Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build

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#1: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 08:20 AM
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So I've been working on this 1970 Baja project for a year-and-a-half now, and I thought it was time to document the progress. Not that I'm anywhere close to being done yet...just need the motivation to keep going.

Thanks to everyone for all the help so far. I've lost track of how many times I've had my question answered in this forum...THANKS!.

Sooooo. I sort of won this car off Ebay on a whim. It was an impulse buy fo sure, but I've owned a '67 sedan (see avatar) for many years now, and always wanted to build an off-road VW Baja. The car was $250 from a local seller that had no engine and not much more than a shell. As you can see from the pics, the prior owner hadn't gotten very far.



The '67 Sedan meets the '70 Baja. I think the '67 is jealous.


Nice.


Funny story: I was pulling this home with my tow bar on the loop 101 when I noticed someone was waiving at me. I thought "hey cool, they like my car". Then someone else waived at me and was shaking their head. Hmmm, so I pulled over and turns out one of the tires had just fallen off. I had been towing it on 3 wheels for who-knows-how-long... It was completely off the ground, but the drivers front drum was just nicking the concrete. (at 65 mph). So I unhooked the car, and left it along side the road, and turned back to find the wheel and tire.

I thought, what will I find? Did the wheel come off and kill someone? Did it bounce through someone's window going the opposite way? Will there be a 20-car pile up when I go back (in which case I'll just keep on driving Shocked ).

Nope, there it was, just sitting peacefully in the median where 101 North turns West bound. Probable hit the cable barriers and stopped. I grabbed it and went back to the car. Turns out none of the lug-nuts were tight. I had to pull one off the other 3 wheels to mount the left front, and get it home.

And that's where my story begins. Stay tuned for more exciting episodes of: Carbon Footprint - The Suburban Legend Baja Build
Last edited by SuburbanLegend on Fri Dec 26, 2008 08:39 PM; edited 1 times in total

#2: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: danjones333 , Location: chandler Post Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 08:36 PM
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nice story

#3: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 08:37 PM
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So we pulled the body from the pan and started work on the chassis. There was a large rip in the d/s floor pan. Welded up a new pan half and battery panel for the p/s.


I bolted on a raised ball joint front end and mounted some Nanco tires on 5-spoke steel. I switched out my 4-spoke drums for the 5-spoke without too much trouble. Front was easy, rear required an axle spacer from Chirco.com. The front shocks are KYB which are 3 inches longer from a bus to allow for extra travel. Still need to do some work with either limit straps or bump stops up front...


- Notched the rear spring plates a little.


The rear gets stock x 1 inch longer arms from Moore parts. The torsion bars were turned a little according to the Hibbard book. Not sure what to expect as far as ride or height yet. We'll see if they're even level.. Question The CV joints were replaced with type 2, heavy duty joints and conversion stub axles bring it together.


I still haven't decided how to configure my rear shock absorbers. Debating whether to go through the wheel wells into the roll cage, or something less aggressive. I'll probably be giving Bugzyla Fabrication a call before too long. Wink

#4: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 01:53 AM
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Moving on to the body... This trailer from Harbor Freight works pretty good to move this thing around. The way it's balanced, I can move it around with one hand.
- tried my hand at the MIG welder and closed up the molding clip holes
- detrimmed and cut my baja metal
- does anybody know how to put this all back together?
- I have no idea where I put all the parts

Then started the time-killing process of body work, sanding, sanding, and more sanding. A p/o had put a really bad beige metallic paint job over the original red, which wasn't adhered well at all. I should have spent the coin and had it media blasted. That crappy paint kept causing me problems and may still yet... Mad


I want to use a stock gas tank up front, so that sheet metal will stay for now. My plan is to cover it with a one-piece front end, and mount a spare tire under there somehow.


The roof needed some work, and the package shelf was rusted out. You can see where I finally cut it out. I'll post that pict when I find it, later.



Stay tuned for the next episode where I cut a big hole in the roof... Surprised
Last edited by SuburbanLegend on Sat Dec 27, 2008 08:04 AM; edited 1 times in total

#5: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: danjones333 , Location: chandler Post Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 04:18 AM
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nice
i have a idea for the spare tire. get a nice rack like i have...

and just put your extra fuel and tire on there
and your ready to go.
i will stay tuned for the next episode

#6: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 06:34 AM
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So I've always wanted a ragtop, but didn't want to cut up my '67 up. So the baja is my chance.
In spite of what I'd heard about the SteetBeat kits, I found one 2nd hand and bought it anyway. (At least I didn't pay full price..)
First thing was to get up the guts, and cut the hole. Say hi to the kids.


Then I used and borrowed every clamp I could find to glue the frame in from the bottom.
I used 3M Urethane windshield adhesive which gives good working time and stays flexible.



I smoothed it in, and am crossing my fingers to see how it holds up.



