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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We're working on building a Baja Bug to take to the Detroit Gambler 500 in May. Since we've utilized this forum for some research purposes, I figured I would share some information and photos from our build.



We utilized the Stage 3 Lift Kit from VWLiftKits.com. It includes better springs, metal spacer for front, and new struts and shocks.



Fitted with BFG KO2 All-Terrain Tires (215/70R16) and 17mm spacers but there is still some rubbing that we have to take care of with some hammering and cutting.



Overall we gained about 4" of lift. I think it was 4" up front and 3.5" in the back last time I checked, but the rear is sitting higher right now due to lack of spare tire and cargo. I think ultimately we'll probably get it leveled out with more weight in there with 4" gain up front and 3" in the rear. That's about 1" from the lift kit in back, 2" up front, and then about 2" from the 28" tires.



I have some photos of the lift kit from the install and the wheel spacers and such, but this forum doesn't seem to handle images very well (I just pasted in the Facebook photos). I can share more detail if someone desires.

1st Phase (Lift & Tires) is done, but we have 3 phases left to our build before taking on the Gambler 500 :
2) Cutting and Fabricating
3) Painting
4) Accessorizing

I'll try to remember to update thread with more photos as it progresses. Beetle only has about 93k miles on it, and we inherited after a recent death in the family. Build is for Gunaxin.com / TrailTrekTour.com so we're getting the different parts sponsored to keep costs down, but featuring the products (like Tires) on our sites and social media. After the Gambler (where I swear we'll drive gently) this build will be available for sale if anyone is interested in a Baja Bug with relatively low miles for its age and some awesome new KO2 tires.
 

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Looks like a fun project and event! I'm meandering in a similar direction with the Bark Beetle as it's my forestry work "truck". I haven't changed wheels or tires just yet, I'm all springs so far.

What has been the net effect of your combination of taller tires and spacers on front scrub radius, and how has it affected braking stability on loose surfaces?

What engine/transmission is your project Beetle equipped with?

I'm looking forward to updates and pictures from the Gambler 500. Be safe, have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here are a couple more photos to show you where we are with cutting and fabricating (Phase #2)



Cut the front straight across to remove lower plastic. Built a metal support to guard the radiator, then attached a 2' x 4' piece of diamond plate as a skid plate. Drilled holes in it to keep airflow. Used the top of an old metal headboard as a bit of a bull bar (welded to bumper).





I don't happen to have a good photo of it, but I was wondering if someone could help me identify what part is directly below the horn, in front of the driver side front wheel. It hangs down and we've exposed it now by cutting the fender. It's like a black metal coil of some sort. Trying to decide if we should relocate it somehow or eliminate it, but not sure what it is and haven't spent much time figuring it out yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lights mounted, and some more holes in the skid plate. We have a rear tire-mount in the works, and should be painting this coming weekend.

 

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Everett Street in May
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Wow, love this build!! Say, I see a WaWa pic, where are you guys? I'm in PA, so we have these all over the place.

Keep the pic's coming!! :wave3:
 

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Everett Street in May
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When are you guys going to do some test runs locally?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
We got delayed with an overheating issue (Flange, Thermostat, Water Pump. etc.) but now we're back on the road. The latest project was to mount the spare tire to the rear tailgate with a custom bracket that we fabricated by welding some various scrap metal together. It adds substantial weight to the tailgate obviously, so you really have to put effort into lifting it, and then we're using an old shovel handle to prop it up. Looks great and serves the spare tire purpose, but not the most practical solution for someone who would use it as a daily driver.









I've seen sone other solutions out there where folks mounted some sort of tow hitch or other bumper mounted bar to hold the spare tire, but I didn't like the angle and distance that it left the spare tire. This looks much more natural to me, and the side profile is pretty killer. Hopefully we don't end up breaking the rear glass when we go over some huge bump, but I guess we'll find out. Now we just need to solve the 3rd brake light issue, since we covered it with a big all-terrain spare tire.
 

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Everett Street in May
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Look killer indeed! Can't wait to see some trail pics
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This weekend we painted. Custom two-tone paint job with Raptor Liner (Bed Liner) - Used about 5 Bottles of Black (2 coats) and 1.5 Bottles of the Orange (about 3 to 4 coats). Purposely made the stripe come up to the same height of the orange on the wheels, which is about the same line as the side marker lights, and we continued that line through to the front with the orange bull bar that we mounted LED lights to, which utilize the fog light wiring. There was also some trimming done to the fenders to prevent rubbing and expose the tires more.

Plenty of sanding and prep work taping everything off, but the results were worth the effort. Also added some finishing touches like the Tow Shackles, and new tail light. Check it out!

REMINDER : This Beetle will be for sale soon, feel free to make me an offer =)













 

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Discussion Starter #13
Surprised that paint job didn't get any love, but oh well. Here are some additional photos of the finished product. This weekend we head to Detroit for the Gambler 500, and we'll see how she does :

















 

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Discussion Starter #17
...and our Baja Bug has been sold, and will have a new life off-roading in Colorado and Utah with The Fast Lane Car :
 
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