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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2001, 10:38 PM
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Easiest Engine Swap

Was reading all of your questions and answers segment on the web page, and gained some valuable info. However, now it seems I have too much info!! HA!
I own an 87 Samurai, and was wondering what the easiest engine swap is. The easiest engine to install, without a lot of mods, and an engine that will go FASTER than 55 mph!
As I plan to do the project myself, I am looking for the easiest way out. Also, I want an engine that is not $1400 to aquire. So something common would be a good choice.

I want it all huh? HAHAHA! Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2001, 10:46 PM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

Ford 2.8, 2.9, 3.0 family is a good, stout, and common swap. The 2.8 is a carb engine, the other 2 are EFI. The c4 tranny mates up to them and is a 4 speed auto tranny with a nice low gear. Nice light weight motors that can generate in the upwards of 150+ HP and torque. There are some heavier engines, like the Buick 3.8 and the Chevy 4.3, but I don't think they can be had for as little as you will find the Fords, and the 2.8 - 3.0 are some rather reliable engines if taken care of.

Neal the Zukiguy

post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 12:07 AM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

the easiest swap by far is the tracker 1.6.

about the ford:

the c4 is a 3 speed auto(not a 4speed). the main advantage of the c4, is that it can be shortend quite easily.

I wouldn't mess with the 3.0.

1990 samurai spoa
2.8 V6 and c4 auto
33" thornbirds
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 02:06 AM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

>>an engine that will go FASTER than 55 mph!

before you go swapping in a new engine, make sure you have the "vent tube" thing in your carb. When I got my 88.5 around a year ago, I couldn;t get it to go over 50-55 mph. In fact, that's part of why the previous owner got rid of it. I asked around on this board and people suggested I look into the vent tube issue. Sure enough, I didnt have it. about 10$ later (numerous online vendors) I had this little tiny thing, shoved it into the hole in the carb, and was instantly able to go 65-75 with no trouble. It still doesn't exactly scream getting up there, but it does get there.


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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 12:07 PM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

I agree with Zukibrother that an 8 valve 1.6 (using your 1.3 intake along with a GOOD carb and 2 inch exhaust) should be EASIEST. No EFI or wiring to convert makes it less expensive.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 12:24 PM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

An 8 valve 1.6Liter from a Tracker or Sidekick will literally bolt into your Samurai with an inexpensive swap kit. But if your Samurai will not go 55 now something is wrong -the carb vent tube is a good idea, or perhaps the cat. converter. Maybe the engine is just very tired - you can do a compression test & it will give you some indications. A healthy stock Samurai in non-mountainous areas should be able to zip along at 60-70 fairly easily.

Goos Luck

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 01:22 PM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

Hiya bgink,
Welcome to our board! This is one of the best Zooki boards on the planet and just about everyone on it is glad to help, post ideas and pics of their projects. Have you used the 'Search' button to check all the previous posts? This should yeild you a TON of results on engine swaps. I swear this subject comes up every week! We slap rotary engines, V6's, diesels, toyota 4 cylinders, and even a few psycho's put v8's in 'em (I won't mention any names, BillTooley[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/shocked.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img])! You'll find it all if you do a search for 'engine swap'. If you need any help searching' just lemme know. My email address is in my signature and I'm glad to help! Laters,


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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 01:30 PM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

Or you could take on the rotary swap I'm doing.. :-)

Oh I'm sorry, did you say easy? It ain't easy! Anything except for the Suzuki 1600 8 valve motors would have to be considered a PITA. But sometimes a pita is worth the trouble.

Things to consider are engine length. Most V6 motors will fit better then a 4 banger as they are shorter. Another consideration is the tranny length. If you want to keep your t-case in the stock location, then you really need to watch the tranny length. Anything over about 24 inches including bellhousing is going to be an issue. Please make some measurements to confirm this number.. It has been a while.

Keep in mind that you are going to need to cool whatever you throw in there, so keep plenty of room for fan, radiator and oil & tranny coolers.

Anything over 150 hp is at risk of killing the stock t-case. If you are looking at something over 150 I suggest you get rid of the stock driveline or plan to run an automatic tranny.

My last motor swap was 100hp, and it was pretty good. Bunches of low end torque made it much more fun to drive as I could pretty much pull away in just about any gear, and good RPM range made it fun in both the rocks and the sand. (We don't have mud here.) But on the highway it still seemed like it needed more power.

If you are going to do a tough motor swap make it worth while, and have at least 120 hp on tap. My current project has 160hp with stock exhuast and 170-175 with bigger exhuast. I'm running it through a 4 speed automatic with true converter lock up. This should make for an interesting swap.

Problems I'm expecting are: space for radiator, oil and tranny coolers, 32" long tranny length, the electronic engine and tranny mangement.

Always remember to do the job right! Any shortcuts will bite you in the butt on the trail!

Have some older photos at:


post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 03:21 PM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

sorry, for coming off as a smartass...

but the easiest would be the 1,3L Suzuki Samurai engine swap ;oP

... mine gets me all the way past 65


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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2001, 04:49 PM
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Re: Easiest Engine Swap

The easiest would be the tracker motor. You can buy a kit for it, and it has the fewest modifications. Personally I'm getting ready to swap in a 2.3L ford motor & tranny. This motor is still in the lightweight category but with double the horsepower of the 1.3L. Admitted, I will have to fab up some of the stuff for this swap, but I think in the long run it will prove beneficial.

'88 skuzi, 7"spoa, welded front&rear,31"tires,fresh 1.3L,cam,weber,tri-y......wanna wheel?
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