I really like the guy on The Samba who redid the fiberglass frame to accept OEM side rails and ragtop assembly,
but this will have to do for now. Should be fun for a recreational Baja.
Last edited by SuburbanLegend on Mon Dec 29, 2008 08:09 PM; edited 2 time in total

#7: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: danjones333 , Location: chandler Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 06:39 AM
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kool
i have always wanted one but dont want to cut a hole in the top lol. and i drive mine everyday and that would be simple to cut and just hope in and take the car.

#8: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 07:56 PM
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danjones333 wrote:
kool
i have always wanted one but dont want to cut a hole in the top lol. and i drive mine everyday and that would be simple to cut and just hope in and take the car.

True. I'll have to work out a decent ant-theft device for this car.
By the way, my '67 sedan's door locks have quit on me.
Anybody know how to rebuild these?
The '67 is one of those unique years which makes it hard to find some parts.

#9: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: danjones333 , Location: chandler Post Posted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 08:33 PM
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try this before you buy new ones.
open the door, pust down the lock thingy, then act like your going to open the door and hold down the button thing that you push to open the door. and then close it and realease the button thingy and thats how i lock my doors cause mine are broken.

#10: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 07:06 AM
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So here's what I did with my dash. I bought a fiberglass blank one from Glass Action in Prescott Valley.
It fits very nice and lets me put the guages where you want them.
Like the ragtop frame, I glued it on with urethane windshield adhesive and filled some cracks and air holes with that foamy expanding stuff from Home Depot.
It's plenty solid.

I like it because it still has a bug-like look, is customizable, and paintable.
It also lets me do something unique (I think) with the glove box.
It was fairly easy to cut out the opening for the glove box and smooth it in with some kitty-hair type filler.
For the most part, the dash fit snugly, expect for around the glove box, which was where I needed to reinforce and smooth it in anyway.





Instead of closing it up and loosing it, I figure I can make a cubby hole and put some bungee type netting in front. Something like this, from a Ford Escape rear compartment.

#11: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: danjones333 , Location: chandler Post Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 08:23 AM
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nice
makes me want to make another baja

#12: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 07:16 PM
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I cut out the rust on the package shelf and had a buddy weld in a nice panel.
Then I covered it with some silver POR-15, and sealed up the seams.
I feel better about mounting a roll cage to this panel than what I had.


Now I didn't like the idea of riveting the rear fenders on the body, but wanted to go with some racing style sizes.
I found these pre-cut fenders along with my 1-piece front end on Ebay from a guy in San Diego/Mexico.
I fabricated some simple brackets and used the stock bolt holes to keep from drilling holes in the body. What do you think?





The screws are counter sunk a little to keep the fenders flush. I also built up the inside lip a little with kittyhair filler for a stronger mounting surface.

#13: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: SuburbanLegend , Location: Glendale, AZ Post Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 03:13 AM
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So I finally got sick of sanding and fixing dents and decided it was time to paint.
Fortunately I had access to a spray booth at a West side High School, which made things a little easier.
I started off with a white sealer coat, since my chosen color was "highly transparent" and would not have covered well over different shades of gray.


Then comes the base coats. I really like some of the newer Mustangs painted in Valencia orange, so I went with this color.
I used almost a full quart on this body. If you've had to buy paint lately, you know how expensive red and yellow is.
Unfortunately, orange is just yellow and red...Anybody want to guess what a quart cost me at the Sherwin Williams Auto Paint store?
Try $200 per quart... Shocked . My wife told me, "Don't mess up!". (Famous last words).



I wanted a darker color for the undersides, so I went with a "Tungsten Grey Metallic", also from a Ford Mustang as an accent and stripe. These shots have no clearcoat yet.


Now that stripe was a pain. I had to build it with various layers of masking tape, then remove the tape where I painted it.
It was very cold around Christmas time (when I painted) and I put one of the stripes on too thick for the temperature in the booth. Just when I thought I was done for the day...one side started to sag.
You can see that a little in this photo, as well as a spot under the hinge that pulled away that crappy old beige metallic paint right down to the oem red.
(That's why I should have had it media blasted.)


Imagine having spent all that money and the better part of 3 vacation days in preperation.
All I could think of was, "Don't mess up".... and wondering how much I had to reshoot.
Fortunately, I came back the next day, well rested, and figured it out. I had to wipe most of it off, come back the next day, sand it down and try to preserve the orange underneath with new masking tape, then reshoot.



I'm still not sure how I saved it, but it came out fine. (Keep in mind, I'm a pure novice).




Basecoat


Clearcoat


Next will be the dreaded, Color, Sand, and Buff. Wish me luck. In case you didn't know, painting a car yourself can save you lot's of money, but YOU EARN IT!.
Last edited by SuburbanLegend on Fri Jan 09, 2009 06:01 AM; edited 1 times in total

#14: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: perrib , Location: Chandler Post Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 04:31 AM
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It has come a long way. I with you on the cut and buff I only do it if I have to.

#15: Re: Carbon Footprint...aka Suburban Legend Baja Build Author: az350x , Location: Mesa, AZ Post Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 05:36 AM
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That thing's looking GOOD! I like the color!

You got my attention with that rag conversion. I'd LOVE to have a ragtop conversion in mine someday.

Cool. Can't wait to see the reassembly!



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