Baja Rebuild Diary - August/September
More News About My Baja 1st August 2001

My Baja will not be ready in time for Valla, because my friend didn't have the body painted in time :(

So I have been busy getting my L bug ready for Valla instead. I have to go to Hong Kong from the 6th to the 14th for work, and then Perth from the 18th to the 25th for work. So I won't get much done this month.

More News About My Baja 3rd September 2001

Well I made it to Valla, and it was really good as usually. Then I came back home, went to Hong Kong (for work) for 10 days, came back for a few days, went to perth for 7 days (for work again) and then came home again. I finally got a chance to start playing with the baja again.

I finished putting the front steering gear together, and done a rough wheel alignment. My mate also finished drilling my stubs to accept type 2 cv's. The photo below is blurry, but you can kinda see the stock rusty axle and the modified clean axle. The modified axle has the shoulder machined back to fit the type 2 CV's.

So I drilled and tapped them (see picture below). My mate, Ben Gibbs, works for Big Kev Racing (an Australian V8 supercar racing team), so he has access to lots of very cool machines. He machined the lip off of the CV flange, then drilled the bolt holes in the bigger type 2 PCD. He made a cylinder block of alloy which I could use as a jig to make sure I tap the threads square. It worked really well.


Below shows the rear suspension together (kinda). I bolted it all together with no torsion bars, so that I could move it up and down through it's suspension travel. That way I could check the axle float at all suspension positions, and also check for CV binding. 

More News About My Baja 15th September 2001

I have been having a few dramas with my car and my website lately, so it's been a while between updates.
My baja is slowly progressing. I had a friend who was to paint my body, but he had it at a friends house to be painted, but that friend got involved in a high speed police car chase, with weapons in the car, the house got raided, blah blah blah. The excuses I've heard over the last month are ridiculous. So I am getting my unpainted body back, and I am now giving it to someone more reliable to paint it.

But I must say that I now have my floor pan driving around, with the 1915 in it. I have got to say that 100HP in a floor pan is quite a rush. There appears to be something wrong with the gearbox or the shifter at the moment, because I can't engage first gear. But that's probably a good thing. I get 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and reverse fine. It selects first, feels like it goes in, but when you release the clutch it grinds teeth like it's not engaged properly. I got the gearbox professionally rebuilt. It seems to me that it isn't adjusted properly and has been built wrong. I will take it back and see. More hassles though.

Last weekend I went for a ride in my dad's mates GTS dodge viper. A 450HP 12 second car is something to be experienced. When he squirted it in any gear it went, and tried to spin the wheels at any speed, any rpm, any gear. I calculated how fast the floorpan would go with the 1915 in it. I figured about 400kg, 100HP, not much drag, should be good for around a 12 - 13s quarter.

I put the floorpan in second and started driving. I lined it up down the driveway (we have a 100-200m bitumen driveway) and gave it a squirt in second. Holy s**t, it's fast. I have never driven a car where the back wheels are trying to spin at the same time that the front wheels are trying to lift. I have never driven something that I was too scared to completely rev it out in gear. As soon as you get a bit of speed the stiff suspension bounces you all over the place. But jeez it's fun.

Rear view

Here's me driving the front up onto a large rock, with the other front wheel up in the air.

Here I am ducking the trees. The throttle got stuck open a few times which was a bit of an adrenilin rush. Actually it was just plain scary. It got stuck one time, and I couldn't turn it off. You see there is no ignition switch, I just had it wired straight to the battery. My first instinct is to put in the clutch, but then the engine starts over-revving and I don't want it to blow up so I let the clutch back out. Braking doesn't do anything but lock the front wheels and prevent you from steering.

So here I am, accelerating at some insane speed, one hand trying to steer, one hand reaching behind me trying to rip the wires off the battery. Eventually a tree stopped me. I clipped it with the rear wheel which kicked me sideways and then the battery fell over and the wires fell off. I got thrown clear from the floorpan as well. I decided I should stop driving it about then. I also decided that the throttle outer tube I made didn't work well enough. I couldn't have the throttle getting stuck on again.

More News About My Baja 23rd September 2001

I took my gearbox back. They thought my problems sounded pretty weird. They thought a bracket under the nose cone that is prone to breakage on the kombi box was broken, but it wasn't. They replaced it with a beefed up version for me anyway for all my hassles.

They eventually found that they had simply adjusted the first gear engagement depth incorrectly when they put it together. He said it was the first time he'd done that in 17 years. I guess I'm just lucky. So he put it back together with a new gasket kit and everything for me. It's just a pain because I had the gearbox nicely painted before, and now I have to either touch it up or do it again. So the gearbox should be in and working properly this weekend.

Hopefully my body will get delivered, to a new guy who is going to paint it, this weekend. He said he'll take a week to paint it. So it should be painted by the end of the month. We'll see.