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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2003, 07:20 PM
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Power: How much to expect

There's a lot in the archives about power problems -- and I probably should have read and test driven more before I bought....

Anyway, I just picked up an '87 Samurai, and everything is stock. The only mod I can see is that the carburetor vent tube was installed as per Suzuki's bulletin. Problem is, it's a dog on the highway. 5th gear is pretty much useless unless I'm going downhill, and it takes forever to get up to speed. It'll probably perform better off-road, but you have to take it on the highway to get where you're going!

I checked the compression, and it's low in all cylinders, and increases substantially when oil is suirted into the cylinders. It's been a while...but I recall that indicating the rings are pretty much shot. Correct? It also seems to be running very rich, judging from the black soot on the exhaust pipe.

I now have to decide that if I invest the money and rebuild the motor, will it generate a reasonable amount of power? I've never driven a new one of these things, so I don't know what to expect. One of my other cars is a Honda CRV, which is also a dog, but I can live with that performance level. What can I expect?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2003, 07:31 PM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

do the valve adjustment, might make a noticeable difference .. I know it did when I bought my lil zuk which was running horrible, and now it runs smooth as anything with great compression [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2003, 07:34 PM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

I well running fuel injected 1.3 is "acceptable" in my book.. but only in a bone stock samurai. Almost any engine, after only 10,000 miles, loses something like 8% of it's power. On the little samurai this is almost catastrophic to its performance.

Are you in a smog controlled area?

If you are, and are going to pull the engine out anyway, get the 1.6. There is no replacement for displacement.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-06-2003, 09:18 PM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

Hi! You should have read the owner's book, it says HORSEPOWER - some...TORQUE - none. Seriously, setting the valves (on the loose side of spec) will gain some power. Check the timing. Changing all the diff/tranny/axle fluids to a light grade will help too. They probably need changed anyway. With these little motors everything makes a difference. Full tune will fix all the obvious. The carb on my 86 wouldn't work properly and after considering the options I switched to a Toyota carb and it made a huge difference. The 1.3 is never going to blast uphill stock, even in perfect tune. [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2003, 01:11 AM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

Common HP ailments (now that I'm done chuckling over the use of "Power" and "sami" in the same context!
(with some dupes from previous posts...)

plugged cat
not getting full throttle
vac leaks
PVC not working right
non functional Vac secondaries
plugged air cleaner (use a K&N)
bad plugs and/or wires
Bad Dist cap
Too much end play in the dist gear (shim it to .005 clearance)
Valves out of adjustment

Something quite a few have done is changed the secondariy control mechanizim by removing the
restrictor valve. If memory serves, its the white and brown plastic valve on the Vac line that
controls the secondaries. This lets them open sooner. Plays hob with your mileage thougth.

Fifth gear. It can only be used on the earlier zukes to maintiain a speed, not to actually accelerate.
Its a 20-21% drop and thats just too much with marginal HP. In the 88.5 s and up they switched to a
.865 ratio and 13-14% drop is easier to take, but not by much.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2003, 09:32 AM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

Welcome to the wounderful world of Zuks. Even fresh out of the box Sammis were never "screamers". You have to remember that 1300CCs translates to a whopping 81 cubic inches which on a good day will produce about 61HP. A 1.6L 16 valve with EFI would be the ideal swap, but a 1.6L 8 valve is a little less hassel and works nicley. If you opt not to do a swap then at rebuild time go .20 over bore, port and polish the intake manifold, put on a header with a 2" free flow exaust system and switch to a K&N air filter. That's what I did to my '87, had to stick with the stock carb though damned Cal smog nazis prolly got it up to about 70 HP[/i] and although it's still not a rice rocket it will do an honest 75 MPH in 5th on a level strech. Up hill plan on 4th, it just a fact of life; on some really steep grades like the I5 before the grapevine its 3rd all the way. Where the fun comes in is when you re-gear for the trail. With the right lift, gearing and a locker these little beasts are un-stoppable.
One tip, when you do rebuild or replace use only Suzuki gaskets and seals, they may cost a few bucks more but it will save you the trouble of taring the engine apart twice.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2003, 01:29 PM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

there are tons of things you can do to the 1.3L to get more from her, or you can swap the 1.6L in. hop-ups for the 1.3L can become more expensive than the 1.6L. but please remember you need to take the power over beef into accout. more power can lead to more breakage, thus it is the nature of the beast. but also you must remember that bigger tyres weigh more and that gears are the best solution for this problem. you can build the engine as big as you want but with out gears you are still usen more feul to turn larger tyres.

the stock carb is only as good as all the little vac valve and sensor that go with it. there are tons of other carbs that can be put on from prices as high as a turned out weber to the junk yard yota carb. it all comes down to what you are leaning to do with the rig. cams, header, larger exhaust, low compression piston tops, modifried head, larger carb, better oil, and ect. can all lead to more power but also cost more $.

i really hope i have not dashed your hopes, but if you could let use know what are you wants and needs for your rig than we can help you more, and welcome to the wonderful world of extreme shortwheel base.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2003, 02:58 PM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

The valve adj. thing has got me curious. Is there a post where i an do some readin on that. I looked but couldnt find anything. Same with the dist. gear. Is there something i can read. Actually that i can print for my dad to read so that in turn he can explain/show me it. Im not a motorhead like he is (shoulda paid more att. when i was growin up) but im learning.

Thanks for all the help.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2003, 09:36 PM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

I ahve 2 Zuks, One stocker 87 with 235's on it, and it'ss hold 70 on the speedo (about 80 actual) in 5th no problem until I go uphill.. It will accelerate from 60-80 in 5th (slowly but it will do it). I know for a fact that the motor in it is quite tired too. Just how bad is your compression?
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2003, 10:33 PM
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Re: Power: How much to expect

Thanks to all who took the time to make suggestions. All of the ideas to increase power are good -- but I tend to think that the compression test tells the story. According to the manual, compression in each cylinder should be between 170-199. Mine tested at 90-100. The valves have already been adjusted loose as someone suggested, but somehow I think the top end needs to be rebuilt too.

So, assuming it's a given that the engine needs to be rebuilt, I now have to decide if swapping it for a 1.6 is better than just rebuilding the 1.3. And, at what cost. And the biggest consideration -- is it easy enough to do, or are the mods to accept the bigger engine too much for this shadetree mechanic.

This is a toughie, given that I'd hate to do all this work and spend all that money, and still not have something acceptable. I certainly like the offroad characteristics of the Zuk, but I live near mountains and this thing just has to be able to go uphill on the roads! [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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