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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 01:44 AM
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new suzuki owner

i just got an 88 suzuki samurai hardtop or what you guys would call a tintop, completely stock, doesnt even have that carburator vent tube. my budget is 3000, and i have 5 33x12.5 tsl thornbirds so whatever i do it must be able to fit thoses since i got them for free and dont plan on getting new ones til those are gone. ive been reading alot of the post here and wonder whats suspension setup is best. you guys talk alot about cj springs, rancho spring, ruf, spoa, spua and whats the best ride this will be a daily driver and of course a trail truck. another question is what other mods should i do first before anythign else. thanks
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 07:15 AM
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Re: new suzuki owner

Here's my opinion, one of many and not the most experienced.

The nicest ride you can get with leaf springs comes from Jeep YJ springs. There are a couple ways to mount them up, but I chose the Trail Tough missing link stuff. You can use non-folding shackles for the rear, too, and save a few bucks. The YJ springs are easy to find used. Opinions vary on using the 5 leaf or 4 leafs. I had a tintop and used 5 leafs all around.

You will need a set of shocks to go with your new suspension, so keep that cost in mind. It can be anywhere from about 100 to 300 doillars, depending on what you get. Good shocks are a good idea.

To fit those 33s under your truck you will have to go SPOA, which means getting some spring perches. All the vendors sell them and everyone has an opinion about which ones are best except me since Im not SPOA. The consensus seems to be that you dont skimp on perches and get the beefiest ones with the most secure mounting.

You will need steering correction. You can do a "Z link" which is cheapest but does nothing to help bump steer. If you ahve a lot of lift you may have to combine this with a drop pitman arm to try and get your drag link as close to parallel with the tie rod as possible. A more expensive but better solution is knuckle over steering, which relocates the drag link mount to the top of the steering knuckle, over the springs. There are also systems which locae the tie rod up there, too, called "Hi-steer". How you deeal with the steering seems to be a matter of getting what you pay for.

A tall truck with YJs willl have a lot lateral flex in the suspension when steering. That will cause vague steering among other things. The way to correct this is to use a panhard bar..a single link which connects to the frame and the suspension from side to side and limits this lateral movement without limiting the desired up/down travel. There is also the matter of spring wrap in the rear, which is not unlikely with soft YJ springs in an SPOA config unless you don't do too much in the way of rocks. This can be dealt with by using a traction bar. Lots of the vendors offer them.

You will need to pay attention to the backspacing on your wheels so they dont rub on the springs. Even 10.5" wide tires on std wheels will rub on the springs at full steering lock.

Of course some protection for the underside is a good idea. You might wish to get some "pumpkin caps" to protect the differentials. Good, cheap insurance. An 8" weld on pipe cap cut in half works if you dont want to buy some premade.

If you are going with 33" tires you are going to want to do some gearing correction. This is where most of your cash is going to go, in my opinion. You can do transfer case gears or ring and pinions or (preferably) both. Its possible to drive it without correction, but it will be really powerless. Look into the common transfer case gearsets and see what they correct for as it relates to tire height. i have a GRS2 (4:89) gearset in my Tcase and it is supposed to correct for up to 32" tires. I am on 30" tires and its geared a little low, but thats OK for the type of wheeling we have in New England (lots of rocks) There is an excellent article on Trail Tough's website about gearing correction. In fact, there are several really good tech references there. Dont forget beefier mounts for the transfer case. I have a Mighty Kong combo skid plate/mount and I like it a lot. The Forrest "Bucket" is a similar concept and gets great reviews.

The choices you make should obviously reflect the type of driving and wheeling you do. I see you are in TX which I believe is pretty large and flat (drove through there a couple times) so you might not want to go too low for gearing. That will save you $$ Lockers or spools are great offroad but dont help on the street. Your choice there.

a slightly less expensive way to get better ride is to do the Jeep CJ springs in the rear and stock samurai springs in the front (RUF). The Jeep CJ springs are 2" wide, like the sami springs (YJs are 2.5" wide) so you dont have to change as much hardware to fit them.

Personally I would go for YJs SPOA (about $600), 4:16 gears ($400) and sidekick/tracker 5:12s for the R&Ps (300$ after all) Panhard and trac bar ($300) 2" backspace wheels ($200) rancho 9000x shocks ($300) tcase mount/skid ($200) rock rails and pumpkin caps ($200) and maybe the other 500$ on bumpers or rollcage or EFI swap or power steering or something.

hope this helps! and welcome to zukdom.

