Samurai's were reintroduced '86 until '94. They are a great little truck, very third world. In that they can take an amazing amount of abuse and just keep going. I owned one form around 2000 till 2008 and i regret selling it. Truly the best little off roader I have ever owned! However, mine was far from stock! Good luck! PM me if you want any advice!
Over this part of the world....the best SAMURAI's I'd say are the one built until year 1994......afterwards came the SAMURAI II with less "iron quality"....in fact after that year you can see bended axles easily or at least easier than the old ones.............
88.5 or later. I would say the years with fuel injection would be even better. Also depends on what you plan on doing with it. stock drivetrain can handle 33's. Any tire size above that and you will want to upgrade.
look out for rust under the doors under the plastic sills. some oil leaks can be easily fixed.
the rear main seal is blamed alot when it turns out to be a cheap O ring on the distributor.
tcase stuck in neutral can be fixed with a new shifter bushing.
nice aftermarket out there for them now.
popular engine swap is the 1.6 geo tracker/suzuki sidekick motor 8valve or 16valve. 8 valve can be run off propane. other popular swaps are the 2.0 and VW diesel.
great rig to wheel with. I have had mine for over 15 years and still love it. built it over the years with toyota parts. cheapest rig to build.
every rig out there is trying to get lighter, samurais start that way.
In California, the last year of the Samurai was 1994 due to emissions regulations. The rest of the country got them until 1995, but they're rare to find in the later model years because sales dropped off so precipitously thanks to the idiots at Consumer Reports.
If you can find a fuel injected one (1990+) that would be the best, but the earlier carbureted ones are just as bulletproof.