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Alyce the Baja
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smileyman3000
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Location: Yeppoon, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:40 am    Post subject: Alyce the Baja Reply with quote

Hey everyone. I've been a long time lurker on here and not much of a poster. I thought I might start a thread up for my Baja so I can get a bit more active on the forum. I've spent a lot of time reading some much on here so I figured it about time that I give something back at least.

My name is Daniel Stephens, but al of my friends and coworkers call me Smiley. It's a nickname I've had since I was 10 years old and it's stuck ever since.
I'm 22 years old and currently work as a Diesel Fitter on CAT machinery here in Australia.
But my real passion is VWs, especially offroad ones. My first car that I got when I was 16 was a 1968 beetle and I've been hooked ever since. Wasn't long before I'd bought and rolled my first Baja Confused
And then in late 2008 I started building up my current Baja, I spent a lot of my free time trying to make her bigger and better offroad ever since.
I get a great deal of satisfaction sticking it to all of the local 4WD boys. The car surprises the hell out of a lot of people, myself included. I have one of only a handful of Baja's in about a 300km radius, so it's not a very common car to have in my area.

The car is my daily driver, weekend thrasher, work ute, camp mobile, touring vehicle, offroad beast and everything in between! Since I first got her registered and on the road 2 and a half years ago I estimate I've done around 120000km, quite possibly more.

Anyway, enough of the writing I know all VWers love to see pictures, So I'll start putting a few up. I have literally thousands of pictures of the car and the trips I've done so if you want to see any part of the car specifically just ask, I'm sure I'll have a picture of it Very Happy
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smileyman3000
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12/10/2009 -
Alyce the day she was born. If you look closely you can see the remains of my old Baja in the side of this picture. It was a great car but that's another story, RIP little buddy. I picked this one up the day after I bent the old one, about 2 hours drive from my place.


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12/10/2009 -
This is the first afternoon when I got her back home, not bad for $300! Came with a seized engine, no real barwork, and, as a bonus, a little bit of rust too!


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20/12/2009 -
Turns out the floorpan was no good either, the framehead was cracked everywhere! and the floors were rusted. So after some advice from some friends I elected to grab a Superbug floorpan out of my spares and use that. We cut the floors and framehead off and welded a new King and Linkpin frontend onto it. So now I have IRS rear and K&L front Very Happy


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02/01/2010 -
There was plenty of bodywork to be repaired. And lots of bodge jobs by previous people to fix. This is the passenger's (driver's for you lot Very Happy) side door pillar. I ended up replacing both of these and half the quarter panels too.


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14/03/2010 -
New checker plate floorhalves were welded to the tunnel. And I used unistrut for the edges. Fully welded top and bottom. I'm kicking myself now for not putting a lift kit on when I was doing this.


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29/03/2010 -
Alyce is fitted with Holden Gemini seats. They are surprisingly comfortable and have held up well to a lot of use. Looking at maybe getting them recovered soon. Here is when I first mounted them to the pan. Yes, I did sit down and make Brrrrm brrrm noises Cool


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03/04/2010 -
Floorpan all painted. Was done with a brush but the finish came up really good. Painted with POR15.


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04/04/2010 -
This is the first gearbox that Alyce got. Stock 1960s swingaxle. Reasonable ratios. By the time I took it out the syncros had stopped working on 1st and 2nd, it wouldn't stay in 4th gear or reverse and it whined most of the time Very Happy
It did see a fair few miles, and I'm pretty sure I drove it back home from Brisbane about 800km with barely any oil in it.
I had no idea it was so blue! Came up well with a good scrub.


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25/04/2010 -
After a whirlwind week or two or bodywork and prepping for paint, she was painted on ANZAC Day by a great friend of mine. Steff from Gladstone. The man is a wizard with a spray gun, couldn't have got a better job anywhere. I probably could have spent a lot longer doing a better job on the bodywork, it's starting to show its age now.


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25/04/2010 -
The beautiful new colour straight out of the booth. And so began the 4 week saga of building a roadworthy and registered car so I could drive it to my first TAFE block for that year. There were many a night of working on her into the small hours of the next day.


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04/05/2010 -
Got all the rims powdercoated. They came up a real treat.


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smileyman3000
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

21/05/2010 -
I took this picture then drove her down to the DoT and got her registered and picked up the number plates. The following day I took her for her first real drive......800km to Brisbane Smile Nothing like last minute preps, she never missed a beat the whole way Very Happy
As she sit here still very stock. Swing axle box, 1300 Single port engine, stock Link Pin front end with adjusters that are up a tiny bit. Very basic but still so much fun to drive!!


