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Hello Desert Racers

Kugel8x57

Member
Forum Newbie and Hopeful Desert Racer here.

My first car was a 1963 VW Beetle. LOVED that car!! I had big fat tires on it. Stock engine (6V electrical system ☹ - forever having to get people to push me off!) and stock suspension. But ever since then, I have always wanted to build a "Baja Bug" and enter a race. But, as with so many other things Life gets in the way and some of your dreams get put on hold. Wish I had never gotten rid of that car.

Fast forward to today. I now have a 1969 Beetle body and rolling chassis. But, again, things change and I have other plans for it.

Right now, I plan to build a tube frame to set the body/chassis on, add a full roll cage with 5 point harnesses/ front seats, remove rear seat, add in V8 Mid-Engine with transmission (automatic with manual valve body, ford 8.8 IRS rear diff, minimum 3x3 trailing arms, also increase and strengthen front suspension/travel, whatever other safety equipment will be required.

First three items on my bucket list are: 1) Get the thing built! 2) Enter a sanctioned offroad race, and 3) Finish the race!

One question I have though. I plan to use either Ford Explorer of Ford Expedition rear CV Axles. However, I cannot find any Torque Ratings for either of them. I have googled myself silly, but just cannot come up with it. Anyone out there have that info or can you point me to a source for that info?

Preliminary calculations: Max Curb Weight = 2500 Lb. First Gear ~ 3:1. Rear diff - 3.55:1. Max ratio ~ 10.65:1. Max estimated engine torque = 300 Ft-Lb. So, worst case, if I have a locked wheels condition, the cv joints would see 300*10.65/2 ~ 1600 Ft-Lbs of Torque.

Make sense? Or am I way off base? 2010 Ford Explorer has Curb Weight of ~ 4628Lbs and a GVWR of 6280Lbs.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Best Regards and God Bless!

Kugel
 

Class10DAN

Well-Known Member
Go to the class 5 only thread, a lot of VW dudes out there that can help you out. and good luck with the build 😁
 

Kugel8x57

Member
Thanks for the reply Class10Dan. However, after reading the SCORE Rules, it looks like I will probably be in Class 2. I will still check out Class 5 forum for some suspension advice and discussion.

Many Thanks and God Bless!

Kugel
 

swiftracing5

Well-Known Member
Forum Newbie and Hopeful Desert Racer here.

My first car was a 1963 VW Beetle. LOVED that car!! I had big fat tires on it. Stock engine (6V electrical system ☹ - forever having to get people to push me off!) and stock suspension. But ever since then, I have always wanted to build a "Baja Bug" and enter a race. But, as with so many other things Life gets in the way and some of your dreams get put on hold. Wish I had never gotten rid of that car.

Fast forward to today. I now have a 1969 Beetle body and rolling chassis. But, again, things change and I have other plans for it.

Right now, I plan to build a tube frame to set the body/chassis on, add a full roll cage with 5 point harnesses/ front seats, remove rear seat, add in V8 Mid-Engine with transmission (automatic with manual valve body, ford 8.8 IRS rear diff, minimum 3x3 trailing arms, also increase and strengthen front suspension/travel, whatever other safety equipment will be required.

First three items on my bucket list are: 1) Get the thing built! 2) Enter a sanctioned offroad race, and 3) Finish the race!

One question I have though. I plan to use either Ford Explorer of Ford Expedition rear CV Axles. However, I cannot find any Torque Ratings for either of them. I have googled myself silly, but just cannot come up with it. Anyone out there have that info or can you point me to a source for that info?

Preliminary calculations: Max Curb Weight = 2500 Lb. First Gear ~ 3:1. Rear diff - 3.55:1. Max ratio ~ 10.65:1. Max estimated engine torque = 300 Ft-Lb. So, worst case, if I have a locked wheels condition, the cv joints would see 300*10.65/2 ~ 1600 Ft-Lbs of Torque.

Make sense? Or am I way off base? 2010 Ford Explorer has Curb Weight of ~ 4628Lbs and a GVWR of 6280Lbs.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Best Regards and God Bless!

Kugel
not really a Baja bug at that point. Why do you want to go with a one of a kind Drivetrain?
 

Kugel8x57

Member
Creativity and Economy... to do/have something a little bit different and keep the budget in check.

I originally was planning on a rear engine car using a 2.0L Ford Pinto engine and a bus transmission using an Esslinger Engineering adapter kit for that arrangement. But as I started adding up the cost, I discovered that for the same amount of money, or less, I can go with a mostly stock V8, automatic transmission and an IRS differential. Lots more HP. Stronger drive train and easier to repair with lower cost spares. My LB/HP ratio would be 10 or less and still allow me to build a very beefy tube frame. transmission shifter would be very simple. Lots of stock parts that “should” be plenty tough for the job, due the much reduced weight of the Bug – vs – their original application.

Don't think I will ever reach a Blake Wilkey Build, but it should be a lot fun!! 😄

Many Thanks and God Bless!

Kugel
 

Class10DAN

Well-Known Member
my dad is really close friends with a guy named Dan Esslinger who builds engines and race cars, i've never heard of Esslinger engineering but if they sell little inline 4's then i may have just found out something i never new for 5+ years
 

Kugel8x57

Member
my dad is really close friends with a guy named Dan Esslinger who builds engines and race cars, i've never heard of Esslinger engineering but if they sell little inline 4's then i may have just found out something i never new for 5+ years
Yep. Sounds like the same business/family. Here's a link to their website: Esslinger Engineering - Chino, California | Esslinger racing | Ford Race Engine | Performance Parts | Duratec |Ecoboost | MZR

I still have the adapter plate, clutch assembly and a 1974 2.0L Ford Pinto Engine. They don't do much with the 2.0L Pinto anymore. Now they are more focused on the 2.3 - 2.5 Lima - mostly Ford Ranger engines, I believe.

