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Author: Subject:  Houdini the Baja Bus
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posted on December 9th, 2014 at 11:16 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by vduboy
Or you could roll it down hill to me! I'd like to see another locked manxter! Might as well be mine...!


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Contact Paul :D


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posted on December 9th, 2014 at 11:30 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Smiley
Quote:
Originally posted by vduboy
Or you could roll it down hill to me! I'd like to see another locked manxter! Might as well be mine...!


http://steelart.com.au/ 
Sells them.
Contact Paul :D


Smiley :)

Hahaha yeah already spoken to Paul about it... just thought I was being a nice guy helping you clear some bench space. I am such a giver...! Honestly a bit undecided whether to eventually get a subarugears box with a low first for crawling and the rest being standard ratios or a locked bus box..
How is Alyce coming along? You have so many cool toys!!




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posted on December 10th, 2014 at 10:15 AM



^ Go subaru, stronger, smaller, easier to get bits for, same price for double the strength, etc, etc.



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posted on February 7th, 2016 at 10:10 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by pete wood
^ Go subaru, stronger, smaller, easier to get bits for, same price for double the strength, etc, etc.


Way too expensive unfortunately.

I already had the 1800 at home as well as the shifter parts, flywheel and gearbox mounts. For basically the cost of a clutch kit and some labour I had a running bus again.


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posted on February 7th, 2016 at 10:55 PM



Well it has been a long time between updates!

Last report was the bus had come home on a tilt tray with a busted auto. A lot has happened since then.

Engine and box both came out! Enlisted a few mates to come and get dirty with me.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0718_zpsccvjwxrl.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0719_zpswmyiftwr.jpg


We separated the offending paperweight from the engine (not far off a paperweight itself)


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0720_zpsqazs6dl9.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0721_zpsc4sd1gmd.jpg


Fitted up a flywheel and new clutch kit. Can't remember if it is a 210 or 215. Whichever is more common.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0722_zpsqwmfvfzz.jpg


And then pulled this box off the shelf to use. This is actually the 1800 bus box that I was running in my Baja for a few years. We had to find a bellhousing to fit. Which I got of another box on the shelf. Because I cut the ears off the bellhousing to fit it in the bug with no bodylift.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0723_zpsaqlw9alu.jpg


After this I spent a lot of time lying around under the car sorting the manual conversion out. I decided to remove the condenser and aircon lines from under the car. They were all old and will be replaced with modern stuff anyway.
And old school condenser was crazy massive, but only held on by four M6 bolts to the chassis rails!! Check out the fan motors, they are like starter motors!!! The fans have hit the condenser at some stage as half the fins have been flattened over.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0725_zpstzm8u3nf.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0726_zpsijhxveaf.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0728_zpsdakmerlg.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0727_zps5ghho6rv.jpg


This was the monstrosity that was hanging out under the front left wheel arch. I removed the drier and cut the hoses off flush with the floor. And removed all the hoses under the car that when to the condenser and engine bay.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0724_zpssep38fwu.jpg


I removed the auto shifter and all the cable mechanism that goes to the box. If you look closely down the gearstick hole you can see the little circular tab that the manual shift rod has to sit in. All the autos have this it just need to be bent around so the shift rod can fit into it.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0730_zpso6vo17qa.jpg


While I was in there I gave the front floor a good cleanup and a coat of paint. It was covered in glue where someone had previously glued the carpets down in the front.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0729_zps6krmirzq.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0731_zpsxe5c40kl.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0732_zpsbjv2nysu.jpg


I 'procured' some stainless steel tubing from work and welded that in underneath for the clutch tube. Pretty well all of the tabs and holes that it goes through are there. You just have to bend them into place.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0733_zpswe8ladus.jpg


Engine and box were fitted back up. I lashed out and bought a Berg shifter for the bus. Got it at a very good price on special and I have to say that it makes shifting so nice and the bus a pleasure to drive.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0736_zps4aiuzn5h.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0738_zps5lihgduy.jpg


Here's a good tip for those playing at home. If you want to seal up your clutch/accelerator cables go to the wreckers and have a look in the engine bays of some more modern cars. You can pick up these little concertina boots off the throttle cables of some cars. I found that little Ford and Mazda hatchbacks have them. Everytime I got there I have a look and grab any that I see. I put them on the clutch and accelerator in the bus. On both ends of the tubes if I remember correctly.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0734_zpspdsgvike.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0737_zpszd8ykbnz.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN0735_zpsyipcwyvt.jpg


So once this was all done (around early Feb 2015) I enjoyed many months of trouble free motoring, if your idea of trouble free is topping up the oil with the fuel that is :D
Including many camping trips with Scouts or with friends. It is so lovely to be able to pull up on a level spot, fold the back seat flat and flop into bed if necessary. No need to pitch a tent or swag and you have a nice warm, dry place to sleep and even a spare tyre to cuddle!