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30/05/2010 -
This is on that first trip to Brisbane. One of the weekends I went on an offroading trip to Mt Mee north of Brisbane with the Manx Club. This was the first real offroad test for the car. She was a little asthmatic with the 1300SP engine trying to push 30" tyres along. And the clutch started to spin on a few of the steep hills because it was an early style smaller one. But she got up all the hills that the big boys did, (after the carby stopped flooding at least)


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30/05/2010 -
Mt Mee again. Here is a lineup of all the cars that came along. We actually had a great turnout. And this is an awesome picture.


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30/05/2010 -
Getting dirty at Mt Mee!


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12/06/2010 -
Remember how I mentioned that the clutch started slipping while offroading? Well about two weeks later it started doing it on road and got gradually worse. This was a Saturday that I was meant to be driving back home home from Brisbane. But instead I had the engine out at the place I was staying trying to change the clutch. Fortunately a good friend of mine Andrew Westwood came to the rescue and helped me get it all sorted so I could drive home the following morning. Thanks mate!


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30/08/2010 -
Added some tow hooks to the front bar. Unfortunately they have see some use over the years. But have certainly stood the test of time and are rock solid.


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31/10/2010 -
Time for a tyre upgrade. Was going to get 30"s again but they were $100 dearer per tyre from the same manufacturer. 31 is just a way more common size. These are Kumho 31x10.5 on 15" rims. They have been on for about 20 months now and have seen about 90-95000km. They are getting a little worn and slippery in the wet, I'd say they are at about 5% tread left.


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26/11/2010 -
The car got a Uniden UHF radio that I bought second hand of one of my brothers mates. It works very well and I have never had a single issue with it.


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27/11/2010 -
These pictures were taken down around Gladstone. I went out with the guy that painted the car, he has a green Baja that has since been sold on.


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27/11/2010 -
Splash splash!!


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smileyman3000
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

27/11/2010 -
Steff's Baja was a little bigger than mine. So following him over this hump I got high centred and couldn't drive forward or back.


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27/11/2010 -
What are you going to do? It's all part of the fun!!


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27/11/2010 -
I would describe this next bit of mud as reasonably technical Very Happy
After going back and forward for about 15 minutes, and with Steff standing at the edge holding the snatch strap and taunting me, she finally managed to claw her way out!! The little 1300 was screaming it's head off!!


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27-11-2010 -
Here's a little revenge. Steff decided to have a go in the mud flats, but it was that sticky and slippery he was going no where. So out with the strap and pull him out!


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14/12/2010 -
Santa bought me an early Christmas present that year. I must have been a bad boy cause it was a bent framhorn. This the rear part of the floorpan that the transaxle and engine bolt to. It has crack and bent downwards.


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20/12/2010 -
Didn't take to long. Engine out, gearbox and rear suspension out. Bent it straight, welded out and then added extra plate underneath.


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27/12/2010 -
A week later and we were back to our old antics Very Happy


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01/01/2011 -
Went cruising around north of Yeppon near Greenlakes. This was after it had rained for about a month. Most of the tracks were covered in a foot of water that we had to slosh through. The countryside was so beautiful and green, and the vast expanses of water were amazing. Not a day I will forget soon.


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smileyman3000
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

05/01/2011 -
And this is what happens when a front wheel bearing collapses. This was down at Stoney Creek just need Freeman's Crossing. It was a very long afternoon and evening.


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05/01/2010 -
Lowrider Baja.


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05/01/2010 - We ended up with something like this to get her out to the Stoney Camping grounds where a flat bed truck could take her home. Nothing like a bit of the bush mechanics. We had to change the stick twice cause they wore down dragging her out of there.


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06/01/2010 - Back home again and looking a little worse for wear. Front wheel on the back and back wheel on the front to try and get the front up a bit higher. Mud guard was removed to clear the wheel.


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06/01/2011 -
What remained of the front wheel bearing after the wheel fell off.


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13/01/2011 -
Alyce getting a new lease on life Very Happy


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26/01/2011 -
Australia Day. Made up a little flag pole that bolts on the tow ball hole. Got plenty of waves and cheers while driving around.


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17/02/2011 -
Another trip to Mt Mee with the Manx Club. And another mud puddle Smile


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26/02/2010 -
Alyce's first trip up to 5-Rocks! Kindly escorted by a Mr David Groves. Had a great day and no issues.


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01/04/2011 -
I was sick of replacing starters on Alyce. I think we were on our third one. So I bought a Cranky Starter kit. Uses a late model Subaru starter. Less amperage draw, greater power and reduction drive. A very good little unit.


