</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
I though the only differences were the metal grill and a 1000cc engine, with a 4 speed manual lower geared t-case. Everything esle
is the same.
[/ QUOTE ]
Been awhile since this was posted...
Basic differences between the model years of Samurai/SJ410 production
Here are the cutoffs and transition years and the parts that are more likely to interchange:
1 L motor, 4 sp tranny, some 85's have 5 speeds), in Canada, Hawaii and Possibly Alaska (I have had differing reports). Uses the same basic frame as later production, but with springs nearly 3" more inboard than the Samurai's, and the tires track narrower by 3". Also 4:10 gears instead of the 3:73 gears used from 86 on (85 was sometimes an orphan) Xfer was 12% lower than Samurai's (mini lobster) 84 and some 85 xfers are the basis of the welded rocklobster 4:16
85 Samurai: (Canadian) Transition year, both 410's (See above) and 413's (Samurai's) were sold, at least in Canada.)
86-88 Samurai: First official imports to the lower 48 US. (earlier SJ410's were shipped to Hawaii and I believe Alaska) Tire track and spring mounts moved about 3" wider, gears changed to 3.73, Xfer 12% higher in hi and low than sJ410's, rig is heavier than 410's, with stiffer springs.
88.5 Samurai: Transition year, some used trannys, DS, and DS flanges from early, (small) and some used the later (large) flange and a tranny with lower overdrive 5th gear
Other post 88.5 stuff: (Thanks Ken)
Glove compartment door (got smaller)
Ashtray (got bigger)
Seat belts (buckles are different sizes)
Steering wheel (changed style)
Front anti-sway bar (mounts differently)
Leaf springs (axle locating hole is not centered)
Transmission shifter, "tower", and locating bolt (larger groove)
Front grille (won't interchange w/ early models)
Radiator (went to plastic/metal combination)
89 - end of production: Large Flange drive lines and lower overdrive 5th gear in tranny, same xfer as 86-88.5
Those are the major changes, the rest was cosmetics, mostly interior, decorative exterior, engine smog, and whether it was carbureted or EFI.