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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 04:00 PM
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Thinking about a Sami

If I can find one for a good price I'd like to only use it as a mud truck, and I want to do some of the work myself so maybe one that is lifted a little bit. But what do I look for when I go to buy one. I'm on a pretty low budget so the cheaper the better but I don't want to have to worry about something breaking every time I go out. What's a good spending price on one? I think I want to have the 1.6L conversion but I haven't decided. If so, should I find one with it already done or do it myself?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 11:04 AM
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Hey Racin

Get one that already has the mods that yer lookin for done... provided that they're done right! Often it's cheaper in the long run to buy one that's got the SPOA, lockers, gearing and such done so that you don't have to spend the time or extra $ on it. The engine swap is another issue however... I've done my own 16v conversion and it is time intensive and can be expensive... upwards of 3K. On the other hand I've seen some conversions that are hack jobs... ya they run, but nothin to look at... really mickey moused.

I know a guy that bought one with the coils, lockers, seats, wheels & tires, & 16v conversion for right around 6k... is that a fair price? well, I think that's about what it'll cost whether you do it yerself or buy it thata way... If'n you DIY you'll at least do it the way YOU want.

If you need specifics on the maladies of the Samurai's they are:
Dist gasket/o-ring leak back of head
Tranny whine (bearings going)
Clutch wear
hard start (relay clicky start problem)
Heater not hot (core plugged externally w/leaves & such)
Overheating (bad radiator)
Electric Gremlins (poor ground)
Door handles (cheap plastic) get good ones from PetroWorks
Window rattle (bad runner gaskets) get good ones from PetroWorks
Other than these things the Sami is very sturdy and a whole lotta fun.

Good Hunting

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 08:13 PM
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Some other stuff to look for:

"wetness" on the fuel pump vent tube - the one without the hose - located on the passenger side of the head at the firewall. If it is wet, check the oil for thinness and the smell of gasoline. This is a sign of a broken fuel pump diaphragm. If the truck has been driven in this condition, the engine will go out pretty quick as the bearings have already been washed clean of oil by the gasoline and will run very noisily.

The absolute CLASSIC item to look for is the "locked up transfer case". The evil side of me always wants to make an "this is gonna be a horrible expense... will you take $500??" pitch but I am too kind and end up telling the owner that the fix involves a 15 dollar part, a couple of long shank screwdrivers and a bit of manual dexterity... If you find a truck in this condition, try to take a middle ground approach. Your conscience will thank you.

Ack's FAQ
nearly 837 searchable links to Suzuki/Geo modding and maintenence info - including the Tracker FSM Project!
'88 "SJ-416 Samurai"
'11 Ford Transit Connect XLT
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