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Tim's Build page... Bugaru Baja on a Budget.
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ts39136
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:10 pm    Post subject: Tim's Build page... Bugaru Baja on a Budget. Reply with quote

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I'm new to the VW world.

I bought a '63 baja thinking it would be a great way to teach my twin daughters the important parts of car ownership, but I'm quickly growing attatched. In my previous life (single and not broke), I was a jeep fanatic. I had a hard time making the jeep handle the high speed dirt roads of Idaho (too much unsprung weight), so I'm hoping that the VW will fit the bill, and the gas milage can't be beat.

I bought this project for $600. Surprisingly there is very little rust and the floors are rock solid. Most of the body work is done. Good thing, cause that's the part I hate. Initially I thought I could put in a few weeks and get it running, but every time I took a part off, I saw something that needed attention. Especially after I found out that the front inspection plate is stuck behind the front axle assembly (I can't get it off without removing the axle tubes?). So, to take all the guess work out, I've resorted to taking the whole thing apart and will rebuild it (In my garage). My goal is not a restoration, but function.

The more I find out about the baja, the more I like it. It seems that someone had good intentions for this car, did some good modifications, then another owner used it to death (and never greased it).

It has the link pin front with reinforced spindles and 8" travel towers. It has the spring adjusters welded in already. Aftermarket front bumper and lights. Wiring harness is new, but they clipped the rear light wires (?). I found them and can reconnect. The master cylinder was rusted solid and there are no brake lines.

It does have a full internal rolecage that looks solid, but that's all it has on the interior. Otherwise it's gutted. All the windows look to be original 'VW'. Windshield will need replaced.

Interestingly, it has the 3 rib (002?) bus trans and an IRS conversion with stock length arms. It was running type 1 cv's on the outside, coincedently one of them was broken. The trans is solid mounted to the horns and the nose cone pops through a roughly cut hole in the sheetmetal where the back seat should be. It does have the conversion nose cone mount. The inspection hole in the tunnel has been trimmed and the shift rod bent to get to the trans.

I've stockpiled another $500 in parts to cover brakes (complete), conversion axle stubs, correct length drive axles, wheel bearings, carborator, shift bracket, link/king pins, and lots of little things.

I did assemble the rear drivetrain with the new type 2's all around. Currently running about 16 degrees on the cv's. In reading this forum I may try to trim the springplate top and bottom to get a little extra travel while I'm at it. I will have to engineer some shock mounts for the rear anyway (this will be the most difficult for me... welding). It looks like I'll have to cut through the fenders and mount to the rollcage to get enough travel without dragging the shocks on the ground.

In future mods I will look into at least one heater box for defrost on those cool mornings. It has j-tubes now. It was in the middle of a turbo install project (turbo from subaru wrx), but I took that off for now.

Engine ran with the 30 pict but it's has a vaccum leak, i assume, because I couldn't get it to idle. I found a h30/31 for cheap so I'll be replacing that... after reading I think I should have gone for a 34 pict, but I'll make it work.

Engine is a 1600, I think. Case number 'AB' - replacement case? I still need to redo the push rod tubes because the front ones are dented and it's leaking. Compression is right about 90 all around, so I'm going to try to make the engine work for a year or so and plan a rebuild next winter (after my kids have burnt out the clutch).

Has anyone ever tried an aircraft carb with adjustable mixture? Seems like many aircraft engines are the flat four. I was actually looking at surplus aircraft guages for the 'cockpit'. They make a neat "3-in-1" engine monitor (cyl temp, oil temp, oil pressure). I was able to un-freeze the stock speedometer and reset it back to 00000 (Mileage exempt on the title).

Honestly, If money were no object I would be putting a big harley-type v-twin on the back. I think I could shorten the car by abour a foot and still conservitavely have 90 horse with tons of torque. Although I like the power curves of the flat fours, I am partial to v-twins.

Anyway... I thought I'd share my project. It seems there are a lot of people here with a wealth of information. I'm only on page 39 of the archives in the off road section, but I'll keep reading till I get to the end (225 or so).

Thanks for all that contribute.


Last edited by ts39136 on Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:55 am; edited 9 times in total
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sloboatnova
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gnarly, welcome to the samba.
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=417564&highlight=3bt+baja
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57baja
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great score! Welcome to the illness.
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tanner_122
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

welcome! that bajas a good start
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ts39136
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay... thanks for the replys. I got to page 100. Only took another 10 hours. Lots of good stuff on here. We need to make a baja encyclopedia.
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4play
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome that is a great car, Good to see someone from Idaho close by on hear,Good luck
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neanders
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is already a Baja encyclopedia, it's called "Baja Bugs and Buggies" by Jeff Hibbard. It's well worth the $15 on Amazon, and will answer a lot of your questions.
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wbrown45
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are going to love the Baja on those high speed roads. It eats up bumps so much better than most old Jeeps (I had an old FJ40 Landcruiserwhich is similar to the Jeep's suspension and spring rates. I sold it to concentrate on my Baja in AZ because the VW was so much better adapted to those desert roads). The inspection plate should be able to come off without taking off the beam unless someone modified it. Is it blocked, or just seemingly stuck?
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ts39136
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wbrown45 wrote:
The inspection plate should be able to come off without taking off the beam unless someone modified it. Is it blocked, or just seemingly stuck?


The lip on the inspection plate was tight against the top and bottom rail. Don't know why... maybe different beams? I took it off today and got the shift rod out. I had to remove the old shift bracket because it was broken. Most of the spot welds poped off with a chisel, but I had to drill 2 of the spot weld to get a level surface.

The inside of the tunnel looks brand new! Shiny new with no grit whatsoever. Have you ever seen the documentary of how they dip the whole body in paint and let it drip dry? I think it said it was 17 pounds of primer alone.