The bus was mostly used for smaller trips and running around town. But I took a few longer (600-800km one way) trips down to some VW shows and drag meets. Once again the bus proved versatile with it's lack of middle seat and massive cargo area. At one show it served as a swap meet ute and had no less than 20 wheels and tyres, a 36 horse engine, doors, guards and all other sorts of bits loaded inside to the headliner.

At home it proved to be a worthy workhouse. Capable of carting furniture for friends and all manner of camping gear alike. I have used it to bring 6m lengths of steel home, tying them to the roofrack. And 2400x1200mm sheets of timber, that fit so neatly through the back and onto the waiting bed that you swear the VW engineers must have measured the timber, gone back in time and built the bus to suit!!
At one point we needed a canoe transported for a Scout ceremony. No one had a trailer or car that it would fit in, but it was seemingly designed to strap to the roof of Houdini the bus. I liked the look of it on the roof so much that I didn't return the canoe for nearly 2 months :)
To say that I have fallen in love with the space, comfort and versatility of the bus is an understatement. I now 'get' why people and so enamored by them.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN1493_zpsp2jqf1vl.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN1494_zpsycvrxh58.jpg


Coming soon, why an engine needs all its valves and rings. And making a big bus.

Thanks for reading.


Smiley :)




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posted on February 8th, 2016 at 10:13 PM



So, around the start of November last year Houdini developed a serious smoking problem, we're talking way more than a pack a day here.
And that pretty much put an end to me driving him. When you go around creating smoke screens that the Australian Army could hide a convoy in things are pretty dire.
Now ever since I purchased the bus the engine hasn't been in very good shape. Drinking oil and requiring very regular valve sets have demonstrated that he was never looked after very well by previous owners. But I knew all this and it's part of the reason the price was so good when I picked him up. The fact that I have done many many kms and lots of hard work with him has probably also been deleterious to engine health.

So early in Jan I pulled the engine out and took it over to a mates place, we stripped it down and discovered a few things.
Didn't take long to reduce it to this.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2092_zps6bxtsxfc.jpg


May have a slight issue here...


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2093_zpswbnuut9x.jpg


On the other head it has eaten part of the inlet valve guide. You can see the hammering on the head, it is mirrored on the piston. I remember when this happened on the way to Brisbane from the VW drags one arvo. Horrible noise for a second or two, and then it must have spat it out the back. And the funny thing is that it actually ran better and felt like it had more power afterwards!! But I guess you can recognise half a horse when you only have about 10 to start with!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2094_zpshmnhyctm.jpg


Pile of bits awaiting cleanup.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2096_zpso0cd7cvt.jpg


So the basic breakdown includes. 2 broken rings, one stuck oil ring, broken and eaten valve guide, hole in exhaust guide and the flaps were missing in the fanhousing that direct the air into the oil cooler :(
Bus still started and ran fine though!
In addition to this we found that it has the worst possible Type 4 heads on it, those with 37mm inlet valves. It was supposed to have 1800 heads with 41mm valves, but I guess I got jibbed on that one too. Explains where some of those horses had escaped to.

Plans for the build are pretty basic
-96mm pistons
-stock cam but changing to hydraulic
-getting another set of heads rebuilt with 41mm valves and new everything
-balance and fix any other little issues with the engine like the missing flaps etc.
Should be a nice torquey little setup :D


While the engine has been on holiday I have also gathered some additional bits for the bus. Front and rear flares, set of 15" Merc rims that have been modded with an offroad offset and 32 rear and 30 front inch tyres respectfully. Front end adjusters, and some other bits and pieces.

And I started work fitting the back wheels first.
Here is what the back looks like stock with 15" Merc rims and tyres.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2286_zpsmhxnajc8.jpg


And this is one of the 32s and the rear flares to go on.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2288_zpsmp0ziifw.jpg


The flare should sit around here somewhere. You can see there is a bit of trimming to go.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2289_zpsvqgyofaq.jpg


I marked a centreline up from the hub to work from.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2290_zpsazukjzgc.jpg


No way this will fit on there yet!!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2292_zps39vtucn0.jpg


Cut, cut, cut. And then it bolts right on!!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2294_zps6girrwwz.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2295_zpsdndqouog.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2296_zpskngjz0zk.jpg


This is only rough cut for now. I just wanted to get one on the car and see what the fit was like and how it looked. I have to trim a fair bit higher up the guard yet, somewhere in the 50-75mm range. I going to take the opening up so it is level with the top of the inner guard. And then the flares will be fitted afterwards.

I have yet to try a 30 on the front, as you can see the weather was pretty miserable with it raining on and off while I was trying to chop the guard. Hoping to attack some more tomorrow with any luck.


