View Full Version : what about the beetle?
10-19-2006, 05:12 PM
i have always loved and wanted to build a baja beetle. not really a long distance 4 wheelin expedition vehicle but their reputation isn't built on nothing, i mean they are called baja beetles because of the baja 500/1000 races and have spawned entire classes at these races and they have been used as the base for lots of rails. i think they would make a fun day trip vehicle. i think its possible to do it for a realitively cheap price. they have great power to weigght ratio. the weight is all over the drive wheels. parts are easy to come by and cheap. although i think there is definitly the starting of a collectable facet to them and prices are reflecting that for the vehicles themselves, espcially the more collectable and rare cars like convertables. but i think decent platforms to start with are still out there and affordable. i have looked into this a little bit a few years ago and just wanted to start a discussion here.
if i had a choice mine would be white with blue stripes/accents, bfg muds rear and front or maybe a/t on the front, engine cage w/ skid plate, cool airscoop on the side for oil cooler, not too loud stinger exhaust, internal cage with intergrated bucket seats, etc. any one know if you can put the bus trans axle with the portal gear boxes into a bug easily? any way what are everyones thoughts or experinces ?
10-19-2006, 07:29 PM
Why not a 3 or a 4 Series? 3 Series wagon has nearly identical front suspension as the older Beetle and a little more motor so most of the beetle parts will fit it for suspesntion mods. 4 Series has McPheson strut Lifting the front should be no big deal. Rear might be a little more fun but a LOT more cargo. I use to camp in my 412 all the time. Hell I spent about half my life camping in that car. My parrents bought it new and hauled us everwhere in it. Its been all over CO. Quite a few trips to Silverton area and its been over blackbear....I can still hear my mom humming from that trip (she loved CO but had a little issue with hights LOL). It would easily go through 3ft of snow if it had chains on. Little skid plating for the soft spots and its alreayd like a sled under it even more so the the beetle ever thought about being.
HAY make it a syncro! I bet it wouldn't be all that hard to stick a Syncro box in it and front end under it from a wrecked vanagon.
10-19-2006, 11:34 PM
I don't know if the "beetle" so to speak is out of the question. This guy covered Africa, and not only that, he's missing one arm to boot. So as you see it's about the trip, not the vehicle. Cause you see guys doing RTW trips in Landies, Toyota's, motorbikes, bikes, big trucks, whatever fits the bill.
10-20-2006, 02:33 PM
I've built and helped build a bunch of Bugs. Most of them were "California Style", lowered, powerful engines, etc. I helped my neighbors put together a Baja style Bug too. We ran a 1914 with stock dual port heads and a single 2 barrel carb. High flow oil pump and external oil cooler is a must. The key is keeping the motor cool. You can actually mount the oil cooler above the transaxle on a street car and keep it out of site, but on a Baja style, you are better off mounting it outside.
The motor had great torque and moved that thing around fine. The motor was very reliable too, as a matter of fact, the motor is still running and has great compression. We built it in 1991!
You could easily and faily cheaply build a reliable Baja style Bug. They are extremely easy to work on and almost everything is field serviceable. The main problem is space, which would be tight. You would definitely want a roof rack.
Having most of the weight over the rear end gives them awesome traction too. You are dead on about that.
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