Repair bus transaxle with redux boxes, or switch to IRS???

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

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Repair bus transaxle with redux boxes, or switch to IRS???

Post by txbaja » Sat May 12, 2018 7:32 am

I am the proud new owner of a '64 Baja. This rig is setup for crawling and climbing. It has a bus transaxle and upright reduction boxes. One of the swing axles has pulled out of the trans. In addition to needing the axle repair, the backing plates have the brake cylinders on the bottom. I would like to be able to drive this on the highway and run some dunes. Should I spend any time repairing my current setup, or should I switch to a non-redux setup?

I don't have any experience working on VWs, and I really know nothing about them. I have lots of experience working on older cars and trucks and fabricating. I appreciate your help.


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Re: Repair bus transaxle with redux boxes, or switch to IRS???

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sat May 12, 2018 11:08 am

If you are going to play in the sand, in my opinion: I would convert to IRS. More travel potential and less of the normal swing axle drawbacks. You will lose the gear reduction but usually, on the sand, you will want enough speed to get up on top of the sand not go through it.

I run an 091 bus box in my glass buggy and it has held up for quite a few years but then I am more of a cruiser than a jumper and/or hard use person.

While I occasionally see Bajas on the dune in somewhat stock condition there are some other things I would suggest looking into (in no particular order):

Without knowing what you are running for shocks now, the chances are good that sooner or later you will want/need to up grade you shock absorbers so be prepared.

I also would recommend building a good body lift for strength. You can run w/o one but eventually you will find a need for it hopefully not too late. The commercial ones are just not strong enough for what can happen out on the dunes.

Front beam to fire wall connectors to protect the front beam head. A very vulnerable and important piece of the frame. ... -bug-pair/ Upper support. ... -bug-pair/ Lower support

I am assuming you already have a non-e-brake style of turning brakes. If not update to a hydraulic conversion as the e-brake unit doesn't work that well.

Weld the shock towers to support the spot welds. Get suspension stops for the front suspension especially if you have a BJ beam.

If you don't have one already, you might look into a Truss/Kaffer bar kit also to protect your trans and engine mount frames.

A front tire change to a specialty "steering tire" is good for the sand. There are several styles out there but once you get or get to drive with them on the sand you will understand. I played with several work-a-rounds before I finally gave up and got a pair... big difference in holding direction or turning.

Welcome to the sand!


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