NEWSFLASH: SO, you think the Suzuki Samurai rolls over easily? DON'T believe everything you hear, CLICK HERE to see actual Consumer Reports video footage of exactly what they had to do to mislead the US public....
I purchased this Samurai from the original owner (friend of the family who had babied it) with 90,000 miles on the odometer. It had just been stolen maybe six months prior and the insurance paid for the new seats, carpet, panels, and hardtop that had been stripped from it. It wasn't running at the time but after checking the mechanicals, runnning a compression check, etc., I was pretty sure it was either an ignition or fuel problem even though spark and gas were present. Turns out the spark was there but not strong enough due to a shorted wire in the distributor module. Diagnosed and fixed by Goodyear for $100 so total cost was $500.....not bad for a Suzuki as well maintained as this one had been.
The above are some pics when I first got it, both with the hardtop and the OEM soft top. I eventually sold the hard top, didn't like it, my Kayline soft top keeps me warmer. I wish they sold the OEM Japanese made top, it was super sturdy, no leaks, well made. I also have a Bestop soft top that I run in the summer for quick cover ups, not as well made as the Kayline, plus the Kayline has zip up side windows for the safari look. The pics on this page are all with the OEM top.
The first thing to go were the guages. I bought all AUTOMETER guages (speedo,tach,oil,water,fuel,voltage) and with a little cutting, fabrication, and re-wiring put them in. They look a whole lot better and provide a more accurate indicator of what is going on with the motor. Replaced the high beam and 4x4 indicator lights with super bright LEDs mounted in the bottom center of the main guage cluster. I didn't plan on a body lift so the stick got cut next, topped with a MOMO shifter. NOW, I don't feel like I'm driving a school bus. After these pictures were taken I replaced the steering wheel with a Momo and put some non-slip aluminum pedals in. The mods to soon follow were a CD player, Fosgate amp and 6.5" speakers in the factory holes and in the side targa panels (custom mounted), CB, Weber carb, K&N air filter, Thorley header, 2" exhaust with hollowed out cat., 15"x7" aluminum wheels (ordered and left at NTW by somebody so the guy let me have them for $60 each), 29" x 10.5" Thornbirds, Calmini shackle reversal (so it would clear the Thornbirds), Pro-Comp Explorer shocks and steering stabilizer, poly bushings, and two new soft tops (unhappy with Bestop so I bought the Kayline, major improvement).
Here is my almost-3-year old demonstrating the non-articulate nature of his new Power Wheels truck, maybe one day he will graduate into a Samurai :-) The 3 year old above is going to have his 7th birthday party this month and the Power Wheels truck has been worn out. I have done a few things to the Zuk and wanted to post a quick update. I have replaced the bumpers with the Crawler series bumpers from RRO and installed a TrailTough Mighty Kong transfer case mount to go with the TT 4.16:1 low range transfer case. Also Herculined inside and out, RRO was sourced for the ABS plastic interior pieces and the RockKnob. Installed some cloth race type seats that really hold you in place. Also, had exhaust fabricated with flex-joint to take stress off header bolts. Click on thumbnails below for pics:
With the Touareg purchase, I really had no justification to let the Samurai sit in the driveway any more, I travel and it was getting driven very little. I told a friend I might want to get rid of it and he had a buyer in a few days, here are some pics I took the day I sold it (my wife really didn't want the flex demonstration on the rock in the front yard but she was happy enough I was selling it so.....), not bad considering the only suspension mod is a Calmini Shackle Reverse..... Click on thumbnails for larger pics:
MODS IN THE FUTURE:
Suspension lift, probably Wrangler spring conversion.
Suzuki Related Books at Amazon.com:
*Chilton's Suzuki : Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-98 Repair Manual (Chiltons Total Car Care Repair Manual)
*Suzuki Samurai & Sidekick Geo Tracker 1986 Thru 1996 : All Models (Haynes Automotive Repair Manual Series)
*Weber Carburetors by Pat Braden
Suzuki and Off-Road Links!
Image courtesy of Josh Hodges