View Full Version : Minibaja restoration

01-22-2009, 12:15 AM
Hello all you mini baja guys. I have already received great info from you guys on my new project.
My new project is a mini baja originally built by the University of Utah what year I have no idea. I picked this up from a guy who knew very little about it. I am going to try and restore this to a functioning buggy. I have a engine that is a 12.5hp rather than a 10hp engine and I may take a few liberties with some modifications. Is this blasphamous? I hope not.
Hope this performs well and it should be fun to see it come back to life.

huggie bear
01-22-2009, 08:17 AM
not blasphemy at all, CUT IT, WELD IT, FLOOR IT! looks like a good car. how much $$$ did you shell out?

01-22-2009, 09:41 AM
That baja car must be pretty old, pre 2001 for sure as the frame doesn't meet any rules from 2001 and on. Looks like a good starting point though, the suspension appears pretty decent, and the frame is roomy enough to allow for changes. Since you already have the 12.5hp engine that will work, but a Briggs V-twin or small sled engine really kicks it up a notch. And no it's not blasphemous at all to change it, I have really changed up my ex Baja car.

01-22-2009, 10:01 AM
Thanks for the words of incouragement on the new project. I was hoping to fix this up for my boys ( 12 and 6) so I thought the 12.5 would be good, however I think after I spend a little time in the seat I'll probably agree with shoe horning something bigger in.
I do have a question about the engines, does it matter much with the cvt whether it is a high reving sled or quad engine or will a slower reving kohler be just fine since the cvt will keep it in its powerband either way. I know you have to tune the clutches for this to be right, but does the higher rpm offer an advantage? Or is it all about the weight of the big twin kohlers. I'm guessing the 38hp kohlers weight a lot more than a quad motor.
I did have an opportunity to buy a 660 raptor fairly cheap. I didn't do it because I was worried about having to change to back end so much, but if that isn't sacralidge than maybe I'll revisit that possibility.
I'll keep you posted.

01-22-2009, 11:25 AM
Ah, for kids the 12.5hp will be plenty of power. I thought this only was for yourself.

For the CVT, any engine RPM range is fine as long as the CVT is tuned for it. The main problem with industrial engines is that because they spin so slowly, you have to gear them down less to go faster which means you lose torque as compared to a similar horsepower sled or quad engine that spins faster.