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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- baja power troubles
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baja power troubles
Bug, Baja, Thing and Buggies. Most every thing that will not fit any any other area. See list of other Forums for better topic placement...Volkswagen General Discussion
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bajaboy
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Post Post subject: baja power troubles
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:52 AM
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Question hi there,
i have a baja buggy with 30 inch rear tyers on it the motor is a 1600 twinport engine with a zenith carby on it i want better power when driving through the bush etc wats the best upgrading motor or lowering gear ratio plz help
rob

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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 04:34 PM
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First thing is to optomize your current combo, make sure it is running the best it can. If you can get a bus trans, that will give you better gearing to help you climb.


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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:14 AM
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yeh i pretty much have timing is all good done valves and all that
i have a gearbox at home which i was told has kombi gearing wats the best way of testing the gearing without pulling the gearbox apart

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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 08:26 PM
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To check the gearing out of the vehicle mark the input and output shafts at 12 o'clock have someone count the revolution as you turn both output shafts in the same direction at the same speed for one full turn. This will get your overall gearing. This will take three people if its a swingaxle. If its a bus IRS three ribs had a 5.38 to 1 R&P which as is would be ideal for your 1600 engine but highway speeds would be limited. What transaxle do you have in it?

You are dead on looking for more torque.
Heres a bit what I learned about more torque in the last twenty years.
Torque cost money. How much do you want to spend? How much go you really need?
I also learned what is BEST is not a direct question and the answer changes often if you keep asking yourself it!
Installing a WEB 111 cam, 8.5 or 9 to 1 compression and a lightened flywheel would wake up the engine. Installing 1.58 3rd and 1.21 4th gears to your existing trans will make it Baja friendly. Top speed would be limited to about 70 to 80 mph with a stock 1600. The spare transaxle you have if geared lower will be the cheapest upgrade for more torque.

Cam and lifter swap will set you back $200.00. The correct length push rods would set you back a little more. But for the 111 cam and Webber (Engle VZ 15 style) I used the stock push rods, stock valve springs and stock keepers. I got away with the push rods to this day in the 1835 (next paragraph). The 1600 was sacrificed to make the 1835. It took about 9 months to see how long a stock retainer would last. I upgraded to better retainers and one straight valve. It has never been apart and the endplay has not changed since then.

At this point I think you will have the best combo for having the most torque and fun for the least amount of money spent.

My next "best" cheap torque combo that did not break and treated me very well was a 1835 with a VZ 15 style Webber cam, 9.5 to 1 compression, stock 041 heads with Zenith carb. Transaxle was a swing 4.12 RP, threaded super diff, steel side cover, 3.78 first 2.06 second, 1.58 third and 1.21 4th gears. This would cost about $1800 if you reused your case, crank and rods. This junk yard engine is now 17 years old, I also ran this engine with a stock 3 rib 1970 T-2 transaxle which was better for low speed driving but struggled with the stock 3rd and 4th gears in sand. Off road this engine and the two below it will spit out stock T-1 cvs on demand.

For a friend, I also built a 1915 with a VZ 14 cam, Mike Fischer ported CB 044 heads and Zenith carb. The torque off idle was amazing. In first the 30x10.50 Michelins would go up in smoke (4.12 rp and 3.78 1st gear). It pulled the stock 3rd and 4th gears better than a VZ 15 would have in that engine. Custom heads will cost you $800-1000.

Was this the best for me? I did not think so.
Not content with the torque I had and money burning a hole in my pocket the next engine was a 2180. This time it was carte blanche. Harry Webber suggested one of his stroker cranks and race rods along with his custom version of a VZ 25 cam with more lift and wider lobe centers. I gave a new case and the cam to Dean Lowry telling him about the Zenith carb, gear ratios, etc. I had and asked him to make a set of heads. This time every part was new, cam timing set, push rod length set and engine balanced. About $2200 in 1992 or $4000 today. Now to much torque was an issue stabbing the throttle caused it to want to go left instead of straight hill climbing. It also snapped an axle the first time out and two more waiting for a set Diamond Racing axles, which solved the breakage. Curious I took it to the strip and ran mid 15s in the 1/4. The problem is this became the best combo for torque vs money spent. Also it was not so fun (wasted $$) getting it reliable again.
I also though it best not to learn first hand about turbos.
In hindsight the end the original $1300 dollar investment 1600 cc engine , cam, suspension seats went 98% of the places the final money pit did just a little slower.
The next best investment after a little more torque is suspension seats.
Sorry about the long post but best is a tough question to answer if limits are not set. Good luck and post some pictures of the Baja in the bush.

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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 02:54 AM
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so then how does a turbo 1600 equate to an 1835, reliability and power?


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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 03:38 AM
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My friend made one from the junk yard and parts he had laying around. progressive Peber, Firebird turbo, etc. The adjustable fuel pressure regulator, bearings and P&Ls were the only new parts. First gear was 1/2 as slow as a stock 1600 but when it hit boost in second gear and third gear it would pass my 2180 hill climbing at Glamis. The 2180 had better all around power for off roading but that 1600 turbo was really something especially for the $600.00 it took to build.
Here what happen when you spend a little more.
www.azbaja.com/Forums/...html#36518

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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 07:42 AM
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Perrib got a question for you...

In my experience throwing a lightened fly wheel on kills torque. But my experience is with a more modern inline 4 that revs to 8200 rpm. Going from an 18 lb. flywheel to an 8 lb. killed torque, but the stock power-band doesn't kick in until about 4500 rpm, so I'm not really worried about torque.

Anyways back to my question how much is the effect on a 1600? Or in 1835+?


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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 07:59 AM
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It lets the rpm build quicker. I can idle down to about 5 mph in third and pull away with my 1835, Zenith carb, 12 lb flywheel and Weber custom grind of the VZ 15 cam. I can let the clutch out in first gear at about 1000 rpms and pullaway. It pulls even better with 93 octane fuel. I guess that olds wives tale does not work for an engine built for low end torque. I drove a WRX that had a lightened flywheel, bigger turbo, intercooler and chip that stalled every time if you did not have the revs up. But the higher the rpm power band the less you have at the bottom hence the need for a heavy flywheel. It did not do that with the stock weight flywheel. You might want to leave the stock weight flywheel with a stock cammed 1600 engine. The VZ 14 cam is a different story. A lightened flywheel is most noticable in first gear. There is not much difference in higher gears.

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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 08:04 AM
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Hmmm... Thanks for the info, all seems to make sense.

I guess the real solution is more money and a bigger engine. Although I can't complain much. I've only had my baja out a couple of times and it seemed to pull fine with the 31's but the transmission has been geared and strengthened so that probably helped a bit.


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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 08:12 AM
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Swiching 3rd and 4th gears is the best thing to do first. A Web 111 cam and lifter set will only set you back $200 if you can install it yourself.

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Post Post subject: Re: baja power troubles
Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 07:13 PM
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the subaru problem a turbo is ran off exhaust and a car only has so much . a larger turbo takes more exhaust gases which the engine dosnt have enough. so it falls on its face. but ne ways a turbo is free power but if your using it for a daily driver you wont get the the effect you want or expect from a turbo because the engine is not rapping out like you run it in the dunes or the desert so then it wont fully wind up that turbo. turbo forces air into the engine. which is good but then you need a carb that will supply enough fuel or else you are going to run lean. lean=hotter engine. i recomend them over any other thing. im a diesel engineer so i deal with turbos all day long.


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