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My First Baja Project
Tell us about your Project, Were you at in tyour build. Post Pictures etc.
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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Wed May 16, 2012 06:14 AM
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My experience is that most Bajas will get around 20 mpg in normal use mostly on paved roads.

It could be a problem with the carb flooding. Does it blow black smoke out the exhaust at any time? Like when you step on the gas? or when you shift...

The carb may be gummed up from the time it sat between the car it was in and when you got it into yours and running. The gas they sell these days turns into varnish in a REAL hurry.

Too much fuel pressure for the carb can result in the incoming fuel pushing its way past the needle valve into the float bowl and flooding it over. A mis-adjusted float level will produce the same symptoms.

Have you checked the timing?

When it is running, check the exhaust pipes near the head to see if all 4 are hot (don't get burned!!). One which is not as hot as the others indicates a cylinder not carrying its share of the load. That could be from a bad plug or wire or valves not closing. A valve adjustment may sound scary to someone who is not familiar with it, but it's not real hard to do in a Baja.

Bad points could be the issue also.

A minor fuel leak could be the source of it disappearing also.

Have you documented the gas you put in and the miles you drive and how much gas goes in to refill the tank to the same level?

What tires are on the front where the speedo is driven? Something like a 7.00-15 will throw the speedo off by a bunch.


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tdubs-83
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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Thu May 17, 2012 01:14 AM
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Richard, Thanks for the reply. Here are my comments:

Quote::
It could be a problem with the carb flooding. Does it blow black smoke out the exhaust at any time? Like when you step on the gas? or when you shift...

It does not blow black smoke but there is black residue. So it is definitly burning rich and at low RPM and in any gear it bogs down until the RPMs come up.

Quote::
The carb may be gummed up from the time it sat between the car it was in and when you got it into yours and running. The gas they sell these days turns into varnish in a REAL hurry.

Supposedly this motor only ran for 20 min on a stand and never ran in a bug when it was rebuilt. There was no gas in the filter when I first started it.

Quote::
Have you checked the timing?

I have not and would like to know where I can do this or how I can do this myself.

Quote::
When it is running, check the exhaust pipes near the head to see if all 4 are hot (don't get burned!!). One which is not as hot as the others indicates a cylinder not carrying its share of the load.

I will test this out soon.

Quote::
Have you documented the gas you put in and the miles you drive and how much gas goes in to refill the tank to the same level?

This is how I figured the 13 mpg.

Quote::
What tires are on the front where the speedo is driven? Something like a 7.00-15 will throw the speedo off by a bunch.

I am trying to recall this from memory but I believe that I have 205/75 R15 BFGs on the front

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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Thu May 17, 2012 04:28 PM
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Correction, I have 215/75 R15s on front

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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 01:14 AM
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- Most VWs will have black residue in the tailpipe, even when they are running leaner than the engines in other cars. This is due to the short length of exhaust with the engine in the back. Even running a water cooled engine like a Honda or EcoTech the exhaust will read much richer than the same engine in a front wheel drive sedan or a pickup truck. So I don't consider the soot in the exhaust to be as clear of an indication as it would with other vehicles.

- If it had been run for 20 minutes, it had gas in the carb. That MIGHT have been drained, which would have been good, but it's unlikely. A gummed up carb is still a possibility.

- There are 2 ways to time a VW, "static" and running. Static is whne the engine is NOT running. It's best to adjust timing this way 1st, so you can be close without having the engine running.
I static test timing by connecting a 12 volt test light (I'll tell you in a bit how to make one if you don't have one) to the coil terminal where the small wire to the distributor connects. The other wire of the light clips to the engine block for a ground. Turn the engine clockwise by hand using the fan belt so the 90 on that aluminum crank pulley is even with the line that separates the left half of the engine block from the right half (looking just above the crank pulley). Then go switch the ignition to "On" (don't crank the engine over!!). Then turn the engine more by hand until you get to around 10* before top dead center. Watch the test light to see if it comes on as you rotate the engine. Keep rotating slowly until the light comes on. Stop immediately when the light comes on. Check what number on the pulley lines up with the case separation line. The light should come on before you get to '0'. Some pulleys have a logo such as "EMPI" at 0, so you may see that instead of '0'. You can loosen the 10mm bolt and nut under the distributor to allow it to rotate to adjust the timing. It should be static timed at 5 to 10 degrees before TDC. ('before' is to the right of the case split on the pulley. Rotating the distributor body counterclockwise advances the timing, clockwise retards the timing. Be sure to re-tighten the 10mm clamp bolt under the distributor after you finish adjusting.

