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Type IV Baja Thing Project

Posted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:33 pm
by LB181
Hey guys. I set up crappy site on the internet to show my Thing. It's definately not close to being done. Basically a 73 Thing with a 73 Bus engine. Poor man's swap, no upright conversion or body lift, homemade exhaust setup. Pretty much we have a baja Thing here. I'll post more pics when I get some more done.


Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 9:18 am
by Bob Ingman
LB man I`m glad to see your page and progress. Its been a long time coming. Seems like we have been talking about this for a couple of years now. I like the fact that you have done this on a budget and been able to stick to it. And its actually a good feeling to stick that pancake in there as is isn`t it. Keep us posted. Bob

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:47 pm
by LB181
You are right Bob. I have been planning this swap for years. The engine came with my VW bus camper I bought from a junkyard for $200. I wanted to learn how to rebuild an engine and when I lost interest in the bus, I pulled the engine planning for the day when I would put it in the Thing. I figured, I might as well save some change and make it a baja since it is going to be an offroad car anyway. I think I am going to keep the decklid on to keep rain off the engine. Exhaust is pretty strange but it works. Just figured I'd post my progress since we don't have to many offroad Thing buildups on the net. I can't wait to get this thing out in the dirt.

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:34 am
by MNAirHead

Interesting Ride!

Couple of notes from our T4 conversions and bajas....

Everytime I've used upward pointing exhausts, they attract water --- notice on Kenworths etc, that they have a flap welded onto a tab. I've tried the can on the top method -- never fails that they're forgotten or some walker by caringly thows it out for you. I've bought 10 or so Frozen engines with stingers on them --- the cylls & valvles all rusted from water in the exhaust.

Air Intake===
Jake Raby instructed me to take a temperature of the engine heads... his suggestion when not having adequate air in baja-type applications was to fabricate a "scoop" that captures air as it's downward and direct it into the engine.... as it currently looks there is no "vacuum" or forced air supply. Would hate to have you cook that engine.

Mind if I steal your header idea?


Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 12:22 pm
by LB181
MNAirHead. That is something to think about with the exhaust pointing up.
We really don't get much rain here in Sunny California but moisture that collects in the morning can't be good. Go ahead and steal my header idea. Seems to work ok right now as long as I address the water in the muffle problem. It definately isn't a race header but there's no way I am spending the amount of money they want for those dyno tuned exhaust setups, this isn't a trailer queen race Porsche, its a heavy, underpowered Toy car that just needs some more torque. As for the air intake scoop, can you describe it in more detail, I'm a little confused on how to do this.


Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 4:49 pm
by Bob Ingman
Corey I didn`t like my first exhaust either. It was too low. When I changed to the one I have now it moved up about six inches. I`m OK with it as is.
I have another engine(still a pancake) that is waiting to be installed that comes with a Bursch 914 system so it might be even better. Bob

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:42 pm
by LB181
Just took it out for a ride this afternoon. Still tuning the webers but ran pretty smooth overall. I think a Bus Tranny and its gearing would definately be better but I really like the power increase. Feels like a totally diferent car even when I am easy on the throttle. It will be nice to have the extra power for pushing me up the hills. I love my project cars. There's something fun about modifying cars that purists just dont understand.

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 7:53 pm
by Bob Ingman
Corey did you save the bus trans when you pulled the engine? Its not a bad swap if you have the engine out for anything.
I assume you have a bushing in your flywheel now so you will have to get another stock 1800 bus flywheel and do it from there.
When I first used a T-4 engine I had the Thing trans and it wasn`t bad but it was a very strong engine. Now I have a stocker(1800) and a five rib. When the 2056 goes in I will swap top an 091 and that should settle into being my permanent arrangement.
Bet the stock trans is good for now til you are off-roading only then the bus box will be the way to go.
CONGRATULATIONS on getting the engine in and taking your maiden voyage in it. Bob

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 8:04 pm
by LB181
Bob, I got rid of the Bus Tranny with my Camper bus a long time ago. The tranny was the primary reason why I ditched the camper. It synchos were going out and I had a terrible time shifting so I decided to get rid of it. Would have been good to save it for rebuild but too late. This has probably been covered a ton but since we are talking Thing specific maybe you could give me some insight. If I did got to a bus tranny, would Thing axles work, and if you got longer trailing arms, do you have to go to an aftermarket axle. I am just curious as I know this swap will be done in the future and it would be nice to lengthen the suspension at least an inch as the rear tire does not even look to be centered in the wheel well. As you can see we are going towards Baja style so a beefed up suspension is definately needed.
Thanks, Corey

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 10:20 pm
by Bob Ingman
Corey if you go to bus trans Thing axles work. Keep the 181 CVs. Its all bolt up.
If you go to 2X3 or 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 arms the bus axles work. Again use the 181 CVs. If you want longer wider trailing arms eventually pmail me for some valuable info. Bob Ingman

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 5:06 am
by MNAirHead

Congrats on getting it going.

Air Scoop====
I was instructed to fabricate a 1/2 moon type scoop. This would use the existing threaded holes around the air intake fan. The purpose of this scoop would be to collect air coming over the car and direct it to the fan. I could take some pix -- the car is about 2 hours away.

Bus Tranny Swap====
I'm just getting finished with our tranny swap... you're very close to being there... unless you're jacking up the car for a bit of lift -- you can use the stub axles, drive axles and CVs.... We just got done doing the longer trailing arm route--- good arms do cost a bit of cash.... In sunny Cal a good bus tranny does cost... plan on $500-1000 for the swap out. I've got some good notes collected when it comes time.

Only takes an ounce of water or so to create havoc.... When I lived in Cali found that it did rain periodically.


Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:01 pm
by LB181
Hey guys, Sounds like the Bus Tranny will be the next swap when I go through the suspension. Right now I will focus on gettting everything right with the engine swap and all the other little things like wiring and skidplates and stuff. Whenever you get a chance, I would like to see pictures of the scoop you are describing. Sounds like you guys have the tranny swap all worked out so you'll be a good resource.

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2004 9:54 pm
by suntour
Speaking of Baja Things. I saw this today at the Pomona Off-Road Expo.

I am sure some of you have seen this before but it was new to me. It had a Type IV power plant too.



Oh, Mr. Ingman. I have a question about your 2x3 rear trailing arms. How did you connect the shocks? Is it attached to the stock top shock mounts or did you run them through the body and attach them to a roll bar?

I would like to get longer arms for the front and back but I don?t want to cut a hole in the body. (However I already have that hole cut out right now, but I am filling it back in.)

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:00 am
by LB181
Thanks for posting those pictures, I have not seen that one before. I guess I missed out not going to the offroad show. That looks pretty awesome. Did you take any more pics?

Posted: Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:28 pm
by Bob Ingman
Kindred please dispense with the formalities and call me Bob.
I am using 2 1/2 X 2 1/2 rear arms. The upper shock mount was fabricated. I reenforced the subframe with 3/16" plate on each side (welded) then drilled a one inch hole through that and inserted heavy wall one inch bar through that which had been drilled to proper diameter for shock mount bolt. Very sturdy.
Though I cannot see the engine clearly I get the impression from the exhaust location that this is a Type 1 engine with a 911 cooling shroud installed. Can you be sure this is T-4 powered?
Thanks for posting the great photos here. Bob Ingman