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Beverly Hills BAJA BUS
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truckdude
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

First a warning to Baywindow bus purists, please shield your eyes from the shocking photos that follow! Cool

I've previously posted about a '62 dune buggy restoration. Today I purchased this '72 bus that was converted into a Tijuana taxi some time in the '90's. It was reportedly built in San Diego then spent time in San Felipe. The guy I bought it from got a CA title and the BAJA BUS black plates that sealed the deal. He did some nice things to it, now it is my turn to take it to the next level of cool and mechanical reliability. The plan is to make this a beach cruiser that can haul a couple of prone paddle boards.

As you can see, lots of glass and sheetmetal was removed in the build, but what remains is in really nice, rust free condition. Power is from 2.3L Ford that appears to have a few performance internals. A power plant swap is not out of the picture, maybe back to VW power?


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A tight fit in a 1936 vintage garage, Porsche power would be nice, air or H2O cooled.

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Not really liking the huge radiator blocking the rear view.

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About a 1958 Ford truck wheel on a quick release hub, the bus' security system. No speedo, gauge panels need work.

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Power steering added, works well, no idea what this came from. Kick panels will hopefully fit.

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KentPS Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Shocked
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truckdude
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Here's what's going on in the engine compartment. An old ad in the file that came with the bus says 2.3L Pinto with Eslinger head and cam, Eslinger adapters. "Bullet proof" Type 4 bus motor, "built to the max". "This thing runs like a bomb." Looks like a V6 or V8 would be an easy swap here.

The built to the max, bullet proof trans might need a synchro. Any suggestions on a good replacement trans, like a Rancho? Dust boots are trashed.

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The engine is not Fuel Injected or a Turbo as the valve cover indicates, it has a Holley carb (prob. a 500 CFM 2 barrel) and a header.

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This partial engine cover doesn't do that much to keep the noise down.

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Need to possibly rethink and reengineer the cooling system, but it appears to be doing its job.

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The build quality appears to be pretty good.

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Wiring will need to be tended to. Shifter rebuild or replacement will be one of the first jobs. This area will get detailed and cleaned up.

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Underside appears to be solid.
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truckdude
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Seats were just redone, I want to come up with a cool but tasteful interior theme for beach camping.

It seats eight with belts. Are these VW bus seats or are they from something else? I think they fold up once I remove some straps holding them in place.

Yes, those are pieces of pipe welded to the floor as beer holders.

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The fuzzy dice were the first thing to go.

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14' and 12' prone paddle boards to haul. I also have a Yakima roof top tent. Tight fit in this garage.

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Xevin Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

I totally want drive that around Cool
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truckdude
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Definitely not something you see everyday, a real head turner.

I'll probably be selling the buggy soon, garage space isn't cheap or easy to find here in BH. I could possbily use the blinged out engine I created for the bus but it is just a 1600 SP with a single carb and bad headers.

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Wow, I have not looked at my dune buggy thread in a long time. I can't believe what I started with. https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...p;start=40
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Xevin Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Itís a 72. You got a lot of one year parts. You might find this helpful Laughing Laughing

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=467858&highlight=1972

If you yank that Ford out of there for air cooled. Then your zip code demands
Something proper Wink


Link


Would be cool if you put late bay tail lights and side markers on. Instead of those trailer lights
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Clatter wrote:
Damn that Xevin... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

sunnydog wrote:
(This probably is Xevin's new signature line quote: Sunnydog said:"just the tip...")

Abscate wrote:
I dont hate anyone on the Samba - except for Xevin - who brought me cold coffee in the morning.

[email protected] wrote:
I respect Xevin and he's a turd Razz
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MorkC68
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:59 am    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

that looks like an absolute bundle of fun..love it!
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:40 am    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Xevin wrote:
Itís a 72. You got a lot of one year parts.

I'm not seeing a lot of year specific Bus to attach those parts to.
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Busstom
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

It does look like fun.

My two cents:
If it were mine, first up would be to get the tire/wheel situation balanced out, cuz right now it looks like a real-life-sized Hot Wheels toy, and;
Second: yes, if changing the power plant will permit losing that radiator and those fans, then that's a big plus!
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truckdude
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Busstom wrote:
It does look like fun.

My two cents:
If it were mine, first up would be to get the tire/wheel situation balanced out, cuz right now it looks like a real-life-sized Hot Wheels toy, and;
Second: yes, if changing the power plant will permit losing that radiator and those fans, then that's a big plus!


It does have a bit of a 60's gasser stance. But I kind of like that. I'll probably lower it some, it barely fits in a garage.

"Would be cool if you put late bay tail lights and side markers on. Instead of those trailer lights" Yes, that is part of the plan.
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timvw7476
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

with the current rear tire diameter, an air-cooled VW won't be pushing it
too far in the sand, or anywhere else.
At least the customizer went all the way.
No going back now.
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Bulli Klinik
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

I wouldn't change a thing. It looks like the prior owner got it dialed in for you.
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Manfred58sc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Ditto
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

^^^ Iím with these guys. Rock the power plant. Bus up the exterior.
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Clatter wrote:
Damn that Xevin... Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

sunnydog wrote:
(This probably is Xevin's new signature line quote: Sunnydog said:"just the tip...")

Abscate wrote:
I dont hate anyone on the Samba - except for Xevin - who brought me cold coffee in the morning.

[email protected] wrote:
I respect Xevin and he's a turd Razz
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truckdude
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:35 am    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Xevin wrote:
^^^ Iím with these guys. Rock the power plant. Bus up the exterior.


Phase I will be to clean up and tune up the 2.3L Ford and see what it can do.

Yes, more bus parts will be added back. I would like to lose the tread plate panels and put some bus tin back in place.
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oprn
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Man that is one ugly Bus! And it's the highest quality, best thought out ugly Bus I have ever seen too!

No I don't want to own it but can I borrow it to host a gopher shooting weekend with some buddies? That thing would be killer sweet (pun intended) in the back 40 for that! Very Happy
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CarlosZ
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:08 am    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

I think I recently saw your bus on Craigslist, I was wondering who would buy that one. Looks cool, but not much bus left. Hope youíre planning to use in Mexico because you canít drive it on most SoCal beaches.
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22manybugs
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

That is cool!

Iíd keep the fuzzy dice, it fits the rest of the bus.

I agree the worst part is the radiators. My thought would be remove the big red thing (is it a jack? I canít tell) and mount the radiators lower, maybe tilt them back a bit to draw air from higher. Could then mount the big red thing higher, that wonít block the rear view. And maybe more of an engine cover around the back for less noise and deflect the engine/exhaust heat away from the radiators.

Cool no matter what, though!
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truckdude
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Beverly Hills BAJA BUS Reply with quote

Photo after the first night in my garage, hat trick of leaks: oil, coolant and gas.

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Trans area is pretty grungy, I'm a newly trained Porsche concours judge so I'll clean this all up.

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Geeze, I hope the filter and oil isn't 4 years old!!!

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Can anyone ID this trans?
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Ordered a ton of Pinto engine parts to get the 2.3L in top shape and reliable. My first car had a 2.0L Ford so this brings back high school memories. I found a racing valve cover and breather system. I'll do a compression test and then pull the head and pan.

On the bus side, I ordered new axles, kick panels, sun visors, tail lights, rear side marker lights and some other bits. I usually buy from Cip1 but I'm trying The Bus Depot. Looking forward to getting to work on this thing.
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