’89 syncro Doka 

Good friend Simon just bought another syncro. It’s a private import 89 syncro doka that we believe was a German border guard vehicle. The jx diesel has been replaced by a 1z tdi, it has both front and rear lockers, 15″ wheels, rear cabin heater, and some rifle racks.
The van drives so very nicely. First time for me to drive a tdi powered van and it’s quite impressive. In fact, it feels more powerful than the subie 2.5 Simon has in his syncro Westy ( but that in part is due to the lower gearing and lighter weight of the Doka). The Subie is probably better for higher speed highway driving but on the trail the diesel is the champ.

Westfalia hitch.   

   Vent for turbo inter cooler.   


  1. #1 by edbee on January 24, 2016 - 10:04 am

    Nice!!! Yes, 2 lockers and a diesel, sounds like a great off road machine. It would appear Simon has ‘syncro disease’ 🙂

    You mentioned lower gearing, what diff ratio does it have?

    • #2 by albell on January 24, 2016 - 12:33 pm


      It’s the 5.83 ( or is that 5.86?) box used with the jx diesel. The 16″ had 6.17 box with that same engine.

      Quite a bit lower than our stock North American standard 4.86. Mind you the Doka has 215/75 tires on 15″ wheels so that changes things a bit.



  2. #3 by Simon on January 24, 2016 - 2:44 pm

    Van? Pshaw… It’s a Truck!

    But yes, I’m afraid it might be a manifestation of Syncro disease. Ed, what’s the cure?

    • #4 by albell on January 24, 2016 - 6:13 pm

      Pedants everywhere on the Internet 🙂

      The cure is a radical cashectomy



      • #5 by edbee on February 19, 2016 - 9:06 am

        Hi Simon,

        I hear the cure is a 10 step process and while I am unsure of the details I believe admitting you have a problem is the first step.

        The radical cashectomy Ab mentioned can often be part of the cure although in almost all cases it is an unavoidable side-effect of the disease.

        Good luck… I am still struggling myself.


  3. #6 by John B on January 25, 2016 - 2:26 am

    Lovely (if that’s an ok word to describe a machine like that) ! We don’t get Syncro Doka’s here in SA, we have to convert them from scratch from a 2 wheel drive Doka, so a real labour of love and therefore don’t see many at all!

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