Smiley :)




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posted on February 11th, 2016 at 07:06 PM



I got the other side rough cut out and fitted up the other 32.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2311_zpspcjpymfb.jpg


The stance is good and I like the look with both on there. But it will come down once the engine goes back in and I put the spare on the rear bar. So I think I will have to crank the back suspension up a little down the track.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2312_zpsywsvxklg.jpg


The flares cover the tyres perfectly. And I would be comfortable going out to a 12.5" wide tyre (currently 11.5"). I just need to crawl under it and see what the clearance is like to the springplate.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2313_zpsblo3jb8s.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2314_zpsnuccebar.jpg


Next up I put one of the 30s on the front. And jacked the opposite back corner up to compress it.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2317_zpsk9ixg7np.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2315_zpsiuhynk2d.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2316_zps2zjvm1u8.jpg


As you can see clearance is an issue when compressed. I can trim the section of guard off that it is currently hitting on. But It also hits the back on the inner guard when compressed and turned. The front jacking point may have to go. Will have to do a little more playing and decide.

But, overall I am happy with the stance and the wheel offsets are great. The fronts aren't even going to need flares as they are under the front guards as is. Hoping to get some more done shortly.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2320_zpsrrxoodxm.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2319_zpsmidajgxs.jpg


Thanks for looking.

Smiley :)




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posted on February 14th, 2016 at 09:28 PM



Got a quick little bit done on the bus this afternoon.

The old driver's door was really getting crusty around the edges. Fortunately when I purchased the bus it came with a solid late model door as a spare.
I swapped the glass and regulator out of the old door into the new one to replace the inoperative one. I also swapped the door handle so the lock matches the keys.
I just have to get a new door rubber as the old one fell to pieces when I tried to remove it from the yellow door.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2321_zpskahfaipk.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2322_zpsfdjrxdv2.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2323_zpshkwfuwud.jpg


Thanks for looking, more soon.


Smiley :)




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posted on February 15th, 2016 at 07:41 PM



This afternoon I did some further measuring and working out to trim the rear guards out the rest of the way.

Here is where I was up to previously, a bit of a rough cut just to get the wheels on there.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2324_zpssa95qw1l.jpg


It's hard to tell in the picture but the inner guard curves down a lot as it comes to the outside of the body. What we want to do is cut the curved piece out and extend the inner guard straight out to give maximum room for the wheel on up travel. I was also a little concerned about the dodgy seatbelt bolts hanging down so much. But it turns out the tyre is no where near them under compression, I will still be tidying them up down the track though.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2325_zpso2mkzyn1.jpg


I made a cardboard template of the profile of the inner guard. I transferred this onto the outside of the car and trimmed it out. I cut slightly below the line so I can sneak up on it with a flapper disc on the grinder and keep it neat.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2326_zpsr0w26epd.jpg


I also removed this bottom section at the back of the inner guard. It basically attaches to the bottom of the battery tray and hangs straight down. I trimmed it off for now and am still decided whether to leave it off for good or build a new new that sits back further out of the way. It will stop some of the crud getting thrown into the back corner of the body under the taillights.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2329_zpswdtj66q4.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2330_zpsvuenlv1w.jpg


Next up I removed the bumpstop snubber and put a wheel on. Compressed it up with a bit of extra mass hanging off the back in the form of my old man. The trailing arm was about 50mm off the bump stop and I have 50mm clearance between the guard and the top of the tyre. The snubber rubber is 90mm high and I am planning to trim one knob off the bottom of it to give a little more up travel. But the clearances should still be all good.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2328_zpsuwfpum1j.jpg


Back on the wheels. And I trimmed out the other side the same.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2331_zpstdz0ev02.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2332_zps8rtufpbn.jpg


One other thing that I will have to address on the left side is the sliding door. Currently it just hits the wheel, but once the flare goes on it will crash straight into it. So I have to trim the kickout arm and add some tube to it to hold the door out further at the back and clear the flare. I will wait until I put the flare on so I can measure how much I need to add. In the meantime I need to remember not to open the sliding door fully.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2333_zpsudpmnygt.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2334_zpsqbgfr4wc.jpg


More soon.

Smiley :)




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posted on February 16th, 2016 at 03:57 PM



Geez Smiley don't you ever rest? I put some 31's onto an L300 Mitsi Van 4x4 years ago.Did a 2" body lift and 3" suspension lift,but had the same issue with the sliding door.I just lengthened that guide arm you had in your pic.In the Mitsi it didn't effect the closing-only moved the door out further when opened.

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posted on February 19th, 2016 at 07:37 AM



Good stuff Smiley! :tu:
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posted on March 15th, 2016 at 10:12 AM



Houdini came equipped with dealer fitted aricon. But unfortunately it just doesn't give me enough head room. Me head tends to rest against it while I drive, or hit into it on bumps. So I made the decision to pull it out for the time being and decide if i want to mod it and refit or fit an under dash setup later.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2337_zps8mskpwg7.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2338_zpsgfgqmlov.jpg


This is at my friend's place just after we finished off the engine and he was running and tuning it. He rebuilt most of it and I basically showed up one weekend and cleaned the gunk off the tinware and other bits so we could paint and fit them.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2362_zpsbbwklajo.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2363_zps9fz6ylk7.jpg


Home again all safe in my shed.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2369_zpssn3iq5hx.jpg


