evernon's Baja Build

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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evernon
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evernon's Baja Build

Post by evernon » Sat May 24, 2008 4:42 pm

I bought this 69 baja project from a guy in AZ who was to ill to continue working on it. I felt bad for the guy because he had obviously put a lot of time and effort into this vehicle and did really nice work. This is my first baja and hopefully with a little help, I can get this thing rolling over the next year or so.

The pan has been sandblasted and all rusty areas removed and replaced before being painted. A body lift was added and this has brought about a few problems. The steering shaft no longer aims toward the steering box. Do people just cut another hole to solve this problem? Also, the front of the rear cage seems to low as the roof has been lifted. My whole family is tall so I may have to add a sleeve to the cage bars that connect to the pan behind the rear seats.

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The ront beam appears to be a brand new thing beam. Do they still sell these? Will this be good enough as is or do people cut and turn these to get more travel?

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Is the connection between the front beam and the pan strong enough as is or will this need to be beefed up a bit for hard off road use. I have seen a few photos of people running tubes to the front beam to add support.

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The rear suspension looks pretty cool but I have never seen one done this way. The stock rear trailing arms have been modified and finished off with 914 disks. The previous owner even took the time and effort to drill vent holes in all 4 roters! The rear shock mount has been fabricated outside the wheel well and a bit farther back than most setups that I have seen. It provides a full 10" of travel but is aligned vertically instead of leaning forward. Will this affect anything?

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The transmission is a three rib and I will need to add a few staps to add support to this setup.

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I am in the process of building an upright 1911 TIV with dual Dells and a fabricated exhaust. This should bolt right up to the tranny as the input shaft has not yet been shortened for TI application.

The body has been completely stripped down and is in great shape exept the dent in the left door. This may be a little to big for a bondo fill. Any Ideas on how to best fix this?

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I am working on getting the pictures larger. I am not sure what happend as the last post I made had the same size and they showed up much larger.
Last edited by evernon on Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:49 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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tikotiko
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Post by tikotiko » Sat May 24, 2008 6:52 pm

cool project. is there anyway you can get the pictures a little bigger?
Last edited by tikotiko on Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I just wanna drive it that's it.

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bajaherbie
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Post by bajaherbie » Sat May 24, 2008 7:54 pm

tiko, get a bigger monitor or sit closer to your computer... :wink:

evernon, yes, you should brace the front beam. tie it into the a-pillar hoop of your cage.
technically the shock should be 90 degrees to the trailing arm at full compression for best results....
Last edited by bajaherbie on Sun May 25, 2008 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.

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evernon
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Post by evernon » Sun May 25, 2008 10:47 am

I hate computers! I think the problem with the pictures happened because I copied the link to the thumbnail image.

Here is another of the pan and seat mounts that were started by the previous owner. It the VW pan steel strong enough to bolt these to or should I weld some backing on before adding mounts. The project came with a set of seats from a subaru that seem like they should be pretty nice with a set of covers.

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evernon
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Post by evernon » Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:28 pm

I am getting ready to place an order for things like window rubber, body seals and things that I can resolve at this point without spending a lot. I found a picture of a baja with a body lift and to align the steering shaft correctly a u joint was added to the steering shaft. I have found some parts to do this but am wondering if anyone has been through this so I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

If I mount a gas tank in the rear luggage area, is there a way to mount a fill hose that does not go though the side window? I guess I could go this route with plexiglass windows but I was hoping to leave the side window areas un-obstructed.

Thanks

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tikotiko
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Post by tikotiko » Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:56 pm

hell ya now i can see it. thats a cool lookin car so far good luck with it and keep the pics coming
I just wanna drive it that's it.

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evernon
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Post by evernon » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:37 pm

I scored a load of teak remnants from a local high end cabinet shop and I am planning on doing the trim, dash, and interior accents with it. I havn't seen anyone with wood trim on a bug before so I am hoping that I can figure it out. I am thinking of slotting the underside of the wood and epoxying in a small piece of aluminum trim that would accept the stock trim connecters. This way when the wood expands and contracts, the wood could slide a bit instead of buckeling. I am not sure if this is necessary but it sounds like a good idea.

I have decided to concentrate on the dash and wiring and am getting ready to place an order for gauges, switches etc. So far, I am leaning toward the VDO white cockpit series and am planning on a large tach and smaller gas, oil pressure, and cyl head temp. I would like to do a spedo too but they cost a lot! Instead I am thinking of a GPS mount as they readily give speed and miles traveled etc. and would also be handy for finding my way back to the camper. For switches, I am thinking a SPDT swithch for the lights (up high beams, down low beams, middle off) and the same for the turn signals. I won't have a keyed ignition so I am thinking of a simple start run switch. Theft prevention will be accomplished by removing the coil wire. A third switch for a backward firing light for backing up and a fourth for interior lights. I am planning on running an indicator light over each switch and an additional light for charging system. What ever sort of fuse box I get will hopefully be large enough to add more switches later on when I figure out what else is needed. Ouch - just added this all up and without shipping it comes to approximately $340. Is there a cheaper line of gauges that anyone would recomend? The VDO head temp is expensive $80 with the sender. I am also not sure how to mount a gas level sender in my odd shaped tank. I am seriously thinking of adding a pair of nipples to the end of the tank and running a loop of clear hose for an visual indicator.

