Syncro Madness Area

Here are a few pictures my '87 and '90 Westfalia Syncros in action. My email is

If you are here for information more than pictures, scroll to the bottom of this Web page for links and other text info.

The van crosses a stream on a canoe expedition to Hudson Bay.

On a canoe expedition to Nova Scotia the van must travel a watery road.

Another motorcycle is attached at the rear. Note the awning on the side.

Despite chains, the van is stuck on a muddy abandoned logging road in Vermont.

On a muddy road in Vermont, the van simply sinks in.

A high lift jack works better than this little dippy factory jack.

When the snowmobile trail gets too steep, we have to winch. Snow depth here is about 24 inches. Tires are inflated to 14 psi. Note the snow chains. Note also the Oettinger fog lamps.

Making hot chocolate on the trail. It is minus 5 degrees F here.

This 15 mile road was so bad it took us two days to drive it.

One of the reasons the road took us so long was we had to build a bridge.

These boards we keep on the roof for bridge building purposes; when things get bad we take them down and drive on them.

This page was updated slightly and reposted to my own site after David Schwartz, who originally created it,
got the plug pulled on his VW van web site after his ISP went down.

For my syncro list postings consolidated visit the following two links. (To get them all you have to do both because I switched phone numbers midstream). 

Here is some more information that may be helpful:

Derek Drew                              New York, NY & Washington, DC    202-966-7907

Email me for viscous couplings

'90 Syncro Westfalia...

...seen off-road at

Note: most valuable Vanagon sites on the planet (for owners) are:  

All About 16" Wheels And The CV-900.htm

My syncro list postings consolidated

My refrigerator article:

My article that shows how to deal with insurance companies:

To view Wolfgang's incredibly informative wheel article  

To view Tim Smith's incredibly useful gearing calculator  

All about viscous couplings

To view two articles about how to think about improving your gears at transmission rebuild time

To view an overview article about choices in larger sized tires see  

To view some 16" Trailing Arms that enable much larger tires see

To view the CV900, the only perfect 16" rim for T3 Vanagon and Syncro see

Articles about choosing a 16" wheel and this CV900 model:

My article about belt protectors and CV joint protectors


You only get to change your ring and pinions once every 10 or 20 years

       because that's how long the average syncro transmission goes before

       its next rebuild. Start planning for higher number ring and pinion sets NOW!