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LS3 Baja Bug Build

ParkerMagic

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Looks like this forum needed a little action.

I am starting a Baja Bug with LS3 (600HP) and Mendeola Sequential 5-Speed Transmission. The frame is going to be all 4130 Chromoly with boxed Arms, Fox Coilover and Bypass at each corner, fully finished interior, power steering, 37" Tires. Should be terrorizing Havasu this summer.

Here is a sample of what it will look like.
Image 2-10-21 at 10.17 AM.jpg
 
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Ballsdeep

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Subscribed! Awesome! Always enjoy reading about everyone's build!

Are you building the cage yourself?
 

Backlash

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Mosebilt in Upland is doing the cage, arms, body, powdercoat, etc.
Good old John Mosely! 😎 That dude has made a drastic change in his life! He builds a pretty nice car and made a bunch of money back in the day "Fixing" other builder's cars. This is a build I will be following for sure! Post up lots of pics/updates Sir! 👍
 

Icky

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Mosebilt in Upland is doing the cage, arms, body, powdercoat, etc.
Thought I read somewhere he wasn't building cars anymore. Never met him, but I liked some of the rails he built.
 

RitcheyRch

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Looking forward to the progress pictures,
 

sintax

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can we hurry up with this build please!??!

side note, does anyone have any resources for designing these types of cage setups and a-arm builds??
 

ParkerMagic

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can we hurry up with this build please!??!

side note, does anyone have any resources for designing these types of cage setups and a-arm builds??
It would probably be easier, cheaper, and quicker to have one of the guys already building them do it for you. If you are the handy type, I think his cages start at $4,500 and incl. front and rear arms. He will also sell the cut pieces for you to weld. Kibbetech has a platform also but they want 13k for just the floor and lower arms.
 

25Elmn8r

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Going to be a bad ass "VW"! Look forward to seeing the build.
 

02HoWaRd26

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John is like DD Dave, builds great stuff good geometry, but you have to stay up their ass the whole time.
Before you leave the shop double check the whole car, be sure it’s fully welded.
 

Backlash

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Kibbe builds AMAZING products and his guys are some of the best in the game. Their TIG work is absolutely top notch. For the quality of his products and the craftsmanship that goes into them, his price is a steal. Another top tier builder is Jake's. He's got some wins under his belt in several different classes.
 

Ballsdeep

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Kibbe builds AMAZING products and his guys are some of the best in the game. Their TIG work is absolutely top notch. For the quality of his products and the craftsmanship that goes into them, his price is a steal. Another top tier builder is Jake's. He's got some wins under his belt in several different classes.
KIbbe did some work on my buddies Baja a couple of years ago, its the gold and white one with the Honda V6. They re did the back half of the car and converted it to bypass shocks, did the V6 swap and reddid the motor cage, it turned out really nice. He developed a VW based platform for a Baja and a VW Thing but it never really took off which is kind of strange to me because you would think their is a big following to a bad ass long travel, street legal Baja or Thing....

Another buddy of mine just dropped off his Baja at the Baja Shop. They are redoing the back half of his car- he is going from a VW motor and tans to a Turbo Honda V6 and a Weddle HV1. Should be pretty sweet when its done.

Both shops do good work and I am sure there are several more great fabricators that specialize in Baja's and Things.
 

EmpirE231

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Very cool build.... always had a spot in my heart for a bad ass baja. Looking forward to seeing some pics of the build.

Who's building the motor?
 

Boatmaster

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Thanks for posting. Can’t wait to see the progress! I’ve been looking for and LS Baja or Manx for a while now.
 

Ballsdeep

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Thanks for posting. Can’t wait to see the progress! I’ve been looking for and LS Baja or Manx for a while now.
I have a long travel Manx for sale, not sure if it fits the bill for what you are looking for or not. Let me know.

 

Boatmaster

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I have a long travel Manx for sale, not sure if it fits the bill for what you are looking for or not. Let me know.

Thanks for the offer. Looking for an LS powered platform.
 

ParkerMagic

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Method Wheels | Ordered
LS3 - 600hp | Ordered
Mendeola Sequential 5-Speed | Ordered
Fox Coilover and Bypass | Ordered

Came across a smoking deal on 5 BFG 37" Projects...Apparently, these are very hard to get right now 🤷‍♂️.

Next step is finalizing seat colors.
IMG_BC639C98AA06-1.jpeg
 

v6toy4x

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Method Wheels | Ordered
LS3 - 600hp | Ordered
Mendeola Sequential 5-Speed | Ordered
Fox Coilover and Bypass | Ordered

Came across a smoking deal on 5 BFG 37" Projects...Apparently, these are very hard to get right now 🤷‍♂️.

Next step is finalizing seat colors.
View attachment 978597
Kid in a candy store, difference between men and boys is the price of the toys!!

BTW I remember when 35" tires made you king s**t! now sand cars are running 37s!! crawlers on 42s
 

Backlash

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Prerunners are even running 40" tires these days. And those suckers aren't cheap either! 😲
 

ParkerMagic

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Prerunners are even running 40" tires these days. And those suckers aren't cheap either! 😲
Scored a deal on them. Saved about $700.

These measure exactly 35”. For some reason tires on 17” rims measure shorter than advertised.
 

Backlash

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And I thought I was doing good squeezing some 31" tires on my Toyota! 🤣
 

sintax

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Did anybody catch the buckshot racing herbie bug on terracrew. That is probably the best bug I have ever seen.
Ya that’s a sweet setup for sure. I got a bit of the Baja bug recently.

I might try to build something soon, but I gotta liquidate some more toys first. 1 boat down, 1 Jeep and a couple dirt bikes to go.
 

motormonkey

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Ya that’s a sweet setup for sure. I got a bit of the Baja bug recently.

