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Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do?
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unclebilly
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

As an introduction, I've been around air cooled Porsches for a long time. I own several including an original 76 930 and a hot rod 86 930 slantnose. I have built a few 911 race cars (one I still have) and I have a few 911 parts cars kicking around.

I want to build a Baja Bug. This will see mostly running around my farm and the occasional trip into town. It need to have back seats for my 2 kids aged 8 and 5. It needs to be able to be driven in fields, etc and will be used for herding cows.

It seems like buying someone elses' unfinished project might be the way to go depending on the quality of work.

Another option is importing a Bocho (Vocho?) from Mexico as a starting point.

A third option is buying a baja off of the classifieds. There are 2 or 3 I am interested in.

All that being said, I know of a few 69 or newer chassis locally and at least one donor car for a body.

Based on what I have read, here are my preconceived notions:

- No super beetles.
- 68 or newer chassis for the independent rear suspension.
- Subaru power is cheaper than AC VW power.
- Early king pin suspension is easier to lift.
- I would probably do a 2" body lift.
- I would run 31" tires in the front and rear.

If you were going to build a baja from the ground up, what would you do?

What would the ultimate build be?

What chassis would you start with?

Would you do VW or Subaru power or something else?

What would you do for suspension with road manners?
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oldschool5er
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

Based on your description what you are going to do with it means you really don't need much over a mildly built up Baja bug with AC engine in it.

Why even go Subie if you end up having to put in a radiator and adapter plates and all the other stuff that goes with it? I would debate a Subie being cheaper than a mildly built Vw aircooled if you are not trying for not much over a hundred hp or so

Suspension to raise the height and durability over stock is not a big deal, a simple bolt on would be a Thing front end complete, as it would be much stronger than even a built up ball joint beam and would bolt right up and give you 3". The most you would need for ball joint or link pin are limiting stops. You can go to Thing or 944 CV joints and stub axles, good shocks, that is all you need for what you are describing you want to do with it. Heck you can even get away with a mildly built T1 trans with a 4:37 in it, I don't even think you would need to go bus transmission. Just look for 69 to 73 standard beetle chassi. I don't even think you need to mess with adapting a linkpin front end to a standard late model irs as you are not planning on using it more than mild off road. I see people way over building and just using their Bajas for grocery getters and mild trail riding to "keep up with the Joneses" and internet banter.

So if your SURE that is all you are going to do with it, either just buy one complete and running no rust bucket and you should be good to go. Once you go into the Subie territory and bus trans you are going beyond mild off roading like you are describing and looking at more money on a used Baja already setup. No matter which way you go it will be less expensive to buy an already completed car then building it as long as you know what you are buying. Good used off road capable for mild use maybe 6k max, Subie or ECO based setup for even more and properly done 7k to 10k and will have a full cage. It goes up from there based on how "professional" it was done
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

Baja one of the 911 parts cars. Twisted Evil

Here's my Ghia with the above mentioned Thing front beam.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And it's very capable in shitty conditions.

Link


However, with having to take kids around, everyone would really appreciate the extra room of a Thing.



Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

This is my Subaru powered Baja Bug.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I did get a little carried away sort of but it has a 3" body lift and is all coilover and has heat and ac. It is a pretty low dollar build as I built all the parts like the arms for the suspension, the roll cage and the body lift myself. Also in this pic it is riding on 4 BFG 30x9.5x15 tires.


I like the idea of a 911 Baja though a lot Smile

Ed


Last edited by no1clyde on Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Vanillagurilla
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

a subi swap will lead to a $4k transmission lol. I think finding a solid car already built is the best option. a t1 motor will do just fine and be very reliable if it was built well. maybe look for 1 with and 1835, avoid the 1915cc as they have thinner cylinders. my car has a ball joint beam but has been cut and turned with adjusters with helps lift the front. I would stay away from anything with empi front coil overs as they are terrible and when you remove them to run good shocks you loose the lift in the front. rear is easy enough to index the spring plates for lift. if you can find an irs car that has a link pin front end done right would be optimal but a ball joint car would work fine just less suspension travel. where I live ( southern California), a decent baja that isn't a pile of rust or doesn't run is around $4000.
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

THIS! Build this out of your parts car & toss the suby in it.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2202311
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earthquake
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

If I had a few 911 parts cars laying around I would build a 911 Baja!

eQ
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HeyWatchThis
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

It really depends on what you want to do with the car. What capabilities you want.

Up here in SD, I just like bombing across the grassland and Black Hills trails. My bug is stock suspension '68 Swing axle, ball joint front beam with 215/75r15's up front, and 31x10.5 r15's in the back. Rebuilding the AC motor right now to 2054cc for a little more oompf.

