Baja Rebuild Diary - July

Rebuilt front end 3/7/01. Grey hammer tone paint, shock tower gussets, rebound limiters, front end adjusters, and mig welded seams.

Rebuilt and painted 5-rib gearbox 3/7/01
More News About My Baja 3rd July 2001

I have posted 2 new pictures at the top of this page.
As you can see the front end and gearbox are painted. The front end now has adjusters, tower gussets, mig welded originally spot welded seams, and pins with gussets to be used for rebound limiting.

The gearbox is blue, with silver ribs. I have place it in the chassis a few times to trial fit it. I have found that I will have to make my own clutch cable bowden tube bracket for the gearbox, as the original kombi one is in the wrong spot.
I welded extra supports on the rear gearbox mount to ensure the engine bolt holes stay lined up properly.

I have bought all of the rubbers and stuff for my car. It took a few weeks to find all the pieces I needed.
I also spent ages cleaning the 8 kombi CV's I have to try to find the 4 best ones. 2 of them look quite new, real shinny balls and no grooves in the races. The other two will be harder to pick. I have only found one that I definitely wouldn't use due to pitting in one ball and it's corresponding race grooves.

More News About My Baja 9th July 2001

I have found out that I may have to go to Hong Kong for 3 weeks for work at the start of August, which would mean I would miss Valla, which would be very disappointing. I am awaiting further news.

I finished off my lift kit over the weekend, and painted it black,
I also played with my suspension to check axle length,
I bolted my front end on the floorpan,
I painted my rear arms and spring plates,

I spent a while trying to figure out what to do about my clutch and throttle cables. The bowden tube won't fit with the type II gearbox as it is too long, so I decided to cut the tube that comes out the back of the floor pan a little bit shorter. I still haven't decided what to do about the throttle cable. It needs an outer tube, as it will rub & cut into the gearbox without one. I also have a feeling a stock cable may be too short, but I will have to wait and see. I would like to make a flexible outer guide cable, like the clutch bowden tube. My L bug has a standard vw one, but I can't find another one, and I think it would be too short anyway.


Here's a pic of my dash. I am getting almost everything filled in. I like the smooth look.

Here's the body with the front rubber bits stripped off the bonnet surround, and trial fitting the nose cone.

More News About My Baja 16th July 2001

I have found out that I am going to Hong Kong for 2 weeks, leaving the Monday morning after Valla. So that means that I will have to leave Valla on Sunday arvo.
Well things are getter closer, and my car is still in many pieces. My friend who is painting the car is really slack, and hasn't painted it yet. So I'm getting quite nervous.

I have bolted the gearbox into the pan. The gearbox mount kit took quite a bit of modification to get right, or how I wanted it anyway.

I had to shorten the clutch cable tube where it came out of the pan so that the bowden tube would have the correct bend in it (because the bracket on the type II gearbox is further forward than on a beetle gearbox).
Then I had to figure out what to do about the throttle cable. Because the type II gearbox is 2 inches higher, the throttle cable would rub on it (and eventually cut through it). I ended up getting some 8mm ID steel tube, putting a few bends in it, and attaching it to the steel tube coming out of the back of the tunnel. The bends are such that the tube steps up 2 inches to clear the top of the type II gearbox. Unfortunately this puts a little bit of extra resistance on the throttle cable
(which nearly kills me in the months to come, as you'll see).

I pull my clutch and pressure plate off my engine for a quick inspection. I noticed that grease from the gland nut bearing had come out and got onto one side of the clutch, so I cleaned it up and put a different clutch plate in (I have heaps of good clutch plates floating around). I then bolted the engine to the gearbox.

I pulled the exhaust off of the engine. My girlfriend then sandblasted most of it, and I finished off the rest. I also cut the exhaust in a few places and welded in extra flanges, mainly to replace the standard slip joints with something that actually works (I hate slip joints, they slip when you them to stay still and seal, but when you want to remove the exhaust they won't budge).

I installed the peddle assembly, but first I had to repair it. I had noticed that the hook on the clutch cable had almost worn right through the hook on the peddle assembly (you get that after 33years of wear and tear). So I welded some more metal to the worn hook, and ground it to shape.

Since the type II gearbox shifting shaft is 2inches higher, I needed something to step it back down 2 inches to get to the shifter. I have seen Mike Sharps car many times, and seen his preferred method, which I adopted. I got 2 shifter couplings, put one on the gearbox, and one on the shift rod. I then put the gearbox in neutral, the gear stick vertical, held the two coupling together and welded them in place. An easy way to get the correct length shift rod, and a vertical step in one go.

Meegan helped prepare the lift kit for installation. I have decided to use standard body to pan seal rubber on the top and the bottom of the lift kit. Meegan cut all of the rubber to suitable lengths, and then punched all the bolt holes on the rubber.

I also done a few small things like paint brakes and backing plates, adjust all my valve clearances...

More News About My Baja 23rd July 2001

My weekend was not as productive as I would have liked, people visiting, 21st's to go to, it is not very helpful to VW building.
I managed to paint the exhaust system, put the rear brakes together, put most of the front suspension together and rebuild the front disc brake calipers.

The calipers took forever. I had two small brake pad 68 calipers, and two larger brake pad 74 calipers. I pulled them both apart to find the best bits of both. They all have exactly the same pistons. I wanted to use the large pad calipers to try to get longer pad life. Since they both have the same piston diameter, they should both provide the same braking force.

I polished the pistons with Autosol (metal polish) to make them perfectly smooth and remove any stains. It took ages to get the pistons out. I use compresses air to get them out, but be careful because when they do come out they come at with a lot of force and a lot of speed.