- To time the engine while its running, you need a timing light. Just a basic cheap $20 one will do. Before you start the engine, hook the red clip to the "B+" terminal on the alternator (the bigger wire) and the black clip to the engine block. Then the odd looking clip goes on the spark plug wire to cylinder #1 (the right front cylinder). MAKE SURE ALL WIRES ARE AWAY FROM THE FAN BELT AND OTHER MOVING PARTS and hot parts like the exhaust pipes!!! Start the engine and point the gun at the top of the crank pulley. At idle, the number should be the same as in static timing. Accelerate the engine by operating the throttle arm at the carb by hand while keeping the timing light pointed at the top of the pulley and the trigger pulled. The timing will advance as the engine goes faster. at around 2000 to 2500 RPM, mid range rpm, like you're between shifts, the timing will not advance any more. Hold the throttle about there for a moment so you can be sure of the maximum reading. That should be around 28 to 30*. If it is more, the engine will tend to ping which can put a hole in a piston and do other damage. If it is less, you won't get the full performance available. You can gently rotate the distributor a little bit to adjust the timing while the engine is running. Just don't pull on the distributor while turning it. When finished, tighten that clamp and remove the timing light.

- To make a test light for static timing: Get a small indicator light from Radio Shack or someplace like that. Make sure it will work with 12V DC power. Crimp on a couple of pieces of wire about a foot to a foot + 1/2 long with alligator clips on the ends.


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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 02:27 AM
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So I have another issue. I put on a new front beam that I have acquired and I was trying to adjust the front adjusters. There are one on each beam. Well I never have messed with those and I thought that I had to loosen the top bolt a little to allow the torsion bars to be adjusted. Weel that bolt was barely in and it came all the way out and now I cannot get it back in and the front beam slumps. I have no recoil to lift the baja back up. Any help would be great. Thanks.

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Conundrum
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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 03:15 AM
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Take the weight off the front end first?


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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 04:31 AM
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I did take the weight off the front end first and I still cannot get the block inside the beam that I need to thread to bolt into torque enough to reach the threads through the slot. Man that didn't make any sense. Did anyone understand that?

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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 05:28 AM
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Maybe use a clamp to hold it into the threads. You would just need it to get started and keep a little pressure so it doesn't strip.

I'm sure there's some way they put it together in the first place. Is the swaybar hanging it up?


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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 03:14 AM
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You may have to take the front end apart to get the bolt back in. Is this a king pin or ball joint front end?

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Post Post subject: My First Baja Project
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 04:51 AM
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It is a ball joint front end

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MojaveRacer208
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Post Post subject: Re: My First Baja Project
Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 03:21 AM
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tdubs-83 wrote:
I put on a new front beam that I have acquired and I was trying to adjust the front adjusters. There are one on each beam. Well I never have messed with those and I thought that I had to loosen the top bolt a little to allow the torsion bars to be adjusted. Weel that bolt was barely in and it came all the way out and now I cannot get it back in and the front beam slumps. I have no recoil to lift the baja back up. Any help would be great. Thanks.

tdubs-83 wrote:
I did take the weight off the front end first and I still cannot get the block inside the beam that I need to thread to bolt into torque enough to reach the threads through the slot. Man that didn't make any sense. Did anyone understand that?

OK...Let's back up a little.
To adjust the torsion, the NUT on the center screw does not need to be loosened.

There should be a block of steel or aluminum slipped over the screw and under the nut. Loosening (not removing!) the nut on the screw should allow movement of the adjuster.

There should be another set screw which pushes on the lower side of the block. This adjusts the torsion. Turning the adjuster screw in (clockwise) will push the torsion up and lift the suspension. Rotating the adjuster screw counterclockwise will lower the car. If you have the other screw or bolt out of the hole, you probably need to back this screw all the way to let the other screw go into the internal block.

I can't guarantee that your beam is assembled correctly. There should be a short set screw inside which you have to take the arms off the beam to access. They hold the stack of torsion leaves in place in the adjuster. This short screw should have a point on it to fit in the conical hole in the stack of leaves. Then the torsion has to be rotated about 90* so the short set screw is pointed down to expose another hole in the internal block to insert the flat point long set screw. Then the arms go in the ends of the beam and on the torsion leaves. If the beam was built with the long set screw going directly into the internal block which holds the stack of leaves and into the conical hole in the stack, it was done wrong. Sometimes a pointed long set screw is used for the external long set screw which is wrong. It should be flat tip! If it was a pointed bolt or screw, it won't thread in more than 1 or 2 threads and will strip and/or break off easily.

This is getting very complicated to describe, but is really rather simple in 3 dimensions.

Photos are called for here!


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