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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 05:07 PM
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Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

Hi Samurai owners!

Our 15 year old son wants a Samurai as his first ride. The 4x4er in me says cool, what a great excuse for me to get one, restore it, and have alot of fun. Can't go with a boring ol' sedan anyway cause he is a bass player (both electric and upright so he needs either open or hardtop with storage space)and a kayaker.

The practical "Mom" in me asks: Is this an appropriate rig for a new driver? He'd be learning to shift in it. He'd not be taking it offroad till he has alot more hours behind the wheel (ha!). He'd be using it as a daily driver 30 miles round trip to high school. How real are the "tip over problems"? If there is, is there a good way to safely add some weight and lower the center of gravity? Wider stance?

From the looks of the stock engines it looks like an easy one to work on.

Comments? email me at [email protected] and THANKS :-)


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 05:27 PM
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

i'll make it a clicky
[email protected]
we should probably also respond here on board for future reference!!!

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 05:40 PM
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

Well, one thing is certain, he won't be getting too many speeding tickets in it, and it will teach him to appreciate HP later in life. [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

The 1.3 can take a beating, and the tranny is pretty stout, so he can grind and mis-shift all he wants I think (within reason) until he learns how to drive it. As far as working on it, there is really no simpler emgine to work on. And with the many Samurai gurus that frequent (interpret: have no life and exist solely to post on this forum), there is no shortage of experienced mechanical advice.

As far as roll overs, well... I wouldn't put too much stock in the old Consumer Reports roll over studies (sic) done in the 80's. Suzuki is about to own them for their bogus reporting and rigged roll over tests. My rig has been lifted and one of the first "mods" I did was to remove the anti-sway bar, and as a daily driver I never came close to rolling it, not at all. Not to say it won't tip. The center of gravity on a Samurai is not as high as one would think. With slightly larger than stock tires, the center of gravity is lower than that of most "SUV's on the road today.

The largest area of concern as far as safety with the
Samurai as I understand from my experience is it's lack of cab, or passenger area protection from side impacts. Front or rear impacts are not of much concern (relatively speaking ofcourse), as I have seen a Sammy take a hit from the rear by a vehicle moving at 35+ mph while the Sam was sitting at a stop light. The frame on the Sam is made in such a way that it arches slightly from such an impact, while distributing the momentum from the impact forward. It's light weight tends to allow it to roll or be pushed rather than offer resistance to such an impact. This as opposed to simply crumpling like an accordion.

All in all, I'm happy with the Samurai, I've bought 6 in 7 years now, and will own another when I'm done building this one up again. My own daughter is learning to drive in it, although she is only 7 yrs old right now, and facing a different obstacle than your 15 year old son. There are other variables I would consider as far as the vehicles saftey concerns, things like the environment he will be driving in. But in general, I feel safe in mine, and happy.
My two cents, hope it helps.

Neal the Zukiguy


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 05:46 PM
 
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

if left stock they ride rough but are quite stable. up untill the recient spring change I would take 15 mph turns at about 25 and 25ers at about 45-50 this was with 215/75/15 tires 3.5 backspaced rims and stock sway bar and shocks they are extremely easy and simple to work on the biggest drawback is lack of power but who would like to leave it stock but if you are concerned about his driving I would recommend a aftermarket roll cage (not a bad idea for any one)

87 sammy lots of steel, wrangler leafs not shackel reversed stock drive lines
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 06:02 PM
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

my personal e-mail reply covered most of the basics that Zukiguy did...i forgot to mention that wheelspacers as well as custom backspced wheels are available to help widen the Zuks stance, making it more stable...
hey Zukiguy, where do you find aftermarket rollcages for the Zuk?

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 06:07 PM
mike shannon
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

if stock i would say that you would be hard pressed to find a better vehicle for your son. i would not reccomend a spoa on 33s with a flexie suspension for his first truck. but if he gets a stock one and starts learning how to work on it, i belive it is one of the best thing you can do for him. i have three kids and wouldn't hesitate to start any one of them in a zook. later mike

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 06:17 PM
 
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

Good to see you are taking the time to look into your sons new vehicle needs. I wanted a car for my first vehicle. Came home one day and found a 1957 Ford truck in the drive way. Sounds cool but it didnt run and was beaten.

Anyway we dont know where you live. If you are in Canada or any place in the world where the Long Wheel Base Samurai was sold then I would steer towards that for your son. The 1.3 means he wont be drag racing at any high speeds. But being a teen he will most likely still do the stop light drags even in a Samurai with 63 stock horse power. If I were buying it I would get the hardtop with a full rollcage for one of my kids. Wider tires with a Old Man Emu 2.5" lift means they will have a good ride and keep the center of gravity down. Bass eh.... been there done that..... if you can get away with finding a LWB I would go that route. I havent read other posters yet but I think this would be a good first rig. And if your worried then have a full cage installed with solid front and rear bumpers and dont forget to upgrade the seat belts and were they anchor. hmmm.... maybe I should get then an FJ55 for a first rig....big heavy and people are scared of them... I used to love it when I would get that wide eye'd stare... "OH my gawd Jim he is going to Ram Us!" hardy har har har And all I was doing was making a turn... ) let us know what you decide

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 06:25 PM
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

i shot her a e mail and told her to check the board. mike

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 06:29 PM
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

I would say the suzuki is a great first ride,My nephew is 15 and he has a zuk that hes working on to get like he wants it so when he starts driving it around.I think a well built zuk is as safe as any other 4x4 out there,There one of the easiest to learn to shift and easiest to learn to work on also.I'm in a wheel chair and thought my nephew how to work on the zuk drive and all right from my chair never once did i have to touch anything.Theres a lot of things you can do to make it safer,theres alot of vendors that sell after market roll cages ,heavy duty bummers,wider wheels will help make it less tippy,we have had our zuks in places were and other suv would have been on there sides or top.With a stock size tire a zuk will run down the road fine with plan of power and as he starts doing other things like bigger tires,he can do things like gear it down some and zuks are pretty cheep to build.Hope this helps you out some.And i would say go for it and he will love it.I know i love mine and hank (my nephew) loves his he doesn't want any other type of ride other then a zuk.My whole family has zuks. http://www.geocities.com/quad_zuki

QuadZuki,87 spoa,33"wild countrys
post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2001, 06:52 PM
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Re: Samurai questions from a 15 year old\'s Mom

Mrs. Susan I am 16 and this is my first ride....all I can say is man I love it! can not beat 30 miles to the gallon and you can do lifts that you can not do with many vehicles now-a-days and if your crafty very cheap as well!

" Go Cheap n' Smooth or Forget about it!"

Thanx
Studly
92 Zuki/235's/header/cherry bomb exhaust/Still Building
72 fj40/crate 350/33's/discs
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