Has anyone ordered stuff from CB performance? So far, I find that they seem to have a really good selection of stuff and priced reasonably.

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Hedrock
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Post by Hedrock » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:19 pm

Evernon... Do you have any updates? I was wandering how the the dash work was going. You have an awesome car there and we need more pics :D
Collecting parts again... No I'm not going to say why!

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evernon
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Post by evernon » Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:55 pm

Sorry, nothing new to report yet. Finances are pretty tight right now and I havn't been able to justify spending this much on gauges. Next weekend though hopefully I can get it roughed out enough to send through the planer. I might also get a start on beefing up the roll cage and finishing the seat mounts. I have also been practicing with my stick welder on sheet metal. I am missing the gas cap door so I was planning on welding a piece of metal over this hole. It is pretty tricky though with my cheesey welder to get a rod started at this low of a setting.

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CopperBaja
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Post by CopperBaja » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:58 pm

The rear is gusseted/tubed stock arms. See Ricko's new ride...similar but a different approach, I think.

Looks like a good start to a great project!

Not to mention a great father-son bonding project! :D
96 Pathfinder 4x4 - Family Offroader - 6" "Lift" (2" coil lift + 4" Sub-Frame Drop)

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kcnaz
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Post by kcnaz » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:16 pm

Like the car, looks very clean. I have a grand son that does the same thing when he comes over, I love it. What kind of rod you using, 7014 6011 or 6013? Hey does that shock mount tie into anything inside?

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Offroading vicariously

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evernon
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Post by evernon » Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:23 pm

Summer is coming to an end in Montana and I have started thinking about working on this again. It is hard to concintrate on a project like this when it there is so many recreation opportunities to be had!

Yes, the shock mount ties into the end of the 1.5" tube that connects to the body and the roll cage. I have decided to leave the shock mounts alone for now even though the geometry will be slightly off.

I had the dash and gauges all figured out months ago and didn't place the order due to tight finances. Unfortunately VDO has since discontinued the Cockpit White Gauge line. Now I am trying to decide what gauges I will get instead.

I have been measuring to finish the roll cage and front beam reinforcement and figured out that the rear bars are too low to use with a rear seat. I guess I will have to cut off the stubs that are already welded and then re-weld them farther out towards the side of the vehicle. The tubing in the front is 1.5" and the tubing in the rear is 2". It this typical? I am thinking about re-doing the rear with the 1.5" also as it would be easier to make bends to keep it closer to the ceiling.

My baja didn't come with a rear seat and I am trying to figure out what to install. I could probably pick up a stock seat at a wrecking yard but I am wondering if there is an after market seat that would be a better investment. It looks like I would have enough room to put in fiberglass buckets but a rear bench might be more versatile for holding stuff like a large cooler. I have a fiberglass bench in the rear of my rail but it is so small that my kids have already out grown it. Is there a fiberglass bench that is sized for adults?

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Post by Leatherneck » Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:04 pm

Which tubing is 2" in the back? Not sure of the weight exceptions but for vehicles in our weight class tubing is normally 1 1/2. Finding a F/B bench that seats adults should be interesting. One of the full suspension seat guys makes one though, still will be a tight fit.

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evernon
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Post by evernon » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:12 pm

The 2" is in the back. The rear cage looks like a pre-fabricated roll cage and it might fit better in a baja without a rear seat. The 3" body lift makes the fit even worse. Is there a certain schedule gauge of tubing that I need to ask for in the 1.5"?

Do any of you have recomdations as to finishing of the ceiling? I saw on a build forum that a guy glued foam to the ceiling but I am afraid that if I do this in Montana, that during cold weather condensation will form and be trapped between the foam and steel causing rust.

I still need to figure out how to get some heat without the aid of heater boxes. Even without heat though it will be much warmer than my rail!

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evernon
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3x3 trailing arms ?

Post by evernon » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:53 pm

I found a guy near by who is selling a set of unused 3x3 arms, axles, CVs and stubs along with T2 tranny mounts for $300 . I had not planned on going this route as the trailing arms I have are stock size but very nicely done. With the thing front end, I was told that the 3x3s would allow me to run smaller rear tires (32") and would help to level out the chasis. What should I look for before purchasing this stuff. Are there certain brands or styles of 3x3s that I should avoid? What complications will arise if I install these - torsion bars, handeling, fenders, etc. Will I still be able to utilize my 914 disks?

Thanks again for your advice with this

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