Syncro Westfalia Zetec power – first impressions

In the last week or so I have driven the westy 150 kilometres. My first stop after getting insurance was the alignment shop and the settings were actually reasonable close considering everything had been taken totally apart. The service writer guy commented on how nice vanagons are to adjust rear wheel alignment compared with many newer vehicles.

So far the 150 km driven have been all ‘around town’ including brief times on the highway of 5 minutes or less. We haven’t been on a camping trip yet but for around town I really like the Zetec compared to the waterboxer. The old waterboxer wasn’t as strong as a brand new one would have been so maybe it isn’t a totally fair comparison but the Zetec is nice for stop and go driving, and if one winds it up a bit the van can get up big hills (at highway speeds) faster than it used to be able to. It certainly isn’t a race car but I was after reliability, efficiency and ease of maintenance so I can’t complain.

As I haven’t installed the Bostig engine skid plate yet the engine looks kind of exposed from the back. I need to install the high capacity/high clearance oil pan before the skid plate will fit so that will wait until after our first camping trip.
Right now, a rear view of the van somehow reminds me of those teen guys with their pants hanging down towards their knees: something just doesn’t look quite right. I installed a trailer hitch bar temporarily to provide a bit of protection at the back and I will just have to pay close attention when backing into campsites for now. I’ll post a post-trip review of the Zetec in a few weeks.

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3 Responses to Syncro Westfalia Zetec power – first impressions

  1. albell says:

    Hi Ed,

    It does look like it hangs low. But does it really? How does clearance compare with WBXr?

    Are you thinking about a curved up to bumper style skid plate back there?



    • edbee says:

      Hi Alistair,

      I am going to use the super heavy duty Bostig skid plate which mounts directly to the engine cradle at the front end and to the body up in the bumper area at the back. If I remember correctly it is 3/8″ (inch – typo fixed) thick. There used to be a great video of it on the Bostig site but seems like they have a new site in the last day or two and I can’t find that video any more.

      I’ll try to find time today to measure the ground clearance of the Zetec compared to the stock engine in the Get Away Van but once I get that Ford oil pan replaced with the Bostig high clearance one that will make a difference too. I won’t be doing any off-roading on the upcoming trip. 🙂

      • albell says:

        Wow, 3/8′ thick plate? Plenty stout!

        Even 3/8″ thick would be HD 🙂

        I noticed the Bostig site had changed. Some things missing.



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