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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 12:18 PM
ct90yj
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Basic Questions

Hey guys. I've been lurking and serching for a while, and I'm thinking of a zuk for my next project.

So I've started looking in the papers and on on-line for a good candate. What should I be looking for? Any years more desirable for build ups...anything common I should watch out for? Any real diffrence between years as far as engines trannys t-cases and gears. When did they add FI?

What's the most common build up.

Not looking to turn it into a buggy, but roadmanners are not a factor...

I don't want to make the same type of mistakes I did on my YJ project.

Thanks!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 07:55 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

There where very few changes, FI in 91, no rear seat ofter 88, and no Tintops after 88 model year (which went until 1990). SPOA, is most common but be prepared you can do it on a budget, but you will still have bugs to work out, steering, and vibes.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 10:29 PM
 
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Re: Basic Questions

I've read that 88 1/2 and newer have a bigger stronger t-case yolk.I'm not sure, I heard it in a magazine.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 08:21 AM
ct90yj
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Re: Basic Questions

Thanks guys. That is the kinda stuff I'm looking for.

Thanks for helping a Newb out.

Anybody else have $.02 to throw out. Any mistakes you guys made in your build ups? Words of Wisdom?

This is your chance to help convert a Jeeper...

[img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 08:56 AM
 
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Re: Basic Questions

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
This is your chance to help convert a Jeeper...


[/ QUOTE ]

Welcome to the dark side! [img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

Most zuks are basically the same. From my experience 1.3L FI zuks are harder to find, since there aren't nearly as many floating around.

Every zuk I have (or have had, 5 total) has had the same rust spots: Rear corners, especially by the gas filler tube, under the stock rocker panel pieces, in the bed where the original back seat contacted the floor. This is all really easy to fix. Normally I just grind out the rust, replace with fiberglass, then cover with diamond plate.

Do a search on "shifter sheet". This is a really common issue, and a very easy fix. Art (NC zuk) did a really nice write up on this.

Every zuk I have had leaked oil when I got them. Normal culprits are valve cover gasket, and the distributor O-rings.

Welcome aboard!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 09:22 AM
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Re: Basic Questions

Hey! How are ya?

Mistakes? trying to work on a rusty truck. Its really difficult and if its that rusty its already on the way out. Then again, if you have a rusty rig it doesnt matter as much when you bash it on stuff on the trail.

This is all opinion, of course, but I tried to do a gradual buildup, spending money in the right places first instead of just going immediately for "big tires and lift". I'm still working on it and dont have nearly the amount of mods as most people in here, it seems.

One of the biggest things to deal with on a samurai is the underpowered motor. You can do all kinds of things to make the little 1.3 poot out a little more power, but the general consensus is that you can do just as well by swapping in a 1.6 motor from a tracker or sidekick. the 8V verison shares a lot with the 1.3 from the samurai but the 16V version (which makes more high end power) is a little more alien. Both swaps are relatively easy, though. there are kits fomr most of te major vendors to help with the swap.

This is not to say that the first mod should be more power, since I personally think gearing is more important than power unless you are doing hillclimbs and mudbogs. Gearing is just that much more important with a sami because of the wimpy motor.

The first thing I spent money on with my truck was protection. I wanted skid plates on everything since it wasnt jacked to the sky with 35" tires I knew I was going to be dragging the underside a lot. After that, I got a simple 2" shcakle reverse lift and 30" tires. It wheeled ok like that, but getting some transfer case gearing to compensate for the 30" tires was an amazing improvement. I was able to upgrade from 4.16s to 4.89s in the transfer case real soon after that and that was even better. After that i got a minispool for othe rear, which help out more than I thought it would. Cheap, too ($99). At that point I wanted something better for suspension, so I swapped in YJ leaf springs all around. Kind of a big change since the springs are 1/2" wider, but they work a lot better! I still only have about 2.5" of lift from that,though. At that point I started building up around the edges with bumpers and a winch, am trying to get a locked front axle in as we speak, etc.

