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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 12:12 AM
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A few Suzuki Questions.

Hello All,
I have just sold my jeep and I am now in the market for a daily driver and weekend trail machine. I kinda like the Samurai so I decided to come here. Now, would a samurai make a good daily driver and weekend trail machine with out any major changes? I just dont want to be swapping engines or axles. I do understand that a lift kit and bigger tires and gears, would be nessicary. I would like to run 30s or 31s. I have found a couple of them for sale, what should I look for when I go and look at them? Any bad spots to pay attention to? Weak Links? Who makes good lift kits for them?
Sorry about the long winded post.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 01:46 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

Welcome aboard,
Boy this is a tough one...Daily driver and trail rig. I started out daily driver now it's more like yearly driver...LOL. Sammys are cheap transportation but the stock suspension is not very road friendly, add a lift and its worse. If I did it again(daily driver) I would use some 3" lifted springs(someone else will have to tell you what they like, I run YJs spring over), Bilstein 5100 shocks, 30" AT tires, 4.89 t-case gears(they have a 18% high range reduction for the 30" tires), Sidekick power steering conversion, skid plates, rocker protection, and something besides those ugly stock bumpers and if you have the $$$ ARB lockers front and rear. I think you could be very happy with the trail performance and it'll still drive down the road nice.
As for things to look for when buying. Do what I did, find a low milage,clean bone stock Samurai that some girl used to drive to school....mine had 60,000 on it and was stock down to the air in the tires. Happy hunting!!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 01:50 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

Count on replacing the seats, espesially the drivers seat. They were pretty crummy even when new.

Common failings, (all prettty easy / cheap fix's)

bad fuel pump: oil will leak out of the vent tube. check the oil for gas smell. This is bad as the motor is
probably damaged.

Shifters loose or locked in one gear/between gears: Replace the shifter "sheet" a rubber donut on the ball,
and/or replace the bolt pin that centers the shifter ball. < $15 total

Same on the xfer shifter.

Rotted soft top: Buy new replacement. $200-$300

Rust: You look to be in the rust belt so you probably know more about it than I.

loose steering: Not too common a prob but an easy one to fix

loose spring bushings: Replace with poly bushings

Shackle lifts: Replace the long cheap shackles with a decent lift, lone "fangs" on the front will make it
wobbly and it will wander due to the castor being removed.

Scabed Z links: some of these are just scarey. replace, preferably with a Xover steer like the breeze unit
if its SPOA, and a drop pitman for a SPUA with a spring lift.

The nice thing about a Sami/SJ series is there simplicity and ease of working on.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 06:48 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

Pretty much what everyone else has said. Watch for tell-tale moisture on the mechanical fuel pump's pressure relief tube! That is the tube that points down and has no hose connected to it. The fuel pump is mounted on the passenger side of the head at the rear.

If there is dust buildup from gasoline or oil coming out of that tube, watch out! This is a SURE sign that the vehicle has been driven with a mixture of gasoline and oil as lubricant! Further signs of this will be a noisy engine and rod knock.

This problem is not necessarily a sign of poor maintenance. If everything else on the truck is in good shape and the engine is not too loud, you can probably get it for a song -- at least don't spend a lot of money on it.

Daily driver? Remember, we are offroad fanatics here. One man's offroad daily driver is another man's deathtrap. My samurai has a 4.5" Breeze lift (from Northcast Offroad) with rears up front, 31" M/Ts and a 1.6 8-valve. everything else is stock. It scares the crap out of me regularly on the Interstate.

Which is why I also own a Tracker for daily driving.

It will be cheaper to own and operate. Even bone stock it's pretty impressive offroad.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 07:13 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

CAUTION: It's an addiction [img]images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

Like Ack said, depends on your definition of daily driver and what kind of trails you like to run.

Mine is pretty much stock with the Rear-springs-up-front/CJ springs rear conversion, Spring under axle, and it's perfect for my needs. I can stuff the 235/75 Yokohamas on stock rims all the way up without any rubs. (They're almost 30s)

I drive it everyday to work (not far) and all the short around town stuff. On the woods trails I run it works great. I don't do long trips or run the Interstates, just too scary for me because of the size, not the handling.

Daxe runs Jeep YJ springs SPUA and likes that too, he can tell you about it.

If it's stone stock count on sorting lots of little stuff that just kinda doesn't work right..but it's mostly all easy.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 09:44 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

As stated above, it all depends on you. Mine is a daily driver and yes I have been known to take it on long trips. Here's my set up.

