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My 1968 VW Baja - V6 Powered
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Baja Wes
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Joined: September 03, 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: My 1968 VW Baja - V6 Powered Reply with quote

This is my V6 powered 1968 VW Baja. The fabrication is mostly pretty backyard quality, as I built most of my car using fancy tools such as a 4.5" grinder and a $500 130amp MIG running gasless wire Smile

I've had the car since 1995. It had an 1835cc VW motor with stock carb, swingaxle suspension and 4 wheel drum brakes. By 2001 nothing much had changed. It was still a quite basic VW Baja, good for bashing around with mates;
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In March 2001 I pulled it apart, and over the next 8 months or so I completely rebuilt it. I did this while going away for work for a month, working full time and having a girl friend - which now I look back and wonder how I ever had the time.
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I repainted the floor pan
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I made a lift kit for the body and modified the front beam. I actually had to build a new beam because the old one had rusted out.
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I had a new gearbox built up which I painted. I also upgraded from a beetle to a kombi gearbox at this point
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A friend that was a panel beater started working on the body for me
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I had to modify the stock rear stub axles to handle the bigger Kombi CV joints
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I had to test fit everything a heap of times as you do. Here I am checking the axle length is ok and the CV's don't bind. I was running a 1915cc VW engine with twin 44IDF webers at this stage.
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5 months in the floorpan was fully functional, so I drove it around. The throttle got jammed and I also killed myself, so I stopped Smile
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I got the body back, the whole paint thing wasn't very straight forward. My friend was too busy so I took it back off him and gave it to a guy that I found through one of the VW clubs. Naturally he slowly jacked the price up and I paid more than I wanted to for paint, but sh*t happens.
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On the interior I got a mate of a mate to do the hood lining and carpets as the curved VW roof makes that quite painful. I did the door panels and fitted some Honda seats that I got from a wrecker for $150 the pair. The interior turned out quite nice.

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I also made some running boards (as you can see in the pic above). They are a simple bit of pipe with two bends. There are little braces running down to the floorpan. I put some checker aluminium on top. The running boards are basically stone deflectors, to stop the rocks off the front wheels destroying the paint on the rear fenders (I used to paint the front of the fenders with underbody deadener, and it would be chipped off in 12 months).

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I had some Dragway centerlines made for it, it all looked quite nice in the end.

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The baja stayed like that for quite a while, until the itch for more power and just something different came along. That's when I decided I wanted to put a V6 into it...

So I bought a Mazda KLZE V6. 2.5L, all alloy, revs to nearly 8000rpm and makes 200HP. I bought a front cut with the intention of using as much as possible to keep costs down.
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The first step was to design an adaptor plate and flywheel
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cut the adaptor from paper and check it fitted
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do some calcs to make sure the ring gear won't explode at 8000rpm
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then get the adaptor abrasive water jet cut from 20mm thick aluminium plate
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I had to get a machine shop to make the weird custom flywheel. Essentially the Mazda flywheel with a VW ring gear pressed and welded on.
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Before chopping up my car I decided to do a test fit in the back half of an old beetle body. This was important as I had plans of running the radiator at the back above the gearbox.
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Then in December 2002 it rolled into Steel-Arts old shed for action!
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Won't be needing this anymore
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I upgraded to a larger 2L kombi box at this stage. It's got a stronger 4 spider diff and taller 4th gear in it also.
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We added a fairly significant rear hoop support for the engine, as the standard VW engine just hangs off the bellhousing of the gearbox
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Decided to jam the Mazda instruments in there
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Radiator going in
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Stainless steel surge tank using the Mazda intank pump
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Support bars wrap around and pick up rear engine mount
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Helper puppy
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2nd hand Ford XF rear disc brakes jammed on the back.
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tried a bike muffler at first, it didn't work so well. Exhaust is a tight squeeze
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By January (3 weeks later) it had a running V6 in the back
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Pulled the engine back out later to polish the intake and valve covers to make it look pretty. Also made a cold air intake from 3" exhaust piping
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Found out cheap no brand VW clutches don't like 8000rpm and 200HP
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Decided the dash needed upgrading in preparation for air con.
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yes that's MDF Smile
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Finished dash looks factory
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trying to fit the air con junk under the dash / bonnet was tricky and required some fancy cardboard / fiberglass ducting
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no room for storage under there anymore
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oh, and it's digital climate control
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Wes - www.offroadvw.net - 200HP Quad Cam V6 in a VW Baja - with climate control... Smile
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Beetlebaum
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...this thing looks fun! Very Happy
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Juice C
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great work. That turned out awsome.
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FreddiePete
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread was a blast, you do incredible work. Do you do fabrication work for a living?
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Baja Wes
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it's just a hobby.

I'm a mechanical engineer, but my job isn't hands on. I design stuff from a desk, in an office. Obviously it helped for designing the V6 adaptor and flywheel, but that's all.
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FreddiePete
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's cool! Well your attention to detail is definitely on point. I'm studying Industrial Design which is pretty close to Mechanical Engineering minus all of the heavy calculations. I really appreciate your work, it's very inspiring.
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Baja Wes
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

some videos;
Back when it had a VW engine;


Link



Link


With the V6;

Link


On the dyno here;

Link


In car acceleration

Link


and this funny one on my brother and I messing around

Link

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Pez
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome Beetle Wes and amazing work! And I never thought I'd see your bug again! The picture of you jumping the dunes was plastered all over my notebooks in middle/highschool, cool car dude keep up the awesome work!
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Dave24
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: My 1968 VW Baja - V6 Powered Reply with quote

Baja Wes wrote:


5 months in the floorpan was fully functional, so I drove it around. The throttle got jammed and I also killed myself, so I stopped Smile
So... you're dead now?... are you posting this from beyond the grave?... Whats heaven like?... or?... Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Baja Wes
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ha ha, I meant to type "almost" killed myself, not also Smile
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seanboy69
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: My 1968 VW Baja - V6 Powered Reply with quote

This thing is wild!!! And done nice not just thrown together. You have talent!!!!!!!!!!!!
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