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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- New to Baja and Beetle.
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New to Baja and Beetle.
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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jgoforth
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Post Post subject: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 06:50 AM
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Hello,
I have read the sticky up top, i intend to go find some books and read up, but i just have a few questions for those who know about them. Seeing as i am in Memphis area, i dont have a "dune" area, so my baja would be more trail and mud. I have found what i think is a good buy for $2000. Has a new crate stock motor (never installed), new tranny with a few hundred miles, tons of extras such as fiberglass baja hood/tail/fenders, headers/exhaust, and motor cage. I dont want a $15000 build, just wondering if the stock motor will handle mud well enough or if i should find a hollow shell and build from there. The one im looking at is a 72, solid body, no rust other than the pass. floor panel (no biggie), good glass, needs breaks and stuff but nothing huge. I was wondering if i was possibly in over my head trying to get something mud capable with 2 passengers with a stock(ish) body. I have a buddy willing to help me do most the work and he knows Beetles pretty good (mid restoration on his own), just not much about baja's. Please dont hesitate to tell me to save my money and time if its something ill have to sink 8-10k into to get it to take a little mud.

So all in all, sorry to be long winded, but i wanna know what the stock (1600 cc) motor can handle and seeing as what im getting with it, is it a good deal and am i in over my head on a low end budget...i dont mind it taking time to build it (due to money flow), but i dont want to put 10k in it when i can just convert my 98 Cherokee to 4wd and be happy (not that i expect the Baja to be jeep capable).
Thanks ahead of time for ANY input

ok done Shocked

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WaBaja
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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 07:56 AM
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waitttttttttttttttttt! watttttttt?
when i can just convert my 98 Cherokee to 4wd

I dont understand!! Neutral


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AzBaja
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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 03:36 PM
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WaBaja wrote:
waitttttttttttttttttt! watttttttt?
when i can just convert my 98 Cherokee to 4wd

I dont understand!! Neutral

our '99 Cherokee is a 2wd too. If you do not need a 4x4 why spend the extra money? Wife came with it and it's a great tow vehicle. Will never go off road so the Transfer case and front axle is not needed.


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az350x
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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 03:43 PM
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I'm not experienced with muddin' in a baja, but there's a lot of guys pushin' their bajas around with small motors. Rear tire size will need to be selected strategically, as that alone can make or break you in the power department (and transaxle gearing).

It can certainly be done with what you're talking about, if you are careful with the mods you make to it. If you don't want to actually RE-do a lot of a car like that, and have a definite idea what you want to end up with when it's done, then a build might be better for you.

Bottom line is you can go either way (with the baja- this is a don't ask, don't tell website!), and you can have a ton of fun buying or building. It's all about what YOU want, and how much your CFO will let you spend on it. Laughing

Your budget, mechanical aptitude, available work area for modification of the car, etc. should probably also be considered (and how soon you want to be BAJA'ing instead of wrenching!).

Good luck, keep us posted, and POST PICS when you get something!


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jgoforth
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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 04:19 PM
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Hello again!
Ok, wel first off, what i meant was, i would like something for offroad/mud, but do not want to sink 10k into a baja when i could easliy change my 98 cherokee into 4wd for like $800. I realize that a Baja is a good bit of work but i'd enjoy the work as long as my end product can take some mud. that should clear some up for WaBaja.
Now, I figured that mt tires and all would be crucial, but i was just wondering how ethical, after putting a couple grand into it, would a baja be for mud when tagging along with smaller 4wd's. I love the look of baja's and am up to the work, but i just needed to know the ability of a stock body, stock motor/tranny baja. If i should just wait and up the motor size from the 1600 cc, I'm gunna buy a different beetle altogether because most of the price of the beetle from this guy is the crate motor...he paid like $1400 for it and its unused. So all in all buy or not to buy and am i over my head trying to get this to mud in my budget? Whats a good motor size thats a semi-easy swap on if not the 1600.
Just to clear up, az350x, your thinking i should possibly just start a fresh build no parts?

Thanks again for the input!!!
ill post pics of what i can in a bit.

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az350x
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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 04:40 PM
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Sorry if my ranting wasn't very concise, but the bottom line is it depends on what you want, and what your limitations are. It doesn't take much at ALL to make a baja into a surprisingly-capable off-road machine. To what extreme you want to take it depends on answers only YOU have. You could find something to have a BLAST in for less than 2k, in all likelihood. If the car you're looking at will suit your needs, then go for it. If you're going to have to make a bunch of changes (instead of adding to what's already there), then maybe you should look elsewhere.

Keep in mind that the range of feedback you're going to get on sites like this is MASSIVE. You've got guys on here beating the crap out of, and having a great time in $1,500 cars. You've also got guys with $10,000 cars (and more)- they'll probably have a very different opinion.

Yet ANOTHER variable is your geographic area- what kind of mods it takes to be a capable car in your neck o' the woods is different than say, mine in Arizona...


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57baja
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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 04:49 PM
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You can do a helluva lot in a VW, even in fairly stock form. Buy it and have fun. You'll be amazed at where you can go with it!

Watch some of the SoCal Bajas videos if you don't believe me, especially the Monache Meadows one or the Silverwood Circle run. It's not mud, but you'll see what I mean. There are some pretty stock vehicles doing some cool things out there.

You can also go to You-Tube and search ok8tr's video's. That guy's an animal and does his stuff in a fairly stock baja.

Hope that helps!


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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 05:02 PM
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Welcome to Az Baja.
For two grand it is a good deal. As always documentation of the new parts is needed. Also looking down a spark pluig hole and pulling a valve cover to see if it is new. I have seen to many steam cleaned and painted engines sold as rebuilt. 30" or 31" tall 10" wide off road tires front and rear will get you through most mud situations. Since it is a new engine you could get a 84 mm crank for $230, barrel shims, gaskets and pushrods for $100 and a set of 85.5 forged stroker pistons for ($150??)from Steve at VW Performance and build a 1929 cc engine which would be more than enough to move the tires. For the $2500 ($3000 if you need tires) it would take to build this Baja, it would run circles around a stock Cherokee 98% of the time. Check out OKT6R's videos of him running with Jeeps on shoptalkforums.com using a 1600 cc engine and 10" wide tires.

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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 04:03 AM
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If you watch the SoCal Bajas video from Calico you'll see mine in red primer. It's not very radical. 1641 with stock Solex carb. Cut and turned with Bilsteins. Uniroyals from Walmart. I wasn't able to keep up with the big motor/long travel guys speed wise, but we went everywhere they went. Over every rock, and up every hill. Had a ball. These are amazing machines. You won't believe what they can do until you experience it. Did all of it without a skid plate! Well....that's what I'm working on now. Rolling Eyes


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Post Post subject: Re: New to Baja and Beetle.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 05:51 AM
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www.bluegrassghostinve...m/baja.htm is a good web page on how someone takes a stock bug and bajas it in 1 day but lots of cutting in it.

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