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Baja Forums -:- AzBaja.com Members -:- Projects and Builds -:- '73 Baja resurrection
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'73 Baja resurrection
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tobiism
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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 07:53 PM
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Howdy everyone. My name is Matt, I've been wanting to build a baja for a LONG time. Mostly been into CalLook VW's up until this point. I live in Chandler with my wife and two boys, Jen, Max and Jacob. I was a firetruck mechanic in the Air Force for ten years and now run a plumbing business in Ahwatukee with my stepdad.
I found this '73 on craigslist two nights ago and had to snag it. The body is garbage, the ball joints are maxed out and it is missing an axle. However- it is an irs chassis with a single side cover tranny. I have an original German link pin frame head that I am going to swap out with my own homemade extended travel beam.
The baja was only $600 which was well worth it considering it has brand new 31/10.5/15 rears and 225/75/15 fronts! It also has a new wiring harness.
I know this is what they all say but its going to start as a fun desert car for the family to take on camping trips, but I'm not limiting myself. I'll let it tell me what it wants to become Laughing
I'm pretty handy with my hands, so I usually make ALL of my own parts. I hate buying something when I can make do own my own most of the time. We'll see when it comes to the cage. I'll probably build a bender and have a go.
I'll be using my '65 body on this project as its in pretty good shape. I have the 2276 48 IDA'd motor that I'll be using as well. I'm not sure how dual 48IDA's will work off road but I'm willing to give it a shot!
Anyway, here are the pics of the car I brought home. Honestly it looks like the guy used a HATCHET to cut the body for the 1 piece front end!





look at those maxed out ball joints!

Here is the body I'm going to use-


My big dilemma is figuring out whether or not I'm going to run link pin or ball joint. The class 5/1600 guys do okay with ball joint so I may? I'm just not sure. I've already built an extended travel link pin beam(from when I thought I was going to build off of my '65's chassis), but ball joint is so much easier(cheaper) to set up for disc brakes.
A day later I decided to get rid of the body, so I
attacked it with a sawzall to make it easier to remove. Honestly there wasn't a single threaded insert on the car that was any good anymore. The roof was dented multiple times. The Half-assedness done to this car was AMAZING! There was rust everywhere, and NOT worth saving.



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Rybob
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Post Post subject: Re: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:00 PM
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Bold move! Surprised

Im interested to see where your going with it!


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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 02:11 AM
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I kinda like the look....OLD OLD School.


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tobiism
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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 02:26 AM
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I admit, it does have a cool WW2 Jeep look to it, but the rest of the body is getting pulled so I can junk it, I'm not planning on running it like this. My '65 body is going to replace the '73.

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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Re: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:15 AM
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tobiism wrote:


the ball joints are maxed out
Do you mean that at ride height the ball joints are holding the suspension from traveling further?


tobiism wrote:
it is an irs chassis with a single side cover tranny.
Single side plate is as strong as any stock swing axle trans, but has a 3.88:1 differential ratio, which is not the best for taller offroad worthy tires such as those already on the car. Earlier (69-72) IRS came with a 4.12:1 ratio and swingaxle (67-) came with 4.37s. It's not a terrible problem though.

tobiism wrote:

I have the 2276 48 IDA'd motor that I'll be using as well. I'm not sure how dual 48IDA's will work off road but I'm willing to give it a shot!
Sounds like a good combo for Glamis and other dunes. Rather over-carbureted for most general offroad use. Won't cow-trail or crawl well.
That doesn't mean you can't have fun with the car.


tobiism wrote:
My big dilemma is figuring out whether or not I'm going to run link pin or ball joint. The class 5/1600 guys do okay with ball joint so I may?
Not true. Some Class 11 guys, those whose cars started out with Ball Joint must retain Ball Joint. They do fine for that. Class 9 also requires Ball Joint with very little modifications. 5-1600 uses Link Pin front ends with all parts eligible for replacement with fabricated parts and power rack allowed. Stock width beam and stock length and width arms are required for 5-16. (read my signature below)


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Post Post subject: Re: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:44 AM
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Hi Richard, thanks for chipping in! To answer your comments

MojaveRacer208 wrote:

Do you mean that at ride height the ball joints are holding the suspension from traveling further?

Well, the beam has been cut and turned to the point that at ride height the lower trailing arm is actually contacting the shock! The ball joints look like they can't move any more (for droop)

Single side plate is as strong as any stock swing axle trans, but has a 3.88:1 differential ratio, which is not the best for taller offroad worthy tires such as those already on the car. Earlier (69-72) IRS came with a 4.12:1 ratio and swingaxle (67-) came with 4.37s. It's not a terrible problem though.

