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Baja Forums -:- AzBaja.com Members -:- New Members -:- Clueless new member
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Clueless new member
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MDB919
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Joined: Feb 20, 2010
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Location: Denver, CO
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Post Post subject: Clueless new member
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 07:46 PM
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Good morning everyone. My name is Matt. I live in Denver, CO. And before a week ago, I had never even heard of a "baja bug". I had never paid much attention to any form of air cooled VW for that matter. So, it is safe to say that this will probably be a very "interesting" experience. A friend of mine currently has his "feelers" out and is trying to locate me an inexpensive running beetle. I hope to have one here in my shop in the next couple of weeks.

I have a couple of questions to start off with. I'm going to start off with a very basic, beginner baja. Aside from cutting the body, and installing new wheels, tires, and bumpers, is there anything that has to be done to make the vehicle usable? Also, what is the best tire size to run front and back?

Once again, I'm sorry if I sound like a complete idiot, this is my first go around at this, and I dont know anyone else who has any experience in this sort of thing.

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Rickman
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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 07:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums, Matt!

There's some very knowledgeable people here and good info too. So ask away, I'm sure someone will chime in and give you some good advice.

I guess right off the bat, what are your intentions for the baja? Street, off-road only, both? What kind of trails and roads will you be driving on? VW experience, mechanical experience, etc., ?

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perrib
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perrib

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Joined: Nov 25, 2007
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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 08:10 PM
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Welcome to AZBAJA. Buying the Building Bajas and Buggies book from the AZ Baja store will be your best investment.

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MDB919
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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 08:19 PM
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My mechanical experience isnt bad. Mostely drag racing type things. Small block chevys mostely. Nothing with a vw though. The baja will mostely be for the street. No off road racing use at all. Ill probably take it camping a few times a year and on some really minor jeep trails. It's really just to have fun with.

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perrib
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perrib

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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 09:02 PM
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Tire size is dictated by engine, transalxe gearing and cv/axle strength.

With an aluminium block LS1 and Medeola transaxle you could run 40 or 44ss Very Happy

Best bet is to keep it simple and run 30" tires on all fours.

Later changing 3/4 gearing to 1.48/1.19 will compensate for the 4" taller tires.

Building a mild 2110 with an Engle W 100 cam also will keep up with modern traffic, last forever and tow a small trailer.

Other good ideas are mounting the lights to the front and rear bumpers or metal brackets not the fiberglass.

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MDB919
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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 02:50 AM
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It is so sad..... when I got my 03 wrangler, the previous owner had put 30x9.50 15 BFG mud terrain t/as all the way around on it. its just funny to me that a stock beetle can fit those on the rear with fender trimming. lol

Unfortunately this is going to be an extremely low budget baja for the first year or so. So motor and trans axle mods will be out of the question. I'll just have to deal with the 1600 cc or whatever comes in it. Is there any suspension modification that should be done early on? Or is that something that can wait for the time being?

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perrib
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perrib

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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 08:10 PM
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As long as your not going to use it like I do all you need to do is a safety check and replace worn parts. If I have not alreay stated; Support AZBAJA and buy the Building Bajas and Buggies book from the AZBAJA store. It is the best tool you will ever buy.
Lots of good info about free things you can do with a welder to beef up the Baja and raise the suspension. Get creative and build a Kafer Cup style rear engine brace and add dual shocks to the rear. You can use the steel hood and fenders and make them Baja hoods fenders. See my all steel baja post.
Best modifications for money spent.
As for tires the four 30x9.50 or or 235 70 15 Mud or All terrain tires will work great on four stock rims. Half worn tires from a Jeep make perfect tires for a Baja. $100-$400

Later on adding 3 rib T-2 transaxle and T-2 or 930 cvs will get you the torque the 1600 lacks. $500-$1500

Suspension seats from Baja Warrior and some wide seat belts will make you comfortable and safe. $500 Qiuck change adapters are available to swap the seats from the Jeep to the Baja. Fab up a base for a camping seat and you get three seats for the price of one.

If your a good fabricator and a real good scrounger you can turn a Bug into a very reliable mild Baja that is more useful and fun than a stock Jeep for under $2000. If you look at that all steel BAJA I built around 1990 I had less than $1000 in it. I did have a good 120 labor hours in it.

The blue and white Baja I have posted on this forum has about 500 in it when I built it. $400 for the crashed bug with a rebuilt engine. $100 for used Baja kit and bumpers. This one was my loaner Baja for a freind and was stolen from his yard by his neighbor was a real mess so I all ready have 100 hours in it and a good 20-40 hours to finish it. I should of parted this one.
Now it has $1000 for the paint job and body/paint supplies.$600 for the headliner, carpet, interior and new rubber. I got a new 1915 short block from Baja Warrior for $600. It still needs another $1000 to finish it.

The best deal was the primer gray one $275.00 for the Baja caged, 3x2 arms, dual rear Bilstiens, 16 valve VW engine, Kennedy flywheel and Vanogon diesel transaxle. They thought the engine was siezed but the kennedy flywheel bound up on the diesel Transaxle "locking" the engine.
Sold the engine and flywheel for $500. Now why did I fix the blue and white one???
All you have to be is patient and wait. Most of us have lots of time. Smile

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MDB919
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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:10 AM
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You guys are amazing. I don't think I've ever been on a forum that is so eager to help the new guys. Especially ones as clueless as me. Very Happy Thanks alot. Sounds like that book is a must so I'll order it tomorow. Since I still have not located a bug yet, is there any particular years or anything that I should avoid? Or phrased differently, is there an "ideal" baja bug platform to start with?

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perrib
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Post Post subject: Re: Clueless new member
Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 05:36 PM
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Someones abandoned project can often be a money saver. A Beetle with an IRS pan is easier to convert to King and link front end than the other way around. Try to find one with a good running engine as this is the most expensive item to rebuild.

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