Houdini the Baja Bus

If you are building a buggy or Baja then please post in here and share your experinces with us

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PUD
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Re: Houdini the Baja Bus

Postby PUD » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:34 pm

BBTJ wrote:Great post Smiley, love the commentary and pics. That is a fair sized tent :shock: bloody hell 8)


Ditto :D
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Smiley
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Re: Houdini the Baja Bus

Postby Smiley » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:15 pm

Has been a busy little holiday period with a few trips away in the bus. But before that all happened there was a few things that needed to be attended to first.

Houdini back in the shed once again for some maintenance and upgrades.


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Pulled both the axles out because I will be changing all of the CVs over.


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But the first port of call was the rear brakes. Got some new shoes and new rear wheel cylinders as one was leaking. Also replaced the rear flexible lines, have been meaning to do this for a while and it was a good time while the fluid was out of the system.


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While I had the CVs off I ran a tap through all the threads with a drill. But on one the stub spun around on me and snapped the tap off. Decided it was easy enough the undo the four bolts and drop the hub out given that the brake lines and handbrake cable were disconnected. I was fortunate that the tap was able to be knocked backwards out of the hole with a cold chisel.


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While I had the hub off I could resist trying it in the "mega lift" position. You just bolt it on with the upper holes in the hub matched up to the lower holes in the spring plate and trailing arm. Gives some mighty big lift. A little out of the range of my CVs though I think :)


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New brakes fitted up. And new soft lines.


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Now it was onto the CVs. The CVs that I have in the bus at present are a bit of a mix. I think I have two original bus ones and two aftermarket fake Porsche 924/944 ones. I had a few dramas with the fake Porsche ones falling apart on Fraser Island. So I decided to pull the genuine Porsche ones that are in the Baja out and run them in the Bus for the time being. Getting decent CVs seems to be a real problem at present. Same goes for boots that don't want to split after 2 months (a story for another day)
So I pulled the axles from Alyce and pulled the CVs off. I cleaned one up to show the difference between the genuine ones and the cheap fake ones.
Cheap on the left and good one on the right.


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Comparing the stars you can see the heat treatment marks on the good one.


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In the cages there is a massive difference. The genuine one is about twice as thick and very stout. I have broken a number of the fake ones in the Baja and it was always the cage that broke apart.


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The balls in the genuine CVs are actually smaller than the fake ones. They are supposed to be, smaller balls gives more angle. The balls in the fake ones are smaller than Kombi ones but not as small as proper Porsche ones. They are a weird in between size.


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Lastly the main body of the genuine CV is a little bit wider, only a mil or two, but it is there. You probably can't tell from my shoddy camera work.


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With the CVs and brakes sorted the next item on the list was oil cooler.
This is the second additional oil cooler that I have mounted up under the bus. It hasn't been in there for very long but it is coming out and getting changed to bigger one.


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The replacement cooler and thermo fan. I wanted to change to a larger cooler simple so that I could fit a fan on top of it. I found at Fraser that slow chugging around on the inland tracks where you would be going slow with a moderate load on the engine would cause the oil temp to slowly creep up. I want a fan so I can keep some air flowing over the cooler even when I'm not moving very quickly.
Fan is 200mm and I presently just have it wired up to a relay with a switch on the dash. So I can turn it on or off. I am planning to add a thermostatic switch to the oil lines so the fan will come on at 80 or 85°C. But in the meantime I keep a pretty good eye on the temp and flick it on when needed. I can also turn it on beforehand if I know a big hill/obstacle/whatever is coming up.


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Made up some mounts but it seems I didn't get a picture of it under the bus. It mounts in the same spot as the other one but horizontally with the fan on top. The fan is setup to push air down and through the cooler. I might even try some shrouding later on to create some low pressure below and behind the cooler to assist airflow.


