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T3 modifications for Lap of Oz

Discussion in 'Kombi Club' started by peace_fam, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. peace_fam

    peace_fam Member

    Mount Martha
    Hubby and I have an 82 air-cooled T3 which we were going to sell to do a lap of Oz in a few years time. Today we came up with the crazy idea of doing it in the T3.

    We know we need to do some mods and are seeking advise on suggestions on what to look at. It's currently running a 2lt engine with atypically loose gear box so thinking of upgrading the gear box, bigger rims (currently has 14" truck tyres), off road tyres, upgrading the suspension, cutting out the little rust it has, putting in a solar panel or 2 on the roof or portable ones ,(it's a Trakka conversion), installing another glass battery or two (has a 75amH battery in addition to the crank battery) just not sure where to put them; installing an inverter and charger (aux battery currently charges off alternator or 240v), replacing the rock and roll bed with a full width bed, changing to LED lighting. We would like some sort of cooling either 12v or misting evap type and dyna matting.

    Anyone who can give advice on any of these mods would be appreciated.

    Also, does anyone run classes in Melbourne on basic Kombi maintenance and repairs?

    We're also looking at buying a small trailer with suspension that'll cope with off road.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
    Syncro27 likes this.
  2. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Southern Highlands
    I'm sure that Ian (Kombi Dad) would be the first stop for advice here.
    peace_fam likes this.
  3. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Well-Known Member

    Bungendore, NSW
    I have done a lot of travel (300,000+ kms) in our '82 camper but have since swapped to the '89 Synchro while we waited for a diesel upgrade. That's right air cooled petrol to water cooled diesel. My son is still thinking of that option but it is a bit of work. He may keep it standard after all. Anyhow for our travels our major mods were:
    • Second battery of 120Ah with portable solar panels. We could then park in the shade and still charge the batteries. I thought of putting the solar on top but they are about 50% efficient when flat mounted as compared to angled to the sun.
    • I raised the '82 to the height of a Synchro. This was done by using Synchro shocks / springs in the back and Falcon (ZA?) springs in the front. This mod meant I could run 15" Mercedes rims with 215X75X15 Cooper tyres. The down side of the lift was the CV joint boot could split. A mod to this is to use a Toyota boot (Aussie VeeDubbers had a thread on this) or have some made of leather. I never got round to doing either but had boots fail. It's not hard to replace just messy and time consuming. I had no issues with the actual CV joint.
    • I made a rack for the Mercedes spare and a jerry can.
    • I towed a trailer. A lot of people said no, don't do it. I had no issues with towing. The trailer is a tradies trailer and contained all of our camping gear such as as toilet, fishing gear, table, chairs etc. This meant the bed could be left made up and not a clutter across the floor which needed to be moved overnight.
    • I fitted a Fiamma rollout awning and fitted a wall to it.

    This is how the rack, awning and trailer was for our Kimberley trip with twin jerry can holders.

    And this is how I modified it to take the Mercedes spare.


    It has since been moved to the back of the Synchro.

    And the Mercedes rims.


    Please PM me if you want any further info.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

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