~daxe
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 08:12 AM
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Re: new suzuki owner

thanks daxe, but what about the engine? wont i need headers an exhaust and a good carb and cam and other stuff? remember everything is stock i have pics of my sammy but dont know how to post. and about how much backspacing would i need on the wheels as i still need to buy those. one more thing with spoa would the cj or yj springs need to be the lifted kind or stock to fit the 33's

thanks
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 08:13 AM
 
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Re: new suzuki owner

power doesnt matter as much as gearing does, good set of ring and pinions with some good transfer case gearing makes it all the better, It also matters what type of wheeling you do, stock yj SPOA gives enough clearance to easily stuff 33's....I gotta ask, whats up with the "6's" in your username? [img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 08:23 AM
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Re: new suzuki owner

im a lil devil in my samurai, ok another question, is that bolt on spoa any good from RR or would welded be better i was thinking of getting the bolt on since i dont have a welder and dont know how to weld, i mean i proably could find some one with a welder but i dont want to mess it up or the weld to break on the trail. are they hard to install?
post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 08:32 AM
 
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Re: new suzuki owner

well I dont know if the bolt on SPOA is compatible to YJ springs, sometimes its better to just weld them, however I believe there are a few floatin around on this board who run bolt-ons...
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 08:51 AM
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Re: new suzuki owner

Like studly said, the samurai is a low power vehicle..except his, of course, which has a small block ford v8.

If you gear it right it will not lose any performance, but its not going to gain any overall, either. There's a bunch of mods you can do to the 1.3 to make it perform better, but it seems to me that you are better off spending the same money on a beat up Tracker or Sidekick, taking the 1.6 motor out of it and putting it in the sami. You'll get as good performance from a stock 1.6 16V as from any souped up 1.3, I'd bet. There was a thread in here just recently called something like "customer comments, 16V swap." Check that out for some good info about how good that swap is.

The bolt on SPOA setups work as advertised from what I have heard, but even those suggest you weld them if you are going to leave them there. If you are worried about breaking welds on the trail, then you are wheeling hard enough to where you probably shouldn't have a bolt-on suspension setup. A competent welder can weld stuff so its as strong or stronger than the factory, so I wouldn't worry about welds breaking. I'd be more worried about burning out your clutch with 33" tires, a roddded up motor and no gearing correction, if you are thinking of that route. I have come to learn that thhe best and most reliable method is to distribute the increased stess on the drivetrain over all the components rather than concentrating it in one place. The stock samurai stuff is plenty beefy for a stock samurai, but when you start putting on huge tires and putting in lots of gearing stuff, some of that lightweight componentry becomes a really weak link.

Do keep in mind what kinda wheeling you are going to do. If Wheeling to you means driving through the desert at 45 mph, then you dont need really low gears. If it means going 1/2 mph over rocks all day long, then you are sunk without the gears. If you plan on driving through lots of mud, then dont gear so low that you cant get any wheelspeed and make sure you put enough power under the hood to keep those big shoes turning. To build a samurai well you have to have a more balanced approach than say, a full sized pickup, where you might just lift it, stuff big tires under it and bolt some stuff on the motor.

A SPOA itself will givve you anywhere from 4.5" of lift on up. The YJs would givve you about 2" of lift, so you are looking at around 6+ inches with the pair of them, minimum.

As for fitting 33s..check out this link:

http://www.off-road.com/suzuki/techinfo.htm

there is lots of great basic info there about gearing and fitting tires and all kinds of other stuff.

For your backspacing, the popular size seems to be 2". The stock samurai backspace is (I think) 3.75". Hanging your tires out that far will givve you a wider, more stable stance, but also wears on your wheel bearings.

to post piictures, make sure they are less than 100K and you can attach them to your posts. There's a "preview post or Attach a file" thing down below the composition window and below the smileys.

~daxe
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 08:52 AM
 
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Re: new suzuki owner

Try Looking in the 4sale section on this bbs " CTBRENT " has alot of the stuff you will need and buying used will save you some money. There's a lot of people on here that sell used parts that are still good. Just a thought ....

Turk....
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 09:00 AM
 
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Re: new suzuki owner

I think the only person who decked a 1.3 out and pushed it into the 110+ hp range was jim zuki and that took a loooooooootta money from what it sounded like, 16v swap is a very strong and stout swap easy as hell to if you ask me, just remmember this, any engine can pull any tire, all matters in the gears [img]images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2003, 09:02 AM
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Re: new suzuki owner

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
buying used will save you some money

[/ QUOTE ]

I second that motion. I have gone through lots of used stuff on my rig..my first suspension (Calmini s/r) was bought used, as was my current suspension (Trailtough YJs and missing links). My 2' backspace wheels were used, too. Its not unusual to pay about 1/2 of the original cost for good used stuff.

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