This Blog is for my Baja Bug 'SunGreen' that I am rebuilding. see more pics of the BAJA
Don't overlook the archive links, there is a lot that isn't shown

Thursday, September 29, 2005

California 1

Yeah baby! so instead of the winding road sign, I found a California Hwy 1 sign that fit PERFECT! This is what I've got now..

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I was talking about using draw latch for my front end, but after posting at theSamba someone told me about DZUS fasteners. simple! effective! and cheap! So I bought ten.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


While I'm waiting for my parts to come in I decided to put in the volt and oil pressure guages I already had. If I hadn't been lazy and had put in the oil pressure guage when I made the new dash, then I would have known I had no oil and I might not be in this position. But that was then and this is now. Learn from your mistakes, especially the costly ones.
Talking about learning from mistakes; when Sun was running I did a little brake work, but I didn't know that the nut for the brake drum needed 200lbs of torque and after a while stripped the splines in the brake drum... TWICE!! it hurt to pay for that when I had no job/money.
Back to the guages! yeah, so having done this before it went pretty fast and with a little planning I was able to do it pretty efficiently. I'll get pictures for it later; before and after.
Tomorrow if I have time I am going to put latches on the fiberglass front end. I'm also going to use a road sign for a front skid-plate! Its going to be sooo cool! Its a winding road sign! and I'll put another latch there to hold the front down, since it pops up in the wind. I'll definitely have a picture of that!

Monday, September 26, 2005

money! get away! (pink floyd)

Machine shop time. Only healy coil for the oil pump cover but it still isn't going to be cheap, with what the machinist charges. Just have to bite the bullet! Its not a big price to pay to fix the problem that has cost more than a thousand dollars damage. It will be a few days before that is finished, but I have time to waste until I get my parts.
I also called Lowbugget and ordered seventy bucks in parts. Larger jets; mains and idles. I'm very happy i don't need new venturies! They cost $50!! I also ordered new air filters for my Kads, thats what costs the most.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

"For want of a nail..."

"For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail."
  --  Benjamin Franklin

October 2004 I bought a Baja Bug from a friend in San Bernardino. The guy he bought it from didn't know much, but chromed it up and made it look pretty good, but it really needed some TLC by the time I got it.
The engine had just been rebuilt to an 1835cc. This means it has a stock 69mm crank and larger 92mm cylinders, which are slip-ins for the 90.5s the case is bored for. The only problem with slip-ins is that they have thinner cylinder walls, making it difficult to displace the heat, causing them to over-heat and warp.
Another small problem was that the heli-coiled threads for the oil pump were being undone, making the plate too loose to hold oil in the engine case. When this problem came to my attention, it was a day or two before I was supposed to present my project baja at school, something I had worked all year towards. I put the problem off for tomorrow, and drove it to school, losing all the oil from the engine (and VWs are air/oil cooled). The engine over-heated and the cylinders warped causing the rings to seize, the friction caused by no oil made a rod bearing spin. I rode into school being towed behind another car, not the triumphant manner I had imagined.
The only thing I could do is rebuild the engine. When I bought the bug I had no automotive experience, but an inquiring mind and countless hours reading forums and books have made me confident I will be able to rebuild my engine.
First I needed to decide what size engine I wanted to build, within the limits of my bank account. I knew I wanted to build a stoker (larger than stock crank) engine because they have more torque than just putting in bigger cylinders. From 74mm to 82mm the cranks cost the same, the difference of a couple hundred CC, so logically you would buy the biggest crank. The bigger the crank the more you need to clearance your case for the longer stroke, so you need to send it to a machine shop, and I didn't want to go that direction. The 74mm crank needs very little clearancing, so little that I am able to do it myself.
I didn't want to go back to the slip-in 92mm cylinder kit, and I didn't want to pay for any machining, so the 90.5mm cylinders were the only way to go. Even with the smaller cylinders the combined crank would give me a 1904cc engine, bigger than before and with more torque. So what if it wasn't the biggest engine I could afford! Beetles are already incredibly light and when you replace the front end and fenders with fiberglass it makes it super light. This size engine will scoot! And its better on gas. "In all things; modesty." I think this engine will be just right, but we will find that out.
On Friday (9/24) I ordered the pistons, crank, rods and other things to begin rebuilding. this cost me $867, the majority of my costs and signed contract upon pain of death that I follow through with it.
And so begins my engine rebuild...