Samurai (not intended as a) Project

Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
505
Location
KC, MO Area (again)
How it all got started: I was living in Jefferson City, MO renting a house from Dad. The conditions were simple, pay him rent. When he sells the house, he’ll pay me back. Well if ya know my old man ….. I get a call from Dad one afternoon.

“Didn’t you always want a long bed Jeep thing?” he said.

“A CJ8? Yeah, but I’m kinda picky about what I’m looking for.” I reply.

“What about a Samurai instead of rent repayment?”

The sickness begins:
Running it as a daily driver was well and good, for a while. But you can’t have a rig like this and not take it out in a mud hole or climb some rocks right? Well that was well and good in theory, but rolling stock makes mud and rocks a lot more challenging. So I started to hit some forums, KC Zuks, Zuks of KC, Zuwharie, to name a few. I also started making my ideal end state, goals, objectives for this little tinker can. What I came up with was a DD/mild trail rig that I and the wife could take camping.
Here come some mods: What to do? What to do?

First issue - After driving it up and down state and interstates for six months it was obvious, power would become an issue. How to make more power out of this 1.3 liter engine? Air filter, exhaust header were already done. Next steps could be cam, pistons, bore, balance, or just a bigger engine. Those all were more mechanically involved than what I could handle in my garage. Power will have to wait.

Issue number two - The stock wheels and tires SUCKED in mud and on rocks. Tires came via Craig’s List. Bought a set of wheels and tires that I knew wouldn’t fit but they were in great shape and priced great. I traded the wheels for another set of new wheels. I sold the tires for enough cash to buy 5 tires and one matching wheel. After the horse trading I was out $100.00 for a set of 5 15x8, 5 lug on 5.5” aluminum wheels and 30”x9.5” mud tires. I have bigger tires but they would not fit under stock ride height. They will have to sit in the corner and wait for lift to happen. What about that power thing?

Third issue - Now I have bigger tires doing absolutely no frigging good stacked in a corner. So a lift was needed. After doing some looking around I quickly found that there was a TON of options available for the Samurai. Most all are pretty straight forward. The more involved lifts were out of my price range. I settled on a 3.5”, shackle reverse lift.

Back to the first issue of power. After tires and lift, it was all this little tinker can could do to move down the road. I had to do something, quickly. I decided to go the engine route. I chose a 1.6L 16v engine to stuff in there. I was a bit worried about oil pan clearance and the front axle but that was an issue that could be fixed with a bump stop.

After all that I had my DD/mild trail rig that I and the wife could take camping. I’m still not satisfied. It needs ……. Gears!!! I don’t care where, transfer case, axle. It needs gears! I ended up with two sets somehow. A 4.16 set of gears already in a case and a 6.5 set of gears without a case.

AHHHhhhhh. That is sooo much better. NOW I have my DD/mild trail rig that I and the wife could take camping. I think. I, I, I need traction!!!!!! More traction! Spartan locker in the rear. Yeah. That’s what I’m missing.

I’ve ran this rig like this for about three years now, accumulated/sold other Samurais, parts, pieces and a lot of ideas. Right now I’m sitting on a 1999 Tracker 1.6 liter engine, 5sp trans, T-case, wiring harness, brain box, dash cluster, 2 front axles/1 rear axle from a 1978/9 Toyota Land Cruiser, mechanical Ausi lockers for the thirds and three Samurai transfer cases (stock, 4.16 and 6.5 gear sets).

Danger! Danger!: I’ve decided the endstate, really isn’t the endstate that …. Who am I kidding? Bigger, better, faster, MORE!!!!!!! So what I’m toying with is a 4 link rear pushed back 7”-10”, three link front pushed forward 3”-5”, belly between 20” and 22” up while sitting on 35”-38” tires. Don’t know if I’m going to run coils or air/nitrogen on the corners. I cannot start this project until after 16 September 2013. That provides plenty of time for me to do some geometry, gather parts, tear into the Samurai and change everything, Dam this is a sickness! I need help (no, not really).
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
505
Location
KC, MO Area (again)
Bought a transfer case hull to replace the one I broke. I was doing a gear swap. While pressing out a bearing and shaft, I forgot to remove the speedometer sleeve from the transfer case. Now I need to stuff stock gears back into it. I think this case is going into another Samurai I have.

Bought ZOR Snatch and Panty Liner. This will be going into the Not Intended project.

