Baja bug project


Sep 19, 2022
Originally joined to hopefully get some inspiration to work on my F100.<<<click link<<<< That didn't really happen and I felt like it needed too much work to work properly. The whole truck was kinda thrown together out of whatever parts I could scrounge up and that created a pretty unreliable setup that I was pretty unhappy with. Was looking at axles t case tranny and redoing most of the fab work of the truck. Along with the inability to tow it and I threw It up for sale and it sat for a while with no offers until I had some trade interest for a baja bug. Considering id only actually needed the 4wd like once in 3 years I went with it. Having something a bit more purpose built will be nice and its light enough to tow with my frontier.
Pretty basic baja nothing to fancy.
3x5 rear arms,
not sure on cv type
tranny is slid back 2 inches or so
swapping an esslinger ford 2.3
widened beam foddrill arms 4x1 I think (seems somebody boxed in the shock mount pocket and put the tabs on top)
combo spindles
seems like an 80s or 90s build originally based on the fab work
there's an old triple shock mount setup on the rear and adjustable rear torsion fingers.
non resi 2.0 coilovers all the uppers are single shear
willwood dual master setup drums front and unknown disk setup for the rear.

overall the car seems fine just needs some minor adjustments and some prep work

Main goals for now is get the 2.3 in it
Gonna do the radiator relatively flat on top of the motor
gonna do the side motor mounts from the upper engine cage tubes rather than lowers so the motor is hanging
IMG_1893.jpegdrivers seat is mounted too tall and my head is in the cage.

after that ill probably start working towards figuring out better brakes, what cv setup its got (im thinking type 2 or 4 rn) and cycling the suspension before I double sheer the mounts
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Got the ford 2.3l mounted.
Stage 1 Kennedy pressure plate with a stock disk.
Turned some 1inch .250 wall for a solid mount style bushing.
Done on a lil craftsman lathe.
Wasn’t too happy with doing chromoly.
I need to make a more rigid tool holder setup. Cutters always walk off center.
Getting a tool setup with inserts would also be nice.


Did motor mounts in a v from the rear cage tubes.
Might also tie the motor mounts into the bottom tubes of the engine cage but if I do I’m gonna build them with a failure point in them so if it takes a really hard rear hit it doesn’t move the motor and crack the transmission.

Still working on how I’m gonna mount the lower engine cage tubes also.
Either a plate bulkhead or tapered into under the frame horns.
moving forward onto radiator mounting.
Was looking into behind the motor like vertical on the engine cage.
Seemed okay but then I noticed some tubes that run the length of the tunnel looks like they used to be coolant lines.

They are cut at a weird angle anyone have a fix for this? Any maybe some sort of liner cuz it’s mild steel? If not it should be fine if I can get the tubes squared up or maybe just.
Still trying to figure out direction with the coolant lines.

I could build hard lines out of aluminum u bends
Or I could do more of a miter setup but that won’t flow as well

I could run silicon 1.25 heater hose but that’s not cheap.
Mental math is close to 20 ft but I’ll do some measurements later.

Anybody have a radiator hose solution.
Gotta do motor to pan (nose cone of trans) and I gotta do front firewall to radiator.
Mostly mellow sweeping bends so I think silicon hose might work well.
Or if I could get standard rubber heater hose in 1.25