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propshaft syncro

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Andrew View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Apr 08 at 14:10
Some like to remove the propshaft for summer driving on asphalt (recommended by VW?) while others tell me that the viscous coupling shouldn't be run without the propshaft coupled up.  What is the truth here, and does anyone have a scientific explanation as to why a viscous coupling could be damaged by letting it spin free with no load?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Syncro G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 08 at 19:04
Shouldn't break the VC running it without a prop, though a broken VC is the usual resion the prop is removed in the first place.

When the prop isn't conected the entire VC just spins with the front diff, no torque is put across it apart from that needed to spin the prop shaft flange - that'll take little effort and should be achived by the VC's natural stiffness (they always send a bit of power through if not failed open, and even then they could probubly manage that).

As for is it worth it in the summer...My take is this,

  • If somethings broken the prop will need to come off to prevent more damage - you need to fix whats bust.
  • If you take it off to save fuel (ebay speak "propshaft removed for economy", actul speak "transmision kerfurtled, can't be arsed/afford fixing") you won't really achive better economy as the front wheels are still driving the front diff and so all the extra mecanical drag from having the 4WD drivetrain still exists, the only thing you might save is the very small emount of energy absorbed in the VC, probubly only a factor on corners during road conditions (tight corners at that) asuming tyres are equal.  If you really want economy and don't care about 4wd then sell the syncro and buy a 2wd van, its lighter so less mass to accelerate around the place, probubly cheeper to buy in simular condition so the swap will gain you cash, cheeper to repair/service and of course the slightly better MPG everyone raves about.
  • Last but not least, having a 2wd syncro means when you get it stuck you'll really be embarissed as you know it should have pissed it, refitting the prop there and then might not be plesent cralling under the van in a mildly muddy field.  I guess you might still have the rear difflock over a 2wd (unless its seazed through lack of use).
Another option ofcourse would be to fit a decoupler and leave the VC fitted.  That way you can enjoy 2wd motoring in the summer, still get perminant 4wd for poorer road conditions, 2wd easilly if the VC is alittle stiff, and if you get stuck in 2wd then proper 4wd operation is restored by 1 little switch in the cab.  Is it worth it? your call!

Thats just my opinion.  If you want a syncro,a fully functioning one is what you want; if you don't want a fully functioning syncro, well, why have a syncro?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 08 at 19:06

There's a lot of nonsense going around about vc's and propshafts.

VW would never recommend removing the propshaft for any reason.

The VC cannot be damaged by the propshaft being removed. It just spins freely and the van handles very badly.

Some of the Americans like to remove the propshaft thinking it will give them better mpg but tests have been carried out by many people (including myself) which disprove this theory.

The usual reason for removing the propshaft is because there are problems either with it, and/or the rest of the drivetrain.

MG

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SyncroSpares UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 08 at 19:57
ditto
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 08 at 20:36
Many thanks, I've always thought that having no propshaft should not be a problem for the VC.  I've taken it off recently because the visco is now so hard that cornering is difficult and I don't want to bugger the gearbox.   Can't really say that the car handles badly without it so long as there's asphalt under the wheels, but the embarassment if you get stuck with a syncro without 4wd just can't be lived with.  I have another visco on the way!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lee. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 08 at 21:42

 

 

  • Last but not least, having a 2wd syncro means when you get it stuck you'll really be embarissed as you know it should have pissed it, refitting the prop there and then might not be plesent cralling under the van in a mildly muddy field.  I guess you might still have the rear difflock over a 2wd (unless its seazed through lack of use).
  •  

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    taigagreen View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote taigagreen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 08 at 11:21
    Originally posted by Ghia Ghia wrote:

    There's a lot of nonsense going around about vc's and propshafts.


    VW would never recommend removing the propshaft for any reason.



    MG



    In the manual for my syncro (in norwegian) VW actually recommends removing the propshaft in the summer months stating that it will result in less wear of the gearbox and cv-joints. Could this be something VW in Norway invented? Doesn't manuals in every language say the same?

    Curious.

    Having driven two summers without the propshaft I can report no difference in fuel consumption. Not being an avid offroader I managed nicely using the rear difflock in demanding conditions. A decoupler is on the wishlist though :D

    Edited by taigagreen
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    Andrew View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 08 at 12:15

    Hallo Tage!  Nice to meet you here as well as on vwbus.no, your english is perfect, wish I could say the same about my norwegian!

    I seem to remember reading that which you mention, namely the recommendation from VW about removing the propshaft in the summer.  A swedish driver also reported that the swedish manual for the car says the same.  With an even longer summer and even more asphalt in the UK it does seem strange that the english manual doesn't mention this.  Maybe it's because of the mud and floods and the assumption that only country bumpkins or off-road maniacs drive syncros!  I'm not out to save fuel, simply wear and tear on the drive train.

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote taigagreen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 08 at 13:10
    Thanks Andrew :D Norsken din er upåklagelig :D

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Syncro G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 08 at 21:23
    Wonder if they fitted stiffer VC's to vehilces for that market then? That could make sence as it'd make it better on slippy roads and still not damage stuff.  In the UK we only get about 2 decent days of snow each year (and the country grinds to a halt because of it as no one can cope!  I go playing instead Had snow this morning actully but it lasted 5 minutes, just like every other snow atempt this year) so our syncros would have to be designed to survive use on grippy roads all year round.  Main land europe would be simular, so maybe they don't recomend it because its not an isue in these markets?
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    Ghia View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 08 at 21:36

    Well you learn something new everyday.

    Do you have a copy of the vw manual Tage? I'd be very interested to see exactly how it's worded.

    I guess it's possible that there were different VC's supplied but I've never heard of it. Mike Plompen at busman.be now supplies a 'Sport' VC which is more aggressive so this could be similar.

    Driving a syncro everyday, I can say that without the propshaft, the syncro has a tendecy to spin the inside rear wheel and generally doesn't handle as well without. I wouldn't want to remove it even in the hope reducing wear on the gearbox or cv joints as the weather in this country is so changable that you can be in blinding sunshine or pooring rain within 30 minutes of each other.

    MG

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote syncro'magnon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Apr 08 at 22:57
    That's true, busman propose a stiffer visco which is recommended working with a decoupler.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote taigagreen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 08 at 14:24
    A copy can be produced. I'd have to scan and since I dont have the equipment for that it would probably take a few days. Andrew: there should by now be an available copy of the manual in your family. Doesn't Patrick have one or perhaps one of your fellow syncronauts down south?

    Using the syncro as an everyday car really open your eyes to what a truly great allrounder it is. I have been driving syncro only a few years now and the only weakness that really shines through is not having a decoupler when parking and manouvering at slow speeds on paved sufaces. Since I live in a (mildly speaking) rural area I live happily with my syncro but I cannot imagine driving the thing in towns or cities with the entire drivetrain connected as original.
    DECOUPLER is my new mantra :D
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lee. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 08 at 20:57
    i thought the 16" syncro came with a slightly more agressive vc as standard, would it be likely that the manual for these would suggest a similar practice with the prop.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ghia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Apr 08 at 22:35

    I've heard about the 16 coming with a more agressive VC too. The one in Limey is fairly tight and it's the orignal from what I can make out but whether it's just worn or tight from the factory.. who can tell!

    MG

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote manxman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 08 at 14:35
    swaped mine that had failed open in my 16" with one from a 14" and they both had the same part numbers
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lee. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Apr 08 at 22:32
    the plot thickens
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