Vanagon 2WD to Syncro Conversion

Let Us Build You A 2015 Dream Syncro!

Superior traction in rain snow and ice with an AWD Syncro Do you have a desire for a Syncro Multivan? Or how about a Syncro Carat? Since VW never built these particular Vanagon combinations, it has to be built for you, and we can do it!

Syncro Westies have also reached a price point where building one from a 2wd Westy now pencils nicely.

One of the important aspects of this conversion is that it results in a Vanagon that looks and functions just like an original all wheel drive Syncro! Better of course if you have a Subaru engine.

Rear view of California 2.5L Syncro Multivan

We start with a Syncro donor and remove all the parts to build your Vanagon. This includes the following:

  • Fuel tank and filler neck including fuel filler surround
  • 5 speed transmission
  • Front differential
  • Driveline
  • Front suspension and subframe
  • Rear springs and shocks
  • Skid plate and driveline protectors

After removing the drivetrain and suspension from your 2wd Van, the Syncro front subframe is installed using laser cut plates that duplicate the original Syncro mounting points. After this work is completed, areas of unprotected metal are painted with a rust inhibitor then undercoated with a high quality rubberized undercoating. The syncro fuel tank is installed along with the associated brackets and clamps.

Front suspension area after fitting of Syncro front subframe and undercoating

Included In The Conversion

  • Installation of complete Syncro front subframe and suspension
  • Install all shocks and springs
  • Install Syncro fuel tank and fuel filler
  • Install Syncro trans, front differential & driveline
  • Install Syncro skid plate and driveline protectors
  • Synthetic transmission and differential gear oils
  • Removing and reinstalling your engine

The Cost

The cost to perform the Syncro conversion from a 2wd MT Vanagon is $7975 plus the cost of a donor Syncro. This can be supplied by you or we can provide this if we have one available.

Donors available September, 2015

No donors available.

Not Included

Conversion of your waterboxer engine to Syncro specifications (not necessary if we are doing a Subaru conversion)

Conversion to MT if the Vanagon is an automatic - Call for quote

Optional Items

  1. 2WD fuel filler delete including paint matching - $325
  2. Rebuild Syncro trans - $1995
  3. Install limited slip in trans or front differential - $1175ea + labor if not rebuilding unit
  4. Front and rear brake upgrades - $875 front $950 rear
  5. Rebuild driveline - $595
  6. Decoupler (allows 2wd operation) - $1100-1500
  7. Performance shocks and springs - $875
  8. New CV joints, ball joints or wheel bearings - $200 and up
  9. AC recharge or conversion - Call for quote
  10. Convert waterboxer into a Syncro engine - Call for quote

Syncro Carat

Payment Terms

Before arrival of your Vanagon we generally get a deposit of approximately the donor vehicle cost to acquire and prepare the Syncro parts.

Upon delivery of your Vanagon for the installation work, a 50% deposit is required with the balance due upon completion.

Customer Comments

Syncro filler added Finally got to try the Syncro in the snow at home Saturday instead of just my muddy construction job sites. Driving up snowy, curving roads, no problem. The new transmission is like the trans the van had when I bought it new. Nice, crisp, solid and quiet, and It matches the work you did. If you need a sterling reference let me know. - Ken

About your carbon footprint

Research has concluded that it takes the equivalent of more than a year's worth of fuel to build a new vehicle. Scientists determined this by doing a lifecycle analysis; a detailed study of the raw materials used to build the vehicle, where the materials came from and the energy it took to collect them. Carbon used in manufacturing is important, since manufacturing is 10-15% of the car's lifecycle carbon footprint. This is referred to as the vehicle's embedded energy. If the car you have is reasonably efficient, then getting rid of it and buying a new eco-friendly car may actually negate a lot of the benefit of having a car that gets better mileage and is cleaner.


For all new parts, we have a one year warranty, see our warranty page. Used parts have a 30 day warranty unless specified otherwise on your invoice. Extended warranties may available on request. If the vehicle cannot be returned to us for warranty service, repairs at another location should be authorized with us before the repairs are completed. Diagnosis is only covered if it is performed in our shop.

What About My Old Parts?

All old parts should be picked up with your Van if you wish to keep them.