car out of the state. I said fine and hung up the phone. They rang back two days later with a "corrected" figure of 720 euro.
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby syncropaddy » 27 May 2017, 14:05

conor2469 wrote: I just need to fill out the delivery date :lol: . As far as I'm concerned the day it arrived in the country is the day it drives out on the road for the first time.


Emm that's exactly what I did and they told me the exact date the car actually arrived in the country and which boat it came off. They even told me when the boat ticket was bought! The Revenue know when your van came into the country as it will be on the ships manifest or if it came in on a truck, it will be on the trucks load documents. They also have CCTV at the ports and watch everything. They also have a direct link to the DVLA and can tell when the vehicle changed hands and when it had its last MOT, although anyone can see the MOT info and whether or not its SORN. Its not the way it used to be anymore

None of this is any bother if the rules are obeyed.
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 27 May 2017, 16:29

That's very unlucky. My syncro was in the country two years when I paid it in. They didn't have a clue when it was brought in . The driver must not have declared the load. I won't lose sleep over it anyways!
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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby conor2469 » 27 May 2017, 18:42

I am on the home stretch now with the welding. I have started tackling a nasty area of rust on the panel that holds the slider rail for the side door.

I cut off the inner panel to gain access. Then I cut out the rot and welded in the new pieces. I still haven't fully finished welding, hence no finished photo! It took a lot longer than I had expected and I ran out of time.

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This is weld through primer on the back of the rail:

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Re: Irish 1987 T25 Transporter Syncro project

Postby jebiga41 » 03 Jun 2017, 02:02

Good to see another syncro in Ireland will she be ready for August Eire Syncro2 is on then come along
F*** your Syncro Westie I've a horse outside !
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