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One other thing I did was fit new front and rear shocks. Turns out that the front shocks that were on the bus are too short. Looks like they are bug ones going by the length. This would have been limiting my downtravel slightly on the front. And probably the reason why the front shocks quit working day three or Fraser :D


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Smiley :)
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Smiley
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Re: Houdini the Baja Bus

Postby Smiley » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:53 pm

For Christmas I drove mum and dad down to my Grandma's (mum's mum) house, about a 1600km round trip to Killarney in southern Queensland. The bus performed flawlessly and the new cooler and fan combo kept the oil temp at a good level despite the hot temperatures we had.
Once down there we went for a bit of a drive out to Carr's lookout. Went via the Condomine River Road which has about a dozen creek crossing on it. All of them were rocky and firm and I don't think I barely go the hubs wet, the water level was quite low.


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Stopped in at the Queen Mary Falls.


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There is a large hill overlooking the small town of Killarney. It has the local phone tower on top of it. I have taken the Bug up too the top before so I was keen to see if the Bus could make it. The track up was quite a bit more washed out and eroded since I last drove it (about 4 years ago), but the bus managed to chug his way to the top. Got some outstanding pictures of the entire town.


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The next day on the way home in the next town over we stopped and got a pictures of the trucks parked up at the Fraser depot. They were all washed and lined up perfectly with Christmas hats on the wipers. Was very well presented for the holiday break.


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After the Christmas trip with the family the girlfriend and I turned the bus north and headed about 400km up to Mackay to visit some friends before New Years. From Mackay we headed west out to Eungella National park for a day trip and I little bit of mild offroading.
My friend drives a Hilux, I told her I would drag her out when she gets stuck :)
We went and did a track called the Diggings Road, which was actually pretty pissweak but I think it would be a hoot after some more rain. Was some steepish climbs (carbies suck the big one) with a bit of mud on them but I got through everything no worries.

On the bank of Broken River.


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Coming through the creek crossing.


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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sfM7c7m0bY


A little mud puddle. Not too deep and very firm.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJGh3SdmQTE


The view from the pub where we had lunch. The platform is where they launch hang gliders down into the valley.


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We then trekked back down the mountain to Finch Hatton Gorge for a bit of a swim. We had some inflatable boats so went for a little paddle. Should have brought the canoe!


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Was a good little trip, I think there are plenty of more tracks to be had in the area too. Next day we drove back home for New Years party out at a friends dam on his farm. Took the mobile bed of course :)


A few pictures from this afternoon. Houdini dragged this poor little fella down next to the shed to be emptied out and then stripped down. Didn't think we were going to move it for a little bit. Had to drag it a couple of metres before the rear drums unlocked. The big tractor did well :)


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That's all for now folks, thanks for looking. Plenty of more adventures and upgrades planned for the future so watch this space.


Smiley :)
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Parj
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Re: Houdini the Baja Bus

Postby Parj » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:34 am

5Rocks 021.JPG
http://www.manxclub.org/phpbb3/download/file.php?mode=view&id=2924
Hi Smiley. There is a step hill going to 5 rocks, off to the right, after Big Sandy.
Have you made this up in your Buggy or Kombi ?
Big Sandy was OK and all the Beach accesses, but I was reluctant to go up this
in my Jeep Wrangler. If I only made it part way up, am a shithouse reverser as
I have to use the mirrors, cannot turn the neck. This track is so long, you'd
probably lose momentum 1/2 way up. If you do this, what pressure are you running ?
I had no problems with Big Sandy at 15 psi. Bloody good area this. Cheers, Parj
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mattie182
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Re: Houdini the Baja Bus

Postby mattie182 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:46 pm

Hey Parj,


That track is actually "locally" known as the easy track. The one that people towing use to get onto and off 9 nine beach.
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Smiley
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Re: Houdini the Baja Bus

Postby Smiley » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:10 pm

Yeah I was going to say you should have taken a crack mate. That track is easier than big sandy. I'm pretty sure that bus nearly made it to the top in second gear. The Baja could make it over there is second no worries.


Smiley :)
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PUD
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Re: Houdini the Baja Bus

Postby PUD » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:53 pm

Hey Smiley, how's it goin :D Keen as on an update if you've got anything goin on :D Pud

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