While I was at the Gold Coast I picked up some cheap 33x12.5x15s for the back. They are a little worn and don't match, but for $50 each I couldn't complain. Going to see what the gearing is like and then make up my mind what size I want from there, and buy some new ones when I have money.
I fitted them up and rolled them down the hill to the house so I could give everything a good clean. The inner guards and underside of the chassis and engine bay needed a good degreasing. You can see in the next picture I uncovered some gleaming white factory paint under the guards.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2469_zps8znnlgxh.jpg


I think it looks like a bit of a wacky racer with the bigs on the back and nose down attitude. I have borrowed a 4 inch lifted beam to try out and see if I like. Then I am going to make my own.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2468_zpsdr2ffrpg.jpg


A friend said it looks lie a steamroller from behind with the big wheels, I like this :D


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2467_zpsnij9czs0.jpg


The 33s are pretty close to the spring plate caps. They clear for now but I might have to do some trimming when I get new tyres that have more tread.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2470_zpsklreuw6u.jpg


It was time to tow it back to the shed and start work on filling the big gaps in the inner guards. I started on the left side. I took the wheel off the opposite side and let it down and then jacked it right up to lean the bus over to let me do the overhead welding a little more easily.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2484_zps8hexzeuv.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2485_zpspw4u6nuf.jpg


I started at the top with the small flat section that I left behind. I basically just trimmed stuff to suit, made sure it was square and them made strips up to go in there. You know the drill.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2479_zpsfzub0drc.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2480_zps26blnvcr.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2481_zpsmhoc0vzi.jpg


For the back corner I trimmed the bottom to match the new guard line and the carried it down to the seam where the two panels meet on the inside. Turned out pretty good and I am happy with the look. Then I made a patch for it.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2482_zpsc93ep47y.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2483_zpsxyzitaah.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2486_zpshkgp0hvz.jpg


On the front it is pretty much the same. But I did it in two pieces, one straight one and then the little curved piece for the bottom.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2487_zpsmpsvq7sn.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2490_zpsbwou66qi.jpg


One other thing the I might do it cut the bottom knob off the rear snubbers to give me a little more up travel. But that will depend on what shocks I end up with. I have been told that Patrol shocks compress almost the same as a bus shock but give an extra 50mm of extension, more research is required. I dropped the bottom bolt out of the shock and it has no more travel in it with the spring plate on the lower stop.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2488_zpsjn5gqt6t.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2489_zpsbm2apn1g.jpg


Then it was time to move on to the other side.
Make the plates.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2492_zpsvqgsddaj.jpg


Tack them in.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2493_zpsfba4tey7.jpg


Found a heap of bog in front of the right guard, extended all the way to the next panel. I ended up buffing a heap of it off back to bare metal. No rust, but the panel is pretty rippled out of shape. This will get fixed later, I just want to get this driving for now.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2491_zpse1w7yunt.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2525_zpstlzt4khg.jpg


Trimmed the back corner the same as the other side.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2524_zpsem7gdv8m.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2523_zpsajz4xpb0.jpg


And all finished off and painted. Then I through the wheels back on and got it level.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2526_zpsvp7rqlta.jpg


Today I am hoping to the the engine in. The flares fitted up and the sliding door arm extended. Then I can start running the engine in :)

Thanks for reading, 4 inch beam lift and offroad action coming in the near future.


Smiley :)




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posted on March 15th, 2016 at 08:27 PM



Love your work Smiley. Whereabouts can you get the wheel offset changed?
Thanks, Greg
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posted on March 16th, 2016 at 09:21 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by grinderman
Love your work Smiley. Whereabouts can you get the wheel offset changed?
Thanks, Greg


Hey Greg

To be perfectly honest I don't know. I bought these wheels from another Baja Bus already done.
A mate had some done maybe 12 months ago somewhere down the Gold Coast, I think Labrador area. But I'm not certain.


Smiley :)




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posted on March 16th, 2016 at 09:01 PM



I got the flares all mounted up. They cover the wheels and tyres perfectly.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2527_zpshiakavld.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2528_zpsovagohck.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2529_zpsmeb6pnot.jpg


And as predicted the door goes no where near clearing them. It does for a little right at the start. But the further you go back the worse it gets.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2530_zpsshqxnwvn.jpg


So I removed the door mech so I could lengthen the arm. Found a few cracks in the door around where it all bolts in! Lucky I am planning to change this door in the future with a stock windowed door.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2531_zpsrkuw3vf1.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2533_zpss8pnunau.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2534_zpsla8y6wdi.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2535_zpsqougewhe.jpg


I sat the door on a milk crate and some lumps of wood so I could set the clearance to the flare and measure the distance to lengthen the arm. Turns out to be 100mm. So got some tube and added some in the middle.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2532_zpskv7jfqr6.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2536_zpsykxvxqvq.jpg