About to buy 5 Super Swampers - 38”x11” on stock FJ80 Land Cruiser 8”x16”, 6 lug at 5.5” from a local guy. Two tires are 15%, two are 65% and the spare is 98%. I plan to buy another Super Swamper to match, so I have two that are about 100% and two at 65%. I'll use one of the 15% tires as a spare.

Cleaned up one of the FJ40 axles I got. Power washed, wire wheeled, shot it with rusty metal primer and a hammered silver paint. The hammered silver look is the daughter’s idea (sure beats hot pink). Going to work on the outers through next weekend. Got the outer axle rebuild kit.

I’m waiting on a guy to pull his lockers out of his FJ40 thirds. Two Ausi lockers for $350? That’s a sore d!@k deal.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
505
Location
KC, MO Area (again)
Cleaned up one of the FJ40 axles I got. Power washed, wire wheeled, shot it with rusty metal primer and a hammered silver paint. The hammered silver look is the daughter’s idea (sure beats hot pink). Going to work on the outers through next weekend. Got the outer axle rebuild kit.
I noticed the inside of the knuckle housing were clearanced and both of the Birfs had a TG stamped on it. I went to Trail Gear's site (http://www.trail-gear.com/birfields) and found this:
Dirty 30 FJ 40 Birfield Kit - Trail-Gear is proud to introduce our newest addition to the Dirty 30 family, The Dirty 30 FJ 40 Birfield Kit. The Dirty 30 birfield housing is made out of forged 4340 chromoly steel. The axle shafts are also made out of 4340 chromoly steel. The internals of our Dirty 30 birfields are made out of 300M chromoly steel. These things are so strong we are backing them up with our No Questions Asked Warranty. Upgrading to the Dirty 30 FJ 40 Birfield Kit is a great time to upgrade to the larger mini truck knuckles, this will allow you to have a larger diameter knuckle stud and with a spring over conversion you can also run a high steer kit. This kit will go right into your 1978 and newer FJ 40, and all years of the FJ 55 with disc brakes. Some minor clearancing of the knuckle may be required.

Some minor clearancing of the knuckle may be required? TG stamped on the knuckle? I might be over thinking things? I'm still stumped. Things point to aftermarket stuff but I can't positively ID anything. Help needed.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
505
Location
KC, MO Area (again)
R&P What would you suggest?

What I have – 1987 Suzuki Samurai, 1.6L 16v, Stock Samurai Trans, 6.5 Transfer case. Curb weight is a touch over 2000 lbs. Loaded up ready for the trails, myself included, it weighs out to 2440 lbs.
The next step/upgrade – 1978/9 FJ40 Land Cruiser axles and 38” tires.
After crunching numbers using http://www.lepayne.com/gears.html I will need to lower my R&P, but by how much? Stock FJ40 axles have a 4.1 ratio. Ratios I’m considering are 4.88 and 5.29. I’ve included where the rig is now, and the effects of larger tires/lower (4.1, 4.88, 5.29) R&P.
Thanks
Rob
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
505
Location
KC, MO Area (again)
Thanks for all the thought and consideration on my previous post.
NOT!

Anyway. I’ve decided to run a YJ leaf spring, sprung over in the front and a 4 link rear. I still need my buddy to pull his thirds so I can pull the lockers.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
505
Location
KC, MO Area (again)
Axle progress

My buddy, the one with the lockers, we started tinkering on a weekly basis. This has moved both our projects forward. I finaly got the lockers out of his and into my axles. While the axles were torn down I wire wheeled, blasted, primed and painted both axles.


I'm starting to see an issues develop. TIME!! I set a deadline on myself to have this endeavor completed. The date is Wednesday, 19 March 2014. That is the day the rig goes on the trailer to head to BMR in Disney, OK. I'd like to get a shake down run before then but as things are going I don't known if that will happen.


Issues that have come up
1. Samurai front spring centerline are wider than an FJ40. I don't know about the rears yet?
2. Steering arms, linkage and power steering? The 78 FJ40 knuckles have a narrow bolt pattern. I'm having a hard time finding high steering arms for the narrow pattern on the knuckles. The same buddy just broke apart a FJ60 axle and has no plan for the knuckles. I wonder if those will fit?
3. Power steering. A must have with a locker in the front. Again I'm having a hard time finding a kit for the Samurai that connects to a Toyota axle.
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
505
Location
KC, MO Area (again)
Links to different stuff

I've been posting different things in different locations here on Mud. I'll try to keep it all tied back to here. I'm sure there will be repeted post. Bear with it and enjoy
 
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