I roto-rootered the gas line. I used one of the old e-brake cables, cut off the end except for a round hub, put it in my drill and ran it down the line. I think there was a rust plug in there from the gas tank. Seems to be working fine now. I'll be using two fuel filters, one out of the tank and one after the line. I've been keeping it saturated with carb cleaner and will do a pressure test before use. PO was using a boat gas tank.

Right now I'm stuck. There is a lot of surface rust on the pan under the gas tank. I'm not one to leave it there, but I also want to finish the bug this year. I think I'm just going to wire brush and wash it, then paint and hope for the best. I guess I could just oil it every now and again? Huh, that might just work...

Is there supposed to be a drain hole where the heat tubing comes up next to the hood hinges? I would think this would be a good water trap to rust out the heater channels.

Quote:
Good to see someone from Idaho close by on


Where are you in Idaho? Might be handy to know a machinist.

thanks.
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vwracin2win
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neanders wrote:
There is already a Baja encyclopedia, it's called "Baja Bugs and Buggies" by Jeff Hibbard. It's well worth the $15 on Amazon, and will answer a lot of your questions.


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4play
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in just out side of blackfoot, send me a pm I mite have somthing you can use.
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az350x
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome!

Maybe someone can confirm this for you, but if I recall correctly, many of the PICT carbs have a small electric solenoid sticking out of the left side, that without 12V, will not let the car idle worth a crap. I believe you take 12V straight from the coil. I had a '65 awhile back that wouldn't run worth a crud until I hooked a wire to that solenoid- it made a HUGE difference.

Looks like a good start man- many of the tough mods are already done for you.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the site and the world of extremely light independent suspension. I recently took my Toyota-holic neighbor for a spin in my newer baja and he dam near shit his pants at how much faster and smoother i could go around a neighborhood path vs. his toyota. After that i dont think he was still so confident about being able to take me out on some desert paths like he boasted about.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets see some teardown pics already.
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ts39136
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

motorbreath53 wrote:
Lets see some teardown pics already.


Okay... I've been meaning to take pictures, but I've been working this week. Starting tomorrow I'll have a week off and can get you more, once I find my camera charger. This is what I have on hand.

az350x - I once had an rz350? Don't know what an az350 is. About the pict carb, it didn't have a idle selenoid. I used foam sticky tape to plug some vaccume holes (can be seen in picture). I used modeling clay to fill in around the throttle shaft (loose). The choke shaft is stuck and the screw stripped to get it out. I think the carb is shot. Picture is of it running. It wouldn't go down to idle, which makes me think vaccume leak, but regardless, I needed a new carb. EDIT --> Also one of the jets is covered in JB weld (?) with a hole in it. Maybe a cheap rejetting job?

Satillite - After watching all the youtube videos I can find, I'm really looking forward to barreling down these roads. I'm trying to keep the wheels as light as possible, Question do you know of anyone that has put inboard brakes on the rear end? Question
Speedo was frozen. I broke the needle getting it apart. I thought I'd reset it while I was in there. Works fine now on with a drill to drive it. My cordless drill goes 35mph. This is where the needle rested after it broke. I may have to calibrate it to GPS when running. Does anyone know where to get a needle? Not a big deal. About GPS, my eagle 642 fishfinder/gps is just like the lowrance GPS mapping unit. I'm thinking of operating it in GPS only mode. All the lowrance mapping software is compatable.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Can you guess what color the spark plugs are? I was warming it up for compression test.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Last edited by ts39136 on Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:13 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your generator is off by a 1/4 turn. It will not cool properly the way it is installed.
The slot in the rear tin should face down, and not to the side.
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ts39136
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah. I found spray on rust converter for the lower pan in the front. Put that on today and will paint tomorrow.

I scraped and painted one side of the front beam today. I splurged on the black paint for this, but the "blue iris" paint was on sale, so the interior and misc parts will be blue.

I already warned the kids, "you'll be lucky to get a car that's all one color!". That's after they requested a porche carrera convertable in some girly sounding color combo. YEAH RIGHT!

More soon...
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ts39136
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ Wolfe wrote:
Your generator is off by a 1/4 turn. It will not cool properly the way it is installed.
The slot in the rear tin should face down, and not to the side.


THANKS!!! Many thanks... Also I found the thermostat is missing and I'll need to figure out where and how to secure the flaps.

I'm thinking of taking the engine and transmission out as a single unit. I have a pallet jack and it's only four bolts and maybe six wires.

I have to paint the firewall anyway. Maybe I'll be going through the engine before running it. I know I should, but I'm trying to put it off.

Arrow Has anyone tried just replacing rings, did that help? I was also thinking of grinding the valves in place with that pummice type stuff. I have an old endoscope and I looked inside at the cylinder walls, doesn't seemed to be grossly scratched or scored, obviously factory cross-hatch is gone.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do not try and take short cuts with the valves on a VW engine. That is their week point.
The valve guides wear, and then the valves start to stretch, because they ar not closing square. It is then like bending a piece of wire. If you do it enough times, and rapidly enough, it eventually breaks.
I have torn down 2 engine in the last 2 days, and both had broken valves.
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ts39136
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Russ Wolfe wrote:
Do not try and take short cuts with the valves on a VW engine. That is their week point.
The valve guides wear, and then the valves start to stretch, because they ar not closing square. It is then like bending a piece of wire. If you do it enough times, and rapidly enough, it eventually breaks.
I have torn down 2 engine in the last 2 days, and both had broken valves.


Good to know... I guess valves, guides, and seats couldn't be too expensive. I've heard of baking the heads and the valve seats "fall right out". Any thuth to that?
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