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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-24-2004, 11:36 PM
Hilgy
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Looking to buy first zook

Hi guys I'm looking to buy my first suzuki and I was hoping that someone could point me in the right direction. I would like one of the tin top ones(not sure what model they are)What years were they made and are there any years that a guy should stay away from. Also are there any special areas to look at when buying(places were the frame rots ect.)I'm planning on doing some mild 4x4ing but it will mostly be my hunting rig. With the price of fuel here in Canada I cant afford to be touring around in the bush I my pick-up. Thanks for any help Hilgy [img]images/graemlins/scs.gif[/img]
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 08:52 AM
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Re: Looking to buy first zook

Hi Hilgy,

Nobody else is taking a crack at this so I guess I will. Welcome to the ORC BBS, by the way!

There's no such thing as a "bad year" for Samurais, and i presume you are talking about samurais, since you didnt say Suzuki Samurai or Suzuki Sidekick. A Sidekick is the same thing as a Geo Tracker and both are made by Suzuki. The made and sold the Samurai from about 1986 until 1995, I think. The very early samurais had smaller motors (1 liter) and 4 speed transmission and are called SJ410. The samurai is the SJ413 and has a 1.3 liter motor. There was also a long wheelbase model sold in canada. The hardtops are just called hardtops, no special model number. There were different trim levels for samurais, JA and JX, with JX being the more "luxurious" model, if I can use that word about a sami without getting laughed at.

The only real significant change that happened to Samurais involved changing over from a carb to fuel injection. That happened (I think) in 1991? If you are looking for a hardtop, you aren't going to find one with fuel injection anyways (the hardtops got pretty rare after 1988-89).

Hardtops in general are harder to find than soft tops, but they are out there. I have had both and personally like the softop even though I live in New England, but that's jsut me.

The frames are pretty solid and you dont need to worry about rust issues there. The places samurais tend to rust are in the rocker panels behind the plastic trim (If its still there), around the welded on metal lips to which the fender flares mount, the windshield frame (on softops) and in the usual places on the body. The most common thing you might find a samurai sidelined for is a locked up transmission or transfer case shifter. This is often fixable with the replacement of a simple bushing at the bottom of the shifter, but dont bet on it! Make sure you are looking at a 4 wheel drive model in the first place..there are 2 wheel drive samurais. The motors are really durable and can last 150K miles easily if they are well cared for. They often leak oil at the back of the head from the distributor housing mounting point, this is another easy fix (Just a new O ring). The stock seats are almost always torn up..cheap stuff they arer made of. The interior panels are just cardboard and usually get trashed, too. You can make your own replacements or buy metal or plastic replacements in lots of places.

For a hunting rig, you barely would have to even think about any mods. The trucks are amazingly capable right out of the box. With very little trouble you can fit some aggressive 235/75-15 tires which are about 2.5" taller than stock, giving you at least an extra inch of clearance. The light weight of the rig and the very underpowered motor makes the apparently flimsy drivetrain very durable unless you start doing really crazy/stupid things and having very large tires or locking diffs.

There are a bunch of guys on here with yards full of samurais. Maybe try putting somehting in the "Wanted" section and see if anyone gets back to you on it. You shouldnt have too much trouble finding something decent.

I hope others jump in with more info or to correct my mistakes. I triied to leave out the fiddly technical details so as not to confuse the issue ( miniscule transmission ratio changes, etc.)

Hope this helps and welcome again!

~daxe
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 08:54 AM
 
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Re: Looking to buy first zook

Hilgy, please fill out your profile so we know a little more about you. There are people on this BBS from all over North America, and even some overseas so it helps to know where you are. It sometimes makes it easier to point you in the right direction.

You mention you're in Canada. I have a tintop that I will be selling soon. It has 3" lift springs, 32" x 11.5" Super Swampers and a spool in the rear differential. It's otherwise pretty much all stock. Body is very solid. Let me know if you're interested.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2004, 07:39 PM
Hilgy
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Re: Looking to buy first zook

Daxe thanks for all the info it is just what I was looking for.


Rgdl, The tin-top sounds great but it is a long drive to "winter"peg from here on sunny Vancouver Island. I know that I should have done the profile thing but it was late when I signed up I'm going to do it tonight. Just wondering though what would you be asking for the truck? You can PM me if you are not allowed to post the price on here. Thanks again Hilgy



P.s Just kidding about the winter thing
post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2004, 12:23 AM
 
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Re: Looking to buy first zook

This is serious stuff---no kidding allowed.

86 thru 88 are all 4X4 unless modified. Two wheel drive options started in 89 or 90 I believe. I'm talking Samis. I used to know (month or so ago), but I'm getting old. All I really want to say is, "You will be hard pressed to find anything as much fun for the money." [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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