I Do This For The Glory
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Nobleboro, Maine
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Re: Jeep owner with first Samurai.... few questions
Welcome! There are a few of us Jeep owners on here as well.
A Zuk is kinda like a jeep, but different rules and sizes come into play, since it's so small. SOA will get you to 31's, which will do very well, and with a body lift you can get 32's or 33's to fit, but it will suck without a gearing change, so I'd stick to 31's. It's kinda hard to get used to, moving UP to 31's, and thinking it's a large tire, whereas a Jeep can fit 31's easily with no lift. BUT, a Zuk on 31's is like a Jeep on 33's, due to the short wheelbase, light weight, and small axle pumpkins. I am running 7"of lift on my Zuk, with 32" Swampers (which rub occasionally), and I can keep up with the Jeeps running Q78's (35's). It's kind of amazing, but once I hit the mud or a steep hill I'm done as I have no power. I do have the GRS I (4.16:1) T-case, but stock gearing in the axles.
If you're going SOA, you should consider moving the rear springs up front, getting some Jeep CJ front springs for the rear, and going Missing Links at both ends. The additional travel and flex will help greatly off-road, and it still pretty cheap.
I still have my Jeep as well, and I like both vehicles, don't get me wrong. I'm just impressed at how different each is in every situation. Sometimes the Zuk just sucks, sometimes the Jeep does, so neither is better and neither is worse, they're just different. To be honest the Zuk feels like a mini-tractor, it'll crawl anywhere and feels comical it's so small. Then again, I laugh when I have to back up all the time in the Jeep to fit between trees on a tight trail, and I can't tow the Jeep as it weighs as much as my tow vehicle due to all the modifications (about 4,500 lbs).