VW T4 synco LWB issues

165.086 km: One rear tire was leaking and the other was worn to the steel tread after 72.000 km. Installed both spare Goodridge tires and bought 2 new Argentinean tires as spare.

166.087 km: Handbrake cable came loose. Pulled/tightened back into place.

166.381 km: Left front shock absorber leaked after driving over a very bumpy road with some deep ruts.  Drove on and replaced in Coyhaique.

166.655 km: During replacement of the front left shock absorber, discovered that the front driveshaft rubber was torn. Fixed by removing the driveshaft (very time consuming) and installing a new rubber.

166.876 km: Front right stabilization bar broke off. Bend away from driving shaft so we could drive to a garage (200 km). In garage welded a new connection together made up of the old one and a new one. The ones available had a different thread (American) and were longer.

166.876 km: Left rear shock absorber stripped off the bolt and banged up and down when going over bumps. Reinstalled rubbers and welded/treaded a new bolt to the pin of the shock absorber.

169.523 km: Pipe of the main silencer under the middle of the car broke off (rust) and it was banging against the driveshaft. In a small town a welder was found who welded it back together again.

171.368 km: Front left stabilization bar broke off. Slowly drove over a 2000 m mountain path to a truck welding shop (65 km).  Within an hour they had the connecting ball joint welded back on to the stem and we could drive on.

173.946 km: Front right torsion bar connection broke off again. Drove down the mountains to Arica (250 km) and had it welded again.

174.688 km: Started to notice noise in the rear drive system. When speeding up to over 90 km/hr the noise reduced. In La Paz had it diagnosed at the VW garage. They suggested it was driveshaft vibration. It was safe to drive on till Cordoba (2000+ km). In Las Varillas (near Cordoba) had it re-diagnosed as the right rear wheel bearing. With great effort removed and replaced the wheel bearing on both the rear wheels.

175.567 km: Right rear shock absorber stripped out of the nut. Made new tread over old tread and inserted a new bolt and rubber.

175.567 km: Tire rack came loose from camper. 1 bolt could not be tightened any more. The glue was slowly letting loose and the whole construction could tear off. Screwed in a new bolt and added some 2 component glue (this did not hold). Also in Las Varillas had the frame welded again since one bracket weld was broken.

Welding tire rack

176.357 km: Second time the tire rack came loose from the camper. This time cut a new thread into the bolt inside the camper wall and screwed in a larger bolt together with locktight.

176.817 km: Rear left shock absorber stripped out again. Noticed no more shock absorbing power. Manually pressed it back in place and installed a new bolt.

177.529 km: Rear left spring coil broken. Removed noisy broken off part and drove on.

177.432 km: Three beep noise and warning light flashing. Misinterpreted the alarm and added cooling fluid. Alarm continued. Shortage of brake fluid. Filled at earliest opportunity (160 km) after first buying the wrong type of fluid.

We bought 4 new shock absorbers as well as 2 new springs in Holland. They were succesfully installen in Argentina beginning November 2018. At the same time new stabalisation arms as well as steering arms were installed and to top off the front bearings were replaced. The camper now drives a lot better.

181.000 km Turbo failure.

When driving the turbo suddenly stopped working. One time at high revs it worked again but after stopping at a garage it would not start again. We crawled up the hills to the nearest city at the border. After visiting several garages both in Paraguay and Brazil we ended up at the VW garage in Foz do Iguacu. The computer indicated an electric problem. After repairing the wire we went on a test drive but it was clear that there still was no turbo power. The turbo was completely removed from the car and brought to some specialists. They could not find any fault.

Subsequently the air system was removed. That showed that the large air filter was sucked into the pipe. So the turbo works but did not get air.

  Airfilter, possibly wet and sucked in

The other valves all seemed to work. The ERG valve had one of its ports closed off with a metal plate. There was a small hole eroded in it. The VWstore in NL suggested that this was part of the chiptuning and should be left as is.

ERG valve and inlet manifold

 

Closeoff of ERG exhaust recycling valve

All was built back into the camper.

 
Turbo still in place ERG and inlet manifold removed

 

Turbo removed

 

Turbo

This time the test drive was more successful!. The tuning had to be set back to factory setting so we will miss the extra boost of the chiptuning. The whole process took some 8 days. If we would have to get a new turbo from Europe it would have taken at least 2 weeks.

So all in all not too bad. Hopefully it will not fail again. It was helpful that the manager of the garage and his nephew spook English. They could explain what was being done. Because the turbo was set back to original conditions the power of the engine has reduced by 20 – 30 %. You really feel this along the way. On a climb you sometimes cannot overtake trucks!

182.553 Power breaking system failure

The break power was severely reduced. After some 760 km we stopped at  VW garage. There they discovered that the vacuum hose connection to the power break was not connected. After reconnecting and securing the connection all was well again.

Interior

  • Connection of water basin drain broke and water was leaking when draining the basin. Solution wrapped some tape around it. This was repaired with 2 componet glue in November 2018. In order to get to the connection we accidentaly pulled out the drain pipe. With some delicate fishing we got it back in place.

IMG_4015

  • When overfilling the water tank the water spills over. The seal of the tank no longer is water tight. Solution; Observe water level in tank when filling and do not overfill.

IMG_4019

  • Bed plank could not be pulled out. A screw came loose and had to be tightened.
  • Handles on sliding cupboards came loose. The screws had to be tightened again.
  • Household battery is not charged when the car is driving. Dynamo does produce 14.3 V when no power is required however when driving the voltage drops to 12.8 or even down to 12.4 when climbing. This is not enough to charge the Gel Battery. Most likely the dynamo does not give enough current. (expected 40 – 60 amps at 2000 rpm, measured only 20 amps). Most likely the dynamo regulator has an issue. Still to be resolved. In November 2018 we installed 2 new batteries. Still the problem was not solved. In Montevideo we had the altenator checked but that was also OK. In the end an eath wire was pulled from the front batterie to the rear. That solved the problem. The camper batterie is now properly charging.