Stock 1.3L bored 20 over with a K&amp;N air filter and Thorley header.
Stock axels and gears 3.73 with a Detroit EZ locker in the rear.
Petroworks GRS II t-case. On this one if I had to do it again, I would consider a 6 to 1 case instead.
RRO heavy duty t-case arms with poly mounts.
RRO 5" SPOA lift with 1" shackles and Doetsch 3000 series shocks.
Tough Trail crossover steering. Breeze is basically the same set up.
Petroworks skid plate.
Big O 31x10.50s on 3" back spaced wheels. Will probally go with 2.5" back spacing when I do the RUF conversion.

Not exactly a speed demon or a "hard core" rock crawler, but
it gets me where I want to go with no problems.

Now the negativs.
It rides like a truck.
Top speed on flat ground is somewhere between 65 &amp; 70 on a good day. On long up hill grades be prepared to use 3rd gear. If you want more power start shopping for a 1.6 L 16 valve now.
Don't even dream about running anything bigger than 31s. At this point you are at the extreme limit for axle strength. anything bigger and be prepared for an axle upgrade. And yes you can break an axle with 31s if you have a "lead foot" and go "gonzo" on the skinny pedal.

As far as accessaries like seats, the stockers seem to fit by backside just fine, type and style of cage, bumpers. lighting, etc. thats all up to your individual taste and pocket book.
Good luck.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 09:49 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.


I drove a stock '93 Samurai (with 215 tires) daily for 4 years. It was tough, though. I now have two Trackers and a Samurai and the Samurai stays in the garage most of the time. I usually drive the one Tracker which is much quieter and faster. I've been thinking about putting a 1.6 into the Samurai (41,500 miles on the stock motor -- runs fine but is painfully slow) and making it into the daily driver, but the Tracker is so much more comfortable and speedy (and roomy).

I know someone who has a built ('88.5) Samurai, bored out 1.3L, header, crawler gears, 31" tires, locked in both ends that he uses as his only vehicle. He seems reasonably happy but he's pretty young, too. I think that makes a difference. The four years I used mine as a daily driver, I was much younger, in my early 20s .... maybe that makes a difference. I finally got rid of it when I had a daily 80 mile commute and the noise just got to be too much.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 10:09 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

nag nag nag over speed, if you cant knock it, V8 it [img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] jk

Unless you drive a 911 porsche everyday, I dont think a samurai will make that much of an impact on you, one thing is for sure tho, the stock suspension sucks both on and offroad if you ask me, but once I went Spring Over Axle it changed everything, and to me with proper shocks and the kit performed properly they ride like cadillacs [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Of course with the art of lifting comes changes, but you being apart of the 4wd world would understand body pitch and roll, I mean your not gonna ever drive a 6" lifted truck like dale earhnhardt. Taking how you specified both daily driver and weekend warrior tells me that speed would be no object to you, cause with these stock motors, gears are a great friend [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] other then that, there extremely tough trucks, I have a stocker I use as my daily driver and I push the h*ll out of that thing day on and day off, hasnt folded or left me on the side of the road yet, there awesome trucks, nice on the gas pump, and cheap to build, it all depends on your personal interest tho [img]images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 10:55 AM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

I drive mine daily to work 25 miles to and from (50 miles a day). I am running 30" tires and 3" lift springs with a GRS1 t-case gears which lower the gearing enuff on the highway to make-up for the larger tires,gets it back close to stock,but when in 4-lo it will crawl over about anything.
I am running a 1.3 bored over .20 with high compression pistons and a SumoII head (low-end cam and 1.6v exhaust vales). I can do 65-70mph without any problems.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 01:15 PM
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Re: A few Suzuki Questions.

Thanks guys for the replys. Well, I am going away for college in Feb and just need a dependable vehicle to get me there and run me around. Also to check out so trails. In Ohio, all that I have done is mud.Never hardcore stuff. Speed not an issue. My [email protected]#p was a 1961 CJ5 with 5.38s in both ends. 50 tops. With the 30 inch tires that I was using. So I am looking to drive the samurai everyday, and if I want put it in 4 wheel drive and just got out on a trail. Not the hardcore stuff. Or scout hunting locations or find a strip pond. So, ok now with I have kinda decided to run 30s would a 4 inch lift do it? And, what kind of gears should I switch too? Or would switching out the xfer gears be enough? And with all said and done, how much and I am looking at for mods? 2,000? Excluding the purchase price?
Thanks Alot,
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