I might try to build something soon, but I gotta liquidate some more toys first. 1 boat down, 1 Jeep and a couple dirt bikes to go.
I'm definitely on the bug or a thing kick. Always have a soft spot for a cool Baja bug.
 

sintax

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I'm definitely on the bug or a thing kick. Always have a soft spot for a cool Baja bug.
I’m not sold on the LS setup, I got a few sweet ideas in mind. Way more budget friendly options, especially since I really don’t want to have to drop 12k on a transaxle
 

motormonkey

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I’m not sold on the LS setup, I got a few sweet ideas in mind. Way more budget friendly options, especially since I really don’t want to have to drop 12k on a transaxle
I love the albins, but like you I've got a few ideas myself on a budget friendly setup. After driving and riding in a few, it's just hard not to like the weight to power of the LS setups.
I might just do a mid setup with a quickchange.
 

sintax

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I love the albins, but like you I've got a few ideas myself on a budget friendly setup. After driving and riding in a few, it's just hard not to like the weight to power of the LS setups.
I might just do a mid setup with a quickchange.
I’m thinking about doing a 3.5 liter Honda J series, with a HV-1 or HV-24 transmission, if I can find a used one. I thought about trying to build out a 094 but by the time you get into it, you’re almost at the HV-1 price point.

Eventually I’d like to add a cheap Eaton super charger or maybe twins if I’m feeling rich.
 

Ballsdeep

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I’m thinking about doing a 3.5 liter Honda J series, with a HV-1 or HV-24 transmission, if I can find a used one. I thought about trying to build out a 094 but by the time you get into it, you’re almost at the HV-1 price point.

Eventually I’d like to add a cheap Eaton super charger or maybe twins if I’m feeling rich.
My buddy in in the process of doing this as we speak. He just sold a very nice running and reliable 2276 and a 002 bus box. He came across a brand new HV1 and a used 3.5 with a turbo and is having the Baja Shop fabbing everything as we speak.

Should be a nice runner when its all done.
 

sintax

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My buddy in in the process of doing this as we speak. He just sold a very nice running and reliable 2276 and a 002 bus box. He came across a brand new HV1 and a used 3.5 with a turbo and is having the Baja Shop fabbing everything as we speak.

Should be a nice runner when its all done.
Tell him to cruise over and post up some pics!
 

Ballsdeep

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Man that looks like a clean setup! Still looks like most of the factory sheetmetal is there too. Any more pics you can post up??
I dont have anymore pix... Its is a super clean car and he is over the top meticulous. All of the factory Sheetmetal is still in tact, he is trying to keep the car sealed up as much as possible.
 

dirtslinger2

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Yes he is planning to run a radiator up front under the hood.
I run a front mount radiator, it looks so much nice than a giant radiator hanging off the back of the car, but it does present some challenges that hopefully your friend can avoid.

1. Airflow to the Radiator can be challenging, and the air seems to like to swirl around rather than feed directly into the radiator, that could be solved with some "ducting" to keep the air forced into the radiator.
2. Water flow from the back of the car all the way to the front, and back, can be slow, I think I have this issue, and have been looking at a booster pump
3. and the worst of all, is the fan blows the hot air from the radiator at the front firewall, and makes the car hot inside. If it's really cold, it's kinda nice since it acts as a heater, but when I offroad in warm weather, it's kind of a pain. I have added insulation to the firewall, and helps a bit, but again, I think some fance ducting to get the air to not blow on the firewall, would be a giant improvement.
 

dirtslinger2

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No, it's built by a friend and I, it was actually built 25 years ago with 3X3's 6" beam, and smooth body shocks, and 10 years ago, we switched it up from VW to V6 power, and made the car basically a Class 5 car.
It also has a back seat, which was a pain in the ass.
 

Ballsdeep

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I run a front mount radiator, it looks so much nice than a giant radiator hanging off the back of the car, but it does present some challenges that hopefully your friend can avoid.

1. Airflow to the Radiator can be challenging, and the air seems to like to swirl around rather than feed directly into the radiator, that could be solved with some "ducting" to keep the air forced into the radiator.
2. Water flow from the back of the car all the way to the front, and back, can be slow, I think I have this issue, and have been looking at a booster pump
3. and the worst of all, is the fan blows the hot air from the radiator at the front firewall, and makes the car hot inside. If it's really cold, it's kinda nice since it acts as a heater, but when I offroad in warm weather, it's kind of a pain. I have added insulation to the firewall, and helps a bit, but again, I think some fance ducting to get the air to not blow on the firewall, would be a giant improvement.
Thanks for all of the info, I will relay to him to consider.

Funny you mention all of this, I have a buddy who has a gold and white Baja (KibbeTech) did the back cage and fab work to swap from a VW to the aspirated 3.5, and he has some of the same issues you mentioned. We went out to the desert to run his car on a warm summer day and both motor and car were warm!
 

Backlash

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I run a Chevy 4.3 and a built 091 bus box, It's been running strong for almost 10 years.
Nice looking car!! Any more specs on it?? What did you have to do to the bus box to hold up to the 4.3??
 

dirtslinger2

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What sorta specs are you wanting to know?

The internals of the Bus box are all Weddle, there's not very many VW parts left in it. Also, learning to be gentle with a trans is HUGE, you wont catch me revving it and dropping the clutch, ever. I almost never touch reverse gear, unless I'm just backing it out of or into the garage, or in dire emergencies. A Kush-lock disc is helpful also, I never run Pucks.

I race a Class 11 car, which has a 100% stock VW trans, and that was a huge learning curve getting that Trans to last an entire race or two.
 
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