The arm works pretty good on opening. But tends to kick the wheel sideways and jam when trying to slide the door closed. This is being causes by my bus's lack of the little plastic block that holds the wheel straight on the runner. It is half broken, and I have to source a new one. Another issue that I found is the arms stays in the locked out position because there is no stop for it where the longer arms should hit. So I have pulled a second stop unit out of another bus and am planning to fit it up too. Will put some more pictures of it as it progresses, there are a few things I don't like and may yet change some more things before it is done.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2537_zps0xmeacrr.jpg


I cut the fuel injected airbox mount off the inside of the engine bay. Then started cleaning it up a bit while the battery was out and ended up giving it a quick spray with some paint.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2545_zpsqvdbbumi.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2546_zps76esfqlh.jpg


A little bit of work after this and the engine was fitted back up. It starts but runs like a bag of dicks. I have since realised that I forgot to hook the booster line up so it has a massive vac leak. Will rectify in the morning and hopefully go for my first drive in a big bus!!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2547_zpswnfd3vj8.jpg


That back has come down some with the addition of the engine, and I have lost some of the guard clearance. It still sits a bit higher than the front. The rear torsions are sagged and I am planning to wind them up a bit once I work out what is going on up the front. I have a 4 inch beam to fit, so i will see where the back needs to be once that happens.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2548_zpsreethjog.jpg


Thanks for reading.


Smiley :)




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posted on March 29th, 2016 at 07:17 PM



Awesome work Smiley.
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You get more done in a week than I do in year!




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posted on March 29th, 2016 at 08:04 PM



Well done Daniel!

Top effort as always. I see on one of the pics theres a blue bug eyed baja in the background. whats the story with that unit :P?




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posted on March 29th, 2016 at 11:38 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by bajachris88
Well done Daniel!

Top effort as always. I see on one of the pics theres a blue bug eyed baja in the background. whats the story with that unit :P?


One that we bought off eBay mega years ago for my dad.
He drove it around for a few years. but it had heaps of rust and problems.


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posted on May 3rd, 2016 at 10:45 PM



Hey everyone. Has been a while since I posted.

A few small updates with the bus.
First was the vac line for the brake booster. This is the monstrosity that was hanging out under the back of the bus. Plenty of places for leaks to develop, which will cook the engine.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2566_zpso0f2tw24.jpg


It was replaced with a single like that goes from the vac crossover tube on the engine to the tube that runs to the front of the car. And the one way valve was mounted back in there too.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2567_zps1fyrxfbm.jpg


On the Easter long weekend I drove down 800km each way with 4 others to my last camp as a Rover Scout. The bus was packed to the brim with all of our stuff. There was 5 people, 3 swags, everyone's bags, fridge, shelter, stove, boxes of food, etc. Houdini was a lowered big bus with everything on board!!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2574_zpszm6kkgg8.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2573_zpsi2qiwflq.jpg


A nice picture my passenger took while the sun was going down.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2587_zpstyaxwomk.jpg


All set up down at the camp site. I've said it plenty of times, but it is so lovely not to have to pack a tent or swag when traveling in the bus :)


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2592_zpsyaa5k0af.jpg


A week or so later I took the bus out for it's first real offroad outing. Up the local 4WD beach/sand spot, 5 Rocks. There is a fairly difficult sand dune to get into the place and on my first attempt I got a little bogged down. Backed up and had a second crack, but still no go. When I when to back up the gearbox went plink and I had no reverse. I figured I had blown the reverse idler which is a common thing to go in offroad vehicles running Kombi or Bug boxes. With a little push from two mates I managed to get going forwards and got all the way up the hill. I figured from this point on I just need to go forwards!!
It wasn't long before we were to the top of the headland that looks out to 5 Rocks and 9 Mile Beach in the other direction.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2736_zpssdwjrnob.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2733_zpsogewptdp.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2734_zpsvcxqb9st.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2739_zpsaep6runo.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2741_zpscgvzqzqg.jpg


Made it home again with no worries. I still need a bit more practice offroading in a bus. I was trying too hard to drive it like my Baja. I need to slow down more and let the Type 4 chug up stuff.


Last Friday and it was time to fix the reverse for the weekend so I could drive 800km again for a VW show and swap.
The night before I pulled the drain plus and let all the oil run out overnight. The next morning I pulled out a little toy I got a while back but haven't had a chance to use, and endoscope camera. I stuck it up the drain hole and had a look around inside. Turned out that the idler gear was fine, but the circlip had come off the input shaft splined joint. The clip must had been hit by the diff once it moved cause it was bent and in the bottom of the case. The splined sleeve then slid back and robbed me of reverse gear! This was good news. I didn't have to get my spare box out to swap in, just fix this one.

