Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: socialist lib heaven mASS
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newbie, couple ???s
Im a new Samurai owner, picked up an 88 hardtop last month and am trying to strategize the best way to fix it up for my purposes.
I have a couple (possibly) stupid questions. I see people often refer to 88.5 as the year of their Samurai. Obviously there is something significant that changed in the middle of 1988, but I don't know what it is!
I'd like to see if my "88" is really an 88 or maybe an 88.5, and I'd just like to know the differences anyways, and maybe what parts would not be compatable. If I go to buy a parts vehicle, that would be good to know.
I live in the Northeast USA, so I have to deal with snow and ice. I live in a hilly area on the side of a mountain, so that makes it even more important. If I can't get up the snowy hill (they don't plow until late) then I can't get home to my kids and dogs and wife (and computer)
. I think my main goal is going to be to make the little beast unstoppable in the snow. I'd like to balance that with a little extra offroad ability if I could. I doubt I will ever do any really hardcore offroading or rockclimbing, so I don't think I need to get too extreme.
On my regular car I have a set of dedicated winter tires and they make a world of difference. I am thinking a nice set of these for the Samurai would be a good idea. For snow and ice, the narrower the better, yes? I'll likely have a different set for the summer.
A little extra clearance helps with snow, so I wonder what is trhe best and most cost effective way to get that. It seems like SPOA and S/R are a little overkill for me, since I am not planning to do any real offroading, so I was thinking of maybe one of the 3" spring lift kits. Any opinions on this?
The motor definately needs a little encouragement. The truck has 86K, so I will have to rebuild it eventually, but I'd lke to get a few more horses out of it. I understand a header and 2" exhaust is a good place to start, but I have to be careful about emissions. Massachusetts is particularly strict in that area. The induction side looks like a Weber setup is the way to go, though it looks like that is kinda dicey for emissions. Anyone have any experience with this as it relates to emissions? I had an early 90s Tracker 2wd when it was new until some dork in a cube van rear ended me and totalled the thing (motor was fine) Wish I had that now!!
I understand locking diffs are not the way to go if you plan to be in the snow a lot. Is this the case? Anyone have any good ideas about how to build up a winter-proof Samurai? I have been enjoying the posts here and look forward to any help or suggestions you can offer.