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smileyman3000
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

17/04/2011 -
While up in Mackay for transmission training for work I went and check out a local track. Managed to bottom the car out and rip a large piece out of the bottom of the engine case. Patched it up good enough to drive home for the weekend. BTW, she was onto engine number 2 by now. A secondhand stock 1600 twinport with a PICT30 carb and 009 dizzy.


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17/04/2011 -
I patched the case with Quicksteel and it didn't leak anymore oil.......well not from that spot at least Smile


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05/06/2011 -
Another trip to 5-Rocks. On this trip I noticed a clunking noise coming from the frontend, which leads to the next picture -->


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25/06/2011 -
Turns out I had broken the front beam in half where the adjusters are fitted!
Didn't take long to get it rewelded and strengthened up. I also added beam supports at the same time too.


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15/07/2011 - New engine for the Baja!!! This was engine number 3 for the car and is different to the first two cause it is all brand new parts top to bottom.
It's bored to 94mm and stroked to 74mm giving 2054cc. Big valve heads that are CNC ported. 1.5:1 ratios rockers and a Scat C2 cam. Good for 108hp at the flywheel which is exactly double the stock output of 54hp. This engine is still currently fitted to the car.


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13/08/2011 -
I bought a brand new carby kit for the new engine. Twin 40mm Kadrons. But the manifolds didn't match the big ports in the heads. So I marked them out the same.


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14/08/2011 -
Port port port, polish polish polish. Block the faces flat and we have match ported manifold for my heads.


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04/09/2011 -
New rear suspension is in!! I finally got away from swingaxle and now have semitrailing rear arm suspension, more commonly referred to as IRS Very Happy


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10/09/2011 -
New engine coming together. There was many hours put in repairing the tinware and getting it all straight and sealing well. Plus I had to widen some of it slightly to suit the stroked engine.


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20/09/2011 -
All the tinware painted and pretty much ready to fit to the car.


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smileyman3000
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for reading so far.

I still have more to add but it will have to be tomorrow, It's getting late over here and I need to head to bed for work tomorrow morning. Goodnight!

Also, if anyone wants to see the build thread it's here, But it's quite long winded so you'll need some time to read it all.

http://forums.aussieveedubbers.com/viewtopic.php?tid=80275



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PacificBaja
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome thread !!!! Very Happy
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Mexicant
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing, stuff like this gets me motivated to work on mine. Very Happy
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oukno
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great build and life of Alyce so far
so envious of that engine
Hows the 2054 move her through the mud now?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread! I wanna see more of Alices
's adventures. Tell us about the power diference with that new power plant! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice... got to know though. what happened to the wrecked one?
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great thread mate!
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smileyman3000
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey everyone! Thanks for the positive comments.
The new engine was a light and day comparison to the old 1300, certainly has a lot more pep.


chubby53 wrote:
nice... got to know though. what happened to the wrecked one?



I ended up getting rid of it. The body was completely trashed and the pan was bent to one side from the pedal assembly forward. I still have the rear have of the pan (from the handbrake back). And I used the engine, gearbox, brakes and interior and seats in Alyce.
I was very sad that I bent it cause it was my first offroad VW and stupidly reliable.



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some more.


22/09/2011 -
Hard to see here but this was gearbox number 2. It's an IRS box out a Type 3 wagon. They are identical to a Beetle box and bolt straight in, but have a slightly lower diff ratio which helps with the big tyres.
I'm also running stock axles and Beetle CVs inner and outer here.


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02/10/2011 -
And here she is at Warwick VW Drag Meet 2011. The new engine and rear suspension had only been in for about 2 weeks at this point. Went beautifully down the highway 900ish km either way. With plenty of power from the new engine Very Happy


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15/10/2011 -
And here we are at Rainbow Beach booking permits and fully loaded ready to go over to Fraser Island. She's looking quite small next the Graham's son's Baja. But that has all changed now Very Happy More on that soon Twisted Evil


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16/10/2011 -
And here is the Manx club lined up in front of the wreck of the Maheno which drifted onshore in 1935 during a cyclone. This is on the eastern beach of Fraser Island, just north of Eli Creek.
We actually had 4 blue Bajas on the island this trip (one not pictured)


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17/10/2011 -
Some impromptu repairs when all of the exhaust gaskets decided to blow out where they bolt to the heads. With help from Andrew Very Happy


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18/10/2011 -
On a day trip the next day up to the lighthouse at the northern tip of the island I decided that we needed to have a break for a while. So while driving through Ngkala Rocks South I broke a CV driving out of the ruts. Luckily someone had a spare on hand and it didn't take long to swap it out. Thanks to Andew Westwood for getting his hands dirty once again! I swear he can't keep his hands off my car, if he spent this much time working on one of his he might have it built by now!!


