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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
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Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
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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andwrya1
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Post Post subject: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 09:01 AM
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Im going to be buying my bug to transform into a duner. What year would you all would say is the best for parts and modifications. I know its going to take a while. Im ready for it!

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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:55 PM
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69 - 72 standard bug, not super...


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 03:32 PM
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That's going to be the general answer you get around here, 69-72 standard bug. A little detail behind that:

Supers came with a McPherson strut assembly for the front end which was more for ride comfort than it was for strength. Consequently they don't fair very well with much offroad punishment, not to mention I myself have had nothing but problems with their fuel injection. Just stay away from Supers all together.

The Standard Beetle was discontinued after 1972, so 69-72 would have an IRS rear suspension which is ideal for keeping the rear tires firmly planted, it has a larger engine for obviously greater power, and it came with a balljoint style front end which all in all isn't a bad front end to get around with. It will take some abuse and keep coming back for it.

67-68 Beetles came with a swing axle rear and a balljoint front. While a strong enough combo, you're pretty much getting the weaker of the two front ends that standards came with, and the tweakier of the rear ends as the rear axle only had one pivot point which will cause serious camber in the back if the tire moves up or down. You gotta be careful driving a swing axle some days simply because in my experiance, they can be a bit unpredictable compared to most current cars on the road. Believe it or not, some people actually prefer the swing axle, couldn't tell you why, I never had too much of a problem with it myself.

66 and prior you will be looking at the swing axle rear end still, but a kingpin front end. The kingpin is a front end that is very strong as you don't have to worry about balljoints moving about and breaking on you. However you need to remember that the older you go, the smaller engine you will recieve.

Also, understand that in owning a Baja, you will natrually get a few people who don't like you, as they want to preserve the Beetle as it is. This crowd only grows in size the older VW you use. For Bajaing, I normally try to stay away from anything older than 1958, just as a rule of thumb. I try to stay away from it not only because they're ovals and splits, but because they sky rocket in price.

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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 04:42 PM
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The only exception to that is the standard beetle was NOT discontinued after 72. Both Standards and Supers were still made, but after 72 the supers have a curved windshield and the standards have a flat windshield.

Be careful of the 71 & 72 models through, both the standard and the super had a flat windshield in those years, the best way to tell is to look at the front suspension.


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 04:44 PM
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Another thing too, the 66 beetles are the same as 67-68 and are considered the worst option for bajas because they also had balljoint front and swing axle rear.

65 & earlier are link pin front.


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 08:45 PM
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The best part is, no matter what you buy, you can convert to the best suspension. Mine is a 66, worst of both. Converted to IRS, and frt converted to link pin. It just takes $$, so plan accordingly.


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 01:59 AM
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i would say just get a 70 up cause then you have irs and irs is way better than swing.
and you can get a warrior beam. and convert to link pin but i wouldnt.


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 03:28 AM
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I find it is easier to just buy one that has already been started. A lot of the time you can find them with irs and king pins. Unless you are really set on doing it all yourself it is a ton easier to just work on one that has some of the hardstuff better.

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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 06:33 AM
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i bought my bug and it had all the stuff already done to it. and i think that i would have fun and love making a baja but like thuff said better to buy something with everything done on. inless you absolutely want to do it. then go for it.


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 05:52 PM
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If you don't want to have to play with emissions wich plays a big role to some people go with a 66 or earlier.


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 06:11 PM
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bajaboi727 wrote:
If you don't want to have to play with emissions wich plays a big role to some people go with a 66 or earlier.
74 or older in ca!


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 07:35 PM
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What year bug would be exempt by California emission standards? Is it 66 and earlier or 63 and earlier?

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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 03:11 AM
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bajaboi727 wrote:

74 or older in ca!


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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 06:02 PM
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BugZyla.com wrote:
Another thing too, the 66 beetles are the same as 67-68 and are considered the worst option for bajas because they also had balljoint front and swing axle rear.

65 & earlier are link pin front.

Huh... I always thought the 66 was a kingpin.

But yeah, you're right about the standards, I forget what year they stopped making them, 76 maybe?

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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a bug to baja it out, what year is best?
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:47 PM
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KooK wrote:
Huh... I always thought the 66 was a kingpin.

Nope.


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