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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
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Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
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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jpn8801
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Post Post subject: Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 04:45 AM
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Hello All Smile

I am in the process of purchasing a baja bug & had questions about what year to buy & upgrading to better suspension.

I will be using it offroad (onroad once in awhile) will be playing in the dirt mostly, hills (somewhat steep) mud, rocky trails. I would like great suspension travel & Have been looking at coil over suspension however I believe you need to upgrade other suspension components in order for the coilover to fit front & rear? What suspension would be best for my application? Shocks only? I read in this forum that the best baja to get would be the beetle NOT the Super B is that correct?

Any suggestions/Websites for parts/Information would be great!

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az350x
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Post Post subject: Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 05:21 AM
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Correct- NO Super Beetles.

Ideally, you want Link Pin front suspension (65-earlier), and IRS rear (like 68-later). Unfortunately, NO model years ever came with both of those, so you'd end up converting one or the other. Bugzyla on this site sells a link pin beam that will bolt to a ball-joint front end, so that'd be the easiest way to change the front end. Then you add some 3x3 or similar rear arms, change the trans, axles and CVs, add some coilovers, and you're almost there! Smile

Plenty of peeps run ball joint front ends on daily driver/part-time off-road bajas, so it's not the end of the world to not have link pin.

There's a thousand opinions out there. The type of driving you do and of course your budget will be big factors as well.

Welcome to the site! Post up a thread in the New Members forum.


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jpn8801
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Post Post subject: Re: Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 05:46 AM
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Cool, I appreciate the reply- couple questions though:

Where would you suggest getting the 3x3 rear arms/axles & CV's? Websites or shop?

About the transmission, What trans would be the best for a baja application? I heard a vw bus trans since it has low gears???

Coilovers: I understand with Bugzyla's link pin beam set up I can run coilovers in front, which most likely I will go to FOA to get the coilovers. However, what about the rear suspension? Can I run them in the back as well? Or just get shocks for the rear? I want it to handle good but not spend thousands upon thousands of dollars you know? This baja is going to be for fun - I will be rough on it so I don't want anything breaking on me.

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az350x
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Post Post subject: Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 05:58 AM
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Well, when you say the word "coilover", you're setting the stage for spending a fair amount of $$$ just for the shocks. Bus trans' are desirable due to gearing and added strength over bug transaxles. You can run coilovers front and rear, but the rears will need to be cage-mounted inside the back of the car, so now you're talking full roll cage.

If you keep your eyes peeled online, you can usually find used stuff and save yourself a considerable amount of coin.

This can be a very costly venture- trust me. Smile

Buying one already set up is by far the cheapest way to go (most of the time).


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I used to think only about 98% of the population were worthless douchebags. I'm thinking lately of revising my estimate...

'59 Baja- SOLD

5 VW's (O\!/O) since 1/2005!

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Colesifer68
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Post Post subject: Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
Posted: Sun May 03, 2009 10:11 PM
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if your going to be doing that kind of off roading i would put a full cage in the car anyway! so shock mounts wouldnt be a big deal. i would suggest having bugzyla build you a front beam. also you will want to put longer arms in the front for the coilovers. i would also say to invest in some nice suspension seats and some good belts. saftey and comfort first.

u can find used 3x3s on www.thesamba.com/vw all day long with any other parts you need.

the type one trans will be fine as long as you beef it up. putting weddle gears in will be the best thing you could do for it. then you can gear it lower at the same time, thats what im doing with my race baja 5/1600. arizona transaxles is the place to go from what i have been hearing, some people have there opinion though.

and if your going to be offroad mainly and little street use i would recomend a rack and pinion steering setup. it gives you better control while bombing threw the desert.


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Post Post subject: Buying a Baja Bug need suggestions
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 02:02 AM
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az350x is right. With that sort of suspension, you need a full roll cage to mount the rear shocks to. You will also need the full cage to support the pounding on the chassis. Then, on top of that. Any car which needs that sort of suspension, will absolutely NEED a full roll cage for safety. Then, you'd better be aware that will still not make you Travis Pastrana of the Baja Bug world.

There are roll cage kits out there which are a fine start. The "Class 11" cage kit or Empi 6-point kit will both make a good start for what you want. But a great deal more custom fabrication will be required. There are considerations to building a cage for yourself or having a pro shop build it for you. Such as welds all the way around the joints, proper rollcage design, proper materials for the cage, good quality welds, accessibility, etc.

I agree that buying an already built Baja Bug of the sort you want is far less expensive than building one from scratch. When shopping for a Bug, share pictures with the forum and try to enlist the help of some other experienced members on here, The Samba Offroad forum, Shoptalk offroad forum, or SoCal Bajas forum. There are plenty of members of those forums in the Hemet area.


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