The camera.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2749_zpsptwnisu9.jpg


Up the drain hole


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2750_zpsrgain0ig.jpg


It's hard to see in the photo, but the camera is quite clear. This is a view of the slid back gear on the sleeve.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2752_zpsogp2neiu.jpg


Now it was just a matter of pulling engine and box out, separating them, opening the box and fitting a new clip.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2753_zpsosywf5sj.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2754_zpsjbxi5pjj.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2755_zpsu60uwwmz.jpg


Here is the old clip that was in the bottom of the case.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2756_zps5ppz4gi9.jpg


And here is the sleeve back forward in the correct position meshed with the reverse drive.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2757_zpsz72ynuyx.jpg


I removed the input shaft and took it down to get a new circlip.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2759_zpstdieyriz.jpg


Then just bolt everything back together and in! What a massive fix for the tiniest problem. Everything was back as it should be by 4:30 Friday arvo. I also did oil and filter on the engine and checked the valves.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2760_zps0pbh2iv2.jpg


Then drove it 800 odd km down for the Gold Coast VW show. It rained a lot so there was a small turnout compared to most years. I had fun, didn't win anything :)
On the was back about 50km from home The CV bolts on one side of the gearbox came loose while I was pulling away at an intersection. I rolled to a stop at the side of the road and there was only one bolt holding the CV up and one bent and one broken one hanging out of the CV. I lost 3 bolts and one torque plate. I robbed one bolt ouyt of all of the other CVs and bolted it back up. I also checked the others over, they were all fine. I think this one in particular came loose because the seal in the CV cup on the gearbox has a small hole in it and was weeping oil. When I put the axles back in there was a fair bit of oil on the bolts etc. So I guess the extra lube allowed it to work it's way loose.
This morning I picked up a full set of new bolts as well as a new seal for the box. I'm going to pull the axles out and clean and repack the CVs and fit the new bolts up. Hopefully tomorrow.

That is all I have for now, perhaps I will get time to start some more mods soon!

Thanks for reading.


Smiley :)




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posted on May 9th, 2016 at 01:01 AM



Found a few more pictures from the 5 Rocks run on my friend's Facebook. He was driving the Toyota 80 series that is chopped into a ute.

Cruising up the beach.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/12932978_1286690094692676_9141938241620099195_n_zpsn2dz5tvt.jp
g


Had just popped over the dune off the beach and it turned out to be mega soft. Unfortunately with no reverse I couldn't back up and have a second crack at it. Even the Maxtrax couldn't get me moving again in the uphill powder. So Luke gave me a pull to some firmer ground. And he had to drop his pressures waaay down and still struggled to get moving. It was soft!!!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/12963603_1286690128026006_5580649262226838974_n_zpsbkge0hmf.jp
g



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posted on May 9th, 2016 at 06:57 PM



Nice pics Smiley. Did you go up the up track or up the down track at Big Sandy. I think that all cars do it tough. Nice place though.
Saw your bus at the Gold Coast show but missed meeting you. A bit wet too.
Neil




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posted on May 10th, 2016 at 08:07 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by njg02
Nice pics Smiley. Did you go up the up track or up the down track at Big Sandy. I think that all cars do it tough. Nice place though.
Saw your bus at the Gold Coast show but missed meeting you. A bit wet too.
Neil


Ended up going up the down track, the right hand one. It's the first time I ever have!! Normally always go the left in the bug.

You have PM mate.


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posted on May 22nd, 2016 at 10:33 PM



It's finally time! Started fitting up the 4 inch beam to the bus today.

Laying in wait, ready to go in.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2840_zps7gzbg4ys.jpg


How he sits this morning. Stock height (possibly sagged a little).


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2841_zpss1y06hjw.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2842_zpsgvmq7ebd.jpg


This is jacked up 100mm from where it was. So it should be this high when we are finished :)


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2843_zpsrdlxdimk.jpg


Beam out. Took a bit more effort than I first though. A lot of the cables and tubes are run through the beam between the tubes. So a lot of stuff had to be removed or disconnected, including, the clutch cable, handbrake cables, shift rod, vac hoses, brake lines, heater hose, drag link and speedo cable.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2844_zpsrsofls9n.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2845_zpsdy9ihwwh.jpg


Next part to attack was the brake master/booster mount. Because it is mounted to the beam you need to change some things when you drop everything 4 inches. I have seen it in the past where people dogleg the pushrod and just run it like that. I have always though this looked a little dodgy so I decided to angle the booster instead.
This is the bracket that holds the booster in place. Al I did was cut the weld on the upper tube and the push the top of the bracket towards the rear of the bus. I fitted the beam up and test fitted the booster and pushrod before rewelding the bracket.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2847_zpsbxjddmm8.jpg


I also had to extend the length of the pushrod by about 20-25mm. I had a bolt that was the correct thread. So I cut the old threads off and the head off the bolt. Welded them together, then sleeved and plug welded it too.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2850_zpsd1sep54l.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2852_zpsozhpiurd.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2853_zpsd3mn9p7m.jpg


Beam fitted in. Then I just had to fit my spindles and brakes, and everything else that had been taken out.
Was a bit easier as most of it goes over the top of the upper beam tube now. So if I had to remove it again I wouldn't have to disconnect the clutch, shifter, heater or handbrake cables.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2848_zpsyg7amumo.jpg


Have gotten it mostly back together and down on the wheels. Looking a lot bigger and better!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2855_zpslofvxiai.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2854_zpslxx6pvpw.jpg


Still a few things to get tomorrow to finish it off. Needs new vacuum hoses for the booster feed and drain, they were too short and pretty old anyway. New fill line that runs from the brake fluid res down to the master cylinder. It was rock hard and I had to cut it to get it off. And I'm going to have some 100mm longer had lines made up for the front and rear brake circuit feeds too. They reach at a stretch But I would rather have them neat and not at their limit.
Just need to fit that lot up and the heater hose too, do a wheel alignment. And then I have to spin it around a do the back a spline or so to match.