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18/10/2011 -
And here is proof that you don't need "4WD" to get to the tip of Fraser Island. Just a Baja with all stock Beetle suspension and some big wheels on the back Very Happy


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11/11/2011 -
Well that CV we put in on Fraser had lasted ok, despite the fact that the CV boot we put on it was a plastic bag and some duct tape. A little bit of sand and dirt might have got in so I replaced that CV with a brand new one. The brand new on was a little tight and rough, so I polished all the surfaces to free it up a little and it's been great ever since.


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14/11/2011 -
I made the decision to fit my set of Country Buggy spindles to the Baja instead of saving them for my buggy. 3" of lift and completely legal. They are also stronger in a lot of ways than the Beetle ones, the steering arm is about twice as thick. These are the only legal Link Pin lift spindles that you can fit to a VW in Australia, I was very lucky to get a set.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

14/12/2011 -
And it was time for gearbox number three. The Type 3 one had barely lasted two months but it wasn't in very good shape when I put it in. I managed to smash the selector forks and jam it permanently in 2nd gear while heading up the big sand hill at 5-Rocks. So I decided an upgrade to a Kombi box was long overdue. Here it is with the bellhousing off so I can change the input shaft down to suit a Type I engine.


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17/12/2011 -
This the Kombi box I chose, it's a "5-rib" out of a 1.8L Kombi. Bigger and stronger in just about every way to a Beetle gearbox. The ratios are more suited to an offroad all rounder too. With nice ratios for offroad but still being able to cruise on the highway without revving it's head off.


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21/12/2011 -
I designed some mounts that use Falcon front suspension bushes to mount the gearbox. This way they are nice and common and easy to get hold of anywhere. This is about halfway through construction so don't mind the long bolts, they got swapped for flush fitting ones. I got it all finished by Christmas Eve and took her for her first drive with the new box on Christmas Afternoon 2011 Very Happy
I have to say that the Kombi box completely transformed the way the car performs and drives offroad. I was kicking myself for not having done it years ago. It'll crawl along fantastically in 1st gear up most of the stuff I'm game to aim it at.


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05/01/2012 -
I had been messing around with the Country Buggy spindles and designing a brake kit for them. It uses VN Commodore rotor, bearings, calipers and pads so all the parts are cheap and common. Here is one of the mock ups and it all fits perfectly and works as it should. The only think I have done since this picture is swap to the VN V8 finned calipers.
For those that don't know the VN Holden Commodore is about the most common car is Australia.


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14/01/2012 - Back out offroad for more testing of the new gearbox. This is on the Rock Track near Stoney Creek north of Yeppoon.


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14/01/2012 -
Another spot on the rock track. It doesn't look steep but the car is on a 45 angle.


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21/01/2012 -
I was fortunate enough to be joined by one of the members of the Manx Club for an offroad weekend of fun! Unfortunately he managed to snap this picture of me after I had a 'loss of momentum' going up the sand hill into 5-Rocks. Better drop those pressures some more!


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21/01/2012 -
Here we are cruising down Nine Mile Beach. That's Tratty's Green J&S Buggy in the mirror.


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22/01/2012 -
The puddle at the Wall Track at Stoney isn't as deep as it normally is. I still couldn't make it up the side track though. I will have to give it a crack now with my new frontend.


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22/01/2012 -
Heading down the Rock Track once again. There are some lovely ruts and washouts to test out the suspension travel.


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22/01/2012 -
Time to cut those bumpstops off and get some more travel I think!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

22/01/2012 -
Dirty on the outside and clean on the inside, just what a filter is supposed to do. Little did I know there was a lot of undesirables sneaking past the filter and into the engine. Wearing bits out. More on that soon.


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28/01/2012 -
Went out with a friend of mine Lincoln and his L Series Subaru and had a crack at the really steep hill near his place. And surprisingly I made it to the top for the first time! I have tried before but had no luck, I put it down to the new gearbox. Link didn't quite get there but had a good crack anyway. This is me coming back down. Pictures just don't do this hill justice, it's stupidly steep and very loose and gravelly.


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02/02/2012 -
More additions. This time a Christmas present from mum. And air/fuel ratio gauge, noice! Has helped me keep an eye on the engine, and also change the jets to get the tune better.