Take Care and God Bless!

Kugel
 

Kugel8x57

Member
OOPS!! I don't mean for that link to be any sort of advertisement!! Just trying to link you up with your dad's friend.

If I need to erase the link, let me know, and I will do so. Again, my apologies.
 

Robin Hood

Well-Known Member
Best advice I can give you...If you want to race and finish, skip step one, buy something someone else has already put the money and sweat equity in. If you can't find an existing car that you can afford, then you can't afford to race and not finish, let along race and finish.
 

dirtslinger

Well-Known Member
Hate to be the Debbie Downer but you are headed in the wrong direction. Keep it simple. 3X3's and a matching front are never going to keep up with a V8 motor, you'll have too much motor for your limited suspension.
VW or Ecotech, Bus box, and you will happier than hell.
Putting a VW mid engine will put your motor right up against your back seat, and the heat inside the cab will be horrible. This is just to name a few things, not even considering all the 1 off parts you're not going to be able to pick up off the shelf.
 

Class10DAN

Well-Known Member
OOPS!! I don't mean for that link to be any sort of advertisement!! Just trying to link you up with your dad's friend.

If I need to erase the link, let me know, and I will do so. Again, my apologies.
you're fine my dude
 

Kugel8x57

Member
Thanks for the input, RH and DS! I appreciate the realistic POV!

One question for dirtslinger, though. I don't quite understand having "too much motor for your limited suspension"? Do you mean that the V8 will be able to push the car a lot faster than the suspension can handle? Please clarify.

Many Thanks and God Bless!

Kugel8x57
 

Class10DAN

Well-Known Member
@cm cm i dont mean to be picky but you always seem disappointed at me, like did i do something wrong.
 

Kugel8x57

Member
I'm very confused Class10Dan. Were your last two posts supposed to be on another forum?

Good Racing and God Bless!

Kugel8x57
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
i say build it if you cant afford a built car, but go standard drive line, and what the junkyards are full of, when i raced mazdas, junkyards were Full of them, guys will tell u back in the day fords& foreign in Logan Heights was Full of v dubbs, , build it!, its fun pushing your own Frankenstein out at plaster city, but, when it breaks, cant call up your builder& complain, sooo, Build It!!!!
 

dirtslinger

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input, RH and DS! I appreciate the realistic POV!

One question for dirtslinger, though. I don't quite understand having "too much motor for your limited suspension"? Do you mean that the V8 will be able to push the car a lot faster than the suspension can handle? Please clarify.

Many Thanks and God Bless!

Kugel8x57
That is exactly what I mean.
 

PeterT

Well-Known Member
Yep. Sounds like the same business/family. Here's a link to their website: Esslinger Engineering - Chino, California | Esslinger racing | Ford Race Engine | Performance Parts | Duratec |Ecoboost | MZR

I still have the adapter plate, clutch assembly and a 1974 2.0L Ford Pinto Engine. They don't do much with the 2.0L Pinto anymore. Now they are more focused on the 2.3 - 2.5 Lima - mostly Ford Ranger engines, I believe.

Take Care and God Bless!

Kugel
I worked for Esslinger Engineering from about 1986 to 1991. They are the reason I love off-road racing! The company was started by Duane and Beth Esslinger, Dan is their son and one of my best friends. One of the smartest people I have ever known and he set me on the road for learning all about internal combustion engines. I started there sweeping the floors when I was in high school and by the time I left I was building and dynoing complete engines. Their primary focus was the 2.0L and 2.3L Ford inline 4-cylinder engines found in Pintos, Rangers, Couriers, Thunderbirds, Mustangs and a few other models. We built engines for many 7S and 7 4x4 trucks including Simon & Simon and Willie Valdez (if you don't know who Willie is, you are missing out). I think in the course of 4 years, Simon & Simon won 7 class championships between two classes with Esslinger Engines.

Duane has since passed and the business has been sold, but they still build around the 2.3L design with a heavy focus on midget engines. It was cool to read about the adapter kit in this thread; I built many of those and can still picture the machining process!
 

Kugel8x57

Member
I worked for Esslinger Engineering from about 1986 to 1991. They are the reason I love off-road racing! The company was started by Duane and Beth Esslinger, Dan is their son and one of my best friends. One of the smartest people I have ever known and he set me on the road for learning all about internal combustion engines. I started there sweeping the floors when I was in high school and by the time I left I was building and dynoing complete engines. Their primary focus was the 2.0L and 2.3L Ford inline 4-cylinder engines found in Pintos, Rangers, Couriers, Thunderbirds, Mustangs and a few other models. We built engines for many 7S and 7 4x4 trucks including Simon & Simon and Willie Valdez (if you don't know who Willie is, you are missing out). I think in the course of 4 years, Simon & Simon won 7 class championships between two classes with Esslinger Engines.

Duane has since passed and the business has been sold, but they still build around the 2.3L design with a heavy focus on midget engines. It was cool to read about the adapter kit in this thread; I built many of those and can still picture the machining process!
That's awesome, PeterT!! Glad to send down Memory Lane with some good memories! :cool:

I'm sending you a PM. There's something I would like to ask you "off forum".

Thanks and God Bless!

Kugel8x57
 

Class10DAN

Well-Known Member
didn't Dan race in mickey Thompson off road series if im not mistaken
 
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