Seems like a common "mistake" is to go cheapo on the steering correction after a lift. Most people who have a "z-link" dont care for it and wish they had steering that properly corrects for the lift, such as 'knuckle over' or 'ott'. They are more expensive, but eliminate bumpsteer, which a z link doesnt do. It depends on how high you're going. sometimes a drop pitman arm can do it for you, too.

Speaking of lift, the best, cheapest, simplest way to gain some offroadd performance is the good old SPOA. for less than $100 in parts you can get the axle up over the leafs and get 4.5-6.5" of lift. It beats up the stock spings and you might want to consider a solution to control spring wrap. A popular modification along these line sis move the rear sami sprinngs to the front and swap in cj springs in the rear. Longer springs, a couple inches of lift simpler and cheaper to insatll than YJs. that setup of SPOA with rears up front (RUF) and CJs in the rear seems to be the best budget setup for suspension. leaving you some extra cash to deal with steering correction the right way. That gives enough lift for 33" tires but remember the gearing to offset it. Ive seen a stock geared samurai with 33s wheeling, it wasnt very pretty. It ws experience and a subtle lack of sanity that got that truck through.

one of the most impressive buildups I have seen was a sami on 30s with lockers both ends and a 4.16 transfer case, sitting on 2" s/r. The thing was amazing in what it could go over. If you did a SPOA conversion on that truck it would been more amazing, yet.

This only scratches the surface of the possibilities, but maybe gives you some ideas. Biggest mistake in my opinion is to ignore gearing as an early mod in a buildup. Its an expensive mod for sure, but one of the most important for a low powered vehicle.

~daxe
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 10:07 AM
 
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Re: Basic Questions

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Seems like a common "mistake" is to go cheapo on the steering correction after a lift. Most people who have a "z-link" dont care for it and wish they had steering that properly corrects for the lift, such as 'knuckle over' or 'ott'. They are more expensive, but eliminate bumpsteer, which a z link doesnt do. It depends on how high you're going. sometimes a drop pitman arm can do it for you, too.

[/ QUOTE ]

I couldn't agree more. I installed a z-link, and only wheeled with it once. The bump steer was so bad I almost stopped wheeling early (notice the word "almost").

The OTT made all the difference in the world. Skip the Z-link, go straight to an OTT, and you will be much happier.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 12:48 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

EXCELLENT INFO!!!!!

I've been reading about the gearing issues, and this will probably be my second mod, right after skids and recovery points.

There seems to be some debate as to get a lower gear set in the Transfer Cases, or to regear the axles.

I would like to know the pro's and con's of each.
In my litte brain I'm thinking of axles first cause I will want to lock it up at the same time. How do stock axles stand up to turning 31's or 33's locked on the rocks? Also how deep of gears are you running to compensate for the little engine.

Thoughts?

I will probably do the shackle reverse with a SPOA lift...
That's the set up I was running on my YJ and I loved the ride and the flex...
post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 01:06 PM
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Re: Basic Questions

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
How do stock axles stand up to turning 31's or 33's locked on the rocks?

[/ QUOTE ] My .02, stock axles locked on 33's don't stand a chance. From what I've seen around here on the rocks, they are like tapdancing on landmines. That's why I antied up for the toyota axles right off the bat. Some people will swear the 33's are fine on stock axles and that may work for them, but seeing what I have seen, the toy's were a must. Seems a sammy axle diehard is even going toy's (Bradzuki...? [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]) Sounds like you want to do it once and do it right, I recommend the toyota's for piece of mind.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-07-2004, 01:31 PM
 
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Re: Basic Questions

Could the bad experiences with Z links be because maybe something else was not done right when the conversion to spoa was done ? The reason I ask is because I just went to SPOA this weekend and used a Breeze drop drag link. I was really expecting problems with bump steer off road due to all the bad things I have read but after doing a little riding, I can say that I don't really see any difference now than the way it handled when stock. It didn't really hit me until after I left the trails that the steering was basically the same as before.
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