Thanks for reading.


Smiley :)




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posted on May 26th, 2016 at 10:19 PM



So I picked up some new vac hose, and some hose to go from the res to the master for the brake fluid.
Had some new hardlines made up for underneath, 100mm longer for the beam drop. Managed to get everything to bleed up good. Had a bit of trouble at first but go there in the end. I think it is good that the fluid has been flushed through, the old stuff was very black.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2856_zpsy81oeayp.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2857_zpsp8buqtrg.jpg


This is how it was sitting this afternoon with the beam drop and small tyres on the front still. WAAAAY nose up! I have driven it for a few days like this but today I got time to attack the rear suspension. Some before pictures first. And one side comparison shot from before the beam lift.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2842_zpsgvmq7ebd.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2866_zpsdcf6jzpj.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2864_zpsq4zb9wgf.jpg


You can see that the back is pretty low compared to the front.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2868_zpssvypr9w0.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2869_zpssna2mft8.jpg


So time to crank the back one outer spline, that is meant to give 2.5 inches of lift.
You can see here that the spring plate cover has been getting a bit of rubbing, and so has the edge of the plate a tiny bit.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2871_zpspq76cn8d.jpg


I marked the bearing carrier to the spring with white pen before removing the four bolts that hold everything together.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2873_zpsmthleraw.jpg


You then need to push the axle assembly towards the rear of the car. Where the brake hardline runs through the axle bearing carrier it also runs through a hole/slot in the end of the spring plate. You need to slide everything back and free this hardline so you don't damage it. Then you can release the spring plate off the stop.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2874_zps0lfwbfoo.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2875_zpsxzxpeegh.jpg


Then pull the covers etc and pop the plate off the stop. They are under bugger all tension in a stock height bus so it's easy. Then I took the cover to the vice and trimmed a little bit off to prevent further rubbing.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2876_zpsdjgkbnay.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2877_zpspcrjpebm.jpg


Didn't take many more pictures of the reassembly, it's all very straight forward. Move the plate around one outer notch. I also pulled them and lubed the splines and sprayed some Lanolin inside the torsion housing. Fitted new spring plate bushings while I had it apart and lubed them up with plenty of graphite powder.
I took a picture of the left side bar just to show you all how nice they were. For a poor ugly bus the torsions were immaculate. Clean, painted and not a mark on them. The housing was perfect inside and the splines slide freely with no crude or rust. Very happy with that indeed.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2878_zpsniwlxp8m.jpg


Put everything back together and refitted the rear wheels. And some after shots. I gained about 60mm in the back end with one outer spline. This may settle a bit once I drive it.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2879_zps1gb8t4nn.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2880_zpsuqiwdm8x.jpg


Then I decided to fit up the other front wheels I have for it (225/75/15s). You can see here the rims have a bit more offset and fill the front guards out better.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2870_zpskymuv8md.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2882_zpsijtlgpsz.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2881_zpstb3qrfbu.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2883_zpsb3wpkr04.jpg


And of course the standard measure of ground clearance in my shed, the humble milk crate :D


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2885_zpskqrhpb1v.jpg


Not quite under the front beam.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2886_zpsyruypsrg.jpg


Heaps under the middle.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2887_zpswyxy3vto.jpg


And good under the engine.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2888_zpstgd7f0g3.jpg


That's all for now. I really need to save up and get some new tyres all round for it. The rears are not matching and bald, and the fronts are very old. It is sitting pretty spot on level at the moment. But when two people get in the front it drops nearly 50mm. I might try and remedy that in the future when I build up my beam. I have some center adjusters to put in that could solve that problem.
But for now I am just going to cruise around for a bit and look down at everyone :D
Thanks for reading.


Smiley :)




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posted on May 27th, 2016 at 06:44 PM



Love your work smiley, I like a raised bus more than a lowered one. If your getting a bit of droop when you jump in a set of new leaves for the front beam would fix that and probably a bit more lift without adjusters.
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posted on May 30th, 2016 at 03:07 PM



Looks good. Seen you turn on to Yaamba rd yesterday.



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posted on August 15th, 2016 at 11:12 PM



A few little things have been happening.

