I would say definitely IRS....from there it depends on your usage and how much coin ya wanna spend. Most consider a link pin front beam stronger......it should be easier to add an IRS to an early pan than a link pin front to a late pan. No Super Beetles!
Michael <A target="_blank" HREF=http://mkparker.com/goose>mkparker.com/goose</A>
Michael is right I would go pre 1968 and add the mounts for IRS to the rear torsion tube trying to convert a ball joint front end to a link pin requires alot of fab work, you cant just bolt one up to the other,I have a built type 1 transmission that would be a good budget transmission for your baja before you slap down the money for a 3k bus box mines close ratio w/ a super diff,help bring back engine power after you go to a bigger tire....Mike
<font color=red>The dump you take is the gold I make so I can afford to play and race!</font color=red>
The simplest way would start with a 69
They were already set up with IRS. The stock arms
are easy to beef up & do shock mounts with a simple weld-on kit
(requires removing the arms)
This way you would already have the transmission,CVs axles,stubs & correct breaks
They come with ball joint in the front & they work fine with some
easy beef up mods to the shock towers & aftermarket shocks
its a good combo for a start, later you can convert to a link
pin set up in the front if you need more travel
Nosala.com<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by Wayne_Nosala on 02/10/03 07:53 PM (server time).</FONT></P>
Don't even consider running a swingaxle if you have a choice. They can be evil.
I would consider '65-'66 to be the best years. '67's have a lot of unique to them parts. Earlier will work, 68's and later are IRS stock, but are the Ball joint front end. The best thing I've seen for those are the Thing spindles. They are effectively a lift spindle. Unfortunately they use a unique to them ball joint (can't recall if it's the upper or lower), if you opt to go this route get the whole Thing beam as it will bolt into a BJ car. And modify it as Wayne suggests.
You can buy the inner trailing arm brackets to convert a swing axle to IRS. You will need the IRS spring plates (& torsion bars if not the same length - there's 3 different lengths of T-bars), the complete trailing arms, all of the CV joints & halfshafts, the inner trailing arm pivot bolts, the IRS transaxle's side plates and diff or the whole IRS transaxle. The most ideal donor vehicle for these parts is a Thing. They have the Bus 4" CV's already. The std passenger cars all use the wimpier 3" CV.
Only problem with the Thing parts is that the halfshafts are a slightly different length than what you're likely to need. The most desireable parts off of a Thing are the stub axles and the transaxle diff's output flanges. Those are what it takes to get to the 4" CV's with stock parts. The halfshaft splines are the same for both the 3" & the 4" joints. The Thing rear drums are wider and result in a ~3" wider rear track width, but they don't to my knowlege have any better brakes.
Bug IRS trannies typically come stock with a 4.12 R&P ratio, while Swingaxle trannies come with a 4.37 R&P ratio. In the after market you can find R&P ratios from 3.88 to 5.14 I've broken my share of the 5.14's, it's easy to do. If you think you want that low of a ratio go with an early IRS Bus trans ('68-?) as they have a 5.38 ratio or a really rare 5.42 ratio.
There is a change in the number of ring gear bolts that predates the change to IRS. So if you have a late Swing axle car you can bolt the existing ring gear to the IRS diff w/o trouble.
To stay 5 lug you need to either have some rare parts or do some parts swapping. If you scored a Thing set of complete trailing arms you're there already. Otherwise you need to remove the spacers from the swingaxle's wheel bearing region. Can't recall which one of the two it is, but one of them will slide onto the IRS stub axle after the swingaxle's drum and space the drum nut properly.
I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
alright with all things read i can get a 69 baja from a co worker with a cage seats fiberglass and i believe it even has a fuel sell he wants like $1700 for it now transmission or engine good or bad deal? i know nothing about bugs ao i have no idea.
oppps now = no the transmission that was in it blew up but the motor is still good as far as i know its a 1645 pr somethinglike that. but he wants too much for all the stuff he got ripped when he bought it so hes trying to sell it to recoup some of his loss
My sister just gave me a "free-to-me" 67 bug. I realize the 67 has alot of unique parts for that year model. But are they mostly exterior parts, like turn signals and stuff like that? Or are there other unique parts inherent in the 67, such as with the engine, transaxle, suspension and the like?
Thanks for the info on the windshield washer area. I haven't even seen the bug yet since it's at my sister's house in Mobile, Alabama. Do you know if the 67 had the IRS or a swing axle? I take it the engine is the same as the other years, but what about the transaxle? Any other differences?
A few things to note on picking a year for a baja bug. The 66 and 67 cars have many one-off parts like door handles and glass that are almost impossible to replace. 68 and later cars are plentiful in wrecking yards plus a lot of the replacement parts are still available OEM because of the Mexico and Brazil cars. I recommend looking for a clean (no rust, damage) 68 (swingaxle) or 69 and newer bug (IRS). As to the decades old debate over link pin/ball joint, look at most of the current class 11 cars, they are ball joint, as are all of the class 9 cars and also a class of cars in the CORR series. Cheap to maintain and easy to beef-up. The Thing beam is the hot ticket for a lift but there again, you will be stuck with hard to find replacement parts like spindles. If you have access to a welder, Suspension Unlimited makes all of the weld in gussets and IRS pivots to beef up almost any year of bug to make it a reasonably cheap off-roader.
I forgot to ask earlier, but do you have any pics of the 67 you used to race? Would you mind sharing any info on it? I know very little about Baja Bugs, but now that I have an old 67 I want to learn as much as I can and build it for fun. My e-mail is email@example.com .