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14/02/2012 -
I made up a new dash panel and slotted it in below the fuel gauge. So now I can see how much fuel I have, and where it's all going Very Happy
And that is the same gauge, it comes with different coloured faces that are swappable.


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15/02/2012 -
Fitted some new LED front blinkers. The old ones had stopped working. These new ones are far more water/weather proof.


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23/02/2012 -
Picked up some rims to match my coming stud pattern and brake upgrades. These are 16x7" steelies off the VE Commodore.


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25/02/2012 -
Tratty came up for another visit and managed to get himself stuck in a mud puddle out on some forestry tracks. Alyce to the rescue!!!


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29/02/2012 -
Thought I would make up a set of cutting brakes before the up coming trip to Fraser. So all I've done is a add an extra handle for each side. Pull on either one and you can brake each rear wheel separately. Pull up the centre handle and it lifts the other two up as well, applying the handbrake as normal. This turned out to be a poor design and I changed it not long after to make them work better.


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07/03/2012 -
This is my favourite photo of the car. Taken on Fraser Island at the Cleanup Australia Day camp we had there.


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16/03/2012 -
Cutting brake Mk II. I included stops on the ends of the handles this time and better plates that allow the cables to pivot and not snap.
I'm now onto Mk III Very Happy


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smileyman3000
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Joined: November 07, 2010
Posts: 238
Location: Yeppoon, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

21/04/2012 -
You know how I mention that stuff was getting past my air filters without me knowing? Well I found out Sad Massive blowby, burning lots or oil and fouling plugs. I took the engine down to a friend of mine on the Gold Coast and we stripped it down. Once again Andrew Westwood seemed to show up and get his hands dirty.


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21/04/2012 -
The strip down revealed worn bores and 7mm ring gaps! We rebuilt the engine with new pistons, barrels, rings, rod bearings and fitted windage pushrod tubes to keep the oil int eh sump. We started the pull down at 10am and by 3 that arvo it was back together, started and running on a milk crate in Dave's garage Very Happy
Sorry these are the only pictures I have from the rebuild, it was a mammoth day. I left the Friday night at 10 pm, drove all night and Saturday morning around 800km to get there, met up with Andrew at his place in the, then we went to Dave's house and started the rebuild. Got it all done and sorted, let it cool down for a bit ( Embarassed ), then left Sunday morning and drove the 800km back home again. What a weekend!


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29/04/2012 -
The damage to the engine prompted me to have a serious look at my intake system and do some major reworking. I decided to run a centre mounted airbox with two tubes running out to the twin carbies. Only problem was you couldn't get a twin outlet airbox to suit my application. So I just built my own. I used Commodore airboxes.


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10/05/2012 -
I taught myself how to plastic weld and added a second outlet into the airbox lid.


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10/05/2012 -
Here's how it looked. I also modified the tops of the carbies to take two more of the alloy tubes that bolt to the airbox lid.


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15/05/2012 -
Here it is sitting in the car. You'd think that the Baja kits were designed for it with the hump in the rear scoop!


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18/05/2012 -
Engine back out and I fitted up the plumbing. I managed to get the silicon hoses and alloy pipes of eBay for very cheap. They are normally used for intercooler setups in riceburners. I think it makes my engine look quite nice.


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06/06/2012 -
Started ramping up to do my brake and spindle upgrades. Collecting all the bits and getting everything painted and ready. Here are the new front rotors in pretty blue Very Happy


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Bajabugman1970
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Joined: February 18, 2012
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Location: Springfield, Oregon
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are doing a great job on your baja but was wondering if you had put some coating on your front roror discs or are you planning to scrape off all that paint as it will definately gum up your calliper pads? I know that the Aussie DOT. rules can be tough on modifyingcars but you seem to be doing a great job of makeing those DOT acceptable changes, keep up the good work!
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smileyman3000
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Posts: 238
Location: Yeppoon, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bajabugman1970 wrote:
You are doing a great job on your baja but was wondering if you had put some coating on your front roror discs or are you planning to scrape off all that paint as it will definately gum up your calliper pads? I know that the Aussie DOT. rules can be tough on modifyingcars but you seem to be doing a great job of makeing those DOT acceptable changes, keep up the good work!



I actually taped them up to keep the paint off the working surfaces. If you look closely you can see lines which are different layers of tape.

Thanks for the positive comments, Australia does make to hard to create wild stuff like you guys can. But it's very satisfying when you do build something incredibly different and still manage to jump through all of their hoops (or most of them at least Wink )



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