I had the engine and box out a little over a month ago because the gearbox was leaking from everywhere so I decided it was time for a full reseal. It would appear that the only picture that I took was it bolted back up to the engine after it was all done.
But I basically changed all the seals that I could get to. Shiftrod seal in the nosecone, the input shaft seal in the bellhousing. The O-rings on the outside of the alloy diff adjusters in the sides of the box as well as the output flange seals and caps.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2926_zpszhbp0tsm.jpg


While everything was out of the way there were a few things to take care of in the engine bay.
Firstly I fitted up a fuel shutoff solenoid. I have had it sitting around for a while and threw it in while I had the extra room. It is wired up with the fuel pump.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2908_zpsq2z6ns2s.jpg


Some of the edge of the engine bay seam was missing on the left side. I was told this is removed as a part of when the aircon is added. I figured I would put it back in to help seal the edge of the bay to the foam seal.
I just cut a piece out of a wreck, trimmed it to size then welded it in.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2922_zpstuosljpz.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2923_zpsykvcik35.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2925_zps6yt5bgnx.jpg


The final task that I wanted to tackle while the engine and box were out was the fabrication and fitment of an exhaust heat shield.
These are a factory fitted piece that are frequently missing from the Type 4 engine of a lot of buses these days. Because of the material they were made from and the constant heat cycling, a lot have rusted beyond repair. I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow one from the local VW shop that was still in one piece. Though only barely, some of the mount tabs were quite rusty and I had to be gentle lest I break one off.

Here is a the factory heat shield. You can see that it has three mounting locations that hold it above the muffler. A long bracket on each side that bolts to the tinware, and a small tab in the middle where a bolt holds it just behind the fan.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2909_zps6gt1tqnr.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2910_zps3a9sapiw.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2911_zpspzttusui.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2912_zpszpnq8dbl.jpg


I started by taking a lot of measurements of the mounting brackets and drawing them out on paper so I had an accurate record for future use. Next up I laid the heat shield out on some sheet metal so I could make an outline copy of the main plate to use as a template in the future.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2914_zpsdt5y4yir.jpg


The original heat shield is comprised of two different sheets of metal over a woven chrysotile asbestos sheet that is sandwiched in between. I have decided to vary mine slightly by using a single sheet of metal to which I will attach some aluminium heat shielding material. It is what I could get a hold of, and I'm sure it will operate fine. I used my template to mark out the shielding material. I made it oversized as it is my intention to roll the edges around the metal plate and then rivet it in place.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2916_zpsjeocjxxn.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2917_zpshhhjxkfo.jpg


Once that was done I marked out what was to be the main base sheet of my heat shield. You can see that I opted to raise the mounting brackets out of this parent metal instead of making them separately and welding them on. There was a few reasons for this. I figured that this would be a stronger design that would be less likely to develop cracks on the constantly vibrating engine compared to a welded design. And the gaps that I am creating would be covered by the aluminium heat shielding material anyway.
I also decided to change one of the mounts around too. On the factory shield the centre nut is on the top side of the tinware just behind the fan. The screw is intended to come up from the bottom, through the shield tab and thread into the nut. Unfortunately this process is close to impossible with the muffler bolted in place. So what I did was removed the nut from the upper tin and weld it onto the underside of the heat shield. so now the screw thread through from above and is far easier to install.
I mounted it to the engine to check the fit.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2918_zpslnjdiirm.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2919_zpsvfk7upju.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2920_zpswx9gbax9.jpg


After the fit was deemed fit for purpose I proceeded to drill the rivet holes in the plate. I put a rivet in each end of the aluminium to hold it to the plate and then slowly worked my way around fitting all of the remaining rivets.
The rearward facing edge was rolled around the plate and some small washers were used to help clamp the alloy down with the rivets.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2921_zpskrdetpa9.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2927_zpsuhsh3db9.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2928_zps7ankkl7m.jpg


And here is the completely product next to the old factory heat shield.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2929_zpsrxuanec5.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2930_zps8utkia8v.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2931_zpsk82szm6q.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2934_zpsrds2gqkf.jpg


Mounted up the the engine the fit is as good as before. I have included a picture of where I removed the nut from the pulley tinware and the screw goes through now.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2935_zpsfhkerlfh.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2936_zpsm8y3evzu.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Houdini%20the%20Baja%20Bus/DSCN2937_zpszypgu6d8.jpg


I live in a part of the country that gets reasonably warm during the Summer months, so I am hoping that this heat shield will do a little to help keep the engine as cool as possible. The engine is back in the bus and I have been driving it around for the past month.
I'm hoping to have some more updates soon.

Thanks for reading.


Smiley :)




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posted on August 16th, 2016 at 11:23 AM



Looks great!
You can get heat shield stuff, it's just like the thermo wrap for pipes but comes in a sheet. Might help IF you need some more protection for summer.
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posted on August 18th, 2016 at 09:56 PM



I love this bus and how it keeps evolving.

Keep going - its awesome!




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posted on August 18th, 2016 at 10:38 PM



Well done Smiley - keep up that suspension work and you might get some altitude sickness.
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