I wouldn't mind IRS, maybe 2-3" of lift (although it's probably not necessary for what I do), and disk brakes.
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unclebilly
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

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Well I did build this back in 2011. Itís a 73 911T with a 2.7 on modified zeniths with distributorless ignition. The suspension was all SC suspension.

I built it with a friend for the Chumpcar series. Once we got it sorted it was FAST! I sold it to a guy in the UK and it has been on the red carpet at the Autosport International show.

I plan to build another early 911 with a 2.7 (and have most of the parts needed) but thatís another project.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

unclebilly wrote:


If you were going to build a baja from the ground up, what would you do?

What would the ultimate build be?

What chassis would you start with?

Would you do VW or Subaru power or something else?

What would you do for suspension with road manners?


Think Dakar, not Baja
Start with a fully caged 911 parts car.
Long travel double a-arm suspension front & rear, push the wheels out 6" wider at the minimum.
Subaru power/transaxle, mid engine.
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:09 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

unclebilly wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I sold it to a guy in the UK and it has been on the red carpet at the Autosport International show.

In that condition or after it was restored?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:45 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

ach60 wrote:
unclebilly wrote:


If you were going to build a baja from the ground up, what would you do?

What would the ultimate build be?

What chassis would you start with?

Would you do VW or Subaru power or something else?

What would you do for suspension with road manners?


Think Dakar, not Baja
Start with a fully caged 911 parts car.
Long travel double a-arm suspension front & rear, push the wheels out 6" wider at the minimum.
Subaru power/transaxle, mid engine.


Not bad but.... put it in a thing, awd and of course tube chassis and custom suspension. 600hp, anti lag, sequential trans.... think long travel rally car. Wish I could win the lottery Sad lol.
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Dale M.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:14 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

Either find car already built to fits your needs or get one and build to meet your needs... A lot of suggestions offered but only you know what you want....


Since the discussion has wandered off track with the mention of rally cars and such.... You could always consider a JEEP, build a rock crawler.....

Get beetle, do body lift, wide front beam, 3x3 rear suspension, put in bus 5 rib transaxle (want the reelly low R&P gears).... Build a grunt motor with maybe 70-90 HP but lots of low end torque you are doing it in the dirt and not doing it on the freeway... Maybe some 31 inch tires in the mix also...

Get Jeff Hibbards book, BAJA BUGS & Buggies... Lots to consider and a lot of solution from man with experience...

Dale
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Last edited by Dale M. on Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:15 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

A Porsche Jagdwagen? Laughing Cool

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Dale M.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

el_safari wrote:
A Porsche Jagdwagen? :lol: 8)

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Not to many this side of the pond.... You could start exporting them...

Dale
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

You can certain;y have a lot of fun and spend a lot of money building a cool Baja. And we encourage you too . We like too see others spend endless hours and money on projects that take too long and never get finished due to endless upgrades that requires additional upgrading that cause the parts we didnít upgrade to fail

If running around the farm chasing cows and going to the store occasionally is all you want to do. Pick up a cheap already built Baja or even a standard and your done. They really donít need anything but maybe some dirt tires to do that.
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unclebilly
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:29 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

TDCTDI wrote:
unclebilly wrote:
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I sold it to a guy in the UK and it has been on the red carpet at the Autosport International show.

In that condition or after it was restored?


Pretty much. It has to look like a $500 car.

Safety equipment, wheels, tires were not included in the $500. This car was in a garage fire (actually caused it). We bought it for $175 and used a core 2.7 I had in a shed with an old 901 dog leg trans. The suspension came from a 78-83 parts car. We ran initially ran CIS injection but it gave us troubl so I custom built some Zeniths that looked stock.

The car had been previously restored by a local guy and there were what seemed like 100 credit card sized pieces of sheet metal welded into the front suspension, the front pan was replaced but they did it wrong so I spent a fair amount of time cutting out the junk and redoing it. The metal on it was so thin. That we stopped sandblasting the underside of the hood when I could see daylight. In the in car footage you could see the chassis flex in corners.

It was a ton of fun because I was less adverse to taking risks with it I would never do in my other track cars.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

I meant the whole red carpet thing.

Then just about the only thing that you could do to top that is to make an offroad Porsche cattle dog. Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

As another option, look into Class 11 style Bugs in this forum. Easy to build and pretty capable for what you're looking to do.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=669166&highlight=class+11+style

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to build a BAJA - clean slate - what would you do? Reply with quote

Could buy an Iltis.
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Or?





*no, itís not for sale.
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