Yes, I'm not overly excited about the r/p that is in the tranny, but I do like that its the strongest stock case available. I 'm pretty confident this engine will pull the gearing until such time I can either put a bus box in or have this one regeared.


Sounds like a good combo for Glamis and other dunes. Rather over-carbureted for most general offroad use. Won't cow-trail or crawl well.
That doesn't mean you can't have fun with the car.


Surprisingly this engine drives REALLY well mannered on the street. It doesn't have the typical on/off feeling most high rpm IDA engines have. I built it for low RPM torque and you can actually feather the throttle nicely. The FK8 cam and Street Eliminator heads with small high velocity ports let it drive a lot like a stocker at low rpms. I'm mostly worried about fuel slosh out of the bowl vent. I thought about contacting Art Thraen to see if the bowls can be modified to vent a bit higher than their stock location.

Not true. Some Class 11 guys, those whose cars started out with Ball Joint must retain Ball Joint. They do fine for that. Class 9 also requires Ball Joint with very little modifications. 5-1600 uses Link Pin front ends with all parts eligible for replacement with fabricated parts and power rack allowed. Stock width beam and stock length and width arms are required for 5-16. (read my signature below)

Ya know what that was a typo on my part. I meant to say Class 11. But I'm pretty certain I'm going to use my link pin beam and parts in this build.

Thanks again for chiming in!

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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 01:47 AM
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You're welcome.


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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 02:29 AM
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Got some work done, its been slow going, but its still progress. I'm making my own lifted spindles and my own beam with adjusters and raised shock towers. For the spindles I'm using my '65's linkpin knuckles that I've cut the spindle off of. I'm going to use a piece of 1/2" steel and the spindles from the '73, which are the largest of the ball joint spindles. That way I can have a stronger spindle and cheaper brakes.
I also got the beef up kits installed on the carriers and steering arms






Look at the size difference between the linkpin and the late balljoint spindles

Also, took the engine apart that came with the '73, it had almost an 1/8" of endplay, it had 6 endplay shims and 3 metal flywheel gaskets!!! Unbelievable what some people will do when they build these engines!!!

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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 02:50 AM
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The beam is looking good. As you say it is progress.
Keep us posted

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Post Post subject: Re: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Wed May 25, 2011 05:52 AM
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Hey you're welcome for the input.

Those shock towers are nearly identical to some I have built before. They worked great BTW. i closed up the top of th estock tower to keep out dirt and such.

These photos show the towers on mine.




Using the BJ spindle shanks is something few others are willing to take on. But if you're a good enough welder, go for it. I don't recommend it for one who is not a good welder. It's kinda like how Cecil Wright built his beefed LP spindles back in the 70s before he invented Combo Links. I have a couple pairs of those beefed spindles. The lightening holes in the gussets look good and are also not often done. You even chose the same hammertone finish and color as I used on my spindles and arms. Cool


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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 04:29 AM
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Thanks Dusty, I've just read through the build on your car and I really dig it. The fact that you have SO much history with it makes it that much cooler.
I like your shock towers and the way they tie in to the rest of the cage.

I'm going to use the whole balljoint knuckle, with just the steering arm and ball joint mounts removed, then it will be spun flat on the lathe. the whole backing plate mount will remain. Then the whole assembly will be welded onto the linkpin knuckle, which should make for a very strong unit, with lots of surface area to weld. I'll be using a very stout Miller to weld it all together, so it shouldn't be a problem.

I like adding lightening holes to all kinds of stuff when I can get away with it. Here is my e-brake handle. The rear trailing arm beef up plates will more than likely get drilled as well.


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Post Post subject: Re: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Fri May 27, 2011 04:43 PM
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I like the e-brake handle with the holes looks cool

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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 02:50 AM
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Well I decided to get started on my roofrack, since I'm waiting on getting my ball joint spindles cut down.
Its made out of .083 wall 1/2" black pipe. It'll be flange mounted to the roof, with supports from the cage going to the internal flanges. Its very sturdy, and weighs about 30lbs.
I'm digging it!





So far I have about $80 in materials and about 4 hours of my time into it.

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Post Post subject: '73 Baja resurrection
Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 03:38 PM
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Class 11 that body! It would look awesome, but then again I might have a little bias Wink


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